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Sleepan: Amitriptyline - Cold Turkey - 4th week reinstatement in peril as I started Cardiac Coherence 1 week ago.

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Sleepan

I discovered about Cardiac Coherence one week ago and I thought it could be helpful. I started to reinstate Amitriptyline 25mg (30yrs use) 3 weeks ago after stopping cold turkey last October.  My protocole now is 10mg am and 15mg night with some progress: 1st week-no sleep, 2nd week-slept 5 nights, 3rd week-slept 5 nights,4th week-slept Jan 11 only.  No sleep since.  So it could be Cardiac Coherence breathing which has excited my nervous system, yes?  

 

I’m 72 yrs old.  Since last August, I lost all my bad eating habits, and lost weight, no more high blood pressure.  So I thought I could stop Amitriptyline 25mg prescribed to me for insomnia in early 90’s.  Few years ago, I took only 2/3 to sleep.  I thought I could stop.  I failed.  Very bad side effects.  Finally, I saw the light, and  Amitriptyline reinstatement.  And tonight, I stopped cardiac coherence breathing 3xday.  I’ll update my progress.  I've read some topics and will read more.  I discover very needed new info every day.  Thank you to all for contributing to this peer support forum.

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Sleepan

Few hours after my introductory comment above, I read a topic during early hours on supplements and herbs where Magnesium was recommended.  I had Natural Calm Magnesium Citrate Powder that I bought 3 months ago as an alternative to sleep when I stopped Amitriptyline.  I tried it 2-3 times but had not read the directions to  use, i.e. dissolve powder in hot water and add some juice, which I did around 3am.  I went back to bed to rest and I think I got 2-3hrs real sleep.  Last night was the 6th night of 4th week of trying to reinstate Amitriptyline 10mg-am & 15mg am night (a protocole that worked the 2nd & 3rd weeks with 5 nights of sleep each). 

 

So I'm hopeful.  I still do not know if Cardiac Coherence was too exciting for my nervous system during the reinstatement.  When I'm stabilized, I'll try it again, as a week practice lowered my heart pulse from the usual 85 to 76.  I never had it so low since I take my blood pressure regularly.

 

Another interesting topic which is a must read is by Gridley sharing a list of things to try such as to not put a significance to not sleeping.  Resting is good enough until the body will know when to sleep. To have a steady ritual.  I will change my ritual from going to sleep at 10pm instead of 7:30pm, as 10pm is more natural.  I will add yoga, meditation today.  

 

The new side effects I suffer the most from withdrawing cold turkey from Amitriptyline that alerted me to reinstate it on December 21st are:  

1) extreme water diarrhea in Oct-Nov

2) total chronic insomnia since early December

3) panic attack and mania 2 days before reinstatement

 

New side effects from reinstatement:

1) difficulty to urinate

2) crazy thoughts every night as I rest instead of sleeping such as life memories that I had forgotten - new ones every night

 

I  have depressive thoughts that it will kill me or the wish to end it, but I fight it with the will to stay positive on the outcome. 

 

I will continue to read the topics, a few hours per day and will buy Omega-3 Fish oil as recommended in supplements topic.  In the meantime, I will sprinkle Hemp Hearts 12G Omega-3&6 that I already bought few weeks ago and forgot to use.  My mind is all over the place. I feel confused.  I feel super excited with the reinstatement.  I have to accept it for now and the process will be much longer since I stopped cold turkey and wait too long for a reinstatement and made too many mistakes.  So happy I found this group 2 nights ago.  Namaste.

 

 

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, Sleepan.  

 

It seems that your sleep is improving, so that's great.  Reinstatement works most predictably within three months of stopping the drug, so you were well within the time frame.  I'm glad the reinstatement is working.  Your attitude is very good, and the will serve you well.  Don't worry about mistakes.  We all make them.  

 

When you went cold turkey, the symptoms you experienced were withdrawal, not side effects (withdrawal is what you experience because your body has become used to the drug and doesn't have it any more; side effects are negative symptoms that occur when you're still taking the drug).  Insomnia and panic are common withdrawal symptoms.  So are depressive and suicidal thought.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF)

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
Are you still having the diarrhea? If so, you might be taking too much magnesium, which can have a strong laxative effect.  People in withdrawal are often very sensitive to supplements and have to take a lower dosage than normal.  
 
You now need to stabilize, which will take several months.  After you've stabilized, if you want to go off the Amitriptyline, we recommend tapering no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  Some have to go more slowly.
 
 
For future reference, this link is specifically about tapering Amitriptyline.
 
 
It's a good idea to take daily notes on paper to track how your reinstatement is going.
 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.
 
 

 

 

 

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Sleepan

My acute water diarrhea which occurred started late October and ended end of November, was not caused by Magnesium which I bought early August to replace Amitriptyline, on the advice of a friend online.  I tried it 2-3 times without success (I did not dilute it in hot water 1st), so I put it aside.  I tried Melatonine 3mg and had some success.  From August to early October I was still taking Amitriptyline regularly but not every day.  I obtained a prescription for a 10mg Amitriptyline instead of 25mg as I intended to taper it.  

 

My numerous mistakes during those two months made Amitriptyline not working for me much at times, especially early October.  So I stopped it cold turkey and got acute water diarrhea which was like emptying many pints of water in a 2-hour period going to toilet 20-30 times.  It stopped end of November when I took just once one Berberine & one Ceylan Cinnamon, but then total insomnia started.  So the past night, I tried again Magnesium by diluting it hot water and adding some juice, and it calmed me just enough that I’m quite certain that while resting in bed until morning, I think I got 2-3hrs sleep.   I will continue to test Magnesium and maybe I will be able to sleep a few hours again soon.  

 

I’m looking for a good fish oil supplement. I will read again the topic here.  On Amazon, I found “1000mg Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Softgels Concentrated Fish Oil with More DHA and EPA 325mg each. Ist it enough.  I can’t find the topic here again on Magnesium and Fish Oil.  Can you share it to me?  

