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  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Hi, I have gone off and on many psychiatric drugs in the past 7 years. I have been on psychiatric drugs for a total of 14 years. I started experiencing withdrawal syndrome a year or two ago as I continued to make medication changes, but I did not know at the time. I came off Trileptal in October 2017 and developed tingling in my legs (withdrawal symptom). My psychiatrist (unaware of withdrawal) sent me to a neurologist who prescribed Gabapentin for less than 2 months, and then Horizant for 4 days (adverse reactions). My body is definitely super sensitized, and there is one more drug that I absolutely need to get off of (Latuda). I was on 40mg, then up to 60mg (total of one year) and have tapered down to 40mg again in the past few months. (I mentioned the 10% taper rule to my psychiatrist. She tapered me slower than they usually do, and I still suffered severe noise sensitivity! I don't know how to taper slower with insurance/ the pills. I have decided I am too sick to continuing tapering right now, despite how badly I want off of this poison. I'm scared of developing tardive dyskinesia from Latuda, but I am too weak to taper. Also question whether any of my symptoms are due to Latuda. My plan is to wait 5 or 6 months to see if my symptoms improve and then to start tapering again. Doctors say to go down to 30mg from 40mg, but I feel that is too fast as well. Just don't know how to taper slower, and I'm too weak right now. Does my plan to wait 6 months for my severe withdrawal to improve before tapering again sound good? Should I wait longer? I can't even handle Magnesium right now... I'm just scared of the side effects of Latuda/ also how difficult it is to get off of it the longer you are on. Again, I've only been on it for a year so far. All info is helpful! Best, Alyheartsux3
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Hello community, Thank you all for this wonderful resource! I have been reading this website since long before I made the decision to start Viibryd, and it is a wealth of information. Because I was recently diagnosed with posterior subcapsular cataracts that were likely either caused or exacerbated by the Viibryd, and because the benefits are not enough to justify continuing this damage to my eyes, I have decided to start planning the weaning off process. I would like advice about rate and timing since I need to try to do this faster than would normally be recommended. Quick psychiatric background: I went through betrayal trauma due to discovering my husband’s infidelity and was diagnosed with PTS, anxiety, and depression. After several years of herbal and natural mood-related supplements, I still felt many symptoms and received the same diagnoses again. So, against my normally holistic approach to health and healing, I decided to start an SSRI. I got the Pathway Genomics psychiatric pharmacogenomic panel, and the results were that Viibryd was the only SSRI that my body might potentially tolerate. My original plan was to take the Viibryd for a couple of years to get through separation, divorce, moving, etc, and then to taper off slowly using the recommended 5- 10% per month or so method. But a few months ago, my optometrist found cataracts, and I went to two separate ophthalmologists to confirm. There is plenty of scientific literature about research that has shown that SSRIs cause cataracts, and incidentally it was listed under the “rare” side effects in some Viibryd studies. So, I need to try to find a way to wean off faster, within a few months if possible. I need to stop the excess serotonin, which is what is causing the cataracts to grow. I’m wondering if I should cut the 10’s into halves to create a month or so of 15, then 10, then 5, then 0 (I could try making a second cut to get 2.5, but it might be too uneven or crumbly). Or if it would be better to taper by smaller increments (necessitating a compounding pharmacy, if it's possible) every couple of weeks instead. (I would rather avoid the cognitive difficulties of trying to make powder and capsules, liquid solution, or other methods myself.) I am aware that it is an iterative process and the need for stabilizing, updosing if necessary, etc. So, I'm thinking I'll ask my psychiatrist to request permission from the insurance company for a couple of 10's per day (current approval is one pill only per day) for the next six months or so. Other relevant info includes that the weaning ONTO Viibryd process was horrible for me (1 month 10 mg, 1 week 15 mg, then 20) with panic, severe anxiety, lightheadedness, and many other difficult symptoms. Since then, there have been a number of side effects including a period of chronic migraines, and mostly fatigue, cognitive fog, dissociation, sleeping issues, and a long list of other symptoms that I have been documenting. The anxiety and depression have been slightly better, but still not enough to be really functional, and certainly not enough considering the cataracts. I haven’t been working the past few years because of these health problems, so I can focus solely on healing during withdrawal and hopefully will be able to be productive after recovery. Also, I have continued my healthy lifestyle of organic, vegan, gluten-free diet, yoga, exercise, nature, etc. and have implemented natural modalities including acupuncture, massage, therapies, etc. So what I need help with is just the tapering off of the Viibryd as quickly as possible. I would appreciate any advice about recommended rates and timing for trying to wean off using a faster method. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to any suggestions!
  8. 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.
  9. 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. 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 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. 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.
  10. I have just started trying to get off Saphris. All these forums and blogs are terrifying me. Especially the story of "acetyl". It was prescribed to me after wellbutrin alone wasn't fixing my depression. I am not bipolar or schizophrenic. I think it was an overly aggressive choice and i wish i had researched it before taking it. I was taking 20mg daily along with 10mg lexapro and 450mg wellbutrin. It put me in a zombielike state. I used to be a high performing software developer, at the top of my field, well respected and capable of great things. After Saphris I was unable to think clearly and lost my ability to design software, ending my career as a software developer. I may as well have been asked to perform Brain surgery so complete was the loss of ability. On top of that my current insurance doesnt cover it and i can no longer afford it. I previously tried going off it when i was only taking 10mg. I went too fast and started to experience anxiety pretty bad before going back on it and eventually ended up going up to 20mg. This time i am going much slower. I tapered from 20 to 10 for two weeks and then to 5mg for the last three weeks. Going to 10 went relatively smoothly. Going to 5 has brought on some anxiety that comes and goes. The worst withdrawal symptom so far has been the sexual dysfunction and this is where things make no sense. Each time i increased the saphris dose (5 to 10 and then 10 to 20) i experienced a decrease in sexual function. I expected things to improve when i reduced my dose but the exact opposite happened. With each decrease in dose my sexual ability is still declining. I am married one year and am not ready for my sex life to go away. I hope this will return once my brain recovers. Anyway now that i am at 5mg i am stopping my taper and waiting for the anxiety to subside. It has actually been better the last two days. Not as intense. Also while i am at 5mg i am going to taper off the wellbutrin since that can cause anxiety, before i continue my saphris taper. I will continue the lexapro. I expect this last 5mg to be the hard part and plan to go very very slowly. At each reduction my plan is to wait until symptoms subside before going on to the next reduction. I plan to hoard saphris over the next 6 months so that i have a multi year supply. My latest rx is for 60 10mg tablets per month expecting that i would be taking 2tablets or 20mg per day. Since i am currently only taking 1/4 of that this makes my rx good for enough for two years. When i reduce even farther it will last even longer (4 years at 2.5mg). Since my insurance will not cover it i will have to pay out of pocket but i think it will be worth it to have a chance to get off this drug successfully. I am seeing a new psychiatrist and he didnt know about saphris withdrawal. To his credit he went right out and researched it. Unfortunately he was unable to find any scholarly or official documentation of saphris withdrawal. The only thing available is anecdotal reports on forums and blogs like these. At least he said i could taper the saphris at whatever rate i feel comfortable. I will report in as the taper continues. Hopefully i can be successful and serve as hope for others. I was unable to find any record of successful withdrawal from saphris
  11. Hi Everyone: Here is my background. Diagnosed with GAD and depression while in the service in 2005. Tried Paxil for a while and it really helped. I didn’t like the side effects (anorgasmia) so I tapered off. 2017 rolls around and I fathered my first child. Baby was born prematurely so we had a 3 month NICU stay. Decided the stress and anxiety warranted a trip to the doctor. Started me on Bupropion and Xanax .5mg (7/2017). Was on the Bupropion briefly. It gave me brain fog and poor executive function. Maybe took it 2 weeks. Next appointment was 10/2017. Dr. started me on Mirtazapine 30mg and kept the Xanax as needed. Stayed on it until 1/2018. It definitely helped with sleep but I just felt weird. TON of weight gain. I remembered Paxil really helped me years before and asked for it. Went straight to 20mg (2/2018-3/2018) . That was short lived as it gave me intense heart palpitations and shortness of breath. Went back to Mirtazapine 7.5mg from 2/2018. Did a fast, uneducated taper and stopped on 4/12/18. I googled my side effects from withdrawal: anxiety, paranoia, itchy skin, no appetite, heavy chest, insomnia, lots of racing thoughts and rumination. Sure enough, a fast taper will do these things. I thought with such a small dose, surely, I could taper pretty quickly. Yes ,7.5 is small but it still warrants a long time of tapering. So now as much as I don’t want to do it, reinstatement may be the key. Eventual goal is 0 mg. I am just a high-strung worrier. I’d rather be that than a high-strung worrier dealing with worse anxiety and worse depression because of pills. Exercise has really helped me in the past, I just couldn’t do it with the kid at home but things are fine w the kid so that will be intregal. I’m still mulling over but think reinstating at 7.5 or 3.25 may be good. Stay on it for a while and follow the 10% rule. Maybe 10% and stay there for 2 or 3 months. I have Xanax and Dr will prescribe Ativan but I haven’t taken any benzos since 4/12/18 and hope to avoid them as they are addictive and not very helpful except for sleep. I tried propranolol for a few days but felt heavy in the chest, hard to breathe. I've been caffeine free for 2 months and alcohol free for 8 months today. Anyway, I really appreciate this website and the information. The stories of people who’ve gone through this and have made it really give me hope.
  12. 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...
  13. Hi. I've been trying to wean myself off Effexor for months. This is my second go at it. My GP said it should only take a month but it's been so much longer. I've only ever been on 75mg. At the moment I'm taking one of those capsules every second day so technically I'm on 37.5mg. That's the lowest dosage. I'm taking capsules(i don't think they sell the tablets in AU) so i can't cut them. I'm trying to stretch to taking one every three days but the headaches are unbelievable. And I'm so grumpy! I've been told people are on it for life but i don't believe i need it anymore and I'm sick of taking tablets. I just don't understand why it's effecting me so badly when I'm on such a low dose. I'm tempted to go cold turkey and just deal with it but i know that's not the best thing to do. Advice would be greatly appreciated.
  14. 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!
  15. ADMIN NOTE The 10% rule keeps decreasing the dose but, mathematically, can never get to zero. As you approach zero, when do you simply stop taking the drug? This is a very good question. This site advocates a very gradual taper for greatest safety. You may know of people who quit a drug very easily -- but if you ever had withdrawal symptoms, you are not that person. Everyone's tolerance for dosage changes is different. It could be that you have been tapering by 10% with everything going smoothly. You may also have found you can decrease every 3 weeks or even every week with no problems. Even so, from what we've seen, you will want to taper as far below 1mg as you can. As you go lower in dosage, your system adapts to the lower dosage. Slide off as gradually as possible. If you are counting beads to taper, at the very end, when you are down to one bead, you will be unable to divide your dose to taper. You might want to skip doses to very gradually go off. This is the only situation in which we suggest skipping doses. Sometimes people find that, even though they've quit at a very small amount, they might get slight, occasional withdrawal symptoms. You can take a tiny bit (such as one bead) occasionally until these withdrawal symptoms stop, which should be within a couple of weeks. More clarification: WARNING: DO NOT GO COLD TURKEY AT THE END OF YOUR TAPER Cold turkey is cold turkey. Even though you might be down to a tenth of your original dosage, quitting suddenly may still be too much for your nervous system. You can undo all your tapering by jumping off at too high a dosage, and trigger severe withdrawal syndrome. Ultimately, your tolerance for dosage decreases determines the speed of your taper, all the way to going off. Please listen to your body. If at any point in your taper you get withdrawal symptoms, continue going off very, very gradually at the end. Hi All, Apologies if this has been done to death... I was playing around in excel with a taper protocol and thought I'd share. The 10% is a good rule and very good at encouraging people to go slowly. Something a lot of us have trouble with. (well me anyway...) But like Achilles catching the tortoise, reducing 10% will never get you to 0. (An aim a lot of us have). I've plugged the following rule into excel (attached) to see how it comes out. Rule 1: new dose = old dose - (9% of old dose) - (1% of original dose). You plug the starting dose in and it will always taper to 0 in 24 months. Now this may be to quick for some which brings us to .... Rule 2: If you feel moderate to nasty withdrawal effects then stop and stabilize. After stabilizing restart taper from current dose. (which will also reset the end 0mg end point to 2 years from current dose). Here is an example of the output for a 20mg taper (though just an example!!) Month Dose 1 20.0 2 18.0 3 16.2 4 14.5 5 13.0 6 11.6 7 10.4 8 9.3 9 8.2 10 7.3 11 6.4 12 5.7 13 4.9 14 4.3 15 3.7 16 3.2 17 2.7 18 2.2 19 1.8 20 1.5 21 1.1 22 0.8 23 0.6 24 0.3 25 0.0 I'll probably look to start this from my current 2.5 mg Lexapro , thus aiming to be at 0 in 2 years. Cheers Damien ssri_taper.xlsx
  16. Hi all, I am in a pretty decent place in life, and I have a few weeks with very few ”responsibilities”... I’m thinking it’s the perfect time to finally try to get myself off of my psychotropic of choice, Amitriptyline 100mg 1xday. Ive attempted to get off it before and made it a few weeks before feeling overwhelmed and going back to the pills. I would love some support and a place to vent throughout this process. Looking forward to meeting all of you.
  17. Hi all, For my 10% taper, I crush my lexapro and weigh it. I usually weigh on wax paper and then dump it into a scoop of yogurt to ingest. I started my tapering in January and have been more or less sticking to 10% taper every 4-6 weeks. I honestly feel better and better the less I take, but am nervous at this point. My withdrawal the first time from quitting cold turkey was awful. I'm down to 1.82mg and feeling pretty good. Has anyone tried filling gel caps? It would be quicker for me to fill up a bunch of caps instead of weighing every morning. Will the gel caps interfere with the lexapro powder at all? I tried filling one, and am confident I am filling properly. It just looks strange because the powder sticks to the walls of the capsule and gets all dispersed in the cap. Do you think the gel caps affect absorption? Best, Atium
  18. Hey everyone- A little history, many moons ago (about 17 years now), I was put on an antidepressant to stop my migraines. I was never depressed and never had anxiety. Over the years, I was put on several different antidepressants because the headaches would come back. Nonetheless, I haven't had a migraine in years and decided that I truly do not need to be on this drug anymore. After going through a horrific z-drug and benzo withdrawal due to mis-diagnosed insomnia (which was really probably related to the antidepressants), I learned a lot and that pretty much convinced me that I needed to work to get off the antidepressant as well. It's been almost 3 years since I went through that and successfully tapered off those drugs. I knew my CNS would be sensitive so I waited until this year to start the antidepressant withdrawal. Back in March/April, I started a taper on Viibryd 40mg. I am down to 20mg. I have been doing fairly well with a few days here and there of withdrawal symptoms but nothing major. I decided in June that once I got down to 20mg, I was going to hold there for a while to stabilize, which I have no been doing for 3 months. I have felt great to the point, I finally started doing a mild work out daily. All has been going well for several weeks, and then I started getting adrenaline dumps on Friday. Scared the living you know what out of me (although it shouldn't since I experienced this horror with benzo and z-drug withdrawal), but nonetheless, for the past 3 days, I have been experiencing adrenaline dumps, some mild burning across my chest (ironically no muscle pain in my chest or body) just burning, major stomach queasiness, and internal tremors/shaking, limb weakness, sweating, inability to focus, and of course anxiety because all of the sudden I feel like complete crap! Being that I started this taper about 6 months ago and have been holding for the last 3 months, is this normal for antidepressant withdrawal? In 2012 I had an echocardiogram on my heart and it was found to be structurally fine.I don't drink, smoke, do any kind of recreational drugs, or drink caffeine, and I have regular blood tests when I got to the doctor twice a year and all my levels have been normal, so I don't honestly think there is anything wrong with me. But historically, whenever waves hit me, I tend to lose my mind questioning what is wrong with me. I haven't been able to find much about Viibryd withdrawal. So I am grasping at straws here to know if what I am experiencing is normal. Thanks in advance!
  19. Hello everyone, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 1 when I was 15. It's been 12 years and I have taken quite a few different medications over those 12 years. I've been up and down but the overall tone has been either having manic episodes or being numbed out. I now often sleep for 12 to 13 hours a day, sometimes more and I feel tired and numb in the head. I have no passion or spark. Last year in 2012 I saw a video on youtube by BipolarorWakingup and it hit me like a lightning bolt. For a few days I felt strange. It awakened a part of me I had completely forgotten and I felt like a part of me had been vindicated. From when I was first diagnosed with the condition, a condition which was triggered by a medication (Paxil) in the first place, I knew that taking medications was wrong and not the solution. I knew it and resisted as long as I could but in the end as a 15 year old, I was forced to take it. And slowly but surely I was convinced by the people in my life, the doctors and the community at large that I had something wrong with me and that I needed to take medications for the rest of my life. Sean Blackwell (BipolarorWakingup) burst open that door and that deep part of me that knows truth said YES, YES this is truth. And since then I've been investigating how to do this, how to taper off. I've been reading quite a few books since then: 1. Am I Bipolar or Waking Up? by Sean Blackwell 2. Spiritual Emergency by Stanislav Grof M.D. and Christina Grof 3. Healing the Split by John E. Nelson. M.D. 4. Kundalini Yoga Meditation Techniques Specific for Psychiatric Disorders, Couples Therapy and Personal Growth by David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa And then a few weeks ago I found out about this website. To see people tapering off medications and succeeding is wonderful beyond words. It is so excellent and I would really appreciate your support in doing this myself. My psychiatrist seemed to be on board with the idea a year ago but I've had about one to two manic episodes in June and it seems that because of those episodes he has changed his mind. He has now relinquished his support in tapering off my meds. I would consider the manic episodes I had to be more like spiritual emergencies since I was much more clear than my previous manic episodes and I was in touch with consensual reality. In the second episode I had learned from the first episode and I even prevented a hospitalization. It's strange because previously he told me if I can get my ego strength high enough I can have a spiritual emergency. I also suggested he read Healing the Split which is written by a psychiatrist who is or was (may be retired) in good standing with the psychiatric community. He agreed to but never did. In any case, he told me I could get a second opinion and I got a referral to another psychiatrist who I am currently waiting to see. In the mean time, if you guys can give me some suggestions on how to taper off my medications I would really appreciate it. This new psychiatrist may say no as well so I might have to do this on my own. I notice there is a tapering off guide here. I was wondering if you guys could offer specific instructions for the particular medications I'm taking. Here are the medications I am currently taking. I have been taking them for about three years. The Olanzapine was increased after my two "manic" episodes from 1.25 mg to 2.5 mg back in June. Once a day at night I take: 1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg 2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg It also says PMS before and after each drug name on the prescription label. I don't know what that stands for. I don't think it's premenstrual syndrome. Thank you so much. GreenFlameTiger
  20. I've only been taking 150mg trazodone a night for about 5 weeks and have been experiencing side effects that range from permanent blurry vision to concentration issues and I was experiencing heart palpitations but they seem to have passed and need some advice on how to taper off. The only information I can find says to do 10% every 4 weeks but that seems insane for a medication I've only been on for 5 weeks. I talked to my doctor about it and she told me to cut the dosage by 50% and see if that helps the side effects... obviously, that is horrible advice. I've already experience withdrawal symptoms once because my doctor also didn't explain that once I started taking it I had to take it every night without ever missing a dose and I missed a dose by 11 hours and then only took 100mg. I realize now that the 150 dosage is for depression but I was told repeatedly that she was only giving me the sleeping dosage which is what I needed... Anyway, a member of one of my facebook groups mentioned this site and said something about a 25% every 5 days and I was hoping to get more information on that, or how I should go about this. Thanks in advance.
  21. Happy Holidays! My name's Mike and I'm 40 and I've been taking SSRI's for OCD/anxiety/depression most of my adult life, save for between 2003 to 2009. Since 2009, after years of doing quite well, I crashed and ended up back on fluvoxamine. The drug seemed to help more in the beginning, but as time went on I've increasingly lamented my loss of libido and what I feel are very dampened emotions. Even on 25mg., my current dose, I'm still missing my full range of emotions and feelings. I've been tapering for about 9 months now: Under the care of a psychiatric nurse, I've slowly reduced my dose from 100mg. to my current dose. I went from 100 to 87.5, 87.5 to 75, 75 to 62.5, 62.5 to 50, 50 to 37.5, 37.5 to about 31, 31 to 25. Each time I reduced I would stay on the new dose for at least 2-4 weeks. I've been on 25 mg. for about 4 months now. After what was a very depressing and upsetting election cycle for me, I decided to put the brakes on the taper, but I plan to resume again after the holidays and new year. My next appt. is in mid Jan. So, all in all, the taper's gone pretty smoothly. After each reduction I would usually experience a little dizziness, sometimes digestive issues, lack of focus, etc. etc., but nothing truly debilitating. My psych. nurse made it sound like my dose is so low that I could just about get off, but I've heard all the horror stories and I want to take it really slowly. The question is how slow? Since the taper's gone relatively smoothly, can I continue reducing from 25 to 18.75, 18.75 to 12.5 etc. etc? Or should I slow it down even more to keep it within the standard 10 to 25% reduction rate, since the dose is lower now? I know these are issues I need to discuss with the nurse, but I always feel so rushed during the session, only having 15 minutes and all to discuss the state of my brain! Seems like it should be a little bit longer Anyway, sorry If I'm rambling, but I came here because I'm long overdue to meet some new brothers and sisters who understand how frustrating and upsetting it can be being on medication. I feel like I'm walking a tight rope here: there's a part of me that wants to be off the medication YESTERDAY and then there's the more rational side of myself that's trying to divvy up the patience to take it slowly and thereby improve my chances of successfully getting off this stuff. So, that's my little intro. Hope everybody is enjoying the holidays and is good spirits and health. I look forward to hearing any thoughts you may have on my situation or from anybody else who is on fluvoxamine or just anybody who wants to chat. Be well and take care! Mike BTW, I should also mention I take Klonopin .25mg., as needed, but very sparingly. Sometimes I take a couple doses a week and other times I'll go weeks without taking it. I treat benzos as a last resort when meditation, breathing, jogging, writing, etc. don't work. Thought I should mention all the psych. drugs I currently take. Take care!
  22. Hi, I'm in a dire situation. I've been online all night (haven't slept) and came across this very informative forum and thought I'd link with others who are or who have gone through this hell. I can't reach out to my psych doc as he is away, and I don't want to the ER for a third time to have them tell me follow up with my specialists. I started Mirtazapine for insomnia about a year ago. I never went above 15 mg and stayed mostly at 3.25. Recently I decided to get off as I felt it was losing it's potency (and noticed palpitations but not sure if it was the MIRT) and foolishly started to take it some nights and not others. I was supplementing with melatonin (5-20 mg) every night, and started to use an old script of low-dose Klonopin to help me sleep (.25-.5). The real trouble started about two weeks ago when I took tryptophan (1000 mg) at the same time as the Mirtazapine 3.25. The next day I felt really foggy and took my prescribed Vyvanse (60 mg) as usual. Within minutes I knew something was wrong. I had to pull over because of severe anxiety, palpitations, and racing heart. I took an "emergency" dose of Klonopin .5 and it helped calm me down and quiet the Vyvanse. I was able to go to work. Later that night, I went to sleep and took another Mirtazapine 3.25. About 20 minutes later I started to feel my muscles tensing and I began having tremors and shivering. My heart rate went up to 130 bpm and I could feel skipped beats. Ofcourse I freaked and it just made things worse. I'm not a hypochondriac and I haven't been to the ER in decades but I told my wife we had to go. On the way I downed another .5 of Klonopin. My heart rate eventually returned to normal but my blood pressure was elevated (160/95). I told them I thought I might have Seretonin Syndome but they didn't seem to know much about it and released me with a script for a beta blocker (Metrorpolol 50 mg) and told me to stay off the Mirtazapine. That weekend I took my other prescribed ADHD med, Desoxyn, which has less peripheral agitation, and was fine. I stayed away from the mirtazapine but replaced it with the beta blocker and the klonopin which helped me sleep. Several days later, I took a very low dose of my Desoxyn and I nearly jumped out of my skin. I t was like I had become sensitized to it, just like I had become sensitized to the Mirtazapine. Desoxyn has a interaction warning about Serotonin Syndome. I told myself I was down with these meds until I figured out what was going on. I had to sleep though so I took a Doxylamine (Unisom)- cut in half about 12.5 mg. Within 20 minutes, the same thing that happened with the Mirtazapine happened with the Doxylamine--racing heart, severe agitation, high blood pressure. Off to the ER again. I took a .25 of Klonopin and by the time they took me in I was relaxed and everything was baseline. Doxylamine has anti-histamine activity just look low-dose Mirtazapine and when I brought this up, they again told me to follow up with a cardiologist. It's been three days and I've barely slept since. The next day I felt the same terror and agitation I felt when I took the Mirtazapine and the Doxylamine, but instead of going to the ER for a third time, I took another .5 mg of Klonopin and it subsided. I went to work but have had extreme anxiety, elevated blood pressure, chest and stomach tightness, no appetite, toe twitching, sweaty palms, palpitations, and severe agitation. The only thing that is keeping me sane is Klonopin (which I don't want to develop a tolerance to again, if I haven't already which I think I may have) and low-dose Metroprolol which keeps my hears under 100 but I can still tell it's fighting a ton of adrenaline surges every hour or so. I'm scared to death and wonder if I'm dealing with sensitization due to Serotonin Syndome or just taking Mirtazapine randomly different nights, withdrawal from the Mirtazapine since it's been about 1.5-2 weeks, withdrawal from the Klonopin... In reading these forums, I am inclined to say I want to reinstate half of 3.25 Mirtazapine in order to kill the adrenaline surges and severe agitation. I feel that my heart is being overworked with a withdrawal, but since I seem to be sensitized to Mirtazapine (and other medications that work on serotonin or anti-cholergenic drugs) I don't know if that's a good idea. I'm appreciate of any feedback or wisdom here. I apologize if this post is rambling. I'm actually a writer but my lack of sleep over the last few nights has fried my executive functioning. BTW I do have an appointment with a cardiologist to get an event monitor, and my psychiatrist comes back in two weeks, but I'm afraid to wait that long if I should reinstate I understand timing is crucial. Thank you
  23. Hello, TL;DR I've recently reduced my Venlafaxine fairly quickly(over a month) from 225mg to 75mg. @75mg I'm a little nauseous, anxious and have diahrrea but it's bearable Should I keep it at this level (bearable) till it settles, or should I go up 37.5mg to 112.5mg for a while? Sorry in advance for the essay, it's been a long road. I was going through a rough time last year and was put on Venlafaxine(Age 28, no previous psych experience). After the first dose I vomited and went into severe reaction, not sleeping, psychosis. Fortunately my parents were over visiting for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately my parents took me to a psychiatric ward because I didn't sleep for days on end and couldn't function. Here in Germany it is more common to be in for longer periods of time, I ended up there for 4 Months. The doctors kept putting me on more and more different medications. I was on Mirtazapine(15mg), Escilatopram(??), lorazepam(3mg), Lamotrigine(200mg) and finally Venlafaxine(225mg) again(with Lamotrigine and Mirtazapine and Pipamperone, a first gen antipsychotic). A lot of this was due to me not describing how badly these drugs were messing me up. I do have a fear that I may never fully recover from this assault on my central nervous system but here's hoping. The final diagnosis was bipolar but a lot of the manic behaviours I displayed, I had never had before antidepressant treatment. I managed to get off the Benzo (lorazepam), Pipamperone and Lamotrigine fairly easily. Lamotrigine was giving me splitting constant headaches so I had to axe that fairly soon. I went back to work in January and have been doing a staged return which will finish with my full 8.5 Hour day in May. Fast forward to now. I've been off the Lamotrigine completely for round about a month not entirely on the wishes of my outpatient Psychiatrist. No negative effects and mentally feeling quite stable. I've been on venlafaxine now for 6 months and have decided to start a reduction in this too as I have not felt positive effects from any of the SSRI/SNRI drugs that I was on, including Venlafaxine. I will still be taking Mirtazapine because I feel it helps with my sleep problems. I may cut that out sometime in the future but definitely not now. I have successfully reduced my dose to 75mg for 2 weeks and I'm feeling a wee bit queezy, headachey and off (lots of toilet breaks at work) but not too much. My plan for the moment is to ride it out at this level for a couple more weeks before I make the next jump (1.5x37.5mg, bead counting method) Because I have light WD symptoms, should I go back up another half dose, or should I just ride it out until I'm stable?
  24. I have been on Paxil since the fall of 1998, when I was 19 years old. I'm now 38. I don't remember the dose I started with but at one point was up to 50 mg per day. Now I'm on 30 mg per day, plus 150 mg of wellbutrin per day. My doctor and I want to stop it. She has reduced me from 30 to 20 mg per day. It's only been 6 days. But I'm experiencing night sweats and shaking, nausea, headaches, dizziness, etc. She wants me to do 20 mg for a month, and then go to 10 mg for a month, and then stop. This seems ... faster than it should be. I am attempting to make an appointment with a psychiatric NP at my therapist's office.
  25. 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!
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