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voyteck: venlafaxine and bupropion

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Dear all,

This is my first post on this forum.

I just wanted to share my experience with w/d of buspirone.

I stopped 30mg/day about 23 days ago. I suffered 10 days, said enough, then went back to 10 mg/day. It didn't make much difference for another week. I gave up and upped to 20mg/day 7 days ago. While some bad stuff decreased, I am having very painfaul headaches since 2 days (tonight it woke me up).
W/d symptoms: some that I know from SSRI/SNRI w/d, but some special for buspirone: "hangover" headache, "hangover" dry mouth, "normal" strong headaches, very angry (I have to punch some pillows or do pushups), flu-like chills and fever (for 3 days), strange pain in the neck.

I want to emphasize that it seems as bad as paroxetine. For now I can even say it's worse cause when I came back to paroxetine, all symptoms went away. Now I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere (have many terrible symptoms, while still being on high dose).

So, 1st I wanted to share, 2nd I'd welcome any ideas what to do (I already bought and am trying Omega-3)... I really don't want to go back to 30/day (for many reasons); besides I don't have guarantee that even that will bring me back to state before w/d.
Did anyone was relieved after coming back to original dose after such long time (>3 weeks)? Did any particular supplement help?

Edited by Altostrata
added screen name to title

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Welcome, voyteck.


Yes, we know Buspar needs careful tapering.


What is your history with paroxetine? Are you taking it now? What time of day and at what dosage?


What kind of "bad stuff" decreased when you increased Buspar to 20mg? What time of day do you take it? Do your symptoms follow any daily pattern, are they worse or better at times?

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Dear Altostrata,

Thank you so much for fast response! As far as I remember I found this forum thanks to your comment somewhere about paxilprogress.


Since you asked about paroxetine: I tapered about 2 years ago. I just thought it was the worst SSRI (as many report) and med in general I ever tapered (when I tried to stop 10mg as doc advised, I vomitted everything I ate and had terrible dizziness). And didn't expect buspirone to be half that bad (leaflet doesn't even mention tapering).

A bit off topic. BTW of paroxetine, I can only suspect that due to effects after stopping (last 10 mg went in steps 2,5/week), I began gradually losing weight (although in the first 2 I was feeling better than most of the time on it; known "rebound" effect) for 6 months. I reached about 16 BMI; only after I recovered (I'm thin anyway but BMI =19,5) my mom said she was terrified how I looked. Luckily at the same time I got to hospital (doc promised ECT; but then they refused) and recovered.

As to buspirone.
a) When I came back to 20, I felt that diminished: the "hangover" feeling (less severe/shorter during the day), lesser feeling that I have hot forehead (as in light fever), almost no feelings of being ill/fever.

BUT since 2 days I have: most severe headaches since everything started. Tonight I even woke up and couldn't sleep. Moreover, "hangover" also came back - both headaches and dry mouth (I drink and drink, even bought isotonics). In the morning I also woke up with "hangover" but also sounds annoyed me so much (had the same after parox., but not venlaf.). I felt great relief after ibuprofen 400 (though it didn't help much the same night).

B) I am taking 2x 10 - about noon (this is my breakfast time lately), and at 18. I thought it would be better option than 3x7,5 as this med disturbed my sleep - I mean it took many hours to fall asleep (hydroxyzine didn't help; and I am very cautious with benzo). But maybe 3x7,5 would be more natural for body which once took 3x10. On the other hand, so much time passed since quitting to 0. I thought we would "meet" somewhere in between. Besides I read some study where they concluded there was no difference between 2 and 3 times a day in efficacy (which of course isn't the same as tapering.

c) Unfortunately, there's no pattern that would e.g. indicate I should take 3x instead of 2x a day.
Some "hangovers" are in the morning, some in the evening. And some headaches are different - not "hangovers" (like the one tonight).

More info:
- At the same time (3 days earlier) I stopped 12,5mg venlafaxine. But firstly, this is the 2nd time, so I know what symptoms I can attribute to it (and I didn't mention them - like feeling very weak after eating or visiting WC - like every bowel movement took huge amount of energy; or 'shooo' feeling when moving eyeballs-dizziness). Secondly, it should not be so long.
- I am also taking Wellbutrin (bupropione) 150 mg and wondering if maybe I should stop it now and see what happens. I know it's a lottery. But maybe it exacerbates w/d symptoms of buspirone. I want to quit it anyway.

So I spent:
1 month on 3x10
10 days on 0
7 days on 2x5
7 days on 2x10

Considering the time I took, it seems more addictive than benzos (recommended to take max. 8 weeks). I'm half-joking here. I know there are worse cases than mine (with benzos and other).

To be honest, I'm beginning to panic, cause I don't even know what is the best course now. Stay on 2x10? Go back to 3x10? Or stop Well now (probably worst idea, I know)?
And I know docs won't help me.
I can bear this let's say 1 more week (especially if all starts to diminish). One user (Aelius) reported reinstating didn't help. So it's one 'yes' for keeping what I have now (or changing to 3x7,5).

PS I want to go off all long-term meds now (just occassionally hydroxyzine or benzo). I lost hope in them but luckily still have some in other things (another topic).


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Update after last night and morning.
Yesterday (24 Dec) I didn't take my Omega-3. Tonight I didn't wake up due to headache or dry mouth. I woke up with "hangover" BUT not as severe as 2 consecutive days before, it came back to the "before-omega" level.
So, I see correlation. I don't know if it's causation but I'm not willing to test it by taking them again (surely not while tapering buspar).
Omega-3 details. I took them 22 Dec (3 caps) and 23 Dec (2 caps). 1 cap = 550mg EPA+DHA.
I wouldn't even suspect them but I read relevant topic on this forum.


On the other hand, I used to take Omega-3 for month (3 caps of the same as above) 2 or 3 years ago - hoping for antidepressant effects - and didn't notice any change (for better or worse).


But because of this correlation, I'll investigate acetylcholine role in my problems.

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What drugs are you taking now, at what times, and what dosages? How long have you been taking each? I am confused about your timeline. When did you start and stop each drug?


Please also put this information in your signature, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/ for instructions.



Your nervous system has been sensitized by going on and off drugs. This is what is causing you to have unpredictable reactions to drugs and maybe supplements and foods, too. A very common side effect of Welllbutrin is sleeplessness.


What do you mean by "hangover" feeling?


Withdrawal symptoms come in waves. You may be mistaking a withdrawal symptom for a reaction to a drug. Please stop changing drugs so we can get a baseline. Please keep daily notes on paper of your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

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Please keep daily notes on paper of your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

I've been taking notes since Feb 2015, I recently started 10th notebook.


Drugs history - signature updated.


Wellbutrin and sleeplessness. Not in my case.
But it caused/exacerbated my symptoms: neck stiffness (luckily not as severe as the 1st time I took it in 2014), strong tension of face muscles (esp. in the 1st month), racing thoughts (not only ruminations, also neutral and positive), restlessness during day (so weak I cannot do anything but at the same time cannot rest). That's why I want to stop it.
It's buspirone that caused problems with falling asleep (luckily when I finally fall asleep, the sleep is OK). I found elsewhere a topic about many 5ht1a agonists causing this problem.
Of course venlafaxine w/d also may play a role but I'm sure buspirone is the main culprit.



"What do you mean by "hangover" feeling?"

Hangover headache and thirst. I cannot find words (even in my native language) to describe it more accurately. It's just like regular big hangover headache after alcohol. Sometimes it was so similar I had the urge to drink beer as aid. Plus thirst and dry mouth (mostly woke me from night sleep) are also like during hangover.
BTW I read one report a woman had the same: thirst and dry mouth BUT it was her only, slight complain AND the quit cold turkey.


One more thing: something I called 'bowel-movement induced weakness and pressure in temples' ('BWIM') - noticed it on paroxetine withdrawal: after meals and after visits in WC. It's something I remember from a few SSRI/SNRI withdrawal (esp. paroxetine).
But now it's more severe, cause it: can last many hours (paroxetine 1-2), is more frequent (even 3 times a day), every day. It is not pain but something very annoying - like some pressure in temples and forehead was irritating some nerve.
I had only 2 day break from it 4-5 days ago. It wouldn't be such trouble if it didn't last so many hours!

Regarding patterns - they appear at different times but in the evening seem most frequent and intense.


Short update:

> yesterday:
- first half of day tolerable - it gave me some relief and hope
- afternoon and evening constant 'BWIM' plus sleepnessness (took benzo at 3 am).

> today: worse than yesterday, mainly BWIM.
No "hangover" except very morning (which is noon in my case).

I am not changing meds now (but once body gets some relief, thinking about stopping Wellbutrin first, and resume buspirone tapering after that).


PS One thing I'd like to add - in my illness/disorder greatest problems are (short, cause I know it's not the topic but may play a role in w/d symptoms; besides I'm desperately looking for 'cure'):
1. chronic fatigue,
2. sudden bouts of cold-like symptoms (I feel really bad, weak like in severe common-cold; and have chills), sometimes with no apparent reason, sometimes because od p. 3.
3. very sensitive to cold in general - leads to p.2.
4. very sensitive to cold food (especially after stopping paroxetine in July 2015). 'Cold' in my case now is water in ROOM temperature. If I drink it: a. it's cold and I don't like it - it repells me (sorry for bad English here), b. what's worse I'm getting a mix of strange headache (from what I've learned recently I call it 'tension headache') and symptoms in p.2.

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- whole day this pressure in temples/weakness in head (very debilitating)

- frequent stomachaches (I take ginger which helps for 1-2 h, then next attack); I didn't mention them earlier cause it was minor problem compared to others but it's 2nd day they're quite painful
+ 2nd day without those bouts of anger I had (lasted at least 1 week)
+ weaker "hangover" headache and only in the morning

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Yesterday I reported adverse effects of withdrawal to my local supplier/entity responsible for buspirone (Poland, brand name Spamilan here).
Today they called me back which is great but didn't help much. Main topics:


  • "You should not have stop it abruptly". Me: there's not such information in the leaflet!
  • "Physician should have told you". Me: there's not such information in the leaflet, psychiatrists have little clue of withdrawal symptoms!
  • What should I do? "You should do keep to your psychiatrist's guidlines. And maybe change psychiatrist".
  • No advices as what to do now.

