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  1. I'm desperate to get off lamotrigine. I started it a bit more than a year ago, tapered up to 100 mg over the course of a couple months, along with trialing escitalopram, quetiapine, and settling on sertraline (now 25 - 37.5 mg/day, with the higher dose during PMS time). It was fine at first, I went from not being able to make myself any food more complicated than opening a bag and getting extreme exhaustion from trying to hang my clothes to dry to being able to cook and clean more or less normally. But then I started getting migraines and restless leg syndrome more often than normal. Both are things I've had before, and they are definitely influenced by my menstrual cycle, but I've been getting them more and more frequently in the past months. Now it's gotten to the point where it's hard to get a night of sleep, because I wake up like clockwork at about 4:50 - 5 am with my legs just not able to find a comfortable position. Only it's not just my legs. It's my entire spine, and my stomach even. Previously I'd only gotten it in my legs, and just the couple days before my period (unless I was dehydrated or had been drinking or... the point is, it was predictable and I knew my triggers). I also had about a week of peripheral neuropathy, my hands and feet constantly felt like they were asleep. About a month and a half ago, when I went to my psychiatrist to renew my prescriptions, I brought it up. She told me to just stop taking the sertraline and see if that helped. It did NOT. I did a half assed taper (a few days of 1/2 the dose), then was basically cold turkey on sertraline for two weeks. It wasn't the worst thing in the world, but my restless-everything didn't improve one bit. And it was hard to not get in fights with my partner. So my next appointment, she told me to try taking half of my lamotrigine dose and see if that helps. I did a bit more of a taper than she suggested (dropped to 75 mg for around a week before dropping to 50 mg), and now I'm doing something like 25-50 mg. My pharmacy only has 100 mg pills so they're pretty hard to split accuately. So now I'm about two weeks into the taper and feeling awful. Since yesterday I've fully been feeling like I have the flu. Body aches, that back of the neck head and shoulder pain, congestion.... Fully exhausted. Also having a real hard time relating to other people, to the point of having a hard time getting basic shopping conversations done. (Doesn't help that I'm in a country that's not my native language.) I know I didn't taper right, but I don't know if I should go back up in dose or what. Not sleeping is driving me crazy!! Before I started doing the taper, I was skipping doses occasionally to try to get at least one night here there without waking up before sunrise and needing to move. I didn't notice any bad effects, so I thought tapering would be fine. I was probably going to say something else but I got distracted and really just want to go lie down. Basically, right now I feel like I'm at a crossroads. Try to wait out this awfulness and stay at my current low dose (about 1/3 a pill), or go back up since I didn't taper right anyway. The thing is, I am seeing a difference in the morning leg twitchies. With this lower dose, the feeling is less strong. It's still there, but a couple nights ago I was able to go back to sleep anyway. It seems like if I really try I can sleep through it at this dose. If I go back up, and I don't even know what dosage I'd go back up to, I know I won't be able to sleep without some kind of sleeping pills. I have xanax and eszopiclone. I hate sleeping on xanax, I don't think it's sleep as much as it is some chemically induced unconsciousness, and don't want to develop a dependence on the eszopiclone. Yesterday I was reading that it increases the chance of infections, and I already feel like I catch every little thing that's going around. Feeling real damned if I do, damned if I don't right now. I don't think my psychiatrist would be any help, considering she thought it'd be totally fine in the first place to just stop the sertraline, and then later thought halving the lamotrigine dose would be ok. I just *know* lamotrigine is doing something to screw with all my mineral levels, but I don't know what exactly!! On a hunch I started taking calcium when I started getting the peripheral neuropathy and it literally disappeared same night. (Coincidence?) But it doesn't seem to do anything for the restless-everything. (I read recently that the name for "restless legs syndrome" in one of the Scandinavian countries translates to "feeling of being crawled on by ants" and I feel like that captures the feeling so much better than "restless".) I've also tried magnesium and iron. Iron maybe helps but my colon gets real mad.
  2. flatrock

    flatrock: My Journey

    Hi. My story is a bit complicated, sorry. Much of it is about Klonopin, but my main problems currently seem to be a result of Remeron (Mirtzapine) and a drastic forced reduction of the Klonopin 4 months ago. I apologize if this is the wrong place to discuss Klonopin (chlonazepam). I'm 62. My overall diagnosis for the past 7 yrs is Fibromyalgia. I took 1.0 g Klonopin every night for several years for RLS, and it didn't seem to hurt me in any way. Occasionally my dr increased that dosage, as it is addictive - but I kept insisting on tapering down again. Sometimes I went down to .5 per night. I was very consistent until the past year when many stresses caused huge anxiety and during those times my dr allowed me to take Klonopin as needed. Anyway, I moved to a new area to be near my grandchildren 5 months ago. It triggered extreme anxiety and depression. I went to a new doctor who started me (4 months ago) wham-bam on Cymbalta and Remeron and Tizanadine (a muscle relaxant) (despite my telling him that my old dr had prescribed it for only occasional use for muscle cramps). At the time I was taking Klonopin (1.0) several times per day (6-8 per day) for the anxiety, as approved by my previous doctor. New dr insisted I immediately reduce to 3.0 mg per day. I suffered terribly from the quick reduction of the Klonopin. Jittery, shaky, anxious. That was 4 months ago... still haven't recovered. He started me on 15 mg Remeron, then after one week up to 30mg. Although I liked the emotional effect Remeron gave me, I struggled terribly with crazy restless legs. I hear a certain number of patients get this side effect. It was bad, lasted sometimes a couple of hours. But then some nights I did not have it at all. I began to call it Russian Roullette RLS. To combat this RLS side effect, new dr approved of taking all of my 3 allotted Klonopin at night. I then slept great. BTW, I begged the dr to take me off of the Tizanadine, as it seemed to be causing extra anxiety, so he finally did. I'm back to using that only occasionally. I've been on Cymbalta in the past and feel it is a good medicine for me. However, I suspect that the Klonopin mixed with Remeron caused problems. Or it's just the Remeron, I don't know. But the scariest thing going on for me is an "action tremor." When I am still, you can't see any shaking. But when I use my muscles in any way, I can feel the tremor, and there are certain moves I can do to show others the tremors. Also my heart rate tends to be quite fast - up to 100/minute. I never had that before. But today I meditated and it went down to 72. And my overall shakiness makes me scared and confused... I'm at that age when it could be something serious, but I'm trying to wait it out. My new dr kept saying it must be caused by the Remeron. I've been off of it for a week, and I'm hoping he's right. I'm seeing a psychiatrist now, since my new dr did not want to prescribe the mood medications. A week ago he prescribed my 1.0 Klonopin to be taken - a total of 1.0 - at a steady pace, .25 morning, .25 afternoon, .25 bedtime, .25 middle of night. He thought that perhaps I'm experiencing "withdrawal" during the day by only taking the Klonopin at night, which was a pretty good idea, but it is not making a difference. To further complicate my life, 2 months ago I was diagnosed as prediabetic, so my diet has also changed drastically. I'm not overweight and diabetes does not run in my family... I think I just had a bad year and ate/drank too much sugar. My mom was sick for that year and then died, I had a 4-month anxiety reaction to a normal dose of prednisone, and I moved. Some pretty big stuff. This was really long. Anybody who reads through it - thank you for listening.
  3. ADMIN NOTE An international list of doctors who address Persistant Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) http://www.psas.nl/en/lijst.asp Tips and tricks for self-care http://www.psas.nl/en/tips.asp I've been reluctant to talk about this subject because it makes me feel dirty and disgusting....... Many people report sexual side effects while on antidepressants or after discontinuation. The most common complaint is lack of libido. Not so common is what I am currently experiencing which is known as "Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder." It has been linked to Restless Leg Syndrome. I had this whenever I would miss a dose of Effexor. My genital area would begin throbbing and pulsating and the only relief was round the clock stimulation. I would get maybe 30 minutes of relief followed by more "demands" for release. Now coming off of Cymbalta I feel this again. There is no known cure that I am aware of. I can't imagine living out the rest of my life in this state. Everyone that wishes their libido would return: be grateful it has decided to take that route as opposed to this one. This can be best described as Chinese water torture. Many people have killed themselves over it. If it doesn't go away or at least improve (and if I can never again take any med to silence it) I'm afraid I might be tempted myself. I think I'd prefer being paralyzed from the waist down. Here is an article explaining: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18224549
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