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excuseme: me, myself and SSRI


excuseme

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hello everyone!

i guess i should consider myself lucky that i stumbled across this place before attempting to taper off. i've been on medication for over 2 years now, although my current regimen of nortriptyline + low dose celexa has only been in place for around 12 weeks. what really concerns me is how low-functioning i am (with or without the meds) - i don't have the financial or social support, let alone the mental health capacity, to mess this up. it's probably gonna take a lot of preparation on my part before i start tapering. i had a panic attack that went on for hours when i came across this forum, so i have a long way to go in terms of psychological stability!

 

i'm already dimly acquainted with the withdrawal syndrome. i abused ecstasy in my (even) younger days and the hangover effect from that is almost identical. pretty scary stuff.

 

would i be correct in assuming celexa should be tapered before nortriptyline because it's more activating? i've spent days looking through this forum and the consensus seems to be to leave the more sedating drugs until later.

brain zap extraordinaire

 

former dependencies:

street drugs (2006-2016)

clonazepam 2mg, zoloft 50-150mg (dec. 2015-nov. 2017, tapered zoloft 12.5mg/month down to 50mg and fast-tapered clonazepam with no issues (!!!) before switching to celexa and nortriptyline)

seroquel 50-200mg (2016-2017, cold turkey with benadryl to sleep, definitely some issues getting off this one).

in recovery from a period of serious mental illness. routinely medicated since december 2015.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

current rx as of nov. 2017: celexa 10mg, nortriptyline 50mg

 

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  • Moderator

Hello, excuseme, and welcome to SA.  I'm glad you found your way here before beginning your taper.

 

Thanks for doing your signature.  Could you add the dosages pf Seroquel and Zoloft you were on, when in 2017 you stopped them, and whether you tapered or did cold turkey.

 

Yes, the general consensus here is to taper the more activating drug first, in your case, Celexa.  Tricyclic antidepressants like Nortriptyline are more sedating  than SSRIs.  I too am on an SSRI and and a tricyclic.

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 
Here is some information specific to tapering Celexa:
 
At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.
 

To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a few topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here.  Yes, definitely take your time and start the taper only when you feel ready.

 

 
 
To prepare yourself for your taper, many members have found the techniques in these links helpful:
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. For more tips, please see:
 
I know this is a lot of information, but I think it will be helpful in preparing for your taper.
 
This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.
 
Best,
Gridley
Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

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

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

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

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

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

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

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

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

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

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

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


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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thank you! i've updated it now.

to be honest i'm fairly glad to taper the SSRI first, i never really noticed much from them anyway. the nortriptyline does actually seem to brighten my mood a little - although since finding this site, i've been more acutely aware of the side effects slowly creeping up on me (a skipped heartbeat here and there, drawn out periods of emotional blunting)

 

thanks again for the links, i read all about the supplements before i signed up! i'm going to be getting magnesium, fish oil and a few others to try and stabilize my nervous system in preparation for tapering. i'm aiming to drop to 9mg at the beginning of february ^_^

brain zap extraordinaire

 

former dependencies:

street drugs (2006-2016)

clonazepam 2mg, zoloft 50-150mg (dec. 2015-nov. 2017, tapered zoloft 12.5mg/month down to 50mg and fast-tapered clonazepam with no issues (!!!) before switching to celexa and nortriptyline)

seroquel 50-200mg (2016-2017, cold turkey with benadryl to sleep, definitely some issues getting off this one).

in recovery from a period of serious mental illness. routinely medicated since december 2015.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

current rx as of nov. 2017: celexa 10mg, nortriptyline 50mg

 

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