Oct 042005

As I started the antidepressants again it made both of us think back on the turning point to identify a cause. It is very clear that the depression began immediately after taking the Solu-Medrol (or while on it). Looking back on my history of depression it always immediately follows a round of Solu-Medrol, and the family consensus is that there is a definite link between the two. My theory is that, for whatever reason, it takes my body to an extremely bad place and that it takes a while to recover. I guess I’ll have to wait until this episode clears up and check again at some future round of Solu-Medrol. In the minimum I find it very bizarre that I was in excellent spirits immediately before the Solu-Medrol and then it went immediately bad – certainly something to ponder.

 Posted by at 8:04 pm

  21 Responses to “Solu-Medrol vs. Depression”

  1. That is strange that you were in good spirits before the ‘roids and not in such good ones after. It definitely maybe should be looked into by you to see if maybe the ‘roids aren’t worth u taking anymore. I sure hope that they are as I know how much better I feel after them..but everyone is different with this MS and every drug. I wish you luck Erik!!

  2. I usually get a bit ‘frantic’ after the ‘roids. Hate the stuff, but I love what it does for me. As for the other side effects (hungry enough to eat your arm) … well, just go with it. This, however, really sucks. I wonder if there is a facet of neurosomatic in this.

  3. Pretty much if you can have a bad reaction to a drug then I will – or at least so it seems lately! This certainly doesn’t help my already loathing Solu-Medrol!

  4. Odd…I didn’t think steroids triggered depression. My neuro told me I’d suffer the 3H’s….I’d be happy, hungry and HORNY.

    Is it being on them that bugs you… or is this a feeling that comes just after finishing a course of steroids? If so, perhaps they need to wean you from a higher dose to a lower one before dropping you into the pit of despair. Be well!

  5. Jim,
    I’ve never known anyone who took high dose steroids who was happy – if you were I would suspect you are the exception – hence the term “roid rage.” I suspect it is probably the “roid rage” which causes a chemical imbalance in me that takes a while to recover from. As for your final “H” I can pretty safely say that being as angst ridden as I am NO ONE is in the mood anywhere near me including me!

    In no way do I look forward to the steroids, but I certainly don’t dread it to the point of depression. And I do wean of the steroids, but the sooner off the better.

  6. I don’t know … maybe Jim is getting those Canadian Sterioids. The ones that are courteous and such, unlike the brash Texas ones you take. 😉

  7. Me too. And considering there wasn’t any noticable benefit during the four courses I did, I’m planning to skip the drips. (Have you noticed any studies on the possibility that drips don’t help the course of M.S.? I think I remember some.)

  8. I have taken the oral steroids 3 times in the past and this is what i found. If I delayed getting started on the steroids, like several weeks to see if i could weather the storm, they had absolutely no effect on me. If i got started on them asap, like within 2 or 3 days of onset of symptoms, they worked like a charm.

  9. I guess I am one of the lucky ones then. No mdmhvonpa, they were not Canadian steroids… I have only had Atlanta steroids. I have not really felt the need for them since I moved back up north.
    I can’t really say that that I had any of the 3 h’s much moreso than ususal. The first course got me out of an exacerbation pronto, so that did make me happy. But since then, each time I had to take ‘roids, they seem to have less of an effect. I just do not seem to recover from an attack anymore, there is always some residual disability. Now, I would just take them in the hope that they are preventing me from crashing further!

  10. Do people really just come out of attacks? I’ve tried it 3 times and 3 times I’ve nearly lost the ability to walk, to keep balance, and to talk. Crazy how this disease roller coaster has a different ride for everyone, huh? Anyone personally know that conductor?

  11. The MD that told you that taking Solu-Medrol would make you happy, hungry and horny IS A MORON (like most MD’s). Solu-Medrol is a synthetic steroid that is similar to cortisol. Cortisol is the steroid that is produced by your adrenals when you are stressed. It changes your glucose metabolism (which is why it makes you hungry), and dampens the immune system to allow survival in stressful situations.

    There are TONS of papers on the depressive effects of cortisol. It inhibits the efficacy of seratonin (the happy neurotransmitter) by decreasing the number of serotonin receptors in your brain.

    I’m not sure if being on an antidepressant before the Solu-Medrol would prevent the anti-serotinergic effects of Solu-Medrol, but it may help dampen the anti-serotinergic effect so you are not on such a huge rollercoaster.

    The idea for treatment of an MS attack is to stop the autoimmune reaction in your body by depressing your immune system in general.

