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LynneR in Milwaukee


LynneR

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Hi everyone...

I'm on Welbutrin & my doc wants to switch me to Paxil.
He told me Thursday to "just stop taking the Welbutrin" (while starting the Paxil). I thought that was a bad idea, but maybe the Paxil would compensate, and he's supposed to know what he's doing, right?
Gah!

I was right. It's not a good idea to stop suddenly.
After a pretty miserable day Friday, I came home from work, took a dose of Welbutrin, and started searching for some solid advice (preferably backed by good sources such as PubMed, or reputable colleges), which is how I stumbled across this site.

So I'm working on tapering off, will probably stop the Paxil, and am seriously thinking about dumping that doctor.
It's not an uncommon thing to have problems coming off antidepressants, and there are published studies from 10+ years ago talking about it, so how could he not know? And if he did, why did he give me the direction he did, why give me harmful advice?

Problem is, I can't switch doctors until mid-summer, because that's when their semester ends. (I go to a free clinic through the local medical college, their psych training program.)

Also, while I generally do OK over the summer, I definitely have SAD, so dread facing fall & winter without medicine.


 

Edited by scallywag
tags added

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Lynne,

 

Glad you've found this site - you'll find a lot of information and support here.  Your doctor sounds like many others who so blatantly disregard our right to honest health-care. 

 

Just making sure I understand it right - you stopped the welbutrin cold-turkey, then a few days later went back on the original dose?  What was that dose? 

 

It isn't a good idea to take both the welbutrin and the paxil - have you stopped the paxil?  If you've only had a couple of doses you can just stop taking it. 

 

How are you feeling today?  It may take a couple of weeks for your Central Nervous System to settle down. When that happens, you could look at tapering according to our usual recommendation of no more than 10% of your current dose each month.  This allows your brain time to adjust as you go, and lessens any withdrawal. 

 

If you want something to help ease your way through, many people find Fish oil and magnesium useful during withdrawal.   

 

You may also like to check out our Symptoms and Self-Care forum to learn ways to manage depression etc without meds.  It takes a bit more work than popping a pill, but there's no bad side-effects, and you end up being a much stronger person.  I know which way I prefer!

 

Would you be able to add to your signature some dates and dosages etc - so we can see your situation easily whenever you post, and help you more accurately?  Thanks.

 

Anyway, have a read of those and then you can come back to this thread to discuss things further.  This will be your journal to record your tapering and healing progress, and to ask questions. 

 

Welcome to s/a,

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lynne & welcome to SA,

 

This thread talks about Light Boxes light-therapy-for-sleep-problems/

 

You arrived here just in time by the sound of it.  After what I've learned since being here, I'm even questioning and researching what the vet suggests for my dog!!!

 

And regarding the doctor - How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal? & What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

 

Good luck.  CC

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

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Hi, Chessie, and thanks for the welcome & info.
I have read those threads, and have both a light box & a light visor...
neither of which I use with any regularity. :(

Now let's see if I can manage to do quotes...

 

Just making sure I understand it right - you stopped the wellbutrin cold-turkey,
then a few days later went back on the original dose?  What was that dose?

I was on 450mg of the extended release (once a day dosing).
I took my normal morning dose Thursday, saw my doc that afternoon, skipped the Friday dose (but took the Paxil Thurs. night & Fri. morning) on his recommendation.
Had a terrible day Friday, starting with feeling really weak & shaky getting out of bed & coming downstairs in the morning. Questioned if I was going to get down the stairs w/o falling. Was also very tired all day, not like my body was tired, but like I wanted to sleep. Yawned a lot. Came home, took a reduced dose of Wellbutrin (375) & went right to bed, napped for about 2 hours, then went back to bed about 3 hours later.

.

It isn't a good idea to take both the wellbutrin and the paxil

I don't understand this. Paxil works on serotonin, Wellbutrin acts on dopamine & norepinephrine.
In theory, at least, I should be able to take both.
But yes, I am going to pull the Paxil out of my daily meds (I use a pill organizer, set up a month at a time; harder to forget things).
And if, after a couple days, it feels like I've dropped too far too fast (450 --> 375), I'll go up a half pill to 410.

.

How are you feeling today?  It may take a couple of weeks for your Central Nervous System to settle down.

Better, but still sleeping way more than I have been, and yawning a lot.
I have a fitness tracker that also records sleep (in a sort of indirect way, by noting movement), and it's interesting to see how much deep sleep I've been getting, and how the waking up interruptions have changed just in the last couple days.

.

you could look at tapering...

Oh, believe me, I've read through all the stickies & recommended posts here, trying to get a handle on what was happening & how to stop it.
I'm debating whether to put together some citations to give to my doctor (I love PubMed), trying to educate him about withdrawal, because he's still a student so maybe he'd be open to learning. I still can't believe they're not teaching this stuff, but that's easier to believe than that he is deliberately harming me.
And as I said above, I realize I've gone beyond the recommended 10% (75mg is about 17% of 450), so am open to the idea of backing up a step. I do have a pill splitter.
I already take fish oil, just as insurance for my heart health, and I think I still have magnesium. It's useful for nerve function, and I've been taking it for a couple years in hopes of speeding nerve regrowth after surgery. (The dead area is smaller, but still present.)
 

.

You may also like to check out our Symptoms and Self-Care forum to learn ways to manage depression etc without meds.

I know that exercise is as effective as meds. Problem is with motivation & energy.
Sort of like putting off taking a shower while I'm depressed, I know I'll feel better after doing it, but that doesn't make it any easier to get started.
I also like the side effect of losing weight, which I need to do more of. I lost 80 pounds, but have put about 30 back on since last summer, when I lost motivation & energy for doing most things.  <_<  So I need to get rid of those 30 plus about 25 more to get into a healthy BMI range.

But I will go read through that forum to see if other things seem doable to me now, or to put them in my head for later, as I get better. (Hope, hope, hope.)

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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Welcome great idea to ditch the paxil immediately.

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 don't understand this. Paxil works on serotonin, Wellbutrin acts on dopamine & norepinephrine.
In theory, at least, I should be able to take both."

 

Interactions between your selected drugs

Major bupropion paroxetine

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Paxil (paroxetine)

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

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

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I really should open my mail when it arrives. :sigh:
Opened 3 letters from the welfare office yesterday (one came in the mail yesterday, and reading it led me to find & open the others). I'd put them aside because I thought they were just notifying me that the renewal was in place.

Apparently with my last renewal a couple weeks ago, my employer told them I was working 1 hour a week more than I'm really scheduled for, which led to them calculating that I'm earning $10 a month over the limit to keep receiving medicaid ($1000 instead of $990), so they're cancelling my medical coverage as of 01APR. (But I can apply to the Obamacare marketplace... which is a joke, because the premiums are high and the deductibles are high and the coverage stinks.)

So I immediately left a message for the HR person who screwed it up, will call him Monday too. He has to send in a correction.
If he doesn't, I have to quit my job, because I can't live without medical care.
Of course, then I won't be able to pay my bills. Not that I'm doing so well now, but it's better than not having a job.
Oh, goody, more stress.

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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What a frustrating week!
Decided to re-apply for food stamps & medicaid Sunday, because they'd already told me that my case was "closed" (everything cancelled).
Got hold of someone there Monday morning, got everything straightened out... I thought.
I specifically asked her, "is there anything else I need to do?", and she said no.

Wed. as I was trying to leave for work, I got a call from someone claiming to be from their office, saying they were processing my application & had to go through some questions. I tried to explain that everything was taken care of Monday, there was nothing more to do, but she insisted.
Finally, I told her, "Everything I answered and triple-checked online is correct. Is there anything I did not answer online or in the discussion Monday that you have questions about?".
So she starts asking about things I'd answered online... which I reminded her of, then repeated what I'd already said above.
Finally she said, "have a nice day", and hung up.
So I went to work.

