That was my GP’s reaction when I told him what was happening in my right arm. I told him I had been on the phone holding it up to my ear with my right hand and had felt pins & needles in my arm. Typical sign of hyperventilation he said. I don’t think so. Another time it happened when I was just I was lying quietly on the floor about to start my yoga. Some months later I was sitting at gp surgery and I could feel a tingling going down my right arm. I remember
getting a bit tearful. I knew something was happening but I had no idea what.
My right arm continues to be the worst affected side for stiffness, tremor and dystonia/dyskinesia. The pins and needles started a couple of months after my GP gave me antidepressants (Sertraline 13 days, Amitriptyline 2 days). I get pins and needles in both hands too. It can be pretty uncomfortable so I have to stop what I’m doing and shake
Kings PD Pain questionaire: Radicular pain 14.Shooting pain/pins and needles down the limbs
UK Parkinson’s Disease Society Brain Bank Clinical Diagnostic Criteria (Hughes AJ et al. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1992;55:181-4)
Supportive criteria includes ‘Unilateral onset’ and ‘Persistent asymmetry affecting side of onset most’
Below are some case reports I found of Sertraline causing Parkinsonism, sometimes it is not reversible:
Parkinsonism secondary to the use of sertraline Cano A, Roquer J.Med Clin (Barc). 1995 Dec 8;105(20):797-8.
Extrapyramidal disorders following sertraline use; experiences with a new selective antidepressant Kolling P, Jansen Steur EN, de Burlet HM. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 1996 Jul 13;140(28):1467-8.
Reversible parkinsonism in a 90-year-old man taking sertraline. Schechter DS, Nunes EV. J Clin Psychiatry. 1997 Jun;58(6):275.
Reversible parkinsonism secondary to the use of sertraline P.Latorre, Z Lopez Neurologia 1998 Nov;13(9)444-5
Sertraline induced parkinsonism. A case report and in-vivo study of the effect of sertraline on dopamine metabolism Di Rocco A, Brannan T, Prikhojan A, et al:. J Neural Transm 1998; 105: 247–251
These data indicate that sertraline has an effect on dopamine metabolism, which may alter function in the striatum and induce a parkinsonian syndrome.
SSRI-induced parkinsonism may be an early sign of future Parkinson’s Disease. Gonul AS, Aksu M J Clin Psychiatry 1999; 60:410
Parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease associated with long-term administration of sertraline. Pina Latorre MA, Modrego PJ, Rodilla F, Catalán C, Calvo M. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2001 Apr;26(2):111-2.
Can Sertraline Induce Parkinson’s Disease? R. J. Gregory & J. F. White Psychosomatics 42:163-164, April 2001
Sertraline: Parkinsonism in an elderly patient: case report Reactions , Vol,1, Number 861, 2001
Parkinsonism and Elevated Lactic Acid With Sertraline DN Mendhekar, RP Benuiwal, V Puri The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry April 2005
SSRI are known to cause reversible or irreversible motor disturbances through pathophysiological changes in basal ganglion motor system by altering the dopamine receptors postsynaptically.
Review of case reports related to SSRI induced EPS revealed akathisia (45.1%) followed by dystonic reactions (28.2%), parkinsonism (14.1%) and tardive dyskinesia (11.3%).