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  1. Hey everyone, My name is Abby and I have been off Prozac for 3.5 months now. I'm currently experiencing intense withdrawal and the return of mental states I never thought I'd have to experience again, and I would really like to connect with others who are going through similar during this long, difficult process. Background info: I always had tendencies towards anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (the Pure-Obsessional variety) since childhood. At 16 these symptoms very rapidly became so severe my whole life fell apart within a matter of days (Going on the contraceptive pill at this time may have been a contributing factor). I didn't have a full breakdown until I was 18, at which point I was taken to the doctor, put on Sertraline, and referred to psychiatry. The following 8 years consisted of several psychiatric admissions, different drugs including clomipramine, seroquel, mirtazipine, prozac, and possibly a few others for shorter periods. I lost pretty much everything, my obsessional fears were so strong that I attempted suicide more than once, developed a bad cocaine/mephadrone habit, was a constant worry to my family. There were times, however, where the medication would help a lot. At 60mg of Prozac I went through some periods of being functional - I went to work, got into a relationship etc. These were a great relief but I can't say I was truly happy as the fears were never properly dealt with. My last hospital admission was in 2014 when I was 24. I had attempted to come off medication as I believed I had to deal with the underlying problems, and I hated the weight gain side effects. Looking back, this was doomed to fail as I was still using cocaine regularly, drinking a lot, and didn't have any proper support mechanisms in place. I was fine for 6 months then crashed, was borderline psychotic with the OCD symptoms, depressed and anxious beyond belief and desperately wanted to die (and believed I deserved to). I was in a psych ward for just over 2 months before new meds kicked in - clompipramine and (randomly, I don't know why) Epilum, as I was told it 'balanced moods'. A year later I went back on to old faithful Prozac and also came off the contraceptive pill. I had always been told the same about it, that it leveled out moods, and don;t think it's a coincidence that my symptoms became much more manageable a few months after stopping it. I then managed to stay at 40mg for 2 years and my life changed drastically for the better. to myself and everyone around me it was like a miraculous recovery - I stopped taking drugs, began volunteering at a Buddhist meditation centre, got my dream job, published a novel, did newspaper interviews about my experiences, ...I pretty much had my dream life. It was like being reborn after thinking everything was all over...forever. It was in January 2017 that I decided to gradually wean off Prozac. Over the following 10 months I reduced until stopping completely in October. In these past 2 years I have done extensive mind training and spiritual exploration, which has probably been the main factor in this recovery. My life is pretty much dedicated to this practice now - I still volunteer at the meditation centre, go on meditation retreats throughout the year, and have also completed a Reiki Mastership. It was always potentially on the cards after exploring my mind with psychedelic drugs in the past, doing past life regressions and also taking Ayahuasca twice in ceremonies. It was around the time of the reiki mastership that I was weaning off the last of the Prozac. Things became challenging - but at first I welcomed it. I was in a strong place mentally, and my mental health hadn't plagued me intensely for a few years. I was made aware that the Reiki energy can churn things up to be healed, but I think that the combination of this, a massive flare up of a back issue that left me not able to walk for weeks, family pressures and intensive mind exploration during retreat that has led me to my current situation. Since December just passed things have been incredibly difficult. I have experienced a return of old OCD obsessions, to the point where I've had panic attacks for days that made my vision blur, heavy depression, crying all the time, existential fears and experiences which medically would look similar to psychosis (although I believe that term can pathologize important and natural inner processes), identity confusion etc. I knew it would be hard, I just never expected to feel this level of horror ever again. Having said that, I know things are different this time round - I have a level of insight gained through spiritual practice that is keeping me going. Energetically, I'm aware that I am creating this reality on various levels, and that I need to relax as much as possible to allow it to pass through the way it's supposed to. I'm no stranger to facing the darkest parts of the psyche, but it's still terrifying and I'm struggling to cope day to day. To make matters worse, my Mum has gone abroad for cancer treatment and I'm now caring for my little brother and sister 4 days a week which is incredibly stressful (I'm used to having my own space and being able to retreat when I need to). My CBT therapist has discharged me as she feels I cannot engage with therapy under this amount of stress, but encouraged me to come back when my Mum gets back. To be fair, she never taught me anything I didn't naturally learn in meditation and I was only seeing her regularly to comply with services. I have however started going for reiki treatments with the person who facilitated the course I was on last year - he is exceptionally intuitive, knowledgeable and takes an all round, individual approach. One session with him last week was worth a year of 'traditional' therapy. So I'm hoping that continuing with this will help. Anyway, sorry for the essay. I don't have many people to talk to about all this. It's also weird for me to ask for help now as I haven't needed it in so long - I'm usually now the one that helps everyone else. It's a scary and heartbreaking thing to go back to a place you thought you'd left long in the past, but I do believe deep down that I have done so in order to face my demons fully and emerge stronger in the long run. Thank you if you made it this far, I'm looking forward to connecting with others on this site. You are all incredibly strong to be doing what you're doing, no matter what stage you're at. Much love x
  2. Hello, I will run through my history as quickly as possible. In my early 20s after having moved for probably the 15th to 20th time with my parents I was having a lot of stress and crying fits. I started on Prozac which I took for a year or two and then stopped taking it for a few months. Unfortunately I had anxiety after doing so and fearing a relapse (I didn't know this could be a withdrawal symptom) started on it again. I began to feel like my skin was numb and it wasn't working so I was switched to Paxil. The Paxil gave me the worst headaches if I didn't take it exactly on time and I ended up switching about a year ago to Lexapro. Lexapro made me very constipated and I felt my anxiety get far worse. The last few months I switched off the 20 mg of Lexapro to 20 mg Prozac. I've been back on just Prozac for 2 weeks. It wasn't hard during the switching process but my first period on just Prozac was extremely hard. I was crying for the last few days nearly 10 times a day and feeling very anxious. I did cave two days ago and took Xanax after panicking all day just to sleep. My goal is to not increase my Prozac dosage because I specifically went onto it so I might have an easier withdrawal. I plan to stick to this dosage for another few weeks and try to slowly withdraw. I'm having a lot of trouble even going outside or getting out of bed without panicking. I am not sure why it is like this now when Prozac was generally effective for me before.
  3. I would like some advice on withdrawal please. I was on 20 mg prozac for about 5 years and 3 years ago I came off, after a 3 month taper. I started to get a serious ringing in my ears and severe insomnia and then I had a year of anxiety, terrible insomnia and intense anger which got worse and worse. The doctor said that I was obviously depressed and advised me to go back on the prozac, which after a year I did, starting with 40mg as the symptoms were so bad. A year later, one year ago, I lowered the dose and started suffering drowsyness and fatigue which lasted 5 months. Then in September I started suffering from the drowsiness and fatigue again and the doctor eventually told me that I needed to come off the prozac as it wasn’t working for me any more. That was about 3 weeks ago. I had a week tapering and then started sertraline. Since then the drowsiness has got worse, accompanied by really bad tinnitus. My query is about the year I had with anxiety, anger and insomnia. Could that have been withdrawal from the prozac? It didn’t get any better over the year – if anything it gradually got worse and worse. At the time I suspected that it was withdrawal as every so often my face would go numb, which was one of my symptoms when I first came off prozac but the doctor said that the symptoms had gone on far too long and I was just depressed/anxious again. (I had suffered form anxiety for a couple of years previously, which had led to CFS, which was why I had gone on the prozac to begin with.) Could that year have been withdrawal? In which case what do I do now? I can’t go back on prozac as it had started to have a bad effect on me. I’m a bit despairing at the moment – I have recently had to put my PhD on hold because the drowsiness got so bad and I’m dreading the withdrawal if it’s going be as bad as last time. Does anyone have any techniques which might help? I don't want to go back on, however long it takes to even out again.
  4. To reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms and post-discontinuation prolonged withdrawal syndrome, as with other psychiatric drugs we recommend reducing Pristiq by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.) See Why taper by 10% of my dosage? However, Pristiq is difficult to taper properly as it comes in only 3 dosages: low, average and excessive. Do not alternate doses of Pristiq to taper -- this will cause the levels of this medication in your brain to go up and down and is second only to cold-turkey in causing withdrawal symptoms. AND DON'T COLD-TURKEY EITHER!!!!!!!!! PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE TOPIC BEFORE GOING OFF PRISTIQ. Pristiq is a drug made of Effexor's (venlafaxine) active metabolite, O-desvenlafaxine. Pristiq is to Effexor as Lexapro is to Celexa -- a tweaked and more powerful isomer molecule. In effect, Pristiq is concentrated Effexor. According to Pfizer http://labeling.pfizer.com/showlabeling.aspx?id=497, Pristiq is available in extended-release tablets of 25mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg; the most common dosage is 50mg. Unlike Effexor, which is metabolized primarily by liver enzyme P450 CYP2D6, Pristiq is metabolized via conjugation and liver enzyme P450 CYP3A4. It attains peak plasma concentrations in about 7.5 hours. According to this paper, the extended-release formulation releases desvenlafaxine over 24 hours. The mean half-life of desvenlafaxine, without the extended-release monolithic matrix formulation, is around 11 hours. The official prescribing information from the FDA contains this: Pristiq is difficult to taper "at a more gradual rate." The tablets come in only 3 dosages and, officially, they should not be cut up. See http://www.primarypsychiatry.com/aspx/articledetail.aspx?articleid=2464 In a phone conversation with Pfizer medical information (1-800-438-1985), I learned that the extended-release characteristic is incorporated into the tablet itself (Thank you, oaklily, for this information about the matrix formulation.) Rather than a timed-release coating, the coating on the Pristiq tablet is only protective. The extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together. This is called a monolithic matrix tablet. (If the tablet is split, the matrix is damaged and may not reliably be extended-release, depending on the size of the fragments. Larger fragments are more likely to retain some extended-release capability. When the tablet is CRUSHED, the matrix is completely destroyed. The particles should be assumed to have NO extended-release capability.) According to Pubmed on Desvenlafaxine: "....The extended-release tablet does not dissolve in the stomach after swallowing. It slowly releases the medicine as it passes through your digestive system. You may notice the tablet coating in the stool...." There is a description of the similar matrix formulation for quetiapine XR (Seroquel XR) here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1707-tips-for-tapering-off-seroquel-quetiapine/page__view__findpost__p__33069 PROTEST THIS DANGEROUS DRUG Phone Pfizer, Pristiq's manufacturer, to make a complaint: (800) 438-1985 in the US Pfizer has not provided any specific information on how to taper from a dosage of 25mg Pristiq, the lowest available dosage. They may suggest alternating dosages to taper Pristiq. Don't do this -- it's like playing ping-pong with your brain. File a complaint about the difficulty of tapering off Pristiq -- the range of dosages is inadequate. Also complain to the FDA 1-800-FDA-1088 Mon–Fri between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST. OPTIONS FOR TAPERING PRISTIQ Since medicine knows nothing about tapering Pristiq, the following are all informal suggestions. Try any of them at your own risk. Please let us know how you do by posting in this topic. Cut up Pristiq tablets Despite the warnings not to cut it up, patients have cut up Pristiq tablets to taper. Now that the 25mg tablet is available, cutting it into quarters gives you the option to taper by 6.25mg per step. If you are taking 100mg Pristiq or 50mg Pristiq, you may wish to request part of your prescription be written for 25mg tablets. (For insurance coverage of multiple dosages, your doctor most likely will have to specify taking Pristiq in "divided doses.") Rather than a timed-release coating, the coating on the Pristiq tablet is only protective. The extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together. If the tablet is split, the matrix is damaged and may not reliably be extended-release, depending on the size of the fragments. Larger fragments are more likely to retain some extended-release capability. If the matrix is sufficiently broken, a Pristiq fragment becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. If you cut up the tablet, you might take smaller divided doses of Pristiq, more than once a day, like immediate-release Effexor, to mimic an extended-release dose. From reports on the Web, cutting up tablets does seem to work for some but it makes others ill, possibly because of "dose dumping" (because the matrix is destroyed) when the entire dose is released at once, instead of being gradually released through the matrix formulation. It seems to sometimes cause stomach upset, which may be reduced by taking it with food. You may find you need a precise way to measure your tablet fragments. See Using a digital scale to measure doses As you get down to a low dose, you may wish to switch to Effexor to more precisely control dosage decreases, see below. Crush Pristiq tablets, weigh powder with a digital scale This is similar to cutting up tablets -- Pristiq is a "do not crush" medication, as it is a time-release drug. Conceivably, dividing the dose and taking a measured amount of powder more than once a day, like regular Effexor, may make this method feasible. Crushing the tablet and making sure the shell fragments are evenly distributed in the powder would be a more precise way of tapering than cutting up tablets. As Pristiq's extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together, when the tablet is crushed, the matrix is completely destroyed. The particles should be assumed to have NO extended-release capability. The Pristiq powder becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. If you pulverize the tablet, you might take smaller divided doses of Pristiq, more than once a day, like immediate-release Effexor, to mimic an extended-release dose. Peer discussion of this method starts here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__27417 Reducing from 100mg Pristiq to 50mg Pristiq Drug switches incur additional risk. Before trying a switch to Effexor or Prozac (fluoxetine) from 100mg Pristiq, it's probably wise to go down to 50mg Pristiq first, if possible. You might use a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 3/4 of a 25mg tablet (18.75mg) to make the first reduction to 93.75mg 2nd reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 2/4 of a 25mg tablet (12.5mg) to go to 87.5mg 3rd reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 1/4 of a 25mg tablet (6.25mg) to go to 81.25mg 4th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet to go to 75mg 5th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 3/4 of a 25mg tablet (18.75mg) to go to 68.75mg 6th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 2/4 of a 25mg tablet (12.5mg) to go to 62.5mg 7th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 1/4 of a 25mg tablet (6.25mg) to go to 56.25mg 8th reduction: a 50mg tablet If withdrawal symptoms occur, some people have found taking an additional fragment of a tablet can smooth the transition from one dosage to another. Once at 50mg, stabilize for a month at least and consider your plan for the next stage of tapering. Use a combination of Pristiq tablets and Effexor liquid Pristiq cannot be made into a liquid, but its close relative immediate-release Effexor (not Effexor XR) can. You may be able to go off Pristiq by taking part of your dose in lower-dose tablets and part in liquid Effexor, gradually converting to all-liquid Effexor as you get to lower dosages. This may offer a convenient and gradual path off Pristiq. Only regular immediate-release Effexor can be made into a liquid (see Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine) ). As immediate-release Effexor has a short half-life and is usually dosed twice a day, you may wish to take the liquid portion of your dosage later in the day. For example, if you are taking 100mg Pristiq, you may wish to take your daily dose as one 50mg tablet and the rest in a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor. You can titrate the liquid by 10% of your daily dosage to taper until you get to 50mg. Then you can take a 25mg Pristiq tablet with the rest in a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor. When you get to 25mg Pristiq, you might switch to splitting the tablet and taking the rest in Effexor liquid and so on until you are taking only liquid Effexor. You will have to request a prescription for Effexor tablets as well as Pristiq from your doctor. Have Pristiq made into smaller dosage capsules by a compounding pharmacy Compounding pharmacies can crush the tablets and put the powder into smaller capsules by weight. Like cutting up tablets or crushing, this destroys the time-release quality, but the compounded method is much more exact. (According to my compounding pharmacy, they can put in a slow-release additive distributing absorption over 8-10 hours. This is not as long as the Pristiq time-release coating, but at least it's something. Check with your compounding pharmacy about this.) In your body, crushed Pristiq is similar to regular immediate-release Effexor, with an 11-hour half-life. You may wish to have your dose compounded to take twice a day. If you are taking 50mg Pristiq, for example, you would have 60 capsules compounded per month. Each capsule would be 1/2 of 45mg (a 10% reduction of 50mg) or 22.5mg. You would take two capsules per day, once in the morning, and once in the evening. The next month, you would have 60 capsules compounded, each capsule being 1/2 of 40.5mg (a 10% reduction of 45mg) or 20.25mg. And so forth, for each reduction. If this does not work, you may wish to switch to Effexor XR and use the bead-counting method. Regular Effexor probably wouldn't be an advantage over Pristiq compounded to custom dosages. Switch to Effexor or Effexor XR Note: If you've had an adverse reaction to Effexor before, do NOT switch from Pristiq to Effexor. "Desvenlafaxine (O-desmethylvenlafaxine) is the major active metabolite of venlafaxine." Since the relationship is so close, switching to regular Effexor tablets, which you can cut up or make into a liquid, this may be the best way to taper off Pristiq. Because it has a mean half-life of 5 hours, you'd have to take regular Effexor twice a day. According to FDA Prescribing Information for venlafaxine (Effexor), the usual dose of Effexor is 150mg per day. Like Pristiq, Effexor XR is released gradually and needs to be taken only once a day. Since 150mg Effexor and 50mg Pristiq are both "normal" dosages of their respective drugs, they may be roughly equivalent. (See discussion of Effexor and Pristiq dosage equivalency starting http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__42249 ) You'd have the difficulty of tapering off Effexor or Effexor XR -- themselves notorious for withdrawal difficulties -- but at least you can do that gradually. See Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine). The psychiatrist who writes the 1boringoldman.com blog reports success in switching one patient from Pristiq to Effexor, then tapering Effexor, here (see comments) Another psychiatrist said when he tried this, the switch from Pristiq to Effexor was "seamless." Dr. Stuart Shipko posts here: Advice from a psychiatric pharmacist I have been corresponding with a professor at a prominent US university pharmacy department. Here is his best guess at how to taper Pristiq (he does not want his name published): Then taper off fluoxetine (Prozac). See Tips for Tapering Prozac Advice from Dr. Stephen Stahl, author of the manual Essential Psychopharmacology In his widely read psychopharmacology manual, eminent psychopharmacologist Stephen Stahl advises titration by crushing the tablets and mixing in fruit juice, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__14799 According to our member oaklily, Stahl is wrong. Making a liquid from Pristiq does not work, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__24822 Dr. Stahl intends to correct his book, according to this correspondence 09/15-9/16/13 with him: "Bridging" with Prozac or another antidepressant Any drug change incurs additional risk. A switch to Prozac from Pristiq may not work -- they are very different drugs -- or you might have adverse reactions to Prozac. Prozac is regularly used to "bridge" off Effexor. Given that Pristiq is a cousin of Effexor and Effexor XR, it is possible that one can, similarly, use Prozac to withdraw from Pristiq. Attributed to Joseph Glenmullen, the "bridging" technique is described by a doctor here http://www.bipolarworld.net/Phelps/ph_2005/ph1354.htm Read this entire topic before attempting a switch to Prozac: The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac Later, taper off Prozac. At least Prozac comes in a liquid. To do this, consult a doctor knowledgeable about this technique.
  5. Hi everyone, I'm new here. I've been searching the internet for days for some sort of support group and I've finally found you. Okay I'll give a brief history. I've been on antidepressants since I was 17, I'm 32 now. My first AD was prozac which didn't work at the time, so I was then put on Venelaxfine which worked but made me slightly manic. I was on Venelaxafine from 2002 until 2006 I think. I was then put on cipralex, then after a bad break up where I couldn't sleep or eat I was put on Mirtazapine which I wasn't on for long, then I was on citalopram and then we did a full circle back to prozac. I was on prozac for around 7 years, it was great stuff for me. I got over my break up, found a job, made friends and have been very happy. Over the last year I have been finding myself become more and more anxious, it felt like an internal anxious that I couldn't control at all. So after a bad anxiety attack over 3 weeks ago I went back to the doctors who prescribed me a double dose of prozac (so from 20mg to 40mg). I took this for a few days but my anxiety was 100 times worse so my mum suggested just coming off them for a few days to see how I felt. The strange thing was after coming off my anxiety went. I wasn't feeling that constant adrenaline feeling that I had been feeling for months or even a year. I went back to the Drs and they gave me sertraline as I was afraid of coming off everything all together. I was given a low dose of 25mg sertraline. I was on sertraline for 2 days and I noticed that my vision in one eye had gone and I couldn't see very well and the pupil in that eye had gone huge, compared to the other eye pupil which was a normal size. So I came off. As I came off on the weekend I couldn't see a doctor for a few days, when I did see a doctor and explained what had happened and that I was really worried because I'd come off cold turkey. He asked how I felt and I told him I felt fine. I had been dizzy, headachey and had odd dreams and the odd little bit of panic before sleeping, but nothing too bad. So I've been off prozac for 10days now and completely off sertraline for 4 days. I'm hoping to stay off the ADs completely now. I am nervous because I couldn't find online any people that had experienced coming off prozac. I'm taking B complex supplements, flaxseed oil, magnesium and l-lysine supplements to see if it will help. I'm so worried that when the prozac is out of my system completely and I level that I will be depressed again, but right now I feel good and positive, just really nervous.
  6. Cigarettes at age 11. Alcohol periodically from age 13 to age 30. Valium episodically from age 18 to age 27. I have been on myriad anti-depressants since 1982 for major depression and generalized anxiety. Imipramine, desyrel, ativan. Off drugs from 1984 till 1995. Started Prozac 1995 till 2014 (did well from 1995 to 2011). Tried Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. Abilify and Trintellix from March 2014 till August 8, 2017 (depression free). Had to withdraw due to cervical dystonia and tremors which still persist. Terrible experience withdrawing from Abilify and Trintellix. Started Wellbutrin 150 mg. and Prozac 10 mg. for one week to help with withdrawal. Then increased Wellbutrin to 300 mg. and experienced ringing in ears; stopped the Wellbutrin and increased Prozac to 20 mg. (10 in A.M.; 10 in P.M.) Now on Prozac 20 mg. per day, occasional Propranolol for tremors (doesn't help). I've read that coming off Abilify can take up to 3 months or more, and it has been 2 months so far. I feel like I've spent (wasted) my entire adult life trying to feel better, first by self-medicating, then by psychiatric medicating. I'm 72 years old. I wonder if there is any hope for me.
  7. Hi everyone! First of all, I want to appologize for my english ....Im mostly french!😉 I have been reading here since a little while but first time I write. I have anxiety since 12 years. I am 40 yrs old female. Been on meds since 11 yrs. I have been on almost every ad. Lots of them didnt suit me. Never been able To stay more than 4 yrs on one med cause it pooped out. I starter feeling really dizzy a year and a half afp (was on lexapro at that time ). Anxiety and fatigue game back. So tried different meds again with always many side effects even at low dose. So back in march (On prozac 20mg) I decided that maybe or was time for me To try my life without meds. Juste To say, or is a big step for me cause I have thaught that I was meant To be on this for life. Si since the beginning or april, I slowly decrease from 20mg To 5mg (now). I have the liquid form. Still take my clonazepam 1/4 of 0.5mg at night. The more I decrease, dizziness decreased also. People tells me I look more alive ! Cause I always felt kinna stone. I still had anxiety but it was manageable. But since a week, I feel more anxious and short of breath. I feel sometimes near To have panic attack over the fact that Im not breathing correctly. I put si much focus on that. Since 2 dans, I cry more also. ... What the heck is going on with me????? Does that mean I wont ne able To live without it ??? Psychiatriscian had no clue how To wean us. That fustrate me. I was the one who did the withdrawal plan and ask Her for liquid form. Now she almost laugh at me saying Im not suppose to feel any withdrawal symptoms with prozac and mostly at 5mg. She tells me its probably the anxiety coming back !? So what do you think? Also....is Ltheanin good for my withdrawal? Someone refered me that? Thank you again! Lolita
  8. Peculiar

    Peculiar

    Thank you for accepting me to your forum.I am about to start a taper off mirtazapine . I have been taking it for 7 weeks. I had previously been tapering Prozac every other day 40mgs for one week then reducing to 20mgs every other day for two weeks. Then I started Mirtazapine 15mgs for two weeks then upped it to 30mgs a day. I dropped the Prozac completely 2 weeks into the Mirtazipine (on my drs instruction) so needless to say I am in a bit of a state! I need to get off the Mirt and then am thinking about taking Prozac again and commencing a slow steady taper. I am not sure what to say to my Doctor?
  9. Hey, everyone. Here's my introduction (I hope it's not too long): In 1994, at 19, I suffered panic attacks from being bullied in school and having cognitive errors in my thinking (perfectionism, negative self talk, etc.) My parents took me to a psychiatrist who told me I had a "chemical imbalance in my brain," prescribed me 80 mg of Prozac a day, and kicked me out the door. I received no therapy and from that day forward saw myself as a mental health patient. This diagnosis changed the course of my entire life. My Prozac took six weeks to kick in, and it brought with it a slew of side effects: generalized anxiety, hypervigilance (constant surveying the world and my body for signs of panic), stomach cramps, and irritable bowel syndrome. Like the proverbial boiling frog who doesn't notice the raising temperature, the side effects eased in to my life so slowly I thought they were a part of me and my "chemical imbalance." In essence I had a paradoxical reaction to the drug: it amplified my existing struggles but I had no idea my medication was the source. I was never told this was possible, nor was I told about the danger of trying to come off. The side effects made work outside the home, socializing, and dating extremely difficult because I was always afraid of the next wave of anxiety that would send me racing to the washroom. I watched my friends grow up and have careers, partners, and families, while I tried to buoy what was left of my self-esteem with self-help books and different therapists, none of who ever questioned the drug or the dosage. After two years of cognitive behavioral therapy to untwist the errors in my thinking, I tried coming off the drug under the supervision of my doctor in 2006 but the initial reduction of 20 mg every two weeks proved to be far too steep. When I reached zero I had a few days of bliss, then an absolute mental collapse. I developed akathisia and was unable to sit still and paced relentlessly and lost control of my emotions. I felt completely hollow and cried for no reason, all the while suffering from unspeakable anxiety. My parents debated admitting me to a hospital but was told that the doctors would check my medication levels then ask me to leave as there would be nothing they could do. I went to my psychiatrist who misdiagnosed my condition not as withdrawal but as depression and anxiety that the Prozac had been treating. Desperate not to lose my mind, I restarted the drug and lost another ten years to side effects. Two years ago I lowered my dose from 40 mg to 30 mg. Three days later I was to meet friends for dinner for as long as my anxiety would allow. I braced myself during the meal for the inevitable tsunami of mental anguish but what I felt instead was a mere ripple. I was stunned, then perplexed. When I realized what was happening and that the drug had been the cause, I burst into tears. Instead of racing home after the meal as I so often had in the past, my friends and I went to a movie. Over the past few months I've been easing off Prozac at 5 mg every six weeks. My quality of life improves with each reduction. My hypervigilance and anxiety all but vanished at 20 mg. At 15 mg I have become more social than I have ever been, and at 10 mg I feel like myself again - sort of. I've been on 10 mg of Prozac since May 9th, and I'm also on 50 mg of Seroquel. I want to get off the Prozac completely but I'm going to stay at 10 mg for at least three months until I know I'm stable. Though most of my anxiety is gone, I had a panic attack last week. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday over how much I've missed out on from the medication and cried through the whole thing. Naturally she was concerned that this might be a relapse of depression/anxiety, but I honestly feel better now than I ever did on the higher dose. So...that's me!
  10. I wanted of prozac was on it 9 months last dose was 20 mgs off 30 days dr said ok to stop self tapper. I know i don't know if have wd from the from prozac or my slow tapper K pin after two months use 1.5mg to .125 mg i stopped to day after trying to get on another AD which was horrible experience
  11. Hi. I have been reading different posts on here for about a month. I want to taper off Lexapro, but I've been on it for over 10 years. In 2005, I was put on a very short, and ended up with brains apps and went back on it because I was super agitated. When I told my doctor I wanted to Lexapro, her idea was to switch me to Prozac. Initially, she was going to help me switch to 20 mg, but I knew that the equivalent was 40 mg, so I asked if we can do that and she said yes. I am on day two of switching from 20 mg of Lexapro to 40 mg of Prozac. I feel dizzy and have a UTI. I don't know if that can be caused by this medication switch. It kind of creeps me out. The test only showed barely any evidence of the UTI, but the doctor said I was experiencing symptoms so gave me an antibiotic. I am thinking about a post I read on here that suggested people try wean off their current drug rather than bridging to Prozac. So now I am kind of freaking out thinking that I should just go back on Lexapro and when I see my doctor in a week and a half ask if she will prescribe the liquid. I think I asked that in A message, but she suggested Prozac. I have wanted to wean off the drugs for a long time, but actually had resigned myself to staying on it for life. I felt like I was stuck. But then it was getting migraines, and my family doctor wanted to add another antidepressant Pamelor, for the migraines. At that point, I did not want to add any more, and so now I decided it was time to try to taper down. I have seen that on some sites it says Lexapro can cause migraines.
  12. Introduction Hi everyone. I have been lurking here since last year but decided to start my thread as my waves are getting more frequent. I am trying to stabilize at 20mg of generic Prozac (fluoxetine) daily, and have been taking it for 6 months. I thought stabilization was finally happening in January this year but waves are now weekly. I am here to see if anyone can shed light on why my horrible waves are more frequent now. I've read “The windows and waves pattern of recovery” (http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/). Maybe I'm missing something? I'm not feeling very bright since WD hit me! Wave and window frequency Stabilization seemed to work right away and my intense waves were about every 14 to 21 days (3 to 4 weeks). Last month and this month, waves have increased frequency to about every week and last 2 to 5 days, with a window inbetween. Currently working on a graph based on my daily notes to visualize my stabilization journey. WD waves This is how I recall them now but I will update this description when I consult my notes next during a window. A headache and dizziness accompany a vice-like tightness around my head. I then get intensely irritable, depressed, and quite sleepy. I then get akathisia, mostly in the legs. I have tried pushing through it but I find it very hard to concentrate on anything and I just can’t bring myself to talk or interact with anyone. Any conversation or touch terrifies me and I just have to dismiss myself and apologize to whoever is around me at the time and hope they don’t take my sudden departure personally. I then go to sleep. When I wake, I feel better but the wave is still there. I tend to get better over the next day or two, only for the cycle to repeat as mentioned above. Aside from sleeping the only relief I get, for but a moment, is when my rescue cat comes home and deigns to grace me with her presence on the bed next to me or in my chair. This WD has meant that I can no longer keep many commitments, I can only work on a casual basis (i.e. I put in a few hours a day in a window), and my relationships have become skeletal. My life is slowly falling apart and I am now dependent on my partner. She is understanding of my withdrawal, having been on SSRIs herself but luckily avoided a protracted WD. Sadly though, I just feel so guilty and frustrated at how I am now a slave to this window and wave cycle, and largely a useless partner. Windows (something positive) I am myself: productive, fairly positive, happy, thoughtful of others, and able to tackle my anxiety properly. I still live in fear of waves but I am learning to try not to ruminate on them. I feel a willingness to connect with people. I am starting to put too much pressure on myself to do everything during a window and that is leading to problems. To be fair to myself though, my waves are iatrogenic and I must forgive myself for feeling wretched, even during a window, because SSRI withdrawal is the worst thing I’ve ever experienced and it has ruined my life. Why are my waves more frequent? I will share some of my hypotheses below regarding why my waves are more frequent. If anyone has any thoughts please let me know, I’d love to hear them. I’ve learned so much from SA already. As mentioned in my signature I am working on compiling all the daily data I have into a graph so I can get a better picture of my stabilization journey (and what proceeded it). I don’t know when that will happen as my windows are now spent doing all the things I put off in my waves and just improving my loosening grip on the good things in life. I know though that I have to finish this data processing as soon as I can in case the waves merge into one big, long one. 1. My SSRI history during the last two years is peppered with ignorant tapering attempts, maybe it is catching up with me? 2. The optimist inside me is hoping that the frequency is increasing because it could be a pattern that occurs prior to a period of flatter frequencies (perhaps the ebbs and flows of homeostasis). I am perhaps just fantasizing but I imagine that if the frequency increases so much, like in a radio wave, the peaks and troughs (waves and windows) will be indistinguishable, which could be what homeostasis looks like. I am laughing at this hypothesis as I can see I am desperate for some good news XD 3. Maybe my reinstatement/stabilization dose was a little too low (considering I was on 40mg daily for the longest time) and I am catching up with the WD that it would have caused in recent months. If this is the case, I can’t see any benefit in updosing now anyway. Sure, it could always get worse but I think it would definitely get worse if I start guessing at an updose level. I could be wrong. 4. Some of my family wish to visit me later this month for a few days. I haven’t seen them in years. They planned it during one of my windows in December and I felt positive about it all. I also felt optimistic that given about 6 months of trying to stabilize, my waves would be a thing of the past, or a rarer occasion. I tried to get them to postpone but they can’t change their plans without losing all their money. I don’t want them to stop their holiday for me but as the reason for travelling is to see me, I have warned them that I may be in bed, only able to talk to them for a few minutes. I hope I have a window when they are here but I think I’ve had a huge amount of stress about the visit because I just don’t need the guilt I will undoubtedly feel when I am only able to see them for a few minutes. In other words, perhaps stressors and other factors in my life are making waves more frequent. My expectations for stabilization and my tapering plan I didn’t expect stabilization to take this long but after reading “After reinstating or updosing how long to stabilize” (http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4244-after-reinstating-or-updosing-how-long-to-stabilize/?hl=%2Bhow+%2Blong+%2Bstabilize) I realize it could take a long time, maybe years based on how much damage my ignorant tapering did in the past. When I stabilize (I suppose I have to believe that I will) I plan to do an SA taper, spanning years, with water titration (I have done a few trial runs of it and it’s very easy to get accurate doses this way). I have the syringes ready but it could be a long time before I get to use them! My current plan is to keep plodding along at 20mg until I can get a more stable window and wave frequency. I don’t expect my waves to disappear completely but this increase in frequency means I am questioning things and hope that someone out there may have an idea about what’s happening and what I may expect to happen for the next 6 months. Lifestyle As for my lifestyle, I am healthy, eat well, and exercise most days. I take some supplements but I don’t think they’ve made much of a difference either way. I will list them later when I can manage it but they include B12, magnesium, and fish oil. Sadly, during waves I mostly lie in bed as it provides me some relief. One of the side effects from fluoxetine is sleepiness and lethargy, which I've always had, so that contributes to me lying about a lot. It took so much out of me to write this but I am glad I did it now! Good luck to you all and I wish you the best, regardless of what stage of withdrawal and recovery you are. Kittygiggles
  13. I joined this forum last June before I began an unsuccessful taper from Celexa, however, this is my first post. I honestly had no idea until then how horrific untethering from these substances is, and how devastating it can be long term. What I really need is some good news. Is there any good news in the midst of this real-life horror story? Right now I feel completely alone. I haven't found a medical practitioner to forge a partnership for helping me discontinue successfully--or even reach the psych NP who prescribed my meds for a change when things went really wrong. So, there is no "discussing anything with a trusted healthcare practitioner". All I have is you all. So, I'm sort of pleading with you for guidance. I am still not sleeping well. I slept fine, for years on Celexa, then weaned off and threw everything out of balance. To be fair, the year prior to my discontinuation was incredibly stressful. I abruptly ended Trintellix this week (because I ran out and can't get anymore) and am taking approximately 10mg of Prozac (approximately because I'm splitting 20mg of powder roughly in half) as of today. The Prozac instantly quelled my WD symptoms from the Trintellix within the hour, and my plan is to either formulate a liquid suspension of this drug or find a doctor who will prescribe one. I have exhaustively researched how to overcome this problem. I'm an athlete, so I've stacked as many cards in my favor with diet, lifestyle and nutrition as well as I possibly can. But I can't seem to find a way through this, or make a plan that makes sense, and I'm scared I'll never be okay.
  14. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Jill28: Klonopin adverse reaction Hi everyone- I’m desperate and was hoping for advice... I had been on Zoloft for 4 months and decided to taper off. Did way too quickly (1 week) and has serious anxiety and panic attacks from it. After about 6 weeks, my brain finally bounced back and I was almost back to normal. My psychiatrist convinced me to get back on my old trusty Prozac (10mg) justto keep my depression at bay. On the third day of taking Prozac, I had the most severe anxiety of my life... and I had never had anxiety other than when I came off the Zoloft. I’m at day 9 of being off and the anxiety hasn’t let up even a tad. I am miserable and can’t live this way. My face titles constantly and I can’t eat or think clearly. Any thoughts or advice is deeply welcomed.😢
  15. fluoxetine since 10 years doctor told me no worries to taper it of 40 mg to 0 in 4 months july last dose end of august crasched in panicattack until end of september akatisia , nausea, crying alot no one told me it could be something called withdrawal I read it and also about going back to last dose No one knew if it was worth it. tried 5 mg. and 10mg some week for one month but just felt drugged and now trying to taper of this 5 mg to 2,5 mg and then quit! Iam desperate nothing makes me feel better! Need all advice I can get!! Anxiousness ,shaking, crying, insomnia, tired,.... tried to take magnesium suppl. drink camomill tea , vitamin D suppl. what else can I do ?? Need to change work etc too so my life is really a mess!
  16. I joined this site a couple of weeks ago. After finding that paxilprogress was no more. I was devastated. That site may have truly saved my life in some of my darkest moments. What is one to do? When essentially you've self-destructed in front of everyone you love; because of a nasty little "non-habit-forming" pill that's been shoved down your throat for decades. So here I am. Time (weeks really) has eluded me. I meant to reach out sooner. I'm just hoping I'm not reaching out too late. I feel like such a horrible failure. I know better than that at some level, know that maybe I failed but that I just have to pick up the broken pieces and keep moving forward. But I'm so I'll. I'm so weak. I'm so alone. And I feel so helpless. My life may not have been a picnic before the introduction of SSRIs. But this is one situation in which the grass was truly greener on the side of which I was already standing. Before popping that first "innocent" little pink pill, prescribed by a doctor who had seen me only once and only spent 10 minutes "getting to know me". I couldn't tell you who that doctor was, I never saw him again. Nevertheless he was the first in probably nearly a hundred who have insisted upon continuing the saga. And what better did I know? I was unhappy before the meds. I was often unstable on them. And I was clueless as to why I was saying and doing psychotic things (that I often didn't remember, or just have "snippets" of memory after the fact) and so violently ill when I decided I simply no longer wanted to take the pills. Or was even 12 hours late on a dose. (More about that and my travels down genetic testing road and CYP450 mutations later.) All that being said; Hello to all in these forums. I'm the antisocial one. The antisocial one that sometimes doesn't know when it's appropriate to shut up. Or how to appropriately ask for help. But if you've been through it (psych med-wise), I probably have too. And vice versa.
  17. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  18. AKA 5htp and oxitriptan (INN) [Also see our topic on SAM-e] http://www.5-htp.net/Safety.asp 5-HTP Safety, Side Effects and Dangers Safety and Side Effects 5-HTP appears to be well tolerated with few and relatively mild side effects, the most common being nausea. However, large doses of 5-HTP should be avoided as it can result in the formation of excessively high levels of serotonin in tissues other than the brain, resulting in significant adverse reactions. 5-HTP is generally better tolerated than its SSRI counterparts, such as Prozac®........ Source: 5-HTP The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity, and Insomnia by Michael Murray, N.D. 5-HTP should not be taken concurrently with anti- depressants except under the supervision of a physician, because 5-HTP increases the activity of these drugs. 5-HTP should be avoided by pregnant women, nursing mothers and those with significant cardiovascular disease. It is also contraindicated in those with carcinoid tumors. Large doses of 5-HTP may significantly increase serum levels of serotonin which, at least theoretically, may result in the serotonin syndrome which can be very serious, although there have been no reports of the syndrome occurring with use of 5-HTP in humans. Do not exceed 900 mg per day. Vitamin B6 taken in doses of 5 milligrams or greater causes 5-HTP to be converted into serotonin before it passes into the brain. Since serotonin does not easily pass the blood-brain barrier as 5-HTP does, this effect is undesirable and can be detrimental. May have additive effects with tryptophan, St John's wort, and SAMe. Be sure to get 5-HTP from a reputable source to ensure purity, such as MedQuest Pharmacy. As with any supplement, 5-HTP can be abused. However, when used wisely, it has proven itself to be a safe and effective supplement........... *The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. PROZAC is a registered trademark of Eli Lilly and Company. _______________________________________________________________________ http://www.progressivehealth.com/5-htp-risks.asp Dangers and Benefits of 5-HTP 5-HTP is a supplement used to help with many conditions, including depression, obesity, carbohydrate craving, bulimia, insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, migraine, headaches, and fibromyalgia. Although there are several conditions, which are helped by, taking 5-HTP there are also dangers when taking it with out know how to take it. Benefits of Taking 5-HTP 5-HTP is an amino acid. The body makes 5-HTP from tryptophan (an essential amino acid) and converts it to an important brain chemical known as serotonin. Tryptophan and 5-HTP dietary supplements help raise serotonin levels in the brain, which may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, aggression, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Depression - Low levels of serotonin in the brain can contribute to the development of depression. Many drugs prescribed for depression increase serotonin levels. Some studies indicate that 5-HTP may be as effective as certain antidepressant drugs in treating individuals with mild to moderate depression. Such individuals have shown improvements in mood, anxiety, insomnia, and physical symptoms. Fibromyalgia - 5-HTP has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce pain, stiffness, anxiety, and depression in individuals with fibromyalgia. Insomnia - Medical research indicates that supplementation with tryptophan before bedtime can induce sleepiness and delay wake times. Studies also suggest that 5-HTP may be useful in treating insomnia associated with depression. Headaches - Some studies suggest that 5-HTP may be effective in children and adults with various types of headaches including migraines. Obesity - There is some evidence that low tryptophan levels may contribute to excess fat and carbohydrate intake. When Not To Take 5-HTP As with any supplement, 5-HTP can be abused. However, when used wisely, it has proven itself to be a safe and effective supplement. While this supplement appears to be safe for most people, 5-HTP danger occurs when people mix 5-HTP with prescription medications and herbal supplements. Taking too much 5-HTP is also dangerous. 5-HTP should not be taken concurrently with anti- depressants except under the supervision of a physician, because 5-HTP increases the activity of these drugs. Mixing SSRI medications and 5-HTP may result in a rare but extremely serious condition called serotonin syndrome. People with serotonin syndrome exhibit a variety of symptoms including confusion, restlessness, hallucinations, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Coma and death follow swiftly after symptoms appear. 5-HTP should be avoided by pregnant women, nursing mothers and those with significant cardiovascular disease. It is also contraindicated in those with carcinoid tumors. Mixing 5 HTP with herbal supplements for depression such as St. John's Wort is also not recommended. Like SSRI medications, St. John's Wort alters the delicate balance of brain chemistry. 5 HTP can tip the balance into dangerous territory. 5-HTP Overdose Individuals who take 5-HTP may expect it to act quickly, altering their mood overnight. Medications, supplements and herbs that act upon neurotransmitters usually need to be taken for several weeks before patients start to feel the effects. Some people take more and more 5 HTP, hoping that taking more will increase the effectiveness more quickly. This can create a dangerous condition called, serotonin syndrome. Many alternate health practitioners recommend starting slowly with 5 HTP and taking it for only short periods of time to avoid dangerous overdoses. 5-HTP Side Effects Reported side effects from taking 5-HTP include nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Dangerous doses of 5-HTP can cause agitation, fast heart rate, a boost in blood pressure—and in rare cases, coma and even death. Combining it with an antidepressant, any other drug that affects serotonin levels or herbal supplements like St. John's Wort can also cause such side effects. People who have heart disease, peptic ulcers, kidney disease, or clotting disorders should definitely not take this supplement. ____________________________________________________________________________________ http://wellnessletter.com/html/ds/ds5HTP.php 5-HTP Claims, Benefits: Treats or prevents insomnia, depression, and other problems; modifies mood. Bottom Line: In 1989, thousands of people taking tryptophan developed a rare and incurable blood disease, leading the FDA to ban all sales of the pills. 