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  1. Hi Everyone -- I guess I am coming at this backwards! I didn't really know about this community until I was done with my tapering, but it was the advice I found here when searching on how to detox from Lexapro that finally allowed me to successfully taper off. Last night I received a message from someone on this forum and it got me to thinking that my experience could be helpful to others. So I wanted to share how I was able to become totally free of anti-depressants. I have had some low level depression for much of my life and always resisted any suggestion that I try an SSRI. After gaining a lot of weight over one winter - I have mild Seasonal Affective Disorder -- I agreed to try an anti-depressant. I first went on Lexapro 10 mg. For some reason -- I can't recall the specifics -- my doctor switched me to Effexor after about a week or two. On Effexor all I did was sleep. So it was back to Lexapro 10 mg. Not long after starting (fall 2002), I went up to 20 mg. I stayed on 20 mg for about six years. I finally realized that on 20 mg I really just didn't care. My marriage tanked. Not sure if it is related to the who cares attitude, but I am sure it didn't help. Being on Lexapro didn't really help my Seasonal Affective Disorder, but it did cut down on any anxiety I had, which was kind of nice. Because of the "who cares" feelings, I decided to taper to 10 mg. with thoughts of possibly getting off all together. I was able to taper from 20 to 17.5 to 15 to 10 mg with no discernible side effects. I found that I could not continue this taper to 7.5 mg without getting a "jumpy" and "jittery" feeling that was not acceptable. So I would go back to 10 mg. This happened several times. Even on 10 mg Lexapro I would have some bad times, crazy times (going through a divorce can do that). I also felt like I never experienced joy. So, I would say, why even bother putting this into my system? It wasn't exactly a "happy pill." I started doing research on how to come off Lexapro without withdrawal or how to lessen withdrawal. I found the information on the 10% tapering regimen written by Altrostrata. My doctor was totally cool with prescribing a combination of liquid and pill Lexapro and I began tapering in March 2015. Other than some occasional feelings of the blues, I have had no discernible withdrawal symptoms. No "brain zaps" no brain fog, no feeling detached from myself, no insomnia, etc. I do cry more easily at sappy movies and special occasions, but I kind of like that. I did read Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil and also consulted The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. I had been meditating for some time prior to beginning the taper and I think that is a KEY to managing blues/lows. I attended a Buddhist meditation service on a regular basis until it was discontinued. I highly recommend meditation and the books of Pema Chodron. Buddhism encourages "sitting" with the emotion rather than running, hiding or covering it up. That works for me -- maybe not for everyone; however, I have met people at the Buddhist Center that have been through life and death situations and meditation has been their lifeline. Today I am thrilled and so happy to be totally off Lexapro and being able to feel JOY again! I am working to make sure I know who I really am, what I really feel and learning not to be afraid to be who I am and say what I feel (thanks, Dr. Suess). Clio
  2. I was on lexapro 50 for over 4 years. it wasn't working that well for me so my psychiatrist decided it would be best to try a different medication,so she put me on prozac 10 then upped me to 40. I tapered off of lexapro for 2 weeks and everything went fine, I started prozac at the same time. I was on prozac for 2 months until I felt it was only making me worse. so I tapered off of it for 2 weeks. it has been about 4 weeks now and since I went off of it completely I have been agitated, random crying fits,tired,no motivation and having memory and speaking issues. could this be a withdrawal issue or something else? *side note* I was put on lexapro for anxiety and OCD. I don't have depression or bipolar disorder.
  3. Hi all! I'm proof that the tapering method is possible by keeping it slow, simple and stable. I took 9 months to get off 75mg Effexor. I'm not sure if this was too quick, but I managed to avoid most of the awful brain zaps and other effects of withdrawal, only having to go to previous levels once or twice. I went well and felt really good. And so proud of my seat finally getting off the drug after 9 years. Then, a little over 2 months drug free I was hit by the biggest anxiety attacks my doctor has ever heard of, lasting for days at a time instead of the usual 10 to 20 minutes! At first the doc treated the symptoms only - with heart medication (serious stuff) and Valium. When this wasn't doing much after a few weeks of me being unable to function and unable to eat it got to the point where the only other option was to be put back on 75mg Effexor. This made life more bearable but wasn't fixing the problem. So I got put on 150mg Effexor and off all other drugs. Worked like a charm! So my problem is worse now than before tapering off the 75mg dose! Did I taper too fast off the 75mg? Did that cause the severe aniexty attacks? Is it true that these ad drugs cause a gene to turn on, and mine didn't turn back off after the drug had left my system? What should I have done differently? I'd really like to reduce down to 75mg again but I am so frightened of the severe anxiety. Do supplements help or are companies cashing in on our weakness? Has anyone else had this happen to them? I feel so alone and trapped on a medication that seems to have done something permanent to my brain. Any suggestions would be very welcome. Thanks in advance ????
  4. Hello All, This is my first post here. Firstly, thank you so much for the existence of this forum and support available which is severely lacking in mainstream health care services. I am currently trying to taper from Escitalopram / Lexapro as I feel that SSRI medications do not help me and cause additional problems to my existing anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia. In October 2014, I reduced my medication from 10mg to 5mg of Escitalopram / Lexapro as a result of not being able to get to my GP as a result of the severity of my agoraphobia and not being able to get a GP to do a home visit. I had limited medication remaining so figured the best course of action was to take some rather than be left with none. I have continued at 5mg since and my GP advises the usual method of tapering, which I consider to be far too rapid. I have requested liquid Escitalopram / Lexapro, which my GP advises is not necessary. I disagree as I have experienced prolonged withdrawal in the past (see my signature for details) I am willing to make my own liquid as per instructions here. My main concerns are, that since I reduced from 10mg - 5mg (50% decrease out of necessity not choice) I have been suffering from many side effects including severe fatigue, dizziness, mild depersonalisation and derealisation, lack of motivation, nightmares, insomnia, hypersomnia, anxiety, agitation, irritation, quick temper, feelings of hopelessness, skin rash, now subsided which I believed to be Keratosis Pilaris, confused thinking and speech and overall difficulty in functioning. I am usually a vibrant and positive person with lots of energy and creative thinking. I am finding it really distressing to wake up every day feeling the way that I do and wanted advice on whether my experience is normal and how to manage / overcome my symptoms naturally. I want me back and I am prepared to struggle and experience hardship on the road to get there as long as my struggles are in the right direction towards recovery. I would also be grateful for advice on whether to continue on 5mg or whether I have jeopardized my withdrawal by tapering by 50% initially? Should I reinstate my original dose of 10mg and taper by 10% to give me the best chance of successful withdrawal or continue as I am on 5mg? I appreciate that everyone here has their own struggles to battle, so all replies and advice / tips would be very gratefully received and welcomed. Thank you so much in advance. Wishing everyone here good health and success in their efforts. Tilly x
  5. Hello, I would like to taper off of paxil 40 mg. I understand the 10%. I am looking for suggestions on how long the first phase should last. On paxil for 15 years. Thank you, faithhope
  6. Hi everyone! I am a new member, but a very long time Effexor XR user. I have been tapering for a year and when I got down to 37.5 mg dosage, then started reducing 1 bead a week. I am now down to just 10 XR beads per day. I am just now starting to notice more significant withdrawal symptoms. From reading other posts, I know I am going to have to slow down the tapering process (VERY disappointing!) I had really hoped after working so hard at this for a year that I would be Effexor free in another 10 weeks! Silly me! Ugh, this is so miserable! Last week was mildly rough- low level anxiety, general weak feeling and this week it's gotten worse- a bit stronger anxiety with very weak physical feeling, plus feeling like I don't have the physical strength to survive this. I also have chronic fatigue syndrome, which of course is the reason for a lot of the exhaustion. But it has gotten significantly worse over the last few weeks. Has anyone who has taken this awful drug for so long gotten completely off of it? I saw a link to tapering to zero, but it doesn't seem to be working. Oh and for your laugh of the day, I saw a psychiatrist a couple of weeks ago to help in the final reduction and she laughed and said once you got down to 37.5 mg, you should just stop taking it! Needless to say, I knew the folly and misery that would cause! Anyway, ANY hints, tips or other help in surviving the next next stage would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!
  7. Hi, I have been on Paxil for 18 ( ) years, with one year about 10 years ago off of all ssri meds. I started trying to get off of paxil about 4 years ago, per paxilprogress - tapering every 8 weeks and reducing my dosage by 7.5% each time, just to be completely safe. (I've lowered it in the past 5 mg per my uninformed dr. and it didn't go very well). Long story short - I've got a bunch of endocrine issues now (thyroid, adrenal, hormones) and I'm on t3 medication and I'm having sleep problems that I have had for years. I've gained about 10 lbs, and I just want off this paxil so bad. I got down to 6 mg a year ago, but then my father passed away unexpectedly, my dog became paralyzed and I got into a legal battle with my siblings over my father's will........ I am better now, but I had to raise my paxil to 12.5 mg for the past year. This Jan, 2015, I started tapering again. I am now at about 11 mg, and will be lowering my dosage to about 10.25 mg Feb. 1. I have a dr. that is helping me with my adrenal / thyroid / endocrine issues, and apparently she believes buproprion helps people lose weight. I would rather not be on any ssri meds, but if I can switch from paxil to buproprion safely, and then just wean off of the buproprion, I'd like that. Just to be off of this paxil finally. Does anyone have any thoughts about this? Thank you so much! on paxil / various ssri meds since 1994 at about 20 mg started tapering off paxil in 2010 got to 6 mg in 2014, had to go back up to 12.5 mg due to fathers death in 2014 jan. 1, 2015 started taper again - now at 11 mg paxil / day tapering 7.5% per month
  8. I am a 20 (almost 21) year old female, Pristiq was introduced to me at age 18. I was prescribed Pristiq to relieve me from panic attacks which I would have each and every day. My panic attacks quickly lead to me becoming severely depressed, and after attempting therapy (CBT) I had a doctor get me started on these. At first, 50mg which was increased to 100mg after having my symptoms worsen on the 50mg. Honestly, after two weeks I felt very good. Almost too good. The panic attacks had completely disappeared, I felt more confident, I (for the first time in a year or so) felt fine being alone. Almost two years had passed and a new doctor came into my life. He could see I was well and had been for quite some time now, so suggested I start cutting back. I cut back from 100mg-50mg with absolutely no struggle/side effects. Four weeks ago, I simply ran out and decided in that moment I would see if I could quit; cold turkey. No such luck. Everything 18 year old me used to struggle with came straight back to haunt me: the panic attacks, the self hate, insomnia, the list goes on. I gave up and went and got my fix! Three weeks ago, I decided to get my act together and get off it completely (and the RIGHT way this time) feeling like its a good time to do this as I'm in a stable condition and feel like there's no better time to end the Pristiq chapter in my life while I have a supportive partner/family around me in the Christmas break. My fabulous doctor wrote down a plan for me. An eating plan, exercise plan and simply just things to keep me occupied whilst cutting back. As most of you may know, 50mg is the lowest dose, some of you cut it in half/quarter etc, my doctor said he had a previous patient who successfully rid herself of this drug by having one day on, one day off for week one, one day on, two days off for week two etc, etc. this is the method I have taken on. Week one (one day on, one day off): This week was hard after the first few days, when it started being drained from my system more and more. It was a struggle to get through 48 hours without taking it. The thing I most get effected from is the 'brain zaps', every time I moved my eyes side to side or even moved my head slightly, that zapping sensation would fill my head. That feeling agitates me to a level of extreme anxiety, simply just because I know it's not a feeling which is 'normal'. I was moody and sleep deprived most of this week, but once day seven hit, I felt much better. Week two (one day on, two days off etc) Wow. I can go 36 hours EASILY without taking Pristiq. I feel as though I could just stop it completely right now. I feel fantastic. SO MUCH MORE ENERGISED! I haven't felt this energy for years. It's almost like I forgot what it's like to feel 'normal' without medication, but all those feelings are returning. I didn't expect to feel so well, so quick. A lot of this could be the eating plan my doctor put me on, as well as having a high dose of magnesium added to my diet. I'm also exercising a lot more than I usually would have. Either way, I feel fantastic. Week three (one day on, three days off) I'm writing this part on day one after having three days off. I don't know if it's relevant to the Pristiq or simply just my body clock being all kinds of messed up from the Christmas/New Years buzz, but I haven't slept for almost 40 hours. I don't feel sleepy, I feel quite alright. I'm not feeling any of my regular side effects (nausea, brain buzz, headaches, agitation), in fact I feel fantastic for someone who has had no sleep. I would love to hear if anyone else has tried this technique, and has had similar or completely different results. I personally am finding this a lot easier than I anticipated and would love to help out anyone going through the same journey as I know how tricky it can be at times! If anyone's interested in my progress, I'll keep at this forum. Warm regards, Hannah.
  9. Hi, I have been on about 10MG of paxil for around a year now for anxiety and mild depression and I want to get completely off it due to weight issues and elevated liver enzymes. I went to the doctor 2 days ago for advice on tapering and they suggested that I should just go "cold turkey" because I'm on such a "low" dose however I'm not sure if this is a good idea as I herd paxil has pretty crazy withdrawal symptoms. For Now I have broken the 10mg of paxil in half and been taking 5mg for the last 3 days (no withdrawals yet) and I plan to do continue to take the 5mg for another 4 days and then i'll take 2.5 mg for 7 days and then go off it completely. Is this a good idea? thanks
  10. Hi guys, Like the title says, I have been on (for the most part) Zoloft & its generic equivalents for nearly 14 years now. Background: I had a reasonaby happy early childhood, but adolescence was a bit of a nightmare. Four years of full-on, awful bullying combined with an unhappy, abusive parent at home, and an eating disorder, seems to have left some sort of etch in my brain. I feel quite foolish about the fact that I can still tear up when thinking about that period in my life. It was 20 years ago! Crazy. Anyway, after those years life got better, but not brilliant. Somehow, I managed to carry on with no therapy, and very little understanding of how to take care of my mental health. I feel like things have really changed in the last 20 years - or perhaps I am more receptive to the concept of investing time & energy into my wellbeing and taking it seriously. A friend told me about Zoloft during a period that I was very down and had taken some personal leave from work. I went to my doctor and asked him about the medication. I was given a script for 50mg and after a couple of months that was increased to 100mg. Shortly after I started the higher dose of Zoloft, I read a book - the name escapes me - about SSRIs and how they are likely to cause extra-pyramidal symptoms such as you would see in the use of the older style of antipsychotic. So, stiff-walking, uncontrollable tics, tongue flicking out - lovely stuff like that. I was terrified. Because in fact, the medication did cause me to experience tics, although they seem to have eased off over the years. Sometimes I would lie in bed and feel a circle of tics going from one eye, to the other eye, to my shoulder, leg, other leg, and so on. I quit cold turkey not longer after, my first of many attempts. I had in fact been told about rebound depression, but astonishingly, each and every time it happened, I did not make the connection between the sudden, weeping/anxiety/agoraphobia and quitting cold turkey! My lack of awareness was just - wow. I really don't know what to say about it. I found a Youtube video about getting off SSRIs - https://youtu.be/vCTDw_cRWt4. The girl in the video directs people to this forum (in her replies, not in the video itself) which is how I started reading about tapering. I have come to terms w/ the fact that antidepressants are a powerful medication and we have take their effect seriously. I guess the brain takes a while to adapt to having a large amount of circulating seratonin, and if we stop the medication suddenly, thus dropping off the levels of seratonin, the brain will go through a period where it is physically adapted to the higher level but only operating on the lower level. So, depression follows. I realise also that I have been on antidepressants for a long time! It's amazing how long it has been. So, just started the first taper - 90mg. Will update as I go ... I am hoping to be a success story to inspire others one of these days
  11. Hello Well I'm in a bit of a tricky situation my friends.. First things first I'm 18-19 in 1996 and I'm diagnosed with major depressive disorder. I'm given the relatively new citalopram at this time. I feel relief almost immediately. Not only are my depressive symptoms reduced but so are my anxiety ones. Slowly over the next ten years I make considerable progress through university and ultimately as a full time teacher. For this whole period I remained on 20mg citalopram, nothing more and nothing less. I didn't see a p-doc but merely got my scripts from a GP. I tried to get off a total of 2 times. Of course I went very rapidly and naturally symptoms became intolerable so I went back on and everything seemed to go back to normal. At the end of 2009 my first born daughter dies at birth. The following two years are met with increased depressive and anxiety symptoms. By the end of 2010 I'm advised to see a new p-doc who dutifully listens to my main complaint - I can't sleep - and prescribes temazepam. So my poly drugging begins. At some point the temazepam stops working and my p-doc prescribes seroquel for sleep instead. I only ever use 10 mgish From late 2010 I start experiencing almost intolerable tiredness. No-one can tell me what is wrong despite numerous Drs and drug tests. At some point in 2012 I taper my 20mg citalopram down to 10mg in the hope it will reduce my tiredness. I don't experience any overly uncomfortable side effects besides a month of low blood pressure, some dizziness and nausea. Mid 2013 and I want to have another child. I want to reduce my psych meds as much as is possible, in particular I know that benzodiazepines are not recommended for pregnancy, so I taper off the small amount of seroquel without any real problems and next up is temazepam. My p-doc recommeds I coldturkey. Well it takes me 1 day of doing that to realise that doesn't feel altogether right so I go to the pharmacist who recommends a different taper that will see me off 20mg temazepam in 1-2 months. Near the end of this taper things really go very very wrong. I get some minor seizures and every other sort of hellish acute benzodiazepine withdrawal symptom. I attempt to reinstate but by this point I'm so sensistised I get horrible interdose withdrawal on the temazepam. I'm crossed over to diazepam equivalent 10mg and stabilise. In addition, because of the increased anxiety, my p-doc suggests going back up to 20mg citalopram. At the time I didn't think much of it. I was in such a state from benzo withdrawal I didn't notice that part of the sleep and adrenaline issues may have been from the increased SSRI. I'd had what I thought was a good history with the SSRI. I had trusted psych meds for some time. Since then I've been tapering the valium. I've been going slowly, as my symptoms dictate. By 5mg valium or so I started becoming increasingly suspicious that the SSRI was causing a great many problems: insomnia, increased agitation etc. So I - perhaps stupidly - thought I would again try the taper down to 10mg. Things didn't go too badly. I didn't notice any side effects however after fortnight or so at 10mg I did experience depression. At this point I'm so desperate to get off the benzos - not least because I'm not getting any younger and want a child - that I think I may as well just have more SSRI to help with the benzo symptoms. Well that was a mistake. Sure 20mg at first felt better and got rid of the depression but then it began to give what was probably serotonin syndrome. I got overheated, akasthesia, tics, agitation, anxiety, restless legs particularly the first 5 or so hours after dosing. Since then I tried to go back to 15mg. At first that seemed to work but a week into that and again I was getting increasingly agitated and anxious till the SSRI's active time wore off. I should note since this craziness I have stopped withdrawing off benzos. It is obviously hard to differentiate SSRI symptoms from benzo w/d ones but the agitation and anxiety is significantly worse after dosing the SSRI, through its active phase and drops off once it has reached half life. In addition I am best - most relaxed and least symptomatic - if I put off taking the SSRI. The upshot - the further I am away from the SSRI the least symptomatic I am. Now the problem here folks is I now have a little more experience of psych med withdrawal then I'd like. I know that you can't make rash decisions. I know it is hard to tell one psych med's side effects