How do SSRI's help to treat autonomic dysfunction? Yesterday I went to a new cardiologist to get a second opinion about my daughter needing a pacemaker. She doesn't want a pacemaker. The new cardiologist said that she might be able to try an SSRI for treatment. Can someone tell me how this helps with autonomic dysfunction?
I completely understand your confusion. SSRI's (as well as SNRI's) are just another atypical treatment option for Autonomic Dysfunction/Dysautonomia. Like all of the other treatments available, they are only helpful to some patients.
Serotonin is one of the major neurotransmitters that the brain uses to control autonomic functions within the body. Doctors speculate that individuals with Autonomic Dysfunction could have some dysregulation in their central serotonin production. Since these medications are primarily used for depression/anxiety, they could theoretically take the edge off of any medically-related stress as well.
I take a very small dose of Prozac (5mg daily), and I believe it probably does help. Although I am taking it in combination with the rest of my medication cocktail, so I suppose it's difficult to know for certain. It does take the edge of my "fainting phobias" though.
So in short, it probably is helpful to some individuals. I suppose the opposite is also true though, seeing as how chemical-sensitive most people with Dysautonomia are. So I guess it's kind of a trial/error process.
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