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GoneGranola - Journey to being hive-free through cessation of meds


GoneGranola

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Introduction!

 

Hi members! I'm GoneGranola. I'm a 25 year old female who started tapering off of 20mg of Celexa (yesterday started taking 15mg) and am working on trying to get lower doses of IR (instead of XL) Wellbutrin to wean off too.

 

Why am I weaning off?

I have had debilitating chronic urticaria (hives) and angioedema (swelling of face lips hands and feet) that is getting worse everyday and has been going on for the past 5-7 years intermittently.

 

I have eliminated environmental factors and have "Gone Granola" in that I only buy non-chemical, all-natural everything (soap, detergent, shampoo, dish soap, deodorant, toothpaste, etc), eat whole, organic, plant-based foods, and have started eating vegan over the past few weeks with no stop in my symptoms. I've been allergy tested, seen acupuncturists, etc. (No help there).

 

I am extremely sensitive to side effects in medications and have recently read about the strong association between Wellbutrin and delayed onset urticaria, and Celexa and hives.

 

I see a therapist weekly and have an allergist, psychiatrist, general practitioner, and endicronologist -- all of whom have just suggested taking MORE medication to alleviate my symptoms and have never suggested that these psych meds may be the cause of my suffering. It's time I become my own advocate.

 

I am here to get support and help over this upcoming difficult process of tapering off my psych meds and living a natural life as much as possible. Thanks in advance for your advice and support.

 

-Gone Granola-

75 mg Levothyroxine

20-40mg Cetirizine (zyrtec)

 

Tapering:

stopped 150mg XL Wellbutrin Sept 5th

20mg Celexa > 15 mg Celexa Sept 5-7 > 10mg Celexa Sept 8-14 > 5mg Sept 15-19 > 0mg Sept 20.

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Nomoreheadmeds

Welcome 'gonegranola' .you have come to the right place someone will advise you shortly .

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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  • Moderator

Hi GoneGranloa--  Welcome to the group.  You found us just in time.  I am so sorry to hear about the problems you've been having and excited that you want to take the reins and get them under control.  But I have to stop you right there, the drop in dose you made yesterday is way too big.  It will more than likely cause you a lot of pain starting in a few weeks (it takes that long to catch up with you).  These drugs are very powerful and need to be tapered very slowly to avoid WD symptoms that can derail the process.  There are several threads you need to read before you continue with your taper.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

Thank you for adding a signature block, they are so helpful.  If you would please add your taper information that would be great.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

We really want you to be successful and starting out right will really help.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Hi Brassmonkey and nomoreheadmeds. 

 

Thanks for responding and welcoming me to the community. I am looking forward to hearing your experiences and hopefully helping others through my experiences taking and going off of different psych meds. I sent messages to my doctor to get him to help me with tapering. I understand it's a double edged sword... right now my urticaria (hives) are so bad that I have more skin covered with hives than not, and it is so incredibly uncomfortable, itchy, and difficult to even go to work without looking like I have some contageous skin disease. On the other hand, going off these meds at a faster pace than recommended could, and will likely lead to difficult withdrawal symptons. I'm prepared for that.

 

I've gone cold turkey off of Effexor and Trileptal in fall 2011 (I got very sick while still taking them and got very ill and couldn't keep anything down for 3 weeks and was forced to go off of them cold turkey). I have been told that going cold turkey off of those meds (effexor + trileptal) is worse than coming off of heroin. I can definitely atest to that being the case as it was one of the worst experiences of my life. While I'm not looking to go cold turkey off of these meds, I have been on them for a much shorter time than those (less than 2.5 years- I get that is still a long time-) and the urticaria and angioedema I am experiencing is debilitating. Pick my poison. That's why I'm looking at doing somewhat of an "accelerated tapering schedule." I understand the consequences that come with it, and have a strong support system in place... and am going to monitor my symptoms as I go. This isn't really a case that I just want to get off my meds, it's a case of needing to survive and be able to live my daily life without taking 300+ mg of benadryl causing me to barely be able to function just so I can go to work without a swollen face and body with hives. It's not an ideal situation, but I am arming myself with as much information as possible to make the best decision and I appreciate you (the community) helping me in getting that information and support.

 

 

-Gone Granola-

75 mg Levothyroxine

20-40mg Cetirizine (zyrtec)

 

Tapering:

stopped 150mg XL Wellbutrin Sept 5th

20mg Celexa > 15 mg Celexa Sept 5-7 > 10mg Celexa Sept 8-14 > 5mg Sept 15-19 > 0mg Sept 20.

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Nomoreheadmeds

best of luck 'GG' I hope it works out for you.

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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  • Moderator

Hi GG-- I can really appreciate your situation and desire to get off of these drugs as quickly as possible. but I must recommend that you error on the side of caution and not rush things.  These drugs have a very bad habit of lulling you into a sense of false security and then blindsiding you.  Trying to come off of several drugs takes time and planning to do it safely.

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

Taper more than one drug at a time?

 

Preparing to taper

 

Hopefully this information will help.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Administrator

Welcome, GoneG.

 

You might go off the Wellbutrin first with a fast taper; it has the reputation of being easier to quit. Then you could start on Celexa.

 

In addition, Wellbutrin inhibits the metabolism of citalopram. If you go back in your history, I'll bet you'll find your urticaria started when you added one or the other drug.

 

Your doctors should have considered this. The interaction between the two drugs is well known. Say "Stevens-Johnson syndrome" to them and see how they react.

 

For your information, please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html and copy and paste the results in this topic.

 

See Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion) You can cut up an Wellbutrin XL tablet -- what you get is immediate-release Wellbutrin.

 

See
 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for your responses.

 

I actually have had Stevens Johnson rash from Lamictal in 2012 and was hospitalized. Very scary. I am definitely always the small percent of people who get the terrible side effects from meds... ALWAYS.

 

My hives started when I was 17 and I was on a different set of meds at that time (Effexor & Trileptal) and have had hives on and off since then but mainly ON in the last few years (since starting Celexa & Wellbutrin). I didn't start them at the same time but Wellbutrin was added in 2013 (I think) as I was really fatigued.  Funny how meds are just thrown at us when so many other things could have been suggested. I guess that's what we get... if you go to a surgeon you're going to probably be recommended surgery. If you go to a psychiatrist, you're going to get meds. SMH!

 

My tapering schedule is actually more conservative compared to the one my psychiatrist came back to me with today which was to stop Wellbutrin immediately, cut my Celexa in half for 1 week then stop. I haven't taken my Wellbutrin since Saturday and have been taking 15mg of Celexa and will go down to 10 tomorrow for 1 week and instead of stopping go down to 5mg for 5 days and stop on September 20th.

 

I understand that this goes against the 10% rule and what everyone is saying here and I am not discounting it at all. I really truly appreciate your responses and am taking them into consideration when going off the meds- (hence why I am not following his directions verbatim).  I am so severly debilitated from this urticaria and angioedema I just want to find answers and GET MY LIFE BACK!!! I have a therapist I see weekly who I have seen for the past 4 years and I am emailing her daily through this process, in addition to my doctors, family and friends. Thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart for supporting me through this process.

 

xoxo

 

GG

75 mg Levothyroxine

20-40mg Cetirizine (zyrtec)

 

Tapering:

stopped 150mg XL Wellbutrin Sept 5th

20mg Celexa > 15 mg Celexa Sept 5-7 > 10mg Celexa Sept 8-14 > 5mg Sept 15-19 > 0mg Sept 20.

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Also,

 

Altostrata, as requested here's what drug interactions said about Celexa and Bupropion (Wellbutrin) --- AWESOME--- So glad my doctors know best and will literally throw pills at me to get me to leave. This is ridiculous. I'm furious and want to fight to make changes in our system.

 

Check your interactions here: http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php

Interactions between your selected drugs
Major bupropion citalopram

Applies to: Wellbutrin XL (bupropion), Celexa (citalopram)

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with citalopram. Combining these medications may increase the risk of seizures, which may occur rarely with either medication. In addition, buPROPion can increase the blood levels of citalopram, which may increase other side effects. You may be more likely to experience seizures with these medications if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol during treatment. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

75 mg Levothyroxine

20-40mg Cetirizine (zyrtec)

 

Tapering:

stopped 150mg XL Wellbutrin Sept 5th

20mg Celexa > 15 mg Celexa Sept 5-7 > 10mg Celexa Sept 8-14 > 5mg Sept 15-19 > 0mg Sept 20.

