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Rhiannon

Taper more than one drug at a time?

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Hibari

I did a dual drug taper as well till I got to the lower doses of my first drug.   Then I concentrated on that till I was off-now just the Lamictal to go.

 

I'm glad I did the dual taper as well. 

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GreenFlameTiger

I am currently tapering down my Olanzapine. I started in 2013 so as you can see it's very slow going :P. Lots of learning along the road but I've gotten A LOT better. I'm almost finished with the Olanzapine but I find that when I drop the dose I tend to have trouble sleeping. So my brother suggested that I start tapering the Lamotrigine I'm taking. So continue at the dose I am at with Olanzapine and begin a micro taper of Lamotrigine. Is this advisable? Thank you all for your time.

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neroli

This is not scientific research but the man (a chemist) who speaks at 25.38 on this video (it's in Will Hall's presentation at Psych Drugs Risks and Alternatives conference) - thinks that the drugs he was helping his son come off needed to be tapered at the same relative proportion at the same time.

 

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Altostrata

He has a theory, we don't know if it's true. Also, he is not the person who might suffer withdrawal symptoms if his theory is incorrect.

 

We go by symptom pattern. If you change the dosage of more than one drug at a time and you get a bad reaction, we won't know where it's coming from. This creates a huge mess in trying to figure out which drug caused the symptoms and which drug, if any, to updose.

 

Such a mess, in fact, that usually it's anybody's guess and you're pretty much on your own, good luck. You could be experimenting with drug permutations for a long time.

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neroli

Thank you, Altostrata.  Yes, I see the sense in what you say.  And things can get very messy even tapering one at a time.  I will proceed  with caution - and rein in my impatience.  I'm working with Shep on the benzo forum to find the optimum reduction schedule.

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noearthlyfamily
On 8/10/2011 at 6:43 PM, alexjuice said:

Nobody listens when your 'crazy'. You must take drugs to control the 'crazy'. But the drugs cause the 'crazy'. But stopping the drugs also causes the 'crazy'. Of course, you must pay for the drugs as well as time of the people providing them. You weren't crazy until they said you were crazy and put you on the crazy-catch-22 drugs.

 

oholee yes this.

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noearthlyfamily
On 8/15/2011 at 10:31 AM, Rhiannon said:

Definitely don't try to taper a new med or another med while you're still recovering or in withdrawal from tapering a previous med.

 

You can go ahead and push through and let your brain cope as best it can until you get all the way off the meds. Likely you will be symptomatic the whole time. Then once off the meds you can go through the prolonged process of healing from the chaos and damage that has happened.

 

Or you can allow enough healing time now, and then, when things are healed and settled down, start a very slow (it will have to be slower than ever before, because of the previous damage) taper that will allow your brain to heal and recover and adapt as you go, without inducing so much chaos.

 

In fact I almost cringe when people on this forum use the word "healing", about the healing from this kind of trauma caused by the chemistry of psych drugs--not because it's not healing, but because it SO doesn't fit all the assumptions we have about how healing is supposed to go.

 

I almost wish we could call it something else so people would understand, this is not something our bodies know how to do! they're improvising, doing their best, but it's not efficient, it's not always effective, and we need to allow lots of care, and patience, and time, and adjust our expectations.

did you try to taper another med while recovering or in WD from a previous med?

 

what does the "now" mean in your signature Rhianon? does it mean march of 2019 or did you finish tapering earlier? 

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noearthlyfamily
On 8/15/2011 at 10:49 AM, Rhiannon said:

I still think people should not be told that one drug at a time is the only way to go.

 

At the very least, I think people deserve to be told that there's no real scientific evidence that it's better.

 

And in spite of my extremely unstable past history and multiple drugs for many, many years, I'm pretty sure I'm doing better with a multi-drug taper than I would do with one at a time. I feel that I'm more stable staying on the mix and reducing them all slowly than I would be if I tried to pull out just one. My brain has adapted to the full blend. I've had the experience of cutting one drug at a time before, and this, for me, is working better.

 

(Although I have never tapered this slowly before, and I'm certain that it's the slow taper that's 99% responsible for my success. Slow tapering with holds is by FAR the most helpful piece of the puzzle.)

 

And reducing them together does NOT take away the protective effect that they can have synergistically.

 

And since every one of these drugs causes side effects and is toxic, I'm reducing the synergistic toxicity and side effects as well.

 

Because I am NOT saying that you should just cut a bunch of stuff out at once. I am saying SLOWLY TAPER them all at the same time.

 

And I think people need to know that there have been no studies of any kind, no actual proof of any kind, showing that one drug at a time is physiologically advantageous.

 

So: it boils down to:

 

one drug at a time is easier to keep track of and control

 

but

 

multiple drugs at a time can also be controlled if you go VERY VERY SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY--I can't emphasize enough the importance of going slow and holding frequently, but I think that's just as important if you're tapering one drug only;

 

and other than that, we don't know jack, and we need to be honest about that.

 

so i could possibly taper all 3 of my meds at once, but reduce the rate of taper maybe, so that the total reduction amount of all 3 meds comes to less than 10% a month (prefereably even less than that) ?

 

if so, then i would have some hope. if i knew that i wouldn't have to be on these drugs for the next 14-21 years, that i could taper off of them sooner than that, i could relax a bit and feel relieved. 

it's just this unbearable pressure that fills me with dread when i think of spending the same amount of time coming off the meds that i've already wasted being on them...

 

(i wrote the following earlier  today before i read this thread:)

 

WARNING: THIS IS NOT A FEEL GOOD HAPPY-GO-LUCKY POST

(triggers, feeling hopeless, defeatism, pessimistic)

 

ok so i don't feel so great right now...despite sleeping wonderfully last night, and the sun shining... i even soaked up some of the rays earlier outside,

 

well, i also looked at my taper schedules for all 3 psych meds i'm currently on, and added them together with a conservative 6 month HOLD between each...

and depending on how i want to do them (consecutively or combining two tapers nearer to the end)...i'm looking at between 14 and 21 years to taper off of these meds.

 

that's using the 10% reduction rate per month, (actually 2.5% reduction per week totalling 10% per month, with a 2 week hold at the end of the 4 weeks ala the famous Brass Monkey Slide Microtaper).

 

this means i will be 60-67 years old when i complete the taper. that's 14-21 years of daily measuring out doses with a syringe and a flask, and individual dosing about 5 times per day. (8am, 2pm, 4pm, 8pm, and midnite) 

 

i feel deflated, defeated...and i haven't even really begun!

(i mean i have begun, i began to taper off in my own awkward way trying to cut unscored pills into pieces back in oct of 2017..)

but i haven't begun the process involving measuring out 3 liquid doses+ a day, and i am looking at these numbers, these years, these DECADES of monotonous measuring and careful watching of my clock/phone alarms every single day with no breaks!

and it just seems impossible. or maybe i should use the word unfeasable. aw hell i just don't want to do it! 

 

what kind of life is that?!!!

seriously, i'm asking myself, who in their right mind would willingly enter into a 14-21 year long contract daily measuring out doses with a syringe and a flask, and individual dosing about 5 times per day... to be honest it just sounds like a prison sentence.

a LONG prison sentence. and at the end of it if i don't have dementia ~ YAY ~ i'll be too old to be hired for meaningful work. 

 

i'm an ARTIST. i want to be able to paint and sell my work again, i want to travel, i want to be free of the drugs numbing me. i can't get disability because i never worked enough credits in a row to earn it. i only held odd jobs or waitressed or did under the table short jobs between my times of total disability from the drugs. i tried 3 times to get disability and the lawyers said the same thing. so i have no retirement to fall back on. if my Hubby lives as long as me, i'll have his love. but what kind of life...i don't mean to sound suicidal, i don't actually want to die, i am just very disheartened at the prospects ahead of me during the long taper off of these drugs. 

 

14-21 years of this. i'm wondering if Dr.Shipko was right. have i been on too many heavy psych meds for too long to come off? what will there be waiting for me at the end of this if i can actually endure it? 

 

there's this one member Happy2Heal  who says she made it thru 43 years of being drugged and came out of it successfully after a long taper.

so...maybe i can heal too.

 

the question is, 46 years are past, wasted...the next 14-21 look miserable. do i want to go through with it.  do i want to go through with it? so much wasted time... 

maybe i should just taper down to a certain point. but all 3 meds are so harmful, they will continue to harm me as long as i'm on them. god why did i ever get on these drugs at all?

 

sorry to bum yall out...i just have nowhere else to say these things. 

 

 

 

 

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Altostrata

Not sure if your math is correct, but I'm sorry it will take you so long to taper off your drugs one at a time. If you want to go faster, you'll have to negotiate with your nervous system, not anyone else here.

 

If you taper more than one drug at a time and get a bad reaction, we can't tell which drug is responsible.

 

You would be on your own trying to figure out what to do next: Up or down with which drug?

 

Rhiannon is a laboratory technician. She was very disciplined, an experienced taperer, she understood her drugs, and she was fully capable of making complex tapering decisions by herself. If you think you can do that, by all means, follow Rhiannon's lead, but do not expect us to be able to rescue you from bad decisions.

 

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noearthlyfamily
On 6/4/2018 at 2:22 AM, neroli said:

This is not scientific research but the man (a chemist) who speaks at 25.38 on this video (it's in Will Hall's presentation at Psych Drugs Risks and Alternatives conference) - thinks that the drugs he was helping his son come off needed to be tapered at the same relative proportion at the same time.

 

this was extremely positive and enlightening!  thx for posting. i like what he said about keeping the overall proportions the same for all 3 meds while reducing/tapering. it's what the body is acclimated to, and he said his son felt less pain during the process whichis encouraging

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noearthlyfamily
On 8/15/2011 at 10:49 AM, Rhiannon said:

 I'm pretty sure I'm doing better with a multi-drug taper than I would do with one at a time. I feel that I'm more stable staying on the mix and reducing them all slowly than I would be if I tried to pull out just one. My brain has adapted to the full blend. I've had the experience of cutting one drug at a time before, and this, for me, is working better.

 

 I'm certain that it's the slow taper that's 99% responsible for my success. Slow tapering with holds is by FAR the most helpful piece of the puzzle.) And reducing them together does NOT take away the protective effect that they can have synergistically.

And since every one of these drugs causes side effects and is toxic, I'm reducing the synergistic toxicity and side effects as well. 

 

Because I am NOT saying that you should just cut a bunch of stuff out at once. I am saying SLOWLY TAPER them all at the same time.  there have been no studies of any kind, no actual proof of any kind, showing that one drug at a time is physiologically advantageous.

 

So: it boils down to: one drug at a time is easier to keep track of and control 

but

multiple drugs at a time can also be controlled if you go VERY VERY SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY--I can't emphasize enough the importance of going slow and holding frequently

 

did you finish your taper off of everything yet? your signature says "now" but no dates, so i don't know if you're still here or if you left. i'd like to know how your taper is going, or how it ended.

 

also, since you tapered several simultaneously, did you use the 2.5% reduction per week totaling 10% reduction per month with a 2 week hold ala Brass Monkey Slide Microtaper,  or did you use a less than 2.5% reduction per drug across the board so that your TOTAL drug reduction for all meds was less than 10% per month?

 

i'm curious about how you managed to keep your percentage/drug ratios the same while tapering. did you use a formula? 

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ChessieCat

Rhiannon hasn't logged in since January, 2017.  Please see her Introduction topic:  

 

 

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noearthlyfamily
Posted (edited)

hmm  the last post i can find from her there is in 2015...

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed quote

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ChessieCat

Just noticed this:  Rhi's success story

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xyz

i have been tapering lexapro and valium at the same time.

so far it has been okay, but it is at a really slow pace. (see my signature for tapering speed)

 

i have been having more symptoms lately. so i think i will focus on finishing up the lex taper first and go back to the valium.

the valium has been difficult to taper

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Gridley
7 hours ago, xyz said:

so i think i will focus on finishing up the lex taper first and go back to the valium.

the valium has been difficult to taper

 

That would be a good idea and what SA recommends.

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noearthlyfamily
11 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Just noticed this:  Rhi's success story

 

thanks for this...well i wonder what happened to Rhiannon after 2016?

 

she is really inspiring, i'd love to know how she's doing now, or how the story ended if the taper didn't work out...either way, no judgement! i just want to know how she's been doing. 

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Altostrata

Rhiannon is doing fine. She went back to her normal busy life.

 

@noearthlyfamily Want to make sure you see this:

 

18 hours ago, Altostrata said:

If you think you can do that, by all means, follow Rhiannon's lead, but do not expect us to be able to rescue you from bad decisions.

 

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noearthlyfamily
59 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Rhiannon is doing fine. She went back to her normal busy life.

 

@noearthlyfamily Want to make sure you see this:

 

  19 hours ago, Altostrata said:

If you think you can do that, by all means, follow Rhiannon's lead, but do not expect us to be able to rescue you from bad decisions.

 

 

oh yeah, i hear you, 100% loud and clear. 

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Rhiannon
On 3/21/2019 at 7:15 PM, noearthlyfamily said:

did you try to taper another med while recovering or in WD from a previous med?

 

what does the "now" mean in your signature Rhianon? does it mean march of 2019 or did you finish tapering earlier? 

 

Oi, when I first started tapering I was in so much WD from a bunch of stuff that had happened months before--I had CT a couple of things, restarted them and started a bunch of new stuff. That first year was pure hell. I finally got into the really slow tapering and managed to settle down but it was a couple more years before I started feeling what you could call "good" at any time.

 

I will fix the "now" and put a date, sorry about that.

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Rhiannon
On 3/22/2019 at 11:13 AM, noearthlyfamily said:

 

thanks for this...well i wonder what happened to Rhiannon after 2016?

 

she is really inspiring, i'd love to know how she's doing now, or how the story ended if the taper didn't work out...either way, no judgement! i just want to know how she's been doing. 

 

You can pick up my Rhiannon's Intro if you want. I have been doing pretty well, had a wobble this summer when I went off the citalopram a little too fast. I'm still tapering very slowly and doing pretty well most of the time. Once I'm sure I've settled from this reinstatement of citalopram I will update my success story too.

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Rhiannon
On 3/21/2019 at 8:57 PM, noearthlyfamily said:

 

did you finish your taper off of everything yet? your signature says "now" but no dates, so i don't know if you're still here or if you left. i'd like to know how your taper is going, or how it ended.

 

also, since you tapered several simultaneously, did you use the 2.5% reduction per week totaling 10% reduction per month with a 2 week hold ala Brass Monkey Slide Microtaper,  or did you use a less than 2.5% reduction per drug across the board so that your TOTAL drug reduction for all meds was less than 10% per month?

 

i'm curious about how you managed to keep your percentage/drug ratios the same while tapering. did you use a formula? 

 

I am going to give an update here because I know people come here all the time and see this subject thread and have questions. I am actually amazed Alto has left it up, because I'm sure it causes a lot of trouble for her.

 

I haven't changed my mind about tapering multiple meds together. I am still glad I did it this way and for me, I think it's been easier on my body this way, since I was on so many  meds and they all interact and I hate them all. I still feel like I do better with taking them down together. 

 

HOWEVER, AND THIS IS IMPORTANT:

1.  As Alto says, if you get into trouble tapering multiple meds, you aren't going to be easily able to figure out which one caused the problem, and it's going to make it hard to fix, and you could end up suffering as a result for longer than necessary. You definitely will not be able to get assistance from the mods here, because they also have no way of knowing what caused the problem. The multi-med taper is very much a do-it-yourself proposition, and you and only you are responsible for the results, and for the consequences.

2. As far as I know this is only safe if you go very slowly. I think I may have made one or two 5% cuts along the way but a typical cut for me is 1 to 3%. 

3.  You absolutely must keep track of your body's responses and learn to know your own body very well.

 

In answer to the specific questions above, I don't think I have ever cut as much as a total 10% in one month, and if I did I would definitely need to hold for a couple of months after and I would probably feel much worse than I like to feel.

 

I was more methodical at first and tried to make the total cut percentage add up to something like 5-7 percent and hold that for a month or two. Nowadays, I do something more like, cut one med by 3 percent and either hold the others or cut them by just 1 percent or less at a time, and after a couple of times then switch and cut one of the other ones more and hold the others. So it's more of a staggered thing. I don't use a formula, I just eyeball it now. But that's after many years. At first I kept careful records and measurements and calculated all my percentages individually and combined.

 

I am tapering the Valium differently than the others, didn't taper it at all at first and now I tend to go very very slowly with it if I cut at all, because WD from Vali causes so much insomnia, and insomnia makes EVERYthing harder. I will probably bring it down more as I bring the others down but I expect Valium will be the last drug I finally taper off, if I do ever get all the way off of it.

 

My philosophy is "take the lowest possible dose of the fewest possible meds." Still working on it. I've found that getting to low doses has given me back my life, though.

 

I will probably disappear from here again after I get to feeling better, because I really do have a lot of other projects I need to be getting on with and right now I'm stalled on all of those. Eventually I'll be picking those back up. If I'm not here, I'm probably doing fine, because if I run into trouble, this place is the first place I look to for information and support.

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Worthy
On 10/3/2019 at 10:21 PM, Rhiannon said:

 

Oi, when I first started tapering I was in so much WD from a bunch of stuff that had happened months before--I had CT a couple of things, restarted them and started a bunch of new stuff. That first year was pure hell. I finally got into the really slow tapering and managed to settle down but it was a couple more years before I started feeling what you could call "good" at any time.

 

I will fix the "now" and put a date, sorry about that.

Quote

I am tapering 4 meds at the same time.  Cymbalta, olanzapine, mirtazapine and Ativan.  I am,tapering at 5% every 10:days.  I can’t afford to stay on the drugs any longer as my medical,insurance won’t pay for,them.  I would appreciate any advice 

 

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