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LaughingKat

LaughingKat: withdrawing (still?) from Celexa

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LaughingKat

Admin note:  link to benzo forum thread - LaughingKat: Switch from Ativan to Klonopin

 

Hello, everyone, and thank you for being here. Here's my story: 

 

In July 2017 I started a severe bout of anxiety, mostly health-related, that I never entirely got over, although I'm not having daily panic attacks anymore. I worked on it with talk therapy, which I continue, but in January 2018, I decided I needed pharmaceutical help and saw a psychiatrist who prescribed 10 mg of Celexa daily as well as Ativan as needed. Something similar had happened to me 20 years before, so I knew to be cautious about how much Ativan I took. 

 

The Celexa did help take the edge off my anxiety but the sexual side effects depressed me. In November 2018, having made some progress in therapy, I decided they were unacceptable and decreased the dose to 5 mg. I didn't consult the psychiatrist but I figured that since Celexa wasn't addictive like Ativan, it wouldn't matter. (Haha.)

 

Actually I didn't feel any withdrawal effects until March 2019, which puzzles me. I started having ferocious headaches and intense neck and jaw tension, along with little painful "sparks" in my eyes every once in a while. I have never been a headachey person and I'd never felt anything like this before. They feel like electric knives going into my scalp. I thought it was just tension (my daughter had been in an auto accident and I was taking care of her while she recovered from injuries) but in early April 2019 I called the psychiatrist and told him about the headaches. He said the headaches were "likely" from the Celexa and since I was on "a baby dose" at that point I should stop taking them. 

 

It's been a month and I still have the headaches, neck and jaw tension, eye pain. Not every day but most days. At this point the psychiatrist says just don't worry about the headaches, they're not important or major. But they feel major to me! Sometimes I take ibuprofen and that helps. But I resist taking it. I've had up to 5 days without headaches and then when they come back I'm heartbroken and scared. But I'm grateful to have learned here on this site that SSRI withdrawal isn't always a straight line. 

 

Can anyone reassure me further, especially about the weird timeline of the headaches? Why did they start three months after I decreased the Celexa dose? And why do they continue a month after I stopped entirely? Has someone had a similar experience, similar symptoms with Celexa? I know several things in my story go against the good advice on this site. But I do not want to go back to taking Celexa, even a small dose. I vowed to myself I would never take a ssri again unless I was prepared to take it for the rest of my life. 

 

Thanks for listening. 

Edited by Shep
added link to benzo forum thread

LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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Gridley

Hello, LaughingKat, and welcome to SA.

 

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 supplements.
 
 
Going from 10mg to 5mg was a 50% drop (we recommend no more than 10% every four weeks) and then going to zero from 5mg was another very fast drop, which would explain the withdrawal symptoms you're experiencing.  All the symptoms you mention are known withdrawal symptoms, and they can often be delayed, which appears to be the case with you.
 
 
Symptoms coming and going is the usual pattern.
 
 
When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
These explain it really well:

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  Rhiannon said: 
When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

I understand your wish not to take an SSRI again.  I hope your withdrawal symptoms remain tolerable and go away soon.  Should they worsen, I did want you to be aware that reinstatement of a very small dose of the original drug (perhaps 1mg) is the only known way to reduce  withdrawal symptoms. If you are interested in further information about reinstatement, please let me know. You may prefer to wait it out.  Unfortunately there is no way to predict how long it will take for your system to regain homeostasis.  For some it can be fairly fast; for others it can take longer.

 

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.
 
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.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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LaughingKat

Thank you for responding, Gridley! I'll look at these resources. 


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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laydefish

Hi @LaughingKat & welcome to the Group! Sorry to meet you here but if you have this issue- it's the place to learn a lot & get support!  I'm 8 months Antidepressant free after 11 years & feel great, it's been a difficult journey- but your already on your way - Hang in there & Learn all you can - Stay Strong Laydefish


2 years Drug History Prior to Tapering:

Between 2011 & 2018 I had approximately 58 dose changes between the 4 main medications I took as well as 14 new medications add & taken away.

