Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances - Part 1

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Kizzie

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Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances - Part 1
« on: December 21, 2021, 05:39:05 PM »
I've recently had reactions to new meds in the form of anxiety or panic attacks.  I've had this over the  years with other meds and there have been other members who have posted about similar reactions. I've started a sticky thread to collect experiences over time and see if this is the case for a few or many. 

I'm talking about meds/substances  that cause restlessness, agitation, anxiety, paranoia - distressing psychological symptoms in other words.

Mine include:

- caffeine
- marijuana
- steroids (had these for cancer treatment)
- pain meds following surgery - e.g., morphine
- Ozempic (diabetes/weight loss med that works in part on the brain)

Looks like the common denominator is that these work on the brain. That said, I do take SSRIs and Gabapentin and neither seem to be a problem so  :Idunno:   
« Last Edit: August 06, 2022, 01:14:24 PM by Kizzie »

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Kizzie

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2022, 04:31:34 PM »
I had another bout with anxiety and couldn't figure out why until I read the ingredients of a prescribe nasal spray my doctor had given me for a sinus infection.  Corticosteroid. Honestly I thought I was doomed to being anxious, that it was becoming a permanent state and I had no idea what to do about it.

When I am triggered and having an EF I can now trace what I'm feeling to to something that has happened.  But this, nothing. That was so scary because there didn't seem to be any reason for why this anxiety had overcome me again.   Really, really frightening.

Anyway, I stopped using the spray once I figured it out and feel loads better already.

I hate what trauma has done to my body. 
« Last Edit: February 04, 2022, 04:33:08 PM by Kizzie »

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Blueberry

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2022, 10:16:19 PM »
Congrats on figuring it out with the spray and so being able to ditch that load of anxiety! As well as get out of that really frightened place.  :thumbup: :hug:

 :thumbup: on expressing hate for what trauma has done to your body.

I know your post wasn't really about this, but I'm really impressed that you can now do the below! :cheer:
When I am triggered and having an EF I can now trace what I'm feeling to to something that has happened. 

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Kizzie

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2022, 03:16:38 PM »
Tks BB  :hug:

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CactusFlower

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2022, 04:33:53 PM »
Yep, those steroids are very interesting! When I was in my mid-twenties, I had bronchitis. The attack was bad enough that I went to the ER in the late evening, and they ended up giving me THREE nebulizer treatments. (the "inhale this mist for a few minutes" thing)  Well, bronchodilators in nebulizers and inhalers are steroids. I was hyper as heck and couldn't stop yammering after the third one. It was rather humorous when I look back on it. Not a fun feeling at the time and glad I never repeated that.

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dollyvee

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2022, 05:28:18 PM »
This is really interesting but Iím the reverse. I grew up with asthma and was on ventolin and inhalers until my early teens. Loved ambien (was like floating on a nice fluffy cloud) but only had one bottle for flight anxiety. Marijuana depends and have only had bad anxiety a couple times, one I was pretty sure it was laced with something. It does make me ďthink moreĒ but I wouldnít classify it as anxiety. Though, I guess everyoneís baseline/definition of anxiety might be different.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2022, 10:08:06 AM by dollyvee »

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Bach

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2022, 06:25:31 PM »
Corticosteroids make me feel utterly darkly convinced that life is a pile of stupid bull**** that is not worth living but which I cannot escape from until the universe decides to let me die. This is true of prednisone tablets, which I had to take a number of years ago because my lymph nodes were swollen and threatening my breathing, and of nasal spray. Nasty!

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Kizzie

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2022, 04:05:50 PM »
It is a really nasty reaction that some of us seem to have. Layer it on top of CPTSD and it's truly awful.  One of the worst things is not knowing if it's an EF or something else which is why I started this thread.  I figured it out because I can usually track my EFs to something going on in my life but in this case, there was nothing.

I have to have cataract surgery in March and one of the drops listed on my instructions is a corticosteroid drop used 4/daily.  I looked it up and lo and behold a couple of patients report that dark thinking you talk about Bach and what I experienced:

URL: https://www.drugs.com/comments/loteprednol-ophthalmic/lotemax.html

I went to my doctor for general eye irritation and most likely an incorrect fitting of my current contacts which is causing eye irritation. I was prescribed Lotemax, 1 drop in each eye, 4 x day. Obviously Lotemax is a steriod. I have NO history of anxiety or mental illness. After first day I noticed I was having weird thoughts that I couldn't get out of my head. In the days that followed, I started to have SEVERE anxiety with full blown panic attacks. I was scared to be around my husband and my children worried that I might cause them harm or them harming themselves, or somehow being subjected to harm... my worst fear. I was manic with worry and paranoia and cried repeatedly. I stopped the meds and the symptoms started to disappear.