 

When I stabilize, I will wait 2-3months and then use Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering that I found in one of your answer to another person.   I know already about the titration method for very small doses.  

 

Thank you so much for your answer.  I will update on my reinstatement.

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Sleepan

 

I found the info in your answer to another person.  "For nervous system support, take 2,000-3,000 mg EPA + DHA a day" is recommended.  So 1000mg Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Softgels sees a good choice, and I would take 2-3 softgels per day.

Here's the links.

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

I will follow also this great advice "Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems."

 

Thank you.

 

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Sleepan
On 1/16/2020 at 8:03 PM, Sleepan said:

I discovered about Cardiac Coherence one week ago and I thought it could be helpful. I started to reinstate Amitriptyline 25mg (30yrs use) 3 weeks ago after stopping cold turkey last October. 

 

My protocole now is 10mg am and 15mg night with some progress: 1st week-no sleep, 2nd week-slept 5 nights, 3rd week-slept 5 nights,4th week-slept Jan 11 only.  No sleep since.  So it could be Cardiac Coherence breathing which has excited my nervous system, yes?  

 

I slept 6hrs last night.  I awoke and remembered the end of a fancy dream, taken from my imagination and not memory.  I went to bed early as I was feeling a need to sleep, meaning my nervous system and cortisol was lower.  I took my 15mg dose and also I drank small tsp of Calm Magnesium powder before going to bed, and I slept after 5 nights of insomnia on my 4th week of reinstatement  I'm thrilled as my reinstatement is progressing.  I'm grateful for the great info I found here, such as Magnesium and Fish Oil.  So, I ordered one Nordic Naturals Fish Oil 1000mg with 250mg each DHA-EPA and one Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium 100mg.   Thank you so much.

 

I will try the Cardiac Coherence breathing method only when I'm safely stabilized.

 

I found the recipe for an homemade juice to help sleeping at night:  A small buch of mint, 1 apple, celery and a bunch of lettuce which calm the nervous system (option: a small tsp of spirulina).

 

Is it ok for a member to start new topics, or should I remain only in this one?

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Gridley
2 hours ago, Sleepan said:

s it ok for a member to start new topics, or should I remain only in this one?

If the post is about you and your situation, you should post only here. That way, everything about you is in one place.  Only one Introduction topic per member.   If it is something general not related to you, it's okay to start a new topic in another forum, but first search using Google survivingantidepressants.org + the new topic to make sure there isn't already a topic on the subject.

 

That's great that you got a good night's sleep.

Edited by Gridley
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Sleepan
On 1/16/2020 at 8:03 PM, Sleepan said:

I started my 5th week reinstatement. No sleep this past night with adding Calm Magnesium powder 1tsp as the night before.  Negative thought during those insomniac nights.  I guess it is just a downward wave.  Once awake, I get my fighting good spirits back. 

 

Can I reduce 10mg-am 15mg-evening to 10mg-am 12.5-evening or should I wait?  Will being stabilized means no more insomnia?  

 

The night before (17-18 jan) that I think I slept 6hrs. I forgot to  mention I woke up with a strong headache, which disappeared shortly after I was up.  I also said to myself I accept it, and this mindset could have contributed also.  I never had headaches since the cold turkey withdrawal.

 

Reading "About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal" and "The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization".  I will read it again and again, as there's much to understand.  Thank you.

 

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Sleepan

No sleep last night with 10mg am-15mg evening + Calm Magnesium 1tsp.  Starting 5th week reinstatement.  Slept 2 nights last 4th week.  Should I reduce to 10mg am-12.5mg evening?   Can I think I'm stabilizing even with chronic insomnia (which started early December)?  P.S.  I started reinstatement on the 21st of December.  No sleep 1st week.  Slept 5 nights 2nd-3rd weeks.  Slept 2 nights 4th week.

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Rosetta

Hi, Sleepen,

 

I’m answering the question you left on IWanttoHeal’s thread.  I did not taper.  I know very little about it.  Generally, to change the dose when you are having harsh symptoms is something you would do on the advice of a moderator such as when you are have a bad reaction or when you might need to increase.  I’m not qualified to opine on those sorts of questions.  However, you should post that question here for the moderators to see.

 

I’m sorry I’m not much help.  I hope you feel better soon.

 

Rosetta

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Sleepan
On 1/19/2020 at 7:37 AM, Sleepan said:

Thank you Rosetta. You're very kind and very informative.  You write very well.

 

 When I started the reinstatement, I tried various protocoles.  I wish I had started at very low doses.  This morning, I tapered the morning dose from 10 to 7.5mg and tonight will remain the same at 15mg, a total cumulative of 22.5mg instead of 25mg.  When I ingest the 15mg in the evening, my brain becomes very foggy, a lot of anxiety and other mental issues. 

 

During the day, I'm almost normal, but I'm not the same I was before.  I feel mentally handicapped and a lot of regrets to have so carelessly thought I could cold turkey stop Amitriptyline after 30yrs....  Now, I take daily walks in the snow.  I did a 15' guided meditation yesterday evening and I was yawning a lot but still no sleep.  I'm not sure if one can be said to be stabilized even with insomnia and crazy thoughts at night.  

 

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Sleepan

Long sleep last night.  I'm starting 5th week reinstatement of Amitriptyline.  No dreams.  My protocole is now 7.5mg am and 15mg (2.5 reduction).  I stopped Calm Magnesium for now.  Instead I listened to two guided meditation videos (one on sleep and the other on healing).  I'm new at meditating, so I'm not very good but it gave me very positive thoughts before sleeping and it worked.  This morning, I listened to this very powerful healing 1hour music video titled "musique de guérison super puissante" - no words, only music - as I checked some news, do some cleaning, homemade fresh vegetable juice (beet, carrot, celery, iceberg lettuce, spinach, ginger) followed by a dinner of homemade fried brown rice, cooked chicken, carrot, celery, green peas, green onions, soya & a little maple syrup.  Playing the healing video again.  2.442M views.  It works.  I guess I have to start yoga now while my cats and dog are sleeping. 

