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Gerl: histamine intolerance after Zoloft discontinuation


Gerl

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Hi,

I do appreciate this supportive website. My story: I had been on Celexa for anxiety for at least 10 years at doses of between 10 and 20 mg.  At 15 to 20 mg at times it really seemed to help the anxiety and lift my mood. Last Dec. I went on Zoloft because the anxiety seemed to be breaking through with the Celexa.  (However, I now wonder if lowering the dose on my own was actually giving me symptoms of anxiety).  I went one month on 25mg Zoloft, then 50mg Zoloft for 3 months.  It never seemed to really help with anxiety or low mood, and also gave me GI upset with diarrhea.  I decided to stop on my own, tapering over 6 weeks.  While tapering and since stopping I have been taking Fish oil and probiotic, hoping both of those supplements would help with anxiety/depression.  During the taper and since stopping, I have been having additional GI problems, plus very bad histamine intolerance.  Foods that I had not problem eating while on SSRI, now give me headache, dizziness (to the point where I haven't driven on the freeway for 3 months!), fatigue, and flu-like symptoms.  By the way, I would occasionally have these symptoms when lowering the Celexa dose, but then it would go away soon, so I attributed it to anxiety.  So weird and awful.  I've done lots of reading and discovered that in some people this can happen after SSRI discontinuation.  One theory is that the SSRI has acted as an anti-histamine therefore the cells in the GI tract don't need to make the DAO enzyme that breaks down histamine.  So when going off the SSRI, there is nothing to break down the histamine. 

 

I am currently on a low histamine diet.  Trying Quercetin and Vit. C to help with the high histamine.  The glutamine/aloe vera supplement made me feel extremely fatigued so had to stop.  It's been 2 months since stopping Zoloft.  Of course I'm praying my body will return to normal sometime soon, and fearful this may last a long time.  My primary care doctor said the body doesn't even start to feel normal until 3 months post-stopping. 

 

I would appreciate any input from folks who have had similar issues, and would love to hear some positive stories of healing from this.  Needless to say, will never take SSRI again!

 

Thank you

Edited by mammaP
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Gerl, welcome to SA. What yu are suffering from is PAWS, or Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome from tapering zoloft too fast. Can you tell us how you lowered the dose of celexa? You are right in thinking that the symptoms of anxiety could be from lowering the dose. Did you take both together or just quit celexa and start zoloft?

 

The only way to stop withdrawal is to reinstate the drug that was discontinued. No one EVER wants to do this and some people get quite upset at the very thought of it. I was one of those people but my drug was effexor. Often a very very tiny dose is enough, just 1mg could make a difference. When people are stable they then start to taper off the tiny dose very carefully.  As you were better with celexa and had side effects from zoloft it might be better to reinstate celexa. Celexa is available in a liquid so is quite simple to taper the small doses, or you can make a liquid yourself from tablets. Withdrawal can go on for a long time and reinstating relieves much of the discomfort. It was a lifesaver for me, who would guess that just 1mg could help!  I will get some links to topics that will help you to understand. First, we ask all our members to fill in their signature with a brief review of drug and tapering history, especially the last year. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

About reinstating

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

What is withdrawal

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

 

Tapering celexa 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2023-tips-for-tapering-off-celexa-citalopram/page__pid__19887#entry19887

 

Many people find that magnesium and fish oil help with withdrawal. You are already taking fish oil, so here is the info on magnesium. We need to take care with supplements, when the nervous system is compromised we react to things that might be fine for others. Always start very low and increase if they are tolerated. Start one at a time otherwise you will not know which has caused a problem. I have just emptied a cupboard of supplements, I would go to the health store and buy 3 or 4, start them at once, along with a drastic change in diet and the result was disaster. I think we all do that :blink:

 

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

 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Thank you so much, MommaP for all your help!  I will read all the info. you gave me, then respond in a few days.  It's amazing that 1mg. could help.  I would definitely try this with liquid Celexa not Zoloft.   However I would be very hesitant to go up too much.  Anyway, I'll read your info. and ask my doctor for liquid Celexa.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Gerl: Histamine intolerance after Zoloft discontinuation
  • 3 weeks later...

Any update?

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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Hi

I've just posted about histamine in another thread. Ive never obviously suffered from histamine before stopping AD's 10 months ago and it's taken a while for me to realise what's been causing my symptoms, but now I understand the link and the breathlessness, swollen sinus, hives, food intolerances. God it takes so much research, it's exhausting going round and round on your own trying to find answers. 

Anyway, the worst symptom I'm getting from various as yet un-identified food stuffs is the awful insomnia and jolting awake over and over with heart twitching, palpitations etc. Tonight it is particularly bad and I'm not sure what I ate which caused it. I've had a really scary and uncomfortable couple of hours and now I've just decided to sit up and not even try to sleep. I've never experienced anything like this until stopping my antidepressants. I'm going to have to go for the total elimination diet and then try reinstating to find out what's upsetting me so badly. I really felt like I might die earlier :( im feeling a bit better now but I've still got numbness down both arms 

Citalopram 11years 2005-2016

Wellbutrin 4 years 2012-2016

Withdrawn since Sept 2016

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Hi all,

In my case, I think I have somehow acquired leaky gut and/or histamine intolerance after discontinuing SSRI.  A couple theories I've read about on the internet: 

1. SSRI acts as an anti-histamine while taking, suppressing the enzyme DAO which breaks down histamine, and then upon discontinuation the body no long makes DAO  because it didn't have to while on SSRI.  It then takes time (I don't know how long) for the body to start making adequate amounts of DAO so one can eat normally  again without nasal congestion, headaches (sometimes very severe), dizziness, diarrhea and other weird symptoms that the high levels of histamine cause.

 

2. The SSRI actually damages the GI tract while taking it, but the effect is masked until the SSRi is withdrawn.

 

3. Both of the above.

 

I decided not to go back to small amounts of Zoloft, but rather to try to repair the GI tract.  I am trying no dairy, gluten, alcohol, coffee, and high histamine foods.  In addition taking Great Lakes Collagen powder 3 times daily (1tsp each time) to heal the gut.  Also an L-Glutamine (500mg) every day or every other day.  The glutamine may be giving me more dizziness, but not sure if that's part of the healing process.  The gelatin doesn't seem to have negative side effects so far, but my stomach does feel more stable, and bowel movements more normal.  So I hope and pray I am on the right track.

 

I'm also taking fish oil, probiotics, and multi-vit daily (with vit D).  I don't seem to feel any anxiety anymore, thankfully.  I have low energy frequently, but perhaps this is due to the gut healing(?).  

 

An advantage of the gelatin:  sleeping 6 to 8 hours without waking up!!  Wow, such a wonderful benefit.  I used to frequently wake up at 3am and not be able to go back to sleep.  

 

My heart and prayers go out to all who are suffering from discontinuation syndrome.  It does seem to be different in everybody.  But the common theme is that the SSRI has modified the physiology, and upon discontinuation the body re-balancing causes a lot of ill-effects and suffering.

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,

It's been 4 months plus one week since I took my last SSRI.  My main problems are still digestive issues (leaky gut symptoms/histamine intolerance) that appear to be directly linked to head issues (stuffy nose, sinus headaches, blurry vision with floaters, dizziness) and also fatigue.  The dizziness has prevented me from driving more than 3 miles on the freeway.  Can drive ok around town.

 

I stay away from dairy, gluten, caffeine, soy, and many histamine - related foods.  I feel my diet is pretty restricted and I have lost about 8 pounds since April, unintentionally.  If I eat close to bedtime (which I know is not good for digestion anyway), I am miserable the next day with sinus, dizziness, headache.  I'm grateful however, that I really don't feel anxiety like I did pre-SSRI, nor depression.  My mood seems fairly good, thankfully!  I wonder if I just needed fish oil and probiotics to alleviate it?

 

Powdered gelatin seems to help with insomnia, as it most of the time allows me to sleep 6.5 to 7.5 hours per night.  It seems that Chamomile tea has recently helped minimize the digestion issues, as well as possibly lift my spirits (perhaps just because the pain is alleviated) so will keep trying that.  I still take a multi, fish oil, vit C, B6, and probiotic.  Sometimes take digestive enzyme before dinner.

 

I do have a few good days when I feel almost normal, but lots of bad days feeling head pain, dizziness and fatigue.  I continue to work, and most of the time exercise seems to help a lot.

