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Summer1: reinstate or hope to stabilize

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Summer1

After searching for information on antidepressants and benzodiazepines this site felt like good place to come.  I am technology illiterate though and concerned because I know learning to navigate even the basics will take patience and time. I nearly gave up before getting this far. I want to try though.

 

I was first prescribed antidepressants in 2004. I was a Mom with young children and a stressful new job. The boss was toxic. I had always struggled with anxiety but managed to hold things together. Now, I found myself hiding behind doors at work while I cried. 

 

I sought help from my Doctor.  I was prescribed Serzone* (mod note: see below for details), Effexor, Remeron, Cymbalta,  Trazadone and Paxil for periods of time. Eventually in November, 2005,  Lexapro, Wellbutrin and Alprazolam emerged as my new life companions. By 2011 the doses had settled at the following levels: Lexapro 20mg once a day, Wellbutrin XL 150mg two times a day and Alprazolam .5mg two times a day.

 

Now a fast forward to 2018:  The year was full of change. One of our children was and is facing many difficulties. I was called upon several times to help family members recover from surgery and deal with chronic illness. My Father had passed away in 2017. I was seeing a counselor. My doctor thought a psychiatrist might be helpful. I saw him in early May. He wanted to replace Lexapro and Wellbutrin. He had concerns about their tendency to cause weight gain. He also said that he believed Lexapro might eventually be shown to cause seizures since it is similar to Celexa.

 

On May 5, I was prescribed Pristiq. Records don't show how long I took it. I am guessing I quit after  a week due to extreme agitation and anger surges. I didn't take any meds take the place of this until my next appointment. This was a month later on June 23

 

Bear with me it gets complicated now.

 

 On June 19, 2017  I began a 10 day course of the antibiotic levofloxacin (Levaquin). I didn't know what a black box warning was. I felt terrible on the drug but thought it was my sinus infection worsening. It wasn't until to late that I realized my pain always got worse after I took my pill. Symptoms of an adverse reaction to Levaquin can show up immediately. They can also slowly cascade, continuing to develop weeks and months after taking the last pill. Many of these symptoms are the same as those caused by withdrawal. They cause mental and physical problems as mitochondria are damaged. Until very recently I did not know about the symptoms of withdrawal.  I attributed all my symptoms to levofloxacin. It is possible though that the rocky status of my antidepressants is part of the problem. 

 

While on levofloxacin I had my June 23rd Psychiatrist appointment. I expressed the desire to be less dependent on my antidepressants. Buspirone 5mg two times a day was prescribed as a mild alternative. Buspirone caused me to have crying spells and more depression. At my July 23rd appointment Zoloft 50mg once daily was prescribed.

 

After levofloxacin I was having joint and muscle pain that left me switching ice packs around on my hips and upper legs for a month. In July I was diagnosed with arthritis and bursitis. My legs were weak and their muscles pulled easily. When shopping I needed the support of a cart to stand and walk. I was always fatigued. In August the joint pain lessened. Cold packs began to feel unpleasant. I began to experience pins and needles in my legs. My top upper thigh muscles would sometimes painfully spasm and twitch. I thought perhaps the Zoloft helped quiet the pins and needles in my legs. I was having anxiety. Happiness and peace were elusive. I seemed unable to do more than go thru the motions of living. Things I use to enjoy no longer provided pleasure. I found it increasingly difficult to concentrate. Alprazolam no longer seemed to provide relief. Any stress greatly aggravated my symptoms.

 

In early September I began to have problems with diarrhea which became severe. I suspected the Zoloft and tapered for a week until the diarrhea ended near the end of September. Cymbalta was prescribed but not taken as I had read withdrawal was difficult. I mentioned my concerns but they were not addressed. I could not bring myself to take it. I already disliked the dependence I have on my Alprazolam. A pharmacy mix up or problem resulting in a day without this medicine results in high anxiety, uncomfortable chest tightness and increased heart rate. 

 

I was out of state helping care for a family member from October 4 until November 13. My legs had slowly been feeling cold more frequently. During this time I began to use two layers of clothing and extra covers to keep them warm. I also began to experience night sweats and insomnia. I would wake about every two or three hours needing to dry off and cool down.

 

On December 6th my psychiatrist prescribed Paxil 10mg once daily. I had begun to do some online research on antidepressants. I was looking for antidepressants to help, or at least not aggravate my pain symptoms. I still thought antidepressant withdrawal was only characterized by emotional difficulties. I still believed levofloxacin to be the only possible cause of my physical problems. I had read that paxil withdrawal could be very severe. I was reluctant to take it. The doctor talked about tapering down to little crumbs and jokingly said I could lick a pill for smaller doses if needed. He didn't seem to think tapering would be a problem. I was not convinced. I did not start Paxil. I was increasingly struggling with anxiety and a feeling of being dead inside. My insomnia was worse. I would typically wake after 2 to 4 hours and remain awake the rest of the night. On December 19 I saw my counselor who felt that without medication I might need to consider hospitalization for my depression. I went home and started Paxil. Within two weeks I again stopped. Although I have had some rough times I have not felt as hopeless as i did around December 19th.

 

Right now I am only taking Alprazolam ER .25mg twice a day. The doctor has me splitting .5mg to do this. I cant remember when I weaned down from .5mg twice daily. I thought it was at the very least 8 months ago. I am still trying to get more precise information to put in my signature. It has not been easy getting records. The information I need is cut off in the printout I received. The psychiatrist just gave me a list of medicines prescribed without dosages or dates!

 

Here are some thought and questions I have for the SA universe:

 

Originally I was anxious to get started on a taper for my Alprazolam. Now I realize my body probably isn't ready for that. I need to stabilize and get healthier first. However I am not sure how best to stabilize. I would like to know if reinstating a small amount of an antidepressant would be helpful. Though I would rather try lexapro I have no way of knowing whether my psychiatrist would prescribe it. I can't believe lexapro was worse for me than all the experimenting.  I have some Paxil 10mg although I am still nervous about it. I also have some wellbutrin xl 150mg tablets. I see my family doctor January, 15th. She is helpful and supportive. I won't see my psychiatrist till January, 22 although I can call and leave a message.

 

If i should tough it out for a while I will try to do so.  

 

I am uncertain how many of my symptoms are related to my adverse reaction to levofloxacin alone. I feel confident that my early joint pain was related to it. I think my energy and strength have shown some improvement. I think it is possible both withdrawal and levaquin are creating similar symptoms. 

 

My strongest symptoms are in my upper legs. I was wondering if withdrawals symptoms ever settle very strongly into a particular part of the body like this. It was only gradually that my symptoms spread into my arms and neck. The upper arms have more discomfort than the lower arms. I nearly always have some degree of tightness in my chest. 

 

I would appreciate any insights on my situation. Thanks.

 

 

Information from Wiki:

* Nefazodone, sold formerly under the brand names Serzone, Dutonin, and Nefadar among others, is an atypical antidepressant which was first marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1994 but has since largely been discontinued.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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ChessieCat

Hi Summer and welcome to SA,

 

The first thing we really need you to do is to provide a concise drug history.  Please start with the last 2 years as this is the most important.  Please include the information about Levaquin.

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  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

 

 

1 hour ago, Summer1 said:

 On June 19, 2017  I began a 10 day course of the antibiotic levofloxacin (Levaquin).

 

cipro-levaquin-azithromycin-z-pack-and-other-antibiotics

 

Once we have the drug history that one of the more knowledgeable mods will be able to offer suggestions.

 

I will provide some helpful information in the next two posts.  This is your own introductions topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

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ChessieCat

Here's some additional information which might help:

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.  These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

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

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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ChessieCat

During any taper, there will be times of discomfort.  We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through tough times.

 

Understanding what is happening helps us to not get caught up with the second fear, or fear of the fear.  This happens when we experience sensations in our body and because we don't understand them we are scared of them and then start to panic.

 

This document has a diagram of the body explaining what happens in the body when we become anxious:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

 

 

Audio FEMALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Audio MALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

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Carmie

Hi Summer, 

 

I wanted to welcome you to SA as well. 

 

Please press on the signature link so it makes it easier for us to see your drug history at a glance. Thank you.

 

Wishing you all the best in your recovery.💚

 

 

 

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Summer1

Chessie Cat and Carnie thanks for getting back to me to fast. The links look very helpful. I am going to tackle my signature as best I can. I am still trying to get the info I need after making calls and picking up what I hoped would be helpful records. Also some dates the doctor may not have if i stopped a drug before the next appointment. I have notebooks now for record keeping. But I will be the first to admit i have been lax. I was clueless, my mind foggy, and emotionally nothing seemed important. My memory is to shot to be much help.  I will put in what I have and edit if I get more accurate info.

 

Chessie I will include Levaquin as requested. When you say include all drugs for the last two years does this include everything prescribed. Would I for instance include any other antibotics or an antifungal?  Should a line be used for supplements and vitamins my doctor has me taking (8 or 9 of these). I also take a few on my own my doctor is aware of.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Shep
7 minutes ago, Summer1 said:

Chessie I will include Levaquin as requested. When you say include all drugs for the last two years does this include everything prescribed. Would I for instance include any other antibotics or an antifungal?  Should a line be used for supplements and vitamins my doctor has me taking (8 or 9 of these). I also take a few on my own my doctor is aware of.

 

Hi, Summer. Welcome to SA from me, as well.

 

Yes, please include ALL drugs including any antibiotics, anti-fungal, etc, as well as the dates of use.

 

Yes, a line for supplements will also be very helpful.

 

Also, please let us know what you are currently taking, the times of day you take them, and the doses. 

 

And then we can help set up a game plan for tapering off. 

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Summer1

I have completed my signature. I have also been doing some reading. As you can see my psych doc has been bouncing me around on a lot of different meds. There have been several weeks between some meds. Right now I haven't been on any since Dec 15th. I was feeling hopeful. I have had some improvements in sleep and some moments when I was able to appreciate beauty briefly. Now though I am worried I am just in the "Honeymoon" stage and will soon get hit hard. I want to get off these miserable drugs. Pristiq caused anger and wild thoughts, Buspiron caused depression and crying, Zoloft eventually caused severe diarrhea. Paxil I just got too scared to take due to fears of withdrawal. I guess I have unintentionally gone CT.  I would like to try to minimize the potential for damage. I have some pills of left of Lexapro 20mg once daily and Wellbutrin150mg twice daily which I had been on since 2005. I also have a little of the Paxil 10 mg daily I was afraid to take.

 

I also see that halving my Alprazolam dose in February 2018 was to much. I thought I was on such a tiny dose to begin with. Now I know that alprazolam is strong so it doesn't take a lot. I am wondering if some of the small improvements I have seen are a result of my body stabilizing from that cut. Perhaps that is overly optimistic. 

I see my supportive GP this week and an Integrative Medicine Dr. who seems promising. They are working with my ADR to levaquin but I would like to include them in whatever else my body is doing. 

 

I am grateful for any wisdom and advice you have on how I should proceed.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Summer1

I have a question. I am confused about the message in my Recent Profile Visitors box. It says 'The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users."  Do I need to click on "Enable" for people to visit? Sorry. I just can't wrap my head around the wording.  

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Shep
Quote

 2017  Alprazolam ER .5 mg twice daily,  May 11 Ciprofloxacin 500 BID December21 Ciprofloxacin 500mg BID

2018 - June 19 Levofloxacin (Levaquin) 500mg once daily for 10 days. Levaquin caused an ADVERSE DRUG REACTION with ongoing symptoms which are not resolved

 

This is from your signature for the antiobitics. You may already know this, as you are aware of the adverse drug reaction - it looks like you've been floxxed due to the fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Ciprofloxacin and Levaquin are both in this potentially very dangerous class of antibiotics.

 

From the article HIDDEN DANGERS OF FLUOROQUINOLONE ANTIBIOTICS IN THE BENZODIAZEPINE-DEPENDENT POPULATION

 

When a fluoroquinolone binds to a GABA receptor, the result is the polar opposite of the effect of CNS depressants like benzodiazepines. Fluoroquinolones are antagonists of the GABA-A receptor, meaning that they prevent the binding of GABA and can displace other molecules bound to the receptor, such as benzodiazepines.

 

In other words, the antibiotic displaces the benzo, so it's like going cold turkey off the benzo. 

 

Please note these drugs are in this class of antibiotics:

 

Category:Fluoroquinolone antibiotics

 

I would avoid this class of antibiotics if at all possible while you are on the benzo and even for a long time after. There usually are safer antibiotics that will work. 

 

2018 May Lexapro 20 mg once daily was stopped.

2018 May Wellbutrin XL 150 twice daily was stopped.

2018 May  Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine SUC ER) 50 mg  stopped

2018 June 26 - July 20 Buspirone HCL 5mg 

2018 June 19 Levofloxacin (Levaquin) 500mg once daily for 10 days. Levaquin caused an ADVERSE DRUG REACTION with ongoing symptoms which are not resolved 

2018 August 24 - September 23  Zoloft 50mg 

2018 December 3rd  thru 15th. Paxil 10 mg

2018 - current - Alprazolam ER is .25mg two times a day.

 

Summer, I went through your signature and your posts and came up with this timeline for your drugs for 2018.

 

Please confirm if this timeline is correct. 

 

6 hours ago, Summer1 said:

I have a question. I am confused about the message in my Recent Profile Visitors box. It says 'The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users."  Do I need to click on "Enable" for people to visit? Sorry. I just can't wrap my head around the wording.  

 

You can click on "Enable" and it will show you the members who have visited your Profile page. If you keep it disabled, members can still view your Profile, but they won't show up in the list.  

 

Please go ahead and start a daily drug and symptoms journal. Please also include your supplements.

 

 

 

On 9/27/2016 at 2:49 PM, Altostrata said:

In the course of discussion in your Introductions forum topic, you may be asked to keep notes on paper of your daily symptom pattern, including when you take your drugs, their dosages, and any symptoms.

 

What we need to see for every single day over several days is what symptoms you get before and after you take your drugs. If you're not taking any drugs, we need to see your symptom pattern throughout the day: Are symptoms worse at any particular times of day?

 

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

- Time and dosage for drugs taken in morning, with time and description of any symptoms in the morning
 
- Time and dosage for drugs taken in afternoon, with time and description of any symptoms in the afternoon
 
- Time and dosage for drugs taken in evening, with time and description of any symptoms in the evening
 
- Time and dosage for drugs taken in middle of the night, with time and description of any symptoms in the middle of the night (such as waking)
 
And so forth. A diary, in chronological order, looking something like this:
 
6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

 

 

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Summer1

Shep, sorry my list was difficult. Pristiq 50mg daily was taken May 8th to 29th. 

 

Thanks for the article on the levaquin and benzo connection. After being floxxed I found one mention of this dreadful combination. This article had a much better explanation. Of course I was also using Ibuprophen for fever. So it was a perfect storm. I am prone to sinus infections and am allergic to sulfa and amoxicillin. For several weeks I have been frantically fighting off a sinus infection. Thankfully the worst has passed.

My Doc put in my record that I should never receive fluoroquinolones  due to an "allergic" reaction.  Levaquin damaged my mitochondria! The symptoms I got seem to be those caused by the combo of fluoroquinolones and benzos. It makes it difficult to separate these symptoms from withdrawal. I think the strange waves of anxiety and tingling chills that I have started to experience at night are more likely withdrawal.

 

I am anxious to know whether I should reinstate  a portion of antidepressant to prevent CT problems. 

 

Altostrata thanks for your help. I will start my daily diary here tomorrow.

 

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Summer1

10 pm -5 am  Had  good sleep with minimal waves of sweating and anxiety. I have had better sleep for the past week. Prior to that I was having  only sleeping   3 or 4 hours a night with some pretty bad night sweats that came with surges of anxiety. Afterwards I would often be cold for several hours.

5am-7 am Mild chills- I get chills in waves that wash through my body. 

7-8 am  Rested after getting warmer

8 am  Ate Breakfast. Took all supplements listed in signature. Took Alprazolam ER .25 mg.  I had mild anxiety when I got up. I tend to feel it as tightness or          discomfort in the center of my chest. Arms and legs were sore with some numbness and tingling. Neck was stiff.

11 am  Some lessening of anxiety

2 pm  Ate Lunch. Took second dose of EnergyLipids and D-Ribose.  Feeling slightly more anxious. Tired after cleaning some.

4 pm  Ate fruit.

6pm   Ate supper. Legs have felt more sore than usual today.

9:30pm  Took Alprazolam Er .25mg

11 pm   Going to bed a bit late for me. 

 

 

I am having anxiety about the amount of time that has passed since I last took an antidepressant. I am concerned now that I know symptoms might not hit hard till a few months out.  Now I have been reading about kindling in the SA forum. I don't know how all the constant antidepressant med changes would play into a choice to reinstate. I was bounced around on so many meds the past few months.  Maybe it isn't called reinstating if a different drug in the same category is used. I am considering trying to go back on a very low dose of Lexapro. I haven't had Lexapro since May 8. However I did take other SSRI drugs like Zoloft and very briefly Paxil. I don't know if this would have kept my brain more receptive to going back to Lexapro. Clearly there are no guarantees. But I would appreciate your thoughts on my situation. Thanks

 

I am going to post this tonight as I have appointments tomorrow morning.  

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ChessieCat

I've asked the other mods for their assistance with your question about reinstating.

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Altostrata

Summer, how long have you been taking alprazolam on that daily schedule?

 

How did you feel on Pristiq? How did you feel on Zoloft?

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Shep
6 hours ago, Summer1 said:

10 pm -5 am  Had  good sleep with minimal waves of sweating and anxiety. I have had better sleep for the past week. Prior to that I was having  only sleeping   3 or 4 hours a night

 

This is a MAJOR improvement. I'm glad you are sleeping so well this past week. 

 

6 hours ago, Summer1 said:

8 am  Ate Breakfast. Took all supplements listed in signature. Took Alprazolam ER .25 mg.  I had mild anxiety when I got up.

 

When you say you had "mild anxiety when I got up", was this before or after taking the supplements and benzo? 

 

What size pill do you have for the Alprazolam ER? Are you cutting it to get to .25 mg (which means it's no longer an "extended release")? 

 

Do either the morning or the night time doses of Alprazolam ER make you sleepy? 

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Summer1

Thanks for the replies.

I will try to answer your questions. I have been taking Alprazolam ER .25mg twice daily by splitting a .5mg tablet. Since my doctors knew I was splitting I didn't consider it as a possible problem until last week when I picked up my prescription and asked if Er tablets could be split. I was told splitting eliminated the ER effect. I was going to bring it up with my psychiatrist at my appointment next week but was debating calling sooner. I do not have an exact date for when I began splitting. Today at my appointment I am going to ask my primary doctor if she has that written . The printout I requested doesn't show that information. My prescription records indicate 2018 in later February or March. It shows I start picking up my prescriptions later. I begin to pick up refills every two months instead of one. Half dose of split pills equals a two month supply. Shep I do not notice feeling sleepy after my Alprazolam in the morning or evening.

Also Shep, I was feeling morning anxiety before my supplements and benzo. I began having night sweats with some chilling in October during the stress of taking care of family away from home for 7 weeks. I would feel general anxiety and nervous tummy most of the night. Gradually the pattern changed till the anxiety and sweating come more in waves now.

Altostrata,  Pristiq made me very agitated. I had surges of unreasonable anger. I had thoughts that made frightened me. Wondered what it would be like to jump out of a second story window. I didn't want too jump but the thoughts of these things was scary. 

I felt ok on Zoloft. I would be on it now if it had not caused me to slowly develop severe constant diarrhea. 

I am writing this as I got up a bit early. I slept from 11:30 till 4:30 with manageable sweats and anxiety waves. Around 4:30 the anxiety got worse. I kept thinking about what I should do with my meds. 

I had one new symptom which frightened me. I thought I was starting an anxiety wave but it suddenly changed. I felt a bizarre sort of mental and physical pull I cant describe. My mind seemed to lift away from my body for a moment before being pulled back. I will try to read in the symptoms forum but must leave for my appointment now. Hopefully what I experienced was a one of a kind fluke.

 

 

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Summer1

11:30 pm -4:30 am Sleep with manageable waves of sweating and  anxiety. 

4: 30 -7:00 am  Mild chills. Resting but feeling more anxious. Brief strange sensation of a mental and physical pull during which it felt like my mind lifted outside my body for a few seconds. Got up and started to answer my messages here.

8:30 Took Alprazolam Er .25 mg.. Ate a fruit cup. I ran out of time and left for my appointment.

9:00 -12:30 Doctor appointment and grocery shopping. Felt more anxious than usual.

1:00  -1:45 Felt calmer once home. Took NT Energy Lipids and D-Ribose first daily dose. Ate lunch. Took all supplement/vitamins

2-5:00  Muscles have felt sore since waking along with some joint pain. This has been getting slowly worse the past week. Some tingling pins and needles in legs and upper arms. For some reason my legs seems to feel worse when I have my computer lapboard on them. I wonder if they could they be EMF sensitive to my wireless keyboard and mouse?

5:30  Second dose Nt Factor lipids and D- ribose

6:00 Ate dinner

8:30  Epson salt bath

9:45 Took Alprazolam Er .25mg and went to bed

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Shep
22 hours ago, Summer1 said:

Shep I do not notice feeling sleepy after my Alprazolam in the morning or evening.

Also Shep, I was feeling morning anxiety before my supplements and benzo.

 

Thanks for this information, Summer. Do you feel any effect or side effects at all from the Alprazolam? 

 

22 hours ago, Summer1 said:

I had one new symptom which frightened me. I thought I was starting an anxiety wave but it suddenly changed. I felt a bizarre sort of mental and physical pull I cant describe. My mind seemed to lift away from my body for a moment before being pulled back

 

That sounds a bit like dp/dr:

 

Derealization or Depersonalization (DR and DP)

 

 

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Summer1

Shep, it is difficult to know what effects I have from the Alprazolam. My Gp has in her notes that I thought Alprazolam was making me feel tired. This was in May 2018 when I talked to her about wanting to wean off Alprazolam. I believe I had already begun weaning by splitting pills. This is not in her records though. She referred me to a psychiatrist that same day.

 Possibly the splitting of pills has been messing with how Alprazolam is working. Halving my daily dose is probably having an effect. Prior to splitting I remember having relief after taking a dose. I also remember wondering if i was having interdose withdrawal. I use to feel higher anxiety, tightness in my chest and pounding heart if I missed a dose. There were a few times I was out of pills for more than a day. I felt really horrible during those times.

When I started splitting pills I didn't feel bad right away. I maybe had a slight overall increase in anxiety. I thought I was adjusting Ok. But i have been having increases in anxiety. I also feel like I get less relief from with Alprazolam since being floxxed by Levaquin.

My anxiety was stronger last night and at 4:30 this morning. I will try to pay closer attention to what happens after I take my morning Alprazolam.  

 

I had been wondering if I had any DP/DR.  I read the link. I do feel a barrier that prevents or greatly muffles my ability to find pleasure, enjoyment and relief in the good things in life. I feel as if a volume control for positive emotions has been dialed down till it is barely perceptible. That is peculiar since I can certainly feel depression, anxiety and physical discomfort. I use to be capable of feeling a wide range of emotions deeply. I have to work now to appreciate reading, music, beauty, or being with people I care about. I do feel I am putting on an act much of the time to keep up appearances. Maybe I just have depression. But again , I also think being floxxed changed me mentally. I trust I will eventually heal. I felt encouraged last week when I had two brief moments of being able to appreciate beauty. I looked at the sun through my lace curtains and suddenly really  saw them. Later the colors in a picture

 jumped out at me as they use to. I am trying to be mindful of the colors, sounds, textures and tastes around me. 

 

8:00 am  In regards to anxiety, mine has lessened as I have been typing. Focusing on writing this has been a good distraction. 

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10 pm -4:30 am  I had stronger anxiety waves during the night. Very minimal sweating.

4:30 am I had a upswing in anxiety.

 5:15  Got up and typed. My muscles were sore in legs, arms and neck. Tightness and warmth in chest. Pins and needles in legs and upper arms. Feeling pretty anxious but lessened as I typed.

8:45  Ate breakfast. Took alprazolam Er .25mg. Took all supplements in signature. Took first dose Energy Lipids and D-Ribose. Read links on SA

10:00-1:00  Low energy and sleepy so took a nap. I had waves of anxiety while resting just as I do at night.

 1-5:00  Did housework and struggled with some intense anxiety waves.The level of discomfort was how I would typically feel if I didn't take my Alprazolam for the day or longer. The burning and tightness in my chest was the hardest to handle. Tried to do relaxed breathing with minimal relief. Called and left message with Psychiatrist office.

5:00 Took second dose Energy Lipids and D-Ribose. Ate broccoli.  Anxiety felt a bit better for a few hours. Read about managing anxiety.

7:45  Ate dinner. Anxiety returning. Numbness in upper arms. Chest uncomfortable.

9:00 Took alprazolam ER .25mg . Hope it helps. 

9:50  Bed

 


                         *** Advice and the wisdom of your experience  would be appreciated.***

I left a message with  my Psychiatrist asking about getting Alprazolam Er .25m tablets to see if that will help. I also mentioned the possibility of reinstating Lexapro at a very low dose. Someone will get back to me tomorrow. My other current option would be the Paxil I was last prescribed. Am I wrong in thinking Paxil is one of the more difficult antidepressants to taper from? In my message to the Doctor I said I hadn't felt well on Paxil. Actually I was afraid to take it  and stopped after two weeks. I started Paxil 5mg for a week then increased to 10mg. I took it Dec 3-15th. I felt OK at that point. I am very torn about whether I should have continued on the Paxil. Maybe a risk of difficult withdrawal is better than a risk of taking lexapro and kindling. I reread about reinstating. Not sure what I should do if another medicine is suggested.  I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.

 

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Altostrata

Hi, summer.

 

Your nervous system got a shock from the adverse reactions to Pristiq, levofloxacin, and possibly Zoloft and Paxil.

 

It's very important you take the alprazolam at the same time each day and keep notes about your drugs and symptoms, including your sleep pattern. Particularly important are your symptom patterns before and after you take alprazolam.

 

It is possible getting 0.25 alprazolam ER tablets will reduce your symptoms. (When you want to taper it, you'll have to break the ER tablets again.)

 

I'm not sure if adding an antidepressant will help, I'm not seeing antidepressant withdrawal syndrome in your symptom pattern. My guess is that your current symptoms are related to your benzo dosing. There is possible interdose withdrawal at night and paradoxical reactions during the day. It may be that a benzo with a longer half-life, such as Valium, might need to be brought in so you can spread out your doses effectively and then taper off.

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Altostrata I certainly agree that all the meds have been a shock to my system! I am having trouble telling what Alprazolam is doing. I think I get some gradual calming after my evening dose. The anxiety can vary so much even over the course of an hour. I will try to be more accurate aware and consistent in dose time. I have heard people talk about drug "poop out" Don't know if this could be happening or not.

I am glad you don't think your are seeing antidepressant withdrawal. It would be good to tackle getting off one drug instead of two. The concern I had was if I was likely to have withdrawal from antidepressant since I have been on them since 2004. Though Lexapro and Wellbutrin stopped May 8, 2018, I have only completely been off antidepressants since Dec 15, 2018.  I thought withdrawal was unavoidable. From reading SA I know symptoms can hit months out from the stopping date. That is why I was wondering if a small reinstatement would be helpful. Otherwise am I just going CT? I thought abrupt stopping without a taper caused a much more difficult withdrawal process. I am hoping to stay functional as my daughter is having a baby in early February.  Thanks for your time. I know you moderators work very hard.

 

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On 1/15/2019 at 12:32 AM, Summer1 said:

8 am  Ate Breakfast. Took all supplements listed in signature.

 

8 hours ago, Summer1 said:

5:00 Took second dose Energy Lipids and D-Ribose.

 

Summer, I'm not familiar with all of the supplements you are taking, but you may want to research them within the context of withdrawal. Some supplements, such as vitamin D and vitamin B12, can be stimulating to people in withdrawal. Please don't suddenly stop taking any of them, but you may wish to check out some of the information here on supplements. 

 

Important topics about tests, supplements, treatments, diet

 

Supplements - what helps, what doesn't?

 

And there are also individual threads for different types of supplements. You can find them using the Search box or googling "surviving antidepressants" + [name of supplement].

 

You have Fluticasone spray (Flonase) listed in your signature. I didn't see that listed in your drug and symptoms journal. How often to you use it? 

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Shep, Thanks for the links. I read what I could find about my various supplements. The vitamin d and some of the others are related to deficiencies  my integrative medicine doc is working to correct.The NT factor and D-Ribose are related to my being floxxed. I would like to add some Magnesium. I have Doctor's Best chelated magnesium lysinate glycinate. Use to take a multivitamin with twice the amount but even 100mg caused problems when I last tried. I think I may need to start with crumbs.

I use the Flonase as needed. Your message was timely. As I woke this morning it hit me that i had been leaving that off. I use flonase right before going to sleep. I just started using it again recently after stopping after being floxxed. Steroids can worsen symptoms for floxies. Inhaled steroids are supposed to be different due to larger molecules but I was to nervous to try again till now. I will start including it.

 

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9:50 pm  Flonase nasal spray. Bedtime

2:30 am Awake with sweating.  Unable to sleep

3am Got up. Dried damp hair. Did some stretches. Checked computer.

5 am  I notice an increase in anxiety. Begin to feel chilled.

5:30  Back to bed. Feeling cold. Anxiety still up. I practice breathing to relax.

6am I begin to warm up and fall asleep. 

8:30  I wake up. Arms stiff. I take Alprazolam Er .25 mg

9 am I notice I am feeling much calmer (Alprazolam working I guess)

9:30  I eat breakfast and take all supplements including first dose Energy Lipids and D-Ribose. I feel calm all morning. Felt a bit sleepy. It was bizarre to feel so calm when yesterday the anxiety was horrible.

1 pm  Ate lunch. Had a hot flash. Feeling very slightly anxious

1:30-5:00  Two appointments. Only slight occasional anxiety increasing a bit in late afternoon.

5:30 pm Second dose Energy Lipids and D-Ribose 

6 pm  Ate supper.  Muscles were much less sore today. My neck was still sore and upper arms. Barely noticed any pins and needles today. I thought my legs stayed warm better than they usually do.

8:30 Alprazolam ER .25mg. Anxiety wasn't bad but increased slightly as the evening progressed.

9: 45 pm  Fluconase nasal spray. I think the Alprazolam is starting to work but I'm not sure. Bedtime

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Summer1 said:

 I just started using it again recently after stopping after being floxxed. Steroids can worsen symptoms for floxies. Inhaled steroids are supposed to be different due to larger molecules but I was to nervous to try again till now. I will start including it.

 

Yes, you are quite right that steroids can worsen symptoms for those who've been floxxed and even for those who are dealing with general withdrawal without being floxxed. 

 

Are you able to find some natural alternatives? 

 

Please see the thread:

 

Allergies, sneezing, stuffed up -- Antihistamines and what to use for allergy relief

 

I've been using a very potent form of peppermint oil called: 

 

China Oel

 

And video about it:

 

China Oel Product Review video (3.5 minutes)

 

Just a couple of drops clears out my sinuses and it's very natural.

 

You may find some other ideas by researching the forum. Many people find using a Netie Pot to work much better than pharmaceuticals. 

 

Below is a great post by JanCarol which explores the "rebound" effect of drugs like Flonase. Please look into these natural remedies, as I'm wondering if your insomnia could be linked to the flonase spray, especially in the context of a destabilized nervous system. 

 

On 11/26/2015 at 9:11 AM, JanCarol said:

Flonase is a corticosteroid.

 

In the old days, nasal sprays contained actual decongestants.  Afrin was one of these.

 

But a similar effect happens.

 

You take the nasal spray, Flonase, and the steroid is good - it is anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, and after a spray you can breathe

 

After long term use of Flonase, your nose anticipates the dose - expects the dose, and swells up in anticipation of the soothing steroid (Rebound reaction).  This happens with steroid creams too - the reaction to the drug becomes a part of the experience.  You think, when it happens, "Gee my sinuses are bad" but what's really happening is, "Gee, my nose is craving Flonase!"  Sometimes the rebound reaction is worse than the original sinus problem.

 

I have nasal sprays in the house, and only use them when I cannot breathe to sleep.  This is about 6x a year.

 

Since you are in withdrawal, you cannot use many of the things I use.  Guifenesen does have some kinship to very early psych drugs, but is not known to have psych properties. It works by thinning the mucous so that your sinuses can empty.  Sometimes a single ibuprofen will help swollen tissues.  But the best things I use are natural.