Prozac (Fluoxetine):(Aug 2016-Dec 2016: 60MG),(June 2017-Nov 2017: 60MG),(Dec 2017: 80MG),(June 2017-Sept 2 2018: 60MG),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 5 2018: 40MG),(Sept 6 2018-Sept 8 2018: 20MG),(Sept 9 2018: 0MG).

Cymbalta:(Jan 2017-May 2017: 60MG).

Cyclobenzaprine: (Aug 2016: 30MG,(Feb 2017: 30MG).

Diazepam (Valium):(Aug 2016-Sept 15 2016: 30MG),(Sept 16 2016-Oct 2017: 15MG),(Nov 2017-Aug 19 2018: 6MG),(Aug 20 2018: 0MG).

Gabapentin:(Aug 2016-Aug 3 2018: 2400MG),(Aug 4 2018-March 26 2019: 2000MG),(March 27 2019-March 30 2019: 1600MG),(May 1 2019: 2000MG)

Hydrocodone:(Aug 2016-Oct 2016: 10-325/4daily),(Nov 2016-Feb 2017: 10-325/3daily),(March 2017-April 2017: 5-325/4daily),(May 2017-April 2018: 10-325/3daily),(June 2018-Aug 25 2018: 10-325/5daily),(Aug 26 2018-Sept 2 2018: 4.5daily),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 10 2018: 10-325/4daily),(Sept 11 2018-Sept 18 2018: 10-325/3daily),(Sept 19 2018-May 1 2019: 10-325/3.5 daily).

Oxycodone: May 2018: 10-325MG/4daily). 

Please see my Intro for full drug history.

         **Forgive Yourself For Not Knowing What You Didn't Know Before You Knew It!  -Maya Angelou/

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LaughingKat

Thank you, @laydefish! It's so encouraging to know that you've been through this hell and now feel good. I feel like I haven't felt good, or even felt like myself, in so long. 

 

I had an upsurge of the @%^&ing headaches over the past few days. It's unclear to me what makes them worse or what makes them recede. When they first started, my psychiatrist said "They may not go away unless you take ibuprofen." And I thought "What the hell? Thanks for warning me!" But I didn't take ibuprofen consistently and here I am a month later. 

 

Did anyone else with headaches due to withdrawal find that consistently taking ibuprofen helped? I'd really like to know. I resist taking it (not a big fan of pharmaceuticals, now more than ever) but if that's going to speed them going away I'll max out on ibuprofen consistently. Any advice appreciated. These prickly itchy knife headaches are killing me and make me super-anxious. 

 

 


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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Gridley

Altostrata, SA's founder, has written, "Taken in moderation, acetaminophen and aspirin are fairly safe, but high doses over a long time can cause liver damage, particularly if taken with alcohol.)"

 

I don't know about Ibuprofen.  Paracetamol didn't agree with me (ramped up my anxiety symptoms).  When we're in withdrawal, even seemingly innocuous OTC medicines can cause negative reactions.  If you do decide to take a mild painkiller, start on a low dose.

 

You can also Google "SurvivingAntidepressants.org Ibuprofen" for further discussion.


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.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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RichT
3 hours ago, LaughingKat said:

Thank you, @laydefish! It's so encouraging to know that you've been through this hell and now feel good. I feel like I haven't felt good, or even felt like myself, in so long. 

 

I had an upsurge of the @%^&ing headaches over the past few days. It's unclear to me what makes them worse or what makes them recede. When they first started, my psychiatrist said "They may not go away unless you take ibuprofen." And I thought "What the hell? Thanks for warning me!" But I didn't take ibuprofen consistently and here I am a month later. 

 

Did anyone else with headaches due to withdrawal find that consistently taking ibuprofen helped? I'd really like to know. I resist taking it (not a big fan of pharmaceuticals, now more than ever) but if that's going to speed them going away I'll max out on ibuprofen consistently. Any advice appreciated. These prickly itchy knife headaches are killing me and make me super-anxious. 

