Akathisia INFO

This blog entry is for people who are wondering what the cause is for their anxious suffering. I have put together this information to educate people who may be suffering from drug-induced Akathisia and the people who care for them. I believe strongly with as many prescriptions that are written these days for psychotropic medication (antidepressants, antipsychotics) that consumers, as well as those in the helping professions (such as doctors, nurses, EMT’s, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and the like) need to be aware of the risk of Akathisia.

I am not a doctor. I’m just a consumer interested in helping educate other consumers.

The information I provide for you here is in no way exhaustive, nor is it meant to replace medical care. It is here as a support and to help guide you to figure out if this may be what you’re going through, so you can take the next appropriate steps.

I believe there is a lot of preventable suffering and even preventable suicides that have happened because people simply don’t realize what they are going through is an actual syndrome and that it will go away once they stop taking the offending medication and their brain gets back in balance. You see, when Akathisia hits most people have no clue that such a reaction even exists, so they think it’s just that they’re going crazy. In assuming that, they believe it’s only going to get worse and in steps hopelessness and a compounding of the terror they are already feeling.

Akathisia is almost always a physiological and psychological response to a medication. It can either be due to the introduction of a medication or come about in response to withdrawal from medication. It can last anywhere from a few hours to several months, depending on the drug, how long the drug was taken and the person’s pre-existing condition.

What are some of the main symptoms of Akathisia?

  • Extreme agitation/restlessness
  • Inability to sleep/insomnia
  • Profound anxiety/terror/panic
  • Feeling like you’re jumping out of your skin or want to rip your skin off and escape
  • Feeling a need to run away
  • Agoraphobia/claustrophobia
  • Dark, scary thoughts
  • Psychotic-type behaviors
  • Anger/aggression
  • Self-harm or thoughts of self harm
  • Inability to sit still or lie down
  • Feeling like it will never end
  • Muscular tension/strain/weakness/ticks
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss/amnesia
  • Nausea/retching/vomiting
  • Flushing/hot flashes
  • Erratic heart beat
  • Erratic blood pressure
  • Extreme, chronic thirst

Medications that may cause Akathisia*:

  • Anti-emetic (anti-nausea) medications, such as;  Compazine (prochlorperazine), Reglan (metoclopramide).
  • Antibiotics (Various)
  • SSRI anti-depressants, SNRI anti-depressants and hypnotic anti-depressants, such as;  Prozac, Rapiflux or Sarafem (fluoxetine) and Paxil or Seroxat (paroxetine), Desyrel, Beneficat, Deprax, Desirel, Molipaxin, Thombran, Trazorel, Trialodine or Trittico (trazodone), Effexor, Efexor or Trevilor (venlafaxine) and Zoloft or Lustral (sertraline hydrochloride)..
  • Opioid withdrawal.
  • dexamethasone, prednisone, hrdrocortisone , betamethasone, triamcilone.
  • ALSO – Many natural substances may cause reactions as severe as Akathisia as well. The ones noted for helping with anxiety and depression seem to be the biggest offenders. Vitamins, herbs and supplements such as: Vitamin D, 5HTP, SAMe, Fish Oil, St. John’s Wart, Gingko Biloba, etc. Be cautious and thoughtful even when taking naturally derived supplements. Add only one at a time to your diet and watch closely for any reactions. If you feel you may be reacting poorly, STOP taking the offending supplement. Period.

And as a further note, some drugs and some natural supplements may feel great while you’re taking them then only once you try to stop taking them will you react badly or encounter Akathisia. The brain is a very complex structure, and I’m not a doctor, so I cannot explain the hows and whys, I only know that all of these things are possible and we (as consumers) must be proactive, careful and methodical when endeavoring to take or titrate off ANY substance. The doctors will not admit their precious drugs are a problem, drugs are their business. You have to look out for YOU.

*Please understand this list is not exhaustive, as people react differently to different types of medications. These are just the most well known for the potential to cause Akathisia. (If you can help me add to the list feel free to email me.)

Often times what happens is, a person is given one of these medications, they have a reaction (within minutes, days, weeks or even months, it totally varies per medication and individual) and they don’t correlate the reaction (Akathisia) to the medication. What they think is, “I was put on this medication because I’m mentally unstable and now I’m getting worse”. Then they end up getting the dosage upped, or other medications are added, and the Akathisia gets even worse! This is where many people lose hope and resign to a life of intolerable suffering or they decide they can’t handle it and sadly, end their lives.

The other common occurrence is, someone gets put on a medication for depression, anxiety or some other mental issue, eventually they decide to try life without the meds or are feeling much better and they decide to come off the medication. Then within days or months they have a withdrawal onset of Akathisia and because they aren’t aware of this possible reaction, they think the problem is organic and they assume they are not okay without the drug, so they go back on it and get caught up in an endless loop of Akathisia reactivity.

Sadly, many of the prescribing physicians aren’t fully aware of, or willing to admit, the prevalence of Akathisia so they unwittingly make things worse with misinformed advice and often times even more prescriptions being written, which compounds the problem.

For the lucky ones, such as myself, they are given a medication for something not related to mental health issues (for example, anti-nausea medication), so they quickly realize the connection between their distress and the medication.

Many anti-nausea medications are actually anti-psychotics and they mess with the functioning of important brain chemicals. Most people given such medications, like Compazine, are unaware of this. And most that do find out after the fact state if they had known they were being given something that could potentially mess with their brain they would have happily opted to keep the nausea and forgo the risk of Akathisia.

One of the most common situations where this happens is when someone is treated for nausea or migraines with one or more of these offending medications. Then, of course, people who are being treated for anxiety and/or depression or other mental/personality disorders with one or more of these medications.

So, if you have been treated with medication(s) for anxiety, depression, migraines, nausea, psychotic episodes, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder or other mental/emotional disorders and you have found yourself suffering one or more of the symptoms listed above then please read on…

What can you do?

First and foremost, I have to say if you think you may be suffering an Akathisia reaction to a medication/medications please contact your doctor.  If they don’t seem to believe you, or understand what you’re talking about, just call around until you find a doctor that has their head on straight that understands what you’re going through. If they don’t understand or don’t react with integrity and empathy they won’t be of any help anyway. So find someone who KNOWS WHAT AKATHISIA IS.  Don’t waste your time trying to convince a closed-minded doctor that you’re having a drug reaction. It seems many doctors just don’t, or won’t, get it. (Neurologists seem to have the most experience with, and understanding of, Akathisia. You may want to find a psychopharmacologist as well, or a neuropsychiatrist.)

If Western Physicians are of no help, I highly recommend finding a naturopath/holistic doctor. They are much more willing to admit that pharmaceuticals are dangerous and to help you find good, clean ways to detox and get back in balance.

All medications and supplements should be used under the care of a physician.

Please understand I’m in no way affiliated with ANY pharmaceutical or natural supplement companies, I’m only listing this information I’ve learned to help you make informed decisions to help yourself navigate and overcome Akathisia.

The information I’m giving you here is simply things I learned that has worked for people or  worked for me. There aren’t any medications that I’m aware of that will alleviate Akathisia for everyone. It’s hit and miss to find something that works and many people find no relief with pharmaceuticals. Akathisia simply hasn’t been studied enough for them to know truly how and why it happens. It manifests differently for different people and the recovery is different for everyone. BUT, there are many similarities for a lot of folks and some basic things you can do to help your body detox and get back in to balance.

I’m going to give you info on medications that may help, if you want to try that route and also info on natural ways to help alleviate the symptoms of Akathisia and get your body moving back toward homeostasis. SOME SAY GETTING YOUR BODY AS CLEAN AS POSSIBLE IS REALLY THE QUICKEST WAY TO RESOLVE AKATHISIA, WHICH MEANS TAKING THE LEAST AMOUNT OF MEDS/SUPPLEMENTS POSSIBLE. I can’t give medical advice, but after all the research I’ve done and people I’ve talked with as they have gone through the healing process, I’ll just say, I pretty much agree.

Medications that may help alleviate some of the symptoms/shorten the duration of Akathisia*:

  • Anti-histamines, such as;  Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Periactin (cyproheptadine).
  • Cogentin (benztropine)
  • **Benziodiazepines, such as;   Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam).
  • Beta-blockers, such as;  propranolol, metoprolol.
  • Artane (trihexyphenidyl)

*Since initially writing this section more than 5 years ago, I have learned these meds can actually cause or worsen akathisia for some. The ONLY ONE I’ve never heard of causing things to get worse is Propranolol.

**Benzodiazapines are VERY addictive to both body and mind, so use caution and wean off of them slowly with the help of a physician as your symptoms improve.

High doses of Benadryl is the first course of action for treatment of Akathisia almost anywhere you go. (It won’t really help if you’re still on the offending med though. It’s more for people who have discontinued the offending med.) It does help lessen or stop Akathisia for many people, so it’s definitely worth a try (UNLESS you know you are allergic to it, in that case other meds need to be tried. I’ve heard of a few people even having success with Claritin, which is also available over the counter and usually well tolerated, so it could be worth a try.) If you go to the ER they will likely give you a very large amount of Benadryl for the treatment of Akathisia, but if you’re doing it at home please treat yourself with a reasonable dosage. The ER nurse told me to take 50mg every 4-5 hours, for a few days. Even if you are feeling relief from the first dosage some say you need to carry on with treatment for a few days, to prevent relapse.

Supplements/Herbs  that may help alleviate the symptoms/shorten the duration of Akathisia and detox:

  • B-Complex (Pref a whole food vitamin), B-6
  • High doses of Vitamin C (I personally find Emergen-C to be well assimilated and tolerated)
  • Decaf green tea
  • Green drink (I personally like “Greens First” over all other brands)
  • Chamomile tea
  • Bach Rescue Remedy

Things you can do to help soothe and detoxify the body and boost your good brain chemistry:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Stretching/mild exercise
  • Massage
  • Soak in bath/steam in shower
  • Sleep/rest
  • Soothing music (classical music has been proven to have a positive effect on brain chemistry!)
  • Only watch positive or funny shows/movies
  • Loving support from friends and family
  • Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine
  • *Nicotine may actually help (boosts “happy” brain chemicals that are low, which is the cause of Akathisia)
  • Fresh air
  • Sunshine
  • Laughter
  • Positive thinking/healing visualizations
  • Meditation
  • Eat healthy, fresh foods rather than prepackaged, processed, fast foods
  • Keep in mind it’s going to go away/ it’s only a transient condition
  • Progesterone (Yam) cream (For females) as recommended on box [Can get it at nutrition store]

*I would NEVER normally advocate smoking, but if you’re in total crisis with the anxiety/panic/terror part of Akathisia then I absolutely do advocate giving nicotine gum or smoking a try. Just be responsible and wean yourself slowly back off of it as you start feeling better. You will know right away if it’s helping or not.

Cyndi posted a request that I also include here the importance of letting others know about your allergies. I totally agree. I keep a sheet of paper in my purse at all times with the names of drugs I’ve had an allergic reaction to in the past, but I too think I’ll go make a laminated card for my wallet. It’s also a good idea to inform your family doctor and any other doctors you may see on a regular basis, as well as, the local hospital. Ask all of them to note your record for allergies. Especially the drug that induced Akathisia!

You may also want to make up a living will, which basically states what exactly you want done with your health care should you be unconscious. It’s important for each of us to be proactive in helping ourselves receive the best possible health care when needed, especially when you have special needs such as avoiding drug allergies.

Please take the time to read the comments that follow this blog, it can be very helpful to hear what other people have been through and how things are playing out for them. I want this to be a place where everyone can talk openly and share info, so feel free to share your current or past experiences.

I wish you a speedy recovery!

PS – I was talking with a doctor the other day about Akathisia and he recommended talking to a neuropsychiatrist. So, for any of you out there who are going through Akathisia, you may consider starting THERE instead of with folks who seem to be clueless to how it works, as so many doctors seem to be. From what I know, psychiatrists of all the physicians are most well-versed in how meds work and so a neuro – psychiatrist understands the neurological effects of meds. Interestingly, as I was looking up neuropsychiatrist I found that the man who coined the phrase Akathisia was indeed a neuropsychiatrist. Here’s the link to some good info, including that tidbit – http://www.answers.com/topic/akathisia

If you have any questions send a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Please read the following post! If you can’t easily locate it, here’s the URL to the same article –


238 thoughts on “Akathisia INFO

  1. Hi there I’m going through this now! I was taking reglan for about 2 weeks, and started getting this reaction. It is horrible and I just want it to end.. I had the nonstop pacing for about two days, now I can sit still a bit more but I have a very hard time with laying down for more than 10 minutes. I feel this burning sensation throughout my body especially my legs and tingling, and inner tremors or what feel like shivers. It makes it so hard to fall asleep, Will this ever go away? Has anybody else experienced this? At night when I do fall asleep I end up waking up and get insomnia. So far it has been almost 3 weeks for me since I’ve stopped the reglan. I’m not sure if I’ve been having any progress so far but there are times during the day where I feel a bit normal and can do things. I hope someone is reading this and will reply I would love to talk to others going through this. Thank you, I’m so happy I found this website

  2. Has anyone taken NAC or Transfer Factors before without a problem? My brother has taken both with great success for unexplained illness. NAC is naturally occurring in the body and is a biofilm buster and Transfer Factor is good for the immune system. Four years after Akathisia, I am still wary of trying new things however. Any input would be appreciated!

  3. Cogentin (benztropine 1 mg) saved me. I tried benadryl and Calm magnesium powder before that. Drinking caffeine makes the EPS nerve tickling start or feel worse. Good luck to everyone!

    1. Gilbert,

      It GOES AWAY. It just depends on each particular person how long it will take. Please read all the sections of this blog, especially the recommendations. Then feel free to post and questions you may have after that.

      All my best to you,

    2. Akasthsia can go away. Something has caused it, like medications or being overly tired. I had a lot of trouble with akasthsia when I was stressed and crying a lot and tappered off antidepressants, I do better on antidepressants so I went back on them and when I quit crying so much that horrible “can’t sit still feeling” went away, I still get it just before I feel tired though. Akasthsia is like a headache, something has caused it. Its just sometimes hard to know what that something is. But yes it can go away!

    3. Being tired alone will not cause akathesia but if you have akathesia caused by meds being very tired will make it worse this is because being overly tired adds to the bodies flight or flight response. Akathesia is not a condition known to nature but an iotregenic illness. It can appear when starting, increasing on on withdrawal of medication and is thought to be caused by upsetting the delicate neurotransmitters in the brain. It can resolve by itself or it can need treatment. It’s important to try not to panic, you will not be like this forever. Propranolol, clonidine and diphenhydramine can all provide relief.
      I got it from withdrawing from Prozac too fast and I had it very bad for a year after that it resolved slowly but Iv been left with restless leg syndrome and other feelings of restless especially around the time of my period. Clonidine helped me the most but can add to depression.

    4. Gilbert, I too suffered from Akathisia. I’m happy to say, I’m 100 percent me again! Through the support of my husband, Angie, and all the info on this site, I am a stronger person that I was before. Don’t lose hope! You will recover. Believing you will get better is half the battle.

      All my best,

  4. Thanks so much! I first had Akathisia at age 20 during childbirth when injected with Compazine for nausea. It sent me into a rage and made me very agitated and tearful. I always said I was allergic to Compazine after that. Then later in life diagnosed with Bipolar, I was sedated with Haldol. It worsened the anxiety and irritability, then Dr injected a 2nd shot, and then a 3rd, by that time I was out of my mind! Chemical Torture. Another time during a test for my stomach disease called Gastroparesis I was injected with Reglan, same thing, but, this drug took 24 hours before the Akathisia to set in. Most recently an ER nurse injected me with mega dose of Geodon telling me it was not Haldol or didn’t cause the reaction! Well it sure did, I spent 3 days inpatient pacing, crying, in a terrified fog, the worst fight or flight feelings. Today my Nurse Practitioner (psych Nurse) prescribed 20mg of Latuda. We thoroughly discussed my curse of getting Akathisia. She advised me its a small dose, at bedtime, and unlikely to cause the reaction. I am still so very scared. She promised if it happened I could call her and she’d quickly tell me what to do to reverse it. She told me the ER should also know what to do if I stressed I am prone to Akathisia and they would help me fast. I don’t know about this. I haven’t picked the pills up yet. I have Compazine, Haldol, Reglan, Geodon listed a ‘allergies’ which isn’t really consider true allergy and quite frankly feels a ton worse! I hope I don’t have to add Latuda to that list and I think I am crazy for even trying it, but, I am in terrible post ‘death of my Father’ Depression with ruminating thoughts and she thinks a low dose could help me. Any tips or advice. If a person has a sensitivity to a few of these neuroleptic type drugs can they have the reaction to all? Or are some drugs just OK and some not OK?

    1. Barb,

      I’m sorry for all you’ve been through and sorry to hear about your loss. The thing with Akathisia is. Those who overcome it within days or weeks are the lucky ones. It would be awful to add Akathisia to the depression you’re going through. I’m not a doctor and cannot give medical advice whatsoever, those are just my personal thoughts. Latuda has been known to cause a host of issues and side effects for people. If you’re prone to side effects it might be risky. Depression and grief are awful, but at the same time, they’re natural phases of life for us all. Not always do we need to medicate, but rather endure and grow with the experience. That being said, you know your body and mind better than anyone else and you know if you are able to get through it without medication, or not. I guess weigh out – What’s the worst thing that could happen if I don’t medicate myself? And – What’s the worst thing that could happen if I do medicate myself? I’m not sure beyond that what to say.. I wish you all the best.

      Just don’t underestimate your own power and strength and ability to get through these natural phases of life. You are stronger than you may know.

      All my best,

  5. I have been on 75 mg of Seroquel for the past 7 months. It was given to me when I went inpatient for severe anxiety. I don’t know what does I was given , but it did sedate for sleep. It’s not sedating anymore , but it still puts in a chemical sleep for about 8 hours. The problem is for the past few months I have severe anxiousness as soon as I wake up and it lasts all day. I also been on Klonopin for years , now since Seroquel it is not calming like it use too. I really think it’s the Seroquel causing it. My doctor doesnt think it is. When I ask him if I’m in Klonopin tolerance/ withdrawel ,I never get a straight answer. Klonipin calmed me for years , that is why I think it’s the Seroquel.i can’t sleep without now. I am so confused and scared as to what is happening to me. I don’t know what to do. I’ve told my pdoc that I don’t do well on antipsychotics. This is the longest I’ve been on one. I trying to lower my dose these past few nights ,I pray that I can get off it and see if it is causing all my inner restlessness.

    1. Cynthia,

      The main question to ask is if you had this inner restlessness when the anxiety got worse initially? If not, then considering it could be the med might be in order. It sounds like your doctor isn’t listening or answering questions with any integrity. Have you considered changing doctors? If you’re wanting to titrate off the meds you need a caring doctor to oversee the process, just doesn’t sound like you have that support currently.

      All my best,

  6. I have been suffering from Akathisia for weeks; although what was believed to be the offending mes has been discontinued days ago I am still having symptoms. I feel very isolated b/c I’m afraid of going out and having an attack. I have hope now b/c it seems this will eventually pass even though it seems never ending going through it. And taking Ativan causes its own problems such as drowsiness and w/ drawl. I have never been so scared. I have been doing some of the recommendations to shorten the duration but will try some I was not aware of. I am also seeing a neurologist for a consult. Thanks so much for the info….I was really feeling alone and that this was my fault.

    1. Michelle,

      Sadly a lot of people go through this, so you’re most certainly not alone. The good news is that you found this blog and there’s tons of great info to help you speed up your healing process! Feel free to vent or ask questions or just check in if you need to hear from someone. There’s lots of great people here and I’m always here for support.
      Let me know if you have any questions about the recommendations for healing.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you for a SUPER SPEEDY recovery!

    2. Has anyone used Rxs to treat symptoms? I have tried Ativan, Inderal, Benadryl with only partial relief. What are the supplements that have worked best to lessen the duration?

    3. The only Rx I’ve heard of that helps without further issues is Propranolol. It can slow you down, make you feel weak and tired, for some depressed. But other than that, it seems to help quite a bit for some with basically no terrible side effects or long term issues.

      The best thing seems to be to just clean up the diet and get off meds and supplements. What works for one person may not for another, so it’s hard to tell. The best thing you can do is stabilize your environment, if you listen to music only soothing music, if you can stand watching tv only fun uplifting shows. Lots of rest. Laughter is great for getting the brain to start firing right again. Love, laughter and relaxation are really the best. Soothing the CNS, so no harsh lighting, loud environments, upsetting media, usually the least amount of driving you can do is better. Time outside in the sun can be good, but take it easy with exercise, a slow walk can be good, but don’t do anything strenuous that can overtax your body. Take long showers or soak in a tub with some epsom salts. Just do things that make you as comfortable as possible and keep doing that. It’s really that simple.

