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I believe I have been experiencing severe panic attacks/ anxiety as a result of a combination of antibiotics I was on for an UTI.

I have stopped the antibiotics, abou 36 hours ago, and am wondering how long before they are out of my system? and when they are out, will the anxiety go away?

My GP prescribed a mild anti-anxiety drug and it has helped but not completely.. My heart is pounding and anytime I think of leaving the house I get sick to my stomach... Is there any way to fight these feelings without upping the dose of my medication.. and how long will this last?

Thank you for any help.
77 Responses
339226 tn?1201268207
I too am on an antibiotic for UTI but i'm not so sure the "antibiotic" itself will cause the anxiety. This would be something you should talk to your GP about. I have anxiety that comes and goes and i too start feeling really sick when i go to leave my house, shaking, nausea, lightheaded, ect...i've had anxiety on and off since my teens but never this bad so i too am looking for some advice and talking to my dr about it. which btw i have a drs appointment monday and i'm already getting nervous about going for fear that i will get lightheaded while i'm gone and laying down makes me feel better and i know that i cant just "lay down" while away from home. This anxiety thing can be very scary, I hope you find the answers your looking for. God Bless
Avatar universal
What type of antibiotics were you on? There are some that do cause anxiety. I was on Biaxin and amoxicillin this summer and developed an anxiety problem from them.

Avatar universal
I was on Cipro for two weeks... then I switched to Bactrim for two days. (it really messed me up) and then back to the Cipro for three more days... I have had anxiety (minor) in the past... but never anything like this.

Jimbo49 How long did it take for the anxiety of yours to wear off? did your GP prescribe you anything? And did you do anything that made you feel better.

I don't get sick very often.. so this is all very scary to me. THank you for taking time out to answer my questions.

Avatar universal
My anxiety has not gone away. Unfortunately is has gotten worse, I have tried several SSRI's and took Buspar for awhile. I am now try fluoxetine. What has worked the best is lorazapam which is addictive, but if it relieves the anxiety and allows you to live life so what. Diabetics need insulin what is the difference. I am going to give the fluoxetine another week with the lorazapam if it does not work I am just going to stick with the lorazapam. Good Luck to you. Try to learn now how to control it so it does not get out of control like mine did.

Jimbo 49
Avatar universal
Hi - and yes you are pretty definitely experiencing anxiety as a result of the use of antibiotics. This is a syndrome that is not well known or explored. I started getting
this same reaction - to any antibiotic - when I was about 36 years old. I have found
that by avoiding the use of antibiotics for a number of years - that when the need
for me to take them came up again - my body had adjusted and the reaction was
not so severe. But that was only for a period of about 10 days. Having to take
antibiotics for a prolonged period of 3 - 7 weeks will have the same disasterous
effects. Taking a good live acidopholis supplement and other probiotics can
decrease the adverse affects of the antibiotics. If you can get through it without the
use of tranquilizers - you will get through the cycle sooner. Taking Valium and such will mean that you will end up going through Valium withdrawal afterwards and that is really tough. I've been there.
Avatar universal
Cipro is a quinolone antibiotic and they are known for giving extreme anxiety. I should know Cipro and Levaquin messed me up for a long time.  Look them up on line, you will see. I also got extreme joint and muscle pain from them. Something that I never had until I first took these antibiotics. They are now under adverse reactions in my med chart an are no longer given to me.
Avatar universal
I have been on Levaquin for 15 days for a sinus infection.  I just hate it.  Anxiety, lightheadness, thrush.  I first was put on Avelox for  7 days prior for the infection and it also gave me the anxiety, plus hyperventiation.  It was a mess.  My doctor wanted me to tough it out with the Avelox by taking xanax to counteract the anxiety/hypervention.  I stopped it at 7 days and got on Levaquin.  No hyperventilation with that, but yes with the anxiety. etc.   I cannot take Biaxin because of other side effects such as naseous, irregular heartbeat, etc.   I have been taking Lorazepam for anxiety and it helps alot; it even helps me sleep pretty well.
Avatar universal
you seem to know some info on anxiety & antibiotics- i'm going through complete torment on rocephin injections right now for lyme disease.  i've gone through a few different oral ones that weren't doing the trick, and now the shots.  i've tried the IV's too, and it's sooo much worse.  i feel like howard huges craziness is overcoming me with the OCD, feelings of terror, panic attacks etc etc.  i don't know what to do.  i'll be on this stuff indefinitely, until the lyme is gone.  every anti-anxiety med i've tried makes it even worse and even the dr has no ideas left to offer.  help???
Avatar universal
I was put on Levaquin  and I started to really feel sick. so, after four days the doc switched me to amoxicillin and that didn't help either, so I just quit taking them. Turns out, I really didn't need them anyway as my tests showed up negative. Shortly thereafter I had a panic attack and ended up in the hospital emergency room not knowing what it was. Ever since then I have had severe anxiety and all kinds of nasty symptoms that have had me scared out of my mind. My doctor put me on xanax and I felt like I was getting addicted to it so he put me on busparin and that made me feel worse, he tried several different things, but the only one that was effective was the xanax. I had test after test to see if there was anything physically wrong with me and they all came back negative. I didn't want to get hooked on the xanax so just quit taking it cold turkey, now I find out that you are supposed to be weened off the drug (something my doctor didn't tell me) and I'm having some issues dealing with the withdrawel and side effects, or mabey it's all due to the anxiety? I thought I was losing my mind for a while there and it has been a living hell for the last three months, but I've found some things that help me cope. Excersize, eating right, no alcohol or drugs, message, accupuncture and keeping my mind occupied with something productive and positve. I don't know how long this anxiety will last, but hopefully not too much longer, it has been really tough, good luck with yours and just know your not alone out there.
Avatar universal
I am going through the same thing.  I took Cipro for 10 days and I have had the worst anxiety and depression.  

My question for anyone is...does anyone feel back to normal yet?

Avatar universal
This is an interesting discussion.  My current bout with anxiety started during a 5 day course of levaquin.  That was about one month ago.  Can this side effect last so long?
Avatar universal
It truly amazes me that when I inform my Dr. about my belief that antibiotics seem to trigger anxiety they, in a very courteous manner, discount my belief.  For awhile I believed them. Not anymore.  I recently took Levaquin for a sinus infection and experienced what can only be attributed to that medicine. I had very violent thoughts, couldn't sleep and am now experiencing anxiety.  I looked up the side effects of Levaquin and it said to discontinue or call your Dr. if you experience "bad thoughts".  Of course, nowhere can i find what type of bad thoughts can be caused by this drug and my Dr. said he never heard of anything like this.  Now, 2 1/2 days later  I'm left with the anxiety.  This is simply ridiculous.  I can't stand it.  I'm scared, nervous and want this to pass......any thoughts? Dan16720
Avatar universal
I just started Cipro yesterday for a UTI, which I have never had before.  This morning I started feeling all kinds of anxious almost bordering on a panic attack.  I've licked these panic attacks away with my lovely dose of 12.5mg of Paxil by the way.  I started to think I'll have to up my dose of Paxil but I Googled Cipro and anxiety and there it was.  Then I found this thread on this here one of my favorite sites.  I ended up taking a lorezapam and if I need to I will take another.  I only have 3 more pills to take (250mg twice a day) and I am willing to live with the anxiety because this was one stinker of a UTI!  This too shall pass.
Anxiety still sucks, though.
Avatar universal
I was on flagyl for 12 days.  It caused me severe panic and anxiety like nothing I had experienced before.  It finally started to fade at around six months. Whilst I was suffering I tried ssris, but it just made it worse.  I had NEVER had a problem with any other medication before.  Since then I became hypersensitive to other antibiotics that I previously had no problems with.  I know other people have experienced the same on the flagyl.  Yes its awful but I think for most of us it does pass.
Avatar universal
I was fighting a sinus infection for about 12 weeks while trying to work at the same time. I took a week off work towards the end and i am feeling much better. Over the 12 weeks i was on quite large dosages of (amoxicillin) antibiotics for about 5 weeks and within the first few weeks I experienced shaking and very slight nervouseness and a little depression. I first throught this was from the sickness but after comming back to work from a week off i got very servere anxiety attacks. I am still not sure what the trigger was but i feel the long time of being sick and pressure from work to continue working and definatly the amoxicillin antibiotics didint help at all.
I am not a doctor but i know antibiotics kill all the good and bad bacteria in your body and who knows what else it distroys, probably a long food chain line in that too. but if i use some iniatitave with this i think if i go and buy some probiotics and take them a long with vitamine B and some calcium (known to have a calming effect on the nervous system) i should be right in a few weeks.
Avatar universal

I think it is also important to know what type of sickness you were suffereing from.

It is known that Flu, sinus and other types of infections that require antibiotics are sometimes the cause of some type of stress already excistant in your life.

There is a book i have just brought and i cannot wait to read it is called "Deadly Emotions" it is about your emotions causing your body to become sick, lowering your immune system and thus allowing all types of nasty things to hurt you.

My plan to get over this it is the following,
- Carry some Serapax medication with me to take when things are so god damn difficult (it also  ralaxing to know that they are there if i need so thus reducing thr anxiety)
- Cycling
- Gym (Weight training)
- Yoga classes 2 minimum 2 times a week (Hatha Yoga was recomended to me from my counsellor who was an instructor for many years)
- Hypnotheropy (This pretty much cured me last time I have anxiety attacks, and i definatly recomend trying it)
- Find a positive mentor in your life, somone i can talk to and obtain guidance from (this will be the hard part)
- Developing better relationships with family and friends. (as long as they are a positive influence on you)

