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Sunday: Should I Trust My Doctor and Switch SSRI's?


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Hello,

I was misdiagnosed with depression about 25 years ago and began taking various SSRI's. Ten years ago I was misdiagnosed with Anxiety. At that time I was switched from zoloft to lexapro, and given klonopin.  I was diagnosed with a sleep disorder two years ago and put on Xyrem, which helps tremendously.  I am working with a great doctor who believes that the acute anxiety and following deep depression that came on two years ago is from the klonopin.

I am so depressed.  I am taking 4mg of Lexapro now down from 5 (was going to taper while coming off the Klonopin but stopped).  My doctor asked me if I'd like to try Prozac.  It was the first SSRI I took, and way back then, I liked the activating side effect because I wasn't anxious or depressed but I was TIRED. Even though it messed with my sleep, I had energy and that felt good and positive. Now I'm terrified of those side effects and also concerned that it will not help the depression any better than Lexapro, and will be as hard or worse to taper off of when I'm ready. 

I tried to come off of Lexapro about 5 years ago and lost my mind.  It was a fast taper, and it was awful. For two weeks I felt fantastic, better than I had in all the time on SSRI's, and then BAM, I was thrown in to a pit of hell.  

 

I need some input, please!  I'm scared, depressed, and don't want to screw my head up any more than it already is.  Should I raise the Lexapro? I've never taken more than 5mg...

 

Thank You

Misdiagnosed with Depression 25 years ago and Anxiety 10 years ago.   True diagnosis is Sleep Disorder.

Xyrem nightly for sleep

Lexapro 4 mg liquid down from 5mg May 2015

Klonopin .25mg AM and .375PM down from 2mg since January 2015

Tapering Klonopin 10% every 2 weeks

 

Xyrem has been ruled out at present as cause of depression.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Sunday, welcome to SA. You are right to be cautious about switching to prozac, which could cause more problems for you. 

Could you answer some questions for us so we have a clear picture of what has been going on? 

Are you still taking klonopin, and how have you tapered it so far?  

You say that the anxiety and deep depression came on 2 years ago, also that you were diagnosed with a sleep disorder and given xyrem 2 years ago, which suggests that it could be the xyrem, or the combination of drugs that caused the depression, which is listed as a side effect of xyrem.  

Did the sleep disorder arise from prozac, as you said that it messed with your sleep?  

How long have you been taking 4 mg of lexapro and how did you cut from 5 to 4?  It is likely that you are suffering from withdrawal after cutting lexapro and possibly withdrawal from the klonopin too. Don't panic though, we can help you to find what is causing the problems for you and work out the best way forward. 

 

It would help us if you can put your drug history in your signature strip, you can find how to do that here.... http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

I put your drugs into the interactions checker and there are reactions listed that indicate that they could be causing some problems. 

you can see the report here.  http://www.drugs.com/interactions-check.php?drug_list=703-357,1013-565,2091-10778

PLEASE don't stop any of them suddenly, we will do our best to help you find the right way forward. You have come to the right place. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Wow, 

Thanks for the great reply. The Xyrem was considered as the problem however, the anxiety and panic started prior to taking Xyrem as I was abruptly withdrawn from the Klonopin before I could take the Xyrem. The depression came on many, many months after being on Xyrem. I was also given two different benzos to try before Klonopin was reinstated a few months after trying the other benzos. I have tapered down to 4mg of Lexapro from 5mg over a long period of time, and I have been holding there for several months now. I tried a more rapid taper, and felt it immediately.  For the record, I was in bad emotional shape when I saw the sleep doctor. I was depressed but not the way I am now. I still had a range of moods and I was able to laugh and enjoy myself.  

 

I started the Klonopin taper in January 2015:  1mg AM, 1mg PM and additional PRN. I am now taking .25am, and .375pm.  My cuts are 10% with a two week hold.  The depression will not relent.  There was a brief period early in to the Klonopin taper where I felt some relief, but it was short lived.  By the way, when I look at my profile, it appears I have a signature.

 

The sleep disorder pre-existed the Prozac.  I was prescribed Prozac based on complaints about sleep disturbance. I did not express any other symptoms of depression and did not exhibit signs. I was fully functional, productive, good relationships, etc... The Prozac "pooped" out - not really if you think about it, I didn't need it for depression.  Then I tried Paxil for a day, couldn't tolerate it, Wellbutrin did nothing but make me irritable, then Zoloft. I was on Zoloft for many years before being switched to Lexapro 10 years ago.  I have never felt "great" on any SSRI, and the SRNI's that were tried did not make it beyond one pill - too enervating and crazy-making.  I think the SSRI's gave me problems instead of helping me.  

Misdiagnosed with Depression 25 years ago and Anxiety 10 years ago.   True diagnosis is Sleep Disorder.

Xyrem nightly for sleep

Lexapro 4 mg liquid down from 5mg May 2015

Klonopin .25mg AM and .375PM down from 2mg since January 2015

Tapering Klonopin 10% every 2 weeks

 

Xyrem has been ruled out at present as cause of depression.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Sunday.
 
