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bethnonna: Elavil / amitriptyline withdrawal panic attacks


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I have withdrawn from Elavil 25 mg was on for 4 years for neuropathic type tingling pain in feet, legs. Since tapering back in October started, original symptoms tripled in worsening. Also, I have constant electrical shock sensations going through feet and legs and hands. This has resulted in constant panic attacks way worse at night. Can't sleep due to pain. Psych dr prescribed Remeron 15 mg. It hasn't helped. Take .5 mg of Ativan 3 times day which is also not helping. Last year withdrew from Cymbalta also. While on all drugs, panic spells started during day so I thought if got off all drugs it would help. Instead, I am a shell of  myself. Exhausted, lost almost 30 lbs. and basically can't enjoy life anymore. My poor husband is trying to help me, getting up with me at night to give me an advil and Ativan. Friends and family are going on with their lives while I stay home crying most of time and from the pain. My feet feel like elastic bands. How can I get some sleep? First time I wake up at night I take 5mg of melatonin. Gives me maybe 2 more hours. I need help from you guys. Please share thoughts!

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to bethnonna: Elavil / amitriptyline withdrawal panic attacks
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi bethnonna and welcome to SA,


In order to offer suggestions we are going to need so additional information.


Firstly, please create your drug signature using the following format.  Include supplements.   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


Secondly, so that we can assess your situation and try to work out if there is any pattern to your symptoms, we would like you to keep daily symptom notes for the next 3 days.  It is best not to add/subtract anything at this time otherwise it will make it difficult to see any patterns and we will need more days of notes.  Post a full day in one post.  If you wish to add any additional comments please post them at the bottom.  The symptom notes need to be the facts only.  This is an example of what the mods need:


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


Once we have the requested information we will be better able to offer suggestions.


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

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, bethnonna said:

 I take 5mg of melatonin.


You might consider lowering your dose of melatonin.  More is not better in withdrawal.  Too much melatonin can have a paradoxical (stimulating) effect.  You might cut down to 1mg and see how that works, then work up slowly if necessary.

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 of 18.75mg   

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% 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

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% 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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  • Administrator

Welcome, beth.


20 hours ago, bethnonna said:

Last year withdrew from Cymbalta also.


How did you go off Cymbalta? Did you go off amitriptyline first? When did the odd symptoms start, while you were tapering amitriptyline or Cymbalta?


As ChessieCat requested, please post your daily drug schedule and symptom pattern -- we need to take a good look at what's going on with Ativan.

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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