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Lumpy: Benzo taper finished. Help with Amitriptyline and Cipralex


Lumpy

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I need some advice on how to proceed:

 

- 8 weeks ago I finished a 7 month taper from Lorazepam.  I had only taken it for 3 months 2mg per day.

- I am currently on 70mg Amitriptyline at night and have been taking it for 7 months; initially started to help with insomnia

- I am also on 10mg Cipralex - been taking it for 5 months; to help with the intense anxiety. I never felt any relieve from it.

 

As I got lower in my Lorazepam taper I had periods of feeling slightly better. Since coming off - I have severe intense anxiety, panic, fear, burning skin, pins and needles - just hell every day. I had one day in those 8 weeks where I had very little symptoms - maybe a window? I am still able to sleep, probably due to the amitriptyline. 

 

I would like some advice on how I move forward. Do I wait a few months to stabilize or should i start thinking about tapering now. I would like to taper the Cipralex first as I feel it has given me no relieve and it excites my system even more.

 

I also need help in how to taper Cipralex - I know you can get 1mg liquid drops but that still makes 10% cuts very hard. I would be interested to know if tapering 1mg every 6 weeks is doable. 

 

Many thanks

 

Jane

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to Lumpy: Benzo taper finished. Help with Amitriptyline and Cipralex
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello  Jane      and welcome to SA.

 

This site is run entirely by volunteer Administrators and Moderators, all have been through or going through withdrawal.

There are no commercial interests or influences  involved .

 

I am sorry you are having such a rough time but you are now in the right place.

 

The site is currently extremely busy so please ensure you answer any requests from staff fully.

 

On 12/8/2019 at 1:31 PM, Lumpy said:

70mg Amitriptyline

 

On 12/8/2019 at 1:31 PM, Lumpy said:

10mg Cipralex

Are you taking any other drugs or supplements not listed above?

"October 2019 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia "

Can you confirm this was 2018 not 2019 and if so please amend your  drug signature accordingly?

It seems likely you experiencing W/D ( withdrawal symptoms ).

Whether this only from the Lorazepam taper or also the other med changes is dificult to determine.

I will ask our Benzo specialist for her thoughts on your Lorazepam schedule.

@Shep

 

Sassenach

 

@Shep

Escitalopram 10mgs from mid 2007 ( can't remember exact date) to 11th Dec 2018

Fentanyl patches ( don't remember dose ) from Nov 2014 to 11 Dec 2018

Quit both cold turkey Dec 2018

Reinstated 3rd March 2019 2.5 mgs.

Updosed  8March to 5mgs and holding

25/11/19 Started taper 4.5mgs and holding

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner

If you are going through Hell, keep going. NCIS series 15, David MaCallum:rolleyes:

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Hi,

Thank you for your response - no I am not taking any other drugs or supplements.

Yes I did start the Lorazepam in 2018 and not 2019.  I will change my signature.

Many thanks

 

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

We will need to wait for Shep to get back to us before proceeding.

Escitalopram 10mgs from mid 2007 ( can't remember exact date) to 11th Dec 2018

Fentanyl patches ( don't remember dose ) from Nov 2014 to 11 Dec 2018

Quit both cold turkey Dec 2018

Reinstated 3rd March 2019 2.5 mgs.

Updosed  8March to 5mgs and holding

25/11/19 Started taper 4.5mgs and holding

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner

If you are going through Hell, keep going. NCIS series 15, David MaCallum:rolleyes:

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  • Administrator

Hi, Lumpy.

 

Welcome to SA. 

 

On 12/8/2019 at 8:31 AM, Lumpy said:

- 8 weeks ago I finished a 7 month taper from Lorazepam.  I had only taken it for 3 months 2mg per day.

- I am currently on 70mg Amitriptyline at night and have been taking it for 7 months; initially started to help with insomnia

- I am also on 10mg Cipralex - been taking it for 5 months; to help with the intense anxiety. I never felt any relieve from it.

 

In your signature, you mention having a bad reaction to sertraline, so I'm wondering if you're getting an adverse reaction to Cipralex (Escitalopram), another SSRI. Many people who have an adverse reaction to one SSRI antidepressant will have them to others. Some people simply cannot metabolize SSRIs. 

 

Also, there's a MAJOR interaction between Cipralex (Escitalopram) and amitriptyline. Please see:

 

Drug Interaction Report - amitriptyline and escitalopram

 

So you may be dealing with some benzo withdrawal symptoms, but you may also be dealing with an adverse reaction to the SSRI, made worse by this major drug interaction between the SSRI and the amitriptyline.

 

Please start a drug and symptoms journal. Please also include:

 

  • how many hours you sleep each night
  • any supplements you're taking

Over the coming days, we may be able to suggest some timing suggestions to space these drugs out and also give you information on starting a taper if it looks like you're dealing with interactions and / or an adverse reaction. 

 

Please see the below for instructions on setting up a drug and symptoms journal. Please post this daily here in your intro thread over the next few days. 

 

On 9/27/2016 at 2:49 PM, Altostrata said:

In the course of discussion in your Introductions forum topic, you may be asked to keep notes on paper of your daily symptom pattern, including when you take your drugs, their dosages, and any symptoms. We ask this because there may be something we can do to reduce the symptoms.

 

What we need to see for every single day over several days is what symptoms you get before and after you take your drugs. If you're not taking any drugs and have withdrawal symptoms, we still need to see your symptom pattern throughout the day:

 

The time of day, dosage, and severity of symptoms are essential information. Include

 

- Time and dosage for all drugs taken throughout the day, psychiatric and non-psychiatric.

- Following each dose, note any symptoms. If you are having a reaction to the drug, it may take hours for a symptom to show up -- that's why we ask you to keep notes all day long.

- If you're not taking any drugs, your symptoms throughout the day.

- Your sleep pattern. Since so many drugs disturb sleep, if you find you're waking in the middle of the night, it could be from a drug you took earlier in the evening. If you're not taking any drugs, there may be ways you can improve your sleep.

And so forth. A diary, in chronological order, looking something like this:
 

Example:


DATE:

 

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

 

 

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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12/12/2019

 

7am - woke with a reduction in anxiety compared to last week. anxiety is still high first thing in the morning

8am - took 10mg cipralex

9am - at work, anxiety reduced while busy at work

11am - a little more anxiety creeps in

12pm - lunch

1-3pm - anxiety reduced while busy at work

5pm - home, increase in anxiety, flushed skin

5:30pm - ate a snack

6pm - anxiety reduced slightly

6pm-8pm up and down anxiety

8pm - anxiety reduces

10pm - 70mg amitriptyline

11pm-7am - sleep

 

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Administrator
On 12/8/2019 at 8:31 AM, Lumpy said:

As I got lower in my Lorazepam taper I had periods of feeling slightly better. Since coming off - I have severe intense anxiety, panic, fear, burning skin, pins and needles - just hell every day. I had one day in those 8 weeks where I had very little symptoms - maybe a window? I am still able to sleep, probably due to the amitriptyline. 

 

I would like some advice on how I move forward. Do I wait a few months to stabilize or should i start thinking about tapering now. I would like to taper the Cipralex first as I feel it has given me no relieve and it excites my system even more.

 

Thanks for starting your drug and symptoms journal, Lumpy. Over the coming days, we can give you more targeted advice. Please don't start a taper yet, as it will be good to go through a few days worth of your journal to see if there are any patterns. 

 

I quoted part of your first post to compare the symptoms you have listed previously to what you're currently experiencing.

 

From your journal, it looks like anxiety is your only symptom now. Is that correct? If so, how long has it been since you had what you previously listed - "panic, fear, burning skin, pins and needles - just hell every day"? 

 

I think you're correct that the Cipralex should be tapered first. This will leave the amitriptyline to help with sleep. I'm going to go ahead and post some information for you to read over. While you're waiting to set up a game plan, you can read and find out how you wish to taper and then get any supplies you may need.

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)
Aka Cipralex, Seroplex, Lexamil, Lexam

 

Please note the special considerations due to the potency of Cipralex (the drug referenced below is Lexapro, which is another name for Cipralex). 

 

 

On 5/26/2011 at 10:16 PM, Altostrata said:

Special considerations
A significant characteristic of Lexapro is that milligram for milligram, it is much stronger than other SSRIs. Chemically, Lexapro is a variation of Celexa; the molecule was re-engineered to be patentable as Celexa's patent was about to expire. The streamlined molecule is a more potent SSRI, 2 to 4 times stronger than others. (Wikipedia has a good explanation of this at https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Escitalopram.)

However, many doctors are unaware that escitalopram is stronger than other SSRIs and dose it as though it were the same strength. Although the so-called usual starting dose of escitalopram, 10mg, is equivalent to 20mg-30mg or more of, for example, paroxetine (Paxil), your doctor may have moved you to an even higher dose. If you are taking 20mg of escitalopram, you are taking a hefty dose of an SSRI.

If you are taking 5mg, it's not tiny, it's equivalent to 10-20mg Paxil or Celexa.

Consequently, when you taper off escitalopram, you should be careful to decrease by small amounts, as each drop is magnified by escitalopram's extra potency. If you find withdrawal symptoms from a 10% decrease to be too difficult, after 3-4 weeks decrease by a smaller amount.

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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13.12.19

- woke at 7am: burning skin back along with pins and needles in hands. lower leg and arms. jerks of body.Anxiety heightened again

- 8am: took 10mg Cipralex

- anxiety higher at work all day no real change after lunch

- 5pm crying spell for about an hour

- by 7pm anxiety calming and felt ok in the evening

 

14.12.19

_ woke up again with a lot of jerks of body, pins and needles, not so much burning skin really heightened anxiety and crying. Also feel a tight band around my head. A sligh feeling of disassociation (this is much improved from a few weeks back)

- took 10mg Cipralex 8am

 

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Administrator

Please remember to include when you take the amitriptyline in your drug and symptoms journal, along with any symptoms before and after. 

 

Are you sleeping throughout the night or are you waking up? 

 

35 minutes ago, Lumpy said:

woke at 7am: burning skin back along with pins and needles in hands. lower leg and arms. jerks of body.Anxiety heightened again

 

Some information for these symptoms:

 

Paresthesia: Pins & Needles, Numbness, Tingling, Burning Sensations aka Neuropathy

 

Waking with panic or anxiety - managing the morning cortisol spike

 

You mention not taking any supplements. We don't recommend a lot of supplements, as many members report their nervous systems are simply too fragile to handle them. However, magnesium and fish oil tend to be calming to the nervous system and many people report they do help. Please only add in one supplement at a time and at a small dose. For more, please see:

 

 King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

If you wish to try these supplements, you'll want to add in one at a time. Also, it's best to trial supplements when you're not tapering because if you start your taper and add in supplements at the same time, if you experience upticks in symptoms, you won't know if it's because of the supplement or due to the reduction of the drug you're tapering. One change at a time is best. Please see:

 

The rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple. Keep it slow. Keep it stable.

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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14/12/19

 

- woke up again with a lot of jerks of body, pins and needles, not so much burning skin really heightened anxiety and crying. Also feel a tight band around my head. A sligh feeling of disassociation (this is much improved from a few weeks back)

- took 10mg Cipralex 8am

- constant anxiety, heart palpitations, body jerks and crying spells for most of the day. Eased at around 5pm. Still feeling very low and depressed into the evening but less anxiety and jerks.

- took 70mg amitriptyline at 10:00pm, slept from 11:00pm until 7:00am

- woke up with pins and needles, burning back - was able to remain in bed for an hour, anxiety kicked in at 8am

- took 10mg Cipralex at 9:00am

 

I am not taking any supplements at the moment. I do have the MTHFR gene which means i do not metabolise b vitamins very well. I am going to take a blood test to check these vitamins next week with the results taking 2 weeks to come. I have been trying to eat these vitamins with foods rich in these vitamins as I would rather control it naturally. I won't know the result until the first week in January and will let you know what my plan will be. I know if i do need to supplement it will be starting at a low dose one at a time. Because of this I will not start any other supplements for now.

 

I just want to say thank you for your time and support. It is amazing that so many give their time to help. I have been in touch with the Bristol Tranquiliser Project charity to help me off Lorazepam. They have been great too.

 

 

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lumpy

 

You are in good hands.

6 hours ago, Lumpy said:

took 10mg Cipralex 8am

 

6 hours ago, Lumpy said:

took 10mg Cipralex at 9:00am

It is a better to keep medication times as regular as possible.

Your sensitised CNS can react to even small changes in body med levels.

Sassenach

Escitalopram 10mgs from mid 2007 ( can't remember exact date) to 11th Dec 2018

Fentanyl patches ( don't remember dose ) from Nov 2014 to 11 Dec 2018

Quit both cold turkey Dec 2018

Reinstated 3rd March 2019 2.5 mgs.

Updosed  8March to 5mgs and holding

25/11/19 Started taper 4.5mgs and holding

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner

If you are going through Hell, keep going. NCIS series 15, David MaCallum:rolleyes:

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15.11.19

 

- woke up at 7am with pins and needles, burning back - was able to remain in bed for an hour, anxiety kicked in at 8am

- took 10mg Cipralex at 9:00am

- anxiety was better than the day before, peaked at 1pm when i had a one hour crying spell

- felt a bit better after the crying spell and gradually felt better as the day went on - less jerky movements

- took 70 mg amitriptyline at 10pm, didn't sleep that well but more due to sore throat 

 

16.11.19

- woke at 7am with less anxiety, no pins and needles or burning

- took 10mg Cipralex at 8am (will stick to this time from now on even at weekends)

- went to work, anxiety was low level, kicked up a bit at midday but evened out again

- in the evening at home anxiety rose between 6pm and 8pm, incuding an hour of crying and low mood

- by 8pm all had subsided

- due to take 70mg ami at 10pm

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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17.12.19

- didn't sleep as well but do have a sore throat

- woke at 7am with pins and needles and anxiety again

- took 10mg Cipralex at 8:00am

- went to work anxiety was higher than previous day

- at home 5pm had a lot of muscle twitching and a long crying spell for about 2/3 hours

- 70mg amitriptyline at 10:00pm

 

18.12.19

- woke at 7am with burning back and anxiety

- took 10mg Cipralex at 8:00am

- went to work anxiety was really high all day with a foggy brain and tiredness all day

- anxiety really high in evening at home, vibrations in head and pains in muscles and joints, very low mood

- felt some relief by 9:30pm

- 70mg amitriptyline at 10pm

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Administrator
On 12/16/2019 at 3:33 PM, Lumpy said:

- took 70 mg amitriptyline at 10pm, didn't sleep that well but more due to sore throat 

 

14 hours ago, Lumpy said:

- didn't sleep as well but do have a sore throat

 

Lumpy, are you coming down with a cold or have you had a sore throat as a side effect of the drugs for a long time? 

 

 

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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hi, it's a cold only had it the last few days.

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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19.12.19

- symptoms are still waking with anxiety, pins and needles, burning skin, body jerks.

- I have pain in my arms and elbow joints - I have had this on and off but is becoming more of a permanent thing. I didn’t think it was any to do with the medication or withdrawal but really only started getting it after I came off lorazepam. Thought it was just a strain. 

- took 10mg cipralex 8am

- went to work, felt on and off anxiety but the depression felt worse than other days

- home at 5pm - crying for most of evening - my mood is so low

- I feel much more shaky today - shaking inside. Something I’ve not felt for a while. 

- jerks in the evening

- 10pm 70mg ami

- sleep from 11pm

 

20.12.19

- my sleep is still a little more disturbed but still getting approx 7 hours

- woke with pins and needles, burning back, anxiety, joint pain, inner trembling

- took 10mg cipralex

 

i am now at home for the Christmas holidays for 2 weeks. 

 My big question in my head is always how long do I wait until I start my cipralex taper. I don’t want to start tapering when my system is so fragile but also if the cipralex is part to blame for my symptoms I don’t want to stay on too long. 

My main goal through all of this is to keep working. Distraction is so good for me. 

I have been thinking about a taper and believe the best way is with liquid drops and tablets - is it ok to mix the two. I know I can get cipralex liquid where one drop is 1 mg. I believe I can also get 5mg tablets which I can halve. 

My plan would therefore be to reduce by the following every month.

10

9

8.5

8

7.5

7

6.5

6

5.5

5

4.5

4

i would then review how I go lower as I’m not sure how to make the cuts from here. I am checking my b vitamin levels today and won’t have those results until second week in January - so will just carry on as I am until then. 

Again thank you for your time with all of this. 

 

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Administrator
23 hours ago, Lumpy said:

hi, it's a cold only had it the last few days.

 

3 hours ago, Lumpy said:

i am now at home for the Christmas holidays for 2 weeks. 

 My big question in my head is always how long do I wait until I start my cipralex taper. I don’t want to start tapering when my system is so fragile but also if the cipralex is part to blame for my symptoms I don’t want to stay on too long. 

 

I would wait until your cold is over. Please don't start tapering while you're dealing with another illness on top of the symptoms of these drugs. Also, if you have a lot of activities and different foods  you'll be eating over the holidays, such as sweets, you may want to hold until the first of the year. Please be mindful of alcohol, as it affects the same GABA receptors as benzos, so you may want to abstain until you're completely healed. 

 

This post gives a good explanation of when to start tapering:

 

WDNormal (Withdrawal Normal)

 

4 hours ago, Lumpy said:

My plan would therefore be to reduce by the following every month.

10

9

8.5

8

7.5

7

6.5

6

5.5

5

4.5

4

 

 

Please see:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

 

On 8/5/2011 at 4:43 PM, Altostrata said:

In a nutshell, the 10% taper method recommends a 10% dosage reduction every 4 weeks, with the 10% calculated on the last dosage. The amount of decrease is proportionate to the last dosage (not the original prescription) and keeps getting smaller.

 

Going from 10 to 9 is a 10% reduction, which is fine, but taking an even .5 mg off each month will cause problems later on. For instance, going from 4.5 to 4 is an 11.12% reduction, which may be too fast. You really want to let your symptoms guide you. 

 

You may even want to go with a micro-taper so you stay as functional as possible. Please see:

 

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

Thank you for your drug and symptoms journal. It's great you're sleeping about 7 hours, so it really looks like the cipralex is the drug to remove first, while keeping the amitriptyline to aid in sleep.

 

Another thought - you may want to give yourself more time to stabilize due to coming off a benzo in October. Please post your thoughts on this. 

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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Hi thank you for your reply. 

I have thought things through and my plan will be to stabilise a bit more from the lorazepam withdrawal. Definitely 4 months maybe 6. But I will review how I feel in February. Then start a 10% a month or less taper down to 5mg of Cipralex. I will hold longer where I need to - this is very different to Lorazepam withdrawal where I was told to keep moving forward and that long holds didn’t always help. Thank you for the note re: the alcohol - it’s hard at Christmas but I don’t want to jeopardise anything. I will definitely be back in touch when I’m ready to start tapering. 

Many thanks lumpy 

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Administrator
21 hours ago, Lumpy said:

Definitely 4 months maybe 6. But I will review how I feel in February.

 

This is a very wise plan, Lumpy. 

 

Please stop by your thread and let us know how you're doing when you're ready to taper. 

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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  • 2 months later...

Hi, I just wanted some reassurance with my way forward. I am currently 5 months off lorazepam. Still on 10mg Cipralex in the morning and 70mg amitriptyline at night. My benzo withdrawal is still very difficult. I had a 3/4 days at Christmas where I felt a little better. I thought that was the turning point but I was thrown back into a wave that has not let up for over 2 months. My symptoms are extreme anxiety, DP/DR, fear, depression (crying spells lasting hours) plus recently I have developed tingling in my arms and legs. I am speaking with the Bristol Tranquiliser Project in the UK - they have been very helpful and have told me to not change any of my antidepressants for at least a year.

 

I am so desperate to be drug free and start my total recovery. I would really like your thoughts on this too as you are more knowledgeable in anti depressant withdrawal - I can only just about manage one withdrawal and definitely don't want to end up in double withdrawal. When would be a good time to start my next taper off of Cipralex.

 

Many thanks

 

Jane

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Administrator
7 hours ago, Lumpy said:

I am speaking with the Bristol Tranquiliser Project in the UK - they have been very helpful and have told me to not change any of my antidepressants for at least a year.

 

This sounds like a very wise plan, Lumpy. Give yourself plenty of time to recover from the benzo before tapering the antidepressants. 

 

7 hours ago, Lumpy said:

When would be a good time to start my next taper off of Cipralex.

 

Your symptoms will be your teachers and guides. Definitely make sure you're sleeping better before beginning the next taper and keep an eye on other symptoms, as well. Build a solid foundation first. 

 

I know you want to be drug free, but it's best to be as functional as possible, even if that means staying on the drugs longer. Feeling good is the goal. You've already reduced your overall drug burden and come off a drug that can be very challenging. So you're making good progress already. 

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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  • 4 months later...

Dear SA,

 

I am back for some more advice - I am now 9 months off lorazepam. At 5.5 months off (end of March) I entered a period of 6 weeks where I felt much better - not 100%, more like 80% with lingering symptoms. I thought I had turned a corner in my recovery but after 6 weeks got hit with withdrawals again - it has now been 10 weeks since the window closed and I am feeling worse every day. My symptoms are the same as when I came off - extreme anxiety and fear, crying spells every day, pins and needles and body pain especially when I wake in the morning, muscle twitching and jerks. I do think however the DP/DR is a little better than before. 

I know Benzo withdrawal can take some time - but to be hit so hard 9 months out, is this normal. I worry all the time that the other ADs I'm on are hindering my recovery. I have not changed my ADs and still take 10mg Cipralex in the morning and 70mg Amitriptyline at night. I am still sleeping well - which I know is great as many don't in withdrawal. My big question is - is what I'm experiencing still likely to be benzo withdrawal or could the 2 ADs be causing these symptoms? Also at what stage should I think about tapering the ADs. This whole journey with worsening anxiety started when I was put on Setraline and Zoplicone 2 years ago from a panic attack. The only time I have every felt any different was the 6 weeks at the end of March. It was amazing to feel almost like myself again. Being on and off so many drugs has been the worse mistake I've made. I know this journey will be long and that I need to be patient but it is hard. I also talk to a charity in the UK called The Bristol Tranquilizer Project - they have been very helpful and have said it best to wait until 12-18 months off Lorzepam until I make changes to the ADs.

 

I would like your advice on this too as you are the experts on ADs - could I start reducing now or is it best to wait a little while longer?

Many thanks

Lumpy 

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Moderator
51 minutes ago, Lumpy said:

know Benzo withdrawal can take some time - but to be hit so hard 9 months out, is this normal. I worry all the time that the other ADs I'm on are hindering my recovery.

It is not unusual to be hit with benzo withdrawal this far out.  The symptoms you describe are typical withdrawal symptoms.

 

It is true that there is a major drug interaction between the amitriptyline and escitalopram, known as serotonin syndrome.  Here is a description of the symptoms of serotonin syndrome:

 

Using escitalopram together with amitriptyline can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

 

---

I'm bringing your situation to the attention of the administrators and other moderators.

 

 

 

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

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

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

Taper is 80% 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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thank you - I have thought about serotonin syndrome but given I had a period of 6 weeks where I felt so much better - I am not sure if this would happen if there was a drug interaction with the ADs. I am no expert though - so look forward to hearing back. thank you Lumpy

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, Lumpy said:

thank you - I have thought about serotonin syndrome but given I had a period of 6 weeks where I felt so much better - I am not sure if this would happen if there was a drug interaction with the ADs. I am no expert though - so look forward to hearing back. thank you Lumpy

 

That was about to be my comment, Lumpy.  It seems highly unlikely that you would develop serotonin syndrome after having been on the ADs for a long time and having had a period of feeling very well.  If there were nothing else going on we might think harder about the serotonin syndrome but, in my experience, that is pretty rare in any event.  

 

Given where you are in the process, as Gridley suggests, it is very likely that this is simply (easy for me to say) a matter of another deep wave of your benzo withdrawal.  While it is undoubtedly difficult, and seems so much more challenging after a period of feeling "80%", you should take heart because the fact that you were at 80% is indicative of the fact that your body does know how to heal and that you will return to that point and beyond.  Every case is a little different and some people go steadily up with small steps back while others go up and all the way back and the up again for longer.  There seems to be little rhyme or reason so one mistake to avoid is to look at the recovery pattern for others and judge yourself by that.  That is a recipe for frustration and fear as you will find others who had an easier time if you look for them (and others who had a harder time but nobody looks for them).

 

In any event, the best thing you can do right now is to hunker down, work on your self-soothing techniques, and give it time.  It will get better but the process is way too slow for any of our liking.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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  • Moderator
3 hours ago, Lumpy said:

could I start reducing now or is it best to wait a little while longer?

As Andy said, now is the time to hunker down and stabilize.  I would wait quite a bit longer before starting an AD taper.  

 

We recommend tapering only one drug at a time and tapering the most activating drug first, leaving the more sedating drug to act as a buffer to be tapered later.  

 

I was in a similar situation to you, being on a tricyclic (in my case, Imipramine) and an SSRI (Lexapro).  Before I discovered SA, I tapered the tricyclic first and with its sedative effects lessened as my dose decreased, I began experiencing significant WD.  Then, advised by SA, I switched my taper to the more activating Lexapro and things eventually calmed down.  

 

But, to repeat, you need to let your benzo WD settle down before thinking about an AD taper.  Please keep us updated on your progress and when it's time, we can help you with your AD taper.

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

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

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

Taper is 80% 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.

Link to comment

thank you guys for your response - I really needed a voice of reassurance today.

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hello,

 

Just needing some more reassurance I am still on the right path. Carrying on from my previous message - I am now 10.5 months out from stopping Lorazepam last October 2019. I had a 6 week window of much improved in April. The window closed end April and remained so until mid August when I got 10 days of again much reduced symptoms. Back again in the wave and the thick of it with anxiety and crying spells being the main issue - my anxiety is off the scale. What doesn't help is at the beginning of August the brand of my 10mg Amitriptyline tablets changed - I was taking one 50mg and 2 x10mg total 70mg Amitriptyline. I had a real surge and uptick of symptoms the day after I took the new brand. I tried to get my old brand but the pharmacy couldn't order it. I didn't want to take it again so I decided to cut up the 50mg tablets and weigh them to make 20mg - so I am now taking one 50mg tablet plus 20mg weighed out on a scale - to make 70mg all of same brand. It is a real hassle and I'm not sure how accurate it all is - I would love to just come down on my amitriptyline very slowly to 50mg so I can take just one tablet. Then I would remain there for as long as I need. I am also still taking the 10mg Cipralex.

Questions: -

1. is the pattern of waves I have had still normal for withdrawal - the fact i had one 6week window then such a long wave since with only 10days of a window worries me something else is going on i.e. side effect of the ADs. People talk of windows getting longer and waves shorter but that just doesn't seem to be the case for me? 

2. Can I make a very slow reduction of the amitriptyline so I can get down to 50mg and then stay there? 

 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts

thank you Lumpy

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

@Gridley

  

@apace41

 

Are you guys able to assist Lumpy please.  You are both more familiar with the history.

 

Thank you.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full 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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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11 hours ago, Lumpy said:

is the pattern of waves I have had still normal for withdrawal - the fact i had one 6week window then such a long wave since with only 10days of a window worries me something else is going on i.e. side effect of the ADs. People talk of windows getting longer and waves shorter but that just doesn't seem to be the case for me? 

 

Lumpy,

 

Sorry to hear you are back in the soup, but the 10 day window remains a good sign.  People's recovery patterns are all over the place so it's hard to draw any useful generalizations.  When you look at the "textbook" case windows get longer and waves get shorter and everyone lives happily ever after.  That is, in my experience, at least with people who have made it to SA, not that usual.  We see patterns all over the place.  Some people cycle way more rapidly, others have no windows until one day they see dramatic improvement.  I would not take too much away from your symptom pattern to date.   Given the need to modify your method of drug delivery after the change in meds, I would strongly encourage you to stabilize on the new approach before doing anything new.  Even though you are not sure if you can be completely accurate I would advocate trying so you can get a sense of how receptive your CNS is at this point.  Going straight to taper would create a whole set of different questions and uncertainty so I would argue for trying to stabilize where you are.  If that doesn't happen after several weeks, you can then look at a slow taper.

 

I'm happy to hear from others as this is purely my view.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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15 hours ago, Lumpy said:

1. is the pattern of waves I have had still normal for withdrawal - the fact i had one 6week window then such a long wave since with only 10days of a window worries me something else is going on i.e. side effect of the ADs. People talk of windows getting longer and waves shorter but that just doesn't seem to be the case for me? 

2. Can I make a very slow reduction of the amitriptyline so I can get down to 50mg and then stay there? 

Lumpy, I'm sorry you're having this difficulty.

1.  I would agree with Andy.  Your 6-week window is a very encouraging sign that you're healing.  Patterns are indeed all over the place, and the fact your yours does't fit the "textbook" pattern is no cause for concern.

2.  Again, I agree with Andy.  This is not the time to taper as you get used to a new system of drug delivery.  That introduces a whole new variable.  I know you'd like to get down to 50mg, but now is a time for stabilizing where you are with the new delivery system.  

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 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

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

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

Taper is 80% 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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Thank you for your replies - it's good to know the waves and windows pattern I have is still a good sign of recovery. I would have hoped by 10.5months out I would be suffering less in the waves but they feel just the same as when I came off. The windows I have had have been wonderful though - they are by no means perfect and symptoms still cycle but just enough to be manageable. 

Thank you for your advice on the amitriptyline - It really is a pain when brands switch, my system seems so sensitive. I will stabilise for a few weeks then slowly taper to 50mg, I then plan to stay there until I am ready for my AD taper. I know the advice is to taper Cipralex first. My lorazepam taper and withdrawal has made me so fearful of drugs and tapering my ADs scares me. I know I need to let my nervous system get to a place where it can cope and now is not the time. I plan to take the taper to 50mg slowly using the brass monkey slide with 4 small reductions and a hold for 2 more weeks. Does this sound OK? I hope this works for me!

 

Thank you again.

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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That sounds like a very solid plan, Lumpy. Please keep us posted. 
 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
19 minutes ago, Lumpy said:

I know I need to let my nervous system get to a place where it can cope and now is not the time.

 

Being stable before beginning a taper is laying a firmer foundation to start from.

 

Stability

 

21 minutes ago, Lumpy said:

I plan to take the taper to 50mg slowly using the brass monkey slide with 4 small reductions and a hold for 2 more weeks.

 

This is gentler way to taper than the usual no more than 10% about every 4 weeks.  And if at any time you get withdrawal symptoms you defer reducing again until you return to withdrawal normal. 

 

WDnormal

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full 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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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Thank you - while we are chatting I actually have a couple more questions that you may be able to help with. The first one goes through my mind constantly 

 

1. I worry every day that the ADs I'm on are causing a lot of my symptoms - mainly the crazy anxiety. It goes over and over in my brain every minute I feel awful that this anxiety / agitation is here to stay until I'm drug free and that means a very long time. I never had this level of anxiety before taking any of these medications. 

In the windows especially the 6 weeks I got my rational brain says it can't be as I wouldn't get the window and if it was the ADs the windows would not occur. Back into the wave and I lose that thought completely. 

 

2. I also have a daily pattern of symptoms - I wake with anxiety but it really ramps up at 10:30 - it can peak at about 2pm and then again at 5pm - often is subsides in the evening - even in the windows I feel this pattern but it's more of a mini mini wave. Is this normal in withdrawal to have daily patterns - It feels lovely in the evening and I go to bed and it just seems to reset. In the windows this pattern felt more like a stitch in my ribs or slight tight chest. In the waves it's full on anxiety, agitation and awful crying spells.

 

Thoughts on these most greatly appreciated.  

Lumpy

 

June 2018 Breakdown with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

June 2018 - 100mg sertraline for 9 weeks. Bad reaction and no relief. C/T at 9 weeks. Also put on Zopiclone 9 weeks 

May 2018 - 50mg Quitiapine for 5 weeks. C/T at 5 weeks

September 2018 - 15mg Mertrazepine for 5 weeks. Worked a little then got akathisia went to A&E and C/T off.

October 2018 - put on 2mg Lorazepam to help with anxiety state and akathisia. Was on for 8-10 weeks in total then tapered for 12 weeks. Thought this was enough - too rapid and had every withdrawal. Off for 3 weeks - withdrawal too bad. 

April 2019 - reinstated 1mg Lorazepam and started a slower taper. 

April 2019 amitriptyline 70mg June 2019 Escitalopram (Cipralex)10mg

October 2019 - finished Lorazepam taper. 

August 2020 - tapered 10% every 4 weeks of amitriptyline

November 2020 - currently at 50mg Amitriptyline, 10mg Cipralex. Holding the Amitriptyline at 50mg while I taper the Cipralex. 

December 2020 - Cipralex 9mg - 6 week hold. Cut 10% and hold too much so started Brass Monkey Slide method. March 2021 - Cipralex 7.3mg January 2022 - Cipralex 3.6mg. 

 

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, Lumpy said:

1. I worry every day that the ADs I'm on are causing a lot of my symptoms - mainly the crazy anxiety. It goes over and over in my brain every minute I feel awful that this anxiety / agitation is here to stay until I'm drug free and that means a very long time. I never had this level of anxiety before taking any of these medications. 

In the windows especially the 6 weeks I got my rational brain says it can't be as I wouldn't get the window and if it was the ADs the windows would not occur. Back into the wave and I lose that thought completely. 

 

The hope and expectation is that as you get more stable the windows do take over and the waves increasingly recede.  By your own statement that would mean more time of less anxiety and agitation.  The drugs are certainly a factor in it but the option of a CT is likely to cause you greater harm for a longer time.  That is our experience on this site.  So, continuing in the mode you are presently employing makes the most sense from where I sit.

 

1 hour ago, Lumpy said:

2. I also have a daily pattern of symptoms - I wake with anxiety but it really ramps up at 10:30 - it can peak at about 2pm and then again at 5pm - often is subsides in the evening - even in the windows I feel this pattern but it's more of a mini mini wave. Is this normal in withdrawal to have daily patterns - It feels lovely in the evening and I go to bed and it just seems to reset. In the windows this pattern felt more like a stitch in my ribs or slight tight chest. In the waves it's full on anxiety, agitation and awful crying spells.

 

This is a very normal pattern for withdrawal, with things worse early and getting better in the evenings.  It ties into the typical cortisol curve of most people (although some will see a reverse effect for some reason).  Hopefully, the time you start feeling better gets earlier and earlier until one day you no longer notice the anxiety spikes.  Don't worry about this pattern.  It (and many others) are "typical" for withdrawal.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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