Dealing With ‘Brain Zaps’? Here’s Why They Might Be Happening—and What to Do

By Beth Ann Mayer, July 6, 2024

We’ll get more into brain zap causes in a bit, but research and experts point to abruptly stopping antidepressant medications as the No. 1 trigger. “Venlafaxine, in particular, has been associated with these symptoms, but other serotonergic antidepressants, especially with short half-lives, can cause them as well,” says Dr. Alex Dimitriu, MD, the founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine, who is double board-certified in psychiatry and sleep medicine.  A 2020 review of previous studies involving more than 2,300 people who had taken antidepressants found that 42.5% of them said they felt brain zaps.

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