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Cabinhope

I'm 45 years old. I have been on psychiatric drugs since I was 25. For years, 17, I was on Paxil 20mg and tegretol 200mg. I believed I tripped off my first depression after using ecstasy, which I think altered my brain's serotonin functioning.

Four years ago I went to my gynecologist seeking help for worsening pms, as I believed perimenopause was coming into play. I failed to consult with my psychiatrist and trusted her. After a too-quick taper off of Paxil and onto Lexapro things just completely deteriorated. After 6 months I was a wreck, did another, even shorter, taper off of Lexapro back onto Paxil. But I was sunk...I think my central nervous system was wrecked. The ensuing year of onto and off of a variety of drugs was nothing short of a nightmare.

Sparing all the details, I landed on the following drugs:
Remeron 15mg
Paxil 20mg
Lamictal 125mg
Pristiq 100mg
Lithium 600mg
Klonopin .5mg
Trazodone 50mg

It's criminal. A John's Hopkins psychiatrist specializing in women's hormone related mood issues said my gynecologist's cavalier actions verged on malpractice.

A recent, and current, rash believe to be pityriasis rosea prompted my current psychiatrist to insist I stop Lamictal cold turkey. The dermatologist diagnosed it. He, without seeing the rash himself, is insistent.
In light of what I feel is a damaged central nervous system I have decided to trust my dermatologist.
That said, this situation has prompted me to consider the idea of eliminating the Lamictal. It's a start. I also believe Lamictal in some way tinkers with estrogen, something I'd like to avoid.

It has been a hellish journey. I do not trust the psychiatric industry. I believe that how my case has been handled, so carelessly and without regard to actual true health, is shameful. I never, ever thought I'd be on multiple drugs like this. I am a high functioning, intelligent woman with a constitution sensitive to endocrine changes. I have been terrified of even considering touching any of this. While in the back of my mind wondering....what will happen to me after years of being on so many drugs?

For the record, I have never been manic, ever. Lithium does function for me as an antidepressant. I understand that I'm somewhere on the spectrum, and because of long periods of happiness and wellbeing interrupted by 3 episodes of major depression, each with clear origins, I have been labeled bipolar2.
I don't care much for labels. All I know is I'm on a serious amount of drugs. And I'm finally willing to find the courage to wrap up this bizarre ride. Lamictal first.

Thanks for reading. Any encouragement or feedback gladly welcomed.
Hope

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Dan998

Hi Cabinhope, welcome to SA.

 

That's quite a cocktail of psychiatric drugs. Are you taking all of those at the moment? If so, you might want to put them into the Drugs Interaction Checker and then copy and paste the results here.

 

There's no need to spare the details, we love details here, it will help the moderators to give you tailored advice and guidance.

 

It would be really helpful if you could provide all of the details of your drug use, including dosages and dates in your signature.

 

You can create a signature by; 

-> Clicking on your user name in the top right corner of the page

-> Then on the drop-down list click on "my settings", this will open a new page.

-> On the left under profile settings you will see a link to signature.

-> Click on "signature" and enter your details underneath where it says edit signature.

-> Click "save changes" and you're done.

 

A moderator will be along soon to help you decide what to do next. In the meantime you might want to read - Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

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AliG

Hi Hope . Welcome.  I'm sorry for what you have been through . It is bordering on criminal , that you have been " poly- drugged " , to such a degree. Your distrust of the psychiatric industry, is certainly warranted , and understood here.

 

When did you C/T Lamictal ?  When do you take your drugs ? What is your schedule?  Are you wanting to taper , all of them ?  Are you having withdrawal symptoms?

 

It would be great if you could put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature. Doing this helps people understand your context, and offer advice. It appears below each of your posts.

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Labels are not helpful , and we don't give them much credence, here. 

 

I'm pleased that you found us , and we can help you through this , step by step . This is your thread to ask questions, and journal tapering progress.

Have a read of some of these links , and then come back with any questions you may have . 

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

We recommend tapering by 10% of your previous dose.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Ali

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Cabinhope

Thank you for the heartfelt welcome. I have added a signature.

I have not stopped Lamictal. My psychiatrist, because of this rash, wants to stop cold turkey without even looking at the rash. My derm feels it is pytiriasis rosea, viral. My fear of being on a drug that would ever need to be stopped for any reason cold turkey has motivated me to begin this process.

I would like to begin with Lamictal.

The idea of being free of all of them seems, has seemed, unachievable, daunting, beyond reach. Because of what I've been through over the past few years I have pushed this all in a corner, refusing to address it. Again, the situation with the rash has caused me to look at this squarely and find the desire to, at the very least, get Lamictal off the plate.

I will need help, reassurance, guidance, understanding and even more reassurance to persevere.

Excited, trepidatious.

Thanks. When do I begin?

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Cabinhope

Further, I have sincere fear that I have damaged my CNS permanently and beyond repair. Fear. I never want to go through what I went through 3 years ago again. I don't have it in me. Fear has kept me very stuck. And here I am, on all these drugs, in a fog much of the time, wondering who the genuine Hope really is.

And I added the birth control in my signature as I feel endocrine/hormone fluctuations really are at play with me.

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AliG

Hope.  It seems that you have found us at the right time.  We can come up with a tapering schedule. You are on multiple drugs , so it will take some time  to get off them , but it can be done. We recommend tapering the more stimulating drugs first , but I will check in with the other moderators , for a second opinion. as to which drug to taper first .

Ali

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JanCarol

Hey CabinHope - please enter your drugs into the interactions checker, and copy and paste the results here.  Drugs Interaction Checker

 

Having a rash with lamictal can be serious, but it may just be your overall drug load that is causing your hormones, endocrine and immune system to act up.   It is your most recent addition, which is a strong case for making it the first one to go.

 

We need to see those interactions.  

 

You are - believe it or not - young enough to get through this and have an amazing life after menopause!  Really!  

 

You've been on the drugs for 17 years - I would bet a dollar to a dime that the "bipolar II" the crying jags, all are withdrawal, tolerance and drug change symptoms.

 

I was in my late 20's, too, when I started on the drugs.  I am 9 years older than you - so - you are starting your tapering sooner than I did.  Withdrawal can be awful, but if you sneak away from the drugs - climb down the cliff slowly - you can control your descent, control your symptoms better (no guarantees, of course), and avoid that crash at the bottom.  Once you have crashed at the bottom, putting you back together is a more difficult task.

 

The damage is not permanent, and even though you are on a lot of drugs, you don't have to get all the way off to start feeling the benefits.  If you take your time, and taper slowly, you can start feeling more yourself as soon as six months after starting your taper - with possible windows even sooner.    Waves and Windows

 

You are wise not to CT unless you have to - it would help, also, if we know: IS this the lamictal rash - Stevens-Johnson syndrome? See  http://bipolar.about.com/od/lamictal/a/lamictal-rash-warning-plain-english.htm Or something else?

 

If it is something else, then you can taper slowly, and not worry about the bottom of the cliff.  

 

Have a read of the links that Ali gave you.  Please post your drug interactions here - that will help us make suggestions about where to begin.  And breathe.  You can do this!

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Cabinhope

We do not know with 100% certainty that my rash is NOT the Lamictal rash. My dermatologist, upon examination in person two days ago, feels strongly that it is not. Pending skin scraping results tomorrow, she tentatively feels it is pityriasis rosea, a virus. Is there a way to determine 100% if this IS the Lamictal rash? Happy to share pics. I am proceeding with the Lamictal until I have some certainty either way. Because of this scare, I feel motivated to eliminate the Lamictal first as I don't want to deal with the possibility of having to suddenly drop it in the future. Also, I believe Lamictal toys with estrogen in some way. God knows I'd like to not challenge my hormones more than they might be already. Initially, it was discussed with my psychiatrist to take away Remeron first if I were to decide to embark on this path.

Below is the interaction report....hope I did this correctly.

And THANK YOU. I am deeply, deeply grateful for just these few words of encouragement already. Amazing.

As for overall drug load...any experience with Milk Thistle easing the burden on my liver? Or would this complicate by clearing drugs too quickly?

 

Drug Interaction Report

Drug interactions for the following 9 drug(s):

 

Drug List: My Drug List Email | Print | Save | New list

trazodone

Cytomel (liothyronine)

Klonopin (clonazepam)

Lamictal (lamotrigine)

Lithobid (lithium)

Paxil (paroxetine)

Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

Remeron (mirtazapine)

Synthroid (levothyroxine)

 

Consumer

Professional

Major Moderate Minor Food Therapeutic Duplication

Interactions between your selected drugs

Major

mirtazapine desvenlafaxine

Applies to: Remeron (mirtazapine), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

Using mirtazapine together with desvenlafaxine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Major

lithium trazodone

Applies to: Lithobid (lithium), trazodone

 

Talk to your doctor before using lithium together with traZODone. Combining these medications can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Major

trazodone mirtazapine

Applies to: trazodone, Remeron (mirtazapine)

 

Using traZODone together with mirtazapine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Major

paroxetine desvenlafaxine

Applies to: Paxil (paroxetine), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

Using PARoxetine together with desvenlafaxine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Major

trazodone desvenlafaxine

Applies to: trazodone, Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

Using traZODone together with desvenlafaxine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Major

lithium paroxetine

Applies to: Lithobid (lithium), Paxil (paroxetine)

 

Talk to your doctor before using lithium together with PARoxetine. Combining these medications can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Major

paroxetine mirtazapine

Applies to: Paxil (paroxetine), Remeron (mirtazapine)

 

Using PARoxetine together with mirtazapine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Major

trazodone paroxetine

Applies to: trazodone, Paxil (paroxetine)

 

Using traZODone together with PARoxetine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Major

lithium desvenlafaxine

Applies to: Lithobid (lithium), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

Talk to your doctor before using lithium together with desvenlafaxine. Combining these medications can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Moderate

clonazepam desvenlafaxine

Applies to: Klonopin (clonazepam), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

Using clonazePAM together with desvenlafaxine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Moderate

lamotrigine desvenlafaxine

Applies to: Lamictal (lamotrigine), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

 

Using lamoTRIgine together with desvenlafaxine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Moderate

clonazepam mirtazapine

Applies to: Klonopin (clonazepam), Remeron (mirtazapine)

 

Using clonazePAM together with mirtazapine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Moderate

lithium mirtazapine

Applies to: Lithobid (lithium), Remeron (mirtazapine)

 

Using lithium together with mirtazapine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Moderate

paroxetine lamotrigine

Applies to: Paxil (paroxetine), Lamictal (lamotrigine)

 

Using PARoxetine together with lamoTRIgine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Moderate

trazodone lamotrigine

Applies to: trazodone, Lamictal (lamotrigine)

 

Using traZODone together with lamoTRIgine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Moderate

clonazepam lamotrigine

Applies to: Klonopin (clonazepam), Lamictal (lamotrigine)

 

Using clonazePAM together with lamoTRIgine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Moderate

lithium lamotrigine

Applies to: Lithobid (lithium), Lamictal (lamotrigine)

 

Using lithium together with lamoTRIgine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Moderate

clonazepam paroxetine

Applies to: Klonopin (clonazepam), Paxil (paroxetine)

 

Using clonazePAM together with PARoxetine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Moderate

clonazepam trazodone

Applies to: Klonopin (clonazepam), trazodone

 

Using clonazePAM together with traZODone may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Moderate

lithium clonazepam

Applies to: Lithobid (lithium), Klonopin (clonazepam)

 

Using lithium together with clonazePAM may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Minor

trazodone liothyronine

Applies to: trazodone, Cytomel (liothyronine)

 

Consumer information for this minor interaction is not currently available. Some minor drug interactions may not be clinically relevant in all patients. Minor drug interactions do not usually cause harm or require a change in therapy. However, your healthcare provider can determine if adjustments to your medications are needed.

 

For clinical details see professional interaction data.

Minor

levothyroxine trazodone

Applies to: Synthroid (levothyroxine), trazodone

 

Consumer information for this minor interaction is not currently available. Some minor drug interactions may not be clinically relevant in all patients. Minor drug interactions do not usually cause harm or require a change in therapy. However, your healthcare provider can determine if adjustments to your medications are needed.

 

For clinical details see professional interaction data.

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manymoretodays

I think the main Lamictal Rash they worry about is one called "Stevens Johnsons".  It can easily become life threatening.  Lamictal made me ultra sun sensitive though and never did a thing for the depression other than maybe worsening it in me.  I never felt comfortable with Lamictal either.

 

Pityriasis Rosea  will just run it's course.  At least that's what it says in my excellent Illustrated Pediatric Dermatology text.    Did you have any of the prodromal stuff with it?  Sometimes headache, malaise, pharyngitis, and lymphadenitis, and other mild stuff.  A specific "herald patch" usually preceeds the rest of the rash.  Rarely are there complications from it.  Healing generally begins after 2-4 weeks.  You might get some hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation spots of skin in the aftermath but even that usually clears after weeks or months.

 

It also says that sunshine or ultraviolet light should hasten the resolution of symptoms too.

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Cabinhope

Yes, preceding this rash I had a very sore throat along with massive fatigue, indigestion, bowel issues and headaches. The herald patch can sometimes be at the site of a bug bite. I did remove a tick March 18 from my ribcage, lonestar. A functional medicine doc believes this all to be Lyme related....just to add to layers here. Awaiting bloodwork on Lyme as well as sensitivity to mold and other environmental things which lead to inflammation. I know it's beginning to look like it's all about inflammation.

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Cabinhope

OK, y'all. Really need your help starting now.

I just heard back from the dermatologist who has ruled the skin scraping 'an allergic reaction to a drug, NOT Stevens Johnson Syndrome'.

What to make of this? I am not on anything new. I really don't know what to do. I suppose the safest thing would be to begin to lower the Lamictal, effective immediately, as it is the likeliest culprit for skin reactions.

Anyone ever hear of rashes with drugs, Lamictal, that are NOT SJS? Just plain random rashes?

If I am forced to drop Lamictal quickly will things be OK? I am pretty scared. I was hoping this rash would be definitively that virus.

Since she says this is NOT the SJS, based on skin biopsy, should I be ok to continue?

Please help guide me here......

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Fresh

Hi Cabinhope , welcome to the site.

Lots of people get rashes whilst on these drugs , even when you don't change what you're taking. Histamine reactions may be triggered by certain foods that were previously tolerated well with no problems.

 

See these threads

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/611-skin-issues-hives-acne-dryness-etc/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/11514-food-sensitivities-and-healing-with-diet-in-general/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3503-histamine-food-intolerance/

 

"Tips for Tapering Lamictal" is here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1122-tips-for-tapering-off-lamictal-lamotrigine/

 

Use this Introductions thread to journal or ask questions. If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive

an email each time someone posts here.

 

Best wishes , Fresh

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Cabinhope

Because of a mysterious rash which began to show up last Wednesday, a week ago, I have been catapulted into the reality of having to drop Lamictal. A skin biopsy, done by my dermatologist, confirms that it is NOT Stevens Johnson. But my psychiatrist assumes I stopped it cold turkey days ago. I refuse to do so. I am too afraid of destabilizing. You can read my profile to see that I've been through quite a lot over the past 3-4 years.

 

This rash could be totally innocuous. Again, it is not SJS but I suppose it could become? This is all new territory. I assumed that once past the introductory period, all was well.

 

I take 125. I plan to drop 25mg per week. I have no idea what else to do. I know this is much, much faster than recommended.

Is it possible the rash could recede after dropping the dosage? If so, perhaps then I could titrate more slowly?

 

Trying not to be beside myself. I have read some accounts of people dropping it without incident, cold turkey. And unfortunately I've mistakenly seen headlines of accounts of "hellish" withdrawals. I believe that what I don't know won't hurt me in these circumstances.

Please, do not share horror stories or give dire warnings. Again, I am aware that this is not the recommended taper, but it's 100% better than cold turkey. I have no choice here. I need guidance and support.

I will go from 125 to 100 tonight.

 

I do suspect this is a blessing in disguise. Were it not for this rash I would not have considered any of this. I am foggy at best on Lamictal. I'm not terribly sure if it helped my depression, at all. I know it did nothing during my most acute, non stop crying state. I have a LOT of headaches and began having migraines after starting it. My vision is getting progressively worse. I never wore glasses before. And now this threat of deadly rash out of the blue? No thanks. Oh, and it also apparently tinkers with estrogen.

 

Reassurance, you got this's, totally going to be ok's.....that's what I need. Please.

Hope

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Fresh

So , how confident are you about starting to taper?

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JanCarol

Hey Hope - 

 

Well, looking through your reactions, lamictal was not one of the major ones.  But let's get rid of it first.  Isn't it shocking to see how badly you were prescribed for - just by the interactions checker?  Wouldn't you think a DOCTOR or a PHARMACIST might have noticed NINE (9) MAJOR interactions!  (sorry, I'll stop yelling, it's just so shocking!)

 

Honestly, your dermatologist doesn't know WHAT it is a reaction to - I mean really.  The tick bite is an interesting thing which bears watching.  Was it an adult tick or a nymph tick?  I'm glad you have a functional medicine doctor, that will help you sort stuff out when you start untangling this awful mess.  Can that doctor continue to prescribe lamictal while you taper off?

 

AND - since your doctor was (sarcastic mode on) so responsible in prescribing - did he taper the lamictal in?  You are supposed to titrate it up, to ensure that you're not going to have a reaction to it.  Or did he just give you your current dose and you start taking it?

 

Anyhow, see Tips for Tapering off Lamictal

 

The lamictal may moderate some of the extreme serotonin stuff that you are on, so it bears watching.  If you start having problems being over activated.  (lamictal and lithium & clonazepam are sort of "brakes" while all the other stuff is mostly "accelerators") then you might need to work on the desvenlafaxine or paroxetine for awhile.

 

Do you understand the 10% of prior dose thing?  So are you confident that you can take 112.5 mg lamictal for your first taper? Because doctors are supposed to taper it in, lamictal is available in many different strengths - you should be able to dry cut for your first few tapers, and then learn about liquid tapering for future ones.  So your first taper could be 100mg and 1/2 of a 25 mg tablet.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

If you need to go to a doctor to get smaller pills to help you taper, please do so.

 

If the doctors mutter something about CT again, you can mutter something back about "risk of seizures from CT lamictal"  It's not exactly true (you don't have a seizure disorder) - but it's serious enough for them to pay attention, and you get your way - a nice, gentle taper from the drug that is bothering you.

Edited by JanCarol
fix link

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manymoretodays

I was told by my shrink at the time(psychiatrist) to go down on the Lamictal the same way I went up to 100mg.  I think it was 25mg. increments.  Specifically to avoid the nasty Steven Johnson's side effect.........so I think you will probably do okay with that method.  I did.  I was probably on Seroquel and Lexapro at that time.......I can't clearly remember for sure.   Anyway......I survived that method.  I think I decreased 25mg. each week.

 

The p. rosea may or may not be related to the Lamictal........no way of knowing but the Stephens Johnson is really pretty rare from it and usually occurs with the initial dosing........so she said.......my shrink.  I wouldn't even think about the Lyme disease aspect just yet.......I mean if I were you......  With some 8 meds. going now.........I think it is pretty hard to sort much out just yet. 

 

And yes, you are probably in a perimenopause state right now too.  I went completely menopausal at age 44 and honest........things got better after that a little bit.  I needed reading glasses at a younger age than any of the other women in my bio family as well(none of them used any psych drugs).........I really need to get a full eye exam soon as I am now up to plus 200 on the readers with some persistent blurriness off and on in the dark.......watching the tube or driving mainly. 

 

Kind of impossible to know what is what from what with so many meds. now.........you can sort that all out a bit later.

 

You got this.  It's going to be okay.  And some additional hope too.  :)  Patience and time thrown in for good measure.  Relief from overwhelming fears as well.

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JanCarol

PS please keep a journal of the dates that you taper, and note any symptoms that happen after each cut, including time of day of dose and time of day of symptoms.

 

Manymore, we recommend a 10% taper from lamictal, for 4 weeks at a time, at least to begin with - if it goes smoothly, she can shorten the time between cuts.

 

BUT - even if this is not a reaction to lamictal, even if lamictal is going to be an easy taper for her - there are many people who have been smacked down from tapering lamictal too fast.  (GiaK of Beyondmeds is one of them)

 

Wouldn't it be better to be safe than sorry?

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manymoretodays

Yes.  But if she is asking for my personal experience?  Should I just not share it?

 

Or just do so in private msg.?

 

Cabinhope, like I said....in msg........just listen to the more experienced here.  I would feel awful if you did what I did and suffered any harm and apparently that can happen.  So hard to remember just how I was at the time anyway.

 

And point taken Jan Carol.  I will be more cautious in the future.  Thank you.

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Altostrata

Welcome, Cabinhope.

 

You can get an allergic rash from any psychiatric drug.

 

You are taking an appalling number of badly interacting drugs. Interactions can cause rashes, too.

 

As you can see, Lamictal is not the worst offender in terms of your drug interactions. In fact, it might be helping to keep some symptoms in check.

 

When the rash started, how long had you been taking Lamictal? Had you recently changed dosage? Had you recently added or increased a drug?

 

The dreaded Stevens-Johnson rash follows from a too-fast increase in Lamictal. If your intake of Lamictal had been long-term and steady, and nothing had been added or increased before you got the rash, it's likely not Lamictal.

 

What does your psychiatrist, who sounds rather removed, think of your overdrugging? Has she or he shown any interest in reducing your drugs?

 

The tick bite, as you know, is a confounding factor.

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JanCarol

I have a couple of dear friends with chronic Lyme, so I feel the need to comment - sometimes you are well after the tick bite for years and years, and your immune system gradually decays over a decade or more.  

 

So I would be aware of the tick bite, it does warrant watching, and perhaps down the line, get tested for Lyme antibodies.  Your functional medicine doc should know what to do about that.  It is a complication - but it may not be - and you may not know for sure until years from now.  (just trying to ease worry a bit.)

 

Did you get the "target rash" from the tick bite?

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Cabinhope

Good morning all,

Let me try to answer all of your questions point by point.

Am I confident to begin this taper? Yes, in fact I feel this could be a blessing in disguise. I dropped from 125 to 100 last night. Slept amazingly well. Feel great this morning. I'm just trying to see if this rash will abate. I'm willing to go back to 112.5 if that is what everyone feels is better.

 

Altostrata...you said Lamictal might be helping to keep symptoms in check. I'd like to hear more about this.

I have been on the Lamictal for 3 years. There have been no recent dosage changes nor any new drug additions.

 

My current psychiatrist, who came on board maybe 1.5 years ago, after all of this mess, said 'the goal is not to be on the least drugs, the goal is to feel good'. At that time he said that if I were to begin to taper anything his choice would be Remeron. Of note is that he is the head of the psych department for the local, major hospital. That said, I have suspected that his removed/cavalier attitude about this rash has been based in the idea to avoid law suits for the hospital. He has never requested to even see the rash.

 

When I met briefly with the head of John's Hopkins women's mood disorders program (she specializes in hormone related mood things) she was appalled by the actions of my gynecologist 4 years ago to remove a longstanding low dose of Paxil. She was the one person who was clearly alarmed by the number of drugs I'm on. She said, 'This needs to get cleaned up'.

 

As for Lyme and the functional medicine doc, she drew blood on Monday testing for Lyme along with many other things. She's a big anti-mold fanatic. Every year, I've been in my house for 13 years, I have many many ticks attached throughout the spring and summer. She theorized, tentatively, that I might have had Lyme for years which could have contributed to mood stuff. Test results forthcoming. I am on doxycycline currently for the tick bite from March 18. The rash began before the doxy. I'm actually not worried about Lyme.

 

This rash, very faint, has been the catalyst and motivation behind my desire to eliminate Lamictal. My psychiatrist assumes I have stopped cold turkey. Has not checked in. I am worried he will stop treating me if he learns that I have not stopped, for non-compliance. So that, too, is motivating me. It just seems like Lamictal is the likely culprit for any rash.

 

I am not sure if the Lamictal has helped me in the overall scheme of things. It's so hard to know as so many things were being added and removed in such a short amount of time. I do know my eyesight has changed. I am fogged a great deal of the time, a bit flat, no vigor. Last year I did drop from 125 back to 100 for about 8 months. After a disapointing art show, I'm a textile artist and designer, I was down and bumped back up to 125 and did feel better. Placebo or not, my mood improved. I am very sensitive to changes in chemistry whether hormonal or drug. My sister and her daughters can drop SSRI's with zero effect. My constitution is different. Perhaps as a result of the massive amount of chemical upheaval my brain sustained beginning 4 years ago.

 

Looking back, I was far, far worse off after visiting my gynecologist. The ensuing cascade of disasters was hellish beyond comprehension. When all I wanted was help with worsening PMS. My family hasn't understood...after 17 years of even, happy stability, minus about a year of depression (my 2nd) when I was 31 when it was discovered my thyroid had failed, Hashimoto's. They, along with friends, were completely disturbed by what happened to me beginning 4 years ago....could not comprehend it, had no idea how to even register it in their reality. So, with this, I just can't bring this up. That's why I am deeply grateful to have found this group. I've never joined any sort of depression chat rooms. I haven't chosen to identify myself as sick, have tried to forget it and move on. I am aware I'm on a s**t load of drugs. NEVER thought I would be! I feel a bit of shame when I open my medicine cabinet...not knowing what to do about it....afraid to touch any of this. It's like I have PTSD from all of that.

 

A bit about personal habits....I drink a full pot of caffeinated coffee every morning, sometime also in the evening. Regretfully, and I've quit before for long periods, I do smoke. I have been sober for 12 years. I have an active job running an interior design shop, up and down steps all day. But I have no exercise regimen. I eat well and have eliminated sugar and wheat. I know I can feel better than this, more vital. I know it must be better. And after everything, I still have tearful, desperate pms. And my cycles have begun to become irregular. Shew!

 

Thanks for reading all of this. Look forward to thoughts, other queries.

Hope

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Cabinhope

I'll add this. I am phobic about depression. Terrified of endless, endless crying and anxiety and desperation. That's what my depressions have been like. Not just dull, lethargic. I never want to go there again. So when I get even the slightest bit anxious or tearful, even monthly with hormones, I am convinced it's coming back. I'm on such high alert. Vigilant, examining, constantly monitoring my own internal climate. Before all of this, with monthly dips, I didn't blink and eye.

So I've viewed it like this....if I have to be drugged to the gills, oh well. It is just hard for me to tolerate discomfort. I will need reassurance from you guys, if during these transitions I experience any of that, that it's ok. That it's my brain trying to adjust. And not that I need the medicine to survive.

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JanCarol

G'day Hope!

 

You wrote:

I feel a bit of shame when I open my medicine cabinet...not knowing what to do about it....afraid to touch any of this. It's like I have PTSD from all of that.

 

Actually, GiaK wrote about the drugs as trauma (PTSD) on her BeyondMeds site....http://beyondmeds.com/2012/04/25/psychdrugsagentoftrauma/

 

So what you feel when you look in your medicine cabinet is very real.

 

Caffeine and tobacco affect your neurotransmitters, too.  As you withdraw, you may find yourself compelled to deal with them.  But I recognize how stressful quitting either of those is (smoking is the 1st drug I quit, in 2010).  So here's the rule:  be kind to yourself.  If, at any time, you feel your caffeine or smoking is "being cruel" (more cruel than quitting) - then the kind thing to do is reduce, as gently as possible until it is no longer hurting you.

 

I would venture to say that your intense emotions may be from the drugs, wiggling their myriad fingers in your brain.  Have a look here, and see if any of this rings true:  Neuro-emotion

and as you come off the drugs, well - our Founder Alto said it best, when she said:

 

"If you choose to live a life without psychiatric drugs, you will have to find non-drug ways to cope with any symptoms you have. If you believe you are seriously mentally ill, you will always easily find people who will confirm your opinion, no matter what your condition. One way or the other, you need to take responsibility for yourself."   

 

It is, as always, your choice - maybe you will not come off them all the way.  But you can reduce your load significantly.  

 

Either way, these Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms will be useful to you.

 

I hope you see the sun today!

Edited by JanCarol
correct link

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Cabinhope

Thank you for this Jan. I deeply appreciate this sort of feedback. The neuro-emotion link you provided doesn't work though.

 

I have questions for everybody...

Just for reassurance...people DO and CAN successfully come off of these brain drugs?

I do realize, slooooowwwwly.

 

Is it true that my use of XTC permanently damaged my serotonin functioning? A psychiatrist once told me this damage is permanent.

 

I have just a basic understanding of down-regulation. So in the process of introducing all of these drugs into my system, the receptors have gone to sleep or the neurotransmitters themselves? Can the receptors "wake up"?

 

Is it true that some people are deficient in certain neurotransmitters? That they need the drugs?

 

I also sort of understand glutamatergic function, slightly. So the drugs I take which calm glutamate are Lamictal and Klonopin. Right? Will my brain be permanently over stimulated as they are removed? Or does the subtle, slow process allow my brain to calm itself?

 

I've read something about histamines. I do know that Remeron is one of the strongest anti-histamines out there, not sure about my other drugs. Should I be looking at a low histamine diet? GAPS diet?

 

My rash has subsided a lot. I dropped the Lamictal from 125 to 100 Wednesday night, so this is my third day with less. Should I continue with the Lamictal or hold it for awhile and start something else? If I were to continue with the Lamictal, how long should I hold here before continuing the reduction? I will go by 10% from here.

 

I know that Paxil, Remeron, and pristiq are all serotonergic....and the last two are noradrenergic. I'll defer to you guys about what to do next. The Trazodone seems benign but maybe it isn't. Not even sure what the Lithium does. All I know is, it stopped the year-long desperate crying.

 

And just in general....the brain is very plastic. Seeking reassurance, again, that the brain CAN adapt and recover.

Thanks, Hope

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Cabinhope

And GABA, how does it play in? It's the natural calmer? It cannot cross the blood brain barrier so no use in supplementing with that?

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manymoretodays

If a link provided doesn't work then you can always just put in your main search engine box of your computer...........example:  neuroemotions survivingantidepressants.org and it will bring it on up several choices where it is talked about here.  I just checked that one.  Or even find some of the other stuff you are inquiring about as well........

 

I'm sure someone will be around to answer more specifically soon........I do see that in post #15 some of the links to Lamictal tapering are there.  I think you should definitely give it more than 3 days though before any further decreases.

 

You sound more together than I was when I got here and that's great too.

 

I think you will feel a bit inspired too when you go explore at Beyondmeds.com as well.

 

You have begun!

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Fresh

Hi Hope , that's a bunch of questions. Your best bet is to make time to do some reading around the site.

There are pinned topics at the top of each section with important information.

 

Do google searches as ManyMoreTodays suggested.

Here are some threads related to neuro emotions:

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjyvIeQ55fMAhWEI6YKHVjkBjoQFggjMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsurvivingantidepressants.org%2Findex.php%3F%2Ftopic%2F9809-neuro-emotions%2F&usg=AFQjCNFfIAfkbu80Ed9PHlbltE7ai1eDXw&sig2=WDFwpGDOfjmto2C6NT-FBQ

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjyvIeQ55fMAhWEI6YKHVjkBjoQFggqMAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsurvivingantidepressants.org%2Findex.php%3F%2Ftopic%2F3611-neuro-emotions-deep-despair-dread-doom-horror%2F&usg=AFQjCNEi0hymJEpBL8l5vCFbYJa_IZCyqg&sig2=U5L5qjsL_Cma90TL1iPA4Q

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjyvIeQ55fMAhWEI6YKHVjkBjoQFghTMAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsurvivingantidepressants.org%2Findex.php%3F%2Ftopic%2F313-shame-guilt-regret-and-self-criticism%2F&usg=AFQjCNEcvwyd0NjlaE1X3ecIHD2LJDvT4g&sig2=OT76ZYpmMNSOfLea7Lkf7Q

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjyvIeQ55fMAhWEI6YKHVjkBjoQFghaMAk&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.psychologytoday.com%2Fblog%2Fside-effects%2F201107%2Fantidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome&usg=AFQjCNEIuNUlP_XB3e-vt0cyUggpeZuJaA&sig2=0W0wCi9aiVCtPXR8h55_qA

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Cabinhope

Yes, a lot of questions. I did read quite a bit last night on the site and found answers to many things. And I will check out beyond meds as well.

 

I feel very optimistic. I was more motivated yesterday than I have been in awhile. The rash is really gone now. I do have a strange sensation in my hands, very cold...but they aren't actually cold. Odd.

 

I guess the main question I have today is....continue with Lamictal taper, and if so when to move forward? Or stay here and begin to eliminate one of those that is involved in a major interaction? Like, if I had come to you guys without a clear intention for which to start first what would have been the suggestion.....

 

But yes, I will continue to educate myself. The turmeric thing is of interest.

 

Many thanks,

Hope

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JanCarol

Oh golly Cabin, I must have given out that link 10 times yesterday!  I have corrected it above, and here it is again:

Neuro-emotion

 

Just for reassurance...people DO and CAN successfully come off of these brain drugs?

 

Yes!

 

Is it true that my use of XTC permanently damaged my serotonin functioning? A psychiatrist once told me this damage is permanent.

 

$64,000 question!  I, and others ask a similar question about other psychedelic drugs - and yet - Timothy Leary was lucid until the day he died, and he took all of that stuff, and more of it than most of humans ever could.

 

I think the $2 answer is - we'll never know for sure.  All kinds of factors come into play - such as your mental and emotional state when you took it, your situation, history, traumas, stressors, "insults to the system," relationships, nutrition.  We'll never be able to say for sure that, for example, my ability to play chess was destroyed by LSD.  Or maybe it was the sexual abuse.  I'll never know for sure, and I'm not going back to find out.

 

And the free answer is - does it matter how you got here?  Will you be doing it again?  Here is where you are now.

 

I have just a basic understanding of down-regulation. So in the process of introducing all of these drugs into my system, the receptors have gone to sleep or the neurotransmitters themselves? Can the receptors "wake up"?

 

Very few people really "get" the neurotransmitter thing, including doctors, drug companies, pharma - and me. 

 

Let's see if I can paint a picture of how I think it works.  Think of your neurotransmitters, your brain, your firing mechanisms, as a huge, complex electrochemical forest.  The neurons are the trees, and the put out healthful transmissions to the rest of your brain.

 

The chemicals damage the trees, and the forest freaks out.  Down-regulation is when the trees are chopped off and you get no signals, up-regulation is when the trees go crazy in trying to create homeostatis, or balance what you need - and grow too many!  When they grow back, they are raw and sensitive, like babies.

 

Up-regulation is, I believe, what tortures us during withdrawal.  Those neurons really want to be alive and active again, but they are new, and sensitive, and you have to take care of them like you would a baby.

 

That's what I think withdrawal is.  There are probably better ways to describe it in 3 short paragraphs, but that's how I think of it, anyway.

 

Will my brain be permanently over stimulated as they are removed? 

 

No.  Your brain's natural state is a state of change.  It's called Neuroplasticity.  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2761-neuroplasticity-and-limbic-retraining/

 

Even if you were "permanently damaged," like my husband, who had a stroke and has a golf ball size hole in his brain where the neurons cannot fire - he has learned to fire around it.  He can speak, walk, and talk.  So yes, his brain is "permanently damaged," but his life is not.  And nobody has been able to prove what the damage from these drugs is.

 

Brains are amazing.

 

Where to begin?

 

Please see:  Polydrugs? Taper off the Antidepressant First!

 

Pristiq and Paxil are big bugabears.  I would taper one of those next, and continue to hold the lamictal.  Like Alto said, if it's not giving you a reaction, it, and the lithium, may be helping.  Which one was added last?  Pristiq?

 

It is one of the harder ones, more activating ones, and perhaps if you taper it slowly enough, you can slip out from under it before addressing the Paxil.  

 

I hope I have addressed your questions - I'll recap - if I were on your drug load, over a long period of time with lots of tiny tapers and holds, I would work my way out of the Pristiq first, then the Paxil, then the Remeron, Trazodone, Klonopin, Lithium, and save the Lamictal for last.  Of course, all the best laid plans of mice and men go awry in the unfolding of them - and your body may decide differently once you get started.

 

Look at the Pristiq - Tips for tapering off Pristiq  (we don't bother much with serotonin, norepinephrin, blah blah blah - because it's much more complex than that)

 

That's enough to challenge you for awhile! Oh - and this should help, too:  Psych Central 6 Ways to Prepare for Antidepressant Withdrawal

 

I hope you see the sun today.

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Cabinhope

You rock. Thank you.

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Cabinhope

So, is the general consensus to stay put with Lamictal and start to taper the Pristiq? Wait a few weeks to begin? Because of the rash, I dropped from 125 to 100 on Lamictal last Wednesday. I feel more energy and motivation. Sleeping great and so forth. Feel good. I have not read yet about the Pristiq taper. I had actually assumed I would be stuck on it for life as it is sustained release. My thoughts in the past, fleeting, about ever considering any of this were to eliminate the more 'benign' things first...like Remeron. If it weren't for the rash I wouldn't be here with the new willingness I do have. That alone is a miracle.

 

The Remeron was added late summer a few years ago, the Lamictal and pristiq were added simultaneously maybe a month later, with no noticeable improvement as I think I was really suffering from a major load of withdrawal from so many things.

And the Litium added last, in the winter. It was the only thing that helped me stop crying and begin to climb up.

So it went like this regarding the last additions...

Remeron

Lamictal/Pristiq

Lithium

 

Thanks everybody.

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Cabinhope

Just read that entire Pristiq thread. Seems like compounding is the way to go. Scares me a little, what a dreadful drug.

And working outside today it crossed my mind...I wonder if the people on that forum read my history and see how many drugs I'm on and think, 'Man, she's screwed.'

 

Really want to hear other weigh in on the likeliest one to taper first, since I have stopped on the Lamictal for now.

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Cabinhope

I've just been reading about Rhiannon....tapered multiple drugs incrementally, simultaneously.

 

Thoughts?

 

I just spoke with my compounding pharmacy. He believes he can help me with the Pristiq taper. So I guess I'll begin that in a few weeks. Anybody else want to weigh in on this at all???????

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AussieShell

I am only new here, but I just wanted you to know I have read your posts and wanted to send you the very best for your withdrawal process. I was suitably horrified at the combo's too and how you have been treated.

 

As for some inspiration - there are definitely people around who have been able to get off multiple medications and been far better off on the other side. It can be a daunting process, but this site (and Robert Whitaker's book) have been the most helpful sources of info I have found, anywhere on the Internet or in real life! The majority of so-called 'professionals' seems to have no idea how to safely remove these drugs - and listening to their advice over the years (going on and coming off) made me the most unwell I have ever been in my life.

 

I also concur about hormones being a factor - I am now certain in hindsight that my first episode of anxiety all those years ago was triggered by starting a contraceptive pill called Yasmin. I then had a short course of benzo's - which I have since learnt cause depression in me...bingo, first depressive episode, first anti-depressant...and the beginning of ever increasing illness.

 

A compounding pharmacist could definitely be helpful with providing medication in doses for smaller reductions - there are topics on this somewhere on the site. I taper my Lamictal using the dispersable tablets into liquid - a pharmacist told me how to do it. I think there is info on this site about creating your own liquids too....

 

All the best Cabinhope.

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Cabinhope

Thank you for your compassion, understanding, and encouragement. I wish you the very best as well.

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Cabinhope

And Monica Cassini, I think Gia K on here?...I gather she was on a lot of drugs like me. Coming off of them disabled her, confining her to her home for years? I don't know the whole story, I know. But I can't do this. I don't have a husband or anyone to support me if I were unable to work. It's just me and my dog, in our little cottage in a holler in the mountains of Virginia, and my job and creativity.

 

Anyway, I'm slowly putting the pieces together. In just this week I've begun to reframe what has happened to me. Looking back to that first depression, I was working for an internationally beloved rock band in Charlottesville, VA. As I've shared, I was doing some drugs (ecstasy, mushrooms, lsd) and drinking a great deal and just generally not taking care of my 24 year old self in any sort of adult way. I remember a doctor tried Serzone, then Prozac...and the effects were horrible. These drugs made everything worse, like really aggravated my CNS to such a degree that I was crying non stop, and full of fear and agitation. And I admitted myself to the hospital there, for just a night...and I was forced onto drugs, Paxil and Tegretol. And I was really worse for quite a long time. I did not respond to them well, and everyone chalked it up to being depressed. I was told to hang on, that the drugs would help. I really think the drugs made things worse. Yet I stayed on those 2 drugs for 17 years until 4 years ago when things just really went to hell.

 

I have ordered a couple of books about the brain, one by Doidge, one by Whitaker. All these years I have believed, I have bought the idea, that my brain needed drugs...that I would always need drugs to cope. This brand new process of discovery and willingness is allowing me to begin to reframe what has happened. That 4 years ago I was damaged by the too quick discontinuation of so many drugs, by the merry go round of onto and off of so many things in such quick succession. And the doctors, a string of them whose 'help' I sought to fix me, just kept piling on more and more drugs. It's unbelievable.

 

This morning I'm taking a 100mg Pristiq tablet to a compounding pharmacist, someone who I'm sure I'll get to know well in the coming years, so he can play with it to see what he can do.

 

It's been a week since going from 125mg Lamictal to 100mg. I feel good, I do notice a subtle difference but it's a good one. I still have this sensation in my hands and fingers, like theyr'e in a freezer. Very bizarre.

 

All for now.

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