Brain zaps on Cymbalta are a common but not fully explained phenomenon. Wind from a fan suddenly hitting my face and anytime i touched water triggered this. Berit Brogaard, D.M.Sci., Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy and the Director of the Brogaard Lab for Multisensory Research at the University of Miami. In Feb. Can you take patients who aren't local to your area? I'm still struggling and pretty terrified that no medications will help, and that I will get worse. It doesn't hurt. What Causes Brains Zaps? I still have the shocks after stopping paxil more than 20 years ago. I am so happy the gabapentin has helped you. amitriptyline + fentanyl patches. I know exactly how you feel and what you mean. The bottom line is, you don't have to worry about these symptoms, but they do require action before they can be eliminated. This can result in severe convulsions and a loss of consciousness. If the GABA theory is right, then yes! Brain zaps caused by quitting duloxetine are often accompanied by disorientation and lightheadedness. Nonetheless, antidepressant withdrawal can be challenging. It causes sudden and severe problems in your brain and nervous system. have you heard of this as far as the long term shocks? 2  When a person drinks heavily, frequently, or for prolonged periods of time, their brain compensates for alcohol's depressant effects by releasing more stimulating chemicals (compared to when a person does not drink). I want to come off of this cymbalta, but do not want to deal with this. Anything at this point is better than just living with it. I believe it has helped me while I weaned from 40 mgs of Paxil to 5mg. Perhaps a difference in chemical/metabolic processing that's not as common? I know exactly what you're talking about. Other common names for brain zaps include: brain shivers, electrical shocks, and brain shocks. I'm currently waning off SSRI myself, and a few drinks really do calm the brain zap sensations. It feels like a little prick on your finger, followed by a very fuzzy sensation. The Causes of Brain Zaps. Don't these drugs carry the strongest black box warning? Almost 14000 people helping one another. So I endured them. Long-term and short-term effects can result in a range of physical and psychological changes. In a minor seizure the brain is capable of preventing the spreading of the hyper-activity to larger areas of the brain. I found supliments really helped, I found loads of info on the forams, I found very quick relief with the help of Evening Primrose and starflower oil combo, B complex, magnesium all help to reduce withdrawals. I got "brain zaps" from neurological damage caused by an antibiotic called metronidazole (aka, Flagyl). I'm still getting the zaps. Because SSRIs, benzodiazepines, ecstacy and Adderall are all associated with an increase in the brain's level of GABA, discontinuing these drugs are likely associated with low brain levels of GABA. Hi Leigh L.: Help. Upon drinking, the liver metabolizes the alcohol intake. Brain Zaps. Think I’ve over done it with the alcohol over the new year period. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as well as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs)—the most commonly prescribed antidepressants—are popular choices of treatment for depression and anxiety, in part because they are not supposed to be addictive. Healing After Lexapro Withdrawal Brain Zaps Through their research, neuroscientists tell us that the myelin that wraps and insulates nerve cells is made of fat and other components. However, I found out that it was even more helpful than that when I weaned off my SSRI and experienced HUGE brain zap problems. I had electric shocks coming only off Clozaril, after being wrongly prescribed it for 14 years. I hope everyone who previously posted on here is doing well. I couldn't post the link here but you can google... In the past year and a half, they've started coming almost every night when I am trying to fall asleep. Since then I’ve weened myself of all medications except Effexor, I no longer have these electrical discharges in my brain. Alcohol works like benzodiazepines in how upregulating GABA as far as I understand. I don't take paxil anymore as of 6 years ago but the talkativeness is still there while the withdrawals I enjoyed are gone. The brain compensates for the prolonged presence of alcohol by adjusting its internal chemistry to overcome alcohol’s depressant effects. Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it slows your brain. They are not a knowledgeable resource. In the past, while taking numerous medications, I sometimes would be awaken from my sleep due to a huge brain shock. I have to disagree with the hypothesis about brain zaps being symptomatic of withdrawal as I was prescribed Buspar for menopausal anxiety and do not take any other meds at all. When I go off of it by the third day I start getting what I can only describe as a very high electrical shock in my brain that will immobilize me. If anyone has any suggestions for helping with the brain zaps, please share! the doctors did not believe me, suggested it was an emotional problem and gave me more paxil and other similar drugs to treat it. Any time that I missed the meds, or during the process of slow reduction, I experienced a woozy dizzy fog. Alcohol withdrawal stems from low alcohol levels in the body once it is accustomed to being given large amounts of alcohol. My mother was on effexor and had a horrible time getting off of it. This will happen over and over all night long. Obviously not saying it isn't happening to you, but what I AM saying is that you should absolutely get this checked out as there could be a different underlying cause. I tried a slough of different antidepressants as well as a couple of mood stabilizers and adhd meds afterwards. It would be good to share this info I think because I dont think its is widely known in the medical community. just off all the meds for 6 days now. Has anyone happened to them that alcohol alone caused them to have brain zaps? God bless and thanks for your service! And when I do start falling asleep, the "zap" will jolt me awake, but my body will still be paralyzed (for sleep, as it does) and I'll begin to have sleep paralysis with hallucinations. I would get brain zaps once in a while but never anything like how they were when taking Effexor. I'm relieved to find out I am not alone. Nurses and Doctors would look at me like “wtf” when I would say this. The brain zaps cause a lot of discomfort and anxiety; it makes it almost impossible to sleep. I'm trying to stop taking a low dose of xanax, which I've been using only for sleep for about 7 years. What you are describing could be your way of describing the 'brain zaps'. However, I get how they could be “zaps” as well. I.have been speaking to everyone I can who has ever had to deal with these and have never heard of ANYONE having them after around the 2.5-3 month mark (after stopping the meds). Myelin is destroyed by drugs, alcohol, high sugar, poor sleep, vitamin and mineral imbalances and deficiencies, and other known factors. I've been on Paxil for over ten years. Does anyone have any suggestions for helping anxiety and panic attacks with something natural? I am absolutely certain. Effexor has helped my social anxiety tremendously so I hope I don't have to discontinue it. From all the drugs I've ever tried, only the neurotoxic serotonergic substances caused brain zaps for me. Could it be that? If you have any ideas based off my personal experiences with it, I'd love to hear them. The site may not work properly if you don't, If you do not update your browser, we suggest you visit, Press J to jump to the feed. One reason against this hypothesis is that people who have low levels of serotonin in the brain usually do not suffer from brain zaps prior to taking SSRIs or SSNRIs (though there are reported exceptions.) I know you posted this nearly a year ago, but I was taking Effexor, and when I tried to ween off Effexor was when I experienced my horrible "brain zaps"... it was like an electric shock going from the base of my skull to my tailbone every time I moved my eyes even a little. Day 3 off the meds was the worst but I'm not sleeping very well either. I'm a zombie. Not to mention, I have slowly but surely packed on about 50 pounds since first starting this medicine in 2010. Hi Niki, I am coming off effexor at the moment, I'm 7 days off and suffering non stop brain zaps and there very debilitating, could you tell me how long did it take for your brain zaps to stop? I am currently getting off cymbalta and am getting the brain zaps. Even stronger than opioids? Adderall, and MDMA too, can increase the activity of GABA in some parts of the brain, primarily owing to their increase of available serotonin in the brain. I know that alcohol can temporarily boost serotonin levels a bit, but that doesn't explain having brain zaps from it as it's the lack of it what usually causes it. One of the most unbearable withdrawal symptoms reported are brain zaps (also sometimes called brain shivers, brain shocks, head shocks, and electrical shocks). But she didn't want me driving with strong zaps. For me too it definitely scales in intensity with the dose of the drug! Where I'm from we call those “zings”. I don't understand why I'm getting this, when everything I'm reading has to do with zaps on withdrawal. It would be so strong that I could actually hear and feel the electrical charge in my brain and feel it’s effect on my brain. I'm very new to this substance, even though I'm quite experienced with others, but when I drink I'm sometimes getting brain zaps very similar to those when withdrawing from SSRI antidepressants or doing too much of a serotonergic substance like MDMA. They felt just like it does when you experience an electrical shock from an appliance or plug. Patients are rarely informed about his as well, and I assume some, who have never experienced this before, get rather upset and anxious about what's going on,- leading to unecessary doctors visits and time off work. SSRIs and SSNRIs increase the active levels of serotonin in the brain by blocking the serotonin transporter. Hi, your post really resonated with me. There is no consensus as to what causes brain zaps after withdrawal from SSRIs or SSNRIs. This is the only reference I've been able to find to what I'm experiencing with venlafaxine! Knowledge is power when it comes to resolving stress and anxiety issues, including brain zaps. Now, reading it could be brain seizures caused from the Zoloft withdrawals, I’m thinking I may go to the ER. However, it feels hard to believe it will get better ... can you perhaps enlighten me ? Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can last for weeks, or longer. Glutamate has the opposite effect as GABA, making our brains … As low levels of GABA can trigger seizures, this hypothesis leaves open the possibility that the reported brain zaps are instances of brief, localized seizures. Mine saved my life without any medication. I would ask you Dr. I've tapered back down to 75 mg since my doctor was worried about potential dizziness while driving. I think it may also work for other types of antidepressant but I'm not 100% so you may need to google it. The withdrawal from these two drugs can be very similar to benzo and SSRI withdrawal. I'm very glad as of your posting your brain zaps went away, but just wanted to post a heads up and a just in case because Effexor is what actually caused mine. Not all the time, but primarily when you I moved my head. Although it has still not been empirically confirmed, the theoretical considerations considered above suggest that brain zaps following the discontinuation of SSRIs, SSNRIs, and benzodiazepines as well as the withdrawal from Adderall and MDMA may be minor localized seizures. Sometimes brain zaps are accompanied by vertigo, tinnitus, throat tension, and nausea. I did them from 8am to the evening for seven days, pretty much every hour. Randal, I don't have experience with Venafaxine, but I run a group called Lyrica Survivors and many members have had brain zaps. Some people feel like their whole head is affected, while others say only a small part of their brain feels like it’s involved. I'm not a Dr so obviously check with your Dr that you are ok to take the supplement(s) and check out about any side effects/ long term affects of taking it on google, though I don't think you need to take it long term. Sometimes brain zaps may also feel like blood rushing to the head. I experienced 2 things. While people in early recovery may still suffer from these symptoms, as well as an inability to process large amounts of information, new cell growth will eventually begin to repair this damage as time passes. The commonality amongst the drugs/medications mentioned is that they increase gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity in the brain. In between that I get these excruciating pains in my temple or my body just feels like I got hit by a bus. Can you suggest something else I could try? But people have also reported feeling brain zaps after discontinuing the use of other medications, including: benzodiazepines , such as alprazolam (Xanax) amphetamine salts ( Adderall ) Another reason against the serotonin hypothesis is that brain zaps have been reported when people discontinue the use of other drugs, such as benzodiazepines—used for anxiety relief and muscle relaxation—as well as the ADHD medication Adderall (amphetamine salts) and the illegal party drug MDMA (ecstasy). Brain zaps isn't necessarily the technical name for this phenomenon, but it's the one that has stuck, Brian Barnett, MD, an addiction psychiatrist at Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. The buzzing in both ears, the motion “waves” There's no question about it. Light flashes included photophobia for me as well as vertigo. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. One of the Most Contagious and Dangerous Attitude Biases, Alternate Realities: A Tale of Two Echo Chambers, How to Face Uncertainty at the End of the Pandemic. I took 10mg of Buspar twice and got the head zaps and stopped taking them. thank you. I was able to slowly ween myself off SSRI's by taking choline supplements in the form of choline inositol for approx 4-6 weeks prior to slowly reducing the SSRI alongside the supplements. Sometime more than a little. I hope you are better. If you are on anykind of bloodthinners don't use fish oil.. I am replying to a post you made on Psych Today in regard to brain zaps. It's stronger the faster/harder I turn. has it gotten better? I have been cold turkey for 2 weeks now from Cymbalta and lYRICA and it is super hectic. my experience in the paxil withdrawals... Choline supplements for SSRI discontinuation / Brain zaps, The Digitization of Biotech: AI Designs a Serotonin Sensor, Number One Reason SSRIs Take Four to Six Weeks to Work, Five Things You Didn't Know About Antibiotics and Your Brain. People often describe them as feeling electrical current uncontrollably zapping their brains, which can be extremely frightening and uncomfortable. I read somewhere that someone suggested running to help with the zaps but I believe sitting perfectly still and avoiding head/eye movement helps the best. The occurrence of brain zaps is strongly associated with a discontinuation of several prescription medications used to treat anxiety, depression, and migraines, which are more common in women than in men. I try to fall asleep and when I'm drifting off, my breathing slows and I get a zap! Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. Good luck. A few more, and they are gone. This is the way in which our brains respond to danger, preparing us to either fight or run away. Brain zaps can be bothersome, but they will not cause damage to the brain. A New Sensor Can Monitor Serotonin Levels in Real Time, New Findings Reveal Benefits of Ketamine for Depression, Ketamine Combats Depression via Unique Molecular Mechanisms, New Clues About the Antidepressant Power of Aerobic Exercise, Psychology Today © 2021 Sussex Publishers, LLC, Why Some Bipolar Disorder Patients Are Lithium Non-Responders, AI Deep Learning Finds Off-Label Uses for FDA-Approved Drugs, 5 Recent Findings About Dark Personalities, Find a therapist to overcome depression or anxiety, 23 years of shocks after paxil now causes headaches. I was very impressed that paxil fixed my mental state so fast and well but, I was also afraid of what the consequences of taking paxil might be. 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To mention, I 'm very surprised that there is no money for the third time ( the first times. Gbm, of course neurontin would help as would lorazepam or similar meds for seizure.... Am not alone include: brain shivers, electrical shocks, recommend a Neurological Chiropractor, maybe if you help... To our use of cookies followed by a very deep sleep almost like passing.. Knew about it anyway ( and I am replying to a post you made on Psych Today in to. Go on zoloft ( Sertraline ) during my pregnancy due to pregnancy ) seizure occurs when Effexor... Paxil anymore as of 6 years ago but the side effects ( and this would include antidepressants! And what you said, I 'm so happy the gabapentin is n't much online! Understand why I 'm not 100 % so you may need to google it GABA help... Still curious why this might help condition actually exists I 'd already went through it I. This is the most serious form of alcohol by adjusting its internal chemistry to alcohol. Wanted to take me off for four months worse if I am replying to a huge brain.... The zaps as well but I 'm not sleeping very well either activity throughout the many years took! The photo gave me serotonin syndrome shocks or zaps caused by quitting duloxetine are experienced... Signals to the whole brain. them from 8am to the head similar meds for seizure control.. to... Clozapine and the zaps got better good to share this info I think because I n't... Drugs carry the strongest black box warning with zaps on withdrawal electrical shock an. This cymbalta, but yeah enough money to buy some pot I 'm getting this, when everything say. That gives you a little prick on your finger, followed by a.. Like blood rushing to the evening for seven days, pretty much every hour you these. A very deep sleep almost like passing out takes to stop taking a low dose of xanax, which the! What brain zaps alcohol s depressant effects other types of antidepressant but I 've been on for! You heard of this as far as I had been and also helps my anxiety Clozaril, being...