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NY Times article about Lancet tapering study: How to Quit Antidepressants: Very Slowly, Doctors Say


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Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

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  • Moderator

Was just going to post this!

**I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice, merely personal experience
***Off all meds since Nov. 2014. Mentally & emotionally recovered; physically not
-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in Oct 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014

-All meds were Rxed off-label for an autoimmune illness.  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but I did not find out until AFTER meds caused damage.  All med tapers/cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline May 2012 - Dec 2013. Cold turkey off nortrip & cold switched to desipramine

-Desipramine Jan 2014 - Oct. 29, 2014 (rapid taper/cold turkey)

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night during 2011
-Lorazepam 1 mg per month in 2012 (or less)

-Lorazepam on & off, Dec 2013 through Aug 2014. Didn't exceed 3x a week

-Lorazepam again in Oct. 2014 to help get off of desipramine. Last dose lzpam was 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Immediate paradoxical reactions to benzos after stopping TCAs 

-First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs too stupid to figure it out. On desipramine, muscle tremors & rigidity worsened

-Two weeks after I got off all meds, I developed full-blown TD.  Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7: hair falling out; no vision improvement; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8: back to acute, incl. Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9: tardive dystonia worse, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat
-Month 13: Back to acute, brain zaps back, developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs now damaged
-4 years off: Huge improvements, incl. improved dystonia

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A major breakthrough. I am proud to report Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration  and other tapering discussions informed Dr. Horowitz's thinking.

 

Quote

How to Quit Antidepressants: Very Slowly, Doctors Say.

By Benedict Cary March 5, 2019

Thousands, perhaps millions, of people who try to quit antidepressant drugs experience stinging withdrawal symptoms that last for months to years: insomnia, surges of anxiety, even so-called brain zaps, sensations of electric shock in the brain.

But doctors have dismissed or downplayed such symptoms, often attributing them to the recurrence of underlying mood problems.

The striking contrast between the patients’ experience and their doctors’ judgment has stirred heated debate in Britain, where last year the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists publicly denied claims of lasting withdrawal in “the vast majority of patients.”

Patient-advocacy groups demanded a public retraction; psychiatrists, in the United States and abroad, came to the defense of the Royal College. Now, a pair of prominent British psychiatric researchers has broken ranks, calling the establishment’s position badly mistaken and the standard advice on withdrawal woefully inadequate.

In a paper published Tuesday in Lancet Psychiatry, the authors argued that any responsible withdrawal regimen should have the patient tapering off medication over months or even years, depending on the individual, and not over four weeks, the boilerplate advice.

The paper is by far the strongest research-backed denunciation of standard tapering practice by members of the profession.

“I know people who stop suddenly and get no side effects,” said Dr. Mark Horowitz, a clinical research fellow at Britain’s National Health Service and University College London, and one of the paper’s authors.

But many people, he said, “have to pull apart their capsules and reduce the dosage bead by bead. We provided the science to back up what they’re already doing.”

The field of psychiatry has conducted few rigorous studies of antidepressant withdrawal, despite the fact that long-term prescription rates in the United States and Britain have doubled over the past decade, with similar trends in other Western countries.

More than 15 million Americans have taken the medications for at least five years, a rate that has almost more than tripled since 2000, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data.

Outside researchers who have studied withdrawal said the new paper was a welcome contribution. “I think what they’ve presented really reinforces what I’ve observed in clinical practice in many patients, and it’s almost identical to the tapering regimen I use,” said Dr. Dee Mangin, the chair of family medicine at McMaster University in Canada, who was not involved in the paper.

Dr. Mangin, who is completing her own two-year study of Prozac withdrawal, added, “The other important thing is that it validates patients’ own reports of their experiences. It’s tremendously frustrating when patients describe a different experience than physicians expect, and don’t feel they’re being heard.”

Dr. Horowitz and his co-author, Dr. David Taylor, a professor of psychopharmacology at King’s College London and a member of the South London and Maudsley N.H.S. Foundation Trust, decided to address the topic in part because of their own experiences with medication.

