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Carlia: New to this site and looking for support


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Posted (edited)

Hello, I am feeling very scared at the moment and I am looking for advice, support and encouragement. Please tread carefully. Here is my story and history. I’ve tried to keep it brief. Thank you in advance for reading. 
 

As a teen and young adult I was prescribed antidepressants a few times but I never stuck with them. I think I took mirtazapine for three weeks once. That’s about as long as I lasted on any of them.
 

Then in 2015 only days after birthing my daughter I was prescribed Zoloft because I was feeling teary. I took it for ten months and then cold turkeyed off it because I was feeling good and didn’t know any better. I didn’t suffer any withdrawal affects. 
 

In February of 2020 I was feeling happy, healthy, secure and I was med free. I gave birth to my son and after experiencing complications after birth I ended up in ICU with septicaemia where I was given a huge dose of triple therapy antibiotics via IV. One of these was metronidazole which is a known neurotoxin that readily crosses the blood brain barrier and is infamous for causing neuro-psychiatric side effects.
 

Over the course of the next week my life dissolved into chaos. I was having panic attacks, adrenaline dumps, trouble sleeping, waking in terror over and over, extreme derealisation to the point where nothing looked real, numb sensations, head pressure, extreme sweats, diarrhoea, incontinence, hallucinations, inability to eat… I could go on and on. The worst side effect though was something akin to akathisia. I get the extreme feeling of not being able to exist within my skin. A sensation that feels completely unbearable. I thrash and scream and cry and moan and whimper. I do however not need to pace and I can lay down.
 

No one knew what was wrong with me so I had psych meds thrown at me like candy. I was put on Zoloft first which I took for 5 weeks. I became concerned that it was making the agitation worse because I certainly didn’t feel better. I was told that I could just stop taking it, so I did ct.  I tried a few doses of seroquel but couldn’t stand how it made me feel. At 8 weeks out from the injury I was completely suicidal due to the akathisia type feeling and decided to try Lyrica. I was titrated quickly up from 25mg to 150mg. I didn’t get relief so I was put up to 300mg. I was also put on 10mg of lexapro. 
 

Finally I got some relief from the inner agitation. At the time I called it “burning”. Why I didn’t just leave it there I have no idea.  At this time a friend invited me to the Lyrica fb page and I scared myself stupid reading over threads. I decided that I had to taper off as fast as possible before I’d been on it for three months. So I started dropping 25mg at a time. I got down to 100mg from 300mg in about 6 weeks and then all hell broke loose. I was thrown back into acute. Three days later I reinstated to 225mg. I stabilised quickly and then started a slow taper.
 

Now i have to mention that at this time I was drinking alcohol.  How ridiculously stupid. I can’t believe I was such an idiot. But I digress. By New Year’s Eve 2020/21 I was down to 212.5mg and I decided to get drunk. I woke up on the 2nd of Jan in full blown acute again. 6 days later I couldn’t take another second of torture. I was taking multiple rescue doses of benzos to knock myself out so that I wouldn’t self injure. So I put my dose of Lyrica back up to 300mg. 
 

Three weeks later acute came back. Again I upped my dose. This time to 450mg. Again I got relief. 
 

Ten days later. Back into acute. This time I rode it out and it passed on its own. After that was in and out of milder waves until July 2021 and then I experienced a beautiful window until the end of November. 
 

At the end of November 2021 I went into acute again. There were a couple of potential triggers. I went to the dentist 3 weeks prior and was given epinephrine. I took herbal tinctures that contained alcohol just days before acute hit. Or there is the possibility that I was hitting tolerance on the Lyrica. I lasted two weeks thrashing around, screaming before up-dosing yet again. This time to 600mg. I also started taking propranolol 40mg which I am still stuck on due to rebound effects if I don’t take it. I stabilised out of the severe “akathisia”  within days but still felt awful. I spent the next year in windows and waves. Milder waves, not like acute, but still awful and at many points life threatening.
 

From November 2022 I started to see more consistent windows. I seemed to feel better and better until July 2023 when I went into acute yet again. This time without a trigger that I could see. I became dangerously suicidal and lasted just 6 days before up-dosing to a whopping 900mg of Lyrica. Again I stabilised within days. I felt pretty good until November 2023 when after an argument with my mother in law I went back into acute yet again. This time I rode it out and after about a week it started to resolve on it’s own. Things remained a little rocky until after Christmas and then 2024 was pretty decent until May. Only two brief waves, one in March and one in May. That is until I hit acute again last week.

 

My plan had been to micro taper the Lyrica once I was feeling stable for a decent length of time but something always held me back. Fear predominately. 

 

I am at a loss for what to do. 
 

And that brings me to where I am now. Thank you so much if you have read up until this point. 
 

If you decide to reply to me I ask again that you be delicate with your wording. I appreciate it :)

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

February 2020 antibiotic injury (metronidazole)

Started 25mg Zoloft for 5 weeks 

May 2020 started 300mg Lyrica 

and 10 mg Lexapro 

Tapered from 300mg - 100mg Lyrica 

August 2020 up-dosed to 225mg Lyrica 

August to Dec tapered down to 212.5mg Lyrica. 
Jan 2021 up-dosed to 300mg Lyrica 

Feb 2021 up-dosed to 450mg Lyrica 

Nov 2021 up-dosed to 600mg Lyrica 

40mg propranolol introduced 

July 2023 up-dosed to 900mg Lyrica 

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  • Emonda changed the title to Carlia: New to this site and looking for support
  • Administrator

Welcome @Carlia,

 

1 hour ago, Carlia said:

I am feeling very scared at the moment and I am looking for advice, support and encouragement

 

Most of us here have been / still are scared by the tapering process. This site has plenty of resources, and the search function in the top right corner is particularly helpful.

 

It seems you've made quite a few changes to medication over the recent years, and this would have taken a toll. I suspect you've experienced quite a few WD symptoms. Can you relate to any of the items on this list: Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

Many here have success when they taper very, very slowly: Why taper by 10% of my dosage? The reductions should get smaller and smaller each month, for example: 10mg, 9mg, 8.1mg, 7.3mg etc. Importantly, if you develop unpleasant side effects from tapering, halt the taper, give yourself time to settle, and once stable, taper more slowly and by smaller amounts moving forward.

 

1 hour ago, Carlia said:

My plan had been to micro taper

 

This is the approach I take, although with a different medication: The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering.

 

I've found counselling along the way of great value.

 

1 hour ago, Carlia said:

My plan had been to micro taper the Lyrica once I was feeling stable for a decent length of time but something always held me back. Fear predominately. 

 

Fear kept me on these drugs for close to three decades. After spending hours and hours reading on this site a few years back, I decided to give slow tapering a go. It hasn't been a piece of cake, but I've made progress I didn't think was possible.

 

Now, as to the medication you take, I have no personal experience with it. So, the following link would be a good place to start reading:

 

 

A few other links worth a read initially:

Keep It Simple, Slow, and Stable

Never skip doses to taper

Windows and waves pattern of stabilization

Emotional Spirals

Non-drug coping strategies

Melatonin for sleep

We don't suggest many supplements, but two that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. Add one at a time and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

and Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Avoid alcohol.

Don't change the manufacturer of your AD.

This is your own Introduction topic.  Each member has only ONE Introduction topic.  Your own Introduction topic is the best place to ask questions and the place to journal your progress.  This keeps your history in one place and means you do not have to repeat your story. 

Once again, welcome to S.A.

Emonda

 

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg, 23 May 1.80mg, 30 May 1.76mg, 8 Jun 1.72mg, 13 Jun 1.66mg, 3 Jul 1.62mg, 10 Jul 1.58mg, 17 Jul 1.54mg

Link to comment

Hi Emonda, 


Thank you for such a detailed response. In regards to magnesium, I have been avoiding it for quite some time because I was under the impression that it was to be avoided in gaba related med injuries/withdrawal. Is that not the case? 

February 2020 antibiotic injury (metronidazole)

Started 25mg Zoloft for 5 weeks 

May 2020 started 300mg Lyrica 

and 10 mg Lexapro 

Tapered from 300mg - 100mg Lyrica 

August 2020 up-dosed to 225mg Lyrica 

August to Dec tapered down to 212.5mg Lyrica. 
Jan 2021 up-dosed to 300mg Lyrica 

Feb 2021 up-dosed to 450mg Lyrica 

Nov 2021 up-dosed to 600mg Lyrica 

40mg propranolol introduced 

July 2023 up-dosed to 900mg Lyrica 

Link to comment

Sorry to be posting again so soon! What I want to ask is, and I know that replies will only reflect individual opinions, but is there any hope for me considering my history? 
 

I initially got something akin to akathisia as well as a plethora of other hideous symptoms as the result of a severe adverse reaction to metronidazole (antibiotic). And the Lyrica I started taking 8 weeks later was to treat and mask my unbearable symptoms.  It made my life more manageable but I have endured hundreds of waves, some of which have been extremely life threatening. 
 

So here I am 4.5 years out from that antibiotic reaction, maxed out on a huge dose of Lyrica, and if it’s stopped working then am I just screwed?

 

I have carried the fear around for years that my underlying injury is still there, that the Lyrica is just masking it and once it stops working I am done. 
 

I am at a loss for what to do. 
 

I mentioned this on my introduction post but if you do reply to me please be gentle and mindful of triggering. I am trying very hard to stay strong. 


 

February 2020 antibiotic injury (metronidazole)

Started 25mg Zoloft for 5 weeks 

May 2020 started 300mg Lyrica 

and 10 mg Lexapro 

Tapered from 300mg - 100mg Lyrica 

August 2020 up-dosed to 225mg Lyrica 

August to Dec tapered down to 212.5mg Lyrica. 
Jan 2021 up-dosed to 300mg Lyrica 

Feb 2021 up-dosed to 450mg Lyrica 

Nov 2021 up-dosed to 600mg Lyrica 

40mg propranolol introduced 

July 2023 up-dosed to 900mg Lyrica 

Link to comment
  • Administrator
18 hours ago, Carlia said:

In regards to magnesium, I have been avoiding it for quite some time because I was under the impression that it was to be avoided in gaba related med injuries/withdrawal. Is that not the case? 

 

I'm no doctor, and I hadn't read that. I do know that when people try magnesium, they start very low to see how they go.

 

I find it beneficial.

 

13 hours ago, Carlia said:

Sorry to be posting again so soon! What I want to ask is, and I know that replies will only reflect individual opinions,

 

There's nothing to apologise for. Ask your questions, and someone will try to help, although the number of volunteers is very small.

 

13 hours ago, Carlia said:

but is there any hope for me considering my history? 

 

100%. There is always hope 😊 Have a read of some of the success stories. On the success story page, use the search function to find people who have tapered off Lyrica.

 

13 hours ago, Carlia said:

So here I am 4.5 years out from that antibiotic reaction, maxed out on a huge dose of Lyrica, and if it’s stopped working then am I just screwed?

 

For decades, I feared that my AD would stop working and that I'd be up the creek without a paddle. On this site, this is referred to as poop out. I believe the technical term is tachyphylaxis. I've read of a few on this site who have experienced this, and the way out for them has been a very, very slow taper off the medication.

 

You could read Brassmonkeys story about this topic.

 

I hope this helps...

 

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg, 23 May 1.80mg, 30 May 1.76mg, 8 Jun 1.72mg, 13 Jun 1.66mg, 3 Jul 1.62mg, 10 Jul 1.58mg, 17 Jul 1.54mg

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16 hours ago, Carlia said:

is there any hope for me considering my history?

 

Hello @Carlia

 

My situation is obviously very different from yours in most respects, but I still wanted to chime in here to say...OF COURSE there is hope for you!  And, quite honestly, there is so much more than just "hope".  The fact that you're here on this site, seeking guidance, knowledge, and help, means you've already taken perhaps the most important step on your journey to inevitable healing...the first.

 

17 hours ago, Carlia said:

as the result of a severe adverse reaction to metronidazole (antibiotic).

 

Again, our histories are very different, but...I too have taken this awful, awful drug.  Long story short, I had food poisoning, and the initial indications were that it was a "bacterial" infection, so I was given two separate IV antibiotics, one of which was metronidazole.  I was also given a 7-day prescription for metronidazole pills upon leaving the hospital.  Turns out the infection was NOT bacterial, but I had already taken both the IV and prescription pill forms of metronidazole before this was known/confirmed.  And, while I did not have an "adverse" reaction to metronidazole, per se, I DID have quite a few terrible side effects that lasted for quite some time.  Suffice to say, I will jump out a freaking window before I will ever let anyone convince me to take that horrible drug again.   

 

17 hours ago, Carlia said:

I am trying very hard to stay strong.