 

 

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Rosetta

Let’s get a moderator’s opinion on whether your response to the evening dose is of concern.  You do not have that response to the morning dose?  Ever?  The morning dose is 10 mg and the evening is 15, correct?

 

Let me see if I can summarize your situation.  

 

You take blood pressure medication regularly.  Any other medications?  Even occasionally?  

 

Please don’t drink alcohol at all until you stabilize.  Alcohol interferes with stabilization.  (That is unless you have to because you are an alcoholic — that’s unlikely, I know, but I’m always concerned that I’ll say that to an alcoholic who will have delirium tremens.)  

 

Amyptriptaline was prescribed to you 30 (thirty) years ago as a sleep aid.   From August to early October 2019 you were taking amyptriptaline, but not every day.  Then, you stopped amyptritaline 25 mg cold turkey in October of 2019, correct?  You reinstated on the 21st of January 2020.  At that time, you took 10 mg in the am and 15 mg at night.  It appears that was the dose you were taking August-October.  So, you reinstated the full dose, correct?  And you have been taking that consistently every day since then?  

 

Some general advice:

 

Daily walks — key to healing.  I’m so glad you can do that.

Meditation — good idea.  The goal isn’t the point, the practice is.  Keep trying.

Dose/Consistent dosing:

By the way, if you change the time of day you take your dose in the future, here’s a tip: in general, it’s important to avoid missing doses of these sorts of drugs and, if you decide to change the time of your dose, to change it slowly by moving it only one hour at a time.  For instance, change the hour and keep it consistent for a few days or a week and then change it again until you get to the desired time.  Maybe you can move it faster than that.  Hopefully, a moderator can say.)

 

Bedtime:

Your bedtime change from 7:30 to 10:00 pm may have resulted in a change in the timing of your nighttime dose.  That’s a change that can affect the ability to stabilize.  So, you will want to avoid that in the future.  

 

More on Consistent dosing:

Its very, very, very important to keep your dose consistent over a period of months.  Yes, months.  Individual symptoms from day to day or week to week, month to month should not result in a dosage change (unless there is a bad reaction to reinstatement situation).  On your case there would be no reason to increase your dose.  Please don’t let a doctor convince your otherwise!! 

 

Journal:

You want to start track your symptoms in a paper journal and, in a few months, you will start looking at trends to see your progress.  Somewhere on this site is a daily symptom log created by Dr, Glenmullen. (Spelling?). You can copy from the checklist into your journal.  The checklist jogs your memory and helps you catch each symptom.  In your journal, jot down at the top of a page the day, your wake up time and symptoms at the time.  Then, the time of your dose and the amount of your dose.  Add Symptoms through out the day.  Then, the Evening time and dose.  More Symptoms.  When you wake up the next day jot down symptoms that occurred through the night.  Start a new page (or half page depending on the size of the pages) for the next day.  You will be looking back at this months later to see trends in the lessening or disappearance (and recurrence) of symptoms.

 

The process of AD withdrawal syndrome:

You will have windows and waves — good days, bad days, good hours, bad hours, surprisingly good days hopefully, etc., but don’t change the dose (unless there’s a bad reaction issue.) Stabilization is about being ultra consistent with your dose, your timing, and never missing a dose.  Once your dose is determined, stay at that dose and track your symptoms in the journal.  Then post entire pages from the journal here for a moderator to see when a moderator asks for the information.  

 

After a couple of months you might see some sort of trend, but you might not.  It’s all about giving your brain and body the drug it needs and letting it get used to a particular dose over a period of several months.

 

Supplements:

I would stick with magnesium and carefully add the fish oil.  I would skip the hemp hearts and anything other than run of the mill food.  The juice drink sounds fine, but any supplement other than magnesium and fish oil is a bit risky.  You want no rocking of the boat.  

 

More on Bedtime:

Going to bed early is not a bad thing.  For me it helped a lot.  I had morning cortisol spikes.  I would wake up at 4:30 am fully awake for months with no hope of getting more sleep.  So, going to bed at 8:00 helped me heal.  I got more sleep overall.  If you are lying there ruminating that’s no good, but let yourself fall asleep early if you can.  A warm bath or shower before bed helps.  For me, having a cup of warm milk before bed or if I awoke in the night was useful and so was having a shoulder wrap that I could microwave.  A white noise machine or soothing sleep music was useful, as well.

 

I hope this helps you a bit.

 

Yours, Rosetta

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Rosetta

 Please create a drug signature for your thread.  All drugs, even non-psych drugs.

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Sleepan

Bedtime:  I agree, Rosetta.  Thank you for insisting on Consistent dosing & time.  I need improving.  I was not serious enough on keeping always the same times both am and evening.  I am setting my new I-Phone’s alarm to 8am and 8pm.

More on consistent dosing:  ok.  I am in my Reinstatement right now (not stabilizing yet), but I had to reduce something because my brain was suffering a lot as soon as I took my evening 15mg dose (at first, I even tried 25mg – I was a maniac the following day).  Now with 2.5% reduction – 7.5mg – 15mg – I felt a big difference (the meditations probably helped too).  I was thinking to reduce another 2.5% in coming weeks.  But I feel that the current protocol will bring me to Stabilizing Level.   

Doctors:  My doctor is on 4-months sick leave.  Last time, I visited her, she told me she was using Melatonine (maybe she has problems with AD or Benzo?).  She’s not authoritarian with me.  I have an appointment with a replacement doctor February 28th for the only purpose to renew my prescription only. 

Journal:  Every day, I write down day-time-dose, if I slept or not, and other symptoms.  I printed Dr. Glenmullen’s chart.  I agree it is a great help.  Today, I have elevated mood (21), and I still have difficulty to urinate and I still lose my hair.  

The process of AD withdrawal syndrome:   I’ll wait that a moderator ask for my journal, so I can post it in my answer.  I understand that stabilization requires to be ultra consistent.  I think my dose is adequate right now.  I accept the waves in advance.

Supplements:  I ordered Doctor’s Best Magnesium 100ml and I will cut a tablet and start with a very low dose.   I also ordered Nordic Naturals Fish Oil 1000mg with more DHA-EPA 325-225mg  I will test it separately from Magnesium.  It is a soft gel so cannot cut it.  Maybe I could empty it in 10ml water and use only 5ml or less to test it?   OK.  No hemp heart for now.

Blood Pressure Medication:  I quit my blood pressure medication last August as I did a water fast for 4 days and Intermittent fasting as my blood pressure is low now.  I eat very healthy since then.  I thought I would be also lucky with quitting CT Amitriptyline mid-Sep-Oct by trying to replace it with melatonine, homeopathy, etc..  Nothing worked.  Mid October, the withdrawal side effects was a Big Bang.  Extreme Niagara Falls water diarrhea that lasts each night (and afternoon) about 3 hrs, going back & forth 20-30 times.  I also had one day constipation, so I became nauseous until one of the worst vomiting my whole heart, and diarrhea came again. Diarrhea strangely was replaced by Total Insomnia mid-November till I thought that my issue was CT AD. 

Reinstatement:  I found info on Cold Turkey Amitriptyline and knew my best option was reinstatement on December 21st

History on my dosage:  25mg was the original 30 years ago.  About 5-6 years ago, I start to cut a bit from it to take about 15mg (a little bigger than half) and I was sleeping.  But I started symptoms for mysterious illnesses that no doctors could help:  panic attack, anxiety, eczema on both hands, aches in the back, in the chest, difficulty to breathe, etc.  I think it was because I cut wildly half of my prescription.  I’m not alcoholic at all.  Rarely drink.  But I did buy some good wines end of November, and I was tempted to drink a little glass at noon even after I reinstated.  I stopped now.  I have a prescription from my doctor for medicinal cannabis or cannabidiol that I get from a clinic. I’m not addicted to this either.  I only take some if I have anxiety or a big stress during the day and it calms me for the whole day up until the evening.  Doing some in the evening is not good for me right now.

I walk daily.  I agree it helps a lot.

Thank you so much Rosetta for your interest in helping me. 

  I will answer your request a short history of my withdrawal in a short time.

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Sleepan

I started the titration method this morning, for accurate dosing.  My protocole for consistent dosing is 7.5mg 8am  15mg 8pm. 

This morning, I dissolved one 10mg Amitriptyline pill in one 10ml water, using two spoons to crush and emptying in an empty clean pill bottle, shaking it, then taking out 2.5ml with a syringe, leaving only 7.5ml or 7.5mg that I will take at 8 a.m.  (It's now 7:30 am. ET for me)

This evening, I will dissolve one 10mg pill in one 10ml water, then take out 5ml with a syringe, leaving only 5ml (or 5mg) that I will take with one 10mg pill for a total of 15mg at 8 p.m.

I slept about 5-6 hours the past night. 

I drank a Green Tea with some Himalayan Salt (for minerals).  Maybe too much caffeine.  I will switch to Chamomille Tea thereon.

I also drank tsp Calm Magnesium (only in the morning for now).

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Rosetta

Hi, Sleepan,

 

I hope your day was ok.  Mine was fine.

 

Ok, you are taking 7.5 mg in the morning and 15 at night right now.  Good job on the drug signature.  It’s very helpful to glance at that and see what your history has been.  When you have a chance you could put the day you changed to 7.5 mg in the morning (Jan 19?) and list your supplements and their doses.  

 

Im asking the following questions so a moderator can see your answers:

 

Have the anxious feelings after your 15 mg evening dose ceased?  On Jan 19 you said you had noticed anxiety, brain fog and “mental issues” after that dose.  I hope that’s not still a problem?

 

I‘m curious why you decided to reduce the morning 10 mg to 7.5 instead of reducing the 15 mg evening dose.  Originally, I assumed you were breaking pills, and that you had a scored 5 mg pill.  Did the timing of your manic symptoms make you feel that the morning dose was an issue?  

 

It appears you have only 10 mg pills.  Are they scored such that you could break them in half?

 

Mmm, switching to liquid is considered a “dosage change.”  Be aware that it’s possible that switching to liquid will have a temporary negative affect on how you feel, but if 7.5 in the morning is right for you, you need to get 7.5 ml somehow.  So, don’t panic.  It will get better.  

 

As to whether the 7.5 change is necessary, I’m not sure.  I would like to see you avoid changes right now.  You have been taking that dose for 3 days, correct?  If it’s not necessary, maybe a Mod can say whether it’s better to switch back to 10 or stay with 7.5 at this point.  I don’t know.  

 

Regarding dosage changes, I’ll expand on that issue a bit.  Going from a pressed pill form to a water titration is considered a “dosage change” even if the actual dose doesn’t change.  It isn’t a problem for everyone.  The mods have noticed that this is a significant “change” for some people.  Others are not bothered by it.  Too many changes close together can ramp up symptoms.  No one knows who will be affected.  So, that is called a change and it’s suggest that it be spaced out.  

 

 You are getting situated, and you need to decide on a dose.  If you need to take 2.5 mg less then water titration is a successful method for many.  Weighing crushed tablets requires a scale and all that.  It’s not something you are equipped to do right at this moment.  I was thinking that you were worried that your 15 mg evening dose was too high and causing adverse symptoms.  It would be nice if you had 5 mg scored pulld that you could break to get 2.5 mg, but they aren’t always easy to get.

 

All in all, if you need 7.5 in the morning or, in the alternative, you need 0.5 taken off evening dose, either way, the water method works.  

 

For the future just know that all changes should be spaced out if possible.  Changes to dose include changes in dosage (of course), time of dose, adding a supplement, changing the method of drug delivery (dissolved tablet to tablet, tablet to dissolved tablet, tablet to commercially prepared liquid and vice versa, etc.).  The effect of these changes can pile up on each other.  So, it’s recommended that they be spaced out about 4 weeks apart for dosage changes and at least a week for supplement additions or increases.  

 

In the beginning, people make a lot of changes out of necessity or because they “chase symptoms.”  Chasing symptoms is discouraged as it tends to increase symptoms.  It is not always the timing of the symptoms that indicates whether the morning or evening dose is a problem.  I would rely on a moderator to analyze that.

 

Your journal entries would help a moderator opine on whether symptoms might be related to a particular morning or evening dose.   

 

I understand about losing hair.  I lost so much hair!!!  That finally stopped.  

 

Yes, I think all those unexplained illnesses were due to the reduction in dose all those years ago.  

 

Quitting caffeine and alcohol probably helped me.  I didn’t see any immediate difference for either one, but I’m convinced that had I continued drinking it would have been worse.  Alcohol had a stronger effect on me after I started taking ADs, and the effect was even stronger after I skipped doses of my meds.  I know that.  As far as caffeine is concerned, I had terrible, terrible anxiety after I quit Zoloft.  So, I’m quite sure quitting caffeine was a good call, too.  

 

I hope you have a good night’s sleep.- Rosetta

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Sleepan

@Rosetta  I feel great this morning.  Happy  to hear you’re feeling fine also.  I modified my Signature in my Settings.  I’m happy to read you are not losing hair anymore.  My hair for an old lady was thick and straight.  I stopped having perms and it helped.  But now, my hair is falling all over the place.  I just have to touch it to bring some in my fingers.  Did you grow more hair since, Rosetta?   

 

Here is my answers to your various questions, and to why and how I reduced to 7.5mg am and use Titration now.   Also why Ami was 25mg and now is 10mg.

 

I discovered Water Fasting and I stopped to eat 4days early August.  Result was a Body Reset in my diet resulting in lowering my Blood Pressure, so I was able to stop it Cold Turkey.  I take my Blood Pressure and it remains low since that time, as I eat very healthy now:  Vegetables & Fruits raw or cooked for 80% and Meat.  I now find it easy to do Intermittent Fasting 16/8, and my weight changed from 149lbs to 123lbs now without privations as my stomach has shrinked without effort.

 

I thought I could do same with Amitriptyline 25mg.  I did not know the dangers of Amitriptyline.  It was prescribed to me in 1989 for a week insomnia working 2 jobs.  It was renewed 30 years by various doctors who said I could take it only when needed to sleep.

 

 About 10 years ago, I started to cut 25mg with a used cutter I inherit from a deceased family member.  I started to take about 17mg (the biggest part) to sleep.  Now I suspect that many of strange symptoms that appeared and no medical was  helpful to determine, were caused by this wild tapering I did:  rash on both hands’ palms, vertigo, anxiety, panic attacks, diarrhea, phobia, etc.

 

Early September, I told my doctor (who is now on 4 months sick leave) I was cutting it since many years and I still could sleep, and it would be helpful if she prescribed me 10mg for tapering help.  She prescribed 2x10mg per day on 4 Sep.  I still had a month supply of 25mg.  My doctor told me she was taking Melatonine to sleep and it was very effective.  So back home, I experiment with Melatonine some nights, and other sleep herbal aids.  It worked for a little while, but early October, nothing worked and I almost overdosed taking many sleep aids and almost 40mg of Amitriptyline on one night.  I was very ill the following day.  In the coming days, I stopped Amitriptyline Cold Turkey.  And I was hit few weeks later with very strong withdrawal effects.

 

At first, I did not suspect my extreme Water Diarrhea, Worst Vomiting, Nausea, followed & replaced by a Total Insomnia from mid-November was due to stopping Amitriptyline.  I finally had the insight it was the culprit and I found some info on Internet and discovered I probably now had to reinstate the use of Amitriptyline, which I did on Dec 21, 2019.  However, I did it with the same dose I was prescribed.  It was too high.  I lowered it to 20mg, retried with 30mg, then found that splitting with 10mg am and 15mg at night finally worked, but I still felt anxious.

 

1st week of reinstatement – no sleep.  2nd-3rd weeks I slept 10 nights.  Then 4th week – no sleep again and this is when I felt the dose of 10mg am and 15mg pm was too high.  So I reduced it to 7.5mg am and 15mg pm, and it worked for me.  Especially with the Meditations that I’m starting to understand how to do i.e. observe your breathing instead of forcing your breathing to relax.

 

My problem with cutting was that even with a new cutter I got, I was not confident the doses were consistent.  So, on January 22, I crushed a 10mg pill between two spoons, poured it into 10ml water (measured with a syringe 10ml) and then extracted 2.5ml (2.5mg) for my 8am dose.  In the evening, I crushed also a 10mg pill but extract 5ml (5mg) for my 8pm dose with a 10mg pill making 15mg.  I understand it is considered a new change. 

 

I think and feel very good on the new change i.e. 7.5mg 8am and 15mg 8pm with Titration method (crushed pills in water).  My intention is to not change anything for at least 1-2 months.  The only supplement I take is Calm Magnesium in the morning.  I will get soon Magnesium Glycenate and Fish Oil and I will test each one separately and in very small doses.

 

Surviving Antidepressants Forum is the only place where I got the info as to start on small doses, and I think it is a very very wise advice.  In fact, it is a great place for the best info available on how to do it.  From thinking I made the worst decision in my life by CT Amitriptyline, I now think it will be for the best.  As it is changing my life for the best.  My Meditation yesterday evening was very effective.  I’m addicted to Meditations now.  I understand how to do it now.

 

I have a Journal since I started Reinstatement.  A Journal is essential.  My Journal is available is a moderator wish me to share it.

 

Thank you so much Rosetta for your great and very uplifting message to me.  Love you.

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Rosetta

I’m glad to hear that you feel good today and that you are not having issues after the evening dose.  That’s great news.  You may not see a moderator request your journal entries as long as you are not reporting issues that they can address.  Much of living with this syndrome is just perservering through misery and staying the course with consistent on-time dosing.

 

I recommend that you start reading about all the ins and outs of tapering here on SA.  That way you will understand it when you need to.  You may decide that waiting 1-2 months before making changes might not be enough.  You will have to look at your journal then and see.  

 

I didn't taper.  So, I never give specific advice on a taper, but I can alert you to issues that I have seen discussed here and advise you to start studying the subject.  There is a lot of information on SA about it.  For instance, Brassmonkey had a very successful taper and many people try his Brassmonkey “slide,” and find that it is much more comfortable than making 10 percent reductions each time. 

 

Taperers say “throw out the calendar” meaning “don’t be concerned about getting off the drugs, be concerned about getting of the drugs safely.”  Slow tapering — really slow tapering for some — is best.  You decide based on how you feel over time not how you feel most recently.  

 

I’m glad you have the journal.  That will help you enormously in a month or two when you need to decide.  Once you are stable then tapering every 4 weeks is a general guideline, but again it depends on how you have been feeling as indicated in your journal.  Never rely on memory alone.  Your perception of how you have felt in the past will be severely skewed to the negative when you are in a wave.  You have to look at the overall trend and that can be seen in the journal.

 

Be aware that as you reach a certain point — different for each drug, different for each person — you may suddenly react to a decrease in a way you had not reacted previously.  It has to do with crossing a threshhold of “occupancy.”  There are graphs that scientists have made for each drug showing how the drug affects the brain.  You can find them here somewhere.  The drugs are all different, and I’m not suggesting that I understand this issue.  A small amount of the drug can have a stronger affect than double that amount of drug.  So, some people notice that when they reach, say, less than half their original dose (for example) they are suddenly feeling worse.  Also as they get to low doses the affect of each reduction can be more severe.  

 

From 1 mg to 0 is a very long period of tapering and for some people it’s challenging, but that is for the future.  

 

Long before they reach 1 mg, people in the know try to minimize the size of the reductions at a certain point after they realize their reductions are more challenging.  (The Brassmonkey slide is a way of doing that, too.).  This is because each reduction over time can have a cumulative effect.  After three reductions, let’s say, a person might suddenly see an uptick in symptoms.  By spacing the reductions out even more the person can be more comfortable during the remaining taper.  I’m sure there is a post here somewhere that does a better job of explaining this concept.  

 

In any event, it’s a good idea to read about these things and be able to recognize what’s happening to you so that you can note it in your journal and ask the right questions here.  I can’t tell you the number of symptoms I realized were related to WD only after they stopped or abated for a period of time.  For me, it didn’t matter because I had no way of helping myself, but you will have the option of slowing your taper when you have a number of odd symptoms instead of charging ahead and getting to a point of having more painful symptoms after several reductions pile up.

 

Yes, I think my hair grew back.  I’m not sure as it was always thick.  It hasn’t been of concern to me at least.

 

Take care,

Rosetta

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Gridley

 

@Sleepan

 

 

7 minutes ago, Rosetta said:

 There are graphs that scientists have made for each drug showing how the drug affects the brain.  You can find them here somewhere.

 

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

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Vegalia

Bonjour @Sleepan

 

Je serais étonnée que la cohérence cardiaque te cause des soucis, au contraire c'est un exercice très doux que je fais tous les jours. 

Mais si tu n'es pas rassuré avec, tu as bien fait de ne pas insister, plus tard peut-être. 🙂

 

Je suis contente que la réintégration semble marcher. 

 

Bon courage à toi. 

 

Vega. 

 

 

I would be surprised if the cardiac coherence causes you worries, on the contrary it is a very gentle exercise that I do every day.

But if you are not reassured with it, you have done well not to insist, perhaps later.   

 

I'm glad that the Reinstatement seems to be working.

 

Good luck to you.

 

Vega.

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Sleepan

Thank you so much for giving me your opinion on Cardiac Coherence.  It is worthy to test again when I'm stabilized, as I promised to be consistent now in my doses & timing.  LOOK AT MY JOURNAL for this fatidic 4th week on 11-12-13 january, after I slept the previous 2nd & 3rd week of my reinstatement: 

13           10mg 9 :30am                   15mg 7 :30pm (NO sleep)

12           10mg 9:30am                    15mg 7:30pm (NO sleep) (nausée étourdie PM)

11           10mg 9:30am                    15mg 7:30pm ((slept 2pm-5pm &  8pm-1am) scary thoughts) (start cardiac coherence breathing exercice 5 min x 3 per day Jan 11 – stopped Jan 16.)

As you see, I had scary thoughts on waking up at 1am on my situation.  And in the afternoon, I had nausea, lighthead.   I did not sleep the rest of the week.  I'm now in my 5th week, now on 7.5mg 8am and 15mg 8pm, and I slept the last two nights since those changes.  Meditations the last two days also helped me.  My mood is quite elevated (it's a symptom also, did you know?).

 

Did you withdraw from all the meds in your signature, yet?  And if so, you still hang around.  It's a nice place.  What we're experiencing is a very important time in our life.  It makes special friends to share this, yes?  

 

I discovered last Summer Thierry Casasnovas, Regenere on YouTube.  Do you know him from his videos?  He lives South of France in Catalogne, dans les Montagnes.  

 

Bonne journée, chère amie.

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Sleepan

@Gridley  Thank you so much for this link Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves  So you are back from the mountains?  Missing you.  Already.

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Sleepan

@Rosetta   Thank you for your words of encouragement.  I love your spirit of courage.  Every day I made another important find reading here.  I will wait 1-2 months for sure to let myself stabilize.  No wild adventure anymore.

 

Thank you so much to remind me about Brassmonkey “slide”.   I did read it rapidly and I save it for when I’m ready to make reductions.  It certainly influence me to reduce my daily dose by 2.5%, (i.e. the percentage).  I intend to use this method. 

 

My Journal is already a great help, Rosetta.  I read again that starting 4th week is where I noted very scary, very negative thoughts as I awoke at 1am from my last sleep of that week.  I also wrote that the following afternoon, I had severe nausea and was lightheaded in a scary way.  Didn’t sleep again until the 5th week (now).  Do you think we get some hints with scary symptoms when waves return?  I had my first wave and I remember my despair then.  Finding SA was very uplifting at the end of that week.

