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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Gag reflex irritation while on SSRIs

Topic: Gag reflex irritation while on SSRIs

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. qfskies18
    qfskies18 avatar
    14 posts
    27 June 2020

    Hey all!

    Im relatively new to being on medication, having only started about six weeks ago, but I’ve had the same problem with two different SSRIs of having an irritated gag reflex. The first one was really bad, I always felt like I was about to gag or throw up, which was why I switched. This new one is definitely not as bad but still there and it’s very frustrating. Has anyone else experienced this side effect with any medications? How long did it take to go away if so? I’m highly considering not trying a third drug and going to therapy instead, as I feel I can’t cope with these side effects much longer, they’re impacting my quality of life. Someone suggested it might be the drug making my anxiety worse which is causing the gag response but I’ve never had this issue with my anxiety before these drugs

    Any insight is much appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. blondguy
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    blondguy avatar
    10501 posts
    27 June 2020 in reply to qfskies18

    Hi qfskies18

    Welcome and thankyou for being a part of the forums too! It does take courage to post on the forums

    I havent had the gag reflex with my SSRI's like you are experiencing qfskies18....This would be frustrating to go through especially after such a short period of time

    After being anti-meds for a long time they actually helped my anxiety reduce so much...Can I ask if you are on SSRI's for depression...anxiety? (just so we can provide you with better support)

    The forums are a rock solid safe and non judgemental place for you to post whats on your mind..Your well being and privacy are paramount here

    There are many gentle people on the forums that can be here for you too :-)

    we are listening

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  3. missep123
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    missep123 avatar
    229 posts
    28 June 2020 in reply to qfskies18

    Hi qfskies18',

    That must be really frustrating to have that side effect! I'm glad that this second SSRI doesn't irritate your gag reflex as much as the first one did.

    I'm not sure if this may relate to you but your post reminded me of something my friend went through. She never had anxiety before but then when she had one unusual physical symptom e.g. gagging, she was confused, surprised and unsure. Then she said that she was really wary and 'on edge' if it would happen again. For her, every time it happened again or something similar happened it would perpetuate her feelings. It's almost as if she put a magnifying glass on her symptoms.

    May I ask what your GP has said about this? Could perhaps counselling or seeing a psychologist maybe explore this also?

    Here for you!

  4. therising
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    28 June 2020 in reply to qfskies18

    Hi qfskies18

    The person who mentioned the possibility of the meds making your anxiety worse could be onto something. Maybe the therapy is naturally the way to go for you, as your body might be highly sensitive to certain meds. Something worth giving further consideration to. You might be onto something with this idea.

    Personally, I'm big on paying attention to what my body is telling me at times. It's kind of funny how we can use certain fleeting comments without a 2nd thought yet such comments can help define a certain sense of dis-ease or unease we're feeling. Like when you know how people say

    • That person's behaviour makes me sick to my stomach
    • That person's behaviour makes me want to gag
    • That person's behaviour is thoroughly depressing
    • That person's behaviour is highly questionable

    I'll change it up a bit here

    • That med makes me sick to my stomach, yet we'll question what's wrong with us
    • That med makes me want to gag, yet we'll question what's wrong with us
    • That med is thoroughly depressing, yet we'll question what's wrong with us
    • That med is highly questionable, yet we may not seriously question the med

    In the first case, we can focus on how that person leads us to feel, mentally and physically. In the second case we may not listen to our body. If the med makes you want to gag, you're right to question it. Question health professionals about it. Don't doubt the natural intelligence of your body.

    You might just find you're a natural when it comes to talk therapy.

    :)

  5. qfskies18
    qfskies18 avatar
    14 posts
    28 June 2020 in reply to therising

    Thanks all. I’m on the meds for anxiety. But I hate the side effects. I’m actually going to my doctor tomorrow to ask about stopping them in favour of therapy instead, as I actually feel like my external environment has vastly improved to when I first went to the doctor asking for help, and I feel like I’ll be able to cope much better than before.

    Even if I have to end up trying a third medication, I want to give my body a break first. Feeling nauseous/gaggy for six weeks straight has not been very fun for me and I don’t feel like my usual self. Hopefully tomorrow I come out with some solutions.

    thanks for all your responses - very helpful!

  6. geoff
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    29 June 2020 in reply to qfskies18

    Hello Qfskies, and thanks for posting this important thread as it's not only difficult for you, but also awkward, especially being in a room with other people or at the most inconvenient time.

    The doctor may suggest a low dose until your symptom acclimatises to it and/or prescribe medication to help with your gagging, this is what my doctor did until I felt comfortable.

    They may also suggest you see a psychologist using the mental health plan, this entitles you to 10 Medicare paid sessions per year.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Geoff.

  7. qfskies18
    qfskies18 avatar
    14 posts
    10 July 2020 in reply to geoff

    Hi all,

    I stooped the medication about a week ago. Still have the slight feeling that there’s something pressing on the back of my throat, but I’m hoping this is just until the medication fully washes out of my system. It may also be anxiety... it’s very odd. Because it came on for me and heightened my emetophobia while I was on the drugs, it’s almost like it has conditioned my brain to make me nervous about that ever happening again? So now when I leave the house, I feel more on edge. I am booked to start seeing a psychologist on the 3rd of August so I’m hoping she will be able to help me through it as well.

  8. missep123
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    229 posts
    11 July 2020 in reply to qfskies18

    Hi qfskies18,

    Thank you for updating us! I hope that you start to feel better soon. It will be interesting to see if the pressing on the back of your throat lessens through time. I can relate to your feeling about being nervous about it happening again. From personal experience I feel as though our bodies are always trying to be in equilibrium so when something 'unusual' happens our brains start to scramble and explain why it is happening which heightens our awareness.

    I'm really glad to hear that you are going to see a psychologist on the 3rd of August!

  9. qfskies18
    qfskies18 avatar
    14 posts
    14 July 2020 in reply to missep123
    I’m really getting frustrated with the gagging feeling now. Yesterday and this morning it was so bad I thought I was going to be sick. I was hoping to not have to go back to the doctor (I’ve been there so much lately) but it’s looking like I’m going to have to. I really can’t tell what is causing this issue.
  10. missep123
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    14 July 2020 in reply to qfskies18

    Sorry to hear that this has happened :(

    Did you end up going to the doctor today?

    I hope you don't feel that gagging feeling tomorrow!

    Please keep us updated!

  11. qfskies18
    qfskies18 avatar
    14 posts
    14 July 2020 in reply to missep123
    I felt better by the afternoon, but I’ve booked an appointment for tomorrow to discuss it with the doctor anyway.
  12. missep123
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    17 July 2020 in reply to qfskies18
    Apologies for the late reply! How did the appointment go?
  13. qfskies18
    qfskies18 avatar
    14 posts
    22 July 2020 in reply to missep123
    The doctor believes it is a fun new symptom of anxiety. It has improved over the last couple of days, but it’s still there, especially if I focus on it. He has put me on a drug to block some of my adrenaline to stop my body being in fight or flight all the time, and that seems to have mitigated the worst of the gagging. I have a couple more days before I’m at the full dosage so I’m hoping the increased dose will make a bigger difference!
  14. monkey_magic
    monkey_magic avatar
    3112 posts
    22 July 2020 in reply to qfskies18
    Hi qfskies,

    Since being medicated with antipsychotics my throat restricts and I gag.... sometimes I even vomit.

    I hate it. I've been gagging for about 2 years now on and off.

    Y'day I gagged in public.

    I did some research and it can be a symptom of medication.

    Sorry you're also going through this.
  15. qfskies18
    qfskies18 avatar
    14 posts
    23 July 2020 in reply to monkey_magic
    Update: I increased to the full dosage of the adrenaline blocker this morning and I feel awesome. Haven’t gagged all day and haven’t even felt like I was going to. I feel pretty much back to normal! So grateful!
    1 person found this helpful
  16. missep123
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    23 July 2020 in reply to qfskies18
    Yay! I'm so glad to hear that qfskies18, that's super awesome :)
  17. missep123
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    229 posts
    23 July 2020 in reply to monkey_magic

    Hi monkey_magic,

    Sorry to hear you have been going through this too!

    Have you seen a mental health professional about this?

    That sounds really difficult. Please know that you are not alone!

  18. monkey_magic
    monkey_magic avatar
    3112 posts
    23 July 2020 in reply to missep123
    Hi Missep123,

    Thx for caring. Yeah saw one today actually but I'm bound by a community treatment order to keep getting injected with meds/ drugs against my will until a tribunal in Oct. It's inhumane and unjust.

    I'm screwed. Just have to have hope in the body's natural healing abilities.
  19. missep123
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    25 July 2020 in reply to monkey_magic

    Hi Monkey_magic,

    we really do care here on the forums! I think the body's natural healing abilities are amazing too. I think during this challenging time it will be important to take care and be kind to yourself.

    1 person found this helpful

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