 

Sometimes it is very, very important to make sure we position things the right way 'round in this life, Carlia.  You are NOT "trying" to stay strong - you are just understandably continuing to struggle with your situation right now.  But, this does not, and cannot, change the simple fact that you have been, and will no doubt continue to be, an incredibly strong person.  To risk repeating myself, lol...the fact that you are here now courageously seeking the same help we have all at some point needed already proves, unquestionably, that you possess the inner strength necessary to find the way forward and to ultimately get past this very unfortunate time in your life.       

Xanax, .50mg, 21 November 23 - 24 December 23; taper from .50mg to .125mg, 25 December 23 - 19 January 24
Clonazepam, .50mg, 22 January 24 - 5 February 24; taper from .50mg to .125mg 6 February 24 - 29 February 24
Tranmed, 5mg, 22 January 24 - 29 January 24
Zoloft, 25mg 22 January 24 - 5 February 24; 50mg 6 February 24 - 20 February 24; taper from 50mg to 6.25mg 21 February 24 - 28 March 24
Melatonin, 1mg, 1 April 24 - 14 May 24, 2mg, 15 May 24 - present

Magnesium - 25mg, 31 May 24 - 7 June 24.  Now discontinued.

Diphenhydramine - 25mg, 10 July 24.  Occasional use, as needed.

 

 

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Hello @Carlia.  I am so sorry to read about everything you have been through. It sounds incredibly tough, especially as you have dealt with all of this, while presumably having young children. I have been there many years ago.

 

I am very new to all of this, so have little practical advice to offer, but any words of support I can give, I would be so happy to do. My mother was taking 900mg of lyrica daily. She tapered off completely.

 

I hope you are able to find a path through this, and that you find the support you deserve. I will be thinking of you.

Early 2000's to 2018, tried fluoxetine, duloxetine, amitryptiline, citalopram, setraline, with little effect.

2018 fluoxetine 20mgs and quetiapine 50mgs. Only took 25mgs. 

November 2023,  CT  fluoxetine, then quetiapine.

 

June 14 2024 reinstated 0.1mg of fluoxetine.  

 

Supplements magnesium glycinate, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin B6, fish oil capsules. 

            

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Question:

 

Can tolerance withdrawal come and go in waves? 

February 2020 antibiotic injury (metronidazole)

Started 25mg Zoloft for 5 weeks 

May 2020 started 300mg Lyrica 

and 10 mg Lexapro 

Tapered from 300mg - 100mg Lyrica 

August 2020 up-dosed to 225mg Lyrica 

August to Dec tapered down to 212.5mg Lyrica. 
Jan 2021 up-dosed to 300mg Lyrica 

Feb 2021 up-dosed to 450mg Lyrica 

Nov 2021 up-dosed to 600mg Lyrica 

40mg propranolol introduced 

July 2023 up-dosed to 900mg Lyrica 

Link to comment
On 6/8/2024 at 1:44 PM, Emonda said:

 

You could read Brassmonkeys story about this topic.

I went to his page but I’m not sure where or how to find his story?

 

On 6/8/2024 at 1:44 PM, Emonda said:

 

I'm no doctor, and I hadn't read that. I do know that when people try magnesium, they start very low to see how they go.

 

I find it beneficial.

 

 

There's nothing to apologise for. Ask your questions, and someone will try to help, although the number of volunteers is very small.

 

 

100%. There is always hope 😊 Have a read of some of the success stories. On the success story page, use the search function to find people who have tapered off Lyrica.

 

 

For decades, I feared that my AD would stop working and that I'd be up the creek without a paddle. On this site, this is referred to as poop out. I believe the technical term is tachyphylaxis. I've read of a few on this site who have experienced this, and the way out for them has been a very, very slow taper off the medication.

 

You could read Brassmonkeys story about this topic.

 

I hope this helps...

 

 

February 2020 antibiotic injury (metronidazole)

Started 25mg Zoloft for 5 weeks 

May 2020 started 300mg Lyrica 

and 10 mg Lexapro 

Tapered from 300mg - 100mg Lyrica 

August 2020 up-dosed to 225mg Lyrica 

August to Dec tapered down to 212.5mg Lyrica. 
Jan 2021 up-dosed to 300mg Lyrica 

Feb 2021 up-dosed to 450mg Lyrica 

Nov 2021 up-dosed to 600mg Lyrica 

40mg propranolol introduced 

July 2023 up-dosed to 900mg Lyrica 

Link to comment
On 6/8/2024 at 6:22 PM, Libby123 said:

Hello @Carlia.  I am so sorry to read about everything you have been through. It sounds incredibly tough, especially as you have dealt with all of this, while presumably having young children. I have been there many years ago.

