Antibiotic-Induced Depression

Yesterday a friend told me he wasn’t feeling well.  “Depression,” he said with a grimace of embarrassment.  He also said he’s been on antibiotics.

Sirens went off in my head.  I recently went through about three years of inexplicable depression.  I had also taken a lot of antibiotics for various infections.

Could there be a connection?

On a U.S. government web site, MedlinePlus, I found these side-effects for one of the antibiotics I had taken:  “confusion; nervousness; anxiety; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; nightmares or abnormal dreams; not trusting others or feeling that others want to hurt you; hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist); depression; thoughts about dying or killing yourself.”

I knew antibiotics were bad, and viewed them as a necessary evil sometimes … as a last resort.  But this was ridiculous.

PDR.net says of the same antibiotic, “… and toxic psychosis reported; [discontinue] if CNS (Central Nervous System) events (e.g., dizziness, confusion, tremors, hallucinations, depression, suicidal thoughts/acts) occur.

Now, sometimes I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box, but run that by me one more time, please!

They actually tell you to discontinue if suicidal acts occur?  If you’re successful with the act, I’d say the warning is a bit redundant, wouldn’t you?

Although my friend was embarrassed about admitting to depression, I’m glad he did, because it was one of those life-changing moments for me.

So … it wasn’t me, after all.  It was the stupid antibiotics.  I tried everything to shake the depression – exercise, yard work, hours upon hours of volunteer work, going over my “What I’m Thankful For” list day after day, prayer, Bible study, funny movies, funny blog posts, St. John’s Wort, good nutrition, hours and weeks of expensive therapy – anything and everything.  I even tried anti-depressants – a very, very, very last resort, in my book.  They only made me feel worse.

Imagine that – taking one drug to treat the side-effects of another drug.  I know it happens all the time, but I didn’t have a clue I was doing it … that it could be the antibiotics causing my depression.

I’d be driving home after an afternoon or evening of volunteer work, knowing I was doing some good in this world, but crying my eyes out.  I’m talking about the heaves-of-sobbing-and-moaning kind.

My car was calling to me in the garage.  It’s simple.  Just open the car windows, keep the garage door closed, and start me up.

I shudder to think how close I came.  All because of the antibiotics.  Wow.  Talk about an “aha” moment.

There are so many things I could write about my experience.  Depression is a dark underworld which very few people want to talk about.  I was one of them … and I worked hard to hide it.  It’s a place of shame – where you know you’re thinking about yourself too much, but can’t stop, due to the waves of sadness drowning you.

All that beating up on myself … for what?  Some pills.  Some pills which carried warnings far worse than anything I could have imagined.  I knew antibiotics messed up the intestinal flora, but I had no idea what else they could do.

My bad … I should have read all the paperwork stapled to my prescriptions.  From now on, I most certainly will.

As for my friend, I shared my findings with him, and he was relieved and blessed beyond belief.  It wasn’t him after all, and he didn’t need to feel any shame.

It was just the stupid pills.

Advertisements

73 Responses to “Antibiotic-Induced Depression”

  1. Diane Stadelbauer Says:

    Who would have thought? Amazing. Thanks for the info. I seldom need/take antibiotics, and haven’t suffererd from that side effect (Thank God), but will definitely pass along the info to others.

  2. http://slowdancejournal.wordpress.com Says:

    I have never heard of this! Thanks for passing this on. The side-effect must be somewhat rare, which would make it dangerous since it would be so unexpected.

    My husband recently exhibited a little-talked-about side effect from a cortizone shot–two days of hiccups. When he searched online he found many reports of cortizone-induced hiccups. Medicines act on the whole body, not just the targeted illness or symptom.

  3. Diane Cox Says:

    I had never heard of this side effect either. Thanks for sharing Judy!

  4. Mike Paleovillage Says:

    There is a clear correlation between the gut flora health and depression. Antibiotics destroy the gut flora in majority of the cases. That’s what’s happening.

  5. digimichan Says:

    :< I was diagnosed with moderate depression but lately I think it got worse…I can't sleep in the dark like I used to normally. But I always read my meds (Cancer survivor) so pills will be the last thing on my list for my depression treatment.

    • judyransom Says:

      Hi, Digi – Your drawings prove you are very talented, and very smart! From my conversations with others, I do believe the right prescription for specific cases of depression can be a good thing. (I was just amazed that something as common as antibiotics could actually produce the side-effect of depression!)

