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Celexa sensitivity, interactions, or withdrawal?

Posted by Shaina on October 18, 2003, at 10:51:15

Hello everyone!

It's such a relief to know that I'm neither cracked nor imagining my physical symptoms. I'm writing because I'm trying to figure out why I had and am continuing to have such a terrible reaction to ONE 20mg pill of Celexa.

The symptoms I have had are textbook physical ones, including painful muscles spasms, "electric head," sensitivity to light, sound, and touch, etc. In short, if it's on a list of side-effects from this drug, I got it. The mental ones I am concerned about are things like commonly switching or misspelling words (neither of which I ever did before), recurrence of panic attacks (for which I was put on the Celexa), short-term memory loss, etc.

Two weeks ago I ingested a large amount of potent THC (marijuana brownies). One week after, I took the Celexa and had a bad reaction to it immediately, including severe sweating, tremor, loss of motor control, and nervousness. My doctor had warned me about the need for tapering, but it was so severe that I could not take another.

My reactions were somewhat similar, yet distinctly different- especially since the Celexa continues to affect me. I wonder if the THC and Celexa interacted, or are continuing to do so. It has been a week since I took the Celexa. It has been two and a half weeks since I discontinued use of Ovcon-35, a birth control. I take 100 mg of Synthroid daily, though I've been afraid to keep taking it right now, because I have been sensitive to drugs all my life, and especially on Synthroid. And I've been using Ativan, 0.5 mg, to control the symptoms which I think may be serotonin syndrome. That's what I'm writing about.

Since I started the Celexa, I've masturbated twice. The first time was right after I took it, and though I could not feel anything, I realized that I had come. Right afterward all my symptoms started. Second time was two days ago. I had some difficulty coming, and immediately afterward I felt sharp headache and nausea (never before been a problem for me). I took an Ativan, thinking, shit, I might have just induced SS in myself (again?). I continued with nasty body aches and a low fever the next morning, but took Advil instead, and got through the day fine.

That night (last night), I was very sleepy early in the evening, which was unusual for me. I fell asleep feeling the "indescribable weirdness" of the Celexa again, but minus the electric-head and it was less severe than before. I had extremely vivid, detailed dreams (which I think I had prevented before with the Ativan). I woke up because our cat was screaming, but drifted off again with my mom in the bed beside me reading.

I returned to the vivid dreams immediately, which were a curious mixture of memories and people/places I knew and currently know. Then I had a tachycardia wake me up (common enough for me), but I realized I was unable to move my body. My eyes stayed shut, my hands felt completely leaden, and I tried to kick my mom to get her attention, without success. I realized I was struggling to breathe. I suddenly felt very afraid, and the rush of adrenaline propelled me up.

Shortly afterward, I started to suspect serotonin sydrome because of the difficulty breathing, dizziness, mostly the very strong desire to go to sleep, which seemed TOO attractive and blissful after having just slept 7 hours. (I'm usually a fitful sleeper.) I was also having trouble walking. I felt like the sleep paralysis could come back at any moment... though I didn't feel quite like I was having my usual panic attack, I was definitely worried. The sleep paralysis is something I've heard of, but sleep apnea (breathing) seems dangerous.

I fought the desire to go back to sleep off, and took .5 Ativan under my tongue. An hour later, I'm feeling sleepy and dizzy still, but less nervous. What I want to know is, is it possible that with the combination of drugs I've been taking lately, especially the THC and the Celexa, that somehow the reaction is continuing to go on in my body? Isn't the possibility of serotonin syndrome supposed to *stop* when you stop taking the SSRI? I can deal with the weirdness of coming off of Celexa, but I'm very concerned about last night's symptoms. Especially since my mother, who is a nurse, and my psychotherapist *aren't* worried about these, even going so far as to say I'm propagating them with my own worrying. Yet I'm exhibiting problems which aren't psychosymptomatic (you can measure a fever, you can see the muscles spasming, etc.). I think modern medicine is sending a great many people over an unknown precipice, and who can say what's at the bottom?

I will never allow any doctor to put me on something that changes my brain chemistry again- I just want to know how long this could potentially last- and how damaging it could get. If anyone can advise on any of the questions I've posed, I'd be eternally grateful.




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