      If you’re into a higher power, prayer or chanting can be very healing.

      There’s lots you can do and the simplest things seem to be best when the CNS is upset.

      All my best,

    4. Do you have any advice for getting through an episode of akathisia? I try my best to relax and be still and state positive affirmations but sometimes the spells can be overwhelming to where I’m actually having to roll on the floor. If someone is with me I have them recite affirmations for me and rubbing my back sometimes helps. Do others have episodes like this?

    5. The best way honestly is to move when you feel the urge. Listening to spoken word, audio book, prayer, music that soothes you can help. Take a short slow walk outside. Do what you have to. Trying to stifle it isn’t going to help. Keep putting the good stuff in, that’s most important. Fake smiling, that helps the brain get the right balance. Laugh if you can find anything to laugh at. And just remember this is a passing circumstance.

    6. So I have been taken off the Effexor XR which was thought to be the offending med and have been of a week. My pdoc replaced it w/ Tintellix which I have been on for 6 days. I’m debating on whether to keep taking it or not…the akathesia is so miserable I just want it to resolve sooner than later. Will the Trintellix impede my progress? I am also seeing a neurologist next week; I am wondering if others have consulted with neuro and had any luck?
      Regards, Michelle

    7. Michelle,
      I’m not a doctor or pharmacist, not a medical professional of any kind, so I can’t tell you I just don’t know. From what I’ve seen most people see relief quickest when stopping the offending drug. BUT, you have to titrate down very slowly under a doctor’s care if you decide to. Coming off cold turkey can make things much worse.

      Most neuro’s don’t understand akathisia well,, but there’s those few who do. You’ll just have to see. You might ask about Propranolol and certainly ask about tapering off if that’s what you want to do. They can probably help you with that.

      I wish you all the best and keep us posted,

    8. Clonidine gave me relief and also natural calm and high doses of vitamin c. Also avoiding aspartame really helped. Good luck. X

  7. Thank you for your information about akathisia. It is hard to describe when you’re suffering from it. I was put on an old antipsychotic, Flupenthixol, some mine months ago. It was merry hell being on it. I would describe myself as feeling like an anxious zombie. Not only did I suffer severe akathisia, I also suffered quite severely from anhedonia. Not one minute was enjoyable. So I wasn’t enjoying life one bit. I self-harmed, engaged in constant suicidal ideation, went to a bridge to jump off it, you name it, I suffered awfully on this terrible drug. And I knew it wasn’t me. I could tell I was feeling a way I’d never felt before in my entire life, and the only thing that correlated with this feeling was the fact I was on Flupenthixol. This drug is diabolical, severely harmful. I don’t know that everyone would respond to this drug the way I did, but my advice to anyone who is put on a medication that doesn’t agree with you is, you have to fight for your right to come off the medication. Weigh up the pros and cons of it. In some respects, my illness was not nearly as severe as the adverse effects of this drug. I had to protest, protest, protest before they agreed to finally take me off this excuse for a drug. Now I am reaping the benefits of coming off it. For the first time in months on end, I feel I am returning to my normal self. I am not sleeping fourteen hours per day. And that’s nothing. My suffering was the tip of the ice berg. Some people sleep twenty hours per day.
    I cannot express how important it is to stand up for yourself in the face of psychiatry. It could save your life. Some of the psychiatrists don’t realise how detrimental and devastating these drugs can be.

  8. Hi Angie,

    I hope this blog is still active, it has been so helpful to read it. I’ve been on Latuda for 6 mo and I believe started suffering from Akathisia quite early on but was told by my doctor that it was a common side effect not to worry about. From reading this blog, I now know that his statement is false. I’m also on 0.5 mg daily of klanopin. I haven’t found this to alleviate the feelings of restlessness. I’m hoping to get off of The medication ASAP but I need to transition to a new doctor in order to do so. What do you recommend I do in the interim as I wait a month for my next appointment.

    1. Jason,

      I’m not a doctor, so I’m unable to advise you. I do know you have to be very careful titrating off meds, so doing it under the care of a physician is certainly what anyone would advise. If you can’t wait and choose to try it unassisted I would highly recommend you research and learn as much as you can before taking that on alone. In the meantime, I would definitely recommend you read about all the things that have helped others get into balance on this site and the recommendations I’ve put out there in the posts. Anything you can do naturally do soothe your body and brain will be helpful.

      All my best,
      Let us know how you’re doing,

    2. I too got akathisia from Latuda.I took it for 3 weeks.Its been 2 1/2 months since I stopped and it’s still very bad.Has your akathisia gone away ?

      My email is ..(Deleted email for privacy, if anyone wants to contact Ciannaweb let me know)

  9. Hello.

    I had terrible akathisia after taking prozac for 10 years then stopping suddenly, this was 2 years ago and I am due for surgery in two weeks for painful endometriosis. I have severe depression and insomnia which is untreated as I am so scared of medication. What can I do and ask the Drs for when I have a anesthetic to minimise the risk ? I have cancelled the op 3 times but im in alot of pain

    1. Charlie,

      Having residual symptoms even after the main crisis of Akathisia is healed is common. It will go away in time.

      Just on a personal note, I had surgery for endometriosis about once every year or two for many years. Finally had a
      doctor tell me it’s always just going to grow back so surgery really isn’t the answer. I know they do stuff with ultrasound
      and other means to help it. There’s even natural remedies I’ve read about. So you might want to look in to alternative sources
      for healing, rather than just cutting/burning it out.

      If you decide to go with the surgery, ask to meet with the anesthesiologist ahead of time and talk with them about your history
      with drug reactions and Akathisia in particular. See what meds in that cocktail they give you can forego.

      All my best,

  10. Hello

    I suffered terrible akathesia after stopping prozac 2 years ago, im still not right and also have quite serious depression and insomnia which is untreated as im now so scared of medication. Im due to have surgery for painful endometriosis in 3 weeks and im very scared of all the meds used. I have put it off 3 times but im in a lot of pain. What can I do to minimise the risks

  11. I read this and started crying. NO ONE has been able to encapsulate what I have been feeling–FOR SIX YEARS. I thought, of course, it was me. My mental disorder (bipolar) was deteriorating and it was just the way my life was going to be. My life has been completely turned upside down. I no longer go out, I can’t bear to answer the phone. I can barely parent my kids, and when I do, it puts me in bed. Where of course I can’t sleep because it feels like a thousand angry bees are under my skin. I have only a couple or three good hours in the morning when I take Vyvanse (a stimulant) for anti-depressant and energy, since my night meds are so sedating. For some reason, the stimulant calms the akathisia down. At least for a bit.

    The culprit is Latuda. My doctor is weaning me off of it–I am now only on 20 mg., however, the akathisia doesn’t seem to be improving with the drop in dose (I was on 50 mg.). Theoretically it should lessen as I titrate down, but it isn’t. I am taking propranolol and it barely takes the edge off and the side effects are just another form of feeling like hell all day.

    There is only one thing that has totally helped, and I’m ashamed to say I’ve broken down and taken it a few times–hydrocodone. I know it’s dangerous. I’ve only taken maybe 2 in the past 6 months, but I took them on days when I thought I was literally going to take my own life. I figured popping an opiate was preferable to that.

    They say once you stop the offending medication, the akathisia subsides. But…what if it doesn’t? After 6 years, what if my brain has been altered in a permanent way? Now that I know what it is, it feels even more intolerable. This article has been very helpful. Question–why does Benadryl help? Is it for the sedating effect or is it something else in it? Would something less sedating like Zyrtec help?

    I just wanted to say “thank you” for writing this. I finally feel like I am not alone in this and that helps a little.

    1. JulieAnn,

      I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through. Don’t EVER think it’s going to be permanent. Only physical trauma can cause permanent brain damage. That’s what I’ve learned
      in the last several years. Your brain is malleable and is always working toward a nice balance. It does seem many don’t fully heal until they’ve gotten off all the meds, but
      with a bipolar diagnosis that can be hard. The doctors will certainly want to keep you on meds, and you too may want to stay on meds if they help with the mood swings.

      I’d suggest finding a doctor who truly understand Akathisia and working with them as far as your meds go. In the meantime, read through the site and find hints and tips and suggestions to help your body get as balanced as possible naturally.

      Keep us posted, vent when you need to and feel free to ask advice of others who have been there.

      PS – I’m not sure why Benadryl helps! Helps many, makes it worse for some…everyone is different. Especially if you’re still taking other meds.

      All my best,

    2. Angie,

      My doc is taking me off of Latuda and keeping me on a medication that is not new, but has changed my life–Ketamine. He feels that with all of the work I’ve done in therapy, I may not need a mood stabilizer at this point–at least not an AAP. Hell, I’ve survived 6 years of akathisia and I’ve written over 9 books. As you said, the brain is malleable and therapy changes your brain as much as anything when done regularly. My biggest probelm with bipolar ws the depressions, and if it weren’t for akathisia, I’d have none.

      I just wanted to say I went out and bought a pack of cigarettes yesterday. I was dubious and worried–I have been using e-cigs with low nicotine in them and they never helped. But one or two drags of a Malboro and my symptoms were gone. For almost 5 hours the pain was gone. It was amazing.

      So while I deal with the akathesia as a withdrawal (it’s clear to me it’s getting worse because not only does Latuda cause, once you’re on, it causes it as you w/d) I will take the propanolol in the a.m., and have a few cigarettes during the day to get me through. I am writing my Pdoc this morning and directing him to your site. He needs to fully understand what it is he’s prescribing because he is not getting the info from the drug companies. I think medicine can help and has a place–but people need to be warned as to what to watch out for with these AAPs.

      Thank you again.

    3. JulieAnn,

      Thank you for the details. I find this helps others immensely work through their own puzzle of overcoming Akathisia.

      Yes, the statistics do say regular therapy is actually proven to be MORE effective than meds for most. Good stuff!

      I don’t advocate smoking, for obvious reasons, but yes, cigarettes seem to help some people with the symptoms. For me
      already having been a smoker and recently quit when I went through Akathisia, it was a natural thing to go back to my
      crutch and yes, did notice a bit of relief from them. To each his own with that. I’m simply someone who’s been through
      it who is putting all the info I have out there for others.

      I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t had time to create a new post in the manner in which I want to about this new topic.
      But for everyone reading this, it’s definitely worth looking into not only the dopamine-serotonin balance as it relates
      to Akathisia, but also the GABA/Glutamate balance as it may relate to Akathisia. This is a BIG finding as far as I’m
      concerned and can be corrected with DIET and avoidance of certain foods and food additives. The symptoms of imbalance
      with these are so closely related it’s surprising no one else has linked the two together. I will research more when
      I have time and post once I have a more thorough explanation of it. In the meantime,, read what you can!

      All my best,

  12. I am a past sufferer of akathisia. First time from prozac, second from risperdal. I was here 4 years ago. I recently was prescribed DEPLIN, a pharmaceutical grade l-methylfolate supplement or “medical food” as it is termed. I had a reaction after three days. Other meds are trazodone, and gabapentin which I was put on after my last episode and am currently trying to slowly wean off. I’m pretty sure it was the akathisia starting. I was chain smoking one after another. I started getting very antsy and nervous. I found myself rushing through every little task worrying immensely that I was forgetting something extremely important. I thought – this can’t be, but only then realized what this feeling was, with flashbacks of the worst experiences of my life. Thankfully it didn’t escalate to that point. I stopped the DEPLIN and thankfully felt better the next day or two. I haven’t found anyone with this reaction to Deplin yet, so hopefully I am just an “isolated incident”

    1. Kim,

      Thank you for sharing the info with the others here. I’ve never heard of Deplin, so I haven’t heard of it in relation to
      Akathisia either.

      I’m very glad to hear you recovered very quickly!


  13. I stumbled upon this forum when I was researching my symptoms and after reading through the symptoms of Akathisia, I am absolutely convinced that I am experiencing akathisia. My symptoms started about a month ago with tingling all over my body, zapping nerve pain in different areas of my body, restlessness, pins and needles and feeling like I want to jump out of my skin. I also describe it as feeling anxiety all over my body. It’s very uncomfortable and scary! I’m not sure if this is related to the meds I am taking. I was taking Citalopram for several years for anxiety. In November of last year I noticed my anxiety increasing and asked to switch to paroxetine since it has helped me in the past. My pcp didn’t have me taper off she just had me switch right over to the new med. I thought I was doing ok but then last April I started feeling the tingling. At first I thought it was from seeing a chiropractor but then I thought I thought my anxiety was increasing again. My pcp increased the paroxetine to 40mg. I didn’t really notice a change. I went to a neurologist who did blood work which all came back normal and put me on amnitriptiline which I’ve been on for around 5 weeks. I think it helps with some of my nerve pain and I thought it was starting to go away where my tingling was very mild. Then I had coffee and it came back with a vengeance! I’m scared that this won’t go away. I’m scared nobody will help me and will think I’m crazy. I’m also scared to go off of anti-anxiety meds because I’ve relied on them for so many years. I also wanted to mention that a couple months ago I tried a piece of Candy with THC in it that gave me the same type of feeling but it went away the next day. I’m not sure who to talk to. I’m going to see a counselor tomorrow and my pcp on Friday.

    1. Marianne,

      It sounds like this may be what’s happening. Finding a doctor who understands Akathisia is really key. If they do, they certainly won’t think you’re crazy.
      They will also be able to best advise you on how to manage what you’re currently taking. It’s hard for those who rely on meds for anxiety to live without them,
      but it can be done. It’s really about getting titrated off of them slowly, while finding natural ways to relieve/prevent the anxiety. But as I always have to state,
      I’m not a doctor in any form, so I can’t advise you medically. Here we just share info and people share their experiences, to better help you figure out how you want
      to navigate your own path.

      Just as a side note – From what I know anxiety is basically an inner alarm that something is out of balance; whether within the body itself or in your life. It could
      be your subconscious saying Hey! Something is bugging me and you’re not paying attention! Or it could be a simple imbalance due to dietary or lifestyle choices, lack
      of supplements/vitamins, etc. From what I know, anxiety isn’t just something you’re suddenly plagued with, it’s simply a symptom of something being out of alignment.
      This certainly doesn’t speak to the horror that is Akathisia, but I’m speaking to general anxiety and panic attacks, the reason you’re taking the meds that cause Akathisia
      in the first place.

      Lastly, THC can be very bad for those who suffer anxiety issues. It generally makes matters worse. I’ve heard of this many times and we even had someone on this board
      years ago who rubbed hemp oil on a wound and then went in to full blown Akathisia that lasted a very long time. So I’d suggest you be very cautious in fiddling with
      medications whether pharmaceuticals or recreational.

      I wish you all the best in your healing journey and feel free to post when you have questions or need support.


  14. Hi.

    I stopped taking prozac 26 months ago. I had taken it for 16 years. I went from a perfectly healthy long distance runner to living in a mental and physical hell within 4 months of stopping.I know this was extreme akathesia and i’m traumatised by even thinking about those months.
    I’m still suffering to a slightly lesser extent and I wondered if anyone else has suffered this long? I have chronic pain in my neck and upper back, I find it very hard to support my head, my back also still bows when i lay flat, i have serious problems with my vision, it blurs and a feel a sticky coating. I have chronic fatigue, tinnitus, sensitivity to light and sound, chronic insomnia and problems with memory and concentration. I also have RLS and to a lesser extent an inability to sit still for long periods of time. I have had a psychopharmacologist agree my issues are a treatment induced peripheral neuropathy, but every psychiatrist and Dr has said I have a depressive disorder, It is hard to argue with this as my mood is very low but I have to say I did not have any of these physical symptoms previous to medication, I was put on the meds more for anxiety and slightly low mood and only took 10mg a day. It is difficult as you loose your credibility after any psychiatric diagnosis.

    Im now at the point where I dont care what the diagnosis is I just want my life back.I have been prescribed amitriptyline 10mg but i’m terrified to make things worse but I also don’t want tom pass up something that may help me. I know you cannot tell me what to do meds wise but has anyone else suffered this long. I also feel alot of rage and im the softest mild mannered person you could meet, these feeling of anger are completely alien to me and are always at myself or my pots that i smash on a regular

    1. Luce,

      I’m very sorry for what you’ve been through and are still going through. I’ve talked with a few people who had it last around 2 years. But no one that’s had it
      go on much longer than that. Are you doing things naturally to help your body heal? Ie – probiotics, a good diet, lots of water, relaxing walks, communing with nature, soothing classical music, binaural beats, vitamins, herbs, supplements? There’s so much you can do on your own. While they may sound like fluffy woo woo remedies, they are all very powerful when done with regularity.

      At this point, with what I know, I would highly recommend a GOOD probiotic daily, any activities you can do that help calm the central nervous system, healing meditation (guided or otherwise) exercise to help boost the feel good chemicals, sunshine… basically everything listed above and anything else that you know works for you.

      You can search online for natural foods that heal the CNS. What you eat can make a pretty big difference. Healing the gut, ridding yourself of candida (yeast) is an issue for most, especially those who are sensitive to chemicals (ie- meds). All these things will help.

      I hope you get replies from others who may have advice or further info you can use. You WILL heal. Patience is the biggest lesson in this.
      I wish you a speedy recovery from the rest of the symptoms you’re experiencing.

      All my best,

    2. I eat healthy and I walk for 20 minutes I day, I can’t sit in the sun as there grnarally isn’t any but I do when there is. I take natural calm and vit c. I suppose I’m worried I’m just very depressed and that is who I am but I have read many accounts of how depression feels and not one fits me. I want to take a antidepressant but I don’t want to set my healing back. The only time I have a little light in pain and mood is when I ovulate mid cycle. It’s not like it goes away then but it does ease slightly. I often feel I can no longer support my body in a chair. I tried to go to a meditation class but found the feeling of supporting myself on a chair too uncomfortable. I can only sit if I can support my head with my hand or against a wall. I’m so low about it all.

    3. Luce,

      It sounds like you’re doing lots of good stuff to help your body heal. I would definitely look into VSL #3 or Custom Probiotics 6 strain or 11 strain.
      Start slow and work your way toward a standard dose. There should be no side effects. We have more serotonin receptors in our tummy than in our brains!
      So it’s important to keep your gut happy and inhabited with the good bacteria. It makes a big difference. Should you try it, I’d love for you to report
      back in a week or two with how different you feel.

      If you’re having more depression and anxiety isn’t the main issue, then you might take your CALM dosage down, or do it only a few times a week. That might
      help. Also, B vitamins help even out moods. But you’ll have to take a multi vit too because Bs need other vits to do their job correctly. New Chapter brand
      vitamins are the easiest to digest that I’ve found, plus they’re whole food based so they are accepted and utilized by the body very well.

      You can meditate lying down. A good healing guided meditation can really make you feel much better. I’m considering recording one for those who visit the
      site. I’m very busy right now, but will try to get one done and posted within a couple weeks, so check back for that.

      If you don’t absolutely need anti-depressants I’d think you might want to exhaust all alternatives first. Stuff you know doesn’t run the risk of further
      insult to injury.

      Keep us posted and feel free to post to just vent or ask questions as well.

      All my best,

    4. Dear Luce,
      Have you looked into asking your gyn/ob about testing your hormonal levels? I started the yam cream suggested as a possible remedy on this board, and it has really helped me with those low moods. It is also known as progesterone cream. You can also find out more about it by going to read reviews on amazon about it. I wouldn’t be without it, now. Good luck!

    5. Hi Again, Luce,

      I told my story in earlier posts. It took me a long time, but I finally weaned completely off of my last medication that I had reactions to, which ironically was Ropinerole, which was given to me to help stop the symptoms. Instead, I kept getting the RLS unbearably every day, especially when I was due to take my daily dosage, even when I was down to 1/4 of a dose. Physicians tend to scoff at us when we try to tell them things that they cannot understand or have little knowledge about, but who knows our own bodies & reactions better than ourselves? I had such a hard time stopping it because of the symptoms I would get, the painful muscle cramps in my legs, being unable to sit still or sleep. It was exhausting. So I caved in & took it, even though I wanted to stop. What a miserable Catch-22 situation. I kept taking a tiny bit less of the med every week, until finally I was down to trying to take it further & further apart: first every 24 hours, then every 25 hrs for a couple weeks, then 26 hours every couple weeks, & so on. I let my body dictate to me, rather than what I was told or read ont he internet about weaning off medications, because my body was far more sensitive. It took a very long time, but finally I was able to stop this medication without any more withdraw symptoms of akathisia. For the first time in years, I don’t have RLS every night when that blasted pill was due. I felt like I was a slave to taking it, and had been terrified of running out of them. That can’t be healthy, and I am extremely leery of all medications now, no matter what it is. They can become a toxic soup within our bodies.

