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  1. I took Effexor for a total of six months and got to 300 mg. Wanted to discontinue due to mania, insomnia, stomach issues. Had not heard about discontinuation syndrome. The Dr took me from 300 mg to 150 mg for a month. Added Straterra. Then 75 mg for 10 days. Severely ill so increased back to 150 mg. Went to new Dr for second opinion. Added Cymbalta took Effexor up to 187 mg. Ended up hospital 2 months after started taper. Now on 50 mg of Pristiq instead of those 3 antidepressants. Depressed, frustrated, severe cognitive and memory issues, scared, confused, anxious, sick,angry. New doctor tomorrow. Wishing I hadn't gone in hospital and had started a slower taper on my own. The Dr yanking me off 3 meds sounds like it will be difficult to get through on my own.
  2. thesureshot

    thesureshot's journey

    Moderator's note: link to benzo thread - Thesureshot - The Benzo Thread Hi everyone! First and foremost, I'm so grateful to have found this website and thank you for sharing all of your stories - they've really helped me realize that I'm not alone. A little on my background -- had a major life event (move abroad) in 2016 that eventually lead to a nervous breakdown in early 2017. Severe depression, anxiety, several panic attacks a day -- all that kind of fun stuff. I was referred to a psychiatrist in the UK who put me on Effexor and Xanax almost immediately. In desperate need of relief, I acquiesced. After 2 months, the drugs weren't helping and my company decided to move me back to my home in the US -- a major disappointment. There I was referred to another "highly regarded" psychiatrist who CT'd me from Effexor and immediately put me on Cymbalta. I suffered severe withdrawal -- nausea, sweating, zaps for a month. After "overcoming" the Effexor withdrawal, I CT'd Xanax because I thought it was making me lethargic. I experienced no withdrawal symptoms, thankfully. Cymbalta was proving to be ineffective, so Abilify was added at 2mg to help "boost" it. This is where things started going off the rails. My spending became out of control for the first time in my life (normally very frugal), and I started exhibiting classic hypomanic behavior. I couldn't sleep, so I was put on Trazadone 50 mg to help with that issue. I missed more work than I ever have in my life. This eventually led to a BP2 diagnosis, which in turn led to a Latuda 20 mg prescription. I was also switched to Lexapro 10 mg, then eventually to 20, and CT'd off Cymbalta upon starting the Lexapro. I stayed on Abilify. This is where the anhedonia set in. I used to be a big music lover, an avid nature enthusiast, a gym rat, a writer -- and all of these things stopped giving me any pleasure at all. Apathy set in. I quit my job. My psychiatrist started reducing the Latuda rapidly, dropping me from 40 to 10 mg within a span of three weeks. Shortly thereafter, she recommended stopping the Latuda and put me on Trileptal and reduced my Lexapro to 10mg. At this point, I developed excruciating headaches and SEVERE anxiety that led to a one-week hospitalization. This was in early June of this year. In the hospital, I refused Lithium and started Lamictal as well as Wellbutrin 150mg to "help with the side effects of the Lexapro." I was taken off the Abilify and Trileptal. After my first dose increase of Lamictal, I developed the rash so had to CT after two weeks. I was feeling uncomfortably jumpy on the Wellbutrin so I CT'd that after 10 days. Oddly enough, I finally "stabilized" from the bipolar-like symptoms on just the 10 mg Lexapro, 50 mg Trazadone, and .5 mg Klonapin. That's when I started to realize that maybe the pharmaceuticals were the problem. I found a new psychiatrist who supported me going off meds and recommended I try to cut the Trazadone and Klonopin in half in early July. I did so with little issues. That brings me to today. My poor nervous system and brain! I've been yanked on and off so many drugs that I'm not sure which way is up anymore. I'm currently on 10 mg Lexapro in the morning, and 25 mg Trazadone & .25 mg Klonopin nightly. My current symptoms are: - Brutal anhedonia - Apathy/lack of motivation - Hair loss - Morning anxiety - RLS/(possibly akathisia? More like uncontrollable leg and foot twitching) especially in the morning (this is new and started after discontinuing Wellbutrin) - Agitation - Sexual Dysfunction - Night sweats - Reduced Cognition/Concentration - Memory Issues - Inability to lose weight/gain muscle mass despite strict diet and exercise I do think that most of these are simply side effects of the SSRI/SARI and not necessarily withdrawal. After reducing from 20 mg of Lexapro to 10, I experienced much more severe anxiety and headaches/head pressure that have subsided significantly over the past 6 weeks or so. Regardless, I think it's too late to reinstate the 20mg dosage. I also believe that my morning anxiety/rls/akathisia could be rebound anxiety from the klonopin I'm taking at night, despite the long half-life. My new psychiatrist recommended eliminating the Trazadone first, then doing 25% cuts of the Lexapro for a month at a time, but from the research I've done here that seems far too quick with far too drastic reductions, so I plan to do a 10% taper schedule on the Lexapro every 3-4 weeks, possibly alternating dose reductions of the Trazadone, and to leave the Klonopin for last. Any suggestions are welcome. My goals are simple: to live a psychotropic-free life and reclaim my passion for living. I want my love for music back. I want my sexuality back. I want the driven, goal-oriented, outgoing individual that my friends know back. I'm fortunate to have a supportive wife, a great therapist, and at least the next two months off work to start this process. Even though I've lost my motivation, I'm determined to repair myself. I just hope and pray that the damage isn't permanent. I wish all of you all the best things in this world, and hope that healing comes to all of us. Thanks for reading!
  3. Fair warning: my journey revolves around PMDD (my menstruation cycle). If this is not your cup of tea, turn back now. Hi! I'm so happy to be here! Here's the short version of my story... I was misdiagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder when in fact I had PMDD. At first, the symptoms were bearable, but after my last child, everything changed. Suddenly, I was not able to make myself or my children food, not showering, not able to pick my kids up from school. Not only that but my self-esteem was shot and anxiety soaring, and I had about one week a month where I could gather myself back up and try to heal before everything started all over again. This went on for over three years. I was completely broken. During all of this, my Psych started throwing meds at me to see what would stick. Unfortunately, nothing would work, and I ended up on 6 meds for depression and anxiety. Finally, I had had enough and approached my Psych and my Gyn about a full hysterectomy and BSO (ovary removal) to stop the fluctuation in my hormones. By this time I had tried all methods of care ranging from DBT to exercise, birth control to relaxation techniques, and so much more. Anyway, I had the surgery, and I felt (and feel) amazing. Like I had been missing out on living. Unfortunately, I was still stuck on all six meds. And so began the titration. I began titrating risperidone at the beginning of 2015. It is important to me to get off this med because I believe it to be the most dangerous. I started at 1 mg, and currently, I am at 0.18 mg. I am taking a break on my titration but intend to jump after my summer vacation and be done with this demon of a drug once and for all. Here is a list of my other meds: Morning: Zoloft 200 mg Wellbutrin XL 300 mg Lorazepam 0.5 mg and 0.375 mg ( also take around 3 pm) Night: Clonazepam 1 mg Trazadone 50 mg Risperidone 0.18 mg (liquid) StuckOnMeds
  4. Hello to all! I was tapered, over a period of two months w/doctor's help, off of venlafaxine xr, buspirone, trazadone, and abilify. I had taken venlafaxine xr and abilify for 7 years and the other two for 14 years. Prior to the venlafaxine and abilify, I was on lexapro for 7 years. Considering the multiple meds and number of years of having taken them, I believe that my doctor tapered me down much too quickly. What is a real kicker is that when I contacted her to tell her I was having terrible symptoms, she diagnosed me over the phone with allergies and told me to go see my GP for further help. I did that, and he said they were all withdrawal symptoms. He assured me that time will heal me. He advised me to drink a lot of water, get exercise, and a lot of sleep. It's been over 5 months now, and I'm still symptomatic although they have reduced in minute degrees of intensity. I go from always being sick to feeling sicker and then back to being sick. My symptoms include burning, stinging, tingling skin on my arms; hot flashes (did those years ago with menopause); insomnia; lack of energy and motivation; icy-cold feeling hands, lower legs, and feet; brain-freeze feeling in the right backside of my head; and sensations of being stabbed throughout my body. The skin sensations are constant. The only thing I take now is fish oil--nothing else. When I first went off the drugs I also had terrible, intense, insatiable itching. The more I scratched, the more I itched. That has subsided, thank goodness. Has anyone experienced any similar symptoms? If so, did they eventually disappear? Did you ever experience a window? So far, I don't think I've had one. I would appreciate any help.
  5. Hi, I'm new to this website. I have been trying to withdraw from antidepressants for about 18 months. When I started by withdrawal, I was taking 20 mg of Prozac, 300 mg of Wellbutrin (to treat side effects of prozac), and 100 mg of Trazadone. A year ago, I told my doctor I wanted to get off my medications because they were not helping and I was feeling increasingly fatigued. She gave me a taper scheduled that had me off the drugs within 2 months. I suffered terribly with anxiety, insomnia, and the worst depression I ever experienced. After trying to persevere, I eventually went back on 10 mg of Prozac and 50 mg of Trazadone to relieve the anxiety and allow me to sleep. Having reduced my dosages and completely eliminated Wellbutrin, I felt better and had more energy than when I was taking the higher doses. Lab tests ordered by a functional medicine doctor revealed that I many nutritional deficiencies despite my healthy diet. She prescribed supplements, including magnesium, fish oil (DHA and EPA), B vitamins, glutathione, and vitamin C. My energy and strength increased and I was able to begin an exercise program. Long story short, because I was feeling better, I began to taper the remainder of my drugs. I am now down to 25 mg of Trazadone and 8 mg of liquid Prozac. I have been taking 25 mg of Trazadone for over 6 months and only just started weaning off the Prozac. Since I reduced Prozac from 10 mg to 8 mg, I have felt fine except for insomnia. I joined this forum because I want to succeed with stopping the drugs for good this time. Thank you so much for this forum and the information you have provided. Past Medications: Paxil 25 mg 2010-June 2012 Prozac 20 mg January 2013 Wellbutrin 300 mg January 2013 Trazadone 100 mg January 2013 Current Medications: Prozac 8 mg Trazadone 25 mg
  6. 2010- Two years of severe headaches. Bad vision in one eye. Muscle pains. The doctors did not say anything. 2012- anxiety appeared. the first drug sertaline - a paradoxical reaction. I got depression, ss thoughts and other bad symptoms. 2012- 2016 paroxetine - - I tappered slowly, but I did not know yet that it should be stopped more slowly. 3 months without paroxetine and withdrawal syndrome appeared. Return to the drug worsened the matter. I crashed. Bridge with fluoxetine. A year passed. at the end of September 2016 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I did test in two different laboratories. 08/08/2016-now fluoxetin 20 mg 01/05/2016- now- triticco / trazadone 75 mg clonozepam - 04.03.2017. from 20.11.2017 I started tapper from 0.5 to 0.125 mg- when I got some relief from Lyme treatment. Now I am treated with ILADS ( Lyme and bartonella) and also tapper psycho drags. I want to not rule out the syndrome and stop the drugs safely. I am asking for support and exchange of experience, especially people who suffer from Lyme disease. I need to make plan. How to discontinue: clonazepam 0,125 mg, fluoxetine 20 mg and trazadon 75 mg How I feel now: Antibiotics have sustained discomfort from the urinary tract and improved the results of cytology. I have more windows, but I still experience strong hits of depression and pain in small joints, a specially neck. Through complicated diagnostics of Lyme disease and the syndrome, I do not know which symptoms are from what. Thank you for your attention, sorry for mistakes.
  7. Hello, I'm 45 years old and I have been taking psych meds since I was 21. I have noticed a downward spiral in my life since this time. My life has now become unmanageable, including facing homelessness and a recent suicide attempt. The doctor has told me I will never be able to stop my meds. I want off. They aren't helping anymore, and the Doctor just wants to give me more pills. How do I start? In the past tapering has caused me to have severe suicidal thoughts, depression and anger issues, along with the physical withdrawal symptoms. The sooner I can get off, the better.
  8. MOD NOTE: contains content which may be triggering for some members Hi, I have been "stalking" this website for a while now, I saw a couple stories that were a lot like mine. I never knew how much harm these darn medications could do, moreover, I was so glad I found that I was not alone in this. I felt like crying tears of relief when I found this community. Im not sure where to start so I will just give a basic "run-down" of my history; I came from an abusive background. My father abused me when I was younger, and my neighbor "took advantage" of me when I was 8, repeatedly. Im thankful I am not in that situation anymore, but those experiences did leave me with some "battle scars." I was diagnosed in early 2014 as having OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Panic Disorder, PTSD, and ADD. I knew I had some things from childhood, like the OCD, Depression, Anxiety and of course the ADD (That one is a bit hard to miss) But I was so shocked to find what had happened to me did give me PTSD. It was such a shock. I was hospitalized in late 2014 for a suicide attempt and that was my first introduction into the Antidepressants. To be honest they never really helped me. I was put on Prozac, not sure the dose, but I quit cold turkey after 3 maybe 4 weeks on it now that I think back to it. No side effects. No nothing. Then I was prescribed with several things back to back, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, I would only take 1 or 2 pills before not taking them anymore as I just felt the medication just masked the problem without actually fixing it. The only one that really did help a bit was Effexor but I got so jittery it was ridiculous I stopped after 2 days of use. again, no side effects, I was blessed. I was given Xanax for my panic attacks, i took it sparingly. Then I was given medication for my ADD, I thought "why not" and gave it a try since I was having trouble focusing especially in the workplace. I was given focalin. It completely destroyed me. I had a OCD flare up like no other. I ended up hospitalized from early May to late July/ Early August. It was a nightmare even though it did make me perform better, it was OCD hell. I recovered in a few days and was put on Paxil. 40 mg. and Trazadone for sleep which was switched with another type of sleep medication. I would take a combination of Trazadone and a cocktail of other sleep medications on and off. The doctor never warned me of the side effects of these stupid medications. I started having Nervous sweats, shaking which I believe to be called "akathesia", hypersensitivity, more panic attacks, PTSD episodes, OCD episodes. and weird sensations in my private parts that from what I have been reading, is called "PGAD" , horrible insomnia, sensations that are not there, so severe somatization, tinnitus that comes and goes, depersonalization, less able to focus, and an increase in paranoia. I ended up worse than when I started with this mess.. I have been though enough. Since I have been stalking this website I have been following a few stories that were a lot like mine and trying to mimic them in their withdrawal. I went from 40mg of Paxil to 21 mg. Probably too fast. I have been following Hopefull, ASkyFullOfHappy, MamaP, Gentle Steps, Petunia, MollyN especially since some of their stories really mirror mine in one way or another. Im sorry for stalking ya'll, I am actually very embarrassed, but I was recently given the courage to make my own account since I feel like I still don't know what I am doing sometimes, and honestly my symptoms, although they have improved a slight bit, they are not where I need them to be. I hope with some guidance I can get on the right track here, and maybe help a couple people out as well.
  9. Blonde

    Blonde

    I am going through hell. I pray I can get some help on this site. I stopped prozac 3 months ago and trazadon after 25 years. I waited till I retired because I knew I could not work when I did it. I don't care about anything, depressed, hurting, crying, no motivation or energy. Help!
  10. What would a safe titration schedule be? I was given for insomnia. And want off. Thank you for any help
  11. Hello everyone. I want to quite meds, but I am not sure which drug I should taper first. Here’s the short history of my meds. I was put on drugs (ADs and neuroleptics) in March of 2017 during detox from alcohol. I had the acute withdrawal symptoms: tremors, agitation, suicidal thoughts etc. I was hospitalized and doctor prescribed me Tofisopam (Emandaxin, Grandaxin, Sériel), Carbamazepine and Phenibut. After 2 weeks I got worse and another doctor put me on Amitriptyline (1 tab - 25 mg – 3 times a day). My reaction was bad and after some time they changed it with Emoxypine and Sulpiridum (Sulpirid). After 7 days prescription was changed again. I was suggested to take Prozak (20 mg once a day). The reaction on Prozak was terrible (suicidal behavior, tremor etc.) and the doctor changed Prozak with Trittico (Trazadone) – 150 mg. Then Quetiapine was added. Lately – ¼ of Akineton (Biperiden) twice a day for controlling the side effects of neuroleptic (it helped a bit with tremor). Well, this is the story. I’d like to add that I had no idea about SSRI’s, neuroleptics and other psychotropic drugs, so I was taking them very carelessly. Tofisopam, Carbamazepine, Emoxypine, Sulpiridum, Prozak - all these drugs I stopped without tapering. Now I am taking: Trittico (Trazadone) – 150 mg Quetiapine – 25 mg (last week I decreased it from 50 mg) Akineton (Biperiden) - 1 mg I am suffering from severe agitation and tremors (it is a bit better after adding Akineton). Sometimes I am also feeling exhausted, dizzy. I was planning first to quit neuroleptic (Quetiapine), because of the risk profile. But it seems that Trazadone is the cause of agitation, which is disturbing me very much. What should I do now? Please, help me.
  12. Hi-thanks for the join! I feel like I'm on this never ending journey to feel better. Long story short, about two years ago I had PPA with the birth of my daughter. Was on klonopin for a few months and Zoloft for a year. Got off fine, no issues. Fast forward to last November, started having terrible sleep issues and found out I was preg but it was ectopic. Had methotrexate and started back on Zoloft and klonopin. I worked up to 200 mg of Zoloft and 1.25 mg of klonopin. I cross tapered w gabapentin, for about five weeks-highest dose was 1200 mg for a week. I'm now on 25-50 of trazodone at night for sleep and 150 mg of Zoloft. I don't think it's working as well as it should this round. I also have these weird pings in my legs. Like someone is flicking my calves. I also have tremors in my hands. I'm wondering what is causing this?! My doctor is considering changing to Prozac or a higher dose of traz so I can use it for both anxiety and sleep. Anyone on just traz? I'm just over it, nothing seems to be doing the trick. My husband is out of town and last night the traz did nothing and I only got 4 hours of sleep ???? What to do?! Thanks
  13. I just remember when I turned 18 all of a sudden I became paranoid and very anxious. I was bright kid but all of a sudden I could not study without massive surge of adrenaline if I think of anything. I started to have muscle jerks and twitched. Everybody said it was just stress and I kept battling it believing everything was in my mind until I could no futher. I was 21 and at this point I was using alcohol to self medicate in social settings. At an internship I went to bathroom and started crying, Phoned my mum and my journey with psychiatric drugs started. I saw psychiatrist and he put me on Zoloft 25 mg. I was happy because I did not feel alone anymore and I thought I can get help. So I thought. I eventually went up to 100 mg Zoloft and that did not work. I then switched to Remeron which made my anxiety and paranoia worst. I was then put on cipralex for a while, also with no effect. This all happened between 2006 and 2008. My father never really wanted to pay for the meds and I felt guilty taking it. I then started my masters with little money.. I was on 50 mg Zoloft between 2008 and 2013. I always had this I surge of adrenaline, anxiety, muscle weakness tired headaches. I always believed what everybody said that…. I should get my mind right. I was battling all the time. Beginning 2013 I started a new job and went crazy the first two months and went to go see the same psychiatrist. I had could afford him now . Now my journey began with the following drugs. 13.08.2013 Zoloft 100mg mane NOW Xanor SR 1mg mane 28.08.2013 Zoloft 100mg mane NOW Xanor SR 1mg mane 03.12.2013 Xanor SR 1mg NOW Paroxetine SR 25mg iso Zoloft 06.03.2014 Luvox 50mg mane Xanor SR 1mg OD 12.06.2014 Luvox 200mg PO OD Xanor SR 1mg OD Pur-Blocka 10mg BD (09:00 and 16:00) 10.09.2014 Luvox 200 mg per dag Xanor 1 mg per dag 28.10.2014 Luvox 200 mg per dag Xanor SR 1 mg per dag Pur-Blocka BD 20mg 13.04.2015 Cymbalta 60mg 17.09.2015 Trazadone 100mg Each new dose or drug gave me hope, but nothing ever work. I always still had high adrenalin tremors difficult concentrating… I was tired of all these drugs and Went cold turkey from trazadone 20151101 and went through hell. Started to have intense ocd night sweats, paranoia higher anxiety and sad. I can only describe it as psychosis. I was near suicide but got help from CBT specialist who but me in contact with psychiatrist. She put me on lexapro and lyrica. Today 20160813 I am on 20 mg Lexapro, 25 mg lyrica and 100 mg Seroquel. The lyrica I had to decrease from 200 mg as it had no effect. I went to go see different psychiatrist and he sent my for MRI. My brain is good and they could not find any fault. I have been for numerous blood test thyroid ect… All came back good. I always had high blood pressure currently 150/100. Some days are better than other s but 99% I suffer. I can feel when it is coming my left brain at back goes numb and I start having tremors paranoia twitches. I also have high adrenaline which causes me to struggle to focus. Sometimes it is so bad that I have body jerks as I walk . When it is better I feel fine then I can focus and talk to people but as soon as I feel this pressure in back of head coming my symptoms start. When I breathe in it is like the pressure on back of head is increasing. I am tired of living like this … ANY HELP or INPUT.
  14. NaturalBorn

    Help Me

    i'm hopeless man, completely hopeless, i can't express my pain, i can't express how bad i feel when i realize that this will go on for YEARS. from the severety of what i felt i can just say that this will not pass in a few months. how can i live like this?, knowing that everything i will do from now on will be poor quality? i met a lot of people with drug problems, NONE of them felt the kind of sickness we felt, i really just wish that i could see some light in the end of the tunnel, because when i was off drugs i did not got one single day of improvement it was just like watching my health being sucked away and there's nothing i can do about it. i wish i could skip 5 years of my life to see if i will be fine then... this is just worst than any drug related problem i can imagine. REALLY, so please guys just help me i can't stand my life anymore
  15. Hello - I just joined this site as I need help for my mother. She is 69 years old and starting having some fairly acute bouts of depression after she retired. She had been taking a sleeping pill (I don't know the name) since the mid 80's and decided she wanted to stop taking them around age 66. She stopped cold turkey. I think this is when the depressive symptoms began (as a result of withdrawls) for which she started seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist. After trial and error...lots of error...she has now been on Cymbalta (1 daily - 60mgs), Olylanzabine (zyprexa - 1 at bed - 5mgs) and Trazadone (100mgs at bed) for over a year now. It seems as though they are all interacting poorly and creating even more problems. She can barely function. Its as if her brain doesn't remember how to even process a thought properly. After doing my own research and getting my father on board, I'd like to get her off of as much of the medicine as possible and see if we can get her "well" without the meds. We are starting with the Zyprexa. After reading and learning about the horrific side effects of this drug, many of which she is experiencing, we have decided to taper her from this pill first. My father called her primary care physician and he said to half the Zyprexa for a month and we will continue lowering the dosage from there. She is not psychotic or bipolar, so I'm unclear as to why this was prescribed to her in the first place. After a week, she said she is already experiencing withdrawl symptoms. However, I'm not sure if she is experiencing them because it was suggested to her that she could possibly have withdrawls, or if she actually is having withdrawls. I should mention, she is of the old school thinking that if a doctor prescribes you medication, you take it because it will make you feel better. So, we have caught her taking multiple Trazadone at night because she thinks they help her sleep - the more the better, right? She is afraid she won't be able to function without taking all of these meds that are making her worse than she ever was before. I think after showing her what I have learned, she is ready to start the detoxing process. My mother has always been a happy, healthy, outgoing person until this prescription pill nightmare began. Any input, direction or help would be so helpful. Thank you, Briana
  16. Hi Friends, I went off of trazadone 5.5 months ago after 15 years of use for insomnia, and have been suffering from protracted withdrawal ever since. The most debilitating symptom is severe depression that often manifests physically as pain in my heart, and a myriad of new drug sensitivities. I have a few questions about other's experience's and/or recommendations. · Has anyone had success with st. john's wort, 5 htp, homeopathy, or other approaches? · Will attempting to treat the symptoms with herbs, or ssris prolong the period of withdrawal? · Does anyone understand the mechanism behind the symptoms of protracted withdrawal coming in waves? My preference would of course be to get through this without having to medicate the symptoms, but there are times when the depression feels so intolerable, I need to have another option for my own safety (I've been very proactive of finding alternative methods to deal with the depression, ie, meditation, exercise, support, etc. but they have a limited effect). I have read that in rare cases, protracted withdrawal can last years or be indefinite. Given that I was on trazadone for 15 years, and I tapered much too quickly, I imagine mine may be a slow process. I have included a detailed history of my experience to give context for anyone who is interested. Thank you. HISTORY: 15 years ago, at the age of 23, I went through a healing crisis of sorts, dealing with issues of childhood trauma. I went to a treatment center for depression, where I was put on a number of different drugs (as best I can remember: celexa, risperdal, trazadone, vistaril, and one or two others). The treatment center was beneficial for me - I did intensive therapy, and worked very hard on my own healing. Within a year or two of returning, I tapered off all of the mediations I'd been put on, with the exception of trazadone. I had had insomnia for most of my life and was under the impression that its only purpose was to treat sleeplessness. I was unaware it was an antidepressant for the next 15 years, until after I began the tapering process. Even my naturopath continued to prescribe it