Drug Reaction INFO from another source…

 Since I started this blog I have never added to it. But this article, which was sent to me by one of the blog readers, is so important and informative I just have to put it right up here where you can easily find it. It’s just one person’s opinion, but from everything I know, he truly GETS it and gives some highly valuable suggestions. Please just read with an open mind and take away whatever makes sense to you.
All my best,

*Please note that everything written on this blog is written by a mere concerned citizen, who’s just looking to share what she knows and help link people together, so they may help one another through a trying time. None of the material here should replace medical and/or psychiatric help, where it is needed. If you are in need, please contact a professional immediately. And remember, you are never alone, even when it may feel that way.

By Charly Groenendijk
The Netherlands
Sept 9, 2000 ~ 2009

  You experienced a negative reaction to an (SSRI/SNRI) AntiDepressant, what (not) to do Now?  

“Who does Not Know the Truth, is simply a Fool…
Yet who Knows the Truth and Calls it a Lie, is a Criminal.”
– In “Galileo Galilei” by Berthold Brecht (1898-1956)

Go to General Side-Effects SSRI/SNRI/SSNRI Antidepressants: cases, reviews, articles & studies
Go to Tapering Off Anti-depressants
Go to Introduction

Take notice that also non SSRI anti-depressants (and even Ritalin) may interact (primary or secondary) with the serotonergic (or serotoninergic) system in the brain.

After your reaction to an (SSRI/SSNRI) Anti-Depressant
The first 3-18 months
One of the long term side-effects after experiencing a reaction to an (SSRI) antidepressant, is an extreme hyper-sensitivity of the nervous system to light, sound, supplements, herbs and fabricated synthetic vitamins. Furthermore physical symptoms such as muscle tightness, electrical shocks through the brain and the body, feelings of burning on the surface or inside of the skin (deregulation of pain perception), visual and/or auditory hallucinations, as well as emotional and psychological problems. For a more detailed discussion regarding above mentioned side-effects click here.

We do not recommend to expose your body to synthetic chemicals whilst experiencing more or less severe hypersensitivity of the nervous system. We rather recommend to get your essential elements from preferably organic low acid food. Low acidic foods have a high pH value which is ALKALINE or BASIC! You need to ‘alkalinize’ your system (body) above a pH value of   ‘7’ !

Eat enough fruit and vegetables in a variable alkalinizing balanced diet, and drink lots of water. For instance tomatoes, bananas, kiwi’s, broccoli, aloe vera, carrots, cabbage, beans, cucumbers, etc., are a very rich source of essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Do not take 5-HTP to create more serotonin in your brain. By simply leaving your serotonergic neural system alone, you will assist it the most to find it’s own natural balance again. Unfortunately this will take some time.

Do not charge your nervous system like you always did before your reaction to an (SSRI) antidepressant. If you charge your nervous system too much, like too much stress, a surgery, unhealthy eating patterns, etc., you actually delay your recovery. You will have to learn to listen to your body, what means that you know when to withdraw and when to get active.

When you suffered a reaction to an (SSRI) antidepressant your nervous system becomes hyper-sensitive to ALL stimuli. What are stimuli? It is everything that acts on your nervous system (directly or indirectly) like light, sound, but also violence on TV, stressors, certain supplements or fabricated vitamins, etc. All these things act as stimulants to your nervous system. Actually the effects of a psychoactive drug and watching a horror movie are very much comparative to each other…that is: they BOTH act on your nervous system!

The key solution to recovery is NOT to stimulate your nervous system, but, to sedate your nervous system. Every time when you stimulate a nervous system that in fact needs to be sedated to recover, you delay the process of healing. We know it will be impossible to lock your self up in a dark, silent room and this is definitely not what we are trying to say. You just have to learn when to withdraw yourself (and thus your nervous system) from stimuli and when to come out.

Consider sweat baths (sauna baths). This is a very healthy habit. Sweat baths are extremely sedating to the nervous system. When you take a sweat bath on a regular base this will strengthen your cardiovascular system and improve the blood circulation. Next to this, go out in nature, trees, green, oxygen, gentle walking, etc..

