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Lakes: Short withdrawal


Lakes

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Hello,

 

this is my first post on here but I need some support as I am really struggling. I have been on antidepressants for years and wanted to see if I could manage without. My GP agreed and I reduced the dose from 40mg to 10mg gradually with only a few physical side effects. My GP then stopped my prescription completely after 2 weeks of being on 10 mg. I went cold turkey and have been a mess ever since.

 

I went back to my GP who referred me for counselling and told me to breath deeply and Google meditations. The physical symptoms have subsided a little but I am extremely anxious and depressed. I cannot work and can only cope with basic daily tasks. I am very isolated, I have few friends and I have never told my family about my illness. I am extremely tired, suicidal and scared. I just need to know what to do.

Edited by baroquep
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lakes, 

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA).  I'm glad that you found the site and sorry to hear that you are in such distress.  Unfortunately very few doctors have any real experience tapering people off of these drugs safely and I'm sorry to say but the manner in which your doctor tapered you off of the antidepressant you were taking was far too fast.  You may not be aware, but when an antidepressant is discontinued abruptly, doses skipped/alternated or a person tapers off too quickly this puts them at risk for developing withdrawal syndrome, which is likely what you are dealing with.  Rest assured what you are experiencing is totally normal under the circumstances.

 

You haven’t given us much information to go on, and I would ask that you provide us with your withdrawal history signature so that we will be able to suggest what might help to alleviate your withdrawal symptoms.  We ask all of our members to fill out a withdrawal signature history so that all of your information can be read at a glance.  This helps moderators review your tapering/drug history and we would ask that you follow the instructions at the link below.

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

    •    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.

 

Surviving Antidepressants recommends tapering by 10% of your current dose with at a hold of at least four weeks before your next decrease.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  When people have been on these drugs long-term, some find that they may have to taper at an even more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?
Before you begin tapering what you need to know
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  What we suggest, which will depend on how long you have been off of your antidepressant, is to reinstate a very small dose of the original drug in order to re-stabilize over a period of time and then slowly and carefully taper off of the drug safely.  Reinstating at a low dose reduces the risk of severe adverse reactions in case reinstatement does not work and the sooner a person reinstates after taking their last dose and starts to experience withdrawal symptoms, the better.  I am including the link on reinstatement so that you have the opportunity to look at your options and what is involved in resinstating.  

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
What to Expect in Reinstatement (James Heaney article)

 

Please feel free to connect with other members of the Surviving Antidepressants community by posting in their introduction topics, they are a supportive group, know what you are going through and are here to help.

 

If you have any questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to post your questions back here in your introduction topic and one of the moderators will get back to you.  

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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Hello many thanks for the reply. My withdrawal history is that I have been taking citalopram 30mg for approx 5 years but I have been taking antidepressants for approx 20 years. In June 2017 I was feeling well so with my GP guidance I began to reduce the dosage and was on 10mg in august. I then reduced to taking 10mg every second day. It was then I started getting physical symptoms e.g. dizziness, nausea. I went to the GP again and he basically stopped it all. I have therefore been without citalopram for approx 1 month now. The physical symptoms have subsided as I am no longer dizzy but I am very anxious and low mood, extreme fatigue and having difficulty sleeping. I spoke to my GP yesterday who has started me on 10mg 2x daily of propranolol. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lakes,

 

If you have not started taking the propranolol, it would be better to start taking a small amount of citalopram.  Your brain has become physiologically dependent on citalopram (not physically dependent like nicotine and tobacco).  It is better to reinstate the drug that your brain needs instead of trying a different drug.

 

If you take a different drug you might still get withdrawal symptoms from citalopram as well as getting start up and side effects and possibly even a bad reaction to propranolol.

 

You could try taking a very small dose of citalopram, as little as 1mg or 2mg every day.  Please do not skip days.  The brain likes consistency Skipping Days vs Every Day Dosing Graph

 

Please read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I have asked the other mods whether it would be all right for you to stop taking the propranolol (if you have started it) and to reinstate citalopram.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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I am so confused about what to do. I have started the propanalol. Am really worried now that I am going doing my body harm. My GP started the propranalol up reduce the anxiety I was experiencing. 

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  • Administrator

How are you feeling now, Lakes?

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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Hello I feel a little better from a physical viewpoint as the leg twitching and head dizziness seems to have subsided. The propranalol seems to have taken the edge off the anxiety however I have been getting some physical side effects for example a numb arm. I am still struggling to sleep and my days are up and down I tend to have a good day followed by a bad day. I am still off work but my work is being supportive which is good. It's just hard at the moment to see an light at the end of the tunnel. 

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