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DSN13: Natural remedies?


DSN13

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I have been on Lexapro 20mg for about 14 years. Three full months ago I decided to taper off as I felt it wasn't working for my depression any longer and I was curious to see if I needed these meds any longer. I am now down to 5mg (liquid) and 20mg of Prozac. Some days are great, others are pure hell - fuzzy brain, inability to concentrate, impulsiveness, anger, irritability and just overall not feeling at all like myself. I recently went to a naturopath who prescribed L-theanine for anxiety. One 200mg dose of this and I was completely shaky and anxious. I believe it affected my dopamine (the reaction was similar to a reaction I previously had on Welbutrin). I am scared to try the naturopaths next recommendation, 5-HTP, but I'm worried I'm not going to be successful in this taper. Has anyone ever tried these supplements?

Lexapro 20 mg 1998-2012

January 2012 added 20mg of Prozac to aid with taper

Did a six month taper off of the lexapro

As of June 7, 2012 lexapro free. Still take the prozac.

Klonopin .25 as needed (usually 1-2x a week).

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Welcome, DSN. I moved your topic here as it introduces your situation. You won't have to introduce yourself again.

 

It looks like you switched from 20mg Lexapro to Prozac? How did you do this? Did you get any symptoms from the switch? How long have you been tapering?

 

Withdrawal can make our nervous systems hypersensitive. Supplements that are calming for normal people may cause paradoxical reactions in people who are experiencing psychiatric drug withdrawal. Substances that are pleasantly stimulating in normal people, such as caffeine, may cause unbearable symptoms in people with sensitized nervous systems.

 

For that reason, people tapering or in withdrawal need to try supplements very, very carefully. We have many discussions of this in our Symptoms and What Helps forum.

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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I tried 5 HTP a few years ago after going off of Effexor and it made me incredibly anxious.

Rosie

2009 Efexor 75mg tapered twice

November 2011 Pristiq 50 mg

January 2012 Pristiq 100 mg, became very dizzy and anxious with a lot negative thinking! Ear aches, eye pain, headaches, bruxism, night sweats.

Currently on 30 mg of compounded Pristiq

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I have been on Lexapro 20mg for about 14 years. Three full months ago I decided to taper off as I felt it wasn't working for my depression any longer and I was curious to see if I needed these meds any longer. I am now down to 5mg (liquid) and 20mg of Prozac. Some days are great, others are pure hell - fuzzy brain, inability to concentrate, impulsiveness, anger, irritability and just overall not feeling at all like myself. I recently went to a naturopath who prescribed L-theanine for anxiety. One 200mg dose of this and I was completely shaky and anxious. I believe it affected my dopamine (the reaction was similar to a reaction I previously had on Welbutrin). I am scared to try the naturopaths next recommendation, 5-HTP, but I'm worried I'm not going to be successful in this taper. Has anyone ever tried these supplements?

 

I tried 5-HTP a few weeks ago and it didn't do anything for me one way or another, but keep in mind that I've been off of Lexapro since mid-December and the hypersensitivity I experienced at first had lessened considerably.

 

I've only ever heard of 5-HTP being recommended for benzo or alcohol withdrawal (see Beating Stress, Anxiety, and Depression by Professor Jane Plant and Janet Stephenson). Most likely your naturopath is unfamiliar with antidepressant withdrawal. Most of the entire medical profession is unfamiliar with it.

 

The best sources of information I've found have been right here in this forum where my fellows are either experiencing withdrawal or have in the past. This is probably not the time to take supplements with the possible exception of fish oil, which can soothe anxiety and depression.

 

20 mg. of Lexapro is a vey high dose because Lexapro is so much stronger than other antidepressants. I was on 10 mg., the standard dose, and it was sheer hell getting off even though I tapered over four months. I'd advise you to take it very, very slowly from here on out. The last few milligrams and then being off the stuff was when all the stmptoms started for me. I believe now that four months wasn't nearly enough time to taper.

 

Aside from that, welcome to the forum. You'll find lots of reliable information and peer support here.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Hi

 

I can't work out today how to make a link, but if you page through to the second or third page in "Symptoms and what helps" there is a thread on 5htp.

 

Bye

Bubbles

2005 St John's Wort / 2006-2012 Lexapro 20mg, 2 failed attempts to stop, tapered over 4.5 months in early 2012

January 2013 started Sertraline, over time worked up to 100mg

July 2014 Sertraline dropped from 100mg to 75mg, held for six months, slower tapering until 2019 22 Dec 3.2mg

2020 Sertraline 19 Jan 3.1mg, 26 Jan 3.0mg; 1 Mar 2.9, 7 Mar 2.8, May (some drops here) 24 May 2.5, May 29 2.4, June 21 2.3, June 28 2.2mg,  July 4 2.1mg, July 24 (or maybe a bit before) 2mg, early Nov switched to home made suspension; 29 Nov 1.8mg; approx 25 Dec 1.6mg)

2021 Some time in about Jan/Feb realised my dosing was off and as probably on more like 1.8mg and possible mixing error in making suspension; doses after 10 Feb accurate; 10 Feb 1.6mg; 7 Mar 1.4

 

My thread here at SA: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1775-bubbles/page/17/

CurrentSertraline: 7 Mar 1.4mg / Armour Thyroid / endless allergy meds, erg

 

 

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It sounds to me like you are doing a very fast taper after 14 years on a med--I think the speed of your taper is the source of your problems and I doubt there is any supplement that will help.

 

It's very common for supplements to worsen the condition of people in withdrawal. These supplements are designed for people whose CNS is not already in chaos.

 

This is so common, I see it over and over and over.

 

The problem is not that something is missing. The problem is that you are in active withdrawal due to trying to quit too fast a drug that your CNS has adapted to for 14 years. Your brain has reshaped itself around the chemistry of the drug, like a plant reshaping itself around a trellis. You're yanking out the trellis, and it's not good for your brain when you do that.

 

Better to snip it out slowly a bit at a time and allow your brain to heal and regain its normal shape gradually. You can't grow a new brain overnight. It's a slow process. Be patient with it.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Welcome, DSN. I moved your topic here as it introduces your situation. You won't have to introduce yourself again.

 

It looks like you switched from 20mg Lexapro to Prozac? How did you do this? Did you get any symptoms from the switch? How long have you been tapering?

 

Withdrawal can make our nervous systems hypersensitive. Supplements that are calming for normal people may cause paradoxical reactions in people who are experiencing psychiatric drug withdrawal. Substances that are pleasantly stimulating in normal people, such as caffeine, may cause unbearable symptoms in people with sensitized nervous systems.

 

For that reason, people tapering or in withdrawal need to try supplements very, very carefully. We have many discussions of this in our Symptoms and What Helps forum.

 

Thanks for the welcome :) It's great to have finally found an active, current community to help me through this. I started reducing my Lexapro on Jan. 2. When the physical withdrawal became too much to handle, my psychiatrist added the 20mg of Prozac and the physical symptoms went away. I was feeling pretty good for about a month during the taper and just recently (when I hit 5mg) I've been feeling the full array of complex emotional side effects.

Lexapro 20 mg 1998-2012

January 2012 added 20mg of Prozac to aid with taper

Did a six month taper off of the lexapro

As of June 7, 2012 lexapro free. Still take the prozac.

Klonopin .25 as needed (usually 1-2x a week).

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Thank you everyone for the welcome. I can tell this community is going to be very helpful.

I knew when I was talking to the naturopath that she was in new territory and I could feel my confidence in her waning. I think I will just add more yoga and exercise and continue to be active on this site as reassurance for this frustratingly difficult journey.

Lexapro 20 mg 1998-2012

January 2012 added 20mg of Prozac to aid with taper

Did a six month taper off of the lexapro

As of June 7, 2012 lexapro free. Still take the prozac.

Klonopin .25 as needed (usually 1-2x a week).

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Hi, dsn13, I've used all the supplements that naturopaths, osteopaths, believe helps "reboot" our brains. The trouble is, our brains just look at them as more chemical assaults and just can't l deal with any more " targeted" substances. I took 5htp, theanine, n--acetal cysteine, taurine, l-methyl folate, etc, etc. I really think all these substances muddied the water, prolonged my recovery, and generally made my life more miserable. I couldn't even take fish oil any more, and I really believe in omega 3s for brain health. Just be careful with whatever you try. Alto is right when she says do nothing that could potentially stress your nervous system.

 

Stick to yoga, meditation , things that make you happy. Visit with your animals, enjoy the sunshine, down play any stressful expectations from people who don't understand what you're going through! Hang in there!

I started withdrawing off remeron in August of 2009, with the help of a holistic physician.The reason for the withdrawal was a year or two of off and on nausea, deterioration in my thinking, and more depression. It took me a full year to work from 135 mg down to 45mg. At that point, more drops were causing more depression. Unfortuately, the nervousness that I was also feeling for the last year continued with the 45 mg. Thirty one days ago, I stopped the remeron. I am still feeling the nervousness every day and the last week, I am feeling what I think is depression but not sure. In bed in the morning, I'm already dreading another day feeling this way. I am intensely unsure of myself and find it very hard to do anything. I was a practicing veterinarian for 29 years until I found I could not practice anymore. First of all I couldn't think, or remember, and I had absolutely no confidence in anything I did. These were things I did with relative ease for twenty+ years. So, this feeling of no confidence has been during the time I was on the AD(the last 2 years) and today. I take no other medication other than my blood pressure meds. I tried supplements with my holistic dr. but they seemed to make the intense nervousness even more intense. Anyway, I truly feel stuck.

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Very well put, spectio!

 

DSN, you started taking 20mg Prozac with Lexapro? How far down in your Lexapro taper were you before you added the Prozac?

 

Then, it sounds like you continued tapering Lexapro, down to 5mg? Are you taking it every day, or alternating doses?

 

I'm asking because we need details about the Prozac switch technique.

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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Alto - I was down to 15mg of Lexapro when I added the 20mg of Prozac. Now I am down to taking 5mg of Lexapro daily, along with the 20mg of Prozac daily.

Lexapro 20 mg 1998-2012

January 2012 added 20mg of Prozac to aid with taper

Did a six month taper off of the lexapro

As of June 7, 2012 lexapro free. Still take the prozac.

Klonopin .25 as needed (usually 1-2x a week).

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  • Administrator

You mentioned all was okay until you hit 5mg Lexapro.

 

This indicates your decrease from 15mg to 5mg Lexapro might have been too fast. What was your tapering schedule?

 

To reduce withdrawal symptoms, you might try going up to 6mg or 7mg Lexapro and stabilize for a few weeks, then decrease by smaller amounts.

 

If you're using the liquid form of Lexapro, titrating more slowly will be easier to do.

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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Yes - slowing down the taper is my exact plan. If yoga doesn't balance me out in the next few days, I will go back up to 6mg. What I have noticed is this sort of intrinsic pressure to follow the psychiatrist's taper schedule. We meet once a month and she asks, "So where are you now?". It's as if I'm reporting back to her for a grade or something and I feel some sort of pressure to have gone down a significant enough amount, because in her eyes my taper schedule is very slow.

 

I am also just finishing grad school and about to start a job search so I really do think I should hold off on tapering any more for the time being and try to stabilize. I don't need to make this transitional period in my life any more difficult than it already is.

Lexapro 20 mg 1998-2012

January 2012 added 20mg of Prozac to aid with taper

Did a six month taper off of the lexapro

As of June 7, 2012 lexapro free. Still take the prozac.

Klonopin .25 as needed (usually 1-2x a week).

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  • Administrator

Do not let your doctor rush you. Most know very little about tailoring tapering to the individual. You want to minimize withdrawal symptoms as much as possible.

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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