Jump to content

Thrive: Did I have withdrawal symptoms?


Thrive

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, this is my first post and I would like to get your feedback on two questions: 

 

1.  I had a strange episode am I am trying to understand if it had anything to do with a lithium taper:  I was in treatment for a digestive disorder taking some strong herbal antibacterials (like oregano, coptis, etc).  I  began to have severe digestive sensitivies, bloating, pain, and cramping. I had a reaction to the treatment that created more symptoms than the disease. I also began to have worsening sleep problems.  I would be awakened at night after 2-4 hrs sleep often with heart palpitations, nausea and a cortisol rush. It was extremely hard to get back to sleep.  I was sleeping 4-6 hrs a night.  At the same time I had been reducing lithium. (see below)  After reading extensively on this site, I can see that I reduced by too much at one time.  However, I had gone cold turkey off all lithium for 6 weeks without any symptoms.  I had a pretty severe reaction to witnessing a trauma during this time and I could feel my brain and body stuck in the fight or flight response. I've never had such a difficult period of little sleep.  I felt frozen inside.  Then, perhaps due to lack of sleep, I began to experience many neurological symptoms exactly like a concussion I experienced years before (significant light, sound sensitivity, difficulty talking, thinking, and following people's conversation, unable to drive, headaches, etc).  After a few months, most symptoms are now gone.  Could the anxiety, sleep problems, and PTSD like response be caused by the taper or by tapering too quickly?  I've asked several psychiatrists and they disagree.  What are your thoughts?


Lithium history

900 mg started in 2000 went off cold turkey for a couple months in 2016.  No withdrawal sx.  Went back on 600 mg before a surgery as a preventative measure August 2016.  Reduced to 300 mg around beginning of March 2017 with some increased fatigue.  Then reduced to 150 around April, 2017.  Very anxious and sleepless with nighttime cortisol surges by May 2017.  Had PTSD type of response to witnessing a trauma, then mild TBI sx. Returned to 600 mg 

 

2. Based on history, and this info, which drug would you taper first:  Have been on Paxil - 20 mg for around 19 years for major depression which I have not experienced since being on the combo of Lithium and Paxil.  My psychiatrist is not sure If I am on the bipolar spectrum or not.  I started lithium so I could augment and reduce the paxil from 30 mg.  He doesn't have a strong feeling either way about which one I should begin to taper.  If any part of the above scenario indicates that I could be on the bipolar spectrum than it would make sense to go off Paxil first.  I wanted to go off lithium first since it has caused a thyroid disorder and because I thought it would be much harder to go off Paxil.   

 

Thanks for your responses. 

Paxil - 30 mg around 1998.  Reduced to 20 mg due to side effects.

Lithium - 900 mg started in 2000 went off cold turkey for a couple months in 2016.  No withdrawal sx.  Went back on 600 mg before a surgery as a preventative measure August 2016.  Reduced to 300 mg around beginning of March 2017,  Then reduced to 150 around April, 2017.   Very anxious and sleepless with nighttime cortisol surges by May 2017.  Had PTSD type of response to witnessing a trauma, then mild TBI sx. Returned to 600 mg 

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Thrive: Did I have withdrawal symptoms?
  • Administrator

Welcome, Thrive.

 

Given that you had digestive problems possibly caused by the herbal antibacterials you were taking AND tapering lithium at the same time, it's hard to tell what happened back then. It could be that the digestive problems interfered with the absorption or metabolism of lithium, aggravating withdrawal from that or, since it seems you were taking Paxil at the same time, the digestive problems might have interfered with the absorption or metabolism of Paxil, causing withdrawal symptoms from that, which can be quite severe.

 

Going on and off drugs, even if it seems you have no withdrawal symptoms, is wearing on your nervous system and over time, sets you up for sensitivities and withdrawal difficulties.

 

What is your current symptom pattern? What were the side effects of Paxil that caused you to reduce dosage? Why are you taking lithium with Paxil? Are you taking any other drugs?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Thanks for your response.  I'm still experiencing fatigue and digestive problems from an imbalance of bacteria and some light and sound sensitivity, but generally, I'm feeling much better.  I dont remember the side effects from a paxil - it's been almost 20 years since I took a higher dose. It's common to try a mood stabilizer to augment an antidepressant which is why I took it. I do take medication for thyroid and progesterone. 

Paxil - 30 mg around 1998.  Reduced to 20 mg due to side effects.

Lithium - 900 mg started in 2000 went off cold turkey for a couple months in 2016.  No withdrawal sx.  Went back on 600 mg before a surgery as a preventative measure August 2016.  Reduced to 300 mg around beginning of March 2017,  Then reduced to 150 around April, 2017.   Very anxious and sleepless with nighttime cortisol surges by May 2017.  Had PTSD type of response to witnessing a trauma, then mild TBI sx. Returned to 600 mg 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Thrive and welcome from me too,

 

Thank you for completing your drug signature.  It would be helpful if you could simplify it as given in the instructions below to make it easier for us to see at a glance.  Please also add your other drugs.  Thank you.

 

 A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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

Link to comment
  • Administrator
15 hours ago, Thrive said:

It's common to try a mood stabilizer to augment an antidepressant which is why I took it. I do take medication for thyroid and progesterone. 

 

No, it's not common, but it's something drug manufacturers have promoted because it keeps people on ineffective antidepressants and sells the "mood stabilizer," too.

 

If your psychiatrist is not sure you're on the "bipolar spectrum," that's all baloney.

 

What are the drug-related symptoms you have now and what are your goals as far as psychiatric drugs are concerned?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Hi Altostrata, 

 

What you say makes sense. I don't have any sx that I am aware of except fatigue.  I would like to go off both medicines completely, If I am able.  I'm in no rush and I'm not sure which one to start reducing first. 

Paxil - 30 mg around 1998.  Reduced to 20 mg due to side effects.

Lithium - 900 mg started in 2000 went off cold turkey for a couple months in 2016.  No withdrawal sx.  Went back on 600 mg before a surgery as a preventative measure August 2016.  Reduced to 300 mg around beginning of March 2017,  Then reduced to 150 around April, 2017.   Very anxious and sleepless with nighttime cortisol surges by May 2017.  Had PTSD type of response to witnessing a trauma, then mild TBI sx. Returned to 600 mg 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
22 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Thank you for completing your drug signature.  It would be helpful if you could simplify it as given in the instructions below to make it easier for us to see at a glance.  Please also add your other drugs.  Thank you.

 

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

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy