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poozle: 21+ months off Lexapro. Why am I getting worse?


poozle

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Hello. I’m new here. Well, not really. I’ve been a lurker for quite some time. I’ve found all of the community’s advice and experience so helpful throughout this long, painful ordeal. I’d bet there are thousands of us who feel the same who you never meet. But today, I’m no longer a lurker. My use of the search feature has reached the end of its ability to dig up answers to uncommon questions, and I find myself in need of help that can only come from actually asking questions and coming out from my lurker shell like a withdrawal-addled groundhog. Brevity is not my strength but I will try my best.

BACKSTORY
I’ve been off of Lexapro for nearly 22 months now after a 7 month course. I’ve experienced many of the symptoms familiar to those in this forum: Anxiety, dizziness, tingling, odd pains that come and go, GI issues; I could go on but most of you already have them memorized from your own experiences. And like I said, brevity. I was originally given the SSRI for anxiety. I’ve had health anxiety for most of my adult life, and a particular extended episode set off anxiety in a way I had never felt before 2 1/2 years ago. So a pill seemed a very reasonable thing to try at the time.

Forward to a devastating eight week adjustment period getting on 10mg of Lexapro, followed by two months of feeling like a zombie. My anxiety was indeed gone, but being unable to feel any sort of joy, love or creativity seemed too steep a price to pay. I lowered my dose to 5mg, which it probably should have been in the first place. This experience opened my eyes to the fact that I’m a poor metabolizer of medications and always have been. Turns out this runs in my family as well. But I didn’t really realize it until I started taking a drug this powerful.

5mg proved to pose the same problems for me though. Just an empty numbness. My doctor had mentioned that some people get relief from this by using Wellbutrin as an adjunct to the SSRI. So I started that as well, and am still in the process of trying to come off it. (I’m at 37mg now from the original 150mg). I experienced problems with big drops so I’m going the 10% route even with this.

I gave the Wellbutrin time to kick in, and can even say I liked it for a time. But it didn’t alleviate the problems with the SSRI. So I made the decision to come off Lexapro. My psychiatrist suggested doing so over two weeks. But being newly aware of my sensitivity, I decided to be cautious, lowering to 2.5mg, and then stopping after 4 weeks. I did not know about the taper or reinstatement for months after this. Turns out people consider this cold turkey, which goes some way to explain why I’m still struggling 21 months out.


WITHDRAWAL
My initial withdrawal was as many experience here. A bad months followed by slow improvements until I was completely fine at 3 months off. When my symptoms returned at 4-5 months, I was surprised. That they were worse was quite confusing until I found an old board (I didn’t discover this board until PaxilProgress closed) that referred to this as Phase 2. I haven’t seen that term much since, but I always remembered it, since it seems like separate stages to me.

The following months until now have been hellish, something that will surprise no one reading this. It seems like most people suffer primarily from emotional symptoms, but I’ve suffered physical symptoms every step of the way as well. Given my predisposition to health anxiety, this has been problematic. That’s not to say I don’t suffer from emotional symptoms, I absolutely do. They can be soul crushing. But I want to mention the prevalence of physical symptoms since there seem to be fewer of us that have physical symptoms so far into withdrawal. Or maybe I’m wrong about this. Part of me hopes I am. Misery loving company and all that.


PATTERNS
Over the course of my withdrawal, I’ve become aware of the patterns of this condition. I have always had windows and waves. From reading peoples’ accounts, it seems this might be a good thing. (My heart goes out to those who don’t experience them at all. You’ll all so incredibly strong. I mean it.) They aren’t predictable by any stretch but a typical wave involves a bad day followed by a slightly less bad (not necessarily window though) day followed by a bad day, and repeating this every-other-day pattern over a period of time until the wave is over. On a larger scale, the wave periods themselves will usually last 1-3 weeks, falling in between windows (or just periods of feeling less terrible). On a macro level, this had happened like clockwork in six month intervals for 18 months. In a sense, five bad months would be followed by 2-3 weeks of a window, and then everything would reset and start over in a terrible 3+ week wave. I’ve seen mention, or maybe just theories from people about up-regulating or down-regulating or something that tends to happen in six month intervals, but I don’t understand the science of this condition well enough to comment except to say it’s been uncanny how well timed it has been. Or used to be.


BUT THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE
But this latest wave, the one that’s finally driven me out of the shadows has me in a bad bad way. It’s the worst extended period I’ve had since this all started, which is saying something considering how hard it’s already been. Gone are the predictable every-other-day patterns of withdrawal, replaced by wave after wave of crying and panic attacks. I haven’t cried like this since I started the drug. I remember that being unrelenting too, but at least I could make sense of it since I had just started. I’m so far into the recovery process now, and it just doesn’t make sense to me that things have turned downward so drastically. People often talk of symptoms abating as time goes on, but it doesn’t seem to be the case with me. A window seems so far away.

I guess I’m just wondering if this is normal part of the process. Does this happen to other people so far into the withdrawal process? Should I be alarmed, or should I try to be patient? I’m so consumed by hopelessness and fear, particularly during these anxiety-filled episodes, but even as a nagging worry in between them. I don’t have a doctor to turn to, because like a lot of you my condition hasn’t been taken seriously as something that, you know, exists. But I do trust you guys. Even though you don’t know me, I feel like I know lots of you. It's people's experience that often gets me through this stuff. That can let me know I'm not alone and that someone has gone through what I'm going through, and that maybe I'll be able to make it. This board is a wonderful place in times of darkness.

Anyway, perhaps someone has an answer or two for me. If so, I’d appreciate any feedback that people can give me. Anxiety-filled crying everyday multiple times a day is proving to be more than I can handle.

 

Thanks for reading.

THE CULPRIT : Lexapro: August 2013-March 2014 (7 months)

- 10mg 2.5 months, 5mg 4.5 months

Fast Taper/CT: Decreased to 2.5mg for four weeks then stopped.

 

WITHDRAWAL : Since March 2013

- 3 months initial withdrawal and then seemingly all better for a full month. Then the bad withdrawal started at month 4-5 and I've been here ever since.

 

OTHER DRUGS

Wellbutrin: November 2013-present. Current dose: 37.5mg (from original dose of 150mg)     - Trying to get off this, but it's taking me more time than it does most people. Sensitive.

Trazodone: July 2013 to present. For sleep. Current dose: 50mg    -Want to get off this too, but waiting to wean completely off Wellbutrin before I start. One at a time and all that.

Fish Oil: 2x Daily

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Poozle and "welcome" to SA, finally.  So sorry for the reason you have revealed yourself.

 

Yes, you have been lurking for just over a year.  I wonder if that is a record.  As far as your post I'm not able to help there at all as I have only just started lowering my dose but I'm sure someone else will be able to answer your questions.  As you probably know from being around this site for a year, it is very supportive and I hope you will start to feel a bit better even just from being part of this community.

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

WOW.  I'm sorry this is happening to you, truly.  Thank you for being honest.  I am 13 months off meds and have entered a near-acute wave, plus developed new withdrawal symptoms.

It is disheartening to hear that my suspicions are correct and that this is the future I have to look forward to.  But at least I'm not fooling myself anymore.

Thanks for being honest.  I'm sorry for your pain. 

*I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice, just personal experience
**Off all meds since Nov. 2014. Mentally & emotionally recovered; physically not
-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in Oct 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014

-All meds were Rxed off-label for an autoimmune illness.  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but I did not find out until AFTER meds caused damage.  All med tapers/cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline May 2012 - Dec 2013. Cold turkey off nortrip & cold switched to desipramine

-Desipramine Jan 2014 - Oct. 29, 2014 (rapid taper/cold turkey)

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night during 2011
-Lorazepam 1 mg per month in 2012 (or less)

-Lorazepam on & off, Dec 2013 through Aug 2014. Didn't exceed 3x a week

-Lorazepam again in Oct. 2014 to help get off of desipramine. Last dose lzpam was 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Immediate paradoxical reactions to benzos after stopping TCAs 

-First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs too stupid to figure it out. On desipramine, muscle tremors & rigidity worsened

-Two weeks after I got off all meds, I developed full-blown TD.  Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7: hair falling out; no vision improvement; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8: back to acute, incl. Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9: tardive dystonia worse, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat
-Month 13: Back to acute, brain zaps back, developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs now damaged
-7 years off: Huge improvements, incl. improved dystonia

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Hi WiggleIt,

 

And let me say I'm sorry so see what you're going through. I also want to stress that because I'm going through this doesn't mean that you will. Months 11-12 were bad for me, but month 13 had some windows. I mention this to stress that we're all different, with different timelines. That difficult things happening for someone like me don't mean you'll fare the same. We all heal at different speeds and there's no reason to think you can't be like the majority and heal faster than I have.

 

 

And ChessieCat,

 

The not-lurking will take getting used to. If I'm the record holder I would like some sort of badge at least. Good luck with your taper.

THE CULPRIT : Lexapro: August 2013-March 2014 (7 months)

- 10mg 2.5 months, 5mg 4.5 months

Fast Taper/CT: Decreased to 2.5mg for four weeks then stopped.

 

WITHDRAWAL : Since March 2013

- 3 months initial withdrawal and then seemingly all better for a full month. Then the bad withdrawal started at month 4-5 and I've been here ever since.

 

OTHER DRUGS

Wellbutrin: November 2013-present. Current dose: 37.5mg (from original dose of 150mg)     - Trying to get off this, but it's taking me more time than it does most people. Sensitive.

Trazodone: July 2013 to present. For sleep. Current dose: 50mg    -Want to get off this too, but waiting to wean completely off Wellbutrin before I start. One at a time and all that.

Fish Oil: 2x Daily

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Hi Poozle

 

i hate to break the news to you and i dont know what your doc told you but there isnt 1 culprit here there are 3 ! imo

 

i realize you are no longer taking the lex but at one stage it appears your doctor had you on 3 ads.

 

This is what you were exposed to:

 

Interactions between your selected drugs

Major bupropion trazodone

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), trazodone

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with traZODone. 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 traZODone, 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.

 

Major bupropion escitalopram

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Lexapro (escitalopram)

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with escitalopram. 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 escitalopram, 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.

 

Major trazodone escitalopram

Applies to: trazodone, Lexapro (escitalopram)

Using escitalopram together with traZODone can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms during treatment. In addition, combining these medications can increase the risk of an irregular heart rhythm that may be serious and potentially life-threatening, although it is a relatively rare side effect. You may be more susceptible if you have a heart condition called congenital long QT syndrome, other cardiac diseases, conduction abnormalities, or electrolyte disturbances (for example, magnesium or potassium loss due to severe or prolonged diarrhea or vomiting). Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. You should seek immediate medical attention if you develop sudden dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, shortness of breath, or heart palpitations during treatment with these medications, whether together or alone. 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.

 

No other interactions were found between your selected drugs.
Note: this does not necessarily mean no interactions exist. ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other drugs that your selected drugs interact with

Interactions between your selected drugs and food

Moderate bupropion food

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion)

Using buPROPion with alcohol may increase the risk of uncommon side effects such as seizures, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, mood and behavioral changes, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and panic attacks. On the other hand, sudden withdrawal from alcohol following regular or chronic use can also increase your risk of seizures during treatment with buPROPion. If you are prone to frequent or excessive alcohol use, talk to your doctor before starting buPROPion. In general, you should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with buPROPion. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects 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

Moderate trazodone food

Applies to: trazodone

Consumer information for this interaction is not currently available.

GENERALLY AVOID: Alcohol may potentiate some of the pharmacologic effects of CNS-active agents. Use in combination may result in additive central nervous system depression and/or impairment of judgment, thinking, and psychomotor skills.

MANAGEMENT: Patients receiving CNS-active agents should be warned of this interaction and advised to avoid or limit consumption of alcohol. Ambulatory patients should be counseled to avoid hazardous activities requiring complete mental alertness and motor coordination until they know how these agents affect them, and to notify their physician if they experience excessive or prolonged CNS effects that interfere with their normal activities.

Moderate escitalopram food

Applies to: Lexapro (escitalopram)

Consumer information for this interaction is not currently available.

GENERALLY AVOID: Alcohol may potentiate some of the pharmacologic effects of CNS-active agents. Use in combination may result in additive central nervous system depression and/or impairment of judgment, thinking, and psychomotor skills.

MANAGEMENT: Patients receiving CNS-active agents should be warned of this interaction and advised to avoid or limit consumption of alcohol. Ambulatory patients should be counseled to avoid hazardous activities requiring complete mental alertness and motor coordination until they know how these agents affect them, and to notify their physician if they experience excessive or prolonged CNS effects that interfere with their normal activities.

Therapeutic duplication warnings

Therapeutic duplication is the use of more than one medicine from the same drug category or therapeutic class to treat the same condition. This can be intentional in cases where drugs with similar actions are used together for demonstrated therapeutic benefit. It can also be unintentional in cases where a patient has been treated by more than one doctor, or had prescriptions filled at more than one pharmacy, and can have potentially adverse consequences.

Duplication Antidepressants

Therapeutic duplication

The recommended maximum number of medicines in the 'antidepressants' category to be taken concurrently is usually one. Your list includes three medicines belonging to the 'antidepressants' category:

  • trazodone
  • escitalopram (active ingredient in Lexapro)
  • bupropion (active ingredient in Wellbutrin)

Note: The benefits of taking this combination of medicines may outweigh any risks associated with therapeutic duplication. This information does not take the place of talking to your doctor. Always check with your healthcare provider to determine if any adjustments to your medications are needed.

...........................................................//......................................................

 

I think you may well have got to 37mg wellbutrin too fast. You haven't told us how you did it but you did say ...


I’m at 37mg now from the original 150mg). I experienced problems with big drops so I’m going the 10% route even with this.

 

Maybe there is the answer right there

Perhaps i am mistaken but have you been tapering at 10% ? (if you have then this could even be too fast ) When did you start tapering it.(If you started this side of dec 14 then you are going faster than 10%)

 

No doubt you have already read this:

Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

 

"It is now recognized that withdrawal reactions from the newer and often more stimulating antidepressants [one of which is wellbutrin] present serious hazards" Breggin 2013. [insert mine]

 

Anxiety-filled crying everyday multiple times a day is proving to be more than I can handle.

This is typical withdrawal symptoms

 

Perhaps one option at this point in time is to consider doing a long hold on current dosage.

Another  option is to consider an updose on the wellbutrin.

 

Edit: oops! sorry Karen.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Poozle,

 

My heart goes out to you after reading your intro post.  You've been so patient, and now this.  I'm so glad you decided to voice your concerns.  Reading your sig. makes me think it's less likely to be your w/d from  Lexapro, and more likely issues with your current drugs. 

 

I've put your current drugs Trazodone and Wellbutrin in the drugs checker and here are the results:

 

Interactions between your selected drugs

Major bupropion trazodone

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), trazodone

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with traZODone. 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 traZODone, 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.

Switch to professional interaction data

Other drugs that your selected drugs interact with

Interactions between your selected drugs and food

Moderate bupropion food

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion)

Using buPROPion with alcohol may increase the risk of uncommon side effects such as seizures, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, mood and behavioral changes, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and panic attacks. On the other hand, sudden withdrawal from alcohol following regular or chronic use can also increase your risk of seizures during treatment with buPROPion. If you are prone to frequent or excessive alcohol use, talk to your doctor before starting buPROPion. In general, you should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with buPROPion. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects 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

Moderate trazodone food

Applies to: trazodone

Consumer information for this interaction is not currently available.

GENERALLY AVOID: Alcohol may potentiate some of the pharmacologic effects of CNS-active agents. Use in combination may result in additive central nervous system depression and/or impairment of judgment, thinking, and psychomotor skills.

MANAGEMENT: Patients receiving CNS-active agents should be warned of this interaction and advised to avoid or limit consumption of alcohol. Ambulatory patients should be counseled to avoid hazardous activities requiring complete mental alertness and motor coordination until they know how these agents affect them, and to notify their physician if they experience excessive or prolonged CNS effects that interfere with their normal activities.

Therapeutic duplication warnings

Therapeutic duplication is the use of more than one medicine from the same drug category or therapeutic class to treat the same condition. This can be intentional in cases where drugs with similar actions are used together for demonstrated therapeutic benefit. It can also be unintentional in cases where a patient has been treated by more than one doctor, or had prescriptions filled at more than one pharmacy, and can have potentially adverse consequences.

Duplication Antidepressants

Therapeutic duplication

The recommended maximum number of medicines in the 'antidepressants' category to be taken concurrently is usually one. Your list includes two medicines belonging to the 'antidepressants' category:

  • trazodone
  • bupropion (active ingredient in Wellbutrin)

Note: The benefits of taking this combination of medicines may outweigh any risks associated with therapeutic duplication. This information does not take the place of talking to your doctor. Always check with your healthcare provider to determine if any adjustments to your medications are needed.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

As you can see, you are taking two antidepressants when one is the norm.  Using these drugs together can cause more side-effects, and puts you at risk of things like seizures.  Have you been drinking any alcohol?  That can also increase the risks. 

 

Anxiety is an alerting symptom.  How has your sleep been?  It is possible that you are now experiencing adverse effects from either one or both of your current drugs.  I'm a relatively new moderator so I'll get a 2nd opinion on this.

 

You should definitely read right through this link about tapering trazodone.  The drug is nasty.  There is good info in there about deciding which to taper first in tricky situations.  

 

Then, come back here to discuss what you think about it all.  It may be that you need to start gently reducing in order to get some relief.

 

Wow, that's a lot of information for you to think about.  Take your time, we can get to the bottom of this. 

 

Sending you hugs,

KarenB

Edited by KarenB
Posted at same time as NZ11 therefore some duplication

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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Poozle what is your trazodone dosage?

 

but it's taking me more time than it does most people. Sensitive.

 

Dont worry when i complained i was told i was sensitive to drugs too ..atypical, an outlier, unusual. How come they always tell you this in hindsight.

This is just a doctor cop out a way to blame the patient and not the poison.

 

I am sorry you are caught between a rock and a hard place.

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 started my Wellbutrin taper in April. I first switched from XL to IR, and then began to taper a quarter of a pill at a time ( from 2 total pills: 150mg). I started off at once every two weeks. I had withdrawal symptoms after the second drop, and waited an extra week. With a detailed journal I found I was experiencing the same withdrawal symptoms at roughly the same time with every drop (and began holding longer), so once I got down to 75mg, I held for eight weeks. Just to give my body time to get used to the Wellbutrin IR if it still wanted the XL. I've been doing small drops since July, usually every four weeks. Initially 8%, but the last couple have been 10%. I haven't been experiencing withdrawal symptoms with these smaller drops, but I'm being quite cautious. Another drop scheduled soon, but I tend to hold if I'm going through a bad wave (this wave did not start after my last drop FYI). On the other hand, I'd sure like to be done with these drugs. I you have tips for getting off them faster I'm all ears. Reading all this sort of sent me into a panic.

 

I've read a bit about Trazodone on this site, and am antsy to get off it as well, but I can't until I've finished the Wellbutrin. Everything I've seen says to do them one at a time. It actually does its job for sleep. I've been an insomniac all my life and it helps with that. That said, it's next on my hit list. I'm on 50mg right now.

 

I can't remember the last drink I had, so no problems there.

 

Anxiety had been much improved for several weeks until this last wave hit. It seems to come in long waves and then go away for long periods of time.

THE CULPRIT : Lexapro: August 2013-March 2014 (7 months)

- 10mg 2.5 months, 5mg 4.5 months

Fast Taper/CT: Decreased to 2.5mg for four weeks then stopped.

 

WITHDRAWAL : Since March 2013

- 3 months initial withdrawal and then seemingly all better for a full month. Then the bad withdrawal started at month 4-5 and I've been here ever since.

 

OTHER DRUGS

Wellbutrin: November 2013-present. Current dose: 37.5mg (from original dose of 150mg)     - Trying to get off this, but it's taking me more time than it does most people. Sensitive.

Trazodone: July 2013 to present. For sleep. Current dose: 50mg    -Want to get off this too, but waiting to wean completely off Wellbutrin before I start. One at a time and all that.

Fish Oil: 2x Daily

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Thanks for the clarification.

 

Sorry if i caused panic .. there is no need to panic. Sounds like you are actually 'handling' this very well and in total control of it.

Excellent record keeping too.

 

Sorry i dont know any tips for getting off faster ...only slower.

If you are concerned about this current wave then maybe a few weeks longer hold at this moment in time is all i can think of. And consider again the  8% rate.

 

Maybe you are taking 50mg of trazodone?

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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Yes. 50mg Trazodone. Mentioned it in my post, but it's kind of hidden. Thanks.

THE CULPRIT : Lexapro: August 2013-March 2014 (7 months)

- 10mg 2.5 months, 5mg 4.5 months

Fast Taper/CT: Decreased to 2.5mg for four weeks then stopped.

 

WITHDRAWAL : Since March 2013

- 3 months initial withdrawal and then seemingly all better for a full month. Then the bad withdrawal started at month 4-5 and I've been here ever since.

 

OTHER DRUGS

Wellbutrin: November 2013-present. Current dose: 37.5mg (from original dose of 150mg)     - Trying to get off this, but it's taking me more time than it does most people. Sensitive.

Trazodone: July 2013 to present. For sleep. Current dose: 50mg    -Want to get off this too, but waiting to wean completely off Wellbutrin before I start. One at a time and all that.

Fish Oil: 2x Daily

Link to comment

oh yeah ... found it, sorry. 

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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Poozle I am so sorry for you - I am 32 months off and still have terrible WDs....but I face them every day and do the best I can...but some days I feel I will never get better and want to give up - but I never do - I just keep facing my fears...

 

If happy little bluebirds fly

Beyond the Rainbow

So can.......you......and.......I......

 

xxxx

Zoloft started for 8 years - 150 mg capsules

Started tapering December 3, 2011,

Off Zoloft May 17, 2013

While tapering WDS were tolerable

Off Zoloft debilitating WDS the worst starting around 6 months off

even worse after 18 months off

Now 35 months off - still in a terrible wave for months now.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Poozle,

 

It is possible to reduce a little of one drug, hold for a while then reduce a little of the other.  Sometimes people do this if they want to move away from the full-on effects of a couple of drugs.  Going slowly is the key, and being really tuned in to your body and symptoms etc. 

 

So in that way it's good you recognised your sensitivity to the drugs and changes, and are also keeping detailed notes.  

From 'Tips for Tapering Trazodone'

Should I go off trazodone first?
If you are having any of the above adverse effects of trazodone, you might consider reducing trazodone first.

BUT -- if you're taking trazodone because your antidepressant keeps you awake, what should you do?

You might reduce the antidepressant first, part way. If it's interacting with trazodone, this may enable the trazodone and mCPP to be metabolized faster, and reduce the adverse effects of trazodone.

 

 

 

 

And like NZ, I didn't mean to panic you.  It's more that having the info helps you make more informed decisions.  You're already on the right path of slowly reducing, now it's a matter of deciding whether to reduce the trazodone a little. 

 

You'll get there!

Karen

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, poozle.

 

I'm sorry you're going through this.

 

Please keep notes on paper about your daily symptom pattern relative to when you take your drugs. This will help determine if you are having adverse effects from one or the other.

 

Are you taking anything else than trazodone and Wellbutrin?

 

Have you tried magnesium http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

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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I keep the most extensive notes you can imagine. I recommend it to anyone going through this as it can be very helpful if a symptom returns. This is also how I realized I needed to slow down the Wellbutrin during my first drops. I suspect the Wellbutrin contributes to my anxiety based on when it starts everyday, part of the reason I chose to start going off that one first. I take the Trazodone before bed but haven't noticed much except for grogginess. 

 

Just taking fish oil right now aside from the two drugs.

 

I've recently considered trying magnesium, but have had trouble finding a 100mg version I can cut to start with so far. It's definitely on my list though.

 

Thanks.

THE CULPRIT : Lexapro: August 2013-March 2014 (7 months)

- 10mg 2.5 months, 5mg 4.5 months

Fast Taper/CT: Decreased to 2.5mg for four weeks then stopped.

 

WITHDRAWAL : Since March 2013

- 3 months initial withdrawal and then seemingly all better for a full month. Then the bad withdrawal started at month 4-5 and I've been here ever since.

 

OTHER DRUGS

Wellbutrin: November 2013-present. Current dose: 37.5mg (from original dose of 150mg)     - Trying to get off this, but it's taking me more time than it does most people. Sensitive.

Trazodone: July 2013 to present. For sleep. Current dose: 50mg    -Want to get off this too, but waiting to wean completely off Wellbutrin before I start. One at a time and all that.

Fish Oil: 2x Daily

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  • Administrator

You can get magnesium glycinate in a capsule and take only part of a capsule, or get magnesium citrate in a capsule and put the powder in water and sip it throughout the day.

 

When do your symptoms start after you take Wellbutrin? When did this pattern start? Did you change trazodone at all at that time?

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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  • Moderator

Hey Poozle, it may be the drugs are emphasizing a psycho-social situation, a fear, a regret, filling you with neuro-emotion.  Do you have social support in your life? Family?  Pets?   What are your patterns for self care?  Do you do mindfulness?  Meditation? Exercise?

 

I'm in agreement with Karen and Alto - and we'll help you decide whether you need to hold longer, wait until you stabilize, or whether this is a serious drug interaction that you need to get out from underneath.  You may need to go to microtapers.  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2878-micro-taper-instead-of-10-or-5-decreases/

and to facilitate microtapers, you will need to make a liquid:  How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule

 

I'm not saying that you aren't suffering from the drugs - I think you are, and I think it's especially the Wellbutrin, superactivated by the Trazodone. Sometimes the physical waves come first, then the long neuroemotions waves later.  Sometimes the physical waves are short - less than 3 weeks (which is how it got in all the literature as the "withdrawal period") - but the neuroemotion waves can be longer, ongoing.

 

Stressors in your current life can feed the waves of neuroemotion.  The neuroemotions aren't fake - and this is what is so dastardly - there is usually a seed of truth in them - but that seed is amplified on an electron microscope until it fills your whole brain.  Neuro-emotion

 

Additionally, in coming off drugs, it may be important to address the issues that caused you to go to the drugs in the first place.  Was it anxiety?  Trauma? Depression?  (I'm not asking, only you know) - whatever the state, your feelings are returning, and it is vital that you put strategies in place for dealing with those original situations, traumas, "triggers," challenges.

 

Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms

 

You have come out of the darkness to share with us strangers - the healing is beginning.  You have reached out and asked for help.  Good for you.  It will get better.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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One of the things that helped me the most this past year was this post by alto

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10914-what-is-happening-in-your-brain/

 

 

But looking at that post and considering yr symptoms worsening makes sense, if there are areas of your brain sort of "taking turns" healing, then this makes sense - I also have went 2 steps forward only to be thrown 5 steps back during Windows and waves

, but it makes sense now, and it makes sense why our symptoms change over time - in my opinion your worsening wave is a sign that other areas of your brain are healing, other areas that just have just now gotten around to it -

 

That's what I would assume is your reason for a worse wave so far out - maybe someone with more experience can correct me if I'm wrong -

 

Also my waves come and go like clockwork too- every 2 weeks to the day -

 

Please keep us updated on your journey ❤️

 

*Currently at 3.3mg off my 10mg pill of Paxil (they actually weigh 12.5mg) so I’m around 7.4 mg 

*No other supplements or vitamins 

*Taper schedule in the pdf 

Blank.pdf

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-5vShtJtwAOGA30OxIP87steLmMdFzD29F0fzAPD564

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I did a lot of digging through my notes, and when I look at the periods of anxiety I’ve had, it turns out there’s no solid pattern. It’s come for weeks at a time and left for weeks as well. This has happened since the phase 2 part of my withdrawal started at month 5 when it got really bad. There very well may be a connection between the Wellbutrin and anxiety, and that’s a good enough reason to continue to wean off. But in looking through my notes it could also be that the coffee I used to drink set it off on a given day. Sometimes I just wake up with it. I just don’t really have solid evidence either way unfortunately.

I haven’t changed the Trazodone at any point yet.

I would be surprised if this latest wave was the result my latest drop in the Wellbutrin. Mostly, the timing is off from my last drop to the start of the wave. Also the drops I’ve done that were too big were also very consistent down to the days that felt the worst, and a timeline of about 8-9 days before I started to improve again. None of that has happened with the smaller drops I’ve been taking. I’m going slow, but I’m handling them well so far.

As for my life outside withdrawal, I am married to an incredibly supportive wife and feel very lucky for that. I have a dog. I just moved to Portland and like it here. I don’t even mind the overcast skies. I exercise. As for my root anxiety, I’m fine with it. I’ve come to embrace that my anxiety has helped to shape who I am to the point of being essential. Whenever this withdrawal comes to its conclusion, I will still be an anxious person and I’m fine with that.

Part of being an anxious person, whether it arrives on a plate first thing in the morning, or whether the result of stress in my life is learning how to manage it. And since I joined the forum, I haven’t slept well. I think when I wrote my intro, I was expecting a certain kind of feedback. And what I’ve experienced, thoughtfully mind you, was a focus on the drugs I’m still on rather than my withdrawal from the Lexapro. I definitely understand why people would start there, but thinking about it all the time is making me feel trapped. Maybe it shouldn’t but it is. And I want to focus on getting better, even if tapering will be a slow frustrating part of the process. For what it’s worth, I’m committed to tapering off them, and in time I’ll be free of them. But in the meantime, I’m stuck with them and I’m not helping myself by thinking about them all the time.

It could also be that sharing all of this is overwhelming. I don’t know. I’m a private person, and there’s an element of unease to all of this for me right now. So I’m going to step away from the forum, at least for a while. Certainly if things improve, I will let people know, because I think that’s the most important thing we can do here.

I appreciate the time people have put into asking me questions and offering support. I really do. I don’t take it lightly and I hope you can understand why I’m stepping away.

And Vonnegutjunky, that was a great link. Thanks so much for posting it.

THE CULPRIT : Lexapro: August 2013-March 2014 (7 months)

- 10mg 2.5 months, 5mg 4.5 months

Fast Taper/CT: Decreased to 2.5mg for four weeks then stopped.

 

WITHDRAWAL : Since March 2013

- 3 months initial withdrawal and then seemingly all better for a full month. Then the bad withdrawal started at month 4-5 and I've been here ever since.

 

OTHER DRUGS

Wellbutrin: November 2013-present. Current dose: 37.5mg (from original dose of 150mg)     - Trying to get off this, but it's taking me more time than it does most people. Sensitive.

Trazodone: July 2013 to present. For sleep. Current dose: 50mg    -Want to get off this too, but waiting to wean completely off Wellbutrin before I start. One at a time and all that.

Fish Oil: 2x Daily

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Poozle,

 

It sounds like you're in a much better head-space anyway.  You sound really calm and thoughtful and with a strong understanding of where you want to get to, and how best to get there.  Wishing you well for your next steps in life - enjoy all those good things you mentioned.

 

Best wishes,

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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