Dr. Horowitz said he had severe withdrawal symptoms after tapering down after 15 years on antidepressants. Dr. Taylor had previously written about his own struggles trying to taper off.

The two researchers began by visiting online forums in which people on antidepressants advised one another how best to withdraw. Those sites consistently recommended “micro-dosing,” reducing doses by ever smaller amounts over months or years, sometimes by removing one bead at a time from capsules.

The two researchers dug into the literature and found a handful of studies that provided evidence for that method.

In one 2010 study cited in the new paper, Japanese researchers found that 78 percent of people trying to taper off Paxil suffered severe withdrawal symptoms. The research team had them taper much more slowly, over an average of nine months and for as long as four years. With this regimen, only 6 percent of subjects experienced withdrawal.

In another study, Dutch researchers in 2018 found that 70 percent of people who’d had trouble giving up Paxil or Effexor quit their prescriptions safely by following an extended tapering regimen, reducing their dosage by smaller and smaller increments, down to one-fortieth of the original amount. This is the regimen recommended in the new paper.

Dr. Horowitz and Dr. Taylor also cited brain-imaging evidence. ....

But the brain-imaging studies found that inhibition of the transporter increases sharply with addition of the drug and, by extension, also drops sharply with any reduction in dosage. The standard medical advice, to reduce dosage by half — for instance, by taking a pill every other day — and end medication entirely after four weeks, does not take this into account, the two researchers argued.

“Doctors have in mind that these drugs act in a linear way, that when you reduce dosage by half, it reduces the effect in the brain by a half,” Dr. Horowitz said. “It doesn’t work that way. And as a result, there’s a huge load in terms of the effect on brain receptors, and patients are being advised to come off way too quickly.”

....

Dr. Horowitz and Dr. Taylor called for more, and more careful, research to be done on withdrawal, to bring their field up to speed, and to develop withdrawal strategies tailored to individual patients and individual drugs.

“I think psychiatrists are taught to learn things from textbooks and from well-conducted studies,” Dr. Horowitz said. “We don’t have many of those for withdrawal, so it makes it hard to believe it’s real. And psychiatrists spend a lot more time prescribing things than stopping them.”

 

 

 

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

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  • Administrator

To Benedict Carey. with whom I have corresponded before:


 

Quote

 

Thanks for your recent articles, Ben, and your just-published How to Quit Antidepressants: Very Slowly, Doctors Say.

 

Dr. Horowitz, with whom I have been in correspondence for months, found the SERT transporter discussion on my Web site https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/6036-why-taper-sert-transporter-occupancy-studies-show-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/ and other papers, including Murata, 2010 in our Journals collection

We also have detailed topics on gradual tapering, including the Why taper by 10% of my dosage? (a schedule of exponential decay, as proposed by Drs. Horowitz and Taylor), see https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/

 

Please note that this gradual taper schedule is not “micro-dosing” as mentioned in your article — micro-dosing is reinstating a very tiny amount should withdrawal symptoms arise after going off the drug.

 

I believe the term you were looking for is “micro-tapering,” see https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/2878-micro-taper-instead-of-10-or-5-decreases/

Given the haphazard tapering methods used commonly in psychiatry, a taper of 10% per month (amount of reduction calculated on the last dosage) might seem like “micro-tapering,” in fact some people cannot tolerate even that rate of reduction and need to taper by even less than 10% at a time. That is true micro-tapering.

 

The implications of the necessity to very gradually taper go far beyond correcting the risk-benefit assessment for antidepressants. Almost invariably, withdrawal symptoms are misdiagnosed as relapse or emergence of a psychiatric disorder and re-medicated, often with higher dosages and exotic drug combinations, with poor results. The person is deemed “treatment-resistant” as a result of iatrogenic injury.

 

Many, many people believe they have a chronic psychiatric disorder because they cannot go off drugs without terrible symptoms. Misdiagnosed withdrawal syndrome may underlie the majority of “treatment-resistant” and even “bipolar II” diagnoses, with unnecessary treatment and adverse effects that destroy lives.

 

Given the millions on psychiatric drug merry-go-rounds, this is a not insignificant addition to the world’s burden of sorrows.

 

Please note that patient experience on SurvivingAntidepressants.org also has informed Dr. Peter C. Groot’s papers and his Cinderella tapering strips project — and other scholarly articles. Laura Delano repackaged much of the content for The Withdrawal Project from SurvivingAntidepressants.org (without authorization).

 

Given that I’ve worked so hard on this for 15 years, I am so happy that medicine might finally take responsibility for properly tapering people off psychiatric drugs. Given a recalculated risk-benefit profile — the drugs have long been held to have very rare and minor side effects — maybe it will be even more conservative in diagnosis and prescribing.

 

Now that people can shoot psychedelics up their noses, maybe the medieval days of the blunt instruments like SSRIs are over.

 

We can only hope.

 

Regards,
Altostrata
SurvivingAntidepressants.org

 

 

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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  • Altostrata changed the title to NY Times article about Lancet tapering study: How to Quit Antidepressants: Very Slowly, Doctors Say.
thecowisback

it's good that this is finally getting into the mainstream media 👌

Took prozac 40 mg for 20 years.

January 2017 started cutting down prozac by 12.5% a week. End of February 2017 completely off prozac and withdrawals began.

Currently taking Levothyroxine 75 mcg, Magnesium citrate 200mg,Sage leaf 50mg daily

Amlodipine: October 2017 , discontinued 26 Feb 2019; Candesartan:  26 Feb 2019, 4mg.

Discontinued magnesium citrate 200mg Apr 3rd 2019

Reinstated prozac:  14 Jan 2019, 1mg; 26 Jan, 1.5mg; 4 Feb, 2mg; 16 Feb, 2.5mg; 2 Mar, 3mg; 5 Mar, 2.5mg, 23 Mar, 3 mg; 6 Apr, 3.5mg, 14 Apr 4mg, 23 Apr 5mg

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I was so thrilled to see this article this morning! Alto, congrats on all your hard work (acknowledged and credited or not) on this. I cried at the sentence that said stinging withdrawal symptoms that last for months to YEARS. It was so unbelievably frustrating and lonely to go through this with zero support from doctors (thank you Alto for this site or I have no idea what I would have done). The last doctor I mentioned what I went through still categorically denied my experience within seconds without hearing  me out. This kind of article could help move mountains and make for a better experience for everyone to come.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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You're welcome, Nadia. Good to hear from you!

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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  • Mentor

The psychiatric community should be ashamed. So glad this article came out. 

2000–2015: sertraline 150mg for dysthymia and generalized anxiety disorder

2000–2002: clonazepam .5mg 3x/day, then tapered quickly with no withdrawal
Jan 2015–Dec 2016: tapered sertraline from 150 to 50mg; severe withdrawal at 50mg
Jan 2017: sertraline 100mg; clonazepam .5mg 2x/day

Feb 2017: sertraline 150mg; clonazepam .5mg 2x/day

April 2017–present: sertraline 200mg

April 2017: aripriprazole 1mg; clonazepam .5mg 2x/day

Aug 2018: aripiprazole 0.5 mg, tapered off clonazepam

Nov 2018: aripiprazole 1mg; Dec 2018: aripiprazole 0.75 mg; Jan 2, 2019: aripiprazole 0.5 mg; March 11, 2019: aripiprazole 0.25 mg; May 8: aripiprazole 0.22mg; June 8, 2019: aripiprazole 0.20mg; July 14, 2019: aripiprazole 0.18mg; Aug 21, 2019: aripiprazole 0.16mgai; 11/22/19: aripiprazole 4mgpw; 1/1/20: aripiprazole 3mgpw; 2/1/20 aripiprazole 0mgpw

 

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  • Mentor

Thank you @Altostrata and the other mods for this site. The way that shrinks have dismissed patient reports of withdrawal has done an incredible amount of damage. Your work has helped people survive.

2000–2015: sertraline 150mg for dysthymia and generalized anxiety disorder

2000–2002: clonazepam .5mg 3x/day, then tapered quickly with no withdrawal
Jan 2015–Dec 2016: tapered sertraline from 150 to 50mg; severe withdrawal at 50mg
Jan 2017: sertraline 100mg; clonazepam .5mg 2x/day

Feb 2017: sertraline 150mg; clonazepam .5mg 2x/day

April 2017–present: sertraline 200mg

April 2017: aripriprazole 1mg; clonazepam .5mg 2x/day

Aug 2018: aripiprazole 0.5 mg, tapered off clonazepam

Nov 2018: aripiprazole 1mg; Dec 2018: aripiprazole 0.75 mg; Jan 2, 2019: aripiprazole 0.5 mg; March 11, 2019: aripiprazole 0.25 mg; May 8: aripiprazole 0.22mg; June 8, 2019: aripiprazole 0.20mg; July 14, 2019: aripiprazole 0.18mg; Aug 21, 2019: aripiprazole 0.16mgai; 11/22/19: aripiprazole 4mgpw; 1/1/20: aripiprazole 3mgpw; 2/1/20 aripiprazole 0mgpw

 

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I too, was thrilled to read this, the message is finally getting out! @Altostrata, have you considered going on to Twitter?

7 months of polypharmacy in 2015-2016, including at least 4 classes of psych meds.

1st attempt at taper was too fast. 2nd attempt is underway.

1 Mar 2018: 37.5 mg paroxetine, 150 mg lamotrigine, 300 mg quetiapine

25 Mar 2020: 30 mg paroxetine, 150 mg lamotrigine, 62.5 mg quetiapine

10 June 2020: 30 mg paroxetine, 150 mg lamotrigine, 50 mg quetiapine

1 Sep 2020: 30 mg paroxetine, 150 mg lamotrigine, 43.75 mg quetiapine

1 Oct 2020: 30 mg paroxetine, 150 mg lamotrigine, 37.5 mg quetiapine

 

Supplements: Vit D3, iron, magnesium, Omega 3.

 

I am not a medical professional. All my posts are my opinions only, based on my experiences.

 

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Thank you Alto. Your website definitley helped prevent any further damage to my nervous system after many years of trials and tribulations trying to come off Pristiq. 

Current Dose

0.5mcg Clonidine and 1.25 Diazepam PRN for treatment of iatrogenic hypertension. 

2010 .Prescribed Pristiq 100 mg in July by GP

2010 .Reduced to 50mg by splitting and weighing. Held at 50mg

2014. Reduced from 50-35 .Held at 35mg. 

2017. Taper from 35mg commenced using compounded Desvenlafaxine

2018. 23/06 13.5mg. 21/07  12.5mg. 25/08 11.5mg. 09/2018 10mg. 14/11 11mg (updose) 21/11 -12mg (updose)

2019. Still holding at 12mg and stuck. 

2020. January 2019 Prozac Bridge-- Prozac 2.5 to 10mg and

Pristiq 23rd Jan 6mg/ 27th Jan 5mg/ 28th Jan 3mg/ 30 Jan 0

Prozac 6th Feb 9.5mg. Vitamin D3 5000iu with K2

Magnesium Glycinate with Glycine and Passionflower  600mg 

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JackieDecides
10 hours ago, marconyc said:

Thank you @Altostrata and the other mods for this site. The way that shrinks have dismissed patient reports of withdrawal has done an incredible amount of damage. Your work has helped people survive.

 

this ^

Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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lavendertealatte

My friend sent me this too!  At first  thought it was going to be something old but I was surprised to see it was a really recent article and it was the NYTimes!  I'm so glad this is finally getting out into mainstream!

29y.o.  Started Lexapro, 15mg in 2013 for anxiety and depression.

9/28/15- Started taper, went down to 10mg, then 5mg by 10/31/15. 

