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Depression

Amount of Medicine

04/29/2008

Question:

For the last year, my doctor has had me taking 60mg of Cymbalta once a day, WellibutronXL 120mg once a day, and Prozac 20 mg once a day. I also take Ativan 1mg up to 4 times a day. A lot of people think that this is too much medicine. Is it okay to take these medicines together? I have really bad depression and anxiety and panic attacks.

Answer:

The answer to your question, Is this too much medicine? lies in the effectiveness of this regimen. If this regimen is necessary to reduce your symptoms and allow you to function without bothersome side effects, then stick with it and tell your doubting friends nothing less manages your illness. On the other hand, if you're not doing well on this regimen (no improvement in symptoms, too many side effects), then you should negotiate a new treatment plan with your doctor. That new plan may result in less medication, more, or about the same. Also consider adding counseling, exercise, or light therapy. As with high blood pressure or diabetes, the amount of antidepressant medication you take should be the least amount required to effectively manage your illness and prevent relapses.

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Response by:

Lawson  Wulsin, MD Lawson Wulsin, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, Training Director of the Family Medicine Psychiatry Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati