Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Am I Experiencing A Drug Induced Loss of Smell?

Thursday, 08 July 2010 02:06 PM

Question: A few years ago I was put on anti-depressants. I was not depressed, but suffered occasional panic attacks. I had chronic dizzy spells for the next 18 months. My doctor would not listen to me and kept increasing the dosage or changing the drug. He finally put me on Paxil which I eventually took myself off and have not taken any of these drugs since. Since that time I have lost my sense of smell. I cannot smell anything, not even a burning pot. Would the drug have anything to do with this? Is there anything that could be done to improve or restore my sense of smell?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Drug-induced loss of smell that persists after discontinuation of drug is concerning. You need to return to your doctor for evaluation and testing to isolate whether this is loss of nerve function (olfactory or cranial nerve #1) or whether it reflects an obstruction or infection that may be impairing your sense of smell. MRI Imaging will be ordered if structural defect, abscess, or infection is suspected. Drug therapy rarely results in non-reversible loss of smell. Your presentation requires a face to face consultation for definition and treatment options.

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