Newest Review: ... have some history of dental problems related to a stress condition do not think Lustral can help. On the contrary it might make it worse... more
I got my life back!
Member Name: SusanLesley
Date: 02/05/01, updated on 02/05/01 (10879 review reads)
Advantages: I feel like my old self
Disadvantages: Some side effects to start with
I have recently been prescribed the drug Lustral and I have found it most beneficial to me so I thought that I would share my story with you. I am not saying that this drug will work for everyone as what works for one person does not necessarily work for another.
My own experience began in January 2000, when I was working for Walsall MBC as the accountant for Education Services. The department, which is effectively the Local Education Authority, had been the subject of an Ofsted inspection. I guess those of you in the teaching profession have just crossed yourselves! The report was ‘damning’ and voiced a lot of criticisms in the way that the LEA was being run, some were fair, some not so fair in my own opinion, but that’s another story.
Although the main weaknesses had been highlighted in the direct provision of services to the schools the resulting pressure took its toll on us all. I took some time off suffering from a heavy cold and I realised that there was something more to the way I was feeling. I saw my GP who diagnosed stress and depression.
He put me on a course of Lofepramine, which I took for three months. I showed no signs of improvement so I stopped taking them. I told my doctor but he took no notice, in fact apart from giving me sick notes he gave me no help whatsoever and was positively nasty to me on more than one occasion.
I was lucky to have the love and support of a wonderful partner during this time – I don’t think I could have got through it without him. I also had my family and some very good friends, all of whom helped me and during the year my condition stabilised to a certain extent, although I was still unable to return to work.
Eventually, after I had been on sick leave for twelve months, I was dismissed by Walsall MBC due to the fact that I could not return to work. Despite numerous visits from my Personnel Officer during the year nothing had been done to facilita
te a return to work for me. So, after 30 years with the authority, I left. I had always expected to leave with a party for my friends with speeches and toasts, instead no one really realised that I had gone.
This affected me very badly. I became depressed again and eventually, after my partner had accompanied me on a visit to my GP to have a word with him on my behalf, he finally referred me to someone who could help me. I saw the specialist in January 2001, by which time I was quite ill again. I did tell him that I did not want to take any more drugs but he told me that I needed something to give me a boost and suggested that I try a course of Lustral and he took the trouble to explain something about the drug to me.
Essentially it is one of a group of Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s for short) and contains sertraline. My condition had been caused by a lack of Serotonin (nicknamed the happy hormone) in my brain and this drug would help redress the balance. He explained that I might have mild side effects such as nausea, dizziness, headaches etc, but that I should continue to take the tablets as these would probably wear off. Obviously, if they didn’t, I was to get back in touch with him! He also explained that it would take between two and four weeks for the beneficial effects of the tablets to be felt.
The symptoms that I had been experiencing were disturbed sleep, (as shown by submitting opinions to Dooyoo at 4.30am!) irritability, crying, extreme mood swings, comfort eating, irrational behaviour and forgetfulness. I am also probably beginning the menopause as it tends to be a few years earlier for those of us who have had an hysterectomy. How my partner put up with me I’ll never know, I wouldn’t have blamed him for going back to live with his mom!
I had to take one Lustral tablet a day, in the morning, with food for one week and then two a day thereafter. I was told that I could still h
ave a drink if I wanted to but not to excess or the tablets would stop working.
I began to take the tablets, one a day with a bowl of cereal in the morning. At first I experienced quite a few dizzy turns, queasy spells and splitting headaches and I almost gave up taking them, but I decided to persevere. I actually took just one a day for almost a fortnight until the side effects had worn off.
I am still taking two a day and the improvement in my health has been dramatic. I now sleep much better and am usually still asleep when the alarm goes off. I have more energy now and I am a lot calmer and more able to ‘take things in my stride’ rather than flying off the handle. I don’t bite my partner’s head off as much which is just as well as he is now in the throes of doing his final year at University so the last thing he needs is me being neurotic!
I even found my self singing (for want of a better word!) as I was working in the house the other day and I haven’t done that for a long while. I had also put on a lot of weight during my illness and the lead up to it and I now feel strong enough to start eating healthily and trying to loose some of it.
There is a comprehensive leaflet enclosed in each box of tablets explaining what effect the tablets will have, what side effects might be experienced, what conditions would prohibit someone taking the tablets etc.
As I said at the beginning of this opinion I realise that Lustral might not work for everyone but they really have helped me.