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Ataxia Support

Trazodone

I have not had a blood test yet to know the reason for my ataxia, but has anyone been told Trazodone is the cause? My symptoms started around the same time that I took Trazodone. Coincidence? I read today it can cause ataxia on drugs.com.

Trazodone is considered an anti depressant. The side effects are listed according to the incidences reported. Even though Trazodone induced ataxia is listed way down, any medications can cause a variety of side effects. “Reversible” ataxia can be proved by stopping the offending drug, and if it is “Permanent”, stopping the offending drug will not bring any relief.
If the side effects are listed way down, other sources that can cause ataxia needs to be entertained. In many cases, the determination is made by statistical analysis rather than a hard core proof. It is hard to blame anything else in people who have genetically proven “hereditary SCA.”

:thinking: Has a Neurologist suggested you have ataxia, some of the side effects of Trazodone can mimic ataxia.

Common side effects of trazodone include:

  • Headache.
  • Muscle ache.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or stomachache.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Loss of interest in sex (erectile dysfunction in men)
  • Dizziness or loss of balance.
  • Dry mouth or dry eyes.
  • Numbness, burning, or tingling sensations.

More items…

There are specific neurological tests for balance impairment.

That’s right Beryl. When I was coming “off” trazodone, I had some of the same symptoms as ataxia, until I was weaned off pills. Some of those symptoms didn’t go away unfortunately.

Well, in my opinion, if Trazodone can cause ataxia, even down low in the symptoms, they shouldn’t be selling it.
I might not have taken it if I’d known.

Yes, the neurologist told me that I do have ataxia.

:thinking: It is acknowledged that some medications have been linked to causing ataxia, in which case the diagnosis would be Acquired Ataxia. But, this isn’t always easy to prove. In some cases, when the medication is withdrawn the patient experiences an upturn in health, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case, particularly if the medication has been taken over a long period. Ideally an appointment with a Neurologist who actually specialises in ataxia could lead to a better chance of correct diagnosis. But you should be aware that it’s isn’t unusual for an exact diagnosis (specific type of ataxia) to remain elusive. Your Neurologist may rule Trazodone out, and suggest testing for common types of ataxia, if you have no previous family history.

Just because a MD refers to ataxia does not mean that you have Ataxia. Ataxia with the small a refers to the symptom ataxia. Capital A Ataxia refers to the illness.

I hear you. Penicillin can cause death to person who is hypersensitive, unless you have a epi pen handy. Almost all the drugs have major and minor side effects even aspirin. But FDA and other regulatory agencies across the world looks if the “benefits outweighs the risks” before the approval process.
An acquired ataxia will benefit from continued exercise, if the offending agent is removed. But unfortunately, people with “hereditary ataxia” have continuation of the effect of mutant gene.

Thanks for all the feedback.
I hope it’s not hereditary. I have a son and 2 grandchildren. I really hope I have not passed it along.