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  1. Hi, I have been on olanzapine since December 2014 (2.5 years). I started at 10 mgs, then went to 5 mgs after 2 months. I then dropped to 2.5 mgs. Last August, I started 1.25 mgs day and stayed there until July 2017. I am now doing .625 mg/day since July 6. I am cutting this from a 5 mg pill. I am on no other medications. I stopped seeing my psychiatrist last Aug. I lost my insurance then. I have been doing really well and feel like I will be ok coming off. Even when I was seeing the doctor, I told him I could not stay on this forever as I've gained 30 lbs and I am afraid of diabetis, the dulled effect to my personality and other side-effects. I lapsed into a depression that lasted a few months when dropping under 2.5 mg. I felt with absolute certainty that it was caused from tapering down the medication and not a return of any illness. The depression lifted suddenly back in the spring and I've felt more like my old self than I have in years. The only side-effect I seem to have right now from the taper is difficulty sleeping some nights. It's not every night...probably 3 nights a week that I wake up several times in the night. I don't know where to put my question but I'd like to know if anyone has successfully come off olanzapine (Zyprexa) and when they did the final jump. I am taking such a small crumb of pill that I don't think I can cut it anymore. I am thinking that my next step will be to do .625 every other night. I feel happier today than I ever did while on olanzapine. It depressed the heck out of me and blunted my emotions greatly. I look at this tiny crumb I take every night and wonder if it is doing anything at all. Can anyone direct me where to go to post my questions? Thank you!
  2. Hello, I am new to this site and not sure how it works. Need some info and perhaps some reassurance.; I've been having a history depression and anxiety since my teenage years, I am 49 years old, which I have been able to manage it more or less. I attempted to use the antidepressants but also had an adverse reaction that I was not able/ready to put up with. Yet, living with the depression isn't easy either. In short, yet again, I started taking Lexapro last October in order to deal with the painful state of depression, and did seem to work in the past. I increased the dose very slowly from 2 mg and started feeling much better in January, at the 7 mg. At the same time I started some problems with my memory (to the point of a few seconds of blackouts) , persistent fatigue and lingering morning anxiety, and problems with the night sleep. The psychiatrist dismissed my memory problems, attributed my fatigue to the depression and decided to see if my sleep would approve. He also told me to increase my dose slowly aiming for 15 mg at some point. However, when I reached 8.9 mg, I could hardly function: feelings of being very unwell and under the weather allowed me to function only until lunch time, after which I would need to recline somewhere for the rest of the day. I started tapering on the 24 Mars and today is the 2nd day of 4.25 mg of Lexapro. I didn't follow the 10 per cent protocol, and my doses were fluctuating within 0.5 - 1 mg depending on my physical and emotional symptoms. However, in the last 10 days I've started having a strange heavy sensation in my head, it's difficult to describe, They are not brain-zaps, just uncomfortable feeling: a mix of resembling kind of heaviness, fogginess, slight headache and feeling/sensation. I have put this down to cutting down sugar and change in my diet (transitioning to being vegan). However, this sensation 8 days later is still there. In addition, I have got muscle ache at the minimum effort, have been unable to jog and do much of the physical activities for the past 3 days: stopped exercising, want to isolate, difficult to concentrate and get on with my daily activities. I do have "waves" when I do feel better for an hour upon awaking and yesterday, after I spent 3 hours on the sofa! We are in the process of moving , also need to book a holiday but I am feeling incapable of doing anything. So frustrating! Emotionally, I am not depressed though.... In addition, feeling rather scared, is it due to the antidepressants and will my brain heal and gets "remodeled" back? Have I got some other serious medical condition? In ideal world I would like to get off this drugs that do not work well for me and find some ways of dealing with the anxiety and depression, unfortunately, I did manage in the past to taper off the meds without too many problems only to get depressed 4-9 months later and be back on them. If this is what I feel are withdrawals, I am quite surprised why I had not experienced them in my past tapers? I would really welcome and would greatly appreciate any feedback and input! I also would like to know, if I should wait it out and stabilise on 4.25mg of Lexapro or need to updose it? Thank you in advance F47
  3. Hey there! My name is Deanna. I'm 26 years old, and I live in Canada. Besides having depression, I'm an artist and graphic design student. I've always been a visual learner and a creative person, and now on my second run through college, I'm hoping to make art my career. I also enjoy video games and movies. I love animals; my parents have six cats that I love very much, and I look forward to adopting a dog one day. Now to get down to business. I apologize in advance for how long this is going to be. In my defence though, this is more than 15 years of mental illness history here. I've been on some form of antidepressants since the age of 9 (~2001). I was started on Effexor (which is definitely not recommended for children...) and stayed on that for several years. My first experience with tapering happened within a few years of that, under the supervision of my psychiatrist. It was great to be medication free! Most kids don't have to worry about medications, and for a while, I didn't either. After about one year though, my depression seemed to be back. So back on the medication I went. I went back to seeing that same psychiatrist for a few more years, until I was no longer considered a child, since he was a psychiatrist for kids. I didn't question the medication for a long time after that. It helped me be functional. It wasn't perfect, no, but I could get through my days. It might sound obvious now, but it took me a while to realize that a fascination with violence and serial killers wasn't normal. For several years at least, I read nothing but true crime and fictional serial killer stories. I was fascinated by them. Disturbingly, I also realized that I wanted to be like them. I would think a lot about violence, and kind of came to accept that one day, I would be a killer, and that I'd either end up dead or in prison. Not only that, but I experienced intrusive violent thoughts. I'd be standing behind my sister as she bent down to take laundry from the dryer, notice a pair of scissors on the counter, and see myself using them to hurt her. I didn't want to. But I couldn't stop that thought from happening if I tried. I remember another time one of my cats jumped onto my bed, and I noticed that from the side, a cat's eye looks a lot like a bubble. I couldn't help but picture what it might look like if I tried to pop that bubble. That one really bothered me. Of course I didn't want to hurt my sister or any other person either, but that image of hurting an animal felt especially intrusive, because I know I would never hurt an animal. After realizing how harmful thoughts like those were, I told my psychiatrist. (It's worth mentioning that between 2010 and 2013 or so, I had two different psychiatrists. Neither felt helpful, and they spent our (very quick) appointments asking a couple of questions, then prescribing a new dosage or different medication altogether, and hurrying me out of the office. One of them left the hospital where I saw him, and didn't refer me to anyone else. He basically just said he was leaving, goodbye. The other psychiatrist seemed to be open to the idea of me trying to taper off the medication again around 2013, but then did more or less the same thing; he said goodbye and went on with his life.) Over the period of a year or two, I was prescribed a few different anti-psychotics and other medications that I'm really not sure of, to try and deal with the violent thoughts. None of them seemed to help, and some of them had some awful side effects. Most of those medications did not last longer than a few doses. I was taking Risperdal for a year or so, but then that one starting having negative side effects too, so I stopped with the help of my family doctor. Thankfully, that seemed to end the intrusive violent thoughts. After this point, I had no psychiatrist. In 2013, I had a suicide attempt. Besides the homicidal thoughts, I would also experience suicidal thoughts. Most of the time I was able to resist those in much the same way as the others; I didn't want to die, so they stayed as thoughts only. I think it might've been a really bad combination of depression and my intrusive thoughts that made me actually consider hurting myself. I'd have intrusive images of stabbing myself in the stomach, and my parents finding me. It was like my depression saw those images and said "wow, good idea". One night I was feeling very low, and my dad had to physically stop me from using the knife in my hand. After that, my parents took me to the hospital and I stayed in the Mental Health Inpatient Unit for one week. That's the worst my depression has ever been. Besides this one incident, I would occasionally have passive suicidal thoughts such as "I don't deserve to be alive" or "there's no future for me", but not actually want to act on them. My dad helped me do some research on Effexor, and we didn't like the side effects we were seeing. We thought my violent thoughts might even be caused (or worsened) by the medication, so I started seeing a naturopathic doctor to begin tapering again. I used a natural supplement called TrueHope EmpowerPlus. I made it down to 0 medication, and felt pretty good for about a year before I started experiencing an eating disorder. I've always had anxiety, but over a period of a few months, I lost at least 70 lbs (I was overweight to begin with, but still) because of some serious anxiety around food. Deciding what to eat made me very uncomfortable. Not eating was easier. I also had some trust issues with food. If a food I normally enjoyed was gross one time I had it, I would decide not to eat it again. I ended up with a very limited diet. In mid-2014 I was at a point where I'd feel physically ill from being so hungry. I was weak. My parents were (understandably) very worried. I started seeing a psychiatrist at CAMH (the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). She suggested that I go back on medication so that, at the very least, I could start eating again. She prescribed 80mg of Prozac. She also referred me to a month long inpatient program for anxiety. I did the program, which included CBT and group therapy, and made a lot of improvements with my eating disorder. After leaving the hospital, my medication and depression have since been monitored by my family doctor. Last fall, I decided I wanted to try lowering my dose. My doctor suggested I go from 80mg to 60mg, and that went fine. When I went down to 40mg, however, I started feeling depressed, assumed it was a relapse, and went back up to 60. Now I think it may have just been withdrawal caused by tapering too quickly. So I approached my doctor about tapering again last month, suggesting I go much more slowly this time, after finding survivingantidepressants.org and reading about other peoples' experiences. Right now, I'm alternating between 50mg and 60mg daily, and by the end of this week, I'll be taking 50mg every day. Each month I plan to take another step down (from 50 to 50/40, to 40, to 40/30, etc.). So far, things are going great. Since 2014, I was also taking Dexilant, for heartburn caused by the Prozac. I've managed to stop taking that medication most days (taking it only occasionally) and haven't had any problems. My biggest concern is that I'll experience withdrawal sooner or later, and I might panic and go back on my progress. I don't want that to happen this time. I'm hoping the third time really is the charm for me, and that this time, I'll be able to be medication free and actually dealing with any problems I might have, instead of taking the medication and hoping it solves everything (which it definitely doesn't). In the past, I was very lonely, socially anxious, and I kept to myself. Now, however, I'm engaged, I'm doing well in school and working towards a career that I'm passionate about, and I recently started talking to my sister again after a few years of falling out. I've also realized how toxic my mom is in my life, and I no longer live with my parents. I'm really hoping that this time, a much better environment and a better understanding of withdrawal will help me succeed 🤞 If you read all this, thank you for sticking with me until the end, and I look forward to keeping you updated ☺️
  4. ADMIN NOTE For tips for tapering your drug , find the link in this list Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ Originally, Rhiannon was using a small amount of ethanol to dissolve her Celexa. She later changed her method and was successfully dissolving her tablet in water only. That topic, Making a Celexa Solution Yourself, has been merged into this topic; the Celexa posts have a note added at the top of the posts. Information provided here for Celexa is also relevant to making liquids from tablets of other drugs. To skip the discussion about make a liquid with Celexa tablets, jump to "How To Make Liquid from Tablets or Capsules" - - more general information. Making a Celexa solution yourself A couple of folks asked me to post here about how I dissolve my Celexa and liquid taper it that way. I use a shot glass and dissolve the tablet in a small amount of water (enough to cover it) and a couple of mLs of ethanol (very pure drinking alcohol, I use "Everclear" type, available at the liquor store.) The tablet doesn't dissolve quickly, so I usually leave it there and come back in about twenty minutes. From the following post (link added later by mod) NB: Rhiannon changed her method of dissolving citalopram. She stopped using ethanol. See above quote. I stir it with the pipette to get the drug to dissolve into the ethanol (citalopram is soluble in ethanol). I don't know how well it actually dissolves but as long as it's mixed well it doesn't really matter. Then I add enough water to bring it up to 20 mL total. I mix it well and then draw up my dose for the day, and then pipette it straight into my mouth followed by a pipette full of water (both to rinse the pipette and to dilute the "shot"!) My current dose is 5.25 mg of citalopram, so given the dilution I'm using (10 mg in 20 mL) I measure 10.5 mL as my daily dose. All of this could be adapted easily to using syringes for measurement instead of a pipette. (And if you are more delicate than me you could measure it into a spoon or cup rather than squirting it straight into your mouth.) But using pipettes is really easy too, very simple to learn and do. I'll be seeing my doctor again some time this summer and like I said elsewhere, I may see about getting the citalopram liquid already made up, but it's a $15 copay and the pills are only $5. And I'm already dissolving and pipetting my other meds anyway so it's not really any particular hassle to do it this way with the citalopram. Personally this is the method I would use to taper any med. I've done the dry cutting method using a scale, and I find liquid titration easier to control. I can get my cuts as small as I want by adjusting the dilution.
  5. I am trying to taper off 7.5mg of Remeron (Mirtazapine). I want to use the titration method since my CNS is so sensitized at this point.
  6. JMBR

    JMBR: Remeron

    Taking between 5-10mg Remeron for sleep for 2.5 months. How should I taper? I have severe, chronic insomnia but Remeron is not working. Is replacing the dose with Trazadone an option or do I need to taper off Remeron first?
  7. Any suggestions on tapering hydroxyzine? I've was on 20 mg for 5 months while tapering Klonopin. Increased the dose to 75-100 for the last 2 months in an attempt to alleviate severe insomnia. I believe it may be making things worse. Have been off Klonopin 3.75 months. Lots of w/d symptoms. Thank you!
  8. Hello Everyone I am new here. This is my first ever post to a form of any kind. I am currently tapering off Pristiq 10 percent per month under the care of my specialist. I was prescribed Pristiq in July/August of 2010 by my GP. Over the years, I have made several failed attempts at stopping the Pristiq as I found the process just too difficult while trying to balance the responsibilities of my career. I resigned from my position in 2016 and have been tapering since November 2016. So far so good, but it has been a long, emotional and isolating process. I still have some struggle every time I reduce my dosage, and it would be great to have the support of others who understand what I am going through. I also hope my journey can be of help to someone else.
  9. Hi all, I am a 29 years old female working full time in the mental health field in USA. I started Lexapro/escitalopram 20mg back in 2010 for panic attack, moderate anxiety and mild depression when I was 21 years old. It initially helped me lift my mood and get rid of somatic symptoms. I have been maintaining 20mg for 7 years without much side effects. And I still have regular emotions when situations raise. In 2017, my PCP suggest lowering the dosage since my life is stable and I have more life experiences after these years. By the way, lexapro is the only medication I take; I have overall good health and live a healthy lifestyle (low sugar diet, exercise, no alcohol or smoking, supportive friends & families). Here is a history: 2010-2017: 20mg daily. Did fine for those years without much symptoms ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Family doctor recommended tapering in June 2017 Below is tapering instructed by doctor 6/2017 - 12/2017: 20mg & 10mg every other day, No WD symptoms 12/2017 - 2/2018: 10mg daily, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 2/2018 - 7/12/2018: Restated 15mg daily, No WD symptoms --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Below is tapering by myself 7/12/2018 - 8/8/2018: 15mg & 12.5mg every other day alternate, No WD symptoms 8/9/2018 - current: 12.5mg daily, experiencing managable WD symptoms: palpitation, brain fog/tightness, diarrhea(stopped on 8/23/18, back to normal bowel movement), dreams, mild obsessive thought. No mood disturbance. I am waiting for current symptoms to subside, and I will use a slower tapering schedule -10% after this. OTHER INFO: Tapering method: cut pills and weigh using digital scale Supplement: fish oil Coping: exercise, meditation, talk to my support network, inform and update people around me of my tapering & ask them to monitor me. Mindset: symptoms are temporary, change is happening everyday, slow and steady. I am happy to find this place where we can share recovery stories and support. Life is a long journey, let's take little step everyday Here is a sheet I use to track symptoms using 0-10 scales.
  10. BuddhaMama

    BuddhaMama: Intro

    Hello everyone, I am a longtime lurker, only first posting now as I get ready to begin my taper from Remeron (Mirtazipine). I am seeking support here for my taper as I cannot count on support from my doctors. My husband is minimal support as he has his own mental health issues and we have a new baby. I'm ready to come off the Remeron mostly because I don't want to be on it forever and I feel like it got me through the hump of the early postpartum period, which was what I needed. I have gained 15-20lb on this med which is annoying because I am not one to gain weight normally, so I know it's the drug. I lost all the baby weight within the first month after I delivered and didn't start Remeron until month 2. I feel tired all the time (though it does help me sleep as i take it at night), and it makes me crave sugar and carbs like crazy. I'm also now starting to experience bodyside joint pain, which I've never had before. That seems to go away somewhat when i eliminate wheat from my diet. I have gotten my doctor to order me a solution of mirtazipine from compounding pharmacy, but after paying $54 fir an Rx that I usually get for free, I think I will try making my own solution using the tablets and the Oraplus I read about in the forums here. I'm nervous to begin my taper because the first time I tried at the beginning of December I went down by a 1/4 tablet for a week and every day I had excruciating headaches. BY the end of that week I was experiencing nausea and anxiety. AS SOON as I reinstated my full dose, all symptoms disappeared. I have a feeling I'll need to begin my taper at 5% rather than 10% given how sensitive I am. I would love to hear some encouraging success stories of coming of this drug slowly, as it seems it will take me long rot get off it that I was even on it to begin with. Other relevant info: I am 5 months post partum, have been on Remeron for 4 of those 5 months. I am married and have another child who is nearly 11 years old. I work part time and used to have regular exercise and meditation practices that have both fallen by the wayside with the new baby. I also can no longer tolerate alcohol. I've been off alcohol for several years (not because of AA or addiction issue, but because it makes me feel awful), and recently I thought I would try a half glass of wine with the holidays. Big mistake. Major depression and anxiety the next day. Good riddance.I'd much rather feel well and not drink at all. I think that's it for now!
  11. Hi, ive been on Zyprexa 5 mg since November 27 2018 for a very stressful period in my life when I was suffering from high anxiety that caused chronic insomnia and some suicidal ideation i was on it for roughly 3 weeks after going through a difficult cross-country move, I managed to get myself off the drug, cutting from 5 to 2.5 to 0 within 2 weeks. from December 27th through January 4th of this year, I was drug free, feeling and sleeping great. then I got hit with another wave of external stress regarding a job opportunity in California (where I had just moved from) after 3 days of insomnia, my shrink advised me to go back on the drug. Dumb mistake. ive been on the drug since January 7th and have probably developed a physical dependence by now i want off this damn thing and I want my life back. 10 weeks shouldn’t make withdrawal has horrifying as I’ve seen it be for some people here Im mainly concerned with the insomnia. I have read threads where some people claimed success using gabbapentin and benzos to get through the sleeplessness, though I would probably just opt for the former. if anybody can share Zyprexa discontinuation success stories, please share. hoping to start cutting my dose this week.
  12. Hi, So quick background.. i took LUVOX (fluvoxamine) a few years ago and was able to come off of it safely and with minimum withdrawal. (I reduced 50mg at a time over a few months) (I know this wasn’t the right way to taper but I didnt know at the time) I took Luvox again this year and as I been withdrwaling, I realize it is MUCH harder. I can BARELY withdrawal 10mg at a time and I strongly feel the withdrawal. I been withdrawing less than 5% to. It just does not make sense to me that I withdrew much faster and easier before and now it is so much harder the second time... I don’t think it has todo with my diet or stress. If you Any thoughts as to why this is, it would be great thanks...
  13. I am a newby here and this is my first post, I am 73 years old. I was prescribed Paxil 20 mg. in 2002 for anxiety disorder. Since then I have tried unsuccessfully to withdraw on three occasions. The third attempt lasted 11 months; I managed to taper to 5 mg Paxil. Then crashed. Returned to 20 mg. (I wish I had tried to hold out on the 5mg much longer, but was feeling awful physical withdrawal symptoms). Since then, my dosage was increased to 30 mg in 2011, then in 2018 to 40 mg. The last increase didn't work. I began feeling more anxious and jittery. I have decided to taper back to 30 mg, then re-evaluate and hopefully reduce to 20 mg. At this stage of my life I believe I will be on Paxil until I die. Just want to be comfortable and free of extreme anxiety and severe physical withdrawal symptoms. I am healthy, active and my only other prescription med is 25mg hydrochlorothiazide (a mild diuretic for elevated blood pressure.) I began tapering a month ago by pill cutting. From 40 mg. to 37.5 mg. Now beginning 35 mg. Have some mild physical symptoms: tinnitus, dizziness, jitteriness. Still manageable. Reading the posts here over past month has given me hope. Will try to insert withdrawal history in Signature if I can figure out how. Gracee
  14. Hi All, I am new here, and I hope that the collective experience across the forum is helpful for my situation. I am currently 27 years old and have been on medication since I was 18 years old for depression, OCD, and IBS-Constipation (directly tied to when I feel more depressed). I have mostly been on SSRIs, which have been helpful with depression, OCD, and regulating my peristalsis.. Medication summary below: 2009-2012: Celexa (up to 40 mg) 2012-2013- Lexapro / Abilify 2014 - Clomipramine. Clomipramine + Abilify. Result: Realized higher doses of clomipramine caused too many side effects for me and could not tolerate it, even though it was helpful.Became tachycardic and other anticholinergic effects of combination led me and physician to revert back to SSRIs. 2015: Zoloft; Verdict: Made my IBS symptoms worse; depression and OCD better. However, due to increased diarrhea had to go off Zoloft. 2016: Due to gut that was made worse by Zoloft and doing very short-term trials of other SSRIs which also made my gut worse, I tried EMSAM (MAOI) for three months. Verdict: Did not help at all 2016 - 2017: Went back to Celexa (40 mg). Helped but felt it was not effective as back in 2009, even at maximal dosage. Eventually had relapse of depression in Summer 2017. Summer 2017: Tried course of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation after Celexa stopped working. Verdict: Did not help at all 2017-Present: 200 mg Luvox Verdict: In summer 2018, Luvox also stopped working and had relapse of depression. Summer 2018: I ended up going to homeopath in mid, which has been the most helpful thing to me so far. I have adopted the SCD diet, which has greatly helped my gut, and the remedies she has prescribed actually pulled me out of the depression I was in and made my OCD better, all while still on 200 mg The current situation is that I am still on 200 mg Luvox and with the homeopathy, my symptoms have greatly improved. Back in January 2019, I tried to go down on the Luvox, first to 175 mg (wait 2-3 weeks), then to 162.5 (wait 3 weeks), then to 150 mg (for about 5 weeks). It appears, that although I did not realize it at the time, my symptoms were getting worse, with more mood swings again, and my constipation was becoming more frequent. Most recently, I became completely non-functional and could barely get through one day. Just a few days ago I increased back up to 175 mg to see if I would feel better. So now I am in a predicament, as I really don't think the SSRIs are helping me much because 2 different ones have now pooped out on me in less than a year, but the homeopathy has allowed me to return to normalcy gradually. I am certainly still not far along in the homeopathy (only about a year), but I have definitely felt a difference. I thought I was ready to taper off the Luvox gradually, but clearly, given my relapse of depression and constipation, I maybe went too fast. I have read about the 10% rule, which I largely stuck to, but maybe I will have to go slower. Maybe I will use compounding next time around, maybe weighing out the pills. I do have some questions for the community. -Anybody have any thoughts on my experience or anything they experienced with Luvox? -Over the years of going up and down on SSRIs, I developed muscle twitching and a weird pain in the back left of my head, which I feel especially when my mood gets worse (as was the case recently when I lowered the dose of Luvox). Anyone experienced this / any tips on how to deal with these or what this could be? -I've only been on Luvox for about 16 months. However, I have been on SSRIs for a long time (about 10 years). Does that mean it can still take me forever to get off Luvox?
  15. ADMIN NOTE The 10% rule keeps decreasing the dose but, mathematically, can never get to zero. As you approach zero, when do you simply stop taking the drug? This is a very good question. This site advocates a very gradual taper for greatest safety. You may know of people who quit a drug very easily -- but if you ever had withdrawal symptoms, you are not that person. Everyone's tolerance for dosage changes is different. It could be that you have been tapering by 10% with everything going smoothly. You may also have found you can decrease every 3 weeks or even every week with no problems. Even so, from what we've seen, you will want to taper as far below 1mg as you can. As you go lower in dosage, your system adapts to the lower dosage. Slide off as gradually as possible. If you are counting beads to taper, at the very end, when you are down to one bead, you will be unable to divide your dose to taper. You might want to skip doses to very gradually go off. This is the only situation in which we suggest skipping doses. Sometimes people find that, even though they've quit at a very small amount, they might get slight, occasional withdrawal symptoms. You can take a tiny bit (such as one bead) occasionally until these withdrawal symptoms stop, which should be within a couple of weeks. More clarification: WARNING: DO NOT GO COLD TURKEY AT THE END OF YOUR TAPER Cold turkey is cold turkey. Even though you might be down to a tenth of your original dosage, quitting suddenly may still be too much for your nervous system. You can undo all your tapering by jumping off at too high a dosage, and trigger severe withdrawal syndrome. Ultimately, your tolerance for dosage decreases determines the speed of your taper, all the way to going off. Please listen to your body. If at any point in your taper you get withdrawal symptoms, continue going off very, very gradually at the end. Hi All, Apologies if this has been done to death... I was playing around in excel with a taper protocol and thought I'd share. The 10% is a good rule and very good at encouraging people to go slowly. Something a lot of us have trouble with. (well me anyway...) But like Achilles catching the tortoise, reducing 10% will never get you to 0. (An aim a lot of us have). I've plugged the following rule into excel (attached) to see how it comes out. Rule 1: new dose = old dose - (9% of old dose) - (1% of original dose). You plug the starting dose in and it will always taper to 0 in 24 months. Now this may be to quick for some which brings us to .... Rule 2: If you feel moderate to nasty withdrawal effects then stop and stabilize. After stabilizing restart taper from current dose. (which will also reset the end 0mg end point to 2 years from current dose). Here is an example of the output for a 20mg taper (though just an example!!) Month Dose 1 20.0 2 18.0 3 16.2 4 14.5 5 13.0 6 11.6 7 10.4 8 9.3 9 8.2 10 7.3 11 6.4 12 5.7 13 4.9 14 4.3 15 3.7 16 3.2 17 2.7 18 2.2 19 1.8 20 1.5 21 1.1 22 0.8 23 0.6 24 0.3 25 0.0 I'll probably look to start this from my current 2.5 mg Lexapro , thus aiming to be at 0 in 2 years. Cheers Damien ssri_taper.xlsx
  16. Paxilated

    Paxilated

    Hello everyone, I've been on Paxil for just 3.5 months, and I already have the following side-effects: 1) Weight gain (at least 10 pounds) 2) Inability to orgasm 3) Drowsiness I want to get out of this deal, and taper it off. Will my tapering schedule be exactly the same as that of someone who's taken it for a much longer time? Thanks!
  17. In july I was diagnosed with psychosi due to ptsd. I was in an abusive relationship. I started the resperidone 3mg in july and I am supposed to be tapering off in June, and Im a little nervous about the withdrawal and other things. Im just curious has anyone been successful in tapering off risperidone? All I have read are horror stories. I am supposed to taper off this drug and I wont be put on any other drugs, and I was just curious if anyone has come off risperdone without being put on any other meds? Are you able to feel emotion again? Did the psychosis return? Did the mask-like face go away? Will I return to normal I guess is my question.
  18. Hello fellow withdrawers (if that's a word), I'm Bokart and I'm here on a journey to quit my medication of Olanzapine. Down to 7,5 mg at the moment (see my signature). My story short: back in February 2015 I got admitted in psych ward due to psychosis (due to my destroyed sleep because of my night-shift work). There began my involuntary medication of Olanzapine, which pulled me out of a psychosis, so at least it did some good. I was released from the hospital after two weeks of being there. Now, after jojoing with my olanzapine dose (see signature), I'm finally set to quit it for good. I found this community after searching for succesfull withdrawal stories on the internet and found this community to be great, people being helpful and supportive and giving good advice... I know it can get rough when I approach smaller doses so I do know I will need support. And hopefully I can give support too and offer people hope after and during my taper. I know lots of people are in the same boat as me. Why I want to quit? I got no sexuality anymore, my motivation lacks big time, even personal hygiene is suffering because of that. I can't memorize things like before - learning is difficult. I have very little emotions left in me, basically I'm a dumbed down version of myself nowadays with this drug. I have little social skills - which I would badly need because I plan on working with children in school so some situational awareness is needed (I might have to quit my studies due to me making no progress in my studies... due to this drug). No happines, no enjoying things, lethargy and demotivation... About my psychosis, after it was gone I haven't had any symptoms of it returning (like delusions, paranoia, hallucinations), even after trying to quit my drug cold turkey once, which I see as a good sign. Now I don't want to slip into psychosis again so I need to be extra careful with my taper. After I hit 5,625 mg I will go on tapering by feeling, so no reductions until I feel stable enough. My main concern is sleep. I have a prescribed medication of temazepam (a benzodiazepine), which I can use when my insomnia has hit a threshold of needing immediate attention. I'm trying to limit my use of it to every three days to prevent tolerance and dependence (I know benzodiazepine withdrawals can be bad). But the thing is, lack of sleep led me to psychosis once, so it is a big deal to me. I need at least one night on a while to hit at least 4 hours of uniterrupted sleep, which 40 mg of temazepam does. I've tried many other sleep aids such as low to medium dose of quietiapine (no effect), low to medium dose of levomepromazine (didn't help), low dose of doxepine (no effect), even melatonine and l-tryptophan and 5-htp and none of those helped. One thing that helped me though was phenibut combined with temazepam - I slept 13 hours with that combination! So I know I have an emergency brakes on my train now (assuming that combination works again, haven't taken phenibut in 2 months to avoid tolerance and dependency), but I'm planning on limiting the use of this combination to once a month. On this dose of 7,5mg I'm currently having 2-3 hours of good uninterrupted sleep plus 3-4 hours of bad, constantly waking up kind of sleep So, thank you all for being here! And I wish a speedy recovery to those who are withdrawing from their drugs, we are all here together.
  19. Hi everyone, I’ve been on a mess of medications since I was prescribed propranolol for panic attacks last November, stopped them and was put on Sertaline, couldn’t tolerate it so stopped after two weeks, then Prozac with the same results plus tinnitus! Eventually began with Mirtazepine 6 weeks ago, and after initially feeling ok I really want to get off them, I feel very unlike myself and it’s horrible. I get some days or hours where everything seems completely normal, but mostly it’s making my anxiety worse. Any advice on tapering would be greatly appreciated.
  20. Hi all, Long story short. Was anorexic last year until Christmas, starting recovering from that/weight restoring in January 2016. One of the ED therapists I worked with told me anxiety peaks once weight it restored, which happened (although didn't learn this until recently) - end of April 2016 I went into psychiatric hold because the anxiety was making me suicidal. Big mistake. Doc there put me on 20mg of Citalopram. For the next month I did therapy which along with an occasional Benzo resolved the anxiety. By May the Citalopram kicked in, with all its side effects. Extreme nausea, dry heaving, insomnia, weight gain, hunger cues messed up (already were from anorexia, but worsened), acne, gynecomastia, swollen fingers, fatigue - so bad (daily nausea was excrutiating) I nearly killed myself at the end of June. But I finally found a good doc, who through the next month of tests, determined it was the meds. Began tapering first day in August, 20 mg to 15 mg. Took a supp called Serosyn with 5HTP, L-theanine, and B vitamins. Withdrawal consisted of chapped lips in in the first week, increased hunger (I could be full but my brain still screamed to eat), fatigue (different form than when on 20 mg), wired feeling and weight gain. Leveled off a bit after 3 weeks, although I should have stayed there longer (but I didn't because the effects of 20 mg have been so bad that I've been trying to get off asap). 2 and a half weeks ago went down to 10 mg. Like before, chapped lips in the first week, wired feeling persisting, continued weight gain, and insatiable hunger. As before the lips are healing, but the hunger is still messed up (early fullness, insatiable hunger). Tired still, waking up hungry even after eating a lot at night. Haven't exercised in 8 months - first b/c of anorexia recovery, by now b/c exercise messes up my hunger cues/I cannot seem to physically eat enough. Worried I've been too aggressive with the taper, and that I'm doing irreparable damage to my nervous system. I wonder if I should reinstate 15 mg (scared it won't help/cause more complications) and start a slower taper? Seriously scared reinstating will mess things up even more, but equally scared that I've dropped too fast and have messed up my nervous system irreparably (and that my hunger cues/weight, which have been messed since starting anorexia recovery, are doomed for life). tl;dr: 20 mg citalopram was full of terrible side effects, dropped to 15 and then to 10 pretty quickly, and paying the price; wondering if I should wait it out for another week to see if anything improves like the 20-15 drop, or reinstate 15 and go slower from there (also scared I'm ruined for the rest of my life, I've had to quit a lot of things because of this damn med). On the bright side, gynecomastia, acne, and such are improving as expected. But this messed up hunger is getting at me (as is the weight gain and general crap feeling that I've had ever since starting this med).
  21. Hi, I'm in a dire situation. I've been online all night (haven't slept) and came across this very informative forum and thought I'd link with others who are or who have gone through this hell. I can't reach out to my psych doc as he is away, and I don't want to the ER for a third time to have them tell me follow up with my specialists. I started Mirtazapine for insomnia about a year ago. I never went above 15 mg and stayed mostly at 3.25. Recently I decided to get off as I felt it was losing it's potency (and noticed palpitations but not sure if it was the MIRT) and foolishly started to take it some nights and not others. I was supplementing with melatonin (5-20 mg) every night, and started to use an old script of low-dose Klonopin to help me sleep (.25-.5). The real trouble started about two weeks ago when I took tryptophan (1000 mg) at the same time as the Mirtazapine 3.25. The next day I felt really foggy and took my prescribed Vyvanse (60 mg) as usual. Within minutes I knew something was wrong. I had to pull over because of severe anxiety, palpitations, and racing heart. I took an "emergency" dose of Klonopin .5 and it helped calm me down and quiet the Vyvanse. I was able to go to work. Later that night, I went to sleep and took another Mirtazapine 3.25. About 20 minutes later I started to feel my muscles tensing and I began having tremors and shivering. My heart rate went up to 130 bpm and I could feel skipped beats. Ofcourse I freaked and it just made things worse. I'm not a hypochondriac and I haven't been to the ER in decades but I told my wife we had to go. On the way I downed another .5 of Klonopin. My heart rate eventually returned to normal but my blood pressure was elevated (160/95). I told them I thought I might have Seretonin Syndome but they didn't seem to know much about it and released me with a script for a beta blocker (Metrorpolol 50 mg) and told me to stay off the Mirtazapine. That weekend I took my other prescribed ADHD med, Desoxyn, which has less peripheral agitation, and was fine. I stayed away from the mirtazapine but replaced it with the beta blocker and the klonopin which helped me sleep. Several days later, I took a very low dose of my Desoxyn and I nearly jumped out of my skin. I t was like I had become sensitized to it, just like I had become sensitized to the Mirtazapine. Desoxyn has a interaction warning about Serotonin Syndome. I told myself I was down with these meds until I figured out what was going on. I had to sleep though so I took a Doxylamine (Unisom)- cut in half about 12.5 mg. Within 20 minutes, the same thing that happened with the Mirtazapine happened with the Doxylamine--racing heart, severe agitation, high blood pressure. Off to the ER again. I took a .25 of Klonopin and by the time they took me in I was relaxed and everything was baseline. Doxylamine has anti-histamine activity just look low-dose Mirtazapine and when I brought this up, they again told me to follow up with a cardiologist. It's been three days and I've barely slept since. The next day I felt the same terror and agitation I felt when I took the Mirtazapine and the Doxylamine, but instead of going to the ER for a third time, I took another .5 mg of Klonopin and it subsided. I went to work but have had extreme anxiety, elevated blood pressure, chest and stomach tightness, no appetite, toe twitching, sweaty palms, palpitations, and severe agitation. The only thing that is keeping me sane is Klonopin (which I don't want to develop a tolerance to again, if I haven't already which I think I may have) and low-dose Metroprolol which keeps my hears under 100 but I can still tell it's fighting a ton of adrenaline surges every hour or so. I'm scared to death and wonder if I'm dealing with sensitization due to Serotonin Syndome or just taking Mirtazapine randomly different nights, withdrawal from the Mirtazapine since it's been about 1.5-2 weeks, withdrawal from the Klonopin... In reading these forums, I am inclined to say I want to reinstate half of 3.25 Mirtazapine in order to kill the adrenaline surges and severe agitation. I feel that my heart is being overworked with a withdrawal, but since I seem to be sensitized to Mirtazapine (and other medications that work on serotonin or anti-cholergenic drugs) I don't know if that's a good idea. I'm appreciate of any feedback or wisdom here. I apologize if this post is rambling. I'm actually a writer but my lack of sleep over the last few nights has fried my executive functioning. BTW I do have an appointment with a cardiologist to get an event monitor, and my psychiatrist comes back in two weeks, but I'm afraid to wait that long if I should reinstate I understand timing is crucial. Thank you
  22. Hi, You need a taper plan for your antidepressant(s) or benzodiazepine(s) and you don't know how to start? How about create by yourself your own taper plan? If you want to see how your possible taper plan may look like, have a look to the following online planners: - For antidepressants users: http://antdep.alwaysdata.net/ - For benzodiazepines users: http://benzo.alwaysdata.net/ and the related video: Have a look to the Help section first. Hope it can help.
  23. Hello community, Thank you all for this wonderful resource! I have been reading this website since long before I made the decision to start Viibryd, and it is a wealth of information. Because I was recently diagnosed with posterior subcapsular cataracts that were likely either caused or exacerbated by the Viibryd, and because the benefits are not enough to justify continuing this damage to my eyes, I have decided to start planning the weaning off process. I would like advice about rate and timing since I need to try to do this faster than would normally be recommended. Quick psychiatric background: I went through betrayal trauma due to discovering my husband’s infidelity and was diagnosed with PTS, anxiety, and depression. After several years of herbal and natural mood-related supplements, I still felt many symptoms and received the same diagnoses again. So, against my normally holistic approach to health and healing, I decided to start an SSRI. I got the Pathway Genomics psychiatric pharmacogenomic panel, and the results were that Viibryd was the only SSRI that my body might potentially tolerate. My original plan was to take the Viibryd for a couple of years to get through separation, divorce, moving, etc, and then to taper off slowly using the recommended 5- 10% per month or so method. But a few months ago, my optometrist found cataracts, and I went to two separate ophthalmologists to confirm. There is plenty of scientific literature about research that has shown that SSRIs cause cataracts, and incidentally it was listed under the “rare” side effects in some Viibryd studies. So, I need to try to find a way to wean off faster, within a few months if possible. I need to stop the excess serotonin, which is what is causing the cataracts to grow. I’m wondering if I should cut the 10’s into halves to create a month or so of 15, then 10, then 5, then 0 (I could try making a second cut to get 2.5, but it might be too uneven or crumbly). Or if it would be better to taper by smaller increments (necessitating a compounding pharmacy, if it's possible) every couple of weeks instead. (I would rather avoid the cognitive difficulties of trying to make powder and capsules, liquid solution, or other methods myself.) I am aware that it is an iterative process and the need for stabilizing, updosing if necessary, etc. So, I'm thinking I'll ask my psychiatrist to request permission from the insurance company for a couple of 10's per day (current approval is one pill only per day) for the next six months or so. Other relevant info includes that the weaning ONTO Viibryd process was horrible for me (1 month 10 mg, 1 week 15 mg, then 20) with panic, severe anxiety, lightheadedness, and many other difficult symptoms. Since then, there have been a number of side effects including a period of chronic migraines, and mostly fatigue, cognitive fog, dissociation, sleeping issues, and a long list of other symptoms that I have been documenting. The anxiety and depression have been slightly better, but still not enough to be really functional, and certainly not enough considering the cataracts. I haven’t been working the past few years because of these health problems, so I can focus solely on healing during withdrawal and hopefully will be able to be productive after recovery. Also, I have continued my healthy lifestyle of organic, vegan, gluten-free diet, yoga, exercise, nature, etc. and have implemented natural modalities including acupuncture, massage, therapies, etc. So what I need help with is just the tapering off of the Viibryd as quickly as possible. I would appreciate any advice about recommended rates and timing for trying to wean off using a faster method. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to any suggestions!
