Jump to content

Jovain: My long battle


Jovain

Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

As my story would be very long due to my long history of panic attacks and depression, I try to make this introduction short and I'll concentrate to the main points.

 

I got my first AD prescription around 1992 (fluoxetine) for panic attacks. I've had panic attacks years before that, though. First I remember was around 1987. It's so long ago that I don't remember much about that time except that I started to fear those panic attacks I was quite severely depressed at the time. Now I think I should have tried to get some therapy at the time but I didn't. I lived with my mother then. I'm the youngest in my family and my sister and brothers had already left the nest.

 

I remember fluoxetine working after initial anxiety which lasted a long time, probably about two months. It was a summer and when I went to school next autumn, I felt mostly free from panic attacks and anxiety. I stopped taking it next winter and probably due to fluoxetine's long half time, I don't remember having any withdrawal issues. I didn't know about the half time then, I learned that much later. Generally, doctors didn't know or care about AD withdrawal then. They just say you can drop that medicine any time.

 

Next time I started to have major panic attacks was around 1995 when I was dropped from University for about one year due to my lazy studying. I moved back to my mother's which was a terribly bad idea. When I started my studies again, a doctor put me on clomipramine and alprazolam. I kept taking alprazolam about one year but clomipramine was changed to fluoxetine again. I also started therapy at that time. I remember tapering alprazolam myself quite fast which still amazes me. It was probably dangerous too.

 

During the next years I got therapy and met a psychiatrist also sometimes. I tried several AD's on that time: paroxetine, venlafaxine, milnacipran, citalopram. Then I learned that venlafaxine seems to work the best.

 

Paroxetine did work when I first tried it. Then I stopped it after about one year. I'm really sorry I can't tell the exact time when I was on it. Probably around 2001. After staying off about half a year, I started feeling very anxious for no particular reason and bad brain fog (I realise that now). I thought my symptoms were coming back and doctor put me on paroxetine again. Bad move. My anxiety went ballistic and I was in constant panic mode many weeks. I didn't know what was happening. I just thought I'm anxious and sick and I need medicine. After one trip to ER where they gave me diazepam, I started to realise that probably it is paroxetine that caused my symptoms. My heartbeat was constantly over 100bpm even on bed. When I stopped taking paroxetine, my heartbeat went back to normal and anxiety settled. My psychiatrist was wondering why this happened because that drug worked before?

 

After that I was on venlafaxine on/off until my doctor started to worry about my high blood pressure and prescribed escitalopram. Things were ok for awhile. Then I decided to taper off from it. I remember after the usual brain-zaps and other WD symptoms, I experienced bad fatigue for a long time (many months). After 6 months I felt quite ok but I was have a rough time at work and my stress level was very high. I started to feel that I'm constantly wired and I couldn't sleep. I was put on escitalopram again. Horrible side effects: anxiety and restlessness (I'd say that was akathisia). After some months I did feel better and I was on it about one year.

 

We are finally reaching the current day. About one year ago, I was talking with my doctor about starting escitalopram again. I was feeling quite wired again and because I probably had forgotten what it is like to start escitalopram, I was on it again. First 5mg which didn't seem to work so I upped it to 10mg. After one week, I started getting panic attacks and sometimes quite horrible migraines. Again, I thought that this is probably just side effects and I tried to keep on it many weeks but this time it didn't seem to settle anymore. I switched to venlafaxine in hope it works because it has before.

 

I have started to think that most of my symptoms are just waves and windows. I have noticed that sometimes the feelings depression and anxiety come back and other times I feel better. The problem is nobody seems to know about these WD issues. Doctors always assume that they are just my original issues coming back.

 

I'm currently on venlafaxine and losartan for high blood pressure. I still seem to have WD symtoms after being on venlafaxine for many months. Do you think that is possible?

 

Do you think my high anxiety issues after restarting a drug is due to hypersensitivity?

 

Anyway, I am planning on tapering right way this time.  My plan is after reaching some equilibrium, I start tapering venlafaxine veeery slowly. Do you think that is a good idea or should I start tapering now? 

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Jovain: My long battle
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Jovain and welcome to SA.

 

I'm glad you're here and interested in tapering safely.

 

Please help us out by creating a brief "drug signature" which will show up underneath each post you write. https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/18343-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

The last two years are the most important, so don't worry about exact months and dates back in 2001. 

 

On 10/1/2018 at 2:52 PM, Jovain said:

I still seem to have WD symtoms after being on venlafaxine for many months. Do you think that is possible?

It's possible that your system is sensitized because of the drugs and changes. It will be possible to heal from this. 

 

What is your daily symptom pattern? Please keep notes on paper as that will help track your progress. 

 

As far as when to start tapering, feeling stable—but not necessarily wonderful— is important. Each person has to decide that for themselves (and we can help, of course). So if a person is not able to function at all, that's probably not the best time to make changes. If they are having some symptoms, but doing okay (not great, but okay), that could be a good time.

 

It seems you already know about waves and windows and the importance of tapering, which is great. You're ahead of the game.


Again, welcome aboard. 

Current: 2019: 0.04 mg Paxil!! This is real. Soon, after taking Paxil my entire adult life, I will be free.

Long story short: After 18 years on Paxil, "tapered" almost completely off over a month, at doctor's advice in July 2015.

Self-care includes magnesium, reasonable exercise, mindfulness, this forum and nutrition/eating enough food.

Also on 100 mg Zoloft unfortunately!! (which I now will have the knowledge to taper properly)

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

Longer version: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety & depression caused by (undiagnosed) under-eating / eating disorder.

Doctor kept increasing dose, up to 60 mg; it never really helped but said it really was the best "med" for me.

Rapid doctor-led "taper" July 2015, down to 5 mg, with Zoloft as a "cross-taper" = Essentially a cold turkey. 

Severe withdrawal but didn't know it; believed it was my "underlying condition," and kept tapering, 5mg to 4 to 3  to 2 to 1.  

Feb 2016: Found SA! As of June 2016, tapering from 1mg at rate of 5-10% per month, Brassmonkey Slide! 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Also, I had to start blood pressure medication during withdrawal as well. It's awful what these drugs cause. I exercise and have good nutrition--I'm positive it's the central nervous system stress that's causing it. I look forward to getting off that med too. 

Current: 2019: 0.04 mg Paxil!! This is real. Soon, after taking Paxil my entire adult life, I will be free.

Long story short: After 18 years on Paxil, "tapered" almost completely off over a month, at doctor's advice in July 2015.

Self-care includes magnesium, reasonable exercise, mindfulness, this forum and nutrition/eating enough food.

Also on 100 mg Zoloft unfortunately!! (which I now will have the knowledge to taper properly)

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

Longer version: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety & depression caused by (undiagnosed) under-eating / eating disorder.

Doctor kept increasing dose, up to 60 mg; it never really helped but said it really was the best "med" for me.

Rapid doctor-led "taper" July 2015, down to 5 mg, with Zoloft as a "cross-taper" = Essentially a cold turkey. 

Severe withdrawal but didn't know it; believed it was my "underlying condition," and kept tapering, 5mg to 4 to 3  to 2 to 1.  

Feb 2016: Found SA! As of June 2016, tapering from 1mg at rate of 5-10% per month, Brassmonkey Slide! 

Link to comment

SkyBlue, thank you very much! One question though: May I ask, out of curiosity, what blood pressure medication do you use?

 

I made a draft of a signature now, I hope it's ok.

 

In the recent years, I have started to realise that I'm probably a sensitive person. I can't handle high dose of any medicine. I tried 150mg Effexor once and found it intolerable. Probably I get bad withdrawal symptoms too for the same reason. I think I'm stuck in the loop of WD symptoms and AD reinstate mess and I'm sick of it. Last winter was the worst in my life when I was on escitalopram. I guess I was hypersensitive to that drug at the time.

 

I will list my WD symptoms when I start tapering. Currently when I'm on venlafaxine I experience waves with the following symptoms:

 

  • Irritability
  • Depressed mood
  • Sensitive to noises and bright lights
  • Brain fog
  • Neck pain and slight headache
  • Diarrhea (I have thought it is IBS but most probably this is a WD symptom)
  • Bad anxiety

These symptoms have diminished along the time I've been on venlafaxine, about 8 months by now.

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi J, 

Thanks for doing a signature. It looks good.

Could you please update it to include the most recent date (month/year is fine) you were taking escitalopram. and what changes you made to it (did you come off it all at once, or taper)? Thanks. 

This will help us help you determine when to start tapering.

 

My mediation is a generic one; I don't remember the name right off hand, but it's not losartan

 

Thanks for the symptom notes. (We can consider them "withdrawal" symptoms as it sounds like you are still in withdrawal from recent changes. Please continue to keep track of your symptoms on paper.

 

Keep letting us know how you're doing. 

Current: 2019: 0.04 mg Paxil!! This is real. Soon, after taking Paxil my entire adult life, I will be free.

Long story short: After 18 years on Paxil, "tapered" almost completely off over a month, at doctor's advice in July 2015.

Self-care includes magnesium, reasonable exercise, mindfulness, this forum and nutrition/eating enough food.

Also on 100 mg Zoloft unfortunately!! (which I now will have the knowledge to taper properly)

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

Longer version: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety & depression caused by (undiagnosed) under-eating / eating disorder.

Doctor kept increasing dose, up to 60 mg; it never really helped but said it really was the best "med" for me.

Rapid doctor-led "taper" July 2015, down to 5 mg, with Zoloft as a "cross-taper" = Essentially a cold turkey. 

Severe withdrawal but didn't know it; believed it was my "underlying condition," and kept tapering, 5mg to 4 to 3  to 2 to 1.  

Feb 2016: Found SA! As of June 2016, tapering from 1mg at rate of 5-10% per month, Brassmonkey Slide! 

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

I'm feeling stable enough now to start tapering one of these days. From my symptoms list I still sometimes feel sensitivity to light and noises and some brain fog. I forgot to mention tinnitus in my left ear but I'm not sure whether it is a WD symptom or not. Or is it an AD side effect? I may be also losing my hearing due to listening to loud noises/music in my youth.

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

You might find this helpful:

 

Withdrawal Normal Description

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

Link to comment

Hi Jovain!

Welcome! Happy to virtually meet you. I have gotten a lot of help here!

: )

DMV

2001- Klonopin 0.125 mg.  2011- increase to 1 mg.  2018- increase to 1.5 mg

2010- Trials of SSRI's, several.

2011- Saphris 5 mg. CT. 6/2017- retry Saphris 5 mg sublingual, begin taper August 2020 10% taper with scale, and final taper liquid sublingual, August 2019- taper complete!

2011- Geodon 20 mg. Begin taper Sept 2019. 10% liquid taper. 2020: December-5 mg. 2021: Jan-4.5mg. (held Feb.for vacation). March-4mg. Apr-3.6mg. May-3.2mg. June-2.8mg. (Held July for vacation). Aug-2.4mg. Sept.- 2.2mg. Oct. 2mg

2011- Gabapentin 300 mg to present- 2020.

2014- Vyvanse 20 mg, 2020- Vyvanse 5 mg.

2016- Lithium 300 mg, June 2016 - FT.

2017- Cogentin 0.5 mg. June-August 2019- off Cogentin.

Omeprazole 20 mg and holding, Omega 3's/fish oil, Magnesium

Omeprazole 20 mg and holding, Omega 3's/fish oil, Magnesium

Link to comment

@ChessieCat, thanks for your tip. I'll take a look.

 

@DMV64, thanks and happy to meet you too!

 

I think I'll start my tapering after new year. I don't want to spoil xmas with WD symptoms if they should come up.

 

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • 5 months later...

Ok, finally I got some time to start. My plan starting after new year's eve didn't work out. I've been busy in my studies and felt mostly exhausted and tired after school that I just wanted to sleep/do nothing. I reduced my blood pressure med to half and I'm noticing that I'm not that sleepy anymore in the afternoons. I'm planning to keep losartan in this level until the end of venlafaxine taper to make sure it is not affecting the amount of venlafaxine in my system.  Just to make sure anyway.

 

Counting the beans in Effexor tablets was ok for the first 10%. They have the average of 250 beans so I counted 25 off of each. I'm just wondering what happens in the future as the counting will become increasingly harder in the next months... :unsure: 

 

Tomorrow will be the first day. Wish me luck! ^_^

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • Mentor
2 minutes ago, Jovain said:

Ok, finally I got some time to start. My plan starting after new year's eve didn't work out. I've been busy in my studies and felt mostly exhausted and tired after school that I just wanted to sleep/do nothing. I reduced my blood pressure med to half and I'm noticing that I'm not that sleepy anymore in the afternoons. I'm planning to keep losartan in this level until the end of venlafaxine taper to make sure it is not affecting the amount of venlafaxine in my system.  Just to make sure anyway.

 

Counting the beans in Effexor tablets was ok for the first 10%. They have the average of 250 beans so I counted 25 off of each. I'm just wondering what happens in the future as the counting will become increasingly harder in the next months... :unsure: 

 

Tomorrow will be the first day. Wish me luck! ^_^

 

 

‘Good luck Jovain!

 = medication taken now

 

2007 quetiapine to March 2019 200mg

2019 quetiapine March to present 225mg 

2007 citalopram to present 40mg 
2018 March Abilify 5mg  
2019 Abilify February rapid taper over 3 weeks from 5mg to off

2019 March Clonazepam as required, taken very occasionally, then taken 0.5mg for 2 days 28th and 29th March, now phased out

2019 1st April reinstated Abilify 0.5mg / day 

2018 to present Liquid B12 2g twice daily (diagnosed B12 deficiency) 
 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
4 minutes ago, Jovain said:

Ok, finally I got some time to start.

 

Good luck, Jovain!

 

I noticed in your signature that you're taking 3mg Melatonin.  If that's working for you, great.  For some, that's a high dose and can turn paradoxical (keep you awake).  

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.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

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

Taper is 74% 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 May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% 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.

Link to comment
16 hours ago, Gridley said:

 

Good luck, Jovain!

 

I noticed in your signature that you're taking 3mg Melatonin.  If that's working for you, great.  For some, that's a high dose and can turn paradoxical (keep you awake).  

 

It seems to be working, though last weeks I've experienced some problems falling sleep. That may also be related to my current life situation or the season (summer nights are bright here at north).

 

I started today. I take my pill every morning. Today is sunday though so I slept late. After about four hours after taking a pill, I started to feel mild effects:

 

  • Irritability, easily pissed off
  • Faster heartbeat
  • Nausea

These symptoms are mild and I can tolerate them. I'm just hoping they don't last long. I'm very sensitive to drugs and 75mg of venlafaxine has always been my maintenance dose. I tried once 150mg but I felt so heavy side effects that I had to stop.

 

Anyways, @RichT and @Gridley, thanks!

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Status update: After two days I didn't notice any issues. I ordered a scale to weight pills.

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
On 5/25/2019 at 7:32 PM, Jovain said:

Status update: After two days I didn't notice any issues. I ordered a scale to weight pills.

 

 

Just a day or two after writing that, I started to feel much worse. I may be in a wave now actually. I can't sleep very well and that may contribute too. My brain is foggy and I have negative emotions. My GERD gets worse. Is that GERD part due to bad nights or wave, I'm not sure. I've had that many years. Last time I stopped escitalopram (too fast) I noticed after a couple of months that I didn't have GERD so I'm living in hope that it gets better later in my taper. I have dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) sometimes too like today it was especially bad. I had to wait about two minutes before food arrived my stomach. At least it feels like that and it makes me terrified that I may have some cancer.

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

After the second 10% reduction, I experienced the following symptoms:

 

- Some nausea in the first week

- Bit of diarrhea

- About zero sex drive

 

Good thing is that I don't seem to have much mental issues like depression and anxiety.

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • 4 months later...

Every time I go 10% down I seem to get the same withdrawal effects in the first week on the lower dose:

 

- 1-2 days no noticeable issues except some irritability, slight diarrhea

- around the third day seems to be a peak day: nausea, anxiety, irritability, "hate everyone", panic feelings

- fourth day: anxiety, depression, would like to be alone

- fifth day: same as day before but less intense

- sixth or seventh day: back to normal

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • 3 months later...

After the last reduction to 29mg I experienced bad IBS flare. I couldn't sleep due to aching stomach and I got mixed diarrhea/constipation. In the same time I had flu though. I'm hoping the IBS won't get worse now during withdrawal.

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • 10 months later...

I've been too lazy reporting my symptoms. Last autumn was not easy. Winter time is especially bad for me when it is dark (I need Sun) and cold. I don't feel like going outside at all.

 

I had two bad IBS flares in autumn. The pattern seems to be first constipation, then diarrhea and when that diarrhea is coming I have terrible stomach pain and I can't sleep. After doing my bowels in the next day, I feel a bit better. I'm not sure is it the withdrawal or just my original IBS.

 

Because I had these stomach issues, I hesitated making any reduction to venlafaxine so it's about two months now since the last. After the latest reduction on last Monday, I felt very sick on the next day: nausea and dizziness. It is Saturday now and I still feel waves of nausea though much less. It is sickening to think that I need to take this same **** every month during my withdrawal. Oh well, it is winter and it always makes me hopeless and depressed.

 

What bothers me the most currently is this tinnitus. I don't remember having this before. I've always had some in my left ear but now it has become worse. Not only high pitch sound anymore but also like listening to wind howling and like some machinery roaring all the time somewhere outside. No silence anymore :(.

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

I started taking Now Foods Super Enzymes after sending my last message. I started to feel that my GERD is caused by too low stomach acid. At least I wanted to try what happens. It has really helped a lot. I don't have heartburn like I used to, almost every day. I don't have diarrhea at all and the most surprising thing happened when I made the latest move to lower dose: I didn't have diarrhea like every time after dose change! Of course, I did experience other issues, like headache, slight vertigo and nauseous feeling but they were bearable. I feel now that the most of my withdrawal issues are of stomach origin. At least now. We'll see if this continues in future dose changes.

 

I tend to think my stomach having its own mind: I never know what happens next. Oh, it's diarrhea today? Ok. Constipation now? Oh no! Now I feel that I have some confidence to my bowels.

 

 

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

No bad WD issues after the latest dosage drop: Some shivering, insomnia, tinnitus. Is the dosage so low now that I don't get heavy symptoms? Oh well, there is still time for a wave...

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
2 hours ago, Jovain said:

Is the dosage so low now that I don't get heavy symptoms?

I had symptoms pop up at low doses of Lexapro, especially around the 3mg mark.  Everybody's different and some have difficulties along the way at different spots.

 

We recommend getting down to the 0.00's before jumping to zero.  E.g., I jumped at 0.025mg Lexapro.

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.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

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

Taper is 74% 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 May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% 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.

Link to comment

@Gridley Thanks for your comment and suggestion. I'll try to keep on with the tapering. It is getting hard though. I've been on it well over 2 years now and I'm getting tired weighting the beads already. I've also read people commenting that it will be harder in the end. That's why I'm surprised that it's been easier for me. But we'll see.

 

Winter is always hard for me. I'm sensitive to light changes and darkness here up north makes me gloomy. Of course the current covid situation doesn't help either but now when summer is coming I'm feeling more positive. I have a feeling that my WD symptoms are much harder to handle for me during winter. 

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
16 minutes ago, Jovain said:

I've also read people commenting that it will be harder in the end. That's why I'm surprised that it's been easier for me.

Withdrawal is different for everyone. There will be ups and downs, waves and windows, during the taper and after zero.  Listen to your body, monitor your symptoms as you taper, and slow down if you feel you need to.

 

19 minutes ago, Jovain said:

I'm getting tired weighting the beads already.

I know the measuring and weighing is a pain, but be glad you've got a method that's gotten you down to 10.6mg from 67.5.  That's a real accomplishment and something to be proud of.

 

21 minutes ago, Jovain said:

Winter is always hard for me.

Consider a D3 supplement, especially in winter when you don't get enough D from sun.  It can be a little activating (I've done fine with it) so take it in the morning.  Start low in dosage to check your tolerance for the supplement.

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.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

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

Taper is 74% 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 May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% 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.

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

I'm in trouble. I wonder is it this spring and lots of light because I've experienced panic attacks. My panic attacks are not short as they usually last hours. During the PA days, I have taken a small oxazepam which doesn't make me feel good but at least it slows me down from the terror. I don't take it every day, just when I'm in panic. Is it a problem for the WD to take it sometimes?

 

I have read that GABA/glutamate system gets unstable during WD so I reasoned that some GABA might help but I'm not sure are my panic attacks caused by unstable GABA/glutamate?

 

During these attacks, I loose my faith and have ideas of reinstating venlafaxine back. My mind is a mess and I can't concentrate. I have health anxiety over my blood pressure which I can't measure because I always panic during measuring. It is not realistic that I have an issue there because there should be a low risk of cardiac issues for me. My father was an alcoholic and experienced many heart attacks so that's probably the reason of my fear.

 

My history: Panic attacks and depression since 1980's. First AD fluoxetine 1992. i have since been on citalopram, escitalopram, paroxetine, moclobemide, clomipramine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Benzos used: diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam. Bad symptoms from SSRI's after reinstate. Latest with escitalopram, decided to go back to venlafaxine and taper that.

Current meds: venlafaxine XR 10.6mg (tapering now, started on March 2018), melatonin 3mg every night (started on 2016).

Tapering venlafaxine: 05/12/2019 67.5mg, 06/16 60.75mg, 07/17 54.68mg, 08/14 49.2mg, 09/23 44.3mg, 10/21 39.9mg, 11/24 35.9mg, 12/23 32.3mg, 01/25/2020 29mg, 04/05 25.9mg, 05/02 23.3mg, 08/01 21mg, 09/14 18.8mg, 11/02 17mg, 01/04/2021 15.4mg, 02/14 13mg, 03/27 10.6mg

 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy