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  1. Hi guys, I’m new but I have been reading a lot and this seems to be really good info. Especially the stuff I read from Altostrata. My story: i took escitalopram for 4.5 month, the last month being an accelerated taper bc lexapro never worked in the least for me and looking back now I believe it gave me akathisia when I increased to 20mg. Anyway, about 3 weeks after I hit 0mg, after the physical stuff subsided, I got hammered with emotional turmoil and I’m pretty sure the akathisia came back 5 fold. I couldn’t sit still, horrible anxiety followed by depressive fits that seemed to cycle and sadness/hopelessness. It almost seemed like I was bipolar and thus I ended up on lamictal a month ago. I can sit still now but Im still emotionally wrecked. Mainly I just can’t quit hyperfocusing on how bad I want to feel normal and be off this stuff. I started questioning everything and researching on my own. I now believe it was just lexapro withdrawal I was dealing with and now I’m on lamictal at 50mg. I did 25 mg for 2 weeks and have since been on 50mg for around 31 days total. What do you guys recommend for me in terms of a taper. I don’t want to compound the ssri withdrawal with another medicine. note: I also take 50mg of trazodone to sleep bc it’s been the only way I could get any sleep for this entire process. Thanks in advance, J
  2. Hello all, I was put on Lamictal and had severe neck and back pain, and constant palpitations. The veins in my forehead were bulging. I actually thought I was having a heart attack or something, but the ER visit proved otherwise. I went against my gut and listened to my Dr. to stay on this medication. Three weeks into it I starting having panic attacks--well, actually, just a feeling of intense impending doom. I couldn't feel good about anything. Everything scared me and worried me, and I couldn't sit still or relax. Me and my Dr. thought it was from Effexor withdrawal, and would pass. So I kept taking the Lamictal, though only 12.5 mg because I was so sensitive to it. It was weird though: I would get that feeling for a few hours at apparently random times of the day, then it would seem to randomly go away and I'd feel okay. Sometimes it would last most of the day; other times it seemed to be for days. Sometimes it would happen every day, or every three days. It seemed to go in waves, or cycles that lasted 3-5 days. Anyone experience this?! I haven't read much about this or heard any good answers for any doctors. PLEASE tell me if you've had this. The waves seemed to diminish after 2 months, and I had a week or so of feeling pretty decent. Then I got into a serious car accident that caused me to be near-panic almost all the time. Two months go by and it seemed to improve, but by that point I realized it was not the Effexor (regardless of my Dr.'s opinion), and started going down on Lamictal. Long story short, it's been three months of doing down. I went from 12.5 to 8, and that was pretty rough with the typical skin-crawling, fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and of course the awful panicky feeling. I tried to settle there and see if the panicky feeling would go away once the withdrawals stopped. It was better two months later, but still present. So I decided to get all the way off of it and went down to 7, then started using liquid suspension going down 2.5 mg. every three days. That went well until I got down to 4 mg., which is when the panicky sensations (from withdrawal) came back super intense. So I took a break for two weeks, then proceeded to go down 1 mg. every three days. That lasted for two weeks. Now I'm down to 3.2, going down .1 every 4-5 days. I'm hoping to get off of this awful drug before March, which is when my pregnant wife is due. The pharmacist I have been working with has been helpful. He's a compound pharmacist, and really knowledgeable. He's put me on CBD, which has helped. He says he's helped dozens of people get off of Lamictal, and he claims CBC has helped all of them. So I'm doing it. Anyone else tried this? There is some stuff on the internet about CBD with psychiatric medication withdrawal. I've only been doing it for two or three week, but it seems to be helping; though it's hard to know how much because things are so unpredictable for me with this withdrawal (symptoms change in type and degree on a daily and weekly basis). Has anyone experienced different withdrawals as they got lower? I have do go down 3.2 mg to .5, at which point the pharmacist said I should start doing the every-other-day type of titration. Guess we'll see.
  3. Hi all - so so I tried to withdraw from 2.5 paxil while increasing my zoloft from 25 to 50. What a disaster! The 50 zoloft made me manic so I went back down to 25 but went off the 2.5 paxil in two weeks. Pure chaos ensued with crazy agitation and insomnia and practically convulsions! then I went down to 12.5 zoloft and after 5 days the crying began. Reinstated to 25 and feeling the reinstatement effects. Just wanted to connect with others!
  4. Hi friends this is JB, I have a specific question for those of you out there in regards to heightened sensitivity to sound. Does anyone have any experience with antidepressant induced sensitivity to sound? I experienced a couple of years of severe reactivity to sound, inability to filter noise and converse, loud noises and certain music intrusive. Was getting a physical respnse to sound felt as real as being slapped in the face. Fast forward to now a year later slowly tapering off celexa my mind is clearer i am better able to think and cope with sound sensitivity. However, I still have this overreaction to sound where I perceive volume on just about anything to be intolerable and too loud. I often try to calm myself with my music. This works often except for the lower frequencies that “intrude” and can be heard and felt through headphones. Does this ring a bell with anyone?
  5. I had the first manic and psychotic break at 2006, I was 28, mother of a small child. I was admitted to the ER and given a high dose of olanzapine and mood stabilizer, sleeping pills. I don't even remember those first few days, I was locked in a psych ward without any visit from a psychiatrist for 3 weeks. Then I begged to go home (still psychotic but they didn't know) and they let me go home, where I continued the treatment, although I was feeling really unwell, desperate even. With time I got better, then went to a private psychiatrist that put me on quietapine and a mood stabilizer. I took the meds 2 years, struggling to lead a normal life. My brain wasn't functioning well, I felt incapacitated. I managed to find a job but I wasn't happy there to put it mildly and even though I was taking the meds I ended up manic and psychotic again, I divorced my husband, the police went to get me at work to take me to the hospital... This time they didn't commit me and I ended up taking arpiprazol, sleeping pills, and maybe a mood stabilizer. I lost the job, went into depression, but I found the doctor that still is my doctor today. He took me off aripriprazol when he could and I started taking lamotrigine. I never sought a job again because I felt humilliated by the whole situation, I eventually got together with my husband because our separation was all due to my mental health problems at the time. I stayed home with a lot of trauma and low self-esteem for 5 years but with no symptoms. My husband gor me a part time job in his company and that's what I do now. But in 2015 my doctor went to another hospital and I got a new one. I didn't dislike her, I had a crisis that year and after depression. I was put on olanzapine and sleeping pills, and when the olanzapine was over the sleeping pills remained so my brain got addicted to them. She gave me an antidepressant that got me manic and I was miserable, I decided to take matters in my own hands. I quit the antidepressants and the sleeping pills, changed my diet, started exercising (I was fat from the drugs) and lost 15kg while trying to control my mania with olanzapine but I didn't take enough and had another crisis, this was 2017. I was committed and took a huge dose of olanzapine and all the other meds again, the doctor told me that medication was for life and I nodded. As soon as I got out of the hospital sought out my actual psychiatrist that followed me in 2009. I said I wanted the least ammount of meds possible. I started making a very detailed diary of meds and symptoms and slowly got off of everything but olanzapine. He thought I should take preventively 5mg everyday but that dose makes me less human, so I went down to 2.5mg and he was very pleased with how I functioned although I was in a bad depression. In last May the depression finally lifted and I started exercising more and lost 10kg that meanwhile I had got from olanzapine. This winter I'm reducing even more olanzapine, my plan is to wean it off and try another antipsychotic in the spring doesn't mess with my sleep. I'm sleeping badly and having anxiety but I don't want this med anymore, or at least not take it everyday. It's a long story, I started trusting the doctors and doing everything they said but today I'm way more critical. Everyone is surprised when I say the little I take. My seasonality is also something peculiar, I don't get manic or psychotic in autumn of winter so I'm weaning off now. I'll get there eventually, wish me luck.
  6. I am in the midst of Lamictal withdrawal and it isn't going so well past couple of weeks. Was only doing 10% drops and when withdrawal symptoms passed would drop again. Thinking about going back up a couple of mg to stave off these awful effects? Am on 40mg, down from 45mg a fortnight ago but this drop has been absolutely awful :-( Not sure whether to go back up the full 5mg or just 2-3mg being that I am a fortnight into that. Only held the 45mg for a couple of weeks though because I was doing pretty well at that point. Am having panic attacks just sitting at home and it is reminding me of a past Zoloft withdrawal which was horrid!!
  7. Hello all. I'm 2 months off benzos after 7 years daily use (prescription) and after a hell of a 2.5 year taper. I've been on sertraline since 2006 starting at 100mg, however, during the benzo taper I got myself down to 37.5mg. The lamotrigine was added at the end of the benzo taper to help me finally jump off, to prevent seizures, ease my mind, whatever, etc. I was at 75mg at the beginning of the year and started tapering this month and am now down to 50mg. I could go into more detail about everything, but basically I'm extremely sensitive to these medicines and I need some advice and support on the best way to get off of the sertraline and lamotrigine, when to start, what method to use, etc. I'm very familiar with all the different kinds of tapering from just having got off benzos and trying nearly every method in an attempt to find anything that would work out better. Please let me know your thoughts on tapering these final 2 medicines and which to go for first. Thanks guys!
  8. Hi All, I'm feeling so fortunate to have stumbled upon this site. I've read several books, research papers, and blogs over the past two months. I haven't had a chance to do a signature or proper intro yet, but will get to that as soon as I can. I'm tapering prozac and lamictal and down to 20 mg and 150 mg, respectively, and so far so good. There are weird symptoms that I wonder if others have experienced and will get to that later. Right now I'm wondering if anyone has found something to ease the alcohol cravings? While the prozac was at 40 mg beginning of August, and it's down by half, I feel like such a lush still. While it is a relief to know it's probably due to the bleeping prozac, I don't want to keep drinking a 6 pack of 9% beer on weekend nights...sometimes during the week too. Thank you in advance for any info you can provide.
  9. I’ve been taking anti-depressants and a mood stabilizer for 20+ years. I want to wean off duloxetine first. I’ve experienced horrible withdrawal symptoms when I failed to get a refill about 3 years ago. After about 2 days not taking duloxetine I was in full blown withdrawal and it was a flipping nightmare. That experience led me to believe I would never be able to not use the drug. I am to the point of being tired of dry mouth, dry eye, constipation and sweating. This may not be a good time to wean as I’m planning my daughter’s wedding for next fall and going to school part time. I will be 59 in 2018. Finding this forum is a godsend for me and hope I can be active even if I’m unable to start a taper right away. I’m really scared that I will never feel like the self I was before taking these drugs. I’m not even sure if I remember, which is even scarier and causes some anxiety if I focus on it too much. Thanks.
  10. Moderator note - link to benzo forum thread - Hibari: Swtich from Ativan to Clonazapam Hi, I have been Remeron since April 2014 reaching a dosage between 37.50-41.25 I also have been on Lamictal since September 2014 reaching a dosage of 200mg. I began a taper of the Remeron with my psychiatrists knowlege, I think at the end of February/March? Hard to remember with my somewhat foggy brain. I am now down to 28.125-tapering at about 10% for each cut. My withdrawal has follwed a specific pattern. I make the cut, feel some nausea but okay, then after about 2-3 weeks have a crash, depression, crying, and anxiety. Then I pop through and move into a more stable period. I think I let myself stabilize for about 10 days and then make another drop. My question is about starting a slow Lamictal withdrawal at the same time. I may be overeacting but when I read about what Lamictal can do to the brain, along with other antidepressants, I want to start the taper now. I do have some professional obligations happening over the next few months but I don't want to stop my progress. I like many others I have read am very impatient about getting off these medictions. They served their purpose to help me after a long stressful period of caretaking-7 years-and then the death of my mom 2 1/2 years ago. Any thoughts or experience about taper from two drugs at the same time. Thanks. Hibari 28.125 Remeron 200mgs Lamictal
  11. Hi guys, So here I am after being off antids for about 6 months, having tapered too quickly and suffering the consequences. I was latterly taking Citalopram 30mg, Lamotrigine 150mg and Venlafaxine 75mg. Summer 2015 I was officially diagnosed with major depression, which had obviously been there for a long, long time but had at that time got particularly bad. This was due to psychological issues, alcohol and drug abuse but wouldn't shift despite years of work fixing these. Now I know the long term citalopram use was probably making the depression worse. Around that time I saw 4 different psychologists and got 4 different opinions on how to recover/which meds to take. This of course was a ridiculous situation so I took matters into my own hands, taking what I thought was the 'best' advice and integrating it with my own research and experience . Following the 'advice' of one of the psychiatrists I added 75mg of Venlafaxine to the Citalopram and Lamotrgine. At the same time I'd heard about l-methylfolate so gradually ramped up to 15mg daily with b-6 and b-12. I know starting 2 things at once is not advisable but I was desperate and could hardly function. Within a couple of weeks something kicked the worst of the depression into touch which was a massive relief. After a couple of months on the 3 med cocktail the side effects were really starting to get to me so it was time to get off this stuff. Yes, I know, I did it all too quickly which is why I am where I am now....I should have listened more closely to the advice here :-) Hoping for a little advice and encouragement about my nervous system which in the last 3 months or so has got worse even though I stopped all meds 6 months ago. The lamotrigine taper had me shouting angrily at my wife a number of times - the intensity of the rage was incredible but passed quite quickly. She was very brave to be able to get through that! Citalopram taper was surprisingly easy. The final stages of the Venlafaxine withdrawl was tricky. I was down to 1 bead and if I didn't take it within a few hours I'd get head zaps, restless legs etc. At some point I had to stop so I did and put with these symptoms for a week or so. After all this I was however very fatigued which has improved to an acceptable level over the last 3 months. The fatigue was probably also due to recovering from the major depression. Right now I have anxiety issues, very easily stressed/snappy, can't sleep more than 5 hours a night and impossible to catch up with sleep during daytime as on the verge of dropping off I wake with intense terror/fear. Often trouble breathing properly, tight stomach and I am very sensitive to noise, light and touch. I also have panic attacks when the stress is high in my life. These have been occurring for a long time though and haven't really changed with changes in meds. Having done years of therapy and some bodywork I know that these are physical symptoms and I have quite a healthy psychological make up. I also do a lot of things to look after my physical and mental health which I won't go into here. On the plus side, I don't have the general low mood caused by taking Citalopram for years, blurred vision, muscle tightness, sexual problems, cognition and memory problems, sense of not being fully present + other well known side effects from these meds. I am having thoughts about re-introducing a very small amount of Citalopram or Venlafaxine - not sure which one of these is causing the nervous system issues - probably both. I'm aware that the likelihood of this helping after 6 months is low, but I'm willing to try to alleviate symptoms. Advice on this is very welcome! As my name suggests, I do finally feel alive after 16 years on these meds - something about taking them was just not 'right'. Even though I'm suffering right now I'd rather be here. I hope this gives some encouragement to others and also serves as a warning about what happens when you taper too quickly! Thanks to mods and users alike for this wonderful resource. Cheers
  12. StillSinging

    My journey to be off psych drugs

    I always took my medication without thinking really. I had a psychotic episode (due to insomnia, stress, and anxiety most likely) after Christmas in 2007. I was 13. I had been taking Lexapro for a few months. My M.D. prescribed it for me. I don't quite remember why. I think I might probably have been depressed and anxious. I only now realize that taking the Lexapro could very well have caused the insomnia and resultant delusions. Anyway, I had a breakdown. I was seen by a psych. She (Dr. S.) prescribed Lamotrigine. It seemed to quell the delusions. I was back at school, medicated and delusion free. Over the years I developed fatigue, irritability, and apathy. I kept taking the drugs. For fatigue, I was prescribed Bupropion (Wellbutrin). I can't remember if it helped or not. I did develop hypomanic episodes at some point which further supported my bipolar 2 diagnosis. I would also have bouts of depression. Not the crying kind. Just apathy and mild anhedonia. I say mild because I still did some things I loved such as piano, art, singing. I did eventually lose my passion for art though. It showed up now and then sometimes. I always was told by my mother "It will get better", and "It won't always be this way." It didnt comfort me much. Though, looking back, it did get better. Eventually. It took around a decade. But I'm not off meds yet. I moved with my parents to a smaller comfy house in 2014 and joined our local Orthodox Church, met some loving, supportive people and made a really good friend. It did get better. But I still didn't know that there was an alternative for taking medication. I took my meds. I needed them. Or I thought I did. So did my mother. Now, my mother really has been with me all way. She's taking psych drugs too since I was in first grade for depression and anxiety. I went to 2 mental institutes. Thankfully never the hospital psych ward. I know a lot of you on here have been. From what I hear it's not fun and can be traumatic. I remember the people I met at the institutes. Broken, struggling people trying to get by and looking for a little hope. I connected with them. I still miss them and hope they're still fighting. I have a long story so I'll cut it up some in chunks. This is my first post. I'll write later about my experience at college (traumatic) and other things. I have some funny memories too so I'll put those in there as well. Don't give up! Anyone's welcome to share their experiences and stories too. -StillSinging
  13. Hi all - new to the forum and very grateful for the members who are walking the path to get off these SSRI. I was always depressed as a child and was prescribed Lexapro in 2003. 2004: Prescribed Cipramil instead of Lexapro after going hypomanic for 6 months, and lamictal to stablise. Got diagnosed with bipolar II... 2014: Came off lamictal with no issues, stablised using a buttload of coconut oil to stablise and a paleo diet. 2004-Dec 2015 - 5mg Cipramil once a day. Noticed that Cipramil stopped working from mid 2015 and decided to stop (only lasted a week) with severe WD symptoms - dizziness, diarraha, flu like symptoms, anxiety, OCD thoughts etc.... 20 Dec 2015 - 2.5mg Cipramil a day hoping to taper by 10% per period, depending on tolerance. Am feeling kinda ambitious and want to go down 10% once a week but will most likely fall on my face, which is fine too. Been doing really well this week - I can feel below my belly button and my sex drive is coming back! Went on a boat and did want to die (One of the side effects was painful sex and really crap at travelling on boats/cars/bus). But am feeling really tired alot and a little dizzy, nothing to write home about. Need some help fro other more experience members with WD.... Q1: A friend of mine is trying to convince to try Kambo - anyone tried this? I am really skeptical and don't think I am up for it as am feeling abit fragile and in addition to being depressed I have fairly constant inflammation (eczema), never mind its like $140 per treatment (!!) http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/from-bedbound-to-fit-and-able-in-14-days-effects-of-the-amazonian-medicine-kambo-on-a-cfs-patient.22952/page-4 Q2: Also read about the prozac bridge which seems like alot less trouble, I am seeing my shrink in January should I ask for this to try? Since I have never even had prozac (I have only ever had SSRIs) so not sure?
  14. Greetings all, Around July of last year i suffered a direct blow to the temple (by far the worst pain I've ever felt in my life) which lead to me having a concussion, shortly after that I smoked what I thought was weed with my roommates but it turned out to be a drug called Spice. These two events led to me having hallucinations one day and I checked myself into a hospital. Long story short they didnt diagnose me with anything they just doped me up with 8 different medications some of the ones i can remember are Abilify, Depakote, Risperdone, Zyprexa, Ativan, Vistril, and Lithium ( i can't recall the other drugs names). I was on so many meds I don't remember the first two days I was there. Long story short they held me against my will for three and a half weeks before I was able to get a different doctor and get released. Since my release I have felt emotionally numb i cant feel happiness or joy, sadness nor pleasure. I feel like I have lost some intelligence, as well as vocabulary and my creative ability. Prior to being given I was very creative all my life I enjoyed writing music and poetry, I also loved playing sports mainly football, Working out, Playing video games and watching movies. I no longer get any enjoyment what so ever from anything i once found interesting. I find it hard to carry on a conversation I feel socially unconfident due to the fact that I feel like i cant think like my brain is just an empty slate. I get major headaches that occur pretty much everyday, I have insomnia (I can fall asleep just fine but wake up at the same time every night which is 3 am). Also I have experienced a tremendous loss of libdo and interest in sex like i just dont desire it anymore, I really feel like I lost myself and I'm scared that I wont get my pre-med self back, I have been doing everything in my power to get my life and old self back I have been seeing a pdoc who prescribed me zoloft which I feel isnt working and also trazodone to help with sleep. I have also been going to counseling sessions weekly which has helped a little. I have done extensive research and have come across many people who are experiencing the same things that I am and we all have the same question can the brain recover from antipsychotics and if so how long does it take??
  15. I began my journey to "quit the cure" of February 28, 2012. I wanted off of my antidepressants: Abilify 5mg, Cymbalta 60mg, and Lamictal 200mg. And I've been blogging about my journey to "quit the cure" since the beginning of March. Back at the end of June, I hit a great, big road block--I had the worst breakdown ever. I survived it; however, I didn't want to turn back on quitting the cure. But I definitely wasn't ready to continue my journey. So, I stopped blogging (mostly out of a lack of motivation), and I stopped tapering. My therapist and psychiatrist were both on maternity leave anyway, so it seemed like a good idea. At that point I was off of the Abilify and Cymbalta, left with 100mg of Lamictal per day. But during the month of July, I really worked on my faith. I've been a Christian since I was very young, and I wanted to get back to the close relationship I had had with God so many years ago. I'm not here to preach, but I will say that when my relationship with God strengthened, I felt like a stronger person period. So, I decided to call the psychiatrist who was filling in for my doctor to schedule an appointment for a dosage change. I called several times and no one called me back. Good thing I wasn't having a breakdown again. This is the part where I say, "Don't try this at home, folks." So, I got the bright idea to taper myself with everything I had left. I had a nice amount of the 100mg tabs and a nice amount of the 25mg from a previous taper. Over the course of two weeks, I tapered down to ZERO. I know that the quick taper did me no favors. However, I am here today writing this success story because I am free of antidepressants and withdrawal symptoms! It is possible to be free, but I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I hit some serious lows during the last few weeks. And that breakdown in June was no joke by itself. Still, I know God spared me the worst of it all. Miraculously, I didn't have any physical symptoms these last few weeks, just the severe mood swings. THAT was enough, please trust me. I get readers of my blog who write to me about withdrawal, Abilify withdrawal in particular. I hate not having an answer for how long withdrawal lasts. My very last post was about the fact that antidepressant withdrawal "takes as long as it takes." And still, it breaks my heart every time someone asks me whether or not the torment of withdrawal will ever end. Because while you're in it, it certainly seems like there is no end in sight. There is an end, but it seems like superhuman strength and courage is required to get there. But you can get there. Meanwhile, here's what helped me: #1 – Support: Reading stories on this forum got me prepared for antidepressant withdrawal. But it also kept me inspired and gave me a place to go back to with questions. Blogging gave me an outlet for my frustration, but the support of my followers was what made the difference. (I only wish I had had the emotional strength to write this last month.) Having a sister who was literally the Sam to my Frodo was a blessing. (If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, then you know that Frodo could not have made it without his faithful friend, Sam. Frodo carried the burden of the One Ring, while Sam carried him. This is an accurate comparison of my journey--because it was also my sister's journey.) Last but not least, was the love and strength of God which held me up and kept me from giving up--really giving up--in the end. #2 - Diet: I have lost over 30 pounds while Quitting the Cure, and still going strong! I’ve been overweight since I was a teen, and gained a ridiculous amount of weight since switching antidepressants 5 years ago. Losing 30 pounds is a big bonus in all of this. However, it was only made possible by a strict diet change. I became pescatarian and then vegan during my journey. I cut out many processed foods, and paid close attention to any food sensitivities that I had. Now, the diet change played a huge role in things. Plus, supplements helped to affect how I felt physically and emotionally this whole time. I used a multivitamin, Omega-3s, and vitamin D to help support my body while it was struggling to return to homeostasis. I also used herbal supplements and specific foods to combat withdrawal symptoms, physical and emotional. Valerian was huge with the Abilify withdrawal because I experienced serious anxiety with it. I even tried flower essence for my episode of apathy. I’m really happy to be able to put my success story on this site. I would definitely recommend a slow taper, though! It’s not fun coming off of antidepressants, but freedom from them is possible! Wishing everyone my very best, Lisa
  16. 20 years on effexor and buspiron due to depression - anxiety. One year on lamotrigin. I started tapering in 2016 because of adverse effect. Effexor 150 mg to 75 mg by addwise from doc. No problems. Next on 37,5 and hell broke loose. Reinstated on 75 and kept it there. While tapering I was sat on lamotrigin 300 mg over a couple of month. No effect! Started tapering buspiron 10 mg x 2 august 2017 and is know on 6+6 Started tapering lamotrigin nov 2017 and is now on200 mg. After reading here I got in doubt. Am I tapering in the best way? Recomondation?
  17. Zavo

    Zavo

    Hi, I am retired 1st responder with PTSD for over 20 years. Get anxiety and Depression as well. About 2 years ago I was put on mertazapine and gained 50 pounds. Never overweight in my life. Then put on Lamotragine 200mg and duloxatine 120mg. Never felt well on any of them. Decided enough is enough. I want to see who I am without all the meds and misdiagnosis. I'm not BiPolar, dont have seizures but was given bipolar meds and told for depression. Big no, I just keep getting worse. I decided to get off all. I tried tapering Duloxatine with horrible effects..still have them. Body aches, bones ache, flu symptoms, mean and cant get out of bed. After tapering to zero counting beads I found that prozac can help. I took a genetic test and it showed severe drug interaction with Duloxatine. Now I'm on Prozac 5mg but still suffering, maybe from prozac effects, cant get out of bed, aches and pains and very tired and weak. I'm not depressed by very discouraged. I got married not long before all this, cant work, basically ruining my life. I no longer have trust in Psychiatry and find better info online from people going through this. I'm now on week 2.5 off Duloxatine and down to 100mg of Lamictal. How to cope? How there are no real rules, prozac helps bit comes with lots of problems. Anyway, I feel I'm getting there, but I need help, afraid my spouse will divorce me soon and wish I could leave me too. Thank you for all the great info this far. Zavo
  18. I've recently reconnected with a friend from 30+ years ago. We have been spending time together once a week and we are moving foward, seeing each other more frequently. At some point I will want to share my story with them about my psych meds. When and how is the best way to do this? Full disclosure is important to both of us. I want to make sure I'm not premature in bringing it up, but don't want to wait too long risking the perception I've been holding back and not been upfront.
  19. You could call me a psychotropic veteran. I hope soon to become a recovering, zero-tolerance advocate against most things psychotropic. My family history of depression is that it was really tough; heartbreaking in fact; so much so that I was wary of my own mental health and open to the use of SSRIs when they appeared in the early 1990s. I started with Prozac and ran through the gamut of similar meds - so much so that I can't bring myself to bore you with a detailed description. Suffice it to saw that no matter what the SSRI or SNRI or whatever (even some Klonopin, Buspar, etc.), they would work great for a little while, then not so much at all. Psychiatrists, being how they were trained, upon my complaints would immediately throw higher doses at me or switch to a new miracle med. Every dose increase was followed by even more anxiety, bruxism, hyperactivity, GI problems, etc. New drugs soon became not so new and I floundered on. After decades of this, last fall I was diagnosed not with depression or anxiety but with what has apparently become the latest buzz illness: bipolar. Ah, Bipolar II even! Eureka! Still being somewhat naive, gullible, and insecure, I started a new class of drugs: Lamotrigine, Gabapentin accompanied by a longtime standard, Buspar. The last six months have brought no more relief then what I got from SSRIs. It has brought weight gain, such swelling of my legs that I couldn't sleep, and four unexplained and ridiculously painful urinary tract infections - abacterial infections that mimicked bacterial ones but that couldn't be relieved with antibiotics. Finally, I put my scientific, medical and research hats on and figured out that Gapapentin was causing the leg edema and weight gain. Slowly I tapered that off. Next, I learned that Lamotrigine can cause the abacterial UTIs/bladder spasms in women my age. My GP didn't catch it; neither did the prescriber. Of course, the prescriber doesn't even want to consider the possibility of such a side effect. UGH! I am now down from 200mgs of Lamotrigine to 25mg, with the vaginitis/bladder pain diminishing along with the med. I'm seeing a urologist on Monday and hope to confirm my own diagnosis: Lamotrigine (and possibly Gabapentin as well) were what caused a miserable last six months of vaginitis, mimicked UTIs, etc. By chance, I moved to a new city recently and found a new psychologist who turned out to be as skeptical and disgusted by the pharmaceutical industry as I am. She actually laughed at the bipolar diagnosis ("You're NOT bipolar!!!"); then I did too. Without her encouragement and support I wouldn't have found the internal strength to defy my prescriber's advice and slowly get off this stuff. I might have been worried that my new psychologist was an anomaly, but apparently not. There are many psychologists and psychiatrists out there, with small voices in the wind, beating drums about the dangers of meds that have undetermined etiologies; chronic side effects and no definitive studies of their long-term effects. I see a light on the horizon for the first time. So far, I'm doing pretty well. I have to stay vigilant about self-care, which is against my nature. Daily, I must meditate to increase the Alpha waves destroyed by such longterm use of antidepressants. I have to eat healthily, exercise A LOT and not drink alcohol. I have a lot of anger at what the pharmaceutical industry has done and continues to do in a country that used to hold companies accountable, but I'm planning on channeling that anger to where it will do some good. It took me a long time, but I'm finally accepting and acknowledging that when the FDA-listed possible side effects of a medication FOR depression or FOR anxiety IS depression and/or anxiety; SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG! Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years, and having seen and learned things I can't unsee, I carry some guilt; but that, too, is motivating. I am very happy to have found these forums and this site. I would appreciate any encouragement and really hope I can keep this drive off these ridiculous medications strong and get through these last bits of tapering. Thank you for "listening."
  20. Hello, I am 24 years old, and am currently going through what I think are Lamictal withdrawals. My story is rather long and complicated, so I will try to sum it up as best I can. If anyone wants me to explain anything further, I can do that as well. I was diagnosed Bipolar II in 2010 at 18 yeara old, and was prescribed Lexapro, Seroquel, Vyvanse, and Klonopin. I immediately felt like a zombie, and stopped taking everything but the Lexapro. Fast forward to May of 2016, I am only on 5mg of Lexapro now and feeling rather depressed. My new psychiatrist wants to try a mood stabilizer (I have always fought against doctors wanting to add new drugs to my cocktail). Unfortunately, my parents convinced me that a new pill would be the answer, and I started up on 25mg of Lamictal. For two weeks I took that and felt alright, a slight improvement I guess. Two weeks later I bumped up to 50mg and started noticing a decent improvement, but also some pretty noticeable side effects. Two weeks later, I upped the dose to 100mg, and the next day felt absolutely horrible. I got terrible flu like symptoms, rash on my hands and feet, swollen glands, spread throat, stomach pains, etc. I went to the hospital and they said it was just a virus. I continued to take 100mg of Lamictal. Two days later, the rash had now spread to my whole body and was extremely itchy. I went back to the ER, and again they said it was just a virus and had nothing to do with Lamictal. I took it upon myself to stop taking 100mg that day (June 5, 2016). The rash went away almost immediately, but the withdrawal symptoms were unbelievably overwhelming so I reinstated 50mg three days later when I couldn't take it anymore. I stabilized for two weeks on 50mg, until I got yet another itchy rash, this titem accompanied with a very dizzy headache and a lot of cognition problems. I stopped cold turkey again, and made it three days before needing to reinstate 25mg as the withdrawal was too much to handle. I then stayed on 25mg for a week (still feeling absolutely horrible the whole time). I experienced insomnia (jerked myself awake every time I was about to fall asleep), rapid heart beat, extreme anxiety, worse depression then I've ever had before, zero appetite (lost 13 pounds and am already underweight), dizziness, terrible brain fog, confusion, memory loss, dp/dr, shakiness under the skin, back and neck pain, extreme fatigue, bouts of crying, extreme anger, and much more. After trying to stabilize at 25mg for that week, both my pDoc and GP told me just to stop the 25mg as it wasn't making anything better and I was past the worst of it. They also prescribed me 2 weeks of Klonopin as I basically hadn't slept the past week. I took my last pill of Lamictal on July 1, 2016. It's now been two weeks since taking my last pill, and I'm not sure if I feel any better. One moment I feel alright and think I can push through, the next minute I feel like it's going to last forever and I should reinstate a small dose and try to stabilize there first. Then I think I've already made it through 14 days with no pills, and my symptoms are not nearly as bad as they were when I was taking 25mg of Lamictal at the end of the taper. The first week after stopping Lamictal I felt rather depressed, but somehow still hopeful that things would get better. I still had a very rapid heart rate, trouble sleeping, dizziness, and feeling generally uneasy, but it wasn't too bad at all. This second week has been somehow harder though, and I feel like I don't know what to do. I am now pretty dizzy all the time, my loss of appetite is back, and I usually feel pretty depressed and hopeless about the future. I also have almost no interest in anything that used to bring me happiness. It's getting somewhat overwhelming and I don't know what to do anymore. Should I just keep fighting? Both my mother and my pDoc think that I should keep pushing through and eventually things will get better. I want to believe that but I feel like my hope is fleeting me each day that I wake up and feel the same. I also am very addicted/dependant on Marijuana, and use it to sleep, eat, stop anxiety, feel better, etc. However, after this whole issue whenever I smoke it makes everything a million times worse. Unfortunately, when I don't smoke, all I can think about is smoking pot and that it will make me feel better. So I then proceed to smoke, feel worse, and then painfully sober up until I go through the whole process again. I want to stop smoking altogether, and have tried hundreds of times, but have never made it more than a few days before I feel like I'm losing my mind. I was taking .25mg of Klonopin 2x/day these past two weeks, but have decided to stop that now as I don't want to become dependant on it. I have also been meditating, eating healthy (when I do eat), trying to stay positive, trying to exercise and stay busy, got myself on a sleep schedule, and want to start taking some supplements. None of these things I was doing before all of this. I also scheduled an appointment with a talk therapist (as I feel I have some deep rooted issues causing my anxiety/depression) and with a Neurofeedback Center (in hopes of lessening my anxiety/depression, reducing pot addiction, and resetting my brain to its natural state). If anyone could offer any insight or advice or experience with anything I've been going through I would be extremely grateful. Right now I have so many concerns I don't even know where to start. Should I continue pushing through the Lamictal withdrawals in hopes the symptoms will reside soon? Should I reinstate any amount of Lamictal to stop the withdrawals symptoms? But couldn't that cause worse symptoms like it did when I was on Lamictal in the first place? Should I keep taking the Klonopin to help with anxiety/sleep or should I stop? Should I just cold turkey stop or try and taper down the Klonopin? Is it possible to already be dependant on Klonopin after only two weeks? I feel as though I may be dependant on it to sleep. Sorry for the long post, I'm not sure if that's alright, but I've been holding this in for a while and am not really sure where else to turn.
  21. Hello, I'm 45 years old and I have been taking psych meds since I was 21. I have noticed a downward spiral in my life since this time. My life has now become unmanageable, including facing homelessness and a recent suicide attempt. The doctor has told me I will never be able to stop my meds. I want off. They aren't helping anymore, and the Doctor just wants to give me more pills. How do I start? In the past tapering has caused me to have severe suicidal thoughts, depression and anger issues, along with the physical withdrawal symptoms. The sooner I can get off, the better.
  22. Hello, TL;DR I've recently reduced my Venlafaxine fairly quickly(over a month) from 225mg to 75mg. @75mg I'm a little nauseous, anxious and have diahrrea but it's bearable Should I keep it at this level (bearable) till it settles, or should I go up 37.5mg to 112.5mg for a while? Sorry in advance for the essay, it's been a long road. I was going through a rough time last year and was put on Venlafaxine(Age 28, no previous psych experience). After the first dose I vomited and went into severe reaction, not sleeping, psychosis. Fortunately my parents were over visiting for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately my parents took me to a psychiatric ward because I didn't sleep for days on end and couldn't function. Here in Germany it is more common to be in for longer periods of time, I ended up there for 4 Months. The doctors kept putting me on more and more different medications. I was on Mirtazapine(15mg), Escilatopram(??), lorazepam(3mg), Lamotrigine(200mg) and finally Venlafaxine(225mg) again(with Lamotrigine and Mirtazapine and Pipamperone, a first gen antipsychotic). A lot of this was due to me not describing how badly these drugs were messing me up. I do have a fear that I may never fully recover from this assault on my central nervous system but here's hoping. The final diagnosis was bipolar but a lot of the manic behaviours I displayed, I had never had before antidepressant treatment. I managed to get off the Benzo (lorazepam), Pipamperone and Lamotrigine fairly easily. Lamotrigine was giving me splitting constant headaches so I had to axe that fairly soon. I went back to work in January and have been doing a staged return which will finish with my full 8.5 Hour day in May. Fast forward to now. I've been off the Lamotrigine completely for round about a month not entirely on the wishes of my outpatient Psychiatrist. No negative effects and mentally feeling quite stable. I've been on venlafaxine now for 6 months and have decided to start a reduction in this too as I have not felt positive effects from any of the SSRI/SNRI drugs that I was on, including Venlafaxine. I will still be taking Mirtazapine because I feel it helps with my sleep problems. I may cut that out sometime in the future but definitely not now. I have successfully reduced my dose to 75mg for 2 weeks and I'm feeling a wee bit queezy, headachey and off (lots of toilet breaks at work) but not too much. My plan for the moment is to ride it out at this level for a couple more weeks before I make the next jump (1.5x37.5mg, bead counting method) Because I have light WD symptoms, should I go back up another half dose, or should I just ride it out until I'm stable?
  23. Hi, im asking for advice on 12.5mg lamotragine taper that i plan for the new year. ive been taking it for 8 weeks today as a mood stabiliser. i have felt better but that may also be a result of the tamazepam taper starting a few weeks later and the anxiety around the potential breakdown of my relationship being removed as he did infact leave. hes a lovely caring man though who just couldnt hear my distress ans thoughts of ending it all anymore...its been a really hard year and september/October/ november in particular were hard. pregnancy, miscarriage and precervical cancer all in one. i havent worked since sep 1st when i had surgery. last time i felt like myself was August....that was before all these drugs and while i had terrible anxiety but the anxiety was nothing like with the drugs...they bought on serious depression too....
  24. Hi everyone. I've been on several psych meds since December 2015. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD. I am on gabapentin, wellbutrin, trazodone and lamictal. Over the past few months I have noticed increased side affects: dizziness, losing my balance, involuntary movement, and severe gastrointestinal issues. I talked to my psychiatrist about getting me off the medications and she is not supportive. She said I need to be on them for life, like a person who has a physical disease. I got sober a year ago from alcohol, am active in my church and recovery community, eat healthy, exercise, and feel I can handle life without being medicated at all. I'm starting with the gabapentin (10% taper) I'm already having anxiety and side affects. I know I have to go slow, one medication at a time. This is really scary and I'm worried I'm never going to be off all of it. I'd appreciate any suggestions.
  25. Hey everyone! My name is Cat and I've been taking antidepressants since I was 13. I'm now 19 and I've been on more medications than I can remember, as I say in my signature. I'm currently coming off of abilify , but taking viibryd and lamictal to keep my depression /anxiety combo at bay. I'm also taking ritalin for ADHD. I really hated the side effects of the abilify - at a higher dose (15 mg) it was making me extremely fatigued, and it's made me hungry all the time at pretty much all doses, leading to significant weight gain (Over the course of taking, if I'm remembering correctly, I've gone from 150ish to about 190). I kind of quit it cold turkey do to some pharamacy mix ups and for the first few days I didn't feel any adverse effects so I asked my psychiatrist how she'd feel about me coming off of it. Her response was that she agreed that I could continue off my dose of 7.5 mg and then we'd see how I felt when it was totally out of my system. Now, however, I'm feeling like my brain is fried and foggy. Concentrating and motivating myself are becoming hard, I'm worried that I came off the drug too quickly and, as I'm in college, I'm really worried about the effects this might have on my ability to learn, do homework, and get good grades. I don't really know how to approach this site, so I guess I'll just go exploring and see what I can find! On another note, I definitely want to look at my medication history now. It's probably huge and I think it'd be interesting to share it with you all.
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