5-HTP, a close relative of tryptophan, is being taken as a substitute for it. Its potential dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Full Article, Wellness Letter, January 2005: Playing with Brain Chemicals For years people took tryptophan pills to treat insomnia and depression and to improve mood. This amino acid is converted in the brain into serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that affects mood and sleep, among other things. But in 1989 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned all sales of tryptophan because of an outbreak of eosinophilic myalgia syndrome (EMS, a rare disorder that affects the skin, blood, muscles, and organs) among thousands of people taking the pills. At least 30 people died. The epidemic was traced to a bad batch of tryptophan from one Japanese manufacturer, which apparently introduced an impurity when it altered its manufacturing process. A cousin steps in Since then 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), a close relative, has replaced tryptophan in health-food stores and drugstores and on the Internet. The body makes 5-HTP from tryptophan; and like tryptophan, 5-HTP is converted to serotonin in the brain. The supplement is derived from the seeds of an African tree. For decades European doctors have used it to treat depression and several other disorders. Some small studies suggest that 5-HTP may be as effective as standard antidepressants, but most of these studies were not well designed. And other studies have not found a benefit. There’s some preliminary evidence that the supplement may play a role in weight loss and may help against mild insomnia. One problem: when some people take the supplement, their blood levels of 5-HTP do not rise, so there’s little chance of a benefit. Just how safe is it? Reported side effects include nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. High doses of 5-HTP can cause agitation, fast heart rate, a boost in blood pressure—and in rare cases, coma and even death. Combining it with an antidepressant, any other drug that affects serotonin levels (such naratriptan or sumatriptan, used to treat headaches), or “herbal antidepressants” such as St. John’s wort can also cause such side effects. People who have heart disease, peptic ulcers, kidney disease, or clotting disorders should definitely not take this supplement. Even though the manufacture of 5-HTP is very different from that of tryptophan, worries about contamination remain. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have found an impurity known as “peak X” in commercial samples of 5-HTP; the FDA has also spotted impurities. Substances similar to “peak X” were found in the tryptophan involved in the 1989 outbreak of EMS. So far, however, there have been no confirmed cases of the illness from 5-HTP supplements. Final thoughts: Some dietary supplements, notably 5-HTP, can influence brain chemicals. As the tryptophan story showed, even though they are marketed as “natural,” they can have serious adverse effects—just like traditional antidepressants. The potential dangers of 5-HTP outweigh any possible benefits. UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, January 2005 ____________________________________________________________________________________ http://www.ehow.com/about_5600605_5_htp-dangers-stomach.html 5-HTP & Dangers to the Stomach Tully Grey Tully Grey is a freelance writer living in Chicago who has been writing for 10 years. She attended Columbia College in South Carolina and is currently pursuing a B.A. in history. Her fiction has appeared in The Broadkill Review and will appear in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. She has written nonfiction for The Post and Courier and iNeTours.com. By Tully Grey, eHow Contributor 5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is used by your body to produce brain chemicals like serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate your mood, appetite and energy level. 5-HTP helps maintain your serotonin levels, which can alleviate depression, kick-start weight loss and increase your energy. While 5-HTP can be beneficial, it does have side effects that can include mild gastrointestinal problems. Nausea Your digestive system can be sensitive to serotonin, and 5-HTP can lead to some mild nausea. The higher the dose, the more likely this is to happen. Higher doses are generally given to patients who are using 5-HTP to help with weight loss or fight obesity. Standard doses of 50mg to 100mg don't tend to bring on nausea. Diarrhea If your serotonin level becomes too high, you can develop serotonin syndrome. If this happens, you could experience side effects, one of which is diarrhea. The risks of serotonin syndrome increase when you take 5-HTP in combination with MAOIs, or monamine oxidase Inhibitors, as MAOIs prevent serotonin from being chemically broken down. Consult your doctor before beginning or ending any drug program. Empty Stomach If your reason for starting 5-HTP is appetite regulation, you should take it about 20-30 minutes before eating so that it will enter your brain and begin converting to serotonin faster. If you have other reasons for taking 5-HTP, you should be able to take it three times a day in small doses without nausea. You won't have to take it before meals if the purpose for taking it is not to promote weight loss or combat obesity. After Meals If you tend to eat more during the night hours than in the morning or during the day, it may be beneficial to take a 100mg dose of 5-HTP immediately after your last meal. If nausea follows, it should be temporary and subside after a few days. Sipping a ginger ale can be beneficial if nausea occurs after a meal. Avoid caffeinated drinks, as these can keep you awake as well as counteract the effects of 5-HTP. Gastrointestinal Side Effects Other side effects of 5-HTP that occur in the stomach are loss of appetite, diarrhea, cramps, vomiting and gas. Most of these symptoms occur when you take more than 100 ___________________________________________________________________________________ http://vitamins.lovetoknow.com/5_HTP_Danger 5 HTP Danger By Jeanne Grunert If you're concerned about 5 HTP danger, careful consideration of the risks and benefits may allay your fears. What Is 5 HTP? The product known as 5 HTP contains a naturally occurring brain chemical, 5-hydroxytryptophan. Synthesized from proteins containing tryptophan, 5 HTP whirls through the brain with a bevy of chemical compounds called neurotransmitters that affect mood, sleep, and appetite........... 5-HTP works with the neurotransmitter serotonin. Individuals take 5-HTP to combat depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Recently many companies have begun touting 5 HTP as a weight loss product. Both prescription and non-prescription supplements affecting serotonin appear to decrease appetite. Scientists aren't sure of the exact mechanism at work, but preliminary theories suggest that when serotonin levels are low, the body boosts the appetite in a quest to ingest as many foods as possible that provide the building blocks of serotonin. A 5 HTP Danger While this supplement appears to be safe for most people, 5 HTP danger occurs when people mix 5 HTP with prescription medications and herbal supplements. Taking too much 5 HTP is also dangerous. Antidepressants and 5 HTP People suffering from depression frequently take medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Medications in this category include brand names such as Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Paxil and others. The exact way that these medications improve mood isn't known, but doctors speculate that SSRI drugs block the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, leaving more circulating serotonin for use by the brain itself. This process improves neurotransmission among nerves that affect mood. SSRI medications exert a powerful influence on brain chemistry. It's no surprise then, to learn that taking 5 HTP and a prescription SRRI poses great danger. Remember that 5 HTP itself interacts in complex ways with the entire serotonin reuptake system in the brain. Because the SSRI medications are already altering the delicate symphony of chemicals, adding 5 HTP to the mix creates cacophony. Mixing SSRI medications and 5 HTP may result in a rare but extremely serious condition called serotonin syndrome. People with serotonin syndrome exhibit a variety of symptoms including confusion, restlessness, hallucinations, fever, nausea and vomiting. Coma and death follow swiftly after symptoms appear. Anyone taking antidepressant medications, 5 HTP or a combination of substances who begins exhibiting these symptoms should go to the nearest hospital immediately. Herbal Supplements and 5 HTP Just as mixing prescription medications with 5 HTP is dangerous, mixing 5 HTP with herbal supplements for depression such as St. John's Wort is also not recommended. Like SSRI medications, St. John's Wort alters the delicate balance of brain chemistry. 5 HTP can tip the balance into dangerous territory. If you have any questions about these medications, supplements or herbs, please consult your doctor or another qualified health professional, and always tell your doctor about vitamin and herbal supplements you are taking to avoid dangerous interactions. 5 HTP Overdose Individuals who take 5 HTP may expect it to act like a magic pill, altering their mood overnight. Medications, supplements and herbs that act upon neurotransmitters often need to be taken for several weeks before patients feel the effects. In their rush to feel better, some people take more and more 5 HTP, hoping that "more is better" and the substance will improve their mood faster. This can create the dangerous condition mentioned above, serotonin syndrome. Many alternate health practitioners recommend starting slowly with 5 HTP and taking it for only short periods of time to avoid dangerous overdoses. Other Side Effects People taking 5 HTP also report other side effects, including nausea and stomach upset, irritability, and insomnia. If symptoms worsen or you feel ill taking 5 HTP, discontinue and see a physician immediately. Peak X Dangers No discussion of 5 HTP danger is complete without mentioning "peak X", a term coined in 1994 when a woman came down with a serious and rare condition called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS). In this condition, the body overproduces eosinophils. Eosinophils are white blood cells responsible for combating infections. In EMS, high levels of eosinophils cause trembling, extreme muscle pain, and shortness of breath. In 1994, a Canadian woman came down with symptoms of EMS after handling 5 HTP pills intended for her children who required the supplement for medical reasons. Although the children didn't become ill, they also had higher than normal levels of eosinphils. The suspected compound within 5 HTP that created these side effects was named "peak X". Today, most alternate health practitioners feel that the supply of 5 HTP is free from peak X. Dr. Michael T. Murray, a doctor of naturopathy, provides a complete case history on 5 HTP and peak X online, and concludes that it would take massive doses of 5 HTP to cause EMS symptoms. Anyone taking 5 HTP, however, should be aware of the possibility and check with a physician if they experience unusual symptoms.