About taking supplements
We learned that everyone who is experiencing (SSRI) antidepressant side-effects, is looking for the quick relief. People are experimenting with whatever supplement or fabricated synthetic vitamin they can get their hands on. Simply avoid this if that is possible.

As previously mentioned above, we do not recommend to expose your body to synthetic chemicals whilst experiencing more or less severe hypersensitivity of the nervous system. We rather recommend to get your essential elements from preferably organic low acid food in a variable balanced diet.

Two to three simple bananas and kiwi‘s, an egg-sandwich, 2-3 glasses of milk, a few tomatoes and an avocado a day provides many of the essential vitamins, (trace)minerals & amino acids you need on a daily base. Vegetables especially rich in essential elements are: Peas, Potatoes, Broccoli, Squash (Summer), Spinach, Lima Beans & Kale. The taste of nature is nice and it saves you money on unnecessary supplements too!

However we also understand that getting your essentials from a variable diet requires some skills in preparation and cooking of your daily meal. Not everyone is able or willing to do that. In that case you need to add your essential elements otherwise. We understand if you feel the need to take a daily multi-vitamin complex. There are many different multi-vitamin complex products, unfortunately a lot of rubbish amongst them. Most of them contain extra added synthetic chemicals which you must avoid. If you are going to take a multi-vitamin complex you need to be aware of the following:

  • make sure that it doesn’t contain Vitamin K. Vitamin K plays a role in the manufacture of blood clotting. Too much of this vitamin might interact with plasma serotonin which is also known to make blood form cloths (see article, “2.a. Serotonergic functioning”). Although there is more research needed regarding this matter, the anecdotal reports of (former) (SSRI) antidepressant users imply fabricated vitamin K as a cause for the worsening of their already exisiting symptoms.
  • make sure that ALL B-vitamins are low(never above the daily recommended standard). It is important to note that most B-vitamins work as stimulants to the nervous system. You need to avoid that.
  • make sure that the B3 compound is as niacinamide and NEVER as niacine (this will give a flush which could make you re-live all of your symptoms again).

Depending on the severeness of the reaction you experienced to an (SSRI) antidepressant we also recommend that if you decide to take your essential elements otherwise, to take calcium/magnesium/zinc in a vegetarian formula. Never exceed the daily dose of Calcium 1000mg, Magnesium 400mg and Zinc 15mg. Although calcium/magnesium/zinc are not known to act as stimulants, caution is needed. Always start with small amounts (1/6 of the daily dose), gradually build up and keep monitoring yourself.

In these first 3-18 months the cycles or the emotional rollercoasters (the tricks your brain is playing on you) can be extremely frightening. And it will seem like it never ends, especially when you find a bit of hope in the evening to be back at square one in the morning. Be firm! We all understand its the most frustrating experience right now for you. It’s serotonin related and that’s why you are experiencing delayed (withdrawal) side effects and flashbacks, but gradually it will get better. Evaluate your recovery by weeks and months, not days.

You are going to experience minutes, hours and days that you will start to feel better. The cycles will get longer in duration and eventually you will have more good then bad days. Though, it is most important you also treat your nervous system with care during these better days. Don’t think when the better days arrive that you can charge your nervous system like you always did before. It will give you a major set-back! Stick to the list we provide you below, on how to assist your recovery during this period.

Friends and Family
These times are very tough to experience. Your friends and family cannot even imagine the powerful influence these drugs have on your mind and your sub-consciousness. They simply cannot believe that these drugs can have such a powerful effect on someone’s brain. You might loose your trust in them after this. Try to accept and understand their ignorant and frustrating reactions. Avoid them for a while, if that’s possible.
How can I assist my recovery during this period?

  • Avoid any psycho-stimulants such as medications, herbs, but especially: violence on TV. Why? Because right now your nervous system has become hyper-sensitive and extremely susceptible to every input from your surroundings, not only light and sound! You must also protect your sub-consciousness until you reach a level of emotional stability.
  • Ingest low acid foods and try to minimize the ingestion of high acidic foods with a low pH-grade! REMEMBER: You need to ‘alkalinize’ your system (body) above a pH value of   ‘7’ !
  • Avoid Grapefruit Juice. Grapefruit juice is an inhibitor of the cytochrome P-450 enzymes. These enzymes are known to metabolise (break down) (SSRI) antidepressants in the liver. Drinking grapefruit juice whilst you are taking an (SSRI) antidepressant can create a serious toxic reaction, because the (SSRI) antidepressant will build to toxic levels in the bloodstream! For more information click here.
  • No caffeine. Drink lots of chamomile tea, sweetened with honey.
  • No alcohol.
  • Don’t take Saint John’s Worth. St. John’s Worth works more or less as a natural SSRI (on post synaptic receptors), also interacting with your serotonergic neural system
  • Don’t take Ma-Huang (Ephedra) because it’s a powerful adrenalin (epinephrine) stimulant, triggering adrenalin rushes.
  • Don’t take Kava Kava, it can intensify (SSRI) antidepressant (withdrawal) side-effects or give flashbacks to previous side-effects you experienced.
  • Eat neutral alkaloids, vegetables, etc..
  • Consider fasting for 1 to 10 days. Fasting detoxifies your body, but be careful and monitor your bloodsugar levels daily.
  • Don’t do any intensive exercise like jogging or aerobics, but instead try meditation, gentle stretching, gentle walking.
  • Go out in Nature, or go to a Sauna, or whatever environment where you may find a little peace of mind and body.
  • Listen to light Classic music or New Age music, watch cartoons (or anything else without violence), go walking, take hot or cold showers, anything that might work for you, anything to “manage” the “twilight zone” of suicidal and offensive thoughts and dissociated emotions.
  • Focus on memories of events in your past (like childhood memories) which will recall positive emotions. Hang on to them!
  • Learn during this period, which thought or view will give you any positive emotional response and write this down into the form of an affirmation! Read these affirmations for yourself every morning when you wake up! In this way you will slightly re-program your brain to tune into positive emotions.

Time and Nature will be your best friends in your healing process. In this battle you don’t fight to win because you can’t. You simply will survive it. Focus on the thought to survive this, and you will, just as other individuals did. Don’t force yourself to become the person again that you were before this, but make a statement to yourself that you will come out of this “trip.” Make this statement to your self everyday, every hour.

Whilst You are Recovering…
We strongly persist not to take any supplements, herbs and/or synthetic vitamins until your nervous system has strengthened over time. Continue to ingest proper food, vegetables and fruit during this period. Treat your nervous system with care. As mentioned above: don’t think when the better days arrive that you can charge your nervous system like you always did before. It will give you a major set-back! Be careful and monitor your body closely whilst you are ingesting a supplement or herb.

By Charly Groenendijk
The Netherlands
Sept 9, 2000 ~ 2009

18 thoughts on “Drug Reaction INFO from another source…

  1. Most of my physical Akathisia symptoms are gone. Is it possible that the remaining regular feeling anxiety is a result of akathisia? It comes and goes and has been there since the akathisia. It’s not the terror feeling I felt in the beginning but seems like irrational regular feeling anxiety. I’m in month 3-4 post withdrawal and there are times I really struggle with it. I know that I shouldn’t take any prescriptions for it. Is there a time frame for how long this lasts?

    1. Very normal. I had residual anxiety come and go for about a year after. Don’t worry, it will definitely go away completely! : )

    2. Just to update for new readers looking for encouragement. It’s a month later and the anxiety has improved so much. I’m not 100 percent better but I’m seeing bigger improvements every week. I can now do things that I either couldn’t tolerate or that would leave me in a more severe anxiety state for days.

  2. Hi Angie,
    I was given a single dose of reglan in the ER a year ago and after bandaided with SO many things, many for even just a day, others a few weeks and a couple for months. I’m down to just 1 med now but it’s a beastly one…klonipin. Getting off my final bit of gabapentin has been a nightmare. I was in the throes and finally felt like I was starting to gasp some air, finally starting to sleep again, started getting times when the ‘feeling’ in my legs would lessen, the agitation would lessen as well. I don’t know if this will ever end and I’m so scared. I have two young kids and HAVE to get through this! I feel like I’m right back to where I was last September; horrid restless, agitated feeling in my legs, can’t sleep but maybe 4-5 hours, wake up in a worry, anxiety of permanent damage, eating seems to make me worse and I’d finally gotten an appetite back, I walk as much as I can but feel so sick I can’t go for too long. I’m discouraged as it’s already been a year and I still have a nasty taper to go. I fear getting worse, I don’t know I could handle worse. I need hope so bad. I feel like the worst possible case with all I’ve let them do to me. I’ve been tapering meds since end of December and have awhile to go tapering this benzo as I don’t dare go fast. I can’t give up on my kids but I never thought I’d relive this level of torture. Any hope would be appreciated.


    1. Michaela,

      I’m sorry for what you’re going through. It’s always hard to hear about the struggles, but there’s one thing I know and it’s that – – IN DUE TIME YOU WILL HEAL!

      Please take your time and go through all the suggestions on this site and use the ones that feel like a good fit for you. The point is to have the least amount of agitating stimulation possible, and that includes foods that may irritate you. Avoiding sugar is key, even natural sugars. Keep yourself as healthy and relaxed as possible while you ride this out.

      With akathisia, 2 steps forward and 5 steps back is very very common during the healing process. Eventually you will find the progress outweighs the backslides and before you know it you will be feeling better. Don’t lose heart, it’s just a matter of time. There’s no reason to think you will get progressively worse. That’s not how it works.

      It makes healing harder when you’re on meds still, but weaning very slowly is really the best plan. I’d highly suggest searching until you find a doctor who knows what akathisia and is willing to help walk you through the titrating process. It will be reassuring to have someone by your side as you wean.

      There’s lots of posts here from people who have been in your shoes and are now healed. Reach out when you need support and keep us updated of your progress. Some day soon you will be healed and writing a note of support for someone else.

      My thoughts are with you – YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS!!!


  3. Thank you so much to Angie, and Charly TOO!!!

    You gave me hope, and I felt I wasn’t alone in the world with THIS (Akathisia). I had a burn out in January 2017 and was prescribed Citalopram 20 mg (along with Oxazepam for sleep, 30 mg). Always did (Citalopram) a strange sensation in my body but stayed on it… I actually “felt” the med “coming in” my head and body, but pursued… then, by the end of May, I started to feel that my back and head would “cramp”, with my muscles twitching and hurting, and my tongue started to burn, and the more I took the med, the more agitated I became… I came to the point that I had to take Ativan and Pregabalin to deal with the discomfort and pain Citalopram was causing… At the beginning of July, I was having more and more agitation, and this horrible sensation began to turn into a form of ‘paralysis’: my back, shoulder, neck, jaw and head would feel like being crushed. There really was a pattern with the timing of the med. Since I took it at 10 AM, I started to feel it “coming in” by 11, and by 2 pm I was in the “peak” of pain… it then subsided a bit for about an hour, from 2:30 to 3:30 PM, and came back (but in a less intense form) for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Again, and again, and again. On July 04th, it got so bad, it was extending to my limbs, and burning (felt like fibromyalgia), that the next day, I decided to quit cold turkey. At that time, I had ALL MY HEAD (was completely sane). My doctor proposed Elavil, which I took 3 days after, and it gave me convulsions. Two days later, I took a supplement of Gaba, and it sent me to the hospital (overdose, although not lethal). I went through hell. Then the “withdrawal” came, the monkey. But I stayed firm. I persisted. Almost lost my head, but here I am. This is my 23rd day of withdrawal from citalopram. I have all the symptoms that Charly described. Tried to take some vitamin B last week, and almost freaked out (extreme agitation). I recognize many symptoms of Akathisia from your story, Angie. Wake up in the morning, not feeling a true rest, already exhausted, and depressed to the extreme. But then, following the “drug” pattern, agitation and tensing + trembling + twitching + burning pain starts to build up around 10 am, then goes up, and up, and up, and peaks at 2pm (feels like I could run 10 km naked in the street shouting out loud), and I usually lash it all out at this hour by crying all I can, then I get a little break, and by 4pm, I return to the horrid ‘level’ of inside/outside burning pain in arms, legs, back and face (tongue and gums included) + agitation (less severe, but still horrible). At least, thanks to your blog, now I know what I have – and I definitely know that it is not ONLY withdrawal symptoms, because the mess in my head and the agitation are SO strong, and I have such horrible sweating towards the peak hour (and also after, but less)… My God, if only I would’ve known, me, who have always been and hypersensitive to any substance all my life… If I would’ve known, I would’ve NEVER let the doctor at the hospital push his “drug package” on me… But what can I do? I can only look forward, not behind, and heal. Thankfully, I have a wonderful therapist (a true healer, a woman who’s been my acupuncturist for 10 years now) who has been (and still is) helping me A LOT with this, along with my mother, my husband, and some friends too. Also, thankfully, I’ve been an almost vegan most of my life, already doing exercise, and practicing yoga, and meditation. I think that this too is saving my life right now. Because you really feel that death is nothing compared to the sensations in your brain and body… I think that love towards oneself is essential through all that. Love from others as well. Along with Nature, being in the sun, meditation, deep and conscious breathing, yoga (wonderful), stretching, and what I call “clinging to life” through its beauties and healthy pleasures – looking out for them, since I think that the worst thing one can do, is to shut him or herself from the world like in an oyster shell… even if one feels a mess, I think that there is no other choice than to “shake it of” a little bit once in a while and reach / go out, BREATH some air, walk, see some smily faces, interact, so one feels a little ‘normal’… Today, for instance, I am going to buy myself a journal and start to write down (and chart) my progress everyday. I am about to take a good hot shower and go the public market to buy myself some honey and drink a good veggie juice watching people go by. As I write these lines, my body is on fire, aching and spastic and shaky, my head feels like being put into a blender, I feel cold and hot at the same time, but… I am ALIVE! And thanks to YOU, I know that I am not ALONE (in this situation). You are wonderful, thank you a million times, and I’ll keep you posted on my progress…
    With love,

    1. Melanie,

      Thank you so much for sharing this wonderfully positive account of what you’re going through. I’m very sorry you’re going through this, but REALLY glad to hear you are taking many positive steps toward healing! Please do keep us posted. If you try the cellfood drops please keep us posted with your progress, before and after. I really do think this can be a big help. I see you’re already into more “alternative” health protocol, so you may be comfortable trying activated coconut charcoal. I haven’t recommended it to anyone yet, but curious if it would be helpful. It certainly can’t hurt.

      Anyway, thank you for sharing your story and please do keep us posted.

      All my best,

  4. Thank you so much Charlie and Angie. You give me so much hope. So, so many of the things you have mentioned are true for me and I keep learning from and trying to use your advice. As I continue to get better I will let you know more of my experience. I have been suicdal for I felt there was nothing and no one to help. Thank goodness for one Dr. who knew what akathesia was (maybe the others just wouldn’t recognize it) and gave me hope. I still know I have a long way to go and it is so scary. I wish everyone the best and hope I can help others as you have one day Angie. Thanks again ever so much. Inez

  5. Thank you so very much for producing this information. Please, do you have any experience with those going though this from ssri withdrawal? I was on prozac for 7 months and tapered over 3-4 weeks. To say I am in Hell is an understatement. Every second is torture. Its been 4 months. Please, is there hope for me?

    1. Steph,

      Many of the people going through this are so because of SSRI withdrawal. It’s all basically the same once you’re in Akathisia. The only determinant that I see makes a difference is how long you were on the offending drug in the first place. Generally, if it was years of treatment, then healing takes longer than those who had just one dose or only a few months. Please keep us posted with how you’re doing and if you have any further questions just post again and I’ll do my best to help or put it out there for others to potentially answer.

      Just know you are going to heal. Keep that as the foundation of ALL of your thoughts. I will be adding much more about the healing process in the very near term, I’m working on it currently in every bit of off time I can get.

      All my best,

  6. I would like to put a call out to all the people who have been through Akathisia and since healed. If you would take a few minutes to write a quick synopsis of what you went through and how you’re doing now, I’d love to post it here to help those who are still in the grips of it. It will help them understand there IS indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. : )

  7. Hi Angie, thanks for getting back to me. Yes I did consult the doctor and he said It didin’t happen due to paxil. But I’m sure he’s wrong
    Other symptom is just that I have depression like I have lost interest in everything in life that I used to like, My mood is very low,I don’t feel like doing anything very demotivated. and there is a feeling to cry inside my chest but I can’t cry.
    Other than that hypersensitivty to light/sound and The hot/warm feeling from Inside is the problem…Like its winter here but I feel discomfort warm sensation from Inside And Have been sleeping in AC. looks like paxil did something to the thermoregulator of my body.
    I am just trying to have a good diet and no excersize or meditation as I am depressed !

    1. Jason,

      Yeah, the doctors are quick to say it’s not their meds. Right.
      They should take just the emails I get via this blog, from suffering patients for just a couple weeks. Then I’d like to see what they have to say about that.
      The weird physical side effects from a lot of these psych meds seem to take a while to abate, so just be patient with all that.

      As far as being stuck in a depression. I’d really recommend the exercise and getting clean with your diet. I know you don’t feel like it, but you have to
      break that cycle. You’ll force yourself at first, but then you’ll start noticing you’re feeling better and that’ll help motivate you to keep doing it.

      Stay the course! You’ll get through this. But you have to get proactive and take care of yourself! Okay?

      Keep us posted.
      All my best,

  8. This information looks gold.. Hi I am 19 ..I was on escitalopram and paxil from october 2012 to march 2013. Went cold turkey,(didn’t face any setbacks) recently around december 2013 My anxiety was getting worse .. on january 24th 2014 I took I was compelled to take 1 tablet of Paxil 12.5CR . BANG BANG BANG. 6 hours later I feel all these burning sensation on my whole body, face,ears,eyes, Like my skin is burning from inside and out.. also I am feeling very warm from Inside and its Winter season here…. I had to be in AC for 2 days i felt so warm. If I try to get intimate with my gf I start feeling same hot/warm from inside. my ears and face starts burning and i panic greatly and have to stop. same if i try to jog in the park in winter I start feeling too warm from Inside like I’m burning up.. I have these electrical sensation all over my head and hands, dizziness, sleepy and hypersensitivty to Light and sound.. I don’t know if it was withdrawal or adverse reaction to the 1 tablet of paxil but I am literally fu*** up . and my anxiety and panic attack is worse and have also developed depression due to these ..

    I can bear everything for now but just this warmness,burning,heat in and out is driving me mad.My body temp is normal but just I am not able to feel normal weather.. its winter but i feel hot/warm burning from inside but cold on the outskin…. is there something i can do with this ?

    1. Jason,

      I’m sorry to hear about this miserable reaction you’re having. I’m not sure if it’s Akathisia, but it definitely sounds like you’ve reacted to the pill.
      I’ve heard too many cases where JUST ONE pill really caused chaos in a persons mind/body, so I believe it’s totally possible. I’m not a doctor though.
      Have you consulted with a doctor about this?

      Are you have any other symptoms?

      As I would tell anyone who has had a reaction to a medication, I’d just detox to the best of my ability if I were you.
      Follow the recommendations on the blog for soothing your body and brain. For now, avoid too much stimulation of any sort.
      Clean up your diet greatly. It helps more than you could believe.

      Have you tried any type of healing meditation, visualizations, hypnosis? Could be worth a try.
      Also what comes to mind is deep breathing. There are many cleansing breathing exercises out there that work wonders on
      soothing the body and mind. You can search online or Amazon for breathing exercises, or just search breathing and see
      what comes up.

      Keep us posted on how things are going…

      All my best,

    1. Colin,

      The info posted on this site is a compilation of all the years of research I’d done; as I was trying to heal, and then as I worked to help others heal. There are also facts and studies given to me by others who are on a quest to expose and find answers about Akathisia as well. I hope you find it useful. Honestly, it took me about a year to get feeling consistently back to normal and then probably another year until I was free from any backslides, though minimal in that following year. Each person heals at their own rate, some it takes a month or two and some a year. I’d say the majority of folks I’ve helped through this take on average between 4-6 months to heal.


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