from another's withdrawal. What is more I really really really want off the benzos and I would like to think that the SSRI could go back to being somewhat helpful on the depression and anxiety front whilst I get off the freaking benzo. So that is this sad, convuluted tale of one woman's polydrug chaos Fun reading huh? Any advice appreciated. Note in answering these questions I really want off the benzo most of all and I'd prefer to be just on a doable dose of SSRI for now Do I go back to 10mg and try to wait it out? Is this like benzo w/d where the more you wait the more things settle down? Or am I suffering from symptoms from the drug not wd so will just continue to get this response? Is wd from the SSRI potentially just as bad as the symptoms from the drug in other words put it in the too hard basket whilst I get off the benzos? p.s I've moved my SSRI dose to night time so I don't have to put up with the symptoms although it means a lot more doxylamine to sleep. Are we having polydrugging fun yet? p.p.s Current meds: 3.5 mg valium; 10mg Citalopram (as of today only before that 15mg for 1 week, 20 the week before, 15 the week before, and 10 the week before that which I'd tapered down too .. and I KNOW I KNOW this going up down and around is very very stupid but I'd never been down the SSRI rabbit hole before.. now I just need stability but suffering from oversensitvitiy to the med
  12. Hi All, I'm in dire straits. Trying so hard to wean off of klonopin. Was at a high of 2 mgs for a month or so, after starting down this horrible road back in November of 2013 ("1 mg - as needed"). This eventually turned into 1-1.5 mgs "as needed" which was just about every day. Currently stuck at 1.25 mgs with too many physical and mental symptoms to list. My first sign of tolerance - slight ringing in the ears - began in January 2015. The docs told me it was just stress. Had a complete breakdown in late May 2015 and was bumped up to 2 mgs of klonopin and also 25-then-50 mgs of zoloft. That's when the insomnia kicked in. Gradually weaned off the zoloft by mid-August, while also dropping back down to 1.5 mgs klonopin. Within a couple weeks I was down to 1.25 klonopin. Then back up to 1.35 for 6 weeks (symptoms got a little better), and now stuck at 1.25 for the past month and suffering miserably. Somehow still working, but barely, and only because I have a family to support. In summary: due to the improvement is sleep once Zoloft was removed, I likely tapered the klonopin too aggressively in the beginning. As mentioned above, I've been holding at 1.25 for a month now. Never really stable throughout the entire process. Working with a compounding pharmacy to provide 3 equal doses per day. Not sure what to do, other than hold at this dose, pray for some stability, and then start reducing *very* gradually. Others have mentioned a crossover to valium (Ashton method), thinking that perhaps klonopin is just too difficult for my body and brain to heal from. Stuck and miserable and afraid.
  13. Introduction! Hi members! I'm GoneGranola. I'm a 25 year old female who started tapering off of 20mg of Celexa (yesterday started taking 15mg) and am working on trying to get lower doses of IR (instead of XL) Wellbutrin to wean off too. Why am I weaning off? I have had debilitating chronic urticaria (hives) and angioedema (swelling of face lips hands and feet) that is getting worse everyday and has been going on for the past 5-7 years intermittently. I have eliminated environmental factors and have "Gone Granola" in that I only buy non-chemical, all-natural everything (soap, detergent, shampoo, dish soap, deodorant, toothpaste, etc), eat whole, organic, plant-based foods, and have started eating vegan over the past few weeks with no stop in my symptoms. I've been allergy tested, seen acupuncturists, etc. (No help there). I am extremely sensitive to side effects in medications and have recently read about the strong association between Wellbutrin and delayed onset urticaria, and Celexa and hives. I see a therapist weekly and have an allergist, psychiatrist, general practitioner, and endicronologist -- all of whom have just suggested taking MORE medication to alleviate my symptoms and have never suggested that these psych meds may be the cause of my suffering. It's time I become my own advocate. I am here to get support and help over this upcoming difficult process of tapering off my psych meds and living a natural life as much as possible. Thanks in advance for your advice and support. -Gone Granola-
  14. New here. I've been on multiple Antidepressant's over the last 5 years for major depressive disorder. I now believe I should have never been put on them in the first place! My husband died in 2010 and not surprising I had a hard time with this life change. I was 35 at the time with a 6 and 2 yr old. Went to a psychiatrist and that got me on the psych med train. So here I am now wanting off all of it. I just recently quit taking Concerta and Ritalin. I'll admit I miss it, but I can't look back now. I'm currently on the following: Citalopram 40mg Wellbutrin 300 mg Fetzima 80 mg I'm trying to get my dr to help me taper, however I'm feeling like she is blowing me off with the hopes that I will change my mind. My last appointment she talked me into a script for vynase. I decided not to fill it and emailed her the next day, no response. Emailed again a couple days ago, still no response. I guess I'm going to have to make another appointment. I am so annoyed and so very tempted to just cold turkey it. I tell myself just how bad can it be? So I'll feel sick and probably feel anxious and depressed. Well I already feel anxious and depressed so what's the difference. I would just really like to know who I am again without chemical influence. I'm scared of failing and being on these freaking drugs the rest of my life. All that being said, any advice on which one to work on first? Or just taper them all together?
  15. After reading about Andreas Lubitz & the Germanwings disaster, the only difference between him & me is that someone intervened before I got the chance to kill somebody. It was at that point that I tried to quit cold-turkey (see 2nd attempt in my "tapering" history). Even though I went back on my meds after that "incident," I knew that somehow, someway, I had to get off these meds. I was a total psycho & my dosage was off the charts. After doing research on the net, I discovered that the reason for violent withdrawals from SN/SSRIs was their very short half-life. These drugs literally turn patients into "junkies" who can't go more than a few hours without their next "fix." I also discovered, that like all SN/SSRIs, 5-HTP was a GABA enhancer with a potency equal to that of prescription drugs. I read that the absolute maximum dosage of 5-HTP for a grown adult was 900mg/day (Serotonin Syndrome is fatal), so that's what I took 24 hours after my morning dose of SSRIs--it worked! The next day, I did the same thing as the day before. Whenever my brain felt like it was melting from the inside out, I would crack open a 100mg capsule of 5-HTP & down it with milk or water to make the withdrawal symptoms subside. It "only" took 700mg of 5-HTP the second day, 500mg the 3rd day, 300mg the 4th day, 200mg, the 5th day, 100mg the 6th day, and 50mg each day after that. I had a few minor brain zaps during this time, but not anything too disruptive. They quickly disappeared in a few days. I cut the 5-HTP back to 25mg a day after that because I was feeling "squirrely." That was a minor irritant, relatively speaking--at least I was free from ADs. I've since refined the process so that I could keep depression at bay everyday. Going back to square one wasn't an option for me. I didn't just want to kick these meds, I wanted my life back! I've since shared this experience with others, and hopefully, with the emergence of herbal remedies, SN/SSRIs will become obsolete & depression will be treated more immediately & effectively.
  16. Hi Everyone. I am grateful to have found this forum. Something has been wrong with me for a long time. I feel broken. Hollow. I can only really feel anger and it's very volatile and quick. This is not like me. I am not myself. Recently I read something on XOJane and came across the term Tardive Dysphoria. I have no idea if this is actually what is wrong with me, but when I read the author's description it just clicked. I've been depressive since I was very young. I cut myself and cried a lot. I tried to be a functional adult, and was successful for a while. Something happened and I dropped everything in my life and moved across the country. I thought about suicide. My first medication was a generic for Wellbutrin. I'm unsure of the dosage, but it was a sunny yellow. My insurance appointed therapist wasn't given enough time for each patient and talk therapy was limited to group therapy. Pills seemed easier at a time when my life was falling apart. Next was a stronger dosage, a pale purple pill. Finally, I sprung for time release, which was only available in the brand. Wellbutrin XL 300 mg. I started rebuilding my life, relying on that little pill every morning. The thing that has messed me up the most was the Lexapro. I was feeling tremendous anxiety all the time. A hard knot lived in the pit of my stomach. My primary care doctor gave me a prescription for Lexapro, 10 mg. She insisted that I not read the side effects, her concern was that I'd ruminate over all the possibilities and negate its positive effects. She ended up increasing my dosage to 20 mg and this is where I stayed for 7 years. Last year, I decided to get off the Lexapro. My sex drive has been dead and buried thanks to this drug. I want a healthy sexual relationship with my husband. Not wanting sex sucks. I cut my 20 mg pills in half last summer and became a terror to be around. I was not a nice person. The difficulty of reducing my dosage prevented me from trying to reduce it further for another year. Three months ago I quartered my 20 mg pills. I know I'm still messed up. My brain is foggy. I feel wrong. I know this feels like depression. my husband doesn't understand. Where should I start? Could someone please help me?
  17. In the last 15 months I've developed bilateral edema, leg fasciitis, bilateral hand contractures w/ bilateral carpal tunnel and a high eosinophal count. Ive researched and found that lamotrigine has the side effect of producing eosinophal counts...which can cause the maladies listed above. Eosinophals are white blood cells produced in the bone marrow and I have too many of them. My hematologist told me to speak with my psych Dr first, then get off the lamotrigine and on something else if I need it. I just got off the phone with him and, after reminding him I'm on the 150mg pill asked how I should taper the drug since I've heard there can be withdrawal symptoms. He's calling in some 100mg pills and told me to taper as follows: 100mg for two weeks, then 50mg for 2 weeks and then Stop. He said I could take 1 month intervals instead of 2 weeks if I like. Has anyone actually tapered like that? What were the results? Before I started researching, I had planned to reduce in 25mg increments with 2 weeks at each level. He didn't mention the possibility of seizures. He did say if my symptoms returned (and the probably would) and to come in then and we can talk about an alternative.