 

Daily salt water rinses (neti pot, saline sprays) - must be a regular practice to achieve benefit.  Anti-inflammatory, nourishing and soothing to sinus tissues.  Herbal steams of eucalyptus, mint and coltsfoot.  Or if I cannot get my preferred herbs - just some Vicks or Olbas.  I use Olbas inhalers regularly (they do not have the drugs that Vick's inhalers do)  And often that opens my sinuses enough to get by without drugs.

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Shep

You may benefit from spacing out your benzo doses more. Xanax has a half-life of 6 - 12 hours, depending on how fast you metabolize it. 

 

You'll need a scale or equipment for a liquid taper in order to get to smaller doses if you feel that spacing out the doses from twice a day to three or four times a day will help. These links will get you started:

 

Using a digital scale to measure doses

 

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

Please see more on the specifics of a Xanax liquid taper here:

 

Benzo Tapering Nuggets - post on liquid tapering

 

As you continue to post your drug and symptoms journal, we can better assist you in determining the spacing. 

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Summer1

Shep I have looked over the info on allergies. I have  Neil Med nasal irrigation kit. I used it earlier this winter to try and keep away sinus infection when my congestion got bad. Stopped when I began to improve. I have always had a lot of sinus problems from a young age with seasonal, and other allergies. I have trouble getting drainage to stop. have a chest cough currently.

 

Read over info on tapering methods. I am feeling overwhelmed right now. There are many decisions. I had thought I might try Alprazolam Er .25 tablets instead of splitting .5mg tablets. Originally after looking at the Ashton Manual I thought I would be switching to Valium eventually.

 

Altostrata/ Shep/ Administrators Right now I am still very concerned about the fact that I am no longer on any Antidepressant. I am very worried I may end up with serious problems down the road since there was no taper- Just a discontinuation of Lexapro and Wellbutrin followed by a series of other drugs. I can tell my depression and anxiety has increased. I have had some friends tell me that I was more cheerful in the Spring and Summer even after being floxxed. I see my Psychiatrist next week to. I am still debating a very low dose reinstatement. Everyone seems to say avoid CT. Isn't CT what I am doing though? Sorry this is disjointed. I am relieved Altostrata, that you aren't noticing AD withdrawal Syndrome. So many symptoms overlap for Benzo''s and AD's it is confusing to me. In know reinstating is full of risks to weigh. I just would like thoughts based on your experiences. I am just hoping to minimize the inevitable difficulties if possible. 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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4 am Woke feeling anxiety which was followed by a sweating spell. Continued to rest through anxiety waves.

5:15-6 am Bathroom. Put on dry pajamas. Felt thirsty( I often feel thirsty when I wake at night . Don't know if this is a possible symptom of WD) Drank water. Felt chilled

6 am- 7:30 Back to bed. Had little waves of chills (Waves of chill and/or anxiety seem to start in my head and wash through my body when I have them)Warmed up. Rested longer. Some anxiety Got up. 

8;30 am Took Alprazolam ER .25mg. Neck stiff and sore. Arms sore and numb. Legs mild tingling.

9 am Breakfast.  First dose Energy Lipids and D- Ribose. Read SA links. More time passed than I realized had to hurry to 11am appointment.

1pm Took supplements when I got home. Tired

4 pm Second dose Energy Lipids and D-Ribose. Neck more sore as day progressed. Anxiety a bit up today overall.

6:30 Ate dinner. Anxiety increased as evening wore on but had stabilized by around 8:00. I have a cough from sinus drainage that I have had months now. Right now I have a bit of chest congestion.

8:30 Took Alprazolam ER .25mg 

8:50 Took 50mg magnesium(chelated lysinate glycinate) I am trying this so it is not in my signature yet.

9:30 Feeling calmer

9:50pm  Bed

 

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Shep/Altostrata/ AdministratorsI think I finally know how to say what I wanted to know. (Is magnesium clearing my Brain).  I CT'd Lexapro and Wellbutrin May 8, 2018 after about 15 years.  Is May the timeline I am looking at for being off the AD's.  I didn't know if all the other drugs that were tried afterwards for short durations till December meant that my CT timeline was December. Although the 9 months since May is no a guarantee, it seems more promising than thinking that I have only been off since December. I don't know if this is logical thinking or not. I don't have your experience or knowledge base.

.... So my bedtime above is off my 15 minutes. Thank you for all you do. 

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12 hours ago, Summer1 said:

Shep I have looked over the info on allergies. I have  Neil Med nasal irrigation kit. I used it earlier this winter to try and keep away sinus infection when my congestion got bad. Stopped when I began to improve.

 

This sounds like a good idea. 

 

Just a thought - you may not want to go cold turkey on the Flonase. You may want to do a rapid taper (since with a nasal spray, it would be hard to taper slowly). So instead of using say, 2 sprays in the morning and at night, reduce to one spray in the morning and two at night for a few days. And then one spray morning and night for a few days. And then then to once a day and finally, stop altogether.

 

This could help reduce any rebound symptoms. 

 

12 hours ago, Summer1 said:

I had thought I might try Alprazolam Er .25 tablets instead of splitting .5mg tablets. Originally after looking at the Ashton Manual I thought I would be switching to Valium eventually.

 

Once your reduce the .25 mg extended release tablet by either crushing it for a scale taper or dissolving it with a liquid taper, the extended release effect ends. 

 

You could switch to Valium; however, crossovers are always risky. If you are doing well with Xanax, you may want to split out the dose to three or more times a day instead of a crossover. However, a crossover is an option. Please see this thread were mods and members discuss it: 

 

Crossover to diazepam (Valium)? Re: Ashton Manual

 

Valium is more sedating, so if you are working and / or caring for small children during the day, you may need to alter when you take it to nighttime only. 

 

10 hours ago, Summer1 said:

Shep/Altostrata/ AdministratorsI think I finally know how to say what I wanted to know. (Is magnesium clearing my Brain).  I CT'd Lexapro and Wellbutrin May 8, 2018 after about 15 years.  Is May the timeline I am looking at for being off the AD's.  I didn't know if all the other drugs that were tried afterwards for short durations till December meant that my CT timeline was December. Although the 9 months since May is no a guarantee, it seems more promising than thinking that I have only been off since December. I don't know if this is logical thinking or not. I don't have your experience or knowledge base.

.... So my bedtime above is off my 15 minutes. Thank you for all you do. 

 

Thank you for writing this out, as it does clarify things.

 

Were you on both Lexapro and Wellbutrin at the same time for 15 years? 

 

How long have you had the night sweats? Did they start after you came off the Wellbutrin and Lexapro back in May? Or did they start after you were floxxed?

 

On 1/15/2019 at 9:22 AM, Summer1 said:

I felt ok on Zoloft. I would be on it now if it had not caused me to slowly develop severe constant diarrhea. 

 

It's possible that the Zoloft dose was too high since your system was already destabilized. A much smaller dose (5 mg or less), may have brought you relief from AD withdrawal without the GI issues. 

 

10 hours ago, Summer1 said:

8:50 Took 50mg magnesium(chelated lysinate glycinate) I am trying this so it is not in my signature yet.

9:30 Feeling calmer

 

10 hours ago, Summer1 said:

(Is magnesium clearing my Brain).

 

It sounds like you got immediate relief from your first dose of magnesium. 

 

Please let us know how you slept and if the night sweats were better.

 

What do you think about working on spacing out the benzo more, eliminating the Flonase, and continuing with the magnesium to see if these things provide enough relief before reinstating an AD? 

 

I would work on getting off the Flonase first, and then make the benzo change, and keep on with the magnesium.

 

Please post your thoughts. 

 

 

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Summer1

Shep I will answer your questions as best I can. I have been typing and thinking all day. Just now though my grown daughter stopped by and we began to talk. I am very embarrassed by what I realized as we talked. She pointed out that I had to have been on ADs much longer than 2005. I was going by the medical print out of all my medications from my medical group. But the list is incomplete. I think I just got records from the time computers started being used. There were many years of handwritten medical notes that weren't on the printout. I thought I was on Serzone many years but it only showed up as a year. I thought my memory was wrong. What was faulty was my ability to think. I should have realized 2004 couldn't be the correct year for when I started the medication. It was probably more like 1995. This probably doesn't change what happens next.  It does mean the AD's have been changing my body much longer. Sorry for the error.

 

Now I will address your questions.

 

 Flonase: I did not use the flonase last night. I had been using it sparingly with just one spray per nostril only at night. Maybe that was to low to even get a benefit. Used a green peppermint to help with night cough. I have to be careful because so many options seem to increase the drainage. Got the mints from my Mom but am having trouble finding them.

 

Magnesium last night:  Although I did try bed around 10:00 I was restless. Went to bed at 11:00 when Hubby did. Slept till 2:20 when I woke with anxiety. Drifted in and out. Kept being startled wake by snowplows and salt trucks. I use to enjoy the sound and find it soothing. I noticed that moving or changing positions tended to bring on a mild hot flash and anxiety. Keeping very still and quieting my breathing seemed to calm me better than deeper breathing. Overall my sweating and chills seemed better. Anxiety and sleep level I don't think improved. But I plan to try again. I might try a smaller dose of around 25mg. Use to have 100mg magnesium daily in my morning multivitamin. But that was dropped several months. I never had problems with it. But the first time I used the 100mg supplement I had some diarrhea.

 

Medicine: Lexapro, Wellbutrin XL and Alprazolam Er were taken since 2005.  Lexapro and Wellbutrin were stopped by PDoc in May. I was floxxed in June. I had a variety of physical problems in this time frame. Early October was when night sweats, chills and real problems with sleeping began. When the sweats first started I often had a stomach ache at night as well. The change closest to the sweats was when Zoloft was stopped September 23. That worries me now that I see it. The pattern of the sweats has changed over time. They didn't come with anxiety waves till later.

 

Alprazolam Er .25 twice daily:  You mentioned spacing the Alprazolam. 

 

Thoughts on the next step:  I have had gradually increasing in anxiety since halving my alprazolam. The overall daily level is getting more difficult to manage. Even small things can trigger anxiety now. 

 

I feel like I have been slowly getting more distracted, forgetful, not thinking clearly.  Reading comprehension is more difficult. Is this like brain fog? I worry about my level of capability in managing if I get worse.

 

The whole process of learning to mix solutions, or use a scale and calculate dosages seems pretty overwhelming right now. Sciences and Math were always very difficult for me so this feels scary. I worked so hard during science lab experiments but didn't have a good success rate.  I was hoping to use a compounding pharmacy. Could that possibly work with alprazolam tapering? I can see that a change to Valium could be extremely challenging if not impossible.

 

 I was on Ad's over 25 years.  Won't my CT result in serious consequences eventually? The stories I see of people who CT are so tragic. I thought withdrawal could show up many months later. Does waiting make reinstatement less likely to work? Could I know some of your thoughts please. I would rather reinstate for a longer taper if it could reduce painful symptoms and suffering.  

 

Sorry it is late and my thoughts aren't very clear now. I see my Psych doc Tuesday morning. I am trying to think what I want to say and ask then. Decisions are always hard for me.

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Summer1

8:50pm Magnesium

11 pm bed

2:20 am Woke with anxiety but very little sweating. Drifted in and out of sleep.Overall less sweating and chills. Anxiety seemed the same.

8am Alprazolam Er .25 mg

9am  Breakfast. All supplements taken and first dose Energy Lipids and D-Ribose

12:00 Took estimated 10mg magnesium. Had snack of nuts.

12:30 Feeling more anxious

1pm  Had lunch. 

3:30 Feeling better. Took a crumb of magnesium. Took second dose Energy Lipids and D-Ribose

5:00 ate dinner

9:00 Took AlprazolamEr .25mg and about 40 mg Magnesium

9:40  My legs seem much more tingly with some hints of muscle twitching. Magnesium maybe

10:45 pm Bed. My legs are still tingly with mild little twitches. 

 

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Shep
9 hours ago, Summer1 said:

It was probably more like 1995. This probably doesn't change what happens next.  It does mean the AD's have been changing my body much longer. Sorry for the error.

 

No worries. Please do update your signature to reflect that you were on other ADs dating back to around 1995. You're correct that it doesn't change what happens next, but it's good to be as accurate as you can. 

 

Account - Setting - Signature

 

9 hours ago, Summer1 said:

 I might try a smaller dose of around 25mg. Use to have 100mg magnesium daily in my morning multivitamin. But that was dropped several months. I never had problems with it. But the first time I used the 100mg supplement I had some diarrhea.

 

 

You may want to try an epsom salt bath. That's a gentler way of getting magnesium that may not have the GI symptoms. The below thread has a recipe for an epsom salt bath, but you may want to start out with only 1/2 - 1 cup until you see how you react. 

 

Epsom salts baths -- another way to relax with magnesium

 

Please note from the magnesium thread

 

On 10/7/2011 at 3:22 PM, Altostrata said:

NOTE: Magnesium is more effective taken in divided doses throughout the day.

 

Some people like to take small amounts and dissolve it in liquid and sip on it throughout the day. 

 

9 hours ago, Summer1 said:

I never had problems with it. But the first time I used the 100mg supplement I had some diarrhea.

 

Please see this part of the thread One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome:

 

On 5/24/2011 at 10:59 PM, Altostrata said:

The first phase of withdrawal, the acute phase, is the initial shock of withdrawal, with the most defined symptoms, such as brain zaps and nausea and possibly waves of unusually intense "depression" and "anxiety" -- actually, emotions generated by the neurological upset. Later, glutamatergic hyper-reactivity and autonomic instability take over. Often the autonomic instability causes wide hypersensitivity to drugs, supplements, and even foods.

 

You may also be hyper-reacting to the other supplements, as well. 

 

You'll have to weigh the benefit to staying on them with any upticks in symptoms. This can be tricky, as withdrawal symptoms and hypersensitivity have overlapping symptoms. 

 

9 hours ago, Summer1 said:

Alprazolam Er .25 twice daily:  You mentioned spacing the Alprazolam. 

 

Thoughts on the next step:  I have had gradually increasing in anxiety since halving my alprazolam. The overall daily level is getting more difficult to manage. Even small things can trigger anxiety now. 

 

You've been on the twice-a-day dosing since you first entered the forum. When did you first halve your alprazolam? 

 

What time(s) of day were you taking it prior to halving it? 

 

9 hours ago, Summer1 said:

I feel like I have been slowly getting more distracted, forgetful, not thinking clearly.  Reading comprehension is more difficult. Is this like brain fog? I worry about my level of capability in managing if I get worse.

 

Are you sleeping worse now? 

 

In your signature, you have "2017  Lexapro 20 mg  once daily,  Wellbutrin XL 150 mg twice daily, Alprazolam ER .5 mg twice daily."

 

When did you decrease from .5 mg Alprazolam twice daily down to .25 mg twice daily? 

 

Some of your memory problem symptoms may be coming from this benzo reduction, so any information you have on a timeline for the decrease will be very helpful. 

 

9 hours ago, Summer1 said:

I was on Ad's over 25 years.  Won't my CT result in serious consequences eventually? The stories I see of people who CT are so tragic. I thought withdrawal could show up many months later. Does waiting make reinstatement less likely to work? Could I know some of your thoughts please. I would rather reinstate for a longer taper if it could reduce painful symptoms and suffering.  

 

Unfortunately, the antidepressants you were most dependent on were done via cold turkey 8 months ago. This makes reinstatement more difficult. Also, it involved two different antidepressants, so it will be a guess as to which one may help. 

 

With the benzo reduction and also the fact that you were floxxed, this complicates the picture even more. 

 

When you were on Wellbutrin and Lexapro, what times of day did you take each one? Was the Wellbutrin more stimulating and the Lexapro more sedating for you? 

 

If you do decide to reinstate, you would do better targeting a more sedating AD since insomnia is part of your symptoms. It may help for you to go through these two threads:

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 

 

It's also possible that Zoloft may be an option, although at a much lower dose since it did cause enough GI problems that you discontinued it. What are your thoughts on reinstating a very small amount of Zoloft? 

 

To summarize, please answer the below questions:

 

  • When did you decrease from .5 mg Alprazolam twice daily down to .25 mg twice daily? Please provide as much information - including a timeline - for any benzo changes. 
  • When you were on Wellbutrin and Lexapro, what times of day did you take each one? Was the Wellbutrin more stimulating and the Lexapro more sedating for you? 

  • What are your thoughts on reinstating a very small amount of Zoloft? 

These questions will help you make your decision by giving a timeline for the benzo reduction, as well as seeing if one of the ADs that you were on longest might be a possibility for a reinstatement or if a more recent one might be an option. 

 

9 hours ago, Summer1 said:

I see my Psych doc Tuesday morning. I am trying to think what I want to say and ask then. Decisions are always hard for me.

 

These threads may help:

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?
 
What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

 

On 3/30/2015 at 4:57 PM, Lilu said:

Withdrawal Dialogues - Doctor's Visit Pt. 1 - typical

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwZuvo_au1M

 

Withdrawal Dialogues - Doctor's Visit Pt. 2 - a keeper

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF2vmb8XbHw

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Summer1

Shep Thanks for your patient assistance. I hope you have as much hope and support on your journey as you provide to so many others.  I have updated my signature.

 

Alprazolam and Me- I don't have the exact date I halved my Alprazolam. It isn't in the medical records. My best estimate is late February or March 2018 I began taking Alprazolam ER .25mg twice daily down from .5 mg twice daily. I did this by splitting pills.This is based on my review of prescription records. I start having breaks and then a month between fills indicating I was not using all my .5mg pills.  I stupidly thought this would be fine since , under a new GP,  in 2011 I went from three down to two pills Alprazolam .5mg daily. That same year I also dropped from three to two pills of Wellbutrin daily. I don't recall any specific problems. I doubt I would have made the connection to med changes.

 

Lexapro and Wellbutrin XL (or their generic equivalents)-I began taking these in 2005 after Serzone became unavailable. Alprazolam was prescribed at that same time. I took Lexapro, Wellbutrin and Alprazolam together in the morning.  Wellbutrin and Alprazolam second doses were taken before bed.  

Sedating qualities of Lexapro versus Wellbutrin are uncertain. I slept well unless under extreme stress.  Since the drugs were taken with Alprazolam it is difficult to know how they acted alone. It was hard to get out of bed in the morning. I know I was often tired and draggy feeling.  But my job at the time required long hours and management created a toxic environment. Some of the drug cuts in 2011 may have been an attempt to feel more awake and energetic. 

 

Zoloft Maybe-  What size dose are you thinking of? It looks like the lowest dose pills are 25mg with a dividing line. So I am assuming I would use half a 25mg or much less. So I would probably be learning to be my own chemist with this like the the majority of people here. I am fairly positive the dose would need to stay very low based on the severity of my diarrhea. In your experience, does the length of time on a drug influence how long it takes for severe withdrawal symptoms to show up? If I did go onto Zoloft how would I determine the proper time to taper? Is it possible taking other drugs like the Zoloft helped cushion the effect of the CT? Do you know of anyone who CT'd from long term Lexapro who managed to recover slowly with mainly manageable symptoms? Is there a specific reason you recommend Zoloft? I am feeling discouraged after looking at the Tapering Lexapro Forum. Alto was explaining the dangers of CT by comparing it throwing ones brain off a cliff. I had no idea I was on such a strong drug. I think I might need to consider Zoloft. I just have a bad feeling the diarrhea might come back. So sad that people have to fight drugs by using more drugs.

 

Sorry for all the questions. Wishing you peace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Summer1

Shep You also asked if I was sleeping worse. I had not been getting much sleep till January. I usually woke after 2 to 4 hours of sleep. Often I would be awake or just resting the rest of the night.  For about a week before I joined SA I was able sleep 5 to 7 hours.  I would still have some sweating and anxiety but I was able adjust and not come completely awake. This week my sleep has gotten shorter again. I have gotten 3 to 5 hour stretches after which I could sometimes rest. Once awake I had more trouble getting back to sleep. 

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