 

This has been such a drag, I keep praying that it will get better sooner than later.  I will see my PCP in 2 weeks.  Last time I saw her she did admit that there is a long recovery period post withdrawal, where the body is not the same.  However, the my psychiatrist said "I've never heard of such bad withdrawal symptoms".  This surprised me since she seemed fairly knowledgable, but I'd rather see my PCP since she seems to understand withdrawal more.  At times I'm tempted to re-instate Celexa at 1 mg., but it sounds like I may be too far out in the withdrawal - but would do that if it could make my life better.  I'll see what my PCP says.

 

I have some friends who have been on SSRI's that say they've never had the problems I've had, but they are still taking the SSRI - so I suppose it could happen to them if they decided to permanently quit.  I wonder what the percentage is of people on SSRI's who get the withdrawal syndrome that we all suffer from?

 

Thanks to all for your time and your help.  You are all in my prayers for complete recovery!

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Thanks for the update 

What do you think about doing the wdl survey?

 

I have some friends who have been on SSRI's that say they've never had the problems I've had, but they are still taking the SSRI

I would say they are trapped in a state of medication spellbinding. Oblivious to the predicament they are in...drug addiction by stealth.

When they come to trying to get off the drug they may find that its not an easy thing to do. Withdrawal can be a life threatening medical emergency. 

As many as 78 % have wdl reactions according to Glenmullen. 

 

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 am now 21 months post withdrawal (stopping Celexa).  My main symptoms have been GI and head problems.  I believe I made my symptoms worse for a long time by taking probiotics that contained histamine producing strains.  For about 1.5 years while on these probiotics I had very bad food sensitivity, dizziness and fatigue.  I've stopped taking those probiotics but now have bad indigestion.  I'm really not sure what is withdrawal and what is not related health issues at this point.  I just know that when I stopped the SSRI my digestive system started having problems.  And I have not felt well since stopping the SSRI, almost 2 years now.  We know that SSRI's do effect the gut, so it makes sense that 15 years on them had that effect on me.

 

So now I am trying to heal the GERD (that cause very bad sinus headaches), hopefully with natural methods.  Does anyone relate to these symptoms?

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Gerl: histamine intolerance after Zoloft discontinuation
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Gerl,

 

Thanks for coming back to give an update.  This will give members a concise drug history.

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

acid-reflux

 

digestive-problems-nausea-diarrhoea-bloating-gerd

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...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Gerl, 

 

How are you doing? How are your headaches and GI problems?💚

Been on APs, benzos, ADs and opiates, all for chronic pain. Had severe Akathisia in the past that made me suicidal. Still on Seroquel. 2019:➡️ March10=7.25mg ✔️April17=7.0✔️June5=6.75✔️ July14=6.50✔️Aug28=6.25✔️Oct10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️  2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April2=5.40✔️May29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep29=4.80✔️2021➡️ Jan31=4.60 mg✔️April24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov1=4.10✔️ Nov21= 4.05✔️ Dec13= 4mg✔️  2022➡️Jan8= 3.95 Jan 31=3.90✔️March2=3.85✔️ April4=3.80✔️June16=3.75✔️July26=3.70✔️Sep2=3.65✔️THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, consult a doctor.

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  • 2 months later...

I have also had a lot of GI problems along the way.  Be careful about the collagen powder, it is considered very high histamine and even when I was healthy (before all the stomach and psych drugs) I couldn't tolerate it - it gave me all-day headaches and insomnia.  And acid-reducing drugs also have their downside, and have been linked to SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), which in turn, may cause/exacerbate histamine issues.

 

Hope your GERD is improved ....

 

 

Started .25 mg. clonazapam Oct. 2016

Started 10 mg. Celexa Dec. 2016

Started 10 mg. amitriptyline January 2017

Also took 60 mg. Dexilant Oct. 2016 through April 2017, successfully tapered off

Stopped Celexa successfully Oct. 2017

Fast taper of amitriptyline Dec. 2017, had major WD symptoms and reinstated at 10 mg. Jan. 2018

Slow amitryptyline taper started Mar. 2019, reduced from 10 mg. to 0.93 mg. currently

Also still taking .25 mg. clonazapam daily in late evening

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