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  1. Hello Everyone I am new here. This is my first ever post to a form of any kind. I am currently tapering off Pristiq 10 percent per month under the care of my specialist. I was prescribed Pristiq in July/August of 2010 by my GP. Over the years, I have made several failed attempts at stopping the Pristiq as I found the process just too difficult while trying to balance the responsibilities of my career. I resigned from my position in 2016 and have been tapering since November 2016. So far so good, but it has been a long, emotional and isolating process. I still have some struggle every time I reduce my dosage, and it would be great to have the support of others who understand what I am going through. I also hope my journey can be of help to someone else.
  2. In july I was diagnosed with psychosi due to ptsd. I was in an abusive relationship. I started the resperidone 3mg in july and I am supposed to be tapering off in June, and Im a little nervous about the withdrawal and other things. Im just curious has anyone been successful in tapering off risperidone? All I have read are horror stories. I am supposed to taper off this drug and I wont be put on any other drugs, and I was just curious if anyone has come off risperdone without being put on any other meds? Are you able to feel emotion again? Did the psychosis return? Did the mask-like face go away? Will I return to normal I guess is my question.
  3. I am currently on 20 mg of Adderall XR and 10 mg of Trintellix. I have been on a steady dose of both for 4 months and think I am ready to try to go down in both. Does any have any suggestions? I have no idea which to taper first. I am so sick of the brain fog I want to taper the antidepressant first, but I am not sure what interactions may occur. Could I get serotonin syndrome with this? I see that both inhibit CYP2D6, which increases each others' side effects and increases risk of serotonin syndrome. I'd really appreciate some advice, because my psychiatrist doesn't know much about it, and is not much of a help at all. I am just ready to do this the right way and feel emotions/motivation again.
  4. Hi all, Long story short. Was anorexic last year until Christmas, starting recovering from that/weight restoring in January 2016. One of the ED therapists I worked with told me anxiety peaks once weight it restored, which happened (although didn't learn this until recently) - end of April 2016 I went into psychiatric hold because the anxiety was making me suicidal. Big mistake. Doc there put me on 20mg of Citalopram. For the next month I did therapy which along with an occasional Benzo resolved the anxiety. By May the Citalopram kicked in, with all its side effects. Extreme nausea, dry heaving, insomnia, weight gain, hunger cues messed up (already were from anorexia, but worsened), acne, gynecomastia, swollen fingers, fatigue - so bad (daily nausea was excrutiating) I nearly killed myself at the end of June. But I finally found a good doc, who through the next month of tests, determined it was the meds. Began tapering first day in August, 20 mg to 15 mg. Took a supp called Serosyn with 5HTP, L-theanine, and B vitamins. Withdrawal consisted of chapped lips in in the first week, increased hunger (I could be full but my brain still screamed to eat), fatigue (different form than when on 20 mg), wired feeling and weight gain. Leveled off a bit after 3 weeks, although I should have stayed there longer (but I didn't because the effects of 20 mg have been so bad that I've been trying to get off asap). 2 and a half weeks ago went down to 10 mg. Like before, chapped lips in the first week, wired feeling persisting, continued weight gain, and insatiable hunger. As before the lips are healing, but the hunger is still messed up (early fullness, insatiable hunger). Tired still, waking up hungry even after eating a lot at night. Haven't exercised in 8 months - first b/c of anorexia recovery, by now b/c exercise messes up my hunger cues/I cannot seem to physically eat enough. Worried I've been too aggressive with the taper, and that I'm doing irreparable damage to my nervous system. I wonder if I should reinstate 15 mg (scared it won't help/cause more complications) and start a slower taper? Seriously scared reinstating will mess things up even more, but equally scared that I've dropped too fast and have messed up my nervous system irreparably (and that my hunger cues/weight, which have been messed since starting anorexia recovery, are doomed for life). tl;dr: 20 mg citalopram was full of terrible side effects, dropped to 15 and then to 10 pretty quickly, and paying the price; wondering if I should wait it out for another week to see if anything improves like the 20-15 drop, or reinstate 15 and go slower from there (also scared I'm ruined for the rest of my life, I've had to quit a lot of things because of this damn med). On the bright side, gynecomastia, acne, and such are improving as expected. But this messed up hunger is getting at me (as is the weight gain and general crap feeling that I've had ever since starting this med).
  5. Moderator note: Link to benzo forum thread: summitbound: Poly-drugged: Thinking about tapering an AD w/ benzo Hello, I'm brand new to this site. I've been so busy learning about benzo tapering (and suffering!) on benzobuddies.org that I have yet to tackle getting off any of my antidepressants. I've already been tapering the benzo for over a year. I know that the general rule is to taper off your benzos first, and then work on your antidepressants. That said, I probably have a year or more left on my benzo taper and I hate being poly drugged with three antidepressants. I'd like to safely chip away at at least one of them. I think the mirtazipine is really helping with my sleep during bezno withdrawal, so I don't think I want to touch it. It seems like the low hanging fruit would be the lithium, since it seems I'm on a less than theraputic dose at 675 mg. Thoughts? So far, I have been "blessed" during my benzo taper in that I have not suffered from depression, severe anxiety, or panic. So I do want to tread carefully. Thanks so much!
  6. Hi, So quick background.. i took LUVOX (fluvoxamine) a few years ago and was able to come off of it safely and with minimum withdrawal. (I reduced 50mg at a time over a few months) (I know this wasn’t the right way to taper but I didnt know at the time) I took Luvox again this year and as I been withdrwaling, I realize it is MUCH harder. I can BARELY withdrawal 10mg at a time and I strongly feel the withdrawal. I been withdrawing less than 5% to. It just does not make sense to me that I withdrew much faster and easier before and now it is so much harder the second time... I don’t think it has todo with my diet or stress. If you Any thoughts as to why this is, it would be great thanks...
  7. Hey everyone, Hope you all are doing well! So, I've been taking sertraline since I was 19. I started at 50 mg and ended up at 100 mg for a couple of years. I weaned down to 50 mg until I had a severe depressive episode at age 23 and worked up to 200 mg combined with risperdal. I came off the risperdal within a year but stayed on the sertraline. About 3 years later, I started to taper down. I went down 50 mg at one time and felt truly awful but stuck with it. I then tried a 25 mg drop but got really sick, not realizing that it was the medicine causing it. I went back to 150 until I was over my "sickness." After realizing that the withdrawals were making me sick, I tried different rates of drops over the course of a year. Sometimes 10 mg, sometimes 5 mg, sometimes 1/3 mg until I reached 100 mg. That was about a year ago; I'm now 29 and I still don't feel right. I'm anxious, fatigued, cloudy-minded and sick most of the time. So here are my questions: When should I expect to "level out?" I would like a period of feeling normal before I start back on my taper, but is that naive? Should I just keep tapering now? Furthermore, if these withdrawal side effects are permanent, shouldn't I stop tapering to prevent further damage? Any practical advice would be helpful. Thanks!
  8. Today begins the reduction from a 300mg effexor xr dose daily. My psychiatrist subtracted by 37.5. I have had missed doses by days and had paranoia, uncontrollable guilt and crying, nightmares, aggressiveness. So I am worried even 37.5 will be too much. Its hard to find people who understand the severity of these symptoms. Ive been on it for 13 years. Misdiagnosed depressed i ran around with mania and volatile aggression for 9 years. I have bipolar 2. Im currently on tegretol 400mg and lamictal 400mg daily. Wish me luck? Pray for me. Lol
  9. Hi all, I am a 29 years old female working full time in the mental health field in USA. I started Lexapro/escitalopram 20mg back in 2010 for panic attack, moderate anxiety and mild depression when I was 21 years old. It initially helped me lift my mood and get rid of somatic symptoms. I have been maintaining 20mg for 7 years without much side effects. And I still have regular emotions when situations raise. In 2017, my PCP suggest lowering the dosage since my life is stable and I have more life experiences after these years. By the way, lexapro is the only medication I take; I have overall good health and live a healthy lifestyle (low sugar diet, exercise, no alcohol or smoking, supportive friends & families). Here is a history: 2010-2017: 20mg daily. Did fine for those years without much symptoms ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Family doctor recommended tapering in June 2017 Below is tapering instructed by doctor 6/2017 - 12/2017: 20mg & 10mg every other day, No WD symptoms 12/2017 - 2/2018: 10mg daily, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 2/2018 - 7/12/2018: Restated 15mg daily, No WD symptoms --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Below is tapering by myself 7/12/2018 - 8/8/2018: 15mg & 12.5mg every other day alternate, No WD symptoms 8/9/2018 - current: 12.5mg daily, experiencing managable WD symptoms: palpitation, brain fog/tightness, diarrhea(stopped on 8/23/18, back to normal bowel movement), dreams, mild obsessive thought. No mood disturbance. I am waiting for current symptoms to subside, and I will use a slower tapering schedule -10% after this. OTHER INFO: Tapering method: cut pills and weigh using digital scale Supplement: fish oil Coping: exercise, meditation, talk to my support network, inform and update people around me of my tapering & ask them to monitor me. Mindset: symptoms are temporary, change is happening everyday, slow and steady. I am happy to find this place where we can share recovery stories and support. Life is a long journey, let's take little step everyday Here is a sheet I use to track symptoms using 0-10 scales.
  10. Hi, You need a taper plan for your antidepressant(s) or benzodiazepine(s) and you don't know how to start? How about create by yourself your own taper plan? If you want to see how your possible taper plan may look like, have a look to the following online planners: - For antidepressants users: http://antdep.alwaysdata.net/ - For benzodiazepines users: http://benzo.alwaysdata.net/ and the related video: Have a look to the Help section first. Hope it can help.
  11. Hello fellow withdrawers (if that's a word), I'm Bokart and I'm here on a journey to quit my medication of Olanzapine. Down to 7,5 mg at the moment (see my signature). My story short: back in February 2015 I got admitted in psych ward due to psychosis (due to my destroyed sleep because of my night-shift work). There began my involuntary medication of Olanzapine, which pulled me out of a psychosis, so at least it did some good. I was released from the hospital after two weeks of being there. Now, after jojoing with my olanzapine dose (see signature), I'm finally set to quit it for good. I found this community after searching for succesfull withdrawal stories on the internet and found this community to be great, people being helpful and supportive and giving good advice... I know it can get rough when I approach smaller doses so I do know I will need support. And hopefully I can give support too and offer people hope after and during my taper. I know lots of people are in the same boat as me. Why I want to quit? I got no sexuality anymore, my motivation lacks big time, even personal hygiene is suffering because of that. I can't memorize things like before - learning is difficult. I have very little emotions left in me, basically I'm a dumbed down version of myself nowadays with this drug. I have little social skills - which I would badly need because I plan on working with children in school so some situational awareness is needed (I might have to quit my studies due to me making no progress in my studies... due to this drug). No happines, no enjoying things, lethargy and demotivation... About my psychosis, after it was gone I haven't had any symptoms of it returning (like delusions, paranoia, hallucinations), even after trying to quit my drug cold turkey once, which I see as a good sign. Now I don't want to slip into psychosis again so I need to be extra careful with my taper. After I hit 5,625 mg I will go on tapering by feeling, so no reductions until I feel stable enough. My main concern is sleep. I have a prescribed medication of temazepam (a benzodiazepine), which I can use when my insomnia has hit a threshold of needing immediate attention. I'm trying to limit my use of it to every three days to prevent tolerance and dependence (I know benzodiazepine withdrawals can be bad). But the thing is, lack of sleep led me to psychosis once, so it is a big deal to me. I need at least one night on a while to hit at least 4 hours of uniterrupted sleep, which 40 mg of temazepam does. I've tried many other sleep aids such as low to medium dose of quietiapine (no effect), low to medium dose of levomepromazine (didn't help), low dose of doxepine (no effect), even melatonine and l-tryptophan and 5-htp and none of those helped. One thing that helped me though was phenibut combined with temazepam - I slept 13 hours with that combination! So I know I have an emergency brakes on my train now (assuming that combination works again, haven't taken phenibut in 2 months to avoid tolerance and dependency), but I'm planning on limiting the use of this combination to once a month. On this dose of 7,5mg I'm currently having 2-3 hours of good uninterrupted sleep plus 3-4 hours of bad, constantly waking up kind of sleep So, thank you all for being here! And I wish a speedy recovery to those who are withdrawing from their drugs, we are all here together.
  12. Hey Guys, i am having a lot of trouble with the side effects of Effexor XR, after a failed withdrawal from the the drug last year after a fast taper, and consequent post acute withdrawal. I am down to the final 37.5 mg and just want to be done with it, i have had enough on these foul poisons, im prepared to come off any way possible following the 10% reduction a month rule. The problem is to this id have to import the immediate release version from overseas which is very costly, then start the slow process. I managed to see a psychiatrist, and had the advice to switch to Prozac, taking a 37.5 mg dosage of Effexor XR and halving a 20mg pill of Prozac for 2 weeks to adjust the nervous system, then do a complete swap to just Prozac, 20 mg. I have been on the Efexor for 3.5 years, prior to that Citalipram 8 years in total, and am worried about introducing a new drug into my system. I know Prozac has a long shelf, half life, thus easier to taper from then Efexor, but just feel insecure i guess. If i could have any help or information, guidance from others that have tried this approach, that would be hugely appreciated. I am here just like you, wanted to feel alive and happy again
  13. Hi, This is my very first post. After I tapered off Clonazepam back in Aug 2017, I wrote an application for users of Benzodiazepines to prepare by themselves their own taper plan. As it seems that some users found it useful, I adapted the code to be used with antidepressant in general. A number of information from this site has been used to complete the work. Here it is: http://antdep.alwaysdata.net/ . Hope it can help someone. Any comment or bugs signaling will be most appreciated.
  14. I work around a lot of physically vulnerable people, and don't want to expose them to the flu. So, in most years, I get a flu shot. But I'm nervous about getting the shot while I'm doing my AD taper. Has anyone else gotten a flu shot while tapering? Did you react differently compared with when you'd previously had the shot? Did it aggravate your WD symptoms? Thanks for your thoughts and feedback. -Mtnbkr
  15. Hey guys! So I have started my taper off of Lexapro 20 mg, for Panic Disorder and Pure O. When I spoke to my psych she said to just drop from 20 to 10. I of course looked at her like she had lost her mind! I have already quit cold turkey once and after 3-4 months of it, I had a very severe panic attack and went back on. Needless to say, I am doing this the right way now! I started at 18 mg, and have been here for almost 3 months. Of course, it isn't exact, due to it being a pill and a wonky pill cutter. So far, I have felt great. But then I started my period. Of course I was emotional, but that wasn't the problem. I have been having intense intrusive thoughts about dying. Yet, the second these thoughts manifest, I am instantly in a panic. Why? Because ONE- I do not like the thought of death, and TWO- I don't like the thought of harming myself. Of course, my conscious side is like "Hello! you are afraid of dying, classic panic, so calm down you're not going to hurt yourself," And I don't plan it out or think of ways to do it. I just simply think ok, im going to die soon and it may or may not be at my own hands. And it freaks me out. I think it is a combo of my hormones and the weaning. Please tell me this is normal! LOL. I can tell it is just a combo of things going on in my head, because I can usually talk myself down and after a bit of dwelling on it, I forget about it. But again, is this normal? I hate how you can think of one thing, and it spiral into something horrible. Everyone thinks of death and how it may happen, or when, or who will be at your funeral, or who will even notice, things like that. I just take it and run with it and get myself worked up over nothing. Oh to have an "un-medicated" brain again!
  16. ADMIN NOTE This topic is a general discussion of how to make a liquid from drugs. For case-by-case consideration of what YOU should do, please put your questions in an Introductions topic. Do not put those questions in this topic, because such detailed discussion will take it off track and make this topic difficult for others to follow. The moderators will move any questions about YOUR particular case to the Introductions forum. Thank you. For those interested in reviewing pharmacy techniques for making liquid suspensions, see: Pharmlabs Suspensions Suspensions Also see Find tips for tapering your specific drug in this list: Important topics in the Tapering forum Why taper by 10% of my dosage? Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques Splitting or crushing tablets or pills Using a digital scale to measure doses Making a Celexa solution yourself Questions and answers about liquid medications Haywood, 2013 Liquid dosage forms extemporaneously prepared from commercially available products - considering new evidence on stability. (refers to suspensions made with pharmacy liquids) Liquid medications -- use past expiration? A liquid preparation of an antidepressant or other psychiatric drug makes controlled tapering much easier. Taking part of your dosage in tablet form and part in liquid form makes the transition from tablet to liquid go smoothly. Some psychiatric drugs are available from the pharmacy as a liquid, many are not. Compounding pharmacies can make liquids from many medications. A prescription is required for both types of liquid. (Some medications, however, cannot be made into a liquid. Extended-release drugs such as Effexor XR, Cymbalta, and Pristiq are protected by a coating that cannot be broken. To find tips for tapering your particular drug, see Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ .) If a compounding pharmacy is not an option, many people make liquid preparations themselves. (This list from a UK medical group confirms that many drugs can be made into liquids: http://stockportccg.