Hi,

I posted this on the Xeljanz discussion, but thought it might merit its own thread too.

Has anyone who's taken Xeljanz noticed a side-effect of depression, anxiety, or any other negative effect relating to mood?

The reason I ask is because I came down with the flu on Thursday night (four days ago), stopped taking the Xeljanz since Friday morning just to be safe, and the depression and anxiety that I've been struggling with for over the past two years practically disappeared overnight.

I felt pretty OK toward the second half of Friday, which in and of itself is a rare occurrence for me, and have only felt better and better each day since then.  I'd say yesterday is one of the best days I've had in years, and it was also one of the most stressful days, so I don't think present life circumstances are at play.

Literally, the only other recent change is the flu itself.  I've changed no other medicines, supplements, my diet or anything else.  Every other aspect of my life is unchanged.  It's quite bizarre.

I had increased my dosage of Xeljanz maybe six weeks ago or so, and was starting to get some fuller results on my face, so I'd hate to have to discontinue it, but if taking it versus not is the difference between feeling the way I do right now and the way I have over the past two years, then forget it, I'm ditching the stuff.  I feel like myself again, finally.  I'd forgotten that guy.

Anybody have a similar experience?

Thanks,

Chris

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I keep telling people that growing your hair back would be nice, but staying healthy, physically and emotionally is MORE important.  Keep things in perspective everyone.  What are you willing to sacrifice to grow hair?  It's a really important question.  If the answer is "ANYTHING", then keep on taking drugs.  If it isn't, then stop and deal with the hair loss in a different manner.

Debbi, I couldn't agree more with this.  It boggles me to no end that people are willing to take a drug that quite LITERALLY lists leukemia and lymphoma as possible side effects. While it would be nice to have hair regrowth, it's simply not worth risking my life by getting CANCER to do it. 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not intended to be construed in any way as medical advice. Always consult a doctor when you have medical related questions.

Depression is not directly listed on the literature. However, every drug has known, rare and unknown side effects. The closest that the literature comes for known psychiatric side effects is insomnia. Insomnia can be a side effect of depression. Which means, in a roundabout way, the literature might be saying that it can cause depression without actually stating it.

I've reviewed a number of various sites with people discussing this exact issue with Xeljanz and some people have claimed it has caused depression for them. It's possible then that its use could lead to depression. It might not be a direct side effect of the drug itself, but of a consequence of the change in the body chemistry as a result of using the drug.

Because drugs tamper with the delicate chemical balance of the body, it's possible that the drug's tampering causes other body systems to respond in unexpected ways, which might include insomnia and depression. If you find that this drug acts in this way on you and you find that it stops when you stop taking the drug, you should talk to your doctor about this side effect. Though, careful with talking to your doctor. Some doctors might want to keep you on Xeljanz and prescribe more medication to temper the depression rather than stopping Xeljanz. Taking more medication may not be the answer for you. Only you can decide how to handle your own health matters.

Good Luck.

I was just looking around on this website and notice some other treatments that patients are talking about.

I hope you check their threads out as well.

All conventional medicine has side effects, even aspirin. If you would like to learn more about holistic methods and natural ways to manage/heal your alopecia, anxiety or depression let me know. I help many people with their hair and health. I have helped countless people as I too went through Alopecia and have regrown hair and have enhanced and improved overall health. 

There is a medication being taken by millions of people worldwide working similar to Xeljanz, changing the JAK/STAT pathway... no-one including myself and many others I know have any issues. It makes a little headache every couple of weeks... but who cares. I also have a little headache after a nice Friday night.

Hello Agneta,

I hardly ever post on this site and only use it to hopefully find a cure. I researched the Internet before finding this site and found a man with this condition we have in a clinical trial years ago testing the Xeljanz drug which is normally used for treating rhumetiod arthritis patients and was looking for verification from others maybe using this drug.  Well I found more than what I was looking for. Im the last 2.5 years of having not a single strand on me anywhere has made me somebody Im not. Your post or.comment is making me admit tonight for the first ever that I have been suffering depression. Hard for me to do what used to be just normal daily routines like "working" and supporting my family as man should do. Sometimes Im afraid im not going to able to do it any longer. Having high school kids looking forward to college has made me get as far as I am and hate to admit I feel so much like you. I want to die alot and Im the one that says suicide is for the weak. I can't help but to feel less loved and I spread less of it around. Im sounding like a victim,  a quitter, weak, and I hate that about me! I hate drugs ( sorry for saying "hate" so much) ; so may be that's why I have not got the prescription for Xeljanz.  Not sure what im doing by saying all of this. I will say I have never smoked a cigarette  it have been smoking a more natural plant in sure you can guess being from California. These days you don't have to smoke it but can eat it rub it or take a bath in it and it takes my negative thoughts from myself long enough for me to relax and maybe sleep it off. Not trying to cause a controversy and I don't want to make it about that but only wanted to say I know how you feel my friend. God knows I know your pain and daily struggle. Im embarrassed to be looked at by my wife. That's no life. But I will pray for you and all those that feel just like us to hopefully find a place in our mind we can go to when we feel like there is no answer except leaving.  God bless you and Im praying me and you make it to the end of this life without surrendering to our emotions. Who would have thought a non lethal condition could be So deadly. I was tought as a manager to always try to end on a positive note even after having to fire someone. Talk about a ruff job but life gets tougher and so do we (supposedly). My positive end note is Pray and stay with positive people and make changes like Ozzy Osbourne sang in the 70's with Black Sabbath. Music is another form of therapy for myself.  And I hope we can all find something to go to instead of feeling so down it hurts your loved ones. One life One Love 

Thank you for this impressing post... it caused a lot of emotions in me as well.

I have to say it was easy for me to live with the disease for almost three decades as I had treatment at home (medical) which was very effective.

Nevertheless the disease and the anxiety was always there. And facial hear was not restored by the medication, only scalp. Looking into the mirror, it was someone else I saw. I hated this appearance. 

I have a wish: once in my live to look into my own face, into my own eyes with the eyelashes and the eyebrows which shaped my own face, that I  remember from my teenage time. The face that I see today - when I take away the glasses covering it, is that of a hairless zombie.

But I was compensated, in a way: a beautiful son was born to me six years ago. He soon developed the face that I remember from 27 years ago. With beautiful long eyelashes, able to make charismatic and exciting expressions when he smiled and laughed.I was so happy about having a healthy child, the greatest luck on earth.

On the 25th of April this year when I touched his head gently... I observed a small bald spot on his scalp... God, why???? He is so innocent.

no! you are not alone in negative thoughts. I, too get tired of the overly upbeat positive posts about wearing wigs and how it can be empowering etc. I wear wigs because I have to, it is part of daily life. I try to buy good natural looking, comfortable wigs and yes I take them off every night and put tehm on in the morning. It feels good to take it off at night and let my scalp breathe.

I started losing my hair at 16, then my eyelashes and eyebrows not too long ago as well. It is AWFUL and is a very large source of depression for me. I have been very suicidal at times.

I think maybe it has to do with how long you've had the disease and easing it into you life and learning to accept it. Its hard to describe but I've sort of accepted that that is how it is for me, but it still makes me depressed and keeps me from truly enjoying life or making things happen for myself. I don't have kids, but I worry that if I ever did I would probably give this disease to them! And I would feel guilty for that. It really is a constant struggle, trying not to let it take over your life and how you feel about yourself. 

It is so hard especially in this society, we just want to be pretty! and feel beautiful. there is nothing wrong with that, its ok to feel like that. So I guess I just wanted to re-affirm that you are not the only one who feels like this and there is no wrong emotion or reaction to having this disease. 

Sidney Prescott thank you so much for this post. I couldn't agree with you more - and I too find it so difficult at times to hear how I should try to feel positive etc. There is NO upside to this horrific disease.

Hello Anna I invite you to follow my newsfeed I explained everything you click on my name and you will find everything you want on Interleukin 2

Hello Monat, thank you. I pray that you go to hell!

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