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Goldy: Reduced Zoloft too fast?


Goldy

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Does anyone have any advice about what I should do?

I believe I am at risk of having a potentially serious withdrawal reaction from Zoloft.

My full medication history is very complicated, and I will go into it further in another post. But the information valid to this question is: I have been on Zoloft for 4 years, at a steady dose of 50mg for most of that time except for the last month or so, during which my doctor reccommended I quit cold-turkey because I was getting serious overstimulation effects. He is a somewhat alternative med doctor who believes in supplementing withdrawals by "naturally" increasing whatever neurotransmitter system will go haywire during withdrawal. I believed him, because this method worked enough to miraculously help me wean off of Geodon, which I never could have done alone. So, right after my cold turkey he put me on 5-HTP, which seemed to make things worse; so I stopped it after taking for 2 days, and proceeded trying to bear the cold turkey for the rest of the week. Then w/d became unbearable. So my mom called said doctor again and he reccommended going back up to 25mg and tapering from there. The issue now is I keep getting worse every day again, and I'm at a loss at what to do. Any advice?

 

Also complicating matters: I am taking 3mg of Lorazepam daily, After the same dumb doctor had me cut THAT dose in half (1.5mg a day) all of October, after taking for 3 years. I also take Cod liver Oil, and HRT meds.

 

Sincerely,

18 and scared

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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Hi Goldy,

 

I'm really sorry to hear about your distressing situation. I'm not a doctor, but the first thing I would advise is to seek some calm. Becoming hyperfearful probably doesn't help you in this moment. You will be okay.

 

How many weeks ago did you cold turkey the zoloft? Seems it was about Dec 1? Then you added back Zoloft at 25mg after a short stint taking 5-HTP, when was that? It seems from your chronology to be around Dec 7-10?

 

You've been on 25mg Zoloft since Dec 10ish. Right?

 

In Oct you reduced your benzo to from 3 to 1.5mg/day. And you are now back to 3mg/day? Did you raise the benzo to try to cope with the Zoloft withdrawal symptoms? When did you raise?

 

What are your withdrawal symptoms?

 

I am sorry you are going through such a horrible experience. I've been through all sorts of withdrawal so I know how difficult it can be.

 

In nearly every case, a 50% drop in lorazepam is a lousy idea. If your 'overstimulation' followed the drop and included symptoms such as insomnia, increased anxiety/panic, OCD-type symptoms such as hypochondriasis, difficulty concentrating, etc, you were likely experiencing benzo w/d. Dropping your zoloft cold-turkey and initiating 5-HTP is a novel, but sadly lousy, way to for your doctor to address benzo w/d; if that's what it was.

 

Again, Goldy, sorry you're going through this. If you flesh out your timeline a bit more, I think you'll get some more recommendations from the community.

 

You're almost certainly going to be okay. Try to remember that.

 

Also, welcome to the forum. Hang in there.

 

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Goldy~

Agree w Alex esp regarding lorazepam 50% cut ~BAD idea

Dogs (i meant DOCS but dogs also seems to fit) don't seem to grasp the intensity of benzos especially over long term and 50% cut is nearly cold turkey And very dangerous

That should be pre-med 101

Hang in there ~better help will be along soon

Barb

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Hi everyone, thanks so much for the reassurance. It's really nice to know other people can relate to this torturous experience, and that I'm not just losing my mind. :/

 

To alexejice:

Here's a more clear history: my original dose of Lorazepam (3mg) was cold turkeyed for a few weeks in october, then increased to 1.5mg daily a few weeks later, and reinstated to 3mgs in about early December. (I don't remember exactly how long that withdrawal lasted, but all of the changes in dose were reccomended by my doc, not me.) I raised the benzo again when I finally came to my senses and confronted my doc and family that the terrible physical and mental sypmtoms were indeed withdrawal. I was on 50mg zoloft the whole time.

 

After staying at a steady dose of Lorazepam (3mg), and zoloft (50mg) for several weeks in Dec, I still had the benzo w/d pyschological symptoms (hypochondria, anxiety, etc.), but no more serious physical symptoms. But then suddenly I developed severe insomnia, what I think was akithisia, loss of impulse control, etc. So I cold-turkeyed the zoloft on Dec 20th, took 5htp twice daily for the 21st and 22nd, then stopped 5htp. Then zoloft was reinstated at 25mg on Dec 27th.

 

My current withdrawal symptoms have been severe brain fog, exhaustion, loss of appetite, nausea, stuffy nose, bouts of anger, crying fits, hypochondria, muscle spasms, severe anxiety, agoraphobia, severe depression, slight paranoia, severe lightheadedness, body pains, severe dp/dr (a horrific symptom I have had continously for several years), and I fainted the other day.

 

-Does anyone have suggestions about what to do?

 

-Goldy

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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  • Administrator

Hi, Goldy. I moved your topic here because it introduces your situation.

 

Welcome to SurvivingAntidepressants.org. I'm sorry you're going through this. As you can see fro the other stories here, doctors make mistakes like this all the time.

 

I don't think there are any easy answers to your situation. As alex and Barb pointed out, the big benzo drop might have pushed your system into hypersensitivity on its own. Then the Zoloft cold-turkey exacerbated it.

 

Since you were having such a bad reaction to Zoloft -- I agree it was probably causing the over-stimulation, that's a side effect of SSRIs -- it's hard to suggest increasing it. But reinstating at 50% might not have been enough.

 

If I were you, I might try increasing Zoloft to 37.5mg to see if it clears up the Zoloft withdrawal symptoms. At this point, this may or may not work, but you can always reduce it again if it doesn't.

 

It's hard to say what to do about the benzo. The less time on the increased dose the better, but if you are having Zoloft withdrawal, I would try increasing the Zoloft first before doing anything about the benzo.

 

It's very hard to deal with these symptoms, but as alex and Barb said, you're going to be all right. It may take a while, but your nervous system will rebalance.

 

What's your relationship with this doctor now?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi Altostrata,

 

Thanks so much for the info and encouragment. I will certainly consider trying increasing my Zoloft to 37.5mgs. I agree that I should adress the Zoloft first and deal with the Benzo after Zoloft w/d is over.

 

My relationship with my doc is so/so. He is not a pychiatrist and would never reccomend further pych treatment, but he seems pretty set with his way of withdrawing. I know he listens and cares about me, but after being put under so much stress related to the drugs while in his care, I'm reluctant to continue being his patient..

 

-Goldy

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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Goldy ~

This is a very UNscientific aside ~but if it's any comfort ~it seems many of us are having extreme symptoms and setbacks now around the holidays •

Hang in there with us

Barb

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Goldy, so many of us are pushed into the position of making decisions about safely tapering because doctors don't know enough about it.

 

We've started a list of doctors who might be more helpful. There are a few out there, but you have to kiss a lot of frogs (and pay for the privilege) to find them.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, Goldy. I moved your topic here because it introduces your situation.

 

Welcome to SurvivingAntidepressants.org. I'm sorry you're going through this. As you can see fro the other stories here, doctors make mistakes like this all the time.

 

I don't think there are any easy answers to your situation. As alex and Barb pointed out, the big benzo drop might have pushed your system into hypersensitivity on its own. Then the Zoloft cold-turkey exacerbated it.

 

Since you were having such a bad reaction to Zoloft -- I agree it was probably causing the over-stimulation, that's a side effect of SSRIs -- it's hard to suggest increasing it. But reinstating at 50% might not have been enough.

 

If I were you, I might try increasing Zoloft to 37.5mg to see if it clears up the Zoloft withdrawal symptoms. At this point, this may or may not work, but you can always reduce it again if it doesn't.

 

It's hard to say what to do about the benzo. The less time on the increased dose the better, but if you are having Zoloft withdrawal, I would try increasing the Zoloft first before doing anything about the benzo.

 

It's very hard to deal with these symptoms, but as alex and Barb said, you're going to be all right. It may take a while, but your nervous system will rebalance.

 

What's your relationship with this doctor now?

 

Sounds like good advice to me. Except that if you've been taking lorazepam for three years already, I don't think you need to worry about how much more time you spend on it, as far as what it may do to you--it's probably already done as much damage as it's going to, and at this point a too-aggressive taper plan is likely to cause more harm than the extra time it takes to get off slowly when you're ready.

 

Once you reinstate the Zoloft, don't change anything at all for a while--at least three months, or longer if necessary to stabilize. As you are discovering, these drugs cause major changes in our brains when we take them. Our brains change--they grow new cells, they add and remove receptors, and genes are turned on and off--in an attempt to counter the effect of the drugs. When you yank out the drug, it's like yanking a trellis out from a plant that's grown around the trellis. It's not good news and the brain can't handle it.

 

So you need time now for your brain to restabilize. Then, when you're ready to taper again, you need to take it very slow. In my experience, people who have a history of drug changes and CTs and such generally are sensitized and need to take the taper very carefully the next time around.

 

And I agree that a 50% cut in any benzo is a terrible idea. Even if you do continue seeing your current doctor I would not take his advice regarding tapering or quitting any psychotropic drug--he clearly lacks understanding of how they work and what they do.

 

Hang in there!

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Thanks everyone for the advice.

Currently I am still on 25mgs of Zoloft, and 7 days into withdrawal. It's getting really unbearable, so I want to follow your advice about increasing it to 37.5mgs.

I'm now realizing that part of the reason its been so bad is probably because I've been using a cheap pill cutter, and the dose must not be the exact same every day (eek!).

So, what do you all reccomend I do to get an exact does of 37.5mg consistently?

-Goldy

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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  • Administrator

For precise measuring, that would be the digital scale.

 

If you think increasing the dosage will help, I'd go with using the pill cutter for a bit, don't wait for the digital scale to arrive.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi again everyone,

 

I'd sincerely apreciate some opinions on what to do, as I am still suffering.

 

Here's an updated timeline of what I've been through in the last month or so:

 

2008-Now: Varying doses of Lorazepam [now consistently on 3mg]

2008- Dec 19, 2012: consistently took 50mg zoloft

then developed akithisia and suicidal thoughts suddenly.

Dec 20-26: Zoloft cold-turkeyed, took 5-htp for 2 of those days. Couldnt tolerate w/d.

Dec 27-Jan 3: reinstated Zoloft at 25mg, then developed worse w/d symtoms (severe disorentation, lightheadedness, dp/dr, etc.)

Jan 4- Jan 10th: increased Zoloft again to 37.5mg to try to lessen w/d symptoms, within a few days caught a bad cold and started having seizures.

Jan 11: Went to GP, reduced to 25mg to try to prevent seizures.

Jan 12-13: still unbearable symtoms, (keep fainting, severe lightheadedness, etc.)

Jan 13: saw Alt. med doc I previously mentioned. His method of w/d follows https://www.neurorelief.com/index.php?p=home : namely, he has me take send in a urine sample, they tell him all the neurotransmitters that are elevated or deficient, and he percribes natural supplements to ease w/d.

He perscribed: http://www.pureformulas.com/avipaxin-60-capsules-by-neuroscience.html

http://www.pureformulas.com/norlox-60-capsules-by-neuroscience.html

And Taurine and Magnesium.

Jan 14: Started "NorLox", reluctantly because it contains 5-htp. Fainted after taking first dose, still suffering from w/d and a cold.

 

Basically, I want to get off this drug more than anything, but not at the risk of making myself worse--This company and their supplements seem fishy to me. However, I'm willing to extend my withdrawal period if needed if it means becoming stable and functional again :wacko:

 

Thoughts?

-Goldy

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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  • Administrator

You've really been through it, Goldy.

 

Akathisia and seizures are very serious adverse effects. It's hard to advocate slower tapering when it's clear your system and Zoloft are not getting along.

 

However, those NeuroScience tests and treatments aren't going to help. They're irrelevant to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. Please don't take any more of their supplements. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1371-no-recommendations-for-commercial-programs-to-assist-withdrawal/page__view__findpost__p__12620

 

What part of the US do you live in?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for the advice, Alto. I'm on the East Coast. Anyone or anything you can refer me to would be truly appreciated. My parents are supportive about my withdrawals, and fortunatley money isn't much of an issue.

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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Also, do you think having taken some of their other products in the past, for several months at a time to help with Geodon withdrawal, is worth worrying about now? As much as I try to shake the thought, some of my current symptoms mimick neuroleptic effects/withdrawal: I've been having occasional Tardive Dyskensesia-like grinding of the teeth, terrible descion-making abilities, ataxia, etc. Do you think I should just rule out my past drugs as being a culprit?

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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  • Administrator

Also, do you think having taken some of their other products in the past, for several months at a time to help with Geodon withdrawal, is worth worrying about now? As much as I try to shake the thought, some of my current symptoms mimick neuroleptic effects/withdrawal: I've been having occasional Tardive Dyskensesia-like grinding of the teeth, terrible descion-making abilities, ataxia, etc. Do you think I should just rule out my past drugs as being a culprit?

 

No, don't worry about the past supplements. Your system may not have been as hypersensitive then.

 

It may be the Geodon withdrawal triggered the hypersensitivity, but you're downriver of that and no use worrying about it.

 

Your current symptoms sound exactly like antidepressant withdrawal syndrome.

 

Suggest getting a night guard from your dentist so you don't injure your teeth and jaw from the grinding. I destroyed two fillings from that!

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Okay, I'll be sure to get a mouth guard lol! As far as my taper, what pace do you think would be safest for me? I'd like to avoid protracted withdrawal syndrome if at all possible..

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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  • Administrator

How are your symptoms (fainting, severe lightheadedness, etc.) now?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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The severe lightheadedness is still present, along with the other symptoms like disorientation. But now I also have very bad flu-like symptoms.

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Goldy, I couldn't possibly give better advice than you're already getting here, but I did want to say that when I have made deeper cuts in my Celexa in the past I have definitely experienced what I would describe as flu like symptoms. And all the other stuff you're describing too.

 

I still think it would be a good idea if possible to try to stabilize before making any more cuts in your meds. I understand, believe me, the feeling of urgency about doing something, anything, to feel better, to fix things, but sometimes what we really need is mostly just patience and time to allow our nervous system to heal and find some balance.

 

Once you're stable you can plan a slow taper which will allow you to stay stable and well throughout.

 

I've had some good results with the GAPs diet, as far as helping stabilize and reduce my own withdrawal symptoms. The idea is that it balances the intestinal microflora, which settles down the enteric nervous system, thereby calming down the messages being sent from the enteric system to the central nervous system. It's worked for me--doesn't make the withdrawal go away, but when I go off the diet my symptoms are markedly worse than when I stay on it. And it's something I can focus on and actually do something about, when I'm in that place where what I really need to do is hold my taper and be more patient.

 

I know, kinda weird, but whatever works, right?

 

:-)

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • Administrator

Goldy, when you increased to 37.5mg, did it help at all? How long have you been at that dosage?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for the tips, Rhi.

To Alto: Well, I was on 37.5mg only for a week (Jan 4-Jan 10), and I felt even worse on that dose than I do currently at 25mgs (Have stayed at this dose since the 11th) But it's getting to the point again where its nearly unbearable-- It seems that when I reach a week after the last reduction is when it gets really bad. I'm very worried because I still have the terrible faintness and complete exhaustion--its nearly impossible to get out of bed. I also have symptoms that remind me of Benzo w/d: pareshtesia, and really severe perceptual disturbances (like the floor looks like its going up or sinking). How do you guys think I can stabilize?

-Goldy :(

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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  • Administrator

No, it doesn't sound like going up to 37.5mg is going to help.

 

I believe you're experiencing withdrawal from the cold-turkey off 50mg, and your system has been sensitized by the other drug withdrawals and reactions.

 

Sometimes reinstatement doesn't work.

 

Hang in there, Goldy. You'll need to ride this out.

 

Have you tried acupuncture? That can help calm your nervous system.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Alto, I agree with your reccomendation that I ride it out. I actually think I'm getting a little better already! My mood is a lot more stable, and I finally am over the cold I've had. I'm in the process of adding in coping skills and other health supports to make the rest of the withdrawal easier.

-Goldy

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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Hi again,

Last night I started having what seemed like seizures again-- violent convulsions but no loss of conciousness. I try to calm down, but its really hard not to be terrified when all of these things are happening :( .

Other symptoms still present (bold= most concerned about): severe dp/dr and disorientation- sometimes I hardly know where I am, parethesia, memory problems, flashbacks, complete exhaustion, mood swings, nausea, GI issues, hypochondria, very lightheaded, slight auditory hallucinations, perception disturbances, on/off intense paranoia that I'm about to lose my mind, severe depression, severe anxiety, body pains, sensitive to light and sound, suicidal/homicidal urges, dizziness, akward walking, "jerks" (head goes to side, painful muscle spasms, flu-like symtoms, trouble breathing.

Anyway, Does anyone have answers to my questions:

-I had a blood test that found I have elevated Gliadin, and former doc said to go on GF diet. Thoughts?

-Is this normal for someone as young as me (18) to have this severe of symtoms?

-Could my very BMI play a role in how bad my symptoms are? I have a lot of trouble gaining weight.

-This is the 11th day since reducing my Zoloft to 25mg, what do you guys think I should do now?

 

[i'm not comfortable seeing the doc I had been seeing because he follows the Neuroscience program, now I have no plan about what to do next]

 

-Goldy

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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  • Administrator

Those sound like possible benzo withdrawal symptoms, could be aggravated by Zoloft withdrawal.

 

It's possible a switch to Prozac might help, but it's hard to find a doctor who knows how to do this. Here's a "benzo-wise" doctor from http://benzodocs.com/

 

Dr. Gregory Richards

462 Chestnut St.

Meadville, PA 16335

ph (814)336-6308

 

He seems to still be practicing. You may wish to interview him on the phone; if he can't see you, ask him if he knows of any doctors near you.

 

About the test: From http://americanceliac.org/celiac-disease/diagnosis/

Unfortunately, many normal individuals without CELIAC DISEASE will have an elevated antigliadin IgG, causing much confusion among physicians.

Do you have symptoms of celiac disease? See http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/celiac-disease-symptoms

 

Celiac disease may be a red herring, Goldy. Is this the same doctor who uses Neuroscience? It sounds like he might be a sloppy integrative practitioner, just throwing diagnoses at the wall to see what will stick. He probably wants to help, but doesn't have a clue.

 

On the other hand, most of us would benefit by reducing the amount of gluten (starches) and sugar in our diets, if not going entirely gluten-free.

 

If you're a junk-food junkie, you might want to eat more healthy foods to give your body good fuel to rebuild itself.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Alto, I agree what I'm experiencing is probably a combination of tolerance w/d from Ativan and typical w/d from Zoloft. The benzo-wise doc you reccomended won't work because they're 6+ hours away, but I'll try calling them on Monday when they're open..

Until then I guess I'll have to hang in there the best I can :/.

About the Celiac: yes, It was the naturopath who suggested I have "gluten sensitivity", his sole motivation for claiming this was that I have "elevated Gliadin" :wacko: and that it would "support withdrawal" because it worked for his other patients. I'm glad I finally realize how ignorant he was, though.

But I do have several of the symptoms, so I guess it's worth looking into.

 

Thanks again,

-Goldy

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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  • Administrator

There is a book Dangerous Grains by James Braly, M.D. and Ron Hoggan, M.A. that defines about 150 diseases that are associated to celiac disease or gluten intolerance. I've personally found that behavioral issues were a symptom for me. (I had a terrible temper!)

 

I think that having resolved issues around celiac disease and having rebuilt my nutritional foundation has supported me in tapering off my antidepressant. Everyone is different and I do not personally believe that everyone has gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. But I do believe that those who do have it will feel a world better if they address the underlying issue.

 

Here is a list of associated symptoms from Celiac Sprue: http://www.csaceliacs.info/search_symptoms_and_systems.jsp

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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  • Administrator

It's easy enough to reduce gluten, though much more difficult to eliminate it altogether. If you're worried about it, try reducing it first and see if it makes you feel better.

 

While, I suppose, any unidentified underlying condition might contribute to withdrawal symptoms, it's the effect the drugs have on your nervous system that causes them.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: Help Needed please.

 

I am still on 25mg zoloft, have stayed on this dose for 3 weeks as of the 31st. It is again become excruciatingly unbearable. I have stretched my parents help to the limit, and at this point they aren't taking my complaints too seriiously. Howerever, my mother does care about me very much and is willing to help me find help.

Several days ago I had an ultrasound for a possible organ problem (likely gullbladder)-- results will be back soon.

Anyway, my point is I have never had symtoms this horrific. I've been getting constant convulsions, the worst anciety i've ever had, shaking like I have parkinsons, have absolutley no noiss/sight filter, complete exhaustion, bad akithisia, horrible flu-like symptoms (or real flu? I don't know any more) more auditory hallucinations, much difficuly to leave the house due to terror from dp/dr and orientation-- people and objects next to me look 2-dimentional, like their a mile away..

