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vegan anti-depressants !???

not really. sort of.

i've been feeling pretty awful lately.. looots of low points.  i'm just down so much.  other than today i can't remember the last time i was feeling especially well.
i stopped taking my anti-depressants last year because of the gelatin in the capsules.. ick  (that and i wanted to drink)

i still have 3 refills of my cymbalta but i'm not consuming gelatin  :(

so i'm wondering what depression/anxiety medications you lovely vegans are taking?

unfortunately medication is the one of the things i consume even though it's not vegan... but this would be good to know


Being vegan is not about doing no harm, it's about doing the least amount of harm.  A lot of the choices we make as vegans either break even or benefit us (e.g., healthier food).  However, necessary medication is not one of those things.  NOT taking the medication harms you.  You are an animal, too, and you are not doing the least amount of harm by not taking the medication.  Ask your doctor about a pill that does not contain gelatin.  If there is an alternative, use it.  If there isn't an alternative, take the capsule.


Being vegan is not about doing no harm, it's about doing the least amount of harm.

Amen, sistah! This statement needs to be copied and pasted into so many VW threads... All the "is ____ vegan?" and "am I a bad vegan if..." discussions could easily put to rest in acknowledgment of this simple truth.

For me personally, I refrain from calling myself a vegan for this very reason. I live my life based on that principle... do the least harm possible. I am not being honest with myself if I don't acknowledge that my actions inflict harm on other sentient beings.  I've chosen to live my life as consciously and compassionately as possible... Maybe I'm not a vegan in the pure sense of the word, but I can say I do my very best to reduce the suffering of other living beings.

I think it is absolutely impossible to live in modern society without consuming products that have been derived from the exploitation of animals (and human beings for that matter). If you have ever visited a doctor, eaten in a restaurant, bought products in a grocery store, etc, etc, etc... you have at the very least contributed to a relentlessly oppressive system. Hell, the entire medical institution is built upon the practice of animal testing. If you're not swallowing a pill that's been tested on animals directly, I guarantee you society would have no conception of the disease it's treating if thousands of animals had not first been "sacrificed" in the name of studying pathology.

::hops down from soapbox::

I'm sorry to hear you've been down sugardeath, and unfortunately I don't have any non-gelatin alternative suggestions for you soapbox. If your doctor doesn't have any alternatives for you, I say follow your heart. No one can tell you what to do in this situation, as you're the one who lives with the consequences of your decision. I can assure you though, I (and I think most regular posters on VW) would be the last person to criticize you for consuming an animal byproduct in order to heal your body/mind.


I refuse to consume gelatin capsules as well. I make sure to remind my psychiatrist anytime she wants to change my medication. There are still medications that do not come in capsule form. Talk to your doctor about what time of medication she is considering, and go from there. Often times there are more than one similar medications in various forms. You could also discuss this with your pharmacist to see if the powder form of a medication could be prepared in non-gelatin capsules at the pharmacy. I currently take paxil tablets and seroquel xr.


cymbalta is the best med for me out of everything I tried, so I'm not going to switch, so it's the one thing I consume that isn't vegan. bp speaks the truth. I am not happy about the gelatin capsules either, but that's just how it is, and we can do our best with everything else.


If there is no alternative there is no reason to feel bad. It is the same for people with diabeties.. nothing they can get is vegan for medicine.. but thats pretty extreme.

I never got put on anti depressants, i refused.. Long term use is the end result and i couldnt handle that, please be careful taking them. As much as I personally do not trust docotors and there opinions so much I would see you docotor reguarly and always have breaks from the medication when you can. My friend is only 24 and has been taking them for 10 years and now she has to take them more then likely until she dies.. because she never had a break from taking them.
Try and look into alternative medicine, as crazy as they my seem they actually have quite different approaches, and maybe it can support you when having breaks from medcines. I hope it doesnt sound crazy or anything, chinese medicine is quite amazing.

Also you might be able to talk to the pharmacy and ask if its possible to get them in vegeable capsuls, sometimes its possible.

though when i had to take antibiotics a few years ago i had to have the liquid form.. it was bad but sadly everything else was in capsuls :(


Breaks isn't always  a good idea. There have been times when I stopped taking my medication without notifying anyone and it really fucked with me. I got even more depressed and was really crashing fast. Always make sure you discuss things like this with your psychiatrist- if you are set on taking a break or stopping medication, they can help you lower the dosage safely. Breaks are also dangerous because if you realize that you do indeed need to be on the medication, it will take a while for them to kick back into your system fully.


ok so thanks you guys for the replies.  looks like i have 3 options:

i) get the refill of my cymbalta
ii) talk to my doctor about vegetarian options
iii) go on like this ..

option 1 just hurts.  and i know a lot of you vegans have non vegan medication you need to take which is just really really unfortunate.  if i swallowed a gelatin capsule everyday i would just feel crappy about  it. i would feel like a hypocrite for trying so hard in other areas.  then to easily just swallow a pill like that, it would make everything seem like a waste (ok not a waste, i wouldn't regret trying so hard to help prevent the suffering of animals, i just can't think of a better way to explain it  :().  i know you guys are telling me being vegan is about "doing the least harm possible" and i agree, i do agree. but. ugh ):

so lemme tell you guys how i got on cymbalta.  i was feeling depressed, like i am now.  i had the worst anxiety ever.  i didn't want to leave my house, i didn't want to talk to anyone.  i wanted to stay in bed all day and cry.  my mom would make comments like "you'd be happier if you got a life" and stuff like that.  not those exact words but pretty close.  then i just told my mom flat out, i feel depressed. i want to go to the doctor to see about it.  so i went to my doctor.  and he asked me questions like "how long have you been feeling like this" and "do you cry a lot"  etc.. and after about 5 or 10 minutes, he prescribed me cymbalta.  just like that.  i thought that maybe he would run a test at least?  he would get me to talk a counselor?  no he just prescribed me drugs like that.

