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  1. Hello to all. Thank you for this site. I'm sorry to all who are suffering through this. Back in August I was down to 112.5 mg of effexor from 187.5 when my doctor put me on 30 mg of prozac to help with my taper. Over a few weeks I developed seratonin syndrome and had to stop both at once on Sept 19th. I've been going through withdrawal ever since with it getting worse every morning. It is extreme in the mornings now. I found a fb group and started reintroducing effexor starting with 8 beads on Thursday Oct 15th. My main most disabling symptoms are extreme nausea, vomiting, dry heaving, diarrhea, and feeling extremely hot and prickly electric type shocks to my body. Any advice that anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated. I plan to hold at this dose for a week and then go up if not stable.
  2. Looking for some advice on what I should do with my Escitalopram (technically taking Escitalopram but Lexapro is easier to remember so I'm using that a lot here) dosage.. Made a lot of mistakes last week. Basically I'm a short-term Klonopin user (3 months total) who had a very rough time getting off of it. I had very extreme anxiety and burning sensations where I was basically limited to a couch. I was taking it as needed, and didn't realize I was putting myself through inter-dose withdrawals every few days. Doctor said it was my anxiety returning, and then I ended up on Lexapro because of that which made me take more Klonopin. Thankfully I found this forum else I would be in an even worse place with no hope. I tapered off the Klonopin roughly 1 month ago and I felt great for 3 weeks after. However, I'm pretty sure I've screwed up my withdrawal from Klonopin or my Lexapro taper or both. I'm hoping for a second opinion to guide me in what I should do next. Long story short I knew much better but I drank alcohol only 3 weeks after jumping off Klonopin and while fast-tapering Lexapro. I tried alcohol 1 night, thought I got away with it. And got excited to feel normal again and then drank a few more times over the week 1 or 2 drinks a night. Never felt bad the next day. Roll around to last Monday. I had a dentist visit for a cavity and received novocaine (or something like it, I don't know what they gave). A few hours after the novocaine I started getting some returning anxiety. I thought nothing of it, until the next morning I woke up feeling like I was going back into acute benzo withdrawal with extreme anxiety again. I've now been in this state for 5 days. At first I blamed myself for drinking and the novocaine, but now I've realized I've tried to taper my Lexapro too fast as well. I dropped from 9mg to basically 3mg in about a month. I know the 10% rule, I guess I just felt invisible since I was dropping fast and was a short-termer (1 month or so on 10mg when I started tapering) and seeing no withdrawal effects. My questions: 1) Is Lexapro withdrawal as anxiety intense as benzo withdrawal? Or do they feel the same? I have severe burning in my back / neck /arms and basically either sit in a ball, lay down, or have to pace the house. 2) Given that I definitely tapered Lexapro too fast, what amount of Lexapro should I updose to, to start over @ the 10% every month? If I should be updosing at all. Right now I have a pretty bad headache from going up today. I feel like I'm making all sorts of mistakes trying to fix this problem since the anxiety is pretty unbearable and unlike my previous withdrawal a few weeks ago it lasts all day with basically no windows. Any help is appreciated. I left my complete notes below. But if they need to be improved let me know. 5/24 - Started .5mg - 1 Klonopin as needed 7/20 - Started Lexapro 5mg (still on Klonopin) 7/27 - Lexapro 10mg 8/5 - Started tapering Klonopin stabilizing on a daily dose of .25mg 8/17 - Jumped at .065 (fast taper... but it seemed to work) 8/17 - Lexapro to 9mg (time to get rid of the next drug..) 8/29 - Lexapro to 6.5mg from 9mg (probably too fast but I had only been on Lexapro for a month so I felt like I could get away with it) 9/8-9/13 - Had alcohol all week sporadically (1 to 2 drinks) because I was feeling so much better. I tested with 1 drink, got away with it, and just kind of got excited.. ugh 9/13 - Lexapro was down to 2.78mg (so 8/29-9/13 6.5 to 2.78mg) way too fast I know. 9/14 - Had a dentist appointment, received probably Novocaine 9/14 - Had mild anxiety in the afternoon after Novocaine wore off 9/15 - Feels like I'm starting back into acute benzo withdrawal 9/16 - Definitely very back into acute something, feels like Benzo withdrawal with extreme feeling of anxiety and burning sensation on skin, doing laps around the house. 9/17 - Updosed Lexapro to 3.9mg 9/19 - Updosed Lexapro more to 4.46mg
  3. Hi I started a atypical antipsychotic drug abilify 10mg for anxiety and irritability for the first time 2 months ago. I had a adverse reaction to it and developed akathisia. So I stopped the ablify immediately, but still had lingering akathisia form the abilify, So I decided to self medicate with mirtazapine 30mg morning and night to help subside the symptoms. I continue to do this for one week. As far as I knew it was a sleeping pill that my psychiatrist pribscribed me months ago that I never bothered to take. He just said do you want something to help you sleep? Anyway once the akathisia went away, I stopped the mirtazapine the same time, and About one week later I developed severe withdrawals. I decided to ride out the withdrawals up until week 6 until I couldn't take no more. So I decided to reinstate. My question is..... is it to late to reinstate, what dosage should I start on, and how long does it take to stabilize? I dont bother asking my psychiatrist because he doesn't believe you get withdrawals.
  4. Hi all, So glad to have found this forum, reading your threads has already been so helpful for my understanding of withdrawals. My mother is 58years old and was taking amitriptyline 75mg for around 3 years for fibromyalgia and depression. Though they were working fine for her and with no major side effects, she had a sudden change of heart and no longer wanted to be dependant on the drug, so in May 2020, she quit cold turkey, with no immediate symtoms of withdrawal. I may point out that during this time she smoked cannabis, she ate and slept well and was generally healthy, albeit moody at times. June 2020 she began to have a rapid decline in mental health, became quite severely anxious, intolerable of any noise and struggled to get out of bed, so the doctor put her back on the 75mg and she quit smoking cannabis. After reinstating 75mg of the drug, her anxiety heightened, she was in a constant state of worry and was having reoccurring thoughts, mostly surrounding her health. Without much help from the doctor, we independently decided she needed to stop taking the drug and after speaking with her doctor she began tapering 10%, but only leaving a few days between doses. At this time, we had not recognised that her symptoms were in fact perhaps a delayed withdrawal reaction from stopping cold turkey in May and it seemed quite evident the drugs were only causing more anxiety, so without much meidcal support or understanding, i thought i was doing the right thing in getting her off them ASAP. She finished tapering at the end of September and it has now been 2 weeks since her last dose - she is suffering every minute of the day, she has not slept a wink in 3 weeks, her appitite has declined and in the past few days she has not eaten anything at all, she has not been able to pass stools for 3 weeks, has no energy, the sweats and shivers are continuous she has to wear multiple layers and is still cold to the bones. I discovered this forum, thank the heavens and decided to reinstate her to 5mg, which she has taken her first dose of last night - no changes so far. Should we continue with 5mg for a few days and see if anything changes? Or consider 10mg, simce her original dose was much higher? Has anybody experienced such extreme withdrawals? I am Beyond concerned, its truly terrifying and horris to watch her go through this. I just want to take her pain away but am fonally accepting that this may be a long road to recovery. Thank you for reading, i hope you can share some experiences and offer some much meeded reassurance. 💚
  5. 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
  6. Hello, I was prescribed 10 mg Cipralex for 6 months due to anxiety I started having last summer. I did the 6 months and went down to 5 mg for another month and stopped( now that I read some of the posts here I realize that I discontinued the medication too soon and fast). Now 2 months later I’m very foggy , depressed, have mood swings and some nausea, short term memory is not good either. My doctor wants me to go back on the pils for 2 more years which I really don’t want to do. Can someone more experienced give their opinion on what to expect ? Should I reinstate or just wait for the WD symptoms to subside over time? Many thanks to all!
  7. Hi I feel I am writing this too late as I have made many errors in my withdrawal from Mirtazapine and subsequent reinstatement but I only found this website and information recently. Perhaps you can still help me. In October, I tapered off from just under 1.5mg Mirt where i had been for several months following a slow taper from 7.5mg (18 months total time). The doctor told me this dose was too low to have therapeutic value but if I wanted to taper i should miss alternate nights, then 2 nights etc...and I should be off in a month. I did this but had insomnia on the missed nights but it seemed to settle. My sleep deteriorated though. In early December and exhausted, I was hosting a party and needed to sleep so I took a 1.5mg dose of Mirt for 2 nights only and slept. 6 days later, I had shocking vertigo and sickness and could barely move. Luckily, this passed in a few hours but it alarmed me and I vowed to stay away from Mirt. My sleep was deteriorating again and exactly 2 weeks later it went completely. Christmas was awful. I didn't really know what the problem was tbh but I didn't want to take any Mirt so I used Phenergan to sleep. After about a week, the Phenergan stopped working and without it I could not sleep at all so I reinstated Mirtazapine. The low dose worked and then didn't work so a week later I increased it to 7.5mg. I know now this was too large an increase but I was desperate. I saw a big improvement but it was still erratic so a week later I tried 10.5mg for 2 nights. This didn't make much difference so I went back to 7.5mg. By now, I had found this website and learned about waves and windows etc.. That next week, things improved but I had a couple of bad nights around day 4, which I thought was the dose change causing problems. Then the next few nights improved again, but last night and the night before I had about an hour and am feeling dreadful. I suppose my questions now would be: does this seem like windows/waves? Or could I have 'kindled'? I dont know much about this or when it would happen but what would I do if it is? I presume I stay at 7.5mg now? I presume it's too late and unwise to reduce this dose? This is a truly awful experience and I'm hoping to stabilise and taper slowly again. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. I know I have probably done everything I'm not meant to do and I'm really paying for it. I wish I had never taken this drug and don't think I should have been prescribed it in the first place but that's another story.
  8. I am a 62 year old woman who was on Amitriptyline for 20 plus years because of migraines. My doctor took me off of Amitriptyline on 8/16/20. My withdrawals have been a roller coaster ride for 4 weeks now. I’m only on vitamins. I would start feeling better then boom the floor drops out from under me. I feel my doctor weened me off Amitriptyline to soon. I was on 25mgs and she had me cut that in half for just 2 weeks. Then get off completely. I’m afraid to get on something else only to feel lousy until the new drug kicks in. I was hoping to do this without any other drugs. But can’t take it any longer. So I’m thinking I need to go back on Amitriptyline and ween off of it for a long time. After reading what everyone is saying about the weening being to short I agree. Especially since I was on this drug so long.
  9. Hello all, Firstly, a note to all SA readers & members who may be going through tough times right now & who are finding the path to recovery extremely difficult. My heart goes out to each of you. Please please hang in there. After years of turmoil I know from experience that it can & does get better. Trust that you have everything that you need within you to recover yet know that no man/woman is an island. Use the resources & support that SA offers here & tailor it to your needs to help guide your path. Secondly, thank you to Altostrata & the SA admin team for this invaluable resource for sufferers & carers alike & for keeping SA alive throughout all these years. I hope you realise the real & positive impact that you have & continue to make to peoples lives. Some background: I came across SA many years ago, exactly at a time when I needed it most. Due to ongoing intollerable side-effects (extreme drowsyness, fatigue, dulling of the senses in every way etc) which were holding back my progress, self-development & enjoyment of life, I needed to improve my quality of life by finding a safe & proven path to reducing my medication (from Prozac 20mg downwards). I longed to re-experience, feel & know the 'real me' once again, flaws & all. The absence of literally ANY knowledge, understanding, guidance or support from my doctors as regards to how best to reduce my meds left me deflated, angry, frustrated & hopeless. Eventually I recognised that I needed to take responsibility for my own health & stop 'outsourcing' it to a medical profession that is to this day very ignorant (as regards how medications really work & affect patients & equally at a personal/relational level. Of all the professions I have encountered this is one that needs a full overhaul & oversight). This profession openly did not have my best interests at heart. Equally I knew I needed to be wise, to do things safely & slowly due to my high sensitivity to micro-changes & not fully disregard a profession & it's medication that, despite the years it robbed from me & despite its many many flaws & scarily strong side effects had in fact brought me back from what was at the time the brink all those years ago. I could only be grateful, despite the horror years. So, i found SA, it's common-sense & well documented 10% taper approach & after applying that approach dilligently over a number of years with my doctor's knowledge (they never even heard the 10% approach or that an electronic scale weighing method could work) I ended up at the lowest level of Prozac I had been on in about 15 years. I felt so proud of myself & my quality of life overall was the best it had been for 2 decades. Career, relationship & life-goals were all tracking better than they ever had & for once I had hope & conviction in my abilities to turn anything around & progress. I still felt medication was holding me back though as I felt the side effects of the 10mg, especially after reinstating after missing a few days of daily dosages inadvertently (self-tapering requires self-organisation & preparation, something I still work on). My current predicament: Recently Prozac has stopped being sold in capsule form where I live. Liquid form never agreed with my system (too sensitive). The first Fluoxetine (generic A I will call it) that I attempted to jump from Prozac to (at 10% less than I had been dosing) really didn't work for me (worryingly weird physical sensations in my head/skull that didn't alleviate much. Prozac reinstatement side-effects had always dissipated after a few days). I then deliberated over the space of week while not taking anything at all with the choice whether to stick with Fluoxetine (generic A), see the switching side-effects through & continuing to taper over the next number of months/years or just going cold turkey on the basis that I was 'only' a about 8mg anyway. Deep down I knew that cold turkey was not wise but I partially outsourced the decision & didn't listen to my gut. So I cold turkeyed for about 2 weeks. I felt 'ok' during this time, pretty much as I had been before on Prozac 10mg, but I knew that Prozac had a long half-life so I didn't expect much or signifant changes one way or the other anyway. I did sense that some things were coming up for me that reminded me of my mental state when I first got 'sick'. At times I felt even more detached, less sociable & low & had a tangible drop in motivation for my work, my life goals. This worried me. During this time I had a niggling feeling in the back of my mind that cold turkey wasn't wise or the way to go. I rediscovered SA after all these years & read the repeated wise advice of not to cold turkey due to it's effect on the brain & the higher probablitiy of worsened & protracted withdrawal syndrome & read from the scary experiences of other SA members who had CT'd & tapered. This helped me to decide to reinstate asap, hoping the window for reinstatement hadn't passed. Reviewing generic A's label showed it contained a lot more excipients than Prozac. I found an alternative Flouxeting brand (generic B ) with the exact same excipients as Prozac & yesterday I reinstated with Fluoxetine generic B at 7.2mg (10% less than I had been on on temporarily on generic A). It hit me hard after about 7 hours & knocked me out (very drowsy & wooly headed) but not like generic A had thankfully, so far anyway. Poor sleep hygiene last night hasn't helped today but I'm 'ok'. My question (request for advice); I realise I really don't know what dosage I should be reinstating. I read on SA since that reinstating at the original dosage can be counterproductive & to try at say 0.5mg to 1mg if previously on 20mg, however that example was for a different drug than Prozac/Fluoxetine. I know there is no strict rule of thumb & everyone & their CNS is different but I wonder which dose I should now continue reinstating at? Ultimately it is my responsibility & decision to make of course & I do note the SA advice of not to use reinstatement after CT-ing as means to taper quicker. Of course whatever dosage I do decide to continue reinstating at must remain constant for about a month (too many dosage changes are too disruptive/destabilising). My gut & my ego is telling me that I should now take 2mg daily for 1 month, monitor it & if I hit lows in mood etc that I should slowly up it by a small amount (e.g. 3 or 4mg?) & monitor & if needs be continue doing so up to 8 or 10mg. This feels like a safe approach but equally I wonder if I should stick with 7.2mg & see through the jump/reinstatement side-effects. I would appreciate any advice or reassurance on either approach. Thanks in advance & sorry for the long-winded post but it was good to get this out anyway & maybe some contents will be useful for others now or in the future.
  10. I went off Lexapro eleven weeks ago. I am currently having symptoms that my therapist feels is chemical rather than psychological. The most concerning is severe depression. Though I am having physical symptoms, such as side pain and yeast in urine. My labs other than that are normal, and my ultrasound on my right side was normal as well. My concentration was terrible but has improved in the past few days. My primary doctor is no real help and just wants to prescribe more meds. I am taking magnesium, fish oil, vitamin D, probiotics and a yeast cleanse. (The yeast cleanse, as well as a stronger probiotic was a change I made a week ago, due to my labs. The others as well as a milder probiotic I have been taking for years.) Things have gotten so severe over the past 2 weeks that my therapist and I are discussing inpatient treatment. I am hesitant to do this because I do not want to go back on SSRIs, and it seems like there is a gut issue that might have started this go around, which won't be addressed if I go inpatient. I had some withdrawals going from 10mg to 5mg, but not much from 5mg to 2.5mg. I had more when I totally quit, but it was tolerable until this month. I wish I had found this site before going off completely. Should I consider reinstating at a low dose? I'm at a loss as to what to do from here, but I can not live like this.
  11. Hello there, friends. I Have been on Lexapro 20mg and 150mg Buproprion XL since 2011. I have always developed brain zaps and dizziness even when I’m just a few hours passed my regular dosage time - though I am symptom free when I am at my normal dose and taking them at the proper time. I don’t suffer from much side effects that I am aware of, perhaps some weight gain. in general, the meds had been a literal life-saver in the early years of taking them, But I have always wanted to try going off to see how much I do or do not need these drugs long term, and because physical dependency on them feels disconcerting. This month I tried a taper for the first time. Half doses daily for a week and then half doses every other day for a week, and then fully off for a few days now - this was the recommended taper from my physician. Symptoms following the drop off were intense brain zaps, dizziness, sudden bursts of weeping, feeling like a truck hit me, feeling like my lower back or kidneys had taken a beating, intense eye weakness and eye strain, anxiety, insomnia, and disassociation. Symptoms got so bad that after a few days of being fully off, I went back to a half dose of both, which has almost immediately helped the symptoms subside (some). I am currently at half doses daily for both meds and seeking advice on whether I should go up to the full daily dose before trying a proper taper or if I should see if I can stabilize on the half doses for both. I don’t want to create a situation where I wait too long and going back up to full dose will no longer work, but being able to begin a proper taper at 10mg of Escitalopram and 75mg of Bupropion would be nice. I want to take the least painful path forward - the withdrawal symptoms were not something I want to ever feel again if I can avoid them. So if going back up to full dose is the wiser choice, even if it means double the length of my taper, I’d rather that than to try to stay lower and risk something I don’t fully understand.
  12. Hi there I’m new here , I’ve been taking 20mg fluoxetine fir the past 3 years and not knowing any of the stuff I’ve been reading here I’ve done everything wrong trying to give up and put myself in full blown withdrawal. Desperate anxiety hopelessness catastrophising etc - I’ve reinstating my 20mg dose and am as bad but possibly lessening slightly . i had no idea about any of the tapering protocols or how bad it could be until I found you guys - I feel like I’m living a horror show where I’ll never be the same again. In my ignorance I’ve made every mistake in the book including cutting down by skipping doses . now I’ve been reading stuff here I’m actually beginning to understand what I should have done and why I’m so ill - I’m going to try and reinstate / restabilisr and then wait before I taper down . can anyone advice me should I try a lower dose of my fluoxetine as my reinstated full dose has made me so ill ? I’d stopped for 3 weeks before full blown withdrawal and then fir the last 3 days I reinstated 1 tablet per day 20mg thank you
  13. Firstly, I am very grateful for this site and support network. I have gone through a hellish experience with withdrawal, and I am grateful that you all can directly relate and provide me with some guidance. I was put on 10 mg Amitriptyline for 3 months for post-concussive headaches and insomnia due to multiple concussions. I tolerated this dose well with some dry mouth at night and grogginess in the morning, which reduced after the first month. (Prior to this I had tried 25 mg Amitrip for 1 day and it was way too high a dose for me; I was bouncing off the walls and had a raging appetite.) After 3 months I decided to taper down, with the approval of my neurologist. But I was not given much guidance at all (he suggested taking the 10 mg every other day which did not work for me). I had some knowledge of antidepressant withdrawal so I knew to take things slowly. I just didn't know how slowly I would need. I first tapered to 5 mg (using a pill splitter) for 1 month and then 2.5 mg for several weeks... but promptly began experiencing major withdrawal symptoms. I had 10/10 level headache that sent me to the ER, as well as high levels of fear, panic, and anxiety which are completely abnormal for me. Disturbing and violent thoughts would also come, unbidden. Correlated to this was also diarrhea, rapid heart rate, and trouble urinating. When I was on 5 mg, I also had an episode where my brain felt extremely cold, and since then I have had to wear multiple hats throughout the day and in order to sleep. The cold-head issue has improved and declined as my other symptoms did. (Has anyone seen this issue before?) All this has been much more difficult than the original issues I was having. The drug has caused so many more problems than it supposedly solved. After connecting this to withdrawal, I went back up to 10 mg on the suggestion of a new neurologist who thankfully understood this as withdrawal and has guided patients with this in the past. Unfortunately I did not read the warnings on this site about reinstating before all this. I have now been back on 10 mg for over 4 weeks. For the first two weeks things were steadily improving each day: I had very vivid, movie-like dreams; the anxiety and fear dissipated; the headaches reduced. But in the past two weeks, my progress seems to have stalled and somewhat declined. I am again experiencing rapid heart rate and "brain zap" headache as well as digestive issues, but the emotional symptoms are not as pronounced. I don't know if this is a window/wave phenomenon, or a poopout? It either feels like A.) the drug is no longer working for me, B.) my brain is requiring higher levels of the drug, or C.) the brain is adjusting its levels of neurotransmitters. The new neurologist has suggested either upping the dose to 12.5 mg or switching to Nortriptyline as it is the metabolite of Amitriptyline. I'm not sure what to do at this point. I believe my options are: 1) Stay on 10 mg Amitrip and ride it out to see if this is a window/wave. 3) Increase to 12.5 mg Amitrip to see if things improve. 2) Switch to Nortrip to see if things improve. Should I be worried that I reinstated all the way back to 10 mg? Since I don't wish to lower it at this point, what can I do to feel stabilized?
  14. Hello, I have been on paroxetine for 7 years,have tried many times to go off but unsuccessfully. Finally on 7 th year i lowered my dose from 20 mg to 10 mg. After panic attacked and insomnia appeared on my trip few months later I took 20 mg while I was on a trip and lowered it again on 10 mg.Due to some medical conditions that I suspected that are cause of paroxetine,I lowered the dose to 0 in maybe two months,way too fast. I was okeish for about two months ( I had all of the symptoms of wd but I fought with it ) and I compelety crushed this February . Tinitus and never ending insomnia are the worse. I started to Google and found all the posts about some neurological damage From this drug which made my anxiety worse. Doctor gave me lorazepam to sleep. My question is ,should I go back to 10 mg and taper more slowly? Am I in a risk of neurological damage From tapering too fast ? Is this tinitus permanent? How long wd simptoms approximately last ? I see I am in risk of developing tolerance to lorazepam since I have been using it two weeks for sleep. My doctor's don't know anything since one wants to put me on mirtazapine and other on Prozac. I am so worried and feeling alone in all this.
  15. Hey. So I’ve been on Effexor for around 13 years. I decided this year I was going to try and taper off. All went well at first, although I should have tapered for longer. Had my last pill in June. Since then I’ve had only very little withdrawal symptoms up until about 2 weeks ago. It started with tingling skin all over, pins and needles, a little panic, hot/cold flushes etc. so I decided to reinstate to try and deal with the withdrawals. My doctor advised I go back to my original dose of 37.5 mg. I did that Wednesday and since then my withdrawals have been out of control! I have had insomnia for the past 3 nights (no sleep at all) panic, heart racing, sweating, shakes, tremors, constant ringing in my ears. Horrible. So instead of taking a full dose again I tried to cut it down to half. Ended up in the ED last night. They said to stop the Effexor all together and use Valium until my withdrawals get better. But my doctor today said he thinks I stay on a low dose of Effexor and use Valium when needed. I’m confused on what to do, but can’t keep going like this with no sleep! Anyone else had this happen??
  16. I'm really unwell and frightened. Please be patient with me, I'll explain my dilemma here. I'm just terrified and desperate... Be warned, I'm also autistic. This might effect how I express myself. TL;DR - 1. Can Sertraline side effects stay permanently if I went cold turkey before getting past them? 2. Can taking another antidepressant get rid of these withdrawal symptoms? 3. So far 5 months of emotional flatness, consistent dissociation and disturbed sleep (insomnia). It's been a long 5 months since quitting Sertraline back in March. I have gone through a cluster of withdrawal symptoms ranging from uncomfortable to disabling. And after waiting this many months, I'm now caught between my options. Either 1. waiting it out, or 2. taking another antidepressant, or even 3. (which is a risk) reinstate with a smaller dose of Sertraline. Now in an ideal world I should be able to speak to a psychiatrist and seek their help, instead of being stuck here trying to figure things out on my own. A few weeks ago I found old notes of mine from 2016 regarding similar issues I'm having today, inability to feel tiredness, inability to sleep, anhedonia, detachment from myself and surroundings. This was after a negative reaction to Riseridone, a drug I tried using in 2016 to help my symptoms (anxiety, depression). It was a drug that I couldn't stick with as it tightened my throat and made things hurt. At the time I didn't have access to a psychiatrist who would help me taper off the medication, instead I resorted to calling NHS 111 on April 10th 2016. I was told it would be safe to go off cold-turkey. Afterwards got thrown into heavy insomnia and my emotions flattened. Yet here is the catch. Around the same time I was prescribed Sertraline, and this means I'm now trying to figure out whether those symptoms were caused by stopping Riseridone or starting Sertraline. I'm hoping next week to retrieve my notes and see what date my prescription was given, as if the Sertraline didn't cause those issues I'm wondering if restarting that medication in March and stopping brought back my Riseridone withdrawal symptoms. And this isn't all. I'm also trying to establish whether I was on a too high of a dose, because when I was first prescribed Sertraline I was given 25mg to begin with for 4 weeks before increasing up to 50mg. This time I started immediately on 50mg after being told by someone that "25mg is a child's dose". I shouldn't have taken Sertraline in March... but then again I shouldn't have taken 50mg and instead taken the lowest possible dose. I'm even trying to make a comparison between an experience I had when starting on 100mg Sertraline back in late 2016. Jumped from 50mg to 100mg and immediately felt awful and detached. Put myself back down to 50mg and those symptoms cleared up. Same symptoms I had when restarting on 50mg this year... so now I wonder if there's any possible way to break through this. So far it's been 5 months of nonstop Hell and this needs to be stopped somehow. First I'll find out when I was prescribed Sertraline. If those are Riseridone withdrawal symptoms (insomnia, dissociation) then I might try 25mg and go upwards. (This is because I'm out of options, I'd rather go back onto an antidepressant to stop these symptoms and then taper off properly). I heard insomnia from SSRI can eventually fade out. The last time I had the insomnia and anhedonia I was taking Sertraline and eventually everything returned. I'm going to be taking a risk. I don't want to make things worse or prolong the withdrawal syndrome (since I've already overcome the worst of my mania). I don't want to take anything if things are slowly improving (if I could be SSRI free until March next year and have regained most of my brain, that would be a relief -- not because antidepressants don't work, but because I wouldn't need to use any to alleviate these issues). And I don't want to take Sertraline if a drug like Fluxoetine can get rid of these problems (if Fluxoetine or any other medication can get rid of these issues, I'd stay with it for a while, so long as the pros outweigh the cons.) I just want my head back... And just as a note. When I ingested 50mg in March, I wasn't expecting those symptoms. I wasn't expecting to feel instantly messed up. This is what scared me. I noticed the insomnia and detachment creep in shortly after and hoping that going cold turkey would prevent this from being an issue. I thought, "the sooner the better". Not realising that withdrawal symptoms can go dormant for a while, when it comes to Sertraline you can stop and feel fine for a while. Between 2019 (September) - 2020 (March) I was absolutely fine. Perhaps it reinstated the Sertraline withdrawal? Maybe my body went into shock from not taking it for so long. Who knows.
