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Re: What is EPS?

Posted by OldSchool on December 30, 2001, at 11:59:48

In reply to What is EPS? (nm), posted by Willow on December 28, 2001, at 16:32:24

I was recently diagnosed with EPS this past fall. Im still battling it actually. It occurred after I took low dose Seroquel for slightly over one a month, just 50 mg!. I was adding the seroquel to an SSRI for "augmentation" for refractory depression...didnt help in fact it made me feel more depressed. After I went off the Seroquel, my muscles got super sore and tight feeling and my tongue got real numb. I felt super weak, but my mood wasnt affected that much. I also had mild weakness on my right side. I also had a lot of small muscle twitches at rest, "twitch, twitch, twitch."

It feels like a very mild, sustained muscle contraction all over my body, with a numb tongue.

I went to my family doctor and he quickly informed me I was suffering from side effects of the Seroquel and he told me to contact my psychiatrist immediately, which I did. I then went and saw my psychiatrist, who informed me after doing some tests that my right side was mildly weak. He told me I had EPS, and that EPS oftentimes affects one side of the body more than the other.

Right now Im just waiting things out to see if things will go back to normal on its own. Its gotten a bit better but the EPS is still there. Only thing Ive tried so far that helps it is OTC Benadryl. Its also started affecting my breathing some I hate to say, like my chest gets tight, all my muscles get tight. Tongue is numb a lot. I cant open my mouth as far as I used to before all this EPS started.

The best way to deal with EPS is to never get it in the first place. When it comes to neuroleptic induced movement disorders, prevention is the best cure. That means avoid taking anti-psychotics unless you are bona fide psychotic or manic. Dont use atypical anti-psychotics for things that oftentimes are a integral part of severe depression like anxiety, insomnia, agitation, irritability and "rumination."

Use anti-psychotics for what they were originally intended for...psychosis. IE; schizophrenia or manic psychosis.

I have kind of come to the conclusion on my own that for people whose primary dx is a mood disorder and if they have psychotic symptoms the best thing might be old fashioned bilateral ECT. Or maybe bifrontal ECT. Instead of anti-psychotics plus antidepressants. Because with ECT there is no danger of movement disorders. Id trade some memory loss for this EPS crap anyday.

In short, if your problem is primarily a severe mood disorder, you might be better off getting shocked than taking anti-psychotics.

Here is a link that describes EPS from the Merck manual website:

Old School




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