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Gridley

Bandboy, I suggest you stay with the 10% rule and use the scale.  It's not worth taking the chance with a 20% drop to 20mg.  I assume you're using the Gemini-20 scale.  I've been using it for a year and a half with no problem with accuracy.

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Bandboy

Hi Gridley,

Thank you for getting back to me.

Yes, I am using the Gemini 20. I may have to get a mortar and pestle to create a powder so I can measure out 2.5mg of powder equivalent.  In any case I will figure  a way to do this.  I might need to get some capsules. 

 

Aside from the sleeping things have been going well. I know symptoms don't appear for a while but so far so good. 

 

Thanks again for the advice and I will keep you apprised how this drop goes. 

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Gridley

Sounds good.  The 00 size capsules are easier to use because they're a bit larger and easier to pour the powder into.

 

I'm very glad things are going well.  I have the sleeping issues too--par for the course.

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Bandboy

Tuesday May 29 So far the week has gone well. No uncomfortable side effects from Sunday's 10% drop to 25mg Latuda. Good morning workout and afternoon yoga.  Still suffering insomnia but not so bad as before.

 

Wed May 30. Getting a strange dizziness in the morning. Definitely a withdrawal symptom, fortunately a minor one.  Went away in the late afternoon.  So far things are going well. Tomorrow I am going to stop taking Adderall past 1pm.  My Latuda dose is much lower and it may help my insomnia. 

 

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Bandboy

This week has been ok.  I feel buzzy headed at times but it is intermittent and not too bad.  The insomnia is still not very good but I can tolerate it. I have been catching up on some work I've put off, which I take to be a good sign. Yoga and working out has been enjoyable.  

 

Today I'm going to the farmers market.  It has been an early season and the good produce is coming in.  Tomorrow I will begin calibrating my scale and weighing my pills to determine the percentage of active ingredient per pill.  Then I will be able to see if I have enough Latuda on hand to get through the tapering.  If not I have a psychiatrist's appointment next week and can get the pills and dosages I need. I also have to put together next week's doses (second week at 25mg). 

 

So far I feel extremely lucky.  My WD symptoms are minor.  I am not enduring the levels of agony many others here are going through on a continuous basis.  I hope my luck lasts.  Tomorrow I am going to discontinue the afternoon Adderall; I hope it helps my sleeping. 

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SkyBlue
Posted (edited)
On 6/2/2018 at 12:47 PM, Bandboy said:

 

 Tomorrow I am going to discontinue the afternoon Adderall; I hope it helps my sleeping. 

 

Hello BB,

Glad things are going well for you. 

 

From reading through your thread, it sounds like you're not taking the afternoon dosage of Adderall every day right now, right? 

How often are you taking it?

 

It is an extremely strong drug --

Please read through this short topic on coming off Adderall: 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/8987-tips-for-tapering-off-adderall/

Edited by SkyBlue
added link

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Bandboy

Hi Skyblue,

You are right about that. I quit taking the mid-day Adderall a few days ago.  When I posted yesterday I had forgotten I had stopped and moved it to Sunday, when I usually make med changes and activities. 

 

I still feel a little buzzy headed at times. While I am pleased with my progress so far, and have been extremely fortunate that my WD symptoms are mild compared with those suffered by many others at this site, at times the estimated length of time this process will take is very disheartening.  It doesn't help that when I complete my Latuda tapering I will still have a benzo and z drug to quit. 

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SkyBlue
56 minutes ago, Bandboy said:

Hi Skyblue,

You are right about that. I quit taking the mid-day Adderall a few days ago.  When I posted yesterday I had forgotten I had stopped and moved it to Sunday, when I usually make med changes and activities. 

 

I still feel a little buzzy headed at times. While I am pleased with my progress so far, and have been extremely fortunate that my WD symptoms are mild compared with those suffered by many others at this site, at times the estimated length of time this process will take is very disheartening.  It doesn't help that when I complete my Latuda tapering I will still have a benzo and z drug to quit. 

 

Hi, BB, 

 

I asked the other moderators, and it sounds like it likely won't cause much of a problem to stop the p.m. Adderall since you're only taking it intermittently. I hope I didn't scare you. I'm still learning the ins and outs of tapering and WD.

 

I totally get it about the length of time it takes to do this properly. Whew, do I ever get this! The good news is: you really do get improvements all the way down when tapering slowly. It's like it's our body's way of thanking us. 

A good role model in this regard is our own Brassmonkey. (You may have heard of the Brassmonkey slide--he was able to successfully come off 20 years' of Paxil by tapering at a rate of approx. 10%/month (+ holds).

 

I really see you having a good attitude about this, researching, even doing things like going to the farmer's market.

 

So, it's lucky that your WD is going well, but it's not *just* luck. I hope you can give yourself credit for patience (and going slowly even if you want to go fast does still count as patience, in my book!!!), good attitude, researching, and sticking it out. 

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Bandboy

I'm still taking my 25mg of Latuda. The only withdrawal symptoms seem to be an intermittent head buzziness. It doesn't last long and now is down to maybe once a day.  Still have insomnia but it too is not as bad.  

 

This week I began taking magnesium. I'm up to 300mg and plan on getting to the recommended 400mg by Sunday.  Right now I'm taking 100mg in the morning and 200mg at night.  Maybe it is helping with the insomnia. 

 

I'm visiting my brother next Saturday so I will stay at this dose until I get back and probably taper down 10% (2.5mg) to 22.5mg.  

 

I feel very lucky my symptoms are moderate so far.  I think reducing my Latuda doses is making me feel better. 

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Altostrata

Good to hear, Bandboy.

 

Magnesium is absorbed best when taking in smaller doses throughout the day. 200mg at night is okay.

 

What are your current daily drug schedule and dosages?

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Bandboy

Hi Altostrata,

I just changed my signature to include the magnesium. I didn't have room to note that I take 100mg in the day and 200mg at night.  When I step up to 400mg I will take your advice and take 100mg in the morning, 100mg in the afternoon, and 200mg before bed. 

 

My med dosages and ingestion times have not changed.  I take my heart meds and supplements in the morning.  I take Latuda after dinner and sleep medication at bedtime and when I awake at night.  

 

I saw my psychiatrist this Monday and he was very supportive of the tapering process.  When I expressed my frustration at the length of time 10% tapering takes, he said I really had to rely on how I feel.  He also recommended magnesium.  He suggested getting the Latuda compounded into a liquid to make dosages easier to measure.  I appreciated the suggestion but my insurance is very difficult and expensive; it is less expensive to buy it from Canada.  I suggested that if at lower doses my scale becomes inadequate I could make my own suspension. 

 

I will be at 25mg for just over a month after I visit my brother this month and will reduce my dosage to 22.5mg.  I'm hoping to manage this next taper a little faster, maybe trying 3 weeks, assuming I feel well at that time. 

 

I still lack motivation and still have stunted emotions, though not as badly as when on higher doses.  All in all I am seeing progress but it is small and slow progress. 

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Altostrata

Are you seeing a certain doctor named Steve on Oak Lawn? He seems remarkably well informed and helpful.

 

You seem to be doing fine. It may take a good while for your emotional anesthesia to go away.

 

 

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Bandboy

Hi Altostrata, 

No, though his location would be much closer to me.  My psychiatrist offices much further north, around 635 and Hillcrest.  

 

So far I am not getting any resistance from my doctor and he is facilitating my pharmaceutical needs.  I like and trust him but I do wonder about not being informed of the addictive properties of the benzos and Z meds and being left to keep on using them for years. 

 

I was certainly surprised when pretty difficult withdrawal symptoms hit me 4 days after my fast taper, which at the time I considered to be slow.  I need to remember my blessings.  I have a good support network and my WD symptoms are not nearly as bad as others are facing at SA. 

 

Thank you for this very helpful resource. 

 

Hope all is well with you. 

 

Bandboy

 

 

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Bandboy

Hi all. It's been a little over a month since I last checked in. As far as the tapering the Latuda goes, I dropped from 25mg to 22.5mg last night, or something close to that according to my $20 .001gm accurate scale.  I had some lucky math on this. I have a fair number of old 60mg pills.  After dividing 60mg by 22.5 I get 2.667, which when multiplied by 3 results in 8 even, meaning 3 60mg tablets yield 8 22.5mg doses.  Producing the capsules is tedious but I could not think of anything but powdering the pills.  I don't think cutting would be better. 

 

The summer has been insufferably hot this year with lots of 100 degree and near 100 degree weather. I took a few days off to go to Colorado and visit my brother and his girlfriend for his birthday.  It was fun but I found the climbing parts of our hiked to be strenuous.  I blame the altitude. 

 

No withdrawal symptoms yet, but I don't expect any for two-four more days. Insomnia is still an issue but I am sleeping a little better.  I'm hoping that I stayed on 25mg for 5-6 weeks will help in this step down in dosage. 

 

I hope things are well or getting better for all of you out there who have helped me. 

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Bandboy

Hi all,

Last week I tapered down from 22.5mg to 20mg. Sure enough, a few days later (Saturday, August 4) I began having typical withdrawal symptoms.  I also made a big mistake.  My sleep meds were almost out and I did not refill the prescription.  This accentuated the WD symptoms.  I had chills, night sweats and agitation.  Some of these were certainly the estazolam.  I took a dose very late Tuesday night, fell asleep, and awoke 4 hrs later--after 3 previous nights of 2-2.5 hrs of sleep--and all WD symptoms greatly diminished. 

 

Things turned for the worst today, Wednesday, when I tried to refill my sleep meds. My regular Walgreen's wouldn't fill them. Apparently the pharmacist took great objection to me last month when she told me my Adderall could not be filled because it was on a 1-3 week back order. I suggested they get a better handle on inventory control. Today she called me rude and suggested I patronize someplace else. She also called my p doc to complain about me. 

 

Now my p doc is suggesting that I have more serious problems than he previously realized and wants me to come in for a session to discuss tapering all these meds simultaneously.  I can deal with the drama but I can't deal with tapering all four drugs at once, especially since his idea of tapering is much faster and extreme than the guidance I have received I have here and which has worked well for me so far. One of his suggestions was for my 3mg Lunesta and 4 mg estazolam  to be tapered at a mg per month. 

 

I really don't want to spend $185 or more to discuss this subject with him but I also need access to the Latuda and estazolam; my Pcp will provide the Lunesta.  So I may need to change psychiatrists, hopefully one in my network and closer to home, and ideally someone familiar with tapering off these psychotropic drugs. 

 

Tonight i I feel fine but sad.  First, my pdoc sided with the pharmacist despite seeing me for close to 15 yrs now without any dramatic incidents. Second, he doesn't see the irony of wanting to hurry up and make a tapering plan for the drugs he suggested in the first place.  Finally, I don't look forward to starting fresh with a new pdoc, not to mention the task of finding one.  But I guess feeling sad is ok. At least it's feeling something. 

 

On a better note, I have learned to use the scale and measure out capsules handily.  Had dinner from an old friend who had moved away but was back visiting. My WDs seem to be under control. I just wish everything wasn't so difficult. Hope the rest of you are doing well and hanging in there. 

 

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Shep
5 hours ago, Bandboy said:

 So I may need to change psychiatrists, hopefully one in my network and closer to home, and ideally someone familiar with tapering off these psychotropic drugs. 

 

Hi, Bandboy. You may want to check out the Mad in America website for provider information. The providers listed will more likely be aware of withdrawal symptoms and less likely to tell you "have more serious problems than he previously realized ". 

 

Mad in America Provider Directory

 

If you don't see one in your immediate area, try reaching out to the nearest ones and see if they have any information for providers in your area that simply may not be listed by the MiA website. Even therapists or psychologist who can't prescribe drugs may be aware of the medical doctors in the area who are more knowledgeable in the area of withdrawal. Definitely worth a few phone calls, as what your pdoc is suggesting isn't just unwise, it's downright dangerous. 

 

Let us know what you find out. 

 

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Bandboy

Hi Shep,

I'll look into MIA and see what I turn up in Dallas.  Thank you.  

 

A  while back @altrostrata mentioned a Steve on Oak Lawn as being knowledgeable in tapering; he maybe helpful.  I don't feel very good about this.  I don't consider myself rude--I will call them like I see them--but this is being exaggerated beyond the ordinary.  I feel somewhat betrayed by my pdoc, for not asking me my thoughts before confronting me on this matter, not taking any responsibility for his part in my problems, and then prescribing a massive tapering problem.  It will take me a while to get over this mess. 

 

Thx again, Shep, especially not judging.  I will keep SA apprised of my progress. For the good, I slept well last night.  Sleep was interrupted once but I got right to sleep, only woke once, but went back to sleep.  Altogether an amazing 6 hours and feel fine this morning. Somewhere in the back of my mind I believe if I could sleep a steady 6-7 hours regularly my problems would resolve themselves. 

 

My best to you and those helping. Sadly, I feel there is no other place to go. 

 

Bandboy

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Bandboy

Just an update. I posted an Introduction in the Benzo forum.  I am seeing my pdoc September 9. Today is going well despite my resentments against my pdoc.  I am developing a plan and hopefully I can navigate these problems. 

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Bandboy

@Altostrata

 

hi Altostrata,

Things are starting to get sideways with my pdoc.  He has concluded that I'm in worse shape than he realized and has suggested he wants me to begin tapering my benzo and z drug sleep medicine.  Maybe the Adderall too. We meet September 9 to discuss it. 

 

I am forecasting two likely events: that I pretend to acquiesce but keep to my current plan; or reject the plan and find a new pdoc.  I would choose the first in order to maintain access to my tapering drugs. I would prefer the second because it is above board and comes with a more knowledgeable pdoc who might offer other help. 

 

I went through MIA per Shep's suggestion and there are no listings in Dallas. You recently wrote positive comments about a Steve on Oak Lawn.  I'm hoping he could be my second option if you think it appropriate to send me his contact info. 

If not, I will begin calling the Austin MIA participants. 

 

Hope that you are well. 

 

Thank you,

Bandboy

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SkyBlue

Hi Bandboy,

 

I'm glad you're taking charge of the situation to try to find a provider who will support you. 

 

Since this is so urgent, there are online services where you can see a psychiatrist over the phone/Internet.

Of course, there are no guarantees that they will give you what you need, but

https://www.doctorondemand.com has an initial visit w/psychiatry for $229 which is (sadly) not a bad deal. 

That might be a good option to try to get the refills as soon as possible if you are now out. 

 

Other members have reported going to urgent care for emergency refills. Some had success; some didn't. Please keep plugging away until you get them and keep updating us on how it's going. 

 

 

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Bandboy

Hi SkyBlue,

 

Thank you for your nice comments.  It's good to know about this online service if I ever get into a bind.  

 

My recent refill emergency was a travesty. The pharmacist had left instructions on my account not to refill for me without explanation.  And she was out until 4:00, which is when my pdoc starts to close down.  I saw a possible squeeze coming so I began making arrangements to have my existing refills forwarded to another Walgreen's and as a back up asked my pdoc to send new scripts to the new Walgreen's. As expected, the pdoc was slow, but the existing refills transferred just fine.  The worst of it was that it turned out to be a stressful way to kill a day. 

 

The good news is that most of my WD symptoms have disappeared, though I still have insomnia. I'll see tonight how the insomnia is going.  

 

Thank you for checking in and I appreciate your support.  I hope you are doing fine.  You and the others have been a big help. 

 

Bandboy

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Altostrata
18 hours ago, Bandboy said:

He has concluded that I'm in worse shape than he realized and has suggested he wants me to begin tapering my benzo and z drug sleep medicine.

 

How has he come to this conclusion?

 

There's a fad now among doctors to cut people off benzos and maybe sleep drugs, which are related. There's a sudden belated realization that these, as well as Adderall, are addictive. Unfortunately, doctors are clueless about tapering, so they're throwing people into severe withdrawal. A friend's daughter just landed in the hospital with this.

 

All three of your strategies are reasonable: 1) Appear to acquiesce; 2) Contact Steve on Oak Lawn, I think it was http://www.stevetankersleymd.com/; 3) Start phoning Austin doctors from MIA.

 

I see one of our members saw Dr. Tankersley, discussion starts here https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16599-justin332-paxil-withdrawal-scared-and-need-advice/?do=findComment&comment=335835

 

Looks like you're proficient in managed care, i.e. YOU manage THEM.

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Bandboy

Hi Altostrata,

 

Thank you very much for the referral possibility.  He is much closer to my home and he must know more about tapering than my current pdoc.  I am having enough problems tapering that I don't need any additional friction or conflict from my pdoc. And quite frankly, I have lost trust in him. 

 

I see my current pdoc on September 9. If he is adamant about tapering any of my sleep meds I will acquiesce, get as many refills as possible, and call your referral.  This whole incident is rife with needless stress. 

 

Again my thanks to you and the other moderators for all your help. 

 

My best wishes to you all. 

 

Bandboy

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Bandboy

Altostrata,

After I posted I realized I didn't answer your question.  Over a month ago I got into an argument with my local Walgreen's pharmacist about their inability to keep good inventory control when they told me my Adderall would not be available for 1-3 weeks.  When she refused a month later (this week) to honor my existing refills we had another argument. She somehow communicated with my pdoc--I don't know who made the call--and her depiction of me as being rude and argumentative gave him the epiphany that my problems were more serious than he realized.  He asked that I come in to discuss tapering my sleep meds, knowing that I am in the middle of tapering the Latuda.  

 

I just experienced estazolam withdrawals and I don't want to stack that on top of my Latuda. As I've mentioned previously, I am assertive and can be argumentative, but I am not a rude person by any standard. I have seen my current pdoc for over 15 years without ever even raising my voice.  I am shocked that he came to this conclusion without contacting me first. 

 

Sorry for the soap opera drama but that is what happened. I am still stunned, saddened, and disappointed.  

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