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/34838_Med_Admin_Dysphagia.pdf ) Note: Most do-it-yourself liquids are suspensions -- particles of the drug float around in the liquid, and the mixture needs to be shaken for relatively equal distribution of the particles. When and how to substitute a liquid for a tablet A liquid form of a drug will get into your system faster than a tablet. Some people can feel this difference. The easiest way to substitute a liquid for a tablet is to ease into it -- take part of your dose in tablet form and part in liquid. After you get used to this for 4 days or more, substitute the liquid for the rest of the dose. While you're making the substitution, do not make a decrease in your total daily dose. You need to see how you do with the substitution of the liquid before you continue to taper. If, over 4 days or more, the liquid dose seems too strong for you, you may want to reduce it slightly and continue your taper after you stabilize. If it's more convenient for you, it's fine to continue to take part of your dose in tablet form and part in liquid form. How to make a medication in tablet or capsule form into a liquid As an overview, here is a video about making a liquid from a naltrexone tablet. Naltrexone is not a psychiatric drug, but the principles are the same: (Refrigeration of the batch is not necessary while the tablets dissolve. Refrigerate the liquid afterwards, though.) Below are general instructions for making your own liquid with water or pharmacy liquid. Basically, you need - the drug, as a tablet or powder from a capsule - water or Pharmacy liquids to make suspensions - a way to measure the amount of water or pharmacy liquid (oral syringe, pipette, measured container or graduated cylinder; a graduated cylinder is probably easiest) - a clean container with a cap in which to keep your liquid Try to be very consistent with your method every time you make a batch of liquid -- do everything in the same order, with the same equipment. Don't worry about "compounding losses", the amount of powder that sticks to implements. Assemble your equipment 1. Obtain a way to measure the water or pharmacy liquid A 10cc (10mL) or 20cc (20mL) oral syringe (as seen in the video) OR A 100cc (100mL) medicine bottle from the pharmacy. These usually have markings showing 100cc or mL (ask for the cap with the hole in it, so you can fit the oral syringe in it to draw from the bottle). There should be no charge or a very small charge. OR A graduated cylinder marked with ccs or mLs. Graduated cylinders are more exact than oral syringes or medicine bottles and best for large volumes of liquid) 2. A small clean transparent wide-mouthed jar with a water-tight top or an empty tinted plastic medicine container with a top. 3. If your medication is in tablet form, a pill cutter or crusher. (This is optional. You can cut a tablet with a knife and crush it, if necessary, with the back of a spoon.) 4. Depending on how much medication you wish to take, a .5mL, 1mL, 5mL, or 10mL oral syringe to take a measured amount of the drug. How to mix the liquid 1. Prepare the drug. Alternatively, if your medication is in tablet form, you can cut the tablet up into rough quarters with a pill cutter or knife crush the tablet into powder using a pill crusher or mortar and pestle cut it up and carefully crush it with the back of a spoon on a piece of waxed paper If your medication is a powder in a capsule, carefully open the capsule above the container and pour the contents into the bottom of the container. To open a capsule, grasp each end in your fingers and gently twist. The capsule should come apart in the middle. Do this over the open container, to catch the powder in the container. 2. Measure the water (or pharmacy liquid) With an oral syringe: Draw room temperature (not hot, not cold) water into an oral syringe and convey it to the container. A 10mL (10cc) or 20mL (20cc) oral syringe is handy for this purpose.[br][br][br] For example, if you wish to make 30mL of a solution, fill the 10mL syringe 3 times with clean water and inject it into your container. With a graduated cylinder: For example, if you wish to make 30mL of a solution, fill the graduated cylinder to the 30mL mark and pour it into the container. With a 100cc (100mL) medicine bottle: Fill carefully to the 100cc or 100mL line. You'll have to bring the bottle up to your eye level to do this. Please note the measurements on these bottles are less exact than the graduated cylinder. To mix, put the cap on the container, tightly, and shake it gently. You will be able to see particles swirling around in the water (some of the filler used in tablets and capsules is insoluble). Wait until the tablet chunks are dissolved before taking a dose. How much liquid should I use to make my suspension? The only tricky thing about making a solution is creating and remembering the concentration: the ratio of drug to liquid. The easiest concentration is 1:1 or 1mg medication in 1mL solution. Examples: If you want to take 18mg Prozac, for example, you can mix 20mg with 20mL water and take 18mL, which contains 18mg Prozac. You could put a 10mg Paxil tablet in 10mL water for a 1:1 dilution. There would be 1mg in 1mL and 0.1mg in 0.1mL. The 1:1 dilution would require a small 1mL oral syringe. To reduce 10% from 1.1mg, you would take 1mL. Another 10% reduction would be 0.9mL. You may find a 1:1 dilution to be a little thick or grainy. For convenience, you may wish to make a higher dilution of a 10mg tablet in 20mg water for a 1:2 ratio. There would be 1mg in 2mL and 0.1mg in 0.2mL. If you made this liquid, your dose would be 2.2mL (1.1mg). To reduce by 10%, you would take 2mL (1mg). For doses of hundreds of milligrams, you may want to make a higher concentration. Examples: To taper from 100mg Lyrica to 90mg, you can mix 100mg Lyrica in 50mL water, making a 2:1 concentration, each 1mL containing 2mg Lyrica. Or, you can mix 100mg Lyrica in 25mL water, making a 4:1 concentration, each 1mL containing 4mg Lyrica. Keep a note of the concentration! Be sure make a note of your recipe ("100mg Lyrica in 50mL water") and dosage instructions to yourself: "Take 45mL for 90mg Lyrica." What if my medication is "insoluble" in water? About solubility or insolubility, our esteemed member Rhi, who has lab experience, has made many, many homemade liquids: Measure your dose and take it With a liquid, you use an oral syringe to take the dosage you wish. Get your oral syringe ready. Put the cap on the container and shake it gently. (You may see particles swirling around, this is normal.) Using the oral syringe, draw from the middle of the liquid, not from the top -- there may be less drug there, it sinks to the bottom. If your bottle cap has a hole in the top, draw the liquid from the bottle by following these instructions. If this is still confusing, ask your pharmacist to show you how to use an oral syringe Ex: If your liquid is a 1:1 concentration, containing 1mg in 1mL, and you want to take .5mg, you would take .5mL of the liquid. You can adjust the amount you take as you continue your taper. See Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques Also see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-using-an-oral-syringe-and-other-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__50942 Refrigerate homemade liquids Most homemade solutions may keep for at least a few days, refrigerated. Drugs tend to be degraded by heat and light, which is why pharmacy containers are tinted. Refrigeration delays the growth of bacteria and mold in your homemade liquid, which was not made under sterile conditions. To find tips for your particular drug See Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ . (You can also Google your "medication soluble stability" to see how long yours will keep.) For more information, consult a pharmacist.
  17. BuddhaMama

    BuddhaMama: Intro

    Hello everyone, I am a longtime lurker, only first posting now as I get ready to begin my taper from Remeron (Mirtazipine). I am seeking support here for my taper as I cannot count on support from my doctors. My husband is minimal support as he has his own mental health issues and we have a new baby. I'm ready to come off the Remeron mostly because I don't want to be on it forever and I feel like it got me through the hump of the early postpartum period, which was what I needed. I have gained 15-20lb on this med which is annoying because I am not one to gain weight normally, so I know it's the drug. I lost all the baby weight within the first month after I delivered and didn't start Remeron until month 2. I feel tired all the time (though it does help me sleep as i take it at night), and it makes me crave sugar and carbs like crazy. I'm also now starting to experience bodyside joint pain, which I've never had before. That seems to go away somewhat when i eliminate wheat from my diet. I have gotten my doctor to order me a solution of mirtazipine from compounding pharmacy, but after paying $54 fir an Rx that I usually get for free, I think I will try making my own solution using the tablets and the Oraplus I read about in the forums here. I'm nervous to begin my taper because the first time I tried at the beginning of December I went down by a 1/4 tablet for a week and every day I had excruciating headaches. BY the end of that week I was experiencing nausea and anxiety. AS SOON as I reinstated my full dose, all symptoms disappeared. I have a feeling I'll need to begin my taper at 5% rather than 10% given how sensitive I am. I would love to hear some encouraging success stories of coming of this drug slowly, as it seems it will take me long rot get off it that I was even on it to begin with. Other relevant info: I am 5 months post partum, have been on Remeron for 4 of those 5 months. I am married and have another child who is nearly 11 years old. I work part time and used to have regular exercise and meditation practices that have both fallen by the wayside with the new baby. I also can no longer tolerate alcohol. I've been off alcohol for several years (not because of AA or addiction issue, but because it makes me feel awful), and recently I thought I would try a half glass of wine with the holidays. Big mistake. Major depression and anxiety the next day. Good riddance.I'd much rather feel well and not drink at all. I think that's it for now!
  18. Hello, I am new to this site and not sure how it works. Need some info and perhaps some reassurance.; I've been having a history depression and anxiety since my teenage years, I am 49 years old, which I have been able to manage it more or less. I attempted to use the antidepressants but also had an adverse reaction that I was not able/ready to put up with. Yet, living with the depression isn't easy either. In short, yet again, I started taking Lexapro last October in order to deal with the painful state of depression, and did seem to work in the past. I increased the dose very slowly from 2 mg and started feeling much better in January, at the 7 mg. At the same time I started some problems with my memory (to the point of a few seconds of blackouts) , persistent fatigue and lingering morning anxiety, and problems with the night sleep. The psychiatrist dismissed my memory problems, attributed my fatigue to the depression and decided to see if my sleep would approve. He also told me to increase my dose slowly aiming for 15 mg at some point. However, when I reached 8.9 mg, I could hardly function: feelings of being very unwell and under the weather allowed me to function only until lunch time, after which I would need to recline somewhere for the rest of the day. I started tapering on the 24 Mars and today is the 2nd day of 4.25 mg of Lexapro. I didn't follow the 10 per cent protocol, and my doses were fluctuating within 0.5 - 1 mg depending on my physical and emotional symptoms. However, in the last 10 days I've started having a strange heavy sensation in my head, it's difficult to describe, They are not brain-zaps, just uncomfortable feeling: a mix of resembling kind of heaviness, fogginess, slight headache and feeling/sensation. I have put this down to cutting down sugar and change in my diet (transitioning to being vegan). However, this sensation 8 days later is still there. In addition, I have got muscle ache at the minimum effort, have been unable to jog and do much of the physical activities for the past 3 days: stopped exercising, want to isolate, difficult to concentrate and get on with my daily activities. I do have "waves" when I do feel better for an hour upon awaking and yesterday, after I spent 3 hours on the sofa! We are in the process of moving , also need to book a holiday but I am feeling incapable of doing anything. So frustrating! Emotionally, I am not depressed though.... In addition, feeling rather scared, is it due to the antidepressants and will my brain heal and gets "remodeled" back? Have I got some other serious medical condition? In ideal world I would like to get off this drugs that do not work well for me and find some ways of dealing with the anxiety and depression, unfortunately, I did manage in the past to taper off the meds without too many problems only to get depressed 4-9 months later and be back on them. If this is what I feel are withdrawals, I am quite surprised why I had not experienced them in my past tapers? I would really welcome and would greatly appreciate any feedback and input! I also would like to know, if I should wait it out and stabilise on 4.25mg of Lexapro or need to updose it? Thank you in advance F47
  19. Hi, I have been on olanzapine since December 2014 (2.5 years). I started at 10 mgs, then went to 5 mgs after 2 months. I then dropped to 2.5 mgs. Last August, I started 1.25 mgs day and stayed there until July 2017. I am now doing .625 mg/day since July 6. I am cutting this from a 5 mg pill. I am on no other medications. I stopped seeing my psychiatrist last Aug. I lost my insurance then. I have been doing really well and feel like I will be ok coming off. Even when I was seeing the doctor, I told him I could not stay on this forever as I've gained 30 lbs and I am afraid of diabetis, the dulled effect to my personality and other side-effects. I lapsed into a depression that lasted a few months when dropping under 2.5 mg. I felt with absolute certainty that it was caused from tapering down the medication and not a return of any illness. The depression lifted suddenly back in the spring and I've felt more like my old self than I have in years. The only side-effect I seem to have right now from the taper is difficulty sleeping some nights. It's not every night...probably 3 nights a week that I wake up several times in the night. I don't know where to put my question but I'd like to know if anyone has successfully come off olanzapine (Zyprexa) and when they did the final jump. I am taking such a small crumb of pill that I don't think I can cut it anymore. I am thinking that my next step will be to do .625 every other night. I feel happier today than I ever did while on olanzapine. It depressed the heck out of me and blunted my emotions greatly. I look at this tiny crumb I take every night and wonder if it is doing anything at all. Can anyone direct me where to go to post my questions? Thank you!