I just told them to report it to producer to at least put info about tapering in the leaflet.


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Last 2 days.
symptoms appeared (12 day since back to 20mg / day).
Yesterday, tightness in the area of solar plexus. Today, similar feeling but in the chest area - breathing hurt a little. I know they are fear-like reactions but only the first one somehow familiar (e.g. from some exams). I've never had such tight chest. And to be precise - I don't feel any anxiety (except for general despair I'm stuck in this).

Others remain: in the morning weakness in head/pressure in temples, afternoon: first stomachache, then headache and pressure in forehead.

I think this is enough for now. I don't want to put too much info in this topic and make unnecessary mess.
So, I will update in a couple of days unless some questions appear.

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Those are a lot of drug changes in 2017.


As I said before, going on and off drugs can make your nervous system sensitive -- this means react differently to drugs you've tried before, too. This sensitivity causes a lot of mysterious symptoms. It could very well be that although the last drug you changed was buspirone, going off buspirone alone is not causing your symptoms -- it only triggered withdrawal symptoms from one of the other drugs (I suspect venlafaxine) or even side effects from bupropion.


You took venlafaxine from September 5 to November 29, correct? Did you start venlafaxine and buproprion simultaneously? Did you have any side effects from this combination? How long had you been off duloxetine when you started venlafaxine and buproprion? How long had it been since an esketamine application?


What was your reaction to esketamine?


Why did you switch from duloxetine to venlafaxine September 5?


Currently, what time of day do you take each of your drugs, and at what dosages?


You've mentioned sleep disturbance several times. How many times a week are you unable to sleep or have difficulty falling asleep?

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You took venlafaxine from September 5 to November 29, correct? Did you start venlafaxine and buproprion simultaneously? Did you have any side effects from this combination? How long had you been off duloxetine when you started venlafaxine and buproprion? How long had it been since an esketamine application?

09 Aug I switched from duloxetine 60 to venlafaxine 150.
No tapering; I think (not sure) doc told me to taper to 30 dulox (1 week) and switch to 75 venlafax first, but I did it my way cause I knew tapering / then increasing itself would be also bad but longer (and I knew meds are supposed to be 'similar' - though I already knew I didn't feel the same on dulo); I didn't regret it. I had a few bad days - "normal" in such changes.

Bupropion was added 1 month later (Sep 05). Actually on venlafax 150 + bupro 150 I felt worse (but it wasn't some unexpected side effects, just exacerbated my lack of energy and general ill-feeling). It only got 'less worse' ;  when I lowered venlafax to 37,5.
My last esketamine application was on July 13 - more than 5 months ago.


Why did you switch from duloxetine to venlafaxine September 5?

Switching to new med (one I haven't tried yet) was requirement of this version of esketamine trial. For me the only option was dulox.
But trial didn't work and on dulox was worse (less motivation, joy) for 4 weeks.
Ironically before switching venlafax -> dulox, I felt a bit better - I found hobby that gave me joy (though still no energy).
So, I decided to come back to venlafax with hope for that state to come back (doc agreed). It didn't.



What was your reaction to esketamine?

No effects - positive or negative. Except for acute dissociation, of course.



Currently, what time of day do you take each of your drugs, and at what dosages?

11-12: Buspi 10, bupro 150

18 (6 pm): Buspi 10


You've mentioned sleep disturbance several times. How many times a week are you unable to sleep or have difficulty falling asleep?

Since about 3 weeks I have this problem almost every night. Also, had the same before stopping buspi. I went through my notes and looks like I took mostly alprazolam (0,25 mg)/mianserin (10 mg), sometimes melatonin (2,5mg) helped. But I cannot take mianserin longer than a few days cause I'm getting stomachaches/bloating.
I noticed this improved when I stopped buspi (promethazine was enough to put me to sleep). But even when came back to 10 mg/day, it came back.
So I started trazodone (25 mg) 5 days ago. I know it may mess up my CNS even more but I'm too exhausted in the evenings - I really want to fall asleep. Today I'll try melatonin instead (I just recalled I still have it). I welcome any advice in that matter, too.



It could very well be that although the last drug you changed was buspirone, going off buspirone alone is not causing your symptoms -- it only triggered withdrawal symptoms from one of the other drugs (I suspect venlafaxine) or even side effects from bupropion.

Yes. I know. But I know symptoms from venlafax w/d (I took it before, monotherapy in 2013) - I can attribute only this pressure in temples/weakness in head after meal/WC, besides it wasn't that severe (frequency, duration) even in paroxetine (which I though was the worst w/d in some terms; in others it was olanzapine).
Others must be from:
- combination of buspi/venlafax wd (though I stopped small dose of venlafax 12,5 mg; besides I have experience stopping it)

- maybe presence of bupropion somehow exagerrates them. It's not bupropion itself (took it before too; in monotherapy in 2014). I already wrote its main side effects.

One more update - I need to express my despair.
Tonight I was woken up by "hangover" thirst. And what's worse, since morning I have "hangover" headache and thirst again! I thought that at least those were gone for good! I'm so exhausted.



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Jan 02 I stopped Wellbutrin (bupropion). Bad effects of course but
I reduced buspirone to 15 mg (from 20).
At first it was worse. Then better. But then on day 6 terrible w/d effects came back (almost like the ones I mentioned when quit cold turkey). Most important: hangover (headache and thirst), stomachache, tightened stomach muscles. These are all from buspi (I am not mentioning my other somatizations related with 'depression'). And it's 5th day it lasts!

I suspect only 2 things:
- wave coming back like many here report (it'd be new to me, though took many meds)
- inositol - took only 2 times 4g; then stopped - maybe it's coincidence but the same evening all started.


The only good thing is ibuprofen 400 mg helps a bit for those terrible headaches.
But I'm exhausted mentally and physically...


Any advice?

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voyteck - making changes in 2 medications is very likely to cause symptoms.  You've stopped taking BOTH venlafaxine and bupropion since the end of November.  That is 2 MAJOR changes in a very short period of time. We recommend reducing only one medication at a time. Please read:

3KIS: Keep it slow. Keep it simple. Keep it stable.


When reducing dosage, it is safest to make small decreases -- no more than 10% per month:

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.


You asked for advice. Here it is:

  1. Don't make any more changes in busipirone dose for at least 2 months. 
  2. Please keep notes on paper of your symptoms and the times of your dose(s). This post has a useful format for a daily log: Take notes of doses and symptoms.

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Dear scallywag,


Thank you for your answer. I've already read some important topics.

But will take your advice to keep for 2 months seriously. Even more. I am thinking of going back to say 18mg. Today marks 2 weeks since I lowered 20 -> 15 and since 2 days I'm having one additional thing: terrible stomachaches.


I'll just mention venlafaxine and bupro weren't the main factors - I already tapered them solo a few years ago and surely it wasn't that level of hell (especially bupro was 'mild' in comparison). On the other hand, I know how much it takes for full recovery and surely they could some effect.

All hell broke lose because I quit buspiron cold turkey. And I'm cursing docs and company they didn't warn this one should be tapered first.


One reason I want to lower it ASAP, is it also disturbs my sleep (I need to take benzo / other things (trazodone 25) in turns) and makes me more restless than usual.

Another reason is, I cannot try any alternative treatments for this 'depression' I have (which require I stop all this **** meds).

I need to accept I'm seriously addicted. Next step will be probably 2,5 or even 1 mg. But it's long from now.


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It's been over 4 months since my last update. I finally stopped buspirone 5 weeks ago.
I joined the club of people experiencing 'waves and windows'. It's still bad but overall most symptoms seem to decrease in long-term (say comparing every 2-3 weeks).
But I have one problem which terrifies me more and more.
My libido didn't come back. And it seems the situation is getting worse. While at every reduction it seemed to appear spontaneously - say once, two per week, now (5 weeks after last reduction; 5 months tapering) I can say it didn't pop up about 2-3 weeks.
I emphasize main problem is libido (I can get erection and orgasm when "forced" with porn).

A few more info.

  • I know buspirone should give opposite effect. Well, for me it didn't - either when I took it, or after stopping. But I'm sure it's either buspirone alone or it's combination with venlafaxine that caused it. Why? Cause I've stopped many SSRI and venlafaxine before and libido quickly (1-2 weeks) came back, for a few weeks even with 150% strength). When I stopped venlafaxine while still being on buspirone, it didn't happen.
  • I already know about sites about pssd but didn't find much relevant info there due to abovementioned.

Should anyone have information about loss of libido after buspirone, plesase let me know.

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This post will be about tinnitus.

As you can see from my history, I had to ask my doc for something for my inner tension and attacks of fury.
I was given quetiapine SR 50 mg and instructed to take 100 mg. I've read about it and decided to take only 50 SR.
The next day after my initial dose I began to suspect I have tinnitus (did't know what it was from experience but read about it). It was VERY annoying but initially but after some time (2-3 weeks?) became less severe and I noticed it mainly in quiet times of day (before bed and after waking up).

I tried to stop quetiapine many times but (due to sleep problems) were able only 9 days ago. So I took it about 10 weeks.
Unfortunately, since about 3 days my tinnitus came back with 100% of it's initial power. It's a surprise cause I thouhgt that actually this one would disappear and expected problems in other areas.

In short. I suspect the cause of my tinnitus is buspirone withdrawal + quetiapine. Of course it could be quetiapine alone but I doubt it due to the low dose.
I regret I took it. I should have tried to manage without it (I'd prefer benzo occasionally but doc didn't want to give it and put on quetiapine instead). Now I have one more symptom to deal with.

I am writing this cause I've learned the hard way of a truth stated on this forum many times: your body is so vulnerable during withdrawal that any substance could cause additional mess.


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This post is part journal (9 weeks since stopping buspirone) part desperate call for help.

Main question to most experienced people here. Should I re-instate small amount of buspirone?


* My main concerns. Things that didn't improve at all, or even got worse *

  • PSSD. I know there are other forums. And I am already going through them. But it scares the most s*** out of me.
  • Horrible thirst. Since the very beginning, first whole day and night, then changed to only night/morning mode.
    Now back to whole day mode (it was long gone after stopping buspi but came back about 2 weeks ago).
    I am afraid it's some new illness or serious hormone imbalance.
    I already told my psychiatrists (two of them) about it many times during this whole 6-month hell and I got prescribed lab test (sorry, it's probably not correct English) for glucose only a few days ago (As I'm housebound hadn't done it yet but will try tomorrow).
  • Tinnitus - it got worse after stopping quetiapine (02 Jun), then better, and now again worse BUT I got 2nd sound in the other ear since 5 days. I already had some pain attacks in the evening when trying masking one with one sound (like rain) seemed to exaggerate the other.
  • Insomnia - I have troubles falling asleep, but worst is waking up about 5-6 and inability to fall asleep.
    Waking up itself is due to thirst. But I cannot fall asleep due to some tension, restlessness, racing thoughts (and sometimes also tinnitus).
    The first part (waking up due to thirst) has been with me almost every day during 6 month tapering. But it better cause I could fall asleep.
    Now though using (in the morning) promethazine 25 mg, tryptophan, B6p5p, and eating, it's very difficult to go to sleep again.


One important observation about last months: I cannot get asleep on empty stomach (I mean eating around 20 and going to sleep 22-23), I have to eat something (not sure but suspect sweet things like cookies are best).

Today I had perfect example.

- I was already exhausted due to previous bad sleep,

- ate about 19.00

- took promethazine, melatonin, vitamins at 21:30

- though very groggy, drowsy etc., my organism didn't want to turn on the sleep mode

- finally I got up (and though not hungry) ate some cookies. I fell asleep within minutes.

I wonder if that has something to do with this thirst. Suspecting glucose (before this tragin combo, always was OK).


* Things that got much better *

  • No more attacks of fury (1 month)
  • No more bloating after meals. Though still have some stomach issues (bloating after number 2, stomachaches - started since quitting quetiapine.
  • Much less headaches (less often, less severe). Still coming back in waves but many windows.


* Things that are a bit better but some waves even with 100% force *

  • A bit less tension during the day (with exception of early mornings). Slight change but continuous. Some waves.
  • Earworm. Generally it's every day but sometimes vanishes. And there are many irritation levels. Since 3 days very intrusive 1 particular song.
  • Feeling of "warm forehead" (temp. is OK)


As you can see I'm avoiding any AD meds (apart from promethazine and occasional benzo), cause I want to give full chance for my libido to recover. And most of them hit the 5ht1a receptor which I suspect is already desensitized by bupirone agonism.


It's been 9 weeks since stopping buspirone, 25 days since quitting quetiapine.
I'm so scared and desperate. Could someone please advise?



Edited by Songbird
fix font size

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Hello, voyteck. What is your sleep pattern?


How long have you been taking promethazine, at what dosage? Do you take it regularly? What time of day do you take it? Please update your signature.


You went off bupropion Jan 2, did your symptoms increase after that? When did the tinnitus start?


You made a lot of drug changes from November to April, your system may be upset from all of them.

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What is your sleep pattern? 
As I already wrote: I have troubles falling asleep, but worst is waking up about 5-6 and inability to fall asleep.
Waking up itself is due to thirst. But I cannot fall asleep due to some tension, restlessness, racing thoughts (and sometimes also tinnitus).

How long have you been taking promethazine, at what dosage? Do you take it regularly? What time of day do you take it? Please update your signature.
Signature updated.

Promethazine. Usually 25 mg. Regularly for many months. Earlier I used it about 19:00 to ease tension. Since tension eased I can take it before bed (22:00). I tried 50 mg (as advised by doc) but it didn't help seem to help much - I couldn't get back to sleep early morning anyway.
So I devised this stack: promethazine 25 + tryptophan 700 + eating something (keeping min. 20 min. between tryptophan and eating). And it seems to help many times.


You went off bupropion Jan 2, did your symptoms increase after that?

No. I don't know what these drugs did taken together but coming off venlafaxine and bupro was piece of cake compared to what happened with buspirone.


When did the tinnitus start?
According to my notes I started to suspect it tinnitus about 19 Mar- but my notes say it has been for a few days.
I started quetiapine 17 Mar. Not sure, but if not caused by quetiapine, tinnitus must have started max. couple of days earlier. More in my post from June 12.

What are chances going back to buspirone would help?

I don't want to cause I hate this s***. And also it was in the first place that caused tension, restlessness during day and troubles falling asleep when I took it.
I also consider going back to quetiapine for sleep issues - but on the other hand I don't want this med, cause I know it can cause sexual problems and I already have PSSD.
I feel I need some med at least to help with sleep but with not harming sex issues (I am considering trazodone or mianserin).

It's such a shame I don't have a caring and wise doc!


15 hours ago, Altostrata said:

You went off bupropion Jan 2, did your symptoms increase after that?


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1 hour ago, voyteck said:

I feel I need some med at least to help with sleep but with not harming sex issues (I am considering trazodone or mianserin).


Getting on the med merry-go-round got you into this situation - adding more meds is likely to cause even more confusion in your system.


1 hour ago, voyteck said:

As I already wrote: I have troubles falling asleep, but worst is waking up about 5-6 and inability to fall asleep.
Waking up itself is due to thirst. But I cannot fall asleep due to some tension, restlessness, racing thoughts (and sometimes also tinnitus).


If tension, restlessness and racing thoughts are keeping you awake, you might try some relaxation exercises, which are great for calming the nervous system, helping to reduce tension and encouraging sleep.  For example: progressive muscle relaxation, gentle yoga, calming breathing exercises, meditation, guided visualisation, etc.  I like to use recordings with gentle music and an instructor's voice telling me what to do so I don't have to think about it.  I do my progressive muscle relaxation just lying in bed, and it usually helps my system to calm down so I can fall asleep.  You could try a few kinds and see what works for you.

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Dear Songbird,


Thank you for your response.


I already know all those techniques, but will try PMR again since I didn't try it lately (slow breathing and mindfulness don't help).


I took and tapered most drugs. Most were piece of cake compared to this. Even paroxetine and olanzapine withdrawals didn't last that long (though were that hellish for some days).

I am pretty sure it's buspirone withdrawal that causes it (though we'll never know what these 3 drugs I took together did).

What about re-instating drug (mini-dose) after 9 weeks? I see you re-instated paroxetine.

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Promethazine has a very short half-life. If you take it at 22:00, it's probably worn off by 5-6 a.m.


Dry mouth is a common side effect of promethazine.


However, waking at 5-6 a.m. is not a terrible sleep pattern. Can you go to bed earlier to get more sleep, and get up at 5-6 a.m.? This could help reinforce your natural sleep cycle, which gets ready to wake at dawn. You'd do this for some months to re-establish a natural sleep pattern, then let nature take over, without drugs (taper off).


You quit quetiapine on June 2? How did your symptoms change after that?





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Alto: First of all, thank you.

Dry mouth.
Promethazine is surely not main cause of my dry mouth (I took it on many different occasions and didn't have this). It all started with buspirone w/d. Also I read one account where buspirone w/d caused that (though probably not that long).
But who knows, maybe it adds in my vulnerable state. So I'll try a few nights without it (if I can sleep with other tranquilizers) and see if it changes at least a bit. Thanks for tip! I didn't even think about checking it's side effects.

However, waking at 5-6 a.m. is not a terrible sleep pattern.

Yes, I know. In theory. The problem is even after 6-7 h of sleep I still feel very exhausted in some periods (now since a few days, but also about 6 weeks ago, while I was still on quetiapine) like I've slept 3-4 h. Like my quality of sleep is poor. I read about sleep cycles and still don't know what is the cause.
I'm having dreams, so I have this important REM sleep. I can only suspect it's poor deep phase (N3).


Can you go to bed earlier to get more sleep, and get up at 5-6 a.m.? 

Yes. That's what I'm trying to do. The problem is I cannot fall asleep at 22 (lying since 21:30). I'm tossing and turning for about 2 hours. But I'm trying to do that. I'll move taking drugs/supplements and eating to 21 and stick to that.

Yesterday I took all stuff at 21:30 but fell asleep about 2 hours later - only after eating some food (again, I emphasize this: eating has been very important during last months (and probably before this hell too); I suspect it helps turn off sympathetic mode).


You quit quetiapine on June 2? How did your symptoms change after that?

  • stomachaches - started 2 days after. I am still having them intermittently. Usually mild.
    So on one hand, my GI improved (no bloating, and since a few days I tolerate small amounts of citric acid - as additive)
    On the other hand, I have stomachaches out of the blue a few times a week and poor appetite.
    I think also my sensitivity to smells increased again (was severe during withdrawal).
  • tinnitus - increased 2 days after, then diminished, now again very annoying AND second noise. Now I have 2 noises (one in each ear). And I have problems with masking them with sounds (for sleep or to get rest during day). For some time rain sound was OK, but now I hear the 'squeaking' through it (and makin rain louder increases this noise). Sometimes I use refrigerator sound instead. But sometimes it's hard to pick the right sound...
  • worse insomnia (delayed sleep onset; inability to fall asleep again early morning) - started after 13 days, so not sure if there's connection with quetiapine

By the way, do you have experience with extended or dual release melatonin?


Edited by Songbird
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Hi voytech, 


I see you went off  Seroquel, 


Im tapering from Quetiapine too. You went off it so quickly. A lot of your withdrawals would be from that, and you’ve made lots of other changes too. Your poor body is trying to stabilise. 


Im down to 7.5mg of Seroquel now and it’s going to take me many, many years still to get off that amount. I can only taper by a small percentage otherwise the akathisia gets unbearable.


As regards the insomnia, once in the past when I forgot to take the Seroquel I didn’t sleep at all. I was awake the whole night. When you come off Seroquel you end up with rebound insomnia.


As regards melatonin, xyz on this forum was saying today she’s had great success with it. 


Take care💚

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I am sorry for late reply. For last couple of days I had no mental capacity to read messages, let alone respond.


I am still very weak, so will cover most important now. Let me just say I confirm what others wrote: it's a rollercoaster!


I've been feeling worse lately due to:

- My "depressive" somatizations (i.e. pre-drug) - it's not topic of this thread so I will not elaborate. But it's really debilitating symptom.

- GI issues. Stomachaches, disgust towards many standard foods (sausage, many soups), poor appetite in general. Very picky stomach. I just started supplementing with "nutridrinks".

- More severe weakness (both body and mind). Hard to describe. You can just lay and get up to go to WC or eat.


On the other hand, I also had some rays of light (gave me so much hope; I'd cry now if I could) but now even don't want to write about them cause since 2 days they're gone...


Altostrata: thank you for this tip about promethazine! Frankly, I didn't believe it would make difference but it did (or it's coincidence with some window). My thirst since about 3 days is more bearable!
I am managing with only one dose of promethazine (in the evening) AND reduced it to 3/4 (tried one night without it and couldn't sleep, despite melatonin).

I stopped morning p. and for 2 days didn't even need it (slept about 8-9 h!). Today I managed only with tryptophan and P5P.

I am also taking DR (1,5 released right away and 1,5 after 5-8 hours) melatonin 3 mg since 2 days (earlier normal form). It seems to help. But it's a rollecoaster, so we'll see...


Carmie: Unfortunately, I was taking 50 SR ("only" for most people), so there was not much sense splitting it.

Regarding akathisia: please check B6 (and/or it's P5P form). See also: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/32-akathisia-vs-restlessness-anxiety-agitation/?page=5





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As if my symptoms weren't enough, here are latest news.


Strong inner tension is back (3rd day). Two days ago on the verge of attack of fury - B6p5p stopped it. But it doesn't always work.

I don't get it. It was much better for many weeks, even before stopping quetiapine (that's why I allowed myself to stop it).


Additionally, my insomnia and bad quality of sleep are back. I.e. I wake up at 4 am, take all the stuff (eat, tryptophan, niacin) - fall asleep. Great BUT though my sleep totals about 6, 7 hours, I'm feeling like I slept 3.


Lying whole day cause sleepy but with tension.


Probably I didn't mention it earlier, but another w/d symptom is I cannot cry. And I need it so much... (I know crying would at least release some endorphins and calm me dowm). Sometimes I feel like I'm choking on emotions...


Going crazy... I will not stand it all much longer... I feel my body will never heal... It's broken... And I cannot live like this...



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@voyteck Your symptoms, while horrific, are all normal for this journey. Try and remember that. It is the withdrawal causing everything and you will become stronger against them. 


Try and take it one half hour/hour at a time. Get through it then go the next hour. It works. Before you know it, you will be able to get through more things.


Saying a prayer for you.

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@mirageThank you! That means a lot to me...

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7 months free of buspirone. Not much changed.


The only thing that got better (since a few weeks) - is sleep. And I am very grateful for that.


Other than that, most mentioned above persist.

Worst being:

  • GI issues (stomachaches, lack of appetite, bloating),
  • lack of libido (scares the sh...t out of me; I always considered it hige, even too high)
  • restlessness / tension during day; sometimes still ends with bouts of fury (I scream into and punch my pillow)


  • tinnitus (luckily manageable now)
  • earworm (sometimes still very intrusive)
  • sensitivity to sounds (loud sounds hurt, and some also make a kind of buzz)
  • sensitivity to smells (mainly chemical but also some natural e.g. fried onion)

And all this is only addition to my standard "depressive" somatizations (which I was tempted to mention to give full picture, but I don't want to make confusion).


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Better sleep is good! That's an improvement. Are you still taking promethazine?


Are your GI issues related to any particular foods? You may want to avoid those foods and give your gut a rest for a while. It might have become irritated with the drug changes.

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Yes. I am still taking taking: promethazine 3/4 of 25mg and melatonin 3 mg for sleep.

I am already avoiding some foods that cause bloating (all fruit juices I tried, many fruits, tea). I already had some better window when I drank strong tea with orange juice but that's gone.
But pain and irritation comes out of nowhere.

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To: all who might want to share their thoughts. I am not sure what to do next.
I have 2 options: wait or try SSRI in dosage I've never tried (30 mg escitalopram) for my depression and somatizations.

To give you broader picture (so far I've written only about withdrawal issues):

  • My depression and somatizations made me a disabled person. Not working for 5 years. Home-bound. I have caring mother and friends, tried many therapies but cannot get out of this...
    I tried almost all drugs, and their combinations, except abovementioned high dose of esci.
  • A year ago I decided to stop all 3 meds (venlafaxine, bupropion, buspirone) in order to try alternatives.
    It turned out buspirone withdrawal has been hell. I am still suffering from things mentioned in previous post.
    The worst are: physically: GI issues, mentally: lack of libido.

Regarding libido. Lately I can't stand looking at beautiful women or relationships between people in movies.

I already tried a few most successful supplements from pssdforum but to no avail. I still have St. John's Wort and inositol to try...


[My story with meds. You may skip this part. I just needed to pour these thoughts.]

My story still makes me so angry. After all these meds I am in much worse state than I was before starting them!

When I started my first SSRI in 2013 I was working and my somatizations (called by doctors flu-like symptoms) made me miss many days in work but still could get back after a few days of absence. After withdrawal of second one (venlafaxine; cause it didn't seem to work) I was feeling quite well for a month, then got worse than before drugs for a few weeks and got sacked.
About 1,5 years later - after withdrawal of paroxetine - my sensitivity to cold increased to absurd and stayed on this level.
I cannot drink water in room temperature. I have to protect myself from any cold (air conditioning in summer). All cold cause it triggers "sick" state and strange headaches. I have to protect myself by heating up all food and drink. This is one of my somatizations - somehow related to flu-like symptoms (they can be triggered by cold or come out of nowhere).

And now this history with buspirone is another nail in the coffin (maybe literally - time will show).


I read many stories here and suspect what you may write. But I am desperate and need to express my feelings somehow (I cannot cry - another strange thing by the way; I can only scream into pillow).

Here's how I see it:

  1. Wait for body to heal itself.
    PROS: All will heal naturally. At least to some extent.
    CONS: So far (7 months without this poison) it's not looking good. GI was already better but got worse lately. It's waves and windows. But for: libido, tinnitus, earworm there seem to be no windows.
    Many of SA members know why pssdforum exists.
  2. Escitalopram.
    - Maybe it would help with my depression and somatizations. I know this drug. It was mildest thing regarding side effects. And it seemed to work but only for a few weeks (then stopped and was changed to another drug).
    - I know about 2 miracle healings of PSSD by low-dosages of SSRI.
    - Maybe it would "heal" some w/d issues e.g. restlessness/tension, GI issues
    - I know it causes PSSD in many people. I remember it didn't lower my libido much at 10 mg but don't know what will happen at 30 mg. I'd rather get my libido back before starting, so that I know what med to blame.
    - I don't know what it will do to my mind and body in this withdrawal state. I am not the same I was when I first took it.

OK. It took long than intended. I will appreciate any comments of people with similar experience.



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My original (before ADs) somatizations of my nervous breakdown (I think it's a good term) have been:

  • Flu-like symptoms - malaise, like I cought some cold but very severe. Horrible.
  • Abnormal sensitivity to cold:
    * triggers terrible headache (I have some suspicion it may be tension headache),
    * triggers or exacerbates abovementioned flu-like symptoms.
    To give you better picture:
    * In summer I have to avoid shops etc. with even a moderate air conditioning.
    * I cannot drink/eat cold drinks/food. And before ADs by cold I meant: from the refrigerator. Now it means: in room temperature. I have to heat everything now (except for very dry things e.g. toasted bread or dry cookies).
    At first - before ADs - I thought it was some strange allergic reaction. Only after some time I realized it's due to cold.
  • Chronic fatigue. Every day. I rarely go even shopping to grocery. On the other hand there were some periods (not lately) where I could do some moderate weight-lifting (and I like doing that cause I feel better after it for a few hours). It's very disabling but still I prefer that than 2 abovementioned.
  • Cold hand and feet. Feeling cold and having wet armpits at the same time. Piece of cake compared to other.
  • Photophobia - but strange, only to artificial light (all kinds - fluorescent, led, halogen). I can work with computer and natural light for hours with no problem. But with artificial there can be serious problems. Comes in stronger and lighter waves. My only suspicion was that it's due to low intensity of light but turning on all my room lights in room seems to help only slightly and not always.
    I had milder version of this before but it got much worse when all other somatizations started.


Once again. They're NOT iatrogenic. But one thing (sensitivity to cold) increased after withdrawal of one of AD drugs (paroxetine) and stayed like that.
They all started afted some life experiences (although I've had had some 'normal' depressive symptoms many years before).
That's why I finally believed my GP and went to psychologist/psychotherapist. The problem is SHE referred my to psychiatrist after just a few meetings. I wish I could go back to that moment and warn myself to try everything else first. I was much better then I was still managing to work and my symptoms were intermittent. The rest is in my signature.


So, many years ago I accepted that my somatizations are caused by stress. But still I left some space for other possibilities and doing some tests from time to time (e.g. cytokines). I am now simultaneously reading two books on the subject (about placebo and somatizations) but still don't know how to get out of this spiral.


If anyone reading this have any more info about similar somatizations or anything else that could help, please let me know.


Thank you for links. I don't have celiac. I have few food intolerances (delayed allergy) - avoiding them doesn't help a bit.

I've been reading a lot about microbiota but probiotics so far didn't help with either current GI issues or depression.


GI issues.

I've been regularly visiting gastroenterologist. In short: he's got no clue what's wrong with me.

I took antibiotic that removed lamblia - no improvement. Endoscopy showed helicobacter pylori (eradicated 5 years ago; 1,5 year ago I was still free of it) but only some slight changes (I don't know how to translate them) - doc says they cannot be reason of my problems.

Now I am on 1-month trial on PPI.


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2 hours ago, voyteck said:

Once again. They're NOT iatrogenic.


Do you mean those symptoms existed before you took any psychiatric drugs?


Cold hands and feet and fatigue are a hallmark of low thyroid activity, as is constipation. Have you had your thyroid status checked?


Please review those topics I gave you earlier. They address food sensitivities, which many physicians overlook or misdiagnose.


Please note: This is not a general medical Web site. If your health problems are not related to psychiatric drug withdrawal, our expertise is not extensive enough to counsel you about them.

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