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Coronavirus and psychiatric drug tapering & withdrawal

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Dragon

Thanks for putting that so clearly @Onmyway. Am I right in thinking you still have to phone 111 to get advice before going to the emergency room, or are you supposed to just go now ?

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bunchesofoats

It's so interesting to read that others have felt they've actually gotten sick less while tapering. I've somewhat had the same experience. At least, I haven't been sick since mid November (4 months) while many around me have gone through at least one bad flu in that time period.

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mstimc
5 minutes ago, bunchesofoats said:

It's so interesting to read that others have felt they've actually gotten sick less while tapering. I've somewhat had the same experience. At least, I haven't been sick since mid November (4 months) while many around me have gone through at least one bad flu in that time period.

Yeah, come to think of it when I was doing my  taper and WD I didn't call in sick very often.   Maybe my OCD made my immune system too afraid to let me get sick so I wouldn't get fired--LO!L 

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Heal95
2 hours ago, mstimc said:

Maybe my OCD made my immune system too afraid to let me get sick so I wouldn't get fired--LO!L 

Lol that made me chuckle 🤭 

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Katy398

I too did not get sick and slept next to my partner with a bad flu episode, last year that lasted 2 and a half weeks. But I do know excepts to this rule. 

I’d just like to share that on March 20th at 8.50am (GMT)  , 180 radio stations across Europe played ‘You’ll never walk alone’ whenI listened to it with my partner we both bawled. It was such a beautiful moment of solidarity. 

Here is a little song about Fusilli pasta to cheer. I too think if nothing else in these frightening times of symptoms with covid 19 Isolation, we can sing.

 

 

Translation help available if needed🙂

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Onmyway
On 3/19/2020 at 12:48 PM, Dragon said:

Thanks for putting that so clearly @Onmyway. Am I right in thinking you still have to phone 111 to get advice before going to the emergency room, or are you supposed to just go now ?

I don't know for sure. I also have heard reports that they don't immediately pick up the phone so you might have to just go to the emergency room. 

 

I personally would go directly to the A&E if

1) I was having trouble breathing or shortness of breath - i.e. get winded walking up the stairs (and it's a new thing), wheezing etc., hard to hold a conversation because I feel breathless, chest feels tight/painful,

 OR 

2) was coughing so hard that it was hurting me  and was exhausting me (I used to have asthma so I'm used to a lot of coughing but there comes a time when you can't take it any more)

AND

3) had sustained fever above 39-40 C. 

 

Note that this is not medical advice, this is just what I would do personally. Anything less I'd call 111.  Current advice is to take paracetamol/tylenol rather than NSAIDs like ibuprofen etc. as they might lower our immune response. 

 

At the A&E there were people short of breath because of panic attacks relating to covid-19. That's a distinct possibility for our community as well since WD can prompt panic attacks. Unfortunately going to the A&E actually increases your potential exposure to covid-19. So, I'd say that if you (generic you) haven't had any symptoms (fever, cough) and only suddenly have shortness of breath AND you are prone to panic attacks, it may be that it is a panic attack and not covid-19. But again, I am not a doctor and can't know your case so your best judgement. 

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anytriptaline

Hopefully everyone can manage their symptoms during this crisis

I'm working remotely 100% and it's helping

 

I was able to get a good three month supply of my meds from a pharma rep this Friday but I worry about the future, they told me their were about to stop the factory due to the quarantine (this is Mexico by the way).

 

Thanks to the tapering I'm in a great position since the most troubling med I take is at almost half of my doctors prescribed dose so I'm good for half a year. I will check in May if I have to ration the other med (not scared about it, done it before and feel completely fine)

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ShiningLight
On 3/13/2020 at 10:41 PM, Stormstrong said:

 

This is quite worrying. Why would drug supplies become unstable? Would this include psychotropics??

 

Interruptions in the supply chain. A lot of the drug ingredients come from China and are then further manufactured in other countries. For example, India... [which is as it were, where my gabapentin comes from. 😬] If everybody in India is ill, making my gabapentin is not going to be on the top of their priority list. [I was very happy to hear about the measures they are taking to prevent spread!!!]