  20. Hi, guys. My depression started over 15 years ago and I came to the point when I wanted to end up my life, but I've failed. So my journey from one shrink to another began. I've found a good one when my depression was at my worse. I wasn't happy about taking any medications, because the lack of knowledge in psychiatry field (I'm a nurse with some practice in mental facilities as well and I'm not happy about the things I've seen there nor the general thinking from many doctors and other medical stuff. I was also amazed about the lack of knowledge and common sense in them as well). My depression was so bad that I gave up and started using paroxetine. I had some side effects, but withdrawal after few months was much worse. The vertigo and headaches were horrible. And depression was still there in it's best. I was then on few other SSRI and SNRI, none of them worked (fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, escitalopram, tianeptine, venlafaxine, duloxetine), but all of them gave me their own special withdrawal symptoms. At least I knew I wasn't getting sugar pills. In the meantime I also developed panic attacks and severe anxiety. After few years I suggested switcing to bupropion and I was getting better for the first time. I was also taking clonazepam the whole time. I'm feeling fine for over 4 years now but I had to wait with taper due to some other pain related medical condition. I was adviced to start taper clonazepam first (I started taper 4 months ago). What a mistake! I was on 2mg daily and managed to taper to 1mg. Than I suggested my GP and shrink to taper bupropion as well, because it was making taper heavier and none of them were happy with my suggestion. I have my GP on my side now after seeing me in really bad condition a couple of times. Right now I'm taking 0,875mg of clonazepam and 300mg of gabapentin (started a week ago and I'm not on final dose which will be around 600-900mg) because of my pain related condition. It also helps with the withdrawal. I'm well aware that it has a WD of it's own, it's a risk I'm willing to pay considering the current options. I took my last dose of bupropion today and I will give myself a little brake until the end of this month. In january I'll continue to taper clonazepam. I'm not a native english speaker and I appologize for potential weird (ab)use of grammar. I'm sure you've seen worse due to my current taper I'm also not very good with words.
  21. I wanted to share my story because when I was suffering through my taper I needed hope; I needed to know that success was possible. Two years ago I started withdrawing from 300 mg of Wellbutrin, 20 mg of Prozac, and 100 mg of Trazadone. I followed my psychiatrist's very rapid tapering schedule and felt like I was going to die. I managed to complete the taper, but, at the end I was so depressed and my anxiety and insomnia was so unbearable that I had to go back on the medication. I still wanted to be rid of the drugs, so I only went back on 10 mg of Prozac and I stayed there for about 1 year. During that year, my mood and health stabilized and I felt pretty good. I was following a nutrient dense, low carb diet. At the end of that year, I joined this forum and began a much slower taper of the 10 mg of Prozac. My psychiatrist would not give me a prescription for liquid Prozac. Unbelievable right? She also discouraged my plan to taper the 10 mg Prozac over the course of an entire year. Fortunately my sister is a medical doctor and she gave me the prescription I needed. I got tiny syringes from Amazon and began tapering slightly more than 10% per month. I think the 10% rule is wise, but I was impatient. And I did not reduce my dose much more than 10% per month. I completed the taper of 10 mg over the course of 10 months. Each time I reduced my dose, I experienced increased anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. I maintained the dose until the withdrawal symptoms subsided. Once I was feeling better, I stayed at same dose for another week or two to enjoy life before reducing again and going through the withdrawal symptoms. Each time I experienced the withdrawal symptoms, I feared I would never be able to get off the drugs. It was irrational because I had experienced an alleviation of the symptoms many times before reducing the dose again. It was a cycle: feel better, reduce dose, experience withdrawal and fear of failure; feel better, reduce dose, withdrawal etc. . . . No matter how many times I experienced a happy stablization, I was convinced I would never get off the drugs while I was in the throes of withdrawal. But it always got better. I have been completely off the Prozac now for about 4 weeks and I'm feeling pretty good. So how did I do this? I consulted an Integrative Psychiatrist. On her recommendation, I took 50 mg of 5-htp at 4:00 p.m. and again at bedtime. She also recommended that I take melatonin. She explained that because 5-htp is turned into serotonin, and serotonin turns into melatonin, the supplemental melatonin acted liked a plug on the serotonin drain. So the melatonin helped keep more serotonin in my receptors and also helped me sleep. BTW, not all melatonin supplements are the same. I found that 3 mg of melatonin made by Douglas Laboratories worked much better than 10 mg of melatonin from a drugstore brand. I got the Douglas Laboratories melatonin and 5-htp on Amazon. And Pure Formulas is another good website for these supplements. I also consulted with a naturopathic doctor, who recommended that I follow either a ketogenic diet or a whole foods low carb diet and do some daily exercise. I do a daily walk/jog. Exercise does not need to be intense to be effective. I try to walk in the morning when I will be exposed to morning sunlight, which helps train the circadian rhythm and sets the body up for better sleep at night. The ketogenic diet was preferable for me because I had blood sugar dysregulation, which is caused by Prozac (This side effect is documented in the PDR.) Blood sugar dysregulation causes anxiety and insomnia because when your blood sugar level goes too low (hypoglycemic), your body produces cortisol to raise your blood sugar. Cortisol is your fight or flight hormone! No wonder I used to wake up in a panic. The ketogenic diet helped me sleep better, stabilized my mood, and gave me more energy. I also lost the weight I gained when I stopped the Wellbutrin. The naturopathic doctor also recommended I take up a meditation practice. I had a traumatic childhood and I was sexual assaulted several times as an adolescent. The doctor said I will need to release suppressed feelings from the trauma in order to eliminate the anxiety for good. So I found a holistic therapist who specializes in trauma and uses emotionally focused therapy that gets to the root cause of mental anguish and releases it for good. It is a painful process, but I can already see improvement. With respect to meditation, the naturopathic doctor referred to me to a Heartfulness Meditation teacher/trainer. They are all over the country and they teach meditation for free. You can find them on the internet. The Heartfulness practice includes a "cleaning" practice that helps eliminate stressful experiences from your system. I also like Insight Meditation, which is a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness meditation has been made famous by Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield. I highly recommend their books and their podcasts. They all three have their own podcasts and you can learn a lot about mindfulness from them. I listen to them while I do my daily walk/jog. Scientific studies show that meditation is an excellent treatment for anxiety and insomnia. I know it has helped me get through my withdrawal symptoms and it definitely helps me sleep better than any supplement. You can also find free insight meditation teachers in your area on the internet. I wish you all well on your journey to recovery from antidepressants. Hang in there. It is difficult, but success is possible. You can be free and have peace. I hope my story can be of help. Mod. note: Link to Introduction: Ruth: Home stretch?
  22. I am trying to taper off 7.5mg of Remeron (Mirtazapine). I want to use the titration method since my CNS is so sensitized at this point.
  23. Oh dear. Effexor capsules do not contain the same amount of medication by weight in each capsule. I was counting beads as a means of removing 10% from my 37.5 mg brand name Effexor The beads are all different sizes, as noted by others on this site and therefore inherently impossible to accurately reduce by 10% since you could be removing a bead that weighs three times as much as another bead, etc. AND I HATE COUNTING, I suck at it. My brain can't do it easily. I have to have tricks and methods, making piles of 10, counting the piles over and over. So I got a scale. AWS ZEO-50 Jeweler's scale 50g x 0.001g with a wind shield and level, and rubber feet for minimization of vibration. I had gotten their less expensive scale but it had problems. This one does indeed work better, but I have to be very careful. Don't touch the table the scale is on, put the wind shield down. Put the weighing dish in the same place each time. Try to distribute the beads evenly in the tray. If you do all that it is very accurate. Care of course must be taken regarding bouncing beads, static cling beads, etc. BUT -- here is what this weeks Effexor capsules weighed: 0.156g removed 0.016 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.140 0.121g removed 0.012 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.109 0.137g removed 0.014 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.123 0.127g removed 0.013 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.114 0.138g removed 0.014 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.124 0.155g removed 0.015 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.140 0.129g removed 0.013 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.116 0.118g removed 0.012 10% reduced dose by weight: 0.106 Difference between highest weight and lowest weight 0.038g, significant enough when doing a taper % difference in weight of doses taken: 3.4%. So um, being sensitive this is not good. I'll see how it feels this week, see if it feels like I"m bouncing on Day 2 or 7. I do not know if the difference in weight is due to the different in the active ingredients or the time release and binder ingredients. But I would say that prior to tapering I occasionally experienced taking the pill and experiencing WD, which seemed to me to indicate what was in one capsule was not equal to another. Therefore I'm guessing that the active ingredient is not accurately measured in the capsule. Does anyone know if the active ingredient in each capsule of Effexor is the same -- or not? The unequal weights of each capsule means that when I do my next taper (which will be 5%) that I will have to do the calculation as follows. Forgive me if I have written the formula's incorrectly. I haven't used much algebra for past 40 years. Step 1: Capsule A weight Step 2: A*0.9 = New 10% reduced dose Step 3: 0.95*(A*0.9) = New dose, 5% reduction from previous dose Step 4: 0.95*(0.95*(A*0.9)) Step 5: 0.95*(0.95*(0.95*(A*0.9))) Step 6: 0.95*(0.95*(0.95*(0.95*(A*0.9)))) And so on, for each damn capsule. I will try to make a spreadsheet so I can make the machine make the calculations for me. Given that I will have to do this for each bead, and each time I reduce dose I will have to add another line to the formula, makes my blood boil and my brain freeze. I pray that a 5% taper works for me, as I can't imagine doing this with a 1% taper. I'm going to the garden now and deal with plants and dirt. So much easier than capsules.
  24. Zoloft withdrawal success - my story When I first decided to wean myself off of Zoloft, I searched the internet for stories about people who had successfully gotten off antidepressants and had trouble finding them so I promised myself that if I made it I would post my story. Tomorrow, will mark my "no Zoloft for one year" anniversary. In that time, I haven't used alcohol or any other mood altering substance either, and I'm doing fine. It hasn't been easy, and it took a while, but I made it and I was able to function, to work and to take care of myself throughout. Diagnosed with social anxiety and depression when I was in my mid 40s, I was put on Zoloft and stayed at 200mg per day for around 5 years. The Zoloft helped me. It took the edge off of my anxiety, and since my depression was the result of my anxiety, it helped with that as well. Another pleasant side effect was that I lost a few pounds. So why would I want to stop taking it? The Nurse Practitioner who prescribed the meds was puzzled. It works, why stop taking it? I can't fully answer that question, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I've struggled with addiction my entire life. Drugs, alcohol, food... maybe I felt like by taking the Zoloft I was avoiding dealing with one of the major themes of my life. Whatever the reason, I wanted to stop taking it. I'd tried twice using the NP's tapering recommendation, which was to decrease by 50mg every week for a month. I never made it past the first week because I'd have flashes of disorientation and dizziness (which I didn't mind) and then become anxious and depressed (which I did mind). She told me Zoloft didn't cause withdrawal symptoms, it was my natural state of anxiety and depression returning, so I needed to stay on the Zoloft. I knew I was having withdrawal symptoms, but they were so intense I couldn't function, so went back on the Zoloft. Then my mother told me that she had weaned herself off of Premerin by doing a very slow taper over the course of a year, so I decided to try that. My plan was to decrease the Zoloft by 25mg every month over a period of 8 months. The first month was fine. I'd have rough patches, but they were manageable. After 8 months I was off the Zoloft but a few weeks later, I started having withdrawal symptoms including what people refer to as "brain zaps." I called them "head rushes" because it felt like my brain was being flooded by chemicals. Then I became anxious and depressed again, so I decided to go back up to the lowest dosage where I felt good, which was 50mg. Then instead of tapering at 25mg per month, I reduced it to 10mg a month, and that is how I eventually got off the Zoloft. Whenever the withdrawal symptoms became uncomfortable, I'd go back up to a "comfortable" dosage then begin tapering in smaller increments, a "progressive taper," similar to what is recommended in the book "The Anti-Depressant Solution," and on this website. Eventually I had to buy a milligram scale (available on amazon), because the increments became so small. I was amazed how sensitive my body had become to the tiniest adjustments in dosage. The last