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craftychica: Has anyone discontinued long term use of imipramine (Tofranil)?


craftychica

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I have been taking Imipramine since my late teens, and have been on it for the past 38 years. (50 mg., but sometimes 75 mg. for short periods)  For a long time it helped in varying degrees, but seems to have become completely ineffective as of approximately 4 years ago.  I have tried numerous times to get off this medication, but always end up going back on due to withdrawal symptoms.  Each time, the withdrawal is different, but equally awful.  I have been working on tapering down for the last 3 or 4 months and am currently taking 12.5 mg.  This is my fourth week holding at that dose.  I've been dealing with the typical withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, achiness, as well as weird symptoms typical to this drug.  Apparently Imipramine is also used for bedwetting, and after 38 years of being on it, affects my bladder control going off it.  Combine this with a histamine effect coming off as well, and you can picture me trying to breathe, sneezing my head off, while trying to keep from peeing every time I sneeze.  I have no appetite or energy, no love for life, and am impatient and cranky.  Just forcing myself from one activity to another to stay afloat. 

 

I would love to hear from folks who have been on this med long term and have succeeded in coming off.  I am so miserable right now I am thinking about going back on.  If I do, I feel like it's resigning to being on it for the rest of my life.

Edited by baroquep

Imipramine 50-75 mg 1979-Mid October 2018

Adderall 2.5-5 mg 2005-2018 Currently taking 2.5 once a week

Trileptal 2014-2017

Risperidone 2014-2017

Unsuccessful trials of Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Seroquel, Rexulti and more

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to craftychica: Has anyone discontinued long term use of imipramine (Tofranil)?
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi craftychica and welcome to SA,

 

From what you have written it appears that you have tapered down from 50mg to 12.5mg in about 4 months.  The fact that you experiencing withdrawal symptoms means that you are going too fast.  SA recommends tapering no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

Please follow these instructions and create your drug signature so that we can see your history whenever you post:

 

 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.

 

If you withdrawal symptoms are intolerable you might want to consider doing a very small updose.  Once we have more details we can suggest what dose you could try.

 

Here are some links to check out:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

tips-for-tapering-off-imipramine-tofranil

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

I have also had a bad withdrawal experience when I tried to reduce my Pristiq from 100mg to 50mg.  I experienced bad brain fog for 3 weeks and got to the stage where I wasn't able to type.  Because I am a professional typist of 40+ years I knew that something was very wrong.  Thankfully I had joined SA a few days before this happened and they had suggested increasing my dose.  I went and took extra Pristiq and about 4 hours later I was able to type again and my foggy head was clearing.  Since then I have been successfully tapering following SA's tapering method and only experiencing very mild withdrawal symptoms.  I am now down to 18mg and feeling like I did 25+ years ago before I ever took an antidepressant.

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommendations:

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

I have added drug tags to your topic, just below the title, top left.  If you click on these it will show other members who have the same tag. You can also go to the main forum page and type the drug name in the search bar at the top right.

 

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

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Thanks ChessieCat.  You are right, I did taper way too fast, and may have to end up having to back up.  I think I've been impatient with the process, as well as limited by having to split pills.  My insurance doesn't cover compounding the drug, plus the compounder wants to do a new compound with each taper.   Obviously the slower I go, the more costly it becomes.  Also, they won't compound without my provider writing it out for them each time, entailing more visits to the doc and more copays, providing she is even on board with this.  

 

I can't find much in the way of helpful info around Imipramine withdrawal.  I was hoping to hear from other folks around their experience coming off this particular drug after long term use.  

Imipramine 50-75 mg 1979-Mid October 2018

Adderall 2.5-5 mg 2005-2018 Currently taking 2.5 once a week

Trileptal 2014-2017

Risperidone 2014-2017

Unsuccessful trials of Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Seroquel, Rexulti and more

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for completing your drug signature.  Please add the information, dates and doses, of your imipramine taper.  This lets us see your history at a glance.  Once we have this information we can suggest on updose amount.  Also, please update your signature whenever make a change so it remains current.

 

According to the information in this topic tips-for-tapering-off-imipramine-tofranil it is possible to make your own liquid:

 

Make a liquid yourself with water
You can make a liquid from imipramine (see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/ ) (Imipramine is soluble in water, see http://www.drugs.com/pro/imipramine.html and stable for a month http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2710.1976.tb00053.x/abstract )

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thanks so much!

Imipramine 50-75 mg 1979-Mid October 2018

Adderall 2.5-5 mg 2005-2018 Currently taking 2.5 once a week

Trileptal 2014-2017

Risperidone 2014-2017

Unsuccessful trials of Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Seroquel, Rexulti and more

 

 

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  • Moderator

I was on Imipramine PM 75 mg for 30 years (see my signature).  A year and a half ago, before I found SA, I started a taper of 10% every three weeks.  I reduced the dosage by guesswork, since I didn't know about liquid or the Gemini 20 scale.  I was doing fine until I got down to around 25 mg when anxiety set in.  Nonetheless, I continued downward to 12 mg, with increasing anxiety.   That was when I discovered SA and updosed back up to 25 mg.  Moderators advised me that Imipramine had a sedating effect and I would be better off tapering Lexapro (an activating drug)..  So I've been holding at 25 mg for a year now while I work on tapering Lexapro.  Once I get off the Lexapro (probably a couple of years) I'll start back in on the Imipramine.  I use the Gemini 20 scale to divide my 75 mg capsule into 25 mg.

 

My main symptoms are anxiety and insomnia, most probably from the Imipramine taper but possibly also from the Lexapro taper and/or splitting my Lorazepam dose from once at night to three times daily.  

 

I don't know if if this is any help to you but since Imipramine tapers are a rare bird, I thought I'd write in.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Feb. 4, 2023: 2.25mg

Taper is 88% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


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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  • Moderator Emeritus
23 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Please add the information, dates and doses, of your imipramine taper.  ...  Once we have this information we can suggest on updose amount. 

 

We need these extra details please.  Thanks.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thank you so much for replying Gridley.  Yes, I don't know anyone else who has taken Imipramine, especially for such a long time.  I may end up having to go back and hold at 25 mg as well.  It seems like this last cut was when I started having all the withdrawal symptoms.  I am also hanging in there till I get my medical mj card to see if that will help with the nausea and lack of appetite.

Imipramine 50-75 mg 1979-Mid October 2018

Adderall 2.5-5 mg 2005-2018 Currently taking 2.5 once a week

Trileptal 2014-2017

Risperidone 2014-2017

Unsuccessful trials of Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Seroquel, Rexulti and more

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Good luck, craftychica, and lots of healing.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Feb. 4, 2023: 2.25mg

Taper is 88% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


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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  • 5 years later...

Would love to hear if you completed your taper with imipramine.  Update?

94-2000 Prozac, 2000-2001 zoloft

2001-2003 paxil, 2002 1 mg klonopin

2003-2004 effexor,  ct  klonopin,  in hospital  put on Seroquel & lexapro , 2005 Ct lexapro, withdrawals hit,  in the hospital again, imipramine up to 250mg, 2009-2010 weaned off seroquel, 2016-17tapered imipramine to 150, 2017-19 tapered imipramine to 100

2020 jumped to 50 mg, few days later bad depression and anxiety, went back up to 60

Nov 23, 2022 tapered imipramine to 56

Dec 19, 2022 tapered imipramine to 50

 

supplements: magnesium, boron, cod liver oil, potassium, Celtic sea salt,  food grade diatomaceous earth, beef liver,  bee pollen

 

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