Can I Take Chromium and Prozac?

Hi Dr McLeod,

I take 20 mgs of Prozac a day. I read two different answers from you regarding taking Prozac and Chromium together. One answer you said it was safe; in another you said it could cause seratonin syndrome. So I am asking if I can safely take chromium and Prozac?Thank you.  R.B.

Answer:  Thank you for your question.  All SSRIs, of which Prozac is one, can cause Serotonin Syndrome.  Because chromium seems to boost the efficacy of Prozac, I infer that the combination may increase the risk.  Many of my patients, however, have taken both chromium and Prozac without developing Serotonin Syndrome.

Just make sure that you add chromium under supervision of your psychiatrist. Please send me a follow up.

Malcolm McLeod, MD

Can I take Chromax Plus with Sertraline

April 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Chromium with Medications?

Dear Dr. McLeod

i take 50 mg of generic zoloft (sertraline) for anxiety. is it safe to
take the chromax plus? Read more

Can Chromium Curb SSRI-Induced Weight Gain?

December 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Chromium with Medications?

Hi Dr. McLeod,
I have read a lot of information regarding weight gain with long term
use of ssri’s. Do you believe that taking chromium with an
antidrepessant, such as prozac or zolft,helps with such weight gain?
Thank you
M.G. Read more

Chromium Plus Prozac: Serotonin Syndrome?

Dear Dr. McLeod,

I am taking 40mg of prozac a day. Can this safely be combined with
Chromium Pico without inducing seretonin syndrome. I worry about this?
Thanks I suffer from atypical depression and panic disorder.

Thank you.

KK

ANSWER:

Dear K

Some of my patients take chromium with Porzac. They report that chromium boosts the efficacy of Porzac.  Infrequently, however,  antidepressant medications can cause serotonin syndrome, and the addition of chromium may increase this possible adverse event.

Serotonin syndrome symptoms usually begins several hours after beginning to take a new medications, or increasing the dosage of a  medication dose of a drug you’re already taking. Signs and symptoms include: rapid heart rate, flushing, shivering, agitation, confusion, dilated pupils, sweating, diarrhea and  headache.’

 If you believe you are developing serotonin syndrome, immediately contact your primary physician or go the the emergency room.

Please write to me with a follow-up report.

Maalcolm McLeod, MD

Wellbutrin and Chromium

Hi Dr. McLeod,

After reading your book (and being diagnosed with atypical depression), I wanted to try CP for myself Read more

Does the combination of an SSRI and chromium help PMS?

Does the combination of an SSRI and chromium help PMS?

QUESTION:

Hi Dr. McLeod,
I was taking 10 mg. of Prozac for approximately 4 1/2 years for what I thought was difficult PMS. Even with this small dose, I benefited quit a bit and even experienced benefits in areas that surprised me (overall confidence increased dramatically) I went off in January because I started an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycle. IVF ended in April and I hit rock bottom. It has taken the last three months to allow the hormones from the IVF to leave my system, and I have to say I feel much better. However, I am still somewhat irritable, blue and am experiencing chronic insecurity. I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps I do in fact have low serotonin and perhaps always have. I went back on 10 mg. of Prozac this week.
Here are my questions:
1. Over the long term I gained 10-15 lbs on the Prozac. That was my only side effect but it is a big one and I am very concerned this will happen again. I bought Solgar brand Chromium Picolinate (500 mcg) after reading that it can help with this side effect of an SSRI. Is it safe to take long term along side the Prozac?
2. Are there any other supplements that should be avoided? I also take Asacol for mild ulcerative colitis, is this okay to take with the Chromium Picolinate?
I look forward to reading your answer on the blog.
Sincerely,
R. K.

ANSWER:

Dear Ms. K,

Thank you for contacting me with your interesting and important questions.

Not only is it safe to add chromium, the combination of chromium and Prozac (and other SSRIs) seems to work better than SSRIs alone for PMS and atypical depression. I do not know of any long term ill effects. Some of my patients have taken chromium along with an SSRIs for over a decade with great benefit and no side effects. In some cases, they have NEVER had another difficult period.

There are no reported interactions among chromium, Asacol and Prozac.

In case you don’t already know, women with severe PMS tend to relapse after discontinuing treatment with antidepressant medications, according to a recent study published in the May issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Dr. Dr. Ellen W. Freeman and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia studied 174 women with severe PMS, known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Some of the women took the antidepressant medication, sertraline, for 4 months and were then switched to a placebo or dummy pill. Other women took sertraline for 12 months and were then switched to placebo. (Sertraline and Prozac are both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.)

Although 72 percent of the 174 women improved while taking sertraline, symptoms returned in roughly half of the women after discontinuation of sertraline.

This study suggests that the more severe your symptoms are before treatment, the greater your likelihood of relapse (return of symptoms) after discontinuation of treatment.

If you decide to add chromium, please let me know if it helps or not. Again, thank you for contacting me.

Malcolm McLeod, MD

Combination Chromium and Prozac

April 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Chromium with Medications?

Combination Chromium and Prozac

Hello again, Dr. McLeod.

I wrote you about a year and a half ago when I started taking chromium. I’m still on it and doing very well. The difference still astonishes me in how much better I am on the combination of Prozac and chromium. The carb cravings are a lot less and my energy level stays stable through the day. I’ve been able to lose 25 pounds so far, hopefully with more to come. I still need to lose another 30-50 pounds, but the chromium has been a big help so far. My blood pressure has dropped significantly as the result of the weight loss, my blood pressure has dropped from 130/90 to 118/80. I will have to stay disciplined, as even with the carb cravings diminished, I do still love to eat. My GP is pleased that I’m on chromium with my family history of type 2 diabetes, even though I show no clinical symptoms yet. He also treats both of my parents’ type 2 diabetes. We’ve talked about possibly starting me on a low dose of glucophage as a preventive, as since I’m already responding to the chromium, there’s already insulin resistance present. One of my friends who has similar depression to mine has started taking it and has had good results and I finally got my dad to start taking it. We both come from a long line of people with depression. He is feeling better too, and our doctor was ecstatic at his last checkup for his type 2 diabetes at his blood sugar and A1C levels. They’ve dropped significantly since he’s been on the chromium.Thanks again for all of your research and work to publicize this treatment. It has made such a big difference in my life.
E.L.

Can I safely take chromium with MAOIs and 5-HTP?

Can I safely take chromium with MAOIs and 5-HTP?

Dear Dr. McLeod,
I stumbled across your site today and am very glad! :-)
I have over the last 2 years suffered panic attacks while in an abusive and violent relationship (but have always had a nervous disposition) and only a few weeks ago was advised I take 5HTP (with magnesium and B6) and it was suggested I may be deficient in B12and folic acid. Amazingly taking the 5HTP helped enormously with my anxiety and my IBS vanished!
However, I still find I am depressed… yet atypically I eat too much and sleep too much! I am also incredibly sensitive and when I stumbled across this site it all clicked! I may have atypical depression.
I am addicted to sugar and starchy foods and now weigh over 10 stone,
I need to nap in the day or else I can’t cope and I still sleep over 9hours a night (though 5HTP has helped and I sleep much deeper), I think there must be something wrong with me that I am so tired and achy (like lead!) and I have severe phobias about social engagement, incredible fear of rejection that I have to “act” so that they won’t be rejecting the real me (and when of course they do reject me because I am acting strange it only instils a greater fear of other people and more of a desire to be a hermit). My ex thought I must have Hysterical Personality Disorder.
Do you think that I would benefit from Chromium. I understand from one of the articles on here that MAOI also helps. I don’t wish to discontinue 5HTP. Is it possible to take all three together?
Many thanks and I look forward to your response.
H

ANSWER:
Dear Ms. H:
Chromium is safe, in my experience, when taken with 5-HTP. I would advise you to take chromium and an MAOI only after consultation with your individual healthcare provider. I’m not sure, but I’m concerned that chromium and an MAOI might negatively interact.
Thank you for your question.

Malcolm N. McLeod, MD

Can one take CrPic with Strattera and Wellbutrin?

Can one take CrPic with Strattera and Wellbutrin?

Hi Dr. McLeod,

Thank you so much for your terrific book and ongoing website & blog.

Here is my primary inquiry at this moment:

My 15 year-old daughter with ADHD and atypical depression is currently taking Strattera 80mg and Wellbutrin XL 300mg (she could not tolerate either stimulants or SSRIs) to decent effect on attention but only partial response on these depressive symptoms: intense sugar & carb cravings; continued rejection sensitivity; reactive moodiness. Her doctor, who sees her for a few minutes once every couple months for medication management only, has said “no problem” to trying the chromium picolinate, but I think mostly because my daughter is not in any crisis and he doesn’t expect the mineral to have any effect one way or the other!

So my question is, how does one go about gauging the effectiveness of Chromax when medications are also being taking? I don’t believe you overtly discuss this possibility in your book, but it occurs to us that if the mineral works, we could actually see negative effects resulting from taking medicines that are no longer needed. What should we be alert to as she begins to take the Chromax?

Thank you for your input,

J

Dear J,

None of my patients have taken both Chromax chromium picolinate and Strattera, so I cannot offer an opinion on that part of your question. I can tell you that several of my patients who have responded to Wellbutrin have had similar beneficial responses to Chromax and vice versa. I suspect that taking Chromax and Wellbutrin together would be more efficacious than either alone. And, yes, you might be able to decrease or discontinue her medications. But notes of caution: 1) if you decide to add Chromax to your daugher’s regimen, start at a very low dose, say 50 micrograms daily, and increase gradually; and 2) continue to consult your daughter’s psychiatrist to monitor for possible side effects, such as excessive activation and insomnia.

Thank you for your questions. Please let me know what you and your psychiatrist decide to do, and the outcome.

Malcolm N. McLeod, MD

Chromium and St. John's Wort

Chromium and St. John’s Wort

Hi Dr. McLeod,

Lately I’ve been hearing much regarding the positives of taking chromium picolinate for minor depression. Can chromium picolinate be taking at the same time with St. John’s Wort? I know, for example, that Xanax taken with St. John’s Wort results in the Saint John’s Wort removing the Xanax from the body faster, resulting in less absorption of the Xanax in the body. Are there any problems with taking chromium with Saint John’s Wort, or chromium with Xanax?

Thanks,
Sam

ANSWER: I don’t have enought experience with the combination of chromium picolinate and St. John’s Wort (hypericum) to give you a certain answer, but I can tell you that three of my patients (two men and a woman) took the combination and felt awful. The woman’s menstrual period was much more difficult than usual. After they stopped St. John’s Wort and continued chromium, they felt much better.

I don’t know the answer to your second question regarding taking chromium with Xanax.

I would surely welcome any future observation you have about your questions, so I can pass that info along to other readers.

To your good health,
Malcolm McLeod, MD

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