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Anxiety after swine flu shot?

This may sound like a really weird question. But in November of 2010...i received a flu shot. The nurse said it had the swine flu vaccine in it. I received it preservative free because i hadn't started yet, and she said just case i was pregnant. Well...i went home, went to sleep, and 5 hours later woke up with RACING heart. Called ambulance heart rate was 100 when they got there. It had slowed down significantly. At this time i was on 75 mg of effexor and 25 mg of Toprol. (because i have a little faster heart rate) Effexor was for anxiety, mainly panic attacks i had in the past...but nothing what i had experienced after the flu shot. After that night i basically felt like i drank 10 cups of coffee inside, and couldn't sleep. Everytime i would doze off, i would get a adrenaline jolt going through me that would wake me up. I NEVER had that before. This freaked me out! I thought something was seriously wrong with me. I went to hospital...of course they said it wasn't the flu shot, sounded like anxiety. My heart rate was even elevated in this time. I felt like crying all the time because i felt so weird. I was so desperate to find out what was wrong with me i made a appt with a psyciatrist. I was hoping someone could give me an answer. He said he had seen people with anxiety come in there after their flu shot. He said since the effexor had been working for me he upped it from 75mg to 150mg. Took xanax as needed and he gave me sleeping pills. Which didn't really work. I still only slept from 2-4 hrs at a time. It was exhausting to say the least. I went to the cardiologist...said i have tachy...(same thing they said before) So i started counseling since December, i'm not far into it so it hasn't had time to 'really' help me. NOW, i feel sort of like a zombie and foggy headed all the time. I don't know if i need to lower my dose of effexor or switch. I seemed to have been getting better, back to my old self, and forgot to take my effexor pill a few days ago. Woke up with a WEIRD feeling head, VERY irritable, and anxiety. Somewhat of the same feeling i had after the flu shot. So my question is....could this have been just plain anxiety after the flu shot? 5 hours later? Or could it have had something to do with the flu shot? And now it seems my anxiety is coming back while on effexor. Is this normal? I had never had anxiety like this so i am pretty confused. Feeling cloudy headed and like a zombie doesnt help either. I am almost 25, happily married with a 2 year old and have a good job. I'm not sure why this is happening to me and lately i feel like i'm going to end up in the mental place. :( My mom has a history of anxiety/depression. My dad was killed tragically when i was 11. I am a little of a hypo and worry all the time. All i want is to be and feel normal...not sure what has happened over the past few months. Any suggestions or stories?? Thank you!
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Avatar universal
I had a similar thing happen to me after my H1N1 shot, took about 3 days before I got symptoms. Thought I was having a heart attack. Same racing feeling, high pulse rate, felt like I was constantly hooked to electrodes.

Ran several tests, MRI of my head, CTscan, checked my thyroid, adreanal glands, etc. Never found anything.  They concluded I was just having "Anxiety" because my wife was pregenant, to which, actually, I was not at all stressed over.
It took about 6 months before I felt normal, but I never took and Meds for it.  

I just got a flu shot last week...01/2013... the first one since that episode and guess what... I feel the same symptoms now after about a week... This validates that there is something going on and is associated with the Shot. However, not one of my doctors will comment or even entertain the notion that this is a cause... I will never get a shot again....

Best of luck, The symptoms for me the first time out lasted 6 monhs or so.. not sure how this round will last.
Avatar universal
I'm so happy I found this discussion. The same exact thing happened to be in October of 2012.  I got a preservative free single dose Afluria flu shot from my local pharmacy.  I got a flu shot every year for 10 years and never had a problem except for a sore arm.  Twenty minutes after this shot, I felt like I was having an allergic reaction.  My heart was racing, I was dizzy, severe anxiety, my throat felt tight, and I was alternating between very hot and very cold.  I went to an urgent care center and they said I was fine.  There was no swelling of the tongue or mouth, but still advised me to take  Benadryl.  My stomach fell apart with very bad acid reflux and that lasted for several months.  I've always had anxiety, but this time it was severe and different.  I explain it as though I had been shot up with steroids or speed.  I was having anxiety attacks in my bed and during sleep, and that never happened before.  I was waking up from sleep feeling extremely ramped up, and very unsafe.  My heart rate was shooting up over 120 beats per minute at rest, and I normally had a slow heart beat.  I went to the doctor many times and all the tests came back normal.  Some doctors didn't believe me, some said I might have had a mild anaphylactic response to the shot.  One told me I was a nervous person and need to be on some type of medicine, but it was not the shot.  I wanted to punch him.

No one could explain why it lasted for almost 6 months.  From the moment that needle went in my arm, I felt my body react violently.  I had taken Klonopin as needed in the past for anxiety, but after the shot I had to take it 3 to 4 times a day just to survive the day and sleep at night.  My skin crawled, my leg muscles felt weak.  Doctor checked me for GBS, but said I didn't have it.  I was sooo dizzy and that came and went for a couple months.  I would wake up in the middle of the night, and when I tried to walk to the bathroom, I would walk into the wall like I was drunk.  I had to lie down during the day and couldn't watch TV or do anything because of the dizziness and anxiety.  I cried a lot because I didn't know what was wrong with me.  Also had breathing problems where I started yawning all the time.  A pulmonologist said I had somehow screwed up my breathing center in my brain because my lungs were fine.

The anxiety was brutal and in all my years of having an anxiety disorder, I never felt anything like this.  It was 100% caused by the flu shot, and I will never get one again even though I was a huge proponent of getting the shot in the past.  I'm feeling better now. It's 9 months later and the anxiety is almost back to pre shot levels.  I sill need medication though, and I wasn't taking any for over two years before this.  My last dizzy spell was a few weeks ago.  They are few and far between, and my stomach 100% healed about a month ago.  I thank probiotics for that.  

One other weird thing that happened was that I developed and allergy to my cat during this and I was never allergic to her before.  Allergists said it may only get worse, but as I've recovered, it's gotten better.  I believe the flu shot for some reason affected my immune system.  I think I had some type of autoimmune response where it attacked me instead.  I also think there were neurological problems like the breathing and dizziness, and a release of adrenaline.  I can't find one doctor to substantiate any of this.  It really angers me.  These vaccines aren't safe.
I am so glad I found this site and to see that it's not just me that has suffered severe anxiety after a flu shot although I wouldn't wish these symptoms on anyone.. Last year I had a flu shot and 2 weeks later started to suffer from severe and constant anxiety.  It was awful - could not sleep and felt constantly wired up and had panic attacks which were worse at night - this went on for over a month or more  I will never have another flu shot!  I am supposed to be getting a pneumomia jab soon but am dreading it and pray I don't get the same re-action :(
Avatar universal
Back at the end of May I got a Hep A vaccine. A few hours later I developed severe anxiety. I have never suffered with this before so it really caught me off guard. The first doctor I saw told me there was no way in the world the vaccine was to blame. I totally disagree! Before getting the shot my life couldn't have been going any better. The medical community has got to admit that they don't always know what is going on. I'm three months in to this nightmare and am still praying for relief. I'm encouraged by everyone's similar experiences. Hope there is an end soon.
Avatar universal
I'm going through the very same thing. I got the flu shot about a week and a half ago. Starting about 10 days ago, I awoke in the night with a racing heart and my whole body was shaking in a panic for no reason. I had never felt like this before in my entire life, and I'm a 28 year old male with a happy life. It's like I'm living in a nightmare.

I guess I'm in for a long ride (sounds about 6 months) but I will never the flu shot ever again as long as I live.
Avatar universal
Alright guys, I figured this one out, from the below link:

As pointed out by L Tomljenjovic and CA Shaw:

“Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science’s medical understanding of their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds. In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted.” [66]

Experimental research, in contrast, clearly shows that aluminum in adjuvant form…carries a risk for autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and subsequent neurological complications and may thus have profound and widespread adverse health complications. [66]

You can read more extensively here: http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2011/06/01/vaccines-and-brain-inflammation/

As you can read, we are highly sensitive to the adjuvants. Make sure you take a curcumin supplement with black pepper, and lots and lots of green tea to quell the inflammation.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Another great article:


It is mostly due to brain inflammation.
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