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Hoffy Bunny
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/8/2012 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I just had my last dose of zoloft two days ago, as I mentioned. Today I am having major brain zaps. If I limit movement then they aren't that bad but it's very unnerving and annoying. I was just wondering if this will be permanent or if they will go away when the zoloft is completely out of my system for the first time? I am going to call my doctor tomorrow if they aren't better or get worse, but for now I have no option but to do my own internet research. Any answers?

ameyers6
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 1/8/2012 10:23 PM (GMT -6)   
what is this a common side effect from zoloft?
i have not had it on celexa 10mg
took zoloft for 1 week and did
is it zoloft that causes it

Fox7
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 831
   Posted 1/9/2012 1:51 AM (GMT -6)   
It is a common discontinuation symptom of weaning off of any ssri. It could last as long as a few weeks, or it could go away sooner. If I can remember correctly, I think each time I came off of an ssri, it lasted about a week or so. Don't worry, it is perfectly normal to have this happen, and it will go away. Hope this helps ease your mind a bit.....Fox

ameyers6
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 1/9/2012 1:54 AM (GMT -6)   
so it only happens coming off?
hope so i started getting anxiety that i was gonna have it while on 10mg of celexa

Sunshine29
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 1/9/2012 7:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Did you wean off slowly or just stop. If you weaned off, please tell me how u did it. Im down to splitting my 25mg in half..but i had a mini anxiety episode the other day. Is breakthrough anxiety a side effect of weaning off? if so, I rather stay on. :) Also, I was wondering if maybe the anxiety is worse when pms-ing? Thanks in advance for any information.
Sunshine

Hoffy Bunny
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/9/2012 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I was on 200mgs of Zoloft and stepped down 50mgs every two weeks. The withdrawal was hell (still is) but I am (was) mega determined to just get it over with so I dealt with it. Yeah it bites the big one but I know soon enough I'll be rid of the side effects.

Fox7
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 831
   Posted 1/9/2012 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hoffy..... In my personal opinion, you weaned yourself off too fast. Every time I have ever weaned off, I did it decreasing by just 12.5 mgs every two weeks, and never had a hard time.

ameyers..... As far as I know it only happens with discontinuing ssri's. That's the only time i've ever gotten the zaps, I never got them while going ON the med.

Sunshine..... It is perfectly normal to have an increase in anxiety at certain times of your cycle. Especially while you're "pms-ing".

Hoffy Bunny
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/9/2012 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Well the doctor's instructions were to do it that way, as I was having some embarrassing issues that I would rather not discuss that were thought to be a side effect of being on the meds, so the goal was to get me off as soon as humanly possible. The withdrawal symptoms included body aches, headaches, nausea, insomnia, and intense vertigo for a few days. Now I am having brain zaps but they are getting to a point where they are mild enough to just be an annoyance.

Fox7
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 831
   Posted 1/9/2012 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Ah, I see! I have a feeling I know what kind of "issues" you were having. I also understand your reluctance to talk about it because it is VERY personal, and some people don't like to discuss their personal business online. I was just wondering why you weaned so fast, didn't mean to be "nosey". Hope everything is working out better for you. The zaps should start going away soon though. Take care, Fox

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/9/2012 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Brain Zaps are a well known side effect of antidepressant withdrawal but they can happen (esp with long term intermittent use) with benzos as well.  The pain medication Tramadol may also cause brain zaps, shocks or shivers. I believe that the SSRIs are the biggest offenders and I hope you are soon through with the shocks.
 
Take care,
 
Kitt


~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

Hoffy Bunny
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/12/2012 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Just wanted to give an update if anyone still reads this thread or cares.

The brain zaps got too intense, also there were added symptoms. Severe irritabilty, mood swings, and even a bit of paranoia, added to that is nausea and chills. So today I am seeing my doctor as she said I could go on prozac for a bit and taper down off of that if I was having these problems.

My biggest worry is my health care as been cancelled and I have to go through the process of getting back on it, so affording the much needed meds is goint to be a PITA. My case worker says that Prozac is rather affordable in way of prescription meds and though I probably have enough money to cover it, I don't know yet, I also don't know exactly if I will be put on prozac or something different.

After going through a very weird emotional state last night where I was bawling my eyes out from stress at the same time I was laughing uncontrollably at the smallest things I found funny, I am really glad I was able to get an appointment so soon to fix this. I have never been this weird before and I highly doubt it has anything to do with lack of medication as opposed to just the side effects it creates. Even if my weird emotions are due to not being on anything I would like to find that out when I don't have a myriad of withdrawal effects behind it, so I am going to continue the weening process. Hopefully, going back on a weaker SSRI will help ease the symptoms until I can finally be rid of SSRIs long enough to see how I feel without them and excluding the SSRI withdrawl symptoms.

As my mental stablity was completely fine on the very lowest dose of zoloft before i cut it off completely as ordered, I believe very much that I will be fine without meds if I can get rid of the darn symptoms that come with SSRI withdrawal. Wish me luck and I guess I just want to recognize how badly I did not want to go back on meds even if it meant getting to go off them again that I waited this long to admit defeat and ask for help.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/12/2012 10:33 AM (GMT -6)   
HB,
 
Please don't feel you are a loser, a quitter or any of the negative feelings that our minds want to tell us when we choose to go back on medications.  I know how easily it is to blame yourself for what is really our bodies fault as it has reacted to the withdrawal of the medicaiton. 
 
You seem to have gotten hit with all the possible withdrawal sx and your sx definitely call for the help of your Dr.  I am glad you are able to see your Dr. so quickly.
 
You may want to check with Walmart or one of the pharmacies that has the $4.00 prescription plans to see what AD may be covered through this plan.  Also they will tell you the cost of the medications so you will have that information before you see your Dr.  This may help you and your Dr. in choosing which medication to use.
 
I hope things get better for you quickly and do keep us posted as we do care and we do read everyone's posts here in the forum.
 
Blessings,
Kitt
 
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

sw232561
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/21/2012 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
All, I am contemplating suing my psychiatrist for not informing me of these Brain Zaps, nor for it being on the list of possible side effects.

There are brain zaps, but then there are brain ZAPS. Some are with such intesity (this is from being ON, not weaning off of, Viibryd) that I fling off of my bed thinking my head is about to be zapped into toast.

My quality of life for a week, was nothing short of being in a living hell. Have you heard of these experiments where they electrocute a rat every time it is about to go to sleep to see the effects of sleep deprivation? My life was nothing short of that. Not only would I get a brain zap on queue (not necessarily the big ones) after closing my eyes for 20 seconds, but I'd get a Myoclonus jerk (muscle jerk) that would wake up the neighbors. I videotaped these episodes, and I could have won a role in the exorcist my head and body were shaking so bad. I was crying (I don't cry) to be able to sleep, it was horrific.

NO depression or anxiety (ironic) could POSSIBLY be bad enough to even risk the CHANCE at having these kinds of symptoms.

Well things are better now (thank God), but I'm pissed and want compensation for pain and suffering.

sw232561
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/21/2012 1:40 PM (GMT -6)   
OH!! I forgot the best part! After waking up my psychiatrist with grave concerns about what was happening to me, he proceeded to DOUBT MY SYMPTOMS (since I wasn't in the process of weaning off yet, he thought there was no way I could be having withdrawal symptoms so quickly)!!!!! Wow, talk about insult to injury. Yeah sure I was flipping out, who the hell wouldn't? His last comment, "Ok, I'm going back to sleep". Yeah enjoy your sleep Doc.

Veestarlet
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 1/21/2012 4:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Brain caps are very real! I can totally sympathize. When I came off of paxil that's exactly what I had for about two months. It was terrible and people didn't believe me which was so frustrating. The feeling is so terrible but it will pass. I'm sorry your going through this.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/21/2012 4:09 PM (GMT -6)   
sw,
 
Hello and welcome to HealingWell. 
 
I did some reading up on Viibryd and it appears that brain zaps while on this medication are being experienced by many people. I am so sorry to hear you are one of them. As this drug just hit the market in June of 2011 I would strongly suggest you contact the manufacturer and report this as an adverse reaction to this medication. Viibryd is distributed by Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. By filing a report you will be helping others who may be started on this drug. 
 
Honestly?  While I certainly feel for your situation, I  feel that suing your doctor may be  wrong....it wasn't like he prescribed it with malice.  He was trying to help you. The prescribing info does not seem to mention brain zaps while on the medication.  There are other options out there for you.  I think you should obtain another opinion....if you are properly tapered off the med, while perhaps adding a completely different medication, you may be surprised at the results. All of this is simply my opinion.
 
Best of luck to you...think it through and first and foremost, take care of yourself by seeing another doctor so you can address the issues you are having.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
 
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

sw232561
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/21/2012 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Kitt for your response. Here are my concerns:

1) Regardless of Viibryd, I don't believe ANY of these psychotropic medications list "Brain Zaps" as a side effect. For me, I'd pick nausea and headaches over those any day. Why, for such a common concern, are these not listed??

2) My psychiatrist, nor anyone else for that matter, seems to be able to know if brain zaps (or even these Myoclonus jerks) would go away as time goes on (again, not in the weaning off stages, but while maintaining a constant dose).

It seems the medical community has really screwed up on this one, it's scary how obvious this is to many of us, yet nothing is really documented about it.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/22/2012 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
sw,
 
I understand your issues much better then you think and I agree with your points.  I have a 30 year history of anxiety and depression/major depressive disorder.  I know from my own experience that the Drs. often know less then I do about the medication's dose and side effects as well as the withdrawal issues but at one time I went in trusting my Dr. to be the expert at prescribing drugs.
 
I know you can have brain zaps while on a maintainance dose of a medication because I have had them but mine were only brain shivers.
 
I was told by my Pdoc that certain meds would do the trick only to have doses increased and doubled and to have bad reactions to meds.  Cymbalta was the one I reported to the Pharm company. 
 
I fought hard not to go on Effexor as I heard it was the worse AD to wean from but my depression had gotten so bad that my Dr. mentioned shock therapy which scared me more and I felt backed into a corner so I tried the Effexor. Yes I have a therapist too.
 
My Dr. swore that the ADs she prescribed for me did not cause weight gain.  No the med did not but it's side effects did so she was splitting hairs.
 
My Pdoc refers to "my agenda" now days when I see her.  I feel this is a good thing as I do my homework and I know from experience that nobody tells you how tough these drugs are. 
 
It is not just these drugs but any drugs.  You do receive an info sheet from the pharmacy when you pick up your drugs but I would venture to guess most people do not read them indepth and they also don't understand the jargon. And your right, important info is not included in the data. 
 
The pain medication, Tramadol, is another drug that can cause brain zaps but I doubt that many patients are told this when they are handed the prescription.
 
OK, I am getting a bit off track but just wanted you to know I do understand what you are saying and feeling.
 
Take care,
Kitt
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"
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