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  1. I require urgent help please. Over the past 18 months I have had several medication changes due to going off 150mg Effexor cold turkey in July 2017. I didn't know how to do it any other way at the time and I told no-one what I was doing, not even my doctor. it just wasn't working any more. I had been off Effexor for about 3 months and thought I had got through the worst of it although still had some withdrawal affects going on but I was functioning okay and sleeping. I thought I'd call my doctor and let him know what I did and that is where I went wrong. He told me to reinstate Effexor immediately at 75mg from memory, which I did because I felt like I had done something terribly wrong. Upon reinstatement my whole body went into shock and I couldn't move. It was shocking. My doctor told me to go into hospital and that he'd help fix it. By the time I left hospital I think I was on the minimum effective dose of Zoloft. After leaving hospital I found that the Zoloft was overstimulating and I didn't sleep for a week. I had to take 25mg of seroquel for sleep. Zoloft wasn't the right antidepressant for me. Without tapering off Zoloft, my doctor would try me on several different antidepressants over the next 6 weeks, including prozac, mirtazapine, brintalex, valdoxen, lexapro. I had adverse side affects to all of these medications and can't remember what dose he started me on. I believe now that my brain/body couldn't tolerate medication anymore. I needed to go back to hospital and I needed to find another doctor. I found another doctor and I think in February 2018 from memory, and I apologise that my memory is very vague due to my recent round of ECT. I think I started taking 20mg of Prozac, which did have it's challenges. I underwent a round of ECT, in April 2018 and left hosptial feeling better on 20mg of Prozac and Olanzapine - I can't remember this dose - maybe 5mg because 10mg was too much and I couldn't function on that amount. I agreed to take the Olanzapine only for 3 months to get myself back to work an back to life. When my doctor took me off the olanzapine I think she did it too quickly and the withdrawal was intense. It was so intense that I tried to commit suicide. Next step, back to hospital when my doctor suggested that I should go back onto Effexor as it had worked for me in the past. I was desperate, I didn't feel comfortable about it, but she's the doctor and knows best right? The current situation is that I came off Effexor 150mg (the original dose was 225mg), under the guidance of my psychiatrist in November 2018. She tapered me off the medication over 2 weeks. The reason I needed to come off Effexor was due to the fact that I just wasn't able to function whilst taking it, I actually felt worse. The hell that followed was horrendous and I did try and reinstate a low dose of Effexor although it just made matters worse. She had be do a course of TMS treatment and then my doctor suggested ECT . I agreed because I thought it was supposed to help with the withdrawal, although in hindsight I think she was trying to treat depression, when I told her I wasn't depressed and that I was experiencing was withdrawal. The ECT was a really bad idea. After the 9th ECT treatment I felt as though I was losing my mind, I felt like my brain was on fire. This sensation lasted quite a number of days and the only thing that helped was 5mg of valium as a PRN, which I took for about 6 days. I am now in such a state. I don't know where to turn. I can't sleep and I can't turn to my doctor for help because she has totally screwed me over. Please help me, I am so desperate. I am currently taking the following vitamins and supplements. Fish Oil 2000mg 4 x day N-acetylcysteine 1000mg 2 x per day Vitamin D 1 x day Vitamin C 1 x day Nux Vomica IM (when nauseous) Magnesium amino acid chalate - 1 scoop 2 x per day Naturopath remedies - Wellbeing mix 3 x day, soothing drops 3 x day, sleep support 2 x per day, Sleep and Rejuva Sleep Forte 4 x day, compounded melatonin 5mg for sleep.
  2. Hi, Is it possible to get natural sleep after heavy use of valium for about 40 years? I'm off from valium for last 3 years and tapering etizolam*. Took valium from 1970 to 2014. * Link to wiki information about this drug. Etizolam (marketed under the brand name Etilaam, Etizola, Sedekopan, Etizest, Pasaden or Depas) is a benzodiazepine analog.
