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composter: Amitriptyline withdrawal & reinstated, unsure of next steps


composter

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Firstly, I am very grateful for this site and support network. I have gone through a hellish experience with withdrawal, and I am grateful that you all can directly relate and provide me with some guidance.

 

I was put on 10 mg Amitriptyline for 3 months for post-concussive headaches and insomnia due to multiple concussions. I tolerated this dose well with some dry mouth at night and grogginess in the morning, which reduced after the first month. (Prior to this I had tried 25 mg Amitrip for 1 day and it was way too high a dose for me; I was bouncing off the walls and had a raging appetite.) After 3 months I decided to taper down, with the approval of my neurologist. But I was not given much guidance at all (he suggested taking the 10 mg every other day which did not work for me). I had some knowledge of antidepressant withdrawal so I knew to take things slowly. I just didn't know how slowly I would need. 

I first tapered to 5 mg (using a pill splitter) for 1 month and then 2.5 mg for several weeks... but promptly began experiencing major withdrawal symptoms. I had 10/10 level headache that sent me to the ER, as well as high levels of fear, panic, and anxiety which are completely abnormal for me. Disturbing and violent thoughts would also come, unbidden. Correlated to this was also diarrhea, rapid heart rate, and trouble urinating. When I was on 5 mg, I also had an episode where my brain felt extremely cold, and since then I have had to wear multiple hats throughout the day and in order to sleep. The cold-head issue has improved and declined as my other symptoms did. (Has anyone seen this issue before?) All this has been much more difficult than the original issues I was having. The drug has caused so many more problems than it supposedly solved.

After connecting this to withdrawal, I went back up to 10 mg on the suggestion of a new neurologist who thankfully understood this as withdrawal and has guided patients with this in the past. Unfortunately I did not read the warnings on this site about reinstating before all this. I have now been back on 10 mg for over 4 weeks. For the first two weeks things were steadily improving each day: I had very vivid, movie-like dreams; the anxiety and fear dissipated; the headaches reduced. 

 

But in the past two weeks, my progress seems to have stalled and somewhat declined. I am again experiencing rapid heart rate and "brain zap" headache as well as digestive issues, but the emotional symptoms are not as pronounced. I don't know if this is a window/wave phenomenon, or a poopout? It either feels like A.) the drug is no longer working for me, B.) my brain is requiring higher levels of the drug, or C.) the brain is adjusting its levels of neurotransmitters.  The new neurologist has suggested either upping the dose to 12.5 mg or switching to Nortriptyline as it is the metabolite of Amitriptyline. I'm not sure what to do at this point.

 

I believe my options are:

1) Stay on 10 mg Amitrip and ride it out to see if this is a window/wave.

3) Increase to 12.5 mg Amitrip to see if things improve.

2) Switch to Nortrip to see if things improve.

 

Should I be worried that I reinstated all the way back to 10 mg? Since I don't wish to lower it at this point, what can I do to feel stabilized?

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Moderator

Hi composter and welcome to SA,

 

To get you started please create your drug signature.  This will appear below each of your posts and makes it easy for us to see your drug history at a glance.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  Please make it nice simple by following these instructions (NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you):

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

If you are taking more than one drug please use the Drug Interactions Checker for all current drugs you are taking and copy and paste the results or a link to them here in your Intro topic.

 

This is your own Introductions topic where you can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs:  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 Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

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.

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

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manymoretodays

Hi Composter,

And welcome aboard.

I'm going to give you some links to familiarize yourself with.  And then you will have them here, all in one place as well.

 

It's feasible that you have developed a dependency(or changes in your CNS-central nervous system function) with the amitriptyline, even with just 5 months of usage.  I think that some of your present symptoms ARE W/D related, from a too fast taper.

Here 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.
   
You might consider an updose of something less than a full 2.5 mg of the amitriptyline.  Perhaps just 1 mg to start, and then stay with it for a good week or more to see if you regain some W/D stability.  The link above does cover a bit about updosing.
 
What is W/D?  More on this in the below links.
 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made.  The CNS likes stability. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.
 
Yes, composter.......I can relate.  No concussions for me........yet just the same........
Best, and Love, peace, healing, and growth,
mmt

 

Edited by manymoretodays

Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal ,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once(Provigil,) Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic  2016 December 9- completely off all medications!!!!!

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= 1800 mg/day. Magnesium complex, orally, diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C, D3, and E.  B12, melatonin tapered to 1mg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=400 mcg plus daily spinach. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, composter.

 

It's possible your current dosage of amitriptyline is not right for you. Going on and off psychiatric drugs can make your nervous system hypersensitive.

 

To determine if it's the drug causing your symptoms, please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages. Use a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom, drug and dosage) on the right.

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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manymoretodays

BASIC SUPPLEMENT TOOLKIT

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Hi again composter,

I just included the links to a couple more topics on supplements that many members have found to be of benefit with W/D symptoms.  It's generally a good idea to start with one or the other of these at a low dose, as so many of us do have some nervous system hypersensitivities.

It's always a great plan to read just the first couple of posts in the links given as well.  Interesting discussions do follow oftentimes after the initial posts too though.......if you like reading.

Take Care.

L, P, H, and growth,

mmt

 

 

Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal ,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once(Provigil,) Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic  2016 December 9- completely off all medications!!!!!

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= 1800 mg/day. Magnesium complex, orally, diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C, D3, and E.  B12, melatonin tapered to 1mg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=400 mcg plus daily spinach. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • Moderator

Hi Altostrata and manymoretodays,

 

Thank you both for the welcome and for sharing the resources. I have spent quite some time in the past few days reading through the various commonly-linked posts on this site. I am very grateful for what you all do to help all of us manage withdrawal and learn how to taper more successfully. This is a hugely helpful resource.

 

I think the reinstatement so far has gone quite well, and my system is not hyper-sensitive to the drug, which I am thankful for. I think I am ready to updose just 1 mg because I've now had about 2 weeks of constant headaches. Thanks for the caution to updose slowly.

 

Here is what I'm currently working on:

  • I have kept a detailed symptom log for over a month now. My symptoms are definitely linked to changes in medication. Specifically when I reinstated back to 10 mg that's when things turned around and I started improving, after falling off sharply on 2.5 mg.
  • I will look into the Gemini scale so that I can precisely measure the dose that I'm taking. 
  • I have made several appointments with MDs in my area who are familiar with antidepressant withdrawal/discontinuation syndrome. I am hoping they can serve as knowledgeable guides during this process but will take their rec's with a grain of salt.
  • I will continue to read more about tapering methods (liquid preparations and syringe kits) as well as tapering schedules/spreadsheets so that I can prepare myself to taper once I feel stabilized.

I have several questions for you all:

  1. The more I read into this issue and read other posts on this site, the more I am incensed by how widespread this issue is with little to no support from the medical world. What can we do to lobby or report our concerns? I feel that the least the drug companies could do would be to manufacture much smaller dosages (1 mg tablets) so smaller tapering increments are easier to access.
  2. How do I know when it's right to updose? I don't wish to go higher than 12 or 12.5 mg and really hope to stabilize soon.
  3. How do I know when it's right to start tapering? The neurologist that recognized this as withdrawal told me that I should stay on the drug for at least another 6 months before tapering, and denied that the longer you are on the drug, the harder it is to come off. I would rather be on the drug for only another 3-4 months if I'm stable.
  4. Is there a way I can give you all a small donation to keep this site running? Also, the mods should consider writing a book on all that you have gathered.

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, composter said:

Is there a way I can give you all a small donation to keep this site running?

 

Please see this post:  donations-gratefully-accepted

 

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs:  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 Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

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.

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

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  • Moderator

@ChessieCat - thank you for the donation link.

 

General update: Earlier this week I was able to coordinate with a local compounding pharmacy for 1 mg Amitriptyline pills so that I can take a steady 11 mg (10 + 1) in order to stabilize. Thank God for compounding pharmacies. The pharmacist I spoke with over the phone seemed to be very knowledgeable about compounding low doses of antidepressants. He produced a capsule of 1 mg drug mixed with cornstarch.

 

I feel like things are close to stabilizing on the 11 mg. I have good energy throughout the day, the headaches are minimal, and my sleep is solid (10 hours a night without waking up). I do continue to experience head symptoms, such as: the sensation of a hole in my head, and a constantly cold head, for which I continue to wear ski hats during the day. I am praying that these head symptoms will subside in the next few weeks.

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Administrator

Good to hear, composter.

 

As you're stabilizing on 11mg, no need to worry about updosing. You may wish to stay at this level for a couple of months, let your system settle down.

 

As it seems you have access to a good compounding pharmacy, rather than weighing tablet fragments, you may wish to get liquid amitriptyline compounded when you want to taper below 10mg. Tapering is much easier with a liquid.

 

Appreciate your interest in remedying the lack of knowledge in the medical profession about tapering and withdrawal syndrome!

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator

Thanks for the assurance Alto! Really appreciate all that you and the mods do.

 

The compounding pharmacist did mention that liquid amitriptyline tastes awful, but I agree that liquid would probably be easiest to taper with. I can't imagine it tasting too horrible, and I know it will be worth it in the end.

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Moderator

Updates:

  • The sensation of the hole in my head has slowly gone away -- I might feel it for 2-3 hours in a day, rather than constantly throughout the day
  • My head is still cold throughout the day but perhaps slightly less so--I only need to wear one hat rather than two.
  • Tachycardia is also improving somewhat--my resting HR is now in the 80s rather than in the 90s or 100s.
  • On the 11 mg I feel the same side effects that I did when I first started the 10 mg back in April. To me these side effects are indicative of start-up side effects, and they are tolerable: I sleep for 10 hrs a night, wake up with dry mouth and slightly groggy, with stiff muscles. It usually subsides 30 min after waking.
     

My plan now is to probably start tapering in Jan 2019, assuming all goes well for the next few months.

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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Sounds like a good plan!   It seems like you are stabilizing now.  I bet you get better and better through the holidays.  :) 

February 2017 started Ambien (Whatever the highest dose was) and Ativan 1.5mg

March 2017 started lexapro.  15mg  -Weaned off Ativan after about 2 months on it. 

Weaned off Ambien after 4 months on it every night.  Lexapro starting working and didn't need it.

April 2018 started reduced Lexapro.  15mg-12.5mg.

May 18' 10mg, June 18' 7.5mg, July 18' 5mg, August 18' 4.5mg, Sept 18' 4.0mg, Oct 18' 3.5mg, Nov 18' 3.0mg.

Jan 19' 2.5mg, February 19' 2.0mg, From here I went about .10mg drops at a time and sometimes more every 2 weeks depending on how I feel.  That was from February-August 20th 2019.

I got to .30mg and decided to jump off.  It was so small and decided I needed to face my fears.  I created nueral pathways in my brain that I was fearing withdrawal.

Lexapro 0.0mg 8/20/2019

 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator

Thank you for your support @Idlehnds! Good to have buddies on here staying posted.

 

A question for any mods or others with knowledge regarding female hormones/menstrual patterns: I'm still working to stabilizeg on 11 mg Amitriptyline, I've been tracking my symptoms pretty meticulously and I've noticed that I typically experience a dip (more headaches, less physical capacity) for about 1-2 weeks immediately following the conclusion of my period. After that 1-2 weeks things tend to level out again.

 

Is this merely correlated or could there be a causative link between female hormones and withdrawal/stabilization symptoms? I guess I'm just curious on this matter. The dip seems to be less and less pronounced each time, so I'm glad for that. But at this point it's like clockwork and I've come to expect it. I guess it's just an observation I'll keep in mind when I start tapering as well.

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator

A recent blood test ordered by my PCP showed high cholesterol and high LDL. HDL and triglycerides are within normal range. These results are unexpected and frustrating as I pride myself in a healthy lifestyle, including a plant-strong diet with minimal amounts of processed foods and red meat.

 

I'm in my early 20s, slim, and have no other health problems except for this antidepressant withdrawal/stabilization situation. Could I attribute these elevated levels to the AD? I have simply no other explanation. It's maddening how much these drugs affect such disparate body systems. I'm not planning to go on any other drugs to "control" this, even if my PCP suggests it. But I will follow up with blood tests later on.

 

I found a relevant thread here:

 

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, composter said:

Could I attribute these elevated levels to the AD?

 

statins-lipitor-and-others

 

I have heard, from someone who has researched statins, that they deplete coenzyme Q10 and that they can cause muscle/heart issues.  He said that when the statins were first produced they included CoQ10 in the prescription to help counteract this.

 

My daughter has Hyperlipidemia Familial Type 2 inherited from her father's side of the family.  Thankfully her doctor has decided on the lowest effective dose and said that there would only be a very small benefit gained by doubling the dose so is sticking to the lowest dose.  I told her about the CoQ10 and did give her some that I had left over.  I told her to research and ask the doctor.  She's 33 so it's not my responsibility to chase after her.

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs:  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 Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

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.

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

Link to post

YIKES!!!  I've NEVER seen anyone on this site have trouble coming off this a/d!!!

 

I was prescribed this a/d for shingles a few months ago and I was so desperate I did try it on two different occasions without success.

 

 The shingles has now which has turned into "post herpatic neuralgia"  and along with several other crisis in my life presently I am tempted to try it again at a lesser dose, but having found your post - the trouble you had after only 3 MONTHS!  That has put the wind up me!  

 

I trust you will stabilise during the next few months, I'm sure you will - and be able to taper properly and successfully.

 

 

1995-2007      20mg Aropax/Paxil for pain.  Years of up and down doses

2008                Endep, Lexapro and then Esipram (hell!) CT (oh dear!)

2009                20mg Aropax.  Tried skipping doses for a year (more hell!)

                        2010                10mg.  10% taper.  Lasted 4 months. Crashed again

2011                5% taper. 9mg-7mg (hell got even worse!)

2012                2.5% taper.  6.6mg – 5.6mg (worser still & unbearable)

2013                5% taper.  Big mistake.  5.5mg – 4.6mg  (even worserer)

2014                2.5% taper.  4.9mg – 4.5mg;    2015 2.5% taper 4.4 - 4.0mg

2016                2.5% taper.  3.9mg  Feb 3.8   Mar 3.7  May 3.6   Jul 3.5

2017                2.5% taper.  Jan 3.4;   Mar 3.35;  Apr 3.3; Oct 3; Dec 2.9;

2018                2.5% taper. Jan 2.8; Mar 2.7; Mar: 2.75; Jun 2.7; Aug 2.6; Oct 2.5; Nov 2.4; Dec 2.3

2019                Jan 2.2; Feb 2.1;

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  • Moderator

Hi @grandmaD, yes I've heard the same from doctors familiar with antidepressant withdrawal. "You had withdrawal from a tricyclic? I've never heard of that before." It seems that tricyclics are generally considered more benign with less potential for withdrawal. If that's so, a twisted blessing from all this would be that, if I had to go through withdrawal at all, perhaps its best that it was with a relatively "less potent" AD. If I am this sensitive, any other newer AD could have caused even more nightmare-ish effects. I am absolutely sure to never take an AD again after I come off of this successfully. I have made my close family swear the same.

 

Interestingly enough, I found another person who had similar (and maybe even worse) withdrawal from the same dose of Amitriptyline. You can read her thread here: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/17730-molly19-amitriptyline-withdrawal/

 

That shows me I am not alone and there are probably plenty of others who also have issues with this drug. Thank you for your encouragement. I hope you find ways to manage your ongoing neuralgia without the use of antidepressant drugs. Just curious: Have you tried acupuncture? Or perhaps lifestyle changes like an anti-inflammatory diet? In my personal experience and hearing from others on this site, both can be powerful tools for healing.

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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Thanks for the tips.  I have been trying to find out what are anti-inflammatory foods and so far have slippery elm and fenugreek seeds/tea.  I'll see if I can find what other foods are good. 

1995-2007      20mg Aropax/Paxil for pain.  Years of up and down doses

2008                Endep, Lexapro and then Esipram (hell!) CT (oh dear!)

2009                20mg Aropax.  Tried skipping doses for a year (more hell!)

                        2010                10mg.  10% taper.  Lasted 4 months. Crashed again

2011                5% taper. 9mg-7mg (hell got even worse!)

2012                2.5% taper.  6.6mg – 5.6mg (worser still & unbearable)

2013                5% taper.  Big mistake.  5.5mg – 4.6mg  (even worserer)

2014                2.5% taper.  4.9mg – 4.5mg;    2015 2.5% taper 4.4 - 4.0mg

2016                2.5% taper.  3.9mg  Feb 3.8   Mar 3.7  May 3.6   Jul 3.5

2017                2.5% taper.  Jan 3.4;   Mar 3.35;  Apr 3.3; Oct 3; Dec 2.9;

2018                2.5% taper. Jan 2.8; Mar 2.7; Mar: 2.75; Jun 2.7; Aug 2.6; Oct 2.5; Nov 2.4; Dec 2.3

2019                Jan 2.2; Feb 2.1;

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  • Moderator

Right on, @grandmaD. I'm glad you're interested in learning more about nutritious foods. In general I've learned that foods that cause the most inflammation are dairy and refined foods like sugar, white flour, and some processed meats. An anti-inflammatory diet would generally be one that is low in dairy, refined grains, and sugar but high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and lean meats. I made a lot of very helpful dietary changes while I was in college and, before this AD hell and my post-concussive headaches before that, I enjoyed really good health. I still rarely get colds!

 

Perhaps I can recommend to you this nutritionist's book that can guide you-- Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting. I have no affiliation/connection to her (and none on the Amazon link) but I've thumbed through the book at the bookstore and found it to be very helpful, informative, and gentle in guidance.

 

A general update for my thread:

I'm definitely going through a very different sort of wave in this journey to stabilize on 11 mg. In the past few months, my waves were marked by heightened physical symptoms (headaches, hole-in-head, and limited physical ability) but for the past few days things have shifted and I have more insomnia and more emotional symptoms: crying, irritableness, anger. I'm glad I'm prepared for this somewhat and was reminded of the Rubik's cube analogy in the YouTube video that is often shared on here. We'll see how long this wave lasts and if others to come are similar. I keep a very detailed symptom chart which has been super helpful.

 

Very grateful for the resources I have and for my support system.

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Moderator

Siiigh. This has been such a rough, distressing week. I think the wave is finally passing and I feel more at peace.

 

For no real reason at all (no triggers I can point to) my brain shifted last Saturday and for every day since I've had the following: extreme insomnia/inability to sleep until 5am, emotional distress with lots of fearfulness and worry, so much weeping and crying for the smallest things.

 

Prior to this I enjoyed several months of emotional stability and regular full sleep and my waves were more physical in nature. Thankfully I was prepared for something like this to happen because of what I've read on here. It's still strange to me that I am going through this while just trying to stabilize on 11 mg. I've made no dosage change since reinstating and updosing by 1 mg.

 

During this time I reached out to friends and close family members to update them that I was in a rough place and hear reassurance and comfort. Prayer has also been very comforting to me. I am finding what I need during an emotional wave is tender loving care from my loved ones, emotional support, and storytelling to keep my mind off what is happening. 

 

I am using the following tools for the insomnia: hot water foot soaks with Epsom salts, lavender essential oil, 0.5 mg melatonin from Trader Joe's, and foot/back rubs from my mom before bed.

 

For the fearfulness and weeping there was not much I could do but just let it happen. It also helped to voice the fears out loud to my parents, to journal, go for walks, listen to soft music, and hear funny stories. I called up quite a few family and friends as well. Shout out to @Idlehnds for providing a lot of reassurance that he's been through this very thing and that it did pass. It has been invaluable to hear from someone going through the same process.

 

Another powerful tool has been nature therapy. I love to garden and spending just ten minutes planting seeds or watering plants outside puts my mind at ease. My mom and I love to visit our local Botanical Garden as well to be surrounded by plants and observe the pollinators. We also go for walks in the neighborhood as urban exploration and have identified fruit trees and enjoyed the various front yard landscapes.

 

My support system has been amazing to me through all of this. It is so comforting to know that I have many loved ones praying for me. For all those reading this I hope and pray there are people in your life who can walk through this with you. I find people are so much more understanding of what you're going through than you might think. 

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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Thanks for the foods to eat, as it turns out I pretty much eat all that already and have done so for years and don't eat sugar.  Just recently I had some custard and I only put 1 tab. sugar in it and anxiety at bedtime went high.  So I watch the sugar.

 

I'm  sorry to hear you have to go through this like many others and myself.  I just had a long soak in the bath, it is helpful and relaxing.

 

I hope you stabilise soon, but it is not unusual for it to take some time (perhaps months).  I hope you keep a journal so you know if your symptoms are getting any better.

 

You are doing many things that are good to help yourself.  I found to keep it simple was best.  You are blessed to have the prayer support and family who understand your situation.

 

I found listening to soft, gentle music going to bed is helpful, but it still takes me 2 hours to get to sleep.  I use head phones if I wake in the night to listen to it again.  Many times the anxiety was just so high, I had to get up and I have lost count of how many jig saws I have done in the middle of the night!  They are a good distraction.

1995-2007      20mg Aropax/Paxil for pain.  Years of up and down doses

2008                Endep, Lexapro and then Esipram (hell!) CT (oh dear!)

2009                20mg Aropax.  Tried skipping doses for a year (more hell!)

                        2010                10mg.  10% taper.  Lasted 4 months. Crashed again

2011                5% taper. 9mg-7mg (hell got even worse!)

2012                2.5% taper.  6.6mg – 5.6mg (worser still & unbearable)

2013                5% taper.  Big mistake.  5.5mg – 4.6mg  (even worserer)

2014                2.5% taper.  4.9mg – 4.5mg;    2015 2.5% taper 4.4 - 4.0mg

2016                2.5% taper.  3.9mg  Feb 3.8   Mar 3.7  May 3.6   Jul 3.5

2017                2.5% taper.  Jan 3.4;   Mar 3.35;  Apr 3.3; Oct 3; Dec 2.9;

2018                2.5% taper. Jan 2.8; Mar 2.7; Mar: 2.75; Jun 2.7; Aug 2.6; Oct 2.5; Nov 2.4; Dec 2.3

2019                Jan 2.2; Feb 2.1;

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I am so happy your wave is getting better.  You definitely have such a strong support group that you will get through this in due time.  We all just have to go through the process unfortunately and the quicker we accept it we can let go.  I hope during this time you grow and you uncover beautiful things about yourself.  Jesus always said "The kingdom of heaven is within"... 

  

February 2017 started Ambien (Whatever the highest dose was) and Ativan 1.5mg

March 2017 started lexapro.  15mg  -Weaned off Ativan after about 2 months on it. 

Weaned off Ambien after 4 months on it every night.  Lexapro starting working and didn't need it.

April 2018 started reduced Lexapro.  15mg-12.5mg.

May 18' 10mg, June 18' 7.5mg, July 18' 5mg, August 18' 4.5mg, Sept 18' 4.0mg, Oct 18' 3.5mg, Nov 18' 3.0mg.

Jan 19' 2.5mg, February 19' 2.0mg, From here I went about .10mg drops at a time and sometimes more every 2 weeks depending on how I feel.  That was from February-August 20th 2019.

I got to .30mg and decided to jump off.  It was so small and decided I needed to face my fears.  I created nueral pathways in my brain that I was fearing withdrawal.

Lexapro 0.0mg 8/20/2019

 

 

 

 

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On 11/8/2018 at 11:47 AM, composter said:

Is this merely correlated or could there be a causative link between female hormones and withdrawal/stabilization symptoms? 

 

I believe ADs mess with female hormones.  Many people report problem of this nature.  See:  PMS and menstrual cycle issues during withdrawal

 

On 11/20/2018 at 9:10 AM, composter said:

A recent blood test ordered by my PCP showed high cholesterol and high LDL. HDL and triglycerides are within normal range. These results are unexpected and frustrating as I pride myself in a healthy lifestyle, including a plant-strong diet with minimal amounts of processed foods and red meat.

 

I've found the same thing.  I got high readings, then when retested later, when I had tapered my AD to a lower dose, my tests came back in the normal range.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 July 2.9mg  16 Sep 2.8mg  25 Oct 2.7mg

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  • Moderator

Very reassuring to hear this, thank you @Songbird!

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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On 12/1/2018 at 1:34 PM, composter said:

I think the wave is finally passing and I feel more at peace.

I am glad to read this part...and that you have such a strong support system!

New hopefully cleaner, signature

2001 - Klonopin (.125 mg) for anxiety and sleep at night.

2010 - depressed, tried several SSRI's, settled in 2011 on Saphris (5 mg)

2011 - Dystonic reaction from Saphris. CT. Terrible withdrawal. Panic. 

2011 - Attempts to stablize: Klonopin 1.0 mg. Xanax 1mg. Geoden 20mg. Wellbutrin 100mg. Tried at this time: Seroquel, Cymbalta, Lamictal 

2014 - Vyvanse 20 mg/ADHD, Gabapentin 300 mg added/bladder pain. Wellbutrin fast taper/Rash.

2016 - Depressed - Lithium 300mg til June/Rash and only marginally effective.

2017 - June - Saphris 5 mg added cogentin for side effects

2017 - September Fast taper Saphris. Aug 29. Terrible withdrawal. Panic.

2017 - Attempts to stablize: Lithium: Aug 31 - Sept 9. Stopped. Geoden 40mg Sept 9. Fast taper to 20 mg Sept 13.  Reinstated Saphris Sept 9 (1.25 mg), updosed the Saphris Sept 11 (.2.5mg) .Vyvanse 5mg for ADHD Stopped Sept 14, reinstated sept 17. Cut to 3mg sometime in March.

Omezerpole/reflux. Fish oil supplements. .5 cogentin for possible reactions to Saphris. Oct 25 water taper of Geoden 20mg,  11/18 next 10% drop. Hold at 16.2mg. Dec 12 begin Saphris 2.5 mg taper on scale. Rapid taper doc rec./bad idea. Hold at 1.2mg, updose 2/13. Split Geoden dose 11AM/12mg 7:30PM/6mg. 3/26 Updose Geoden by 2mg to 18mg. Dec 1 split Klonopin dose. 3/23 12 hours apart 3/27. 6/18 1 mg klonopin split 12 hours apart. Sometime in Feb. Klonopin increase to 1.5 to avoid hospital. 6/4 updose Saphris to .015mg July 1 cut Saphris to .014mg. July 29 .013 Aug 29 .012 Sept 29 .011Oct 29 .010 Dec 6 .009 (0.9 mgai) Jan 26 .008 (0.8mgai) Feb 25 (0.7mgai) March 25 (0.6mgai) May 24 begin liquid taper. Cut sublingual tab to .020 in 5ML water. Pull out 1.25ML (.05mgai) 6/14 1ML .025 dry dose dissolved (.045mgai) 7/7 .Dissolve .025 in 8ML drink .009ML 7/28Dissolve .025 in 8ML drink .008ML. 8/18 Jumping! 1/10/20 Geoden taper 18mg to 16mg.2/14 14mg. 3/20 13mg 4/29 11mg 5/21 10mg/6/13 9mg/7/4 8mg/7/24 7mg 8/4 6mg 11/8 5.4mg

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  • Moderator

Thank you DMV, Songbird, Idlehnds, and Grandma!

 

Happy to report that the past three days have been really quite good! Emotionally things are very stable, sleep has been restored to 8-10 hours per night. In fact, I believe some things are even improving ever so slightly, like my cold-head issue and my physical capacity. I'm able to go for longer walks, spend more time out of the house, and I might be able to resume driving soon. It seems like the brain did accomplish some healing during the rough emotional wave last week. So paradoxical how this all works.

 

I read this post today and perhaps it can be encouraging and uplifting to you all: https://beyondmeds.com/2010/08/24/positivesaboutwithdrawal/

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 12/6/2018 at 10:19 AM, composter said:

Thank you DMV, Songbird, Idlehnds, and Grandma!

 

Happy to report that the past three days have been really quite good! Emotionally things are very stable, sleep has been restored to 8-10 hours per night. In fact, I believe some things are even improving ever so slightly, like my cold-head issue and my physical capacity. I'm able to go for longer walks, spend more time out of the house, and I might be able to resume driving soon. It seems like the brain did accomplish some healing during the rough emotional wave last week. So paradoxical how this all works.

 

I read this post today and perhaps it can be encouraging and uplifting to you all: https://beyondmeds.com/2010/08/24/positivesaboutwithdrawal/

 

Hi composter, 

 

Your post made me smile, 

 

I’m glad you are doing well. I’m glad your wave is passing. I’ve mainly been in a wave for over three months but getting lots of windows now. I’m soooo happy for you too. 

 

Sending hugs n sunshine your way🤗☀️

Been on antipsychotics, benzos, antidepressants and painkillers for chronic pain. 

Have been cold turkeyed and put on and off all sorts of things.  Was suicidal n ended up in a psych ward because I had akathisia from withdrawals. I can’t remember what I was put on but when I was released was in the same predicament with severe akathisia n was suicidal again.

Back to the psych ward and I was given a number of different drugs while there. Tapered off one when I got home n have been trying to taper off Seroquel since. It’s been years, tapering slowly but still having severe withdrawals.

I’ve  tapered from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg./ March 10th 2019=7.25mg / 17th of April 2019= 7mg / June 5th=6.75mg/ July 14th=6.50mg/ 28th of August=6.25mg/ 10th of Oct= 6.20mg/ 21st October 6mg/ 16th of December 5.80mg/21st of January 5.60mg/

 

I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. These are my own views based on what I’ve experienced myself.

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Composter, how are you doing today? 

2016 - Zoloft 50 mg for klonopin w/d

Approx. Nov 2017 - successful taper of klonopin; Approx. Jan. 2018 - rapid taper Zoloft over 2 wks - no w/d symptoms; May 2018 - Reinstate 50 mg Zoloft per doctor; Aug 2018 - Rapid taper Zoloft over 3-4 weeks - no w/d symptoms for 1 mo.; Late Oct 2018 - pdoc rx'd 5mg lexapro -took for 1 wk; Early Nov 2018 - Reinstate 25 mg Zoloft; updose to 37.5 on Nov 28, 2018; Nov 30 2018 - returned to 25mg Zoloft upon mod. advice; Dec 9 - Dec10 2018 - 12.5mg zoloft liquid+12.5mg zoloft pill; Dec 11 2018 - 25mg zoloft all liquid; Feb 14 2019 - updosed to 26.25 mg liquid; Mar 6 2019 - updosed to 26.88 mg liquid - new symptoms; Mar 13 2019 - back down to 26.25 mg per mod suggestion

Dose Changes: Dec 2 2019 - 5% to 25mg; Jan 14 2020 - 10% to 22.5 (increase in sxs all month); Mar 10-15? 2020,  accidental updose to 25mg; Mar 22 2020 - back down to 22.5mg; Apr 12 2020 - 2.5% to 21.94mg; Apr 19 2020 - 2.5% to 21.375mg (symptom increase); May 17 2020 - 2.5% to 20.625mg; May 24 2020 - 2.5% to 20.1mg - Jun 14 2020 - noticed uptick in symptoms settled 2 days later - July 10 2020 - onset of wave

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  • Moderator

Thanks for the sunshine @Carmie! You must be having a lot of it down under these days :) So glad you are experiencing more windows--hold onto that!

 

Thanks for checking in @Dejavu. Things continue to be quite good with me, actually. I have felt very strong in the past five days. So much so, that I would say I'm feeling almost as strong and capable as I did back in June of this year when I started my unsuccessful taper. It's taken three months for the 10-12 different physical and emotional symptoms that appeared during withdrawal to lessen and subside (not without ups and downs along the way).

 

I really hope that I'm on a smooth path to feeling stabilized. We'll see if I go through any other emotional waves over the next few months, but if not then I should be ready for my taper very soon. Will be going on a short road trip with my family over the next few days. Here's to doing things I never thought I'd be able to do when I was in the throes of withdrawal! The nervous system and brain are truly complex and mysterious, and truly there are innate mechanisms that, with time, bring eventual healing.

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm so glad to know you're doing well!! Have a wonderful time on your trip. I'm glad your family is supportive and understanding of what you're going through. My Mom was a big supporter and lifeline when I was going through klonopin withdrawal. I miss her so!! Hug your Mom extra tight tonight. 

2016 - Zoloft 50 mg for klonopin w/d

Approx. Nov 2017 - successful taper of klonopin; Approx. Jan. 2018 - rapid taper Zoloft over 2 wks - no w/d symptoms; May 2018 - Reinstate 50 mg Zoloft per doctor; Aug 2018 - Rapid taper Zoloft over 3-4 weeks - no w/d symptoms for 1 mo.; Late Oct 2018 - pdoc rx'd 5mg lexapro -took for 1 wk; Early Nov 2018 - Reinstate 25 mg Zoloft; updose to 37.5 on Nov 28, 2018; Nov 30 2018 - returned to 25mg Zoloft upon mod. advice; Dec 9 - Dec10 2018 - 12.5mg zoloft liquid+12.5mg zoloft pill; Dec 11 2018 - 25mg zoloft all liquid; Feb 14 2019 - updosed to 26.25 mg liquid; Mar 6 2019 - updosed to 26.88 mg liquid - new symptoms; Mar 13 2019 - back down to 26.25 mg per mod suggestion

Dose Changes: Dec 2 2019 - 5% to 25mg; Jan 14 2020 - 10% to 22.5 (increase in sxs all month); Mar 10-15? 2020,  accidental updose to 25mg; Mar 22 2020 - back down to 22.5mg; Apr 12 2020 - 2.5% to 21.94mg; Apr 19 2020 - 2.5% to 21.375mg (symptom increase); May 17 2020 - 2.5% to 20.625mg; May 24 2020 - 2.5% to 20.1mg - Jun 14 2020 - noticed uptick in symptoms settled 2 days later - July 10 2020 - onset of wave

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • Moderator

@Dejavu I am hugging my family so tight. This whole ordeal has made me value my support system so intensely. I feel deeply for those who are suffering in silence or with little support. You all are in my prayers. I hope you are finding more relief lately. 

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Moderator

I am going through another rough patch. All of December I felt very strong and I believe I benefitted from the B6 greatly.

 

But for the past week, whether due to stress or just a wave pattern, I have had my cluster of wave symptoms: Extreme insomnia, zero appetite, hyperactive/anxious feeling, and fearfulness/worry. The crying has not been nearly as pronounced as my wave ~1 month ago. Leaning on the tools I have found helpful.

 

During waves I deeply feel the injustices of the world and cry out for all who are hurting. There are deep systemic inequalities in American society which I believe only exacerbate the over-prescribing of antidepressants. So many structures (pharmaceutical industry especially) are rooted in money and greed. So much fear rooted in the decisions we make.

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, composter said:

I am also considering looking into The Road Back Program's supplements as it seems they have tailored supplements that complement this process well.

 

I suggest you search on SA before you try things.  We already have several mentions about The Road Back Program:

 

truehope-the-road-back-labelmesane

 

dont-waste-your-money-on-these-supplements

 

From Post #1 of this topic:  no-recommendations-for-commercial-programs-to-assist-withdrawal

 

 

On 10/29/2011 at 1:04 PM, Altostrata said:

 

Each person makes his or her own decisions. For these programs, buyer beware:

 

- The Road Back and TRB Health (overpriced supplements)

 


The only supplements which SA recommends are  Magnesium and  Omega-3 Fish OilTry a small amount, one at a time:  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

NEW!!!              INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder               NEW!!! 

 

ADs:  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 Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

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.

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

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  • Moderator

Thank you @ChessieCat for linking the threads. I have read through them and understand completely the importance of trying one supplement/vitamin at a time rather than a combination product. I do not have a hypersensitive nervous system (I reinstated at the proper time, thankfully) so I'm able to take an entire capsule of a vitamin at one time.

 

I know it is not endorsed by this site but I am going to try Neuro Night as needed to aid my insomnia (3-7 days per month during my waves). Many of the ingredients listed I have used before with some but not total benefit (Ashwagandha, Valerian, Passionfruit, Melatonin). I am troubled that Neuro Day has St. John's Wort so I will not be purchasing it. If I have any adverse reactions I will stop the product and report on here. I understand I am doing this on my own choice.

 

I am also going to try the non-drug techniques linked on this site for insomnia. Things like sleep hypnosis and calming meditations.

 

I'm still waiting to stabilize fully on my reinstated 11 mg. I am hoping to begin my taper in a few months. So far my waves have come for about 1 week every month. Choosing my taper start date feels like a delicate balance between either: A) when I am fully stable with no waves at all but risk being on the med for too long a time (i.e. 1 year), making it even harder to taper, or B ) when I am most of the way stable but prefer to begin my taper to get going on it. How will I know when I'm stable? I know I should not be in a rush but I am very much looking toward the day when I am off Amitriptyline for good.

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Moderator

Feeling kind of desperate, looking for mods to provide any answers.

 

I'm going through windows and waves while trying to stabilize. Is this normal? The windows last for 3-4 weeks and the waves last for about 1 week. I'm going through a very intense wave right now where I have had close to zero hours of sleep for three days this week. This feels like it's the "three-month wave" happening although I'm not even tapering or off the med at all and I'm just trying to stabilize. 

 

I'm wondering if I should taper back down to 10 mg (which was my original dose) if the 11 mg is too high a dose. I have read through Brassmonkey's thread here and find it difficult to make a decision. I suppose I need to be OK with waiting many more months to stabilize fully rather than rushing to taper. 

 

My cluster of wave symptoms: extreme insomnia, tachycardia (110+ resting HR), fearfulness and dark thoughts, anxiety/hyperactivity. Last time this wave happened I did experience relief in my cold head symptom afterwards, during my four week window. I'm trying to hold onto that improvement. "It will pass" and "no fear" are my mantras right now.

 

Apr 2018 - 10 mg Amitriptyline (Rx’d by neurologist for headaches & insomnia)

Jul + Aug 2018 - Reduced to 5 mg in July and then 2.5 mg in Aug (was too fast, hellish withdrawal at 2 weeks on 2.5 mg)

Sept 2018 - reinstated 10 mg Amitriptyline (emotional symptoms improved immediately, physical symptoms improved over time)

Oct 2018 - updosed to 11 mg Amitriptyline (compounded pills)

Stabilized in Apr 2019 (had 2 waves while stabilizing).

Began taper at rate of ~0.2 mg per month with liquid/dissolved taper. Current (Aug 2020) 5.3 mg.

 

Supplements: Omega-3 fish oil, Vit B12, coenzyme Q10, Hawthorn extract (for tachycardia)

Tools for insomnia/waves (as needed) : Epsom salt foot soaks, 0.5 mg Melatonin, quality time with supportive friends/family, remembering waves WILL PASS.

Lifestyle: Eat real foods, mostly plants; daily walking (30 min); track symptoms when needed on paper (adapted Glenmullen chart)

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  • Moderator

Hi composter--  what is your daily symptom pattern?  Do you have an uptick in symptoms a few hours after taking your dose?

 

What you describe sounds pretty common for a person who is trying to stabilize, Unpleasant to go through, but pretty common.  It's great that the windows are much longer than the waves. That is a good sign that the stabilization is happening and indicates that a longer hold is needed.

 

Brassmonkey

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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