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Keep daily notes of drug schedule and symptoms to track patterns and progress

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Karma

ADMIN NOTE Quite often, we ask members to keep daily notes of their drug schedule and symptom pattern. This is important to see if any symptoms are adverse reactions to a drug -- which happens frequently. If you are requested to do this, it is essential information for us to help guide you off drugs.

 

Here's how to do it:

 

On 9/27/2016 at 11:49 AM, Altostrata said:

Keep notes on paper about your daily symptom pattern and drug dosing

 

Are your symptoms worse at any particular times of day? A symptom pattern that occurs regularly over several days could mean the symptoms are from withdrawal, other adverse effects of drugs, or something else you do on a daily schedule.

 

In the course of discussion in your Introductions forum topic, you may be asked to keep notes on paper of your daily symptom pattern, including when you take your drugs, their dosages, and any symptoms. We ask this because there may be something we can do to reduce the symptoms.

 

What we need to see for every single day over several days is what symptoms you get before and after you take your drugs. If you're not taking any drugs and have withdrawal symptoms, we still need to see your symptom pattern throughout the day:

 

The time of day, dosage, and severity of symptoms are essential information. Include

 

- Time and dosage for all drugs taken throughout the day, psychiatric and non-psychiatric.

- Following each dose, note any symptoms. If you are having a reaction to the drug, it may take hours for a symptom to show up -- that's why we ask you to keep notes all day long.

- If you're not taking any drugs, your symptoms throughout the day.

- Your sleep pattern. Since so many drugs disturb sleep, if you find you're waking in the middle of the night, it could be from a drug you took earlier in the evening. If you're not taking any drugs, there may be ways you can improve your sleep.

And so forth. A diary, in chronological order, looking something like this:
 
6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

 

An appointments diary is perfect for this and can be bought at stationery stores. They have a page for each day with times for appointments which can be filled in with doses, symptoms etc as shown above. Or, you can copy and paste from a cell phone app -- but make sure the result is easily readable.

 

Please do not use spreadsheets, they are difficult to read online and some of us don't have Microsoft Excel to look at them.  You may link to a Google Doc or spreadsheet if you wish.

 

Also see Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist Use this to track symptoms.

 

Daily Symptom Tracking Template (docx download)

Daily Symptom Tracking Template (pdf download)


 

Alto suggested that I start a topic on this because I've mentioned it several times to members.

I rate my symptoms daily on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being "awful, I feel like I'm dying, I can't take it any more", 10 being "great, flipping fantastic!", a 7 is when I feel the symptom, but I can tolerate it and get through the day - so for me a 7 is acceptable. Before I decrement my dosage I want at least two weeks of 7 or better in my symptom ratings ... especially anxiety and depression.

I rate my sleep the next morning and I rate anxiety, depression, ringing in my ears, pain, etc. at night. In the morning I go through the list and rate my sleep from the night before - I make a note next to some of the other symptoms, e.g. Aches & Body Pains - slight pain in right wrist AM, Anxiety - none AM, Ringing in the ears - mild AM, moderate by noon - that way I have reminders of how I've felt throughout the day to accurately rate my symptoms in the evening.

It doesn't matter if my 7 and your 7 are different - this rating system is for you. Once you start thinking about how the specific symptom felt during the day compared to the day before, you will begin to see when a specific symptom is improving or deteriorating. I find it really helpful when I am trying to tweak thyroid treatment or determine when I'm through initial withdrawal symptoms associated with decrementing my dosage.

Below are all of the things I rate daily - note that some of these symptoms are no longer a problem for me and generally get a rating of a 10. But I started this in 2008 when I was healing from celiac disease and getting my thyroid treatment optimal from hashimoto's thyroiditis. I had bone and muscle pain, fatigue and energy challenges, so should any of those problems come back I want to be able to detect it. E.g. the wrist pain I have is tendonitis and for me it is an indicator of whether my thyroid treatment is optimal.

Aches & Body Pains, Anxiety, Appetite, Energy, Ringing in the Ears, Fatigue, Mood (flat, upside or downside of flat, joyful, irritable), Drowsiness or Sleepiness in AM or during the day, Night sweats/day sweats, and Bowels/Digestion.

You should rate your symptoms, these are just examples of my symptoms.

Karma

 

Edited by Altostrata
updated

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & 1 mg Xanax & 200 mg Gabapentin
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg;
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Rhiannon

Karma, I do this too, and I'm always suggesting it to other people too. It has been really helpful to me.

 

Somehow my subjective assessment of my symptoms is just wonky. I think it's just another way that the meds and the withdrawal screw up my frontal lobe function, my judgment and such.

 

And I've seen the same thing happen with other people on the forums. You can tell by reading their posts that their symptoms have waxed and waned but they themselves seem to be unaware of the changes.

 

Now, after two years of tapering, I don't use the log as much as I did at first. I still use it, just not daily. I've found certain signposts--certain kinds of thoughts or sensations or behaviors--that I use as "markers" now, of how symptomatic I am or am not. But--that's with two years of practice. I wouldn't have gotten such clarity without the log, I'm pretty sure.

 

One of my withdrawal symptoms (actually one of my markers, now) is a recklessness about cutting more, an urge to cut more and faster. So having the chart (I use a chart, charting my daily dosages and symptoms together) has saved me from disaster several times.

 

I especially always recommend charting of symptoms for people who are holding. It seems really common for people to hold and then even though from their writing it's clear that they're more rational and calm after a while, they tend to claim that the hold hasn't done any good at all. I can't say for sure one way or another of course, so I always recommend keeping a log so they'll have some objective data to tell them if the hold is helping. (I generally advise to hold until the improvements plateau out--that is, the numbers in the chart are staying the same for a long time.)

 

So anyway. Thanks for bringing this up. Now there are two of us! :D


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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ladybug

I've started to do that too! For my sleep mostly so I can see if my sleep problems follow any pattern. I am trying to figure out a rating system now and then I will make monthly graphs to look for patterns.


a.k.a JMarie

Paxil since Mar.1998

2006-2007:40-20mg
2009: 20mg to 14mg 2010: 14mg to 10.5mg 2011: 10.5 to 7.6mg  2012: 7.5 to 6.8mg

2013: 6.7-6.3mg 2014: 6.2mg-5.8mg 2015: 5.7 to 5.15mg 2016: 5.1-4.6mg

1/19/17: 4.5mg 3/17/17: 4.4mg

6/15/17: 4.35mg 8/10/17: 4.3mg

1/29/18: 4.1mg 5/07/18: 4.0mg

7/31/18: 3.9mg

 

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Altostrata

I keep track of my sleep patterns on a calendar, with symbols:

 

X normal sleep

 

/ (slash) 6-7 hours

 

_ (long dash) 4-6 hours in long stretches

 

-- (broken dash) 4-6 hours broken sleep

 

(half-round hoop, this is the best symbol I could find) 2-4 hours

 

0 (goose egg, zero) 0-2 hours


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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Rhiannon

Sorry, I should have given more detail. In my previous taper, I was dropping every month, but only had a day or two of "stable" in between. It was quite a rollercoaster, and not at all a success... This time I was wondering if there was a plateau duration I should be aiming for - not so much drop by the calender, but by "been stable for 7 days" or whatever.

 

This time, so far, I've had very minor symptoms which have passed, but I've only had one small drop. I've even had a positive improvement in one department.

 

Best wishes

Bubbles

 

I taper in a different way, smaller cuts more often, with intermittent holds when symptoms ramp up, so not sure if my experience is really relevant. But for me, I think just a couple of days isn't really long enough to be sure that I'm stable.

 

Stable is kind of relative anyway, for me, it's more like "definitely feeling much better almost all the time and not really wobbly at all." For me, it does take five days to a week of feeling that way before I really feel confident some actual stabilization and healing has taken place.

 

Hence the usefulness of keeping track of symptoms, because when I have my daily ratings of symptoms to look at, it's easier to see if there's a definite leveling off.


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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strawberry17

This is an interesting idea, I started using an XL spread sheet a few months ago to keep track of how my sleep was when going through a dreadful period, but after a while, for me, it just felt unhealthy to be scrutinising, almost like scrutinising it was make it a self fulfilling prophesy and making it worse, so I ditched it and went with the flow instead. Horses for courses I expect.


*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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Narcissus

Yes, I think attending too closely to the sleep issue can worsen things for some people.


3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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Petunia

Some online forms, worksheets and spreadsheets for help tracking medication and symptoms:

 

from a CFS/FM site:

 

http://www.cfidsselfhelp.org/library/type/log_forms_worksheets

 

another symptoms spreadsheet you can download:  http://lymerick.net/symptomdiary.htm

 


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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mlrp

There is a phone app (available free on android and iphone) for tracking symptoms that I tried using for a few weeks.

 

It's called T2 Mood Tracker. It was developed by a Defense Dept contractor to assist vets with psych health and traumatic brain injury issues.

 

The app comes with six pre-loaded issues: anxiety, depression, general well-being, head injury, PTSD, and stress. You can customize and add your own categories. It actually spits out an excel linear graph of your symptoms over time.

 

I ultimately found all the categories and sliders too fiddly to deal with on a daily basis. But I did use it for a couple of weeks or so and the resulting graph was interesting. Even though it wasn't right for me, it is highly rated and may be useful to some.


04/2013 diagnoses: severe insomnia, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, agoraphobia. PTSD (my diagnosis)

Original scripts: 30 mg mirtazapine (Remeron) (1x day), 75 mg Bupropion HCL (Wellbutrin) (2x day), and 0.5 lorazepam (1x day or as needed)

05/05/14: Onset of acute Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms after haphazard "taper" of 6-8 wks.

05/10/14: Joined this site.

05/11/14: Reinstated approx. 25 mg Wellbutrin (1x day)

05/14/14: Switched to 12.5 mg Wellbutrin (2x day)

06/28/14: Changed lorazepam dosing to .25 mg 2x a day - seems to be reducing anxiety flare-ups

07/28/14: Dosing Wellbutrin in a (home made) solution form 12.5 mg (2x day) 08/15/14: Remeron 28 25.2 22.7 20.5 18.5 16.7 15.1 13.6 mg (home made) solution

05/16/15: Have been dosing lorazepam at .5 mg in the morning, .25 mg in the afternoon, and .25 mg at bedtime. Anxiety has increased somewhat, possibly due to tolerance.

 

 

 

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LightEmergesFromDarkness

I like the idea of keeping track of symptoms during the tapering process. i have been keeping track somewhat for a few mos now on a calendar of what days i get vertigo, and what days i do not. personally i find it kind of time consuming to rate the severity of my symptoms on a daily basis. and i dont want to over worry too much. my CNS was not completely stable before i started the taper on my depakote. but i feel that i need to get off the depakote before my physical health complications get any worse. at this point, after already having rapid tapers in the past, im not sure that holding my dose on my current taper is going to help stabilize my CNS. i think the damage is already done and i just need to make steady and small cuts.


Seroquel:off since 2011. rapid taper, no sxs of w/d.

Ativan:off since 2013. PRN only, no taper. no sxs of w/d.

Wellbutrin:off since 2012. rapid taper at first, then cold turkey. 

Topamax:off since 2014. slow taper.

Depakote:off since Jan. 2015. slow taper.

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Altostrata

You can of course modify the record-keeping for your own needs.


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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Rockingchaircat

If anything else a journal- gave me a tracking of what I was like before.  By typing down what I was feeling a year ago- (on Benzo buddies) it gave me a perspective on the progress I've made since.   For me the best structure- is what ever I felt like doing when I felt like doing anything at all.

 

If you feel like typing- do so. No one is going to judge you for typing an encyclopedia (just follow the guidelines the administrators set up). If you don't feel like typing- then don't. No recriminations. You can always catch up later if and when you feel like it.

Going back through my journal on BB- I can 'read between the lines' about the way I was feeling back then.

 

Your journal is for your benefit. It's a fringe benefit for the next round of folks who come across this site.  Your experiences may end up helping someone else. 


1)Zoloft- 6/99 to 8/04 2)Escitalopram- 8/04 to 8/10 3)Citalopram 8/10 to 4/14 (C/T), 4)Paxil a week or so, 5)Wellbutrin a week or so, 6)Reinstated Citalopram- 9/14 to 7/15

Before Taper- Celexa/20 mg....Taper Start- 04/21/15- 15mg....05/26/15- 10 mg...06/22/15- 5 mg...07/18/15- 0mg. http://tinyurl.com/qjfoqe9 Ativan/Lorazepam use/taper 10/14 to 2/15- http://tinyurl.com/ljebp84

Baclofen- Intermittent use of from 2008 till 2014. Some use of Promethazine. Some use of Zofran. Clobetasol Propionate- for Lichen Planus. Some Flexeril use. 

Ativan- GABA,A receptor Agonist., Baclofen- GABA,B receptor Agonist., Celexa/Lexapro- Serotonin 5-HT1A Receptor Agonist., Zofran- Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Agonist..Promethazine- Histamine H1-Receptor Antagonist. Flexeril- Serotonin 5HT2a Antagonist.

 

My self imposed Amino Acid Therapy: Tyrosine 500mg 1xday, Theanine 200 mg 1xday, & Taurine 500 mg 2x day. (All neurotransitter pre-cursors)- seems to have helped me immensely. And of course- eating healthy, including Black Beans for the oligosaccharides for gut health.

 

The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of trick learned while mastering the Art of Living. - Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning.

 

 

 

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KarenB

I use the symptom checklist Petunia gave you at the top, and add up my score each day for an overall, comparable number. 

I also give each day a single word to describe it overall:  Awful, bad, ok, good, great. 

Then I make a small note about anything extra that might have given me worse symptoms eg PMS, family visiting, stress due to children etc.


2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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scallywag

I've  been using the Glenmullen spreadsheet. It has been helpful to review the list as a prompt -- "Did I have this today?" I'm going to add a symptom to the top of my list -- "don't feel like recording symptoms" That way it's the first one I review and an easy way out.

 

Instead of a 0-10 scale for symptoms, I'm using 0=none, 1=mild, 4=moderate, 9=severe.  I could spend far too much time considering the difference between a 7 rating and an 8, so I do better with fewer, clearer categories.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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scallywag

Glenmullen's list is set up to identify whether a symptom was present. You could use the checkboxes to insert a rating. 
 
I've created a simple word file (.docx) that could be used to track the timing of symptoms. 1 page/day or more if needed. 
 
Clicking this link will open a download page on the Mediafire site. If you're not using an ad-blocker, you may see a very busy page. Look for the big green rectangular download button:


Daily Symptom Tracking Template

PDF of Daily Symptom Tracking Template

Edited by scallywag
add PDF; clarify what happens when clicking

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Cicci

I'm using the Android app "Dailyo" on my smart phone and think it is great for the purpose!

You can rate different things during the day, see statistics and charts for your entries.


1988 - 2016 Different sorts antidepressants from Anafranile to Voxra. A couple of attempts to quit, but relapsed (?).

10/7 -16 From 225 mg Venlafaxin to 200 mg - No problems

31/7 -16 From 200 mg Venlafaxin to 175 mg - Minor panic attacks now and then

1/10 -16 Switched straight off from 175 mg Venlafaxin to 150 g Voxra on doctor's ordination (due to difficulties to cope with working as little as 25%)

-Bad withdrawal symptoms; dizzieness, nausea, insomnia, nighmares, heart pounding, panic attacks, malaise

4/10 -16 Continued with 150 mg Voxra and added 150 mg of Venlafaxine

5/10 -16 Removed Voxra on advice from SA, went back to 175 mg of Venlafaxine and will continue slowly tapering it out.

 

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Terry
On 2/16/2012 at 9:02 PM, Karma said:

Admin note: Also see Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist Use this to track symptoms.


Daily Symptom Tracking Template

PDF of Daily Symptom Tracking Template

 


 


Alto suggested that I start a topic on this because I've mentioned it several times to members.

I rate my symptoms daily on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being "awful, I feel like I'm dying, I can't take it any more", 10 being "great, flipping fantastic!", a 7 is when I feel the symptom, but I can tolerate it and get through the day - so for me a 7 is acceptable. Before I decrement my dosage I want at least two weeks of 7 or better in my symptom ratings ... especially anxiety and depression.

I rate my sleep the next morning and I rate anxiety, depression, ringing in my ears, pain, etc. at night. In the morning I go through the list and rate my sleep from the night before - I make a note next to some of the other symptoms, e.g. Aches & Body Pains - slight pain in right wrist AM, Anxiety - none AM, Ringing in the ears - mild AM, moderate by noon - that way I have reminders of how I've felt throughout the day to accurately rate my symptoms in the evening.

It doesn't matter if my 7 and your 7 are different - this rating system is for you. Once you start thinking about how the specific symptom felt during the day compared to the day before, you will begin to see when a specific symptom is improving or deteriorating. I find it really helpful when I am trying to tweak thyroid treatment or determine when I'm through initial withdrawal symptoms associated with decrementing my dosage.

Below are all of the things I rate daily - note that some of these symptoms are no longer a problem for me and generally get a rating of a 10. But I started this in 2008 when I was healing from celiac disease and getting my thyroid treatment optimal from hashimoto's thyroiditis. I had bone and muscle pain, fatigue and energy challenges, so should any of those problems come back I want to be able to detect it. E.g. the wrist pain I have is tendonitis and for me it is an indicator of whether my thyroid treatment is optimal.

Aches & Body Pains, Anxiety, Appetite, Energy, Ringing in the Ears, Fatigue, Mood (flat, upside or downside of flat, joyful, irritable), Drowsiness or Sleepiness in AM or during the day, Night sweats/day sweats, and Bowels/Digestion.

You should rate your symptoms, these are just examples of my symptoms.

Karma

 

I really like this.  My husband likes to rate things and says I should do it with how I feel each morning.  I've been doing this, though not recording it.  My hubby often asks me "what's your number today?"  I've been using the opposite way of rating though (according to how bad symptoms are), so that a 2 actually means a good day.  Your records are more comprehensive than mine.  I do make notes, but they're brief and not as specific as yours.  It sounds like you do a really good job of it.


2007 - 2008          Paxil and Klonopin

2008 - 2012           Mirtazapine following abrupt withdrawal from Klonopin/Paxil.  

2012                       Unsuccessful taper of mirtazapine; reinstated.     

7/2013 - 1/2014   Successfully tapered from 7.5 mg

 

7/19/17 ALPRAZOLAM 0.25 mg. - current  

                SERTRALINE  - 25 mg

Began taper Aug 4, 2017 - 25 mg;  Jan 1, 2018 - 12.5 mg;  Jan 16, 2019 - 2.6 mg;  Jan 5, 2020 - 1.0 mg;   

                Current dose - Sept 8 - 0.41 mg;

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Karma

You don't have to do it the way I do. It just needs to work for you so you can tell if you are doing better or worse. I recommend you record your experience so you can compare it. After all sometimes I can't remember how I felt 3 days ago. If you record it you have a comparison. I can't tell you how beneficial this has been for me on my journey and I still do it, today.

 

Karma


2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & 1 mg Xanax & 200 mg Gabapentin
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg;
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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firepink

Has anyone tried the app called Symple? They let you track 5 symptoms & 5 factors (activities that may relate to the symptoms) a few times a day for free, but you have to buy the app for more than that. I don't think it would be useful for me to only track five things, but it seems like the full version would be a great & convenient way to keep track of symptoms & their causes - just wanted to check in before deciding whether to go for it. Thoughts?


1998 to 2005 -  Prozac, Wellbutrin, Adderall, Concerta

2005 to 2015 - Off all meds

2015 - Started Bupropion HCL SR, 150mg 2x/day.

2016 - Taper attempt with help of Dr.; too fast (50mg jumps). Went back to 150 mg SR 2x/day

2018 - Starting taper. Feb. 23: 281.25 mg/day; March 20: 262.5 mg/day; April 18: 243.75 mg/day; May 2: 225 mg/day; May 16: 206.25 mg/day; June 5: 187.5 mg/day, June 26: 168.75 mg/day.

 

Primary non-prescription therapies: magnesium, fish oil, distance running. Occasional meditation.

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ChessieCat
37 minutes ago, firepink said:

Has anyone tried the app called Symple?

 

I just did a google search and found this review:

 

https://bridgestreet.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/why-symple-is-the-best-symptom-tracker-ive-ever-used/

 

Some excerpts:

In the interest of disclosure, these folks aren’t paying me anything. I just find it immensely helpful.

I work in design, and I’ve had Lyme Disease for about 15 years. So intersections of tech and healthcare are always really interesting to me. This one isn’t just interesting to me on a theoretical level, though, it’s been really essential to my healthcare, on a personal level, since I found it about two years ago.

 

I tried a ton of systems – native apps, websites, good old pen and paper – and I found problems with all of them. Every digital system I found was hard to use, overly complicated, and difficult to customize. Pen and paper meant still having to type everything in somewhere to do anything with the data. When you have something you’re doing every single day, you really need to minimize the barriers to getting it done. Everything I tried felt like a chore, and I never stuck to them.

 

YOU CAN EXPORT TO A .CSV!

If you’re thinking “what’s a .csv?” then this isn’t going to be a super helpful feature to you. But if you love Excel spreadsheets like I do, you can take all of this incredibly useful data the app collects, and you can organize it however you want. I set mine up so that I can see averages for each symptom week to week, or month to month, and an overall average for both.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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ChessieCat

This is the only information I can find which mentions a price and it doesn't mention whether it is a once off or monthly cost.  I don't have a smart phone so I can't even download it so if anyone gets more information, please post about it.  Thanks.

 

Seller:  Symple Heath Inc

Size:  38.3MG

Category:  Health and Fitness

Compatibility:  Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Languages:  English

Age Rating:  Rated 4+

Copyright:  © Symple Health

Price:  Free

In-App Purchases:  Symple Complete $9.99


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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firepink

Thanks! Sorry for not responding sooner, I missed the notification that you'd answered.

 

From what I understand it's $10 one time. I went ahead and grabbed it. I'm working on fine tuning what exactly I think I should be tracking. As far as I can tell you keep track of the factors once per day (you make a list and can choose that you did it or not) and then you can keep track of your symptoms up to every 6 hours (you click on the appropriate choice of none / mild / moderate / difficult / severe). You can keep written notes, too, but I don't think I'm going to use it for that. So far it's really fast to check in, but of course the trick is to actually do it - so the jury is definitely still out as to whether it's going to end up being useful for me. Fingers crossed!


1998 to 2005 -  Prozac, Wellbutrin, Adderall, Concerta

2005 to 2015 - Off all meds

2015 - Started Bupropion HCL SR, 150mg 2x/day.

2016 - Taper attempt with help of Dr.; too fast (50mg jumps). Went back to 150 mg SR 2x/day

2018 - Starting taper. Feb. 23: 281.25 mg/day; March 20: 262.5 mg/day; April 18: 243.75 mg/day; May 2: 225 mg/day; May 16: 206.25 mg/day; June 5: 187.5 mg/day, June 26: 168.75 mg/day.

 

Primary non-prescription therapies: magnesium, fish oil, distance running. Occasional meditation.

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Superwoman

I found a calendar app that works good to record symptoms. It is called Agenda 2019- Day Planner.  Seller Nadeem Munawar.  It has a picture of a an agenda planner.  Note: I have an i phone. Not sure if app is available for other phones or not. The app is simple and easy to use. Not a lot of bells and whistles.  Recording symptoms in a notebook was not working well for me because I didn’t always have a notebook on me. However, I usually have my phone on me. Hope this helps 


1993-2000: Zoloft few months CT, Prozac 1-2 yrs, Ritalin PRN

2002/2003: Wellbutrin,  Paxil 25mg FT, and Xanax PRN CT (all 3 to 6 months), Adderal 40mg, Strattera 40mg

2003- 2016: Effexor XR 75 mg to 150 mg., Strattera (2002-2008)

2017: Effexor XR 225 mg. Gabapentin 300 mg. Elavil 25 mg.

2018: (Sept.) Effexor XR 187.5 mg, Zoloft 10 mg. (OCT.) FT off Gabapentin (NOV.) FT off Elavil (DEC) FT Effexor to 150 mg.

2019: (JAN.) D/C Zoloft, added Viibryd 10mg (FEB) CT Viibryd, (MAR) Prozac bridge, Effexor xr 112.5mg, (Sept.) Effexor XR 112.5 mg + 0.4 mg (1 bead), (Oct.) Effexor XR 112.5mg, (Dec.28) start 10% taper Effexor XR 101.25 mg, 

2020: (Jan. 25) Effexor XR 91 mg., (Feb. 22) Effexor xr 82 mg., (Mar. 21) 75 mg. 

Supplements:  Vitamin D 5000 IU topical, Probiotic 6 billion CFU, Epsom salt bath 1C 2 to 3 X week, California Poppy 2 droppers, various essential oils 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/21446-superwoman-effexor-taper/page/8/?tab=comments#comment-475779

 

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Superwoman

The above app also has a “speech to text” feature.  You talk and it types it for you. I have not tried it. 


1993-2000: Zoloft few months CT, Prozac 1-2 yrs, Ritalin PRN

2002/2003: Wellbutrin,  Paxil 25mg FT, and Xanax PRN CT (all 3 to 6 months), Adderal 40mg, Strattera 40mg

2003- 2016: Effexor XR 75 mg to 150 mg., Strattera (2002-2008)

2017: Effexor XR 225 mg. Gabapentin 300 mg. Elavil 25 mg.

2018: (Sept.) Effexor XR 187.5 mg, Zoloft 10 mg. (OCT.) FT off Gabapentin (NOV.) FT off Elavil (DEC) FT Effexor to 150 mg.

2019: (JAN.) D/C Zoloft, added Viibryd 10mg (FEB) CT Viibryd, (MAR) Prozac bridge, Effexor xr 112.5mg, (Sept.) Effexor XR 112.5 mg + 0.4 mg (1 bead), (Oct.) Effexor XR 112.5mg, (Dec.28) start 10% taper Effexor XR 101.25 mg, 

2020: (Jan. 25) Effexor XR 91 mg., (Feb. 22) Effexor xr 82 mg., (Mar. 21) 75 mg. 

Supplements:  Vitamin D 5000 IU topical, Probiotic 6 billion CFU, Epsom salt bath 1C 2 to 3 X week, California Poppy 2 droppers, various essential oils 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/21446-superwoman-effexor-taper/page/8/?tab=comments#comment-475779

 

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LarryS

I thought it might be helpful to give an example of providing oneself with a scoring system for tracking a symptom that one may have while tapering off a drug.  Having a scoring system in place that one can periodically refer to, will help one to be more consistent in tracking a symptom.  You may start by looking at other scoring systems to get an idea of what you would like to use.  I looked around on the internet for awhile and found only a small amount of information.  I took what I learned and thought about how the symptom may progress from least to worst symptom.  It took me several iterations to obtain the scoring I felt was most reasonable for me.  It is subjective to feelings on any day at best.

 

Since many of us feel “fatigue”, I will give it as an example.  A “1” represents no symptom.  A “10” represents the worst symptom.

 

1                   No fatigue

2-3             Minor fatigue after noon

4-6             Mild to moderate fatigue all day

7-8             Effects ability to think/ concentrate

9                Naps on and off all day

10              Bed ridden fatigue

 

Hope this helps someone.


5/1999 to 6/7/2002 Celexa (Citalopram) 30 mg  3 years 1 month.  6/7/2002 to 6/26/2002 switch from Celexa to Zoloft then wean off.  8/2014 start Venlafaxine 225 mg.

Other Pharmaceuticals per day:  Amlodipine 5 mg

Vitamins per day:  C 2,000 mg; D3 1.25 mg; Probiotic 218 mg; Fish Oil 1,600 mg; Magnesium Glycinate 240 mg; Red Yeast Rice 1,200 mg; CoQ10 100 mg; Saw Palmetto 320 mg;

Start Taper: 225 mg to 55 mg; June 5, 2018 to June 15, 2019

55 mg (10%) June 15, 2019;  49 mg (10%) July 16, 2019; 44 mg (10%) August  13, 2019; 49 mg (up 11%) Aug. 26, 2019: 44 mg (10%) Sept. 10, 2019; 40 mg (10%) Oct. 8, 2019;  37.5 mg (6%) Nov. 6, 2019; 49.5 mg (up 32%) Nov 18, 2019; 44.5 mg (10%) Dec. 30, 2019; 40 mg Jan. 27, 2020; 36 mg Feb. 24, 2020; 32.5 mg March 23, 2020; 29.2 mg April 20, 2020; 26.3 mg May 18, 2020; 23.7 mg June 15, 2020; 21.3 mg July 6, 2020; 19.2 mg Aug. 4, 2020; 17.3 mg Sept. 1, 2020;

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