 

Thank you for warning me on what could happen when one reach less than half their original dose and it makes them worse.   I read on a man on video who used that method and he said he hold still on the last small dose, not ready to go off.  I will read more on Brassmonkey slide to prepare myself.

 

I think Meditations, Yoga (did not start it yet – did some decades ago – love it) and also a very healthy diet, all homemade, as well as powerful vegetable juices, and regular fasting time for my body to heal.  This reminds me a study found that when a person is burned-out (as our nervous system is) and do a 3day fasting, the body which usually start to detoxify, will instead start to heal the brain and the nervous system, because the body knows that the person is not strong enough to detoxify.  Amazing, yes.  I probably have kept the article in my “insomnia” box of funs.

 

As for the hair, I’ll wash my hair again with eggs.  I did it once.  My hair was nice after.  Eggs are superfood for hair.  So shampoo your hair with it and leave it on for 5 minutes.  Then rinse the hair and condition as usual.  You can do it a couple of times per week, and results are said to show up very soon after.  Also Cut the ends.

 

 

Thank you Rosetta.

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Sleepan

@Rosetta   It is so true what you told me today that all changes should be spaced out about 4 weeks.   Changing my dosage from pressed pill form to a water titration is a effectively a big change.  Even if I slept the last two nights, I'm not sleeping tonight.  I was yawning a lot from 6pm to 8pm awaiting to take my dose at the fixed time of 8pm.  Lol.  It was making me restless to wait to go to bed and I was too irritated to even meditate.  So I went to bed at 8:05pm and my head went in flame again, just as it was before the two changes.  Oh well.  So I'm up at midnight.  I'll go back soon after.  

 

 

I wanted to find your message to me warning me about danger of changes, and since I'm still in terra incognita in this forum, I went to your page instead of mine, and I can't express how much I relate to everything you write.  As this you wrote not too long ago.  This copy paste from your page, is exactly how I feel those days:

 

 

"The days are very manageable.  The nights are emotionally miserable.  I don't know what to change.  It gets better then worse better the worse.  S I is occasional.  It's so bizarre.  My mood is fine in the day if irritable some days.  I go to sleep at night and wake up at about 2:00 in Mental agony.  If my physical aches and pains are worse my mental state is better.  I have to keep hoping my nights will be normal someday.  Im lucky the days are so good."

 

 

Beautifully written, Rosetta.  It is an uplifting experience to read your words.  It has the great quality of a good mix of strength and humility.  

 

 

Is it not weird that the days are good and we keep hoping our nights gets normal again?   Just like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, yes?   That's the way I described myself since my insomnia started early December 40 days ago  (slept 14 days since I started Reinstatement).  I think we are lucky that most of our days are good, with an "elevated mood".  It is a symptom that we are not depressed.  An happiness.   So sorry for your lost cat, Rosetta.   I lost a cat 11 Dec 2016 that I let go out for 5 years.  I cried a long time at night.  And since then, I give food to a few feral and stray cats.  And again, last October I lost one of these cats who visit me, a beautiful one.  Even if he was not mine, I cried for him too.  To not know what happened is a torment for sure. 

 

 

I had a new symptom today.  An headache.  Maybe a sign another wave's coming.  Probably due to my two changes.  I remember reading in the page BrassMonkey Slide late afternoon yesterday that the brain has to adjust to changes we are making.  The good news is that the brain is adjusting.  It needs time left alone and in peace to repair itself. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sleepan

@Rosetta  Update.  I did sleep from 2-6am and had dreams too.  I remember a new symptom I had while resting last night:  Tremor in my hands, arms and chest that lasted few seconds.  I never felt anything like this in my whole life. This morning, I took 50mg only of High Absorption Magnesium 100% chelated (recommended dose is 2 tablets of 100mg each) and I meditate very successfully.  I meditate again in early afternoon after lunch viewing who is called the Pope of Meditation in France, and after doing a Meditation that really taught me how to do this anywhere anytime, I went to bed at 1pm and slept until 4pm.  The Tremor is a big warning to wait at least 4 weeks between each change in the future.  

 

I hope you had a better day, Rosetta.  Thank you again a million times for your great advices. 

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Rosetta

Hi Sleepan,

 

Im sorry to hear you are struggling.  It does get better.  Just hold on as best you can.  I hope you can rest tonight. -R

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Rhiannon

Hello Sleepan--


I have just read through your thread. I think you are getting excellent advice from Rosetta and I agree with what she has said to you.

 

As far as your dosage and the water titration, I think the changes you have made so far are okay, but please don't change anything else now. Stay with the water solution and the dosage that you are using now. It sounds to me like you are starting to stabilize, even though your sleep is still erratic. It will improve gradually over the coming months.

 

I am also a woman gifted in years, and I think that we do have a lot of wisdom and insight, but our brains and nervous systems are not as good at adapting to changes as they once were. Literally, the biochemical processes that have to happen in our brains are not happening as fast as they once did. We don't have the hormones of youth any longer.

 

So be patient and gentle with your body. Allow yourself to stabilize for a long time now, six months at least, before you start to think about tapering, and when it is time to taper it would be best if you do it very slowly. I find that keeping my goal as "lowering my dose to improve my health" rather than "getting all the way off" works better for me.

 

You have a very positive and sensible attitude. You are going to do well. I'm sorry you are suffering now, but it is going to get better. You are doing things very sensibly. 

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Sleepan

@Rosetta  Thank you, Rosetta.  I had a great sleep.  I went to bed at 8:30pm and I awake at 4:30pm.  I did woke up to go pee, but was fast back sleeping again.  Yesterday, I learned how to meditate.  Observe without Judging.  Mindfullness based stress reduction.  Jon Kabat-Zinn (English) and Dr. Christophe André (French).  I did 3 meditations yesterday.  I also now take 1/2 of Doctor's Best Magnesium 100% Chelated 100mg, so I take 50mg.  I feel great this morning.  Not irritated anymore (while I was irritated, I did not notice I was).  I will maintain my dose 7.5mg 8am & 15mg 8pm for a minimum of 4 weeks, will continue to read as much stuff as I can here as you told me.  The tremor I had for few seconds the previous night has made a solid impression on how I must step very cautiously with my brain and nervous system.  It is very fragile indeed.  Not a laughing matter.  But there are so much help and ways to heal, and I'm so grateful to have found this Forum, and you, Rosetta.   I find here a group of very intelligent and wise people, with a big heart who have learned to transform bad into good.  Love you all so much.

 

c.c.  @Rhiannon

 

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Sleepan

@Rhiannon   Thank you so much Rhiannon for your help.  I’m at the start of my 6th week of my Reinstatement and it is very promising even if I know now that waves will come and I’m prepared now to weather them.  I agree:  I am starting to stabilize.

 

Rosetta ‘s advices are excellent indeed.  Rosetta is very observant with amazing understanding.

 

It gives me great assurance that you approve my current dosage and water titration and most important precise timing.  I will stay consistent with it.  My sleep is really improving.

 

I will be patient and gentle.  I will allow six months at least on this current dosage before tapering.  I totally agree with your goal:  “lowering my dose to improve my health rather than getting all the way off.”  

 

Thank you for noting my positive attitude.  I did not show in my profile yet that in my difficult youth, I was prescribed sometimes Valium and Librium and maybe other stuff that I don’t remember much now.  I remember enough to know I did not stay on these long as I was too poor to afford them anyhow, so I probably cold turkey all of them.  I had some long periods of depression for good reasons, but I became good at shaking off the negativity and coming out of it without.  I was prescribed Elavil for one week insomnia in 1989 as I was working 2 jobs.  I did not think it was same as Valium or Librium.  I had a blind side of it.  Unconsciously, I did not want to know.  It is my mistake I made with free will.  And now, with my free will, I will fix this. 

 

 I read a lot and found inspiring authors who had strength even in solitude or in bad times, just like Rosetta.  I read a lot of history and biographies of people who rose in hard times.  I was solitary most of life.   Life on Earth is a continuous struggle.  When you have it too easy, you become complacent and may lose some readiness. 

 

Life is Beautiful.  All living creatures can rose to magnificence, in times of challenge.  I’m so pleased to meet you here Rhiannon.  I will follow and read you as well.

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Gridley
On 1/23/2020 at 2:37 PM, Sleepan said:

So you are back from the mountains?  Missing you.  Already.

I'm back in the mountains, where we live with our two dogs and two donkeys.    We went to the big city for two days.

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Sleepan

@Gridley   It's wonderful, Gridley.  Two dogs and two donkeys must be so much fun.  Living in the mountains must be a lot of fun with a lot of trails for you and your pet friends.  I live in a small forest on a hill with one dog.  I have a trail, where I take daily walks.  I live in the northeast and there's snow. Winter is a lot of fun to walk.  I put many layers of everything on.  As soon as the winter starts, I like to go out without a coat for a few minutes every day many times.  It is said to strengthen the health.  I love donkeys.  Lovely animals.  I'm too old to get too many animals now.  I'm born in the city.  I came to the country in 1998, after an early retirement.  I love nature. 

 

Good news on my reinstatement:  I'm entering the Stabilizing phase.  And I slept like a baby last night.  I started to yawn a lot and I get the signal that I'm ready to go to sleep now.  For now, I'm only taking Doctor's Best Magnesium 100% chelated.  I only take 50mg (I cut a tablet in two) in the morning.  I'm learning also how to meditate, and it is very helpful to me.  I'm finding myself thinking that I'm gonna be even better after my mishap, then before, because even if I'm taking Amitriptyline again to taper it maybe this Summer, I've had so much more in my life.  I'm flooded with new knowledge that was passing me by, until I did this mishap. Mindblogging but truly awesome.

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Gridley
1 hour ago, Sleepan said:

And I slept like a baby last night.

That's great that your reinstatement is working so well.  You have a wonderful attitude that will stand you in very good stead.

 

We have lots of trails on the mountain, and the dogs love them.  They're small rescues from the street, one a corgi mix that my wife has trimmed down from 17 pounds to a semi-svelte 14.5 (corgis are prone to pudginess) and a Pekinese mix, sort of a giant Pekinese who likes to sleep on the coffee table.   The donkeys are very low-maintenance.  They love to take dust baths and be fed broccoli stalks and carrots.  We have been wise enough to avoid goats (eat everything including trees and given to escaping) and llamas (prone to spitting).  

 

You're doing great, Sleepan!

 

 

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India
On 1/17/2020 at 4:28 PM, Sleepan said:

I’m looking for a good fish oil supplement. I will read again the topic here.  On Amazon, I found “1000mg Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Softgels Concentrated Fish Oil with More DHA and EPA 325mg each. Ist it enough.  I can’t find the topic here again on Magnesium and Fish Oil.  Can you share it to me?  

@Sleepan Also upped my dose of Nordic oil after reading up on high doses of fish oil for brain injuries. I take around 1,200 epa a day now. This is my own personal experiment so not necessarily recommending. Do some research on that.

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Sleepan

@India Thank you for the info, India.  I will certainly research on Fish Oil studies benefits for brain injuries.  I received the bottle of Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega 1000mg with a strong EPA and DHA, along with a bottle of Doctor's Best Magnesium.  Since I'm only starting to stabilize after a 5 week reinstatement, I chose to test Magnesium 1st.  Since my brain needs some calm in this critical period, I will not do many changes for at least two weeks, maybe four.  So I'll have to wait a little before switching with Magnesium, so I can test this Fish Oil's effect on me.  I look forward to try Fish Oil.  As soon as I do, I will communicate with you again about it, India, and share how I feel about it in those days.  Are you tapered completely Citalopram yet?

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Sleepan

@Gridley   I imagine your dogs and your donkeys perfectly, all calm and happy, just like you.  I'm quite pleased with my progress and I owe a lot of it to your kind help to me.

                               

  Somebody wrote this today and I kept it.  

"Anything you put your mind to is possible

and either the challenges/adversity you face own you, or you own them.

It's remarkable what we can accomplish with the motivation and right people around us." 

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