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Could POTS be caused by medication?


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After having a session with my pschycologist yesterday, and discussing mainly the impact that POTS is having on my life, he was interested to know exactly how it started.

A little bit of history. I was diagnosed at age 12 with severe depression, and was put on Prozac and Imovane (Sleeping Pills), which I continued to take until I was 20. I was also put on other nasty medications like Chlorpromizine and Heliperdol and Cogentin (Spelling on all of those).

My pshyc tells me that your brain doens't fully develop until around age 25, where all the wiring is pretty much locked in place (his words).

He wonders if being prescribed a high dose of anti-depressants, along with sleeping pills and psycho-tropic drugs could have somehow damaged the 'wiring'.

I don't know if any research has been done on this?

My memories of being a teenager are very, very foggy, and when I think back to that time, I generally can't tell if the memories I have a real, imagined or a dream.

It was a very unfortunate time, and the doctors all of a sudden had all of these fantastic new drugs that were supposed to make things better - unfortunately, I got stuck in a trap, and as I was underage, my parents had the say in what I was prescribed, and the medications and doses just kept getting stronger and stronger.

My pshyc thinks it's a miracle that I am now 28 and farily 'normal' considering I was taking such heavy medication at such an important stage in my development.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

I think it is irrelevant now - even if this is a cause for POTS, I think it is too late now to correct it. But you never know, if it is a cause - there may be a cure???!!?

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well here is my thought... haloperidol.. is a very heavy duty drug.. I was on it for a time.. (i was majorly misdiagnosed w/ having Bi-polar w/ rapid manci cycles... turned out it was flashbacks from trauma causing me problems... as the flashbacks I was having were hallucinatory flashbacks... a diference!)

But my point being psychiatrist are wuick to lable you qitht he popular mental disorder of the times... and I know that haloperidol.. is just so potent.. and would really mess me up after taking.. but i began taking it after I was diagnosed with pots... it did make my pots worse...I'm not sure what the other 2 medsa re that you are referring too..

But.. you can get pots by chemical exsposure right??

So these heavy drugs are chemicals... so I wondering if they ddint play a part in your pots?? I'm not saying that these drugs are the cause of you pots...these heavy drugs...some of them change your chemical reaction in your brain.. and some can be mood altering...and very wcked on the system..

I thinkthat they played apart in your illness..

that is my opinion and I may be way off here.. but I had at one point been on some heavy psych drugs.. .. I was really over medicated.. and wrongly.. misdiagnosed... thinking that oh they must be right!! when they werent!!

sorry i have got off on abit of a rmable there.. but yeah.. that is my opinion.. just from my own personal experience.. and reading on medications and what not..

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Actually yes - if the people at the Baker Institute are correct with their finding in that POTS is caused by impaired norepinephrine reuptake from a hypermethylated NET gene promoter, they have found that certain medications cause methylation of this gene - Reaccutane being one that they have found that causes this - and in theory triggers POTS

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I think personally that certain people are just predisposed to it and there many things that can trigger it, so yeah maybe the drugs could.

Right now, anything is possible. We are just at the infant stage of knowledge about this disease. When I first got out of nursing school, the majority of doctors still believed ms was all in your head. Look how far they've come with that. But it was the same questions being asked. What could be the causes, triggers, did mommy not love you enough, you name it.

Then people got serious and they've learned all kinds of stuff and now have some pretty decent treatments. My guess is the same will happen for this. And it will take a long time too and plenty of those mommies not loving you enough.

What was done to you was barbaric, but you may never know if it's the cause. If it is, all you could do at this point would be to try and stop it from happening to anyone else. My son was on meds for his temper and I shudder that we did that, but we were young and stupid and thought we were doing the right thing.

I actually stopped them, which fried my ex, but that's the way it goes. My son shows no long term effects and is 29 now. He is incredibly healthy, knock on wood. His brother never took any meds and has all kinds of health problems. So, again, who knows....morgan

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Hi d4g7

In your signature line, it said that you have Wolfe-Parkinson-White syndrome. From what I understand, that is an electrical conduction problem in the heart. Both WPW and POTS are associated with rapid heartbeat, but the cause is totally different. The treatment is different, too. I think that they can cure most cases of WPW with radiofrequency ablation. However, ablation can be a disaster for people with POTS, as some of the people who post on this forum can attest. The other important thing to consider is that WPW can be lethal, whereas ordinary POTS is "merely" disabling, as far as I can tell. Do you have a cardiologist you trust? Maybe your circulatory problems are curable.

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Thanks everyone, your posts are insightful and resourceful.

For myself, I am not worried too mcuh about how the POTS came about, although if it was from these medications, I would like to advise the correct people to at least avoid it happening to someone else.

Yes, I do agree that the treatment I received during that time was barbaric, however can appreciate the fact that all of a sudden these drugs became available and were supposed to treat my problems, unfortnately that wasn't the case, and to my understanding almost 20 years on, the long term effect of these medications is unknown. They were all very strong psychotropic drugs, and now I know were not the right treatment - but I was only 12 y.o. I couldn't argue too much about it.

For some reason I can see a possible link - if anything not to give minors such heavy duty medications (of course unless absolutely needed - in my case they weren't, they were just new and exciting).

The results of my neuro-pshycological testing will be forwarded to my neurologist - whether or not she takes the time to read and consider it is another matter....

Anyway for me, the damage has been done - I have POTS - if it is reversabl GREAT! If not, I can only try and make my voice heard -

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I agree about the WPW. It is very curable with ablation, one of those arrythmias that ablation IS indicated for. It won't help your pots, but WPW can only be exacerbating it. I would get ablation any day for an arrythmia it's indicated for, but never for anything associated with pots. And most people here know how I feel about ablation! :)

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Interesting comment about MS Morgan. My great great Uncle had Diabetes and actually died young from complications from it. At the time they had no Idea what part of a person's diet was causing it and their only suggested treatment was lying around and not exercising.

I bet one day if a pharm-company came up with a medicine that treated POTS effectively all of a sudden every GP under the sun would know all about it... All those pharm-company training sessions can be very informative for GPs.

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I'm sure I read somewhere htat Prozac can cause WPW in extremely rare cases--maybe you are one of them. This was actually questioned in me before I found a POTS specialist who diagnosed me.

I took SSRIs from the age of 14- yeah, that really helps you get over the sudden and unexpected death of a close family member, right? anyway, although I began fainting at the age of 12, and am sure it's all VERY closely connected to my menstrual cycle, I know for a FACT that SSRIs knock my autonomic nervous system even further of kilter than it otherwise would be.

I had a row with a neurologist in Scotland about this last year. I told him that SSRIS made me worse, so he gave me another one to take on top of what I already was prescribed! within an hour, I was face down on the floor, seeing BLACK and nothing else. I did an experiment myself and stopped all drugs for a week; within 7 days the fainting unconscious had all but stopped. A lot of the time now that's the way it stays- I rarely lose consciousness fully, unless I'm in a really terrible state.

I have turned down at least four opportunities to take SSRIs this year because I know that they will set me back instead of helping.

I suppose what I'm trying to say in a very rundabout way, kilty Oz man is YES: threse tablets might have affected you if you're like me.

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ramen- I agree fully with you idea about the pharmaceutical company.they are ruthless pigs.

I actually fear a "magic pill" for pots because who knows if its really on the up and up. we are all sooanxious for relief, but who knows the long term. I had an during the seventy's who suffered from some mysterious disorder that the docs finally said was MS but even at the time you could tell they didn't even believe it. It wasn't and Istill don't know what killed her, but i know the ignorance of the drs and pharmy's sure didn't help.

there is too much money in pills.

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