Avatar universal
I experienced the "darkest" hour of my life from taking antibiotics.  It was the first and only time I ever experienced that kind of fear, dread, hypersensitivity to emotion, and sense of impending doom. Never had a problem before until then.  My doctor insisted it was not the antibiotic, and I believed him even though it meant I was going nuts and about to lose it all.  I did more research, and began to understand what antibiotics do to your digestive system.  I, having never taken supplements before, began to take probiotics, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and even kava (for the calming effect).  I only took a total of three "Zpac" and two weeks later I finally began to feel a bit more normal.  It took awhile longer before I felt 100%, about 3-4 months, but the worst was definately passing after the first two weeks.  The rest of the 3-4 months, I was always able to talk myself out of any bad feelings and relax with Magnesium and kava.  It has been three years with no reoccurance and I feel very much myself again without any supplements to help.  If you are experiencing this and need to talk, please feel free to email me at ***@****. I did not have anyone to turn to, and would be happy to answer any questions.
Avatar universal
Three years ago I took an indefinite course (at least 3 weeks had gone by) of tetracycline for acne and despite the warnings on the bottle to stop taking the medication if I got headaches, I didn't stop taking it on account of my REALLY wanting to get rid of the acne which had been bothering me my whole life.

Well, I ended up with terrible enxiety and depression; one day I couldn't get off the couch, was extremely panicy, promtly quit my job (!) because I felt what others here have described as an "impending sense of doom".  Words hardly describe how bad it was.

Three years later I'm still on Ativan and Klonopin for the anxiety. Prescribed 2mg of each every day, but I'm taking 5mg of the benzos right now while weaning myself back to the 4 mg a day.  I'm also taking Lamictal 300 mg a day.

After three years now, I can't imagine that I'll ever get off the benzos for the anxiety or the depression meds.  Depression has been mostly eliminated with the Lamital, but that seems to have possibly highlighted my anxiety. Hard to tell.  Ssri's havent worked for me for a variety of reasons (allergic reaction to Celexa, inability to properly metabolize Prozac, and so forth).  Wellbutrin almost put me over the edge with the anxiety.

My family has a history of depression, so I may be an uncommon case, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the tetracycline made the depression and anxiety present when it did -when I was 35 years old.  
Avatar universal
I know this is an old post but I am experiencing anxiety after taking several rounds of antibiotics for bronchitis. Does anyone know how long it will last? Did you have to go on anti anxiety meds?
Avatar universal
wished some docs would read this. I thought I was going out of my mind 3 years ago. My problem has been chronic recurring bladder infections. I think being on the antibiotics does mess with your natural flora and this results in anxiety and depression because you can't figure out what's wrong and the docs think your crazy. I found drastic diet changes and regular exercise speeds up getting out of this feeling. With me the feelings like someone is scraping their nails down the chalkboard and I can feel it going down my spine.I think too when you feel so unsure of your body you have desperate anxieties about going into public. I now use yogurt internally and cranberry pills. I have heard slippery elm bark helps too but haven't found it.Also found sweet potatoes help,I eat them with garlic they do something with your estragen hormone so maybe these antibiotics are affecting hormones I don't know but this really should be looked at with so many people on nerve pills today
Avatar universal
Thank you for this wonderful post.  I knew when I started taking the antibiotic that the anxiety would kick in, but when it did, I thought how can an antibiotic actually do such a thing.  My symptoms are like many above and helps just seeing others fighting the same thing.  Reading others going thru it gives me a tiny bit of calmness and gives me the strength to let it run its course and do natural ways of fighting the anxiety- exercise, yoga and such.  
Avatar universal
Hi all,

Well long story short, I developed severe depression, anxiety etc really badly and now 3 years later I know that it was caused by the antibiotic Minocin/Minocycline which I was on for skin condition. If I knew then what I know now I could have come off it and never have to go through what I did-it was HELL and despite many antidepressants I couldnt get rid of the anxiety, no interest and depression despite my skin being perfect. None of my doctors, pychiatrists, dermatologist ever mentioned that it might be from this antibiotic so I presumed that it was caused by my skin condition and worrying too much about it.......
I hope this helps anyone out there that are feeling down and dont know why!!!!

Doctors and the medical profession need to be more informed of these side effects and not depend on pharmaceutical industry for side effects.
Avatar universal
I am so glad I found this discussion board. I have also been experiencing anxiety due to antibiotics. I have been dealing with a UTI and was put on Bactrim. 4 days later, I was so anxious and nervous I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest! I would wake in the night shaking and with my teeth chattering. I stopped the Bactrim and went in to the Doctors, they did not think it had anything to do with the med but switched me to Macrobid.
I am still experiencing the anxiety but taking Xanax to help, also Macrobid has a side effect of drowsiness so that helps with calming down my system.
I rarely take antibiotics and I do have an issue with anxiety on a regular basis but it has been intensified since starting antibiotics. There is no other reason or cause that could make me feel this way. We are not crazy! It's real and I am so thankful for the info I found on this page.
Avatar universal
I am so glad I found this forum.  I experienced the same thing and It is rather difficult.  Thanks for all your comments.
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