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benesh: is this possible


benesh

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6 minutes ago, benesh said:

Hello dear go2zero,

So grateful for your input. It means more than my words can convey. 
blessings to you as you move forward towards ad freedom.

benesh 

 

I am so glad to help. We are more or less on the same path, with the combination of SSRI and Bupropion. Whenever I can be of any help, just ask.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects dring 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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  • 2 weeks later...

Needing reassurance these days.

In the midst of the lexo taper. Holding with the wellbutrin. Not even sure I can describe what I am thinking and feeling. I have mostly felt insecure and unsure of myself most of the time. ..all my life perhaps. Right now things are  distorted by the sense of despair and tears with most recent wave.  Being around people has mostly been a challenge. Now it feels like torture. Unable to think or respond to even close friends and family.  Brain in neutral or park or something. If I could respond with DUH or Dunno that would be authentic. I try and say words but with so much anxiety, shame and effort. So glad I am not working. If I had my druthers, I would remove myself for a while where I did not need to interact. I have little feelings for those I love. I just want to run and hide. Is this part of the taper? Or am I just noticing now some of my glaring character defects?

I walk daily. I attend church which is a big stressor but also potentially uplifting. We host a small group here from our church. The conversation demands are exhausting. My husband reports, I seem fine when I am talking to others. Talking on the phone is anxiety producing. Getting basic chores done ..make the bed, do the dishes, make a meal, grocery shop seems like huge feats  of strength. Then I think..oh my what a loser I am. Others can do and accomplish and talk and I want to be left alone. 
Meanwhile, I want to continue with the taper knowing that at  a 5% reduction, it will take me 5 plus years to be free.  Sleeping is ok. Wake up with dread and that is why I walk first thing. 
I am thinking about increasing the taper to 7.5% I am miserable now but from what I have read it could be worse.

I am rambling now. Hard time getting clarity enough to express myself. 
I continue to eat a whole foods plant based diet..reduce inflammation.

Do others dread being social? Do all tasks seem overwhelming?

Zombie and flat inside. No thought just anguish and dread?

I think that is all I can get out right now..Thanks for listening...

  •  1995 -1998 prozac 20 mg; unsuccessful C.T.
  • 1998-2004 paxil 10 mg ; unsuccessful C.T. 
  •  2004-current  lexapro 10 mg
  •  2009 added drug Wellbutrin 150mg, 2016  bupropian300 mg XL
  • 2019  start taper June-;alternated between 300 mg and 150 mg XL (as per PCP guidelines) until  reached daily bupropian 150 mg XL in December 2019
  • 2020 January-March skipping 1 -4 days in between 150 mg XL then crashed mid month March
  • 2020 March-April resumed skipping every 3 days
  • 2020 April 28 began splitting bupropion 75 mg HCL and taking 37.5 mg am &  pm
  • 2020 April discovered SA and the brassmonkey slide taper; making own pills now
  • 2020 June 10-71.3 mg bupropion HCL (2 pills daily -divided);July 10 -67.7 mg;August 9 -64.3;August 31-61.1;September 21-58.0; October 12-55.1; November 2-52.4 mg bupropion HCL;December 3-8 -49.8; reinstated December 9 -52.4mg,ALL ARE GENERIC
  • 2021 January 7 liquid taper of Wellbutrin done by compound pharmacist . Same amount as before.
  • 2021 January 29 liquid lexapro done by compound pharmacist. Begin taper at 5% so now at 9.5mg.
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  • Moderator

@benesh

 

Your symptoms are perfectly normal in withdrawal and I share many of them.  WD can take pre-existing  emotional states, like social anxiety, and exaggerate them.  I know it does with me.  Like you, trivial tasks can feel overwhelming to me.  

 

Do a good bit of thinking before you increase you taper rate.  It sounds like you're already under a good bit of pressure at your current rate.

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.

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Gridley,

I appreciate the input for sure. Helps to have things heard and validated. I will stick with the 5% reduction. It is so hard to imagine years of this going through the motions. It sure could be worse. Employing one day, moment etc..is crucial

I see you have done the brassmonkey slide taper. I have reviewed that multiple times but so far not clear at all how to do it. How on earth did you figure it out? I figure many on here are either brainiacs, math whizz folk, desperate or all the above. 
It is encouraging nonetheless to read your post.

I will stay the  course.

perhaps I will check out the brassmonkey slide taper again🙃

Peace and joy to you.

benesh

  •  1995 -1998 prozac 20 mg; unsuccessful C.T.
  • 1998-2004 paxil 10 mg ; unsuccessful C.T. 
  •  2004-current  lexapro 10 mg
  •  2009 added drug Wellbutrin 150mg, 2016  bupropian300 mg XL
  • 2019  start taper June-;alternated between 300 mg and 150 mg XL (as per PCP guidelines) until  reached daily bupropian 150 mg XL in December 2019
  • 2020 January-March skipping 1 -4 days in between 150 mg XL then crashed mid month March
  • 2020 March-April resumed skipping every 3 days
  • 2020 April 28 began splitting bupropion 75 mg HCL and taking 37.5 mg am &  pm
  • 2020 April discovered SA and the brassmonkey slide taper; making own pills now
  • 2020 June 10-71.3 mg bupropion HCL (2 pills daily -divided);July 10 -67.7 mg;August 9 -64.3;August 31-61.1;September 21-58.0; October 12-55.1; November 2-52.4 mg bupropion HCL;December 3-8 -49.8; reinstated December 9 -52.4mg,ALL ARE GENERIC
  • 2021 January 7 liquid taper of Wellbutrin done by compound pharmacist . Same amount as before.
  • 2021 January 29 liquid lexapro done by compound pharmacist. Begin taper at 5% so now at 9.5mg.
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  • Moderator
12 minutes ago, benesh said:

math whizz folk

I'm terrible at math.  The Brassmonkey taper isn't that hard to figure--instead of one 10% drop per month, you do four weekly 2.5% drops followed by a 2-week hold.  Math-wise, you multiply your previous dose by .975 to get your next week's dose.  