1/2016-  anxiety, nausea, fatigue, crying spells, sadness, by January. Reinstated back to 10mg.  Leveled out.   1/1/2018- Began further taper, down to 0mg by 1/31/2018.  Last dose was 2.5mg. Feelings of dizziness during taper recommended by pdoc.  Slowed down taper, but still had symptoms of stomach upset.

2/12/18 - Dealing with symptoms of dizziness, anxiety, sadness, stomach upset.  2/20/18 - Reinstating medication with .6mg.  2/21/18 - Emotionally feeling better.  Dizziness much improved.  2/24/18 - Went to sleep with extreme feeling of chills.  No fever.  Fatigue.  3/19/18 - Increased anxiety.  5/1/18- Began therapy.  Have trouble with anxiety and GI symptoms.  9/22/18 - Decrease to .5mg.  Anxiety, GI, chills.  9/26/18 - back up to .6mg.  10/31/18 - app Curable, feeling distinct change in outlook and anxiety levels decreased.

2/1/19 - not seeing improvement in anxiety.  started 10mg Prozac  2/7/19 - up to 20mg Prozac, experiencing chills, tiredness  2/21/19 - tapering down to 10mg

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  • Administrator

Thanks, everyone.

 

I've spent a lot of time on Twitter but didn't find it very productive.

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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The first thing my husband did when he came home last night was show me this NYT article on his IPAD. The first NYT article from last year he read also but did still did not believe me that w/d could take so long. After this one he finally believes me --- but it took four years. I could get angry if I let myself, but I have better things to do.

 

Thanks for posting the article.

 

Marie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

10/13--10/14 Ambien. Started tapering 1/14  Jumped 10/14.  Done.                                                                              

3/14        7.5 Remeron  still taking this.                              

2/14         75 Trazodone   -    Tapered by dry cutting all the way down.

1/16        4 mg Trazodone  -  Jumped. Bad mistake. Got hit with late withdrawal 6 weeks later. Had to reinstate.

4/16        Reinstated 1 mg, updose to 2 mg Trazodone

2/19        .04 Trazodone. Walked off.  Done.

10/3/19  Started 7.5 Mirtazapine taper cut to .073 gram weight, pill weighs .076

4/5/20    New Mirtazapine Taper - Compound Liquid 7.35 mg April '20, 7.25 mg May, 7.05 mg June, 6.99 mg June, 6.78 mg July, 6.57 mg Aug, Sept 6.35 mg, Sept 6.24 mg, Sept 6.21 mg, Oct 5.99 mg, Oct 5.90 mg, Oct 5.70 mg.

 

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This is great news and thank you, @Altostrata for your hard work and efforts. Are there any similar articles or research related to adverse reactions such as what many of the other members here are experiencing, such as myself, or have experienced?  Just curious. 

2002 - 2014, 500mg Keppra 2x’s/day (anti-seizure med)

2003 thru 2004 - 10 mg Remeron

2005ish - Adverse reactions to single doses of Zoloft, Wellbutrin, and Lexapro (no long-lasting problems)

2012 - Buspar (overly energized, stopped immediately, no long-lasting problems)

2014 - 1 month taper off of 500mg Keppra (Leviteracitam) - seizure free for 12 years 

2017 - 500mg Leviteracitam (generic keppra) 

2017 - Mid-Dec experienced adverse reaction to Leviteracitam due to different manufacturer. Stopped on Dec 20.

2018 - Jan 1st, 10 mg Fluoxetine (generic prozac) experienced severe adverse reaction after 3 doses and continue to experience issues today. 

2003 - 2018 Ativan, occasionally/rarely
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We have a forum full of journal articles about adverse reactions and other aspects of psychiatric drugs.

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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FleeingFluoxetine

I was going to post the NYT article but I’m glad to find it here. Thank you @Altostrata for all the work you have done. My friends and family didn’t believe me about the meds until I found this site. :)❤️

As of May 28th, 2020:

15 mg liquid Prozac

12.5 mg Imovane

50 mg Seroquel

20 mg Propranolol 3x a day

0.5 mg Clonazepam 3x a day

Supplements including Omega 3 fish oil, vitamin B complexes, magnesium, vitamins A, C, and E

 

 

 

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I have just finished reading the media articles report on this and I too felt elated. So many need this “breakthrough”. It feels like collateral. @marie123 I also started visualising sending this to various people who I suspect don’t subscribe to the gravity of the WD or believe it just “stress”. I am glad it has come from the inner circle so to speak. Happy for that to add credance. I hope to get a wave in order that I might read through the full journal article. 

I hope this breakthrough is exponential. A result of all the work of those who came before. Thanks to this site. Thanks to Altostrata!

 

Also, the experience of having ones reality denied by the medical community  is surely a variable in WD. A huge underlying stress that impacts on healing. I felt that terror everyday, knowing that i could easily fall down the rabbit hole of diagnosis. I obsessed regularly over this fear. Like many, staying away from doctors and terrified they may lose their credibility. Imagine feeling safe enough to discuss withdrawal issues with your doctor knowing you will be aided and helped. 

1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante
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India I have found that I can only count on myself (and everyone here on the forum) to believe in withdrawal. I do not discuss my experience with my doctor, but have hinted about it here and there. I just tell him I'm sensitive and need to taper slowly. I have said that there are others like me who are also this sensitive. You know the doctor writes notes as you talk to him/her. I don't want any erroneous comments written down about me. As long as he continued to write the scripts is all I cared about. I am hoping one day he will have an "Ah hah" moment. I've stopped telling friends because I hear their silence and see the looks. I do not care anymore if anyone believes in long withdrawals. You just have to be a strong person and have your beliefs that you are in the know and right about withdrawal. We are the smartest people about withdrawal after all.

 

Marie

10/13--10/14 Ambien. Started tapering 1/14  Jumped 10/14.  Done.                                                                              

3/14        7.5 Remeron  still taking this.                              

2/14         75 Trazodone   -    Tapered by dry cutting all the way down.

1/16        4 mg Trazodone  -  Jumped. Bad mistake. Got hit with late withdrawal 6 weeks later. Had to reinstate.

4/16        Reinstated 1 mg, updose to 2 mg Trazodone

2/19        .04 Trazodone. Walked off.  Done.

10/3/19  Started 7.5 Mirtazapine taper cut to .073 gram weight, pill weighs .076

4/5/20    New Mirtazapine Taper - Compound Liquid 7.35 mg April '20, 7.25 mg May, 7.05 mg June, 6.99 mg June, 6.78 mg July, 6.57 mg Aug, Sept 6.35 mg, Sept 6.24 mg, Sept 6.21 mg, Oct 5.99 mg, Oct 5.90 mg, Oct 5.70 mg.

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to NY Times article about Lancet tapering study: How t Quit Antidepressants: Very Slowly, Doctors Say

A psychiatrist says there is no “boilerplate advice” to give patients.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/15/opinion/letters/antidepressants-psychiatry.amp.html

Edited by Altostrata
merged similar topics

Current Dose

0.5mcg Clonidine and 1.25 Diazepam PRN for treatment of iatrogenic hypertension. 

2010 .Prescribed Pristiq 100 mg in July by GP

2010 .Reduced to 50mg by splitting and weighing. Held at 50mg

2014. Reduced from 50-35 .Held at 35mg. 

2017. Taper from 35mg commenced using compounded Desvenlafaxine

2018. 23/06 13.5mg. 21/07  12.5mg. 25/08 11.5mg. 09/2018 10mg. 14/11 11mg (updose) 21/11 -12mg (updose)

2019. Still holding at 12mg and stuck. 

2020. January 2019 Prozac Bridge-- Prozac 2.5 to 10mg and

Pristiq 23rd Jan 6mg/ 27th Jan 5mg/ 28th Jan 3mg/ 30 Jan 0

Prozac 6th Feb 9.5mg. Vitamin D3 5000iu with K2

Magnesium Glycinate with Glycine and Passionflower  600mg 

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DrugfreeProf

Any chance you could cut and paste the entire article, Andie? Some people won't be able to access articles due to the NYT paywall.  Thank you. Looks like a good one!

Drugfree Prof

Psychologist and Psychotherapist

Prozac 20 mg for approx 3 months during 2000, withdrew, no w/d sx

Prozac 10 - 30 mg Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2014

Ritalin 30-40 mg Jan. 2008 - Mar. 2015

W/d sx from Prozac started around 3 months after cessation--crying spells, depressed mood, lethargy; resolved in 8 - 12 mos. post cessation

Used and continue to use a TON of alternative methods--meditation, mindfulness, nutrition. supplements, exercise, etc.

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  • Moderator
17 hours ago, DrugfreeProf said:

Any chance you could cut and paste the entire article, Andie? Some people won't be able to access articles due to the NYT paywall.  Thank you. Looks like a good one!

 

If it has to be paid to view the article then posting it in full may breach copyright.

 

Please refer to this topic:  copyright-and-fair-use

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

 

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering 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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Hi just read this one tonight. Looking for support on dealing with the strange discontinuation symptoms. Celexa from 40mg to 6 mg in 8 months time period.

 

MOD NOTE:  I have been in contact with this member and JB will create an Intro when he is able to.

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added mod note

Citalopram 40 mg — (Now 6mg after 8 months approx) 

clonazopam 1.5 mg (Now .25 mg after 10 months approx)

lamotrigine 150 mg

methylphenidate (ritalin) 54 mg

modafinil 400 mg

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DrugfreeProf

NYT typically allows you a certain number of free articles per month. Not sure of the copyright implications of that one!

Drugfree Prof

Psychologist and Psychotherapist

Prozac 20 mg for approx 3 months during 2000, withdrew, no w/d sx

Prozac 10 - 30 mg Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2014

Ritalin 30-40 mg Jan. 2008 - Mar. 2015

W/d sx from Prozac started around 3 months after cessation--crying spells, depressed mood, lethargy; resolved in 8 - 12 mos. post cessation

Used and continue to use a TON of alternative methods--meditation, mindfulness, nutrition. supplements, exercise, etc.

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  • Administrator

It's a letter to the editor, and says nothing about how to taper. Surprised they even gave it space.

 

@Andie @Henosis always helpful for conversation to post a selection from the article but not the entire article, see Copyright and fair use


 

Quote

 

....

As a psychiatrist who has been prescribing antidepressants for more than 35 years, I have observed a problem with tapering off antidepressants with resultant withdrawal symptoms in a small but important group of patients. I have come to learn that there is no “boilerplate advice” to give to patients.

 

In determining the safest and most effective way to taper down antidepressants, we must focus on the individual. Just as patients differ on the necessary dose and time schedule of increasing the dose of antidepressants to elicit a clinical response, they also differ on the necessary schedule of reducing and stopping their medication.

....

Peter Kudler
New York

 

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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  • Altostrata changed the title to NY Times article about Lancet tapering study: How to Quit Antidepressants: Very Slowly, Doctors Say
  • 2 weeks later...

Interview with Dr Mark Horowitz on ' Mad in America' regarding his recent paper published in 'The Lancet' and his own battle with WD from an antidepressant. He mentions Altostrata and SA as an invaluable resource. Bravo :)https://www.madinamerica.com/2019/03/peer-support-groups-right-official-guidelines-wrong-dr-mark-horowitz-tapering-off-antidepressants/ 

 

  • Citalopram 20mg - 40mg ~ approx 2010 - October 2015 (stopped over one week)
  • Parnate  20mg - 50mg and olazapine 5mg ~ Jan 2016 - May 2016 (ceased over 2 days) 
  • Lithium 450mg-900 mg and Thyroxin ~May 2016 - May 2017
  • Diazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ 2015 - 2017
  • Oxazepam various doses (including PRN) ~ May 2016 - June 2016
  • Lurasidone 20mg ~Mid May 2016 - Mid June 2016
  • Vortioxetine 10mg - 20mg ~ 6th June 2016 - 20th July 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Amitriptyline 200mg ~July 2016 - September 2016 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Nortriptyline  (dose ?) ~October 2016 ~ November 2016 (abruptly ceased)
  • Seroquel XR 100mg - 300mg ~ May 2016 - August 2017 (ceased over 3 weeks)
  • Escitalopram 10mg - 30mg ~ August 2016 - March 2017 (ceased over 2 weeks)
  • Bupropion 300mg ~ December 2016 - May 2017 (ceased over 1 week)
  • Clonazepam 1.5mg daily ~ July 2016 (started tapering May 2017 - September 2017 currently on 0.375mg..ie 0.125mg TDS) 27th May 2018 5% 0.357mg (possible paradoxical reaction - see benzo thread)  28th June 5% 0.337mg, 28th July 10% 0.303mg, 12th September10% 0.272mg, 18th September reinstated 10% due to intolerable WD 0.303mg, 1st October-11th Oct 10% (1% reduction over 10 days) 0.272mg, 22nd October clonazepam ceased crossed over 10mg diazepam
  •  Dexamphatamine 20mg ~ December 2016 (started tapering October 2017 - tapered 1.25mg 4th Dec 2017, 1.25mg 19th Dec 2017 6.25mg, Speed up decrease due to major interaction between Dex and fluoxetine- ref to thread 10% 17th Feb 2018 5.63mg, 10% 21st Feb 2018 5.1mg, 10% 26th Feb 2018 4.5mg 10% 28th Feb 4.1mg, 10% 1st March 3.7mg, 10% 5th March 3.3mg, 10% 8th March 3mg, 10% 10th March 2.7mg, 10% 12th March 2.4mg, 10% 14th March 2.16mg, 10% 16th March 1.94mg, 10% 18th March 1.74mg, 10% 20th March 1.57mg, 10% 21st March 1.41mg, 10% 22nd March 1.26mg, 10% 23rd March 1.13mg, 10% 24th March 1.01mg, 10% 25th March 0.9mg, 10% 27th March 0.81mg, 10% 29th March 0.73mg, 10% 31st March 0.66mg, 10% 2nd April 0.59mg , 10% 4th April 0.53mg, 10% 6th April 0.47mg, 10% 8th April 0.42mg, 10%10th April 0.37mg, 11th April 0.2mg, 12th April 0.1mg (last dose) OFF! 
  • Fluoxetine 40mg ~December 2016 -.31 Jan 2018 reduced to 20mg (probable serotonin toxicity) 10th March 2020 10mg, 7th April 9mg, 1st May 8.5mg, 15th May 8.0mg, 27th May 7.5mg, 8th Sept 7.2mg, 2nd Oct 7mg, 19th Oct 6.8mg, 28th Oct 6.6mg, 5th Nov 6.4mg, 26th Nov 6mg
  • Diazepam 10mg ~ 22nd Oct 2018, 10th November 8mg, 14th Nov 7mg, 8th December 6mg, 30th December 5mg (Nocte), 7th March 2019 4.5mg,14th March 4mg, 5th April 3.5mg, 9th April 3mg, 18th April 2.5mg,1st May 2mg, 17th May 1.75mg, 25th May 1.6mg, 4th June 1.59mg, 5th June 1.58mg, 6th June 1.57mg, 7th June 1.56mg, 8th June 1.55mg, 22nd June 1.4mg, 4th July 1.2mg, 16th July 1mg, 30th July 0.8mg, 13th Aug 0.6mg, 28th Aug 0.4mg, 10th Sept 0.2mg, 23rd Sept Off! 
  • SR Circadin 2mg (melatonin) 25th May - 20th June 
  • Zolpidem 10mg 25th May (7 tablets)
  • Supplements: Magnesium glycinate (soluble - sip throughout the day) 

 

"Whenever you feel yourself doubting how far you can go,  just remember how far you have come.  Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome"    Unknown 

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