Jump to content

rayballbat: Celexa withdrawal


rayballbat

Recommended Posts

I have suffered most of my life with OCD, Tic related OCD, (Complex Tic Disorder/Tourettic OCD/TOCD) and Panic Disorder. I have taken SSRI antidepressants and benzodiazepines with no or little success other than keeping panic at bay for over 20 years. I have discontinued the usage of antidepressants for almost a year now. I experienced acute withdrawl (“discontinuation syndrome”)and now I am enduring a protracted adverse reaction do to Dr. prescribed usage of SSRI antidepressants. I now have symptoms that I never had before taking the medication and during the time I was on the medication. Symptoms that I have had in the past are more severe and much harder to cope with.

Simply, my question is can anyone relate.
Thank you!
 

Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Lexapro, paxil, anafranil, Klonopin

Edited by rayballbat
Sorry, I’m new. I messed up again and didn’t put in a topic with my username.

1997-1999 Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Paxil, anafranil. I do not remember the dosages.

Side effects that I remember. Vivid  dreams, anxiety, unfamiliar somatic symptoms, vertigo, night time perfuse  sweating, acid reflux, constipation, anejaculation, depression and lack of motivation. 2000 Celexa 60 mg. Discontinued in 2005 and reinstated at 30mg the same year. 30mg until April 2019. No advice on tapering, no warnings. currently on 1mg Klonopin 3 times daily. 

Link to post
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, rayballbat.  I'm sorry you're suffering.  I'm sure than many on this site can relate to your situation.  The fact that you have symptoms you never had before the drugs is very common.  Also, withdrawal makes symptoms you had in the past more severe.  

 

It would be helpful to us if you gave us a drug signature of the drugs you've been on, dates and dosages. I know you can't remember them all.  Most important is the last two years and especially the last SSRI. Here's the link.  Do the best you can.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

I know you're not on any antidepressants now.  Or you taking any other psychiatric drugs? What are your current symptoms?  How is your sleep?

 

So that you have a better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal and healing.  The symptoms of an adverse reaction are similar to those of withdrawal.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  

 

These explain the healing process really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

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

 

AND

 

   On 12/3/2015 at 10:41 AM,  apace41 said: 
Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  
 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium (glycinate is a good form) and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

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

 
 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

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

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

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post

I am on 3mg of Klonopin a day and 300mg of lamictal. December 2018 I was seeing a new Doctor who prescribed me Lamictal for depression. He increased my dosage rather quickly. I reported to him that I didn’t think the lamictal was doing anything and that I shouldn't have been put on it because I felt that my depression was situational. He agreed with me but I had already been on it for several months. Now I am stuck on another drug just over a year later. My plan was to start tapering off of Klonopin in the beginning of 2021 if I was doing better from discontinuing the Celexa. I feel now that I must taper the lamictal first because I haven’t been on it as long. I’m back seeing my old doctor now and he thinks I should wait until my withdrawal from Celexa subsides. I agree but how long do I wait and how long do I taper from a drug that I have only been on for just over a year? That doctor was very careless. During the first appointment with him he questioned if the Celexa was doing anything for my OCD. I wondered as well, so I started tapering off January 2019. He gave me no suggestions on how to taper nor warned me of any Ill affects of a fast taper. I didn’t even know what a fast taper was. I thought I was going slow. I started from my original dose of 30mg a day of Celexa to immediately dropping down to 20mg then a month later I drop down to 10 mg and for the next month after that 5mg and then I dropped off. Ever since then my life has been a living hell. Everything is screwed up and I do not know what to do. I am now seeing my old doctor again but he is not being very supportive. I have told him I would like to be off of all psychiatric medications but he does not know where to start. Obviously I need to wait a while for my central nervous system to heal from the Celexa withdrawl. But after that I’m not sure what to do. He will help me taper but his idea of tapering is much quicker than is suggested on any forum or website I have seen. he will not do a liquid taper. I am afraid that I will be taken off of these medications too quickly and my suffering will be prolonged months to years. i’m feeling very lost at the moment and just trying to stay alive.

1997-1999 Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Paxil, anafranil. I do not remember the dosages.

Side effects that I remember. Vivid  dreams, anxiety, unfamiliar somatic symptoms, vertigo, night time perfuse  sweating, acid reflux, constipation, anejaculation, depression and lack of motivation. 2000 Celexa 60 mg. Discontinued in 2005 and reinstated at 30mg the same year. 30mg until April 2019. No advice on tapering, no warnings. currently on 1mg Klonopin 3 times daily. 

Link to post
  • Moderator
10 hours ago, rayballbat said:

’m back seeing my old doctor now and he thinks I should wait until my withdrawal from Celexa subsides. I agree but how long do I wait and how long do I taper from a drug that I have only been on for just over a year?

 

You need to wait until you're feeling stable, and there's no way to predict how long that will be. Your taper was very fast.  