  24. Happy Holidays! My name's Mike and I'm 40 and I've been taking SSRI's for OCD/anxiety/depression most of my adult life, save for between 2003 to 2009. Since 2009, after years of doing quite well, I crashed and ended up back on fluvoxamine. The drug seemed to help more in the beginning, but as time went on I've increasingly lamented my loss of libido and what I feel are very dampened emotions. Even on 25mg., my current dose, I'm still missing my full range of emotions and feelings. I've been tapering for about 9 months now: Under the care of a psychiatric nurse, I've slowly reduced my dose from 100mg. to my current dose. I went from 100 to 87.5, 87.5 to 75, 75 to 62.5, 62.5 to 50, 50 to 37.5, 37.5 to about 31, 31 to 25. Each time I reduced I would stay on the new dose for at least 2-4 weeks. I've been on 25 mg. for about 4 months now. After what was a very depressing and upsetting election cycle for me, I decided to put the brakes on the taper, but I plan to resume again after the holidays and new year. My next appt. is in mid Jan. So, all in all, the taper's gone pretty smoothly. After each reduction I would usually experience a little dizziness, sometimes digestive issues, lack of focus, etc. etc., but nothing truly debilitating. My psych. nurse made it sound like my dose is so low that I could just about get off, but I've heard all the horror stories and I want to take it really slowly. The question is how slow? Since the taper's gone relatively smoothly, can I continue reducing from 25 to 18.75, 18.75 to 12.5 etc. etc? Or should I slow it down even more to keep it within the standard 10 to 25% reduction rate, since the dose is lower now? I know these are issues I need to discuss with the nurse, but I always feel so rushed during the session, only having 15 minutes and all to discuss the state of my brain! Seems like it should be a little bit longer Anyway, sorry If I'm rambling, but I came here because I'm long overdue to meet some new brothers and sisters who understand how frustrating and upsetting it can be being on medication. I feel like I'm walking a tight rope here: there's a part of me that wants to be off the medication YESTERDAY and then there's the more rational side of myself that's trying to divvy up the patience to take it slowly and thereby improve my chances of successfully getting off this stuff. So, that's my little intro. Hope everybody is enjoying the holidays and is good spirits and health. I look forward to hearing any thoughts you may have on my situation or from anybody else who is on fluvoxamine or just anybody who wants to chat. Be well and take care! Mike BTW, I should also mention I take Klonopin .25mg., as needed, but very sparingly. Sometimes I take a couple doses a week and other times I'll go weeks without taking it. I treat benzos as a last resort when meditation, breathing, jogging, writing, etc. don't work. Thought I should mention all the psych. drugs I currently take. Take care!
  25. I wanted to share my story because when I was suffering through my taper I needed hope; I needed to know that success was possible. Two years ago I started withdrawing from 300 mg of Wellbutrin, 20 mg of Prozac, and 100 mg of Trazadone. I followed my psychiatrist's very rapid tapering schedule and felt like I was going to die. I managed to complete the taper, but, at the end I was so depressed and my anxiety and insomnia was so unbearable that I had to go back on the medication. I still wanted to be rid of the drugs, so I only went back on 10 mg of Prozac and I stayed there for about 1 year. During that year, my mood and health stabilized and I felt pretty good. I was following a nutrient dense, low carb diet. At the end of that year, I joined this forum and began a much slower taper of the 10 mg of Prozac. My psychiatrist would not give me a prescription for liquid Prozac. Unbelievable right? She also discouraged my plan to taper the 10 mg Prozac over the course of an entire year. Fortunately my sister is a medical doctor and she gave me the prescription I needed. I got tiny syringes from Amazon and began tapering slightly more than 10% per month. I think the 10% rule is wise, but I was impatient. And I did not reduce my dose much more than 10% per month. I completed the taper of 10 mg over the course of 10 months. Each time I reduced my dose, I experienced increased anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. I maintained the dose until the withdrawal symptoms subsided. Once I was feeling better, I stayed at same dose for another week or two to enjoy life before reducing again and going through the withdrawal symptoms. Each time I experienced the withdrawal symptoms, I feared I would never be able to get off the drugs. It was irrational because I had experienced an alleviation of the symptoms many times before reducing the dose again. It was a cycle: feel better, reduce dose, experience withdrawal and fear of failure; feel better, reduce dose, withdrawal etc. . . . No matter how many times I experienced a happy stablization, I was convinced I would never get off the drugs while I was in the throes of withdrawal. But it always got better. I have been completely off the Prozac now for about 4 weeks and I'm feeling pretty good. So how did I do this? I consulted an Integrative Psychiatrist. On her recommendation, I took 50 mg of 5-htp at 4:00 p.m. and again at bedtime. She also recommended that I take melatonin. She explained that because 5-htp is turned into serotonin, and serotonin turns into melatonin, the supplemental melatonin acted liked a plug on the serotonin drain. So the melatonin helped keep more serotonin in my receptors and also helped me sleep. BTW, not all melatonin supplements are the same. I found that 3 mg of melatonin made by Douglas Laboratories worked much better than 10 mg of melatonin from a drugstore brand. I got the Douglas Laboratories melatonin and 5-htp on Amazon. And Pure Formulas is another good website for these supplements. I also consulted with a naturopathic doctor, who recommended that I follow either a ketogenic diet or a whole foods low carb diet and do some daily exercise. I do a daily walk/jog. Exercise does not need to be intense to be effective. I try to walk in the morning when I will be exposed to morning sunlight, which helps train the circadian rhythm and sets the body up for better sleep at night. The ketogenic diet was preferable for me because I had blood sugar dysregulation, which is caused by Prozac (This side effect is documented in the PDR.) Blood sugar dysregulation causes anxiety and insomnia because when your blood sugar level goes too low (hypoglycemic), your body produces cortisol to raise your blood sugar. Cortisol is your fight or flight hormone! No wonder I used to wake up in a panic. The ketogenic diet helped me sleep better, stabilized my mood, and gave me more energy. I also lost the weight I gained when I stopped the Wellbutrin. The naturopathic doctor also recommended I take up a meditation practice. I had a traumatic childhood and I was sexual assaulted several times as an adolescent. The doctor said I will need to release suppressed feelings from the trauma in order to eliminate the anxiety for good. So I found a holistic therapist who specializes in trauma and uses emotionally focused therapy that gets to the root cause of mental anguish and releases it for good. It is a painful process, but I can already see improvement. With respect to meditation, the naturopathic doctor referred to me to a Heartfulness Meditation teacher/trainer. They are all over the country and they teach meditation for free. You can find them on the internet. The Heartfulness practice includes a "cleaning" practice that helps eliminate stressful experiences from your system. I also like Insight Meditation, which is a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness meditation has been made famous by Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield. I highly recommend their books and their podcasts. They all three have their own podcasts and you can learn a lot about mindfulness from them. I listen to them while I do my daily walk/jog. Scientific studies show that meditation is an excellent treatment for anxiety and insomnia. I know it has helped me get through my withdrawal symptoms and it definitely helps me sleep better than any supplement. You can also find free insight meditation teachers in your area on the internet. I wish you all well on your journey to recovery from antidepressants. Hang in there. It is difficult, but success is possible. You can be free and have peace. I hope my story can be of help. Mod. note: Link to Introduction: Ruth: Home stretch?
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