SSRIs & Blood Vessels

A forum to discuss Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency and its relationship to Multiple Sclerosis.

SSRIs & Blood Vessels

Postby CindyCB » Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:45 am

Just wondering if any of you with CCSVI have had trouble with SSRIs or anything that increases the serotonin in the brain?

I've read a few times that serotonin can cause cerebral blood vessels to constrict, hence the theraputic use of some antidepressants for migraines, which are believed to be cause by vasodilation.

For me personally I've had bad experiences.

I was put on an SSRI before they (or rather I) discovered my hypothyroidism. Within 3 days of this medication I experienced a stroke-like event that left the right side of my body numb, head to toe with a continuing sensory deficit, still causing major problems for me 3 years on. And that's after discontinuing the medication straight away.

More recently I was given tramadol, which also works on receptors to release serotonin (I believe) and while at first having the desired effect on the pain I was in at the time then made me extremely ill and resulted in my left side also becoming numb, which unfortunately seems to be a permanent feature also, albeit lesser than on the right side. This occured after one 50mg dose, which is pretty low.

One last thing, which is kinda strange is that when I started my levothyroxine and with any increases my 'spaciness' and feeling detatched gets worse, along with numbness/pain in my right side while all my other hypothyroid symptoms get markedly better - low thyroid hormone leads to low serotonin so presumably increasing levo, increases serotonin.

Anyone else?
Thyroid disease, Vitamin D deficiency, hypermobility, 'ME/CFS', CCSVI (stenosis both sides and assymetric malformed valves), TMJ - No MS but many neuro symptoms.
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SSRIs are complex

Postby MarkW » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:02 am

Hello CindyCB,

Before there is a lot of speculation about medicines. The scientific answer is the "we do not know" the answer. I hope your Doctor filled in a yellow card (also called an adverse reaction card), that way the event is recorded.
Sorry to hear about your stroke like symptoms.

MarkW
Mark Walker - Oxfordshire, England. Registered Pharmacist (UK). 11 years of study around MS.
Mark's CCSVI Report 7-Mar-11:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/8359854/MS-experts-in-Britain-have-to-open-their-minds.html
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Re: SSRIs & Blood Vessels

Postby CindyCB » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:10 am

Hi Mark,

I don't want anyone to 'point the finger' at any medications as such, just wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences - I'm merely trying to piece my medical history together and 'wondering out loud'.

The doctor brushed the event off as a migraine and said migraines can be a common side effect of antidepressants but mentioned I *may* have something like MS - following that I was sent to neurologists etc without diagnosis as I do not have MS.

I filled out a yellow card myself that I picked up from the chemist. I know I am not the only one to have this type of symptom from antidepressants - I've compared notes with others that have the same symptoms but no diagnosis (before I stumbled across CCSVI). We all wondered if we had some sort of permanent serotonin syndrome but I am not even sure if that's possible.

I thought it was kinda interesting anyway.
Thyroid disease, Vitamin D deficiency, hypermobility, 'ME/CFS', CCSVI (stenosis both sides and assymetric malformed valves), TMJ - No MS but many neuro symptoms.
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Re: SSRIs & Blood Vessels

Postby Cece » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:16 am

You haven't been treated for CCSVI yet, right? It's seems logical to me that the slow flow environment created by CCSVI blockages causes medicines to have a longer-than-expected amount of exposure to the brain. A leaky blood-brain-barrier might do that as well. For myself, I found I had greater tolerance of alcohol, for example, after CCSVI treatment.
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Re: SSRIs & Blood Vessels

Postby cheerleader » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:15 am

Hi Cindy--
so sorry for your adverse affects...it has been documented in others, so you're not alone.
http://www.theannals.com/content/38/7/1197.full

The cerebrovascular effects of selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are of major clinical concern, since SSRIs are known to increase the risk of bleeding through their antiplatelet effects1,2 and serotonin syndrome or serotonergic activation may cause vasoconstrictive stroke (Call-Fleming syndrome)3-5 or vasospasm.6 Two population-based control studies have failed to show any significant association between SSRI use and the risk of hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke7,8; in fact, SSRIs are the preferred antidepressants for patients who have had a stroke.9,10 However, several hundred SSRI treatment–related cerebrovascular adverse drug reactions (CV-ADRs) have been documented in the World Health Organization (WHO) drug monitoring program.11 Based on postmarketing drug surveillance data, stroke is considered an infrequent and rare adverse reaction of SSRIs (fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, citalopram).12


I hope you're able to recover feeling and motion and get on with life.

Sounds like you're really hypersensitive and prone to vasospasms. As a past migrainer, I learned what my triggers were (overtired, hormone fluctuations, red wine, chocolate) and stay away from the triggers. It's not so much about constriction or dilation in migraine, it's about the quick changes in blood flow, or vasospasms.

I don't have MS, but as a migrainer with increased stroke risk, I now live a pretty healthy life and no longer have migraines. I eat low fat, lots of fruits and veggies, no alcohol, no smoking, regular exercise, good sleep, lots of water and hydration. I made up the "Endothelial Health" program for my husband's MS/CCSVI, but it's helped our whole family maintain good health. I hope you get more answers. Until then, do all you can that is within your control to encourage great cardiovascular and brain health--
http://www.ccsvi.org/index.php/helping- ... ial-health
best,
cheer
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Re: SSRIs & Blood Vessels

Postby CindyCB » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:33 am

Cheerleader,

THANK YOU!! :-D

I can't tell you how long I searched for an article like that and found nothing - now I've seen 3 neurologists and 2 neurosurgeons and none of them suggested anything like this for me and said it most probably wasn't the antidepressants - I guess this is because I only took 3 pills and the effects are still with me 3 years later.

You have my sympathies, I've suffered migraines since I was 9 years old, so as you can imgaine I've tried all sorts including modified diet and preventative meds. My diet is pretty clean these days, don't drink alcohol or caffeine etc. but cannot exercise due to CCSVI or whatever it is that is wrong with me - thank you for your thoughts.

There is a huge hormonal pattern to them though, being hypothyroid doesn't help.

I used to get the horrid thumpers with vomiting but after that stroke-like episode, which started with my first aura in my right eye, they switched type and are always aura ones now. I am told is quite rare to switch types at the age of 30+

One neuro did an MRV on me last year and it showed a hypoplastic RIJV all the way up, transverse sinus etc - said it was normal variation but I think it's likely due to stenosis/valves etc.

Thanks again!
Thyroid disease, Vitamin D deficiency, hypermobility, 'ME/CFS', CCSVI (stenosis both sides and assymetric malformed valves), TMJ - No MS but many neuro symptoms.
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Re: SSRIs & Blood Vessels

Postby CindyCB » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:36 am

Cece wrote:You haven't been treated for CCSVI yet, right? It's seems logical to me that the slow flow environment created by CCSVI blockages causes medicines to have a longer-than-expected amount of exposure to the brain. A leaky blood-brain-barrier might do that as well. For myself, I found I had greater tolerance of alcohol, for example, after CCSVI treatment.


Yep, that's right Cece, I'm too nervous of making my situation worse so kinda watching and waiting with gritted teeth at the moment.

Yes! This is how my husband describes it to me - whenever I take meds they seem to 'linger' in my brain and get stuck there so the effects are far longer and further reaching than 'average Joe'.

I cannot tolerate alcohol at all currently (hypothyroidism adds to this as well) - oh well, I'm a cheap date :lol:
Thyroid disease, Vitamin D deficiency, hypermobility, 'ME/CFS', CCSVI (stenosis both sides and assymetric malformed valves), TMJ - No MS but many neuro symptoms.
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Re: SSRIs & Blood Vessels

Postby CureOrBust » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:38 am

I am actually taking Prozac after an article was posted here of a study that found a reduction in lesions from its use. Also the many works that I found (mainly in mice) indicating that it may cause neurogenesis in selected brain regions.

On the first day I tried it, I noticed a slight amphetamine like effect, but since then, nothing. I think I noticed a slight improvement in my MS when I first started, but since then, I don't notice anything when I run out and forget to get a repeat. I really feel sorry for people who take this for depression, because I really notice nothing from it. As a general rule, I am non response to medications that alter perception or such. I am however sensitive to caffeine with sleep.

ie no stroke like event for me.
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Re: SSRIs & Blood Vessels

Postby CindyCB » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:01 am

COB,

Thank you very much for replying and relaying your experience.

I'm sorry to hear prozac hasn't done anything for you but at the same time very pleased to know it hasn't caused you any adverse effect either.

Perhaps I am just very sensitive to serotonin related problems? Two of the others I know with the same problems as me are confirmed hypothyroid so I wonder if that's the key somehow. Who knows! :?:
Thyroid disease, Vitamin D deficiency, hypermobility, 'ME/CFS', CCSVI (stenosis both sides and assymetric malformed valves), TMJ - No MS but many neuro symptoms.
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Re: SSRIs & Blood Vessels

Postby HappyPoet » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:09 am

CindyCB,

So sorry to hear of your problems. I don't know anything about most of your troubles nor about SSRIs, but I noticed that you put "hypermobility" in your signature area which made me immediately think of EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) and the drug (or perhaps it's a supplement?) that Dr. Diana uses called Diamox; she has EDS and CCSVI but not MS.

You might want to search for her posts here about Diamox, to visit her thread here called the Eye Doc blog, and to check out her website http://www.prettyill.com for Diamox. She will answer your questions here (reaching her by PM is probably fastest) and on her website.

Best of luck.
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Re: SSRIs & Blood Vessels

Postby CindyCB » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:44 pm

Thank you Happy Poet - already been there ;-)

Taking a while to get my head around it all at the moment!
Thyroid disease, Vitamin D deficiency, hypermobility, 'ME/CFS', CCSVI (stenosis both sides and assymetric malformed valves), TMJ - No MS but many neuro symptoms.
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