      Perhaps studies have been done on the subject, but it seems that artistic people have more of a propensity toward depression than others. I don’t know why. Maybe it has something to do with a deeper sensitivity to people and the surrounding environment.

      I believe we’re all broken people in a fallen world … and some of us are more broken than others. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get fixed, i.e., healed.

      You do have an awesome gift, Digi, and there are people on this planet you were put here to serve. I hope you continue to seek the solutions you need, until you find them. I wish you all the strength you’ll need in order to do that. People are waiting for your gift to be unleashed …

      • digimichan Says:

        Wow. That made me feel better and probably made my week 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to type down such a lovely reply *A* Well you see my depression has also killed my love for drawing. I try to every now and then but feels like its forced sometimes. ^^; I’m glad you liked the artblog nontheless! :3 I have new works I haven’t posted~ But you’ve just ignited me to start it up again. Thank you. ❤

      • judyransom Says:

        I know exactly what you mean, and I wish you well as you move forward in your journey! I hope you find venues to submit your work. My pastor is an artist, and contracts work with various organizations … there are so many forums for this kind of art. Here’s his site: http://soulsurfer.wordpress.com/

        You go, girl! I hope you find many encouragers along your journey, and can avoid toxic people as much as possible!

  6. willem Says:

    Dear Judy Ransom,

    Thank you for making this post. I’m 100% sure my depression along with some other problems started after taking antibiotics. However my doctors say it isn’t possible to get long term side-effects from antibiotics. I’m wondering could you share a little bit about how it started to become better?

    I myself used to be always joyful and happy, i almost never felt sad or angry. Now i’m feeling really sad and can’t seem to enjoy anything anymore. Would you mind being in contact with me for a little while, i could really use some support.

    Thank you in advance if you could!

    Regards,

    Willem

  7. judyransom Says:

    Hi, Willem

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this difficult time. I’m not a health practitioner, so please don’t take anything I say as medical advice.

    I believe it’s what antibiotics can do to your gut, if you’re not aggressively proactive when taking them. From what I’ve read, they indiscriminately kill bacteria — both good and bad — hence their name, anti (against) + biotic (of life). Yes, it’s a good thing that they kill off the bad bacteria attacking your body. But they also kill good (friendly) bacteria which protect you. The balance of good bacteria in your gut is pretty critical to overall good physical health … and your brain is a physical organ!

    So you can do the research, but here are some things that may help:

    1. Check your body’s pH. The simplest way is to get some pH test papers at a local health food store. Read up on it first, to see what normal levels are for the saliva and urine, because they’re different. There are more accurate tests, but this will give you an idea if your body is acidic, neutral, or alkaline. If you have a pool or a garden, you probably know that nothing you add to the water or soil is going to help until you get the pH level right. It’s the same with your body, and disease loves an acidic body. If your pH is too acidic (according to which test you take), you can find charts and lists of alkaline foods online. (Yes, green, leafy vegetables are good for you.) What really amazed me is that most filtered/purified water is acidic! So I drink spring water, which is neutral to alkaline. (You don’t have to buy one of those expensive machines to alkalize your water. You can even add a little baking soda to your drinking water … but I like the taste of spring water better. (Yes, I know it comes in a plastic bottle, but I guess we can get paranoid about everything.) You might even consider a 7 to 10-day juice fast with lots of alkaline fruits and vegetables. (Almost every thrift store has a juicer on the back shelf. LOL)

    2. Consider a very good probiotic temporarily, to restore the balance of your intestinal flora (which antibiotics mess up). A friend of mine introduced me to VSL#3, which you can find on Amazon, and is shipped with ice packs. I think I just took 1/3 packet per day.

    3. Eat fermented foods regularly, which helps your gut to have a healthy balance of good intestinal flora. You can buy the refrigerated sauerkraut (nothing canned) … or you can learn how to very easily make your own — it’s very easy! The Perfect Pickler fermenting lid is an inexpensive, easy start, if you’re a little nervous about fermenting foods. A couple tablespoons of sauerkraut with each meal goes a long way, for the health of your gut.