      Mind you, I haven’t become paranoid…just mindful that I am @ a higher risk of getting akathisia again. I don’t ever want that to happen!

      Also, remember that skin is the body’s largest organ, so any chemicals your skin comes in contact with can affect your body, too. There are so many chemicals & preservatives put in things like lotions & colognes, but even worse are cleaning products & things like dryer sheets that rub all over our clothes, then into our skin. Use those rubber kitchen gloves while using any chemicals around the house or garden, and keep them off your skin, because they go right into the body via our skin. If pesticides are used in your home, leave for a long time before returning, then make sure you wear a good quality mask while you open the windows & air out the house, before taking it off. I got to the point where I considered my body hyper-allergic, treated it that way, & have finally come out on the other side. You will too, it just takes time & learning to listen to what your body is telling you it needs. Keeping a daily journal of what you do & when you have symptoms suddenly worsen, is a very helpful way to become tuned in to what is affecting your body & causing problems. For example, after drinking soft drinks for decades, I realized I could no longer drink them anymore, after getting akathisia. I don’t know why exactly, except that it must be because my body is now more sensitive to chemicals. Especially while your body is de-toxing from the offending med, your body will likely be more sensitive to every single thing you put on or in it, so be mindful.

      For info on how pesticides can affect the body & mood:

      And that is just one example. Become vigilant to what you are exposed to, especially now while your body is already affected by akathisia & is more vulnerable. Evaluate your home & work environment, and lessen any chemical exposure risks. Doctors tend to quickly toss a med script at patients, rather than try to get to the root of the problem. What if what is causing a depression is chemically induced? A medication isn’t going to help that. So, I suggest being your own detective & see if you can find out what may be aggravating your condition, if anything.

      With depression being a factor, it is also extremely important to listen to your inner dialogue, and make changes if you are too negative towards yourself. You need to be your own best friend, and any time you catch yourself being down on yourself or being a ‘Negative Nellie,” ask yourself if you would treat your best friend this badly if they were at a low point in their life? Of course not. So, be kind to yourself & give yourself little mood lifts in ways that make you happy, whether that is simply using aromatherapy, listening to upbeat music, watching a fav movie, reading a fav book in a bubble-bath, picking flowers in your own honor–whatever sappy thing you can do to feel better, do it! That is helpful for healing, too. Sometimes we have to realize that something we want (for example, a Coca Cola in my case) is not being kind to ourselves if we have it, and we have to find a healthier substitute that won’t cause symptoms. Whatever lifts your mood is a good thing. Whatever sends your mood into darkness must be avoided.

      You need to heal, & after you are well on the road to healing, you will be better able to cope with the demands of others. Until then, they need to wait in line until after your needs are met, if at all possible. After always being the one that my family leaned on heavily to problem-solve & cave in on whatever they wanted out of me, I have since learned that when I’m in crisis, it is time for them to step back & recognize that I need that kindness in return, or at least they need to take a vacation from making their demands until I’m better able to cope with them. It is similar to what they tell parents to do on airplanes: if the plane might crash & the oxygen masks are brought down, put it on your face first–then the child’s. Because if you aren’t around to handle what might come next, they won’t be able to cope, either. First things first. You healing is #1 right now, so be kind to yourself & give yourself time & permission to do so, even if other people think you should be all-better with a snap of the fingers.

      This akathisia website is the best source of support & helpful information I have found on the internet (or anywhere, for that matter) in many years. Don’t lose this link, and come back to check in from time to time. Remember to familiarize yourself with the iist of medications that are more likely to cause akathisia symptoms, to avoid letting anyone prescribe them to you. Remember: any medication that causes physical dependence that causes withdraw symptoms, has a higher likelihood of causing akathisia. The Ropinerole I took was Not a narctotic, but the body becomes dependent on it. Hence the nightmare I went through, trying to stop it. I say I’m allergic to the worst offending medications now, rather than taking the risk of starting akathisia up again. And I’ve been shocked how few people in the medical field even know what the definition of ‘akathisia’ is; if they don’t even know what it is, how can they safeguard me against it?! So, you must be vigilant & your own advocate.

      Good luck on your journey towards healing. I’ve been where you are, and you must not give in to any of the darkness. You can & will come out into the light again…just keep taking steps in that direction, & learn how to stop believing a negative inner voice that is not ‘real,’ it is a false mood caused by an allergic reaction, and isn’t based on fact. It helps to remind oneself of that fact often. What we think, especially repeatedly, can play havoc with our energy & emotions; so we especially need to be careful of what we ‘listen’ to from within. Compare it to when you are sick with the flu or especially worn out, & then get bad news, as compared to getting the bad news on a day when you are well-rested & at your personal best. There is a world of difference in how we cope in either situation, & that is why it helps us to not ‘go there,’ so we are better able to cope while already reeling from the effects of akathisia.

      Negative thoughts can become a very bad habit that needs to be broken, but it can be sent packing with continued conscious effort. A good thing to do is immerse yourself in positive thoughts, and a great way to achieve that is to create an account on a site like Pinterest, and make folders that are only about happy, positive things & healing, to remind you of your goals. Then when you need a pick-me-up, you sign onto your account there & are given many new choices that fit your positive-minded interests, giving you a much-needed mood lift during a low moment. If you don’t want to be in darkness, turn on a light! If it is still too dark, take steps to make it brighter. We can do it without medication, but it does take effort. There are no side effects that way. But whatever you do, don’t sit in the darkness just waiting for it to get better, because then we start to sink even lower. It is a challenge at first, but you can *make* it better & prove to yourself you can regain better control over the darkness, and you will start feeling less victimized & vulnerable, and more hopeful with renewed strength, both physically & emotionally.

      Best to you on your journey into wellness.

      Kind regards,

    6. I am so sorry. I have been suffering severe akathisia for over 6 years. It was caused by an atypical anti-psychotic used to treat bipolar. I am slowly weaning off of the medication finally, but I am terrified the akathisia is permanent. I don’t know if it will ever go away. Like you, I just want my life back. I wish you way more than luck. -JA

  15. could love cause akathisia? love causes an increase in levels of dopamine and serotonin similar to that caused by drugs, and withdrawal from drugs can cause akathisia, so could love cause akathisia when the person you love does a disappearing act on you? or maybe a cold turkey split after deep love could cause akathisia?

    1. Reema,

      I’m not a doctor, so speaking to exactly how the chemistry works in the brain is really outside of what I can offer.
      It’s an interesting theory, and as we’ve seen from others, simple things that affect the serotonin/dopamine balance,
      such as certain nuts and oils, can impact akathisia and a natural substance if taken at a therapeutic dosage also could.
      But could an emotion cause something as severe as akathisia. I’d be inclined to say no. Could it cause extreme upset, or
      agitation, depression, anxiety, etc. Yes, it could. I’m sure each of us have experienced that on some level a time or two.

      But akathisia is, from what I know, a severe and usually sudden disruption in the hormone balance in the body/brain which brings on severe symptoms.
      This is generally a result of some form of pharmaceutical. As many pharmaceuticals go right through the blood-brain barrier and
      can set that fine balance off on a journey on the high seas, so to speak.

      So again,, Could you be feeling awful mental and emotional reactions from an emotional upset or disappointment, absolutely.
      But it’s not the same experience as akathisia.

      If anyone else has info or thoughts on this feel free to chime in.

      Lastly, if you’re going through a severe mental and/or emotional upheaval please find a good therapist to talk with. It can really make
      a huge difference! : )

      I wish you all the best,

    2. Hi Reema,

      I have suffered with akathisia for over 8 years. Akathisia is a word used to describe a sensation in your body. It is not an illness.

      Most people think that it is an illness. It is caused mainly from medication use or withdrawal, but it is a side affect symptom during use or withdrawal, it is not an illness. Akathisia is a greek word that means “cannot sit still”.

      Medication or drug induced akathisia sensation is similar to high anxiety and agitated restlessness. It is a feeling similar to the feeling you get in your body when you scratch your fingernails down a black board. It feels like an electrical feeling in your body that compels you to get up and move, but at the same time you are totally exhausted physically.

      Your question is “can love cause akathisia” The answer is – without doubt yes. It can cause you to feel highly anxious and restless. If you cannot sit still and need to move to ease the sensation in your body, this is akathisia. The intensity and other factors may be different from medication induced akathisia, but it is a form of akathisia. It is caused by more than just medications, but it is a symptom of an illness, condition or situation. Most people would not suffer for too long once the cause has been removed. From my experience, the cause of the akathisia should be identified and treatment, if needed, should be tailored to that cause. It should not be tailored to treat the sensation of akathisia, if that makes sense.

  16. HI, My name is Ashley

    I went into the ER on Jan 31st 2016 for Migraine with AURA. I was given Reglan and benadryl “ER cocktail” as they called it, through the iv. It was administrated within a minute. I was not informed of the dangers of this medicine or that the FDA gave it a black box warning! I also later found out its suppose to be given over a ten minute time frame. As soon as it hit me I felt like I was going to die. I was released from the hospital, but with a whole new set of issues. I was spinning, could barely walk,couldn’t eat,vomiting, shaky, having panic attacks, palpitations and the list goes on. Mind you, I’m a healthy 28 year old who doesn’t smoke nor drink. Never had a history with any of these issues. I called the ER who said the meds should leave my system within 5 days and shouldn’t have anymore issues after that. WELL ITS BEEN ALMOST 3 MONTHS!!!. I am still suffering from this and doctors look at you crazy when you tell them what’s going on or don’t want to address it. I’ve been to a neurologist who told his nurse to give me a sedative and wouldn’t even see me to run test. I am going to the Cleveland Clinic in early May. I am not sure if my symptoms are related to Akathisa or not.Depression and anxiety are my major issues along with not being able to do basic house chores. I constantly feel like my chest is pumping hard and vibrating. my head tightness and numbness fluctuates. My mood shifts sometimes constantly. Sometimes to the point I cant eat. I do notice a bigger mood shift during my menstruation. Once it shifted the whole time where I thought I was healed. I do also have Hypothyroidism. wish I had an answer out there somewhere. I changed my diet completely. I aslo take b6,omega3s,b12,magniesum,a probiotic,biotin, and d3 everyday.
    Thank you

    1. Ashley,

      I’m very sorry for what you’re going through. It’s hard to know if you’re suffering akathisia. The symptoms are clearly some type of reaction, but not sure if it’s akathisia. When we have a reaction to a pharmaceutical it causes imbalance basically throughout the body and brain. I’ve learned that the root of much of this is in the gut and thus hormonal balance and one affects the other. The thyroid is often impacted by hormonal disruption.

      I would have asked first things first if you had tried magnesium, B complex and a good probiotic to start with. But I see you are. Make sure your probiotic is a quality one. I’ve found VSL #3 or Custom Probiotics 6 Strain or 11 Strain are the best out there. At least the best I’ve found so far. As I’ve mentioned here before, more of our serotonin receptors are in our gut than brain, so it’s very important to keep the gut balanced, and a good probiotic is key for this. Cut way down on sugar and high gluten and high glycemic foods. Make sure you get greens of all sorts. Clean protein is very important for the body during healing from such an episode too.

      I am still recovering from a recent reaction to an antibiotic, Cipro. My reaction was pretty severe, it’s something called being “Floxed” and among a litany of other awful symptoms, left me unable to walk for almost a month. I definitely found probiotics help, but this is a no-brainer since antibiotics clearly impact gut flora. I’m sharing this info because I’ve done a ton of research between my experience with akathisia and now being floxed and while they’re not exactly the same, they share many symptoms.

      There’s a product I have yet to bring up on the site here, but I think it’s time. It’s called CellFood. It’s an amino acid complex liquid and you just add one drop per ounce of water, to your drinking water. I have been slowly healing from the Cipro reaction over the last couple months, but found a big jump in the healing process since starting back on CellFood. I’m pretty sure this is what actually got me walking again.

      I wish when I had been going through akathisia I knew about CellFood. I think it’s a very safe, but highly effective supplement. I’ve been taking it on and off for years now with no side effects or issues. It really seems to balance my body and moods during this floxed deal. I notice quite a difference on the days I forget it, or take it later in the day. So I’m just saying, it may be worth a try.

      I know someone who’s struggling with akathisia who I believe has probably just started on the CellFood, but have yet to get the report back. I’d be very curious to what degree this helps you, should you choose to try it. Certainly keep us posted either way.

      Wishing you all the best in a speedy recovery!

    2. Hi Ashley,

      I was given Compazine for a migraine and had a similar reaction to yours. It took 4-5 months to feel like myself again. I would recommend stopping all vitamins and supplements and then adding them back in one at a time and see how you feel. I started taking d3 a couple of weeks after my ER visit and it made my akathisia ten times worse. I have also heard that B6 can cause anxiety. Even if these vitamins did not cause you these reactions before the Reglan, they may be now. One supplement that did help me was methyl B12. My anxiety calmed down right after I would take it. But again, I would stop everything and journal how you feel to see what is best for you. Also, magnesium caused me anxiety during the 4-5 months of healing, but I started to take natural calm after and haven’t had a headache since! As Angie has said, your brain wants to heal and it will get better.

    3. Thank you so much for your advice. I will definitely stop taking everything. I just purchased natural calm yesterday. I really have been having a difficult time with all this. It has been 91 days. Did you ever experience the head numbness and tightness?

    4. I did. My neck would feel very tight as well. I remember in month four waking up one day and just feeling so much better. Keep moving forward and I promise you will heal. Keeping a journal was really the best thing for me. I wrote down everything I ate, had to drink, and all supplements, including dosages and then wrote a page or so on how I felt each day. It was time consuming, but I realized certain things that made the akathisia worse that I would not have thought of (vitamin d, chocolate, any food out of a box, even a sip of wine, exercise). I also realized what made me feel better through the journal (bananas, apples, greek yogurt, organic eggs, methyl b12, 15 minutes of restorative yoga, lots of water to stay hydrated) and I stuck with those things until I felt like I had my life back.

      I am happy to answer any of your questions. I would not have even known I had akathisia if it weren’t for this blog because none of the doctors I went to even brought up the word. They just thought I had anxiety. I don’t even know where I would be without this online support system!

  17. 18 months after coming of Prozac that I took for 17 years, I still have this condition. The deep horror that took me to the edge has improved somewhat but I still suffer every day. My spine is ridged and bows at the bottom meaning I’m in constant pain in my neck and upper back. Although I can sit for periods of time it is not a pleasant feeling like pre akathesia, it’s is more out of complete and utter exhaustion. I have chronic fatigue but feel the need to stand often. The insomnia is brutal and have not improved in a year. I force myself out for short walk and I eat healthy, but I seem stuck at this stage of recovery, I’m very sensitive to light and sound and have very blurred vision.
    Up until recently ever doctor I have seen has Insisted that my problems are simply because of a return of my anxiety and depression, I wish with everything I am that I could go back to the level of anxiety I had before Prozac, it was a absolute breeze compared to the hell in in now. Recently I saw a psychopharmacologist who agree with me 100% and told me this illness was itrogenic akathesia, he suggested some treatments for my GP to try ( chlonidine) but my GP will not prescribe this off label and constantly insists on trazadone or some other sedating antidepressant.
    I’m very worried this will never end and my brain is permanently damaged. Iv lost my job, my house and my relationship is suffering as I struggle to be around people for long periods of time. I used to run marathons, I worked full time, was a good mother and all round normal person.
    it is also much worse in the morning, is that normal ? Will I ever get full functions back? I was only on 20mg of Prozac, I wanted to come off it many times during treatment but my doctor would always say, your so well why the Rock the boat. I will never forgive them for what they have done to me.

    1. Lucy,

      I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been through. Yes, I have a feeling before long there will be an uprising against Western Medicine and it’s approach to “health”. All they do is medicate, they don’t even understand the body, not really. Well, when it comes to fixing broken bones, sure, but anything they don’t understand and can’t see under a microscope they just throw various meds at indiscriminately. The medical (mental and physical branches) institution needs an entire overhaul.

      In the meantime, we have to advocate for ourselves and NEVER allow a doctor to dictate what we need, especially when it goes against our own gut instinct. That’s my view anyway, I’m sure many disagree with me.

      There’s no reason to expect you won’t heal. You will. It will just take longer than you want or even feel you can tolerate. But you can.

      Yes, it’s hard when they try to give more meds for med damage. The only pharmaceutical I’ve seen work very well for several akathisia sufferers is
      Propranolol. So maybe you could talk with your doctor about that option. If they aren’t open to it, maybe you should consider finding a doctor with a
      brain in their head.

      There’s no such thing as permanent damage from meds. The cells in your body and brain are constantly rebuilding anew. Your body and brain are always
      working toward homeostasis. It will take time and doing all you can to give your body the space and peace and clean environment it needs to do that.

      I’ve been researching other meds and health issues, due to a recent issue I’ve been dealing with and have found that a lot of people who are sensitive
      to meds and especially those who have been diagnosed with Fibro or Chronic Fatigue, have issues with something called oxalates. It’s worth your time to
      do a little reading online. Look up low oxalate diet. Or chronic fatigue and oxalates. You may do very well with a low ox diet.

      Please keep us posted, feel free to vent or ask further questions as needed.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you.
      All my best,

  18. This is like a breath of fresh air. I am currently having a pretty bad episode and reading this helped a LOT. Thank you! You might just be a lifesaver. 🙂 ~An occasional sufferer of Akathisia.

    1. Sara,

      You’re very welcome. Dig around for all the good info on my posts as well as reader’s posts.

      Keep us posted with how you’re doing : )

      All my best,

  19. Hi Everyone,

    I thought I would leave an update on my progress. Nutshell recap: I had meningo-encephalitis many years ago, which my neuro later said would cause me to be prone to chronic akathisia or even the worse condition (!!), Tardive Dyskinesia. Frankly, I live in fear of both. I have learned to be extremely careful which medications I will take, and have learned that even stimulants such as caffeine will cause my symptoms to recur. My worst incident of akathisia occurred following a respiratory illness that I took Cipro for, and it took a few weeks before it happened. This was about 5 years ago. The initial akathisia was severe, with the inability to sit still, that extreme restless cramping feeling was in my legs & shoulders. As soon as I would get up to move to find relief from that symptom, I would feel exhaustion so extreme, I could barely endure moving around. What a miserable Catch-22 situation that is, isn’t it?

    FEELINGS OF TERROR & VERY DARK THOUGHTS: I also experienced the episodes of pure terror, which is the closest I ever want to come to experiencing what Hell must be like. Fear-ridden, hopeless feelings of what victims of crimes have gone through, very dark thoughts of torture, pain & suffering that even death would not stop (Hell) suddenly seemed to come out of nowhere, with agonizing fears were irrational but it felt like all these terrible things were happening to me at that very moment, and I was buried alive & couldn’t get help, couldn’t escape, even in death. It was the most psychologically torturous thing I have ever lived through, and of all the symptoms, that is the one that was the most disabling for me-which is saying a lot. For those of you experiencing it: It Will Pass. Don’t despair. I know it is grueling & the hardest thing you will ever have to go through, but keep going through it, until you come out on the other side. Know that others have gone through it too, and you aren’t alone.

