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Ectopic heartbeats, taking Seroxat for anxiety attacks. ECG normal. Can medication cause this?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9086 Questions
Hi, I am a 42 year old female and in 2010 had severe anxiety attacks. I was put on 15mg diazepam, 80mg propranolol and 40mg seroxat a day. This stopped the attacks and after six months, I had a battle coming off the diazepam, but did it slowly, followed by the propranolol and recently seroxat. I got down to 10mg seroxat and then stopped taking it, but the withdrawal effects were awful and I felt so ill. I also have been experiencing horrible ectopic heartbeats, especially when I am sitting down. I have been to the doctor and then said as long as I wasn' having chest pain and dizziness no to worry. However, how ever much I try not to worry, I do. I have now gone back on 10mg seroxat but they have not improved. I also had an ecg which showed nothing. Can all the medication I have been on have caused this?
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 6 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The medications you took do cause withdrawal symptoms on stopping but these do not cause persistent ectopic heart beats after you have stopped taking them.
The most likely cause of your symptoms is anxiety and stress.
To help this problem you can take a few measures-
1.Check your caffeine intake-Avoid drinking too much tea, coffee or cola.
2.Avoid alcohol and cigarette smoking.
3.Try physical exercise like aerobic exercises daily for twenty minutes.
4.Avoid your worries and problems or solve them with the help of your family and friends.
5. Learn controlled breathing.
6. Do simple relaxation exercises like yoga, meditation, etc.
You can also discuss the problem with your GP who will help you in choosing a good antianxiety drug with low day time sedation.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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