  3. How it all started. November 2017 I was prescribed .5 mg of Klonopin to be taken once daily I do not have any pre existing anxiety or health issues. The "medicine" was given to me to help with some stress induced insomnia. Since then the stress that caused the insomnia has long been resolved. I was told this medication was a low dose, and it was perfectly safe, and could be taken nightly for up to 3 months without having any problems with dependency or addiction. Even though i told the doctor 11 years prior i had a bad withdrawel from Ativan that was prescribed to me after my mothers death. He said klonopin is much safer and easier to come off of. Also i took increasing doses of Ativan for close to a year... so of course it was hard to withdraw from... I took the Klonopin .5mg exactly as prescribed for about 10 to 12 days, and then for a week after I took half the dose .25 mg. Then i quit... Apparently I'm very sensitive to these types of medications and not biochemically compatible with them, because what happened over the next 8 days, I describe as increasing anxiety, insomnia, and irrational fear, that got to the point (8 days out) of having absolutely zero sleep the night before and feeling completely detaches from reality. Now i wish i would have realized what was happening and stuck it out, because I'd probably be 100% recovered by now. However, I ( like so many of us ) went running back to the doctor for help. I made an emergency appointment with my doc. He prescribed me a very high dose of Gabapentin and told me that its a great new medication used for benzo and alchohol withdrawels. He promised me that this drug was completely safe and not addictive at all as he did with the Klonopin. but he convinced me of it by telling me it wasn't a controlled substance. It worked great for about a week, but then all of those strange withdrawal symptoms from the Klonopin started coming back, and I required more of the Gabapentin to control those symptoms... My doctor actually said I could pick up the 3600 mg of it a day if need it without any worry of withdrawal. I had a massive bottle of 300mg pills and another massive bottle of 100mg pills to "fill in" I got to the point where I was taking 300 mg in the morning, 300 mg in the afternoon, and 1200 mg at night. But something just didn't feel right, I wasn't myself, I felt like I had suddenly lost 10 or 15 IQ points, the world seemed dull and so did my emotions. So the doctor pulled me off the gabapentin and put me back on the klonopin and once stable I would do a very slow taper, i was desperate to feel normal again so i agreed... I was pulled from the gabapentin after being on it for only 9 days... but with no taper and put back on the klonopin. Only this time it was not really working... I am well aware of Heather Ashton, slow tappering, micro tappering, and the effects benzos have on our gaba receptors... i personaly think Ashton is to highly regarded... I think the cross over to valium is a bad idea and does not work out for a lot of people... i respect the work she did, and her research, but that information is out dated and had needed to be continued and expanded upon. I do not agree all benzos effect the brain the same way the only difference is half life... My doctor thought going on valium would be my best option because of the long half life.... but there was no transition, it was just simply stop the Klonopin 1 day and start on 8mg diazapam the next... valiums main chemical of action breaks down in just 4 hours, while the rest of it just builds up in our systems... so the relief factor is short, while the rest of the chemicals just build up. Where I am at now I am currently taking 3 mg of Valium in the morning and 3 mg of Valium at night as well as 300 mg of Gabapentin in the morning and 300 mg at night ( yes im back on the gaba... mainly because the lack of sleep that started after my 2nd valium cut was just killing me) . This process is drawn out for the better part of a year now, and I'm still not medication free, and I'm still suffering insomnia, anxiety, and a sense of detachment. What I'm really wondering is if anyone has been on this combination of medications, and how they approached the taper. It doesn't matter which one I cut, I feel the effects of both in very much the same way with the same type of symptoms. Should I be tapering say half a milligram of Valium every two weeks, and 100 mg of Gabapentin every 2 weeks? Or tackle one at a time??? I apologize as this intro has turn into a book, I'm just very desperate for answers from people who have been through this I'm not seeking medical advice just personal experiences. My doctor and my pharmacist both say that what I'm experiencing is impossible given my dosage. But i know better. Just last year I was a highly functioning, healthy , strong, muscular, independent hard-working man, that ate a very healthy diet. After taking the Klonopin for just 17 days, the aftermath has been the loss of my job, i've had to move in with my sister for the time being. And all any doctor wants to do is give me more drugs or up my doses. I know the reality is this is a side effect kind of withdrawal from the medication so I refuse to do that. I have had a ton of blood work, and other neurological tests that are all perfectly normal I currently take both ionic and threonate magnesium in the middle of the day. I dont know if it helps ot not... i still eat healthy and walk at least 3 miles a day. SYMPTOMS I have lost 10 pounds of muscle, i have diahrea everyday I have benign faciculation dissorter My hands are shakey I have a massive panic attack in the middle of the night that wakes me up After the panic attqck at night I spend the rest of my hours in stage 2 of sleep ( where i feel like im not sleeping but i actually am) during this time i have a constant stream of thoughts, songs stuck in my head, and thins that make literaly no sense at all... I sleep between 2 and 6 hours per night. I have daytime anxiety mainly in the afternoon. Thank you, and best wishes to all of you.
  4. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  5. Moderator note: Link to benzo forum thread: summitbound: Poly-drugged: Thinking about tapering an AD w/ benzo Hello, I'm brand new to this site. I've been so busy learning about benzo tapering (and suffering!) on benzobuddies.org that I have yet to tackle getting off any of my antidepressants. I've already been tapering the benzo for over a year. I know that the general rule is to taper off your benzos first, and then work on your antidepressants. That said, I probably have a year or more left on my benzo taper and I hate being poly drugged with three antidepressants. I'd like to safely chip away at at least one of them. I think the mirtazipine is really helping with my sleep during bezno withdrawal, so I don't think I want to touch it. It seems like the low hanging fruit would be the lithium, since it seems I'm on a less than theraputic dose at 675 mg. Thoughts? So far, I have been "blessed" during my benzo taper in that I have not suffered from depression, severe anxiety, or panic. So I do want to tread carefully. Thanks so much!
  6. Lili

    Lili: Benzo/AD

    Hi, I'm brand new here and I'm struggling. I had a rough 2017. I was put on Ativan for sleep 6/20/17 & then on temazapam 6/23/7- I didn't know they were both benzos. I tapered off Ativan for 2 months and what ensued was a horrific withdrawal scenario that landed me in a psych ward with extreme suicidal ideation. I was reinstated on Valium and pretty much stabilized by end of December 2017. I went off Lexapro in the fall as I didn't want to be on an antidepressant but was put on Cymbalta 11/2017 first at 30 mg, then 60mg 2 weeks later. I didn't know so I started dropping down at beginning of January , had some anxiety, restlessness, so I went back up to 50mg over the course of a few days. Presently, some insomnia, some irregular heart beats and lessening anxiety. My Dr doesn't know about my Cymbalta escapade & thinks I can microtaper my Valium now. I will have to be forthcoming at my next visit in 3 weeks. I'm so worried about stabilizing and how this is going to affect my taper.
