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vix72: low dose lamotragine taper after i finish tamazepam taper in app 4 weeks maybe 3!!

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vix72

Hi,

 

im asking for advice on 12.5mg lamotragine taper that i plan for the new year. ive been taking it for 8 weeks today as a mood stabiliser. i have felt better but that may also be a result of the tamazepam taper starting a few weeks later and the anxiety around the potential breakdown of my relationship being removed as he did infact leave. hes a lovely caring man though who just couldnt hear my distress ans thoughts of ending it all anymore...its been a really hard year and september/October/ november in particular were hard. pregnancy, miscarriage and precervical cancer all in one. i havent worked since sep 1st when i had surgery. last time i felt like myself was August....that was before all these drugs and while i had terrible anxiety but the anxiety was nothing like with the drugs...they bought on serious depression too....

Edited by Shep
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Shep

Hi, Vix.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. 

 

You certainly have been through a lot in the past few months, but hopefully things will look a lot better once you have a game plan for coming off these drugs and healing. Are you completely off temazepam now? 

 

Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 

  • Any drugs and supplements 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. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Once we have some more information about your drugs, we'll be able to give you advice and help you set up a plan for coming off. 

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vix72

Hi Shep,

 

Thanks for looking at this with me.

 

october 2015 i contracted dengue fever in india. no treatment for it as its a virus. started to feel better in 2016. had huge family dramas in 2016 and started experiencing anxiety. the Drs think i am perimenopausal too. they think and i agree that is the underlying issue as well as my childhood and ptsd stuff. so, no medications at all until this past june when i realised i had lost more than 10 kilos and was dangerously thin. started going to drs and they tested everything, all came back fine other than pap test which showed irregularities, reminiscent of per cervical/pregnany/termination/pelvic infection trauma when i was 19. hence...ptsd they believe. and my partner wanted a baby this year. and i felt obliged as i love him ( he has since left). so functional helath Dr recommends magnesium, vit b's, zinc etc etc which i take and at times feel much better and at times much much worse, then miscarriage and precervical cancer come and i need surgery and cant sleep. dont know what they gave me in hospital but it was a general anesthetic. no pain killers for me as I'm a herbal girl and don't want crap in my system. but then i cant sleep, start having bad nights and over empathising with the worlds atrocities and super scary dreams, all within 2 weeks of surgery. back to hospital for results from surgery but that morning i feel suicidal and like i deserve to be sick...my partner takes me to Dr who gives me tamazepam to sleep. 20mg, says to keep taking it. my partner, mother, friends all say to too as i was a HUGE mess. so i do, and i sleep and its great. then i start feeling worse, super suicidal an anxiety like i had never known, i go to hospital and they give me 5mg seroquil which makes me super agitated and i start getting paranoid. next night i take it again but time took on a strange quality, it was very odd,like it took an hour for a minute to pass. next night they try olanzapine, absolutely disgusting so i sign myself out as it"s a voluntary hospital and they believe I'm going to be ok. i go to my GP (general dr) and he agrees that i need to get off tamazepam. but im unstable so he says to wait until i settle. it doesn't happen, i just get worse so a female health psychiatrist recommends low dose lamotragine which i start and i do feel better, almost immediately. within an hour actually. my liver is a bit weak, I'm the girl that cant drink alcohol so i never do. stopped cigarettes 12 years ago, no caffeine or sugar and im super healthy and picky with my food. no take away unless i know its clean and healthy and even then not much. so 2 weeks after starting lamotragine i stabilise and start taper, then my partner leaves and i fracture my left wrist in 8 places. BUT i refuse pain killers and continue with taper because I HATE this stuff and it makes me depressed, crying all the time, morning nightmares etc etc. so i continue at 2mg per week as i had only been taking for 2 months when i started taper. I am down to 6mg from 20 and feeling OK. i have moments ( several every day) when I'm in terror for my future and cry a great deal. i thought the lamotragine was helping until i researched tapering off that and i found all sorts of negative info. is it really as bad as I've read?

 

currently I'm on 12.5mg lamotragine and 6mg tamazepam. i will drop another 2 mg tamaz next friday and another 2 the week after then 1 then half then none....i suppose i should wait until that is done before i taper the lamotragine?

 

Commenced tamazepam Wed 13th September

2mg/1ml Starting dose 20mg/10ml

 

9mls 20th November 7 nights

8ml 27th November 10 nights

7 ml 7th December 6 nights

6 mls 13th December 5 nights

5mls 18th December 4 nights

4 mls 23rd December 6 nights

3mls 29th December – current

 

Lamotragine start date was November 11th.

 

I am wanting to stop the lamotrigine too as I think it was the tamazepam making everything so bad. I have felt a little better each day with the taper even though I am still very scared and anxious although not as I was before the taper began. There are so many factors involved it is hard to pinpoint which is which – my daughter is home, I’m selling the house, looking to be mortgage free and figure out what to do for work….etc etc. these things both scare and excite me. The mortgage free is excellent, the work is a tougher one but I want to work to keep busy. I’m better when I’m busy this I know too. But not too busy…I’m thinking part time to start rather than casual as it gives me security of week to week cash but not a huge expectation…

 

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Staz

Welcome Vix.

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Shep

Hi, Vix.

 

I'm having a really hard time understanding exactly when you started taking your drugs, especially the temazepam and when you came on and off the antipsychotics. Please fill out a signature. This is really important for moderators to be able to help you. 

 

Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 

  • Any drugs and supplements 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. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

1 hour ago, vix72 said:

currently I'm on 12.5mg lamotragine and 6mg tamazepam. i will drop another 2 mg tamaz next friday and another 2 the week after then 1 then half then none....i suppose i should wait until that is done before i taper the lamotragine?

 

You are reducing way too quickly and I fear you're going to get hit with some really bad withdrawal symptoms. 

 

Please see:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery  video (4 minutes) - note this is on antidepressant withdrawal but all psychiatric drug withdrawal carries similar windows and wave patterns.

 

A lot of people who have only been on these drugs for a few months think since they had limited exposure to these drugs, they can come off quickly. However, it only takes 2 - 4 weeks to become dependent on a benzodiazepine drug such as temazepam, and for a mood stabilizer such as lamotrigine, you can develop dependency in as little as a month. This post is really good for explaining how these drugs change our brains and why a slow taper is best:

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

What symptoms are you having? How is your sleep? 

 

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vix72

Hi Shep,

 

Thank you for your concern. I am feeling much better than i did before i started the lamotragine and the taper. Unfortunately they coincided so i cant really say which is which i but i do feel the lamotragine helped a little. i was quite unstable and dark before that. below is a table of the taper and my current intake. 

 

Oh and i had a course of anti biotics in April for  UTI, that is what started this entire journey.

 

i have been told i have pyroluria and the double HTMFR? ( not sure if i have that right) which is why we tried supplements.

 

the anti psychotics were as follows

 

seroquil  2 doses 1st 5mg September 26th 2017, then again 27th September 2017.

olanzapine 1 dose 2.5mg September 28th 

 

That's all. they were horrible for me

 

i had 1 dose of a melatonin based anti depressant in August and that made me feel like i was having a heart attack. so stopped that straight away. 

 

currently I'm on 12.5mg lamotragine and 6mg tamazepam. i will drop another 2 mg tamaz next friday and another 2 the week after then 1 then half then none....i suppose i should wait until that is done before i taper the lamotragine?

 

Commenced tamazepam Wed 13th September

i have had a compunding pharmacist make up a solution for me as in australia we only have 10mg tablets.2mg/1ml Starting dose 20mg/10ml

 

9mls 20th November 7 nights

8ml 27th November 10 nights

7 ml 7th December 6 nights

6 mls 13th December 5 nights

5mls 18th December 4 nights

4 mls 23rd December 6 nights

3mls 29th December – current

 

Lamotragine 12.5mg start date was November 11th and is still 12.5mg

 

My symptoms are as follows.

sore joints and muscles but not enough to hinder me, in fact since starting taper and lamotragine i have returned to swimming, yoga and walking long distances eg, 10 km. Anxiety at times and terror however i had these prior to taking anything and in fact the anxiety is less. when i was only using tamazepam the anxiety was still present and the terror great, i cried constantly and heavily. since taper of tamaz and commencement of lamotragine i have felt better. Again not sure which one it could be but the headaches stopped and the crazy tingling in my skull stopped when i started taper and lamotragine.  Since that time my partner has left, i am selling my house and there is a great deal of financial uncertainty as i have not worked for several months and am on government benefits which thankfully aren't too bad here in Australia. Plus i can buy a smaller house and no mortgage so i wont have to be concerned about that either.

i do want to be well, to recover and to heal all of my wounds - childhhood trauma etc, and to work and enjoy life again...

 

 

 

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Shep
15 hours ago, vix72 said:

Oh and i had a course of anti biotics in April for  UTI, that is what started this entire journey.

 

What type of antibiotic did you take?  Please note that the fluoroquinolone antibiotics are dangerous for people tapering benzodiazepines because they displace benzodiazepines from their binding sites on GABA-receptors and can send you straight into acute withdrawal. Here is a list of fluoroquinolone antibiotics to avoid if possible - Fluoroquinolone antibiotics.  Even for people not on benzos, the fluoroquinolones are dangerous as they have many toxic side effects (http://www.saferpills.org/). 

