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Can benzos cause clinically-seen swallowing trouble?
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Can benzos cause clinically-seen swallowing trouble?

Hi, I first posted about my swallowing troubles 6 years ago on these boards.

I was diagnosed with severe anxiety 8 years ago, and major depression 7 years ago. 8 years ago I started on benzodiazepines (klonopin, lorazepam, alprazolam over the years) and I have been on low-dose therapy ever since. I currently take 1 - 1.5 mg alprazolam daily). 7 years ago I was prescribed Effexor, but due to side effects I was taken off of it after about 6 months (weight gain, narcolepsy.) Three weeks ago I was prescribed Bupropion. I am taking 225 mg daily (3 x 75 mg). Yet to see any profound effects.

In addition to the classic globus/throat tightening that we anxiety sufferers also get, I developed a feeling over 6 years ago that the right side of my throat was just 'weak' and had trouble getting food from my mouth to my esophagus. Required several swallows, and a lot of throat clearing. No aspiration. Confirmed on barium swallow test, but other scopes and tests negative for anything of consequence. Did not have any neurological tests.

This swallowing issue has been with me now for over 6 years (with no other symptoms, making many neurological disorders unlikely) but it has flared up again lately -- I've noticed it more and anxiety has increased because of it. Classic hyperchondriasis ruling my life again. Am scheduled for another barium swallow next week and another trans-nasal flexible laryngoscopy.

I know that benzos are capable of causing dysphagia (trouble swallowing) as side effect because they are a muscle relaxant and they generally effect the depress the central nervous system, but has anyone experience trouble swallowing induced by benzos that resolved when they stopped taking them? (I mean trouble swallowing beyond the psychogenic throat tightening / globus sensation.)

Of course, my fears are amplified right now and am wanting to have a battery of neurological tests, etc, even when I try to use logic about terrible conditions like ALS and MS, and how going for 6 years with bit of dysphagia and no other symptoms makes those very unlikely.

Male, 48. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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I take ativan when needed, and ive never experienced the throat issue. But, youve stated that you know that benzos are capable of causing dysphagia as a side effect... so it could be a big possibility.

I understand your fear right now... anxiety is a pain in the neck, isnt it? It's crazy how FAST it can just come when you think of ONE BAD THOUGHT.

Try to relax... and breath. You sound like you are no stranger to this dysphagia issue... so just remember its probably just the benzo... or its just anxiety.

I have trouble swallowing sometimes when Im having anxiety.

Keep in touch.
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