 

We recommend tapering no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  Some, especially if they're destabilized, as you are now, have to go slower.  You are at risk of withdrawal from a psychiatric drug after one month.  A year on the Lamictal is definitely long enough to throw you into further withdrawal if you don't taper slowly.  Doctors know nothing about safe tapering and invariably taper their patients too fast.  Any M.D. can prescribe psychiatric drugs if your doctor isn't cooperative and supportive.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Lamictal, including how to get the non-standard doses you'll need for your taper.  Never skip doses as this makes withdrawal worse.

 

Tips for tapering off Lamictal (lamotrigine)

 

Taper only one drug at a time (don't taper the Klonopin until you're finished with the Lamictal).

 

I'm sorry you're feeling so bad.  This link may be of some help in talking with your doctor.

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

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

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

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post

I am so distraught by this news. I am overwhelmed and feel absolutely helpless. By my calculation it will take about eight years to be free of psychiatric medication once I stabilize from my Celexa withdrawal. I am not functioning and I have not function as a normal human being for over two decades. At age 10 I started to Experience symptoms of OCD. Things got worse over the years and at 15 years old I had my first major panic attack. After enduring extreme panic attacks every day, I was diagnosed with OCD and panic disorder. Things calm down a bit at age 18 but still suffering. Married at 22 years old, disabled later that year and divorced at 32 years old. I Have been living with my mother who is now 71 years old, 2008-present(2020). I do not know when I will stabilize from my withdrawal from Celexa but when I do I may be a 55-year-old man with the same symptoms that I had before I started taking medication at 23 years old. I am alone besides my mother, no Close friends or meaningful relationships. I speak to no other family members. I have lost everything, I am not functioning, I spend all of my day in bed. I myself can’t even begin to fathom the predicament I am in. I have been in therapy and have received medication since 22 years old to the present day. 2013 mcLean hospital  inpatient intensive therapy for OCD that failed. I do not know where to go from here. If we were even to think of my current status and not my long-term tapering process, should I updose back to Celexa and slowly taper to try to stabilize? I Tapered for three months and now I am into my 11th month of being off. The torture I experience every day from this withdrawal is unbearable but there is no way out for me. You are much more knowledgeable than I am. My question to you if you would be so generous to help, simply put is what do you recommend? I am starting to think that things were probably as good as it was going to get a year and a half ago and I shouldn’t have tapered. I know the potential dangers of  updosing to my original medicated status, this in itself has me feeling like a lost cause. I have been told by my longterm doctor that he cannot help me anymore and my current therapist does not know what to do. I am a burden to my mother, my future is bleak with possible homelessness and at the moment life is meaningless and pointless. I am rambling now but I literally do not know what to do. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you. 

Side-note: this took me two hours to write.

1997-1999 Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Paxil, anafranil. I do not remember the dosages.

Side effects that I remember. Vivid  dreams, anxiety, unfamiliar somatic symptoms, vertigo, night time perfuse  sweating, acid reflux, constipation, anejaculation, depression and lack of motivation. 2000 Celexa 60 mg. Discontinued in 2005 and reinstated at 30mg the same year. 30mg until April 2019. No advice on tapering, no warnings. currently on 1mg Klonopin 3 times daily. 

Link to post
  • Moderator
31 minutes ago, rayballbat said:

when I do I may be a 55-year-old man with the same symptoms that I had before I started taking medication at 23 years old.

I'm sorry you're feeling distraught.  First of all, there's  no reason to think that the symptoms you had are going to reappear.  Everyone's different I know and this is anecdotal, but I took Lexapro for depression 16 years ago and am virtually  off the drug and there's no sign that my depression is reappearing.  You are a different person now from when you started these drugs.  I don't know if your condition permits you to read, but the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker makes a very strong case that the long-term effects of the drugs are bad, and you may prosper much more when you're off them and also as your dosage lessens.

 

I know it is hard to wrap your mind around how long it takes to taper off these drugs.  It was hard for me. It's a shock we all go through.  We are all in something of a predicament, and we all have made mistakes.   Your doctor may not be able to help you and your therapist may not know what to do, but we can help you and we, within the limits of human frailty, do have a good idea of what to do.  You will be 55 when the time comes whether you taper or not, so you might as well spend the time getting off these harmful drugs.

 

Reinstating after 11 months off is risky.  Reinstatement works most predictably within 3 months.  It might work or it might make things worse.  Please read:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic

 

If after reading this and giving it some thought, you want to try reinstating, let me know and I will suggest a very small reinstatement dosage.  Please do not reinstate without letting me suggest a dosage.  Reinstating too high can destabilize you further.

 

You have come to the right place, rayballbat.  This site is staffed by knowledgeable moderators and administrators, all of whom are unpaid volunteers, and by compassionate and supportive members.

 

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

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

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

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to post

Thank you, I appreciate your time and the information you’ve provided for me. It’s a lot to process. 

1997-1999 Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Paxil, anafranil. I do not remember the dosages.

Side effects that I remember. Vivid  dreams, anxiety, unfamiliar somatic symptoms, vertigo, night time perfuse  sweating, acid reflux, constipation, anejaculation, depression and lack of motivation. 2000 Celexa 60 mg. Discontinued in 2005 and reinstated at 30mg the same year. 30mg until April 2019. No advice on tapering, no warnings. currently on 1mg Klonopin 3 times daily. 

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy