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  1. Hi Thank you for this forum! I am in a mess right now and need some advice. In february I decided to give lexapro 10 mg a try as I struggled more and more with ocd. That decision took everything away from me! Drug history prior to this: Paxil 20- 40 mg from 1991-2000 and 2003-2015. Prozac 5 mg 2015 to february 2021 (plus 5 mg valium as needed for anxiety, 2 to 4 times a week ) Back to lexapro and 2021: I experienced adverse effects after 4 weeks: motor dysfunction in teeth/jaw. But I hoped it was initial side effects that would go away. So I continued. After lowering my dose to 5 mg, then 2,5 then 1,25 with problems still there, I quit on May 7th. I am now in WD worse than ever! I am in anxiety-terror 24/7 and have terrible insomnia. The physical symptoms are many and terrible, I never had physical symptoms in WD before. I got so sick I eventually wanted to end everything - and my family couldnt cope. I was then voluntarely commited to a psyciatric hospital. Both the hospital and my family wanted me to start medication again. I refused, which was unpopular. Then they wanted me to get ECT treatment in stead. So, being desperate to do something, I started a small dose of paxil. I started with 0,2 mg, went up to 1,7 mg in hope of a positive effect. (Why paxil? Not daring to reinstate lexapro(adverse effect) , and the prozac never helped my anxiety, and I was desperate for something to work) I almost immediatly regretted it. But now I was terrified to quit. What if things got worse? Also my family kept begging me to be on medication, as I behave in a crazy way. Its been close to five weeks on Paxil now. (Yesterday I learnt on your forum that I may could have just quit it if I i did it sooner. My regret ocd is terrible, so I have to try to forgive myself). So now my question is: how do I taper from here? Or is it unsafe to change anything now? I think I have gotten back a side effect from Paxil, (the irony - no benefits, just downsides). So I really want to get off it. Thanks for being here for us! (I didnt figure out how I put my Drug history in the footer? Only have an iPhone available right now. )
  2. Hi there, I'm new to this site but need help! Have had 15 years of AD use, which include a couple of changes due to 'poop outs'. My last change was 9 weeks ago when the 15mg paroxetine that I'd been on for 7 years pooped out. Ended up under crisis team and physchiatrist switched me to 15mg Mirtazapine (straight switch from one day to the next). I had done a similar switch back in 2007 when my lexapro pooped out (tapered down over 2 weeks then switched straight over to the paroxetine). Over the last 6 weeks on Mirtazapine, the physchiatrist titrated me up to 45mg as I was in a bad state. 45mg WAY too high for me and caused akathisia, so he dropped me back to 30mg (after 3 weeks on 45mg). Akathisia better, but still lingering, so he wants to drop me down to 22.5mg. What do I do... I need this akathisia to stop ASAP, so a drawn out taper seems like far too long to wait! But I'm sure my body is in crisis from the med switch and titrating up then quick drop back down. Also used benzos over 4 weeks during switch, and titrated off them. Am I better to put up with the akathisia and do a slow taper? He thinks that drop percentage is fine (25%), but after reading this site combined with the weird experiences I'm having I'm too scared (so I'll need to enlist the help of a chemical compounding pharmacy) . Am I better to do that drop (25%) to stop the akathisia quickly, or just let my body settle down? Do 10% in another 2 weeks time (so that will be 4 weeks after my drop from 45mg to 30mg). I don't know what to do... I have been under the care of the crisis team and been going along with the plan, but can't help but feel these side effects are worse than having no treatment! I'm only 43 with a beautiful husband and son, but I'm scared that I've screwed my poor body up for life. I need advice, and stories of hope (and of easy withdrawls, not just horror stories, to give me hope). P. S Could my akathisia actually be paroxetine withdrawls even though I went straight onto another med?
  3. Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm working toward tapering off of 225 mg of venlafaxine. I am a 70 year old male, that has been very active and health conscious. My weakness has been depression. I previously had two periods of feeling depressed that involved obtaining an antidepressant from my general practice doctor. I would get to the point of feeling spacey and or lethargic, then do talk therapy to get back off of the drug. These where phase one antidepressants, and I would taper off slow over say 4 to 6 months without noticeable side effects. These events occurred between 2005 to 2008 per notes I still have. I retired from Highway Engineering March 1, 2014. Many emotional events piled upon me during the next five months. The stressors where; retiring and adjustment period, daughter coming home to live with us and get a divorce, a vicious son in law (being divorced), one or two other more minor stressors that I do not recall, and a huge spiritual crisis in which I felt I had not lived as graciously as God would have wanted me to. In July 2014 I became fixated on thinking about all these things. I sat in a stupor for days, lost 15 pounds, thought the devil was speaking and accusing me of my wrongs and tempted me to deny God and just die. My wife asked me If I had thought of suicide and I admitted that I had. She called 911 and got help. They took me to a hospital and put me on suicide watch till they could transfer me to a psych ward for treatment. I was confined for a week and given many medications. I also had a physical problem that they dealt with. I was released to an out-patient psychiatrist. The psychiatrist told me he would take me off all the previous medications except for increasing my dose of venlafaxine to 225 mg. I have been on venlafaxine for four (4) years. In May 2018 I stopped drinking all alcohol and also stopped experimenting with legalized cannabis. I quickly felt a bit more energy. I put this energy toward searching the internet for information about venlafaxine and antidepressants. I have learned much, but still want to keep learning. My Psychiatris agreed to allow me to get off Venlafaxine October 4, 2017, after telling him repeatedly about my desire to and why. He reduced my venlafaxine from 225 mg to 150 mg. The short of it is that I did not make it, and went back to the full dose. After learning more about how to decrease slowly, I am ready to try again. I have sought the help of my general practice doctor, who is supportive and has reduced me to 187.5 mg. Since I know that a 10% reduction is better, I cut open a 37.5 mg capsule, counted the beads, and took 40% of those beads, 15, and added them to the 187.5 mg, for a new total of 202.5 mg. I'm also taking daily notes of my physical and mental state, and dosage. I will see my general practice doctor monthly. I will be also talking to my Psychiatrist about my plans. I plan to start talk therapy also. Does anyone have any advise or comments?
  4. ADMIN NOTE: Read this entire topic before attempting a switch to fluoxetine. Be sure to read details and cautions below . Consult a knowledgeable medical practitioner before changing medications. Also see Tips for tapering off fluoxetine (Prozac) Switching or bridging with another related drug, usually of a longer half-life, is a medically recognized way to get off psychiatric drugs, particularly if you find tapering your original drug to be intolerable. Many people with failed tapers from venlafaxine (Effexor), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), paroxetine (Paxil), and duloxetine (Cymbalta) find they need to bridge in order to go off the drug. For many doctors, a switch to Prozac to go off a different antidepressant is routine. Because of the risks of switching drugs -- see below -- we recommend attempting a very gradual direct taper from your drug, with bridging with a different drug only a last resort. There are a lot of unknowns in bridging. Fluoxetine (Prozac) has the longest half-life of any of the modern antidepressants. Because it takes more than a week for a dose to be metabolized completely, a careful taper off fluoxetine is easier for many people -- see information about Tapering off Prozac. And, at least fluoxetine comes in a liquid. (Do not assume fluoxetine is "self-tapering"! We have many people here with Prozac withdrawal syndrome. While going off fluoxetine usually has less risk, one might still develop withdrawal symptoms going off fluoxetine. No bridging strategy is risk-free.) Citalopram (Celexa )and its sibling escilatopram (Lexapro) have half-lives of about 35 hours, a relatively long half-life among SSRIs, and are other candidates for a bridging strategy. They also come in a liquid form. You must find a knowledgeable doctor to help you to with a bridging strategy. The cross-taper method discussed below is probably the safest way to make a change in drugs. You might wish to print this post out to discuss it with your doctor. For most people the switch goes smoothly but for some it doesn't. The drawbacks of switching to another drug to get off the first drug, described below, apply to ALL bridging strategies for ALL drugs, including benzodiazepines (where people often want to bridge with diazepam per the Ashton method). Risks of bridging A bridging strategy has the following drawbacks for a minority of those who try it: Dropping the first antidepressant in the switch may cause withdrawal symptoms even though you're taking a bridge drug. Adverse reaction to the bridge drug, such as Prozac. Serotonin toxicity or adverse effects of a drug combination. If withdrawal symptoms are already underway, switching to a bridge drug may not help. A cross-taper requires a number of careful steps. Difficulty tapering off the bridge drug. All of the bridge drugs can be difficult to taper themselves. So, like anything else, a drug switch is not guaranteed to work. When to switch or bridge "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know". A direct taper from the drug to which your nervous system is accustomed carries less risk than a switch to a new drug. You may have a bad reaction to the substitute drug, or the substitution may not work to forestall withdrawal symptoms. The risk of a switch is justified if you find a taper from the original drug is simply too difficult. Usually people will do a switch when they find reducing the original antidepressant by even a small amount -- 10% or even 5% -- causes intolerable withdrawal symptoms. (I have heard doctors say they don't even try tapering off paroxetine (Paxil) or venlafaxine (Effexor ), they switch to Prozac at the beginning of the tapering process.) If you are having intolerable withdrawal or adverse effects from an antidepressant, it may be worth risking the worst case, which is that a switch to a bridge drug doesn't help and you have withdrawal syndrome anyway. If you're thinking of switching simply as a matter of convenience, you need to weigh the risks against the amount of convenience you would gain. Generally, switching for convenience is a bad idea. CAUTION: A switch to a bridge drug is not guaranteed to work. It's safer to slow down a taper than count on a switch. A switch really should be used only when a taper becomes unbearable or there are other serious adverse effects from the medication. You must work with a doctor who is familiar with bridging, in case you develop severe symptoms. Overview of cross-tapering method For drug switches, many doctors prefer cross-tapering, where a low dose of one drug is added and gradually increased while the first drug is reduced. For a period, both drugs are taken at the same time. Here is a graphic representation of cross-tapering: If you are making a switch to Prozac, the second antidepressant is fluoxetine (Prozac). Given fluoxetine's long half-life, it may take a couple of weeks to reach full effect. The effect of the amount you add at each stage of the cross-taper will build throughout the process. As it is possible to overshoot Prozac dosage, it's best to be very conservative about increasing fluoxetine throughout the cross-taper, you could end up with serotonin toxicity from too much fluoxetine (see below). Also see this discussion about cross-tapering with Prozac: Serotonin toxicity and serotonin syndrome You run the risk of serotonin toxicity if you are taking too much serotonergic. Most antidepressants (and some other drugs, such as triptans and MDMA) are serotonergics. Serotonergic effects of antidepressants are added when you take more than one of them, particularly if you add an SSRI (such as Prozac, Celexa, or Lexapro) to an SNRI (such as desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor), venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR), milnacipran (Savella), and levomilnacipran (Fetzima)). (Other types of antidepressants should not be combined with tricyclics or MAOIs.) Symptoms of too much serotonergic can be: Nervousness, anxiety, akathisia, sleeplessness, fast heartbeat. Symptoms of serotonin toxicity can be these plus disorientation, sweating, and others. Serotonin syndrome is even more serious. See Serotonin Syndrome or Serotonin Toxicity Reduction of the drug dose should resolve serotonin toxicity. Note that if you cross-taper, you will be taking 2 drugs at once for part of the time. Because of the potential of serotonin toxicity by overdosing SSRIs as well as in combination with SNRIs, it's safest to err on the lower side of a Prozac dose "equivalent" -- such as 5mg -- to your original drug. This is why doctors familiar with the Prozac switch will cross-taper by adding an initial LOW DOSE of Prozac to an SNRI. Start low, the effect of fluoxetine will increase over several weeks. Another concern: Escilatopram (Lexapro) is several times stronger, milligram for milligram, than the other SSRIs. If you add 10mg escilatopram to the high dose of 60mg duloxetine (Cymbalta), for example, you run the risk of serotonergic toxicity -- 10mg escilatopram is equal to approximately 20mg-30mg duloxetine. How much fluoxetine (Prozac) to substitute for my drug? Since fluoxetine's half-life is so much longer than those of other antdepressants, its effect is a little different. It's not a stronger antidepressant, but the effect of each dose lasts much longer. This may be the reason a lower dose of fluoxetine often seems to adequately substitute for other antidepressants. For an idea of equivalent doses of your medication to fluoxetine (Prozac) read this post (January 7, 2018) in this topic. It compares fluoxetine 40mg/day (a fairly high dose of Prozac) to other antidepressants. Source of that data: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25911132 If you have tapered to a lower dose of an antidepressant, an even lower dose of Prozac may be more tolerable. If you are about half-way down, you might want to try 10mg Prozac. If you have decreased further, you may wish to try 5mg Prozac. If you have substituted fluoxetine for your drug and after two weeks, you feel you have withdrawal symptoms, you may wish to gradually the fluoxetine dosage. After each change in fluoxetine, wait at least 2 weeks to see the effect before deciding on another increase. More is not better for nervous systems sensitized by withdrawal. EXAMPLES OF THE PROZAC SWITCH Below is information I've gathered from doctors about how to do the Prozac switch. You will see there is no standard protocol. Healy 2009 method for the Prozac switch From Healy 2009 Halting SSRIs withdrawal guidelines: Phelps-Kelly 2010 method for Prozac switch From Clinicians share information about slow tapering (2010) Jim Phelps, one of the authors of the above, posted in 2005 in some detail about the so-called "Prozac bridging" strategy. He said it is described in Joseph Glenmullen's book, Prozac Backlash, maybe in the chapter titled of "Held Hostage." The technique Dr. Phelps described in this post skips doses and finishes with alternating dosages, which we do not recommend for people who are sensitive to withdrawal symptoms. Given that fluoxetine liquid is available, this is completely unnecessary. Foster 2012 method for Prozac switch Dr. Mark Foster, a GP whose mission is to get people safely off psychiatric drugs includes this in a presentation he gives to doctors. http://www.gobhi.org/spring_conference_powerpoints/safewithdrawal_of_psychotropics%5Bautosaved%5D.ppt. His method involves overlapping Prozac with the other antidepressant -- cross-tapering. Prey 2012 method for Prozac switch Another knowledgeable doctor (whom I trust) explained his technique to me (this is the technique I personally would prefer if I had to do it, it seems much gentler) For a "normal" dose of Effexor (150mg per day or more) or Paxil (20mg) or Cymbalta (20mg), he would switch to 10mg Prozac with a week of overlap. In other words, take both medications for a week and then drop the Effexor. Lower doses of Effexor or other antidepressant require lower doses of Prozac as a "bridge." The lower dose of Prozac reduces the risk of excessive serotonergic stimulation (serotonin toxicity) from the combination of the two antidepressants during the overlap period. Do not stay on the combination of the first antidepressant and Prozac for more than 2 weeks, or you run the risk of your nervous system accommodating to the combination and having difficulty tapering off both antidepressants. Later, taper off Prozac. He acknowledged Prozac can have its withdrawal problems, but given Prozac's long half-life, gradual tapering should be easier than tapering off Effexor. Smoothing out a transition to fluoxetine Even with a cross-taper, your system might feel a jolt after you finally drop the initial antidepressant, particularly if it is an SNRI, such as Effexor, Pristiq, or Cymbalta, or other drug that is not an SSRI like fluoxetine. (Other SSRIs include Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro). If you go through a rough patch after the transition, patients find they can take a tiny chip of the original drug (or a bead or two, if it's a capsule containing beads) for a week or two to smooth out the transition. Eventually, you'd take a chip as needed only when you feel a wave of withdrawal from the original drug, and then finally leave the original drug entirely behind. (A gelatin capsule might make a tablet fragment easier to get down, but it is not necessary if you can wash it down with a good swallow of water. The gelatin capsule quickly dissolves in your stomach.) Here's an example. There is no shame in doing this. Whatever works, works.
  5. If anyone can offer me some tapering advice I'd be so grateful, I'm really struggling here. I had severe OCD and Tourette's as a child, I was HEAVILY over medicated (Haldol and a bunch of other toxic ****) and then refused meds for 20+ years but smoked pot daily (so I was self medicating). 3 1/2 years ago my son was born and my OCD got significantly worse. I went to a doctor who put me on Sertraline. I was SO SENSITIVE to it - 2 weeks horrible side effects, 2 weeks lessening side effects, 2 weeks the worst side effects, 1 month lessening, 6 weeks feeling really good (better than before the meds it felt like), then wake up one day and over the next week would start to feel more and more depressed with SI that I'd never had before in my life. Then go up again. This was with 12.5 mg increases. I tried liquid but even a .5 increase would cause the same pattern so I just muscled through on the 12.5 increases. Once I got to 200 mg, the same pooping out would happen after 3 months, and the doctor started talking about 300 or 400 mg. I decided I had to do something else. I started Ketamine IV. The initial round of 6 helped with the mood and OCD a TON. However, in the week following, every day I woke up feeling like my sertraline does had doubled. I was drowning in serotonin (or whatever it was that was happening!). I very quickly dropped down to 150 and then 125 and felt better for a month or two, while getting ketamine IV every 3 weeks. I had 0 side effects from the quick drop, but that probably has something to do with the ketamine. But 3 months later, the same crapping out happened. Just one day I'm sobbing and hitting my head and thinking I don't deserve to be alive. Got a new doctor who thought Prozac might be better with the longer half life. Switched to 40 prozac, barely had any side effects. For 5 weeks thought answers were solved.!Then one day I woke up and it was like I was drowning in serotonin again, worse every day. Eventually it was much worse than even post the ketamine IV. So I went down to 30, but I got pretty sick, felt really bad. In retrospect, this was my first time where lowering ***** with my system. I went back to 40 but I was immediately (well, within 48 hours) snowed again. Talked to doctor who said let's try lexapro. I said, can I switch to lowest dose possible and go up if I need it? She said "sure!" Went to 5 lexapro, tapering VERY fast off the prozac over 3 weeks. That was 6 weeks ago, when hell really started. On 5 lexapro alone I started having horrible side effects after 2-3 weeks. Went up to 7.5 but had INCREASE side effects, went back to 5. At this point every dose change was making me have SI and sobbing, feeling insane, ecetera. Decided, can't do the SSRI this is madness. Found a really wonderful place that does microdosing psylocibin, started that 3 weeks ago. It for sure helps, a lot, especially on the non break days. Switched back to 5 of prozac, I had the smoothest experience on the prozac of the 3, honestly felt like Lexapro was poison to me and I was only on it for 6 weeks, half of which was on prozac. So just went back. Debated going to 5 vs 10, but I really wanted to be on the lower dose, so I did 5. My mood is more stable by the day, but I'm having severe brain zaps pretty much all day long. I found this forum, watched all the suggested videos. I now know to do a liquid tape, 5 to 2.5 to 1.25 to .6 to 0, a month at a time, and I won't even start that taper till I'm a month out from these brain zaps. My question is, given how bad my brain zaps currently are, at 2 weeks on the 5 mg of prozac, should I INCREASE the prozac until the brain zaps stop? If I did this I was thinking maybe go to 10 mg, wait 3 days to see if they stop, if they don't go up to 15, so on and so forth, then once they've stopped, at THAT POINT being the 10% taper per month? OR should I just wait at the 5mg of the prozac and once I'm a month past side effects continue. Overall I wish I could just stay at the 5mg, because I'm already here. But if the zaps could be here a LONG TIME, I just can't take that. And maybe it's too late to go back up? I just don't know. Any advice anyone could offer on the best plan, given where I'm currently at, I'd be so so grateful.
  6. Hi, I just joined and wishing to learn to be away from drugs. I tried to stop my medicine voluntarily but experienced withdrawal symptoms. I resumed medicine but with a low dose of 30mg Cymbalta. I have been taking various medicine since 2011.
  7. Hey everyone, so I decided I'm not going to take my monthly antipsychotic injections anymore. I had it with the side effects and my psychiatrist wasn't supportive to taper me off slowly (he thought I should be on them forever). I know it's not the best decision considering the risks, but I have faith in God and my capability to overcome any side effects. I'm thankful that I didn't face any major withdrawal effects so far (except for whole body soreness for a day or two which was acceptable) and I hope it continues that way. It's almost 2 months from my last injection and the half-life of Invega Sustenna is 25 - 49 days so I definitely crossed it. I don't know if it helped, but I am taking Ratfish liver oil 15 drops twice daily. Now, I wanted to know if it would be a good idea to start taking a natural dopamine/serotonin reuptake inhibitor (Catuaba) to down-regulate my already up-regulated dopamine/serotonin receptors. The reason I suspect they up-regulated is because the Invega I was taking acts as an antagonist at both dopamine and serotonin receptors. I would like to start healing my brain to return to my former intellectual/cognitive state before starting the medication (I suspect I was misdiagnosed with Bipolar to begin with). The extra dopamine could possibly help with the motivation/focus issues as well. Do you think I'd be overloading my brain at this stage? Would the Catuaba cause me to go manic? Any thoughts are welcome (including how to overcome/bounce back/heal after stopping antipsychotics)...
  8. Hi all! I was introduced to this forum by a mental health newsletter, Sluggish (I highly recommend!), at a very opportune time. I have been taking 100mg sertraline for a little over two years now, after moving away from self medicating with diphenhydramine (DPH), an antihistamine that comes as anti-allergy medication (most notably Benadryl) and as over-the-counter sleep-aids, which is how I got them. I'm happy to talk to people about the effects of DPH and how I eventually got off it. I was a minor at the time and was experiencing medical neglect so I can also speak to this topic a bit. I feel like it's often overlooked in conversations about medications of all kinds for minors. I eventually was able to connect with a prescriber and got on sertraline and pretty soon after was taking 100mg. Around the same time I was finally able to get on the birth control pill and that was a miracle drug for me, I was so happy to finally stop suffering through intense and draining menstrual cycles and that in itself really improved my mental health. Now, two years later, I've started thinking of going off my meds for a while, which makes everyone around me nervous. I feel so much better though, now that I'm living at college and I'm out of my home situation. I've had really bad fatigue for the past six month, with no explanation that my doctor could find. Eventually, after reconnecting with my former therapist, we figured out that I was probably experiencing side effects from the sertraline after "outgrowing" it, which was really validating to hear. I'm supposed to see my prescriber to talk about tapering off soon, although I've already started reducing my dose myself because now that I know what's causing my fatigue and emotional numbness, I can't keep taking my full dose and knowingly making myself miserable. Anyway, I'm happy to have found you all and looking forward to talking! -Lavender
  9. Hi all. Since my history with SSRIs is relatively brief (3 years), I felt that tapering would be a piece of cake for me. I started on citalopram 20mg for severe depression in 2019. About a year and a half later I switched to fluoxetine 20mg. In early 2021 I started high dose Vitamin D3 (read—REAL high, no 2000iu child’s play) which did wonders for my mood. It actually did what I expected SSRIs to do. I wanted to wean off almost as soon as I started SSRIs but was terrified to until this April. I weaned over 60 days and boy, oh boy, withdrawal hit me hard. I’m talking insomnia, visual hallucinations, dizziness/balance/coordination issues, confusion and problems focusing, shock and zap sensations in my body and brain, and many others more intermittently. Mostly CNS stuff but if it’s not too much information I had severe diarrhea multiple times every day during the entire tapering process and for weeks afterward. I’m still facing the CNS symptoms daily. All of this caught me off guard and much of what I could find online gave me no validating information that what I was feeling can be normal. After reading many different threads here I feel like I’m not crazy, which is such a relief after feeling isolated from everyone for months. I am curious to ask the group—something odd that I’ve been experiencing in the last few days is paranoia over things that I know are totally outlandish—have any of you experienced paranoia as one of your symptoms? Im also wondering how long your withdrawal symptoms lasted (bonus points if you were on 20mg fluoxetine), months? Years? Just trying to feel out what I’m up against. Good to be here. Callie
  10. Hi, long story but I’ll cut it short. I banged my head accidentally 6 months ago & have spent alot of time alone & bedridden with a brain injury. I’ve had psychotic episodes since then & was diagnosed with either bi-polar or border line personality disorder. i was out on Olanzapine (zyprexa) 2.5mg at first then 5mg & now 7.5mg, I have been on zyprexa for a total of 24 days as of the 20th of July 2022. My anxiety is off the charts - I need to taper off Olanzapine & try Seroquel. Help! How much do I taper each week of the zyprexa & do I take the seroquel while I’m tapering the zyprexa? Thank you for your help bess
  11. Hi everyone this is my first post so please excuse any errors or things I don’t do correctly. I see a lot about inserting signatures but I am not sure how to do this… So this year after 3 years on Prozac (swapping from Seroxat from June 2018) I decided to taper off very slowly because I was in a good place in myself. This was equivalent to one every other day for 1 month and then 1 every two days for another month and so on. This started in June 2021. By September 2021, I felt at the point that the tapering was perhaps enough so stopped approx Sept 15th. I felt I was doing ok but then on 15th November I got Corona and for some reason my system completely got messed up with severe anxiety and on 28th November I reinstated my on the advice of the doctor the Prozac at my usual 20mg - Big mistake. The doctor then gave me 20mg Temazepam for sleep and Oxazepam 10mg for the anxiety and upped me to 30mg Prozac. I stuck this for 2 weeks and the side effects were so bad I dropped back down to 20mg and continued but I had such extreme nausea that I lost 9kg in 6 weeks and this Monday just gone the Psychiatrist has taken me off the Prozac immediately and told me that he will try me on something else after two weeks!!! I’m really scared for more side effects but he said he is not worried about that because it takes such a long time to leave the system. I am in general anxious so worrying about this is also not helping. Do I need to re-add my drug history as I already did this when I registered? I hope for some good advice or reassurance. Thank you
  12. Hello, I was wondering which antipsychotic is best suited for tapering? Regarding tapering dosages and also regarding the neurotransmitters they block. I read on holisticpsychiatrist.com that halperidol is the best to taper off regarding the amount of receptors it blocks. But I'm also struggling with the practicality of the tapering process with liquid forms etc. I was on Quetiapine before while I tapered. The tapering wasn't too difficult, but became unwell and now am on Risperdal. So deciding if I should switch to an antipsychotic that is best suited for my next tapering attempt. Thank you Reign
  13. So I have been tapering off antidepressants for the last year by myself and I am looking for some support. I first was given Lexapro 20 mg about 6 years ago for an anxiety disorder. At the beginning it worked wonders (or so I thought) but after 2 years I started to experience major weight gain and sexual side effects that were unbearable and I decided to get off my medication. I was not informed of any potential withdrawal and ended up tapering way to fast and experienced extreme withdrawal. I ended up going back on the Lexapro and stabilized. After about 4 months I decided to try and get off again but this time I tried a slower taper. I tapered from 20 to 15 mg successfully and then tried from 15 to 10 but the withdrawal was too much. I went back to 15 mg but side effects were really taking a toll on me so I decided to add Wellbutrin. I experienced severe anxiety and could not continue on the Wellbutrin. I tapered off Wellbutrin and the next 2 months were complete hell filled with extreme anxiety. I also started to notice a weird tightness sensation in my stomach that disabled my movement. After 2 months my doctor recommended mirtazapine in addition to the Lexapro. I started to feel great after the addition of the mirtazapine but then after a month out of no where I started feeling extremely anxious and my stomach tightness increased 10 fold. I tried to stay on the medication as I was terrified to go into withdrawal again but after 6 months of the mirtazapine I could not continue. I tried to taper slowly off the mirtazapine and again experienced severe withdrawal and decided to see a psychiatrist (the worst thing I have ever done). She put me on Rexulti in addition to the Lexapro and mirtazapine and I experienced the worst restlessness I have ever felt but the anxiety was slightly reduced. I read online that the restlessness goes away after a while so I continued with the rexulti and the restlessness eventually went away. I then tapered completely off the mirtazapine and my stomach issues resolved slightly. I was still experiencing sexual side effects so my psychiatrist switch me from Lexapro to Vibryd. She told me there were no side effects but I ended up experienced the worst weight gain and sexual dysfunction I have ever experienced. At this point I was so angry and disillusioned I told my psychiatrist off and decided to get off everything. It has been about a year of slowly tapering and every little bit of medication that I get off of the better I feel. That being said I feel as if I am deteriorating mentally. When I do tapers now I start thinking that I am permanently damaged and become suicidal even though I eventually start feeling better every time. I am currently in the middle of a taper and I am feeling pretty hopeless. When I taper I experience a loss of coordination, blurred eye sight, extreme anxiety, stomach tightness that I have started to notice in my spine, suicidal thoughts, slurred speech, headache, and extreme anger. These symptoms describe a condition call Ataxia and I am beyond worried that I have acquired a permanent condition. I know I start to feel better but when I am in severe withdrawal I can't help but worry about permanent damage. I just haven't had enough time of feeling good over the last 6 years to confidently know that I am not permanently damaged. These guys need to pay for what they are doing to people. I hope that this information is used to put a stop to this horrific system.
  14. Hello! I have been taking Effexor for quite a few years. I wanted to start to try to get pregnant with my husband and would like off the medication before trying to conceive. So I began my own research. I came across shocking information about withdrawals! I landed upon a Facebook group for tapering off Effexor and began my journey tapering (see signature) 5% drops every 4 weeks. after reinstating a small amount after a regular 5% decrease (counting beads). I experienced extreme symptoms. Usually I would deal with some nausea and dizziness for a few days after a drop, but this was much more. Trembling, crying, depressed, extreme anxiety and fear, unable to eat. It was so traumatic! Lasting several weeks gradually getting better. So I reinstated 10 beads and leveled out. And experienced a few bad waves monthly until finally levelling out. I have since been good. Functional. I have been able to drop a bead at a time. But at this rate I’ll never come off. I feel stuck. I feel like I won’t be able to ever get off this medication. I don’t know what to do or where to turn. Do I attempt larger drops? Do I give up? I feel so stuck! Each bead drop, I’m ok, generally some brain fog, maybe some heightened anxiety. But I fear going to fast and getting sick again. Any help or guidance would be so appreciated! I take 200mg magnesium, 1000mg omega 3 and tumeric. thank you fellow warriors!
  15. Aka Remeron, Remeronsoltab, Avanza, Axit, Mirtabene, Mirtaz, Mirtazon, Norset, Promyrtil, Remergil, Remergon, Remeron SolTab As with other psychiatric drugs, we recommend trying a 10% taper of mirtazapine per month, based on the last dosage you took. If you get withdrawal symptoms from a 10% taper, go down by smaller amounts. See Important topics in the Tapering forum, particularly why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage A very common withdrawal problem with mirtazapine is rebound insomnia, which reinforces the need for very gradual tapering. From FDA information at http://www.drugs.com/pro/mirtazapine-tablets.html From Malhi, et al 2003 Dual-Action Antidepressants: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Use Per http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00370, Half-life is 20-40 hours. Mirtazapine tablet dosages are 7.5mg, 15mg, 30mg, and 45mg. The "orally disintegrating" version melts in the mouth and is widely available as a generic or brand-name Remeron SolTabs. Reduce by splitting tablets Request that your prescription be filled with the lowest dosage tablets or combination that includes the lowest dosage and split them into quarters for the smallest decrements. (A quarter of a 7.5mg tablet would be 1.875mg.) If you are very sensitive to dosage reductions, you may wish to weigh tablet fragments, see Using a digital scale to measure doses Reduce by titrating a liquid A liquid is easier to measure in order to taper by small amounts using an oral syringe. Unfortunately, mirtazapine liquid is not widely available. In the UK, mirtazapine liquid is available from Rosemont Pharmaceuticals in Leeds. Ingredients of the liquid are here: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/31587. Shelf-life after being opened is 6 weeks. Ordering information is here. Make your own liquid from a tablet To taper, many people make liquids from mirtazapine tablets themselves. While water solubility of mirtazapine is "slight" according to http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00370 you can make a suspension of it yourself with a tablet and water or a pharmaceutical liquid such as Ora-Plus. See How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules (to see the links to the documents mentioned, click on the gray arrow in the upper left of the quote.) Refrigerate the DIY suspension for up to 5 days, then discard. Have a compounding pharmacy make a liquid for tapering Compounding pharmacies can make a liquid from the tablets. You will need a prescription written for the customized drug preparation. The only drawback is this can be quite expensive. While your pharmacy may say the liquid is good for a month, people have noticed potency decreases over that time: Please note the do-it-yourself liquids are kept for less than a week. Reduce by making a liquid with the "orally disintegrating" tablets You may be able to dissolve the orally disintegrating tablets ("Soltabs") in water and use an oral syringe to take a measured dosage. I couldn't find any reports of doing this but, since the orally disintegrating tablet is designed to dissolve in saliva, it seems likely to work. After making the liquid, I would take the dose immediately and discard the rest -- do not count on it keeping for any length of time. For instructions on how to make a liquid, see how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules If you do this and it works, please let us know in this topic. Using a combination of tablets or capsules and liquid Rather than switch directly to an all-liquid dose, you may wish to take part of your dose in liquid and part in lower-dose tablets or capsules, gradually converting to all liquid as you get to lower dosages. This can be very convenient and reduce any problems switching from one form of the drug to another. If your doctor prescribes liquid and tablets or capsules at the same time, most likely, he or she will have to indicate "divided doses" in the prescriptions to get the drugs covered by insurance. Cut up or crush tablets, weigh fragments or powder with a digital scale In principle, this would be a more precise way of tapering than cutting up tablets: Cut up or crush the tablet If crushed, make sure the shell fragments are evenly distributed in the powder Weigh the tablet fragments or powder for a dose with a digital scale If powder, put the powder into an empty gelatin capsule to make it easier to ingest Tapering mirtazapine and venlafaxine or "California rocket fuel" This is a combination of mirtazapine and venlafaxine (Effexor) that has some popularity among psychiatrists, but also can have dangerous side effects. If you are taking this combination, you probably will want to taper the Effexor first with the hope that the remaining mirtazapine will maintain sleep. See About going off mirtazapine plus venlafaxine (Effexor) aka "California rocket fuel"
  16. Hi everyone, My story is this...I began taking SSRI's in 2016 as a college student who didn't know any better. In 2019, I tried for the first time to "taper" off and was met with protracted withdrawal symptoms of horrible anxiety and constant panic attacks. Thinking it was just my own mental health, I went back on sertraline. In 2021, I spoke to my doctor AGAIN about tapering off and tapered off in under a month. This was a horrible idea. I had severe withdrawal symptoms. Living my daily life was unbearable. (I should mention this was a bad time to do this, my mother had recently passed). I had to go back to the sertraline. Now, after years of therapy, I want to try again. My doctor recommended the jump from 75 to 50. While my day to day anxiety isn't unbearable, I have started having multiple panic attacks a day and my heart is beating out of my chest 24/7. I've had 3 EKG's this week. It's terrifying but it gets written off as "anxiety." Even when I tell them I am not anxious when it begins. Has anyone else ever had these symptoms? I have been reading and tomorrow am going to call my doctor about the 10% decrease. I've heard that switching to Prozac will make the taper easier. Anyone have any experience with this?
  17. Last summer (July 2021), I had issues with renewing my Lexapro. As my signature shows, I’ve been on it since 2008. I naively decided to just stop taking it cold turkey. At the time, I was working extremely long hours, so I thought that my mood swings and crying were due to stress and fatigue. To deal with the stress, I occasionally started taking a second dose of alprazolam (I had been taking 0.25 in the am only until that point). I didn’t give it another thought. I had some depression for a few months, but I’ve struggled with depression since I was 16, so it was nothing new. I carried on. The main things I noticed once off the Lex were that I no longer had a voracious appetite, and that I actually ended up feeling a bit less depressed. I started feeling better, so I stopped taking the second dose of alprazolam unless it was really needed for anxiety. All hell broke lose Dec-Feb. In December, I had a recurring UTI. At the end of January, I developed the following symptoms, that progressively got worse: intense head pressure stiff neck and shoulders fullness in ears occasionall tinnitus occasionall vertigo severe TMJ The head pressure was the worst. It felt like my brain was being squeezed out of my skull. I went to emerg and was told it was a tension headache. I’m also in perimenopause, so my mood swings were attributed to that. Needless to say, I thought something was severely wrong with me and my anxiety ramped up. I once again started taking a second dose of alprazolam. It didn’t do much, but it helped me relax a little bit and not worry so much that I had a brain tumour or something. (I recently had an MRI and it came back normal). I started researching, and my symptoms seemed to align with benzo tolerance. I started to taper the alprazolam on my own. I had a very bad reaction to cutting my pm dose from 0.25 to 0.125, so I was advised to go back to 0.25 twice daily (I never stopped taking 0.25 in the am) in order to “stabilize”. Against my better judgment, I did so. Unfortunately, I had maybe 2 days where I felt almost normal, but then it was like I had hit a wall. The benzo takes the edge off slightly, but I feel sick most of the time. I could barely keep my head upright and needed to lie down constantly. The 2 hours before my second dose were the worst. This is what is known as interdose withdrawal. Because of this, I was advised to follow the Ashton method and crossover to diazepam, as it is longer acting. I am currently doing this. It is extremely difficult and my only peace is the 5 hours of sleep I get a night. It does help with the interdose withdrawal somewhat, but I definitely feel the decrease of the alpraz. Now I’m wondering if my cold turkey from escitalopram (Lexapro) is the root of everything. I didn’t make the connection before. Why, I dont know. Obviously, I still intend to taper off the alprazolam, but is it possible that I foolishly did this to myself? Can it take months for severe withdrawal symptoms to appear? Did I do damage to my brain by this cold turkey? Is it possible that my being on Wellbutrin and alprazolam helped “cushion” the withdrawal? Is my benzo taper going to be more difficult because of it? Would reinstating the Lexapro after all this time help? My Dr has suggested it I have other questions, such as how to taper the Wellbutrin when it’s an XL, but I want to focus on the other stuff first. I’m scared and angry at myself for what I’ve done. I can’t change it, so am looking for insight and support. Thank you for reading.
  18. Hi everyone. I am hoping to get some much needed (and very much appreciated) advice on my situation. As you see, I had been on Sertraline for almost 2 years, or around the two year mark, before I began a too fast taper in 2016 which lead to my withdrawal syndrome in September 2016. My doctor had me taper in 6 weeks completely off Sertraline, jumping off at 25mg and not even tapering the 25mg, just cold turkeying the 25 per his instruction. Well, I was feeling some withdrawal symptoms, I just didn't realize what they truly meant, and my doctor had told me not to worry 'they will clear up in a few weeks" well they didn't really clear up, but actually got worse two-three months later. I want to make this as short as possible so it is easy to read, but long story short, I ended up reinstating Sertraline at 12.5mg first week, at the same time tapering the 30mg of buspirone my doctor had tried to test out on me for almost two weeks. Each week, he upped my dose of Sertraline during my reinstatement, until I reached 57mg and my body rejected anything above the 57mg. However, I did not know anything about withdrawal or tapering back then, and realize that I was put on way too high of a dose for reinstatement. This has me very scared and very anxious, I try hard not to be, and most of it is likely neuro related, but I wonder what I can do if I feel it's too high? I've got the anhedonia, but I've had this since December, and it actually was brought on more or less by my doctor trying to put me back up to 75mg, maybe that was just a coincidence, but I am not so sure. Each adjustment of the sertraline left me with worsened insomnia, worsened panic, trembling and what I can only describe as body jolts every morning for four months straight. And trying to sleep at night I felt like I was having seizures almost, where my body would jolt me awake just as I was drifting off to sleep, heart would be racing, fear and panic would run rampant and worsen in the morning. I still have mild teeth chattering every morning and especially when the anxiety or stress comes on. I reinstated pretty quick, where I reinstated as soon as my withdrawal symptoms started getting worse, I didn't wait it out even though I really wanted to. I didn't want to go back on the medication after what it had done to me, but didn't know what else to do. Then, everyone I trusted, my doctor especially, had me convinced I had developed several new mental disorders in a matter of three days. I was so so scared, and my anxiety was through the roof. I really stressed myself out a lot trying to figure out "what was wrong with me" because I did not know at the time. On top of that I had the professionals I trusted assuring me it was my "symptoms coming back" (they actually said that right after I already told them I never ever had these symptoms before in my life, not even one of them.) Then I happened to find SA, during my research into my symptoms and the ssri I was taking. I learned a lot in one night, and my jaw dropped. My gut had been telling me all this time it was the drug, it was withdrawal. But I ignored it and listened to the "experts" instead. HUGE MISTAKE!! Now I am stuck in a situation that makes me fear for the future, and not sure what I can do now that I am back on a higher dose. If I would've known better, I would not have allowed my doctor to titrate me up so high. I would've sat at the lowest possible dose, even the 12.5mg. My withdrawal symptoms had really settled down a lot for the last two or three months now though. My appetite came back, libido came back, depression lifted almost instantly upon reinstatement, the anxiety and panic took a while to lift but that has really settled down a ton and only sporadically (maybe lasting a second or two) I'll feel a blip of panic and anxiety (typically when under a lot of built up stress), and my biggest gripe for withdrawal symptoms as of now is the anhedonia, but even that was beginning to lift where I'd get moments of joy or contentment or my interests peaking through the veil of anhedonia. My sleep actually went back to normal in the last week or two, and I haven't been waking with the dread or anxiety for the past three months now, and I have been feeling pretty good except now I got back into this wave and I think it's because I'm stressing over tapering and my dosage after what I read last night. I read on SA someone said that being on too high a reinstatement dose can permanently damage your brain, where you will never heal from it. So I am really scared... I really need advice or wisdom on where to go from here. At this point, I worry I'll always feel this way and I'll never recover any further than where I currently am. I'd be fine if I felt somewhat normal, where I could handle the withdrawal symptoms temporarily until they pass, and I do admit that on my better days I certainly can handle them. But I feel like reinstatement was pointless or worse for me than just muscling through the withdrawals after what I read about high dose reinstatement. I feel like A) it's going to take forever just to stabilise on this dose and B it's going to be painful trying to taper when the time comes, due to that I may have permanently damaged my brain with my reinstatement. I guess what I am wondering now is, do I stay on this dose and wait for the anhedonia to completely go away, or how do I know when I am ready to begin tapering? At this point I am just feeling very confused and afraid about my dose and tapering in the future. I feel lost. I'd really appreciate any help! Thank you!
  19. Hi everyone, I am taking Effexor for chronic pain not depression. On Effexor for 10 years, half of those years on 112.5mg the other half 150mg Started reducing a year ago February 2012 - 150mg March 2012 - 131mg April 2012 - 112.5mg July 2nd 2012 - 92mg July 23rd - chronic pain got worse October 21st - started 75mg (chronic pain flare up subsided and has been stable ever since) November 16th - 56mg December 11th - 37.5mg January 5th, 2013 - 19mg January 22nd, 2013 - 22.5mg January 23rd, 2013 - 37.5mg January 24th, 2013 - 30mg From November 16th when I dropped to 56mg up to January 22nd the withdrawal effects gradually got worse. Prior to this I experienced no withdrawal effects. On January 22nd when I increased the dosage to 22.5mg I was trying to decrease the withdrawal effects because they were getting too strong. The small increase had no effect. On the following day when I increased to 37.5mg after an hour and 45 minutes the withdrawal effects got significantly worse. I went to my family Doctor (who was much more knowlegeable than I thought) and he recommended taking 30mg. Today I feel slightly better than yesterday but still not as good as when I was on 19mg. I'm wondering if I should stay at 30mg or should I decrease to maybe 25mg since I felt better at 19mg and I was on 19mg for 2 and half weeks? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Best of health to everyone! Thank you!
  20. Hey everyone, i’m new to the website.I’m so glad i’ve found it now that i’m ready to taper. I’m sorry if i’m posting in the wrong topic. I’m being prescribed citalopram 20mg around 7months ago and i’m now ready to taper off as i feel theyhave already stopped working, and i want to do it with the 10% method. I’m currently taking tablets of 20mg(weight 0.18 g). Would it be better/easier switching to the liquid or i can make it with the tablet?should i crash it or dilute it in water? Did anyone experience bad withdrawals even using this method? Thank you so much for your help🙂
  21. Greetings, My drug history on my profile doesn't list past meds I've taken. I was for some reason thinking it just meant current meds. I've been on a TON of different antipsychotics, antidepressants, benzos, and ADHD meds starting with childhood. I fast tapered Effexor in 2015 with disasterous results. I ended up checking myself into a psych hospital and was misdiagnosed as "manic." (I don't accept that diagnosis). Then came the cascade of antipsychotics and anticonvulsants. Seroquel, Latuda, Abilify, Trileptal, Depakote). I switched from one to another due to adverse effects. I reinstated Effexor long term and was convinced that's just "how I was" and feared life without it. Any time I describe withdrawal symptoms to doctors, I get the "well withdrawal is mild and lasts 1-2 weeks, so the symptoms you're experiencing are your illness." I would include drugs I've been on in my signature, but there is just too many. I FINALLY did what the medical community failed to do and recognized my difficulties in coming off Effexor were withdrawal. I am so upset and angry that modern medicine has failed me. Nobody caught this when they should have. I'm just done with the side effects of antidepressants. I've been able to get off most meds (it was hell coming off seroquel, let me tell you). I've had a hard time with antidepressants in particular. And it seems many of the diagnosis they made have been false. But Effexor has been awful. The lower doses were brutal. I struggled hard to get to 20mg and I just can't go anymore. About 4 months ago I failed to bridge to Prozac. My doc put me on 5mg Prozac in addition to my 20mg Effexor to let it "ramp up." He did not reduce the Effexor while doing this (I've been on Prozac before and found it activating). I began feeling very unwell; agitated, anxious. I felt over activated. Like I was on overload. I was even running a fever which went away after I stopped the Prozac. Doc said I was probably "catching a bug." He wouldn't acknowledge that hey, maybe that combo was a little toxic. Can such a reaction even happen at such low doses? I dont even know. Eh, anyway, that's my story. Doing my best not to feel hopeless. I hope I havent permanently messed myself up with all these med trials. I get especially anxious when people talk about sensitization and kindling, because if it's happened to anyone, it's me. That prospect makes me feel hopeless. I hope I can get off these drugs eventually. I dont want to be a lifer. I want my life back. My therapist suggested a medical detox going cold turkey. I'm like, idk anyone who will do a 6 month detox, Cheryl. And there aren't enough benzodiazepines in the world to control my withdrawal panic attacks. I've visited this site before. I'll have to try to condense my drug history as much as possible for my signature.
  22. VIDEO CLIP: Mark Horowitz explaining SERT occupancy (the whole video is worth watching) Also see this post which has a simple explanation. ___________________________________ ADMIN NOTE 17 March 2019 A scientific paper has been published based on the hypothesis put forward in this topic, see Horowitz, 2019 Tapering of SSRI treatment to mitigate withdrawal symptoms NY Times article about Lancet tapering study: How t Quit Antidepressants: Very Slowly, Doctors Say To search for whether there is a serotonin transporter occupancy study for your medication, google the generic name of the drug with this other search terms: 5HTT occupancy If you find a paper, please post the both the name of the medication and a link to the paper, such as 2016-July-01, Cymbalta (duloxetine) MMarie Found this paper on dose and 5HTT occupancy of duloxetine. Takano, 2005 A dose-finding study of duloxetine based on serotonin transporter occupancy The site, academia.edu, requires login: Link to screen shot of dose-occupancy and dose-plasma concentration curves 2016-November-12, Anafranil (clomipramine) and Luvox (fluvoxamine) Suhara, 2003 High levels of serotonin transporter occupancy with low-dose clomipramine in comparative occupancy study with fluvoxamine using positron emission tomography. Link to study on occupancy vs. dose Link to chart of occupancy-dose relationship A simple explanation: The Last Psychiatrist has an amusing essay on SERT saturation with this illustration for citalopram: Hi, I thought I'd share this as it's quite relevant, not 100% sure if this is the right subforum, will post in both this and research. PDF of American Journal of Psychiatry article or Summary and excerpts from study in the Journals forum of survivingantidepressants The pretty pictures are from page 4 onwards in the PDF. (Admin note: Pretty pictures here. See this post for graph of "perfect" 10% taper of previous dose with 4 week holds) What these fellows did here, was attempt to measure serotonin transporter occupancy at various doses for 5 different drugs. (Zoloft, celexa paxil, effxor and Prozac, not in that order). They fit curves for both the oral doses and blood concentrations. Long story short for anyone who doesn't know, SSRI’s ‘work’ by binding to the serotonin transporter protein (SERT) and stopping it doing it’s normal thing (reuptake of post-synaptic serotonin), resulting in serotonin hanging around for longer. Now a couple of interesting things: -at minimum therapeutic doses in every case, there was about 80% SERT occupancy. That shocked me personally. Even the minimum doses are locking down 80% of your brains reuptake ‘capacity’. Higher doses do more but it’s obviously not linear – they actually have plotted curves, and they’re quite a good fit statistically, particularly for the blood concentrations. Really good in fact. Point here though is that there’s a long way between 0% at no drug and 80% at the minimum dose. -the curves man, look at the curves. This gives a fairly good indication of why some people find tapering necessary. You NEED a percentage taper just to get a linear decrease in SERT occupancy. Linear decreases in dose will actually hit you with exponentially increasing drops in SERT occupancy, particularly drops between the minimum therapeutic dose and 0 Basically, this paper provides a real basis for percentage reductions in dose when discontinuing SSRI’s. I realize I'm kinda preaching to the converted and telling people what they already know, but it seems there may actually be a real reason why some people find it necessary to do these percentage tapers to get off SSRI's. Caveat: I have no idea what the relationship between SERT occupancy and post synaptic serotonin is, it’s probably not linear since if it was higher doses would have basically no effect, but this is nevertheless very interesting to look at. They were only looking at one part of the brain but pointed out it correlated strongly to elsewhere. GRAPHS - both graphs start at 100mg dose for the period 1 January 2019 to October 2022. Note the difference in the "jump to 0" dates. The following shows a HYPERBOLIC taper of 10% every 4 weeks. This shows tapering from 100mg to 0mg, but the curve would be the same for any starting dose. The following shows a LINEAR taper of 10% of starting dose every 4 weeks.
  23. Topic title: 20 to 18mg duloxetine is harder than 30 to 20mg Hi there I spent most of last year on 30mg of duloxetine (20 years of depression generally pretty well managed by medication - lots of different ones). Having started meditating regularly in the summer which I've kept up along with regular exercise - I was feeling pretty good so went down to 20mg around November. I had no problems at all. Even with christmas and an operation to deal with! 2 weeks ago, I started following the guidance on this site on tapering duloxetine and used ball counting and gelatine capsules to taper to 18mg. It's been very hard. Tears and irritability. I haven't been like this in a long time. Why would it be harder to go from 20mg to 18 that it was from 90 to 60 , 60 to 30 or 30 to 20?? It doesn't seem right. I've booked to the see the psychiatrist next week because my family are a bit alarmed and worried. But he is very pro medication. I don't think he'll be happy about my plans. But now I know duloxetine is so hard to come off, I want off it more than ever! I would not be completely against starting something else additionally to see me through but I know Prozac is often preferred and it has a bad effect on me s isn't an option. I so grateful if you've taken the time to read this!
  24. Hey all, first post here. I am so glad to have discovered this site. For 3.5 years I’m sitting here wondering what’s wrong with me and why doctors keep telling me it’s all in my head (I KNOW I’m not fabricating this stuff) only to discover my symptoms are legitimate, validated and real. And shared by many other fellow survivors. I spent many years feeling alone and hopeless. Not anymore. So yeah, I was on very high doses of a hormone that has anti-depressant effects for 6-7 years. After coming off 3.5 years ago, my cognition/ concentration/ brain function and memory were destroyed. No energy, have severe insomnia, tinnitus, anxiety. Live in constant brain fog, derealization/depersonalization, had to quit school, work, lost friends and relationships… basically stopped living. Don’t recognize myself or my life anymore, let alone friends and family. My naturally outgoing, extrovert, colorful and comedic personality became dry, flat, apathetic, anhedonic, agoraphobic, introverted, recluse. I feel brain dead. And dead, in general. Also noticed extreme sensitivities to foods (usually high histamine/fermented/high fodmap) which could send my brain on a trip equivalent to LSD. I have tried everything but nothing really works. What worked last month doesn’t this month. There’s 0 stability. I find I’m sensitive to most supplements. Currently on a decent regime- including fish oil and magnesium. I went to so many doctors (to no avail). They put me on various ADs (which I think made everything worse.) Couldn’t stay on more than a few months. But I find myself torn. Seems that when I’m on them, I want to be off. And when I’m not on them, I want to be on. It’s like I have 0 capacity for decision making and executing functioning. I’m currently tapering off Zoloft. I don’t know what else to do anymore… So 3+ years like this with very little improvement. I need help. I don’t know what to do, where to go, where to turn. I feel completely lost. I had goals for my life and now I consider it a success if I get out of bed and make food. Tell me. Does it ever get any better? Or is this just my life now? Is there hope for me? Should I go back on ADs or try and heal without them? Please help me. I need to hear a success story. Thanks for reading and for your advice. I value it so much. Blessings.
  25. I took Ativan since march 2020, I just began tapering since 2 month, (after a try 6 months a go). I get very intense waves of anxiety but what bothers me is the chest pain (left side most of time). I went to cardiologist twice, they said you heart is okay but I keep get very anxious because of it. Does anyone relate to that?? Thanks
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