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Ssri's Make A Big Difference?

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:P Hello all,

I didn't even know that I might have autonomic problems until I tried going off Paxil. Two months later, my hands and feet started tingling. I started to throw up all the time. I had severe diarrhea. My weight fell 10 pounds in one month. I was "blacking out," particularly climbing stairs. My heart rate upon standing would top out at 160 bpm. Worst of all, I felt like adrenaline, not blood, was circulating in my veins. I was having nearly continuous panic attacks. I thought it was all psychiatric, until I stumbled upon information about POTS. A TTT, even after I had restarted the Paxil and was already feeling a lot better, showed a 34 BPM increase upon tilt.

Anyway, do any of the rest of you find that SSRI's make a big difference in your symptoms?


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I think you will find the answer to your question, and many other questions, is the same thing:

It depends on the person.

One person's wonder drug is another person's poison. If you just take a look at the main DINET site under 'what helps', there's a very long list of treatments. It's basically a trial and error thing for many of these, with some guidance from how your body has responded to other various treatments, what your tests showed, what your primary issues are that are bothersome, etc.

For example, I have tachycardia everyday, and frankly I don't notice it. For other people, tachycardia may be what bothers them the most and so meds to control heart rate may rate as a higher priority than I would place it. For me, I'd put sleep and gut function way above bp and heart rate concern. . .

so, as I said, it depends... in my case, a low dose of lexapro helps. When I go off of it, my guts are way worse, as is my bp and heart rate control, which I take as a nice side gift.


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Sounds like a little bit of discontinuation syndrome also, as you might want to check www.paxilprogress.org to see if that is what happened when you were off the Paxil. I just have/am experiencing the discontinuation syndrome nightmare on top of my everyday POTS stuff and wish I had never of taken an SSRI, so everyone is different! It never seemed to help me while taking it either, so that could be the difference also.

- Tammy

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I take St. Johns wort. Antis- keep me up at night. I do need it for NCS. Having tryed numerous combinations of meds, the SSRI, norpace combo stopped the occurance of faints with zero warning. I have warning now and can abort the faint by laying down.

"Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors ? Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a major role in central regulation of heart rate and blood pressure. Activation of cerebral serotonin receptors results in a depressor effect, principally through sympathetic inhibition. Hence, SSRIs have been investigated for the prevention of neurocardiogenic syncope in patients who are refractory to other conventional pharmacologic treatments [34-38]. Nonrandomized studies suggest that the SSRIs fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac) and sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft) both may be beneficial in the prevention of neurocardiogenic syncope after 4 to 6 weeks of therapy. These agents are estimated to be effective in approximately 55% of patients with severe, recurrent neurocardiogenic syncope [34]. Additionally, in 1 study the recurrence rate in patients treated with paroxetine was 18% versus 53% in patients receiving placebo, a difference that is significant [39]. "


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I thought it might be Paxil discontinuation too, but I tapered down the medicine so slowly (5 mg. per month) and didn't have any problems at all until I'd been entirely off of it for two months. From what I've read, that's not typical of discontinuation (I spent plenty of time at Paxil Progress!)


Thanks for your answers. I was just curious if SSRI's seemed to help others like they seem to help me.

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Mrs. B,

If it works, go with it! :)

There are several people on this board who have very good luck with SSRI's....and for some it is the only tx they need to function.

I do well with a low-dose of Celexa (10 mg) but I had to try virtually all the SSRIs out there to find what worked.

If you want more info on SSRIs and personal experiences with them, I'd recommend doing a search--for SSRI, SSRIs, SSRI's, or for any specific SSRI like Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro, Zoloft, etc (as a TOPIC search) and you will find a LOT of personal info and tidbits.


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Hi all,

I am one of the ones for whom SSRIs are likely a long term drug. I started due to clinical depression and everytime I tried to go off I couldn't. At the time I had not been diagnosed with POTS. A year ago I had to taper off my SSRI for my TTT. I look about 6 weeks to taper off. It was okay for about 2 weeks and then slowly got worse. Then when I was off for almost a week before my TTT it was AWFUL. I was anxious, very dizzy, had problems with bright lights, visual disturbances, and more and more. It was really bad. As soon as the test was over I started slowly to get back on.

My neurologist is a believer that SSRIs are a good treatment for some people with POTS and I am one of them. He thinks me being on the SSRI before diagnosis delayed my symptoms from getting worse and getting to the point of diagnosis.

I am not about to say this is an answer for everyone, but when I tapered off the drug for my TTT it was clear I couldn't physically function without them.

Good luck with your journey.


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