    4. Journaling — writing down your feelings and experiences — really does help. Most of us make the mistake of trying to achieve the picture of our “ideal” self in our minds, which is like trying to get to the horizon, which you’ll never reach … because our ideal self is always ahead of us, just like the horizon. A journal is something you can look back on, so you can see the progress you’ve made, which is very encouraging. Dan Sullivan’s “Learning How To Avoid The Gap” is a very powerful little book on this subject.

    5. A good therapist can be very helpful — a professional who will listen to you, and give you “assignments,” so you can be proactive in your journey back to restored health. It’s important to have a good support system around you — people who are encouraging. (Draw a circle and write “me” in it –then draw lines out from it with other circles, filled with the names of supportive people, organizations, systems, etc., so you’ll be aware of who’s in your support system.)

    6. Drink lots of neutral to alkaline water, get as much sunshine as you possibly can, and exercise regularly, especially when you don’t feel like it. Yoga is very good, and so is prayer or meditation, according to what you believe.

    7. Make a “fun” list of things you enjoy doing (or used to enjoy doing), and go do them! (If we’re not careful, it’s easy to forget what “fun” is!)

    I hope some of this helps, Willem. Just focus on ONE thing at a time, so it’s not overwhelming. Stay proactive on your journey, and NEVER give up. Where there is life, there is always hope.

    Blessings to you,
    Judy

    • willem Says:

      Hello Judy!

      Thank you very, very much for your response! I’ve been doing research myself aswell(is how i stumbled upon your website:)), but I find so many different things and I don’t know if it’s unbiased and if anyone ever really tried it, so i’m really happy to get advice from you. I will go through all the steps you mentioned, i’m already trying some of them out. One of them is the probiotic Primal Defense Ultra from Garden of Life, do you have any experience with this probiotic? I’m a little scared to take them, since i don’t think anyone is completely sure what they do.
      I already have sauerkraut in the fridge, but i’ll sure get some more haha.
      The therapist I’ve been recommended by my doctor as well, i felt it was more of a “i don’t know how to help you, maybe this will help”, since i’m 100% sure my problems are caused by the antibiotics(they don’t share this tought). You’ve been seeing a therapist while you had the depression? I’m wondering how he can help if the causes of the depression are physical.
      Are you now completely over your depression and do you feel the same as you did before taking them? I really feel like i’m not the same person anymore and i’m worried there’s no comming back to that. Could you tell a little more about the progress aswell and what do you think made you benefit the most.
      I’m sorry for asking so many questions, but your response is really helping me. I’m really really thankful for your reply!
      Willem

      • judyransom Says:

        Yes, Willem, you have a lot of questions … and that’s a good thing, because you’re taking responsibility for your health, and working hard at researching and finding the answers!

        I’ve never read anything bad about probiotics, except that some are more effective than others. The way I understand it, probiotic supplements (with the proper delivery system) will introduce friendly bacteria into your gut. That’s a good thing when you really need it for a crisis situation, like when taking antibiotics, or if you get something bad like a real flu, etc. Your diet, however — including fermented foods — will probably be your best strategy for helping your gut to develop and maintain it’s own healthy balance of intestinal flora on a long-term basis. (I haven’t tried the Primal Defense Ultra from Garden of Life. I’ve tried many, and the one I mentioned earlier helped me the most. Whatever helps you see a difference is what works for you!)

        There are so many, many factors involved with depression. Even a physical cause (like antibiotics or a poor diet of refined and processed foods, addictions, etc.) can initially stir up other unsettled elements of your entire being: your emotional growth, like compensating for unmet childhood needs and resultant destructive adaptive behaviors in relationships; your spiritual growth — trying to separate truth from error in your upbringing and adult life, and searching for inner peace and resolution; your stresses in life, which can wreak havoc with your hormone levels; etc.

        So even if you’re sure of the physical cause of your depression, don’t rule out the possibility of needing to deal with other issues which may have been stirred up. Yes, a therapist helped me. Depression, no matter the cause, takes you into a dark place where you want to isolate yourself from others. A good therapist — someone recommended by a trusted friend, someone with good reviews, someone who shares your spiritual beliefs, and/or someone you feel you can trust — will guide you toward healing, like dealing with feelings of being a victim … into survivor mode … through to triumph and joy … and into finding healthy relationships. I’m sure you realize, though, that life is like a roller coaster ride, and will always take you up and down for another ride!

