First hand and awful experience of Seratonin Syndrome

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hisfaithful1
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 9/1/2010 6:35 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
I experienced muscle spasams with Celexa, (I also take Tramadol) so my doctor changed me to Effexor.
I was only on the Effexor for 4 days, and bam, suddenly I was extremely nauseated, constant hard muscle spasams, bad headaches, vomiting, terrible back pain where my kidneys are, jaw pain, and my teeth had a weird achy feeling, I could not sleep because of terrible nightmares all night long. I would begin to cry, not really knowing why. I stopped the Effexor right away when this happened.
 
Was wondering if I should go to the ER, but I made it ok, thank the good Lord who heard my prayers!
 
The really awful symptoms lasted 4 days, and today it's been 6 days since it started, and I'm still feeling weak, and my stomach is very tender. Seen my doctor yesterday, and told him all about it. He didn't even seem to get it that it was seratonin syndrome! I told him I know it was, and he reluctantly agreed.
 
Sherrine....   I read your recent post about Seratonin Syndrome, I was really glad you had posted it, because even though I felt sicker than a dog, and weaker than a kitten, I was going to look it up, then saw your post. So thank you so much for posting that when you did. And you were right, we must be our own health advocates, and look out for ourselves, and others if we can, like giving them a warning like this.  The 2 doctors who have treated me for fibro never warned me one time about this possibility.
 
I had to let you all know about this, so please be careful when you are taking more than 1 drug that can cause this awful of an ordeal. I would not want any of you to go through this. It was literally the most awful I have ever felt in my life!
 
God bless you all, and I hope you a have a good night.
 
Peace & Joy   Debbie S 

javamommy77
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 9/1/2010 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
i'm glad you're feeling better and your dr sounds like mine. When i told her I would NOT take anymore anti depressents and told her why she was like....well you've only taken 3 and I didnt need to wean you off of them because you switched and then was only on two.


arghhh I'm so glad you knew what it was. Praying for you that you start feeling much better soon!

Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/1/2010 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Our local fibro specialist has been warning his patients about serotonin syndrome for about 2 yrs now. He said that he is seeing more and more of it due to all the meds that affect serotonin. He tells his patients to call him if they start having any of the symptoms because their other docs or the ER still think it is rare and may overlook it.

hisfaithful1
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 9/1/2010 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
 Thanks for the prayers javamommy. I feel the same way, I will be very leary now of what I'll take. I wish doctors would be more careful in order to help their patients, not inadvertantly harm them!! I know there are some good ones out there though.
 
 Dagger.. i'm glad to hear your doctor is looking out for his patients. I do wonder if it is as rare as some say, or if it is becoming more of a problem because more meds are out there now, that can cause it.  It was really so awful, and I know if it's not caught in time it can become deadly. I just want everyone to please be very careful if your taking more than 1 med that can cause it.  

javamommy77
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 9/1/2010 8:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm just wondering why so many of us get tossed anti depressents. I mean i know the nerves for pain are the same as feelings (ok that's like the way easy way to type it) but umm cmon now. Because of some commercials that say depression causes mild aches and pains it seems like dr's are thinking AHA perfect that's the cause. Instead of actually listening to us and trying different things that could be the problem.

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17100
   Posted 9/2/2010 5:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Debbie, thank you for sharing your story.  It is very important to know what you are taking, know the symptoms, etc.  Serotonin Syndrome can be very serious and it's really a shame that we have to be the ones to diagnose ourselves half the time!  I even figured out why I was getting partial bowel obstructions all of the time!  Guess what?  It was the medication I was taking.  It lowered my blood pressure to the point that my organs were slowing down due to lack of oxygen.  My BP was 62/30!
 
Anyway, I'll bump up that Serotonin thread again.  It is sooo important.  There are so many illnesses and so many medications that there is no way your doctors can remember all the side affects.  That's your job.
 
I'm glad you are feeling better, Debbie.  I hope you continue getting better.  AND it was no coincidence that I posted that thread when I did.  wink
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/Fibromyalgia
************************
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

hisfaithful1
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 9/2/2010 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
Sherrine,  what a treasure you are.
 
 Oh how  I know,   it was not a coincidence
that you posted about Serotonin Syndrome when you did.  As my D H says there are no coincidences in God's kingdom. 
 
 A little update.. I am so much better now, but still tire so easily.  Like I needed something else to contribute to my being tired!!  Oy vey!  I read on Wikipedia that most people get better within 24 hours after symptoms start, though there are exceptions to the rule. Anyone who wants to know more, Wikipedia explains it pretty well.  It also said you can have sore or  weak muscles for months afterward.
 
This whole episode was a wake up call to me about doctors. I was being naive to assume they will make sure what they prescribe will not hurt or kill me.  eyes
 
Thank you again Sherrine. I hope you know what a terrific job you are doing as a moderator of this forum. Thank you for your dedication, concern for others, and precious time you give every day. 
 
     ((((Hugs))))  Debbie S
 

MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 9/3/2010 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I think we all have to remember and keep it in our minds, is that doctors are human and they make mistakes. So many of us put them up on pedestals and think they are perfect. I've learned far too many times they are far from perfect. I'm not here to bash doctors, one of my sons is a doctor, infectious disease and two of my nephews are physicians as well. I worked in the healthcare field for 12 years and saw my share of imperfect physicians. In my opinion, we rely too heavily on doctors to make decisions for us. I always believed that we are not suppose to know more than our doctors. I've turned that around. When it comes to our own bodies and minds, WE are our best advocates. It is up to us to do the research and ultimately make the decision that is best for us. Debbie, I am so happy for you that you took matters into your own hands.
I wish you well
Miriam

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.


vestabula
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 9/3/2010 8:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Well said, MT.  So many doctors are pressured to prescribe drugs that may not be in our best interest due to staggering lawsuits that they are faced with every day because a patient may complain that they were not treated properly.  My gyno has a sign on his office wall.  'The reason you are paying $180 for your pap smear is because my malpractice insurance is $125,000 a year."
 
I know my doctor meant no harm when he prescibed an SSRI and Benzo that did NOT sit well with me, but he was unaware of the interactions and the w/d effects.  They cannot keep up with everything when so many new drugs are marketed every day.  As chronic pain patients, we have to do our own research...not doing so could kill us.
 
Thank you, Sherrine for this post.  If it wasn't for you, I would not know what I am struggling with now...never crossed my mind until you looked it up for me.   You spend countless hours doing research for us and in this case, you have saved several members from continuing to take meds that were obviously doing them harm.
 
We Wuv you
 
Donna

MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 9/3/2010 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes Sherrine thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, truly very much appreciated, the time you spend doing research for us all
gentle hugs
M

Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.


hisfaithful1
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 9/3/2010 11:53 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 
 
You ladies are both so right. I have no angst against my doctor either. Though I admit my knee-jerk reaction was anger. I know he had my best interest in mind, when he prescribed me the Effexor. 
Also it helped to get myself educated about Serotonin Syndrome.
 
  Miriam,   I had also came to the same conclusion years ago that many people put doctors up on a pedestal. My aunt was married to one, and I seen first hand that their so very human just like everyone else. 
 
Sherrine's post was a huge help, and I read everything else I could find.
We live, we make mistakes, and hopefully we  learn something from our mistakes.
 
Sherrine, you are such a big help to all of us here.  So many others here at this forum are too.  Thanks to all of you for your caring spirits, and for being willing to help, and encourage others despite what you go through yourselves.
 
Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
 
Colossians 3: 13
 
 

Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17100
   Posted 9/3/2010 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I was one of them that grew up believing that doctors had all the answers.  But, as I said before, there is absolutely no way they can remember all people expect of them.  They are only human and it has to be one of the most stressful jobs on the planet, too!  That's why I research things before I take the medication.  Also, I bounce things off the pharmacist, too.  They know a lot about medication reactions. 
 
I wish all the pharmacies would have an alert when two or more of these medications that could possibly cause serotonin syndrome are prescribed for a person.  (Most people haven't heard of this syndrome.  I know I hadn't.  It's rare but if you are one of the unfortunate ones to develop this, it's good that you can catch things in time.)  They do that with narcotics!  At least, you would get a phone call and then could really check things out.  But, I think many of you were given samples.  Oh, well.  I don't know what the answer is but just to be vigilant and be your own advocate when it comes to your health care.  NO ONE knows your body better than you do! 
 
I'm very glad that you are doing better, Debbie, Donna, and Miriam...actually anyone that has benefited from the forum.  We are all here to help one another.  I do thank you all for your show of love.  It's right back at you!
 
Sherrine
 
 
Forum Moderator/Fibromyalgia
************************
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

hisfaithful1
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 9/4/2010 7:14 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 
 
My fear is Serotonin Syndrome is going to become more of a common problem.
It seems like recently they have come out with more meds that have this risk.
 
I hope I'm wrong because it was a horrific experience for me.
It would be awful for others to have to suffer through it. I think it's a smart idea you have there Sherrine about a warning when 2 or more are being prescribed.
 
Well DH and I are off to Wal-mart, trying to get there before it gets really crowded!
Yeah right !  eyes
 
Have a blessd day all of you.
 
Debbie S
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