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PinballWizard: Journey to freedom


PinballWizard

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Moderator note:  Link to PInballWizard's benzo thread

 

 

I have been on Celexa 20 mg/day for ten years. I have hone cold turkey several times with disastrous results. I have also been on Lamotrigine 100 mg/2x daily for three years and 100 mg/day for three years before that. I take Valium as needed and have decided to stop taking it since I haven't taken it in several weeks. I have decided to stop taking these drugs. I am working with my psychiatrist and want other people's  experiences with withdrawals. I know it will take time, and I am not in a hurry. Thank you in advance.

Edited by Shep

Current Medications:

1. Celexa 20 mg/day.  Tapered to 19 mg/day 9/16 - 10/2/2017.  Back to 20 mg/day on 10/3/2017.

2. Lamotrigine 100 mg/day for 3 years (mood stabilizer) followed by 100 mg/2x daily for 3 years (6 years total).

3. Neurontin (Gabapentin) 600 mg/2x daily for 3 years.

 

Note: I took Valium 5 mg/3x day as needed for 2+ years (anxiety). My last dose was on June 23, 2017.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi PinballWizard. Welcome to SA.  Many people here have tried to quit psychiatric drugs with the same results. The secret is to go so slowly that the drug is sneaked away from the brain so stealthily it will not notice it has gone. I am glad that you are prepared for the long haul, so many people who come here want to be off within weeks, which is what most doctors recommend. Sadly we get the fallout from doctor's tapering schedules and it is heartbreaking sometimes to see the state they are in after a too fast taper on doctor's orders. Here at SA we recommend tapering no more than 10% of the CURRENT  dose with 4 weeks between drops to allow the brain to adjust. This is based on extensive research and the experiences of our members and others on various different forums.  This can take a very long time but it means that people can get on with life and function while tapering. Many feel better as the doses get lower which is brilliant. I am in year 5 of my tapers and will be tapering for some time yet but it is much better than being on them for life which is what my doctors told me!  We usually advise tapering the most activating drug first, which would be the celexa. 

 

I will get some links for you.  First, we ask all our members to fill in their signature with their drug history, especially the last 2 years. Include the valium and how often you took it. 

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

 

Tapering multiple drugs. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2207-taking-multiple-psych-drugs-taper-the-antidepressant-first/

Tapering celexa

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

Tapering lamotrigine

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1122-tips-for-tapering-off-lamictal-lamotrigine/

 

It's good to have you with us. 

**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 mammaP!! After my recent episode, I started doing research on getting off the medication. I began with YouTube, which did not offer much help since most people were stopping their medications in as short as 2 weeks. I finally watched a video that referenced the previous site (Paxil Progress), which led me here. I'm amazed by the amount of information and wish I had known all this earlier. My main reason for starting Celexa and Lamotrigine is behind me, but I still have a lot of stressors in my life. I am very sensitive to a lot of drugs and had face/eyelid twitching and hand shaking at 30mg/day of Celexa. I'm more interested in giving my body time to adjust to each new dose before moving forward. If it takes several years, then I am prepared. I want to minimize the withdrawal symptoms as much as possible.

Current Medications:

1. Celexa 20 mg/day.  Tapered to 19 mg/day 9/16 - 10/2/2017.  Back to 20 mg/day on 10/3/2017.

2. Lamotrigine 100 mg/day for 3 years (mood stabilizer) followed by 100 mg/2x daily for 3 years (6 years total).

3. Neurontin (Gabapentin) 600 mg/2x daily for 3 years.

 

Note: I took Valium 5 mg/3x day as needed for 2+ years (anxiety). My last dose was on June 23, 2017.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to PinballWizard: Journey to freedom

I have been taking Valium on and off for several years now. For the past 4-5 months I have taken 5mg up to 3 times a day for anxiety. I would do this for several weeks then stop for several days. Then I would take 1 first thing in the morning for a week. Then stop for a week. Then take 1 before bed. Then take two a day. You get the picture. I have noticed that I have been extremely fatigued over the last 4-5 months. My brain feels jumbled and I can't make decisions. I just don't feel "right". I took my last Valium a week ago and don't plan to take any more. I have a lot of stress in my life right now (buying a house, starting a business, fighting for custody of my kids), but I feel like I can handle itI have a great therapist that I see once a week. I hate the way Valium makes me feel lethargic and out of it. I can't focus, concentrate or do anything productive when I take it. I feel like I have been on a roller coaster the last 5 months. Could this be a sign of withdrawals? Has anyone else experienced this? How do I go about tapering off Celexa and Lamotrigine if these are withdrawal symptoms. I am meeting with my psychiatrist next week. Thank you for your support.

Current Medications:

1. Celexa 20 mg/day.  Tapered to 19 mg/day 9/16 - 10/2/2017.  Back to 20 mg/day on 10/3/2017.

2. Lamotrigine 100 mg/day for 3 years (mood stabilizer) followed by 100 mg/2x daily for 3 years (6 years total).

3. Neurontin (Gabapentin) 600 mg/2x daily for 3 years.

 

Note: I took Valium 5 mg/3x day as needed for 2+ years (anxiety). My last dose was on June 23, 2017.

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If in the past 4-5 months you've  been taking Valium more often then before it's very possible the roller coaster feeling is due to the Valium.,..

200 Zoloft; 10 mg Zyprexa; 4 mg valium as of May 2021;  Valium taper: July 16: 3.5 valium; July 30: 3 mg (paused valium taper); Aug. 23: 2.5 mg
Zyprexa: July 26: 8.75 mg; Aug. 9: 7.5 mg; Aug. 30: 7.1 mg

-------
Dec 1, 2016. 10 mg zyprexa for 1.5 month. Started taper mid-Jan. 2017. Cut 1.25 mg every 2 weeks; smaller cuts 2.5 mg down. Stopped at .6 mg. May 7, 2017: zyprexa free. 
Zoloft: Dec1, 2016, 200 mg. Started taper: Jun12, 2017: 197.5 mg; Jun19,:195 mg; July 2:185mg; July 9,:180 mg; July16,: 175; July 23: 170; July 30: 165; Aug6: 160; Aug13: 155; Aug. 20: 150; Aug.27: 146 mg; Sept3: 145 mg; Sept10:143 mg; Sept17:140 mg....Nov5: 122 mg...Dec3:112.5 mg; Jan14, 2018: 95 mg...Jan28: 90 mg; Feb21:80 mg; Mar11: 75 mg; May2:70 mg; May15: 68 mg; May28: 65 mg; Jun9: 62 mg;Jun25: 60 mg:July22: 55 mg; Aug25: 45 mg. Aug28: 50 mg...Oct 28: 38 mg; Dec.4: 30 mg; Jan8,2019: 25mg; Feb6: 23.5 mg; Apr1:17.5mg; May1:1 mg; May 5: 18;  May 18:15mg; June 16:12.5mg; Sept 10:11 mg; Sept.16:10 mg; Oct. 1: 9mg; Nov. 27: 8mg; Dec.5: 7mg; Jan.1,2020, 6 mg; Feb1: 5 mg; May 1: 2.5 mg; Jn 1: 2 mg; Jy 1: 1.5 mg

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  • Administrator

Just a FYI that PinballWizard is also on the benzo forum:

 

 

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, I tend to agree that the valium may be giving you some odd symptoms still even though it has been a while since you took it.  It would be good to given the valium up if you can.

 

I am not qualified to say this, but it might be to your advantage in having the lamotrigine on board while trying to withdraw from your SSRIs, so that could be useful.  Apparently it can make withdrawal easier, smoothing the path a little and helping with sleep?  The moderators will be able to point you in the right direction for information on lamotrigine and SSRI withdrawal.

 

How are you feeling at present?

 

Joy

 

Back to 20 mg at some point

22/3/18 down to 19.8 mg and feeling well

31/3/18 down to 19.6 mg and feeling well

14/4/18 down to 19.4 mg

05/5/18 down to 19.2 mg and feeling well

14/5/18 kicked out of my marital home/marriage/family unexpectedly when son took over farm

During many hospitalisations for shock/stress put on

1mg lorazepam prn

50mg quetiapine night for sleep

40 mg citalopram

10/01/2021  stopped taking quetiapine totally after a slow taper

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Joy,

 

Feeling alright. After talking to my therapist, we agree my anxiety over the last few months have been made worse by Valium withdrawal. Each time I feel the sensation of anxiety without a cause, I go looking for a cause which makes it much worse. I've asked my wife to remind me that each time I get anxious that it is probably withdrawal systems.

 

Once my Valium withdrawal is over, I am planning to start tapering off Celexa as mammaP recommends.

 

On 6/27/2017 at 2:50 AM, mammaP said:

We usually advise tapering the most activating drug first, which would be the celexa

 

I will consult my psychiatrist before doing anything. I will use this site for guidance and building my knowledge. My psychiatrist should not have told me to stop taking Celexa cold turkey. I now know how to do it properly and will be in the drivers seat when I talk to my doctor.

 

I will return to this post when I start my tapering. I will be posting on the Benzo Forum (PinballWizard: Is This Valium Withdrawal?) until then. I am going to continue to follow your progress.

 

PW

Current Medications:

1. Celexa 20 mg/day.  Tapered to 19 mg/day 9/16 - 10/2/2017.  Back to 20 mg/day on 10/3/2017.

2. Lamotrigine 100 mg/day for 3 years (mood stabilizer) followed by 100 mg/2x daily for 3 years (6 years total).

3. Neurontin (Gabapentin) 600 mg/2x daily for 3 years.

 

Note: I took Valium 5 mg/3x day as needed for 2+ years (anxiety). My last dose was on June 23, 2017.

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Sadly when people withdraw from tranquilliser such as valium anxiety is a common reaction, likewise from antidepressants depression is a common reaction, from sleeping pills, insomnia, from antipsychotic, psychoses - there is a pattern.

 

Back to 20 mg at some point

22/3/18 down to 19.8 mg and feeling well

31/3/18 down to 19.6 mg and feeling well

14/4/18 down to 19.4 mg

05/5/18 down to 19.2 mg and feeling well

14/5/18 kicked out of my marital home/marriage/family unexpectedly when son took over farm

During many hospitalisations for shock/stress put on

1mg lorazepam prn

50mg quetiapine night for sleep

40 mg citalopram

10/01/2021  stopped taking quetiapine totally after a slow taper

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  • 2 months later...

Hello Wiz

 

Just seen your post on Joy's thread and you mentioned you had started your taper.

 

I just wanted to wish you well on your tapering journey.  It is early days yet but you have taken the first step which is always the biggest.

 

Best Wishes

 

Flowers xxx

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight. Update Xanax 11.8.21 tapered to .25 mg at night. 

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg.Update 10.8.22 .25 mg at night.  LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.  9.5.21 .01 mg x 2.  21.6.21 .01 mg x 1.  11.8.21 ZERO!

 

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Flowers,

 

Thank you.  You have been an inspiration to me.

 

Wiz

Current Medications:

1. Celexa 20 mg/day.  Tapered to 19 mg/day 9/16 - 10/2/2017.  Back to 20 mg/day on 10/3/2017.

2. Lamotrigine 100 mg/day for 3 years (mood stabilizer) followed by 100 mg/2x daily for 3 years (6 years total).

3. Neurontin (Gabapentin) 600 mg/2x daily for 3 years.

 

Note: I took Valium 5 mg/3x day as needed for 2+ years (anxiety). My last dose was on June 23, 2017.

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I will be following you to see how you progress.

 

How are you feeling so far?

 

Flowers xxx

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight. Update Xanax 11.8.21 tapered to .25 mg at night. 

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg.Update 10.8.22 .25 mg at night.  LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.  9.5.21 .01 mg x 2.  21.6.21 .01 mg x 1.  11.8.21 ZERO!

 

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Hello,

 

It has been a while since I last posted.  I have been off Valium for 3 months (last dose June 23, 2017).  There has been a big difference in my mood, and I feel more in control of my anger.  My therapist noticed a difference a few weeks after I stopped taking it.  She said I was more coherent and clear headed.  I stopped having withdrawal symptoms about a month after I quit taking it.  Victory!

 

I decided to begin tapering Celexa a few weeks ago.  I have a new psychiatrist.  He is supportive but still skeptical about me tapering.  I told him I was going to taper from 20 mg/day to 15 mg/day.  I used the techniques on this site (Home > Support> Symptoms and self-care > How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?), and he agreed to the tapering.  He was a little shocked that I was only reducing my dose one milligram at a time and waiting at least four weeks before deciding to taper again by one milligram.  He has been doing his job for a while, and I get the feeling he has never had anyone do what I am doing.  I am sure this is true of most psychiatrists.

 

I took my first dose of 19 mg of Celexa on Saturday, September 16, 2017.  I am keeping my other medications the same (see my signature for a list of meds).  I cut the 20 mg pills in half and crushed one half to make a 10 mg/10 ml solution.  I took the half pill and 9 mg of the solution.  Unfortunately, my symptoms intensified until I went to Urgent Care on 9/24.  The doctor mentioned that the absorption rate might be different then what I was used to.  I was prescribed 19 mg (9.5 ml) of the liquid Celexa.  Luckily, my pharmacy carries the solution. Another victory!

 

I began taking 19 mg of the liquid Celexa on Monday (9/25).  The last two days have been difficult.  Physically, I feel nauseous, lightheaded, dizzy, and I have a headache.  My appetite has decreased and I have very low energy in the afternoons.  My moods have been more intense, but my ability to recognize them and deal with them has been much better.  Victory! I am using the Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms by Dr. Joseph Glenmullen to track my symptoms daily.  I take the Celexa at 7 AM each morning and notice that my symptoms are most intense at about 10 AM.  The symptoms last for about 2 hours and then reduce to a more manageable level.  Unfortunately, I hit the wall at about 1 PM and cannot function for the rest of the day due to extreme fatigue.

 

I tried to describe my experience to my therapist last night.  There is not a word to describe it or even anything to compare it with.  I feel happy and sad at the same time.  Angry and peaceful.  Clear-headed and confused.  Composed and flustered.  All at the same time.  But at the same time none of these.  I know my brain is compensating for the change in Serotonin, while experiencing emotions and feelings in a different way than before.  My therapist called it an adventure.  I’m not so sure that is how I would describe it. Perhaps, journey is the right word.  Doesn’t really matter. I do know that I feel a difference.  I hope it is in a positive direction.

 

I am prepared to take my time.  I know this is not a quick process.  Especially for someone extremely sensitive to any change in medication.  I am going to take it one day at a time.  Sometimes, I have to take it one hour at a time.  My goals for tapering are:

 

Short Term - Get stable on 19 mg of Celexa (at least 2 weeks after withdrawal symptoms subside)

Medium Term - Taper to 15 mg of Celexa (6 months to one year)

Long Term: Completely stop taking Celexa (unknown time limit at this point)

 

I look forward to the journey in front me.  I am glad I am not doing this alone, and I thank everyone for sharing their experiences and support.

 

Sincerely,

PinballWizard (Wiz)

Current Medications:

1. Celexa 20 mg/day.  Tapered to 19 mg/day 9/16 - 10/2/2017.  Back to 20 mg/day on 10/3/2017.

2. Lamotrigine 100 mg/day for 3 years (mood stabilizer) followed by 100 mg/2x daily for 3 years (6 years total).

3. Neurontin (Gabapentin) 600 mg/2x daily for 3 years.

 

Note: I took Valium 5 mg/3x day as needed for 2+ years (anxiety). My last dose was on June 23, 2017.

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Remember that you can actually make more progress sometimes by slowing down - it avoids having to updose.

 

You are doing all the right things.

 

Be kind to yourself.

 

My doctor says if you have problems with tapering at all it is a sign that you will struggle and struggle but this is probably what she sees in the surgery from larger drops.

 

Joy

 

Back to 20 mg at some point

22/3/18 down to 19.8 mg and feeling well

31/3/18 down to 19.6 mg and feeling well

14/4/18 down to 19.4 mg

05/5/18 down to 19.2 mg and feeling well

14/5/18 kicked out of my marital home/marriage/family unexpectedly when son took over farm

During many hospitalisations for shock/stress put on

1mg lorazepam prn

50mg quetiapine night for sleep

40 mg citalopram

10/01/2021  stopped taking quetiapine totally after a slow taper

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All,

 

I am on day 17 of taking 19 mg of Celexa.  Wednesday through Saturday were rough. I felt like I had a bad cold...nausea, headache, sore throat, etc. I felt more normal yesterday (Sunday), which was a relief. Feeling tired and my head hurts a little today. Still an improvement from last week.

