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Immediate adverse reactions to SSRIs? How long for recovery?

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Christian

This thread scares me,as I had an adverse reaction to prozac.

The talk of years to recover ,drives my anxiety through the roof.

I've seen improvements in my symptoms and sleep, but then I read because I'm only 2 months out ,my symptoms will worsen at 6 months.

It's driving me crazy.

BTW, that is great symptoms are improving. Which ones besides sleep? 

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Roxyrich

Thanks Christian and farout .

It's those dammed intrusive thoughts, they go round in circles in my head.

I know what you say is true, but I sometimes struggle to stay calm.

I guess like most people who are on this site, I'm looking for reassurance that I can heal.

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btdt

wow...not sure why I never put this **** together...

 

the first SSRI I ever took was Prozac...and it shot me through the roof with insane PANIC...in fact much like the **** we deal with in withdrawal...stayed on it no more than 48 hours...

 

anyway...later trials of SSRIs were accompanied with massive doses of benzos...

ME TOO!

First bad reaction was severe and long lasting.  I have never taken any psych drug when I was not in a withdrawal situation it went from one to the other always chasing the dragon trying to get well every drug I took I was told to stay on it other than the first one which was given no thought at all as I was told the prozac I was given was a new type of ant inflammatory for pain... it was given no credence by me because I told other docs I seen exactly that I could not recall the name just told them I had an been on an anti inflammatory drug... which of course cannot make one have psych symptoms.  After the initial fallout from prozac that lasted for me at least 2 years when I was put on another Ad ... I could sleep but still had reactions to every single Ad I ever took.  I was constantly told the reactions would lessen when my body adjusted to the medication which would take 8 wks... at the end of the 8 wks if I was not on another drug by then to treat the side effects I was too far gone in my thinking to complain actually confusion was a big part of the adverse reactions always along with a host of other symptoms. 

 

All those years gone... reminds me of a song.

 

And now the best years have come and gone

You took me by surprise

I didn't realize that you were laughing

 

You took away everything I had

You put the hurt on me

by the 

guess who 

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btdt

Thanks Christian and farout .

It's those dammed intrusive thoughts, they go round in circles in my head.

I know what you say is true, but I sometimes struggle to stay calm.

I guess like most people who are on this site, I'm looking for reassurance that I can heal.

Everybody can get better than they are... in time.  Intrusive thoughts is one well serviced by a book called the power of now ... it helped me get a handle on thoughts... before that I would say to myself oh effexor thought and ignore it.. in time it gets old and boring ... funny the things we can get use to and deal with if we have to. 

power of now is worth a look... 

I wish you peace

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Roxyrich

Thanks farout and Christian ,btdt.

I guess I've just got to ride it out.I also need to be careful what I read,I tend to think the worst,when I compare people's stories to mine.

Bad idea, I know.

Unfortunately ,reading books is a little hard at the moment. Concentration is a bit off.

For some reason,ok here.

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Farout

Have you tried those colouring books? Painting? Anything to distract basically. I really think there is something in art therapy. Once I got myself through the extreme harm OCD stuff I did counted cross stitch every evening (which was my bad time - when my brain got too tired to hold itself straight). It might seem a bit girly but all that focussed counting and busy hands really helped.

 

I've woken up this morning totally back to fine. It's like popping out the other side of a tunnel. One other 'good' (ho ho) thing about my waves now is that I don't ruminate over them. I don't spend hours trying to figure out what bought them on and avoiding things for fear of a trigger. I just feel relieved that one is over and carry on with life.

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Roxyrich

Unfortunately, I'm not that farout.pardon the pun.

I'm suffering on average every other day.

So I know what's coming, and I dread it .

I tend to have a really bad day,followed by a decent nights sleep, then I have a good day, and that night is awful, so setting up the next bad day.

Every bad day is different. One day it's anxiety, then it's depression and today total fatigue. That's why the fear takes hold ,because I know what's coming.

I'm praying for more than one night's sleep.

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Roxyrich

Hi farout, I've been wondering how much better are you than in the beginning.

Because uk your reaction, sounds a bit like mine.

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Farout

So, so, SO much better!

 

I'm still recovering but the windows are long (sometimes months) and I'm completely back to my old self in them. The waves are still coming but manageable - niggly anxiety, dizziness and a bit of depersonalisation. It can be a day here or a week there, but not all through the days, just the odd blip.

 

I'm not tortured by obsessive thoughts anymore and I'm sleeping well.

 

Back in the early days it was so extreme. Every day was living hell. I honestly take my hat off to anyone going through it.

 

It's not perfect now but it's manageable. I can trace the healing and will get even better over time. I have every faith in a full recovery.

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mFrustrated

Hi Farout, I've read your story and am curious to know if you took any supplements, used chiropractor care, or anything to help with your recovery. Your situation sounds a lot like mine and I'm about a month in. I had a bad reaction to Zoloft after taking it 11 days. I've been off of it for 4 weeks. I do have a very low dose of Xanax that I take when I have difficult waves and feel like I'm going to freak out and hurt myself or kids. I don't like taking it, but something has to calm me down. I'm a teacher and can't just stay home from work...my dr told me it would take 3-4 weeks for me to recover, and I haven't. I really hope this mess doesn't last 18 months...I can't even imagine. My husband is very supportive and I'm in counseling to help as well.

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NJJ

I had two severe reactions to bactrium and Zofran while on zoloft twelve months ago and am still recovering. The Zofran and zoloft should never have had been prescribed together as they are both seritonergic drugs. As Alto stated before about people having reactions, it is indeed exactly like symptoms of withdrawal and the same with recovery. There's days and weeks I feel completely back to myself and other times I struggle to get off couch.

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Greg

I had a bad reaction to Sertraline 25MG - maybe not a severe reaction, but certainly a severe withdrawal.  I took it for 3 days December 17-19 2015.  While taking it, I had insomnia and each night hit with the most extreme panic attacks I've had.  I stopped taking it after that.  A few days after I was hit with awful anxiety (nerve, limbs were on fire), couldn't sleep, thought my heart would explode at any minute, and panic.  I was an absolute mess - I could barely get out of bed.  I should have been in the hospital.  This lasted a few weeks.  I slowly leveled out to where I could sleep, function day to day - not well, but could at least get tasks done.  However, I had this overwhelming chemical block in my brain of depression I suppose - everywhere I looked - seeing ppl doing fun stuff, or just living "free" I was zapped with the block that I could never do that and my life was doomed with struggle.  A few weeks ago a window opened up where I felt pretty good and those negative feelings passed.  However last week, I was hit with a crippling depression - no hope, rumination of some bad decisions of made in the past - that are severely haunting me, can't sleep, feel wired, but so tired.  I initially decided to take the Zoloft for a mild case of panic disorder that flared up with a move out of state away from my family and friends.  Other than that I was very optimistic, social, positive person.  I've never felt worse than I do now.  My doctor and family don't believe the medication could be causing this -  I don't know what to do.  I had a 9 month run on Lexapro 2 yrs ago that I had little problems with (I should have taken that in the first place rather than the Zoloft - big mistake).  Would introducing that now have any adverse effects?  

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NJJ

Hey Greg,

 

Sorry to hear you have had such trouble. Probably best if you start a thread about yourself in the introductions so people can give you more advice. Sounds to me that you have had a adverse reaction.

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Greg

NNJ - Thanks for the reply and suggestion.  I posted over there a little earlier today.  I'm hoping I can get some feedback and positive words.   

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kronymom

I had an adverse reaction to one 10mg dose of citalopram starting on Dec.17 2009.My full story is posted in this site. I had never previously taken any of these types of drugs before this reaction happened. Just thought it would help through some of the premenopausal issues I was having. Nothing to severe. Thought these drugs were safe to try. But turned out they were not. Still in recover after a setback caused by trying some supplements and a chiro treatment. Not smart on my part. Found this post just searching one day on web so I thpught I would comment. Any questions you might have would be happy to answer.

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Christian

I could not find your story. Do you have an intro thread ?

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KT38

kronymom, do you think you had mental akathisia? I, too, had severe reactions to SSRIs.  When it started to get better how did you know you were getting better?

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kronymom

I've been in recovery for a long while now due to that setback that I mention. Two and a half years from that point to now. I just notice over time that all the issues slowly resolve as time goes on. It does take weeks, months and years. I have had most of the symptoms you list. I had never touched any of these types of drugs before ever. But when these became available to pre-menopausal women that opened up the door for more women to get hurt. And one was me. I still can't believe trying one pill did all this stuff to me. And screwed up my brain and CNS probably for good.

 

As far as mental akathisia I think I had some but that would have been way back in 2010 when the worst of that hit me. I'm still learning what some of this stuff is called as I didn't know at the time. I think I did have some when I put myself into that setback but it wasn't as bad as the first go round. Still bad enough though.

 

I had some weird issues with my tendons in my wrist swelling and being very sensitive to movement would pop easy. That was in recovering from the relapse. So many weird things it's hard to remember them all.

 

I still have nerve pains at times in my toes and muscle pains in upper thighs and arms. They can still hurt pretty well to.

 

I just have to be very careful with everything I eat and don't take any OTC drugs or supplements of any kind can't do it.

 

I didn't fully realize how serious this whole thing was until I had put my self backwards with trying some things that my nerves couldn't handle and then I vowed to never take anything again unless I have absolutely no choice, because I know what will happen when I do. Right back into hard withdrawal again. Been through it twice now don't want it again ever.

 

Hope I answered your question okay. Always happy to help. Take care.

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reachingforthestars

People who have immediate adverse reactions to serotonergics often have severe symptoms for quite a while -- symptoms very much like withdrawal syndrome -- and take a long time to recover.

 

If they've been kept on the drugs for a long time, often with the aid of a benzo, their nervous systems are quite distressed.

 

Alto, do you know anyone who has healed after immediate adverse reaction? 

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Courtlynns

My head burned immediately after taking Escitalopram, probably within 30-50 minutes. Healing will take a good while.

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btdt

I had an adverse reaction to one 10mg dose of citalopram starting on Dec.17 2009.My full story is posted in this site. I had never previously taken any of these types of drugs before this reaction happened. Just thought it would help through some of the premenopausal issues I was having. Nothing to severe. Thought these drugs were safe to try. But turned out they were not. Still in recover after a setback caused by trying some supplements and a chiro treatment. Not smart on my part. Found this post just searching one day on web so I thpught I would comment. Any questions you might have would be happy to answer.

I am curious as to the setback from chiro.... I thought the same thing that something was released that my bones were holding onto... something toxic that really messed me up.   curious...

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Catwoman

I am 44 years old. I have never really had any anxiety or depression issues. But earlier this year, I had my first panic attack completely out of the blue. I ended up in the ER because i was sure I was having a heart attack. Of course everything checked out fine, and I was my normal self afterwards. A few months later, I had another. I went to every doctor imaginable to rule out any physical problems, but I'm healthy as can be. So we realized they were in fact panic attacks. Looking back, I had had episodes where I probably worried more than I should about silly things, but nothing that really affected my day-to-day life. My doctor prescribed 20mg of Prozac to treat the generalized anxiety and hopefully prevent more panic attacks.

 

Two days after taking it, I just felt kind of sick. Just achy and sort of blah. I just figured I was coming down with something. Four days after taking it, I had a full-blown, horrible panic attack. My doc warned me that might happen, so also prescribed me some Xanax. I took one and it helped until the panic attack stopped. By day 5, I felt horrible. I was violently vomiting, shaking, felt very feverish (but had no fever), very agitated, everything hurt. I never felt that sick in my entire life. I eventually put 2 and 2 together and realized it was the Prozac. I contacted my doc who told me to stop taking it (I had taken a total of 6). I was hoping to feel better right away, but that didn't happen because it stays in your system for so long.

 

I ended up in Urgent Car twice and the Emergency Room twice. I have never been that sick in my entire life. They all agreed it was a bad reaction to the Prozac and I would just need to let it run it's course. I was taking Xanax to help counteract the symptoms, but that only did so much. My doc eventually switched me to Klonopin as it works the same way as Xanax but lasts longer. After about two weeks of this hell, I started feeling better. It was 3 weeks before I felt normal again. I missed 3 weeks of work. I literally spent 2 weeks in bed shaking, dry heaving, and crying. I lost 14 pounds. All of this from taking 6 pills. For the record, I was not taking any other medications, so there were no drug interactions involved. 

 

I am now in therapy partly to address the underlying anxiety, but also because I am literally traumatized by this whole experience. I have also started receiving acupuncture treatments, which also help. I discovered that my thyroid is a little off, which may explain some of the anxiety and am addressing that as well. 

 

I just wanted to share my experience because these drugs are so heavily prescribed that I think a lot of people (like me) think nothing of taking them. But the side effects can be very, very severe. When you have 4 doctors (2 Urgent Care and 2 Emergency Room) and a number of nurses tell you that they see this all the time, that says to me that these side effects are not uncommon. 

 

I know these drugs help a lot of people. But I would encourage folks to try other alternatives before jumping into medications. Diet, exercise, meditation, supplements, therapy, etc. can all help immensely. I would definitely say try those things first. 