 

 

 

‘Hi LaughingKat,

 

ibuprofen can have side effects, particularly if taken long term. Here’s a link: https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/pain-relief-taking-nsaids-safely

 

R


 = medication taken now

 

2007 quetiapine to March 2019 200mg

2019 quetiapine March to present 225mg 

2007 citalopram to present 40mg 
2018 March Abilify 5mg  
2019 Abilify February rapid taper over 3 weeks from 5mg to off

2019 March Clonazepam as required, taken very occasionally, then taken 0.5mg for 2 days 28th and 29th March, now phased out

2019 1st April reinstated Abilify 0.5mg / day 

2018 to present Liquid B12 2g twice daily (diagnosed B12 deficiency) 
 

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laydefish

Hi @LaughingKat, I agree with @Gridley, and I really regard @Altostrata & her opinion regarding just about anything Antidepressant, so I would definetley lean toward her advice. Personally I use Aleve, & I don't have issues with it. Hope this helps! Take Care!


2 years Drug History Prior to Tapering:

Between 2011 & 2018 I had approximately 58 dose changes between the 4 main medications I took as well as 14 new medications add & taken away.

Prozac (Fluoxetine):(Aug 2016-Dec 2016: 60MG),(June 2017-Nov 2017: 60MG),(Dec 2017: 80MG),(June 2017-Sept 2 2018: 60MG),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 5 2018: 40MG),(Sept 6 2018-Sept 8 2018: 20MG),(Sept 9 2018: 0MG).

Cymbalta:(Jan 2017-May 2017: 60MG).

Cyclobenzaprine: (Aug 2016: 30MG,(Feb 2017: 30MG).

Diazepam (Valium):(Aug 2016-Sept 15 2016: 30MG),(Sept 16 2016-Oct 2017: 15MG),(Nov 2017-Aug 19 2018: 6MG),(Aug 20 2018: 0MG).

Gabapentin:(Aug 2016-Aug 3 2018: 2400MG),(Aug 4 2018-March 26 2019: 2000MG),(March 27 2019-March 30 2019: 1600MG),(May 1 2019: 2000MG)

Hydrocodone:(Aug 2016-Oct 2016: 10-325/4daily),(Nov 2016-Feb 2017: 10-325/3daily),(March 2017-April 2017: 5-325/4daily),(May 2017-April 2018: 10-325/3daily),(June 2018-Aug 25 2018: 10-325/5daily),(Aug 26 2018-Sept 2 2018: 4.5daily),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 10 2018: 10-325/4daily),(Sept 11 2018-Sept 18 2018: 10-325/3daily),(Sept 19 2018-May 1 2019: 10-325/3.5 daily).

Oxycodone: May 2018: 10-325MG/4daily). 

Please see my Intro for full drug history.

         **Forgive Yourself For Not Knowing What You Didn't Know Before You Knew It!  -Maya Angelou/

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LaughingKat

Thanks, @RichT and @Gridley and @laydefish! Yes, I really don't want to take NSAIDs but sometimes the headaches are so painful! I had a doctor tell me that acetaminophen is safer than ibuprofen but unfortunately acetaminophen doesn't do a thing for me. I think I'll try aspirin next. 

 

The last two days have been pretty headache-free. It's a nice window, for sure. 

 

 


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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LaughingKat

I'm reaching out for support because my physical symptoms are back after a window of a little over a week. Headaches, neck tension that is beyond belief, flu-like aches, a feverish feeling with no fever, chills. 

 

Now I'm second-guessing: Maybe it isn't withdrawal, maybe I have some horrible disease? Why would the symptoms come back as strong as ever after going away? My psychiatrist think I'm just having tension because I'm anxious, which makes me angry because I've never felt these physical sensations before, and they're what's making me anxious. He unhelpfully told me to just forget about the headaches, they're unimportant. He also says I was taking a "baby dose" of Celexa...meaning, although he doesn't come out and say it, that it's unlikely I'd have withdrawal symptoms this bad and this long. 

