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Lili: Benzo/AD


Lili

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Hi, I'm brand new here and I'm struggling. I had a rough 2017. I was put on Ativan for sleep 6/20/17 & then on temazapam 6/23/7- I didn't know they were both benzos. I tapered off Ativan for 2 months and what ensued was a horrific withdrawal scenario that landed me in a psych ward with extreme suicidal ideation. I was reinstated on Valium and pretty much stabilized by end of December 2017. I went off Lexapro in the fall as I didn't want to be on an antidepressant but was put on Cymbalta 11/2017 first at 30 mg, then 60mg 2 weeks later. I didn't know so I started dropping down at beginning of January , had some anxiety, restlessness, so I went back up to 50mg over the course of a few days. Presently, some insomnia, some irregular heart beats and lessening anxiety. My Dr doesn't know about my Cymbalta escapade & thinks I can microtaper my Valium now. I will have to be forthcoming at my next visit in 3 weeks. I'm so worried about stabilizing and how this is going to affect my taper.

Zoloft 1998-1999

Lamictal 2001-2002

Lexapro on & of starting in 2008, as recently as 10/2017 stopped

Ativan/Temazapam June 2017 for 2 weeks

Cymbalta 11/20/17-30 to 60 mg went down from 60 to 30 over 3 weeks then back up to 50mg 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Lili: Benzo/AD
  • Administrator

Welcome, Lili,

 

Yes, if you have been inconsistent in the way you take Cymbalta and are still experiencing symptoms like that, you may find it difficult to taper Valium.

 

You might tell your doctor you accidentally skipped a dose or two, you are feeling the effects from that, and you wish to postpone your Valium taper until you feel more stable.

 

However, if you intend to minimize both drugs, we recommend tapering the Cymbalta before the Valium.

 

As this is a site for going off drugs, what kind of information are you looking for here?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator

Hi, Lili and welcome to SA from me too.

 

Here is a link explaining why it's advisable to taper an antidepressant like Cymbalta before a benzo.
 
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. 

 

 
This link explains why it is important to taper slowly.

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 Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Dec. 2, 2022: 2.6mg

Taper is 86% complete.

 

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

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

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% 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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12 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Welcome, Lili,

 

Yes, if you have been inconsistent in the way you take Cymbalta and are still experiencing symptoms like that, you may find it difficult to taper Valium.

 

You might tell your doctor you accidentally skipped a dose or two, you are feeling the effects from that, and you wish to postpone your Valium taper until you feel more stable.

 

However, if you intend to minimize both drugs, we recommend tapering the Cymbalta before the Valium.

 

As this is a site for going off drugs, what kind of information are you looking for here?

Thank you for the welcome.

 

Well, I do intend to come off Cymbalta but my Dr wants me to micro taper Valium and wont be willing to wait as long as that will take. So, I'm hoping to stabilize on this dose at some point hopefully over the next month. I will try & delay this process, but not sure how long. So, I will have to come off of Valium first. I was bad off in the fall & he's not going to be all that understanding as he wants me to get off the Valium. I will have to tell him I missed a couple doses & want to be stable before microtapering. My symptoms are not that bad right now. I do wake up at night but usually fall back to sleep. The anxiety is not as bad as it was. The worst thing is the lack of motivation but I have fear involved; PTSD & I cant believe I'm in this situation. I'm aware of the recommendation to go off Cymbalta first but I don't think I have a choice. I really was looking for any information I could find as I am nervous. 

 

Thank you for your help

 

Lili

Zoloft 1998-1999

Lamictal 2001-2002

Lexapro on & of starting in 2008, as recently as 10/2017 stopped

Ativan/Temazapam June 2017 for 2 weeks

Cymbalta 11/20/17-30 to 60 mg went down from 60 to 30 over 3 weeks then back up to 50mg 

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