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Antidepressant Helping Her P
from Kate

Hi Ed: Thanks so much for providing us with your website, I'm truly grateful for it.

I've had moderate to severe psoriasis for several years, but in the last month it has cleared up tremendously;  I went on Effexor XR (an antidepressant -Ed) and Neurontin (primarily a pallitative for postherpetic neuralgia, a form of nerve pain -Ed) about eight weeks ago, and my skin is much lighter and smoother, no more flaking, bleeding, itching. 

I know someone else wrote in and warned against Effexor XR, but it was either that or the Neurontin (used as an anti-anxiety drug) or the combination of both, that has made the difference for me.  My scalp has cleared up, my elbows, my torso.  Some patches on my legs are still sticking around, but overall I'm feeling normal again and much more comfortable in my skin. -Kate

*****

Ed’s Response:  Thanks for this, Kate.  I’m sure your note was motivated by Jonathan’s posting in July, 2003, Depression Drug Worsened P.  He said his P got much worse while he was on the antidepressant drug Effexor XR.

A couple of times over the past 10 years the association between depression (and its treatments) and psoriasis has been discussed for awhile at FlakeHQ — usually until it becomes obvious there is so much contradictory anecdotal information that conclusions are impossible.  It is not hard to accept that treatments which fight depression or anxiety — two forms of stress — can help P, as flaking can be a reaction to stress, at least for some of us.  Yet it is ALSO easy to accept that drugs effect the immune system differently so, as P is an autoimmune disorder, it could be adversely effected by things that effect the immune system — which means almost everything we ingest!  When you run into two acceptable assertions that appear to be opposite, what does it suggest?  It suggests we don’t know enough about the phenomenon!  Obviously we don’t know enough about psoriasis.  (If we did, wouldn’t we be cured by now?) 

Your experience suggests Jonathan’s response to Effexor XR is not likely a universal one.  Good to know, but also typical, because the entire universe of treatments for P lacks universality.  Virtually everything we try is laced with “maybes.”  -Ed

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