 

Also, there are a number of drug shortages of drugs that are used in critically ill and hospitalized patients because there are so many of those in the world now. Countries can also close their borders and keep their drugs for themselves. I understand that this may be happening with some antibiotics currently, which is a frightening thought. 

 

You can check the FDA drug shortage list here. It allows you to search by the name of your drug. Keep in mind that they appear to be listed by manufacturer, so it could only be one manufacturer that is affected and not others. In other words, it's a little confusing to interpret.

 

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/drugshortages/default.cfm

 

 

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Sleepan

Hi.  I went out often early March:  I saw a doctor twice (to get a renewal of my 3-month Amitriptyline prescription), had a major eye test (required by same doctor) and went to get enough food at the grocer.  6 days ago, I started to feel flu symptoms i.e. runny nose, stronger headache, muscle ache, some diarrhea, tiredness, but no fever or respiratory symptoms.  I read that old people over 70 (like me) have a lower body temperature varying from 94F to 97F compared to 98F normal for those younger.  99F is fever for an older person.  I'm watchful but not too worried.  I drink a vegetable juice almost every day, eat vegetables during my 1-meal per day, and I added supplements such as Echinacea and Ceylon Cinnamon to fight infection of all kinds.  Apart my CT experience and reinstatement, I do not have other illnesses.  I had urine and blood tests and only had some B-12 deficiency.  I'm overall healthy for 72.  Even my eyes are healthy.  I'll update if I ever get respiratory symptoms which often appear suddenly on the 6th day, or even 2 weeks for others.

 

Media are responsible for frightening people around the world for a very minor virus, so much that countries' leaders felt they had to lock down, with approval and delight from CDC and WHO who can do a study in depth of a virus.  However, since most victims are over 70 and have other illnesses, the lock down should have been only for those people and not taking hostage whole populations under 70.  I hope sanity will prevail soon.  The lockdown of countries will bring much worse illnesses than coronavirus.  I'm praying this madness ceases soon.  The cure is worse than the illness is now a war cry of many.  I was reading this morning an article titled "A cure worse than the Disease" by BP. Sanborn written March 24, 2020, in Wordpress, that observed that the middle age Black Death killed some 30% of world population.  Canada where I live, has daily updates that show the illness is not progressing anymore.  Even in Italy, it is reaching a plateau.  We'll certainly be freed of this cure that is worse than the disease soon.  

 

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mstimc
Posted (edited)

@Sleepan  I hope you're feeling better soon!  And I truly hope you're right about the virus being gone soon, but in my home state of California there's no sign that's happening.   In LA County,  ICU beds are at 90% capacity with coronavirus and other acute patients and the number of virus patients in respiratory distress is rising daily.  A teenage patient with no underlying problems died yesterday.  That's the problem; the illness may be minor for 80% of the people who catch it, but for that 20% it can get dicey, and if even a fraction of those need intensive care at the same time, hospitals will be overwhelmed.  The ease of transmission and incidence of serious illness are much higher than with the usual flu.

 

In the US, if the government had got in front of it and started testing people arriving from infected areas , they could have identified victims and contained the spread by targeted isolation.  Despite the happy talk from the administration,  testing is still haphazard and way behind the curve.  

 

I, too, refuse to panic.  This isn't the Black Death by any stretch of the imagination and over the next several weeks I certainly hope things get better.  I'm 59 and in good health as well, so if I were to catch it, I'd likely weather it well.  But the population here in Portugal leans older and I have no intention of giving it to anyone who wouldn't do as well.   If a few weeks of isolation is the price we have to pay, I have no problem with that.

 

Here's a good article for perspective: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/24/opinions/coronavirus-overcome-past-pandemics-john-avlon-opinion/index.html

 

Edited by mstimc
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Sleepan
3 hours ago, mstimc said:

a few weeks of isolation is the price we have to pay, I have no problem with that.

 

Here's a good article for perspective

Thank you mstimc for  your good wishes and for the article about previous pandemics.  I read few days ago that it was proven aspirin given in large doses to those with spanish flu that killed them and not so much the flu.  I read somewhere else that those ill with coronavirus took aspirin and ibuprofrens (i.e. Tylenol) and it aggravated the symptoms.  I found another article stating to stay away from ibuprofen and aspirin if you have the coronavirus. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/health/coronavirus-ibuprofen.html  I have an headache since I reinstated, but I also read same aspirin and Tylenon do not interact well with antidepressants such as Amitriptyline, so I take none since that time.

 

I read that you will soon move back to U.S.A. into a nice home you inherited.  That's a very nice turn of fortune.  I'm very happy for you and your family, mstimc. ☺️

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mstimc
2 minutes ago, Sleepan said:

I read that you will soon move back to U.S.A. into a nice home you inherited.  That's a very nice turn of fortune.  I'm very happy for you and your family, mstimc. ☺️

 

 

Thanks!  We'll see about moving back....we're kind of stuck for the foreseeable future!😷

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Colonial

 

Hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug now being given to Covid-19 patients in NY hospitals since midnight, has 58 major drugs interactions, including:

Citalopram, Escitalopram and Haloperodol

 

It has 266 moderate warnings including Fluoxetine .

 

One person has already died by self administering this med out of their supply of Fish tank medications.

I'm not sure if it was because it interacted fatally with a med He was already on.

 

https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/hydroxychloroquine,plaquenil-index.html

 

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mstimc
5 minutes ago, Colonial said:

 

One person has already died by self administering this med out of their supply of Fish tank medications.

I'm not sure if it was because it interacted fatally with a med He was already on.

 

As I've read on many news sites, this stuff isn't a cure-all by any means, despite the hype from the current administration.   It's an old drug with a ton of possible side effects and has to be administered in a precise dose according to the specific patient and his/her symptoms.  And there lieth the problem; since its never been approved (or proven) to control COVID-19 or any other coronavirus, doctors aren't sure what a proper dose is, if there is one. 

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Colonial

What it just shows me, again, is how many other drugs these Psych meds interact with, and why its dangerous to just leave people on them on them for life.

If You have someone on Citalopram and never weaned them off it when you should have, and now they have Covid-19, they risk dying of the drug interaction with the med that "might" have saved their lives. Again, another death based more on the psych med than the other illness.

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mstimc
1 minute ago, Colonial said:

What it just shows me, again, is how many other drugs these Psych meds interact with, and why its dangerous to just leave people on them on them for life.

If You have someone on Citalopram and never weaned them off it when you should have, and now they have Covid-19, they risk dying of the drug interaction with the med that "might" have saved their lives. Again, another death based more on the psych med than the other illness.

Agreed.  The real effect of SSRI's and benzos isn't as well understood as the pharmaceutical companies would like us to think.  I was on Paxil for almost seven years, and I since it was a daily habit, I know there were a few times I just forgot to tell a doctor I was taking it.  I know I took other prescriptions and was put under for deviated septum surgery during that time. I was lucky it didn't cause me any problems. 

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Colonial

Yes, Paxil has 94 Major drug interactions.

 

So when My Doctor said why would you want to stop it, I said: "Why would You keep me on something that isn't working, and would Prohibit Me from using another treatment in the future that, I might need?"

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mstimc
1 minute ago, Colonial said:

Yes, Paxil has 94 Major drug interactions.

94?!?  After all this time, I forgot!! 😱

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drugged
15 hours ago, Colonial said:

One person has already died by self administering this med out of their supply of Fish tank medications.

I'm not sure if it was because it interacted fatally with a med He was already on

The compound used to eliminate parasites from fish tanks is different from the drug approved for use against malaria.  It's quite toxic and was never meant to be ingested by humans.  Unfortunately, I think the label for the tank cleaner uses the same or a very similar name to the medication and this couple thought it was the same thing.

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Colonial

@mstimc I can't assess the article.  They want $$$ 🤨

Could you copy and paste a small portion of what you thought was relevant?

Not asking to copy the entire article, that would be a waste of Bandwith, maybe just some highlights if You get a chance.

OR If anyone saw this same article from a "free" site, the link from there?

 

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mstimc
1 hour ago, Colonial said:

@mstimc I can't assess the article.  They want $$$ 🤨

Could you copy and paste a small portion of what you thought was relevant?