As you were misdiagnosed and prescribed antidepressants for no good reason, then developed "depression" as a side effect of the benzos, why would you want to risk the switch to another SSRI? And while you're tapering Klonopin?

 

(Kudos to your doctor for recognizing a side effect of Klonopin.)
 
Additional drug changes will certainly muddy the waters regarding any problems you have reducing Klonopin. Please see

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?
 
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?
 
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.

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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Sadly, I have already been on Lexapro (SSRI's in general) long before the Klonopin.  The Klonopin has created such intolerable effects that I have to get off of it right now.  If I could do the Lexapro first, I would, but having tried that in the past with the Klonopin doing nothing to alleviate the WD symptoms, it's a 6 to one half dozen to the other.  I'm screwed.

Misdiagnosed with Depression 25 years ago and Anxiety 10 years ago.   True diagnosis is Sleep Disorder.

Xyrem nightly for sleep

Lexapro 4 mg liquid down from 5mg May 2015

Klonopin .25mg AM and .375PM down from 2mg since January 2015

Tapering Klonopin 10% every 2 weeks

 

Xyrem has been ruled out at present as cause of depression.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

There is a major reaction between klonopin and xyrem, which would be why your doctor would have stopped it before prescribing the xyrem. There is  moderate reaction between lexapro and xyrem. 

 

Interactions between your selected drugs
Major clonazepam  sodium oxybate

Applies to: Klonopin (clonazepam), Xyrem (sodium oxybate)

Using sodium oxybate together with other medications that can affect the central nervous system such as clonazePAM may increase side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, depression, low blood pressure, and slow or shallow breathing. Occasionally, severe reactions may result in coma and even death. You may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. Do not drive, operate machinery, or perform other hazardous activities for at least six hours after taking sodium oxybate and until you know how these medications affect you. You should also avoid the use of alcohol during treatment with these medications. 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.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate clonazepam  escitalopram

Applies to: Klonopin (clonazepam), Lexapro (escitalopram)

Using clonazePAM together with escitalopram may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience some impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. 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.

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Unfortunately your nervous system is unstable with all the drug changes and needs to settle down. 

I know you need to be off the klonopin but maybe  hold will help you to stabilise. I also suspect that you may be suffering interdose withdrawal as it is only taken twice a day and so you could be going into withdrawal between those doses. I will ask someone with more benzo experience to take a look, it might help to spread the doses so you are taking it several times a day instead of twice. Not increasing the dose but spreading it out.  

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Administrator

Seems like going off Klonopin first is a reasonable plan.

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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Yes, going off of the Klonopin is the best choice.  I never thought about spreading out the Klonopin dosage throughout the day because I don't notice anything particular between doses.  If i missed one completely I would, but if I take the evening dose much later than usual, if I notice anything different it is that I feel a little unbalanced, not anxious.

Misdiagnosed with Depression 25 years ago and Anxiety 10 years ago.   True diagnosis is Sleep Disorder.

Xyrem nightly for sleep

Lexapro 4 mg liquid down from 5mg May 2015

Klonopin .25mg AM and .375PM down from 2mg since January 2015

Tapering Klonopin 10% every 2 weeks

 

Xyrem has been ruled out at present as cause of depression.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I asked about and the half life of klonopin is not as short as some benzos so can be taken twice a day if it's working for you that way. It is a fst taper 10% every 2 weeks, I think I would make smaller cuts and hold the lexapro. It's always hard to know what is best but often withdrawal can be worse than the side effects. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 5 months later...

Hello,

I was misdiagnosed with depression about 25 years ago and began taking various SSRI's. Ten years ago I was misdiagnosed with Anxiety. At that time I was switched from zoloft to lexapro, and given klonopin.  I was diagnosed with a sleep disorder two years ago and put on Xyrem, which helps tremendously.  I am working with a great doctor who believes that the acute anxiety and following deep depression that came on two years ago is from the klonopin.

I am so depressed.  I am taking 4mg of Lexapro now down from 5 (was going to taper while coming off the Klonopin but stopped).  My doctor asked me if I'd like to try Prozac.  It was the first SSRI I took, and way back then, I liked the activating side effect because I wasn't anxious or depressed but I was TIRED. Even though it messed with my sleep, I had energy and that felt good and positive. Now I'm terrified of those side effects and also concerned that it will not help the depression any better than Lexapro, and will be as hard or worse to taper off of when I'm ready. 

I tried to come off of Lexapro about 5 years ago and lost my mind.  It was a fast taper, and it was awful. For two weeks I felt fantastic, better than I had in all the time on SSRI's, and then BAM, I was thrown in to a pit of hell.  

 

I need some input, please!  I'm scared, depressed, and don't want to screw my head up any more than it already is.  Should I raise the Lexapro? I've never taken more than 5mg...

 

Thank You

Hi Sunday I was hoping for an update if you can I am curious about the xyrem as it is a new name to me trying to keep up to date.  

wishing you peace B

 

ps 

any drug use 25 years ago before this "Misdiagnosed with Depression 25 years'

legal or illegal it all counts any trauma or other disease or disorers?  I am just curious 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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