  19. Hello, I am a 50 year old woman with a history of depression. Here is my story and it is a long one, be warned - if you aren't in the mood for a long history, skip this now LOL! I'm one of those people whose family relations have also had histories of depression, and depression became an issue for me from maybe 10 years old and up, though no one really recognized it. I became bulimic at 16 and remained so for much of my adult life until about eight years ago. My adult-hood has been one of perfectionism, low self-esteem and under-performing, with all the self-hatred that that generates. My first experience with medication came after a rough relationship where I ended up feeling suicidal. I was put on Prozac. I think back to that being the beginning of the rest of my adulthood with virtually no libido. A major move after marriage led me to more depression, and at that time Wellbutrin was being marketed heavily, so I asked my GP to put me on it. No tapering of the Prozac, if I recall. Wellbutrin didn't work, but now I realize it was probably in part because I was having withdrawal from the Prozac - not sure and I don't have a lot of memories about that period one way or another. I forget if I continued the Wellbutrin up to the next change, but I had gotten the flu which turned into pneumonia for a month, and when I went to the doctor after that long of not getting better, he said "you are depressed." Well, yes, I said, I am depressed because of being sick this long! And he said, No, you are clearly a generally depressed person and you should see a p-doc. So, I did, and that doc put me on Effexor. This was somewhere back around 11 years ago. I upped the dose as they directed. I never felt like my depression was well-controlled because none of the therapy I had over the years was CBT - talk therapy would make me feel better for the moment but no change took place, so the low self-esteem and negative thinking remained. I guess the Effexor somehow made my life more tolerable, but I never felt happy or satisfied with myself. Somewhere along the line I began to taper down on the Effexor, and I have very few memories of when, how or why, other than that I hated needing ADs, and my libido sucked. A move and the loss of an old dog sent me into another bad depression, but this well could have coincided with stepping down the Effexor. Three years ago, I lost my job, and then my husband lost his, but then he got a new one which required relocating to a very hot climate where we were able to afford a home with acreage, the first time we were ever able to own, but it was very rural and the isolation quickly got to me, with anxiety increasing for various reasons. Again, I don't remember the stepping down process, but two years ago a new GP refilled my Effexor but prescribed the non-extended release version. Since these tablets were able to be broken, I began taking just half (37.5 mg). Last summer I had a bought of shingles and became very depressed and stressed again from the pain. I also was clearly in menopause and having severe hot flashes. My whole adult life had been marred by low libido since going on Prozac way back when, and the shingles were actually on my private parts (tested positive for zoster, not herpes) and I became very concerned that I didn't want the rest of my life to be joyless where sex was concerned, so I decided to go off BCPs and Effexor. In hind sight, that was madness! I stepped down the Effexor, going to every other day with the 37.5 mg. I wasn't aware of any severe symptoms, and this was last summer. Well, meanwhile, I was going through some stresses regarding a health crisis with one of my dogs. I found myself totally scatter-brained, forgetful, unable to concentrate, and also I had trouble articulating myself, unable to complete thoughts when talking with people, words hard to reach. A friend told me he always thought I was ADD, and indeed at this time I was losing things, forgetting what I was doing halfway through doing it, easily distracted, etc. I'm also a total clutter-bug who can't face doing the dishes or cleaning the house, though I've been that way for years. I had started taking Sam-e and tryptophan as a way to up serotonin. I was having a terrible time with insomnia. So, I went to get tested for ADD. I tested negative, but the psychologist doing the testing said I didn't have ADD, but that I did have OCD, depression, and GAD. He said, the good news is that there are medications that can make you "normal!" I bit, and went to a p-doc on a list he gave me. She put me on Viibryd. I stopped the serotonergic supplements. The first week at 10 mg was ok, but when I went up to 20 mg as instructed, all hell broke loose! My insomnia worsened, with the most severe anxiety I think I had ever experienced! All night I was thrashing around with racing, troubling thoughts. During the day, I would have squirts of adrenalin for no reason. I had days where I was so distressed and troubled, I couldn't stand to exist. I had global anxiety about climate change, getting old, my parents getting old losing them some day, the drought and how horrible life was! I have never experienced anxiety like that in my life! I stepped the Viibryd back down to 10 mg for about a week and then stopped it, and went back on the supplements. This time I was trying to follow the supplement plan laid out in the Mood Cure, adding GABA and some other stuff. I'd do ok for awhile, but the insomnia was still bad, and the general feeling of being ill-at-ease was so disturbing, I just couldn't stand it. So, I stopped the supplements and started taking 37.5 mg of Effexor again. After three days, I was in serotonin syndrome almost to the point of having to go to the ER! I stopped the Effexor and got an appointment with another p-doc who is a DO and actually not into psych meds. He said I'd been through about 3 years' worth of med changes in a very short period of time and that my nerves were very sensitive and that I needed consistency. He went through the meds and supplements I had a history with, and told me which supplements were safe to take (non-serotonergic). Since I had not been able to eat and lost weight, and the insomnia was so bad, he put me on Remeron, saying it was a very gentle med that worked on a different part of the serotonin pathway, and that it would help with sleep and appetite. He started me on 7.5 mg and said I could step it up as needed, that it was safe up to 60 mg. Well, I felt much better and it was nice to sleep all through the night without anxiety again. Yeah! But after a week, I was feeling down again so started upping the dose. Two weeks later I was at 37.5 mg, feeling totally apathetic and on the couch, unable to do anything I had previously enjoyed in life. I couldn't understand why the med wasn't working anymore! I was in a desperate way and called this p-doc's assistant, the fastest way to get to him, he said. I left four messages and never heard back! I suffered through to my next scheduled appointment with him two weeks later, and suffering it was! My family members were greatly concerned. The only thing that kept me going through this spell was the fact that a therapist I had recently seen told me about Emotional Brain Training, which I joined. It was developed by Laurel Mellin at UCSF and is based on neuroplasticity and rewiring the brain. It was perfect for me because I lived in the country, was isolated, and the city is 40 minutes away, so I was able to get support from home with weekly phone-in meetings with a coach and group members, daily work online, and daily phone-connections with group members. I am not hawking this, but if you want to learn more about it, go to www.ebt.org. Anyway, EBT kept me from going down the tubes through all of this. When I saw my p-doc, he said "let's add Effexor back to the remeron since you tolerated it well in the past." I started on 37.5 mg. The day I took it, I was having a non-functional couch day, and I would say within an hour of taking it, my mood lifted, like a light switch had been flipped! It was miraculous! Now, everyone knows that ADs are supposed to take weeks to start working. I now realize that the reason it worked so fast was because I was in withdrawal and it was like a junkie getting a hit of the drug they are withdrawing from - instant fix! Ok, I know my story is long but the final chapter is here: I added the Effexor back about 12 days ago. I actually had one day, about a week into it, where I was on the couch again. The next day, I saw a third p-doc my therapist said I should see since I had such a bad experience with the last guy's non-responsiveness when I left those messages. So, I saw this new guy on Wednesday. I didn't yet realize that all of the craziness I had endured since last fall was because of the withdrawal. I was convinced that genetically, I just had to be on ADs, that I had relapsed in a big way. I did think that the Viibryd had damaged me, since I had never experienced anxiety to that degree before, nor had I had depression this debilitating. This new guy said, "let's stick with this for now, since you haven't been on the Effexor long enough to see how it will work for you, but I want to up it to 75 mg (thanks to that couch day). We may end up changing you to other meds, but let's see how this goes for now." So, I began taking 75 mg Effexor ER on Thursday. It just so happens that one of my EBT connection buddies is going through withdrawal from ADs that she was put on for post-partum depression 8 years ago. She told me about this, and referred me to a neat video about neuroplasticity on beyondmeds.com. Her point in doing so was to point out about how EBT is so dead-on about retraining the brain, but in fact I had locked on to concept of withdrawal, and I began to realize that this was so much of what I had and am still going through, and this is why the Effexor worked immediately! So, I am faced with the fact that I am now back on the drug that I was hooked on. For now, I need to be consistent and not change anything, though I am going back to 37.5 mg Effexor since I'd only been on the higher dose for a couple of days. I will ride this out until my next appointment with the p-doc in five weeks. I am worried that he will be one to poo-poo withdrawal. I feel like, for the first time in my life, I am getting the cognitive help I need to eliminate the poor self-esteem and my negative black and white thinking that has ruined my life and got me started on ADs to begin with. I feel this will be critical to getting off these drugs some day. I feel so grateful to the universe for bringing me together with my connection buddy who brought this all to light for me. And beyondmeds.com brought me here.
  20. Bluebird2009

    Bluebird2009

    Hi 8 am from the UK and was on Prozac for 18years but had been unwell and having physical problems the past few years but tests where all clear. I realised it was the drug that was the problem. I was taken off too quickly and my body went into shock and I have been in protracted withdrawal ever since which is 9months now. Every month I'm getting new symptoms and really struggling with living. I can't tolerate even a pain relieve tablet without a reaction. I have awful lung and chest pain, blurred vision, severe headache which has just started this week and feel like I'm dying. I feel I maybe shouldn't have came of but then maybe it's better to get the poison out of my body. Really need some positive vibes at the moment and if anyone else in UK can help please do as I'm frightened that I'm going to die.
  21. I'm 44 going through hell and it's a long story My whole life I've felt there was something wrong with me I was constantly off school due to differing health issues but have no childhood memories....... Until recently and now have only one I left school without any qualifications Started working but lost every job I had through time keeping Met my now wife (soon to be ex) at 17 and have never been apart from her since she is my everything And we have 4 wonderful kids together 19 16 13 10 In 96 after lots of visits to the Gp I was diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia (sleep disorder) and have been unable due to it since (I have tried but again lost each job due to time keeping or falling asleep) Over the years I've been on many different types of antidepressants and only found 1 that worked ....... what I thought was well That was around 10+ years ago till December and even tho the gp put the prescription on repeat I often noticed that my review was months or years overdue But now my life is in turmoil..... I have huge chunks of memories missing ...... not like days or weeks but loads of meaningful conversations discussions and arguments with my wife and I felt the pills are to blame I often felt obsession over things and that the thoughts were not my own but didn't associate anything with the pills as they kept me feeling level .......no matter what was thrown at me and was often described as being so laid back I was horizontal Anyway in December my wife who used to do a lot for charity events attending and helping was raped at knifepoint but when she came home and told me ...... Something happened and I'm now loosing her Instead of being a caring loving partner that I should of been the shock of it turned me nasty ....... I don't mean physical I mean emotionally unstable unattached and said somethings I didn't want to say But now please believe me as I feel no one does but the shock of hearing her tell me made me have an out of body experience and although I could see that nasty dirty rude uncaring scum kneeling on the floor saying those things to her ...... It was not me, I was stood in the corner of the room in disamay at what was happening but couldn't stop it And at that point I realised that I needed of those pills as that was NOT me but the damage had been done and I can't take that back and I went cold turkey off the flouoxetine Now 10months later still feel those pills have done me over but what's worse have destroyed my life and my marriage Mistakes have been made and trust destroyed on her part but I've drove my wife away and she's now left me I've just spent the last 12weeks begging and pleading her to stay but she can't see past what I've done Now let's get up to date 2 or 3 days ago I started to have memories only vague and not complete but they are not nice and I'm starting to think that where the pills are coming out my system they are unlocking lots of boxes in my head ....... First time I've said that out loud not I can't say by whom as that's still blank and my family are no longer with us I feel that a lot of my issues may all relate to this and have been misdiagnosed due to being locked away Well I wish I had found out how bad fluoxetine was but now it's cost me everything I've ever loved and destroyed my life and that's without the withdrawal symptoms that now are making me more suicidal along with everything else Really need help and people to talk to as I'm not coping at all well Oh and I'm in SE London uk
  22. 9 months ago today I took my last Prozac and I am still dealing with withdrawal. I took 15 mg of Fluoxetine for 12 years from PAR pharmaceuticals. In July 2015 the fluoxetine I received from the pharmacy was from TEVA pharmaceuticals, apparently PAR pharmaceuticals discontinued the tablets I was taking. Well, my body did not react well to the TEVA brand. I started having nausea and tremors. After a couple of days on the TEVA brand I switched to the MYLAN brand but nothing changed. Realizing my body was not going to handle the change I decided to taper but it seemed pointless because my body was in withdrawal from the PAR pharmaceutical fluoxetine my body was use to taking. On August 27th 2015 I took my last pill. From July to November I dealt with nausea and tremors and then all hell broke loose. On top of the nausea and tremors I developed a bad smell in my nose that only I can smell, internal shaking that is constant, the nausea got much worse, I started having hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and chills. I also have cried almost every day since November. In December I had a gastric emptying study done due to the nausea and lack of appetite. I discovered I now have delayed gastric emptying. To date I have lost 44 pounds from the nausea and not being able to eat. I have also had a CT scan and an MRI for the tremors and internal shaking. Those results were normal. I have seen an ENT for the bad smell in my nose, but they can find nothing wrong. I have noticed that I am feeling a tiny and I stress tiny bit better but I still have the internal shaking, nausea, bad smell in my nose and crying. I have read about internal shaking in withdrawal but how long does it go on. I was put on Prozac for panic attacks and the constant internal shaking is making me feel panicky and anxious. Does anything help with it? Has anyone else experienced a bad smell in their nose or heard of anyone having a bad smell in their nose during withdrawal? Thank you for any advice or help anyone can offer me.
  23. See journal articles about PSSD in Papers about Post-SSRI Sexual Disorder (PSSD) Please note that SurvivingAntidepressants is a site for tapering and recovery from withdrawal syndrome. While we see PSSD sometimes as an aspect of withdrawal syndrome (and we see gradual recovery from it as well as withdrawal syndrome), this site is not specifically for discussion of treatment of PSSD or its neurological origins (which at this time are highly speculative). If you wish to discuss symptoms, theories, and treatment of PSSD, please go to these sites: PSSDforum http://www.pssdforum.com/ Yahoo group SSRIsex (log in to http://Yahoo.com to join) Facebook group (log into Facebook.com to join) Various pages on Rxisk.org
  24. I tapered of Prozac in early 2014. I tapered over 4 weeks by taking every other day so basically ct. I had taken Prozac for 17 years for anxiety and depression. It took almost 4 months to get very bad by which time Drs had prescribed me sertraline and citralopram both of which exacerbated things tremendously. I only took a single dose of each. It never occurred to me or Drs to put me back of Prozac and by this time I was too terrified to take anything. The last 3 years have been horrific, losing my husband, my health and my income. I was unable to work for 2 years and now work part time from home which I still struggle with. I'm diagnosed with cfs fibro and severe depression all caused by protracted withdrawal. Iv seen dr Healy a few times and a neuropsychiatrist who both back my cause. I haven't taken a drug in 28 months but am about to start imipramine on their advise. I hope to get some relief from the crippling depression and pain and then hopefully taper off. I know this is a risk but desperate times call for desperate measures. I have terrible tinnutus caused from the destabilising effect of ct Prozac. I also have vertigo and chronic insomnia, especially early morning waking and sleep maintence. I use magnesium glycinate and lactium but Iv not noticed a noticeable difference. I have learned to not panic too much during extreme anxiety, instead of it breaking me completely like in the old days, I open the door and invite the beast in. This also helps with odd flare up of akathesia that was relentless in the beginning. I'm completely amazed at the lack of knowledge from Drs about the dangers of drugs but I have also found at leat 3 who are well very knowledgable. It gives me hope at least that we are not completely alone.
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