  7. Hello there good people. Nice to meet you all. I am so relieved that I have found folks that know what I am going through. I am 61 years old and have just carefully and slowly weaned myself off Sertraline and Diazepam which I have been on since December 2014. At the moment I have cancer of the larynx so it was imperative I got off the meds so that I can work on getting my immune system fully up and running. I also gave up tobacco and alcohol in December 2014 so my body has a lot to do. And I now have a tracheostomy as a way to buy time as I have decided not to go for chemo or radio. I have a very old dog who is suffering from kidney failure and dementia so between us we present a truly thrilling picture of good health and sanity - she pees on the carpet a lot and I have panic attacks. Most attractive! It will be wonderful to be able to talk about what I am going through to people who know about it. Nobody else I know has any experience of this problem so I feel very alone with it which I know is not a good thing. My son (not living with me) is very supportive but I want to keep him out of this as much as I can as he has his own life to live. I also look forward to being able to offer support to other people when I am feeling a bit less stressed. At the moment I am having lots of fear thoughts which can be quite overwhelming. I have lots of other symptoms but this is the one I am finding difficult to deal with at the moment. I shall stop now before I get carried away. Thank you for your time.
  8. Moderator's note: link to Musk's members-only benzo thread - Musk: how to taper 5 mg diazepam every two days Hello, this is my first post. So grateful to find this forum. I am in Spain, not able to comunicate properly in english, I use googletraslator. My history: since spring 2015, postnatal depression with anxiety and somatization due to extreme fear of diseases, especially autoimmune diseases. Sertraline 100 mg & diazepam 5 mg from June 2016 to August 2017. Right after appendicitis with surgery (28 august 2017) and chronic hip and lumbar pain since 4 months. In consultation of rheumatology I discover that I have a hlab27 gene related to ankylosing spondylitis, which conditions me mentally more and more. But pain has not an inflammatory pattern and there is no sign of inflammation in blood. Now progressively more and more depressed with new symptom really the most disabling: severe insomnia. Medical proposal: return to sertraline. Big temptation, but I refuse. I continue with diazepam 5 mg (ocasionaly). Is this a possible case of withdrawal sindrome? Opinions welcome. In psycotherapy, I had some little epyphany (childhood trauma, obsesive negative thoughts...) Many many thanks.
  9. Hi everyone, i'm a 37yo male and I need advice on tapering. I seen a MD and first ever meds prescribed to me were in 2013. Wellbutrin 150 mg SR & 0.5mg Xanax as needed. Over the next 3-4 years was given effexor, Lexapro, prozac, paxil, Zoloft and others I cannot remember. Xanax was upped to 1mg 3x daily. Before seeing a psychiatrist was taking Xanax at irregular doses of 1-3mg at a time but usually not daily. Average 60mg a month. So I started to have lots of extra building up. After I was prescribed Valium from the psychiatrist I flushed all the Xanax down the toilet. Since then I've been taking 10mg Valium every 2 days. The psych said it would be fine to switch straight to the Valium. Didn't have any WD. Not sure if my body can go cold turkey on a benzo though because of what I've read on the internet. Glad I found this forum. In June at my first appointment with the psych I was diagnosed bipolar and prescribed trileptal 300mg twice daily which was tapered upwards over 2 weeks. 150mg SR Wellbutrin in the morning. I forget the lithium dose and the gabapentin because the bottles were huge and I refused to take them. I did take the trileptal and Wellbutrin and still do. I've been on and off Wellbutrin for 4 years. Mostly off. 2nd appointment told the doc I wasn't going to take the lithium or gabapentin. He convinced me to take the gabapentin and the dose was tapered to 2400mg over several weeks. 3rd appointment I was always feeling jittery and told him my short term memory was really bad. Got asked a bunch of questions and diagnosed with ADHD. Prescribed Adderall 20mg 3x a day. It was also tapered upwards over a few weeks. I asked to switch to Valium because I read that it's easier to withdraw from. I had not tried to stop taking Xanax since it was prescribed. I didn't tell him my plan was to quit benzos entirely but I was scared from what I had read on the internet. I'm feeling worse on these drugs than I did without them. What started with a visit to my MD because I was feeling down and maybe depressed has lead me to this cocktail of drugs. I'm not feeling myself and have no motivation or interest in things that I used to take joy in.I'm scared this is permanent and I want to get off all my meds. I read the forums about tapering but I'm totally lost on what med to start with. Can someone give me some advice please.
  10. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  11. I have been in chronic pain for five years -- on and off various medication for five years (which never decreased my pain and did a number on my CNS). I can't tell what is a pain symptom, side effect or withdrawal at this point. You can see some history in my signature. My plan was to withdraw from Valium first, then Gabapentin, then Zoloft, but I've been tapering slowly off Gabapentin and Valium at the same time. I also made a jump from 25mgs of Zoloft to 12.5mg of Zoloft 8/10/17. I was only taking 25mg of Zoloft since 6/16/17, Then before that, 10mg Paxil from 2/16/ - 6/14/17, which I halved, stopped and switched to Zoloft. My quick withdrawals from ADs may be causing some side effects. Now I'm thinking since I stared Mirtazapine 7.5mg at night (which finally is enabling me to sleep), I should wean the Zoloft first (before the Valium). I would like to micro taper all three together. Comments please? Thanks, Medication Tapering Schedule.pdf
  12. Moderator note - link to Severntiger's benzo thread: Severntiger: Tried Valium Cold Turkey - Evil side effects - Now Attempting Tapering I am 39. I have had chronic insomnia and anxiety all my life. From age 14 I have had drug and alcohol addiction and dependency problems. In 2014 I discovered, through a friend, an illicit source of good quality Valium where I could get as much as I wanted when I wanted through the post. I started off using them as "occasional use" to help me sleep when there was an emergency situation the next day, e.g. job interview, having to move home but then it quickly turned into using them for stressful situations, e.g. noisy flatmates, stress at work etc. and that of course turned into most days. So for the last 2 and a half years I have been taking Valium more days than not with an average dose of 52mg a day. I started to get seriously worried about my sleeping pill consumption end of 2015 and so in 2016 and 2017 I have recorded my Valium (and other sleeping tablet) consumption every single day. Therefore I have been able to work out each month how many days I took Valium and what the average dose is. Oddly my Valium consumption has been sporadic, e.g. not every day or the same amount every day. e.g. my latest record before I decided to try cold turkey. 06/07/2017 – 30mg 07/07/2017 – 30mg 08/07/2017 – 30mg 09/07/2017 – 1 Nitol 10/07/2017 – 60mg 11/07/2017 – 90mg 12/07/2017 – 1 Nitol 13/07/2017 – 80mg 14/07/2017 - Clean 15/07/2017 - Clean 16/07/2017 – 1 Nitol 17/07/2017 - Clean 18/07/2017 - Clean 19/07/2017 – 30mg 20/07/2017 – 30mg 21/07/2017 – 120mg 22/07/2017 – Didn’t sleep as too much Mephadrone 23/07/2017 – 90mg 24/07/2017 – 60mg 25/07/2017 – 60mg 26/07/2017 – 80mg I then tried to go cold turkey, using Zopiclone to help sleep, until I ended up taking 75mg of Zopiclone on 02/08/2017 and 03/08/2017 and hallucinating and going AWOL and not being able to function at work or outside work. Last Friday 4th August, 5 days ago, I then threw all my Zopiclone in the bin and decided I was going to come off everything. And its here that the nightmare has started For 4 days I didn’t sleep a wink, apart from 3 hours passing out after necking a bottle of wine at 3am one night. I had the worst anxiety/panic attacks I have ever had. I felt that my skin was crawling, apparantly. My flat mate said I was wide eyed, on edge, jumpy and acting crazy. Sunday night after 3 Nitol I still couldn’t sleep a wink and Monday (2 days ago) I tried to go into work but couldn’t function properly ( I am trying to hold down a Management Accountant job) and after another sleepness night and rising panic I had to admit defeat, phone in sick yesterday (Tuesday) and look to the internet for help where I learnt that going Cold Turkey was the worst thing to do and that Valium was worse to come of than herion. So I panicked big time and went to the doctor. Thankfully the doctor was very nice and agreed that tapering off was the best solution and he would help me come off them legitimatly so no need for the black market. I am now on 20mg a day for 4 weeks then to go back to him and see where I am and try to reduce the amount. He hopes I can get off them by Christmas. I took 20mg last night and immediately calmed down and slept for 5-6 hours and feel shattered but much better today. My question is: Do I now go onto 20mg every evening before bed? Or do I try to go without any Valium every now and again and see how many clean days I can get before any side effects kick in in which case I can just take 20mg again before bed?
  13. William

    William: Hello!

    Good morning people! Just wanted to introduce myself and share my experiences with fellow like minded antidepressant survivors! Was first prescribed SSRI's in 2012 due to severe anxiety and suicide attempts (lucky to be alive) Took Mirtazapine for a year or so. Made me a bit drowsy, didnt notice any improvements so came off it, cold turkey, but no symptoms/side effects A year later went back to my GP (big mistake!) and he decided on prescribing Zoloft. I had a very severe reaction to this medication. Its difficult to remember all the side effects i had but i'll try to list them. Depersonalisation. Erectyle dysfunction. Sensitive CNS. Tinnitus. Insomnia. Sickness. Diarrhea. Feeling dreadful all day. No energy. No happiness. Anger. Could not talk. It will be 3 years this XMAS and i am still nowhere healed. I still have tinnitus. Sensitive CNS and feel awful every single day I have seen 12 doctors during this period. No one really believes me A Neurologist at the hospital basically kicked me out my appointment and said its all in my head I am so angry with the medical community I traveled the world and worked in financial services prior to this reaction, now i am on the sofa being cared for by my girlfriend I read the success stories on this forum and they give me hope, but its difficult to carry on when i have little improvement I bet your wondering, why are you only posting now? This forum scared me when i saw people say it took years to recover. When it happened i thought i would be one of the lucky ones who would heal in 3-6 months. WRONG! I currently take 5mg Valium on a as needed basis. But the last time i took some was months ago. I save them for when i need to be somewhere and acting normal (e.g. funerals/xmas time etc) I spend my time on the sofa, in bed or in the bath. It is a tuely miserable existance. So, here I am. My name is William and in live in England. From reading these forums i have all the answers i need. Patience and time are my friends. But happy to connect with people currently suffering through the lies of Big Pharma Have a good day all Will
  14. Moderator note: link to jenthorz's members-only benzo thread My name is Jennifer. Been on some form of antidepressants and/ or benzo starting off and on since age 16. I'm 45 now. Life's been challenging non-stop. Some because of poor decisions, some from trauma, and some from just being an anxious and fearful person. Married too young. Must be all my Daddy issues. Had baby at 18. Divorced that guy. Brother died around then at age 14. Was hit by two drunk drivers December 12, 1989. Married again later to someone I knew was good for me and son. Thought I would learn to love him. Sure you know how that ended up, but during that time 3 more children. 1 girl and a pair of twin boys. All wonderful. My oldest has Severe Autism and scizophrenia. First 7 years were difficult but manageable and his intermittent explosive disorder was dealable. I love him very much. Age 12 hit him and then whammo!! Rapid growth and his episodes became so violent I usually ended up looking like hamburger after. He bit hard you see. Doing that for 21 years gave me PTSD. I'll spare you the details. Anyway, I'd have to write a book to explain all the heartbreak, so I'll just end it here with my current med situation. Depression/Anxiety Disorder and PTSDZoloft 75 mg. And Valium 15 mg a day, but tapered to 1.5 mg. A day over the course of months. Keeping Zoloft at current dose until well off Valium. Valium also assisted with vertigo not just panic attacks. Most bothersome withdrawal symptoms during taper: night sweats, zaps, eyesight changes, insomnia, queasiness, nightmares, concentration issues, and extreme fatigue. Thank you for letting me join. Besides all that above, I'm a pretty insightful, intelligent, kind, and funny gal. Nice to be here.
  15. JanCarol

    Australian Valium Recall by TGA

    Valium 5 mg recalled - suspected Tampering
  16. Moderator's note: Link to AwareButStruggling's benzo forum thread Hello, I have been going through a very symptomatic taper off of benzodiazepines, and my goal is to keep gradually tapering the Ativan-first, as it is a very potent, short-acting benzodiazepine. I am very familiar with Ashton manual and have found a lot of information on benzodiazepine tapering, but am finding it hard to communicate the bizarreness of symptoms to those who have not been afflicted. I am also wondering if my fairly abrupt discontinuation of Prozac after 16 years of use has worsened the benzodiazepine withdrawal. For roughly around 13 years, 20mg of Prozac was my one and only psychiatric drug. I had some side-effects on it, but my experience with it was not as bad. At times, I could go down to 10mg but could never quite go off of it. Still, I worked, functioned, and my emotions were very much there. I do speculate, that, after a while, Prozac wasn't really as effective. However, at the same time, I'm pretty sure it was masking the depressive effects of sporadic Ativan use. After a while, the ativan has really sensitized my CNS, all the while I thought it was Prozac doing that, so I tapered the Prozac off in a month, and also stopped taking ativan for a month minus a couple of doses. But looking back, I am not sure if that was the best decision, because I found myself really depressed and disoriented and kept myself on a maintenance dose of ativan just to keep functioning. However, I kept getting worse and worse, not realizing that the prolonged use of ativan along with high stress was worsening the anxiety I was feeling. I kept going to my doctor and he kept giving me Prozac again, which, once a gentle AD for me, turned into a harsh stimulant. I was also given lexapro, and I tried a few doses, and cut the 10mg tablet in half, but 5mg was too much. Then I tried Lexapro 2.5 (5mg tablet cut in two) and that was too much, as well. I didn't dare try Wellbutrin. I tried 5mg Prozac through this dismal period and even that was stimulating. So, I've arrived to the conclusion that antidepressants will never be an option for me again, and that a slow gradual taper off of ativan, and then valium and then Gabapentin may be the only way to go. I tried a full crossover to valium, but due to such differences in potency and all the crashes and burns due to to all medication starts and stops and changes, I am petrified of trying anything new and just want to reduce the chemical dependency on these psych meds as much as I can and in a safe manner. Currently tapering abut 0,02mg ativan per week or so. Planning a hold once I reach 0.5mg. I come from a background where anxiolytics and anti-depressants were considered to be very effective tools, and, needless to say, due to my experiences, my relationships to these medications have drastically changed.
  17. Hi, I am feeling rather desperate with increasing symtoms. Here goes: I have been microtapering Valium since 2012 without major problems. Also on Sertralin 25 mg since 2007. In september 2016 I accidentely missed a dose Valium, 0,30 mg and went into withdrawal. Continued microtaper (tital 0,03mg) until Feb 2017. Was symptomatic. Then started new batch Sertralin (same dose 25 mg) and the day after developed new symtoms - very dry burning mouth, dizzieness, derealisation. New symtoms for me. Called manufacturer who confirmed that new batch was 1% more potent. Waited two weeks for stabilisation which did not happen. Developed nightly panicattacks and agitation. Decreased Sertalin 1%. Better for one week. Now increasingly more severe symtoms by the day with occasional windows. What is happening? What should I do? Thanks for you advice.
  18. I'm shaking as I write this. Long story short, went on antidepressants about 9 years ago for disthymia, GAD, and Panic Disorder. Started on Lexapro. It worked fairly well and had no startup side effects. PDoc added Welbutrin. It worked well too. Switched from Lexapro to another SSRI briefly without problems. Switched to Zoloft and stayed on it for about 8 years. Smooth sailing aside from the sexual side effects, which caused me (stupidly) to quit cold turkey in November of 2016. From then to January 2017 I felt fine except for brain zaps. Those eventually went away and haven't returned. February 2017 I started getting weird chest tightness and heaviness, accompanied by a stinging in the mouth and tongue. Had EKG, echo, chest xray, all fine. Saw a new PDoc on March 3rd who said chest symptoms were anxiety and put me on Trintellix and Klonopin. Was hesitant to start these drugs so I waited awhile. Took a friend's 0.25 Xanax on occasion during March to combat relatively mild anxiety from chest symptoms. Anxiety was getting worse so I decided to try the Klons. Was prescribed 0.5 to 1 every night before bed. Started doing that about March 16 with varied results. One day it seemed to work like a charm while the next day not at all, or even seemed to make anxiety worse. March 24 decided to try the Trintellix. March 25, 26 went by without side effects then BAM on March 27 I began what I can only describe as an unending and unrelenting panic attack that has only ceased briefly a few times since. I kept taking it anyway until March 29 when I called PDoc who told me to stop taking it and take something else. I told him F that, I want to go back to Zoloft and Welbutrin, at least I know that works. Been taking the Zoloft and Welbutrin since then. Saturday April 1st, 10:00pm I took 0.5 Clonazepam and fell asleep for 4 hours. Sunday April 2 2:00am awoke in a state of severe anxiety, about a 9.5/10, worse than I had ever felt. 5:00am went to the ER. 9:00am given Ativan at ER. Did not help. Voluntarily admitted to psych ER. In holding area until 11:00pm then transported by ambulance to a psych ward an hour away. Psych ward was a nightmare and drove my anxiety even higher which I didn't think was even possible. Monday April 3 evening, anxiety at 9.5. Blood pressure 177 systolic. Nurse gives 0.5 Xanax. Blood pressure drops to normal. Anxiety drops to 7.5. An hour later, anxiety up to 10!!! Nerves feel like they're on fire, heart pounding fast, muscles very weak, brain feels like it's being electrocuted. Given Hydroxyzine. An hour later, still 10. Given 2mg Xanax and wheelchaired back to room, or rather empty jail cell. Passed out. Tuesday April 4 awoke feeling drugged and anxiety at 5. Discharged at 1pm. Anxiety drops to 3. Arrive home, anxiety drops to 2. I was hopeful that the nightmare was over. Nope. Yesterday Wednesday April 5 morning, anxiety at 3. By noon anxiety climbed to 7. Is fluctuating between 5 and 7. Called PDoc in a panic. PDoc says keep taking Zoloft and Welbutrin and also prescribes Neurontin and Valium to be taken 3x per day, 2x dosage at bedtime. Picked up scripts that evening and took the bedtime dose. About a half hour later started feeling weird but good. Didn't last long though. Had a rough night. Today April 6 morning I felt very weird, but not in a good way. Tremors in my facial muscles, derealization, slow thinking. Looked up Neurontin on the Internet and learned how bad it is. Decided not to take morning dose and called PDoc and left message. I did take the morning Valium though, and that helped for a few hours. Took the afternoon Valium and it seemed to increase my anxiety and make me dizzy. PDoc hasn't called back. This is HELL. There's no end to my anxiety attack. I cannot function. I'm going to lose my job, my health insurance. Please tell me there's an end to this suffering. Please give me some hope. Some advice. What is happening to me? Is my life over?
  19. Moderator Note: Link to Maresat's benzo thread Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:08 PM Hi , I'm new here .... I've read a lot of posts and found some great advice and wisdom relative to WDs . I started my Valium taper at 10 mgs June 2016 , after a very difficult cross from klonopin that was pretty horrific. I kinda wished I had been more informed and had tried tapering direct from klonopin , but I only knew the Ashton method at that point and thought it was the way to go. Anyway , since June , I don't know if I was ever really stable on the V. My nervous system was so messed up from the crossover, ( and I think from my steroid CT ) but I thought I could just go ahead and begin the V taper at the Ashton rate. After the first mg things got really bad. ( mostly bed bound, terrible burning flesh and skin, stomach pains , concrete head, memory issues, difficulty walking , zero stress tolerance, hypersensitivity to sound and more) By September I had to hold my taper at 81/4 mgs V. every time I have tried to cut the tiniest amount ( liquid MT), I get thrown back into crippling WDs . I am hypersensitive to everything , cannot work or even socialize in any way, a lot of pain and constant burning skin and flesh. I hate how sedating the V is , I dose three times a day. Most of my symptoms are physical . I have managed to get down almost to 8 mgs Since the end of September, just making little reductions here and there, but they always hit me really hard and take weeks to recover from. I don't know how to proceed. It seems my only option is to keep holding and trying to cut little bits when I feel I can. I was only on benzos daily for 6 months , and can't believe this is so hard. Is anyone else THIS sensitive ? I have reduced my gabapentin from 900 mgs to 415 mgs , I'm not absolutely sure when I started that , sometime in 2016. I have been advised that for now it would best to hold tapering the gabapentin , as even though I haven't felt any particular WDs from it , it could be influencing my Valium taper. I definitely feel the Valium cuts very specifically though. I do want to get lower in dose on my Valium , that I feel is my first priority. I haven't been non symptomatic since the start of this taper. I'd really like to find a way to taper where I can have a bit of a life while I do it. I just wonder if anyone else has similar experience . I will feel 1/30th of a 1/4 mg cut of V! At this rate it would take me 6-8 years to come off.... i suppose I wouldn't mind if I can live a life in the meantime. Thanks in advance for any experience or encouragement you may have. Maresat Ps , I couldn't fit my supplements in my sig, so here they are- I do take magnesium in a liquid sea mineral form , and know to take it 2 hours away from gabapentin - about 100 mgs day Milk thistle, biotin-1,000 mg, Pantethine-300 mg, ester c-100mg, krill oil-1000 mg,saffron-88 mgs, lactium-167 mgs, citicoline-300 mgs,niacinamide-500-1,000 mgs, l-lysine-500 mg, zinc piconolate-15 mg
  20. gardenlady

    gardenlady

    Moderator's note: Link to gardenlady's benzo thread I would like to taper off of 60 mg Cymbalta. However, I am in the middle of a taper off of Valium and am now at 11 mg/day. The horror stories I have heard about Cymbalta withdrawal terrify me. Should I cross over from Cymbalta to another AD and then taper off? And, should I wait until I finish my Valium taper? I cross tapered from 1.75 mg Ativan to 13 mg Valium and am now down to 11 mg. It's going to be a long time until I'm off of it. I am horribly depressed since switching to Valium, but the anxiety from interdose withdrawals on the Ativan were unbearable. I want off of ALL of these psychotropic drugs but realize I have to go slowly. I just want my life back. Any advice would be much appreciated.