  18. Hello, I am new here, I came across your forum as I was searching for people who have had the same effects as I have had from prolonged use of citalopram. I have never used a forum before so please forgive me if I am not doing this right? The breaking point really is that my relationship (a very loving supportive one at that) is on the rocks due to how the drug has affected me over the years, my partner has had enough and so have I. I was put on Citalopram 8.5 years ago, started at 40mg, went down to 10mg at one point, back to 40mg and now of rthe past 5 years stable at 20mg. Have tried to come off them with only negative effects, docs no use in advice. Essentially I feel this: Bored, blank, terrible libido, no motivation, unable to complete tasks, disinterested, bad sleep, very sweaty, short tempered, no enthusiasm. It's ruining my life and I need help - after reading posts from other members I certainly feel like I am not alone, that I am not crazy and that I can get off these drugs before it's too late.
  19. Hi, Im Lauren, I've been on lamictal 150mg and celexa 10mg for about 2-3 years, originally for major depression with some "bipolar II qualities" ie hypomania, panic attacks. For the last 6-9 months I havent been taking them every day, more like every other to 3rd day sometimes as long as every 4th day. I didn't notice any ill effects and thought this was maybe a good way to limit my dependence if/when I ever wanted off. In retrospect I can see some increasing anxiety (esp rebound anxiety from other meds) over the last year but I chalked that up to the other meds. Then I got the bright idea to come off both of them cold turkey, thinking because I wasn't taking them every day it would probably be ok and if I started feeling sh*tty I'd get back on. I was "fine" for over 2 weeks...didnt notice the increaseing but subclinical anxiety over the last week, or didn't chalk it up to that, until 3 days ago. If I had trouble with it I'd take a little clonidine blocker or gabapentin, because I thought it was a side effect of mild opioid withdrawal (one of my opiate meds is causing more trouble than its worth so Ive been limiting its use off and on) and those meds help. Then things got a LOT worse; last night I HAD to take a benzo to make it through school, and today I woke up in full panic/terror, the kind where I feel like if I had to feel this way indefinitely I would surely kill myself. (PS I do know a lot about benzo and opiate withdrawal, and Im terrified of becoming dependent on benzos so every time I have to use more than one in a week period I feel anxious about that) In retrospect I feel SO stupid after reading this site, I should have known better, and with all of the complicated things I had going on that I thought I was doing to better my health when really it was just destabilizing my nervous system (esp GABA/glutamate which all the drugs Ive mentioned have some effect, even indirectly like opiates). I am still in the throes of panic (klonopin and redosing helped but still unstable feeling) and so Im sure my thinking is extra irrational and catastrophic right now, but Im really scared Ive been messing around too much here and didnt realize it and that Im going to have a lot of trouble restabilizing, or maybe be one of those people who can't restabilize at all. Does the fact that the klonopin worked AT ALL (and I dont know really how much of my feeling better was that vs reinstating the lamictal and celexa) mean that my system is still ok, able to respond well to these meds, and therefore I can restabilize without a lot of suffering? Should I continue to reinstate both meds at once? At what dose? ANy other tips for getting restabilized as quickly and painlessly as possible? How long should I stay on again before trying a MUCH SLOWER more mindful taper? I now know not to do alternate dosing, btw. Please pray for me that I didnt **** things up badly here and can get back to where I was, soon.
  20. Hi all! My name is Anna. I've been taking antidepressants since roughly 1997. I've taken Wellbutrin, Paxil, some I can't remember, Effexor XR and, currently, Cymbalta. I live in eastern NC. My hobbies include gardening and reading suspense novels. I love being outside when it isn't too hot. I have 2 dogs, 3 cats and a handful of chickens and fish. I stumbled on this site while googling ways to taper off Cymbalta. Many, many, many times I have asked my well-meaning doctor to help me taper off the drug, but he convinces me it helped me when I needed it and it is still helping me so, why stop? Well, my main reason for wanting to stop is that I am not sure who I am any longer. I know who the antidepressant-taking person is that I am now, but who I really am is inside and she wants out. Also, I've seem to be progressively getting more "scatter-brained". I've never been the most put-together person, but I've begun to notice it seems to be getting worse. For example, if I'm cooking dinner I am just standing there thinking that I need to chop the vegetables. Well, I know HOW to do that, but I can't make my body DO IT. Or, I am following a recipe and read the next step, but I have to really think about doing it. It feels like I'm going crazy. Maybe going off Cymbalta won't help any of this, but I intend to find out and I'll be doing it on my own. I know that no one really knows the long term side effects of these meds. I've tried to talk to my doctor about this fact, but it is dismissed. I know he means well and he's doing the best he can, but I have to find out if I can live without meds and I have to find out who I am again. Any help or suggestions are apprecitated!
  21. I've been a happy taker of Venlafaxine for 10 years, most of the time fairly happy (well I did live with a wife who had a psychosis 4 years back and I was at the centre of it and coped with it but that's another matter). Depending on what you think is the cause/causes of depression and that maybe different people have different causes, I would myself in perhaps the endogenous/biological area, low-5-HT/serotonin - which is why maybe venlafaxine works for me. But it would be nice to cut down at least I did try cutting down at what I thought was quite prudently small amounts - I failed each time. This is when Iearned how difficult it could be. Looking at the tapering forum, I can't seem to find how it's actually done - with in my case capsules containing beads which I think are coated. Are there differing tapering regimes for different drugs? If you can direct me to the right places, I'd be very grateful. Thanks
  22. Hello, My name is Mark and I am so happy to have found this site. I've been lurking about for a while and decided it was time to join. I have been on Prozac and/or Celexa since 1993. There were a mix of others such a Remeron which I had to quit or it was going to kill me. I have tried cold turkey from Prozac once and that was quite enough. This December (2015) I decide to start a taper from Celexa 40mg. I did this by 5mg increments. I made it to 20mg and had to go back up to 30 mg which is where I am now. Other than anxiety (with a constant state of fearfulness over ridiculous things) and digestive issues I am doing fairly well. I have been at this dose for 5 weeks and feel it is time to try again. I am not happy about continuing and am quite scared. I am a 52 year old male who has been through a lot in life and thought this would be a cake walk. OOOOPS! I am scared, but, have hope. Reading the forums has helped me tremendously. Thank you to all who post here. I wish you all the very best.
  23. Hello. I'm Carmen and I am 55 years old. I live in Kansas City, MO. I have been married for 32 years. I have a very supportive husband and family. I was so happy to find this group at a time when I need it most. This is a long story but I'm going to condense it as much as I can. As you can see from my signature, this past year has been a whirlwind of medication changes. I was first prescribed Paxil in 1998 because I was stressed and depressed from dealing with my (then) 13 year old daughter. She was also prescribed Paxil. We both felt better awhile, but after a few months the medication seemed to stop working for both of us. We both did a very rapid taper and suffered some pretty severe withdrawal symptoms, including "brain zaps". In April, 2014. I had outpatient surgery to have a new pain pump installed. (I already had a pain pump since 2008 but it was time to change it for a new one). After surgery I was fine. I went home and felt pretty good until the next day. I woke up in the morning feeling sick and shaky so I went back to bed. I had a hard time getting out of bed for 3 days. I had most of the symptoms of withdrawal so my husband took me to the pain clinic. At that time, we were thinking my pump was not working right. My pain management doctor tested my pump and told me it was working fine. He was pretty sure that my problem was anxiety so he prescribed Klonopin. We went home and I took a whole pill and slept for 36 hours, almost straight through. I felt much better after that episode and I felt pretty good until August. Another episode of all the same symptoms left me unable to function for 5 days. It was then that I had to seek out psychiatric care. I had been having these episodes at least once a month and they would last from one to three days. My Paxil taper in November was very rough because I was still having episodes, plus going through withdrawal from tapering too fast. I have not had an episode since March 30 but I am going through withdrawals from the 10mg Paxil I was put on last March. I have been breaking the pills into halves and quarters. The first week after a drop has not been bad. Just a little nausea and dizziness off and on. The second week has been when the symptoms increase and get worse. Last time I was able to make another drop after 3 weeks. That will not be happening this time. It will be 3 weeks this Friday and I'm still not feeling well. I want to feel well for at least a week before attempting another decrease. My psychiatrist (who is new for me) had suggested half pills for 2 or 3 weeks and then skipping every other day. I told her that wasn't working. I need a much slower taper. Luckily, she is not going to rush me. She told me there is no hurry. Buspar has been helping. I have been needing to take Klonopin more often lately because that is the only thing that helps when I get shaky. I'm trying really hard not to take it much because I don't want to get dependent on it. I have been reading in here for weeks so I decided it was time to post my story. Thank you for reading! Carmen
  24. Hey folks First time poster. Went through a very difficult spell two years ago and began taking some meds for anxiety and depression - anxiety moreso - on 20mg Lexapro and 75mg Lyrica. After 18 months of feeling really good my doctor asked was I ready to taper down on the Lex. I said sure - he cut me from 20mg to 15mg. It was okay for the first week or two but now (week 4) I have found myself very anxious, ruminating, experiences I haven't had for more than 18 months. I went to the doc today and he said it would be best to go back to 20mg, which is fine by me - if it's not broke don't fix it etc. He said I should start feeling like I was in about 8 days or so. Just wondering if anyone has had experience of this? Does it take around that time period? Thanks so much for your help in advance. I read this forum lots two years ago when I first began going through a rough patch. Thanks.
  25. Hello! Not sure if this is right place to post this but I have been on 10mg of Prozac for about 7 months (since July 2014) and although the I love what it has done for me, due to the side effects (extreme fatigue, heart palpitations, weight gain) I have started to taper off. I am usually sensitive to withdrawals symptoms as I experienced them all too well while getting off Cymbalta a few years back. I have obtained the liquid version of Fluoxetine and started at 2.25ml today. Do you think it's best to stay at the "10 percent per month" or after the first month or two do you think I could try to speed it up a bit since I have been on this for a shorter period of time? The heart palpitations are becoming a problem but I want to experience as little withdrawals symptoms as possible. Any advice/experiences would be much appreciated!
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