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aleetree: giving this a try


aleetree

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Hello guys I’m new and want to give this a try. I’m currently 18 years old and wanted to give another chance to recovery. Although I haven’t been on forums before I decided that I wanted to join one after reading a moving article called “The Challenge of Going Off Psychiatric Drugs” by Rachel Aviv. I need a community for advice because many doctors don’t understand my sensitivity to dosage changes. I have been on different medications for over four years. I’ve gone through many SSRI’s and antipsychotics and some benzos but now I face a problem. I’m currently on Clozapine, my old psychiatrist said it would be a good idea, that it had alternative uses other than schizophrenia. Although it could’ve helped me get away from drastic measures it numbed me more than helped me. Other than feeling highly sedated I can’t say this medication has significantly helped. The night sweats and twitches were bearable for a while but then I felt I wasn’t ever resting I just shut off and on. I’ve been tapering medication slowly with the advice from another old psychiatrist but I still fear the dangers of lowering this drug. I can’t remember the last time I fell asleep naturally, my routine has been highly aligned with my medications. The nights are really bad and I can’t sleep a full night, I’ve been extremely irritable but I know the process is bumpy. I fear detoxing from this med since I’ve been through Benzo withdrawals and the sudden withdrawal of fluvoxamine. I want to keep strong because I know I’ll feel bette in the end but do need advice on how to properly handle this. 
I’m also on a relatively high dose of Paxil but I decided to start with the clozapine and take this one step at a time. 
Any advice is more than welcome and I’m glad I’m doing this first step. 
:)

Edited by manymoretodays
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  • manymoretodays changed the title to aleetree: giving this a try
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, aleetree.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  Please include the dosages of Paxil, Clozapine and fluvoxamine.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

We recommend tapering only one drug at a time and tapering no more than 10% of tour current dose.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Is there a reason why you want to taper to Clozapine first?  Generally we recommend tapering the more activating drugs first (which would include SSRI's like Paxil) an leaving the more sedating drugs to act as a buffer to taper later.

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

For your information, here is a link specifically about tapering Paxil.

 

Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

 

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) 

 

Please research all supplements first and only 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 complete your drug signature, answer my questions, ask your own questions and connect with other member.  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 to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

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

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

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% complete.  

  

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


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

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I’ve been trying to figure out how to add my signature but this is my most recent history

Past medications:

fluoxetine 

fluvoxamine - 150mg and discontinued abruptly and got withdrawal syndrome 

risperidone 

clonazepam- mild addiction to benzodiazepines 

escitalopram

olanzapine

seroquel

propranolol 

Current Meds:

Clozapine, highest dose 100mg, dose since December 2019 50 mg, dose since April 7th 2020 25mg

Paroxetine-Paxil, dose for over a year 62.5mg

Melatonin 5mg

Valproic Acid 125mg but discontinued 

 

I’ve decided that I wanted to stop taking Clozapine because it’s been highly sedative to a point where I cannot function in my day to day life. Also this medication needs continuous bloodwork, I’m not schizophrenic and this medication isn’t for me. I also moved to a new country recently and after seeing a psychiatrist that diagnosed me in five minutes he said that me having clozapine was illegal and denied giving me a prescription. He “assured” me that there were no dangers in abruptly stopping it but from past experiences I know better, I’ve been rationing my medication and making 50% cuts to extended my period of discontinuation. The psychiatrist that recently saw me told me that I could keep taking the Paxil and recommended to start taking Lamictal. I honestly don’t trust this new psychiatrists medical opinion, he didn’t ask me how I felt or for my medical history. I fear doing this alone but my plan is to also discontinue the Paxil. One step at a time I guess.

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, aleetree said:

He “assured” me that there were no dangers in abruptly stopping it but from past experiences I know better,

I'm sorry you find yourself in this position with a psychiatrist who, like most, has no clue about withdrawal or safe tapering.  You're doing the right thing to try to stretch out your tapering period as long as you can.  Is there another doctor who can prescribe Clozapine so your taper can be a bit more gradual?  Why is it illegal?

 

Once you're off the Clozapine, I would wait at least three months before beginning to taper Paxil.  The link I gave you earlier about tapering Paxil will be helpful.  You don't have to do it alone; we can advise you whenever you have questions or a problem.

 

How are you feeling?  Have you noticed any withdrawal symptoms since you started tapering Clozapine?

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

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

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

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

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

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

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

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% complete.  

  

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


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

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According to him it is illegal to have this medication in Canada even if it was prescribed somewhere else. Only psychiatrists can prescribe this and I have no clue how to get a new one with the current healthcare system in place, I waited almost six months for an appointment and can’t ask for this med from a general practitioner. 
 

As for withdrawal symptoms the only one I’ve been experiencing is lack of sleep. My sleep schedule has been put in place by medications for the past four years and I’ve been relying on medications other than melatonin for sleep. I’m not sleeping well at all, although I take my night medication at 9pm I do not fall asleep until one am and wake up several times throughout the night. I’m scared for what’s to come, I know my body doesn’t take withdrawal well but tapering is my only choice. The night fevers are getting bad, I wake up completely soaked in sweat. I’m expecting body temblors and just general discomfort and dizziness. I’m worried about my sleep because I’ve had times where the fact of sleeping gave me so much anxiety I’d stay awake for days until I’d collapse and do it all over again. I’ve been increasing my melatonin dosage but doubling it as the had much effect.

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