Not asking to copy the entire article, that would be a waste of Bandwith, maybe just some highlights if You get a chance.

OR If anyone saw this same article from a "free" site, the link from there?

 

Hi Colinial

 

Let me see if I can find a free link....capitalism comes first! LOL!

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Sleepan

Dr. Dave Price from an hospital in NYC who take care only of CORV19 patients tell people how to take care of your family.  I have some symptoms of CORV19, but as long as I do not get breathless going to the washroom, I do not have to go to hospital emergency.  Great answers in depth shared by this doctor.   https://vimeo.com/399733860

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AlaskanGlacier

For those worried about possible ways to help kill any infection, virus that they do get, I've had amazing success with raw garlic in keeping me alive during my tapering. I was thrown on Hydrocortisone (a corticosteroid known for lowering the immune system) while in Xanax c/t wd and was on it for about 3-4 years. During the time on, I had a number of infections thanks to the lowered immunity that caused severe cellulitis in my face/ear. I mean swollen to look like I had some kind of disease. Horribly sick feeling. When one of those would start and ramp up, I took 6-8 and upwards of 12 raw garlic cloves a day spread thru the day until the infection was gone. The garlic killed the cellulitis/blood infection in less than 3 days and I was back to normal in about a week. Saved my life a few times and now that I'm off the steroid, I haven't and don't get them anymore. :) Raw garlic has also helped kill flus/colds in a very short day or two. The stuff has been a lifesaver for me.

 

Thought I'd share.

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Onmyway
On 3/25/2020 at 9:24 AM, Sleepan said:

Media are responsible for frightening people around the world for a very minor virus, so much that countries' leaders felt they had to lock down, with approval and delight from CDC and WHO who can do a study in depth of a virus.  However, since most victims are over 70 and have other illnesses, the lock down should have been only for those people and not taking hostage whole populations under 70.  I hope sanity will prevail soon.  The lockdown of countries will bring much worse illnesses than coronavirus.  I'm praying this madness ceases soon.  The cure is worse than the illness is now a war cry of many.  I was reading this morning an article titled "A cure worse than the Disease" by BP. Sanborn written March 24, 2020, in Wordpress, that observed that the middle age Black Death killed some 30% of world population.  Canada where I live, has daily updates that show the illness is not progressing anymore.  Even in Italy, it is reaching a plateau.  We'll certainly be freed of this cure that is worse than the disease soon.  

I just saw this and I am going to hold myself to not use swearwords. Ommmmm... 

Note: This has graphic descriptions of the situation in Europe and you might want to stop reading if you are worried it might trigger you. But I feel like it is necessary to take this seriously. That is the only reason that they are there. So that we start taking this seriously. 

 

TRIGGER WARNING!

 

I live in Europe and have friends who work in ERs in Spain (recruited from other specialties such as neurology) and this is not a joke, this is not overblown, this is absolutely terrifying. In Madrid they converted an ice rink into a place to store the dead bodies because the crematoriums can't handle them. People are dying and being buried without being able to say goodbye to their loved ones. Ventilators are rationed often not given to older patients with informal rules in various hospitals of age 65/70 and above disadvantaged.  *ALL* these measures of social distancing are absolutely necessary. And we were late in implementing them. And this is NOT *like* THE FLU. Have you ever heard of ventilator shortages on this scale with the flu in a developed country?  

 

Yes, the economics of it are terrifying and will have a long term impact. Yes, it will hurt some people more than others. But we can implement policies to not have that happen and support the economy. The alternative is much much much worse. 

 

 

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Shep

From the Rxisk.org site, dated April 2: 

 

Medications Compromising Covid Infections

 

A number of psychiatric drugs are included in this list, so please quarantine as much as possible, wash your hands, and stay safe. 

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Colonial

I was just coming to post that article, thanks Shep! 😊

 

I thought this was interesting, aren't these the 2 drugs their "touting" as wanting to give people?

 

"Azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine also prolong Q-T intervals and the addition of these drugs to prior treatment may accordingly cause problems."

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Altostrata

I'll bet those drugs have some pretty significant side effects and if they work, which is doubtful, it will be only a last-resort treatment.

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Colonial

And I don't know how they could adjudicate effectiveness of any data in this type of Emergency.