 

I am having more mood swings than before. I'm finding it difficult to control my anger in the morning. I also feel sad and feel like I am going to cry. I feel more in control about an hour after I take my medication at 7 AM.  I may try taking my medication earlier and then going back to bed to let my emotions run their course so I can get on with my day. Does anyone have any experience with the roller coaster of emotions?

 

Thank you!

PW

Current Medications:

1. Celexa 20 mg/day.  Tapered to 19 mg/day 9/16 - 10/2/2017.  Back to 20 mg/day on 10/3/2017.

2. Lamotrigine 100 mg/day for 3 years (mood stabilizer) followed by 100 mg/2x daily for 3 years (6 years total).

3. Neurontin (Gabapentin) 600 mg/2x daily for 3 years.

 

Note: I took Valium 5 mg/3x day as needed for 2+ years (anxiety). My last dose was on June 23, 2017.

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Hi Wiz (hope you don't mind me calling you that?)

 

You are doing great and felt more normal yesterday which is fantastic news and this week you say is better than last week.

 

Roller coasting of emotions is normal for some of us I am afraid. I can make myself feel better by taking a walk. If you get a chance there is information on here about neuro- emotions that may help you understand what is going on.  Just put neuro-emotions in the search box at the right hand top of the page and lots of info will appear.

 

I really hope as the days go on you get to feel a little better. Keep posting to let us know how you are doing.

 

Flowers xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight. Update Xanax 11.8.21 tapered to .25 mg at night. 

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg.Update 10.8.22 .25 mg at night.  LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.  9.5.21 .01 mg x 2.  21.6.21 .01 mg x 1.  11.8.21 ZERO!

 

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  • Moderator

Hi PW:

 

I just browsed your signature really quickly. Are you still on everything except Valium?

 

I went off everything except Xanax and Lexapro first. I'm working on Lexapro then on to Xanax and I'll be done. But it will take a long time.

 

I'm on Lexapro which is very close to Celexa. All I can say is go slow, slow, slow and slower. Don't rush it or you will end up like I did a HUGE mess. If it wasn't for SA, I don't know what would have happened.

 

I'm really nervous about going off Xanax, but I know with my therapy, I can do it. But I have people on here that will help me too. I'll be looking for your help, and I can help you also. But I'm not a mod or a dr. so it's all just what my symptoms were, if that can help.

 

It's really nice to have friends from all over the world that don't judge you. They are all here for the same thing to get off these horrific meds and heal. And to help each other.

 

I look forward to talking with you in the future.

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi PW,  I'm so glad that you quickly stabilised after your valium taper. That is great news.  People often find it hard when going from tablets to liquid and we would usually recommend gradually switching as you were doing by taking part tablet and part liquid and stablising before tapering, it is normal to feel some changes.  You are beginning to feel better so that's good.  Be aware that 1mg is 5% of the full dose, and reducing 1mg each time will increase that percentage. 5% is a good start, it will show you how your body will tolerate tapering and whether you can go faster or need to go slower., but as you get down you will need to make reductions based on the CURRENT dose.   Wait until you have been stable for several weeks before another cut to let your body adjust to the transition from tablets to liquid. and you will be just fine. :)

 

**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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  • 1 month later...

It's been a while since I posted.  I am back to 20 mg/day of Celexa.  I had a breakdown on October 3, 2017.  It was similar to my episodes after stopping taking Celexa cold turkey.  This time it took almost three weeks vice three days.  Within two hours of taking a 20 mg tablet, I felt completely normal again.  It is scary to go through these episodes because I completely lose control for no reason other than the medication. 

 

I am going to stay at 20 mg for now.  I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms from the Valium again.  The symptoms are similar to the ones I experienced after stopping the Valium.  My therapist was surprised that I was able to stop taking Valium without assistance.  I am going to be posting on my Valium thread until I feel ready to start tapering my Celexa again.

 

Sincerely,

PW

Current Medications:

1. Celexa 20 mg/day.  Tapered to 19 mg/day 9/16 - 10/2/2017.  Back to 20 mg/day on 10/3/2017.

2. Lamotrigine 100 mg/day for 3 years (mood stabilizer) followed by 100 mg/2x daily for 3 years (6 years total).

3. Neurontin (Gabapentin) 600 mg/2x daily for 3 years.

 

Note: I took Valium 5 mg/3x day as needed for 2+ years (anxiety). My last dose was on June 23, 2017.

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Hi PW

 

I was wondering what was happening with you.

 

It doesn't surprise me that you are back on 20 mg, this is something that keeps happening to me.

 

My GP says that once this pattern has been established, it may just keep happening.  That is a bleak thought. 

 

I suppose the next time you try you need to taper more slowly.

 

It is interesting that you felt better within a few hours,  I am like that too.  Some say that is the placebo effect, but I feel it is the drug effect only.

 

Some people also say if you keep withdrawing and then going back to 20 mg eventually you will not be able to get back to 20 mg working and you will be stuck with being ill all the time.  That scares me too.

 

I don't think it is ever a good idea to withdraw from 2 meds at once, it gets too confusing.

 

I found diazepam much easier to withdraw from than my old tricyclic AD and citalopram.  It is the ADs I have real trouble with.

 

I have hatched a plan for when I next try to reduce citalopram and it will involve a lower dose one day and the full dose the next, but this site does not recommend that sort of schedule.  It is something I used to get off diazepam and as I feel really stuck it is worth me trying, but I would not recommend it to anyone else.

 

Your update has really helped me to realise I am not the only one that almost instantly feels better on going back to 20 mg.

 

Isn't this awful

 

Joy

 

Back to 20 mg at some point

22/3/18 down to 19.8 mg and feeling well

31/3/18 down to 19.6 mg and feeling well

14/4/18 down to 19.4 mg

05/5/18 down to 19.2 mg and feeling well

14/5/18 kicked out of my marital home/marriage/family unexpectedly when son took over farm

During many hospitalisations for shock/stress put on

1mg lorazepam prn

50mg quetiapine night for sleep

40 mg citalopram

10/01/2021  stopped taking quetiapine totally after a slow taper

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Joy,

 

I thought I was clear of Valium withdrawals when I started my Celexa taper.  I am looking forward to the day when I can start tapering again.  I do not plan on tapering for a while.  I'm not sure how long that is.  I am going to continue tracking my symptoms daily and make an informed decision based on that.

 

Thank you for your support.  You continue to give me the insight I need to get through this journey.

 

Have a great day!

PW

Current Medications:

1. Celexa 20 mg/day.  Tapered to 19 mg/day 9/16 - 10/2/2017.  Back to 20 mg/day on 10/3/2017.

2. Lamotrigine 100 mg/day for 3 years (mood stabilizer) followed by 100 mg/2x daily for 3 years (6 years total).

3. Neurontin (Gabapentin) 600 mg/2x daily for 3 years.

 

Note: I took Valium 5 mg/3x day as needed for 2+ years (anxiety). My last dose was on June 23, 2017.

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Hi Pinball

 

It's good to read your update although I am sorry things didn't work out yet with your taper off Celexa. I am still taking 20mgs a day too but seem to be slowly getting stable after a very rough year.  It is good that you felt so much better quickly after increasing your dosage.  It always takes ages for me to register any changes up or down.

 

Like you say it must have been too soon after stopping Valium and your CNS wasn't stable enough to handle another taper so soon.

 

I will look out for you on your Valium thread. I do hope the withdrawal symptoms are not too bad. All this takes time and patience doesn't it?

 

I wish you well.

 

Flowers xxx

 

 

 

 

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight. Update Xanax 11.8.21 tapered to .25 mg at night. 

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg.Update 10.8.22 .25 mg at night.  LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.  9.5.21 .01 mg x 2.  21.6.21 .01 mg x 1.  11.8.21 ZERO!

 

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Thank you, Flowers.  It is a slow process.  I will not give up.  Just take things slow.

 

Have a great day!

PW

Current Medications:

1. Celexa 20 mg/day.  Tapered to 19 mg/day 9/16 - 10/2/2017.  Back to 20 mg/day on 10/3/2017.

2. Lamotrigine 100 mg/day for 3 years (mood stabilizer) followed by 100 mg/2x daily for 3 years (6 years total).

3. Neurontin (Gabapentin) 600 mg/2x daily for 3 years.

 

Note: I took Valium 5 mg/3x day as needed for 2+ years (anxiety). My last dose was on June 23, 2017.

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