***************************************************

I share the same experience as T-Lee below in 2015. I've never had any mental health problems, but after a week of taking Lotemax for dry eye & inflammation. I started to have dark thoughts which turned into extreme anxiety. When I say extreme, so extreme I thought the only way to end the episode was to harm myself. I luckily told those close to me what was happening and tried to work through each episode. I thought I was going insane, I even set up a course of anti anxiety medication and counselling with my GP. Until, my mum who was comforting me and helping me look after my children (because I couldn't) looked up the side effects of Lotemax and saw the reviews, most noteably the one from T.Lee. I was so relieved I wasn't going mad and now I have stopped the drops for 2 days the anxiety is fading. I also have a urinary tract infection, which when I checked is another side affect.

I also went on the credible medical sites about side effects of corticosteroids and there it was, big time anxiety for some people whether it be a nasal spray, eye drops, inhaler or whatever. (Decongestants and antihistamines are right up there in terms of causing anxiety too by the way.)  I phoned the surgeons office and told them I could not use those drops and wanted something else instead.

I'm not ever going to feel that way again, CPTSD EFs are bad enough!

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Bach

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2022, 08:30:56 PM »
Kizzie, this is very validating for me, because a few years ago when I was prescribed Flonase and had that side effect, no one took me seriously.  I was just glad that I realised that Flonase is a corticosteroid and related it to my experience with prednisone, so I could stop using it right away.  It probably would have been good if Iíd been able to follow up with the doctor after that and see if there were any other possible treatments, but it was too upsetting, and I decided that it was easier to just continue to deal with the problematic nasal breathing Iíve been dealing with all my life. 

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Kizzie

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2022, 04:05:28 PM »
Bach, that makes me angry & sad to hear you were not believed.  Nothing more crushing than not being believed as many of us here know all too well.  :pissed:

My go to now that I seem to be reacting to a lot of meds will be the credible sites that identify symptoms that's for darn sure. I'm fortunate to have a great doctor so am going to have a discussion with her about the fact that I am so sensitive to meds, moreso now as I get older.

Sigh.


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dollyvee

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2022, 10:25:45 AM »
Hi Kizzie,

The health detective part of me was interested in this and looked into it a little bit. It looks like steroids (such as prednisone) interact with your cortisol levels (prednisone being 4x stronger than cortisol). So, am guessing that anything steroid will affect your adrenals/cortisol etc which seems the reason for the increased anxiety etc. Growing up with chronic trauma affects cortisol through chronic stress. Although in the MW book on generational trauma, he cites an example that babies born with trauma have low cortisol levels. Any kind of hormone fluctuations can imbalance the HPA axis. So, high estrogen levels will affect cortisol (or our response to cortisol) etc because itís just a giant feedback loop. A bigger response as you get older might be because of those changing female hormones. Please disregard if itís not right for you, but a functional Medicine practitioner might  br able to help balance the hormones and some are MDs as well.

Hope youíre feeling more rested,
dolly

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sweetsixty

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2022, 03:36:01 PM »
This doesnít really resonate for me in terms of psychological reactions to various drugs or substances as I tend to react in a physical way to so many drugs/substances! Iíll start a new thread for anyone who wants to discuss that.

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Kizzie

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2022, 03:36:46 PM »
Tks so much for this Dolly, I appreciate you taking the time to do this  :hug:  I think I need to read up more on cortisol.  I've seen it discussed but didn't pay a lot of attention.  Seems like for my sake I do need to dig into things like this.

I do wish medicine were further along for relational trauma survivors so medical/MH professionals understood just how trauma an affect the body.  I had a call back from the surgeon's office who will be doing my cataract surgery in March and the nurse relayed the doc's response which basically was to say it should be okay because it's not a lot of corticosteroid.  Um no doctor, that's not true for me and that's why I spoke to your staff.  Gah!

Now I'm going to have to convince him or find another surgeon I guess. I will be talking with my GP this week and also think I'll talk to my pharmacist to see what I can find out about alternatives to CS med. 

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Kizzie

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2022, 03:38:34 PM »
I remember you telling me about the physical reactions you have to meds Sweet Sixty and that your T thought they were related to your trauma wholly or in part. 

A thread about physical reactions would be great, tks!  :hug:

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sweetsixty

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Re: Psychological Reactions to Medications/Substances
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2022, 08:16:13 AM »
Done  :hug: