IBS Network

Back to antidepressants for IBS?

Hi there, I haven't posted for a while as seemed to be 'getting by' and somehow plodding along with IBS symptoms not taking over completely. Up to a month ago I was taking amitryptiline (10 then 5mg) and escitalopram 5mg.

As my doses were so low and I was putting up with side effects I decided to see how my IBS would be without them. I did the very gradual tapering as advised and not both at the same time. The first couple of weeks I had worsened diarrhea and nausea which I expected and then a quiet week and now full blown horrible flare up. I've had constant abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and headaches for over a week now and feeling fed up...

Back to doctor today for first time in a long time. I think they'll suggest I go back to what I was on but I don't want to be on anti-ds forever. Also I don't know if it's my body just readjusting. If anyone has had any similar experience would welcome your advice. Thank you!

5 Replies

Hi, it depends how long you were on anti-depressants for. If your body was on them for awhile you can expect a few months of irregularities, increased pain, etc

, which is basic withdrawal symptoms, and that's completely normal. It's a way for your body to be clamoring for the drug you've stopped giving it. What are the symptoms of your flare-ups right now? Try some natural/stress-relieving remedies while your brain re-adjusts and if after a month or 2 of being off anti-depressants you feel that you really can't handle it, think about accepting the reality of being on them long-term. Because being off anti-depressants definitely leaves you more sensitive to flare-ups, since part of the reason why we have ibs is our extreme,emotional/physical sensitivety. I hope this post helps, I'm exactly where you are at after being ofd anti-depressants for just 1 year after being on them for 4. It's a hard decision to make, as nothing beats being yourself fully but the increased ibs pain makes it hard to maintain.


I agree with IBSBae. But know that there are other ways to feel better without antidepressants. I got rid of my IBS without meds. You may find this post helps you in the right direction: sickofibs.com/well-being/a-...



And heres me being told my Bipolar meds might be the culprit for IBS-D???? If a doc doesn't know, I think they make it up?? 'Alledgedlly'!!!! I am on 60mg Fluoxetine and 600mg Lithium (to be reduced in March, due to lack of enthusiasm etc!!!! Looking round, I think, no 2 patients are the same!!!!


Hi it was the amitriptyline that was helping you; the 10 mgs are the best bet.

Amityptyline 10 mg is not for depression its for pain and anxiety and IBS etc.

very best wishes


Thanks for all of your replies. What you said IBSBae makes complete sense. I was on them for 2 years and off a month so doctor said they should be out of my system. I agree with you though and think that it may be my body trying to readjust.

I'm thinking I will go back to the amitryptiline or try nortryptiline as doctor mentioned side effects could be less. Flare ups like this are just not do-able (I had forgotten!) so if the antidepressants were helping in any way I think I need to stick with them for now...

I hope you are all finding things that help. Definitely the case that no 2 patients the same but I really appreciate your replies.


You may also like...