Severe dizziness is this a lyme symptom or side effect from lexapro

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Sarahjane09
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 12/17/2017 4:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, I have been having a really rough week and trying to figure out what exactly is triggering this these severe dizzy spells and feeling off balanced. Due to my lyme diagnosis I already deal with brain fog and feeling dizzy or off balanced at times but it has become very severe lately and I have almost passed out at work a couple times. I took 3 days off last week and went in Thursday and Friday still have the spells. I literally just laid down during lunch and that helped some. Also having a lot more difficulty concentrating again and tolerating lights/sounds- have dealt with these symptoms before and it’s bad again.

I’m just very lost in trying to figure out what is causing this sudden new symptom or severe increase of an old symptom I should say. I did have a bad lyme flare prior to this spell of almost passing out. My bc was slightly elevated when this happened and hr was 131. Mine does run high and can be that high during flare.
I’m very concerned bc I started taking lexapro about 3 and half weeks ago due to an episode of severe depression/anxiety with a known trigger. I have recurrent depression and anxiety was on Zoloft for a month years ago and it caused an increase in depression so have been scared to use SSRI’s since then. I have “managed” with natural supplements and have taken Xanax as needed (not too often) the past several months. I felt that it was severe enough that I almost checked myself into the hospital and felt that I couldn’t be left alone so I asked my LLMD for an antidepressant.

My friend takes it and has done well on it with a few side effects but nothing like what I’ve experienced. I’m just so lost and confused over what to do. Lyme has been such a nightmare and it seems like no matter what I do there is so new challenge or complication waiting for me. Does anyone have a similar experience with lexapro. I did have a severe flare before this happened and I also had a spell of almost passing out severe lighheadeness maybe a couple months ago(prior to starting this drug)

My mood has improved on the drug and I feel stable but I have been obviously feeling more and more worried about this symptom and if it’s from the Lyme or the lexapro.

I am currently taking riphampin and minocycline for Lyme-have been in for couple months along with tindizole every other day. My doc advised to stop tindizole bc it can cause dizziness. I just messaged her again asking about the lexapro.

Have been on lyme treatments for approx 2 years and was making good progress on the current antibiotics before this happened. I’m scared that my lyme is just taking over again after having such an improvement. It’s very discouraging and confusing. I would just stop taking the lexapro and see if symptoms resolve but read that people had severe symptoms trying to wean off lexapro as well. So wanted to get more opinions and wait to hear from my doctor

Please let me know if anyone has any experience with lexapro and or any thoughts suggestions for me. I’m so frustrated and dont know what to do.
Thanks guys!

bleepitybleep
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 12/17/2017 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I hope someone else can answer this question too. I've had vertigo and severe dizziness every day for 4 months since completing 10 days of doxy for RMSF (did another 10 days a few weeks later). I have some short periods of feeling "okay", but never go w/o at least 25 episodes per day that can last for 30 minutes or more if I'm unable to go sit down with my head rested or lie on my side (can't lie on my back b/c that will set it off too). I've been diagnosed w/nystagmus, but neuro and PT thinks it may be originating from my neck (the neuro doesn't believe in Lyme, but the PT thinks it's part of my problem). I also have jaw and trigeminal nerve issues at times.

I'm scared to do the heavy doses of abx so I'm only on herbal meds. I can't imagine what more abx might do to me (or the bacteria's reaction, die off and shedding) might do to me, but then I don't know what the bacteria on its own might do either.

I am pretty much home bound b/c of this most of the time just to settle down the vertigo..

BabsBunny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 530
   Posted 12/17/2017 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
The only antidepressant that made me dizzy was Wellbutrin, and it subsided after a week. However, going OFF Lexapro and Effexor have made me very very dizzy and sick from withdrawal.

I got lyme as I was finishing up SNRI withdrawal, switching to a naturopathic solution., and symptoms were exactly the same as Lyme symptoms.. I only suspected Lyme bc of sudden muscle weakness.

Mentally I’m doing very well, SSRI’s are 1 year and 3 months out of my system forever. So my bad dizziness is no longer withdrawal. It is now Lyme, and caused by inflammation in my ears trapping fluid. My lifesaver has been CurcumEvail - a turmeric supplement suspended in sunflower lecithin which makes it incredibly bioavaialble and at 1000mg a cap, very potent. At two a day, my dizziness and joint pain are GONE. Sure, I still have some muscle weakness and bad knees, but no longer that nagging incessant unbearable ache in my bones. Only mildly when herxing. As soon as I stop the turmeric, I get dizziness and pain again. (Is made by Designs For Health. There’s an identical product (questionable origins and purity but it works the same) called Bio-Curcumin Plus (I think, they’ve changed the name) by Adaptogen Research available on Amazon which is about $15 cheaper)
Lyme, Babesia, Bartonella. Symptoms began 5/2016, didn't start treatment until 9/2016. Slow but steady recovery.

