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Hi all, I have a wife tapering from Prozac, a 15yo daughter tapering from Lexapro, and a 12yo daughter tapering from Prozac. I'm exhausted. WIFE In 1999 she became very depressed shortly after we were married. After months of heartache, she was prescribed Prozac in 2000, which pulled her up from the abyss. (In hindsight, her depression was probably from the birth control pills messing with her hormones, which she began taking shortly before we were married.) She has been on Prozac most of the past 17 years, with a short stint on Zoloft. She has tried stopping cold turkey a couple times, with obvious results leading her to believe she was broken and needed the medicine. She has never been truly "happy" while on Prozac, and would describe most of her life as being under a cloud, varying in shades from light gray to black. In Fall of 2016, after seeing her daughters on antidepressants with no positive results, she did some research and found Mad in America. Disgusted, she did a 1-month "taper" and felt the jarring consequences a few weeks later. Brain fog, zero motivation, headaches, stiff muscles, Low cognitive function, crying fits, etc. She quickly jumped back to 10mg Prozac, which helped reduce symptoms. In Feb 2017, she began multivitamins, NeuroBalance (5htp and L-tyrosene) and L-Methionine upon the suggestion of a naturopathic Physician's Assistant. We're still not sure whether or not these things are helping or hindering, but she is doing OK right now. By March of 2017, she had finally stabilized on 5mg Prozac. April 2017, she reduced to 4.5mg Prozac and has felt no negative symptoms for two months. I believe her nervous system was not harmed enough to become too sensitized, so I hope she does well as she tapers VERY slowly. 15-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER This story is much sadder. She was prescribed Zoloft for anxiety in 7th grade (3 years ago). Over the years, and despite dosage increases, we never saw any reduction in anxiety symptoms, ever. We only saw the anxiety get worse. Eventually by spring of 2016, on 150mg Zoloft, the anxiety was so bad, we could barely get her to school more than two days in a row, she could not socialize with friends, go to church with the family, etc. She was a non-functioning, anxious mess. This spurred my wife to do some research, and in October of 2016, they both "tapered" off of their medications over one month. Yes, basically Cold Turkey. My daughter's symptoms were far worse than my wife's. Brain zaps, fevers, panic attacks, uncontrollable sobbing, severe agitation, brain fog, sinus infection, tinnitus, fatigue, the list goes on. At this point I was still in the Trust-Your-Doctor camp. So I convinced my wife we should get her back on AD's. The Pediatrician suggested Lexapro, and we complied. (My wife would have fought against this decision, except she was in the middle of her own withdrawal symptoms.) In Feb 2017 we found a naturopathic clinic that had helped many people taper from antidepressants. It appears their main method is to build up 5htp and L-Methionine before beginning a 3-4 month taper. While this method may work for many, it doesn't appear to be helping my daughter. And based on my research on this site, it may be causing even more anxiety and agitation. By April 11, we had tapered down to 15mg Lexapro, where she is holding. June 15, We are trying to simplify her regimen, based on the 3 KIS. She was on Fish oil, Magnesium, Vitamin D, a multivitamin, NeuroBalance (5htp), L-methionine, and Lexapro. We stopped the multivitamin and Vitamin D, and we are now trying to figure out how to taper off of the Neurobalance (5htp) and L-methionine. Once her regimen is just Fish Oil, Magnesium and Lexapro, we will reinstate the slow taper. Any suggestions on tapering the 5htp and the l-methionine? From my research, l-methionine may not be as "strong" as SAM-e, so it may not need as slow of a taper. Thoughts? Every day is a struggle for her. She has no control over anxious thoughts which lead to debilitating anxiety. She also has a constant stuffy/runny nose, which I read can be a symptom. Before all of this, she was a talented, beautiful, athletic, artistic, kind, fun, social person. Now she can barely function on a day-to-day basis. It wrenches my soul to know that we parents played a role in harming her, even with the best intentions. 12-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER She was prescribed Prozac for anxiety in Kindergarten (6+ years ago). Yes, this fact will trigger rant-mode in many of you, which is very understandable. But please know that we are still heartbroken over our mistakes, our misguided efforts to help our children, and our trust in a healthcare system that has harmed our family in ways that may be irreparable. And another thing, my wife was severely depressed years ago, and the antidepressants were a life-saving miracle for her. So when we saw our daughters struggling with things that ostensibly came from their mother's genes, the decision to prescribe antidepressants came even easier. Like our older daughter, we never saw much benefit from the Prozac with the younger, but we trusted the system and kept her on it. By 2011, she was struggling in school, so she was prescribed Vyvanse for ADHD. It helped a little. (I am currently on ADHD medication, which made that decision easier as well. I will not taper from my ADHD meds until my family reaches a point of relative stability. We just can't handle any more upheavals right now.) Last year, she developed Trichotillomania, or hair-pulling. While we have suspected it came from the prozac and adhd meds in some way, we have recently made headway in this area. We have found a Naturopathic Doctor who is very thorough and careful, as opposed to all of the other doctors we have met with who already knew the answers and would not listen to anything different. This doctor did a bunch of blood tests and found she was severely low on iron and vitamin D. I guess both of these, especially iron, can affect dopamine levels, which are directly tied to Trichotillomania and ADHD symptoms. Currently, after 6 weeks on iron and Vitamin D, her hair-pulling is occurring less, as well as other symptoms that we assumed were tied to withdrawal symptoms. Anyway, we began lowering her Prozac in January 2017. Because of issues we believe to be associated with low iron and vitamin D, it has been difficult to know which symptoms have been from tapering. Feb 9, we stopped her Vyvanse for ADHD. She was always on a low dose, and did not take it on weekends and during the summer, so we hoped cold turkey would be OK. June 15, she is currently doing OK on 10mg Prozac. Once her iron and Vitamin D are raised to a healthy level in a few months, we will reinstate a slow taper. CONCLUSION I have left out a lot, and maybe missed some key points, but at least I have a general history down. We have made a few mistakes since trying to taper last Fall, and may still be making mistakes. This forum has been very helpful and educational. When we begin tapering again, it will be extremely slowly. I welcome any suggestions, especially regarding my older daughter, who is hurting the most.
Flappyman posted a topic in Introductions and updatesI have taken Lexapro generic (Zytomil 5mg) then quit cold turkey for fear of cognitive impairment. Mild withdrawal symptoms (Paraesthesia in legs and brain zaps). Then went on 5-HTP which caused depression because of lowered dopamine. Then switched to Curcumin which is the best I've ever taken but quit after a month due to no libido whatsoever. Then went back on 5mg Zytomil and felt good but OCD and social annxiety got worse so was switched to Prozac by Psychiatrist 20mg. Felt really strange and massive social anxiety with insomnia. Switched to 10mg Lexamil and then back on Curcumin at the same time. Started taking Ginkgo Biloba too but stopped due to GABA antagonism. Stopped Lexamil 10mg and have been on Prozac 10mg with 500mg Curcumin and Himalaya Mentat. Feeling better than I hve ever felt in my life. Quit Lexamil 2 weeks prior to now as I was slowly cutting it down and am now getting brain zaps and very slight lack of energy but in a very pleasurable way. The brain zaps actually feel amazing. I am more motivated than I have ever been, less depression than I have ever had, Less OCD and anxiety than I have ever had, sleep perfectly, no fatigue. Could be because of recent augmentation of a meditation schedule. What do you guys think? I was worried about Prozac due to the fact that it inhibits Nicotinic receptors alpha4 Beta2, Alpha1 Beta1 and Alpha1BetaYGammadelta and Alpha3 Beta 2. Apparantly blocking these isn't associated with cognitive impairment but I was worried. I just want to feel relaxed, happy, alert, in-control, sociable, humerous and able to concentrate and memorise due to the fact that I have matric coming up. Any thoughts? I just want to be able to have a really good memory too in order to aid me in studying and life is there any way to do that? Interesting side note by the way, I can remember hundreds of numbers like PI to 150 decimal places etc etc but my verbal memory is not too good?
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.