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EFC1878: 9 weeks off need advice!


EFC1878

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Hey everyone just after some advice if possible, I won't bore you with to long a story but around 6 years ago I was advised to go on anti depressants due to panic anxiety.

 

About four months ago I started tapering down paxil fairly slowly I thought as I felt it wasnt working...I had been to see a neuro psychiatrist for a sleep disorder but she said I didn't have one then started talking about my meds..in 5 mins she had told me to get off paxil and jump back on effexor "ramp" up to 225mg and if that didn't work add in some pre gabalin.

 

I didn't know what to think I'd tried effexor before but had weaned off it and although it helped a bit being told to go back on and start again made me think these guys have no idea what they are doing...I'm coming off completely.

 

That was around 9 weeks ago and now I feel awful . Worse than before all this started, my anxiety is nuts, depersonalization through the roof, obsessive bad thoughts and dark mood.

 

I've tried so hard to ride this out but how can it still be withdrawal...9 weeks is a long time..I've just cashed in a prx for 37.5mg of effexor...but my family keep saying don't go back on you've done so well you don't need it. It's like I'm damned if I do damned if I dont .

 

Any advice would be great.

2009 - Citalopram 3 months not working no taper

2009 - 2013 Effexor final dose 150mg taper over 8 weeks

2013 - Citalopram 6 months taper 4 weeks not working

2014 - Zoloft 6 months taper 4 weeks not Working

2014 - 2015 Effexor final dose 187.5mg taper over 8 weeks not having same effect as before

2015 - Paxil final dose 40mg not working taper over 8 weeks

Sept 2015 - Nothing

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi EFC1878

 

Welcome to SA. I'm sorry to hear you are struggling. It sounds like withdrawal. Many of us have found that we have to go much slower than we expect and that withdrawal can last a long time.

 

Sometimes reinstatement of a very small dose can stabilise your nervous system and then you can taper off that very slowly. This isn't guaranteed though. We have a thread on reinstatement which I recommend you read through before you make your decision. You can also come back here to ask questions

 

You may also want to look through threads on non drug was of handling these symptoms. Part of doing this well is developing healthy practices that support good mental health.

 

Here are the links

 

On reinstatement - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

Non drug ways to handle emotional symptoms - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Efc,

 

So sorry to hear things have gone so badly for you.  You were right when you realised how clueless the doctors are.  Dalsaan has the good advice, I just wanted to welcome you here (I'm tapering Effexor).

 

Actually Dalsaan - can I ask if you meant a reinstatement of Effexor, or Paxil since it was more recent for Efc?

 

Efc, all those things you are feeling are withdrawal symptoms - and they can last for much longer than 9 weeks, especially with a cold-turkey.  It's common for people to think SSRIs are like aspirin which stop working once they leave your body.  But SSRIs cause changes in how your brain functions, and so your brain needs time to change back once it realises it's not getting that drug anymore.  It's a slow re-building process, not a quick flushing-out process.     

 

You'll be able to get all this sorted out.  Just have a read of Dalsaan's links and come back here with your questions.  Then the mods can help you work out a gentle plan which is supportive of your central nervous system.  Things will come into place.

 

Hugs,

KarenB

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I was thinking Paxil because I thought EFC had decided not to rake Effexor when recommended by the psych and hasn't taken any more recently because of the family engagement.

 

Could you clarify your recent drug history EFC by posting a signature. Instructions on how to do that are here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thank you for your kind replies.

 

I will read all the information on the links and feel reassured by the fact others have experienced similar and I'm not going mad!

 

The psych said to switch back onto effexor and discontinue Paxil, it's what prompted me to finish with paxil but once I came off I started to think how ridiculous the whole thing was .... Advising me to go on a med I tried twice before and then putting me on pregablin an epilepsy drug to add to it...

 

I wanted to try and see if the drugs were causing my problem but now I feel maybe I was wrong. This wonderful place seems the only.info I can find on withdrawal past 4 weeks, everywhere else it tells me my original condition has returned and to go back on, It's so confusing but appreciate you guys replying

2009 - Citalopram 3 months not working no taper

2009 - 2013 Effexor final dose 150mg taper over 8 weeks

2013 - Citalopram 6 months taper 4 weeks not working

2014 - Zoloft 6 months taper 4 weeks not Working

2014 - 2015 Effexor final dose 187.5mg taper over 8 weeks not having same effect as before

2015 - Paxil final dose 40mg not working taper over 8 weeks

Sept 2015 - Nothing

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi EFC,

Here is another link which may help clear up your confusion:   What is withdrawal syndrome?

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hey i like this explanation

 

.  It's a slow re-building process, not a quick flushing-out process.     

 

EFC so sorry you are in this merry go round of drugs.

Welcome

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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I really hope so....just feels so far away!

 

Trying to be strong and not go back on but recovery feels light years away.

 

I was falsely under the impression the worst of coming off would be after three and four weeks of nothing. But weirdly I'm actually getting worse the longer I'm off.

 

Having said that I have wierd 10-30 minute flashes of what feel like almost normality before I crash hard again and get race brain, intrusive thoughts, high anxiety...

2009 - Citalopram 3 months not working no taper

2009 - 2013 Effexor final dose 150mg taper over 8 weeks

2013 - Citalopram 6 months taper 4 weeks not working

2014 - Zoloft 6 months taper 4 weeks not Working

2014 - 2015 Effexor final dose 187.5mg taper over 8 weeks not having same effect as before

2015 - Paxil final dose 40mg not working taper over 8 weeks

Sept 2015 - Nothing

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Recovery comes in windows and waves.  So what you're feeling is actually normal for someone in withdrawal, especially after the fast tapers.  How are you going with stabilising your life and things which affect w/d?  Our brains and CNS love stability - so eating, sleeping and waking at similar times each day  can help a lot.  

 

Are you taking fish-oil or magnesium?  Many people find these helpful in w/d.

 

You'll get there Efc,

KarenB 

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome from me too EFC.

 

I just wanted to strongly recommend reinstating. For somebody with your drug history things will very likely get worse before they get better and they might last for a long time. We are talking years. You have changed quite a few drugs over 6 years and although they didn't seem to help or as you say didn't work, your brain has modified according to them. They have become a part of its functioning and brain has physically changed. Now you have to grow a new brain. At 9 weeks off after a building block was removed from the structure the whole system is still fighting to remain functioning but it will probably continue to lose ground.

 

We see people getting a significant and immediate relief after taking as little as 1 mg. I reinstated which enabled me to remain functioning enough to continue working and living my life. I realised that living a life free of drugs takes a lot more time than I ever thought. Not even doctors know that and let alone our well-meaning families and friends. But this is our life.

 

Best,

Bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Hi EFC,

 

What have you decided to do ?  It could get a lot longer than 9 weeks . As you read around here, you will realize that.  You're lucky that reinstatement is still an option.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

I hope this helps.

 

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Hey guys! Really appreciate the feedback. I've got the tablets 37.5 mg of venlafaxine but haven't taken one. Just would love to feel that this gets better....6 years on and off meds never seemed to really help me. Things were definitely easier but I was never 100 % so just felt that maybe the tablets and side effects may of been the issue and coming off would of made everything better clearer and I would be me again before this all started.

 

So frustrated that this hasn't happened but I'm clinging onto the hope that this is withdrawal and one morning I'm going to wake up and it will all disappear.

 

It never does. Feel like I'm clinging onto sanity day by day.

 

God I sound like a moaner...I'm not looking for sympathy I promise just would love to hear if anyone experienced the same as me at 9 weeks off. Ocd, intrusive thoughts, anxiety and depression does it sound like withdrawal or is this me without meds...

2009 - Citalopram 3 months not working no taper

2009 - 2013 Effexor final dose 150mg taper over 8 weeks

2013 - Citalopram 6 months taper 4 weeks not working

2014 - Zoloft 6 months taper 4 weeks not Working

2014 - 2015 Effexor final dose 187.5mg taper over 8 weeks not having same effect as before

2015 - Paxil final dose 40mg not working taper over 8 weeks

Sept 2015 - Nothing

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  • Moderator Emeritus

This is withdrawal and if you decide to reinstate which I would agsin very warmly recommend 37.5 mg will be too much.

 

You will have to study the links we gave you on how to take very small doses such as 1 mg only.

 

After I reinstated I felt an almost immediate relief. We see people suffering for months and years and symptoms getting worse.

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Hi, thought I would post a quick update....

 

Went for an appointment with the GP today I was fully expecting him to tell me to 're instate as all my symptoms were just the old issue 're surfacing but amazingly he didn't.

 

We talked about could this be withdrawal and he seemed to accept that it sounded like it was and to hang in with what I was doing as I'd come so far. 10 weeks off now.

 

We agreed a follow up appointment in 4 weeks which has given me something to aim for and by then I'll be 14 weeks off and hopefully doing better.

 

It's weird I seem to be having more and more flashes of normality like I've not had before. The ruminations are less, panic lower but my intrusive thoughts are still there.

2009 - Citalopram 3 months not working no taper

2009 - 2013 Effexor final dose 150mg taper over 8 weeks

2013 - Citalopram 6 months taper 4 weeks not working

2014 - Zoloft 6 months taper 4 weeks not Working

2014 - 2015 Effexor final dose 187.5mg taper over 8 weeks not having same effect as before

2015 - Paxil final dose 40mg not working taper over 8 weeks

Sept 2015 - Nothing

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow this really is brutal..one day feeling like I'm making progress...today I'm in the pits of despair.

 

Depression anxiety the whole lot, kept nearly crying at the weekend just feel terrible.

 

I still panic that it's not withdrawal and I'm getting worse... Surely in any recovery the progression goes in an upward curve getting stronger and stronger as time progresses. I'm week 12 this week and feel worse than ever...what happened to all the gains I made?

 

Any encouragement from people who got past this point would be great...I'm now longing for the honey coloured days of effexor which in my mind were bliss but in reality wernt..

2009 - Citalopram 3 months not working no taper

2009 - 2013 Effexor final dose 150mg taper over 8 weeks

2013 - Citalopram 6 months taper 4 weeks not working

2014 - Zoloft 6 months taper 4 weeks not Working

2014 - 2015 Effexor final dose 187.5mg taper over 8 weeks not having same effect as before

2015 - Paxil final dose 40mg not working taper over 8 weeks

Sept 2015 - Nothing

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi EFC , sorry you're having a rough time.

 

Recovery from ssri's is different to  most things . . . you don't start to improve until the withdrawal has

finished developing.

 

Many people feel better the first month (a type of euphoria even) , then deteriorate over the next months.

 

For many (like myself) , the worst symptoms don't start until 6 months after stopping cymbalta.  

I was housebound and needed total care at home for months 6 to 11 after stopping , and then went to

hospital because I couldn't maintain that for another 6-12 months.   Two weeks of medication and I was

well enough to go home and look after myself.

If you want to see what really sick from withdrawal looks like , let me know and I'll send you a link to my

video.

 

You are still within a time frame that makes your chances of reinstating very good.  

By reinstating , you start to improve immediately , and can get stable and maintain your life.  Then you

taper off slowly.

 

So there you have it . . . getting past this point is no guarantee of improvement for possibly the next 12-18

months.  

 

Do you have any paxil there?  You can try a smidge and see how you respond.  Could be the relief you need.

 

Ty reading:  About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Stop Withdrawal Symptoms here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi EFC,

 

The others have given you some great advice and information.  The drugs we have been taking have changed our brains.  The following two things helped me to understand what is happening.   They might help you to make a decision about reinstating a small amount.

 

Video:  Healing from Antidepressants:  Patterns of Recovery

Brain Remodelling

 

CC

 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thanks for your replies all really helpful and appreciated. I don't have anymore paxil left only the 37.5mg effexor which is hard tablet form so not sure how 're instating would work.

 

Video is really good it describes so well how I'm feeling..it's given me some hope along with all your advice.

 

Got to stay strong I spoke to my parents again last night all they say is don't go back on the tablets you dont need them...it doesn't help I feel trapped with no where to go

2009 - Citalopram 3 months not working no taper

2009 - 2013 Effexor final dose 150mg taper over 8 weeks

2013 - Citalopram 6 months taper 4 weeks not working

2014 - Zoloft 6 months taper 4 weeks not Working

2014 - 2015 Effexor final dose 187.5mg taper over 8 weeks not having same effect as before

2015 - Paxil final dose 40mg not working taper over 8 weeks

Sept 2015 - Nothing

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Efc, you've got some good company on this rocky road.  And it is a road, you aren't trapped, it's just a really bumpy road with lots of twists and turns and pot-holes.  Can be hard to see round the next bend sometimes, especially when you're going real slow due to w/d symptoms.  So yes, I understand (and remember) feeling stuck, but just wanted to encourage you that there is change and healing ahead. 

 

How's your self-care going?  Whether you reinstate or not, self-care can make a difference to how you cope in w/d, and especially for your anxiety and depression. 

 

The recovery-curve you mention will happen - you just haven't been in it long enough to show yet.  Eventually all this will be at the worse end of your journey, and there will be better parts appearing on the map.   

 

Hang in there,

KarenB

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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We often see families give advice. They care about us but unfortunately they don't know anything about these drugs. And doctors are not any better either.

 

But the suffering is only ours and not that of our family or doctors.

 

I understand your confusion. I had to suffer awfully for so many times before I started trusting myself. It's great to be part of this community which will keep supporting you regardless of your decision. Have you read about experiences of other people here?

 

Have you read the link on brain remodelling Chessiecat copied for you? It will explain in a very nice way what is happening to your brain. Maybe it would be good to share it with your parents so that their advice can be based on some information.

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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EFC, please consider reinstating a very small amount of Paxil, perhaps 2mg. Paxil is very difficult to quit. If at this point your withdrawal symptoms are not getting better, you may be in for a long haul of recovery.

 

Taking a bit of Effexor likely will not substitute for Paxil.

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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Hi EFC, 

 

I know it must feel like we're suggesting you take a drug you hate (even a smidgen) - every single one of us would regard it as our most fabulous Christmas gift if we stopped CT tomorrow and that was that - no WD, just us drug free. But honestly honestly your WD can get a whooooole lot worse... oh man when I read you'd tapered from 40mg of Paxil in 8 weeks  my stomach sank - this stuff can totally bust your b*lls.

 

I really really hope that in your case it doesn't play out like this - that the WD symptoms are well on their way to becoming more pronounced. You might suppose (as so many of us did) that after a few months it'll improve and then it just doesn't. It gets worse. And you can't reinstate because it's been to long to likely be effective, so you can't go down and you can't go up.

 

Honestly if Alto suggest 2mg, he/she (sorry no idea :)) is not trying to get you back on the evil.drugs, it's just they've seen how much worse this can get... so many times...

 

lol that's my most dramatic post for the week, sorry about this - I just don't want you to suffer unnecessarily :) Plus remember the idea is that once you've reinstated, and held and stabilised for a spell, you can then taper with far greater chances of awesome success. Good luck xxxmollyn

 

Drug history

  • 20mg paxil in 2001 - 4 months use  
  • 20mg paxil in 2003 - 2 months use 
  • 20mg paxil in 2008 - 8 years continuous

Withdrawal history:

  • March 2014 - disastrous alternate day taper
  • Jan 2015 - 15mg to 10mg. Disaster
  • Sept 2015 -  10mg to 5mg. Disaster. Reinstated to 6mg. Relief
  • Oct 2015 - started slow 10% taper 
  • Oct 2016 - at 4mg- stop taking paxil (not recommended)

 

I'm not a medical professional. Seek advice from a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm thinking it might be useful for EFC and his folks to see a video from Dr David Healy , one of the world

specialists in this area from Wales.  

See:  Healy 2009 Halting SSRIs withdrawal guidelines ,  

A Broken Utopia , Dr David Healy https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj-u_KC6s3JAhWHqJQKHfZ2AXwQFgg4MAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdavidhealy.org%2Fa-broken-utopia-the-internet-and-health-activism%2F&usg=AFQjCNGaB_ofwvmyfFPffoowyPMuWmrYDA&sig2=xu3u2hJ0ryFeMJtSuIvB6A

2015 Yale Symposium , Dr David Healy (video) https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj-u_KC6s3JAhWHqJQKHfZ2AXwQFggkMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsurvivingantidepressants.org%2Findex.php%3F%2Ftopic%2F9188-2015-yale-symposium-dr-david-healy%2F&usg=AFQjCNEMpZVxwiHdITTrxoCZeLBe7XKqWQ&sig2=H6jKEYQJLPA2t47D0WisAQ

 

"Dr. David Healy on protracted antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

Dr. Healy is a professor in Psychological Medicine at Cardiff University School of Medicine, Wales, director of the North Wales School of Psychological Medicine, and former secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology. He is the author of The Antidepressant Era, The Psychopharmacologists, The Creation of Psychopharmacology, Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder (Johns Hopkins Biographies of Disease), Psychiatric Drugs Explained, and Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression (Medicine, Culture, and History), as well as many scholarly articles published in medical research journals.

He has been invited by the MHRA to advise the UK health service on antidepressant withdrawal and antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. A formal recommendation with citations will be released shortly"

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi EFC, I just wanted to say welcome!  You are lucky to have figured out you were in withdrawal.  Some of us had withdrawal come on long enough after cessation that we didn't realize what was happening - ME!  

 

You have been given tons of advice here, all excellent.  I agree, your family are well-intentioned, want you rid of the stuff, cheer-leading and all, but they aren't the ones suffering the consequences.  Now is the time to take control for yourself.  Perhaps have them read the responses here.  Reinstating is not a failure - it is a kindness.  I've read so many posts on here and elsewhere of people thinking they'll just tough it out, but then they are back with reports of their suffering.   Withdrawal from fast tapers and cold turkeys is paradoxical.  People think that the faster they get off, the faster withdrawal will be, the sooner it will be over, in a linear fashion, but unfortunately the opposite seems to be true.  

 

Serotonin isn't the only neurotransmitter affected by these drugs.  The change in levels of serotonin set off a cascade of interactions as other systems are affected by the change, from other neurotransitters to hormones, enzymes and the like.  The reverberations from a CT take a long time to settle.  Think Newton's cradle:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA2vjXHnySU.  Perhaps the windows are the like the balls in the middle that aren't moving much, while the waves are the swings of the balls on the ends.

 

And so that brings us to what to do when the pills only come in sizes that are larger than necessary for reinstatement?  Time is of the essence, of course, but many of us are taking it farther than using pill cutters.  I bought a jeweler's scale that weighs milligrams from Amazon, about $22, and weigh out my doses.  Paxil comes in a liquid form, which can be dosed with a syringe, which would be easier than weighing bits of tablets;  you would take the amount corresponding to 2 mg, as Alto recommended..  Since you have no Paxil to work with, get on this with your doctor tomorrow.  Phone in and tell them you need an appointment ASAP if they aren't willing to prescribe from phoning in.

 

I'm glad you found SA.  You will get the help and support you need here :-)

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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Hi EFC,

 

I agree. The first priority is to get some Paxil , ASAP.  Could you get an appointment with your doctor or just a script ?   With all due respect to your parents , they probably don't know anything about withdrawal. Few people do, including doctors. In the future, you can educate them , but for now you need to get your medication sorted , and start to stabilize on a small reinstatement. 2 mg, perhaps  ?  Please let us know how you go  and what you decide. If you can't get Paxil, check in again, and there will be someone here to review and offer alternate suggestions.

 

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Hi EFC1878,

 

If I were you I would give the RI achance. it could be the difference between getting some relief or suffering for a long time like I have.

 

I tried too far out and it didn't work...you still have a chance it will help so I would try it.

 

I'm 19 months off paxil and still suffering after only taking it for 6 months...I think you'd be wise to give it a chance...good luck!

went on Prozac 1994-99,60mg.poopout ct  back on 2001-2002,prozac weekly 2002,not working,Effexor 75 mg.?2003-mar.2004 gaining weight 8wk. taper,wellbutrin 150 mg.mar. -may 2004 ctmedfree til july 2005 back to Prozac gaining weight again,back on wellbutrin jan.2006150-300 mg.bad constipation.also was taking aygestin(hormone)perimenopausal irregular bleeding.back on Prozac around sept,?2006,hysterectomy jan30.2007(adenomyosis)off&on Prozac til 2009,citalopram about 1 mo, April 2010 no effect,Effexor again may -mar, 2011.ct,Prozac aug,-dec, 2011 &sept-nov 2012,paroxetine oct,23 2013-may 4 2014 20 mgs.tapered 6 wks.-failed RI in Oct.2014-in protracted WD.started 10 mgs. Fluoxetine May 25.

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