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sgsg: here I go ... soon


sgsg

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I'm new here, but have been following this forum off and on for over a decade.  I think I'm finally stable enough to try tapering off my current meds.  I've been on some form of ssri for about 25 years.   I've been working with a naturopath for about 5 years to address some other health concerns that have really been supportive to my healing.  I'm entrenched in a wellness program that is also very supportive.  I tried earlier this year to taper off with help of a dr and thought it would work (silly me).  His suggestions for tapering were far too large and quick.  I've read a lot of what has been written here and have prepared myself to go much much slower and realize it could take years.  For this next attempt, the dr proposed a prozac bridge and I went along with it, as I've done something similar before and it worked pretty well.  (Again, silly me).  Prozac makes me very very tired and I do not want to continue it, plus I don't think I need it for the taper, given what I've read here.  I'm in the process of tapering off the Prozac and went from 20mg to 10mg with no problem whatsoever.  However, my jump from 10mg to 5mg was quite disasterous.  I now realize I must go much much slower going forward.  I'm at 10mg Prozac now and will start going down on that next week.  I will eventually attempt tapering off my 75mg effexor, but that will be after prozac taper.  I'm trying to get everything in place for this.  I've printed out symptom logs to keep track of everything daily and will look into the jeweler's scale for my effexor.  Here I go! 🙂

Started Zoloft at 16ish (1994ish), made me sooooooo tired.

Switched to Effexor around 2009-ish.

Started tapering off:  75mg Effexor XR and 20mg  Prozac in July 2019
As of July 27 2020:  6mg Prozac, 37.5 mg Effexor XR

 

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, sgsg.

 

We need a little more information, please, specifically a few dates.  When did you attempt the Prozac bridge?  When did you drop from 20mg to 10mg?  When did you drop from 10 to 5?  When did you updose from 5mg Prozac to 10mg?  Please add these dates to your drug signature using this link:

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

You said your drop from 10mg to 5mg was disastrous, and I'm assuming your mean you suffered some bad withdrawal symptoms.  

 

 
 

What were the symptoms you experienced, and what are they now?  The reason I'm asking this, and the reason we need to know the dates of your dose changes, is that you have made a lot of large changes in what is likely a short time.  

 

Because of all the changes you made, and because withdrawal symptoms from a too-fast taper can be delayed, it might be wise to delay your planned taper and to hold at 10mg for a few weeks (or more) until you have stabilized from all the changes.  By stabilized, we mean not that you have no withdrawal symptoms but rather than they are tolerable and more or less the same from day to day without big swings in symptoms.

 

Then, once you have stabilized, you can begin a 10% taper of the Prozac.

  

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

This link is specifically about tapering Prozac.

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

 

Once you've added the requested dates to your signature and answered my other questions, we'll be in a better position to help you.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions, post updates and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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 for your reply!  I have updated my signature to add more information.

 

As I'm writing and thinking more about this, I realize how careless and hurried I was with the process.  I think I was in a hurry to get off the prozac because I felt it was making me so very tired.  I realize the error in my thought process.  I thought since I had not been on the prozac that long that I could taper quite quickly.  Later I read in SA forum that after you've been on it a month, the changes have already happened and tapering needs to go slower.   I didn't even write down exactly WHEN I went from 20mg to 10mg.   I don't know why going from 20mg to 10mg was relatively uneventful, or if anything detrimental was happening, it must've been mild and I must've attributed it to something else.  Or I was possibly too busy to notice what was going on.   For instance I've been very very very tired this month.  I've been so insanely busy this month that I wasn't quite keeping track of things.  The tiredness could've been from a few things:  1) Busy-ness 2) the Prozac 3) Prozac WD   or maybe a combination of all of them.  I don't know.  But I see what you mean about the WD symptoms being delayed....

 

When I went from 10mg to 5mg, on day 3 after dose change, I had several symptoms: crying spells, worsened mood, low energy, anxiety, irritability, confusion, memory problems.  I was also on my moon cycle, so that could have contributed, though my symptoms are not usually so severe (though they can be). As I mentioned in my signature, it didn't dawn on me that it could be WD until the morning of the 29th.  So I took 2.5mg that morning (I usually take prozac at night)  to help offset the decreased dosage days prior.  I went to work that day and read a bunch on the forums and suddenly a lot more made sense.  I still didn't feel very well that day and ended up leaving work early.  I was still so very tired and confused.  I resumed the 10mg Prozac that night.  Days following were better mentally, though I was still very tired.  Sleeping a lot and taking naps all weekend long.  Right now I feel relatively clear and not to tired.

 

You recommended staying on the 10mg for a few weeks until things have stabilized.  I was hoping to get another drop in dosage before another crazy month comes around (Oct), but sounds like that might be too ambitious?  I'm hesitant to drop dosage later this month or in Oct. just because things will be so crazy, I don't want to risk another replay of sloppy decisions you've seen above.  In that case, should I just wait until after October to attempt another dosage chance?

