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SpeedDefrost: Adverse reaction to escitalopram (5mg)


SpeedDefrost

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I'll keep this post simple because I don't care to complain so much. For reference I'm 31 and male. I had a bad reaction to 5mg of escitalopram (prescribed for anxiety and mild depression) on February 22nd that left my head burning for hours. Earlier the same day I also took Lion's Mane (which I didn't realize at the time has MAOI properties, there's barely any research you can find about this through Google). I'm pretty sure it was a case of serotonin syndrome. I felt spaced out and overly jumpy/reactive and the doctors at the hospital didn't really seem too concerned about my condition because I was otherwise still conscious and that was good enough for them I guess. They're not very competent when it comes to identifying SS. I had also noticed immediate side effects (genital numbness) while I was using the washroom which left me very concerned. 8 hours of my time was wasted with basic testing and a chest x-ray and they sent me home with a blistering headache like it was nothing. My brain was basically fried and I could barely string words together.

I've been eating completely healthy since the incident (lots of fish and meat) and stopped drinking caffeinated tea/coffee. I also take certain supplements here and there (Maca, Citrulline, Vitamin C/D, Magnesium Threonate/Glycinate/Taurate). The persistent symptoms I have are anhedonia, DP/DR, heightened senses, anxiety, vivid dreams (that are seemingly mocking me), and sexual dysfunction (ED, PE, etc). The timeline so far is very odd because a lot of the really bad stuff didn't hit me until a month afterwards.
 

First week: Initial withdrawal. Numbness, GI issues (subsided), feelings of hopelessness/doom, and suicidal thoughts. I had to sleep in my mother's room one night to prevent myself going mad.
1-2 weeks: Still numb. Genitals extremely sore and I had a lot of trouble urinating (bladder control).
2-3 weeks: Constant mild head zaps/pressures/aches, otherwise no changes.
4 weeks: Genital soreness/numbness mostly gone, but things still dysfunctional. Woke up with full-blown DP/DR exactly on day 29. Intense headaches, tons of anxiety, muscle twitching.
5 weeks: Same as week before, though less pronounced.
6 weeks: Volatile mood shifts, crying, poor blood flow all over, constant muscle aches/weakness, still some twitching, dry mouth, inconsistent thirst signals, less/no hunger signals.

I'm now just over 6 weeks (46 days) and I'm feeling very discouraged. My libido is still nonexistent, my brain is a mess (I can't enjoy my primary hobby anymore: software development), I'm struggling to find any meaning to life, and I have nobody to talk to that actually understands what I'm going through (I was okay with being a loner before all this, but now it's somewhat upsetting). My sister was the one who encouraged me to try this SSRI (she's also on it) and I haven't really felt like talking to her since a month ago due to what happened. My mother and my cat are currently the only support I have so far, aside from one random guy on Reddit (the PSSD sub is generally too depressing to read and every other is full of pharma shills). I'd be grateful if anyone can help me make sense of my situation. I'm honestly surprised that I haven't completely lost my s*** yet.

5mg Escitalopram - Feb 22nd 2024. Taken with mushroom supplements. Adverse reaction/interaction; stopped immediately.

 

Symptoms: Anhedonia, lack of motivation, brain fog, DP/DR, heightened anxiety, panic, insomnia, intense dreams, sexual dysfunction (ED), light/sound/movement sensitivity, poor blood flow, physical weakness, muscle aches.

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  • SpeedDefrost changed the title to SpeedDefrost: Adverse reaction to escitalopram (5mg)
  • Moderator

Hi SpeedDefrost,

 

Welcome to SA. Thank you for summarizing your drug history in your signature.

 

If you haven't already, would recommend reading the thread Immediate adverse reactions to an antidepressant or within a few doses? How long for recovery?

 

5 hours ago, SpeedDefrost said:

I've been eating completely healthy since the incident (lots of fish and meat) and stopped drinking caffeinated tea/coffee.

 

Since your adverse reaction have you had any alcohol, marijuana, and/or do any strenuous exercise?

 

Thanks,

 

Firefly

 

Pre- October 2022: Wellbutrin, Escitalopram, CitalopramSertraline, Adderall IR, Vyvanse, Propranolol, Buspar, Ativan, and Latuda

Oct 13, 2022 - Oct 24, 2022 and Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Zyprexa (2.5 mg). Jan 14, 2023 -> Began transition to liquid suspension. Jan 29, 2023 = 2.375mg -> Feb 12, 2023 = 2.25mg -> Feb 27, 2023 = 2.14mg -> Mar 12, 2023 = 2.025mg -> Mar 27, 2023 = 1.93mg -> Apr 10, 2023 = 1.82mg -> Apr 23, 2023 = 1.74mg -> May 7, 2023 = 1.64mg -> May 21, 2023 = 1.56mg -> June 4, 2023 = 1.48mg -> June 19, 2023 = 1.4mg -> July 2, 2023 = 1.33mg -> July 16, 2023 = 1.26mg -> July 31, 2023 = 1.2mg -> Aug 13, 2023 = 1.14mg -> Aug 27, 2023 = 1.08mg -> Sep 13, 2023 = 1.02mg -> Jan 22, 2024 = 0.97mg -> Feb 4, 2024 = 0.92mg -> Feb 19, 2024 = 0.87mg -> Mar 3, 2024 = 0.83mg -> Mar 17, 2024 = 0.78mg -> Mar 31, 2024 = 0.74mg -> Apr 14, 2024 = 0.7mg -> Apr 28, 2024 = 0.66mg -> May 12, 2024 = 0.63mg -> May 27, 2024 = 0.6mg

Oct 14, 2022 - Present: Prozac (40mg) upped from 20mg on Nov 1, 2022.

Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Gabapentin (300mg 3x day) -> May 3, 2023 = 300mg 2x day -> Oct 1, 2023 = 570mg -> Oct 15, 2023 = 540mg -> Oct 29, 2023 = 510mg -> Nov 13, 2023 = 484mg -> Nov 27, 2023 = 460mg -> Dec 9, 2023 = 436mg -> Dec 24, 2023 = 414mg -> Jan 7, 2024 = 400mg

 

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8 hours ago, FireflyFyte said:

Hi SpeedDefrost,

 

Welcome to SA. Thank you for summarizing your drug history in your signature.

 

If you haven't already, would recommend reading the thread Immediate adverse reactions to an antidepressant or within a few doses? How long for recovery?

 

 

Since your adverse reaction have you had any alcohol, marijuana, and/or do any strenuous exercise?

 

Thanks,

 

Firefly


I've been lurking on the forum since mid-march and have already read and reread most of the relevant threads, including that one. Most of the replies just frustrated me. I don't know how long I'm going to be like this and it scares me. For the first 3 or so weeks after this happened, I've been running to take my mind off things. Aside from that I've been doing dumbbell and body weight exercises at home whenever I can manage it (though not much for the past two weeks because I've been sore all over).

5mg Escitalopram - Feb 22nd 2024. Taken with mushroom supplements. Adverse reaction/interaction; stopped immediately.

 

Symptoms: Anhedonia, lack of motivation, brain fog, DP/DR, heightened anxiety, panic, insomnia, intense dreams, sexual dysfunction (ED), light/sound/movement sensitivity, poor blood flow, physical weakness, muscle aches.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi @SpeedDefrost

 

I know you’re frustrated and I’m sorry you’re suffering so much, but there are no answers as to how long it takes to recover from these meds. Sad to say, but we are all in the same boat here. Our brains struggle every day to get back into some kind of homeostasis.

 

The best thing to do is to find some coping strategies, to help us to deal with the symptoms. Do you have distractions that you enjoy? Art, music, movies, gardening etc etc. I know they won’t get rid of the symptoms, but it’s a good idea to find things that can help you get through the withdrawal waves. It’s also a good idea to do things to help you cope with your emotions, like EFT or journaling.

 

A number of people have found fish oil and magnesium beneficial too. Only start with one at a time, and start with a small dose first to see if you can tolerate it. 
 

Please be careful with exercise too. If you overdo it or it’s too strenuous it can ramp up your symptoms as well💛

Seroquel. 2019:➡️ From 7.25mg to 5.80mg. 2020➡️5.60 to 4.80. 2021➡️4.60 to 4.0.  2022➡️3.95 to 3.55. 2023➡️ From 3.50 to 3.25.  2024➡️Jan15=3.20✔️ Feb19=3.15✔️ March26=3.10✔️May1=3.05✔️This is NOT medical advice.Consult your doctor.

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@SpeedDefrost If you want to talk you can private message me. I'm in a similar situation, same med, and I'm losing my mind.

Sertraline 2020 50 mg

Escitalopram 2021-2022 10mg

Escitalopram January 2023 25% reduction each week

February 2023 stop taking Escitalopram, without issues.

May 2023 Escitalopram 2 weeks varying doses from 2.5mg to 10mg, then stopped again. October 2023 took 2.5mg for one week. Didn't have issues when stopping.

Nightmare:

January 7 2024 took around 2 mg. Started with mild PSSD.

February 4 to February 8 took varying doses from 1mg to 5mg

March 3, 5mg at night. March 4, 5 mg in the morning. Started with moderate PSSD.

March 22 2.5mg, March 23 1.3mg, March 24 0.7 mg, March 25 0.2 mg, March 26 around 1 mg. Ended up with strong PSSD.

 

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