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Why do my meds make my skin crawl?

I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and have tried a number of medications at different times, usually a combination of 2 or 3 of the following: lithium, prozac, lexapro, seroquel, abilify, risperdal, klonopin, vistaril, zyprexa, ambien, rozerem, & depakote. Zyprexa, Benadryl, Depakote, and Seroquel have caused me to twitch and feel like my skin is crawling an hour (or a few) after I take them. I feel as though there is an itch under my skin that I cannot scratch all over my body, and have involuntary movements in my limbs. It happened most severely with Seroquel (100 mg, if I am not mistaken). It did not happen every time I took each of the other medications, and gradually went away with Zyprexa. I was on Zyprexa for about 8 months... 5mg/day. I'd say it took a few weeks for this side effect to kick in, and a month or two for it to go away completely. When I stopped taking it for about a week and began again, the side effect came back. I had quite a scare the first time it happened (with Seroquel) and considered going to the hospital. A couple years ago I used benadryl frequently as a sleep aid and never had this side effect. Within the past six months I have used it without having the side effect, and have also used it and experienced the side effect. I took each of these medications with lithium, but I have never experienced the side effect with lithium alone. I'm wondering if anyone out there knows what this side effect is, whether it's actually dangerous, and what these four medications have in common that they all cause the same thing. I have been wondering about this for quite some time and have had trouble tracking down information about it.

PS I have had peculiar side effects to other medications as well. I had a seizure in my sleep when I was on Risperdal (after one alcoholic beverage about 6-8 hours earlier. I have since had two EEGs, both of which showed no seizure activity.) Abilify made me so lethargic I could barely stand at times, and also made me so nauseous the morning after I took it that I could not eat without vomiting. Prozac and Lexapro each lasted less than two weeks each because of the insomnia, racing heartbeat, and blurry memory that they caused. Ambien doesn't make me tired. Neither does Benadryl. If anything, it makes me hyper.

I have been wondering for a while whether there is any explanation as to why I react to my psychiatric medications in such a peculiar manner. I asked my psychiatrist about this particular side effect, and he seemed somewhat baffled.
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Avatar universal
I have the same effects with TylenolPM only the PM. and phenagren another one for pain. It made my body do the same thing and all they have said is I am allergic to the meds. Don't no why.   Also had the same symptoms with my legs, got restless. Which I guess is restless leg syndrome but I was also told I was low on iron. I know this doesn't help but I know the symptoms suck!
585414 tn?1288944902
I believe that would be akathesia a common temporary movement disorder caused by anti-psychotics. That can be treated with side effects pills such as Cogentin. "An inner feeling of restlessnes" is part of the diagnosis. That would be nothing to concerned about and especially if the movements and sensations come and go during the day and start again when the antipsychotic is taken. However, if at any time the movements occur through the day and are random and do not go away then you should be referred to a movement disorders specialist to rule out tardive dyskinesia. However, since that disability is permanent (as for antipsychotics Clozaril won't cause it as well as new generation antipsychotics in study such as the glutamate antagonists, I myself am in study for the Phase II FDA study antipsychotic glycine, the results will be published in a psychiatric journal, until then for the official study google "Dr. Javitt, glycine"). and the movements and sensations you describe disapate at times it is almost certainly akathesia and there are a variety of medications that could be given to help it. Speak to your psychiatrist about this.
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