 

I am very new to all of this, so have little practical advice to offer, but any words of support I can give, I would be so happy to do. My mother was taking 900mg of lyrica daily. She tapered off completely.

 

I hope you are able to find a path through this, and that you find the support you deserve. I will be thinking of you.

Thank you Libby. I really appreciate your response 💛

February 2020 antibiotic injury (metronidazole)

Started 25mg Zoloft for 5 weeks 

May 2020 started 300mg Lyrica 

and 10 mg Lexapro 

Tapered from 300mg - 100mg Lyrica 

August 2020 up-dosed to 225mg Lyrica 

August to Dec tapered down to 212.5mg Lyrica. 
Jan 2021 up-dosed to 300mg Lyrica 

Feb 2021 up-dosed to 450mg Lyrica 

Nov 2021 up-dosed to 600mg Lyrica 

40mg propranolol introduced 

July 2023 up-dosed to 900mg Lyrica 

Link to comment
On 6/8/2024 at 5:54 PM, theopold said:

 

Hello @Carlia

 

My situation is obviously very different from yours in most respects, but I still wanted to chime in here to say...OF COURSE there is hope for you!  And, quite honestly, there is so much more than just "hope".  The fact that you're here on this site, seeking guidance, knowledge, and help, means you've already taken perhaps the most important step on your journey to inevitable healing...the first.

 

 

Again, our histories are very different, but...I too have taken this awful, awful drug.  Long story short, I had food poisoning, and the initial indications were that it was a "bacterial" infection, so I was given two separate IV antibiotics, one of which was metronidazole.  I was also given a 7-day prescription for metronidazole pills upon leaving the hospital.  Turns out the infection was NOT bacterial, but I had already taken both the IV and prescription pill forms of metronidazole before this was known/confirmed.  And, while I did not have an "adverse" reaction to metronidazole, per se, I DID have quite a few terrible side effects that lasted for quite some time.  Suffice to say, I will jump out a freaking window before I will ever let anyone convince me to take that horrible drug again.   

 

 

Sometimes it is very, very important to make sure we position things the right way 'round in this life, Carlia.  You are NOT "trying" to stay strong - you are just understandably continuing to struggle with your situation right now.  But, this does not, and cannot, change the simple fact that you have been, and will no doubt continue to be, an incredibly strong person.  To risk repeating myself, lol...the fact that you are here now courageously seeking the same help we have all at some point needed already proves, unquestionably, that you possess the inner strength necessary to find the way forward and to ultimately get past this very unfortunate time in your life.       

Thank you, your reply means a lot to me! Metronidazole is poison. I’m glad you know to avoid it. I have it on my allergies list so drs know not to give it to me! 
 

You’re right about strength. I’ve really had no choice but to fight. 

February 2020 antibiotic injury (metronidazole)

Started 25mg Zoloft for 5 weeks 

May 2020 started 300mg Lyrica 

and 10 mg Lexapro 

Tapered from 300mg - 100mg Lyrica 

August 2020 up-dosed to 225mg Lyrica 

August to Dec tapered down to 212.5mg Lyrica. 
Jan 2021 up-dosed to 300mg Lyrica 

Feb 2021 up-dosed to 450mg Lyrica 

Nov 2021 up-dosed to 600mg Lyrica 

40mg propranolol introduced 

July 2023 up-dosed to 900mg Lyrica 

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Carlia said:

I went to his page but I’m not sure where or how to find his story?

 

See here, @Carlia

 

 

And also, here:

 

 

 

Xanax, .50mg, 21 November 23 - 24 December 23; taper from .50mg to .125mg, 25 December 23 - 19 January 24
Clonazepam, .50mg, 22 January 24 - 5 February 24; taper from .50mg to .125mg 6 February 24 - 29 February 24
Tranmed, 5mg, 22 January 24 - 29 January 24
Zoloft, 25mg 22 January 24 - 5 February 24; 50mg 6 February 24 - 20 February 24; taper from 50mg to 6.25mg 21 February 24 - 28 March 24
Melatonin, 1mg, 1 April 24 - 14 May 24, 2mg, 15 May 24 - present

Magnesium - 25mg, 31 May 24 - 7 June 24.  Now discontinued.

Diphenhydramine - 25mg, 10 July 24.  Occasional use, as needed.

 

 

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