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Adrianctn: adverse reaction to Prozac


adrianctn

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Hi all. Please help woth some advice.

I took a total of 16 20mg pills of Prozac in the course of 1 month for some moderate anxiety - thinking it is an innocent happy pill (10mg/day,then several days with 20mg,then 10 every other day).

The first 2 weeks - my symptoms were increased anxiety, up to a level I have never experienced.

Then complete insomnia followed. I was so agitated that I could not do a Lego toy/watch a movie. Then a period of apathy followed, with no anxiety.


I was still driving/talking to people,eating etc.

I am now 2 months after stopping the Prozac.

First month:
I have experienced muscle twitches ( ocular, jerking while trying to fall asleep, biting my tongue, lower jaw tremor ).

Anxiety returned very intense. Depressive feelings - never had them. Emotional instability. Insomnia - 2-3 hours per night.
Light head, hard to concentrate. Hard to take care of myself - shopping etc.

Started cognitive behavioral therapy. Yoga. Meditation.

Month 2:
Muscle issues have diminished.
Some sleep is back - but agitated.
Obsessive reading about my issue occupies most of my time.
Emotional instability remains. Anxiety. Depression.
Trouble to concentrate. Still hard to take care of myself. Cannot work.
Lost ability to meditate.
Food appetite is affected.

I am terrifed that I have ruined my health and life doing a stupid test with a pill I never needed.

Where to now?

Thanks,


Adrian

Edited by scallywag
tags added

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Adrian ,  welcome to the site.  You had an adverse reaction to the pills and it's good that you stopped them when you did.

 

The effect they have had on your brain is evidenced by the symptoms you have as your brain tries to recover.  This process will take time , but it sounds like you're doing all the right things.  

None of the symptoms you have now is permanent.  Symptoms will come and go , and vary in intensity.

 

We recommend taking Omega3's (fish oil)  and magnesium to assist recovery.

See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

and

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

 

Please use this thread as a journal or to ask any questions that come up as you go along.

 

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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Thank you, Fresh. 

 

Other symptoms experienced:

- constant feeling of doom

- warm skin, hands burn sometimes

- problem swallowing on empty when afraid 

- headaches

- increased pulse

 

I'm already taking the supplements. 

 

Question 1: is this as bad as it gets? 

 

Question 2: will other symptoms appear? 

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It may still get worse Adrian.   Each person has a unique recovery / journey , and there's no way to predict how long it will

take for the withdrawal process to wear itself out.

It's not unusual to get new symptoms for up to 12 months.  They may come in waves , where things improve for days or weeks , then you seem to go downhill again.

See "The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization"  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

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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Question 3: How can I tell which symptoms are because of the prozac side effects and which are from my own anxiety following this traumatic event? 

 

My therapist notes that a healthy individual that entertains all my negative thought patterns would feel miserable :P (example : "prozac destroyed my brain") 

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Here is list of withdrawal symptoms.  There are a whole bunch that are not part of a diagnosis of either situational or chronic anxiety.  Once you can acknowledge that what you'e experiencing is attributable to w/d , you don't need to be concerned that it's your natural personality or that you're going to be like this forever.

 

I've just noticed one that isn't on this list that you mentioned:  feelings of dread or doom.  Perhaps that's covered by "worsened mood".

 

PSYCHIATRIC SYMPTOMS

That Mimic Depression

1Crying spells

2. Worsened mood

3. Low energy (fatigue,lethargy, malaise)

4. Trouble concentrating

5. Insomnia or trouble sleeping

6. Change in appetite

7. Suicidal thoughts

8. Suicide attempts

 

That Mimic Anxiety Disorders

9. Anxious, nervous, tense

10. Panic attacks (racing heart, breathless)

11. Chest  pain

12. Trembling, jittery, or shaking

 

Irritability and Aggression

13. Irritability

14. Agitation (restlessness, hyperactivity)

15. Impulsive

16. Aggressiveness

17Self-harm

18. Homicidal thoughts or urges

 

Confusion and Memory Problems

19. Confusion or cognitive difficulties

20. Memory problems or forgetfulness

 

Mood Swings

21. Elevated  mood (feeling high)

22. Mood swings

23. Manic-like reactions

 

Hallucinations

24. Auditorhallucinations

25. Visual hallucinations

 

Dissociation

26. Feeling detached or unreal

 

Other

27. Excessive or intense dreaming

28. Nightmares

 

MEDICAL SYMPTOMS

That Mimic the Flu

29. Flu -like aches and pains

30. Fever

31. Sweats

32. Chills

33. Runnnose

34. Sore eyes

 

That Mimic Gastroenteritis

35. Nausea

36. Vomiting

37. Diarrhea

38. Abdominal pain or cramps

39. Stomach bloating

 

Dizziness

40. Disequilibrium

41. Spinning, swaying, lightheaded

42. Hung over or waterlogged feeling

43. Unsteadgait, poor coordination

44. Motion  sickness

 

Headache

45. Headache

 

Tremor

46. Tremor

 

Sensory Abnormalities

47. Numbness, burning,or tingling

48. Electric zap-like sensations in the brain

49. Electric shock-like sensations in the body

50. Abnormal visuasensations

51. Ringing or other  noises in the ears

52. Abnormal smells or tastes

 

Other

53. Drooling or excessive saliva

54. Slurred speech

55. Blurred vision

56. Muscle cramps, stiffness, twitches

57. Feeling of restless legs

58. Uncontrollable twitching of mouth

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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Thank you so much, Fresh.

 

Question 4: Why should I have w/d after such a short course of prozac? And me being a fully healthy, slightly anxious under stress, individual. No prior history of anything.

 

Indeed, my side effects were pretty intense. And these 2 months have been difficult.

 

Question 5: Is there any scientific validation to Waves/Windows or just anecdotal evidence from people on the forum?

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

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Question 6: Any scientific/anecdotal proof that people actually heal for good at some point - being able to enjoy the waves of life as an average human being?

 

Apologies for my many questions. A new world os opening up to me.

 

Thank you

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Your questions are very astute.  Other will chip in , but I'll try answer the next ones.

 

"Question 4: Why should I have w/d after such a short course of prozac? And me being a fully healthy, slightly anxious under stress, individual. No prior history of anything. Indeed, my side effects were pretty intense. And these 2 months have been difficult."

 

Dr. Lucire (pharmacogeneticist / forensic psychiatrist / my mentor) might explain it something like this:

These drugs are processed by the CYP450 gene , which has 6 allelles  , CYP1A2, CYP2B6, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP3A4/5.   If any of these allelles are damaged or turned off or not working properly , they can't metabolizes things as intended.  If the drugs are not metabolized , they float around in your system building up and you become toxic , which results in "side-effects".

You had a swift , severe reaction to prozac - it had a significant impact on your brain.  It takes a long time for brains to recover from this type of assault.

 

Questions 5 and 6 can be better answered by someone else ... I'm not well-read in the literature.

 

See the thread called "Success Stories: Recovery From Withdrawal" here  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/28-success-stories-recovery-from-withdrawal/

and

"Papers on Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome "  here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/325-papers-on-diagnosis-of-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

The whole section "From Journals and Scientific Sources" may interest you to look through.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/16-from-journals-and-scientific-sources/

 

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

Link to post

Adrian - you absolutely can have these symptoms after such a short time.  Feel free to read through my thread.  My journey began after only ONE dose to two different drugs, that were taken within a month of each other.  Literally...two doses total.  I am in my 6th month since the adverse reactions.

 

You are not necessarily in WD, but maybe an adverse reaction.  Either way, the symptoms seem to be very much the same.

 

Be very careful with any supplements or any other medications you may want to take (even OTC).  I have discovered that I am so ultra-sensitive now that I literally can take almost nothing.  Not even Ibuprofen.  The fluorescent lights in stores make me go into a brain fog/confusion, so I am no longer able to go grocery shopping either. 

 

If you decide on any supplements, start with just one at a time, and at a very low dose.  Take it real slow.

History of Wellbutrin, Neurontin, Buspar, Paxil and others in 1990's - teenage years

Xanax .5 mg as needed 2010-2015

One injection of Haldol in ER 10/9/2015 - dystonic reaction (ongoing issues)

One 50 mg pill Zoloft 10/31/15 adverse reaction/s that are ongoing

Xanax .125 mg every 3 hours as needed, .25 mg at bedtime 1/8/16-1/21/16Xanax .25 mg every 3 hours (1.25 mg/day) 1/22/16 - 2/9/16Xanax .25 mg/5 times a day (1.25 mg/day) starting 2/10/16, then tried 6 times/day (2x.25, 4x.1875)Xanax .25 mg/6 times a day (1.5 mg/day) starting 2/19/16

Tapering off of Xanax, switching to Diazepam, starting June 29, 2016, then starting taper soon there after

Completed Xanax taper early Sept 2016, crossover to 20 mg/day Diazepam

Currently at 2 mg Diazepam/day = 1 mg bedtime, 1 mg morning

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Thank you everyone. I dug into everything posted.

 

So the path to follow now is:

1. Stay away from any serotonin influencing drug.

2. Take Time, be in Nature and try to be stress free.

3. Hope for recovery - but this will possibly be a long process.

 

Should I be encouraged that sleep is coming back and some symptoms have lessened?

 

I feel severely handicapped. I am at a loss as to how to arrange my life now.

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Adrian,

 

It may be a good idea to learn coping techniques, especially since that is why you started taking Prozac.  You might want to check these out.

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)
 

Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)

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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Thank you, CheesieCat.

 

I had only moderate anxiety when under extreme pressure.

 

Question 7: What to do now when feeling so bad?

 

I lost interest/lack energy/concentration for work, movies, clothes, travel, socializing.

 

I'm forcing myself to cook, go out, walk, go to the office etc.

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post

Hi! Please see my signature, I, too, had bad reactions to SSRIs.  All of what you are going through is very normal with these type of reactions. I was on them for 2 months.  If weird new things come up it is probably part of this.  I am in month 12 off this stuff and still struggling with the intense nervous system anxiety/panic/agitation it created, but I am plodding through.  Do you have someone to care for you? Stay home with you? 

Dec 2014 I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a second, Prozac 10mg (15 days), Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this), Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitation, Lexapro 7.5mg (2 days), Lexapro 10mg (16 days), Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it, Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!! Zoloft 50mg (6 days), Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30, 2015 (my last benzo dose). Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, stress reaction x10000 to everything, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).

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Hi Adrian, I had an adverse reaction too. You will get better but it may take some time.

 

Take good care of yourself and remember that time is the healer here.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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Hi Farout and KT38. Thank you so much for your reply.

 

Everyone writes here that we all recover, be patient and all. How do we know this?

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

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We know because so many of us have been through it.

 

I am not yet fully recovered but I am tantilisingly close. It won't be too much longer before I can put all this behind me. I know this because I've had the benefit of watching the vast improvement over time. Back at the start, like you, I thought I was too badly damaged and that I would never feel better again.

 

It's a terrible thing to have to go through (I'm not kidding - the Care Bears cartoon gave me a panic attack!). Without a doubt the worst thing that has happened to me but it's not forever. It does pass and you can educate yourself on things that can ease the symptoms and move you through the waves as they happen. It's really hard work and exhausting but it is possible to come out the other side a better, more empathetic person. I believe that I am.

 

Things that have helped me -

Reading up on cognitive behavioural therapy and trying to put it into practice as much as possible including

- restraining myself from googling symptoms

- giving myself a time limit for symptoms to pass before going to the dr (they invariably have)

- recognising and accepting intrusive thoughts for the ego dystonic rubbish that they are

- recognising when I'm dwelling and attempt to move myself on or distract myself

- saying to myself 'you are catastrophising' whenever I am (or 'it may happen but it most likely won't, with a feigned shrug of nonchalance)

 

Of course all of this takes a gargantuan effort and sometimes it is too much to expect of yourself. Even so, it's worth trying.

 

I also -

Avoided caffeine and alchohol

Took exercise whenever I felt able but not pushing it to my usual, pre-AD reaction, fitness levels

Did counted cross stitch or painted when I felt agitated

 

I found most supplements activating but did quite well on Epsom salts baths.

 

Best wishes with it all.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for sharing that Farout - it's very encouraging for us further behind you on the path.  Some reassuring footprints for us to follow...

 

Adrian - have you read in the Success Stories forum?  And seen the story of GiaK's healing?  Worth a look. 

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.

Link to post

Thank you for the encouragement, Farout. And the advice.

 

I have no problem going through any amount of pain knowing that it is going to stop at some point.

 

I feel overwhelmed with the barrage of symptoms. Although for each of them, I saw some - at least temporary - improvement. Some new symptoms have appeared.

 

2.5 month mark journal entry.

 

1. Sleep issues.

I do sleep, but fragmented. I wake up in fear or have nightmares. I had perfect 8 hour sleep before.

I did have one full night without waking recently.

 

2. Fatigue

Concentration problems

Difficult to read long pieces. Sometimes I fall out of conversations. I used to consume hundreds of pages of work-stuff per week.

 

Motivation

I have to push myself, nothing comes easy, not even a shower/grocery shopping.

 

3. Physical symptoms

- different muscles twitching (eyes, shoulder, fingers etc etc)

- muscles in the knees are always tight

- lower jaw tremor (but has almost dissipated)

- problems swallowing on empty when anxious

- burning palms (sometimes)

- severe constipation and inability to empty completely - never had this in my life.

- headaches, high pulse, pain in different parts of my body

 

4. Thought patterns

Lots of negative, worrying, obsessive about what's going to happen to me. This is where Farout's advice is well received. 80% of the waking time goes here unfortunately.

 

5. Emotions.

Fear - triggered by my thoughts or sometimes it appears to just be there. Some hopelessness / despair.

 

I do feel happy/optimistic and laugh from time to time.

 

6. Misc

Social life almost gone. I feel I now have a small capacity to tolerate stress (example: movies scare me, can't watch them). I miss my work and my hobbies. I feel shame around other people for my problem.

 

I'm very lucky to have a wonderful family and girlfriend that I love beside me and enough financial resources to ride this out.

 

On the bright side, with all of the symptoms, I did manage a long drive over the weekend and some nice quality time with my girlfriend, visiting a new city.

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post

Hi Adrian,

I must remind you that this is temporary and at least you are  only on it for 2 month, so it likely won't take too long for you to get back to "normal" .

Be optimist, look at your problem from another perspective. Let the time heal the body and the brain. Don't analyze you all day, focus on another things. Life is beautiful.

 

Link to post
  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Adrian , have you looked at the Symptoms and Self Care section yet? See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/?prune_day=100&sort_by=Z-A&sort_key=last_post&topicfilter=all

 

You can be pretty sure that any symptom that's bothering you has it's own thread , with discussion and ideas of

things you can try to alleviate it.

 

Part of the art of dealing with withdrawal is finding activities / things to do , to distract ourselves. You can try colouring in , walking , cooking , listening to relaxation tracks , doing some tai chi ,

learning cognitive behavioural therapy online ... there are lots of ideas there.

 

Supplements that we recommend are high doses of fish oil (omega 3's) and magnesium , which can be taken in a bath or spray for sore joints and muscles , or in a drink. See the threads on each of these in Symptoms and Self Care.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

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

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6548-paresthesia-pins-needles-numbness-tingling-burning-sensations/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6504-tension-pain-twitches-spasms-in-muscles-and-joints/

 

You can use this thread to document your progress and ask questions.

 

;) 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

Link to post
  • 1 month later...

Hello everyone,

 

My condition has worsened overall, unfortunately. Some symptoms have disappeared.

 

Symptoms:

- extreme difficulties concentrating - reading a paper, writing an email, doing finances

- strange headache, head pressure, pain

- agitation / fear / anxiety / panic - constant, varies in intensity; some relief when outside, walking

- insomnia - frequent waking, falling asleep and waking in fear

- can't eat when agitation is high

 

 

I gathered all info on the forum on lamotrigine and plan to start the ultra low dose. Thanks to Trouper and Alto for the info.

 

I have a doctor monitoring me, but he is not knowledgeable. He did agree to test it based on what I presented.

 

I have 2 questions for Alto, I kindly ask for her assistance :

 

How slow did you titrate up?

 

What time of day did you take the lamotrigine?

 

 

Thanks for listening.

 

 

Adrian

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post
  • Administrator
Altostrata

Adrian, One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome contains much detail about my experience with lamotrigine.

 

It can make you sleepy, I started taking it in the evening.

 

Which symptoms have faded and which have gotten worse?

 

If you try lamotrigine, please let us know how you do.

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.

Link to post

Hi

 

Most physical symptoms have faded.

 

Agitation, fear, palpitations, head pressure /pain have increased significantly, are almost continous. This affects sleep, eating, basic living etc

 

 

This is why i decided to take lamo.

 

I took 0.5mg this morning. Made me somewhat sleepy.

 

I've been very agitated since the evening. I cannot sleep at all. Barely drove the car, barely ate.

 

 

Adrian

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post

Alto, how slow did you titrate up the dose?

 

Thank you.

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

I'm now 10 days on Lamotrigine 0.5mg/day.

 

I tried to bump the dosage to 0.7, I had an immediate reaction of agitation/sleeplessness, hot hands, palpitations.

 

I have slept 3 full nights and had a almost 2 day window during this time.

 

It was amazing.

 

The intensity of the states of agitation/fear/confusion/head pressure/palpitations has not diminished. Eating is barely possible when in this state, as well as watching tv/driving or other activities.

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

I understand now that my agitation/restlessness/pacing around is akathisia.

 

I've spoken with dr Lucire about this.

 

I've taken 11 doses of 0.25mg Lorazepam and then switched to Diazepam - 6 doses of 2.5mg in the last 9 days to treat akathisia.

 

 

Results were so so.

 

Should I assume I have to do a full taper on this?

 

I'm feeling so bad that it is hard to notice withdrawal symptoms from the benzos.

 

I've switched to other meds for akathisia : clonidine, propranolol, cyproheptadine.

 

This symptom is far worse than anything I could have imagined.

 

Wishing healing and good thoughts to all.

 

Adrian

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post

Hello everyone.

 

At the advice of dr. Lucire, I will also try "lick of a pill" of Pristiq, to stop the akathisia.

 

I will let you know.

 

 

Best,

 

 

Adrian

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post
  • 1 month later...

Another month has passed.

 

Short version:

 

Sleep Great. Akathisia improving. Multiple good functioning days. I was able to work 1day/week.

 

Long:

 

With the help of lamotrigine, melatonin and the other very helpful advice I got here.... I am able to sleep a normal full 8 hours of sleep every day.

 

During this past month I've been debilitated by "akathisia" type symptoms (inner restlessness, terror, agitation). This horrible symptom appeared around month 5.

 

It's showing signs of improvement now on month 7. But by God, this is worse than any pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue that I've experienced.

 

Its intensity varies. It is not anxiety as doctors misdiagnose.

 

When intense, I would do anything to escape it.

 

I'm on a daily dose of Valium of 1mg. It has helped during the horror of akathisia. I've taken 2-5mg twice to make akathisia bearable.

 

I've tested Propranolol, Clonidine, Cyproheptadine, Alcohol for akathisia. Limited results. Benzos worked best, but the others seem synergistic to benzos, helping me take a lower dose.

 

I'm working my lamotrigine dose up (very slowly!). I have some intuition/research (and some anecdotal evidence from the web) that it might help akathisia, along with benzos.

 

The course of my neurotoxic reaction to Prozac is in line with Shipko's description. An acute phase in months 1-5, with physical and mental symptoms (pain, depression etc). Starting month 5, mostly only akathisia.

 

Talk soon,

 

Adrian

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post
  • 4 weeks later...

Hello Adrian...how are you doing now?

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post

Hello everyone,

 

What does the SA community know of or has experience with this drug?

 

I am being recommended this for Akathisia.

 

Wiki page below: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trihexyphenidyl

 

Adrian

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Adrian, I've moved your question to your Introduction topic so that all questions about your situation are in one place.
 
In the last year, you've started at least 3 psych meds and made changes in dosage.  What you're experiencing now (symptoms grouped together and called "akathisia") is most likely an indication  that your CNS (central nervous system) is working furiously to adjust to the changes. Our bodies like stability and fight to maintain this homeostasis.

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"
 
Adding a drug, hoping to suppress a symptom, complicates your situation and risks further destabilizing your CNS (central nervous system). I don't know anything about trihexyphenidyl. If I'd had your response to neuro-psycho-active meds, I'd be extremely reluctant to try another one.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to post

Hello downtongirl,

Update 7.5 months.

I had one week of almost normal, feeling like myself (21-28 July).

Then akathisia returned in episodes, affecting mood and cognition. An episode of akathisia is a horror of mental torture and pain, almost always coupled with endless pacing. I also often feel extreme terror(100x fear). Eating is hard during the episode. My chest and torso cringe and muscles contract.

I pray it will end. I'm minimally functional outside the episodes.

I met an akathisia specialized psychiatrist. I use a cocktail of ultra low dose drugs to manage withdrawal (only symptom is akathisia now). I detailed the drugs in a post above.

The psychiatrist knows of lamotrigine to help withdrawal / adverse reactions / akathisia. In addition to this, he recommends Remeron(Mirtazapine) for Prozac withdrawal and generally Akathisia. Unfortunately, I understand he uses manufacturer recommended (low) doses and dissmisses ultra low doses.

I spoke with dr Lucire and she explained some patients had results with 1mg Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) for akathisia.

I'm weighing my options as I'm facing this horrible iatrogenic torture.

a -- increasing lamotrigine slowly and Time, tough it out
b -- introducing ultra low dose Mirtazapine (0.1 - 0.5 mg)
c -- introducing ultra low dose Artane (trihexyphenidyl) or Cogentin (benzatropin) or Benadryl (diphenhydramine)

Never in a million years did I think that 16 pills of a "medicine" sold worldwide would subject me to such misery and pain. And I never had a mental issue, just minimal work stress.

It's hard for me to grasp even now this cynism : $4 earned by EllyLilly for 1 box of Prozac pills, in exchange for my life and that of 7 others family members.

Edited by scallywag
delete opening parentheses to remove auto-characters such as copyright

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post

Hello Adrian...so sorry you are suffering so.  I am getting these adrenaline surges that make me very anxious....they are like the following....

 

all of a sudden I get this energy feeling in my legs and torso....and then I feel this jolt like I need to jump up out of the chair....it makes my knees feel weak and restless...then it is followed with an intense heart wave with sometimes sweating.....it can last usually about a minute at the time but I usually have one in the late morning, one around 3 pm, one around 5 pm, one around 6:30 pm, one around 8:30 pm, one around 9:30 pm.  So far I don't have to get up and pace yet but I am afraid it is going to lead to that.  It is an intense very sudden surge of fight or flight feeling.

 

My doctor is trying me on a small dosage of propranolol 10 mg 2 x a day.  I took my first 2 dosages yesterday and it helped my heart rate during these episodes but have not stopped the episodes yet....I am hoping they will.

 

Plan B is if propranolol doesn't help then maybe look at clonidine or lithium.  The reason for the lithium which would be a very small sub therapeutic dosage is because it is supposed to lower norepinephrine which is what we believe is very abnormally high for me.

 

My doctor also wants me to try klonopin....I was on it for about 15 years but I don't want to.  My plan is to try hydroxyzine before I default to klonopin.

 

I hope your akathisia goes away and never comes back!

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post

 

In the last year, you've started at least 3 psych meds and made changes in dosage.  What you're experiencing now (symptoms grouped together and called "akathisia") is most likely an indication  that your CNS (central nervous system) is working furiously to adjust to the changes. Our bodies like stability and fight to maintain this homeostasis.How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

 

Adding a drug, hoping to suppress a symptom, complicates your situation and risks further destabilizing your CNS (central nervous system). I don't know anything about trihexyphenidyl. If I'd had your response to neuro-psycho-active meds, I'd be extremely reluctant to try another one.

Thank you so much for your help. Your advice is important and I think of this often.

 

I would never touch psychoactive drugs unless I felt my life depended on it. I only use micro doses now.

 

After stopping Prozac, I toughed it out, not touching anything, for 5 months. I would have continued to do so.

 

But I developed akathisia - unstoppable walking (7-10 km/day). I could not eat and other symptoms explained above.

 

Thus, I feel I was forced to use other ultra low dose meds, to survive...

December 2015 One month Prozac at 10mg/day and every other day for MILD Anxiety ( What the hell??? No prior illness of any sort.)

Horrible side effects. Finally Cold Turkey.
May 2016 - Lamotrigine 0.5mg. Going up slowly. Sleep back to 8-9 hours normal (complete insomnia after Prozac).
June 2016 - 2 weeks 2.5mg Diazepam for Akathisia. Then lowered to 0.6mg/day.

Also Propranolol, Clonidine, occasional antihistamine, magnesium, B6 - for akathisia.

Experiencing severe protracted withdrawal. Symptoms got worse and changed each month. 

Last symptom remaining - Severe Akathisia since May with (mostly) waves and (some) windows. (When worse: pacing, can't concentrate or even speak, difficulty eating, driving, getting out of the house, horrible pain, restlessness, headache, exhaustion)

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Adrian, your post after mine says that you're discussion your situation with an "akathisia specialized psychiatrist" and with Dr. Yolande Lucire.  It seems that the unnamed psychiatrist is familiar with withdrawal symptoms and effective treatments. Is this psychiatrist someone you see locally or are your consultations over the phone/skype?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Adrianctn: adverse reaction to Prozac

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