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Burning Bladder -- Another SSRI Side Effect? :(

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  • Burning Bladder -- Another SSRI Side Effect? :(

    I've been on Prozac for about 6 months now. Suddenly last week I woke up with burning pain from my abdomen to my upper thigh. I hoped it was the diet sodas and the sugar-free coffee "creamer" so I quit all those and have drunk nothing but water for several days. Tylenol didn't help. Tums helped a little. Advil helped a lot. The pain went away, but this morning it's back again.

    My doctor and pharmacists have no experience of SSRIs having this effect on anyone else they know, but I've had it from two other SSRIs, but then it started within a much shorter time period. I've been very happy on Prozac because it has had the opposite effect since I started it, making my bladder very calm and quiet even when I'm stressed out.

    Do you have any experience with this sort of side effect from an SSRI? The only one I haven't tried that I know of is Zoloft. I don't think my doctor will put me back on Ativan-as-needed, even though the Prozac was doing other things to my mood, I could work around them.

    The Advil really isn't helping today; I just realized it's been about 3 hours since I took it. I'm feeling very discouraged and sad.
    Rack on!

  • #2
    If you have a UTI caused by a bacterial infection, you may need antibiotics to clear that out.

    For that, you need a test to find out if that is your problem and which antibiotic is right for that bacteria/s.

    The way some medications work that interfere with nerve signals is by slowing down metabolic functions, like peristalsis and other functions, as bladder emptying.

    That can cause bacterial infections as the environment those thrive in and find a balance on can be altered as the ph changes when things are not moving and that tends to favor one kind over another.

    Hope that makes sense.
    Get thee to a Dr to find out what your problem may be.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      That makes sense, Bluey . Thanks. I plan to see my doctor right after Labor Day.

      I wish my doctor/pharmacist had mentioned the medications slowing down the metabolic functions!

      Maybe it's time I saw a psychiatrist as well as a PCP.
      Rack on!

      Comment


      • #4
        I have been on an SSRI for 15 years and have never heard of a side effect like that. Think a dr visit is der in order as the cause is likely something else.

        Comment


        • #5
          It could be the that the medicine makes you more prone to UTIs for some reason, not that it causes them directly. And I agree, a visit to your PC is in order. UTIs can become worse and affect other systems if not treated.

          I take an injectible interferon for my MS. A number of female patients around my same age when they started taking it have reported early onset menopause or "fake" menopause (on BBs for people with MS). There is nothing in the literature about it and my MS doctor says its unlikely. But the fact remains that I haven't had a period since about 6 months after I started taking it. I was 48 at the time. So there is clearly something about the medication and my body chemistry/hormones that effects me differently than most all the other patients that take it. I'm just happy that over the past 8 or so years, I figure I've saved over $1,000 on tampons!
          ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            The first SSRI I took was Paxil, starting just over a year ago. After several months I started having these same bladder symptoms and a UTI was diagnosed. I was prescribed Cipro, and after several days on it, the burning stopped. Within 2 days of finishing the Cipro the burning started again. I switched to Lexapro, the burning went away ... for a week or so, then started up again. I switched to Prozac.

            Prozac was great. No burning. Very "quiet" bladder. I was like "normal" people -- I hardly ever had to pee because of nerves. I could literally go for a few hours without going.

            That was 6 months ago. Now the burning is back. I know it *could* be another UTI, but since I never had a UTI in my life before taking my first SSRI -- my doctor and pharmacists all were amazed that I'd never had a UTI before -- I really suspect that the SSRIs are the culprits.

            The only problem is, I need *something* to ward off the anxiety and panic attacks and daily stress of living with dysautonomia, and SSRIs are one of the first meds prescribed for that.

            Sigh. There is also a lot of daily stress living with a burning bladder!
            Rack on!

            Comment


            • #7
              Have you been evaluated by a urologist for interstitial cystitis?

              Also if ssri switch is needed consider cymbalta. May not be for you but is used for painful bladder syndrome and depression. Elavil is an old tca anti depressant used for both as well

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by sandsarita View Post
                Have you been evaluated by a urologist for interstitial cystitis?

                Also if ssri switch is needed consider cymbalta. May not be for you but is used for painful bladder syndrome and depression. Elavil is an old tca anti depressant used for both as well
                Thanks. I have never been evaluated by a urologist. Maybe I will look into that. Thanks also for the info about cymbalta and painful bladder syndrome. I have heard the name cymbalta but didn't know about the bladder application.

                I didn't take the Prozac this morning and I have felt unusually well and positive all day long. A little more energy, and no burning (I took 2 Advil this morning but that was hours ago and no problems since). I know I can't quit an SSRI cold turkey, so I will ask my doc/pharmacist about titrating down and then see how I do.

                Rack on!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I made an appointment with my PCP for tomorrow. Doc thinks it is another UTI.

                  The funny thing is that yesterday evening, after eating two mini brownies with icing, the burning went away and has not come back. I also skipped my Prozac yesterday. So, all day with no Prozac, and too much sugar, and suddenly the burning is gone and hasn't come back. I did take the Prozac at bedtime.

                  How could eating sugary treats have any effect on bladder irritation/pain? Weird.
                  Rack on!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by 4LeafCloverFarm View Post
                    It could be the that the medicine makes you more prone to UTIs for some reason, not that it causes them directly. And I agree, a visit to your PC is in order. UTIs can become worse and affect other systems if not treated.

                    I take an injectible interferon for my MS. A number of female patients around my same age when they started taking it have reported early onset menopause or "fake" menopause (on BBs for people with MS). There is nothing in the literature about it and my MS doctor says its unlikely. But the fact remains that I haven't had a period since about 6 months after I started taking it. I was 48 at the time. So there is clearly something about the medication and my body chemistry/hormones that effects me differently than most all the other patients that take it. I'm just happy that over the past 8 or so years, I figure I've saved over $1,000 on tampons!

                    I have a weird body chemistry that reacts differently to drugs than apparently a lot of other people. Some drugs have the opposite effect they're supposed to have. Some I am allergic to; some just affect me differently.

                    I have a friend who has MS. She is one of the most upbeat and positive people I know and I really admire her as well as like her. Your post reminded me of her.
                    Rack on!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by sandsarita View Post
                      Have you been evaluated by a urologist for interstitial cystitis?

                      Also if ssri switch is needed consider cymbalta. May not be for you but is used for painful bladder syndrome and depression. Elavil is an old tca anti depressant used for both as well
                      I will ask my doc about cymbalta, but after Googling it last night I don't think it would be a good idea for me. It can have interactions with one of my BP meds, and can also raise blood pressure (other reports say it can lower BP, who who knows? )

                      The SSRI is suppoed to help with anxiety. It does -- until the bladder pain starts and then I get anxious all over again. I am so tired of doctor's visits!
                      Rack on!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Do investigate the possibility of interstitial cystitis, AKA pelvic floor dysfunction. Aspartame is a known bladder irritant, but other foods, as well as muscular problems, are believed to cause this kind of distress. See a urogynecologist who has an interest in this disease.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Foods do have a relationship to interstitial cystitis with certain foods flaring it up. So definitely something to consider.

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