    What you need to do when you are in the middle of a panic attack like this, is to remove the power given to the panic: start consciously slowing your breathing down, which will slow down your racing heart rate, and lower your spiking blood pressure. Only by doing that, can you lessen the panic & fear. You think it isn’t possible to calm down @ the peak of this fear, but it is necessary & yes, you can do it. The best thing I can tell you to do about it is to approach it like you are a surfer on the ocean. You see a big wave coming, are you going to be able to stop that wall of water? No. What will happen if you try to fight it? It will hit you anyway, and you’ll be full of horrifying panic when it hits. BUT, you can choose to meet it by relaxing when you see it coming, letting it overtake you, and ride it out like you are body surfing, and a wave is lifting you…then let it pass by you & through you, just like a wave. This works with fear & anxiety symptoms when they rise higher & higher, and you start to panic. When the wave of fear crests (worsens) & then finally passes, you’re still here, and you made it through! The ocean is calmer now, and you’re better & feeling relief. Yes, another wave will eventually come, but you’ll survive it just like you did the previous one, until there are fewer waves & finally, the last one is gone now, too. It will pass. But if you tense up & resist the ‘wave’ of anxiety, your panic will escalate & then you would feel even worse affects. Focus on slow deep breathing, then do what you think you cannot do: just surrender to it, let it do its thing, and it will be over more quickly & less painfully, that way. It helped me to repeat a mantra to myself, “This isn’t real. This is an allergic reaction symptom that is causing illusions of fear, and is not real. The only way out of this is to go Through it, out to the other side. It will pass. Remember: the more you give in to the fear, the more adrenaline response you will cause in your body (the fight or flight hormone will activate) and then it would get worse. So you best hear me when I say, “Surrender to it.” Surrender = acceptance, no adrenaline rush, less power to worsen the symptoms. Freaking out = adrenaline rush, much worse symptoms because adrenaline spikes your blood pressure & stress hormones, which heightens the symptoms like throwing gasoline on a fire. The first thing you should do when you start to panic: slow your breathing & concentrate on slow, deep breaths. This will force your body to start calming down, slowing your heart rate & preventing the adrenaline rush. Also focus your thoughts to help you instead of hurt you: Instead of thinking about the fears (you cannot think your way out of these physiological symptoms, because they aren’t ‘real’ fears in front of you) which will only make you end up going into panic mode, concentrate on your slow, deep breathing and repeat a mantra that reassures you. Ride that wave! Once you have learned this method, you are empowered to handle things you used to cower from, and it is very freeing.

    For me, thankfully these terror episodes only happened twice, for several nights. Thankfully, they didn’t last as long as the other miserable symptoms of akathisia. If you have them, definitely stop all stimulants. Caffeine will only heighten the terror symptoms, do you don’t want to fuel them. If you are sensitive to cold medicines, be careful not to take those, either. Watch every single thing that goes into your mouth, start a food & drink & medication diary, and see what seems to cause triggers in your body. Avoid those items. And don’t make decisions you can never take back while you are in a panic. They usually aren’t good decisions.

    My doctor put me on Propranolol (Inderal LA) 40 mg, and Ropinerole for the akathisia. Upon during research online, I discovered that the best form of inderal/Propranolol to take for akathisia is NOT ‘LA’ (Long-Acting), but the NON-Long-Acting. So I called my doctor & he placated me by prescribing the NON-LA form of this medication. It worked so, so much better. This is important to remember, folks!

    Once on the meds, I finally started finding relief, but certain things would set it off again. I found that my body was now hyper-sensitive to almost everything that it hadn’t been before, such as other medications I was on would worsen my akathisia symptoms. So, I started carefully & slowly weaning myself off of my medications. Some were harder than others. With me, 2 surprising medications that made the akathisia rear its ugly head again: Benadryl & Ativan! Benadryl is usually used to combat akathisia, and the Ativan is usually for helping stop the anxiety symptoms…I was floored, and didn’t want to believe it. But my Food/Drink/Med diary didn’t lie, and during my acute phase (early onset of akathisia, when symptoms are at their worst), I learned not to take Benadryl at all then (I can, now); & I reserve Ativan for rare times. I learned that if I took Ativan every day, I became a slave to it, because it would cause a rebound ‘demand’ for me to take it again 24 hours later. When I had anxiety & took an Ativan, it helped…for 24 hours. Then, the anxiety symptom would come back DOUBLED. Which is why I became a slave to it. I realized that this cannot possibly be a good thing for my body, and had to grit my teeth & suffer through double anxiety, until the symptom passed. I had to follow the wave method from the above paragraph, to help me through this. That was a sleepless night, to be sure. The next night, it was like my body had a memory for it, and wanted it again. Exhausted, I fought through it, and it was less severe that second night. Then I was free from it. Be aware: it usually takes from 3-5 nights to kick a medication withdrawl reaction like this out of your body. I’m not sure, but it seems like something similar to what addicts go through, the withdrawl symptoms. Akathisia seems very similar to drug withdrawl symptoms, has anybody noticed that? The weird thing is, the meds that triggered this were not taken every day, so I didn’t put two + two together at first. Since I have been chronically ill for many years, all the meds my doc threw at me ended up creating a very complex toxic soup in by body & to my brain.

    The worst challenge I have had to conquer: I started weaning off of the Propranol, which took long enough. I wasn’t about to stop a medication suddenly, so I used a pill cutter to take even a smidgen of med less each week, until finally I could safely stop the med without triggering akathisia symptoms. Whew. But the Ropinerole seemed to have a death grip on me, and although my body also hated it (I had shortness of breath symptoms with this medication), it also demanded it. I did Not want this medication, I tried many many times to stop taking it, after weaning down to 1/4 of a pill. But when I tried to even go to every-other-day of taking it, the akathisia symptoms would start: my legs wouldn’t stop moving, the anxiety would begin, I couldn’t sleep because of the achy pain in my legs that demanded constant movement, but when I got up to move, I would feel extreme exhaustion. Many nights, I tried to sleep while standing up, leaning over my bed propped up on pillows, just to try to keep my legs moving while trying desperately to sleep. It was beyond miserable, as most of you know. I hated that symptom more than I can say. I have fought it again & again & again, many nights, trying to get past the 5-day mark. I would be so exhausted that I couldn’t complete it. Back on the damn pill, I would go. I found it hard to believe that 1/4 of a pill could have this big effect on me, but there were times when I truly thought I had taken my pill but then discovered hours later that it must have fallen out of my hand when I went to take it, because it would be on the floor or on my chair–and I would find this out after the symptoms made me miserable enough to get out of bed & start pacing. So obviously, that wasn’t ‘all in my mind’ or some rogue fear misguiding me into taking a pill I didn’t want to take, if I got symptoms that brought me out of a deep sleep hours later when I truly thought I had taken the pill. I just kept trying, but had to get other things better in my life (using the food diary, cutting out other factors such as caffeine & all other meds one by one, adding healthy supplements such as magnesium) until I could finally tackle this last one. Each time, I took less of it, even if it was just a few grains less. Finally, finally I was able to stop taking it. Blessed relief of sweet freedom!

    One thing about chronic akathisia (most of you won’t get the chronic form, I am unlucky enough to have it due to my past medical history of meningo-encephalitis), it forces you to become very aware of your body & everything you put into it, and how your body responds to it. I think there must be a calcium-magnesium link for me, and that my body seems to require much more magnesium than it used to; so I have answered that call. I highly recommend taking “CALM” especially during any acute phase of akathisia, to help your body overcome it.

    Link to CALM, where you can read customer reviews:


    The info on this website has been a godsend, and we all owe the webmistress a huge, heartfelt “Thank you & Bless you, Angie!” for keeping this wonderful information source open to us, because there is nothing else like it available anywhere, that I have seen. She takes the time to give us help, and give us hope during this grueling experience. Years later I keep returning to see how others are coping, learn new info, & add my support when I can by sharing anything helpful that I may have come across, also.

    Healing wishes to everyone,


    1. Cyndi,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s always helpful to learn what others have been through and what may have slowed, or sped up, the
      healing process.

      You mentioned Cipro setting off a bout of akathisia for you. This might be the first time I’ve actually heard a recount of an antibiotic causing it.
      You say it took a while. Did you take a set amount of the Cipro then the symptoms came days later? Or did the symptoms come after taking the Cipro for an extended period of time. Also, were you taking anything else at the time?

      if for sure it was just the Cipro I want to be sure its on my potential drugs list.

      Again, thank you for sharing and giving such great support for the readers!

      All my best,

    2. Hi Angie,

      I can’t remember more details, since it was such a long time ago. All I remember is that over a few months’ time, the only change at all was adding Cipro antibiotic to whatever else I had been taking at the time, which would have been daily prescribed medications. The Cipro was the only thing that was different, and it occurred several after taking it, which is why it took me a long time to realize what was going on. There was nothing else I could attribute it to, and I researched it and found out that although it wasn’t one of the most frequent causes of akathisia, it does happen, and that it can happen many weeks after the last dose was taken. It may have been the combination of whatever else I was on at the time. I can’t remember what that may have been, now…just that when I did take medications, it was long-term prescriptions, and not something I would just stop & start (like the Cipro).

      Kind regards,

    3. Cyndi,

      Thank you for the update. It’s so hard to know if you were taking many things. I don’t think even the pharmaceutical companies know exactly how
      all things may interact with one another. But it’s good to know Cipro may be a cause for people. All info helps!

      Thank you,

  20. Hi again Angie
    I know I’ve told u my story a few times now but I’ll just go over ut roughly for others quickly – December 2013 I was given compazinevin a&e for dizziness and it gave me crippling akathisia which luckily was diagnosed by a medical person. This led me to yr blog and u urged me not to take any other meds to help me recover.how much I wished I had been strong enough to do what you urged!
    Of course the so called medical professionals put me on paxil- I had a reaction so put me on zoloft.
    I had huge hope that it would help but it didn’t, I tried coming off but ended up in a psych ward because it aggregated the akathisia really bad, so of course they added pregabalin to the mix and a few benzos.
    Now I knew better and was feeling strong enough to start tapering and really get healed.
    It took me 1 year to taper ( baring in mind that a few years earlier I was taking zoloft for a so called mild depression! Ha! That was nothing and I didn’t need any meds but that’s another story! Anyway, my point is that I was able to wean off over a few weeks after taking them.for 10 months with no withdrawal!
    This time it took me 1 year after taking them 4 months!!
    I’m.assuming that’s because my cns was so hypersensitive due to the akathisia?
    I took my last dose In August 2015 after a year of bad withdrawals then I didn’t seem to get anything?
    In December I had an adrenalin shot at a dentist with some lip filler( stupidest thing I’ve ever done! Started to feel odd here and there but thought ut might b a protracted withdrawal and still not sure now but late December a sudden flare up of severe akathisia again.
    It lasted badly until 4th jan then I slowly started to improve but then I had a massage and had another flare up for a cpl.weeks, then acupuncture and a terrible reaction.
    Now I’m recovering again but am.noticing more and more things that I’m.hypersensitive to such as- chocolate, sugar, orange squash, etc etc and I am.starting to.cut them out.
    I have many neurological issues aswell such as tinnitus, depersonalisation derealisation,tense muscles, a strange kind of breathlessness, floaters in my eyes and other peculiar things such as burning skin.
    All of them I can cope with, it’s just these flare ups that I get now of the the actual akathisia that I find very testing.
    I have realised how similar all of my symptoms are to benzo and ssri withdrawal but I had all these just from.the akathisia? Is it all very similar do u think?
    I really believe that if I hadn’t been given all the other drugs on top of the akathisia and gritted my teeth that I would be fully recovered by now.
    I am so mad with myself for taking so many.other drugs and now I’m concerned that I’ve caused permanent damage?
    I wonder is it withdrawal or just flare ups from reacting to things or maybe it’s both? I think that the year on zoloft stop me from truly healing and that it has prolonged this journey for me hugely? Do u agree?
    Also, I don’t want to frighten anyone bit I read a small chapter from one if Dr breggins books and he mentions permanent akathisia but then I read on urs somewhere that he said it is a transient condition? Can u tell me what the answer is pls?
    I’m.Sorry that I have to ask that question,I just need to know.
    Thanku as always

    1. Karen,

      I haven’t seen any cases of permanent akathisia. Though, I believe what you do during suffering has a lot to do with how long it takes to heal and get back in balance. I would be apt to think all the fiddling you’ve done with other drugs has prolonged the healing process for you. But don’t think for a moment that you are doomed to never heal. That just isn’t true.