 

We lost another 200 Precious Souls again here in New Jersey, for a total of 846.

45%,  389 Souls over the age of 80

32%,  268 Souls between the ages of 65 and 79

 

There is no possible way with Patients so elderly to begin with, so many other Co Morbidities and Drug Uses, How any "Data" could be considered reliable for Extrapolation to the general public.

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UnfoldingSky

I don't know if it's the same kind of drug but I recall reading a long time ago there is a group in the world who were protesting some kind of malaria drug as they'd been badly hurt by it.  Usually they were veterans who were as much as forced to take it.  And someone I used to know was hurt by a malaria drug too.

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Shep
8 hours ago, UnfoldingSky said:

I don't know if it's the same kind of drug but I recall reading a long time ago there is a group in the world who were protesting some kind of malaria drug as they'd been badly hurt by it.  Usually they were veterans who were as much as forced to take it.  And someone I used to know was hurt by a malaria drug too.

 

It may have been mefloquine. 

 

Malaria drug causes brain damage that mimics PTSD: case study

 

That same website recently put out an article raising concerns about the use of these kinds of drugs:

 

Drug Touted as COVID-19 Treatment Has Troubling Side Effects, Experts Say

 

 

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drugged

With all the damage my brain and body has suffered due to both the cocktail of psych drugs I'm on and the repeated prescriptions of cipro I was given for UTIs over the years, I don't think I'll be willing to accept any drug offered as treatment for covid-19 should I get the virus.  As best as I can determine there is one antibiotic I can safely(?) take for opportunistic bacterial infections, amoxicillin.  Frankly, I don't know that I'd even be willing to be hospitalized if I were to become seriously ill, assuming I have any say over it.

 

I'm continuing with my tapering.  It seems like the best option for looking after my physical health at this time.   

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UnfoldingSky
17 hours ago, Shep said:

 

It may have been mefloquine. 

 

Malaria drug causes brain damage that mimics PTSD: case study

 

That same website recently put out an article raising concerns about the use of these kinds of drugs:

 

Drug Touted as COVID-19 Treatment Has Troubling Side Effects, Experts Say

 

 

 

Thank you for posting this Shep.  I had not heard of the brain injury risk, scary. 

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Onmyway

I know that we have all been hurt by drugs but I would strongly advise that if hospitaized, please take these drugs. There is some talk about hydroxycholorquine being used as prophylaxis but that is for post exposure prophylaxis for medical personnel. That I would avoid and instead practice social distancing as much as I can. Other than that they are not given unless you are in hospital.

 

If you are in hospital with covid-19 statistics show that you have only a 50% chance of surviving it. If you are in ICU on a ventilator your chance of surviving is 15%. This can become a horrible disease that is often deadly so given the chance, I'd take whatever drugs there are that can help. Yes, these drugs have side effects but QT prolongation is fairly rare with ADs and not immediately life threatening and other side effects for short term treatment are also fairly rare with hydroxychloroquine (there are cases of blindness with long term exposure). I would not advise anyone to take them prophylactically ever or if you have a mild disease but it's important not to throw the baby with the bathwater. Covid-19 can be a very deadly disease. 

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UnfoldingSky
16 hours ago, drugged said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Colonial
22 minutes ago, Onmyway said:

Covid-19 can be a very deadly disease. 

 

True, but the jury is out as to why.

 

If, as the original articles indicate, the reason so many persons lungs are giving out is a combination of the virus and it's interacting with their Current drug regime,  It's questionable what throwing more drugs linked to concurrent morbidities could possibly do.

 

Of course, we will be told all the usual risk factors, age, heart lung, diabetes, but those are not Covid related.

 

My personal guess?  It will never be released the true relationship between the deaths and percentage relationship of people being on the list of "high risk" medications.

 

But I have $20.00 that for every death under age 50 years of age, the percentage of those who died medicated with 1 or more of the risk drugs will out number those who died not taking one of them  on that list by 4 to 1.

 

But that's assuming we even still have 20% of the population NOT medicated by at least something on that list to begin with, and with the frightening way PCP's are handing out these meds like candy, it's a possibility we don't.  

 

 

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