it was just a quick appointment, there was nothing do it.  basically he said a few words to me, and then handed me drugs.  do i feel like i need to be on them?  yeah i guess so. but it just feels so.. non-personal and trivial.  it's not like i have HIV and i'm taking absolute necessary drugs to save my life.  i'm taking some anti-depressants my doctor threw at me after talking to me for a few minutes.

so if i go back and ask about vegetarian pills, i'm sure he could conjure something up and give me those just as easily.

baypuppy - i run almost everyday.  it makes me feel good about myself for the time being but overall, i still feel like crap 95% of the time.  also i rarely  drink and rarely take any drugs.

ugh, i don't really know what to do. make an appointment i guess..


oh yeah, i think that making an appointment to see someone (else, perhaps, since this guys sounds like a dud) would be a good idea under these circumstances. it's not like you've tried other meds that haven't worked for you before. and there are lots of things cheaper than cymbalta!


i live in canada. this dud is unfortunately my family doctor so i don't know how easy it is to just change doctors.  luckily i don't have to pay for my meds! :D


I have been on antidepressants and antipsychoatics for years.  Your "dud" Dr is treating you the way he has been educated and since he is  employed by the government, he has his hands tied to some extent. Don't stop your meds. I was on cymbalta all of 2 weeks. Gained 15 lbs. I became my own advocate and my Dr took me off of it and prescribed something else.  Even though you are in Canada, there is such a thing as patient's rights.  You take a stand on veganism do the same with your mental health. Ask for something else.  You are feeling sick probably feeling detox. It can be dangerous if you don't have medical treatment coming off these types of drugs. Please go back and educate your Dr. I know it is easy to say. not to do.  See I suffer with mental illness too. I hope you will be able to make a change in your meds.


My pychologist always though being vegan was some type of harming tool... very annoying!  I hope not all medical persons are like that.
I wish you good luck with it all! If you have any way of finding a vegan or vegetarian doctor maybe they will have more knowledge on what medicines you can get in tablet form.
Just remember to do whats right for you and what makes you happy. I have had to take medicines in capsuls.. i wasnt happy but i searched the options and talk to doctors.. there was no alternative so i took them... didint feel good about it. But i just told myself i did try and atleast if you ask about alternatives there will be a demand for it :)


ampallang, that's rediculous! Not all are like that, but it all depends on the person you find. I had one psychiatrist that made me try to feel stupid for not taking gelatin capsules. I told her that I was not going to sacrifice my morals to "feel better" when they would, in result, make me feel much worse by taking them. That ended up making her feel foolish, and she apologized, which is rare for her.


I'm not sure if this will help, but there is yoga for sadness relief on  There's even some unintentional bloopers mixed in.



Are the capsules solid with gelatin in them, or are they the type that have a capsule on the outside with lots of little "beads" on the inside.  If they can be opened up, maybe try consuming the contents without the exterior capsule?  I do agree that it probably is not a good idea to stop taking medications.  I understand that some antidepressants can have really nasty side effects if you just stop taking them (I think the doctor is supposed to slowly decrease the dosage).  You could try contacting your doctor to see if there is some alternative that does not come in a gelatin capsule.  I'm afraid I don't have any better advice than that.  Sorry.



Are the capsules solid with gelatin in them, or are they the type that have a capsule on the outside with lots of little "beads" on the inside.  If they can be opened up, maybe try consuming the contents without the exterior capsule? 

PLEASE don't do this, it is incredibly dangerous and, generally, illegal. The capsules used for prescriptions and capsules sold OTC for 'make your own' supplements dissolve differently, causing unknown/manageable dosing irregularities.


As the other posters have mentioned, ask your dr. for different medications or try a different dr. GPs (general practitioners/family drs) are not the best source of psyciatric care. I understand that b/c you are in Canada the system works differently than what I am used to here in the States, but generally if you've been under a GP's care and it's not helping, you should be referred to a specialist-- in this case, a psychiatrist. I am willing to bet that, at least right now, you don't need a psychologist or therapist, b/c your immediate concern is not behavioral but chemical. Once you get the chemical issue(s) straightened out, a good psychiatrist can help you wean off your meds (and it does take time-- I'm in the process right now) and help you find the best therapist for any behavioral issues that remain.


Also check whether the capsules are actually made of gelatin. I thought for a long time that the ones I'd been given weren't vegan and was all down on myself about it, until I actually decided to be a good patient and read the info that came with them - turns out the caps are actually made of cellulose!


they contain gelatin for sure, unfortunately. i checked.

i've been trying to get ahold of my doctor for a while now with no success. 

the first time he was on vacation (as usual!! i swear he vacations 8 months of the year)

and all the other times there have been no appointment slots.


i'll keep trying


alright so i was at the doctor's today and i got some new happy pills!
i told the nurse that i'm veg so i want something that doesn't contain gelatin and she was all like "oh, gelatin is an animal product?"

  ::) but she was understanding, she said there are a lot of vegetarians in.

my doctor was thinking i should try this new anti depressant (i can't remember the name.. i think it starts with a p)  but i asked him about wellbutrin since i have  a friend who's on it , soooo i already know a bit about it.

about wellbutrin he said that you often have to use it in conjunction with other drugs but he gave me prescription to try them out anyway.

the pharmacist said it causes restlessness so i should take it in the morning.  this should be fun!!

i'll keep you guys updated!



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