Has anyone had any experience taking SSRIs antidepressants? The psychiatrist prescribed it for me to treat generalized anxiety disorder. I am afraid because there is information that SSRIs increase the risk of stroke.

Hey Sona,
You really need to speak to your neurosurgeon about that.
Medications can cause some side effects which need to be carefully managed and this is even more so with an underlaying medical condition. It is recommended you speak to the relevant specialists involved, in this case, your neurosurgeon.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

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Hi Sona

As Merl said, definitely talk to your neurosurgeon first

Psychs I have noticed including with myself seem to often hand out pills without doing proper research into your medical history and conditions

There are many different SSRIs which all work in a similar way but they all have different side effects so confirm with them that your particular SSRI side effects are OK with your condition

If not, there are so many options now with SSRIs and even SNRIs that I’m sure you’ll be able to find one that suits

Best of luck


Sona, I’d be curious where you read about an increased risk for stroke w SSRIs? I happened to thoroughly study all the SSRI, SNRI class of drugs when I helped launch Celexa (enantiomer molecule of Lexapro) over 20 years ago. I know from experience that increased blood pressure or stroke was not a side effect for the SSRI class of drugs. I was aware of my own avm at that time and definitely would have taken notice to any studies that indicated those possible complications. Your best bet is to read the package insert that comes to the pharmacist with the medication. It’s a very lengthy explanation of the side effects, risks, studies, etc of the medication. They also some times contain ‘Black box warnings’ which is the highest risk. However, stroke or even elevated BP was NEVER an associated SE with the SSRIs. GK

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Hi Greg

Firstly congratulations on helping to launch a med that helps people. Very worthy cause imo

These medicines certainly do help a lot of people worldwide and are generally very safe

I am certainly not an expert despite taking many ssris and snris among others (no longer on them as I don’t require them now and was misdiagnosed) but I was put on one ssri and my blood pressure went through the roof which the neuro team said was no good and when I saw the pharmacist, they said it was not suitable due to my condition so we changed it to another ssri my blood pressure was normal. Then they added an snri and others to it etc

It’s interesting you mention lexapro because it was actually escitalopram (lexapro) that increased my blood pressure and there are reports of increased risk of stroke with it. However this may be newer info and side effects realised since it’s been out for so many years now but was not found in the initial smaller trials and tests etc
What I mean by that too is, maybe celexa is safer than lexapro etc in this instance

They all said for the general population, the risk is almost nil but those at higher chance or stroke or bleeding, the risk can be significant

Medication is so hard as I can find articles where they say it increases risk and I can find articles saying it doesn’t increase lol. Also apparently depends whether you have had a bleed yet or not. Depends what study I read. It’s really hard for the general population often as its hard to know which one to believe

If you’re interested, I can find the various articles as I have an general interest in this field too

One thing I’ve definitely noticed about psychiatric medications (and probably the same for all medicines I guess) is some side effects aren’t noticed in the smaller studies and it’s not until a few million people take the medication that some other rare instances especially with rare disorders are noticed

The OP is probably fine and the med will most likely be safe but I personally think it’s best to be safe rather than sorry with any medication and ask the question as it happened to me with regards to the increased blood pressure which increased my risk greatly especially prior to surgery


Interesting to know, AlwaysCurious. I was aware of Celexa’s enanitomer, Lexapro, becoming available back twenty years ago but didn’t do a deep dive into it like I did the initial SSRI SNRI drugs.

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They are definitely life savers in lots of circumstances and I should say to @Sona that just because one person has a side effect, doesn’t mean you will so don’t despair or worry over the rare instances. Just chat to your doctors etc and make sure you’re safe :slight_smile:

They may just say take it and monitor BP or something for a period of time etc just to ensure you’re 100% fine but don’t worry :slight_smile:

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The Celexa molecule is citalopram and lexapro is a escitalopram. (Essentially a way pharma companies keep patent protection and higher prices). Lexapro was touted as a ‘cleaner’ version of Celexa twenty years ago, but I can’t imagine the SE profile being too different. Your best bet is always to request the package insert from the pharmacy. Also, SSRIs were not indicated for Anxiety back in the day, tho it was often prescribed. This has more to do with the $ involved with obtaining new indications via studies and research than anything. Doctors can prescribe any medicine for anything they see appropriate. GK

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Finally, there was a depression med that was often used as an add-on to many SSRIs that had a seizure warning. Known as Wellbutrin back then, it has since been rebranded and I forget the name and class of drug. GK