Got there a little early, so thought to call to make sure she hadn't sabotaged me.
Good call. She had. She'd put notes in saying that I refused to answer questions.
So I explained to this second gal what really happened.
She insisted on asking the same questions again, even though I'd told her the same thing.
Said there would be 5 questions.
Many questions later (way more than 5), I went inside, clocked in, went to my workroom, and was still answering questions when she said I'll have to do another employer verification... which had just been entered Monday during that discussion!

So I'm looking at writing the state to get a hearing & straighten this out, stop the abuse.
Also going to do a FOIA to get copies of the audio from those conversations.

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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Then today I saw my doc.
I have a list of 14 citations (many including the ISBN or URL or PMID or DOI), because I thought there would be a fight over
a - tapering off
b - doing it slowly
c - stopping all meds

Surprisingly, there was no fight. He did ask if I was going to start the Paxil somewhere along the line, and I said no.
He also asked me to consider staying with him for the last 2 years of his residency. :huh: :blink:
After not only this mess, but him previously playing mind games with me, I really don't think I want to...
but then again, I'd be rolling the dice taking on someone new to break in, tell all my difficult history to, convince that no, I will not take any more drugs, etc.

Only good thing is that this week the weather has been really nice. Warm, at least, even if not always sunny.
Oh, and I think my closest "co-worker" (who shirks work as much as she possibly can) isn't there tomorrow.
That's always nice.

ETA:
When we were discussing using the light visor or box, I mentioned that the box I have has LEDs which give off the wavelength that's supposed to be the most effective. He asked where I'd gotten that information.
"From my Master's project." Not too many patients can play that card. :D
He accepted that as valid... as opposed to "something you read on the internet". :angry:
Well, gee, I read PubMed on the internet too.

 

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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Finally, I worked out the taper schedule, put it into my smart (it's not a phone).
Then I counted to see if I have enough pills to carry it out. I do.

And I'm feeling good so far.
All the wobblies and sleepies have gone away.
Coming up on 1 week on a lower dose (17%).
One more week of this, then dropping 37mg for another couple weeks.

 

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lynne,

 

Sorry to hear how much you've been messed around.  Such a fiasco all because of an error over 1 hour.

 

I think you might be better off staying with this doctor.  It does seem like he is willing to learn (it's surprising that he asked you to stay with him for the next 2 years - I hope it's not because he's lost lots of other patients and he's trying not to lose anymore :o ) and you definitely don't need the rigmarole of having to go through it all again.  You never know, through you he could end up being a leading anti-antidepressant expert in the future!!!

 

From the way you have worded it, it is difficult to work out what dose (you mention 17% - 17% of what amount) of what drug (you are on Wellbutrin and Paxil) you are talking about in Post #10.  You then talk about 37 mgs but you are on 20 mg Paxil.  I'm just a bit confused.

 

It might be a good idea to update your signature to include dates drugs and old & new doses and put it in a format so that details can be easily seen.  The reason for this is that other members can assess what is going on and pick up possible issues.  As an example, the other day there was a member who mentioned what dosage she was dropping to and it was almost a 50% drop.  Someone queried it and we then calculated what a 10% drop would be and she realised that she very nearly made a huge mistake.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

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Forgot to mention, I'm also taking a tai chi class through the local parks & rec department.
It's kind of fun, a very slow moving meditation.
Mindfulness, specifically breathing & body position / balance.
Really hard sometimes to get my mind to stay where I need it to be, instead of commenting on the room furnishings, thinking about what I should do when I get home, etc.

 

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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You never know, through you he could end up being a leading anti-antidepressant expert in the future!!!

I did think about suggesting that he read up on (& specialize in) AD w/d, tapering, etc.

 

.

 

From the way you have worded it, it is difficult to work out what dose (you mention 17% - 17% of what amount) of what drug (you are on Wellbutrin and Paxil) you are talking about in Post #10.  You then talk about 37 mgs but you are on 20 mg Paxil.  I'm just a bit confused.

Sorry.  Let me try again.

 

I've been on 450mg of Wellbutrin for several years now.  (Often slightly lower in summer.)

He told me to just stop taking it, which I did for all of a day (a week ago now, Thurs. AM to Fri. PM).

Felt wretched.

 

Took 2 doses of 20mg Paxil (one the day I got the prescription, one the next), then stopped that.

See above, about feeling wretched.

 

Went back on a dose of 375mg Wellbutrin (Fri. evening), which is a 17% drop from the 450.

 

Am planning to cut 37mg every 2 weeks, unless I have symptoms, in which case I'll go more slowly.

I have 75mg pills which could be quartered almost as easily as halved.

 

Not sure how to get my signature to show up, but I have put info there on my profile. :(

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for clarifying that Lynne.

 

How to put your Withdrawal History in Signature

 

Just so we know you have the info:  tips-for-tapering-off-wellbutrin-ir-sr-xr-xl-bupropion/

 

And I've just found post #72 in the above thread which is very important to be considered which is why I'm copying and pasting it here and added some emphasis:

 

"After a very bad withdrawal experience I have done a great amount of reflection on my taper as well as reading and asking questions about Wellbutrin when combined with prozac. I wanted to add a note of caution here if tapering Wellbutrin while taking an SSRI.

Here is my understanding of what occurs:

It appears that when used in conjunction with an SSRI Wellbutrin will cause an increase in the plasma level of the SSRI. The basic story is Wellbutrin competes with the SSRI to be metabolized. This causes the SSRI to be metabolized more slowly, essentially causing a "back-up" and increasing the amount of SSRI in your system. It's like increasing the amount of prozac you are taking without actually taking a higher dose. This competition to be metabolized also keeps the SSRI in your system longer, or in other words, extends the half-life.

What does this mean? As I understand it it means that when you taper Wellbutrin you are inadvertently tapering your SSRI, even if you haven't decreased the actual amount of the SSRI you are taking. This means the unintentional taper of your SSRI is probably much steeper than what would be a 10% decrease. In some cases Wellbutrin appears to cause large increases in the SSRI level.

I and my new pdoc believe this is what happened to me. My large and quick drops in my Wellbutrin dose effected major drops in my blood plasma level of prozac even though I wasn't actively tapering my prozac dose at the time. This is likely to be why my withdrawal symptoms were so delayed, sudden, and extreme.

Because the relationship between the drop in Wellbutrin dose and drop in the plasma level of the SSRI can be significant but does not appear to be linear I suggest you proceed with your Wellbutrin taper with extreme caution. Be very conservative even if you feel fine while decreasing your Wellbutrin."

 

If you ever want to search the SA site it is best to use your favourite search engine, type in survivingantidepressants.org + whatever your are looking for.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

Link to post

 

Changed the signature a little,

and am not taking an SSRI, so that's not an issue.

 

Feeling OK today, other than that I overslept.

Guess it's nice that I was able to sleep, right?

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How's the tapering going? 

Kecanoe2/9/16
Nortriptylene
Started 2009 at 50, went up to 75
7/15/16 reduced nortriptylene from 75 to 50
2010 60 mg bus-par
2014 300 mg welbutrin-tapering now
2015 5 mg abilify-off as of 4/2016
2014 10 mg cyclobenzaprine<p>
PRN: Xanax .25, Zyprexa 10, Ambien 5, Nuvigil

Tried along the way : Cymbalta, Prozac, zyprexa, protriptylene, amitriptylene, Fetzima, Lamictal, lexapro, trazadone,

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Ugh.
Another dose drop today. Feeling dizzy, very sleepy, yawning a lot.
Am thinking I should change the date to Saturday, so less of this mess happens during the work week.
And maybe start going by 1/4 tablets instead of halves.

To top it off, I have a cold.

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lynne , it would be very helpful if you could add the dates you stopped wellbutrin ,

date and dose you reinstated with , and dates and doses of cuts as you do them (it saves alot of time going through all your posts).

 

What dose did you go from / to?

 

Cold and flu'symptoms are typical withdrawal.

See "Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist" here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist

 

bw , 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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Hi Lynne , it would be very helpful if you could add the dates you stopped wellbutrin ,

date and dose you reinstated with , and dates and doses of cuts as you do them (it saves alot of time going through all your posts).

 

What dose did you go from / to?

 

Cold and flu'symptoms are typical withdrawal.

See "Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist" here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist

 

bw , Fresh

Sorry, I thought I'd put that in my signature, but there's nothing showing up. :(

Maybe I have it set wrong. :sigh:

 

I was on 450mg wellbutrin,

my doc told me to stop it & start paxil, which I did, (03MAR)

((yes, cold-turkey))

felt horrible for a bit over a day, until I restarted the wellbutrin & stopped paxil.

 

Originally went to 375 (05MAR),

337 (13MAR),

300 (20MAR),

am currently at 263 (27MAR).

I've been going by half of a 75mg tablet; considering that a quarter might be better.

 

Yes, I've read that the symptoms of withdrawal & cold or flu can mimic each other, which is why I'm exasperated to have to deal with both at once. Pretty sure it's not the flu, 'cause I had my shot, haven't been around anyone who's got it, not having the whole-body aches or GI distress (to put it politely).

Dizziness - withdrawal.

Sneezing, runny nose, full sinuses, plugged ears, scratchy throat - probably the cold.

Being tired - could be either. (According to my UP, I've slept nearly 17 hours today. Have been awake for about 5 hours, going back to bed soon.)

Tinnitus - normal for me, unfortunately. Wish I could learn a way to stop it being so intrusive.

Did have some muscle cramps in the last few days; hadn't considered that those could be withdrawal-related.

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Lynne , I'm not surprised at all that you feel sick from the way you're tapering.

 

We recommend doing cuts of 10% max. every 4 to 6 weeks , not every week.

 

"Went back on a dose of 375mg Wellbutrin (Fri. evening), which is a 17% drop from the 450.

Am planning to cut 37mg every 2 weeks, unless I have symptoms, in which case I'll go more slowly."

 

I'm so sorry that no-one picked up on this. Ideally , you would have reinstated the wellbutrin and

held for a good couple of months to stabilize before beginning to taper.

 

I'd suggest going back up to 375mg wellbutrin and see if things start to settle in the next 4-7 days.

 

It's not meant to be this tough. Let's get you feeling better asap.

 

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

Changed the signature a little,

and am not taking an SSRI, so that's not an issue.

 

Feeling OK today, other than that I overslept.

Guess it's nice that I was able to sleep, right?

 

Hey Lynne - just because Wellbutrin is not an SSRI, doesn't mean it doesn't stick a finger in your brain and wiggle it around.

 

When you have a finger in your brain, it is vitally important that you remove it only a tiny bit at a time - to sneak away from the drug so that your brain doesn't miss it.  This is called "harm reduction" and can prevent the worst of withdrawal symptoms.

 

Wellbutrin (and you are on a very high dose!) was my demon, that likely entrenched in my brain the most.  I was on 300 mg per day most of the time, and couldn't even decrease it to 150 mg per day.  Of course, I didn't know about tapering at the time.

 

It seems to me that you might benefit from a break in tapering - hold for three months or so - or even updose a little bit, as Fresh suggests.  Then HOLD for awhile.  Let all of that withdrawal rattle around and settle into something more stable before tapering again.

 

It's not a race - going faster has no benefit.  You can achieve benefits with each tiny decrease in dose - and if you avoid the withdrawal symptoms - it can be better all the time.  However, if you rush it, and get thrown into full blown withdrawal, all bets are off - that could take years to recover from.

 

So if you were told that slow might keep you from injury - wouldn't you find it easier to go slow?

 

Petunia, one of our "old timer" mods here - has written some wonderful things on SA.  One of the things I remember (paraphrase) was that she considered "rushing to make the next cut" - a neuro-emotion, an actual cognitive symptom of withdrawal.

Neuro-emotion

and

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2364-the-slowness-of-slow-tapers

"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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  • Moderator Emeritus

How are you going Lynne? What did you decide to do with your dose?

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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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry I haven't made it back here in a while for an update.

I changed my (intended) dose change day to Saturday.
Put it that way because in a rush to get to work yesterday I forgot my meds completely, other than putting the half pill (in its container) into my lunch bag, and I did take that in the afternoon. Good thing, too.
This morning (Sat.) I realized what had happened, which probably contributed to being so sleepy last night, having trouble sleeping overnight despite being tired, and being dizzy / wobbly last night & this morning.

We added Abilify, though I am only taking half of the lowest dose: 2.5mg.
Am down to 3/4 of a 75 mg tablet of Wellbutrin IR per day (so about 56mg), in divided doses.
I take the Abilify in the morning, a quarter tablet (18mg) of Wellbutrin around lunchtime, and a half tablet (37mg) no later than 5pm.
Will go update my signature block now, though it's still not showing up in posts. :sigh:

Feeling OK overall. I think the drowsiness in the mornings is thanks to the sleeping pills. I don't sleep much without them, so this is the lesser of two evils for now.
First I'll reduce the Wellbutrin, then the Abilify (which is a tiny dose), then the sleeping pills.
Had hallucinations a couple nights ago thanks to the zolpidem / Ambien, so will be avoided that from now on. It's happened before, but I've never seen things which weren't there, nor have I had the emotional component (fearing they would harm me).
Then overnight I had disturbing dreams. One was of a sexual nature, with someone I am not interested in. The other was of my house falling apart (which makes more sense; it needs massive cleaning).

I hate that emotions pop up whenever, with little to no trigger or reason. Yes, I realize that's a symptom. Doesn't make it much easier. I'm more impatient, angry, short-tempered... in addition to feeling more deeply & more often.
Now there's something for my shrink to work with.
He told me at our last meeting that he's going to be off / unavailable during June. One week's notice.
But at least he's come around to not digging into my feelings (as much), just helping me learn how to manage them, or deal with them, whichever phrasing you prefer.

Have had some improvements:
* paying attention to personal appearance & hygiene
* cleaning the house some (needs lots of work)
* contacting a company I interviewed with a month ago to nudge them & see if they've made a decision
* making arrangements to visit my mom... which I'd been putting off, hoping I'd get the new job and could take time between old & new
* started teaching sewing to a client at the local women's shelter

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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And for yet another "doctors don't fully inform us" thing...
Found out that the sleep aid I'd been given a couple years ago is actually a tricyclic!
Now, I'm only taking it as needed, and a very low dose (10mg), but now that I know what it really is I'm not taking that any more either. Just thought to look it up last night.
So I'm down to benadryl & melatonin, and I think I just ran out of melatonin tonight.
Wish me luck. Last night did not go well, lots of waking up + felt groggy all morning, went back to bed.

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for updating Lynne,

 

Your signature is showing up fine now :)

 

Why was Abilify added? Please would you add the start date for this to your signature, it helps us keep track of your changing history.

 

It sounds like you are happy to continue tapering at the fast rate you have been going and of course its your choice, everyone has to make their own decisions, but I am going to echo what JanCarol wrote because I tend to agree with it based on my experiences and what I've learned here:

 

 

Wellbutrin (and you are on a very high dose!) was my demon, that likely entrenched in my brain the most.  I was on 300 mg per day most of the time, and couldn't even decrease it to 150 mg per day.  Of course, I didn't know about tapering at the time.

 

It seems to me that you might benefit from a break in tapering - hold for three months or so - or even updose a little bit, as Fresh suggests.  Then HOLD for awhile.  Let all of that withdrawal rattle around and settle into something more stable before tapering again.

 

It's not a race - going faster has no benefit.  You can achieve benefits with each tiny decrease in dose - and if you avoid the withdrawal symptoms - it can be better all the time.  However, if you rush it, and get thrown into full blown withdrawal, all bets are off - that could take years to recover from.

 

 

I'm glad you discovered the truth about what you were taking for sleep. Taking any kind of antidepressant on an irregular basis can be very disruptive to the nervous system, they need to be taken regularly or not at all.

 

Here are some links you may find helpful:

 

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

 

Sleep problems: That awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have withdrawal insomnia

 

Well done with the improvements, do stay in touch and let us know how you are going.

 

Petunia.

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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  • 1 month later...

I'm completely free of buproprion & Abilify, no more withdrawal problems / symptoms,
but my mood is still lousy. Actually, most of the time it's just flat.
Sometimes I'm really sad, almost to suicidal, and a lot of the time I'm angry / irritable.
And I don't sleep well, but that's a longstanding problem.
Hoping things get better before fall, because winter is hard all on its own.
I wish I could get some energy & motivation: clean the house, exercise, look for a good job.

Did go visit Mom, had a nice time, never long enough.
Have not heard back from the job interview I mentioned (very unprofessional of them),
nor have I heard back from another interview I did in May (ditto).
Heard from one of the sales guys where I work that the company is having trouble paying suppliers,
so getting a different job is an even higher priority than it was before.

My shrink is back from vacation. He still wants to open up my past, make me drag out all those bad
emotions & re-live them, and I don't see what the point of it is. How can that help me sleep better, or
deal with people more comfortably? I think the things that would help the most are having enough
money to pay bills reliably, and having enough money to move to a safe environment so I don't have
to sleep with one ear open, ready to respond if someone breaks in.

 

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It's good to hear from you again Lynne.  Sounds like a mixture of good and bad.  Congrats on being free from buproprion and abilify - a huge achievement.  From what I read of people's stories on here, the flatness etc does gradually improve.  It just takes longer than we'd like, if the healing is going to be thorough and lasting. 

 

I'm not a fan of counselors who push things onto people.  It is my view that a counselor with a healthy mindset and a genuine understanding of people will work with a person to enable them to find their own healing path, will provide tools and support to deal with the difficulties in their life, will provide a space in which a person can feel safe to express thoughts as they choose to, will be a listening ear.

 

It may be worth shopping around to find someone who will provide you with the support you need - and deserve.  Otherwise you might end up needing another counselor in order to cope with counseling... ;)

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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  • 2 months later...

After one too many problems, I did finally contact my shrink's supervisor (2 levels up) and ask to be transferred to someone new.
She said OK, but I also had to tell him directly. :sigh:
He pretended to be OK with it, said he'd take me back if it turned out I wanted to work with him again, tried to delve into my problems in the last appointment...
Really?? I wanted to walk in, tell him, and walk out.

Then 2 weeks later I still hadn't heard from the new person, so I emailed the supervisor 1 level up to see what the schedule was & ask for my new person's name & contact information.
He basically said, "people have been out of town, you should be hearing soon".
Did not provide me with the requested information.
Jerk. But the new doc did call the next day.

We've met twice. She seems OK. New, of course, and I have to keep remembering that. (This is a student clinic, for them to get supervised experience. They're doctors already, just learning to be psychs.)
Today she instructed me on deep breathing... and practiced it with me... while ignoring that I was crying. <_<

She also wants to put me on prozac. (Did I mention we've met TWICE?) She thinks it will help energize me, get me out of the slump, let me do things like take care of myself, stop crying, clean the house, manage to look for / land a new job.
I really don't want to be on psych drugs any more, ever again.

I'm debating telling her I've changed my mind and won't take them,
or picking up the prescriptions but not taking them and not telling her I'm not taking them, hoping that maybe she'll move on to more useful / helpful help,
but I'm also pretty widespread miserable on a regular basis, and maybe it would actually help, and I'll deal with going off it next spring. 
:unsure:  :huh:  (And why isn't there a 'sad' smiley?)

Free from Wellbutrin / buproprion.
Now working on sleeping well / enough. Hopefully I can eventually get off the sleep meds too.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

:( 4th from the left.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

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