  17. I was tood by my doctor to stop my Effexor cold turkey as my side effects were bad and she said that as i was obly on it for 8 months it shouldn't be an issue. I was on citalopram for 8 years before that. That was on 2dec, i was ok very irritated argumentative and bad brain zaps but mentally i was fine. Then Christmas came and some bad news brought me down and I couldn't grt out of my bed for three days then rhe panic came stronger than i have ever felt. I am so frightened and dont know how to cope. I started taking the Effexor 75 again 4 days ago but im still struggling and dont know what to do. Please help
  18. hi,all been on &off antidepressants for 20 yrs but never felt this crummy.since stopping Paroxetine have had flu-like symptoms ,then fatigue loss of appetite,taste changes,eye problems(excessive blinking actually started while on it,that's why I quit).depression,anxiety,just miserable,wondering if I should reinstate or just try & hang in there.I was on it about 6 mos.stopped May 4 after about 7 wk taper.thanks for any suggestions
  19. Hello SA, As you can see from my signature, I have a long history of starting, stopping, and switching numerous drugs. Largely due to SA, over the past month or so I have truly awoken to the dangers of these drugs, and I am devastated over what I now know they have done to my brain and body for the last nearly 18 years. However, I do have faith that I will heal. At age 17 I unwittingly walked right into Big Pharma’s lair and became ensnared when a psychiatrist prescribed me Effexor for OCD (which apparently should not even be a first-line treatment for OCD). When I tried to fill it at a new pharmacy in my new state as a college freshman about 1.5 years later, I was told that my insurance would not fill the prescription because the dosage was too high (I don’t remember what it was). Frustrated, I decided to just stop taking it since it wasn’t helping me. I didn’t know any better. When withdrawal hit me, I contributed my symptoms to the cold turkey but didn’t fully understand I was experiencing withdrawal. Over the next 15 years I went on and off multiple drugs to try to manage my OCD and accompanying depression, not fully realizing that my unsuccessful attempts to stop the drugs were due to tapering too quickly and subsequent withdrawal as opposed to relapse. In October of 2018 I was on 10 mg of Prozac and had been holding there for about a year while seeing a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I was struggling at that dose, most likely due to delayed withdrawal from a too fast taper from 60 mg. Due to my struggles, I decided to attend an outpatient OCD program where I foolishly allowed the attending psychiatrists to take me off the Prozac and put me on a cocktail of Abilify, Anafranil, and Luvox. I did not notice any improvement with the cocktail over the 10mg of Prozac. Once I discharged from the program three months later, I returned to seeing the psychiatric nurse practitioner. He instructed me to cold turkey the Luvox (I had been taking 25 mg for 2.5 weeks). I hesitated at the cold turkey approach but thought, "I've only been taking it 2.5 weeks." He continued me at 5mg of Abilify and increased me from 75mg to 100mg of Anafranil. At my next visit one month later, I said I would like to discontinue the Abilify and Anafranil as they were not helpful. His instructions were to cut the 5mg Abilify pills in half for 6 days and stop. This seemed too fast to me, but he told me that anti-psychotics do not need to be tapered as slowly as anti-depressants. Regarding the Anafranil, I was to take 50 mg for one week, 25 mg for one week, then stop. This seemed too fast to me as well, but I told myself that it was still a taper and not a true cold turkey. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I am here now because I have found myself in “one of the worst places to be during withdrawal”, according to @brassmonkey in his Reinstatement post. I am seriously considering reinstatement after 8 months off of all drugs because I am completely non-functional, and my symptoms have only gotten worse during this time period. What concerns me perhaps the most is that I have not experienced any windows since my last dose. I want to believe that I am healing, but it feels I've only deteriorated over the last 8 months. From what I’ve read here on SA, I understand that reinstatement may or may not work and may even cause an adverse reaction since I’ve been drug-free for so long. Even so, I would sincerely appreciate any advice on reinstatement (for or against) in regards to my particular situation. Also, if I were to reinstate, which drug should I reinstate? I was on Luvox for 2.5 weeks and both Abilify and Anafranil for approximately 4 months. Before that, I was on Prozac (on and off at various times) for 13+ years. So although Abilify and Anafranil were my most recent drugs, perhaps it is Prozac that my brain and body are most used to? I am grateful for any advice, suggestions, and encouragement. Peace, Love, and Faith, HopeforHealing
  20. Hi all, I'm looking for some assistance in getting off of Citalpram. Here's my story: I have been on an SSRI for 10+ years. Started Zoloft to deal with panic attacks brought on by a stressful boss and marijuana use. The zoloft helped with panic attacks, and then helped me get through two pregnancies (one with postpartum depression) but in the last year or so the side effects have outweighed the benefits. I have felt pretty emotionally numb, gained weight, had no libido and had a sweating problem, all attributed to the antidepressant. My doctor suggested that I switch from Zoloft to Citalopram in the last year or two, and I tried that. I didn't see much difference in side effects, in fact, I almost feel like they got worse. I also went on Welbutrin to see if that would curb the sexual side effects. It did, but very little. I could not get up to a therapeutic dose of Welbutrin because I got so angry when I took 300 mg I thought I was going to kill my children. Anyway, I was on like 150 mg Welbutrin and 20 mg Citalopram until a month or so ago, when I started trying to wean from the Citalopram. I took my GPs advice and went from 20 mg t0 10 mg, waited several weeks, then to 5, waited a couple weeks, then to 5 every other day, and pretty quickly after that stopped taking the Citalopram this last week. I had another mom say something like "2.5 mg, that's nothing! You shouldn't even be on it anymore!" and of course I felt embarrassed and decided she was probably right, so I took myself off of it altogether. I had horrible withdrawal symptoms last week. It began with just the brain shocks, but progressed to severe irritability, and emotional sensitivity and instability, and then by this weekend I was yelling at my 4 and 6 year old (of course my husband was out of town on business) for no real reason, and feeling like physically abusing them. This isn't normal behavior for me. I'm normally a mom who is wound pretty tight, but I have patience reserves - and by this Friday they were GONE. I felt like the worst person/mom in the world for screaming at them and getting physically aggressive. I felt completely out of control emotionally. One minute I was screaming and the next I was sobbing. So I made the hard decision to not "tough it out" anymore, and went back on 5 mg of Citalopram a day for the last two days to try and get rid of some of the symptoms. I am trying to get help in weaning the rest of the way off. I've been reading a lot of James Heaney's site, and feeling like weaning 10% a month might be the safest route since I seem so sensitive to the loss of serotonin in my body. I asked my GP today to prescribe Citalopram in a liquid form so I could do this, and she didn't really "hear" me the first time I asked. She sent back a recommendation that I continue on 5 mg every other day for a month, then go down to taking 5 mg for 3 days a week, give it a couple weeks, then go down to 2 days a week of 5 mg, give it two weeks, then go down to 1 day a week of 5 mg, and then give it two weeks, and then take none. I'm concerned about her schedule because I had been reading that it probably wasn't the best idea to skip doses...does anyone know if this is accurate? And I'm wondering if anyone else has had the liquid Citalopram prescribed to them? Does this seem to be a good plan going forward? Do I need to talk to a psychiatrist? I don't feel like I trust my GP to know what's best for my body anymore. She said today that I seem to be more sensitive to this than others. It pissed me off. I see a lot of people online who are having trouble coming off antidepressants, and I don't understand why she doesn't recognize this. Anyway, thanks for any advice. P.S. I also went off the Welbutrin this last week. It doesn't seem to have had any affect one way or another. But who knows, maybe it's wrapped up in this too.