  21. Hi all I'm new to this forum and really in a bad place currently. Last year I was using 20mg valium + 1mg xanax a day for a few months and decided to come off these over Christmas, without having researched the proper way. I tapered off the Xanax by splitting the pills over the course of a week or two and with the valium, tapered again over a few weeks by splitting the pills down. However, this didn't work and left me feeling utterly awful, so on the 3rd of Feb, I web to see my local GP who recommended I start tapering over 3 weeks, starting with 7.5mg, then 5mg, then 2.5mg then nothing. The end result, a few weeks later, is that I have lost my ability to concentrate almost entirely, my sleeping is pretty terrible and anxiety at a very high level. I am due to go see the doctor again in a couple of hours to decide on what needs to be done next. My current biggest fear is that, because I work for myself, I am going to have to declare bankruptcy both personally (I have a 6k credit card debt) and via the company, along with moving out of my rented apartment - to where I don't know, possibly my brother's place as he's the only person in my family with a spare room - and having my entire career and life collapse around me. Having read the Ashton manual (and even showed this to my doctor) I understand the need to taper slowly, but: having tried the doctor's recommendation of a fast taper and finding this doesn't work, is it worth trying to reinstate and then carry out a slow taper? I'm at my wit's end and really cannot see a way out of this: if I wasn't self-employed, I think things would be less bad but at the moment everything seems insurmountable I simply do not know what to do. Any suggestions?
  22. Hello everyone. I had been on this forum many times before reading all the posts, usually in the dead of night when feeling so desperate and alone with insomnia but did not sign up until now as hoping I would be feeling a bit better by now. I don't. I came off Duloxetine/Cymbalta, 60mg,in June 2016 cold turkey, probably a huge mistake to do it this way but I had been in touch with my doctor and he suggested to change antidepressant to Citalopram 20mg which I tried for a week and felt strange so ended up ditching both. I went through a terrible time of adjustment for the first 100 days but then seemed to manage slightly better, although it was tough I had hope for a while apart from the no sleep. After another few weeks all kinds of symptoms came at me like an express train and these now remain. I feel generally unwell all the time, depressed, no interest, no zest for life and just not functioning very well. I do have Citalopram tablets, 20mg, here in the house and feel tempted to take them but unsure of what to do. I also have Diazepam which I have taken on and off for 8/9 years 2mg. The Diazepam does not help me sleep at all but does calm me down a little but I feel it is not helpful to my withdrawal off the anti depressents and may be making symptoms worse. Would like to ask advice as to whether or not to reinstate antidepressents for a while as struggling so badly with suicidal thoughts and of little hope in recovering. 8 months of feeling so ill everyday is such hard work and is like living less than half a life. All hope I had in feeling better has gone, I cant believe I can feel this bad and still continue to try and get on with the days activities. I keep thinking that I should be in a hospital being looked after but of course any doctor would just dose me up, seems appealing today. Any suggestions would be appreciated very much.
  23. Hello, this is zamwessell, and I am new to the forum as of this afternoon. I'd like to give a bit of background, and ask for some advice. Back in mid-July 2015, I had a bout of anxiety and insomnia due to worrying about the beginning of a new relationship. I initially asked for some help for this, and my doc prescribed Wellbutrin, but after 5 days of being numb, I stopped it. Then asked for something different and was prescribed Ambien 5 mg. Was on that for 16 days, but it was not working to get me to sleep, so I ended up at a Psych ER at the local university hospital. They suggested Remeron, so I went on that at 7.5 mg to begin with. That combination was still not working, and I ended up in the hospital for 5 days, where they took me off Ambien and put me on Ativan. I'm sorry to say, I don't remember the exact dosage, but I believe it was 1 mg in am and 1 mg in pm. I was able to taper off of that beginning October of 2015, after switching to Valium. Over the course of a couple of months, I reached the final dose of Remeron that my doc and I agreed on: 30 mg. I was on that, doing well, until mid-September of last year, when we decided things were stable enough in my life that I could start tapering off that. Not knowing any better, we agreed on a taper schedule: 3 weeks each at 22.5 mg, 15 mg, 7.5 mg, and 3.75 mg (if I felt I needed to - I did, but probably only stayed at that dosage for a week). Only a week later, I began having pretty bad insomnia, coming in waves, with a few good nights and plenty of bad ones. I also noticed I was very cold, then would get very hot while trying to get to sleep. I also had muscle jerks, just as I was beginning to fall asleep, which would keep me from being able to fall asleep - a vicious cycle. This all continued for 7 weeks, until I couldn't take it any more and contacted my doc. She suggested going back on at a low dose to try to reinstate. I reluctantly agreed and that went well for about 7 nights. Then on nights 8 and 9, I noticed it took me longer to get to sleep, and by night 10 at 7.5, I didn't get any sleep at all. That was a Friday night. I contacted the on-call psychiatrist at the university's psych department, which was my only option on the weekend, and they said going up to 15 mg was fine, so that's what I did. I so wish I had seen this forum prior to trying to reinstate. I definitely would have suggested starting only at 3.75 mg, but, alas, that didn't happen. Not knowing any better, I was under the impression that going back up, maybe even to where I was prior to starting the taper, was what I should do. So, now I've been on the 15 mg for 6 nights. It takes me a couple of hours to get to sleep (I've been taking the dose about 10 pm), and have experienced the brain zaps others have talked about, as well as the muscle jerks just as I'm falling asleep, though to a slightly lesser intensity than when I was in withdrawal. I wake up numerous times, and realize I've been dreaming, so I just try and say to myself that you did get to sleep at some point, so try to get back to sleep. I have been able to get back to sleep, and have probably averaged 4-5 hours these past 6 nights. Last night was worse than the night before, however. My questions are numerous, but I guess the main ones are: have others experienced this scenario, have I gone too high in going up to 15 mg, and what are some recommendations? I know that you all are not doctors, but I'm willing to consider experiences in what others have gone through.
  24. Moderator note: link to benzo thread - xyz: valium questions Hi, i am new on here. (english is not my first language so pardon the gramma) i was on various benzo for 9 months and stopped taking them once i read about depency. 10 months later i had a health scare and went onto a panic attack and had severe insomnia (5 days of 0 sleep), and akathisia- i was put on remeron for 10 weeks but it gave me tinnitus so i went into a really bad panic attack and was suicidal. at the hospital, they reinstated me on a low dose of valium (4mg) and put me on lexapro 10mg. my panic attack was so bad and my insomnia so severe that i had to take xanax 0.25mg to calm down with lunesta at night for sleep for 3 months. over several months, i was able able to ditch the xanax and lunesta and reduce my valium down to 2mg and i am still on 10mg of lexapro. i still have severe anxiety and insomnia. i have been holding my dose for 3 months now. i was reading on benzobuddies a thread on long long and that gave me hope that if i hold i can give my CNS time to stabilize. i have good days now but on bad days, i wonder how i can even lower my meds and i keep thinking that i have paradoxical effect on them. a term i kept reading on benzobuddies. will it get better if i hold longer? i also have 2 kids (6 and 2 years old) and i am going through early perimenopause- my panic attack, and insomnia get worse around my periods.
  25. Hi there, I am posting here on behalf of my mom, as my family and I are in a desperate state and not sure where to turn. My mom has had a difficult 7 years of dealing with withdrawing off of a benzodiazepine (Valium). To start, she has learned through her taper process that she is "highly sensitive" and has multiple chemical sensitivity. After experiencing withdrawal symptoms back in summer 2009 from using bioidentical hormones (a steroid) for a short 3 weeks (which at the time she was unaware these were steroids and symptoms were from withdrawal), she ended up in the hospital after not being able to sleep for several days and was prescribed Ativan. After taking Ativan for 3-4 weeks, she decide to stop and after more testing she finally figured out she was suffering from withdrawal symptoms through her own research. She found a doctor willing to work with her and converted to Valium to begin her taper. She started at 4mg and and successfully tapered (Ashton Method) over a 9 month period. In the summer of 2012, a wave hit and she experienced severe withdrawal symptoms and spiraled out all over again. After several hospital visits, she reinstated back on Valium, eventually stabilizing at 7mg, and started an even slower micro-taper from there. In March 2016, she was still not feeling well (even after a 4 year long taper) and decided to hold at 1mg of Valium for several months to see if the withdrawal symptoms would lighten. At the end of October, she crashed with brutal and intense akathisia, extreme fight or flight and withdrawal symptoms. She had 3 visits to the ER. We tried up-dosing to 1.3 mgs to see if that would relieve the restlessness, but it did not. Since then (about 7 weeks), we've been hovering around 1mg of Valium to try and stabilize her, but nothing is working. We are trying to find a stable dose so we can begin the withdrawal process again. She has lost at least 20 lbs (she cannot keep food down due to nausea, gagging, and extreme food sensitivity), has severe burning throughout her entire body-especially when she takes a dose of Valium, she at times feels overdosed or as if the drug is now acting paradoxical in her system, shortness of breath/shallow breathing, several panic attacks throughout the day, sleepless nights (still), constant fight or flight, slurred speech and stuttering, body spasms, a huge knot-like feeling in her gut, extremely depressing thoughts, and extreme food and product sensitivities (even to the most natural shampoo), and I truly could go on... She has given up all hope. If we up-dose the Valium, she feels sluggish and the benzo feels toxic in her system. If we give her less Valium, she experiences withdrawal. She is in agony and feeling pain. She/we are looking for any advice to help with this in the short run. Our number one goal is to reduce her pain/agony, stabilize the dose, and get moving again on the taper - but it truly seems like nothing is working. Over the years, we (especially my mom) have done immense amounts of research on benzo taper and withdrawal and we are truly at a loss as this crash came out of nowhere. We fear there is no way out and are hoping someone out there has experienced something like this and found a way out. All she wants is relief, as she's in constant agony and complete fear day in and day out. Thank you in advance for any comments or advice. We are in tears as we write this... PhiCal & family
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