Chemotherapy induced depression

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Chemotherapy induced depression

by LuvMyPoppy on Fri May 10, 2019 02:06 AM

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My grandpa was diagnosed with stage II pancreatic cancer in April 2017. Had the Whipple and removed the whole tumor. He did chemo, Gemzar, 3 weeks on, 1 week off for six months. He was cancer free in December 2017. It metastasized to his lower lumbar in March this year. He had one shot of radiation and started with Gemzar/Abraxane. He had a terrible reaction to the Abraxane. Now he's on just the Gemzar, 1,000mg once every 2 weeks. He's experiencing very weak legs and depression. Dr. started him on 10 mg Lexapro. After his 1st dose his depression was worse and he was having suicidal thoughts and complained of being very jittery. Has nyone else had experiences like this? His CA 19-9 went from 2800 to 600 in one month, so we know the chemo is working. We're trying to convince his to do 3 more treatments until his scan in July. 

RE: Chemotherapy induced depression

by StillMe on Thu May 16, 2019 03:30 PM

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Hi, I can’t speak to whether chemo causes depression - I imagine it can on a number of levels, especially since it makes some people feel so bad. But I can speak to Lexipro. My doctor put me on Lexipro after I had brain surgery when I was anxious about getting sick so often. I am a believer in using medicine for mood when necessary, although I was not 100% convinced it was necessary in my case as I was in fact getting sick all the time because of my steroid use. Still, I went on it - I had a really bad reaction at first, feeling so jittery I thought I would crawl out of my skin. It was horrible. I was urged to stay on it; they told me that it would go away and it did after the first week or so. But I got off as soon as I could. I didn’t feel it helped me. I am pretty sure Lexipro can cause suicidal thoughts. It is important that your Grandpa tell his doctor about this immediately so it can be addressed. There are other mood stabilizing drugs that may work better for him.
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