  21. Hi, I'm new here I'm a 32-year-old woman from Denmark. I found you because I want to safely taper off of my low-dose Amitriptyline 10 mg. But as I read about withdrawal, I came across "post-acute withdrawal syndrome" or "protracted withdrawal" and I got chills because suddenly what has been happening since 2017 made sense! Long story short(er), I was on Venlafaxine/Effexor for 8 years because of generalized anxiety and body pains. In 2017 I tapered off from 2 capsules/150 mg, reducing with 1/4 pill every 2 weeks, so I was off them after a little under 4 months. (I didn't know about safely tapering off, only now have I come across your guide :)). By going off so "slowly" - well, compared to my doctor who told me I could do it cold turkey(!) - I didn't get the extreme side effects i would normally get when I would go up or down in dose. I felt the same when I stopped my dose and for the next 2 months, I was completely fine. But 2 months after I had taken my last dose, I started getting pain in my body, and after 2 more months, at the end of January 2018, from one day to the next I started having an extreme inner shaking/hightened fight-flight-response. It was like I had gotten a shock and I just stayed in that state every second of every day. Never being able to rest was so bad that I wanted to kill myself. It's so difficult to explain the sensation to anyone, so I usually use sleep deprivation as a related example: Sleep deprivation should be the worst form of torture and I get it now - stressing your body every second of every day is completely unbearable and you just want to die. I did sleep, though, but only 4-5 hours every night and I was never tired. My cortisol levels were high so I was checked for Cushing's (cortisol producing tumor) which meant I couldn't take any medicine to help me for 7 months because I needed accurate cortisol results (I didn't have any tumor, though). And also, nothing helped me, not benzodiazepines, sleeping pills, CBD oil or high doses of beta-blockers. After 7 months, my friend who had experienced the same "shaking" after a whiplash and after only a week had wanted to jump out the window from her apartment on the 3rd floor, recommended a low dose of Amitriptyline and that reduced the shaking by 30 % and after a month by 50 % (I only took 5 mg to begin with, though, and it worked after just a few hours, very weird). My symptoms then started to become predominantly psychological instead, like I would cry all the time. It opened up a deep developmental trauma wound that I started therapy for in December 2018. After that and body therapy like The Rosen Method, my symptoms are gradually decreasing. (I also have like 20 other symptoms, like body pain, fatigue etc.). Now, almost 2 years after I came off venlafaxin, I'm 50 % better than I was in December 2018, but my sympathetic nervous system is still firing too much. I thought that being on antidepressants for so many years, from I was 22 until I was 30 had made me so numb that I couldn't process all the stuff I had been through earlier in my life - and I still think that's partly the case - but now I see that there's an entire half of the picture I didn't know about!! That this must have been post-acute withdrawal syndrome!! So not only did I have all the past trauma that came up now that I didn't have something to artificially shut it down, at the same time my brain was also struggling with getting chemically back in balance! Woooow... #MindBlown! I don't even know what I feel... I feel so angry and want to sue someone, but that's not really possible I guess. I have missed work for almost 2 years, I'm only now starting a 10-hour internship. I can't believe you can go from feeling fine to 4 months AFTER you stopped the medicine get these extreme reactions. Has anyone else experienced something like that? And I still want to come off of the Amitriptyline, but slowly. It's only 10 mg, and this week I'm taking 9 mg. After I've done this for 2 days, I do feel some side effects like a bit of insomnia and hightened fight-flight, but it's minor. And might be because I made an oral solution from my tablets and now I read you should try to stay on your dose for 4 days before you reduce it. I did calculations based on the advice of the 10 % reductions of the new dose every month, and if I jump off at 0,1 mg, it will take me 43 months. It seems like a long time, but I would rather do this safely this time! Wow, I'm still in shock that it was protracted withdrawal symptoms that almost had me commit suicide, because no doctor could tell me what I was experiencing. I'm so glad I found you! And I also want to ask you if anyone has ever gotten completely over this syndrome, can your brain adjust completely? TIA
  22. Hello everyone. I hope you all find the strength needed to successfully archive your goals towards a better self. I am really torn about what to do next. My story, short: I was on benzo from 1999-2012 and on SSRI from 2002-February this year (2016). The underlying diagnose is anxiety/panic disorder. The journey has been hell (you know what I mean) and I'm not going to repeat what all of you already know...you know how hard it is and how many symptoms one can feel. From feeling like going crazy to extreme hopelessness. From insomnia to jaw pain... Where I am now is as follows: the first two months after my last dose Lexapro were hell but I was nevertheless able to go to work, don't know how actually. Months 3-4 were surprisingly stable I went to work and lived quite normally. I smiled to myself and thought I was archiving victory, as I previously did with benzo. ...but sadly now some weeks ago, in my 5th month things are getting quite nasty. Symptoms are coming back, specially strong anxiety, panic attacks (not every day), nightmares, mood swings and specially muscle ache (jaw and back). I don't know what's happening. I have read everywhere symptoms after 3 months are "yourself" and not withdrawal, same as my doctor says. I really, really don't want to go back. Leaving the medicine was a titanic task...I don't want to go back,l but at the same time I refuse living in this constant pain. This is not life worth living for me. I daily do everything in my power to get better, as I've done this far when tapering both benzo and SSRI; I run 5km each other day, hit the gym, eat healthy, meditate, get lots of rest, have changed my life away from stress, I have no great financial problems, I have this wonderful wife, a wonderful life really...and I can't enjoy it. My question for you, experienced people is: what should I do? I have an appointment with my doc this Monday and I'll have to make a decision by then. Should I hold on and wait for better days (will they come?) or should I take a low dose Lexapro? Even 2,5-5mg were enough for keeping me stable. I mainly got of SSRI to show "that I could", a decision I'm beginning to regret. Is it possible this still could be withdrawal? Thanks a lot Love to you all /Machinehead
  23. Do/did you have depression as wd symptom? Sometimes I'm in an extremely bad mood and very exhausted - it is in fact very similar to my original depression. It always gets better in the evening.
  24. Hi everyone. I am hoping to get some much needed (and very much appreciated) advice on my situation. As you see, I had been on Sertraline for almost 2 years, or around the two year mark, before I began a too fast taper in 2016 which lead to my withdrawal syndrome in September 2016. My doctor had me taper in 6 weeks completely off Sertraline, jumping off at 25mg and not even tapering the 25mg, just cold turkeying the 25 per his instruction. Well, I was feeling some withdrawal symptoms, I just didn't realize what they truly meant, and my doctor had told me not to worry 'they will clear up in a few weeks" well they didn't really clear up, but actually got worse two-three months later. I want to make this as short as possible so it is easy to read, but long story short, I ended up reinstating Sertraline at 12.5mg first week, at the same time tapering the 30mg of buspirone my doctor had tried to test out on me for almost two weeks. Each week, he upped my dose of Sertraline during my reinstatement, until I reached 57mg and my body rejected anything above the 57mg. However, I did not know anything about withdrawal or tapering back then, and realize that I was put on way too high of a dose for reinstatement. This has me very scared and very anxious, I try hard not to be, and most of it is likely neuro related, but I wonder what I can do if I feel it's too high? I've got the anhedonia, but I've had this since December, and it actually was brought on more or less by my doctor trying to put me back up to 75mg, maybe that was just a coincidence, but I am not so sure. Each adjustment of the sertraline left me with worsened insomnia, worsened panic, trembling and what I can only describe as body jolts every morning for four months straight. And trying to sleep at night I felt like I was having seizures almost, where my body would jolt me awake just as I was drifting off to sleep, heart would be racing, fear and panic would run rampant and worsen in the morning. I still have mild teeth chattering every morning and especially when the anxiety or stress comes on. I reinstated pretty quick, where I reinstated as soon as my withdrawal symptoms started getting worse, I didn't wait it out even though I really wanted to. I didn't want to go back on the medication after what it had done to me, but didn't know what else to do. Then, everyone I trusted, my doctor especially, had me convinced I had developed several new mental disorders in a matter of three days. I was so so scared, and my anxiety was through the roof. I really stressed myself out a lot trying to figure out "what was wrong with me" because I did not know at the time. On top of that I had the professionals I trusted assuring me it was my "symptoms coming back" (they actually said that right after I already told them I never ever had these symptoms before in my life, not even one of them.) Then I happened to find SA, during my research into my symptoms and the ssri I was taking. I learned a lot in one night, and my jaw dropped. My gut had been telling me all this time it was the drug, it was withdrawal. But I ignored it and listened to the "experts" instead. HUGE MISTAKE!! Now I am stuck in a situation that makes me fear for the future, and not sure what I can do now that I am back on a higher dose. If I would've known better, I would not have allowed my doctor to titrate me up so high. I would've sat at the lowest possible dose, even the 12.5mg. My withdrawal symptoms had really settled down a lot for the last two or three months now though. My appetite came back, libido came back, depression lifted almost instantly upon reinstatement, the anxiety and panic took a while to lift but that has really settled down a ton and only sporadically (maybe lasting a second or two) I'll feel a blip of panic and anxiety (typically when under a lot of built up stress), and my biggest gripe for withdrawal symptoms as of now is the anhedonia, but even that was beginning to lift where I'd get moments of joy or contentment or my interests peaking through the veil of anhedonia. My sleep actually went back to normal in the last week or two, and I haven't been waking with the dread or anxiety for the past three months now, and I have been feeling pretty good except now I got back into this wave and I think it's because I'm stressing over tapering and my dosage after what I read last night. I read on SA someone said that being on too high a reinstatement dose can permanently damage your brain, where you will never heal from it. So I am really scared... I really need advice or wisdom on where to go from here. At this point, I worry I'll always feel this way and I'll never recover any further than where I currently am. I'd be fine if I felt somewhat normal, where I could handle the withdrawal symptoms temporarily until they pass, and I do admit that on my better days I certainly can handle them. But I feel like reinstatement was pointless or worse for me than just muscling through the withdrawals after what I read about high dose reinstatement. I feel like A) it's going to take forever just to stabilise on this dose and B it's going to be painful trying to taper when the time comes, due to that I may have permanently damaged my brain with my reinstatement. I guess what I am wondering now is, do I stay on this dose and wait for the anhedonia to completely go away, or how do I know when I am ready to begin tapering? At this point I am just feeling very confused and afraid about my dose and tapering in the future. I feel lost. I'd really appreciate any help! Thank you!
  25. I discovered about Cardiac Coherence one week ago and I thought it could be helpful. I started to reinstate Amitriptyline 25mg (30yrs use) 3 weeks ago after stopping cold turkey last October. My protocole now is 10mg am and 15mg night with some progress: 1st week-no sleep, 2nd week-slept 5 nights, 3rd week-slept 5 nights,4th week-slept Jan 11 only. No sleep since. So it could be Cardiac Coherence breathing which has excited my nervous system, yes? I’m 72 yrs old. Since last August, I lost all my bad eating habits, and lost weight, no more high blood pressure. So I thought I could stop Amitriptyline 25mg prescribed to me for insomnia in early 90’s. Few years ago, I took only 2/3 to sleep. I thought I could stop. I failed. Very bad side effects. Finally, I saw the light, and Amitriptyline reinstatement. And tonight, I stopped cardiac coherence breathing 3xday. I’ll update my progress. I've read some topics and will read more. I discover very needed new info every day. Thank you to all for contributing to this peer support forum.
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