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bluewinter

bluewinter: Antipsychotic withdrawal/recovery

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bluewinter

Hi all,

 

I'm a new member here and I'm starting this introductory post as a recovery journal. 

 

I'm recovering from risperidone (aka risperdal) and tried magnesium to help with anxiety and overall disassociation. I took a 250mg pill yesterday after dinner and went to bed. Woke up with severe back pain. Anybody else have the same effect while starting magnesium?

 

On the plus side, my mood feels a lot better and I've been feeling much more productive so this feels like a body/mind tradeoff.

 

 


April 2017 - May 2017 : Gabapentin

June 2017 - August 2017 : Zyprexa/Risperidone

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Gridley

Hello, blue winter and welcome to SA.  I'm glad you found your way here.

 

We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance without having to go to this original post each time.  Your signature will appear at the bottom of each of your posts.  This helps moderators understand your situation.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a 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.

     

Regarding magnesium, if you continue to have backache problems, you could consider taking a bit less.  Magnesium is definitely helpful with anxiety. I'm glad it helps you.

 

To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a couple of topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here and the steps that you can take to minimize your withdrawal.  

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

 


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Aug 13, 2020 at 0.1mg

Taper is 99.5% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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bluewinter

Hi Gridley,

 

I updated my signature. Also found this relevant article on magnesium but it lists so many reasons I don't know what might be happening in my case.

 

https://drcarolyndean.com/2012/10/when-magnesium-makes-me-worse/

 

 


April 2017 - May 2017 : Gabapentin

June 2017 - August 2017 : Zyprexa/Risperidone

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Gridley

Thanks for updating, bluewinter.   Please tell me what kind a magnesium you are taking.  From what I've read, magnesium glycinate is best for anxiety.  Please let me know if the backache continues tonight and tomorrow,  

 

One way some members take their magnesium is to crush the tablet between two spoons and dissolve the powder in water and sip throughout the day.   


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Aug 13, 2020 at 0.1mg

Taper is 99.5% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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ChessieCat

Hi Bluewinter, and welcome to SA from me too.

 

This is SA's topic:  Magnesium

 

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

 

Edited by ChessieCat

Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

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bluewinter

Hi Gridley,

 

The magnesium I take is magnesium oxide. It's been around 8 hrs since I woke up with the pain and it has subsided. I think I put my nervous system into shock by taking 250mg of supplement at once. I am going to try a smaller dose, crushed and dissolved in water. Thank you for the suggestion. It seems like a much better way to ramp it up. I'll try it out and post updates.

 

Hi ChessieCat,

 

I'll post further updates to track my progress here. I started off with this topic since I thought discussing my latest supplement trials would be the best way to break the ice. Thank you for SA's link on magnesium. I'm still getting familiar with all the resources on this site. Is there a similar thread on other supplements people have been successful with? I've tried CoQ10 and Krill Oil, both with moderate results. CoQ10 made me a little anxious though.


April 2017 - May 2017 : Gabapentin

June 2017 - August 2017 : Zyprexa/Risperidone

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ChessieCat
33 minutes ago, bluewinter said:

magnesium oxide

 

This magnesium is less well absorbed than other forms.

 

34 minutes ago, bluewinter said:

I'm still getting familiar with all the resources on this site.

 

There are lots of topics on this site.  I use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to my search.  So just add this when searching each one separately.  Typing in supplements brings up some topics too.

 

The only 2 supplements which SA recommends are magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil

 

If you take calcium tablets, they should be take several hours away from taking magnesium.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

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Gridley

bluewinter,

 

I have had good results with magnesium glycinate, which I believe is the best form of magnesium for anxiety.


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Aug 13, 2020 at 0.1mg

Taper is 99.5% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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bluewinter

Ok. I'm going to switch to that and let you know.

 

 


April 2017 - May 2017 : Gabapentin

June 2017 - August 2017 : Zyprexa/Risperidone

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bluewinter

I was on Risperidone(2mg/twice a day) and Sodium Valproate(200mg/at night) for 8 weeks and decided to quit it cold turkey. I did some research and learnt that antipsychotics needed to be tapered, and the symptoms typically show up around 3-4 days into withdrawal. I also learnt that the effects of withdrawal depend on the dosage and the duration you're on the drug.

 

Based on these, I came up with a taper plan for myself (my doc wanted me to be on the drug for 2 years). I decided to cut from 4mg/day to 0.5mg per day. I know this is a very steep taper from what is generally recommended but I was desperate to get off these drugs. The combination of reduced risperidone and the full dose of SV caused something like a seizure the next morning when I woke up. My vision turned bright and and I started to lose balance. I reached for the water bottle with what little control I had and immediately recovered after hydration. I decided to stop taking SV completely without tapering. On day 2 I started having panic attacks and decided to take another dose of Risperidone to feel better. I alternated the tapering frequency once I started to feel better. Took them for a day, skipped the next two days and then took them again (0.5mg). I wanted to have the minimal withdrawal with minimal drugs. I was experimenting with my own body. I would not recommend it now.

 

I completely cut off the drug in 2 weeks. In the beginning, I had trouble getting proper sleep and my appetite dropped. Food tasted bland and I lost all interest in activities. But I forced myself to stick to these habits:

 

* Eating 3 meals a day. Avoided caffeine and sugar. They were causing mood swings.

* 30 mins of walking around the park.

* 20 minutes of meditation before sleep.

 

After two weeks I had a complete shift in symptoms. Now I was extremely sensitive to external stimulus. I could sleep all day and felt hungry all the time. My guess is that my body reached the other end of the symptoms spectrum and was balancing itself out. I had trouble getting out of bed, was anxious all the time and even the slightest change in expectations/routine caused a lot of stress. I also started to get migraines in certain parts of my brain. These were consistent throughout my medication, tapering and withdrawal (perhaps caused by my previous medications). 

 

I started to go to the gym and set a calorie burning goal. I also increased my meditation time from 20 minutes to 1 hour. In two months, I have noticed a considerable reduction in symptoms. I can focus on work like I used to and I get a good nights sleep. The kind of deep sleep where you really feel recharged, not the shallow naps that I used to have. I still have trouble waking up in the morning but it is not as bad as it used to be. My migraines have reduced and I have more physical energy than I started. I tried a few supplements but my body is very sensitive to them so I'm just going to rely on healthy greens and plenty of water.

 

Although I've had a fast taper and did the whole alternating between days thing, I do think I've made progress. It would have been less intense if I had tried a more gradual taper and stuck to a schedule for medication. The key point is that your body/mind has the ability to heal if you force yourself to stick to a routine. Some days you will lack all motivation to get out of bed. Your brain will keep feeding you thoughts that cause paranoia. You will feel like a stranger in your own body. You will convince yourself there's no getting out of this misery. But slowly you realize this is the healing process.

 

I started to read about neuroplasticity and how the brain can rewire itself to deal with shortcomings. I found this documentary on YouTube that really pumped me up on the possibility of recovery (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFCOm1P_cQQ). If people have recovered from physical handicaps, I must surely be able to recover from my mental handicaps.  To sum it up, these are the two important facts:

 

*New neurological pathways are formed all the time. <- What is lost can be regained.

*Neurons that fire together, wire together.                     <-This is how you form new pathways.

 

The point of having a routine, practicing a skill or engaging in an activity is to build new neural pathways that make it easier to perform these activities over time and will help regulate your neurotransmitters better. By shutting yourself off, falling into destructive patterns, and constantly worrying about your symptoms, you will reinforce the negativity.  By engaging in a routine, starting a new habit or keeping yourself occupied, you reinforce new pathways. Start with something simple. Write a page in your journal or read a book aloud everyday. The activity doesn't matter, but the feeling of accomplishment does! Neuroplasticity can be both good and bad. It caused your problems and now you can use it to heal your problems.

 

I've noticed that by meditating regularly and just letting your negative thoughts flow without judgement, you will provide an opportunity for more positive thoughts over time. You are not having negative thoughts because your brain wants you to have them, but you are firing up neural pathways that have been messed up by the antipsychotics. The trick is to realize that you are having your thoughts, and you are NOT your thoughts, so don't invest in them when they don't make you feel good. Who you are will slowly emerge as you heal from the ordeal of dealing with these drugs. Here are some ideas to cope with the mental stress:

 

 

*When you have thoughts you don't like, stop thinking and just look around. Give your brain different information to process. Appreciate the details of things around you, listen to the subtle sounds you automatically ignore or just go for a walk and notice how your muscles are moving.

 

*There will be phases where you feel overly anxious and your assurance seeking behavior will take over. This will make you seek information supporting/opposing you POVs. Soon, you will be in an information overload and naturally, our brain tends to pick the negative over the positive (survival instinct). Acknowledge when this is happening and tell yourself that recovery is possible through disciplined caring of your body and mind. There are plenty of stories on this site to validate this.

 

*You will grow impatient since somedays you'll feel worse and start thinking you're not recovering. First, you are not in a position to evaluate your own recovery accurately over a short duration. Second, believe in the logical explanation that since you have provided your body with nutrition and rest, today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will be better than today. It may not feel like it, but it is true. Keep a journal and track your progress over months and you will notice this to be true.

 

I am still on the path to full recovery, but the progress I've made despite unconventional tapering/scheduling gives me confidence that I will get there eventually. I hope the lessons I've learnt will help those in need of it. 

 

 

 

 


April 2017 - May 2017 : Gabapentin

June 2017 - August 2017 : Zyprexa/Risperidone

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ChessieCat
On 28/10/2017 at 11:02 AM, ChessieCat said:

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

 

Please ask questions about your own situation in your Intro topic.  Each member has 1 Intro topic where they ask questions and journal their progress.  This keeps your history in one place.

 

I've merged the new topic (previous post) into your original topic which was entitled using magnesium supplements.  After merging the two topics I renamed the topic.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

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bluewinter

Thanks for renaming the intro topic!


April 2017 - May 2017 : Gabapentin

June 2017 - August 2017 : Zyprexa/Risperidone

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PoetJester

hey bluewinter

 

I was reading your thread and I have also had problems with magnesium supplements.  I wake up in the morning with very very stiff legs, like Frankenstein legs, whenever I take a magnesium supplement.   for about an hour my legs won't bend at the knees.     I also start to cramp up in the hamstrings during the day from magnesium  which is extremely painful.  

 

poetjester


Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.

 

On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 

 

Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.

 

 

 

 

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bluewinter

Found this article on magnesium and psychotropic drug interactions. But the drugs are out of my body so I don't know if this still applies.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18705537

 

Magnesium ions also play a major role in neuron communication AND muscle restoration/relaxation. My guess is that the excess magnesium from the supplements alters the homeostasis that our body has created in an attempt to recover from the antipsychotics, and ends up doing one instead of both. Since everyone reacts and recovers differently, this change in homeostasis causes muscle pain in our case.

 

I would suggest getting all vitamins and minerals from food sources since our nervous system is sensitized by the withdrawal. I've been eating spinach, yogurt and almonds to get my magnesium. 


April 2017 - May 2017 : Gabapentin

June 2017 - August 2017 : Zyprexa/Risperidone

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bluewinter

UPDATE

Since it's been 75 days since I quit Risperidone I thought I'd post an update about my current symptoms:

  • Brain zaps: Started today. Lasts for few milliseconds. Feels like a pin prick somewhere inside the rear left hemisphere. I'm taking this as a sign that my serotonin/dopamine receptors are being tuned by my nervous system. Felt it in the morning (4-5 times). Had a salad and drank some tea. Haven't had them all day.
  • Anxiety: I'm generally calm, but an unexpected conversation with anybody can rev up my nerves and I forget names/thoughts to speak about.
  • Weight gain: I've put on a few pounds even though I'm eating less and working out. I think this has to do with altered gut micro-biome. [Article on Risperidone induced weight gain: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S235239641530181X]

April 2017 - May 2017 : Gabapentin

June 2017 - August 2017 : Zyprexa/Risperidone

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Plshelp

Blue winter, you're lucky that you're recovering. I'm severely damaged and was on various antipsychotics over 9 months. Have been totally off them for 6 months, but I had to go onto an antidepressant 2 months ago. I'm really not well, but I'm glad to read that you're recovering and so shortly after reducing. You have a resilient body and brain. 

 

Hope you are still doing well. 


Dec 2016 Risperidone 1 mg, Seroquel 25mg, Latuda 40mg 

Jan - Mar 2017 Paliperidone (invega) 6 -9mg, Zoloft, Mirtazapine, Proprananol, Ativan

Mar - Apr 2017 Aripiprazole (abilify) 10 mg

Apr 2017 - July 2017 Olanzapine (zyprexa) 5 mg tapered to 0mg

Oct 2017 - Present Effexor 37.5mg and Prozac 10mg 

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bluewinter

Plshelp,

 

Thank you for the kind words. I am doing well. Personally, it's been a journey from being agitated/depressed about my condition to being equanimous about everything and I have found it to increase my coping ability. Ultimately, what I have realized is that stress/medication takes away our ability to cope with even the most minor changes in our mood and environment. And this is the essence of withdrawal. Our mood is unstable because the body is trying to readjust to the lack of medication and our reaction to this instability is what causes anxiety. By developing a conscious practice of not reacting to the instability, you will increase your coping ability and let your body take it's time to heal. Here is a list of topics I have been reading about to develop this practice. Hope this helps.

 

I wish you the best of luck in your recovery. 


April 2017 - May 2017 : Gabapentin

June 2017 - August 2017 : Zyprexa/Risperidone

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