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AussieShell: Lamictal withdrawal


AussieShell

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I am in the midst of Lamictal withdrawal and it isn't going so well past couple of weeks. Was only doing 10% drops and when withdrawal symptoms passed would drop again. Thinking about going back up a couple of mg to stave off these awful effects? Am on 40mg, down from 45mg a fortnight ago but this drop has been absolutely awful :-( Not sure whether to go back up the full 5mg or just 2-3mg being that I am a fortnight into that. Only held the 45mg for a couple of weeks though because I was doing pretty well at that point. Am having panic attacks just sitting at home and it is reminding me of a past Zoloft withdrawal which was horrid!!

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shell , welcome to the site.

 

We recommend holding for a month after each cut , to avoid this type of thing.

Going up 2-3mg should nail the symptoms you're having quickly.

 

Please read the following links , and don't try to rush this process. It has a way of backfiring.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5560-can-a-long-hold-pull-you-out-of-a-taper-gone-amiss/

 

After this hiccup , you might want to take an extra long hold , 6 to 8 weeks , to allow your cns to get

good and stable before decreasing again.

 

Best wishes , Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi Shell.  Welcome. I'm from the " Sunshine State" , and also a fellow Aussie . It's great that you found us . There is a lot of support for you here.

It seems like you have tapered too rapidly. You were on the right track , with your 10 % reductions , but then accelerated at a " rate of knots ", which I think may have caught up with you .

You were doing them monthly , which is what we advise here , but then graduated to three weekly and then fortnightly , which is far too fast . Your poor nervous system is trying to catch up with the changes,  but floundering in the process. You have literally " jumped off the cliff" , whereas we advise abseiling down slowly . Possibly adding  a few mg , would help at this stage . It might help to relieve some of your withdrawal symptoms. I would possibly go halfway , at 42.5 mg . Please keep notes on your symptoms over the next 3 - 4 weeks.

Please have a read around of the site and these links :

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Brain Remodelling

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

This is your thread to ask questions , and journal progress. Please come back with any questions that you may have .

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Thanks so much for the really fast replies Fresh and AliG :-) I took my dose just before and went up to 42mg...I was worried about doing more damage going up too much. If the 42mg doesn't help at all within a few days should I maybe bump up to 42.5 or 43 then?

 

I feel so silly causing this. I read somewhere before I started (not this site) that if effects were minimal you could safely shorten the time between cuts. Up until 50mg or so the effects were ok each time - still had an impact but would pass after a few days. I guess it has caught up with me over time.

 

I will definitely take your advice and hold at this for a good 6-8 weeks and then go very slowly again from there! So glad I found you all.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It takes 4 days for an updose to reach a steady state in your bloodstream , so wait 4-7 days before

deciding. The lower you stabilize on , the better.

 

;)

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thanks Fresh - will do that. Appreciate your excellent advice ????

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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Shell. I would stay at this dose, for now.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6632-the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

 

Keep notes on your symptoms , and see how you go over the next few days.

 

Ali 

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Thanks Ali, will do. And I will start a diary again for symptoms...I kept a mood diary for years my 'disorder' (which I suspect is largely medication-induced, but that's another story) but I stopped when everything got so erratic and helpless - there was never any pattern except for it showing the medications seemed to be making me worse!

 

I am a bit horrified though - I have just worked out that with 4 weekly cuts at 10% it will take me 3 years to get to 1mg! That is the total amount of time I have been on Lamictal!! Obviously I don't want to risk protracted withdrawal, but it just seems incredible to me that I could lose 3 more years of my life to this rubbish after already losing so many years :-(

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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Shell.  The way I think about it is, that you are actually  " gaining life " .  You are not going to be losing 3 more years of your life to this . You will be tapering in a way that enables you to keep living in a joyful and functional way , and not eventually lose your life to the drugs , which is what can happen sometimes , if you stay on them indefinitely.  

Once you get through this , you will be free !  There are many here , tapering and also leading productive lives. The two , are not mutually exclusive.  If you can find a rhythm with your tapering , then you can live life and forget about it to a large degree. Given, there will still be hurdles, but largely you should be fine, most of the time, particularly if you take it slow and stable , as we advise here.

 

If you can change your mindset , it becomes freeing , rather than limiting.  You can do this !

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Thanks Ali. I hope I didn't come across too negative - I have been so happy to have a path to wellness again after the psychiatrist told me last year I would never be better than I was, which was in a pretty abysmal state. The medications made me worse and worse. I have had more functioning in the last 6 months than I have had in years. What psychiatric medications have done to me makes me angry at times but I refuse to be bitter. I feel so blessed that I do have a lot of life left and a loving family to get through this for. I am just a bit fearful of the process at the moment and of course not in the best place with the withdrawal symptoms. It is reminding me of some of the worst times I have had in the past, which were also related to medication.

 

I am in the SE...nice to 'meet' someone in the same state on a global forum :-)

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Administrator

Hi, Aussie. Welcome to the forum from me, too.

 

I also suffered from many side / withdrawal effects of psych drugs that were diagnosed as various types of mental illness. 

 

Robert Whitaker wrote a great book on this called "Anatomy of an Epidemic" which helped me understand how this could happen. You are definitely not alone in this and you'll find a lot of support and information here. 

 

I came off a large cocktail of drugs way too fast, so my withdrawal syndrome was worsened. I wish I'd known about tapering back then so I could have been more functional throughout this. That's the point of going slow, so even if it does take two or three years, you'll be more likely to engage in life and be healthier throughout the process.

 

You have a great outlook and there's no doubt you'll do well. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Hi Shep,

 

Thank you so much for the welcome. I came across Robert Whitaker's late last year and reading it prompted me to start tapering. I recommend it to everyone I find.

 

I can't even imagine what you have been through from reading your signature! 30 years is a long time. So pleased you are off it all now. I have been on meds for 14+ years but for about half of those I was fairly functional. The other half I increasingly lost normal functioning.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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So I am on the 4th day after going back up 2mg. I improved a bit from the horrible state I was in bit as of last night I have become restless, a bit 'wide awake' and agitated. It isn't too negative as yet but definitely how I get when I am in the hypomanic type phases I have had (rapid cycling) ever since I have been on this medication. That is why I was trying to get off it too because I was worried that the longer I am on it the more long term damage it may do. But I get why I need to go slowly now.

 

I tried to point out to the Dr before I started reducing 5 months ago that I have only had hypomania on Lamictal and anti-d's. I started off depressed and anxious many years ago but after a long time on anti-d's started having problems.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi AussieShell, 

 

It will take more time to settle out, I believe.  Your previous history of starts and stops of various psych meds has left your system highly sensitized to changes, not to mention coming off lithium at the same time as doing this taper.  Wait a good 6 to 8 weeks after this cut to settle out and get really stable before resuming.   You've come a long way in 5 months!  A true 10% taper would have you somewhere around 59 mg right about now, so at 42 you've been exceeding your nervous system's ability to keep up.  Time to do a hold for a month, as in no cut next month.  It is frustrating, I know, but it seems that when people push it, they end up having to reinstate and hold longer, such that they end up in the same place or even behind if they had just done the proper 10% per month to begin with.  Your updose still leaves you far ahead of schedule, so it's going to take some time to smooth out.

 

Hang in there! Slow and steady wins the race :-)  Should be the official motto around here!

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Thanks SG. Yes, slow and steady is definitely a good motto to have! I am going to hold for 6-8 weeks now assuming this passes shortly. If it doesn't then will hold longer than that to give my body a chance to catch up. I have learnt my lesson.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Administrator

Hi Shep,

 

Thank you so much for the welcome. I came across Robert Whitaker's late last year and reading it prompted me to start tapering. I recommend it to everyone I find.

 

I can't even imagine what you have been through from reading your signature! 30 years is a long time. So pleased you are off it all now. I have been on meds for 14+ years but for about half of those I was fairly functional. The other half I increasingly lost normal functioning.

 

Just stopping by to say "hi" and send some healing vibes your way.

 

Yes, 30 years is a long time, but last night I slept 7 hours without even taking melatonin, so healing is definitely happening. I was functional for the majority of the 30 years as far as being able to get an education and work, but it made me very, very reclusive. So I'm very much looking forward to exploring life free of drugs. 

 

We'll get there. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just an update. Well about a week after the last change (which was the very small increase to counteract withdrawal effects - leading to a slight 'activation' phase) things settled down. I have been steadily improving and plan to hold here at 42mg for a while as suggested. Goes to show it is definitely the meds causing issues!

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Administrator

Hi, AussieShell. Thanks for the update. Glad things are going well. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

 

It has been just over 6 weeks since I did the slight updose. I have been feeling quite stable for a while now but am really nervous about making any more changes. I was thinking my next cut would be just be from 42mg down to 40mg (so 5%) and see how that goes for a month. But not sure when to do it. I have some important thing happening end of July and end of August - I don't want to be suffering from withdrawals too much through these times if possible.

 

Any suggestions? I am happy to keep chipping away at it though because I want to get off it - not rushing of course (know better) but want to keep moving towards the end goal in a sensible way. Thank you for your help.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I think your 5% plan is wise.  If you are worried about symptoms messing up your upcoming plans, you could even go slower.

 

Since I am trying to come off two drugs, I am doing no more than 3% per month of one of them..  I basically remove 0.375 mg every two weeks (this is Effexor).  I don't notice this at all.  So, why not do something similar through this period?  That way, it is such a small amount that if it does cause bigger waves than you'd like, it isn't such a big disruption and you can backpedal more easily.  

 

I applaud you for holding for 6 weeks, and I'm glad that the up-dose helped.  It doesn't take but one of those crashes to temper our haste!  Again, given this last bobble, I think it would be a very smart thing to do a much smaller cut when you resume.

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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That is really good advice. Cutting at a smaller % might mean I have very little or even no symptoms. Worth a try anyway! At least for the next few months while I need to stay ok. Thanks so much SG.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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I haven't cut again as yet but have a question. I am not doing that great at the moment - have a lot of anxiety and feel really fragile. I am wondering if anyone knows about Lamictal affecting hormones at all? My menstrual cycle has been a bit all over the place since starting to withdraw (now a 25/26 day cycle one month and then 30+ the next, currently day 32 and feel terrible!). Previously I was very regular.

 

I read that it interacts with synthetic oestegren- but not on any contraception. Ironically, I suspect my first ever panic attack was induced by taking Yasmin at the time - it was a new contraceptive and has now been found to commonly cause anxiety and depression. And so began this roller coaster of issues and meds (that was 2002!).

 

Appreciate the help.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I don't know about Lamictal in particular, but I do know that w/d in general affects our hormones a lot.  Many of the women on this site struggle with irregular periods, heavier bleeding, and worse pms.  I've had way worse PMS since being in w/d :angry::wacko:

 

Here's some discussion and sharing of experiences:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8142-pms-and-menstrual-cycle-issues-during-withdrawal/

 

Hopefully you can worry less now you know it's 'normal.' 

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, AussieShell.

 

What time of day do you take lamotrigine? Do you still feel hypomanic from it?

 

Please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html
and copy and paste the results in this topic.

 

See https://womensmentalhealth.org/posts/oral-contraceptives-reduce-lamotrigine-lamictal-blood-levels/
 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.
 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi,

 

Thanks KarenB -it is helpful to know that hormonal symptoms in withdrawal are not uncommon. The thread you posted was really helpful.

 

Altostrata - I am only taking Lamotrigine at the moment as well as some Magnesium. The hypomania I had when updosing passed. I am not on any contraceptive pills - was more wondering about the effect Lamotrigine may have on natural estrogen levels and menstrual cycles/PMS/Anxiety. Will update the exact type of Magnesium in my signature. I take a 1 x P.P.M.P (Potassium Phosphate 33mg/Magnesium Phosphate 65mg) in the morning and 1 x C.P.M.P (Calcium Phosphate 130mg/Magnesium Phosphate 65mg) at night. I take the Lamotrigine at 8.30pm and the C.P.M.P just before bed at about 10pm. I am still often awake past midnight most nights but this has been the case for a long time. I used to take the Lamotrigine at 9.30pm and moved it to 8.30pm which may have helped slightly.

 

Couldn't find this exact type of magnesium in the interactions list but other forms of magnesium don't seem to be a problem with the Lamotrigine. The pharmacist also checked for me when I started taking it which was 18 months ago. I did wonder about whether to keep taking them or not - there were 3 days in a row where I forgot to take the morning one (P.P.M.P) as was out of routine and felt quite good those days. But then after another day or two anxiety started to creep back in so I started taking them again. I have no idea what the elemental amount of magnesium is but I am taking a total of 130mg Magnesium Phosphate per day. I am also 4 months post stopping Lithium and wondered if increased anxiety was anything to do with that. Or if it is still the remnants of the too-fast Lamotrigine withdrawal. Or if it is the fact that it is now Day 33 and my period hasn't arrived. I have tried Fish Oil but over a period of time think it was activating so I stopped it last year around August after taking it for 8 months or so.

 

I am also starting to think I have a have an over reliance on devices and screens. I was reading yesterday that using social media and the internet can increase dopamine levels. Has anyone else heard of this? I am on my phone WAY too much. I have downloaded an app today to monitor and reduce time spent and am trying to limit my internet use to the computer (rather than walking around doing things glued to my phone). Have deleted social media apps. Wondering if I have become somewhat addicted to the dopamine surge - they likened it to gambling and cocaine use in a documentary I saw! I don't drink alcohol because I use to have a bit of a problem with it once I got started - plus once I started having mental health problems I realised how much of a negative impact it was having on my wellbeing. I probably replaced that with food for a time but don't feel like I am a slave to that anymore.

 

Appreciate all the help, thank you.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Moderator

Hey Shell - it's incredibly astute of you to connect your screen time to your mood.

 

I've gotten so that I get annoyed with people who live "in the box" acting like zombies.

 

Why, I was just in New Zealand - I actually met some SA'rs for lunch, and hubby's phone rang (it never does, he's more of a luddite than me!) with a message that someone was on their way.  His checking the phone, caused me to look around me.  In this cafe NOBODY was "in the box."  They were all facing each other having CONVERSATIONS - it was incredible.

 

When hubby and I go out to dinner in our neighborhood, we will see COUPLES on DATES, and he is on his phone and she is on hers - and I wonder, can Candy Crush be THAT important?  What is happening "In the Box" that is better than Out Here?

 

It's easier in the box, it's instant in the box.  Sometimes, true, I play Facebook games, but I often wonder - is it there just to keep me "doped up," the new "opiate of the masses" the "bread and circuses" to let the tyrants do as they please?

 

Anyhow, congratulations on checking your "in the box" time.  I'll bet you will feel better!

 

So you're going to wait until after your July events before next cut?  If it was still May, I'd suggest a 5% cut, but now you are a month out, and need to be stable.  That's the other beauty of the slow taper plan - you can choose your battles.  Not taper at Christmas or around deadlines at work - hold and hold and be as normal as possible - choose those lower times to taper.

 

You've already gotten most of yourself back.  Now it's just a matter of fine tuning that last little bit!

 

I sent you a PM to find out if you are near our local Coffee Meet!

 

I hope you see the Sun today (I did, just)

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

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

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

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Thank you for the reply and message JanCarol and I have replied.

 

I am reading a book at the moment called 'Reset Your Child's brain' by Victoria Dunckley - it is all about the effects of screen time on the brain. Although it is aimed at what to do with kids, she explains the physiological and chemical reactions we all have, particularly from using interactive screen time (smartphones, iPads, computers). Opposite to what most of us think, passive screen time like TV is less damaging to melatonin and doesn't cause the extent of dopamine surges that interactive screens do. She recommends a 3 week total break to 'reset' the brain for children and then monitor behaviour to decide whether to reintroduce. She is a child psych and has seen case after case where kids diagnosed with everything from ADHD to bipolar have significantly improved or fully recovered after removing screens for a period of time! Using them causes chronic stress in the body - dopamine surges/crashes, reduced melatonin, raised cortisol levels - puts the body into flight or fight and shunts blood away from the frontal lobe.

 

So it makes me think there is something in it, particularly for adults with highly aroused Central Nervous Systems from all these medications. I cut myself back by half over the past few days and felt a bit agitated and anxious. But it is like a habit or compulsion - I am having trouble keeping away from it. I have bought a bunch of books and activities to try to replace the phone when I have downtime. I am thinking I may start a complete break over the next few days to see if it helps. I even looked into getting a 'dumb phone' -like an old flip phone for a while but logistically with my nano sim it was a bit painful to find. Found out the smartphone has restrictions you can set with a pin - so I may get my husband to make a code so I can't access the Internet etc - just text messages and calls.

 

If no-one hears from me for a few weeks, that is why!

 

Because I am having a wobble at the moment, I am definitely going to wait to cut again until after July.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Really, really fatigued. Haven't made any cuts or changes for over 2 months as haven't been stable enough. Feel a bit stuck on this dose. Could the fatigue be a Lamotrigine withdrawal effect? That was what prompted me to go back up a tiny dose in April (which then made me have an elevated mood). I have had a period of experiencing a lot of anxiety. Now I can barely get out of bed and even the lymph nodes under my arms hurt - its like having flu without having flu. I started to worry about Chronic Fatigue (or at least withdrawal effects that look like it). I am definitely depressed but not sure if that is the whole picture or not. I have reduced my smartphone use dramatically in the past fortnight. Maybe the symptoms are a withdrawal of the dopamine activity from that? I don't know. I know if I have any sugar (I tend to want chocolate when depressed) I freak out!  I feel very foggy headed and it is hard to put thoughts together. I am not really leaving the house - I have no energy to do it now and when I did manage a 20 minute outing last week I was so anxious and overwhelmed. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'll share with you my experience, and you can decide from there.  This is not conventional, since generally we caution folks about taking B vitamins, being that they can be activating.

 

As I cut my mirtazapine dose, I found myself really groggy in the mornings especially, as I would say "like wearing a rubber suit."  It seemed to happen as I dropped below 12 mg.  But, I got to 11.6 mg while also starting to take methylated B12 and folinic acid.  I had read an article about the MTHFR mutation and how the author had beaten extreme anxiety by taking methylated B12 and folinic acid: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/health/how-i-beat-my-10year-battle-with-anxiety-after-discovering-folinic-acid/news-story/71d1e10b1eb190d212e338dd18faadad

 

Well, I tend to throw caution to the wind too much and decided, let's just see if this makes a difference.  I began those supplements at the same time as getting to 11.6 mg mirtazapine, and I felt well-rested on waking up, no more rubber suit!  So, I don't know what effected the change, the dosage cut or the supplements.  I have not been tested for the mutation but am curious and would love to know.  I know perhaps too much stock is put in it.  I also stupidly started both supplements at the same time rather than one at a time in case an adverse reaction was encountered (I wouldn't know which was the problem).  So, if you try this, I would do better than me and try one first and then the other, AND perhaps at a fraction of the full dosage to make sure you don't have a paradoxical effect.  Have you been on B vitamins before?

 

That's about all I've got, other than "time."

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Thanks SG. I have heard of the MTHFR mutation and was going to get tested at one stage but decided I couldn't really afford the holistic Dr and test fees at the time. Plus I had also made changes a naturopath recommended which was a mixed bag - some stuff was good and some was terrible advice (trying to give me a herbal drink where they were mixed with alcohol which she failed to tell me beforehand ....umm, no thanks!). Around that time I also made dietary changes myself as I have fructose malabsorption (diagnosed by a dietician years ago) and found although I thought I could tolerate wheat, I really couldn't anymore. Interestingly, my migraines stopped after that!

 

I had also been on Fish Oil which I stopped (I suspect it was activating) and other supplements - a multi-vitamin at one stage, Vitamin D and Vitamin C...I did take B6 for a time when I was pregnant as I think it helped with the extreme nausea. Interesting that you mention they can be activating as I had a lot of problems back then - but was also on Zoloft which we have determined is activating for me. I believe the Lamotrigine is also activating and has caused the rapid cycling I have experienced since starting it in several years ago. Over time I have basically stopped taking all the supplements other than the Magnesium as I didn't know what was doing what anymore and I suspected between the actual ingredients and possibly any additives in them were only adding to my issues. Interestingly, my Vitamin D levels went back up to the low end of normal after stopping taking the supplement and just made sure I got some regular sunlight! Couldn't get my levels up despite taking a decent Vitamin D supp for a long time.

 

So I am a little cautious about adding things at this stage...In saying that, anything that may help is attractive! Will give it some thought.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all, 

 

Didn't realise it had been so long without giving an update. I need some help decision-wise at the moment. It has been 4 weeks today since my last drop (have updated signature with last few months activities). After the long break I have been dropping by just 5% with minimum 4 week gaps in between. I have been finding that my anxiety and internal tremors seems to increase a lot when I am actually 'due' to drop again. Dropping seems to resolve this somewhat although through the month my symptoms seem to go from barely noticeable to terrible (windows and waves?).

 

Overall though, my anxiety has been fairly bad since about April - maybe it was the combination of coming down on the Lamotrigine too fast and stopping the Lithium in February (again probably too fast because what do Dr's know right!). I can't be alone, even at home. I can get out of the house (with help) but some periods of time this is exhausting from the stress of it and other times it is fairly pleasant. In saying that, I experienced these anxiety symptoms in a fairly cyclical pattern even while on the Lamotrigine and Lithium (and was why I had to take Clonazepam at times too in the past but it realized it makes me very depressed).

 

So I am currently on 36mg and not sure how much to drop next. I have considered going up to about an 8.4% drop (33mg) from 5% as I am wondering if at these 'lower doses' the Lamotrigine is inducing worse anxiety. However, I of course don't want to get myself into even more of an issue - this week (the closer I get to the 4 week mark) has been fairly horrendous. So my other thought is to drop to say 34mg which is about 5.5%.....I just know long term if I can only do 5% drops it is going to be many years - which would be fine if I was having overall improvement but I suspect I need this stuff completely gone (causing as minimal harm as possible) to truly know where I stand. In saying that, even at 10% drops it is going to take me 2 more years *sigh*.

 

I have been hearing a lot about nutrition, leaky gut syndrome - and things like whole foods, GAPS protocol, paelo (or basically eating a refined sugar/carb free diet) to be very healing for some people. Maybe there is a thread here about it...has anyone had experience with food intolerances playing into their mental health issues? I have had long term digestive issues which turned out to be fructose malabsorption so I eat low FODMAP (ie. have to avoid foods like onions, wheat, high-fructose fruits like mangoes). It does mean my diet is already restricted but I have been hearing that if you get your gut microbiome back to balance with good gut flora, then this can significantly improve brain problems. Again, I am fairly paralysed with fear of making everything worse so would only make any dietary chances gradually. I don't think a very low carbohydrate diet would be a great idea for me because whenever I have tried it in the past I have felt terrible. I do notice that at times I can tolerate things like chocolate but other times the caffeine in it makes me way too jittery. I do also drink tea with sugar but have just given up ice-cream....I have a ways to go towards eating more 'real food' lol. But I am fairly sensitive to lots of foods, despite following a fairly limited list of fruit and vegetables. We are really careful about chemical additives and preservatives. We did all organic for a while but it was so expensive. Anyone's experiences in regard to nutrition would be appreciated :-)

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Instead of tapering 5% every 4th week you could try 5% every 3rd week.  Just a thought.  You could also look into The BrassMonkey Slide which will be getting its own topic in tapering forum soon.

 

As for diet use a search engine (I use google) and type in survivingantidepressants.org diet.  Doing this brought up various topics.  You could type in a different more specific topic, eg GAPS.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thanks ChessieCat. That is all really helpful info :-) 5% every 3 weeks did cross my mind but was worried about shortening the time without some advice after going too quickly earlier on with 3 week intervals (but at a larger %). Brass Monkey did an amazing job - 5 years! Wow.

 

That search tip in the diet was great too thanks, great way to find stuff. I saw something this morning about histamine intolerance and wonder if that is a factor - my symptoms of anxiety have always been far worse in Autumn and Spring (when my hayfever plays up!).

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Just bouncing around some ideas for you to consider.  Whatever you decide to do you need to be consistent, keep notes of your symptoms on paper, and not be tempted to updose at the first sign of a symptom.  And remember:  Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization.  You need to be able to get through it with Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

  1. Acceptance
  2. Acceptance and Mindfulness
  3. Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System
  4. "Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms
  5. Change cognitive framing - Redirect - Another Way
  6. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for anxiety, depression
  7. Cognitive Behavior Therapy lessons

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 2 months later...

Bit of an update. Current dose of Lamotrigine is 34mg, which has been the same for 9 weeks. The anxiety I was experiencing has improved to the point of being able to leave the house (but not alone). I have been seeing a psychologist to help with the constant state of panic/hypervigilence I was experiencing and this has really helped. I have slid backwards the past few days though - it could be hormonal as my period turned up on Day 16 (what the?!). My 'resting' heart rate is around 90bpm at the moment (usually in the 60's). I just feel like I have constant palpitations, even when laying down and deep breathing. I am having the inner tremors again. I have found before that maybe this has been an indicator of it being time to drop again. I did another long hold because of things being a bit stressful, having a lot on and trying to get some stability while doing the psychologist thing. The next month it is not going to change with lots of unavoidable events and of course Christmas. So my thought was just to stay at this dose until the new year but not sure if it is negatively impacting me now? It is definitely doing something strange to my menstrual cycle which has thrown me right off.

 

I do feel more equipped to deal with these ups and downs than I was, but I am just not sure which way to go - if my system is telling me to hold my suddenly amping up again or that it means I am ready to drop down. I know about the Windows and Waves and guess this could be a wave regardless of whether I drop or not (and therefore maybe holding is safer?). Any thoughts are appreciated.

Lamotrigine 34.5mg - Been on long hold since March 2017 - still on hold as at November 2019 but now wanting to restart tapering (slowly!)
Dose in November 2015 - 100mg Lamotrigine
10% reductions approximately monthly, three-weekly and then fortnightly (too fast!)
April 2016 - 42mg (Back up from 40mg to reduce withdrawals). Held at this dose until end June 

June 2016 - dropped 5% to 40mg (10 weeks since April drop), July 2016 -  dropped further 5% to 38mg (4.5 weeks), August 2016 - dropped further 5% to 36mg (just over 4 weeks)

September 2016 - dropped 5.5% to 34mg

end November 2016 dropped to 33mg - very unwell by mid-December with debilitating physical symptoms. End of December 2016 increased to 33.5mg. Increased to 34mg 21 Feb 2017. Increased to 34.5mg 8 March 2017 and have remained here since

 

Also tapered and stopped 250mg Lithium from December 2015 - February 2016 under Dr's guidance 
Previous meds and tapers - Paroxetine (twice), Zoloft (4 times), Seroquel (3 times), Zyprexa (short term use only a few times), Clonazepam (short term several times but still horrendous when stopping), Prothiaden, Temazapam. 

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Hi Aussie Shell,

 

I too am tapering Lamictal/Lamotrigine and wanted to offer my support.  My symptoms have been more emotional and psychological during my Lamotrigne wd except for continued low grade nausea.  My mood, however plunges a few days after I make a cut. 

 

I have found that my pattern of wd has changed now that I am on lower doses of both my meds.  But I do think waiting a bit more and gauging to see if you stabilize is a good idea . The rebound anxiety I have felt from withdrawal has been overwhelming at times.  Now I know that it eventually will pass and I take L-Theanine as needed.   I too found Fish Oil activating. 

 

Lamotrignine is a very powerful drug and if you read the stories on Beyond Meds, you will see how people have been affected when they start to withdraw from it.  The good news is that people do get off of the drug.  From what you have written you are doing everything right to help your mind and body.  

 

You can do it! 

 Sept 2013-Apr 2014:  After death of my mom put on as series of meds. Zoloft 6 days, Lexapro1 day, Nortriptyline 10 days, Liquid Prozac 1 week, Cymbalta 1 week.

Got off Clonzapam: 1/2014-9/2014. After given Lamictal, stopped Clonzapam at .125mgs

Completed Remeron taper: 41.25 -0.025mgs  1/2015-4 2017. 

Completed Lamictal Taper: 200mgs-0.05 mgs 7/ 2015-11/2018. 

Clonazapam  December 2018. 0.625 Had paradoxical reaction to Lamictal wd, broke my heart to take a benzo but wasn't sleeping and not thinking straight. 28 March, 2019  4% taper  5 February, 2021 .0150mgai Stepped off of Clonzapam, Benzo Free

Additional Support:  Armour Thyroid 75mgs,  Magnesium Glycinate 300-500mgs, Use Melatonin 0.25 3 x a week for sleep, Calms Forte as needed.

July 27th, 2022**Severe Setback due to surgery and anesthesia.

September 7th-October 4, 2022 Trazadone 50-100mgs for sleep, October 5, 2022 Remeron 7.5mgs for sleep (not working well)

October 13th Trazadone 1 mg to stabilize Trazadone withdrawal, October 31, 0.09-0.08 (using scale)Trazadone to stabilize.  Seems to be working but sleep is very bad at this time.

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