      I do agree that basic anxiety/depression symptoms are similar to the symptoms suffered during akathisia, because basically it’s the same type of imbalance. That’s my understanding anyway. That doesn’t mean though, if you are suffering such symptoms that you will end up in akathisia again. Anxiety symptoms and a lot of the neuro bodily symptoms you’ve mentioned can be quite normal quite some time after akathisia has abated.

      Don’t think too hard on it all. Rather, do EVERYTHING you can to help soothe your brain and body and help yourself get to a better place. The sooner you give in to the notion that you will heal, and soon, the faster the healing process will go. I’ve seen it time and again.

      So faith and belief in your own brain and body to take it’s natural course toward healing is paramount.

      You are going to find your way back to total healing. Focus on doing good by yourself.

      Keep us posted with your progress. Your healing testimonial will be very helpful for others, once this is fully resolved for you.
      And it will.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you,

  21. Hi Angie
    I keep meaning to write to say that after I have posted on here I never seem to be able to find it again even though I always tick the boxes to say notify me if new comments or posts?
    Where do I click on to go to the most recent posts pls? Thanku
    I’ll write a separate post now with what I was going to say:

    1. Karen,

      I’m not sure! These wordpress blogs always confuse me a bit with how they’re set up. I do my best to keep it minimal so people can find their way around and get to comments. Let me know if you were able to relocate these latest posts..

      Thank you,

  22. I believe I am suffering Paxil induced akathisia – as I decrease my medication, I feel better and better – one of the things though for me is that I sleep a lot, and I don’t have a deep urge to move , I will shake my hand and arm to feel some relief, but mostly mine is emotional – or so I am convinced it is; I have all of the symptoms of akathisia except for not being able to sit- I sit almost frozen in terror and horror for no reason- please let me know if you think this is akathisia or maybe somethings else- do you have to have the restlessness? This fear terror horror feeling is unlike anything I have ever experienced and it’s made me suicidal in the past – since decreasing I’m no longer sucidial but still think I have mild akathisia – hopefully it will continue to decrease as I continue to slowly decrease my Paxil –

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      I’ve heard from a couple people who seem to have all the symptoms except the restlessness. I believe when the dopamine-serotonin balance gets out of balance it can affect people a bit differently, depending on each individual’s set point and how that balance has been swayed at the time. I have to say, I’m not a doctor of any type, nor a mental health professional, just someone who has talked with A LOT of people who are, or have been, in the midst of akathisia.

      It does sound like you are dealing with this imbalance. It’s GREAT that you are finding improvement as you decrease! Are you currently titrating down to come off the med, or just lowering your dose? Are you working with a doctor to do this?

      It is an AWFUL feeling, the frozen feeling, the horror, the suicidal feelings. But in time it will fade away. It won’t be as soon as you want, it never is – But it WILL subside in time.

      Please read the other posts and comments, which have a lot of great advice for helping you soothe your brain and get back into balance. And feel free to post whenever you have a question that someone may be able to answer, or if you just need to vent.

      All my best,

  23. Hello Angie
    I posted here just before Xmas because I had a reaction to an adrenalin shot and then u starred recovering nicely recently so I decided to try to start a low carb diet to try to shift this 3 stone of weight that I gained since I was put on all the psychoactive drugs to apparently heal my akathisia!( Wat a joke!)
    Anyway- basically I got my period about 5 days ago and since I got akathisia 2 years ago I always get a bit anxious before and during my period but this time I started the low carb diet at the same time and yesterday and saturday it completely tipped me over- my skin was burning, I wanted to run away and rip my skin off and had such severe suicidal urges that I couldn’t be alone.I wrote down all my funeral plans because I feel that I just cannot live this way anymore and can’t see that I will ever live normally.
    I can accept that I can’t take certain meds and vitamins etc etc but I can’t now even go on a diet to lose weight?
    I have now realised that I’m hypersensitive to so many things and just wondered if u think it will always be this way and if uve heard of this before pls?
    I am seriously depressed right now and wonder if this is due to the low carb diet( I stopped it yesterday by the way!)
    I’m just in such a mess:(
    I also need an.operation soon and I thinks it’s obvious what is going to happen – my future just doesn’t look good at all?
    Sorry for such a depressing post- I’m just Very desperate.
    Thank you as always Angie

    1. Karen,

      No. There’s no reason to think you will be sensitive forever. Whenever you make any changes to what you’re ingesting, food or otherwise, it will cause your whole system to shift. This seems to be a sign that you just need to keep things at status quo for now. You will certainly be able to diet, but just give yourself time before trying it.

      Also, there’s no reason whatsoever to believe you won’t be able to tolerate the medications given with surgery. You just need to talk with the anesthesiologist ahead of time and explain you have had akathisia and will need to be given minimal medication and NOTHING that may cause it.

      Having anxiety around period time is very common, and yes, even moreso for some time after having dealt with akathisia. But this doesn’t mean you’re
      damned. So PLEASE don’t allow your mind to run away with this setback. You will get back to balance quickly and even MORE quickly if you keep your mind
      in faith and knowing that you are going to be just fine. Because you are.

      Please keep me posted with your progress,, I promise you, this will pass quickly.

      All my best,

  24. My husband’s detoxing from awful surgery meds. Western medicine continues to put him on meds. He wants off all of them but can’t handle the detox symptoms. Jesus is the first answer. The second answer we found is a mind-blowing technique called “EFT” or Emotional Freedom Technique. It’s also known as “tapping”. It’s very new age, which he was hesitant to try, but we are amazed at it’s effects in getting to the root of his problem.

    There’s tons of videos but here is the founder of EFT. ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wG2FA4vfLQ
    Good luck
    ps-this is THE very first blog or comment I’ve ever posted. i just felt let to post this just in case it can help even just one person!!

    1. Jul,

      Thank you for sharing this information. The link isn’t complete so I’d like to post it here in its entirety –

      I have used EFT at different times, for different issues and found it to be very effective as well. It’s beyond me why I haven’t suggested it more on this site. Either way, I’m very glad you did! Thank you. 😀

      About your husband, first, how is he doing currently? Second, do you know if compazine was one of the medications in his surgery cocktail? It’s always best to pinpoint the actual medication so you know what you need to avoid in the future.

      Please keep us posted and thank you again.
      All my best,

    1. Yasmin,
      I have no idea,, if anyone out there has any experience with this please reply to Yasmin.

  25. I have written on here in 2014 when I had akathisia very bad after have been on reglan for three years. I didn’t have any problems with it in all those years but I went through a stressful time and my doctor prescribed me lorazepam and prozac. Now I think I didn’t even need them I was just nervous about my final exams etc. I got addicted to lorazepam and that’s when the real horror begun. I had akathisia so bad I was a complete mess. Well to cut it short I came off everything. After some months I experienced waves and windows. I took low dose of mirtazapine whenever I had a wave. After six months I had one last wave and it was gone. That was october 2014. I was well until three days ago. I felt it slowing coming at me again after a whole year of no symptoms at all. I needed ultram and tilidine for a pain condition that got out of remission in September. After three months on them suddenly akathisia came back with vengeance. Im also on Augmentin for my chronic condition. I suspect literally everything right now. The last three days were shear horror. Dread and sorrow are back as well es the horrible restlessness and agitation. Like a tiger is chasing me but without the tiger. What do u think? Can akathisia just vanish for 14 months and come back? I begin to think that the reglan did some long term damage to my brain. But how can it just go away that long without any symptom not even a little. My muscles are twitching like hell right now. I started to think about mirtazapine again because it helped me to cut the waves short everytime. But my doctor gave me propranolol. I took it a few hours ago and must say it helped to ease the restlessness. Oh well I’m at square one again…

    1. Yasmin,

      I’m sorry to hear what you’re going through. As you know I’m not a doctor, so I really can’t tell you
      what is causing you to go through this again. But my guess would be because you’re still actively taking
      so many meds, it’s something you’re taking. I don’t believe it generally just comes back out of the blue
      without any provocation. But again, I can’t say for sure.

      I would say that if you’re just stressed and your doctor is putting you on prozac and tranqs, you need to
      find a new doctor. That’s totally absurd, but sadly, not uncommon.

      I guess you know since you’ve been through this before that you can and will heal. It’s just a matter of
      time; making good choices and nurturing your body/brain.

      I wish you all the best, keep us posted with your progress.


  26. Oh, yes, one more thing. One of my sisters gets akathisia from marijuana. It’s rare, though I personally know one other person who gets that reaction from it. My sister doesn’t do recreational drugs but it was given her to combat sciatica and she ended up in the ER the first time she ingested it. The other person I know was a college friend of my brother’s and tried it at a party in high school. He ended up in the ER as well.

  27. One thing I would like to suggest, if you want to spend the effort, is that if a doctor did not believe you about the reaction you had to a medication, head to your local library. Most major libraries keep a copy of the current year’s Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) at the reference desk. You can’t leave the building with it, but you can make copies of the entry for the drug that causes you problems. Even if you don’t understand most of what it says, it will probably include the word “akathisia” in there somewhere and you can highlight it and show it to your doctor.

    Personally, I always make a copy of the pages for any new drug I am prescribed so that I can be aware of adverse reactions. They are listed, if memory serves, in the Contraindications section of each drug’s entry.

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