month I was down to 5mg, and I stopped taking Zoloft completely February 1, 2014. One year ago tomorrow. I was on 200mg of Zoloft for 5 years and it took 2 ½ years to taper off completely. It took a long time, but I wanted to taper safely, physically and emotionally. And I did. During that time I was able to work and to meet all my social commitments. At the suggestion of the NP, I joined a social anxiety group which used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She warned that I shouldn't go off the meds without addressing the underlying cause, which made sense to me. However, I also believe that much of my anxiety and depression was situational, even though she maintained it was my natural state. When I first came to her, I was going through an extremely stressful period of my life. I was having problems finding work and didn't know how I was going to pay my rent or survive from month to month. I went on one job interview after another and I think social anxiety and depression were my way of trying to protect myself from more rejection and failure. So how do I feel now, one year later? I'm doing okay. I occasionally get a head rush, but it's very mild. I wouldn't today describe myself as either socially anxious or depressed, but I know that this is how I react to stress, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped me develop strategies for dealing with those tendencies. 12 step programs, self help books, spiritual practices like yoga and meditation, healing modalities like Reiki, and individual therapy have all been part of my healing process as well. On this journey, life has given me both challenges and assistance in dealing with social anxiety and depression. For example, as I was tapering I started dating someone for the first time in years, and we had a fun relationship which helped heal a lot of issues relating to social anxiety. Then, after two years we broke up, so that offered its challenges, but I didn't sink into depression, which was kind of amazing. At the time, I also had bed bugs which deprived me of sleep and sent my anxiety through the roof, but I survived that too. (The bed bugs did not.) My ex-boyfriend introduced me to hiking, which I loved, so I started going to hiking meet-ups and found a circle of friends who also love to hike which helped heal a different aspect of my social anxiety. Also, becoming more physically active probably helped with the depression... In other words, life went on. There were challenges and there were opportunities and often the challenges were the opportunities. The Zoloft helped me get through a very difficult period of my life, and I'm grateful for that, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But here I am, 8 ½ years later, and I haven't used Zoloft or any mood altering drugs, alcohol or coffee (all of which affect my anxiety and depression) for a year. Today, I feel optimistic and hopeful. I know life will have it's challenges but also that I have resources and strategies to assist me, and I am grateful to all who have helped me on this journey; therapists, teachers, friends, strangers, nature, and also to life itself, which Eckhart Tolle calls "the greatest guru of all." Do I have moments of fear and anxiety? Yes! Do I have moments of happiness and joy? Yes! Do I have moments of depression and sadness? Yes! Do I have moments of laughter and silliness? Yes! All of it, yes. What I was dreading is that it would be unending anxiety and depression, and that hasn't been my experience. Life is okay, with its highs and lows and all of it. Like Snoop Dogg says, "it's all good."
  25. My name is Chris. Long time lurker, first time poster.. I am currently tapering off of Nardil after 3 years of use. This may make my story a bit unique as it is an old MAOI antidepressant which is not used very often these days. However, my path to Nardil was littered with various SSRI's, Tricyclics, and other psych meds. As rare as MAOIs are, I was still hoping to find some guidance or experiences related to MAOI withdrawal. I'm bummed how little information is here or anywhere on the internet. I attempted to taper off of Nardli last summer going from 45mg to 0mg in about 3 months. I felt this was a slow enough taper considering it was much slower than the nonsensical tapering schedules most doc's suggest. However, compared to the 10% taper suggested here it was pretty quick. I made it about 2 months before going back on Nardil when I started having panic attacks on a regular basis. Back in April, after being completely fed up with the Nardil side effects, I decided to try again. My original plan was to taper off the Nardil and back on to a newer class AD. Although I never really liked the SSRIs/SNRsI, their favorable side effect profiles vs the MAOIs was tempting. However, in the last month or so I have decided that I want to make another run at getting off these meds for good. This time around my taper has been even faster than the last attempt. The only reason for this is because my plan was to get off the Nardil and onto something different. I have gone from 45mg to 5mg in just over 2 months. Things were going alright until the last couple of weeks. My moods have been all over the place. I'll be feeling pretty good for a few hours, and then I'll be super depressed and anxious, verging on panic attacks. That brings us to today... I have decided to reinstate my Nardil at a higher dose and then follow the 10% formula here every 2-4 weeks. I am going to bump up to 1 pill a day (15mg) and see how I feel. If I'm still struggling I will go up some more until I feel stable and then start the 10% taper plan. I am fortunate enough to have a Psychiatrist who is both honest and aware of the major problems with the psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry. She's no expert on AD withdrawal, but shes very wiling to work with me as I go through this. I also have been sober from drugs/alcohol for 8 years and am very involved in the recovery community. This community will be an invaluable support group during this journey. I look forward to meeting you all and am greatly appreciative of any suggestions or guidance you can give! Note: I am also on Gabapentin 1000mg a day. This is a whole other nightmare. I was originally given it as a "safe" anxiety medication when I first got sober 8 years ago. I have become completely dependent on it and have to take it 3x a day or will start having withdrawals within a couple hours of missing my dose. Like most of these meds, it can be extremely difficult to stop and has it's own miserable withdrawal symptoms. I dream to one day be free from it, but I can only work on one thing at a time.
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