    Anabolic andogenic steroids (AAS) are testosterone-like synthetic compounds that are designed to have a maximal anabolic effect and minimal androgenic effects. They alter the composition of the GABA A receptor in the hypothalamus, which is the brain region that is involved in sexual behavior and aggression. These are experiments that I am working on now.

    Here is a pubmed link on papers dealing with the effect of cortisol on seratonin http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed

    Solu-Medrol is a totally different type of steroid than anabolic steroids.

  12. Beth,
    Thanks. I thought the same thing, but didn’t have anything to back that up. I had been meaning to do some research on the longer term effects of Solu-Medrol and depression, but hadn’t done so. Thanks for providing some material to look into!

  13. A little late getting in on this discussion but thought I’d contribute anyway…it may be of some use to someone. Went through the ‘roids over 7 years ago and had a range of side effects from hunger to happiness (mania) and a couple of months after taking them, crashed mentally. I had been warned that it can take a few months for the drugs to completely leave your system. Would the crash have happened anyway as a result of the MS or my own susceptability to depression? Who knows? All I know is that it happened and it was literally like crashing into a brick wall. I vowed 7 years ago that I’d never do the ‘roids again, but have softened my stance since, as I have more knowledge and am better able to cope (I think). Luckily, I haven’t had to take them anyway.

  14. Shauna,
    The joys of MS, sometimes it is very hard to point to the source of the problem! 🙁 Yeah, I always swear off the solu-medrol too, but then I always soften up and take it again and proceed to re-vow. Maybe it is my MS-memory that keeps having this cycle repeat! 😉

  15. Just a thank you from a visiting blogger – I completed Solu-Med about a month ago and can relate to that feeling of hitting the wall afterward. Have done week-long IVs of Decadron in the past with some annoying symptoms but nothing like this. I’m calling the neuro on Monday with an S.O.S. for post-Solu-Med help, meds, whatever he has in his arsenal.

  16. My husband gets Solumedrol via IV every 3 – 6 months to treat exacerbations (flare-ups) of his MS, and we learned the hard way about the side effects. The first week after the treatment, he had horrible stomach pains and began passing and vomiting blood, had major insomnia, and felt depressed.

    What was weird was that about ten to fourteen days after the treatment, he suddenly was overwhelmed with violent anger and suicidal thoughts, to the point that he called me at work and begged me to come home and get any knives, utility blades, etc. out of the house. He recognized that it was abnormal, he knew that the “real” him did not want to die, but he was having to fight back against his own mind to keep from committing suicide. He had even planned very elaborately just how to do it so that I could still collect his life insurance (he was going to get something that needed to be cut up for dinner, have it out partially sliced, drip something slippery on the floor, and make it look like he slipped and stabbed himself while falling.)

    When we told his neurologist about it, we were told that the first problems were very common, that depression was reasonably common, and the suicidal thoughts/planning less common, but a VERY REAL possibility in a minority of patients. (And thank him SO MUCH for the heads-up we did NOT get.)

    So, no, you are not imagining it, it’s not in your head, and your doctor may very well know that it’s a “slight possibility” and just won’t admit it to you due to liability issues or whatever. This time, they upped my husband’s Prozac a week before the treatment, and though he had some depression and insomnia, it was clearly less than the last time. The violent mood swings hit even harder than before, so maybe there is some cumulative effect, I really don’t know. But it happens after every treatment too.

  17. It definitely maybe should be looked into by you to see if maybe the ‘roids aren’t worth u taking anymore.
    Dual Diagnosis


  18. Erik
    I am am with you, I just finish a round of the roids and I am in the middle of a crash into that brick wall. I changed doctors and my new doctor does a 5 day course vs a 3 day course, then step down pills. In the past I have always struggled with depression after the roids, but this 5 day course is worse than I have ever experienced.

  19. Ok so I had a 5 day course of IV solumedrol that ended 5 days ago. This is not the first 5 day course ive been on, but this time around its different. I feel like I am in a fog, dizzy, pains in my back,heartburn and bad insomnia. I have no idea if its because of the solumedrol or if I am getting sick.

  20. I’ve had MS for about 25 years. I’ve found that they are the only thing that really helps. I feel great on them. A little less energy would be helpful for sleeping. I only got depressed once out of probably 8-9 times. 2-3 times, they didn’t work well.

  21. I’ve used Solu-Medrol for 4 days after a supposed flare up. Not sure if it worked but I do feel depressed a month after taking the product. Good thing I smoke cannabis that seems to help, with everything from depression to anxiety to pain. Not with balance though. I would say it’s a panacea treatment. been smoking for 15 years daily though so my tolerance is probably abnormally high.

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