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smk1234: I want to taper Luvox, but terrified

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smk1234

I've been on and off various AD's and benzos for 25 years. Most recently I tapered off Xanax/valium, with the final dose 12/15. I have remained on the ssri Luvox for 18 years. It helped me when I first started it, but now I don't think it does anything and I only keep taking it to keep out of a withdrawal. I've had a rough time with the benzos, especially this summer had a huge setback after having some alcohol and then inadvertently taking a few doses of Xanax while getting treated for another health issue. I've had severe inner trembling and anxiety and bouts of severe depression. I am getting slowly better, much better than several months ago. ....  I want to get off the Luvox, but I'm terrified of another long withdrawal, and losing more of my life to all of this... I've taken it for so long I'm scared to try to get off of it. I don't think I have another withdrawal in me, this is just a terrible place to be..  Is there any hope for me? Does anyone have any advice?

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Gridley

Hello, SMK1234, and welcome to SA.  I sympathize--I've been on Lexapro for 14 years and have been tapering it successfully using methods recommended on this site (I'll give you links below). 

 

To start, in order to give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.
 
 
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.
 
A variation of the 10% taper is the Brassmonkey Slide Taper.  Instead of dropping 10% every four weeks, you do four equal 2 1/2% drops for four weeks with a two week hold.  I've been using this method and have found it to work.
 
This link explains the importance of a slow taper:
 
 
This link gives very specific information about tapering Luvox, including how to make nonstandard doses.
 

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.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 


 

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smk1234

Thank you. I've been trying to read about tapering methods, and quite honestly find reading about trying to make my own liquid suspension confusing and intimidating. I'm already scared thinking about trying to taper, I feel overwhelmed by this:-(

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Gridley

Are you on the immediate release or extended release? As an alternative to making your liquid, you could,  if you are are on the immediate release, cut the tablets and weigh them on a Gemini-20 scale available on Amazon.  Using a digital scale to measure doses If you are on the extended release, you can remove beads to taper as described here: Tips for tapering off Luvox (fluvoxamine)

 

If you are not stable yet from your benzo taper (especially given the blip this summer) you might want to wait until you feel better before considering another taper.  You might feel less intimidated if you feel more stable.

 

 

 


 

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smk1234
Posted (edited)

Topic title:  Still benzo recovery or SSRI tolerance?

 

Hi, I've been on various psych meds for the past 30 years. Reader's digest version: I've been on the same SSRI, Luvox for the past 20 years. Also on and off Xanax/ valium/ ambien/benzos for a good 13 or so years. I did a several year taper off of them and have been benzo-free for 3.5 years, (except for last year I was given them twice in the hospital for another physical issue)…  My remaining symptoms are an on and off internal shaking feeling, different than normal anxiety. It usually comes on as a reaction to stress, but sometimes for no reason I can pinpoint. I don't feel the SSRI I am taking does me any good anymore, but I am so terrified of "rocking the boat" and going through another w/d, so basically I am just on it to keep me out of withdrawal. I have been waiting to feel good or stable for a long enough stretch to attempt to taper it, but I never seem to feel strong enough.  I'm starting to wonder if  - Is this as good as it will get from the benzo w/d? are the symptoms I have now some sort of tolerance to the SSRI? Is it possible I could actually start to feel BETTER if I attempted a taper??  I've been going back and forth about this for months,,, I am honestly terrified to try to get off of it,, as I said I've been on it for 20 years. I feel trapped and scared. Does anyone have any advice?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

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Altostrata

Hello, smk.

 

Do you ever accidentally skip taking Luvox? Are you taking any other drugs? Do your symptoms follow any daily pattern?  Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms. You can post them in this topic with a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right.

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Gridley
22 hours ago, smk1234 said:

Is this as good as it will get from the benzo w/d? are the symptoms I have now some sort of tolerance to the SSRI? Is it possible I could actually start to feel BETTER if I attempted a taper?? 

 

I don't have definite answers to your questions but do have some links that I hope are helpful in untangling the cause of your symptoms and might guide you as to what to do now.

 

You mention being 3.5 years out on your benzo.  Brassmonkey, one of our moderators, wrote this about the post-zero timeframe:

 

It doesn’t end at “0”

 

Brassmonkey mentions a possible three year wave for antidepressants and that's not unusual on the benzo forum for benzo withdrawal (it was seen a lot in the protracted section over on benzo buddies). So you may be in that phase.

 

The following is an excellent post that is specific to benzo withdrawal and recovery:

 

What is happening in your brain?

 

It's very long and detailed, so if you're not up to reading the whole post, the following paragraph really conveys the message that it's a slow and gradual process, but all along the way, the mind/body is making progress, even if it doesn't seem that way. 

 

   On 12/26/2015 at 2:37 PM,  Altostrata said: 

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were [...] to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and [...] to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while [...] is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made. 
 

You mentioned that you thought you were in tolerance (or poop-out) on the Luvox.  Brassmonkey tapered Paxil after he found himself in poop-out on the drug.  He wrote the following:  

 

Tachyphylaxis or As It’s Lovingly Known “Poopout”

 

I hope this information helps you find the way forward in your situation.

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Altostrata

We need to see those daily symptom notes before we can answer your questions.

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ChessieCat
On 7/13/2019 at 4:10 AM, Altostrata said:

Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms. You can post them in this topic with a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right.

 

Example:

 

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

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smk1234
Posted (edited)

Topic title:  I tried to start decreasing my dose and not feeling well.

 

I've been on 200 mgs of Luvox for 19 years and I believe it stopped helping me a long time ago. I had to get off a benzo and dealt with that for several years, and have been having all sorts of symptoms which I'm not sure if the Luvox is causing so I am desperate to come off. I was honestly a bit overwhelmed by the thought of making my own liquid, etc...   so 3 days ago I took a nail file and just shaved a tiny portion off one of the pills... (I know, not very scientific....)… but now today I'm noticing a strange feeling and like a strong wave of depression is trying to come on.  Does this sound like it would be directly related to the tiny cut I made? I can't imagine I shaved off that much. I'm scared! Would you recommend I try to ride this out and if so, how long will it last?? Or should I go back to the original dose and see if I feel better, then acquiesce and try to figure out the liquid taper???

 

Is it normal to feel this way? I can't imagine how I'll ever get off of this stuff if taking such a tiny amount of a cut makes me feel this bad! I need some advice. My doctor is no help and had told me to just break a pill into 4 pieces and decrease by 50 mg at a time. I feel so lost with this crap!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

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Gridley

 

40 minutes ago, smk1234 said:

Or should I go back to the original dose and see if I feel better, then acquiesce and try to figure out the liquid taper???

 

 

How were you feeling before you made the cut?  Are you on the regular release or extended release?

 

Since it's only been three days, and since there's really no way to tell how much you shaved off, I'd go back to your original dosage and wait to stabilize.  While you're stabilizing (sorry, there's no way to tell how long that will take) I would familiarize myself with making a liquid.  There are instructions in the link below. It really is a how-to for tapering Luvox.   If something is confusing, post your question here.  Many, many members make their liquid and they'll chime in to help you.  

 

And of course you'll be tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Luvox (fluvoxamine)

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smk1234

I wasn't feeling great before I tried to taper, but not as depressed as this. I am on the regular release.

 

Thanks for responding. This all seems so overwhelming and I feel trapped. Admittedly, my mind is not in the best place and I needed to hear from someone who understands. I know since the benzo wd I have been so hypersensitive to meds and everything so I fear it's going to make this harder. I will take your advice.

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