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emily5863 emily5863

Seroxat adverse reaction

Hi there,

Im new to the group and so hopeful that someone will be able to help me with my dilemma.

To cut a long story short, I took 40mgs Seroxat for over fifteen years until reducing down to 20mg when I fell pregnant last year (I managed to taper quite quickly with liquid once pregnant-possibly the pregnancy hormones helped? As I had tried tapering twice previously and not succeeded). I felt pretty good throughout the pregnancy and noticed very few physical withdrawal symptoms.

Anyway, I had my baby four months ago and had bad postnatal anxiety. So my meds were put back up to 30mg for 2.5 weeks and then up to 40mg.

About a week after reinstating to 40mg, I started getting twitching and nasty spasms in my legs. I was also very shaky.

I immediately worried it might be serotonin syndrome, so I contracted my mental health team.

They were pretty adamant it wasn't, and said I could try reducing back down to 30mg (as I had only been on the 40mg again very briefly). I did this, but the twitching and spasms continued, accompanied by other horrible symptoms: full blown panic, wierd feelings of arousal in genital area, burning/prickling sensation all over skin, a wierd goosebump feeling with any stimulation such as brushing hair or teeth...I could go on.

Gradually I have reduced the meds right down as quite honestly I was petrified by these symptoms. Some of them have calmed down, but twitching and spasms/involuntary movements still there. I now also have general body pain and headache which I think may be more to do with withdrawal.

I would never have chosen to withdraw in the postnatal period, and not this quickly, but I feel like I have no choice as can't tolerate those awful symptoms.

Still the psychiatrist maintains its not serotonin syndrome but cannot explain why the symptoms started with the increased dose that I had previously been on for so many years without problems.

Does anyone have any theories on this? I have read that sometimes reinstating after a taper can make things worse....I did wonder if my nervous system had become sensitised and thus didn't like the higher dose. But why then do the symptoms remain?

Please help advise if you can.

6 Replies

  • Purpleheather emily5863

    That sounds truly awful! I’ve been on them for 23 years, but came off briefly 17 years ago to try something else. I went back on them and increased up to 50 mg. I had previously been on 60 mg. Had nothing like you describe. I was generally relieved that they worked again!

    The symptoms you describe though, I recognise from many years ago from different drugs. The spasms and twitching. I had that twice from 2 different medications - 1 was a benzodiazipine and the other a major tranquilliser. On both occasions, these symptoms didn’t start for a few days, but when they did it was awful. I was told I’d had an adverse reaction with both of them. In fact with the second one, I was actually given something to stop me having these symptoms. It took about an hour to work. No idea what it was though!

    it does sound like this is what’s happening to you. But why you should still feel like that, is very odd. Have you tried seeing your GP? I find that sometimes mental health people can be a bit dismissive, as in. “It’s probably in your mind!”. Failing that, if it is that severe, it may be worth going to your local A&E  and seeing a Dr there.

    Sorry I can’t offer more advice. But I hope you get it sorted!

    • emily5863 Purpleheather

      I was sure it was an adverse reaction, that's what it felt like to me.

      But I have been to every healthcare professional I can think of about this and they are all saying not (my GP, mental health team, even neurologist).

      The trouble is as you probably know, I can't just quit the drug cold turkey.

      I'm down to 7mg and I feel so awful, I'm terrified of the withdrawal but also of staying on them. Literally feel trapped.

      How did you get off it all those years ago? X

  • Purpleheather emily5863

    I cut down very quickly (probably took a week?), before starting on the other ones - Effexor. I was in a bad way then anyway, which is why I wanted to try something else, as I thought the Seroxat had stopped working. I felt awful on Effexor. Think I was on it for a couple of months. But of course, in hindsight, it may have been withdrawal symptoms from Seroxat! Once back on them, I felt better very quickly, so have stayed on them ever since (better the devil you know?).

    Had to increase to 60 mg three years ago, when I had a major breakdown caused by my ex husband. (Also took Mirtazipine for a year.) Still on 60 mg. Was hoping to cut down dose, but now I’m going through the same problem I had 17 years ago! (My beloved cat is dying.) My GP is suggesting trying something different. Talk about history repeating itself! So really unsure what to do right now.

    Has your GP suggested you try something different? I know a lot of people who take Sertroline, which sounds similar to Seroxat. X

    • emily5863 Purpleheather

      I'm reluctant to switch to another medication incase I have the same problem or worse 🤔

      Really sorry to hear about your cat- I can imagine how awful that is sad We have a dog and cat and I would be the same in your position.

      Did you have physical symptoms when you stopped the seroxat and went on the other med? X

    • Purpleheather emily5863

      The symptoms I had were increased blood pressure, nervousness & diahorrea (i’m normally constipated!). I just assumed it was the Effexor. 

      I did come off it one time before then. Cold turkey. Went pack on after about 10 days as I had dizziness. Didn’t put 2 and 2 together then. It was obviously withdrawal. Back then the doctors weren’t sure about withdrawal effects, as it hadn’t been around very long.

      People on here have talked about vivid dreams and electric shock sensations when withdrawing.. I’ve had vivid dreams ever since I STARTED taking them! The electric shock sensations I occasionally get too, whilst taking Seroxat. Seems to happen whenever I am ill with a slight temperature.

      Problem seems to be that still not much is known about this drug. SSRIs are still considered fairly recent. Before them Tricyclics were used. They had other side effects - lethargy and weight gain. Seroxat was recommended to me as I have OCD, as well as anxiety and depression. It has definitely helped with OCD!

      The Mirtazipine I took for a year was quite effective if you suffer with anxiety as well as depression. I stopped taking it as I was worried about weight gain. It’s well know for that apparently. It was fine at first as I was hardly eating after my breakdown, but eventually my appetite came back! There are so many new ones on the market now. But I DO have to take something, unfortunately. X

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