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Scared in MA: Question about which ADs are most troublesome


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Hi All,

I am at the end of a valium taper and a member of benzobuddies. I am posting here becasue I am concerned for my niece who is on ADs and is very worried about coming off them, (but very much wants too) after seeing the living hell I have been going through for the past year.


My question, to start is, she is on Lexapro and Abilify. I have read that certian ADs are particularly difficult to withdraw, cymbalta and effexor, come to mind. To those with experience with Lexapro and Abilify, are these particulary difficult or notorious for causing difficult withdrawal?

Thanks for any advice or tips. She has been on them a little over a year.

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When I visited a doc who specializes in helping people get off meds, he said that Paxil, Effexor and Pristiq were the hard ones from his experience. But I'm sure all of them can be difficult as everyone is different.

Prozac 1999-2009 quit semi cold turkey.


2012 Placed on Seroquel 25 mg, Tranxene (Clorezepate) 3.75 mg 3x a day, Remeron 30 mg for anxiety/akathesia.


Weaned off Seroquel and Tranxene .to Remeron 15 Mg.

In May 2014 tried quitting Remeron at its lowest dose. Had severe withdrawals.Reinstated Remeron at 30 mg by doctor. August 5 2014 entered hospital. Doctor pulled the Remeron and bridged it to Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 40mg and Zyprexa 2.5mg.After removing the Remeron all my bad symptoms went away and I am stable.


9/11/14 - 7.5 mg tranxene, 40mg Pamelor, Zyprexa 2.5mg

12/29/14 -  20mg Pamelor, 1/6/15,  7/31/15 3.5mg, 8/10/15 3.2 mg, 9/15/15 2.2mg, 10/15/15 1.8mg

(Feb 2016 - 1.4mg Pamelor only -  OFF OF TRANXENE AND ZYPREXA SINCE DEC 2014 BENZO FREE Since 2014. Nortrityline (Pamelor) .8mg Aug 2016

March 2017 DRUG FREE

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Hi ScaredinMA, welcome to SA. First, congratulations for tapering valium, benzos are no picnic!

It is great that you are looking out for your niece, if you can get her to come and read up on some threads here 

she will get an understanding of how tapering works and the best ways to go about it.  Some ADs are difficult

to taper but everyone is different and some people have had problems with the so called 'easy' ones. The only way

to avoid withdrawal is a slow taper. We recommend reductions of no more that 10% of the current dose, which

means that cuts get smaller as the taper progresses. This allows the brain to adjust to lower doses gradually and

avoids the 'shock' from tapering too fast.   When tapering multiple drugs we usually recommend tapering the Ad first. 

Abilify is an antipsychotic which is often prescribed as an add on to antidepressants. 


Here is the topic for tapering lexapro. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

Why taper 10% http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

Tapering abilify. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1896-tips-for-tapering-off-abilify-aripiprazole/  


The rules of the 3KIS, are most important. Keep It Simple... Keep It Stable... Keep it Slow...http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6632-the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/ 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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I also think it's not good to anticipate a nightmare of withdrawal, this isn't a great starting position for your nervous system. The goal is always to minimise withdrawal by managing your taper. Planning I it before you start is a great first step. I ended up here, deep in withdrawal, with a totally destabilised nervous system and numerous failed attempts up my sleeve. I am sure that my withdrawal experience would have been very different if I had understood the key principles to start with and had not already fried my nervous system


Go very slow, hold between drops, listen to your body, don't look for a magic fix, support your nervous system with fish oil, relaxation techniques, gentle exercise, eat well, be patient, aim to get off well, not quickly. Your niece can be successful in this



Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.


DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017


>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thanks Chicken for the info. Thanks Mammap, benzos has been the most horrible experience of my life and I am not out of the woods yet. The reason I am checking this out ahead of time is because I don't want her to start looking at these sites yet, for just the reason Dalsaan expressed. Don't want her going into it thinking she is going to have a problem. At the same time I realize I am probably the only person who can help her if she does. From my benzo experience I have realized that nobody realy gets it unless they have had the experience, that includes the most well meaning doctors. When she starts to taper I will direct her to this website for sure. Thanks for the info and links.

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