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mcmom: cold turkey off ambien, fast taper off clonazapam


mcmom52

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I am a 67 year old retired Medical Office manager of 18 years. I have been bridged on various anti-depressants for several years...Zoloft, Lexapro, for generalized musculoskelatal pains that the drs attributed to "depression". 20+ years ago I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

 

Approximately 10+ years ago was bridged to Cymbalta. It seemed to help generalized pains, anxiety for awhile but then slowly over time I didn't feel like it was working any longer, and my dr increased to 2-60mg q d....I didn't see a difference in improvement...so being clueless...I dc'd the additional 60mg in the morning...looking back, I was clueless that this could cause me problems!!! I forged on...approximately 18 months ago, I noticed that my anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia were getting worse...my dr then started me on Ambien 10mg for sleep, and this worked great...when I was stressed or nervous I could take my pill and go to bed for 10-12 hours of sound sleep.

 

I later still struggled with nervousness and dr started clomazepam lowest dose and said I could take 1-2 a day. I very rarely took one but over time I found myself taking one regularly and occasionally take 2. I would find myself waking up 1:00-2:00 AM and could not go back to sleep and frustrated and desperate to sleep I would get up and take another 1/2 Ambien...when my Ambien script ran out the pharmacy called and said the dr REFUSED to refill it because they are saying you used too much.

 

I scheduled an appointment and went in with my husband and explained to the dr what I had been doing....He still REFUSED to refill...so I was c/t off of Ambien and c/t off clomazepam...and I was STRUGGLING!!!! Anxiety, nervousness, GI issues, dizziness, severe headaches (I guess ya'll call them brain zaps) so I started reading and saw where I should have never had to go c/t on the Ambien or Clomazepam...so I started reading on my Cymbalta...and boy was that eye opening!!! and right then I decied I'm getting off.

 

So I found the on facebook called Cymbalta Hurts Worse and they explained about the slow taper no greater than 2-10% and holding for 10-14 days. So I started...and man I have been sick ever since...going on 2 months. So here I am...old and shaky and counting beads out of a capsule and refilling with exact amount needed and am currently on hold due to symtoms....no quality of life...and wondering will I ever be normal again?

Edited by Altostrata
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  • Moderator

Hello, mcmom52, and welcome to SA.

 

Yes, you can be normal again.  Just take it slowly as you taper the Cymbalta.  What are your symptoms and when do they appear in relation to when you drop lower on your dosage?

 

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.  Please include your current taper rate of Cymbalta.
 
 
We recommend a taper of no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  If you are not doing well on your taper, it could be that your hold is not long enough and you need to hold longer.
In any case, I suggest you stop tapering until your withdrawal symptoms are tolerable (not absent but tolerable).  
 

 

These links explain the importance of a slow taper:
 
 
 
This link is specifically about tapering Cymbalta:
 
 
Please write back with any questions.
 
 
 
 

 
 

 

 

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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Dates are approx.:

 

1980 - 2000      Was "bridged" from various anti-depressants (Zoloft and Lexapro)

2000-Current - Cymbalta 60mg

                           at one point dr upped to 2 per day, but was not helping so dropped back to 1-60mg per day.

                            ***currently tapering at 10% for 2-4 weeks...holding now due to symtoms

2018-2019        Ambien 10mg

                            March 2019 - stopped cold turkey (dr refused to refill)

2018-2019         Clomazepam  1 qd (was told ok to ocassionally take 2 if needed)

                             March 2019 - did a fast taper and stopped.

Current                Lisinipril 20mg  1 qd

 

PRN meds          Aleve, Linzess, Tylenol, zyrtec

 

Supplements      D3, Omega3, Vit B complex, probiotic, magnesium citrate, cbd oil 1 dropper per day

 

Symtoms             Insomnia, bad headaches, anxiety/nervousness, crying, GI issues, blurry vision, nausea, brain fog

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to mcmom: thanks for accepting me

Hello all...I am new to this site and trying to learn. I am 67 yrs old and 4 weeks ago went cold turkey off ambien 10mg, and did a fast taper off clonazepam  1mg...because dr refused to refill. I had no idea about the seriousness of these drugs...he prescribed them and I took them. I was so ignorant regarding these drugs. I have suffered with headaches, nausea, anxiety,dizziness, neck stiffness, and generally sick. I am angry at the dr and at myself for allowing this to happen to me. I know you are all suffering in some way or you wouldn't be here...Please HELP

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to mcmom: cold turkey off ambien, fast taper off clonazapam
  • Administrator

Welcome, mcmom.

 

Please don't reduce Cymbalta while you're having Ambien and clonazepam withdrawal symptoms!

 

You will need to go to your doctor or another doctor, explain you're having severe withdrawal from clonazepam, and ask for a prescription so you can taper off over the next few months. Attention @Shep

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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  • Administrator
On 4/26/2019 at 9:56 PM, mcmom52 said:

I am 67 yrs old and 4 weeks ago went cold turkey off ambien 10mg, and did a fast taper off clonazepam  1mg...because dr refused to refill.

 

Mcmom, go to a doctor, clinic, or ER and get a prescription for Ambien and Clonzepam. At 4 weeks off, you are right at the edge of when a reinstatement will work for a benzodiazepine. Reinstatements work best for benzos within 2 - 4 weeks of coming off.

 

When talking to your doctor, remain calm and collected. Some doctors mistake the symptoms of dependency with that of the craving form of addiction, so present yourself as calmly and articulately as possible. 

 

Please do not delay doing this. 

CURRENTLY AWAY FROM THE FORUM

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Dear Shep...thank you for responding to me. I have gone to 2 doctors...one refused to write for ambien and clonazepam and was not concerned about my struggles...and the other I went to because since all of this has occurred I have had a lump come up in my neck/throat that causes restriction when I swallow. She sent me for lab and ultrasound but I have not heard back from her. (saw her on Wednesday of last week) She did comment that was a lot of things for my body to go through...but never suggested that I reinstate or offer a rx. I will have to look up the exacr date of my last ambien and clonazepam. I have approximately 30 of the clonazepam left from my fast taper. My thinking is cloudy at least...so please bare with me. When I saw what was happening to me I immediately started reading about my Cymbalta and started a slow taper on it...10% drop every 2-4 weeks. The taper started with an average of 330 beads in a capsule..I had made 3 drops down to my current 243 beads in a capsule.....I checked the date when I took last ambien and started my Cymbalta taper (2-22-19) and I started my fast taper on clonazepam at that time as well...I took the clonazepam about 3 x week then 2x week then 1x week and jumped off. I know my situation is complicated...and for that I am sorry. I truly would appreciate yours and Alto's advice. Sincerely, McMom

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  • Administrator

This is the Mad in America Provider Directory. It's a listing of doctors and therapists that are vetted for being aware of withdrawal. Please place your city and state in it and see if there's anyone near you. 

 

Mad in America Provider Directory

 

Even if all you find are therapists, it will be worth a phone call to see if they know of any benzo-wise doctors who can prescribe in your area. If you live near the state line, you may also want to check out any other state that's close to you.

 

And this is SA's recommended doctors:

 

Recommended doctors, therapists, and clinics

 

Please go ahead and re-start the clonazepam. You may want to reinstate at just 25% of your initial dose. You can always increase. 

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 

 

Please stop tapering your antidepressant. 

 

Let us know how you're feeling. 

CURRENTLY AWAY FROM THE FORUM

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Shep...thank you for responding to me...I am so scared...I live in a rural part of East Texas and the drs are limited...I am nowhere near any of the drs/therapists in MAD. Since I am almost 9 weeks off ambien and approx. 6 wks off clonazepam...what do I do??? Im scared to take any more...I HAVE STOPPED duloxetine/Cymbalta taper. I am continuing with, headaches, shaky, head feels full, neck and shoulders tense, and some nervousness, and constipation and bloating. I started omega3, magnesium citrate, probiotics. the probiotics have resolved the abdominal cramping and nausea. Could you please update Alto and the two of you see if you think I am past the danger of a seizure?? I could go to an ER...but I am doubtful they would write any scripts for these meds. I am supposed to find out about the lump in my neck/throat that is causing swallowing constriction...they did labs and ultrasound. Thank you and Alto so much for trying to help me. I will be waiting to hear from you.

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  • Administrator

You probably are past the danger from seizures at 6 weeks off, but you are in acute benzo withdrawal. Since this can last a number of months or even years, please continue to work to find a prescriber. 

 

This therapist is listed on both SA and Mad in America:

 

John Breeding, PhD

 

(512) 326-8326
john@wildestcolts.com

 

You may want to email or call his office and see if he knows of any benzo-wise prescribers in Texas. Even though he himself can't prescribe, as you can see from his profile on MiA, he's an activist as well as a therapist and may know of some doctors in your area who can help. He's aware of the dangers of these drugs. 

CURRENTLY AWAY FROM THE FORUM

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Shep...as I mentioned before...I have 120 tabs left of Clonazapam 1mg. I did a 2 week fast taper 6 weeks ago.

 

Here is what I am thinking...please let me know what you think...

 

I took 1/4 tab today (.25mg)  what if I take:

.25mg a day x 4 weeks

.25mg 3 x week x 4 weeks

.25mg 2 x week x 4 weeks

.25mg 1 x week x 4 weeks

then off

 

would this work?

Please let me know

McMom

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  • Administrator
On 4/28/2019 at 9:41 AM, mcmom52 said:

I have approximately 30 of the clonazepam left from my fast taper.

 

2 hours ago, mcmom52 said:

I have 120 tabs left of Clonazapam 1mg.

 

 

Please verify how many pills you have left, as the number has changed.

 

2 hours ago, mcmom52 said:

I took 1/4 tab today (.25mg)  what if I take:

.25mg a day x 4 weeks

.25mg 3 x week x 4 weeks

.25mg 2 x week x 4 weeks

.25mg 1 x week x 4 weeks

then off

 

We don't recommend skipping doses like this. You'll go into interdose withdrawal with this schedule.

 

This post explains more:

 

How about taking my medication every other day to reduce my dosage?

 

Please verify how many pills you have and we'll try to come up with a plan. 

 

Also, let us know how you're feeling now that you've reinstated. 

 

Please set up a signature so the moderators can easily see your history.

 

Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 

  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.
10 hours ago, Shep said:

This therapist is listed on both SA and Mad in America:

 

John Breeding, PhD

 

(512) 326-8326
john@wildestcolts.com

 

Once you settle into the reinstatement, I would go ahead and reach out to this therapist to see if he knows of any benzo-wise prescribers in your area. 

CURRENTLY AWAY FROM THE FORUM

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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