*twitch twitch*

BabsBunny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 530
   Posted 12/17/2017 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
As far as depression goes, I also take Fish oil, 5-htp, GABA, b-vitamins and Tyrosine. The finishing touch that seems to cure my depression is a strict diet- some foods actually turn my depression on and off like a switch! I was on SSRIs for 15 years and hated what they did to my mind and never really got me JOYFUL. Just surviving. Naturopathic medicine changed my life, so I’m a huge advocate of staying off the pharmaceuticals. I have Xanax for emergencies, but have never used it. I used to take Ativan but it turns me into a zombie since quitting SN/SSRI’s. I’ve tried it all and felt hopeless. No matter how awful Lyme gets, I’m so HAPPY to have cured my depression through natural means. It’s so freeing!
Lyme, Babesia, Bartonella. Symptoms began 5/2016, didn't start treatment until 9/2016. Slow but steady recovery.

*twitch twitch*

KB69
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 236
   Posted 12/18/2017 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sarah,

I don't have a lot of answers for you, but wanted to say that I'm sorry for what you're going through. It's really hard to figure out how to move forward when you're not sure what's going on. I've been having a similar challenge the last two weeks in trying to figure out whether Zoloft, and subsequently weaning off Zoloft, was causing my waves of dizziness or whether it was related to a long-lasting IM Bicillin (injection) herx.

I'm feeling worse than ever since starting Bicillin. It's pushed all of my neuro symptoms through the roof, and caused a type of dizziness I've never experienced before. At least, I thought it was due to Bicillin.

I had also started Zoloft @ 50 mg per day for 4 weeks prior. When the dizziness hit (after moving slowly from 25 to 50), I asked my LLMD if it was due to Zoloft and he said to wean off of it. So, I'm now weaning off and the dizziness is still horrible. Now, I'm wondering if weaning off is making it worse.

I didn't have dizziness with my first Bicillin shots, so I'm thinking this is related to Zoloft, but I have no way of knowing for sure.

I see my LLMD next in 10 days, and am hoping he will have answers then. I'm trying to hang in there -- hope you can, too.

KB69
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 236
   Posted 12/18/2017 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
BabsBunny, how long did it take for your dizziness from SSRI withdrawal take to calm down?

BabsBunny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 530
   Posted 12/19/2017 11:07 AM (GMT -6)   
KB69 said...
BabsBunny, how long did it take for your dizziness from SSRI withdrawal take to calm down?


It is so hard to tell because as I was finally getting relief from withdrawal, I got Lyme, and the two melted together.
I was on 225 mg of Effexor for 5-6 years, and other AD’s for a total of 15. I knew from switching before that it could be brutal, so I actually pulled apart the capsules and counted out the little beads into an empty capsule, and did a super super slow taper- took about 9 months to get off completely. Maybe I could have pulled off quicker and got over it quicker (conventional docs like to stay it will take 2-4 weeks to taper), but I was trying to maintain a job and not commit suicide.

My ND said she would have given me all the support - fish oil, hormones, amino acids, etc- BEFORE I started the taper, and my body would have handled it much better. But my system was so depleted it couldn’t handle the withdrawal well. I only came to her in desperation in the middle of it, so we did what we could. If I’d started with her, she’d have built my “army” before going into battle.

Sorry I can’t be more help than that, but my main message is that it DOES go away. Both chronic depression and I do believe Lyme, can be in your past. It takes patience, but is soooooo worth it.
Lyme, Babesia, Bartonella. Symptoms began 5/2016, didn't start treatment until 9/2016. Slow but steady recovery.

*twitch twitch*

Dahlias
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 465
   Posted 12/19/2017 1:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Could it be POTS?

Sarahjane09
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 12/21/2017 5:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for your responses. I split my dose in half and have been taking 5 mg of lexapro since Monday and dizziness is so much better. Have not had anymore spells of feeling like I’m passing out. I hope that it was just a bad reaction to the med but I guess time will tell. I’m already noticing myself feeling a bit more down already but I just don’t think I was tolerating the lexapro well at all. My doc said to get off of it and see if symptoms get better and we will try something else. I am feeling a lot better though and haven’t even had any bad flares so far this week. *fingers crossed*
Does anyone have suggestions of how long to take to wean off of it? I figured I would take half for a week or 2 and then stop. I’m hoping to avoid a bad withdrawal.