 

I wonder about "tolerance withdrawal" with the Ativan I'm still taking. I've been at the same dose for about six months. From what I can tell, that too might produce symptoms like this. Is it even worth trying to figure out what's causing these symptoms? If the psychiatrist can't, how can I be expected to? I'm thinking about going to my PCP next week, but he'll probably be even less knowledgable. Does anyone know a doctor in the NY area who specializes in helping people through this? I'm not looking for meds -- god forbid -- just some support, encouragement and reassurance. 

 

Please, anyone who has struggled with severe headaches and body aches when stopping a psych drug, give me some hope. 

 

I feel so sick right now I can't imagine ever feeling good again. These are withdrawal feelings, I know. 


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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ChessieCat

What time of day do you take the Ativan?

 

Do your symptoms appear/abate at any time during a 24 hour period?

 

If yes, does it happen at about the same time?


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

 

ADs:  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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LaughingKat

Thanks for responding, @ChessieCat. First I want to say how much I admire how far you've come with your taper (in your bio). I can't imagine the patience and strength that must have required. 

 

I take .375 mg Ativan at bedtime, around 11 -12 every night. 

 

I don't think there's a regular pattern to the timing of my symptoms. I should pay better attention. I tend to wake up with a headache and neck tension, and sometimes feel better in the early evening. I can't make any sense of that. Can you? 

 

 


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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Shep
7 hours ago, LaughingKat said:

I take .375 mg Ativan at bedtime, around 11 -12 every night. 

 

I don't think there's a regular pattern to the timing of my symptoms. I should pay better attention. I tend to wake up with a headache and neck tension, and sometimes feel better in the early evening. I can't make any sense of that. Can you? 

 

What time of the day do you take your supplements? 

 

Please make a list with the name, dose, and time of day for the supplements and your Ativan. 

 

Which day of the week do you get the IV B12? Does that ramp up any of your symptoms? 


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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LaughingKat

Those are interesting questions, @Shep. I usually take  the magnesium/calcium/zinc, D3, a cranberry supplement for UTI prevention, and the Ativan (.375 mg) at bedtime. 

 

Last night I was so tired I just took the Ativan, not the other supplements, and I woke up with no headache. It's still morning here though, so we shall see. 

 

About the B12: I mistyped in my bio. It's not IV B12, it's an injection I give myself once a week, subcutaneous, 1000 mg. I'm not as strict as I should be about when I do it. It could be Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, any time of day -- whenever I remember. 

 

@Shep, I love seeing those beautiful words in your bio: Drug free as of 2015. What an achievement, congratulations!


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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LaughingKat

Sorry, @Shep, I realize I didn't completely answer your questions. Here's a list of supplements with amounts and times of day. 

 

With breakfast: 

Turmeric 740 mg (with piperine) 

Probiotic 90 billion

 

With lunch: 

 

L-theanine 150 mg

 

At bedtime: 

 

Ativan .375 mg

D3 5000 IU

Calcium 1000 mg; Magnesium 400 mg; Zinc 15 mg

Cranberry 360 mg

 


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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ChessieCat
6 hours ago, LaughingKat said:

D3 5000 IU

 

It is best to take Vitamin D in the morning.


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

 

ADs:  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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Shep
23 hours ago, LaughingKat said:

At bedtime: 

 

Ativan .375 mg

 

Ativan has a short half life and some people report going into withdrawal in between doses. To prevent this, we recommend splitting the total daily dose out into 3 or more doses throughout the day.

 

Please post if you think that may be helpful. However, if you find that taking the full amount at night is helping with sleep and you can handle any upticks in symptoms the next day due to any interdose withdrawal, you may want to stick with taking the full amount at night. 

 

 

On 5/26/2019 at 11:36 AM, LaughingKat said:

Calcium 1000 mg; Magnesium 400 mg; Zinc 15 mg

Cranberry 360 mg

 

Calcium and magnesium can compete for absorption, so you may want to space those out. 

 

Please see:

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Plus use the search feature or google "surviving antidepressants" + "[name of supplement]" to see if there's any information on the other supplements you are taking. 

 

Some general information:

 

Important topics about tests, supplements, treatments, diet

 

 


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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LaughingKat

Thanks, @ChessieCat and @Shep

 

I'll switch the D3 to morning -- that's easy.

 

I'll think about dividing the Ativan dose into 3 parts. What you say makes a lot of sense, @Shep, but I have to admit I'm scared about adding any more withdrawal symptoms to what I already have. At this point, I don't think the Ativan is really helping me sleep or having any kind of sedative effect. I think it's probably just a maintenance dose. But I can't taper off of it until the effects of the Celexa WD are behind me. 

 

The calcium/magnesium/zinc are in a single supplement. I could get individual ones if that's better. 

 

 


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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ChessieCat

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

 

ADs:  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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Shep
8 hours ago, LaughingKat said:

I'll switch the D3 to morning -- that's easy.

 

I'll think about dividing the Ativan dose into 3 parts. What you say makes a lot of sense, @Shep, but I have to admit I'm scared about adding any more withdrawal symptoms to what I already have. At this point, I don't think the Ativan is really helping me sleep or having any kind of sedative effect. I think it's probably just a maintenance dose. But I can't taper off of it until the effects of the Celexa WD are behind me. 

 

ChessieCat posted a great link. In it, you'll see it's best to only make one change at a time, so you may want to move the vitamin D to morning first and give yourself a few days to get used to that change.

 

If you still think spacing out the Ativan will help, then it's best to move that only one hour per day until it's completely spaced out. The reason for the gradual change is to allow your nervous system to adjust slowly. Abrupt changes with an already destabilized nervous system can trigger waves. 

 

You can divide the Ativan up by taking 2/3 at night and moving 1/3 gradually to earlier in the day. Once you get that dose to morning, than take the night time dose and reduce it and move part of it to the afternoon, one hour a day, until you have the 3 doses evenly spread out. 

 

8 hours ago, LaughingKat said:

The calcium/magnesium/zinc are in a single supplement. I could get individual ones if that's better. 

 

Yes, using individual supplements is best during withdrawal. But again, only one change at a time.

 

Please let us know how you're doing as you make these changes. 


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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Altostrata

Hi, Laughing. How often do you have the neck and shoulder pain? When does it start, how long does it last?

 

Do you spend a lot of time sitting at a computer?


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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LaughingKat

Hi, @Altostrata. Those are great questions. I haven't been too successful at figuring out how and when the neck/shoulder tension and headaches happen. Sometimes I wake up with the tension and head sensations, sometimes I don't. Either way, they usually manifest by the end of the day. If I'm having a busy but relatively stress-free day, that seems to result in less tension and fewer headaches. And yes, I'm a writer and I do work on a laptop. I've experiments with different positions, chairs, pillows, etc. 

 

The thing is that once the cycle starts, I get anxious and then add more stress which causes more pain, etc. 

 

One thing I do know is: I wasn't a headache person before taking Celexa. I rarely in my life have had headaches before this. The neck/shoulder tension is over the top and like nothing I've felt before. It seems to come on its own, without my being stressed emotionally. It feels more physical/mechanical, if you know what I mean. 


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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Altostrata

It's possible the Celexa aggravated tension you have from your laptop-using posture and caused headaches, too.

 

Strongly recommend arm, upper back, shoulder, and neck stretching exercises every day. Downward dog is good for upper back, even modified leaning on a chair.

 

1 hour ago, LaughingKat said:

It feels more physical/mechanical, if you know what I mean. 

 

Yes, we know that very well!

 

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/

 

Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you. Magnesium in particular can relax muscles.


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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LaughingKat
On 5/29/2019 at 1:01 PM, Altostrata said:

It's possible the Celexa aggravated tension you have from your laptop-using posture and caused headaches, too.

 

 

 

I think this is absolutely it, @Altostrata. The headaches start to nudge me when I've been working at the computer for a while. I've reduced my "leisure" computer time, but I'm a writer and I don't have any choice about my work time. I have started stretching on a more regular basis and also started a Tai Chi class, which is very relaxing. 

 

The Celexa withdrawal made my muscles/nerves more reactive than they have ever been before. As I keep saying, the pain is unlike any I've ever experienced. 

