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  #1  
Old 09-28-2007, 03:44 PM
Flake Flake is offline
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Question SSRIs and movement disorders

Hi...new kid here...wondering if anyone here has a movement disorder induced by an SSRI medication? Or any medication known to induce movement disorders (neuroleptics, antiemetics, etc.) If so, I'd like to hear your story. Thanks!
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:42 PM
spitball spitball is offline
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Hi Flake, What does SSRI stand for please? Do the medications induce movement disorders upon taking them, or if when you stop taking them? Is Dilantin one of the medications in this group?
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:08 PM
Flake Flake is offline
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Hey Spitball -- SSRIs are anti-depressants (technically, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). This class of drugs includes Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, etc... I believe Dilantin is an anti-convulsant/anti-epileptic. The reason I ask is that I developed OMD after taking Paxil and I've had 3 docs tell me that, in rare instances, SSRIs can induce dystonia. (Would have been nice if they had told me before I took it, huh?!) The dystonia is usually acute and goes away once you remove the offeding drug or are treated with an anticholergenic (I think I spelled that right!), but mine has not. I'm just trying to gauge an incidence factor. Thanks for inquiring!
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:00 PM
jirishboy jirishboy is offline
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Flake, I was diagnosed with Tardive (drug-induced) Dystonia after taking Prozac for an extended period of time. Incidences of acute drug-induced dystonia are usually self-resolving. Unfortunately, mine was of the tardive variety which tends to (but not always) occur after some time on the medication. Once it develops, it's almost always permanent.

Like you, I wish I had known that Prozac even had the potential to cause movement disorders. The problem, I believe, is that even the doctors didn't know of this possibility (and some still refuse to believe it). During the early 90s, Prozac, being a new class of anti-depressants called SSRIs, was touted as a revolutionary breakthrough. Here was an effective anti-depressant that was "safe as mother's milk." I mean, I half expected local municipalities to enact legislation to require it in the drinking water like fluoride.

Soon after the hype over this new "soma" began to die down, the reports of suicidal ideation in teens began to emerge. Prozac then lost a lot of it's luster. I am now wondering if we're just the tip of the iceberg regarding the whole movement disorder thing. It's my personal opinion that there is a lot of needless misery being caused by the "new" "safer" SSRIs, and the "new and improved" atypical antipsychotics like Risperdal.
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:11 PM
Flake Flake is offline
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It's a relief to know that I'm not the only one out there! I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis, jirishboy. What part(s) of your body are affected by the dystonia, and what do you do to treat it?

I agree with you about how these so-called "selective" serotonin reuptake inhibitors were marketed -- touted as safe and effective for everything from depression to OCD to shyness. I guess, like everything else, it's all about the money.

Research is starting to reveal that increasing serotonin levels in the brain produces a correlating drop in dopamine levels -- which would explain our situation, wouldn't it? This is the same problem they had with tranquilizers in the '50s -- twenty years later, people show up with tardive dyskinesia because those drugs inhibited dopamine directly. SSRIs just inhibit it by increasing serotonin. I think you're right about the tip of the iceberg, too -- I think we'll be seeing more people like you and I.

I know that the suicide/self-mutilation risk is much more serious -- but there should be something on the patient labeling about tardive dystonia -- or doctors should be aware of it and pass it on to the patient, who can then make an informed decision. Never, ever was the anxiety I experienced (which prompted the Paxil prescription) as bad as the dystonia is now.

Glad I found someone like me! Thanks for writing.
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Old 10-04-2007, 04:47 PM
jirishboy jirishboy is offline
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Yes, I'm afraid there are many more of us than was previously thought. My dystonia is segmental in that it affects my jaw (OMD) and neck (retrocollis). I also have some writer's cramp in both hands and an intentional tremor in one arm.

I've tried all of the available medical interventions to no avail. Finally, in 2002 and 2003, I had deep brain stimulation surgery. I would say on a good day, I get 70% relief from my symptoms; 60% on a bad day...all in all, I'm satisfied...at least I'm more comfortable.

I wish you the best of luck on your dystonia journey.

Joe
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:50 PM
Flake Flake is offline
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Joe - sorry to hear about the extent of your dystonia symptoms. I'm feeling pretty lucky that mine is confined to my jaw!

I'm glad the DBS (somewhat) worked for you. They're starting me on Botox this month, which has a pretty good success rate with OMD of the jaw-closing nature. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and my spirits up!

Did your dystonia start in one area and spread, or did it gradually come on all over at once? Does your jaw spasm open or closed? And how many doctors did you see before one actually recognized what you had? Did anybody tell you it was "all in your head"? Sorry to ask so many questions, I'm just really excited about having someone who's been there and can answer my questions!

One of the worst things about this disorder is the feeling of being so alone...not just because you are the only or one of the few people you know who have it, but also because (with OMD) you are pretty much invisible in any setting because you can't speak (intelligibly, anyways). Knowing that somebody like me is out there makes me feel less alone.

I wish you the best of luck as well. Please keep in touch!

- Kris
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Old 10-05-2007, 09:37 PM
spitball spitball is offline
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Hi and thank you for the interesting post. I will ask the Dystonia Doctor when I have my appointment next month. Did anyone find it hard to receive a diagnosis with Dystonia? I am familiar with the standard diganosis of it is Psychological. Thanks again and Best Luck to everyone.
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2007, 11:23 AM
Buttons2 Buttons2 is offline
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This thread caught my eye. I have myoclonus. I took Soma for many years,now I just read that Prozac is the new Soma? Is this true? And I was on Zoloft for a couple of years just prior to the myoclonic jerks beginning.....this was about 9 yrs ago. I stopped the Zoloft cold turkey when I became suicidal. I think it's a crime this stuff is given to kids!

Interesting thread......and in my opinion too many docs are prescribing stuff that they are ignorant of. Yes,it's the money! Used to be only a shrink could prescribe anti-depressants,I got mine from a PA!

Is dystonia alot different than myoclonus? More of a stiffening up of the muscles? Do they prescribe Klonopin for it like they do for myoclonus?
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Old 10-06-2007, 03:53 PM
Flake Flake is offline
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Spitball - hell, yeah it's difficult to receive a diagnosis! This is what you have to look forward to for the rest of your life. Now, having said that and getting my anger and bitterness out of the way...it's still just a disorder and it doesn't define who you are. It's not terminal. I guess you do the best you can with the hand you are dealt, like everything else in life. I do try to squeeze a little humor out of it...I make prank phone calls to friends and feign surprise when they recognize my voice, which sounds odd due to the constant jaw clenching...or I try to charge them $1 for my being their friend on the premise that they will likely never get to have another friend like me...dystonia being pretty rare and all. And, yes, people will tell you it's psychological, and there may be cases where it is. I actually had a neurologist ask me if I had an aversion to oral sex -- his thinking being that such a thing would cause your jaw to clamp shut -- go figure!

Buttons2 - from what I know, myoclonus is a brief, involuntary twitching, whereas dystonia is sustained muscle contractions. They do use Klonopin for treatment...I myself take Baclofen, which helps a little, and will be starting Botox injections within the next month, which should help a lot with the type of dystonia I have. Do you take Klonopin, and does it help? And you're right about the way anti-depressants are handed out -- it's appalling that neither the patient nor the doctor know the full extent of the side effects. Try an internet search on Zoloft and see what kind of side effects you can find -- better yet, type in "SSRIs and movement disorders" and see how many hits you get. Pretty amazing.

I do wish you both the best of luck. Please keep in touch and let me know of your progress.
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