 

Please add the dates to your signature for the below:

 

           Commenced tamazepam Wed 13th September
           Lamotragine 12.5mg start date was November 11th 

 

What you currently have in your signature is very misleading because it looks like you've been taking these drugs for 8 weeks. Having the date you started them will help us from giving you the wrong advice based on misleading information. 

 

I'm sorry for your recent losses. This is all too common amongst people going through withdrawal.  You may wish to read and post in these sections for support:

 

Relationships

 

Finding Meaning

 

It sounds like you're handling your symptoms very well and doing a great job with non-drug coping things such as exercise to aid with the anxiety and other symptoms. It does look like too rapid a taper, so please be mindful that withdrawal symptoms can be delayed. 

 

How are you sleeping?

Edited by Shep
fixed typos

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vix72

Hi Shep,

 

the dates that i give are the dates that i started taking these medications. Prior to September 2017 i had never taken a psychiatric drug, other than 13 years ago when i wanted to quit smoking and the Dr gave me a 'wonder medication' called zyban...I got rid of that within 1 week. So nothing misleading there...

 

 

So, I was using Tamazepam for sleep and started using it 13th September 2017, started the taper on Nov 20th. began taking Lomogitrine on 11th Nov and am still using that dose. 

 

and the sleep comes and goes. usually between 6 and 9 hours since the taper but prior to the taper about 5-6 hours then horrible dreams. Prior to sleep issues which i had for about 2 weeks I never had an issue with sleep. i slept a solid 8-10 hrs every night. im not sure if my sleep issues occured because of anxiety, PTSD, perimenopause or a combination. 

 

the antibiotic was in march this year and was called trimethoprim, which i reacted to so the hospital gave me loratadine which i also reacted too. then the anxiety began in full force...i might add that i have gilberts syndrome so my liver HATES all of this as well as 3 gall stones.. i dont drink, smoke or take recreational drugs...

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vix72

Im happy with the taper for the tamazepam, i just wanted advice with the lamogatrine. Thank you

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vix72

are you still there shep?

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Shep

Hi, Vix.  Please list your questions so a moderator can answer them. The only comment I can make from what you've written so far is to say that if you are still tapering your temazepam, please hold the lamotrigine. It's best to only taper one drug at a time. 

 

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vix72

Hi Shep,

 

Thanks for the reply. Can i post the question here?

 

I'm asking for advice on 12.5mg lamotragine taper that i plan for the new year. I've been taking it for 9 weeks today as a mood stabiliser.

Question 1) how can i taper such a small dose?

Question 2) can this be made up as a solution by a compounding pharmacist?

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Shep
16 minutes ago, vix72 said:

Can i post the question here?

 

Yes, please post all of your questions here on your Intro thread.

 

17 minutes ago, vix72 said:

I'm asking for advice on 12.5mg lamotragine taper that i plan for the new year. I've been taking it for 9 weeks today as a mood stabiliser.

Question 1) how can i taper such a small dose?

Question 2) can this be made up as a solution by a compounding pharmacist?

 

 

Yes, you can get a solution by a compounding pharmacist or you can make your own liquid using immediate-release lamotrigine tablets.  Please read this thread for more information and then post any questions you have. 

 

Tips for tapering off Lamictal (lamotrigine)

 

Before coming off the lamotrigine, I would make sure you're feeling really stabilized after your temazepam taper. 

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vix72

thank you so much. I just wasn't sure about the lamotragine given the incredibly low dose....

 

yes, my Dr and I are going slow, well slower than i would like! Its funny but i take the tamazepam at about 10pm and the lamotragine at 10 am and i always seem to feel much better from about 6pm...i wonder if its got to do with the tamazepams half life?

 

 

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Shep

Many people feel better in the evening during withdrawal. It's thought it may be related to the drop in cortisol in the evening. For more on how cortisol changes throughout the day, please see:

 

Waking with panic or anxiety - managing cortisol spikes

 

You may also find good information about managing your symptoms here:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

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Altostrata
On 12/30/2017 at 2:07 AM, vix72 said:

i just get worse so a female health psychiatrist recommends low dose lamotragine which i start and i do feel better, almost immediately. within an hour actually.

 

vix, how are you?

 

Since you're tapering a benzo, if I were you, I would not complicate things by also tapering lamotrigine.

 

If you've been on and off drugs, it's possible the lamotrigine is actually helping to keep your nervous system from getting rattled by the benzo reduction.

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vix72

Hi, No i have not been on and off as you say other than 1 dose of serequel and 1 dose of olanzapine then the temazepam which i tapered easily from. I have now ceased the lamotragine after dropping to mgs for 1 week. i'm feeling more like myself every day. I can not believe these drugs are prescribed to people at all....

 

Thank you so much 

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