Has anyone had ataxia from taking benzodiazepines or antidepressants?

Posted by sears @sears, May 23 7:45pm

Has anyone had ataxia from taking benzodiazepines or antidepressants?

Escitalopram? My thirty year old daughter was an Early Childhood Teacher and kept getting colds and had to be off work and got to a state of anxiety she was prescribed this stuff. Three weeks later woke up one day and legs would no longer hold her up. Definitely seemed to fit Ataxia description.

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What mental health issue could cause someone not to use their legs? Did she stop the Escitaloptam?

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@sears

What mental health issue could cause someone not to use their legs? Did she stop the Escitaloptam?

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Yes she stopped it, without too much trouble. Now I would describe her symptoms as Chronic Fatigue symptoms or m.e. Unfortunately confidentiality means nobody will talk directly to me, but I was just interested in you bringing the subject up, always ready to hear other people's experiences.

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Hello @sears,

Is ataxia something that you are currently dealing with yourself? If so, here are some other discussions on Connect about ataxia.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/ataxia-1/?utm_campaign=search
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/cerebellum-atrophy/?pg=9#comment-343726
Since you are wondering if it might be related to taking benzodiazepines or antidepressants, I'm wondering if you would like to share how long you were taking this meds before you began to experience ataxia. Do you have other health problems that might be causing the ataxia? Is your doctor aware of your symptoms?

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@hopeful33250

Hello @sears,

Is ataxia something that you are currently dealing with yourself? If so, here are some other discussions on Connect about ataxia.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/ataxia-1/?utm_campaign=search
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/cerebellum-atrophy/?pg=9#comment-343726
Since you are wondering if it might be related to taking benzodiazepines or antidepressants, I'm wondering if you would like to share how long you were taking this meds before you began to experience ataxia. Do you have other health problems that might be causing the ataxia? Is your doctor aware of your symptoms?

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Actually I’m very healthy at age 67. I’m feeling my ataxia is drugged induced. I was trying to taper Xanax but my doctor put me on hold due to the virus. I’ve taken Xanax for 30 years and am using the Ashton method switching to Valium. I’ve really just started noticing this as I’ve gotten older. Never had a problem with this or any side effects from the Xanax. I just feel unsteady and off.

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@sears

Actually I’m very healthy at age 67. I’m feeling my ataxia is drugged induced. I was trying to taper Xanax but my doctor put me on hold due to the virus. I’ve taken Xanax for 30 years and am using the Ashton method switching to Valium. I’ve really just started noticing this as I’ve gotten older. Never had a problem with this or any side effects from the Xanax. I just feel unsteady and off.

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I appreciate your reply, @sears. I'm just wondering if you have talked with your doctor about the ataxia symptoms and if the doctor thinks it could be related to your medicine.

As you said, "I just feel unsteady and off." My main concern about this symptom would be falling. It is important to be able to be steady and not risk falls.

If you can get in to see a doctor, it might be good to do so in order to rule out any other causes of these symptoms.

Have you talked with your doctor since these symptoms began?

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Yes. He didn’t seem that concerned. I will of course mention it again. I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this.

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