        Do I feel the same as I was before? No way! I’m so much better for the learning and growth! Times of sadness and darkness give us pause for reflection. Hopefully, they give us new understanding, and urge us to move through all the growing pains, and all the work it takes to move toward healing. Are we ever completely healed? No way. That’s what makes life such a terrifyingly exciting learning adventure!

        Anxiety is so often about the future, which is unknown and uncertain. You can only find peace when you live in the present moment … not dwelling on the past, or worrying about the future. I happen to believe in God, and I believe that He IS … NOW. If I’m dwelling on the past, He’s not there. If I’m anxious about the future, He’s not there. If I’m living this moment to it’s fullest, He’s there, and can see me through.

        I do believe you’re going to get through this, and I’m wishing you the best.

        – Judy

  8. Billy Says:

    Hi Judy,
    Thank you so much for this. My wonderful, full of life, edgy 13 year old daughter was almost destroyed by antibiotics. After two to three weeks of taking them she collapsed into a suicidal depression. It took many painful months to get her back on track and after two long years we have seen some huge improvements. Medical professionals were so arrogant in their dismissal of our belief that the ABs were the trigger. There are so many similar stories on the internet and no doubt so many more unpublished. I found some science to back up my beliefs and to silence those who hear but do not listen!

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517110315.htm

    Thank you from the proud father of a wonderful daughter

    • judyransom Says:

      Interesting article, Billy. I’m so glad your daughter is doing better. She’s fortunate to have a Dad like you! It’s amazing how the medical professionals so adamantly dismissed the known side effects.

    • Patricia Says:

      Hi Billy, I cam across your post from 2012. I also have a daughter that was recently treated for a recurrence of clostridium difficile bacteria with a powerful antibiotic called vancomycin. It left my daughter with severe depression and anxiety. I am absolutely positive that the antibiotics caused it. Just wondering if you have any tips and what helped your daughter recover? Thank you!

      • Billy Says:

        Hi Patricia I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this. Thank goodness our daughter is so much better today but our journey has been very difficult as we were constantly hindered by well meaning but useless psychologists/doctors who made everything so much worse. Our preferred (fully qualified) medical doctor and the ONLY one who understood this problem tested her blood for chromium, She had NONE just as he had immediately suspected (Doctors swear that this is rare – IT ISN’T)! He also analysed her hair for its mineral content at a local Australian University and found her to be deficient in zinc and selenium. A compounding chemist prepared a prescription for all three substances and her recovery was immediate, almost miraculous. Nowadays we need to top up her minerals every month or so but she is back to being our little girl.(Ok she is almost 18 now lol).
        We cannot be sure that your daughter’s deficiencies are similar but I wish you all the best in your journey and I hope that my information will make it a little easier for you.

        All the best

        Billy

  9. Carolyn Georgeff Says:

    I’m so glad to find your site, my husband is going through a very bad time after antibiotics,sleeping all day and all night,sick to his stomach and losing a very much not needed amount of weight.Thanks to at least reading your posts I can try all you offered to help him. Thank you again,Carol

    • judyransom Says:

      Carol, I hope your husband is doing better, and is under the watchful eye of a caring health professional. I wish you both strength and encouragement.

  10. littlecynicism Says:

    I came across your post because I was wondering if antibiotics can cause depression. I wasn’t sure because I’m already feeling down about my health being poor, so maybe it was just that.

    Yours is the only information I’ve seen so far that says antibiotics are “dangerous” and the only one saying they can cause serious depression.

    Other websites say that they can cause increased anxiety and depression, but usually only in people who already have an underlying disorder.

    • judyransom Says:

      Hi, Melody. Although the expression has been grossly overused, I feel your pain. Perhaps it depends on the pharmacy you use, as to how much information you receive with your prescription. I think it was the grocery store pharmacy, Winn-Dixie, here in the southeast U.S. of A., which gave me a lot of good information regarding my prescription. Just ask your pharmacist for the PDR (Physician’s Desk Reference) leaflet when you pick up your prescription. They usually throw them away, because most people don’t read them. You’ll be surprised how much information you can get in that little leaflet. You can also find the information online. I hope this helps, and I wish you well on your journey toward restoration and health.

      • Billy Says:

        Hi, antibiotics can most definitely cause depression, anxiety and even suicidal ideation in some individuals. They do this partly by disrupting gut bacteria. Even a single tablet can wipe out the delicate bacterial balance in the gut by allowing the “bad” bacteria to overwhelm the”good”. Feel good neurotransmitters are synthesized here when the gut is functioning properly and then transported to the brain through the blood. Most doctors will never admit to this, possibly because they risk a lawsuit by admitting that their prescription caused you damage. My daughter was treated as a mental patient for 2 years including six hospital admissions, until we found a doctor that understood the underlying biochemistry. She had disrupted gut bacteria and liver issues caused by minocycline. You could try good quality probiotics or fermented food such as sauerkraut etc in an attempt to restore the balance, but you may also need a knowledgeable/willing doctor to help you. Good luck.

        Billy

      • judyransom Says:

        Billy, I’m so sorry for all your family has endured. Thanks so much for sharing what you’ve learned from the whole experience. Yes, a knowledgeable and willing doctor is invaluable!

        Blessings to all,
        Judy

  11. Mairead Says:

    I also had this and now I have a tooth infection which needs anti biotics but i cant face the depression again i dont know what to do

  12. Lydia Vyona Lam Says:

    Hello, I just want to let you know that you are absolutely right. I experienced the same thing – perhaps some of us are just more susceptible to the depressive effects. It was terrible and at the time I had no idea what was going on, but when I looked back and pieced it together it all made sense. Definitely going to be more careful, and I wonder why it isn’t made more explicit that you might feel symptoms of depression upon using this drug. It’s all very shady to me.

  13. martin Says:

    Hi Judi, after only 3 days intraveneous antibiotics in case of prostate infection, became anxious, depressed and sleepless. Felt directly it was related with the antibiotics though that did not help me to come over it. Its now 2 months ago and still suffer complete sleeplessness… Are there any suggestions for this???

    Thanks and take care!

    • judyransom Says:

      Wow, anxiety will definitely keep you up at night. You don’t even have to be worried about anything … it’s just THERE! You’ve got to get your sleep, even if it means getting a prescription, if the health food store items don’t help. Benadryl can work, too. Do something, though. In most parts of the world, sleep deprivation is called “torture.” It really is. I hope you find a solution. Read the comments on restoring your gut flora, too.

  14. Christopher Says:

    Omg thank you so much for your posting.. I have been on two different antibiotics in the past two weeks.. Also extremely depressed to the point of almost seeing a therapist. There’s Nothing in my life that warrants the depression and general funk I’ve been experiencing! couldn’t figure out what was triggering it.. I feel like crying all the time. God forbid a love song comes on the radio… My inner voice kept telling me it’s the pills but never knew antibiotics could do this.. Thank you again!

  15. Rebecca giffen Says:

    I took Ciprol for 2 days and it took me to a very dark place including night terrors, wrong thought process and depression. I asked my doc for something else and he gave me micro Danton to finish clearing the infection. My mood has lifted a bit but I am normally a joyful person and I want to be her again. When will the mood lift? It has been a week.

  16. kansas Says:

    Very good information. Lucky me I found your site by chance (stumbleupon).
    I have saved it for later!

  17. JC Vanripper Says:

    So excited I found this articles as when I read what you had to say Judy Ranson i could swear I wrote it. I was put on antibiotics for IBS which then turned to IBD and then Crohn’s finally about 6 years ago replaced treatment with herbs and probiotics and cured the Crohns, figured out they were giving me what was making it all worse, however took antibiotics 6 weeks ago and suffered from a bad depression with no reason for the depth of it, this explains so so much thanks JC

  18. thelongandshortofitt Says:

    Judy,

    Thank you for this article. Reading it made me feel good and vindicated. I took a strong course of antibiotics when I was on holidays in Dublin and my life more or less fell apart. I had a number of central nervous system reactions. It started with seizures but when they stopped, much worse came.

    I suffered from an anxiety and depression that I can’t conceptualise now that I don’t feel it. It was something from a hole different world. A feeling that I didn’t think possible. I stood by the road in the rain in Dublin and everything in my body screamed to run into the traffic, to make it stop. I came very close, many times.

    I lost 2 years of my life to it. On my 21st birthday I sat on the kitchen floor shaking. I repeated my birthday wish in my head over and over, “please let me feel normal again, please let me feel normal again”

    The most frustrating thing was that no doctor I ever spoke to would acknowledge that the antibiotics had done this. They would freely admit to it causing my seizures but any mental health symptoms listed under the same heading of the adverse effect leaflet, they would dismiss.

    I am better now. Not normal yet. But oh so slowly. I still cry angry tears when I think about what happened to me and the cause was those pills. For an ear infection. It seems beyond absurd and still not real to me.

    People need to know this and doctors need to accept it as reality. The medical profession is meant to care about the truth, they really like ignoring this one though.

    • JC Says:

      Wow great reconfirmation of what is being done to some of us!!!! We are truly being poisoned!!!!

    • judyransom Says:

      Thanks for sharing your journey. What you’ve been through is sad, but the good news is that now you have more power in your life … power to be a victor, that is, instead of a victim. When I saw myself as a victim, I was angry. But staying angry was like taking poison and waiting for the other guy to die. I now realize that I chose to take medication nonchalantly, without reading up on it. It’s my body, and I need to make informed decisions about what I put into it. I can’t expect a doctor to be responsible for my health, because that’s my job … and I’m taking it more seriously! I’m sure antibiotics have their place, but now I know it’s an absolute last resort for me.

      I’m glad you’re better, and that you’ll be more empowered in your healing journey!

  19. judith Says:

    I have had this with antibiotics. I already suffer with anxiety so when I need any type of medication or I need antibiotics I cant read the side effects as if I do I wouldn’t take the medication. In the case of antibiotics I had to take them due to a severe chest infection and I deliberately did not read the side effects because of how scared it would have made me feel. So I took them and was literally paralysed with overwhelming anxiety. After experiencing that I did read the side effects and it did state that could happen and you should get medical advice if that happens to you.

    At the moment I have another chest infection and once again I had to take antibiotics and I knew there was a big risk for me but I had no choice so I took them again.

    I am really suffering badly now because of it and my anxiety level is extremely severe. I would say for anyone who has any type of psychiatric condition which includes anxiety be extremely careful and mindful of what taking antibiotics may do to you.

    It think it is very valuable information that you have supplied via your website. I am in a quite frightened state at the moment and reading what you and others have written on this site has really helped me.

  20. Maya Says:

    Hi Judy,
    I’ve searched Medline Plus for depression as a side effect of antibiotics but couldn’t find the passage that you quoted (“confusion; nervousness; anxiety; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep…. depression; thoughts about dying or killing yourself.”) Could you kindly post a link to that page?

    • judith Says:

      HI Maya

      I have a psychiatric condition and have had severe worsening of my anxiety, depressive mood to the point I could barely function after taking antibiotics.

      When I looked later at the side effects written on the leaflet enclosed with the prescription it did state nervousness, confusion and suicidal thoughts could be a side effect. That is due to the fact antibiotics interfere with the digestive system and part of that is reliant on the correct balance and if it is interfered with problems with nerves are common. Just the same as you might find yourself feeling “sick in your stomach” due to an anxious situation. The same type of nerves in your brain are similar to those in lining of the stomach.

      You might also be interested to research B12, also part of the digestive process and current blood tests are not sufficient to demonstrate a level that for many people can cause depressive and psychiatric type symptoms, nervousness and anxiety.

      I have just googled “antibiotics causing agitation” and there are quite a few pages of websites providing more information on the subject of the side effects of antibiotics and the digestive processes which give rise to the side effects and why it can happen.

      Hope this is useful for you.

    • judyransom Says:

      Hi, Maya. It was for a specific antibiotic, but I don’t remember the name of it now. What I’ve learned is to read all the information that comes with it, and be fully informed. I hope this helps.

  21. Beth Says:

    I have been on antibiotics for five days now to treat a kidney infection. To be honest, they have been making me angry, moody, depressed, and hurt. I find myself angry and deeply hurt at my partner and my family for mistakes that happened months or even years ago. “Who am I?” I said to myself yesterday before I felt to the floor sobbing. I was convinced that the antibiotics were affecting my mental health, and I am grateful for this article. I have been drinking kombucha and eating yogurt to combat the harmful effects on my gut flora.

  22. Vee Says:

    Hello, I am almost positive I am going through antibiotic induced depression right now. About 2 month ago I went from being so happy and content with life to being extremely depressed and riddled with anxiety. This happened 3 days after starting antibiotics. I have been doing loads of research and have learned about gut flora and antibiotics effects on it as well as the fact that serotonin is made inside of the intestines rather than the brain. I am so thankful to find the cause but am extremely frusterated trying to get myself back to normal. I have suicidal thoughts every morning and it is scary as hell because I most definitely do not want to die….

  23. judyransom Says:

    Vee, keep reminding yourself that those thoughts are coming from the pills, not your heart. Keep up the probiotic foods and supplements. Write down the names of those in your support team – family, friends, mentors, co-workers you can trust, and stay socially active with them. You may not feel like it, but make yourself call them anyway. You don’t have to go through this alone. Isolation is your enemy. It can help to ask your friends to send you a list of your good qualities, things they admire in you. This can help you to focus on your positive traits, instead of all the junk thoughts conjured up by the pills. Watching comedies and sharing jokes and funny stories with friends can help – a merry heart does good like a medicine. Pray. You’re not alone! This difficult time will pass. It’s just temporary, And in no way permanent!

  24. Derrick Venn Says:

    Took Doxycycline for chest infection for one week never again!! Made me so depressed and not wanting to do anything, but mope about and feel absolutely shit!! Lost my taste buds still not returned after a week of finishing my course. Normally I was very out going and fun person,but certainly not feeling like that now!

    • Judy Says:

      You’ll get a lot of helpful information reading the comments to this post, Derrick, to learn how to get back to your old jovial self! I once lost my sense of taste from a nasal spray (for a year – during which I started enjoying spicy, hot food!), and discovered there’s an entire subculture out there of folks who have experienced the same. Know that all this is temporary, and you WILL get through this.

  25. Lisa Says:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post, Judy! I run a site called Floxie Hope – http://www.floxiehope.com – that has stories of recovery from fluoroquinolone toxicity. Fluoroquinolones are a class of antibiotics that include Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, Floxin, their generic equivalents, and a few others. People suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity often suffer from depression and other psychiatric adverse effects. There’s even a petition that has been filed with the FDA to have them highlight the psychiatric adverse effects more prominently on the warning label. I hope that it goes through, because people really do need to know that antibiotics can cause severe mental disturbances. Sadly, some people have even lost their lives because of the horrible depression experienced after taking (fluoroquinolone and other) antibiotics.

    I encourage everyone reading this to have hope – it is so, so, so important. Please read the recovery stories on this site and on Floxie Hope and know that you will get through this. You will.

    Thanks again, Judy!

    Regards,
    Lisa

  26. Pluto Proserpina Says:

    Hi Judy
    I am from India. About a month ago myself, my wife and son had typhoid for which we were put on ofloxacin, orndiazole, rifampicin, cefixime, azithromycin, and finally a large dose of IV ceftriaxone. I went the largest on antibiotics with massive doses while my wife and son had half my dose. The first thing we noticed was heavy headedness and being unable to walk for more than a few steps before feeling dizzy. I am an athlete with no history of any health issues. Imbalanced feeling, dizzy, foggy feeling. We had manic reactions, aggressive reactions, anxiety, shortness of breath, depersonalizations. Though i dont have suicidal ideations, thooughts are abnormal. All of this is mentioned as the sideeffects of the above drugs. Generally when i am in a closed room with poor ventilation being an Generalised anxiety sufferer, i underwent shortness of breath and was relieved with mild walking in open air and letting in fresh air. Anxiety sufferers tend to have a conscious breathing and the antibiotics have triggered the same. Worst of all they constipate you, give you nausea. These are all a direct result of antibiotics or as a result of gut flora depletion. Not just that it gives me a generalised phobia of almost everything and triggers shortness of breath. Plus as one blogger pointed out above it leads to deep sleep. Drowsiness and sleepiness is a side effect of all of the above antibiotics. I am barely able to attend day to day business except, eat sleep, and other sundry activities. The drugs take time to clear off your system and best to take lots of probiotics, rest, good food. Doctors are bunch of characterless proffesional sluts, who literally sleep with the pharma companies. They dismiss every complaint of the patient as not being related to any drug. They feel a moral compulsion to dismiss these with the result the patient feels, he has incurred a severe disease of some start. I had to tear apart the prescriptions of nearly 4 different doctors for their stupidity.

  27. Judy Says:

    I’m so sorry for what you and your family have been through, but thank goodness you’re all alive and recovering. To your doctors’ credit, they may very well have saved your lives.

