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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Can a severe panic attack cause stroke?

 tiffairy - Mon Dec 25, 2006 11:39 pm

I suffer from panic attacks and on Saturday nigth had a VERY bad one, I'm sure my blood pressure was through the roof and it lasted nearly an hour. The entire next day I was on edge and had another panic attack as well. This was a terribly stressful time and I could feel it in my body.

I'm aware that acute increase in bp can cause stroke but am wondering if a situation like this can cause one? I'm 26 year old female and a non smoker but am a very anxious person. I have a Chiari Type 1 Malformation with no known family history of early stroke. No surgeries. I take Xanax ER 1 mg as needed.
 tiffairy - Mon Dec 25, 2006 11:40 pm

My normal BP isn't high usually. On average 130/80 but still feel is spiked up pretty high when stressed. It was a really bad attack, I was shaking and crying and nearly fainted.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Dec 26, 2006 2:34 pm

User avatar It would be unusual for panic attacks to cause such an increase in blood pressure to cause a stroke. In medicine we never say never; however, this would be incredibly unlikely in an otherwise healthy woman of your age.

If you were to take your blood pressure during one of these episodes you may be suprised to find that it is only slightly elevated, much less than it feels.

I would encourage you to discuss your symptoms with your doctors if you are having these anxiety attacks frequently. There may be some controller medicines that can help prevent the attacks, rather than needing to take a medicine when they happen.

Hope this helps.

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