BabsBunny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 530
   Posted 12/21/2017 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Sarahjane09 said...
Thanks everyone for your responses. I split my dose in half and have been taking 5 mg of lexapro since Monday and dizziness is so much better. Have not had anymore spells of feeling like I’m passing out. I hope that it was just a bad reaction to the med but I guess time will tell. I’m already noticing myself feeling a bit more down already but I just don’t think I was tolerating the lexapro well at all. My doc said to get off of it and see if symptoms get better and we will try something else. I am feeling a lot better though and haven’t even had any bad flares so far this week. *fingers crossed*
Does anyone have suggestions of how long to take to wean off of it? I figured I would take half for a week or 2 and then stop. I’m hoping to avoid a bad withdrawal.


The shorter the time and smaller the dose you've been on, the less time it should take. Without seeing a professional, I'd say the best things to do to help withdrawal would be eating well (cut out as much sugar and processed foods as you can). Take vitamin D, a B-vitamin complex, and high quality fish oil.
Lyme, Babesia, Bartonella. Symptoms began 5/2016, didn't start treatment until 9/2016. Slow but steady recovery.

*twitch twitch*

Spanish
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 12/22/2017 12:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I had terrible dizzyness after starting mino but not sure if it was the abx or the lyme, I mentioned it to my GP who doesnt believe I have lyme and he prescribed a med called cerc 16mg normally for the treatment of vertigo it made a massive difference.

bleepitybleep
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 12/22/2017 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Spanish, I'll have to look into cerc 16mg. I am barely functioning... literally even turning to get dressed or shower sets off bad dizziness/head pressure & vertigo (diagnosed and in PT for, but even the PT thinks it's more Lyme than the neurologist's opinion that it's my c-spine - he too is a Lyme non-believer, but I knew he would be).

Spanish
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 12/22/2017 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Id say its worth a try, i noticed an improvement almost immediately, i hadnt been able to drive for weeks but after taking it i felt up to driving the very next day. Of course it could just be coincidence,so please let us know how you get on.

KB69
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2017
Total Posts : 236
   Posted 12/22/2017 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi SarahJane, my LLMD has me weaning off Zoloft. I was on 50 mg for 3 weeks, but had to stop due to stomach upset and horrible waves of dizziness (especially when I moved my eyes).

He initially had me move to 25 mg for 1 week and then 25 mg every other day for 1 week. When I got to every other day, the dizziness re-emerged. So, I'm doing another week at 25 mg, and then every other week.

Like Babs said, the less time you've been on the SSRI, the shorter the weaning process. That said, my LLMD said that with Lyme/Co's our CNS is so taxed that sometimes it's takes a little longer than would be the normal process.

Pace yourself and you should be fine.

Sarahjane09
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 1/1/2018 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys for the replies. I have an update and was hoping to see if anyone had a similar experience. I cut down to 5 mg after being on lexapro for only 3 and half weeks due to the severe dizziness. I was on 5 mg for almost a full 2 weeks and doing a lot better no severe dizziness. I quit lexapro completely on Sunday and at 2 am monday morning had severe stomach pain and vomited several times and almost passed out a couple times. I’m absolutely miserable and wondering how long this will. I had very little appetite the past couple days but didn’t think much of it and still forced myself to eat some due to the meds I’m on. I do have a fever of 100.1 and still having bad stomach cramps and very achy but no vomiting since 6am thank god. Don’t plan on trying to eat till tommorow.
I initially thought it was the stomach flu bc it has been going around but now wondering if it’s ssri withdrawal. It’s so hard to say what’s causing what. I seriously hate lexapro with a passion if that’s what’s causing this. Was hoping for some feedback if anyone had a similar experience. I had an appt with my llmd but may not be able to go bc I can’t imagaine riding in a car like this for over an hour to get there. :/ ugh so discouraged and frustrated. Thanks for reading smile

Dahlias
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 465
   Posted 1/1/2018 10:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I have not taken Lexapro, but does it reduce inflammation in the nervous system? I tried Lamictal once for that purpose and it seemed to help, but when it wore off, I think the inflammation returned I spent a couple hours on the edge of passing out. It was scary.

How are you doing? Were you able to go to your appointment?
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