 

I'm so glad I found you guys.  I've tried this numerous times and at times it's taken years to recover. I've read that can be common if one goes too fast.  I've been traumatized for years about it that I was so scared to even try again.  I finally feel well enough to try again.  I'm so glad you guys are here to help.  It can be so hard to see objectively when going through it all.  Thank you for helping me to clarify and go back and re-evaluate my course of action! 

 

Started Zoloft at 16ish (1994ish), made me sooooooo tired.

Switched to Effexor around 2009-ish.

Started tapering off:  75mg Effexor XR and 20mg  Prozac in July 2019
As of July 27 2020:  6mg Prozac, 37.5 mg Effexor XR

 

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  • Moderator
3 hours ago, sgsg said:

I was hoping to get another drop in dosage before another crazy month comes around (Oct), but sounds like that might be too ambitious? 

 

I would hold where you are and let yourself stabilize.  So, yes, it would be good to wait until after October and then see how you feel, and we can work from there.

 

I've read many, many members write that they regret tapering too fast but have never yet read one complaining about going too slowly.  

 

Sometimes you can "get away with" a faster taper at the high doses (though it's not recommended) but when you get down to the lower doses, it becomes crucial to go slowly.   The graphs in this topic might help to explain the reason for this:

 

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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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  • ChessieCat changed the title to sgsg: here I go ... soon
  • Moderator Emeritus
4 hours ago, sgsg said:

As I'm writing and thinking more about this, I realize how careless and hurried I was with the process.  I think I was in a hurry to get off the prozac because I felt it was making me so very tired.  I realize the error in my thought process.  I thought since I had not been on the prozac that long that I could taper quite quickly.


Dear sgsg,

I agree with Gridley that you should let yourself stabilize, and I also especially want to add that you don't need to be critical of your approach or call yourself "careless."  You're seeking out SA, which is a great forum; you are thinking and asking questions and planning—those are all careful decisions.  For any missteps you may have had in the past, of course you couldn't be expected to know everything!

How long we've been on meds has nothing to do with how fast or slow each individual body is able to taper.

Also, it sounds like you may end up waiting until after October before trying another reduction.  Please know that you don't have to wait until then to write another entry here!  You can communicate with other members, post on your topic, and become part of the community even if you aren't in the middle of actively tapering.

Plus, you can update here how you're doing as you stabilize.

Welcome!

-Wiggle      

**I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice, merely personal experience
***Off all meds since Nov. 2014. Mentally & emotionally recovered; physically not
-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in Oct 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014

-All meds were Rxed off-label for an autoimmune illness.  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but I did not find out until AFTER meds caused damage.  All med tapers/cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline May 2012 - Dec 2013. Cold turkey off nortrip & cold switched to desipramine

-Desipramine Jan 2014 - Oct. 29, 2014 (rapid taper/cold turkey)

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night during 2011
-Lorazepam 1 mg per month in 2012 (or less)

-Lorazepam on & off, Dec 2013 through Aug 2014. Didn't exceed 3x a week

-Lorazepam again in Oct. 2014 to help get off of desipramine. Last dose lzpam was 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Immediate paradoxical reactions to benzos after stopping TCAs 

-First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs too stupid to figure it out. On desipramine, muscle tremors & rigidity worsened

-Two weeks after I got off all meds, I developed full-blown TD.  Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7: hair falling out; no vision improvement; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8: back to acute, incl. Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9: tardive dystonia worse, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat
-Month 13: Back to acute, brain zaps back, developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs now damaged
-4 years off: Huge improvements, incl. improved dystonia

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update:  I started 10% taper down on Prozac on 9/19/19, from 10mg to 9mg.  Yesterday it seemed like I had some WD symptoms, annoying but manageable.  I take several supplements and I was fiddling with those to see if I could get by with less.  However, I deemed it unwise to tinker with too many facets at once.  So I will stay at my current dosage of supplements.

 

I know I was advised to wait until after October to start tapering more, but I want off this prozac like yesterday.  It makes me so so so tired, like I'm carrying around 200 lbs of armor on my body.  I have to drink a fair amount of caffeine just to be able to function.  So I've decided to start the taper sooner rather than later.  I can deal with it during my busy month coming up in October.  I will just take off work if I have to.

 

Today is day 7 after dose change and so far, so good.  Manageable.  

 

I think I read that it takes prozac 16 days or so to get out of system.  So maybe I might feel something more at that time?    We'll see.

 

 

Started Zoloft at 16ish (1994ish), made me sooooooo tired.

Switched to Effexor around 2009-ish.

Started tapering off:  75mg Effexor XR and 20mg  Prozac in July 2019
As of July 27 2020:  6mg Prozac, 37.5 mg Effexor XR

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

These charts will explain why going from 20 to 10 can be fairly easy but it gets much harder lower than that. From 20 to 10 you are dropping from something like 80% receptor occupancy to maybe 70-75%. But after that the curve begins to become more steep and as you get to the lower doses even a very small change in dose makes a big change in receptor occupancy. 

 

We all tend to assume that every cut is the same but that is very much NOT the case.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Thank you for that Rhiannon, it's nice to see the science and graphs behind that phenomenon.  

 

I have another question for you @Rhiannon  (and anyone that has insight, really)- I see that you are tapering off several meds concurrently.  I was wondering if it might be too ambitious for me to try to taper off the effexor at the same time as the prozac?  If I did that, would I taper by less, say 5% for each med, or still do 10% for each taper?  I would like to hear your thoughts on multidrug tapering.

 

Thanks!! 

Started Zoloft at 16ish (1994ish), made me sooooooo tired.

Switched to Effexor around 2009-ish.

Started tapering off:  75mg Effexor XR and 20mg  Prozac in July 2019
As of July 27 2020:  6mg Prozac, 37.5 mg Effexor XR

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

SA suggests only making one change at a time:  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

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

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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  • 8 months later...
  • Administrator

@sgsg, how are you doing?

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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Hello!  Thank you so much for asking!  I'm actually doing pretty well.  I'm down to half my starting dosage from 75mg effexor to 37.5mg, and down from 10mg prozac to 7mg.  I'm going to hold steady at 37.5 effexor (since that's a standard dosage and I won't have to make up a bunch of pills) while I finish my prozac taper.  I've switched to a liquid version of prozac that should make that easier to measure.

 

 I feel hormonal issues have been the root of my issues all along.  I'm working with a personal trainer and naturopath to addresss more of the hormonal aspects of my issues.  I had a pretty solid wellness practice going before COVID hit, It's suffered a bit now.   I"m working to gain equilibrium (as I'm sure most folks are) amid all this upheaval.  All and all I'm doing ok and feel like I'm headed on the right path!  Chop wood, carry water, and all that....I'll keep truckin'.

 

I really appreciate you checking in.  This forum has been so valuable to me.  :-)

Started Zoloft at 16ish (1994ish), made me sooooooo tired.

Switched to Effexor around 2009-ish.

Started tapering off:  75mg Effexor XR and 20mg  Prozac in July 2019
As of July 27 2020:  6mg Prozac, 37.5 mg Effexor XR

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hello!  I seem to have hit a pretty nasty spell that I *think* may be tied to a manufacturer change in my Venlafaxine (Effexor) capsules.  I noticed that it happened right around when I got my new script and the pills looked different.  It took me 2-3 weeks to put it together that could be the problem.  I confirmed with Express Scripts that the manufacturer did indeed change and have put in a request to get the specific manufacturer requested on my script.  I think I'm about 3 days into taking the pills manufactured by the one I prefer.  I do feel a bit better but not as good as I did before.  I'm starting to feel panicky about getting it sorted out.  I'm feeling withdrawal fatigued from experiencing withdrawals for these past few weeks before I was able to realize and act upon what I thought might be the problem.  Is it possible this isn't the issue?  I think I read that protracted withdrawals can happen at any time.  Can you offer me any support or advice, I feel I'm floundering.  What should I do? Thanks in advance. 

Started Zoloft at 16ish (1994ish), made me sooooooo tired.

Switched to Effexor around 2009-ish.

Started tapering off:  75mg Effexor XR and 20mg  Prozac in July 2019
As of July 27 2020:  6mg Prozac, 37.5 mg Effexor XR

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It's only been 3 days of taking the previous manufacturer.  We have other members who have experienced issues when they change "brand".  I understand that in your case it was completely accidental but we generally suggest members do a cross over when they change form or brand of the drug because this is gentler on the nervous system.  Occasionally there will be a member who is not able to tolerate the new form/drug and they have to go back to the original.

 

The best thing to do would be to hold on the current dose and brand until you get to WDnormal before making any changes.  This might take a few weeks, but you might notice some improvement in the next few days.  It's important to stay calm and patient and not add stress to your nervous system.

 

Please ensure that your drug signature is up to date.

 

And please add dates to the following in your drug signature:

 

Currently:  6mg Prozac, 37.5 mg Effexor XR

 

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

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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Thank you so much for this encouragement, it was just what I needed to hold steady, focusing on patience.  I am feeling a bit better now.  It was a huge ordeal, but I finally got it all sorted out with my pharmacist.

Started Zoloft at 16ish (1994ish), made me sooooooo tired.

Switched to Effexor around 2009-ish.

Started tapering off:  75mg Effexor XR and 20mg  Prozac in July 2019
As of July 27 2020:  6mg Prozac, 37.5 mg Effexor XR

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 7/28/2020 at 9:44 AM, ChessieCat said:

Please ensure that your drug signature is up to date.

 

And please add dates to the following in your drug signature:

 

Currently:  6mg Prozac, 37.5 mg Effexor XR

 

 

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

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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I updated dates before I commented.  Is there still an issue?

Started Zoloft at 16ish (1994ish), made me sooooooo tired.

Switched to Effexor around 2009-ish.

Started tapering off:  75mg Effexor XR and 20mg  Prozac in July 2019
As of July 27 2020:  6mg Prozac, 37.5 mg Effexor XR

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please add the full date, not just the month and year when listing anything in 2020.  Thank you.

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

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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