Tooth Grinding & Lithium, Effexor
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Q:  Tooth Grinding & Lithium, Effexor


Hi Dr Phelps I have developed a tooth grinding problem which I now do all day long. I am on lithium and effexor. Do you know if one of these drugs is responsible and would it be reversible on discontinuation.

Many thanks


Dear Ms. R-

"Bruxism" is a recognized side effect of serotonergic antidepressants, and Effexor has a serotonergic component (as well as a norepinephrine effect).  So that is the overwhelming candidate to account for this problem. I looked to see if llithium has been associated with this and did not find any clear connection.  Here is an article on bipolar disorder from a dentist's perspective, in which the paragraph on llithium does not mention bruxism. I searched pub med and found nothing there either.  Of course, you should not stop your Effexor without a thorough discussion with your psychiatrist first.  Good luck with that.

Dr. Phelps



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