without question. Over the last 15 years, I healed myself through intensive therapy, even becoming a therapist myself. I build a successful business in a field I felt passionate about, combining therapy with an artistic discipline. For years I contemplated getting off the trazadone but didn't feel like I could risk not sleeping with my demanding career. A year ago, I decided to take sabbatical and travel the world, starting with an ayurvedic cleanse program in India. A couple years prior, I started to have the creeping suspicion that my medications (benadryl, alegra-D, singular, trazadone) were creating more symptoms than they were treating, and so began the withdrawal process before leaving for India. At first I cut my trazadone from 150mg to 75mg and cut out the Benadryl completely. I struggled with sleep, but more significantly, horrible nausea for about 6 months. I attributed the sleep to the trazadone, but the nausea to the Benadryl (now I'm not so sure that was accurate - it may have been the large reduction of trazadone). Luckily, I was able to treat the nausea with small doses of medical marijuana. I went off my other allergy mediations much more easily - with a week to two of acute symptoms that afterwards subsided completely. When I began my cleanse in India, I tapered the trazadone from 75mg to 0 in a matter of 5 weeks. Way to fast given what I now know, but again, at the time, I had no idea what I was dealing with. Each time I would decrease, I would have acute withdrawal symptoms for about a week which would then subside; mainly night terrors, sleeplessness, and irritability. For the next three months I only managed between 3-5 hrs of sleep a night, but although it was frustrating, it was manageable, given that I was spending hours each day mediating. My nausea went away after I tapered from 75mg to 50mg but for the first two weeks, I suffered from persistent sexual arousal disorder (pgad, the female version of priapism) - a nightmare which caused incredible discomfort as I was barely able to pee for two weeks. Luckily, I figured out it was due to the trazadone withdrawal after some research. That experience only made me more determined to get it out of my system, and quickly. The PGAD disappeared when I tapered from 50 to 25mg. After my final dosage (I had basically just been taking a crumb for a week), I began experiencing the most horrific emotional pain I have ever experienced. I often find myself at a loss for how to describe it as it's never felt like typical depression. It was something like a combination of an ongoing panic attack with a grief stricken/shock-like feeling - like when you learn that your beloved has died and it knocks the wind out of you. I felt a palpable heart pain -though it was clearly emotional in nature. It is not the first time I've felt that heart pain, and may just be how my body metabolizes severe depression - but it was the most extreme experience I've had, and totally devoid of content. At the time, I had never heard of protracted withdrawal and so assumed I was having some kind of spiritual crisis. I was staying at an ashram, and so spent many hours in meditation. The symptoms gradually got a bit better over the first month, but then came back with a vengeance, though usually with some breaks of relief during each day when the heart pain would subside briefly and I'd get a bit of perspective. The odd thing was that this 'depression' came seemingly out of the blue at a period in my life where I felt stronger and happier than I'd ever been before. After some research, and consulting with a colleague who specializes in psychiatric drug withdrawal, I realized I could be experiencing protracted withdrawal. I tried to stay in India as long as possible to heal myself there, hoping it would pass quickly and I could continue my travels, but at some point the pain became too intolerable and I decided to come back to the States where I would have more resources to treat the symptoms (or so I thought). I decided to stay with my family in the midwest while I figure this out, and enlisted the help of a wonderful holistic psychiatrist, who luckily recognized the symptoms (at that time - depression, arthritis, and gum pain) as protracted withdrawal. I first tried supplements, homeopathy, and st. john's wort, in an attempt to stay off SSRIs. The St. John's Wort did provide some relief after week 5, but I was experiencing extreme fatigue and rapid hair loss. My psychiatrist suggested I try a small dose of prosaic after weaning off the SJW in order to get through the protracted withdrawal. Over the next month I tried 4 different SSRIs in miniscule doses (Prozac, lexapro, celexa, wellbutrin) and had horrible adverse reactions to all - sleeplessness, panic, wired/restless leg syndrome, loss of appetite, migraines, nausea, diarrhea. I had to take Clonazepam (luckily only one dose for each attempt at a new SSRI) to counter the reactions. Next we tried SAM-E at 50mg/day. I had some mild reactions, but after 6 days, felt wonderful - depression had subsided though I was a bit wired, but on day 7, I ended up with the same reactions as the other SSRIs and had to discontinue. Interestingly, I've taken almost all of these medications in the past without issue. I was given zoloft twice during my life (once for chronic mononucleosis when I was a teenager and for two years for 12 days out of every month for endometriosis). I had no problem on the drugs, but did experience acute withdrawal symptoms when I was going on and off the zoloft each month. I had horrible dizziness, and only after thousands of dollars of mris and other tests did I realize from my own research that it was caused by my body going into withdrawal for two weeks of each month. A few weeks after my final dose however, I was fine. I swore never to touch another antidepressant - totally unaware that trazadone was one! I also tried SAM-E at one point when I was experiencing depression after a total hysterectomy (for the endometriosis). It didn't help but it also didn't have any adverse effects at the time. The depression subsided when we were able to get my estrogen levels back on track. My psychiatrist works in cooperative clinic, so together we saw the nutritionist there, who tested me for deficiencies and then started me on a regiment of supplements. As far as I can tell, I have not had any adverse reactions to the supplements, but have not felt improvement from them either. For the past three months I have been on a very strict diet: no grains, no dairy, no sugars, no caffeine, no alcohol, and no meat (my choice). I basically just eat vegetables, lentils, lots of fish, and a few nuts. I've also been adamant about making sure I get 1-3 hours of mild to moderate exercise/day. This seems to be the one thing that routinely brings me a bit of relief, though only while I'm walking, moving, etc. I am lucky to have a wonderful support system and minimal external stressors in my life at the moment. I have tried my best to keep a positive attitude and am often successful, though I continue to get knocked out by the intensity of the heart pain when it arises, even with my myriad of coping strategies. Having tried so many ssris, and then the SAM-E (last dose was 12 days ago), it's hard to know what my norm off of meds will be - if there is one.
  17. I am Charlene from Utah USA, I am withdrawing (w/d) from Lamictal, and would like some help with it. Shortish summary of most recent mental health drug history: 150 mg/day lamictal, 50 mg/night trazadone (as needed for sleep), are current medications. I have already sucessfully w/d from 300 mg/day effexor, prior to that abilify (prior med was respiradal). I have script for wellbutrim that I have not started on, though I have taken it previously without (w/o) serious side effects, but wondered if it was "working" for less depression. I was recently diagnosed with anxiety, due to great trouble at work, I started using proprananol, but have not continued taking it as I think the growing job anxiety was due to w/d from effexor, not "me". Diagnosis I have been tagged with in the last few years include: major depression, severe, recurring; bi-polar I, generalized anxiety, and the wonderful one, borderline personality disorder. I was hospitalized by consent in 2011 for 2 weeks (huge work related difficulties were a driver), which is when I got the BPD diagnosis, possibly due to continuing having suicidal ideations and conflicts in relationships there (and in usual life); which have continued most of these 2 years. But, I think some things like "getting along with others" is getting better, possibly due to w/d from effexor? I have been prescribed many tri-cyclic and SSRI and SNRI anti-depressants; my summary at this point on anti-depressant use for me is that at best some of them have "raised the bottom" of my low moods - which at times of stress has been crucial I suppose. None of them however are something that I want or intend on staying on the rest of my life, which I believe is the pro-pharma medical establishments recommendation for me up to this point. Augmentation with resperidal for irritability, then abilify later, depakote (more than a couple years ago) and now lamictal (taken previous periods too, w/d due to memory/concentration/focus Extreme problems in 2004 and 2010 - why do "they" keep putting me on it? I was on double the dosage back then than I was this time however. Other medical/physical diagnosis (most likely from taking the above!) include hypertension, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome. I am currently interested in continuing Lamictal w/d and trying not to go back on any anti-depressants. I am a bit concerned that continuing w/d may exasperate my tendency to disorganization and sometimes fluctuating mood and more irritability......things I have noticed over the previous 2 months or so. I am trying to stay very motivated to deal with low moods by actions such as hiking, biking, possibly getting back to running trails, staying involved in community by tutoring and organizing hikes, try to get back to daily meditation and other ways to deal with repetitive thoughts and low and not useful thoughts/actions. I currently work part-time at a lower stress job, have financial difficulties due to being on private disability for 2 years, which payments have stopped now. How do I go about slow w/d from lamictal? So far have decreased to 150 mg/day from 200 mg/day, by cutting the blue tablets in quarters. I went down to 100 mg/day, but felt rising anxiety from the turmoil and lack of patience and such that I was feeling, so went back up to 150 mg/day and have been back there for more than a week now.
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