In this blog post, we are going to talk about prozac induced muscle spasms. Prozac is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions and is associated with a number of side effects.
This blog will cover all you need to know about prozac induced muscle spasms and what you can do to get rid of them.
Does prozac cause muscle spasms?
Yes, prozac is associated with muscle spasms. 2 out of 10 people have reported this side effect at some point in their treatment. Muscle spasms along with pain, muscle tension and muscle twitching have been reported.
What does research suggest?
Several researchers have studied the effects of prozac on skeletal muscles. A 1999 study indicated that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can cause muscle spasms as a result of the effects of serotonin on motor activity and reflex actions.
Another study indicated that prozac may cause extrapyramidal side effects in some people and may cause strong abnormal muscular contraction or spasms.
Another study revealed that high amounts of serotonin associated with the use of prozac may increase mitochondrial activity and cause muscle spasms.
One more study concluded that the prolonged use of prozac is responsible for increasing the activation of skeletal muscles which may induce involuntary contraction of the said muscles.
A 2018 study indicated that prozac can cause structural changes in skeletal muscles. It was also indicated that prolonged use of high doses of fluoxetine can affect metabolism and functions of skeletal muscles and can cause muscle spasms, twitching, stiffness and pain.
The study also explained how these side effects vary from person to person. Some people showed no signs of muscular side effects, while others were severely affected.
Several other studies suggest that medication solely is not responsible for producing effects as the reaction of your body when it is exposed to a med also matters.
Is there anything that can help you with your prozac induced muscle contraction?
There are a few things that might help you with your prozac induced muscle spasms. These include:
If your muscle spasms are very pronounced or they become more problematic after a recent dose escalation then reducing down your dose can help you with them. However, it is not recommended to reduce your dose without your doctor’s approval.
High doses of antidepressants are associated with more pronounced and newer side effects, which are not that common on lower doses. This is why it is always advised to start your antidepressant with the lowest effective dose.
You can try massaging your affected muscles with warm oil. It really helps reduce the swelling by increasing the blood flow, which also helps in healing broken tissues. You can try peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil to massage to relax your spastic muscles. .
Hot or cold press
You can try hot or cold press to relax your muscle spasms. It totally depends which one suits you more. Some people get relief from cold press, while others find hot press far more soothing and effective.
It is Important to drink plenty of water. Dehydration can make your symptoms much worse. Water clears out toxins from your body.
Several studies suggest that water can actually boost your energy levels and make you feel fresh and it also relaxes your muscles by providing them with enough hydration.
Try making a detox water by adding your favourite fruits in it. You can add lemon, cucumber, kiwi, oranges, berries, ginger etc, to make drinking water less boring. This will not only add taste, but also makes your water nutritious and full of antioxidants.
Use natural muscle relaxers
Nature has sources for pretty much everything. Following are the sources which can serve as natural muscle relaxers:
Chamomile tea is best known for relaxing your muscles and making it easier for you to fall asleep. It contains many flavonoids which possess anti-inflammatory properties.
You can try drinking chamomile tea or you can also try massaging with chamomile essential oil which can provide relief to your affected muscles.
A study shows that eating blueberries can help facilitate the recovery of affected muscles. It also reduces muscle tension. Blueberries are known to have antioxidants and it’s anti-inflammatory in nature. You can either consume them the way they are or make a delicious smoothie.
Consuming cherries is another delicious way to get rid of muscle tension. Studies have revealed that drinking cherry juice relaxes your muscles and can relieve your muscle pain after running or jogging.
The fruit has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe your muscles naturally.
If you have vitamin D deficiency, you’re more likely to suffer from prozac induced muscle tension. Make sure you add vitamin D rich foods in your diet, like oily fish, such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver, egg yolks etc.
It is also present in fortified foods, such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals. If your vitamin D level is extremely low, diet alone can not fix it. Your healthcare provider will recommend using supplements.
Magnesium is an important mineral for muscle health. It maintains normal muscle function and is also necessary for your nerve health. Common sources of magnesium include legumes, bananas, rice, almonds etc.
In case of magnesium deficiency, your healthcare provider may prescribe you a supplement to replenish magnesium, as natural sources can help maintain it but for deficiency, you need something stronger.
Calcium is an important element associated with muscle contraction. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the daily recommended amount of calcium is given below:
- For young adults: 1000 mg
- For women over 50 years and men over 70 years: 1200 mg
Common sources of calcium include milk and other dairy foods, rice and almond milk, soy milk, fortified orange juice and salmon etc.
Other medications which can increase muscle tension
Following are medications other than antidepressants, which can increase tension in your muscles and cause muscle spasms:
- Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium)
- Glucophage (metformin)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Ambien (zolpidem)
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Ultram (tramadol)
- Erectile dysfunction medications
- Migraine medications
- HIV medications
Make sure you are not using any of the above mentioned medications along with Prozac. Always discuss with your healthcare provider before using two or more medications together.
In this blog, we learned about prozac induced muscle spasms. This is the most commonly reported side effect. It usually goes away within the first few weeks of your treatment but if your symptoms persist, make sure you consult your healthcare provider.
Do not stop Prozac abruptly thinking that your side effects will go away if you just stop taking it because that won’t happen. Instead. you’ll just end up opening your doors for withdrawal symptoms. Always consult your healthcare provider before you start or stop using any medication.
In this blog, we have also discussed the natural sources which can act as muscle relaxers. Make sure you incorporate chamomile, blueberries, cherries, vitamin D rich foods, magnesium and calcium in your diet.
FAQs: prozac muscle spasms
Can antidepressants cause muscle spasms?
Yes, antidepressants can cause muscle spasms. A 2018 study indicated that antidepressants can cause structural changes in skeletal muscles. It was also indicated that prolonged use of high doses of antidepressants can affect metabolism and functions of skeletal muscles and can cause muscle spasms, twitching, stiffness and pain.
The study also explained how these side effects vary from person to person. Some people showed no signs of muscular side effects, while others were severely affected. Studies suggest that medication solely is not responsible for producing effects as the reaction of your body when it is exposed to a med also matters.
Will tremors from Prozac go away?
Prozac induced tremors usually go away after stopping the use of prozac. It usually depends on your drug dose and the severity of your tremors. If it’s manageable, the treatment is continued and tremors begin to subside within 2 to 3 months.
Can fluoxetine affect muscles?
Yes, fluoxetine can affect muscles. It can cause muscle spasms as a result of the effects of serotonin on motor activity and reflex actions. Fluoxetine may cause extrapyramidal side effects in some people and may cause strong abnormal muscular contraction or spasms.
Experts suggest that high amounts of serotonin associated with the use of prozac may increase mitochondrial activity and cause muscle spasms. The prolonged use of prozac is responsible for increasing the activation of skeletal muscles which may induce involuntary contraction of the said muscles.
What are the signs of too much serotonin?
Too much serotonin gives rise to a condition known as serotonin syndrome. Signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:
- Fever with chills
- Excessive sweating
- Restlessness and fatigue
- Headache, which often feels like your head is pounding
- Changes in blood pressure and/or temperature
- Muscle twitching and muscle pain
- Shivering and goosebumps
Does your brain go back to normal after antidepressants?
Your brain does go back to normal after you stop using antidepressants, but it takes time and this time taken depends on the duration of your antidepressant therapy. It could take up to 10 months to go back to your normal serotonin levels, after long-term antidepressant therapy.
Can prozac be taken intermittently?
Prozac can be taken intermittently only when it is used for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). In case of mental health illnesses, it should be taken daily and right on time in order to achieve the maximum therapeutic outcomes.
What are the serious side effects of prozac?
- Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc.
- Dark grey-brown colored vomiting
- Tarry or bloody stools
- Eye problems including pain, swelling, redness, vision changes etc.
- Abnormal mood changes including, excitement following by sudden sadness, erratic behaviour, paranoia etc
- Kidney function abnormalities, including severe pain, elevation of serum creatinine, difference in urine output and colour, blood urea nitrogen levels etc.
- Suicidal behavior
- Excessive muscle tremors
- James M. Ferguson, M.D. – SSRI Antidepressant Medications: Adverse Effects and Tolerability https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181155/
- Prozac oral https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6997/prozac-oral/details
- P Brambilla (2005) – Side-effect profile of fluoxetine in comparison with other SSRIs, tricyclic and newer antidepressants: a meta-analysis of clinical trial data https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15744630/
- Calcium fact sheet https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/
- Vitamin D https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/
- Kerry S Kuehl, Erica T Perrier, Diane L Elliot, and James C Chesnutt (2010) – Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874510/
- Yanita McLeay, Matthew J Barnes, Toby Mundel, Suzanne M Hurst, Roger D Hurst, and Stephen R Stannard (2012) – Effect of New Zealand blueberry consumption on recovery from eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583121/