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Alchimix: mirtazapine + venlafaxine withdrawal

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alchimix

Hi everyone,

 

I'm free of drugs for 10 monthes now. Withdrawal has been very difficult. I followed my psychiatrist instructions

 

october 2014 : 150 mg venlafaxin + 30 mg mirtazapine : mirtazapine reduce to 15 mg

 

November 2014 : mirtazapine stopped.

Symptoms : I felt quite nervous, sometines crying about nothing but it disappeared within a week.

 

December 2014 : 150 mg venlafaxin reduced to 75 mg.

Symptoms : return of my libido (great ! :D ).. but this lasted only 15 days :(

 

January 2015 : 75 mg venlafaxin 1 day and nothing the other day.

Symptoms : short term memory problems, reduced ability to keep focus on my job. Increased appetite ( :D ). Sensitive to stress at work. Brain zaps and headache that disappeared within 2 weeks.

 

February 2015 : drop down to 37,5 mg venlafaxin.

Symptoms : the precedent, but increased problems of focus, increased sensitivity to noise, felt very irritable, brain zaps again as well as headache but disappeared within 3 weeks.

 

March 2015 : drop to 0... nightmare ! So back to 37,5 mg after 7 days...

 

April 2015 : start a drop down but more slowly : 37,5 mg to 27,5 mg.

Same symptomes as previously.

 

May 2015 : down to 17,5 mg

Same symptombs as previously.

 

June 2015 : down to 7,5 mg

 

July 2015 : down to 0 mg.

Symptoms : very irritable, flu-like symptoms and fever, diarrhea, mood swings : happy then crying about nothing 5 minutes later for no reason, anger crisis (I destroyed a door by punching it), brain zaps, headache, sensitivity to noise and light... it lasted 4 weeks before getting better.

 

September 2015 : felt better but when back to work (I'm a teacher) : anxiety, irritability. I had a panic attack. My GP adviced me to rest and I stayed at home for 1 month.

 

After that : felt much better. Could sport again. Happy because no more muscle and joint pain (that came with the medication and force me to stop my hobby : violin player and horse riding). I was very happy to be able to play violin again. But started to have migraine from time to time. Then a strange feeling with the muscle of my face : just like if my face became heavier and tended to "dangle"

 

But then everything went wrong : mid january 2016 I was given a medication for my stomach, a proton pump inhibitor, to cure an antibiotics induced gastritis. I did not understand what happens but I was strucked by a deluge of severa symptoms : severe anxiety which turned into panic attacks, fever, tremors, extreme weakness, tingling in hands and feet, instable blood pressure, heart arythmia, abdominal pain and diarrhea, stomach pain, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, weight loss (10 pounds within a month), tons of gaz, excessive burping, reflux (that I did not have prior taking this drug)...I thought I was having a heart attack and went to ER but ECG was normal. Those symptoms has been described by some people who were given the same drug but my doctor don't believe me and say I'm depressed :angry:. It appeared that I have now gastroparesis (stomach which won't empty quickly enough)

 

Now (march 2016)  it's been more than a month that I'm unable to work. My mood is not depressed but I still feel very week, have arrythmia, muscle fasciculations, tinnitus, headache and strange feeling with the muscle of my face that seems to be "weak".

 

Now I'm just wondering if the withdrawal could cause autonomous system disorders. I could read SSRI withdrawal do cause imbalance in sympathic vs parasympathic system.

 

Don't really know what to do. My psychiatrist said I need to restart venlafaxin and add a medication for bipolar disorders (because of my mood swings). I believe I'm not bipolar : I never feel high. I just feel normal (I can go to school and teach, sport 3 times a weak) or completely disabled by anxiety issues... I tried to introduce the prolonged withdrawal syndrome but he told me it's just nonsense : withdrawal never last more than 4 weeks... which is not at all why I could read according to so many patients records..

 

I'm lost now and feel like a crap, miserable and alone. :unsure:

 

Does anyone had a similar bad experience several monthes after stopping SSRI ?

 

(very sorry if english mistakes, it's not my mother language).

Edited by scallywag
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ChessieCat

Hi Alchimix,

 

Welcome to SA.  There is a lot of useful information on this site and the members and voluntary staff are very helpful and supportive.

 

Thank you for given the details of your drug taper.  From the info you have given, even though you did taper, you tapered quickly.  It is not unusual for withdrawal symptoms to appear down the track, weeks and months later

 

There seems to be a lot of members here who are being given the bipolar label after being on/off ADs.  If you weren't before you started drugs then you aren't now.

 

Someone else will probably be along soon and give you some links which you can read.  (I've only just got out of bed and I'm not properly awake yet but just wanted to let you know that your post is being seen).
 

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mammaP

Hi Alchimix, welcome to SA. CC is spot on that your taper was far too fast and doctors haven't a clue!  He is wrong that it's nonsense, withdrawal is very real and people suffer terribly with it and those doctors are to blame for not doing their research!  Many people have felt better then hit with awful withdrawal a few month after quitting. The nervous system is very fragile  in withdrawal and it doesn't take much to cause symptoms to flare. 

 

The good news is that this will pass and you will get better. Sadly I can't give you a time period because everyone is different.  There are many things that can help you through this. You need to take good care of yourself, eat good simple food with lots of fruit and veg, along with good protein. Alcohol and caffeine tend to make things worse, and some can't tolerate additives such as sweeteners.  Plenty of rest, even if you can't sleep, resting in bed and relaxation along with mindful meditation help a lot.  Gentle exercise is essential, not a work out but a walk in the fresh air,  swimming or just walking in the pool if you have a pool nearby when you are up to all the changing of clothes!   

 

There are some excellent topics on self care that can help you to get through this. Many people find that good fish oil capsules and magnesium help with the symptoms. You need to be careful if you try any supplements as they can be too much for a sensitive nervous system so if you try any start with a very low dose to see if you can tolerate them, and start them one by one so that you know if you can or can't tolerate them. 

 

The 'mood swings' that your doctor calls bi polar are what we call windows and waves. This happens as the brain and nervous system are healing. 

I'll post up some links for you to topics that will help you to understand and manage your symptoms. Read them when you can concentrate. 

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

Windows and waves      http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

 

Topics on supplements etc... http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/606-important-topics-about-tests-supplements-treatments-diet/

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alchimix

Hi Alchimix,

 

Welcome to SA.  There is a lot of useful information on this site and the members and voluntary staff are very helpful and supportive.

 

Thank you for given the details of your drug taper.  From the info you have given, even though you did taper, you tapered quickly.  It is not unusual for withdrawal symptoms to appear down the track, weeks and months later

 

There seems to be a lot of members here who are being given the bipolar label after being on/off ADs.  If you weren't before you started drugs then you aren't now.

 

Someone else will probably be along soon and give you some links which you can read.  (I've only just got out of bed and I'm not properly awake yet but just wanted to let you know that your post is being seen).

 

 

Thanks you Chessiecat :)

 

I did not know the tapering had to be slower. I just trusted my psychiatrist...Well I understand now that I was wrong :(

I feel so miserable now and guilty to be unable to work :(

 

I've never been bipolar. My initial problem was anxiety disorder due to a painfull divorce. So when the doc told me I was bipolar and explained me what it was, I just thought : but that's not me ! I have nerve been like that ! Now I undersand mood swings are due to withdrawal. :wacko:

 

Now I feel very angry with psychiatrists !

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alchimix

Hi Alchimix, welcome to SA. CC is spot on that your taper was far too fast and doctors haven't a clue!  He is wrong that it's nonsense, withdrawal is very real and people suffer terribly with it and those doctors are to blame for not doing their research!  Many people have felt better then hit with awful withdrawal a few month after quitting. The nervous system is very fragile  in withdrawal and it doesn't take much to cause symptoms to flare.

Doctors are stupid ! I'm so angry they ruined my life. Now I'm totally disabled : no job, no money, no hobby, nothing but pina and suffering...I just don't understant why so many people are suffering and why doctors don't listen to them !

 

The good news is that this will pass and you will get better. Sadly I can't give you a time period because everyone is different.  There are many things that can help you through this. You need to take good care of yourself, eat good simple food with lots of fruit and veg, along with good protein. Alcohol and caffeine tend to make things worse, and some can't tolerate additives such as sweeteners.  Plenty of rest, even if you can't sleep, resting in bed and relaxation along with mindful meditation help a lot.  Gentle exercise is essential, not a work out but a walk in the fresh air,  swimming or just walking in the pool if you have a pool nearby when you are up to all the changing of clothes!

I just hope this won't last 5 years or more... Now the doctor wants to put me back on effexor 37,5 mg. I don't really know what to do. I'm not sure this will stop my suffering. Then I'm not sure I will ever be able to get rid of it after that : I know now that I can not trust him for withdrawal so I'd have to manage it alone. This freaks me I admit

Don't know what to do. Just want my life back.

 

There are some excellent topics on self care that can help you to get through this. Many people find that good fish oil capsules and magnesium help with the symptoms. You need to be careful if you try any supplements as they can be too much for a sensitive nervous system so if you try any start with a very low dose to see if you can tolerate them, and start them one by one so that you know if you can or can't tolerate them.

OK, I started fish oil 1 week ago and it seems to be ok. My GP put me on vitB12/taurin/magnesium but I had headache then. I stopped and now take another pills with vit B6/Mg and it's ok for now.

 

Many thanks for the links. I'll read them carefully

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AliG

Hi Alchimix.     Welcome.  I understand the anger.  You were most probably misdiagnosed , as many here have been . 

Would you be able to add your drug history signature. It helps us to see what is happening and how to help .  It will show up under your posts.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

You are in  withdrawal and experiencing " windows & waves".   This link could help :  

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Best wishes ,

Ali

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Fresh

Hi Alchmix , welcome to the site.

 

Are you still taking the ppi for nausea?

 

Please could you have a go at filling in your signature with your drug history.  This comes up each time you post.

See instructions here  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts here.

 

Best wishes (and your English is great!) ,   Fresh

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alchimix

Hi Alchimix.     Welcome.  I understand the anger.  You were most probably misdiagnosed , as many here have been .

Hi AliG, yes indeed I've been misdiagnosed for years. It appears that I'm not depressive and not borderline. I'm just an Asperger who have anxiety issues due to years of trying to adapt to others and society and fail without understanding why.

 

Would you be able to add your drug history signature. It helps us to see what is happening and how to help .  It will show up under your posts.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

SOrry, sure ! Done ! Hope it's ok.

 

You are in  withdrawal and experiencing " windows & waves".   This link could help :  

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Best wishes ,

Ali

Thanks :) ! Hope it'll help. At the beginning I had mostly fit of anger and uncontrollable crying. Now it's no more so intense but I'm still prone to over-react if stressed by my environnement.

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alchimix

Hi Alchmix , welcome to the site.

Thanks you Fresh :)

 

Are you still taking the ppi for nausea?

I had no nausea. My GP put me on pantoprazole to "protect" my stomach during an ibuprofen treatment.

I took it for 3 weeks and has so much trouble that I stopped it on 1st February. It's been a nightmare. I won't ever take any PPI again. Now my gastoparesis seems to slowly improve and I has already put on some weight. But I've now gastritis so no more chocolate or beer :(

 

Please could you have a go at filling in your signature with your drug history.  This comes up each time you post.

See instructions here  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts here.

Sure. Did it. Thank you for explanations :)

 

 

Best wishes (and your English is great!) ,   Fresh

Thanks. I do my best :D

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alchimix

I could read a few links that were suggested to me in previous post (supplement, windows and waves, etc...). There's so much content that it's a bit too much at a time for me and I'm still "digesting" this bunch of informations....

 

I bought Dr J Glenmullen's book (coming of antidepressants) and checked for withdrawal symptoms. I'm a bit confused about his explanation about how to make the difference between a relapse and a withdrawal. First clue is time of onset : if quick onset after tapering, it's withdrawal. If late onset it's probably relapse of previous condition. Second clue is the presence (or not) of medical symptoms (dizzyness, headache, flu-like body pains...) present at the same time : if psychiatric symptoms are mixed with medical symptoms, it's withdrawal reaction.

 

Now, I had some medical symptoms right after my last dose of effexor (headache, sweat and chills, pain all over the body, nausea, dizziness) but the main symptoms were indeed psychiatric : anger, crying spells, impaired memory and difficulties to focus. The medical symptoms went aways in about 2 weeks whereas the psychiatric symptoms took about 2 monthes to improve. Anger has disappeared completely but memory impairment and inhability to focus are now worse. I also became unresistant to every day life stress.

 

Now I've just been hit by new medical symptoms (7 month after stopping effexor) which are really disabling : stomach issue, weight loss, dizzyness, headache, tunnel vision, paresthesia in hands, facial numbness episode, muscle weakness, irregular heart ryhtm, spasms. And I have new psychiatric symptoms : terrible anxiety and panic attacks that I've never had before.

 

So I don't really know what to think : I have some clues pointing towards a relapse because the worst bunch of symptombs appeared several monthes after stopping the drug completely. But there are a lot of medical symptoms in this bunch including headache and dizzyness which points towards withdrawal. I could read, in a paper of Dr C. Belaise that late onset of withdrawal symptoms can occur even after several monthes being off the med...

So don't know what to do : reinstate the drug (very small amount at a time), stabilize and restart a slower taper... or... waiting for a relief and hoping it won't get worse over time... :( I could read some stories where reinstating has been disastrous and I'm now awfully scared. :unsure:

 

I'm just wondering what is called "protracted withdawal" ? I'm not quite sure to understand this term properly :

 

Does it mean that it's a withdrawal reaction with a late onset ?

Does it mean that it's a withdrawal reaction that lasts for a very long time (several years) ?

Does it mean that it's a withdrawal reaction that doesn't stop even it the drug is reinstated ?

Or maybe it's none of these and I did not get it at all...

 

Sorry if the question appears a bit stupid bu I'm a bit confused, there are so much informations at a time. Just want to put things into order in my head..well in the part of my head which can still function more or less properly :)

 

I've shortly started a magnesium/zink supplement and it seems to help with muscles spasms which have more or less completely disappeared within a week. I hope they won't come back :)

 

But anxiety and panic attacks are still present. Still feel very weak and have so low energy, lying on the bed, looking at old pictures, being nostalgic about my life a few years ago, and stupidly crying. I think I've never been depressed in the past, but now I think I'm :unsure:. I feel stupid.

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ChessieCat

Hi alchimix,

 

I can understand how confused and overwhelmed you can be feeling at this time.  There is a lot of information here which is helpful but when you are not feeling well it can be very hard to find it and read it.

 

This is an extract from Post #1:  intro-to-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome

 

"How do I know it's withdrawal and not relapse?
Typically, in withdrawal symptoms such as melancholia, anxiety, and disorientation come in intense waves, which differentiates them from relapse of a psychological condition.

In withdrawal, symptoms are much more intense than the original psychological condition. People suffering from withdrawal often say things like

- "This doesn't feel like my depression."
- "I've never had symptoms like this before."
- "I feel very weird and not like myself."

It's up to the individual to decide whether your body and brain are behaving "normally" as they did before you tried medication, or if you are feeling differently."

 

 

It's a good idea to learn coping techniques:  Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

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alchimix

Hi alchimix,

 

I can understand how confused and overwhelmed you can be feeling at this time.  There is a lot of information here which is helpful but when you are not feeling well it can be very hard to find it and read it.

Oh yes, I read it last week. But hard to focus and my memory is shot for the moment. I'm sorry. :blush:

 

This is an extract from Post #1:  intro-to-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome

 

Typically, in withdrawal symptoms such as melancholia, anxiety, and disorientation come in intense waves, which differentiates them from relapse of a psychological condition.

 

In withdrawal, symptoms are much more intense than the original psychological condition. People suffering from withdrawal often say things like

 

- "This doesn't feel like my depression."

- "I've never had symptoms like this before."

- "I feel very weird and not like myself."

 

It's up to the individual to decide whether your body and brain are behaving "normally" as they did before you tried medication, or if you are feeling differently."

OK, anxiety hit me suddenly after 7 month off. Just the feeling to crash into a wall. Then yes, I never experienced such a high anxiety nor panic attacks...It's clear in my mind now : it's withdrawal ! :(

 

It's a good idea to learn coping techniques:  Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

Thanks a lot ! I indeed need a program and have to exercise.  :) The psychiatrist don't help me : he does only prescribe new drugs and I just don't want to take pills again if I can avoid it : they won't do anything else but postponing the problem or adding more troubles.

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ChessieCat

Hi alchimix,

 

With physical exercise, it is a good idea to do regular and gentle exercise.

 

Here some other resources on coping techniques:

 

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)

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alchimix

Hi alchimix,

 

With physical exercise, it is a good idea to do regular and gentle exercise.

I did exercise daily (going on foot at work )and twice a week I went cycling in the park nearby before I was so sick that even walking became impossible.

Now I lost 10 pounds in a month and feel so weak. When I'm walking my legs wobble. My nutritionist said it's normal because I lost weight very quickly and I have to recover from that. I've always been a sporty person (fencing, riding horse and footing) before I had muscles troubles with effexor. 8 years of SSRIs and I'm now a shadow of my former self. Hard to accept.

 

Thank you for the multiple written resources :) . I put the audio file into my mp3 player. CBT resources are great ! Why don't psychiatrists begin with that before giving poisons to people ? :angry:

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alchimix

Some news... good and bad :

 

Finally, I could not get rid off my anxiety which turn to panic attacks which drove me several times to the ER... this became so terrible (4 to 8 attacks a day, some lasting more than 1 hour) that one day I threw myself in front of a bus to put an end to this suffering. A man who was there stopped me and called an ambulance. My man arrived at the hospital and said I had to accept staying there because he could not stop working and stay with me at home. I did, no other choice and OF COURSE, psychiatrist reinstated an ssri and other drugs :

 

- 30 mg paxil

- 1 mg xanax 3 times a day

 

At first, it has increased my panick attacks... they increased the xanax dose and it went worse. I tried to tell them about withdrawal and failed reinstatement, paradoxical reactions, etc... but they considered I was an hypocondriac... I was so desperate...

 

after 7 days, I my anxiety began to decrease. I started yoga and meditation session with a psychologist as well as CBT. It helped me a lot but....

 

...Paxil has brought new problems : sugar craving and insomnia. So they add 2 mg lormetazepam at night. I felt very nervous at night and got jerking in my hands and legs... They said it's anxiety but I knew it was not that ! I've been tested for restless leg syndrome but test went back negative.

 

After 1 month and a half I could go out of the hospital... I was very happy to go home with my husband and me cat. (end june 2016).

 

In september, I was doing much better : more energy, no more anxiety and could go back to work but halftime.

 

The bad is that :

 

- I'm most of the time very tired ;

- I had to stop biking cause I felt unwell after exercising (very very tired, weak, and anxious) :(

- In november 2016 I started to have hypoglycemia (never had this issue before) even though I ate enough : they made test for diabetes and post prandial hypoglycemia but everything came back normal

- I started to have no more appetit, take weigth (get fat and loose muscle) : they told me it's because I don't exercice a lot (true but to this extend, I can not believe that's the reason).

- End november I started to loose my hairs... I thought I had maybe thyroid issues so blood test again : everything is right according to them : my TSH is rising, I have twice less T3 compared to 2 years ago but it's still in normal range so they said it's OK. They just gave me iron because I have low ferritin. It helped a bit but I had to stop it in december

- I had to stop decaf coffee because I feel very unwell if I drink even the half of a cup. It makes me anxious I think.

 

The good is that :

 

- I could stop xanax completely with very gradual decreased

- I could stop lormetazepam completely the same way... but since I stopped I have sleeping issues.

 

Now, january 2017, I still feel very tired, a lot more than 2 month ago. I still have no appetite. I still loose my hairs. I have no motivation, no more interests in nothing. I still go to work half time but it's very hard. I have to rest alot. My nights are bad : I can not sleep a lot (2 hours) most of the time... except after a few very short nights...then I fall asleep and have to sleep 18 or 20 hours in a row. I have no more creativity. I have severe anhedonia...to a point that I told to my husband : those f...* drugs have taken my soul away. I'm no more myself. My Self is gone. I don't recognize myself, I've never been like that ! I also have cognitive issues : bad memory, totally disorganized, difficulties to stay focused...

 

I explained that to the doctors. I think paxil can cause hypothyroidism and I'm wondering what's happening to me. I told him that  ok I had no more anxiety but that I felt horribly bad with those fatigue issues, sleeping issues and very unpleasant anhedonia. I said him maybe paxil reduces my dopamine and that's the reason. OF COURSE, he said : that's depression again... His suggestions were :

 

- Increasing Paxil to 40 mg OR decreasing Paxil : 30 mg -> 25 mg for 2 weeks and then 25mg -> 20 mg. I choosed : reducing Paxil but I did not follow his advice and reduced only 10% of the dose. So I'm now on 27 mg since 15 days and does not feel anything different.

 

- adding Modafinil or Ritalin (to help with cognitive issues and avoid that I sleep during the day)  OR take Trazodone at night. I'm so scarred that I DID NOTHING of what he adviced.

 

I just hope I can lower my Paxil dose to decrease the side effects. I'd say that it's quite active on panick attacks as I have no more attacks since several months but I'd say also that it could not stopped other effexor withdrawal issues (mainly irritable bowels, tiredness, eyes floatters and blurred vision, arrythmia and low heart rythm).

 

I don't know what to do help managing all that sh...*

 

- I completely stopped lactose and dairy

- I can controll my sugar craving now by eating carrots

- I eat a lot of vegetables but can not eat cabbage or lentils or peas because of bowels issues..

- I eat only chicken or fish but no more red meat

- I stopped bread... don't know if it's enough and if I should go  with a  gluten free diet

- I drink a lot of water and no more fruit juice

- I try to optimize my vit D levels (much too low for everybody in my country)

- I go on with CBT : it helps me controlling my rage against doctors...especially psychiatrists :)

- I go on with meditation but had to stop yoga (too expensive and most of the time to tired to go to the dojo that far from my house)

 

Unfortunately I feel desperate and completely lost sometimes... Most of the time, my thoughts are that those drugs have ruined my life for good, that I'll loose my job because my cognitive abilities are destroyed, and that I will never be able to recover :(

 

Sorry to be negative. I had to write that somewhere...

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scallywag

Alchimix - welcome back.

I'm sorry to read that your symptoms were so strong that you had to make the decision that starting medication was the best option.

Making decreases in your Paxil dosage may make your symptoms worse. It's possible that you are still in withdrawal from discontinuing the two other medications, Xanax and lormetazepam.

Some questions for you:

 

Note: if you can't remember the exact actual date, approximate dates, such as "middle October" or "late November" are fine.

 

What decreases have you made in Paxil dosage? When did you make them?

Would you post more detail about how you gradually decreased Xanax (alprozolam) dose:
- What dose were you taking before your first decrease?
- On what date did you make your first decrease?
- On what date did you take your last dose of Xanax?


Would you post more detail about how you gradually decreased lormetazepam dose:
- What dose were you taking before your first decrease?
- On what date did you make your first decrease?
- On what date did you take your last dose of lormetazepam?
 

Have you been taking notes of your symptoms and when they happen?

 

If yes, please post notes from the last few days here in your introduction as a new post.

 

If no, please keep notes on paper of your symptoms and the times of your dose(s). This post has a useful format for a daily log:

Take notes of doses and symptoms.

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alchimix

 

The problem is that my withdrawal symptoms appeared before I start to taper anything... that's what I don't understand.

 

With my paroxetine (30 mg/day) I was on very low dose xanax : 3 x 0,25 mg / day and on 2 mg lormetazepam

 

My xanax tapering has been : minus 1/4 xanax every two week (so first week : I took 2 pill and 3/4 of the last pill..2 weeks later I removed one more quarter... etc until reaching 0)

I did not have any anxiety but I had insomnia and somnolence during the day. (I already had it when on the drug)

 

My lorazepam tapering has been the same as the xanax one. I started it after i got rid off the xanax. I did not feel any anxiety but had insomnia however not more than before...

 

On 30 mg paroxetine, I felt miserable : insomnia, intolerance to exercise, weakness, apathy, lethargy, unexplained hypoglycemia, weight gain, hair loss, lack of motivation, difficulties to focus, short term memory issues...

The benzo withdrawal change nothing to all of that (it did not go better and it did not get worse)...a few months later I became to get abdominal pain and irregular menstruations...

 

The psychiatrists said I 'm too sensible to paroxetine's side effect (he told me about anticholinergic effects) and so he told me to go on descreasing the dosage, what I did but not more thant 10% of actual dose per month.

 

I reached 20 mg. At this point I could again sleep at night and it was great ! I began to have good months followed by quite bad ones :

 

Good month :

- can exercice again (biking)

- can have better focus (but still less than before drugs)

- feel less apathic and can do small plan for the (near) future .. (like one weekend abroad, in the nature)

but still with :

- hair loss (however, the more I decreased paroxetine, the less I loose hairs)

- can't get rid of put on weight (gained fat and lost muscle)

- still a lot of food intolerances (no gluten, no coffee, no dairy)

- eye floaters

-very diminished menstruations but more regular

- i'm wondering if I don't have low acid stomach (I notice undigested food in my feces... eh, sorry for the details)

 

 

I'm now at 17 mg. The last drop ( 5%) put me in a very bad shape with a lot of strange symptoms :

 

- painfull muscle all over my body

- violent localised headaches (like someone is pricking me with a long needle right into my skull)

- I'm exercice intolerant again : I tried to bike very lightly and if I do I feel weak, fatigue and depressed.

- sort of paralyzing in the half of my face

- became intolerant to millet (that I could eat before in replacement to bread since I banished gluten)

- became intolerant to diet sprite

- a lot of abdominal pain

- stomach pain

- more difficult to focus than ever

- very variable heart rythm : around 37 during the night, around 50 bpm when lying on my bed and reading, around 80 when sitting, around 110 when standing up without moving.... it even went to 150 when standing up but maybe it's related to the fact I had to use a nose spray for 2 days because of a very bad sinus infections (I wanted to avoid antibiotics) but there was dexamethasone in the spray and I saw it could induce tachycardia...

 

So I after 2 weeks I went back on the previous dose.

 

I told this to my psychiatrist who does not trust me.

 

- I told him that the first symptoms appeared when I still was on all the drugs and that since that time it fluctuates after every drop. Maybe I hit tolerance withdrawal and that it was not the right drug to stop effexor withdrawal I had before reinstating (He said not possible ! Proof : you have no more anxiety so the drug is working).

- I told him that this drug is ruining my endocrine system : hair loss, weight gain and menstruation issues came 4 months after being on paroxetine... (He answered : possible.. you might be too sensitive to side effects, let's diminish it !).

- I told him some people remained several years into withdrawal and that maybe that's also my case (He said : no such thing exists)

- Now the last drop has brought a lot of more severe problem that obliged me to stop working (I told him I can no more reduce the dosage. He said that's because your tapering is too slow. It's in your head, psychosomatic. No such things are possible when you withdraw by so tiny amounts)...

 

I do all my best to bring articles, testimonials, shows him D Healy writings, etc .... but he did not even looked at it and keeps saying it's all in my head. Well I became a bit exasperated and told him : food intolerances are not in my head, irregular heart rythm is not in my head and unexplained blood glucose drop are not in my head...Then he says I'm just focusing on my sympoms and amplify them. Now he wants to put me on prozac to be able to reduce paroxetine further.... So his plan is :

- on april 5th I stop paroxetine at night

- on april 6th I begin 20 mg prozac in the morning.

 

I went to another psychiatrist... this one almost immediately proposed me Zoloft and Risperdal to calm my "illusions"... :( I don't hallucinate ! It's really not possible to find a doctor who knows something about difficults withdrawals etc...

All my food intolerances are, according to them, my imagination so I must be psychotic.

 

I agree the prozac bridge may be a good option but... I already have withdrawal symptoms that started 4 months after being put on paroxetine. The only thing that decreased with paroxetine tapering are the side effect : hair loss, insomnia and weight gain (it stabilized).

 

Now I'm wondering if I might have other issues :

- mast cell issues (I think to it because 2 months after stopping effexor I've had one frozen shoulder... 1 month later, had it again.... 2 months later had high CRP and violent diarrhea... It has something to do with inflammation).

- polyendocrine failing : I have now low thyroid and TSH is not rising as it should. I feel exhausted in the morning but nearly normal at 1 AM. I might have cortisol issues. My menstruations are messed : might have oestrogen insufficiency. I've got hairs growing on my face... ugh... and glycemia issue : I might have GH deficiency...

 

Now I don't know much what is the best way to go. Now as I look back, it might be that paroxetine put an end to my terrible anxiety from effexor withdrawal, but did not put an end on the rest... or for one reason stopped working 4th months after starting treatment. Decreasing the dosage has made some very annoying side effect (restless leg episode, insomnia, hair loss) but has also made me more sensitive. I don't know if I will ever stabilize. I think that raising the dose will only make side effects come back and maybe they'll be worse than before or maybe I'll develop worse side effect like akathisia, agitation, ... etc...

 

I can't definitely not trust doctors.

 

My natural doctor seems lost and referred me to... a psychiatrist ! My GP did the same...

 

I have a appointment on 5th april with a gynecologist and endocrinologist for hormonal issues and another one with a neurologist for dysautonomia issues the week after. The best is probably to avoid mentionning antidepressant withdrawal otherwise they will conclude I need a psychiatrist. I don't no more know to deal with doctors :(

 

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Carmie

Hi Alchimix, 

 

Just checking in to see how you’re doing. Sending hugs🤗

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