Discontinuation of Celexa and Brain Shocks; What would cause it to continue for years?

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pink814
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/7/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Back in 2001 or 2002 I was prescribed a mild dose of Celexa for depression and anxiety. After 5 months I decided that I didn't want to take it any more because it was causing me to feel numb and get angry for no reason. Instead of consulting a physician, I just dropped the drug cold turkey. The numb feeling lasted for several months after discontinuing Celexa, but I also had another symptom. I would get what I call "Brain Shocks". It was like a sudden volt of electricity shooting through my brain.

I read blogs where other people have described having the same symptom, but as a symptom of withdrawal. I have been having these "Brain Shocks" since 2001, and they won't go away.

What truly causes these "Brain Shocks"? Will they go away? Has anyone else experienced this long term?

p.s. It happens most frequently when I am trying to fall asleep.

Yanick
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 3/7/2009 9:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I used to get these also but very rarely. They came before I was about to sleep only when I was very very tired. I would get in bed close my eyes and ZAP that would get me right awake at first I got scared but then my mom told me that she also get these so I never made a big deal about it.

I had and still have depression and anxiety, I never took meds.

Yanick

pink814
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/7/2009 9:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Just to clarify...

This brain zap thing is not that sensation you get when your falling asleep that causes you to jump or twitch; this is something different, all felt in my brain. Like a bright flash along with a swooshing sound. It started due to the celexa, and I have read about other people experiencing the same thing after taking celexa.

pink814
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/7/2009 9:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Yep, I still have them... and when I brought them up with a doctor I got the same response. They said they have never heard of anything like it and treated me like it was all psychosomatic or, like I was a hypochondriac or something. Really pissed me off!

pink814
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/7/2009 9:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Nope. Never thought of it. You see, I'm not sure what causes these "Brain Shocks", and who knows... going back on Celexa might just make them worse. Also, I really hated being on Celexa, it was horrible. It was like an emotional roller coaster ride with a halting stop, and then nothing.

I guess by posting this, I am hoping to hear from someone who has experienced something similar and got an answer from a physician.

Mazfire
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 3/7/2009 11:50 PM (GMT -7)   

Ive never used Celexa, but ive had those brain shocks since i was 14. i still get them and i hate them.

Maz XX


            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
 
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Sinusitis, TMJ disorder, Endometriosis, PCOS, Chronic E.N.T and Upper respiratory tract infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD,  IBS, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Celebrex. Mobic. Panadeine Forte. Digesic. Nexium. Phenergan.
Multiple surgeries- I bear the scars of my poor physical health.
Age:28. AP first DX @ 10. Fibro etc DX @14. Proud Aussie.
 
 


pink814
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/8/2009 12:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Max, have you ever seen a doctor in order to find out the cause?

vestabula
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 3/8/2009 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   

Boy...I wonder if this is what I am experiencing.  I have been on Lexapro for over a year and started to taper off slowly...am down to a little under five mgs now.  For the past two weeks I have had these sensations that are so disturbing...feels like and adrenalin rush when I turn my head in either direction and I hear a heart beat or a 'woosh' sound in my head..a zap or a fullness feeling...can't really describe it.  It's almost like an exaggerated startle sensation.  I have been under a ton of stress lately and don't know if it's  an over load of adrenalin, or the drug.  I have also been struggling with fibromyalgia and Meniere's Disease lately so...who knows?

donna

 


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium


Hibee
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2585
   Posted 3/8/2009 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi

I do get brain shocks and I used to take Celexa but did not find that this med made the shocks any worse or better. I am now on 150mg of Effexor and find that this medication does seem to give me more brain shocks. I would go and speak to your doctor and see what he says.

pink814
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 3/8/2009 1:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Donna, you are experiencing the same thing. Visit my links bellow and you will find other people who have experienced these after taking anti-depressants.

Pink I had to edit the forum but the other is okay
Thanks for sharing with us
ANY questions......email me


Found this article:

http://depression.about.com/cs/citalopram/a/celexa.htm

And this Article:

http://theblondepharmacist.wordpress.com/2007/11/17/brain-shivers-brain-zaps-brain-shocks/

All about this same experience. So many people are experiencing this from anti-depressants, and doctors don't know what it is. I think that there should be some kind of study to figure out what it is.

Post Edited By Moderator (Howlyncat) : 3/8/2009 4:51:32 PM (GMT-6)


vestabula
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 3/8/2009 4:36 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Pink...I agree with you that the doctor seems at a loss when I mention it to him.  If the stupid Lexapro had done anything significant for the anxiety in the first  place, I'd stay on it.  Now, trying to get off it is a nightmare.  ZAP...BUZZ...WOOSH!  Thanks for the websites.

Donna


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium


mrsg
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/8/2009 11:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone. I'm so glad to have found a site with a current discussion about this topic.  I've been tapering off of Celexa for over a month now.  My anxiety/depression symptoms were fairly mild when I went on the drug about two years ago and I had absolutely no problems while on it, even switching bath and forth from Lexapro didn't bother me.  I was on 40 mg when I decided to go off so I could try to get pregnant.  I even scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist to advise me.  He said I might experience the head zap things, which I figured would be a very rare side effect.  He told me to cut down to 20 mg and then to 10, then to none.  I don't blame him, but the jump from 40 to 20 mg was too much to handle. 
 
After reading what some of you are saying about your doctors not mentioning the zaps, I am impressed that mine knew about them, but those came much later.  What happened first was a crazy reaction that no one I contacted had any experience with.  I have had TMJ for a long time and have always had a bit of a sensitive tooth from grinding during stressful periods.  I have gotten pretty good at realizing when I am doing it and not doing it as much.  But, when I went off Celexa it was though I was clenching and grinding involuntarily.  I had severe headaches that started in my jaw and radiated through my jaw and into my neck and into my eye socket...only on the side where I've had problems with clenching before.  about every two hours there would be an almost migraine type of headache sweep through my head, originating in my jaw.  This stopped when I went in for urgent care and was told to go back up to 30 mg!  The next week or so was still excruciating, though, as my muscles, teeth, gums, etc. felt like they were still in spasm or bruised internally or something.  I couldn't have water or food even go near that side of my mouth for over a week.  It was very bizarre.  If you looked closely at my face, you could even see it was a bit swollen on that side.  I am assuming that all of this happened because of the anxiety levels getting screwed with and my tendencies toward clenching and TMJ.  It was terrible. 
 
Because of this experience, I guess the brain zaps that I'm now experiencing are less bothersome.  They are weird, though, and I'd really hate to think that they will be here for any length of time after I am off Celexa.  I took my last pill about 5 days ago.  The zaps have been here for a few weeks.  I'd like to think that I won't need to get on anything ever again.  I've had about 5 or 6 brain zaps in the time I've written this.  I don't experience them as electrical as much as a pulsing feeling...one or two pulses through my head for a fraction of a second and makes me a bit dizzy and ends in my eyes and makes it fuzzy for about a millisecond. 
 
I hope it stops soon.  I will definitely think twice about getting on any drugs like this again or suggesting that friends or family might benefit from taking them.  Not that I do that a lot or anything.  wink

Mazfire
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 3/9/2009 12:51 AM (GMT -7)   
pink814 said...
Max, have you ever seen a doctor in order to find out the cause?
Every psychiatrist i have had has told me its part of the chemical imbalance combined with high dose antidepressants ive been on every day since i was 14- im nearly 29. They go away for ages, Zoloft has been great, but the last few weeks the 'shocks' have been coming back, particularly when im trying to fall asleep, whether its at night, or a nap on the weekend during the day..
it is a MOST disturbing sensation.
 
Maz XX
            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
 
Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, CFS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Sinusitis, TMJ disorder, Endometriosis, PCOS, Chronic E.N.T and Upper respiratory tract infections, Reactive Arthritis, GERD,  IBS, Glandular fever, Migraines, Anemia, Chemical/Noise/Light sensitivity, Trichotilomania, PTSD, Seasonal Mood  Disorder, OCD, Benign Vertigo,  Impaired immune system. Tachycardia, tinnitus, low clotting factor= bruising. Tendonitis, Bursitis.
Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Celebrex. Mobic. Panadeine Forte. Digesic. Nexium. Phenergan.
Multiple surgeries- I bear the scars of my poor physical health.
Age:28. AP first DX @ 10. Fibro etc DX @14. Proud Aussie.
 
 


Jen77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2199
   Posted 3/9/2009 2:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Yikes, that's what I take now. Sounds really awful and scary. It's really helping me though, I sure hope I don't ever get those. But as with someone with health anxiety I'm really gonna "try" and not worry about it! LOL

I sure hope you can find some answers and stop having those!
~Jennifer
 
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Lexapro.


tony2046
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/19/2009 8:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on paxil and effexor for about 10 years. I started having really bad side effects on effexor. Insomnia for two to three years, headaches, ringing ears, eye pain, heart palpitations, anger and some others. Needless to say I had to get off the meds. I stopped taking effexor over one year ago but am still suffering from ears ringing, insomnia and brain shocks. I agree with most other people in that it happens when I am just about to fall asleep, zap and I wake up. I have been to five or six doctors and most of them are not familiar with the problem. Taking any medication now, including alcohol seems to make the problem worse, so I don't even take aspirin any more. I suspect some sort of neurological damage caused by the meds but am not sure what exactly. I hope they find a solution or at least the cause.

mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 4/20/2009 5:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I asked my therapist what these were - I just weaned off of Lexapro (metabolite of celexa) and I had them for about a week. They were constant and uncontrollaby miserable for 2-3 days. I don't know if this makes sense, but this is what he told me they were:

When you are on an SSRI, your brain develops new paths in your neurotransmitters in your brain. The SSRI creates new pathways that help your serotonin levels etc. When you stop taking the SSRI, your brain is forced to create new pathways - the old ones "don't work". So you feel this "whoosh/zap/shiver" feeling as your brain adjusts and makes new neuro-paths of it's own without the medication.

