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catarina7000: Depakote in antidepressant withdrawal

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catarina7000

I was told I needed to start an introduction post. I wanted to ask about Depakote anyway. I did a fast taper of paxil from 10 mg to 5 about 13 months ago. I am still having symptoms. My main problems are head pain around my ears, head pressure, ear pain and pressure. I have panic in my sleep. That was present before but it feels more pervasive now. I had tried a slow taper of paxil before the fast taper, starting at 25% which was too much, then 10%, then 2-3%. It wasn't great but was more manageable than this fast taper. This has been pure hell. I added amitryptiline out of pure desperation because I had so much head and ear pain. That was about 7 months ago. I was already taking 1/4 pill of depakote. 

 

My question is about the depakote. I want to avoid adding more meds if possible but the brain activity in my sleep has amped up. I feel more irritable kind of the way I used to feel on paxil which is telling me it's probably from the 2 antidepressant (possibly interacting). I am not ready to taper again because I'm still having symptoms and I know I will be much worse. 

 

So has anyone increased (or added) depakote a year after a taper to help? What happened? I need something to help my sleep and generally calm down. Thank you. 

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catarina7000
Posted (edited)

I have found that when Spring hit, my sleeping patterns changed. Before I was easily going to bed at 11 PM. Now I have trouble getting to sleep at 3 AM sometimes. My sleep is less restful. I think it's increased serotonin from more light. 

Edited by manymoretodays
moved from another members topic, to this members introduction

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, catarina7000.

 

We are a site for going off psychiatric drugs and do not recommend adding another drug to deal with psychiatric drug withdrawal. You should know about the following interaction between amitriptyline and depakote (source: Drug Interactions Checker )

 

"This combination may cause uneven heartbeats, extreme drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, and seizures." 

 

There is a major drug interaction between Paxil and Amitriptyline, as follows:

 

"This combination may cause sedation, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, or urinary retention. You might also have altered consciousness, confusion, poor muscle coordination, abdominal cramping, shivering, pupil dilation, sweating, high blood pressure, and high heart rate."

 

So that you may better understand what you're experiencing from your fast taper of Paxil, here is some information on withdrawal and healing.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

When we take psychiatric 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.  

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Sleep problems are one of the most common withdrawal symptoms.  Here are some non-drug technique to help with sleep.

 

Tips to help sleep - so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Relaxation exercises, guided meditations, calming videos, sleep hypnosis

 

Tricks and tips to fall asleep faster

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/02/16/tips-tricks-fall-asleep-faster.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20170216Z1&et_cid=DM133787&et_rid=1889748952

 

This link contains helpful information, including insomnia and also non-drug coping skills.  

 

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problem

 

Some members have found Melatonin helpful with insomnia.   

 

Melatonin for sleep  

 

It's best to start at a very low dosage, such as .25mg, and gradually increase if needed to the lowest effective dose.

 

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 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 and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

l

 

 

 

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catarina7000

Well that wasn't very helpful and anxiety inducing. What am I supposed to do about these interactions when I'm not in a state to taper? I knew about the ami and paxil interaction. I would like to know why I was prescribe these together then? (kind of a rhetorical question)

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

Hi catarina7000,

And welcome aboard.

Most of us have to use lot's of non-drug coping.  Frankly, I was glad to get the real picture, once I got here.  Are you interested in tapering, or going off medications at some point?

 

You might, once you have put your interactions list together, copy it off, and ask whoever prescribed your polypharmacy cocktail that question.

What drugs are you on now and when do you take them?  Time.  Drug by name, and dosage.

 

Would you plug your drugs into the Interactions checker and then copy and paste right here, on you introduction?  Or you can leave us a link to it.  Thank you.

 

The sleep tips can be great too.  Did you look at the links that Gridley gave you.  

 

And okay, I see another post from you now too, which I think I'll move here for now.  Best to post your questions and theories right here for now, on your introduction page, until you get more familiar with the site.  Why do you think your sleep problems are from more light and serotonin?  Just curious.  Sometimes, blacking out your sleeping area can really help. 

 

Welcome again.  You've now introduced yourself to the community, as well.

 

Best, Love, peace, healing, and growth,

In kindness,

manymoretodays(mmt)

Edited by manymoretodays
what drugs on? Interactions. Sleep tips. .

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manymoretodays

More on sleep tips:

  

On 8/11/2017 at 11:25 PM, Altostrata said:

It's very important to work on improving your sleep. You should take melatonin at nightfall, to encourage production of your own melatonin, which starts at sundown. Take it at the same time each night, to train your sleep cycle. If you take it at odd times, your system gets confused. See What is the sleep cycle?

 

Since melatonin is triggered by darkeness, after nightfall you will want to keep the lights dim, even turn them off. Be careful to take just enough and not too much, see Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

No computer use after sundown, the light gives your sleep cycle the wrong signal -- it will keep you awake. (I know this is true from personal experience.) See TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime

 

Make your bedroom as dark as possible with blackout shades and curtains. you may also want to wear a sleep mask to block out the light in the early morning -- that triggers your daytime activity hormone, cortisol. Also see Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing cortisol spikes

 

The above is explained in Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Also see White noise devices for sleep , this can help if you're sensitive to noise.

 

You have work to do, to take care of yourself. Please understand many people on this site have had to cope with strange symptoms and grueling sleeplessness on the road to recovery. It can be done.

 

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catarina7000
6 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

Hi catarina7000,

And welcome aboard.

Most of us have to use lot's of non-drug coping.  Frankly, I was glad to get the real picture, once I got here.  Are you interested in tapering, or going off medications at some point?

 

You might, once you have put your interactions list together, copy it off, and ask whoever prescribed your polypharmacy cocktail that question.

What drugs are you on now and when do you take them?  Time.  Drug by name, and dosage.

 

Would you plug your drugs into the Interactions checker and then copy and paste right here, on you introduction?  Or you can leave us a link to it.  Thank you.

 

The sleep tips can be great too.  Did you look at the links that Gridley gave you.  

 

And okay, I see another post from you now too, which I think I'll move here for now.  Best to post your questions and theories right here for now, on your introduction page, until you get more familiar with the site.  Why do you think your sleep problems are from more light and serotonin?  Just curious.  Sometimes, blacking out your sleeping area can really help. 

 

Welcome again.  You've now introduced yourself to the community, as well.

 

Best, Love, peace, healing, and growth,

In kindness,

manymoretodays(mmt)

Why would I be here if I didn't want to go off medications?

 

Great idea - I'll ask the 4 doctors involved: the HP who prescribed paxil the day before retirement, the psych NP who prescribed depakote to counteract the side effects of paxil before her retirement, the psych NP who refused to give me any guidance during my paxil withdrawal because according to her, my symptoms were from Ed, a month later, maybe I have serotonin syndrome, then a month later, no it's my panic disorder, AND the neurologist who prescribed me amitryptiline which I waited 2 months to take and only took because the head pain was excruciating, who also thinks this is all from my panic disorder. I'm sure I'll be successful in those conversations. 

 

I don't know what you mean by the interaction checker and why I need to use it.

 

The reason I think my sleep is linked to more light is because it switched when Spring came. I thought I said that already. 

 

I don't understand why I can only post here. This seems kind of controlling.

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

catarina7000,

You can post on others introductions, if you'd like to catarina7000.  Members often support each other.  Here is what you posted:

12 hours ago, catarina7000 said:

I have found that when Spring hit, my sleeping patterns changed. Before I was easily going to bed at 11 PM. Now I have trouble getting to sleep at 3 AM sometimes. My sleep is less restful. I think it's increased serotonin from more light. 

Yes, Spring can throw off sleep cycles somewhat.  Do you remember who you posted to?   Was it Zans.   Sorry, long day today, and I honestly don't remember.  I thought your post was more concerning your symptoms, and so......thought you might appreciate them being addressed on your own Introduction thread.   Each new posters', first 2 posts go through an approval process.  In that way, we hopefully don't miss anyone, who might like more tapering and WD information.  Introduction topics are for you, with your information.  Also a place where you can communicate with other members too.

 

You can post on topics too, in symptoms and self care, and elsewhere.  I wasn't sure if you were familiar with the site, and how it works.  That is all.  And my apologies, I could have left it be, and copied it over here as well.  May do that more often now. 

 

I'm sorry you haven't had much in the way of consistent care.  And so sorry it's so tough right now. 

You are new,  and truly I'm very sorry for all you have been through.  Could you possibly refrain from leveraging your written verbal attacks, on moderators here though?  We are human too.   I hope this turns into a good experience for you, and that you would like to learn more, and feel empowered.  Not by any means wanting you to feel controlled.  Not at all. 

 

I'm interested in what you are on, at present, I'm still not certain. 

And so I asked that you might clarify that. 

3 hours ago, catarina7000 said:

What drugs are you on now and when do you take them?  Time.  Drug by name, and dosage.

Paxil at 5 mg.

Amitryptiline is mentioned.

You were taking Depakote.

 

The Drug Interaction Checker link, is in Gridley's post to you.

 

12 hours ago, catarina7000 said:

I was told I needed to start an introduction post. I wanted to ask about Depakote anyway. I did a fast taper of paxil from 10 mg to 5 about 13 months ago. I am still having symptoms. My main problems are head pain around my ears, head pressure, ear pain and pressure. I have panic in my sleep. That was present before but it feels more pervasive now. I had tried a slow taper of paxil before the fast taper, starting at 25% which was too much, then 10%, then 2-3%. It wasn't great but was more manageable than this fast taper. This has been pure hell. I added amitryptiline out of pure desperation because I had so much head and ear pain. That was about 7 months ago. I was already taking 1/4 pill of depakote. 

 

My question is about the depakote. I want to avoid adding more meds if possible but the brain activity in my sleep has amped up. I feel more irritable kind of the way I used to feel on paxil which is telling me it's probably from the 2 antidepressant (possibly interacting). I am not ready to taper again because I'm still having symptoms and I know I will be much worse. 

 

So has anyone increased (or added) depakote a year after a taper to help? What happened? I need something to help my sleep and generally calm down. Thank you. 

 

Like Gridley said we don't usually recommend other drugs to treat WD(withdrawal). 

 

With your information above,  could you do a signature:

- that's the information you see at the bottom of someone's post. This will help people understand your situation no matter where you post on the site. See instructions in this topic:

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/18343-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/(Please note that, while your identity is protected by a screen name, your topic can be read by anyone who visits the site, including Google, and do not post sensitive identifying information.)

 

Best catarina7000,

mmt

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
elaboration

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Shep
16 hours ago, catarina7000 said:

What am I supposed to do about these interactions when I'm not in a state to taper?

 

Catarina, please list the time(s) of day you take each of your drugs, along with the dose. With drug interactions, adjusting the timing of the drugs may be helpful. This can be done before you start tapering again and may set you up for an easier taper. The goal would be to separate the drugs far enough from each other that you're not hit with interaction symptoms. 

 

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catarina7000

Shep, thanks for reaching out. I take 10 mg of amitryptiline and about 30 mg of Depakote (1/4 pill) at night around 10:30 PM. I take 5 mg of paxil in the morning around 10:30 am. Any advice would be helpful.

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catarina7000

Manymoredays, I'm sorry for stressing you out. I came here for help and you didn't explain why I needed to do the things requested so they felt more like needless demands in my mind. I'm saying that not to throw it back at you but to explain my thinking. Almost like going to the doctor and being requested to do things without consent. I'm sorry for throwing that at you. I'm having a bad week. I apologize.

 

So I'm somewhat in the middle of big pharma and sites like these in idealogy but leaning more towards sites like these. I believe that some people (myself probably included) have mood instability issues and physical symptoms because of this. My main issue has always been my sleep - I have anxiety and general restlessness and panic. I have been like this on and off in my life although it didn't get bad until around age 36 (maybe due to hormone shifts). I think that doctors can be harmful by not giving you all information up front, tapering too quickly, misdiagnosing, and blaming the patient for symptoms caused by drugs. I think anti-mainstream groups like these are very helpful in getting true information on how to handle withdrawal. The one thing lacking is actually determining which drugs are helpful and if you have an actual condition. I would trust a site like this to help me reach that conclusion but your main goal is getting off drugs. So, it's almost like no one can truly help you - you need all of the information and decide for yourself. So when I'm saying I may want to add depakote, it may be to ease withdrawal symptoms, but also it may be to treat my original condition. It all gets so confusing when a drug and especially multiple drugs are added. So I was looking for advice on that. I would LOVE to be free of all medication but seeing that I'm so sensitive and these drugs are so heinous to withdraw from that it may take me 15-20 years. Then I'll be 60. At the end if I'm still on depkote and it helps me (which I guess at that point it would stop working) then so be it. I think it's a much better choice than ADs for me. I understand if you can't advise on that but also I see that people reinstate (which is adding drugs) and I have been on a higher dose of depakote previously. Going to write my signature now which seems like a lot of work because of all the back and forth and switching of drugs. Thank you for your help and in reading this. 

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catarina7000

manymoredays - Thank you for the sleeping advice. I do most of that. It doesn't seem to have much affect on my panic or anxiety in sleep. It seems like nothing really fixes that. I cannot tolerate melatonin before WD so I'm sure it would be a disaster now. Melatonin is linked to serotonin and I cannot take anything that influences serotonin, not even gentle supplements. I was taking tart cherry during a slow taper attempt and realized it was giving me crazy, vivid dreams and making WD worse. 

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

Hi c7000,

So presently:

10:30 am 5 mg Paxil

10:30 pm  10 mg amitryptiline

                   30 mg Depakote

 

Is your Depakote a capsule then, with sprinkles in it?  I found one that comes in a 125 mg strength.  Depakote(divalproex sodium)

 

2019 March tapered Paxil from 10- 5 mg  (could add start date of Paxil, prior to this, and dose, if you do a signature)

2019 ? August-  10 mg amitryptiline added

year, date approximation-  Depakote started at ___ mg, 2019 ? August  Depakote decreased to 1/4 capsule, approximately 30 mg

 

How long have you taken psychotropics?  Just a general for that, goes in your signature.

 

Here's an excerpt from the signature topic, that might help:

If your drug history is very long, the last few years will do. FOR READABILITY, SHORT LINES ARE BEST.

 

  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs
  • Include ALL drugs, doses, and dates (starting and stopping)
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (e.g. mid-June) rather than relative time frames (e.g. 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months (e.g. "January" or "Jan" as 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as 9 Jan 2016 or 1 Sept 2016)
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses

 

Example:

2001–2002 paroxetine 
2003  citalopram 
2004  paroxetine
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to 2016 Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg

 

If you feel like reading at all, or like to, a couple books come to mind: 

Anatomy of an Epidemic, is one, the author is Robert Whitaker

Your Drug May be Your Problem, is another,  by David Cohen and Peter Breggin

 

Drugs.com is a really good site too, to look up individual drugs, and then it also has a nice drug interaction checker.  That link will take you to the drug interaction checker.  And you will see a box at the top where you can also check individual drugs, and their side effects too.  Using that link, it would be nice for you to check your interactions, on your own now.  Then leave us a link, or copy and paste if you would like, right here, in your introduction.  It's a nice reference to have.

Good that you've got your amitryptiline and paxil spaced out from each other anyway.  You might want to space the amitrypt and Depakote a few hours apart from each other as well.  If it was me, I think I'd move the amitryptiline at least an hour prior to the Depakote, and then perhaps, another hour forward.  Take a look when you can, at the interactions please.......it's so eye opening and a beginning of the education none of us got, when we were prescribed these drugs.

 

Most of us arrive here, in the state that we are in.  Me, I couldn't put too much together cognitively back in April of 2015, when I arrived.  But I tried.  And kept trying.  And that helped.  I managed to get off my last med in December of 2016.  And during my taper, and to date.......it has continued to get better and better overall.  Waves are just more manageable, and maybe, fingers crossed, a thing of the past now. 

Hope can be cultivated too, I've found, with practice.  I did 30 years(rounding up a bit, just slightly) and at least 30 medications myself.  And yup, thought I was broken, and pick one, pick any.......labeled.  I mean I don't ultimately know the total truth on MI, and if it exists.  But for me, it was all malarky.  Sure, I had some human problems, and some remnants of real illnesses, medical, infectious, etc.  But I kept getting worse and worse with treatment with drugs......that's all I know.

We do like to help people be safe, in general, with medications, and with tapering.  For lot's and lot's of discussion around peoples favorite drugs though, there are better sites.....some of the MH or MI sites perhaps.  depression.com, is there an anxiety one?  patients like me, and probably many others to choose from.

 

 

On 4/6/2020 at 11:01 AM, catarina7000 said:

My question is about the depakote. I want to avoid adding more meds if possible but the brain activity in my sleep has amped up. I feel more irritable kind of the way I used to feel on paxil which is telling me it's probably from the 2 antidepressant (possibly interacting). I am not ready to taper again because I'm still having symptoms and I know I will be much worse. 

 

So has anyone increased (or added) depakote a year after a taper to help? What happened? I need something to help my sleep and generally calm down. Thank you. 

 

Why were you started on Depakote?  And I'll risk your hollering at me again, said kindly. B)  Drugs like Depakote can actually have a side effect of irritability too.

Depakote Side Effects, from Drugs.com

I found that I often suffered from side effects or adverse effects from drugs, even when they were rated as less common.  And if you scroll on down, you will find irritability listed.

 

And yes, it is confusing.  Very much so, sometimes.  And emotions can run high and low in WD.  neuroemotions 

We've got so many working with fears and anxieties here too.  Let me know if you want some of the links, that have been helpful with that symptoms too.

You can always explore too.  Symptoms and self care has so much great stuff in the way of non-drug coping.  Finding Meaning is great.  Off Topic.....kind of off beat.  Anyway......you'll see all the forums listed on the Home page, main page.

 

No worries, on stressing me......I be a strong tree now.........there are positives to this whole experience.  And do your best to throw some of those timetables away, for now, and just stay in the day at hand.......I mean that works for me pretty well.  And it's a good life I lead/have.

 

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays

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catarina7000

I cannot add my signature. It says it's not within guidelines. 

image.png.d11c9800ea5069c62f242f816e33bd98.png

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

Oh no!  I can give it a try. 

c7000, I could not copy your text from your post.  And then when I quoted it, and copied it came up as an attachment.  Weird.

I'll go ahead, and for now, just add a link to your post above this, with it.

Edited by manymoretodays

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catarina7000

Manymoretodays,

 

I was started on Depakote because I was irritable and anxious on Paxil. It probably wasn't working and also just side effects of Paxil. 

 

I am on Depakote delayed release in generic pill form (divalproex), not sprinkles. 

 

Yes, I was thinking after you said they interact to space out the ami and depakote. 

 

This was my thinking about raising the depakote just to patch the issues caused by the antidepressants:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3012402/

It basically says that antidepressants decrease GABA. 

 

What is MI?

 

Thanks,

Catherine

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

I mean I don't ultimately know the total truth on MI, and if it exists.

Ahhh, sorry about that.

MI, for mental illness, and it isn't really a term that I like to use anymore, given my own experiences, and further enlightenment, since changing my own paradigm, in managing my health.  So.....apologies for that. 

 

You might find more in the Read This First forum, it's the first forum in the list, from the Home Page that might clarify what we are about here.

Both the "Chemical Imbalance is a myth" topic, and "About Surviving Antidepressants" topic come to mind, right now.

The article you linked to, seemed to relate to the chemical imbalance theory, somewhat........and granted, I only read through the first paragraph.   Seems to be based on the chemical imbalance myth, and/or something along those lines.

 

I could not, in good conscience, advise you to go up on your Depakote now.  To patch the issues caused by antidepressants, or otherwise.  So that's my feeling about that.

 

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

p.s. signature is viewable now and have asked if anyone, has any ideas around fixing it, so that you can update and edit there.  Did you copy and paste from somewhere, the signature information in your post?  Or add it there as an attachment?  Wondering if that is the problem.  I could not just copy over your information, to the signature. 

If you get time to, you could just type it out in a reply......the list, as it is in your signature now.  I'd do it, but I just don't have time today, sorry.

And then if we can get your current signature clear, somehow, of attachment, we can add the new one.  I'll let you know if anyone can figure it out.

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays

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catarina7000

I understand why you would advise against changing the Depakote. 

 

I don't see the chemical imbalance theory in that article but maybe I missed it. But they were definitely referring to a chemical imbalance caused by Antidepressants which we can all see happens by our experiences. 

 

It seems like we differ in opinions on what's happening or our communication styles are very different or something. 

 

My signature:

May 2016: Paxil 10 mg

November 2017 – December 2017: Start of paxil taper.

September 2018 – Paxil 8.5 mg.

October 1, 2018: Started Depakote at 125 mg (full pill).

October 7, 2018: Depakote ½ pill.

October 15, 2018: Depakote ¼ pill.

October 2018 – December 2018: Went up and down on the Depakote dosage until stopping at ¼ pill.

February 2019: Paxil - 10 mg to 5 mg.

April/May 2019: Trintellix 10 mg. Stopped 2-3 weeks later.

September 23, 2020: Nortriptyline 10 mg.

October 21, 2020: Amitryptiline 10 mg. Stopped Nortriptyline 10 mg.

 

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, catarina7000 said:

May 2016: Paxil 10 mg

November 2017 – December 2017: Start of paxil taper.

September 2018 – Paxil 8.5 mg.

October 1, 2018: Started Depakote at 125 mg (full pill).

October 7, 2018: Depakote ½ pill.

October 15, 2018: Depakote ¼ pill.

October 2018 – December 2018: Went up and down on the Depakote dosage until stopping at ¼ pill.

February 2019: Paxil - 10 mg to 5 mg.

April/May 2019: Trintellix 10 mg. Stopped 2-3 weeks later.

September 23, 2020: Nortriptyline 10 mg.

October 21, 2020: Amitryptiline 10 mg. Stopped Nortriptyline 10 mg.

 

That's good, I CAN copy this one.  Thank you.

 

25 minutes ago, catarina7000 said:

It seems like we differ in opinions on what's happening or our communication styles are very different or something. 

 

It's just that I have to prioritize on helping those, who are tapering, and in WD, and support around that.  And yes, you are no doubt, suffering, some WD from the Paxil.  And nervous system dysregulation too, from some other additions and changes in the last year or so.

 

I can't get into medication management though, which is what this falls into, unfortunately.  We don't do that here. 

 

I think maybe the differing of opinions nails it.....B)  I've got lot's and lot's of articles that I like to read, and learn from, and really do get into this stuff.  Get downright nerdy about it.  Happy to let you know if I have further thoughts on the article, if I ever get to really study it.  Oddly, given the pandemic and all, I don't have much extra time lately.  Anyway........you can use the @ key too, to notify someone, if you would like their attention or prefer a different communication style than mine.

 

Best c7000, have a good day or best possible.

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
change the sweetie, to member name, and a TY
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catarina7000

Manymoretodays

 

Thank you for your input. It did come to my attention that I have some very recent changes (in adding amitryptiline and before that nortyptiline). So essentially I am 6 months out from any changes. And before that in WD a lot was changed. Thank you for your help. I don't see my doctor having your perspective on the dysregulation which I see as a detriment on her part. So, you didn't tell me what I wanted to hear but it's probably the best advice for me right now. I do not want to follow her advice on doubling my depakote dose (and never wanted to go up that high). I was also looking towards solutions for the future. 

 

Thank you so much for your input because I think I really needed to hear this and reflect. 

 

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Shep
On 4/8/2020 at 11:31 AM, catarina7000 said:

Shep, thanks for reaching out. I take 10 mg of amitryptiline and about 30 mg of Depakote (1/4 pill) at night around 10:30 PM. I take 5 mg of paxil in the morning around 10:30 am. Any advice would be helpful.

 

Catarina, you're getting excellent advice and information from MMT.

 

I just want to clarify something. I was able to paste the text from your earlier post and place it in your signature, so you know have everything there. However, I noticed a couple of discrepancies. You had the last two lines as September 23, 2020 and October 21, 2020, so I changed those to reflect 2019. 

 

Also, you have Depakote stopped in October 2018, but you state you're still taking it. 

 

A request regarding your signature:

  • Please update it to reflect when you went back on Depakote after stopping it in October 2018
  • Please update it to reflect the dose of Depakote (not how much of the pill you took)

A direct link to your signature is here:

 

Account Settings - Create or Update Your Signature

 

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manymoretodays

Hi c7000,

I'll try and look a bit more at the article.  And yes, exactly:

On 4/9/2020 at 12:39 PM, catarina7000 said:

I don't see the chemical imbalance theory in that article but maybe I missed it. But they were definitely referring to a chemical imbalance caused by Antidepressants which we can all see happens by our experiences. 

 

I so wish sometimes, there was an easy, quick fix to the changes that the drugs induce. 

And I think you are in the right place here, now.  I do.  Paxil alone can be so brutal.

 

Take a look at the WD link that Gridley gave you too.  You might like that one.  What is Withdrawal Syndrome.  It links up to more too, in the first post.

 

And keep us updated.  Wondering if the timing change will help a bit with symptoms.  And then we can brainstorm on solutions, for the future.  Little by little......and it really does get better.  I promise.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

Hi catarina7000, @catarina7000

I am going to try and address your PM questions out here.  Sometimes others will benefit as well.

 

And oh, I so wish that there were nice linear patterns to WD!  The windows and waves are really something, but there is generally an upward trend.  Even as you go up and down, it gets less and less intense, as time goes on. 

The diagram in the first post shows that:  The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

And then this post in that topic is really good too:

(just hit the arrows on the right to see the individual posts I shared from ^ topic)

And here's another favorite of mine, from that topic too:

 

Crying is permitted and is okay.  I used to find crying a great relief from the other, irritability, restlessness, and just plain frustration sometimes.

What is your head pain like?

 

I don't know if you need to count recovery time.  I'm guessing that perhaps when you did the big cut/taper down to 5 mg of Paxil that might have been the start.  The additional medications, on and off, just disrupted things a little more.  And good, good that you are 6 months out from all those changes too.  It is. 

 

And oh yes, the menstrual cycles can get really tough too, during WD.  We do have discussions around that in Symptoms and Self Care.  Just go to the main page, then to that forum, and type in the topic.........usually that brings up topics already started, that might be of interest to you.  The other search I often do, is in my main browser,  I just plug in survivingantidepressants.org and then the topic of interest and Voila', topics and Introductions alike come up that way.  I can type really fast now too!  Oh, the joys!

 

Let me know if I missed anything.  And I did take a further read of the article you shared.  I just don't like the idea of treating AD adverse effects with more medications, which seemed to be what that kind of article might lead to.  It did have some good explanations there.  I kept it bookmarked.

 

And let me know, if the lavender is too much too.  I don't mind black or gray at all.

 

Okay cat.  How's today?

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays
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brassmonkey

I see that no one has asked you for a daily symptom diary. When a person is taking several medications and they are interacting in a way to cause problems we really need that information to try and sort out what is doing what.  If you would record and post this information it would be really helpful.  We need to know what you take and when and then notes on how you feel through out the day. Do you have an uptick in some symptom an hour after taking it one of the medications, what are you eating, how are you sleeping, all that sort of thing.

 

There are some interactions going on, but it all stems back to the very fast large reductions you have made. Paxil is a very tough medication to get off of and can cause a lot of symptom swings especially at the doses under 10mgai. Any changes need to be small and slow, otherwise you run the risk of Withdrawal Syndrome , which it appears you are trying to cover up with the additional drugs. Adding drugs and trying to "fine tune" ones cocktail rarely works and usually causes more problems.  So let's see that symptom diary and we can start sorting things out.

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catarina7000

WITHDRAWAL – SURVIVING ANTIDEPRESSANTS –

SYMPTOM DIARY

 

Months 12-14 after paxil taper:

More constant head symptoms, not as severe as in months 7-9.

Head feels buzzy.

Pain around ears: in bone above ears, in front of ears, inside pressure in

ears.

Some pressure that moves around my head.

Sometimes digging pressure in temples.

Sometimes hyperacusis in ears but not very often.

Lots of pressure a lot of the time in ears.

Crying every day – usually around 6-8 PM.

Have more feeling.

Some windows that feel like a more normal version of me.

 

 

Months 10-12 after paxil taper:

Not as much head pain.

Started to notice weird neuro-type sensations around ears – not quite

pain but not comfortable and seems to induce sadness and overwhelm.

Sometimes feeling depressed for no reason.

Feeling like a robot – not sad or happy.

 

Months 7-9 after paxil taper: (started Nortiptyline and switched to

amitryptiline) – August – Oct)

Head pain was VERY INTENSE HERE. I thought I had trigeminal

neuralgia.

On start of noritryptiline, thought it as helping my pain but it was

causing more sleep panic and/or making it feel different.

Ear pain intensified. Was so sensitive that I had to come home from a

loud restaurant once – feeling of stimulus overwhelm.

Clanging sounds like dishes banging would be very piercing.

Had to keep TV volume on 5. Very sensitive.

New meds caused intense anxiety and a surreal feeling of being

misplaced in a new world – disorienting.

Fatigue – even a short walk might feel monumental.

Feeling sick in general.

QUIT MY JOB.

 

 

Months 4-6 after paxil taper: (May – July)

Violent feeling sleep panic – very aggressive and heart wrenching.

One time woke up feeling like my brain was rewinding and that aliens

can transmit info to my brain.

Dizziness, hard to climb stairs, get exhausted easily.

Suicidal thoughts.

Even mood for the most part – meaning no agitation or irritability bit

low mood on and off and anxiety about my condition and pain.

Could not handle being in heat. Hot weather felt exhausting.

Heat triggered head pressure and a migraine type feeling, nausea, and

some anxiety but the anxiety was secondary due to the sensations.

Hot flashes.

Dry heaving, nausea, some vomiting – usually in the morning.

Lots of sleep panic.

Vivid nightmares about weird things.

Overwhelmed by stimuli such as going out with people. Not shy or

anxious around people but need to rest after.

BRAIN ZAPS – feeling of a surge of energy in my brain when I would

look my new co-workers in the eye. Hard to describe.

Head pain started with twitching around eyes and then became pain in

temples and around that area.

Rubber band type tension headaches that came on suddenly – seem to be

linked to sunlight as a trigger.

Fatigue.

 

 

Months 0-3 after taper of paxil: (Feb – April)

Feel better at first.

Emotional instability – mad, then cry.

Acute anxiety.

Fatigue – could only work 2-3 hours a day.

Very cold – body could not regulate temp. – Would be freezing in 70

degree weather with a space heater.

Sleep panic becoming more frequent.

 

WITHDRAWAL – SURVIVING ANTIDEPRESSANTS – SYMPTOM DIARY - PDF.pdf

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brassmonkey

Thank you so much for the notes you just provided.  We don't get a lot of detailed information about the post "0" experience.  This is really good to have.

 

Now, when you get the chance some notes on your day to day symptoms, dose timing, eating and sleeping would really help.

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catarina7000

Those are my daily symptoms. Sleeping on average 10 hrs. having more sleep panic and head symptoms in my sleep - lots of throbbing and pain

Doses - paxil 11 AM, started Depakote at 6 PM yesterday, amitryptiline 11 PM

EAting:

breakfast: toast with tahini

lunch: varies, usually Amy's brand meal like INdian food

dinner: protein like chicken or salmon, spinach or collards or other veggie with white rice - simple

 

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brassmonkey

We need a little more detail on your daily symptoms. If you could read through the start of this thread https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1779-keep-daily-notes-of-drug-schedule-and-symptoms-to-track-patterns-and-progress/ and use that format it would really help. By doing this we can start to spot how you are reacting to different things through out the day and can pick up on some patterns that could be helpful.

 

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catarina7000

Ok. I guess I'm not interested in nitpicking my daily symptoms. I've already given a lot of information which takes a lot of energy for someone who is struggling. 

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catarina7000

I am finding frequently on this site that requests are made without explaining the process. I think the reason "why" you are asking for the information would be helpful for us and give us informed consent rather than us expending a lot of energy doing something that we don't find helpful. Otherwise, I really appreciate that you're helping people. 

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Hanna72

@catarina7000

Sorry to see that you are struggling. The moderators here ask us for these information, so they can help us figure out the best way for us to manage our withdrawals symptoms. They are very thorough, which we should be thankful for... would have wanted my doctors to have been like that.

All of us here struggle at some point or another, and on this site there is huge amount of information for us to read. In the end it all comes down to us to preserve. It takes patience and time.

All the best to you on your journey, take one day at a time, and things will get better🙏

 

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Erell
59 minutes ago, catarina7000 said:

I am finding frequently on this site that requests are made without explaining the process. I think the reason "why" you are asking for the information would be helpful for us and give us informed consent rather than us expending a lot of energy doing something that we don't find helpful. Otherwise, I really appreciate that you're helping people. 

Hello Catarina

 

I can understand that it is difficult to make effort while struggling, however Brassmonkey has explained why he was asking more information :

 

21 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

 By doing this we can start to spot how you are reacting to different things through out the day and can pick up on some patterns that could be helpful.

 

You may don't find helpful some requests, but believe me, moderators don't ask for unhelpful info, they don't have enough time to do this  ;)

If you want to be advised, you need to give us the info we need.

 

If you have questions, you can ask them.

 

The team is very busy, so easier to answer questions when they are asked :)

 

Take care  ❤

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catarina7000

Hi,

 

I am taking paxil 5 mg, did a fast taper from 10 mg to 5 mg 14 months ago, have been holding since. While on paxil 10 mg, started depakote 1/4  of 125 mg pill. During paxil WD, added amitryptiline 10 mg for head and ear pain. 

 

I talked to a pharmacist yesterday about interactions. He said paxil and amitryptiline can interact. He said to call my doctor if I am very tired or have tremors. I have had both. I noticed involuntary shaking of my head once during the day and have had shaking/jerking of my head during sleep. So I need to taper ami. 

 

My questions are:

How long should I wait to heal from the paxil WD or should I start tapering ami right away? I am much better from paxil WD but am concerned it will just destabilize me more. 

I was thinking of tapering 5% every month or so. I still need to taper slowly even though I'm having issues with the med, correct?

Also, what are your general thoughts and advice on this?

 

Thanks,

Catherine

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Erell

hello @catarina7000

 

I've moved your post to your topic in order to keep all your info in the same place.

 

Take care.

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catarina7000

Thanks - 

 

I also want to mention that I'm not sure this is a drug interaction. Could it be from paxil WD? I am having a shaky body sensation in my sleep as well. It could be triggered by my body's original condition - which was to be nervous in my sleep and have anxiety and maybe this is being exacerbated during WD? It's so hard to parse everything out. 

 

I think it's also possible that amitryiptiline is not working as well to cover up the paxil WD. 

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Altostrata

Hello, catarina.

 

I can imagine our ways might be confusing!

 

Did you feel better when you decreased Paxil to 5mg in February 2019? Since you decreased Paxil to 5mg, it looks like you've experimented with adding several different drugs to Paxil. If you got bad reactions when you did this, it's likely the drugs were interacting with Paxil. What happened when you took nortriptyline? Since you changed to amitriptyline, do you feel better or worse?

 

How have your symptoms changed in the last 2 months? Does the Depakote help?

 

On 4/26/2020 at 12:16 PM, catarina7000 said:

Hi,

 

I am taking paxil 5 mg, did a fast taper from 10 mg to 5 mg 14 months ago, have been holding since. While on paxil 10 mg, started depakote 1/4  of 125 mg pill. During paxil WD, added amitryptiline 10 mg for head and ear pain. 

 

I talked to a pharmacist yesterday about interactions. He said paxil and amitryptiline can interact. He said to call my doctor if I am very tired or have tremors. I have had both. I noticed involuntary shaking of my head once during the day and have had shaking/jerking of my head during sleep. So I need to taper ami. 

 

My questions are:

How long should I wait to heal from the paxil WD or should I start tapering ami right away? I am much better from paxil WD but am concerned it will just destabilize me more. 

I was thinking of tapering 5% every month or so. I still need to taper slowly even though I'm having issues with the med, correct?

Also, what are your general thoughts and advice on this?

 

Thanks,

Catherine

 

Good questions. But you're taking 3 drugs (are you taking any other non-psychiatric drugs?) -- which one of them or which combination is causing these symptoms? My guess is Paxil is the one that should be reduced, not amitriptyline.

 

Paxil is a very powerful drug that, even at a low dose, may be interacting with any other drugs you might be taking, as your pharmacist noted. If we can see the interactions, we may be able to reduce some of the symptoms you're having. We need to look closer at drug-drug interactions. Please put ALL your drugs in the Drug Interactions Checker https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php and copy and paste the results or a link to them in this topic.

 

Daily symptom notes can further help us pin down whether you have drug adverse effects. Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms throughout the day. Post 24 hours of notes at a time in this topic, in a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right.

 

I understand all of these questions are frustrating to you. However, your pharmacists and doctors should have been on the alert for drug-drug interactions from the beginning. Paxil and amitriptyline should not be prescribed together. We are trying to unravel your prescribers' errors. They tend to be very poor at dealing with drug adverse reactions and withdrawal.

 

The limit on signatures is 12 lines. Please consolidate some of the lines in your signature and bring it up to date. Please enter dosages as milligrams rather than "1/4 pill".

 

 

 

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