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Chochka: Prozac/zopiclone withdrawal got worse after 6 months


Chochka

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I would like some advice on withdrawal please. I was on 20 mg prozac for about 5 years and 3 years ago I came off, after a 3 month taper. I started to get a serious ringing in my ears and severe insomnia and then I had a year of anxiety, terrible insomnia and intense anger which got worse and worse. The doctor said that I was obviously depressed and advised me to go back on the prozac, which after a year I did, starting with 40mg as the symptoms were so bad. A year later, one year ago, I lowered the dose and started suffering drowsyness and fatigue which lasted 5 months. Then in September I started suffering from the drowsiness and fatigue again and the doctor eventually told me that I needed to come off the prozac as it wasn’t working for me any more. That was about 3 weeks ago. I had a week tapering and then started sertraline. Since then the drowsiness has got worse, accompanied by really bad tinnitus. My query is about the year I had with anxiety, anger and insomnia. Could that have been withdrawal from the prozac? It didn’t get any better over the year – if anything it gradually got worse and worse. At the time I suspected that it was withdrawal as every so often my face would go numb, which was one of my symptoms when I first came off prozac but the doctor said that the symptoms had gone on far too long and I was just depressed/anxious again. (I had suffered form anxiety for a couple of years previously, which had led to CFS, which was why I had gone on the prozac to begin with.) Could that year have been withdrawal? In which case what do I do now? I can’t go back on prozac as it had started to have a bad effect on me. I’m a bit despairing at the moment – I have recently had to put my PhD on hold because the drowsiness got so bad and I’m dreading the withdrawal if it’s going be as bad as last time. Does anyone have any techniques which might help? I don't want to go back on, however long it takes to even out again.

Edited by scallywag
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Originally went on prozac 2008 for CFS - 20mg

Finished end 2012 - extreme anxiety and insomnia for a year, reinstated Jan 2014 - 40mg.

Jan 2015 tapered to 20mg - 5 months WD

Sept 2015 - took 3 tablets for vertigo - triggered 5 months WD

Switched to sertraline Dec 2015 - didn't work so went CT Jan 2016. 6 weeks of breathing and sleep problems so reinstated sertraline.

April 2016 CT - WD started.

April - August 2016 very low dose zopiclone - made WD worse so stopped end August 2017

Since Sept 2016 WD: drowsiness and fatigue; headaches (ended Christmas 2016); numb face (ended Christmas 2016); vivid dreams; anxiety and tearfulness; dizziness; nausea; loud tinnitus; irrational feelings of fear and dread; tingling up and down the backs of my legs; some insomnia but that's getting better. 

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  • Moderator

Hi Chochka--  welcome to the group.  I'm sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble and having to put those big plans on hold.  However, you are right, that lost year was more than likely due to you fast taper, the symptoms were then compounded by the reinstatement and subsequent CT.  I don't think the Sertraline is going to do you much good either. We have found that most of the time switching to another drug just compounds the problems.  These drugs are not interchangeable so at best the new drug will just cover up some of the symptoms if you're lucky.  Here are some things that you should read through while we are getting you settled in:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

That will give you a lot of information to digest, then ask us a lot of questions

 

If you would please add a signature block with the details of you experience it would really help us to see what is going on

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Chochka and welcome to s/a,

 

I moved your post to the intro forum so more people will see it and we can get to know you.  I'm glad you are here for some support.

 

Brass gave you some good links - I'm just chiming in here to say hello, and that you are not alone.  You're in a scary time right now, but with some reading and understanding you can get yourself onto a good pathway to healing.  We've all been where you are now :)

 

If you're interested in some self-care, magnesium and fish oil seem to help many people.

 

Hugs

Karen

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

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

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

8 month hold.

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

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

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

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

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

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Hi SquirellyGirl, it's Chochka. Thanks for your advice to join this forum. I've felt terrible for months now, even though I've only just come off prozac. I don't want to go back on again as I think it stopped working for me a while ago. I've just got to get through this. I will certainly listen to these. See you soon.

 

Hey chochka if you don't mind me asking how long have you been off of Prozac and what are your withdrawal symptoms? I stopped Prozac September 30th of this year...I used it to get me off of Effexor...been on psych drugs for 20 years and I am in a bad wave right now...insomnia, waves of trembling inside and out, anxiety, blurred vision, heart palpitations, weak legs feel tired but energized at the same time. Been in this wave since Sunday night.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey chock ha I am in Prozac withdrawal too... Sorry you are not feeling well...I am going to my psych tomorrow to see about reinstating but I don't really want to do that

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Chochka, I am so glad you made it here!  You are in good hands!

 

When you say that Prozac started having a bad effect on you, can you explain?

 

A lot of times it seems that these drugs "poop out" on people, causing withdrawal without a change in dosage.  Though Prozac may have had a bad effect on you, you are likely suffering from withdrawal from Prozac, and reinstating a tiny amount may actually make you feel better.  It's odd that poop out causes us to start feeling bad again (usually withdrawal anxiety and depression, not "relapse,") yet, reducing slowly can make people feel better.  I know it might seem like the last thing you want to do, to take a tiny bit of Prozac again, but it may be just what is needed to make you feel better.  I'll leave that to the moderators, who know much more than me, to determine.  

 

So you have been off the Prozac for 3 weeks after a one week taper and are now on sertraline. What dosage of Prozac were you on before the one week taper?  How did your doctor have you do the taper?   If you could fill out your signature with this information, that will help the mods and people who drop into your thread see your history at a glance, especially as more posts pile up in your thread.  Please include what you took when, what dosages, what your taper schedule was, dates as best you can. The instructions on how to do this are here, but it helps to look at other peoples' signatures to see how they did theirs:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/?hl=introductions

 

This is important information for the mods to know before they can advise you of whether a reinstatement dose might help and if so what amount. 

 

brassmonkey gave you loads of good links to check out.  Here's another one with information about poop-out:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/437-tolerance-or-poop-out-what-happens/?hl=downregulation#entry4363

 

Cheers, 

SG

 

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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  • 1 month later...

Chochka how are you doing?

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

I had to go cold turkey from prozac last April and took a very small dose of zopiclone for 5 months to get over the insomnia. (It was half a 3.5mg tablet, 2 nights on and 2 nights off.) I stopped that at the end of August when I realised it was making my symptoms worse.

 

After that I had anxiety and tearfulness a lot for about 3 and a half months, along with intense drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, flu-like symptoms and a range of other physical stuff. That eased over Christmas, apart form a week when I was ill with a cold and I had really bad irrational fear and insomnia. Then i had a couple of weeks where all the symptoms really faded and I thought i was coming to the end of the withdrawal.

 

Unfortunately the drowsiness and fatigue returned about 6 weeks ago, not quite so bad this time, along with some of the physical symptoms. Now I have another cold and the symptoms have got much worse again - the irrational fear has returned too, along with anxiety and periods where I fluctuate between being really hot and having serious chills. These periods last about an hour or two. The cold was bad last week but has improved, although the fear and anxiety is as bad as it was when I first stopped.

 

It's been 6 months now and it feels that the symptoms have gone from being just about manageable to worse than they were when I first stopped. Anyone else with experience of this? And does a cold bring on symptoms? Any help would be welcome here - I am feeling really despondent now and I'm getting tot he point where I think I will be like this for ever.

Edited by ChessieCat
added paragraphs

Originally went on prozac 2008 for CFS - 20mg

Finished end 2012 - extreme anxiety and insomnia for a year, reinstated Jan 2014 - 40mg.

Jan 2015 tapered to 20mg - 5 months WD

Sept 2015 - took 3 tablets for vertigo - triggered 5 months WD

Switched to sertraline Dec 2015 - didn't work so went CT Jan 2016. 6 weeks of breathing and sleep problems so reinstated sertraline.

April 2016 CT - WD started.

April - August 2016 very low dose zopiclone - made WD worse so stopped end August 2017

Since Sept 2016 WD: drowsiness and fatigue; headaches (ended Christmas 2016); numb face (ended Christmas 2016); vivid dreams; anxiety and tearfulness; dizziness; nausea; loud tinnitus; irrational feelings of fear and dread; tingling up and down the backs of my legs; some insomnia but that's getting better. 

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I have had two periods recently where my withdrawal has gone through a few days or so of being a lot worse. Both times I have had a cold. Is this coincidence? I am going through a really bad period now after 6 months of things slowly getting better and I am losing hope of getting over this.

Originally went on prozac 2008 for CFS - 20mg

Finished end 2012 - extreme anxiety and insomnia for a year, reinstated Jan 2014 - 40mg.

Jan 2015 tapered to 20mg - 5 months WD

Sept 2015 - took 3 tablets for vertigo - triggered 5 months WD

Switched to sertraline Dec 2015 - didn't work so went CT Jan 2016. 6 weeks of breathing and sleep problems so reinstated sertraline.

April 2016 CT - WD started.

April - August 2016 very low dose zopiclone - made WD worse so stopped end August 2017

Since Sept 2016 WD: drowsiness and fatigue; headaches (ended Christmas 2016); numb face (ended Christmas 2016); vivid dreams; anxiety and tearfulness; dizziness; nausea; loud tinnitus; irrational feelings of fear and dread; tingling up and down the backs of my legs; some insomnia but that's getting better. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome back Chochka,

I found the topic you started about a year ago and joined it with your new one, its one intro topic per member, helps to keep all your information and history together in one place.

 

I'm wondering if you saw the responses to your original post?

 

Are you taking any medication now?

 

It would be great if you would put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature. Doing this helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts. Here are instructions for how to do it:

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Recovery from these drugs, especially after stopping them too fast can take quite a while, much longer than might be expected. The recovery process is rarely linear and often happens in a pattern we call  The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

So what you have described sounds fairly normal, and yes any kind of stress, including a head cold, could exacerbate symptoms for a while.

 

But you will get better, just not as fast as you would like.

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. Its a good idea to bookmark it or follow it, so its easy to find again.

 

Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

 

Petunia.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hi Petunia.

 

I didn't see the responses to my original post - it's really good to find them now though. The site isn't alerting me to responses through my email - can I set it to do that? I can't work out how. Thanks to everyone who has replied: Brassmonkey, KarenB, downtongirl, squirellygirl and everyone else. I've been completely med free now for 6 months and although the WD has got a bit easier I'm still struggling. It's good to know this is here - my doctor has been worse than useless - just encouraging me to go back on something else so since September I've really been going through it alone. For a long time I haven't wanted to talk about it as I've just wanted to get on with my life and ignore it as much as possible but I've really crawled through the last 6 months and then had an explosion of unmanageable symptoms over the last couple of weeks which have really freaked me out. I have had a bad cold though, and the symptoms have been the same as last time I had a cold - hyperventilation syndrome, insomnia, anxiety and uncontrollable fear and dread. After the last cold and the bad symptoms had passed I had a couple of weeks where I didn't have many symptoms and was actually symptom free for a day or two here and there. I'm wondering if that will be the same again now. 

 

I've actually had symptoms for the best part of the last 2 and a bit years and sometimes I've wondered if I have done myself permanent damage. For a while I followed my doctor's advice until I learned to trust my instinct and then got on the internet to find other people's experiences. It's encouraging to hear of others going through the same thing and getting through - yesterday I read the success stories and it was so uplifting for me. I will never, ever touch psychiatric drugs again and I wonder if in 20 or 30 years people will look back at our use of these drugs like we do now with valium and see them as they really are - poisonous and dangerous. 

 

Again, thank you to all who have answered and everyone who posts on here - it's been a godsend in my last few days of need.

Originally went on prozac 2008 for CFS - 20mg

Finished end 2012 - extreme anxiety and insomnia for a year, reinstated Jan 2014 - 40mg.

Jan 2015 tapered to 20mg - 5 months WD

Sept 2015 - took 3 tablets for vertigo - triggered 5 months WD

Switched to sertraline Dec 2015 - didn't work so went CT Jan 2016. 6 weeks of breathing and sleep problems so reinstated sertraline.

April 2016 CT - WD started.

April - August 2016 very low dose zopiclone - made WD worse so stopped end August 2017

Since Sept 2016 WD: drowsiness and fatigue; headaches (ended Christmas 2016); numb face (ended Christmas 2016); vivid dreams; anxiety and tearfulness; dizziness; nausea; loud tinnitus; irrational feelings of fear and dread; tingling up and down the backs of my legs; some insomnia but that's getting better. 

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To get notifications when someone posts in your thread, follow this topic.  Here's how:

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

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


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

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  • 4 months later...

Check back in here, Chocka, so we can all see what is up and help you through it!

 

SJ

Main thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14472-shakeyjerr-say-hello/

History: Prozac & Lithium from 1999 to 2003. Ended up back on after 4 months because taking a beta-blocker caused immediate depression (just 2 doses - turned out I didn't even need it; I had no other withdrawal symptoms - I might have ended up med and withdrawal-free otherwise :(). - Switched to Effexor (75mg 3/day) and Seroquel (50mg 3/day) in 2010. - Did a self-taper during 2016. - Developed Discontinuation Syndrome 02/17.

Supplements: Magnesium-Glycinate 400mg split into 4 100mg doses throughout the day. Vitamin C 500mg - once per day. Fish Oil 1360 mg (950 mg Active Omega-3) - twice per day.

I'm not a doctor. I use the internet, experience, and trial & error. Seek medical advice if necessary.

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  • 4 months later...

Has anyone had new symptoms a long way in? I stopped cold turkey 14 months ago and have slowly started to feel better. My main symptoms were intense drowsiness and fatigue. About 3 weeks ago I entered a new window and then I had a stomach bug which laid me pretty low. I had just recovered. From that and for the last 2 or 3 nights have felt really wired and wide awake. It's horrible. I'm not sure how long I can cope but do not want to go to the doctor as he will give me pills again. I thought this was finally getting better, I'm so desperate. 

Originally went on prozac 2008 for CFS - 20mg

Finished end 2012 - extreme anxiety and insomnia for a year, reinstated Jan 2014 - 40mg.

Jan 2015 tapered to 20mg - 5 months WD

Sept 2015 - took 3 tablets for vertigo - triggered 5 months WD

Switched to sertraline Dec 2015 - didn't work so went CT Jan 2016. 6 weeks of breathing and sleep problems so reinstated sertraline.

April 2016 CT - WD started.

April - August 2016 very low dose zopiclone - made WD worse so stopped end August 2017

Since Sept 2016 WD: drowsiness and fatigue; headaches (ended Christmas 2016); numb face (ended Christmas 2016); vivid dreams; anxiety and tearfulness; dizziness; nausea; loud tinnitus; irrational feelings of fear and dread; tingling up and down the backs of my legs; some insomnia but that's getting better. 

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On 16/11/2017 at 4:00 AM, Chochka said:

Has anyone had new symptoms a long way in? I stopped cold turkey 14 months ago and have slowly started to feel better. My main symptoms were intense drowsiness and fatigue. About 3 weeks ago I entered a new window and then I had a stomach bug which laid me pretty low. I had just recovered. From that and for the last 2 or 3 nights have felt really wired and wide awake. It's horrible. I'm not sure how long I can cope but do not want to go to the doctor as he will give me pills again. I thought this was finally getting better, I'm so desperate. 

hi you are in the wrong area of the forum post this on your Introduction post so the moderators can replay in my opinion you can do 2 things Reinstate a small amount (what has the risk of an adverse reaction ) or try to hold and try holistic way to try to fix it a let the healing keep going 

i  my shelf am going slow on the taper and I 2 have some mental symptoms but we got to be strong 

 

but post this on your introduction section so they can replay 

 

  1. Zoloft(Generic)100 mg From 06/06/2016 to 02/10/2016                         
  2. Lexapro(Generic) 20 MG From 03/10/2016 to 05/2017                               Supplements: Omega3 
  3. Lexapro (Generic) CT 05/2017 
  4. 6/08/17- reinstated 10mg Lexapro(Generic)(50%of original doses )
  5. 02/11/2017- 9 mg Lexapro(Generic) (10 % rule) (Homemade)
  6. 04/12/2017- 8.75mg Lexapro(Generic)(BrassMonkey slide)
  7. 19/12/2017- 8.5mg Lexapro(Generic)
  8. 06/02/2018- 8.35mg Lexapro (Generic)
  9. 16/2/2018- 8.22mg Lexapro(Generic)
  10. 25/2/2018- 8.09mg Lexapro (Generic)-05/03/2018- 7.9mg Lexapro (Generic)-28/03/2018-7.75mg Lexapro (Generic)-04/04/2018-7.66mg Lexapro (Generic)18/05/2018-7.64mg Lexapro (brand Liquid)
  11. 28/6/2018 7.50mg lexapro (Brand Liquid ) 15/7/2018 7.40 mg Lexapro(brand liquid) 7.30 mg Lexapro(Liquid) 27-07-2018
  12. Forgot to update this but i contiuned to taper down until 21/12/2019 and final dose was 1.3 mg  Time since Stoping  10 months, 4 days 
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Any stress, whether internal or external, good or bad, can affect our withdrawal symptoms.  This would include being sick.  Last week I had a helicopter flying lesson for my 60th birthday.  For several days after I noticed increased anxiety.  Did you take any type of treatment for your stomach?  Some members find that when in withdrawal things they take, including supplements, antibiotics, and even food and alcohol can affect how they feel.  The only two supplements which SA recommends are Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil.  If you do try them, try them separately and start with a small amount to test it.  

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

From What is Happening in Your Brain

 

"Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are [...] to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were [...] to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and [...] to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while [...] is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made. "

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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  • 4 months later...

My waves include boredom and lack of motivation too. I've been off for 19 months now and although my waves are a lot easier these days I have a permanent feeling of just not being interested in anything. 

Originally went on prozac 2008 for CFS - 20mg

Finished end 2012 - extreme anxiety and insomnia for a year, reinstated Jan 2014 - 40mg.

Jan 2015 tapered to 20mg - 5 months WD

Sept 2015 - took 3 tablets for vertigo - triggered 5 months WD

Switched to sertraline Dec 2015 - didn't work so went CT Jan 2016. 6 weeks of breathing and sleep problems so reinstated sertraline.

April 2016 CT - WD started.

April - August 2016 very low dose zopiclone - made WD worse so stopped end August 2017

Since Sept 2016 WD: drowsiness and fatigue; headaches (ended Christmas 2016); numb face (ended Christmas 2016); vivid dreams; anxiety and tearfulness; dizziness; nausea; loud tinnitus; irrational feelings of fear and dread; tingling up and down the backs of my legs; some insomnia but that's getting better. 

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Chochka,

I also have a lack of interest in anything. I used to be such an energetic person. I worry that this is now my life. I am at the 18 month totally off meds mark...I had hoped wd would be over by now. The symptoms I still have are occasional brain zaps, problems with sleep, and anhedonia. I just have to keep reading the success stories!

Oct 2016. 20 years fluoxetine (20 mg) and bupropion (400 mg). Ceased fluoxetine without taper and bupropion after 4 wk taper. Initial extreme fatigue resolved into moderate fatigue and depression with occasional brain zaps and tingling skin.
Oct 2017. Anhedonia, 90% of my day. Occasional anxiety. Milder brain zaps. In past two weeks, 3 window days and 11 wave days.
May 2019. Anhedonia, infrequent anxiety, mild brain zaps. Sleeping 6 hours nightly after lifetime of 8 hours. Typical daily pattern is wave until late afternoon, window until bedtime. Occasional full day windows.
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I know that kind of bored feeling as well... sometimes I think this is because I am so busy and focused on WD the past 2 years that Inforgot to have fun;) I am now trying new things... my main hobby used to be sports which I still do but can't perform like it was before so I figured I need something new. Now I bought a kalligraphie boom and yesterday went to a live drawing group which I really enjoyed a lot! But it takes a lot of effort and first I feel no motivation to do so... but then, joy comes back:))) 

2005-2006: Cipralex 5 mg

2009-2010: Cipralex 5 mg

2012-2015: Cipralex 5mg, 10mg 

tapered 10mg-7.5mg-5mg-2,5-0 (I always waited for a few weeks on the current dosage until I felt stable. Steps were too big I realized too late)

Completely drug free since August 2015

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Before I took these dreadful things I was a triathlete. Busy all the time, very motivated, etc. Now I'm an overweight middle aged woman waiting for it all to come back again. Today is particularly bad - I barely feel motivated enough to write this post! But I do have days that are much better and I can feel my old self returning. 

Originally went on prozac 2008 for CFS - 20mg

Finished end 2012 - extreme anxiety and insomnia for a year, reinstated Jan 2014 - 40mg.

Jan 2015 tapered to 20mg - 5 months WD

Sept 2015 - took 3 tablets for vertigo - triggered 5 months WD

Switched to sertraline Dec 2015 - didn't work so went CT Jan 2016. 6 weeks of breathing and sleep problems so reinstated sertraline.

April 2016 CT - WD started.

April - August 2016 very low dose zopiclone - made WD worse so stopped end August 2017

Since Sept 2016 WD: drowsiness and fatigue; headaches (ended Christmas 2016); numb face (ended Christmas 2016); vivid dreams; anxiety and tearfulness; dizziness; nausea; loud tinnitus; irrational feelings of fear and dread; tingling up and down the backs of my legs; some insomnia but that's getting better. 

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2 hours ago, Chochka said:

Before I took these dreadful things I was a triathlete. Busy all the time, very motivated, etc. Now I'm an overweight middle aged woman waiting for it all to come back again. Today is particularly bad - I barely feel motivated enough to write this post! But I do have days that are much better and I can feel my old self returning. 

I know! this sport-subject ist particularly frustrating 😵 when I am in a window I can train almost my "normal" amount but in a wave or somewhere in between it just doesn't work that way🙄 I get headaches right during workout and my nerves are on fire. I then try to accept that I will only do light cardio, walk the dog exceptionally long- stuff like that. If I don't do anything I feel like a total victim

2005-2006: Cipralex 5 mg

2009-2010: Cipralex 5 mg

2012-2015: Cipralex 5mg, 10mg 

tapered 10mg-7.5mg-5mg-2,5-0 (I always waited for a few weeks on the current dosage until I felt stable. Steps were too big I realized too late)

Completely drug free since August 2015

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2 hours ago, Pepita said:

I know! this sport-subject ist particularly frustrating 😵 when I am in a window I can train almost my "normal" amount but in a wave or somewhere in between it just doesn't work that way🙄 I get headaches right during workout and my nerves are on fire. I then try to accept that I will only do light cardio, walk the dog exceptionally long- stuff like that. If I don't do anything I feel like a total victim

My main symptom is drowsiness and fatigue so training is completely out when I'm in a wave. When I'm in a window I can go running with my local fell running club and cycling with the local triathletes but that doesn't happen very often. I try to run 10 minutes every day but in reality when I'm in a wave running is out of the question. It's very frustrating and I'm constantly 'waiting' to get better. My life has been on hold for years.

Originally went on prozac 2008 for CFS - 20mg

Finished end 2012 - extreme anxiety and insomnia for a year, reinstated Jan 2014 - 40mg.

Jan 2015 tapered to 20mg - 5 months WD

Sept 2015 - took 3 tablets for vertigo - triggered 5 months WD

Switched to sertraline Dec 2015 - didn't work so went CT Jan 2016. 6 weeks of breathing and sleep problems so reinstated sertraline.

April 2016 CT - WD started.

April - August 2016 very low dose zopiclone - made WD worse so stopped end August 2017

Since Sept 2016 WD: drowsiness and fatigue; headaches (ended Christmas 2016); numb face (ended Christmas 2016); vivid dreams; anxiety and tearfulness; dizziness; nausea; loud tinnitus; irrational feelings of fear and dread; tingling up and down the backs of my legs; some insomnia but that's getting better. 

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44 minutes ago, Chochka said:

My main symptom is drowsiness and fatigue so training is completely out when I'm in a wave. When I'm in a window I can go running with my local fell running club and cycling with the local triathletes but that doesn't happen very often. I try to run 10 minutes every day but in reality when I'm in a wave running is out of the question. It's very frustrating and I'm constantly 'waiting' to get better. My life has been on hold for years.

how long have you been on them? and for how long are you off? 

2005-2006: Cipralex 5 mg

2009-2010: Cipralex 5 mg

2012-2015: Cipralex 5mg, 10mg 

tapered 10mg-7.5mg-5mg-2,5-0 (I always waited for a few weeks on the current dosage until I felt stable. Steps were too big I realized too late)

Completely drug free since August 2015

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I've moved these posts from the Windows and Waves topic because they are about Chocka's situation.

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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Hi Pepita.

 

I was on 20mg prozac for 4 years 2008-12. I tapered under doctors advice at the end of 2012 and went into a horrible withdrawal which consisted of intense insomnia, anxiety and irritation for a year. At the end of it I was in a different dimension! I knew at the start it was withdrawal but my doctor wouldn't believe it so eventually I tried to reinstate. It took about a year and I was a mess then too. Then I tried numerous times to taper under doctors advice for the next couple of years before getting fed up of it all and finally going cold turkey about 18 months ago. That was really horrible and I spent a year feeling like I'd been it by a truck but now it's finally started to subside and although I feel pretty dreadful a lot of the time it is manageable now and I do get days and even weeks where I don't have any symptoms. I'm reckoning it's going to be at least a year before I feel ok for the majority of the time. It's been really hard and I wouldn't advise going on antidepressants without very careful consideration. I wasn't even on them for mental health problems and now that's what is on my medical record. 

Originally went on prozac 2008 for CFS - 20mg

Finished end 2012 - extreme anxiety and insomnia for a year, reinstated Jan 2014 - 40mg.

Jan 2015 tapered to 20mg - 5 months WD

Sept 2015 - took 3 tablets for vertigo - triggered 5 months WD

Switched to sertraline Dec 2015 - didn't work so went CT Jan 2016. 6 weeks of breathing and sleep problems so reinstated sertraline.

April 2016 CT - WD started.

April - August 2016 very low dose zopiclone - made WD worse so stopped end August 2017

Since Sept 2016 WD: drowsiness and fatigue; headaches (ended Christmas 2016); numb face (ended Christmas 2016); vivid dreams; anxiety and tearfulness; dizziness; nausea; loud tinnitus; irrational feelings of fear and dread; tingling up and down the backs of my legs; some insomnia but that's getting better. 

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  • 7 months later...

I've been withdrawing for two years now and after a really awful first year things started to improve. My symptoms started to ease and there were frequent windows which made the bad times easier to take. Recently though my symptoms have got worse again with no windows. I've been drug free now for 2 years. Has anyone else experienced this? How long did it last and how did people deal with it? I guess I'm looking for answers which I know are probably not there but I'm in need of some encouragement at the moment. 

Originally went on prozac 2008 for CFS - 20mg

Finished end 2012 - extreme anxiety and insomnia for a year, reinstated Jan 2014 - 40mg.

Jan 2015 tapered to 20mg - 5 months WD

Sept 2015 - took 3 tablets for vertigo - triggered 5 months WD

Switched to sertraline Dec 2015 - didn't work so went CT Jan 2016. 6 weeks of breathing and sleep problems so reinstated sertraline.

April 2016 CT - WD started.

April - August 2016 very low dose zopiclone - made WD worse so stopped end August 2017

Since Sept 2016 WD: drowsiness and fatigue; headaches (ended Christmas 2016); numb face (ended Christmas 2016); vivid dreams; anxiety and tearfulness; dizziness; nausea; loud tinnitus; irrational feelings of fear and dread; tingling up and down the backs of my legs; some insomnia but that's getting better. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Members discuss the windows and waves pattern of recovery in this topic:  the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization

 

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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I'm at 21 months off after a very fast taper.  I'm really sorry you were given Prozac.  It's clearly not safe.  

 

You are going to get better.  This is "just" another wave. (Really irritating to hear that, I know.) The "2 year wave" is often talked about here.  After months of feeling better and thinking it's over another wave hits.  Sometimes people try ADs again which I think is a mistake.  Almost everyone who gets through the 2 year wave seems to see a lot of improvement in the 3rd year and then some of them write success stories or simply stop posting.  

 

I suppose some who stop posting have another wave and try the drugs again, but I'm not going to.  I am convinced that this nightmare is almost over.  (Just don't ask me what I think when I'm in a deep wave.  Then, I feel the opposite, of course.)  I have dug very deep into the threads of people who are still ill after 2.5 years or 3 years, and I'm quite sure that the fact that I never tried another AD or benzo in all this time is a good thing.  Trying to use timeframes to make decisions about this awful syndrome is folly in my opinion.  This syndrome doesn't stop because the calendar says "Are you kidding me?!!"  Some people feel better at 18 months and never get another big wave.  Some of us see a wave at 2 years or a few months after, but the same process of healing is happening in each case.  Some people are luckier than others, that's all.  

 

The success story people often say "after 2 years I was still having symptoms, but they were milder and I continued to see improvement throughout year 3."  So, I think it's worth waiting out year 3 off the drugs from a cold turkey/ fast taper.  That's my plan -- not that I would ever touch another AD or benzo - ever -- but in terms of being discouraged, I'm not (as long as I'm not in a wave like the one you are in right now).  I'm sick to death of this, but I honestly believe that I'm getting well, and that my life will be mostly back to normal in a year or two.  I believe I am thinking clearly right now and that I don't think clearly in a big wave.

 

You have been through the worst based on all the SA threads I have read.  If you stay way from all the different drugs that can harm you -- even the numbing agent at the dentist and some antibiotics that have fluoride in them -- I believe you will come out of this wave and get well.  Just make sure to search here for any drug a doctor prescribes to avoid being "floxxed" by the fluoride antibiotics and ask for the non-adrenaline numbing agent at the dentist.  The doctor never seem to provide informed consent -- tell the patient of the risks of the drug.  Oh, avoid alcohol and caffeine, too.  Your system will be sensitive for years, I think, but the really hard part is almost over, in my opinion.  I hope you feel better very soon, Chochka.

 

Rosetta

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

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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  • 4 months later...

Chochka, how are you doing now? I have been off Prozac a year in May.  

This is the best of my recollection.

20 mg Prozac 3-4 days per week from 1994 until May 2018.

Beginning May 15 I began to drop doses. 

I dropped 1 dose per week for the next 4 weeks.

It was not systematic at all. I don't have which days I took what.

so the week of May 13 I took 4 doses, which was pretty normal for me.

Then the week of May 20 I took 3 doses 20 mg.

The week of May 27 I took 3 doses 20 mg.

The 1st week in June l took 2 doses 20 mg.

The week of June 10, 2018 was my last dose 20 mg.

I had been on Prozac only for over 20 years.  No other medications.

 

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  • 3 years later...

Hi, @Chochka,

 

I would also very much like to know how are You feeling now, please reach out and take care

 

Wishing You a lifelong window!

V.

 

Duloxetine 2016/17 - 30/60mg/30mg, c/t, light WD.

Sertraline June 2019 50mg ADR

Clorazepate June 2019 20-15-10mg for 3 weeks then sparsely until 2022, 2 times per month max and very low dose (5mg)

Clorazepate Jan2022 10mg 5 days 2,5mg 2 days then off

Venlafaxine June 2019 75mg ADR, 17,5mg, titrated to 37,5mg

Venlafaxine Jan 2022 Covid, hard ADR on 37,5mg, reduced to 20mg ADR, tried ct, crash,

Venlafaxine 22Jan22 reinstated 9,4mg, too low/ 01Feb22- 12mg/ 12Feb- 11,25mg/ 16Feb- 11mg/ 20Feb- 10,8mg/ 24Feb22-10,575mg/ 16Mar22- 10,46mg/ 26Mar22- 10,35mg/ 26Apr22- 10mg/ 01Oct- 9,9mg/ 13Nov- 9,7mg

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