Mine personally have pretty much gone away (it's been 8 days), but I will sometimes just a small one at night before bed as well.

They are so uncomfortable and impossible to describe!
Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


ad1
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 4/20/2009 7:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I am on celexa or citalopram as its called here and have been since December. I remember when I was younger I used to get these head rushes but they would happen very rarely, maybe once a year, I seem to vividly remember getting one in a maths lesson at school when I must of been about 12. The whole class was quiet with their heads down doing their work when it happened and I just couldn't concentrate, it just feels like everything is going twice as fast as normal but you are still aware of whats around you. Since i've been on citalopram I have had these head rushes three times, all coming in the last month so I'm not sure if it's aggravating it again. Anyway, it doesn't sound like it's the same as these "brain zaps" but I can't seem to find any information on it. Fortunately they aren't troublesome at all, it's just a very weird sensation and also happens pretty rarely. I spoke to my doctor about it and she said it was panic symptoms and lowered my dosage.

Angellore
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/16/2009 10:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Y'all! I have been having these zaps for at least 10 years. I used to have them when i was tired or resting, and i got the exactly same zaps when i stopped my zoloft, so yes they are the same zaps. Some time ago i took a natural supplement with tryptophan and b-vitamins which raises the serotonin levels and whenever i forgot to take it, i would get these zaps. I read somewhere that serotonin is importaint for blood vessel contractions and that lack of serotonin makes the blood vessles spasm. I am not sure if this is what causes the zaps or not. My teeth sometimes move back and forth when i have the zaps when i am tired which is wierd, i loose control over them.
 
Now for the interesting part: Gluten allergy can cause neurological problems. And yeast can cause the same immune reactions as gluten. Only about 20 % of people with gluten intolerance get symptoms from their stomage.
 
My zaps come when resting after eating yeast and things that share particles with yeast, like vinager, mushrooms, msg, grains and milk. And from antifungals like fex. coconut milk. Ow no not from milk. From that i get what feels like having coca-cola bubbles in the brain the day after i have eaten it. I also get cracking joints which is just wierd but probably thyroid related.
 
When i dont have these things in my diet, i am zap free. I have also seen that i can eat these things in the morning and not have zaps in the evening. I hardly ever have zaps when i am up and moving about.
 
I also cry for no reason about 3 days when i have eaten gluten. Watching romantic movies is impossible then.
 
When we are tired serotonin is transformed into melatonin which decreases serotonin levels, i have been thinking if it can somehow be related to this. Also if you have a vitamin b deficiancy serotonin will be transformed into vitamin b and this will decrease serotonin levels. For all Y'all having day zaps, maybe this can be why if not medicine related.
 
Hope someone finds this helpful
Cheers!

Lem97
New Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/28/2012 5:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I stopped taking it about a month ago because it honestly made me feel like I was crazy because I couldn't feel anything. It didn't help with my depression, just numbed out all of my emotions.
But ever since I stopped taking it, I've gained about 20 pounds, my emotions are all over the place, and my depression has just worsened. I don't experience any of those brain shocks, but I'm always tired now. And it seems that when i wake up, my entire body just hurts to move.
And Now, I'm even more depressed because I can't seemed to lose the weight. I do not want to start taking it again, I'm done with medicine.

But has this happened to anyone else?

Hibee
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2585
   Posted 5/29/2012 6:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lem97

Welcome to the forum I am glad you have found us and good to meet you. Sorry to here you are feeling more depressed I would suggest you go and speak with your doctor about how you are feeling. If you don't want to do the medication route there are lots of different types of therapy you can do such as CBT which you could ask your doctor about.

I would suggest you start your own thread as this one is an old one from 2009 that way I am sure you will get a lot more responses to your question.


Hibee

PS Copy and paste your post into a new topic with a new heading I know a lot of members have been on citalopram myself included. I have always switched from one medication to an other and have had all sorts of side effects/ withdrawal effects which usually calm down after a couple of weeks.
I try not to worry about the future -- so I take each day just one anxiety attack at a time.

ANXIETY & PANIC FORUM MODERATOR

Diagnosed with:- Asperger's Syndrome, dyslexia, gad, sad, ocd, depression, reactive arthritis and Scheuermann's Disease (Adult)
Medication:- 400mg Lyrica, 15mg Escitalopram, Serequel 25-50mg, 5mg Diazepam Naproxen 500mg, Co codamol 30/500 x 6.

Post Edited (Hibee) : 5/29/2012 7:44:49 AM (GMT-6)

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