 

I'm grateful for this community  because if I listened to my doctors I'd think I must have some other health crisis going on, since they say they've never had patients experience discontinuation symptoms going on this long. My dream is to find a doctor who does have a lot of experience with this, so s/he can reassure me. (I take a lot of reassuring!) 

 

@Altostrata, I'm particularly grateful for all the work you have done in making the downsides of these drugs better known. 


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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LaughingKat

Hi, I'm checking in and feeling a bit desperate for support. My headaches are improved but as of about a week and a half ago I now have mid-back pain and burning skin sensations on arms, back, and torso -- mostly on right side. I see by the symptoms forum on this site that other people have also experienced these symptoms but I find them excruciating and scary. 

 

I want to run this by my psychiatrist but I don't find him to be sympathetic and the last time I called him about the headaches he just said they "aren't important" -- which he meant to be reassuring, I suppose. I want a doctor to tell me that they've seen this reaction before to stopping SSRI's, and that it's not unusual for it to last so long (I stopped taking Celexa on April 1). 

 

I don't understand why, if so many of us have these reactions, more doctors aren't aware of it and more doctors haven't seen their patients go through this. It makes me doubt my own experiences and feelings and also makes me wonder if I have a serious illness. (Yes, I have health anxiety -- the reason I started Celexa in the first place.) 

 

Please, can anyone offer words of support? 

 

Kathy

 

 


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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LaughingKat

P.S. I also wonder about the Ativan I still take nightly, 3.5 mg 0.35mg (link to correction made by member) as a maintenance dose. It no longer has a sedative effect or a tranquilizing effect but I continue to take it because I can only handle one withdrawal at a time. 

 

Is it possible that the Ativan tolerance is manifesting as withdrawal symptoms? Does anyone have experience with that?

 

Thank you!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
made correction for member

LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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ChessieCat

Please provide 3 days of daily symptom notes which will be assessed.  Example:

 

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep


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ADs:  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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ChessieCat
46 minutes ago, LaughingKat said:

Ativan I still take nightly, 3.5 mg as a maintenance dose

 

From drug signature:  "Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) "

 

Q:  What dose are you taking?  3.5mg or 0.35mg?

 

If you have increased to 3.5mg please add this information (include date) to your drug signature.

 

If the information in your drug signature is incorrect, please correct it.

 

Account Settings – Edit a signature


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

 

ADs:  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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LaughingKat

@ChessieCat: Sorry! It's .35 mg. Yikes. 3.5 mg would knock me out (which doesn't sound so bad right now).

 

I will try to do the 3-day schedule. This week might be hard, because it's crazy at work, but next week for sure. Thank you for responding. 

 

 


LaughingKat

 

 

Started Ativan January 2018, .5mg / night (now down to about .35 mg) 

Started Celexa January 2018, 10 mg

Reduced Celexa November 2018, 5 mg

Stopped Celexa April 2019

 

Supplements: Magnesium/calcium/zinc; IV B12 once a week, 1000 mg; D3; turmeric, probiotics

 

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Shep

 

On 5/12/2019 at 10:03 PM, LaughingKat said:

The last two days have been pretty headache-free. It's a nice window, for sure. 

 

On 5/26/2019 at 11:36 AM, LaughingKat said:

Ativan .375 mg

 

9 hours ago, LaughingKat said:

P.S. I also wonder about the Ativan I still take nightly, 3.5 mg 0.35mg (link to correction made by member) as a maintenance dose. It no longer has a sedative effect or a tranquilizing effect but I continue to take it because I can only handle one withdrawal at a time. 

 

Is it possible that the Ativan tolerance is manifesting as withdrawal symptoms? Does anyone have experience with that?

 

 

LK, you were having some nice windows prior to going from .375 mg to .35 mg, so even though you made a reasonable 6.67% reduction, it may have been too much, especially considering you stopped the Celexa in April. 

 

You may want to either make a slight updose or hold until you stabilize again.

 

As you do your drug and symptoms notes, we can see if you may be dealing with some interdose withdrawal. 

 

Please also include any supplements you are taking and the amount of sleep you are getting with our notes. 


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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