November 20, 2019 at 1:12 pm

Guest Post from One of Many

Every week, MISSD receives letters and emails similar to this one from Kim. As the public becomes increasingly aware of adverse drug effects such as akathisia, we hope fewer people will have adverse experiences to share.
Today we publish Kim’s letter as it was received because sharing firsthand knowledge of akathisia symptoms can help patients and doctors better identify and respond to akathisia.

My name is Kim and I am a 46 year old police officer from Toronto. In 2001, I gave birth to my first child and immediately experienced post partum depression. I recognized it right away and spoke up. I was prescribed Paxil.  After two days I felt extremely hopeless, restless and agitated. My thoughts were that I wanted to find a train to lay in front of to die. I called my husband at work who came home immediately and took me to the hospital. My baby was 5 days old. I was admitted into the psych ward where I voiced my opinion that I believed it was the new medication. The psychiatrist dismissed it saying “impossible” but I refused to take it when they gave it to me. So he switched me to Effexor.  He said he believed I was simply a burnt out new mom who has had no sleep. I left the hospital after 5 days and remained on Effexor successfully for 2 years before coming off.

Oddly enough I had this experience once again in  2005. I get debilitating migraines and I had an extremely bad one where my husband took me to emerge. The on-call doctor gave me a “migraine cocktail” via IV, which included Maxeran and Toradol.  After about a half hour I was very fidgety and agitated. My husband said I was unable to sit still on the hospital bed. I wanted to leave the hospital, once again to find a train track to lay down on. I fought the feeling and told my family doctor a few weeks later at an appointment. He said it’s a very rare and dangerous side effect of Maxeran that causes “psychosis”.

In 2008 I had my second child with no episodes of post partum depression.

These are the only two times in my life I’ve experienced such extreme suicidal ideations, but it’s enough for me to never want to try these medications again. My children are now 11 and 18 years old and my supportive husband is still by my side. I am forever grateful for my family, and the fact that I overcame those feelings so I’m here today to enjoy them.

It wasn’t until I just read the extremely sad story of Stewart Dolin, that I realized that I should have notified the drug company after these incidents.

My sincere condolences go out to his family.