    I, too, have in times past called doctors “stupid,” but now realize that much of their education in medical school, as well as continuing education, is fueled by the pharmaceutical industry. They have intelligent, scientific minds, and are taught, for the most part, the science of drugs, i.e., how and when to administer them, and how they interract in the body and treat disease.

    Medical education, mostly focuses on treating the disease and not on educating the patient. For the latter, we are all responsible. Ultimately, I am responsible for everything I put into my mouth. I realize doctors are busy, and don’t always consider our full history for contraindications. We, as recipients of health care, need to take more responsibility in reading all the literature about prescribed medications, and take full advantage of addressing our concerns with doctors and/or pharmacists. Yet, that isn’t always the expedient course of action in critical medical conditions when we’re not fully cognizant — like having typhoid fever!

    I hope you find a doctor you can trust, who will listen to you, and who will respect your desire to take a more active role in your health care. Such doctors and patients alike are few and far between. You’re half-way there! Blessings of health to you.

  28. Drew Lewis Says:

    Or perhaps the illnesses were causing depression and the antibiotics happened to be present in both situations.

  29. Cesar Says:

    Hello I wanted to know how long it took for you to get back to normal. I’m currently experiencing the same anxiety depression and intrusive thoughts. Also got on antidepressants antianxeity pills.

    • judyransom Says:

      I don’t remember exactly. I suppose it depends on how aggressively you work to restore your intestinal flora. A huge key is to continually remind yourself that it is temporary, and you will get through this. Staying in the victim mindset will certainly prolong the darkness. Taking action to beat it and overcome will more likely shorten the duration. It’s not what happens to you in life that matters; it’s what you do with what happens that counts. Taking positive action toward a goal can help to lift you up and feel better. You’re already way ahead, because you’re reading and learning about your condition. I wish you the best, and that eventually you’ll be able to wean yourself off the pills, but please do it slowly.

  30. radoandpauline Says:

    Thank you for writing this. I am a forty year old woman and since childhood I have refused amoxicillin from doctors because of depression. I AM NOT ALONE. I am also not popular with doctors. When I explained my reason to a pharmacist they said it was impossible. When I explained my reasons to a doctor I was yelled at. But people in my own life and several people on the internet also experience depression when taking this antibiotic. It should definitely be talked about and explored.

  31. Judy Ransom Says:

    For sure. All they have to do is read the PDR leaflet contraindications and side effects!

  32. Sawyer Rice Says:

    Our stories are similar

    • Jc Vanripper Says:

      Thanks so much for your reply truly using God on a daily basis did the gluten free thing for several months and eating healthy and doing probiotics for several years now. I am feeling at this point not only does the drugs mess up your gut but they also poison the brain which I also understand can heal itself over time. Thank you for your positive word that IT WILL LEAVE SOMEDAY. God bless you for what you have done.

  33. Lauren Says:

    What did you do to reverse the depression? I’m in the same predicament after a course of antibiotics.

    • Judy Ransom Says:

      Lauren, I just saw your question. Sorry for the delayed response. You can find a lot of information in the comments here, which can give you some good topics to read up on. You will find the answers you need.

  34. Marci Says:

    Did your depression ever go away?

    • Judy Ransom Says:

      Absolutely, Marci. Knowledge is power. Read all you can, to build your intestinal flora. I like to use food options, like fermented foods (fermented peppers, kimchi, kombucha, low sodium miso, etc.), a good kefir. No circumstance is permanent in life, and to think so is dangerous. Where there is life, there is always hope. Never give up. I wish you well.

  35. Jeanine Says:

    I was told I had IBS after I had emergency surgery fro a small hole in my small intestine, and every time I had a flare they shoved antibiotics and for 6 years bleed my system finally a nurse whispered you need to get probiotics please do not tell anyone I told you that as I could get fired by that time my IBS had went to IBD and Crohns and within 2 yrs it cured all. two and a half years ago I had to take antibiotics again and my gut has been messed up real bad even though I take probiotics and I am suffering from depression and extreme anxiety as well, any one else have that combo. And has anyone else came out of it?

    • Judy Ransom Says:

      Jeanine, I’ve been there .. and with the help of God have come out of it. Read all you can on the subject, including about today’s high gluten wheat. Also about colloidal silver. Nothing is permanent. The body can heal itself when properly nourished. I encourage you to seek out the answers, because they’re out there, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: