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badway: tapered too fast and feel terrible


badway

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Topic title:  Tapered too fast

 

I started tapering from 20mg Prozac in November 2018.  Was doing ok at 2mg until abt two weeks ago when things turned awful.  Since then I have had panic attacks, constant tears and absolutely no enjoyment in anything.  I’ve gone back up to 5mg now but am terrified I’ve done some damage to myself.  I don’t really have a support network as I live in the Middle East.  When might I expect to feel better (if ever)?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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Firstly, my history.

 

Paroxetine (25mg) stopped working 18 months ago after 9 or so years, switched to fluoxetine (20mg). Started tapering (haphazardly) in November 2018.  Until this week, was at 2mg. 

 

Ive upped my dose back to 5mg fluoxetine as I have never felt worse in my entire life as the last two weeks.  

 

I have basically had to treat myself (over the counter) as I live in Middle East where physician support is negligible.  That said, I’ve been given mirtazapine to take ‘as needed’ as of last week.

 

I am terrified I have permanently damaged myself through mistreatment.  

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to badway: tapered too fast and feel terrible
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Badway, 

 

Welcome to SA. I’m sorry about all the symptoms you have been getting, they’re very common in withdrawals.

 

Firstly could you please put in a drug signature. ChessieCat will send you the link. It helps us to see your drug history at a glance, and then we don’t have to look over your whole thread every time. 

 

When did you switch from paroxetine to fluoxetine? All the rapid tapering you did and the switch over would be causing your symptoms now, as you probably. 

 

What day did you up the fluoxetine?  

 

How much mirtazapine have you taken? 

 

You haven’t done any permanent damage. Our brains have an amazing capacity to heal. It can take a long time though. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

 

Been on antipsychotics, benzos, ADs and opiates for chronic pain. 

Was cold turkeyed and put on and off lots of things. Was suicidal n ended up in a psych ward due to akathisia from WDs. When released I still had severe akathisia n was suicidal. Back to the ward and more meds. Tapered off one and have been trying to taper off Seroquel since. Many years of tapering. 

Tapered from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg./2019:➡️ March 10=7.25mg ✔️  
April 17=7.0✔️ June 5th=6.75✔️ July 14th=6.50✔️Aug 28=6.25✔️

Oct 10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️                                
 2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April 2=5.40✔️May 29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep 29=4.80✔️
 2021➡️ Jan 31=4.60 mg✔️April 24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov 1=4.10✔️ Nov 21= 4.05✔️ Dec 13= 4mg✔️

  2022➡️Jan 8= 3.95

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi badway and welcome to SA from me too,

 

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

 

 

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

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

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

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Went to new GP yesterday (with massive anxiety issues) who

advised me that the 5mg Prozac I’m on is below the therapeutic dose.  When I explained that I’m trying my damnedest to wean off these evil ‘medications’ his response was to prescribe me trazadone.  I don’t know what to do.  He said I could stop Prozac immediately and start trazadone the day after.  This fills me with dread as I recently updosed from 2mg as I was really, really struggling (just really struggling now).

 

any help, experience sharing or advice would be warmly received 

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to badway: trazadone
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi badway, 

 

Welcome to SA. Please do not cold turkey the Prozac, as 2mg is still too high to jump off. Quite a few people have jumped off around 2mg and ended up in severe withdrawals for quite some time. It is always best to taper by no more than 10% a month. I can only taper under 4% now, and usually I hold a bit longer than a month. 

 

When did you updose to 5mg?  Could you please put the date in your signature. Thanks. 

 

Your anxiety issues may actually be due to withdrawals, plus the updosing. Changing so many things in a short time has destabilised your brain. It’s your choice if you do, but I personally wouldn’t start taking another medication. It probably won’t help the withdrawals, and it may actually make things worse. Then later on you may have trouble getting off that as well. I’ve been on and off so many meds that my brain is so sensitised, I feel every little change now. Please stay safe. 

 

When you started tapering the Prozac in July 2018 were you on 20mg? Tapering from 20mg to 2mg in 8 months is very quick. It can take many months to stabilise from m such a quick taper. I’m down to 7mg of Seroquel, and it’s still going to take me many years to come off that. 

 

How often do you take the mirtazapine? How often does “as and when for sleep” mean?

 

Please don’t start tapering as yet. We should never taper until we have stabilised.

 

Take care, sending hugs🤗

 

Edited by Carmie
Addition

Been on antipsychotics, benzos, ADs and opiates for chronic pain. 

Was cold turkeyed and put on and off lots of things. Was suicidal n ended up in a psych ward due to akathisia from WDs. When released I still had severe akathisia n was suicidal. Back to the ward and more meds. Tapered off one and have been trying to taper off Seroquel since. Many years of tapering. 

Tapered from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg./2019:➡️ March 10=7.25mg ✔️  
April 17=7.0✔️ June 5th=6.75✔️ July 14th=6.50✔️Aug 28=6.25✔️

Oct 10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️                                
 2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April 2=5.40✔️May 29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep 29=4.80✔️
 2021➡️ Jan 31=4.60 mg✔️April 24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov 1=4.10✔️ Nov 21= 4.05✔️ Dec 13= 4mg✔️

  2022➡️Jan 8= 3.95

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

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Many thanks for the sound advice.

 

I decided not to take the trazadone and persist at 5mg fluoxetine for an extended  period before trying to drop down again (may go 5% a month).  My GP will no doubt have something to say about this Monday...

 

 I start a new job and will be moving home/selling an old house that needs substantial repair in the next few months. This, in addition to repatriating back to the UK following seven years overseas, has probably destabilised me somewhat. 

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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Hi all

 

I am attempting to start a new job next week. I got this one in December, resigned from old one in February and left position in April.  Unfortunately, I think my MH playing tricks on me has precipitated this and during the timeline described I have crashed badly during my taper.

 

I am terrified that I will be unable to perform and will be booted and on the scrap heap (2 kids and a wife to support).

 

does anyone have any helpful words or experiences?  Could really do with a lift...

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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Hi

 

could someone indicate what CNS destabilisation is likely to feel like?  Is it something that varies from day to day, be alleviated by anything and/or a long term phenomenon?

 

I tapered too quickly from 20mg to 2mg Prozac and suffered really badly.  I

updosed to 5mg and not sure if I feel any better (I think I do but cannot say for certain).

 

I intend to microtaper from this level but need to ensure I have stabilised before I embark on anything else.

 

 

 

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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  • Moderator

Hi Badway-- working while in WD can be a challenge but many of us have done or are doing it.

 

I think the most important thing to remember is attitude. As a sole provider I had to maintain my employment no matter what. So while at work I would not allow my self to dwell on the symptoms that I was feeling.  Sure they were there and they got in the way, but they can be worked around.  I found work to be the best distraction.  Because of the nature of my work as a Research and Development Engineer I had to pay close attention to detail which didn't leave any time to think about how I was feeling.  I had to monitor my condition at times when I was working with dangerous equipment or chemicals, but all it did was force me to slow down and concentrate.  I think that there were only half a dozen times during the five and half years I tapered that I had to stop what I was doing because it was not safe to proceed in the condition I was in at the time.  Otherwise taking it slow and methodically worked quite well.

 

Unless you are staggering and falling down or slurring your speech most people won't even know that you are having problems.  It's very hard to tell if a person is in WD just by looking at them.  I found it better not to tell my employer what was going on, unless it is causing problems it's really none of their business, but that was my experience. Don't let your ADWD make you self conscience.

 

Always carry a note pad.  Never try to remember things, take a lot of notes instead.  Brain fog and short term memory problems are best handled this way.  You have a skill set and are good at what you do so let autopilot take over when necessary and go with the flow.

 

Hope that helps.

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

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

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

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

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  • Moderator

CNS destabilization due to withdrawing from psychiatric drugs can show itself in a wide variety of symptoms.  Some of the most common are anxiety, depression and insomnia, as well as many and various physical symptoms.  This link lists some of these symptoms:

 

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Withdrawal symptoms can vary from day to day, they can disappear and then reappear again, or they can remain constant for quite a while. They often are a long term phenomenon, though one you will recover from in time, sometimes a frustratingly long time.
 
In terms of alleviating destabilizing, there isn't much that helps except time.  These links explain to how your brain recovers from destabilization.
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
Finding stability after it has been upset can be a very long process that involves a lot of waiting.   In general terms we like to have members hold for three to six months to stabilize, in some cases it can take quite a bit longer.  It can be a long frustrating time, but stability does eventually come.  Stability is not the absence of withdrawal symptoms but rather a steady state of feeling blah or bad without any major swings in any direction.  Until you've reached this state I would continue to hold.
 
 
 
 
 
Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my query.  The support and advice I am receiving from SA is keeping me afloat at present.  I realise I am in for a long, bumpy journey but one that hopefully has a welcome destination. 

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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Hi brassmonkey

 

Many thanks for taking the time to compose such a comprehensive and informative reply to my query.  It is so very welcome, I cannot begin to explain.  

 

 

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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Hi brassmonkey

 

Many thanks for taking the time to compose such a comprehensive and informative reply to my query.  It is so very welcome, I cannot begin to explain.  

 

 

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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A thought just occurred to me.

 

As I switched from paroxetine (12 years at 25mg) to fluoxetine (20mg) in July 2017 (no cross taper) and started tapering in July 2018, are the WD symptoms I’m experiencing more likely to be paroxetine, fluoxetine, both or actual illness.  I’m not sure whether I had any WD up until sort of January this year (it was tolerable if it was present) but given 20 mg fluoxetine is a relatively low dose for a relatively short period of time.

 

Also, I’m not really having any physical problems with WD, all mental (Anxiety, irritability and insomnia) - does this seem normal?  The reading I have done suggests physical problems are universally presented.

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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Forgot to address the mirtazapine response in the response.  My psychiatrist prescribed me 15mg and advised to take 1/4 of a pill as often or as little as I desired.  I ended up taking 3 x 1/4 doses over the last 2 months.  I have very little faith in the doctor who suggested such a haphazard regimen. 

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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Hi Badway,

Good luck with your new job.  I read Brass Monkey's take on your situation and agree wholeheartedly.  One important item he mentioned is having a skill set that you can count on while allowing yourself to go on automatic pilot.  I found I was able to do that while substitute teaching and was amazed.  While I could barely function at home, I was able to practically detach from my symptoms while teaching.  My tinnitus was ringing to beat the band, and the anxiety was crippling; but I functioned at work.  Nobody knew I was in withdrawal from ADs.

 

I had retired from my job because of my MH.  If I had been thinking at all clearly, I would not have made that choice.  I am so often dismayed to be stuck with choices I made almost without my permission!   Yet, I did make them.  It is a good sign that you are making reasonable decisions while availing yourself of the good ideas on this site.

 

I agree also with the truth that people do not know what I am thinking or going through emotionally.  I try to concentrate only on what I'm doing and not on how I'm feeling.  Ruminating is the worst thing I can do to myself.  I can't think myself into good mental health; I can only act myself into it.  Hopefully, the thinking will follow along.

 

Best wishes,

RM

 

 

 

 

 

Alcohol periodic excessive 1963-1976, Valium sporadic 1964-1973,  Imipramine off & on 1982-1985, Fluoxetine 10mg-80 mg. Oct., 1995-Jan., 2014; Cymbalta, other ADs 1/2014-3/2014; Abilify 5 mg. 3/2014 - 8/8/17; Trintellix 20 mg. 3/2014 - 9/2017; Propranolol 60-80 mg. sporadically Sept-Oct, 2017; Seroquel few days Sept 2017 (c/t); Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sept, 2017 updosed to 300 mg. few days till c/t Oct 8, 2017, fish oil, vitD, vitE Oct 16, 2017-pres. Lipoflavonoid 4/2017-pres.  Fluoxetine 10 mg. Sept-Oct 8, 2017, 20 mg. 10/9- 10/15; 10 mg. 10/16 - 12/29;  9 mg. 12/30 - 2/9; 2 mL liquid (8.1mg) 2/10 - 3/7; 1.8 mL (7.29 mg) 3/8 -3/20; 1.6 mL (6.561mg) 3/20-4/2; 1.4 mL (5.9 mg) 4/3-4/14; 1mL (4 mg.) 4/15-4/22; .9mL (3.6mg) 4/23-5/1; .81mL (3.24 mg) 5/2-5/24; .73mL (2.916mg.) 5/25-6/8; .65mL 6/9-6/23; .6mL 6/24-7/17; .58mL 7/18-7/28; .525mL 7/29-8/13; .5 mL 8/14-21; .45mL 8/22-31; .4mL 9/2-21; .35mL 9/22-10/4; .3mL 10/5-28; .25mL 10/28-11/10; .2mL 11/11-11/24; .18mL 11/25-12/3; .1mL 12/4-12/18. Zero-12/19/18-present.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reading about the waves and windows of WD.  My experience has been one of continuous waves and my life currently is hardest it has ever been.  I can only assume I was evil in a former life.

September 2004 to June 2017 - 25mg  Paroxetine )

In June 2017 decided to switch to 20mg Prozac.

Started tapering in July 2018, somewhat haphazardly (cold water solutions and dilutions) to 2mg in February 2019 experienced bad WD.

Went back to 5mg and 3.75mg mirtazapine (as and when for sleep).

 

 

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