All of this combined with memories of my past resurfacimg- mostly horrible pyschiatric experiences, and the complete stir-craziness of being 18 and stuck in my house nearly 24/7 for months on end.

I hate to say it, but I feel imminently suicidal. I can't take this anymore, and I feel just as suicidal BEFORE I started tapering.

I refuse to be a vitim of pychopharmacy. I know that I have too much worth to let Zoloft eat me alive. But one person can only take so much.

 

Read: This is NOT a suicide note. I am asking all of you if you have a solution to my sitution. We're at a loss at what to do at this point.

 

Goldy

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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Hi Goldy,

 

I am so sorry about what you are going through. Believe me, I wish I had a solution, and I really wish I could help.

 

Your symptoms are terrible but also familiar to a lot of folks here.

 

You *do* have too much worth to let Zoloft eat you alive. Please hang in there.

History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Hi, Goldy, I'm just reading your thread for the first time. I don't know how I missed it before. I'm so sorry you're going through this.

 

I've been through both benzo and SSRI problems/withdrawals, and I recognize every symptom you're describing. I no longer have them, so please don't give up hope! It's not easy and may take some time, but you will get better. Suicidal ideations are very real symptoms from this and not about really wanting to die, as I'm sure you're aware. Be sure you remember this and treat such thoughts as any other withdrawal symptom. And reach out for help if you ever feel you might act on them, because they are not your real self.

 

A few questions/thoughts, and then I'll check in later though it might be late --

 

How often do you take the lorazepam during the day (what time intervals/doses)? Are the doses the same each time you take it?

 

Are the seizure-type symptoms at certain time points from when you've taken the lorazepam? (If you're not sure, try keeping a list of when they occur, and also write down what time exactly you take the meds.)

 

I hope you no longer take the 5-htp. Are you still taking the cod liver oil or any other supplements? Many people in withdrawal develop sensitivities to supplements as well as meds, so I suggest stopping all supplements for a while and see if that makes any difference in anything.

 

I hope you don't mind my asking, but I wondered why you're taking HRT - and which ones you're taking.

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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  • Administrator

Goldy, are any of these doctors closer to you: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/#entry8604

 

The symptoms sound like benzo withdrawal, but it's hard to say what to do about the Zoloft.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Alto, unfortunatley none of those docs are anywhere near me. You're probably right that these are Benzo symptoms. But I feel I should get the Zoloft out of my system before I even consider starting a Benzo taper. I know that the Ashton Manual reccomends coming off your Benzo first and your AD after, but that wouldn't make sense for me given I'm on still on Zoloft and not tolerating it very well.

 

Does anyone have thoughts about what to do about the Zoloft?

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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  • Administrator

Dr. Ashton later admitted she didn't understand antidepressant withdrawal. Please disregard those instructions.

 

I was thinking about your situation. The Zoloft isn't doing you any good and sliding off might not increase your symptoms. Possibly, Zoloft is adding to the agitation of your nervous system.

 

Don't go cold-turkey on the Zoloft!

 

If I were you, I might try reducing the Zoloft a tiny bit, such as 2.5mg, to see if it helps.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Okay, I'll try making a small reduction and see if it helps. I'll be sure not to cold-turkey it ever too. I'm also seeing a neurologist about the convulsions, so it looks like I'm slowllly moving forward..

Goldy's (18yr old) history:

07-08: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta--All withdrawn abrubtly. Only had bad w/d symptoms from Cymbalta. 08-'11- Prescribed Geodon, took until October '11, gradually withdrawn randomly from 120mg-70mg , naturopath helped w/d the rest with GF diet and neuroscience :/.

09-now: Lorazepam, doctor ct'ed from 3mg in Oct '11 until Dec '11 [HORRID!], reinstated to 3mg.

Zoloft: overstimulation effects on dec 20th '11, naturopath ct'ed it, reinstated to 25mg

Now: Suffering terrible symptoms continously from 08-now, now on 20mg Zoloft, 3mg Ativan.

-PLEASE HELP ME FIND A DOC! PM ME.-

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1601-goldy-reduced-zoloft-too-fast/page__gopid__15777

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