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What Are Paradoxical Drug Effects?

a man struggles with paradoxical drug effects

There are always risks to drug use of any kind. Whether an individual is abusing illegal substances or taking a prescribed medication, they can face unexpected complications. When taking prescription drugs, it is critical to listen to your healthcare provider on the correct dose and potential for side effects. If left unchecked, adverse reactions can cause significant harm to your physical and mental well-being.

At BlueCrest Health Group, we understand the risks associated with drug use and the unintended outcomes that a person can face. For individuals experiencing negative reactions or paradoxical drug effects, our team can help you overcome them. We are committing to helping those in our care find lasting recovery. If you are looking for substance abuse treatment for yourself or a loved one, do not wait to seek help. Contact us at 888.340.2214 or online for more information about our programs.

What Are Paradoxical Drug Effects?

Drugs can have all kinds of effects on a person, ranging from an increase in energy to slowed breathing. So, what are paradoxical drug effects? Paradoxical effects, also called reactions, are when someone experiences outcomes of a drug that are opposite from their expected outcome. An example would be an anti-anxiety medication that makes anxiety symptoms worse. The exact reason as to why these effects happen is not clear. It is believed that they happen when certain medications are too low or too high in that person’s system. Other factors, such as drug tolerance, genetics, or any current infections or ailments, can also play a role.

Below are some of the common paradoxical effects:

  • Hypertension, or high blood pressure
  • Tachycardia, or increased heart rate
  • Tachypnea, or rapid breathing
  • Dramatic changes in mood and emotions
  • Confusion
  • Excessive movement

When paradoxical drug effects occur, you should reach out to a professional and stop their drug use. Doctors may suggest you take a counteract residual drug or a non-GABA sedating medication, depending on the symptoms. If paradoxical drug effects lead to more substance abuse, it can have harmful outcomes for your health and safety. BlueCrest Health Group can provide the support you need for a life of long-term recovery.

Medications Associated with Paradoxical Drug Effects

Paradoxical effects can happen with a variety of medications. The common medications associated with this type of reaction are:

  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Sedatives
  • Antipsychotics
  • Medications used for enhancing or inhibiting the body’s immune response

The most reported paradoxical drug effects occur with benzodiazepines and stimulants. Benzodiazepines are depressants that produce hypnosis and sedation. They are used to relieve muscle spasms, ease anxiety, and reduce seizures. When someone experiences paradoxical effects with benzos, they may feel more excitement, have poor impulse control, or become more aggressive. Stimulants are often prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy because they increase energy, alertness, and attention. Individuals facing paradoxical effects from this type of drug will experience more drowsiness.

It is critical to understand the expected effects of a drug and its potential side effects. Understanding the normal symptoms can help you recognize when you are encountering paradoxical drug effects.

Finding Treatment for Paradoxical Drug Effects at BlueCrest Health Group

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, it is vital to seek professional help. At BlueCrest Health Group, we believe in the whole individual, which is why we provide various addiction and therapy programs. Some of the addiction programs we provide at BlueCrest Health Group include intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs, specialized rehab programs for men and women, an alumni program, and a sober living program. We will tailor these programs to provide personalized care for you or your loved one. To get started on your recovery, give us a call at 888.340.2214 or contact us online.