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ryan1982

Ryan1982: my journey

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ryan1982

Hi everyone,

I’ve read this site for a number of months and I wanted to tell you all how helpful it has been. I’m a happily married father of two and I am starting down the path of weaning of Luvox. Here’s my med history:

 

2005- Post-college I was diagnosed by a GP as having Generalized Anxiety Disorder and a Panic Disorder. I took Lorazepam every evening for 3 years and didn’t do the research to understand how dangerous that was. I got off of them cold turkey and you can imagine how that went. 

 

2008- After finally getting off Lorazepam, my GP prescribed me Zoloft, Cymbalata, Paxil, Buspar to no avail- I still had anxiety. I stumbled on Lexapro and 10 MG was a dream drug for me. 

 

2016- In December 2016, I had a routine surgery go wrong and I lost > than a liter of blood and was on a ton of painkillers for 2 weeks. I didn’t wean properly and after taking Tramadol, I was diagnosed with Serotonin Syndrome. I snapped out of that after about a week. 

 

2017- I noticed that after my surgery, Lexapro was no longer working. From January to March, I tried to increase my dosage from 10 MG to 15 MG but I simply couldn’t get it to help my anxiety. In late March I began taking Pristiq and gave that 8 weeks but I was still to anxious. From June to early July I tried Trintellix but that drug made me very, very depressed (new to me) and I immediately switched back to a Lexapro. I tried to Lexapro 10 MG from July to October and my anxiety disappeared. However, the physical side effects (GI, chest tightnesss, etc) were too much to handle. I felt awful. In late October until now I tried taking 25 MG, 50MG Luvox and 100 MG Luvox CR. All of them manage my anxiety but I feel physically awful...like my insides are melting. I had CT scans, an endoscopy and a whole host of blood work and it all came back fine. I even wore a heart monitor for 2 weeks and everything checked out. 

 

I took 100 MG Luvox CR for a week and had to drop back down to 50 MG due to the physical side effects. I’ve recently gone from 50 MG of Luvox down to 25 MG for a few weeks and I’m now at 18.75 MG. Mentally, I feel great. Physically, I feel terrible. Every single day around noon, my sides, stomach and chest start feeling so bad...like they’re in a vice. I’m taking a pre and probiotic as well as B Complex. I’ve started taking Luvox midday since the half-life is so short. 

 

I did the GeneSight test and Prozac was the worst drug for me, so there goes that as an option to switch to for weaning/tapering. 

 

I’d love to get some advice on where to go from here. The most frustrating thing for me is when people tell me that the body aches I’m having is anxiety; I’m not anxious mentally in the slightest so I think these problems are either med or withdrawal related. 

 

I desperately want want to feel physically better so I can be a good father, husband, employee and friend. Thanks to you all in advance. 

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Shep

Hi, Ryan.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

I agree with you that it's not anxiety. Your nervous system has been through a lot with many drugs and many drug changes. These drugs actually change the architecture of the brain and have a profound effect on the entire mind/body. This is a great explanation:

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

Here are some links to get you started:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Luvox (fluvoxamine)

 

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery video (4 minutes)

 

On 1/1/2018 at 8:36 AM, ryan1982 said:

Every single day around noon, my sides, stomach and chest start feeling so bad...like they’re in a vice. I’m taking a pre and probiotic as well as B Complex. I’ve started taking Luvox midday since the half-life is so short. 

 

Is Luvox the only drug you're taking now? Do you get the pain before or after you take the Luvox at midday? 

 

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.

 

Please use this thread to provide updates on how you're feeling as well as to ask questions. 

 

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ryan1982

Hi Shep,

Thanks so much for your response.  Taking Luvox at noon and the chest tightness coincides occasionally but sometimes there's no rhyme or reason to it.  The crazy thing is that I get out of bed every morning and feel decent.  It gets worse as the day goes on.  Is that fairly normal? 

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Altostrata

ryan, do you start feeling worse before or after you take Luvox at noon?

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ryan1982

Thanks so much, Altostrata. I appreciate your response. There’s no real rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes it’s before I take a pill, sometimes it’s after. Does it just mean my body is in withdrawals?

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ryan1982

I’ve been feeling really tight in the chest. Mentally, other than some fatigue, I feel great. Not a bit of anxiety. Is it possible to have anxiety and not mentally feel it? Or is this either the med or withdrawals?

 

Ive never felt physically well on Luvox. What I’m struggling with is...why should I continue to take a drug that makes me feel terrible physically? I’m at 18.75 MG, down from 100 MG. Since I feel fine mentally, can I just try and get off entirely and see if that helps?

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nz11
11 minutes ago, ryan1982 said:

can I just try and get off entirely and see if that helps?

Unless you are having a life threatening adverse event I don't think this is a good idea.

If you stop taking it you will have to find a way to cope with the anxiety withdrawal symptoms. And looking at your drug sig and whats happened in the past I don't think you will be able to without a doctor giving you yet another dangerous chemical to try to quell the withdrawal symptoms. Its far better to taper slowly off.

 

Are you able to put doses in your drug sig and your current dose changes with dates for luvox? That would be awesome. Are you tapering as per the link Shep gave you.

At a first glance it appears you are tapering too fast.

 

Do you have access to the book 'your drug may be your problem by Breggin

It might be worth a read.

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ryan1982

Thanks so much! I’ve updated my drug sig. it has been a fast taper due to my thinking that the drug has caused these issues. Will the chest tightness go away? If I feel bad physically and fine mentally, does that mean it’s withdrawals? 

 

Thanks for the book rec- I’ll get to reading!

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nz11

Well done,

are you able to put the other doses in for the lex, pris and trin for prior years?

 

10mg of lexapro is roughly equiv to about 80mg of luvox 

In other words you have tapered from 10mg lex to the equiv of 2.4 mg in 2 months. That's too fast. You are opening yourself up for dreadful wdl symptoms that will probably lead to the doctor doing yet another switch to try to silence them. And so the merry go round continues. 

 

As I say unless you are having a life threatening drug event then imo I wouldn't  even think about tapering any more for many months.

Things could get a lot worse than they are now in the coming weeks. 

Coming off too fast can lead to physical and mental symptoms but also can lead to dangerous abnormal behavior please be wary.

By removing the luvox you will be opening a can of wdl worms from numerous prior drugs and probably the major player will be Lexapro. 

 

1 hour ago, ryan1982 said:

If I feel bad physically and fine mentally, does that mean it’s withdrawals? 

yes and yes to vice versa.

In wdl expect the unexpected...(Breggin) 

 

I guess if you are worried about the chest tightness then you could get a doctor to check it out.

You have reported chest tightness while on the Lexapro which appears to be why you have switched but you still report chest tightness.

Could this be something from your surgery?

Unless the doctor can establish what this is about which appears he cant because he just did a switch when it was brought to his attention (I would have assumed anyone complaining of a tightness in their chest would be taken seriously and checked out for obvious reasons)  then I would assume this is a wdl symptom. Or an adverse effect.

I mean what else could it be.

Are you taking any other drugs ?

 

nz11

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ryan1982

Thanks, nz11.  I really appreciate your guidance.

 

I work a consulting job and it's pretty stressful, especially this time of year.  I was having a conversation with a person who works for me that should have not been stressful this morning when I was overwhelmed by anxiety.  It caused me to stumble through my words and my upper body felt *terrible*.  Therefore I'm wondering if I do need to go up to 25 MG and stay on that for a few months before I start trying to go down.  Or should I just gut out the 18.75 MG until my body normalizes? 

 

Thanks for asking about my heart...it all checks out.  I wore a monitor for 2 weeks and had an EKG and a stress test so that's all fine. 

 

The only other drug I take is 10 MG of Hydroxyzine for a bladder disease, Interstitial Cystitis.  It helps manage my symptoms and helps me sleep.

 

Lastly, is it normal to feel like you can't get enough sleep when you're in withdrawals?

 

I'll add in my dosages to my signature.

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nz11

Hi Ryan

wow wish everyone could do a drug sig as good as that, A1 job. Great going.

yep sleep irregularities is the norm in wdl

Its one thing to ct the drug its another to cope with the wdl symptoms that ensue. 

imo If I were I  would not do a CT or do any more cuts at this stage.

Yes if you feel things are becoming intolerable and you cant cope an updose may be something to consider ...

You talk of anxiety ...that's a dangerous word ... I think a better word is 'withdrawal symptoms' 

You are doing well to be holding down a job while coping with this ..you are amazing.

nz11 

 

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ryan1982

Haha, thanks for the kind words.  Working can occasionally be rough but it occupies my mind and makes me not wallow in my own self-pity and doubt and for that I'm thankful.  

 

Quick question...when you refer to "CT", what does that mean?

 

If the symptoms aren't too bad to handle, the recommendation would be to just keep on 18.75 MG and if I handle it?  My body should hopefully normalize at some point, right?

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nz11

cold turkey

and yes but it may take quite some time to stabilize.

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ryan1982

Thanks so much.  So it's perfectly normal to feel physically like garbage (muscle aches, chest compression, etc) while going through this? Do you have past experience on how long this takes to even out?

 

I REALLY appreciate your help!

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nz11
53 minutes ago, ryan1982 said:

So it's perfectly normal to feel physically like garbage (muscle aches, chest compression, etc) while going through this?

Of course.

In fact I'm surprised that is the extent of your symptoms given your long drug history and the fact that you have now essentially tapered from the equiv of 10mg of lex to 2mg in  2months. 

 

No sorry I don't know how long this will take to even out  .... 

be patient 

hang in there its a long journey

nz11

 

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ryan1982

Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. 

 

One thing I’m struggling with is a scale and how to weigh my meds out. My scale won’t get past 0.1 grams as a measurement and therefore can’t weigh really small amounts. Do you have a recommendation on how to do this?

 

I started taking a B Complex and can’t tell much of a difference. Do you think 5-HTP, Ashwaganda or SAMe is a good idea to try?

 

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this. 

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nz11

All these things you ask have answers on this site. 

Its worth going for a wander around.

 

Anything that effects the serotonin maybe ok for non chemically assaulted brains but we have a 'sensitized'  system which could be affected in a negative way by this stuff. In fact anything that effects serotonin when taken in conjunction with an ad has the potential to induce a life threatening disorder called serotonin syndrome. So no those things are not rec. Not sure what ashwaganda is ...is that the stuff- a root crop or something from the amazon jungle? Anything that is psycho active is not rec. Don't go there. 

 

Theses are the two supplements recommended by sa

 

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

weighing: Yes I do have a rec. on how to do this and its consider investing in a new scale.

I think many are using the  gemini20. There are links on this site about scales. 

 

Good luck on your adventures in the mindboggling  collation of info at sa.

nz11

 

 

 

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ryan1982

Just a quick update- my chest has been extremely tight but I haven’t felt anxiety at all. Just all physical symptoms. Is there anything that can help with the chest tightness?

 

I got a scale and it really helped to weigh everything out. Thanks for the recommendation. 

 

Lastly, my body doesn’t at all like Luvox. Is it unheard of to switch meds in order to ween off? Luvox doesn’t agree with me and it has the shortest half life of all. Think that would help or would it not be worth going through the process of getting on something different?

 

Thanks so much in advance for your responses!

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ChessieCat

Have you kept notes of your dosage times and when symptoms are at their worst?

 

You might want to consider taking 1/2 the dose you are taking twice a day.  You would do that by taking 1/2 the amount 1 hour later/earlier each day (depending on if you take it morning or night) until they are about 12 hours apart.

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ryan1982

I have kept a log but I hadn’t considered breaking up the dose. Thanks so much!

 

Does everyone feel that crushing chest tightness is fairly normal getting off meds?

 

is it worth looking into weening of another med or should I stay the course with Luvox?

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ChessieCat

What else are you taking?  From your signature it looks like you are only on Luvox.

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ryan1982

Yep- just Luvox and supplements (Omega 3, magnesium/B complex and pre/probiotic)

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ChessieCat

Oh I get what you mean.  You are talking about changing to a different drug and then taper off that.

 

It's generally better to stay with the drug you are taking.  If you change you could possibly get withdrawal from the old drug, start up and/or side effects from the new drug and you will not be able to work out what is causing what.

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ryan1982

Thanks very much. My GI system is all messed up currently...hope that will decrease in intensity soon. 

 

I’ve been on 12.5 MG of Luvox for about 5 days. Should I consider going back up to 18.75 and stabilizing? Or is it too late and I should just deal with the symptoms?

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ryan1982

I looked back at my notes and I was on 25 MG a month ago before I switched to 18.75. Should I consider going back to 25 MG or 18.75 MG? Or should I just gut it out and stabilize on 12.5 MG?

 

I know that I’ve tapered too quickly but the drug makes me feel so bad that I felt I had no choice. 

 

Physically I feel like I’m being tortured. I appreciate any help anyone can give. 

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mustangwoman

Hi.  For what it is worth I would consider 18.75 first, because with the really short half life of luvox you may find that is enough, but it will take a little while to see if that helps, I would say a few days to a week to see if that is helping.  It's good to see another luvox taper-er on here.  Best to you!

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ryan1982
On 2/23/2018 at 1:49 PM, mustangwoman said:

Hi.  For what it is worth I would consider 18.75 first, because with the really short half life of luvox you may find that is enough, but it will take a little while to see if that helps, I would say a few days to a week to see if that is helping.  It's good to see another luvox taper-er on here.  Best to you!

Thank you so much @mustangwoman 

How is your taper going? I’m actually down to 9.375 MG and have been on that dose for almost 2 weeks. What’s crazy is that for the first time during my taper, I’ve had anxiety for parts of the last 6 days. It’s been pretty rough. Do you think going back up to 12.5 will help? I felt no anxiety on that dose. 

 

Im curious about your taper schedule. How is that going for you? Did you choose to taper that way for a specific reason? Are your cuts easier because they are smaller?

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ChessieCat

Ryan, please update your signature whenever you make a change so that it remains current.  We need to be able to see your history at a glance.  Thank you.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

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ChessieCat
7 hours ago, ryan1982 said:

I’m actually down to 9.375 MG

 

You have gone from 18.75mg Luvox to 9.735mg in a very short space of time.  If you were following the no more than 10% taper of the previous dose with a 4 week hold your dose would have been: 

 

End Jan 16.875mg

End Feb 15.1875mg

End March 13.66875mg

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

tips-for-tapering-off-luvox-fluvoxamine

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Please read Post #1 of this topic which relates to updosing as well as reinstatement:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Updosing by a small amount may be enough to bring the withdrawal symptoms to a bearable level.  Without the information about the dates and doses of your taper it is difficult to make a suggestion about the dose to increase to.  However, you might find that a 0.5mg increase is enough.  It is better to start with a small amount and if after about a week there is no improvement to increase by another small amount.  It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  Please Keep Notes on Paper so that we can tell updosing is working.

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ryan1982

Thank you so much. I’ve decreased quickly because the med has made me feel so physically bad. I’ll return to 12.5 MG and stabilize. I’ll be sure to update my med history on my signature later today. 

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ryan1982

Here is the breakdown of my taper (will update signature as well):

 

12/30-1/21- 18.75

1/22- 2/21- 12.5

2/22-Present -9.375

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ryan1982

@ChessieCat I woke up this morning and decided that based on how much nervous energy I was having that I would increase to 12.5 MG. I know you mentioned a small increase may do it but with my job and the public speaking aspect, I need to make sure I don’t melt down in front of a large group of people. I plan on stabilizing and then starting the 10% taper. Do you think every 4 weeks is right?

 

Ive always wrestled with how long this taper will take but I suppose that I need to take my time so I don’t have any hiccups like this again. 

 

Do you think 12.5 MG will help my anxiety? I never felt one iota of anxiety on that dose. 

 

REALLY appreciate the guidance. 

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mustangwoman

The 12.5 should help.  You could possibly try 12.25 or 12.   The smaller doses are truly harder.  I went down too fast and am trying to stabilize and then will do a long hold, as long as it takes.  I wish you all of the best.

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ryan1982

@ChessieCat @mustangwoman

 

Just an update that I went ahead and increased to 12.5 yesterday, 03/07. Still feeling a little on edge this morning. Is that normal? Since 12.5 worked for me for a while, do you think it will again?

 

Worst case it does not after a week or so, would you recommend increasing back to 18.75 or <gasp> even 25 MG?

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ryan1982

I’m on day 4 of my increase to 12.5 and each day has been somewhat better from an anxiety standpoint but far from perfect. Anyone who knows more than I do, should I give it a couple weeks before thinking about going up again?  Also, is it normal to have an increased anxiety when trying to reinstate? I’ve read all the articles, I’d just love to hear from someone who has lived through this. 

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TroubledThoughts

Just my 2 cents but it feels like you may be bouncing around the dosage too much. I've came off a few drugs now and whenever I try to rush it I feel very bad very quickly. Whenever I go slow I feel good enough to live somewhat of a normal life. 

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