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Tinabuglaw 20 years on SSRI's and beginning slow taper


Birds4

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I've been on antidepressants for more than 2 decades. The first were tricyclic Trzadone. That effectively put me into a walking coma.I switched to paxil. I became hypomanic but I was somewhat controlled due to being on depakote as well. At some point I just stopped taking depakote cold turkey. No problems. Then I tried to stop paxil. BAD IDEA! I was in the middle of law school and got sent home. I just couldn't stop crying. I went to the doctor that put me on cymbalta and I felt better, for a while. 

 

At some point I started to taper. Very slowly. Over 6 months I tapered from 20mg to 0. The entire time I was manic, super sensitive to light, agitated, labile, dizzy, hallucinating due to extreme sensitivity to light and I had a feeling like my brain was rolling around in my head like jelly. Cognitive difficulties too. I didn't make much sense.  I had been of this drug 8 months and my symptoms weren't getting better. I started looking for a psychopharmacologist.

 

I found one and he put me on lamictal and Prozac. Like a miracle, the misery weren't away immediately. At some point I switched to lexapro. 

 

Currently I take 400mg lamictal and 7.5mg liquid Lexapro (from 10 mg). So far so good. No withdrawal feelings yet. 

 

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Birds4.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  
 
 
We recommend tapering no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  From your post, I can't tell if your taper from 10mg Lexapro to 7.5 was in one jump.  If so, I would suggest you slow down.  These links explain the importance of a slow taper.
 

 

 
 
To taper Lexapro (as I too am doing) you will need to obtain small, nonstandard doses.  Please read:
 

This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. 
 

 

Edited by Altostrata
screen name change

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 Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

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

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

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% 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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So I think from your reply you're asking for my history of antidepressants and withdrawal. I believe the first time I ran into withdrawal syndrome was when I was taking paxil I don't remember what the dose was but it was my first SSRI antidepressant. I decided to go cold turkey and the following day I could not stop crying I was just sterical and I got sent home from law school.

 

My second experience with SSRI withdrawal happened when I purposely tried to taper my dose of 20 mg cymbalta. I can't tell you exactly how long I had been taking it but I know it was over a year to and I was only taking 20 mg. I decided to slowly taper over a. Of several months. The withdrawal symptoms included mania agitation dizziness a feeling of jelly rolling around in my head like maybe vertigo a buzzing in my face and hallucinations when it came to light sensitivity for instance while driving on the parkway in the fall after the leaves had fallen the sun shining onto the road between the trees made it look like the road was rolling up into my car. Also when I'm in a store and saw a checkerboard pattern on clothing it would feel as though it was 3D.

 

Those symptoms did not go away within 6 months of completing the taper in fact they may have gotten worse. I tried to reinstate the cymbalta but it didn't work. That's when I found a psychopharmacologist who prescribes me Lamictal and I believe it was Prozac at the time 5 mg. That combination even though I was on the bottom of the titration of the Lamictal completely ameliorated the withdrawal symptoms. 

 

Currently I am on 750 mg of lithium 400 mg Lamictal divided into doses and 7.5 mg liquid Lexapro. Today is day 7 and yes it was one drop from 10 mg to 7.5 mg. I plan on staying on this dose for a month before trying another drop but from now on I will be doing the 10% as recommended. I'm just hoping I don't develop any withdrawal symptoms between now and the next drop but I've gotten over the first 7 days no symptoms at all.

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Tinabuglaw 20 years on SSRI's and beginning slow taper
  • Administrator

Welcome, Tina.

 

On 3/30/2019 at 4:48 PM, Tinabuglaw said:

I found one and he put me on lamictal and Prozac. Like a miracle, the misery weren't away immediately. At some point I switched to lexapro. 

 

Currently I take 400mg lamictal and 7.5mg liquid Lexapro (from 10 mg). So far so good. No withdrawal feelings yet. 

 

How did you get from Prozac to Lexapro and why? Why are you taking lithium? How's your sleep?

 

Good to hear you haven't any problems so far with your initial Lexapro reduction.

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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So I think from your reply you're asking for my history of antidepressants and withdrawal. I believe the first time I ran into withdrawal syndrome was when I was taking paxil I don't remember what the dose was but it was my first SSRI antidepressant. I decided to go cold turkey and the following day I could not stop crying I was just sterical and I got sent home from law school.

 

My second experience with SSRI withdrawal happened when I purposely tried to taper my dose of 20 mg cymbalta. I can't tell you exactly how long I had been taking it but I know it was over a year to and I was only taking 20 mg. I decided to slowly taper over a. Of several months. The withdrawal symptoms included mania agitation dizziness a feeling of jelly rolling around in my head like maybe vertigo a buzzing in my face and hallucinations when it came to light sensitivity for instance while driving on the parkway in the fall after the leaves had fallen the sun shining onto the road between the trees made it look like the road was rolling up into my car. Also when I'm in a store and saw a checkerboard pattern on clothing it would feel as though it was 3D.

 

Those symptoms did not go away within 6 months of completing the taper in fact they may have gotten worse. I tried to reinstate the cymbalta but it didn't work. That's when I found a psychopharmacologist who prescribes me Lamictal and I believe it was Prozac at the time 5 mg. That combination even though I was on the bottom of the titration of the Lamictal completely ameliorated the withdrawal symptoms. 

 

Currently I am on 750 mg of lithium 400 mg Lamictal divided into doses and 7.5 mg liquid Lexapro. Today is day 7 and yes it was one drop from 10 mg to 7.5 mg. I plan on staying on this dose for a month before trying another drop but from now on I will be doing the 10% as recommended. I'm just hoping I don't develop any withdrawal symptoms between now and the next drop but I've gotten over the first 7 days no symptoms at all.

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So yes. I'm on lithium. I think the Lexapro was making me hypomanic. I didn't even know it. But probably 5 years I was getting obsessed with things and buying things associated with the obsession compulsively. That's when we introduced lithium. About 2 months ago. 

 

Sleep is really bad. I was on 1mg Abilify for a few months for restless legs. I gained 12lbs and I wasn't eating it drinking any more than I had been. So I stopped. But my restless legs, probably induced by Lexapro, became exponentially unbearable. Maybe a rebound symptom from quitting the Abilify. So I'm on my way to the sleep doctor today. 

 

I don't know why I stopped Prozac. I was only on 5mg. My father died and I think that was around the time of the switch. Honestly, I've been on meds so long idk what came first or why. I do know I had some very strong feelings when my father died in 2017 and I'm just coming out of them now. No thanks to Lexapro. 

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  • Administrator

What was the effect of the lithium? How did you get from Prozac to Lexapro and why did you make that change?

 

When did your sleep get bad? What times of day do you take your drugs, and their dosages?

 

Do you sit a lot? Stretching exercises for your legs can help.

 

A lot of people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see
https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Magnesium can help "restless legs." Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.

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 lithium helps me to calm down it doesn't really make me feel like anyting I just noticed differences in the way that I react to things and my ability to hold myself back in situations where I felt like I couldn't stop myself in the past. So I have a lot less agitation unable to tolerate things I don't feel compulsive or impulsive with the lithium. But I don't feel drugged and I'm on a low dose anyways so my blood levels are lower than what doctors would generally consider therapeutic. 0.4 lithium. 

 

I do take quality fish oil supplements as well as magnesium I didn't know that the fish oil had anything to do with restless legs but I take them regularly and I take a boatload of magnesium it doesn't seem to help anymore used to.

 

I'm thinking that my sleep got bad when I started taking antidepressants and that's why I have restless legs in the first place. But that's the reason why I have sleep problems is the movement disorder. it completely disrupt my sleep in fact I went to the doctor today and he prescribed mirapex and gabapentin. I hate to get hooked on more drugs yet but I don't see an alternative. 

 

I can try some stretching I'm not sure exactly what kind of stretching to do I know in the past it's been hit-or-miss sometimes it makes it worse and sometimes it helps.

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