Link to post
  • Administrator

You might consider staying at 5mg Celexa for a little longer.

 

If the drugs are contributing to your rash, it should start to diminish fairly soon.

 

Have you looked into histamine food intolerance as the cause of your skin reactions? Going on an exclusion diet for a while will give you an indication of whether it's something you're eating.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Update:

 

I've been off of Wellbutrin for almost 7 days now and have been taking 10mg of Celexa for my 4th day today. While I am definitely experiencing fatigue and headaches, overall I'm doing well. I had gone vegan over the past three weeks to try and narrow down the cause of my hives with no real specific difference. I am now on day 3 of a juice cleanse and feel good. Not to say I don't crave salty flavorful foods but I know I need to take drastic measures to get to the bottom of this. I am juicing anti inflammatory foods such as turmeric and ginger mixed in with my usual kale, celery, cucumbers, carrots, lemon, apples, etc.

 

My hives aren't a 10/10 (extremely severe) they're probably a 5/10 which is getting better for sure. Still not 100% though which is what I'm after. A funny tid bit of info is that my psychiatrist poo poo'd the idea of withdrawal effects from my meds and said that I "probably wouldn't notice a difference" LOL!!!!! and that I'm on "such a low dose of Celexa getting off won't be a problem." This seriously blows my mind that he said this... I'll take it for what it's worth though and try and get off them without feeling too terrible... but knowing full well that withdrawal symptoms are to be expected and are quite common.

75 mg Levothyroxine

20-40mg Cetirizine (zyrtec)

 

Tapering:

stopped 150mg XL Wellbutrin Sept 5th

20mg Celexa > 15 mg Celexa Sept 5-7 > 10mg Celexa Sept 8-14 > 5mg Sept 15-19 > 0mg Sept 20.

Link to post
  • Administrator

Has your rash diminished since you've been reducing your drugs?

 

If I were you, I might hold at 10mg Celexa for a bit. You need to balance the rash vs withdrawal symptoms, if the rash is diminishing, perhaps the reductions you've made so far can give you some room to taper slower.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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My rash has definitely gone down significantly and is going towards my outer limbs as opposed to closer to my torso... 5mg of Celexa started today!! Feeling great!

 

xo

 

GoneG

75 mg Levothyroxine

20-40mg Cetirizine (zyrtec)

 

Tapering:

stopped 150mg XL Wellbutrin Sept 5th

20mg Celexa > 15 mg Celexa Sept 5-7 > 10mg Celexa Sept 8-14 > 5mg Sept 15-19 > 0mg Sept 20.

Link to post
  • 1 month later...

GG, how are your hives now?  I also have have chronic hives which started when I was tapering off my Paxil. (June this year). I still have them, even though I've been off Paxil for 2 months.  I hope yours continued to improve with your taper.

Been on Paxil 14 years. 40mg for the bulk of those.

20mg in 2014

10mg March of 2015 - then tapered to 5mg

Then to 2.5 to 1.5 - to 1mg, from Mar-August.

As of August 23 2015, I am flying without a net.  Paxil free!

WD symptoms since tapering mid- 2015:

Short temper, hostile. Brain zaps. Bruxism. Wild vivid dreams  Hives Food intolerance Lump in throat, . Joint pain. Knees, elbows.  Pain in feet. Numbness in hands. Shaking, like I'm cold. Trembling. Tremors, muscle twitches all over. Facial tics. Eye, lips. Head.  Floaters in my eyes. Severe Insomnia (between months 4-5)  then returned from March-October 2016. I'm sleeping better now. Dreams have returned to normal (month 7) High levels of anxiety when around large crowds or in large rooms. Intestinal spasms, heartburn.  Dizzy spells.  Panic/Anxiety Attacks suddenly developed months 8 out.  4 years out, 98% feeling back to normal.  (October 9 2019)

 

 

 

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