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Daisy1

Hi Catwoman, I had terrible side effects that are still ongoing and have cptsd because of it now. My life is pretty much in ruins. We never think these drugs can be so damaging, my gp certainly never highlighted the issue of what could happen and I had never even heard of mindfullness or knew excerise could help with anxiety. Doctors certainly need to advise this before anything else. And AD'S should be only be handed out as a last resort.

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fuerza

This thread is the scariest thing I've read on this whole site. I had an adverse reaction to Escitalopram (extreme insomnia, panic attacks, blurry vision, akathisia, extreme anxiety). The doctor added Valdoxan and Oxazepam and a month later I was switched to Effexor which I stayed on for 9 months. Effexor caused derealisation and hypomania.

 

The thought that the recovery might take 20 years takes away the last glimmer of hope I had.

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Laura1981

Fuerza, so sorry to hear what you have gone through. Sounds very familiar to me :(. I don't think everybody will take 20 years to recover. I'm on a different site with many people with these immediate, catastrophic reactions. Most are at least significantly improved at the 4 year mark. 

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fuerza

2 weeks of this was unbearable, 4 years seems like an eternity. :(

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Laura1981

Hang in there. Maybe you're one of the lucky ones who get better fast. When I first had my adverse reaction I kept hanging on thinking "Maybe I'll be better in a couple of months". This is the way to get by. Try not to think about how many years it may or may not take. There's no way to know for sure. For me it has been 18 months I'm somewhat better, although I still have lots of symptoms. 

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fuerza

Thanks for the support. The brain zaps stopped 2 weeks after the withdrawal. My physical symptoms right now are tinnitus, insomnia, shortness of breath and loss of appetite. The physical symptoms (except for insomnia) don't even bother me anymore. I just wish the mental symptoms would ease up a bit.

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Laura1981

Wow, I think you'll be ok.  I still have brain zaps. For me the mental symptoms lasted for about a year and then they became a bit better. I wonder about your Oxazepam though. I know benzos can cause all kinds of mental symptoms, so if that happens it will be hard to differentiate the symptoms of the adverse reaction from benzo side effects. 

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fuerza

I've been wondering about that too, but I'm afraid I'm not able to function without it in my current situation. Even a slow taper is out of the question at the moment, because I just finished a very fast Effexor XR taper and foolishly cut my Valdoxan dosage in half. I'm planning to hold everything until I feel stabilised.

 

I'm so sorry that you're feeling this way. I found that fish oil gave me a relief from the brain zaps. I don't take it daily anymore, but I've replaced all the meat in my diet with fatty red fish or fish roe. I actually remember that I had crazy cravings for fish roe when I went on the antidepressants and it seemed to help with the symptoms a bit.

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Quirkdiggler

I'm totally new here so I'm still learning the ropes, I think I posted my own initial explanation by itself but I'm not sure where it is.. I have been working so much and so tired and in pain.. But anyway I had a horrid reaction to celexa last fall, and I thought I was crazy that I am still sick until I found this site. I really want to talk to anyone on here that understands, so that I might have some how and that I might share what progress I have made researching every minute I get free for almost exactly a year ago since my life was completely changed.. So if anyone wants to reach out, I'd love to finally not feel like I'm battling this alone, no doctor I've found gets it or has heard of such extreme long term issues.. But they are real and hopefully I just have to keep looking. I'm tired as in writing this as i am so much of the time, which I hate, so if I'm not doing the best job I apologize. But ya, I want to get involved and I do have some info that might be a big help to some also.. Ty!

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Jamieandlexapro

I think I to have this..

I was on lexapro for 7 years and decided to stop over 3 month period then my doctor said my fatigue was from anxiety not withdrawals and put me up on 10 mg I was getting more and more sick to the point he put me up to 20mg and I was on the for 3 months, sick in bed couldn't move I couldn't talk I couldn't eat, I would littlerly pee myself, my heart rate was over 130 and the doctors said keep taking your lexapro it's just anxiety relapse. I felt so poisoned! Then 1 month ago I said no this is poisoning me my brain is burning every time I take this. And decided to stop. It's been a month and I'm still sick after stopping. But a lot of things have improved, I now eat and walk around the house. My 3 months of diarrhea has cleared up. Brain burning has gone. But I'm feeling brain zaps and dizziness headaches and depersonalisation and all sorts of other things. But I really reckon I was poisoned with neurotoxicity adverse reaction after reinstating for 3 months. Apparently you don't heal from this? I'm so scared ???? I kept taking it for 3 months and was getting more and more sick, have I done irreversible damage? Will I continue to get worse or should things start to improve now I've removed the toxin?

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