 

In terms of length of taper, I know it's hard to wrap your head around how long it takes.  But the time does pass, as I know from my four-year Lexapro taper.  It case you want to figure how long your taper will take, if you do the 5% every four weeks taper, you'll go down by half your present dose in a year, so net year this time you'll be at 4.75mg, which is real progress.  It's particularly important to go slowly at the low doses of Lexapro because these low doses (below 10mg) are stronger than the higher doses.

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.

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Dear Benesh, sorry to read how you are feeling. I have had similar experiences quite often and worse now and then during the last 3,5 years of withdrawal. The best remedy always was (and is) slow down with tapering..., until feeling better (or less worse).

 

What also may be an important issue in your case, is that you have been tapering bupropion whilst taking a SSRI (Lexapro). In my experience (when I was tapering bupropion next to taking a SSRI) it took up to 8 months! after the last dosage change of bupropion until I started to feel better.

 

I see that your last dosage change in bupropion was in december 2020, so less then 3 months ago. So it might be the case that you are still feeling so bad because of the tapering of bupropion. I would advise to be careful with tapering Lexapro, until you start feeling better. 

 

It might be the case that after that you will be able to increase the tapering of Lexapro. There is no definite plan. Listen to your body. Don't go too fast. In the end going slow will be faster. 

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects dring 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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On 2/23/2021 at 5:31 PM, Go2zero said:

 

 

I see that your last dosage change in bupropion was in december 2020, so less then 3 months ago. So it might be the case that you are still feeling so bad because of the tapering of bupropion. I would advise to be careful with tapering Lexapro, until you start feeling better. 

 

It might be the case that after that you will be able to increase the tapering of Lexapro. There is no definite plan. Listen to your body. Don't go too fast. In the end going slow will be faster. 

Go2zero,

Thank you for the input. It is good to know that you have first hand experience with these medications.

One thing I also notice, is my world just keeps getting smaller and smaller. I am trusting that this too is part of the WD horrors but will eventually pass. I took my early morning walk today, and somehow I tripped and fell. In  the past I might’ve laughed, even though I was pretty bruised up. No laughing today, feeling more and more fragile.

 

I’ve been thinking about what you say about the bupropion. I was at 300 mg in June 2019 and by January 2020 I was down to 150 mg. Then around April or May I was told by another PCP to start at 75 mg. I’m not real quick with calculations but it sure seems to me that that was pretty fast.

 

I will stick with the 5% reduction lexapro, perhaps even trying the micro tapering. I hear it said, often on the site that it’s hard to imagine that I will ever recover. I have to fight that thought regularly.

I sure look forward to the day when most of this is behind me and I can offer hope and encouragement to others. Thank you for being one of those who is offering me hope and encouragement. Over and out for now.

Benesh

  •  1995 -1998 prozac 20 mg; unsuccessful C.T.
  • 1998-2004 paxil 10 mg ; unsuccessful C.T. 
  •  2004-current  lexapro 10 mg
  •  2009 added drug Wellbutrin 150mg, 2016  bupropian300 mg XL
  • 2019  start taper June-;alternated between 300 mg and 150 mg XL (as per PCP guidelines) until  reached daily bupropian 150 mg XL in December 2019
  • 2020 January-March skipping 1 -4 days in between 150 mg XL then crashed mid month March
  • 2020 March-April resumed skipping every 3 days
  • 2020 April 28 began splitting bupropion 75 mg HCL and taking 37.5 mg am &  pm
  • 2020 April discovered SA and the brassmonkey slide taper; making own pills now
  • 2020 June 10-71.3 mg bupropion HCL (2 pills daily -divided);July 10 -67.7 mg;August 9 -64.3;August 31-61.1;September 21-58.0; October 12-55.1; November 2-52.4 mg bupropion HCL;December 3-8 -49.8; reinstated December 9 -52.4mg,ALL ARE GENERIC
  • 2021 January 7 liquid taper of Wellbutrin done by compound pharmacist . Same amount as before.
  • 2021 January 29 liquid lexapro done by compound pharmacist. Begin taper at 5% so now at 9.5mg.
Link to post

Dear Benesh, 

 

Sorry to read that you are feeling the way you do! This will go over. It may take time. I think I know where you are. In the period I have been busy with withdrawal, I went through phases where I could not see any light anymore. Where I was totally exhausted and where I hardly wanted to live anymore. But please keep the faith! You will get there!

 

As long as you do it very carefully, slow and keep listening to your body. Be prepared to change plans for withdrawal, or maybe even better do not make real plans… I have adjusted my plans so many times, because withdrawal effects just were too hard to handle…

 

We react all different, so I cannot be sure that my experience with SSRI/bupropion tapering will be the same with you. But there might be similarities, when I look at your history of medicine use and withdrawal (and trials before).

 

First, I see that we both have had quite some changes in meds, in dosages and also that we tried several times to quit. Which I surely did too fast (and probably you too) with the knowledge I have right now.

 

Furthermore I see that you went quite fast down with the bupropion, as you say yourself too. But I am not sure if that is the main problem, however it could be.

 

What I noticed was that going down with bupropion was not a problem in the beginning period of withdrawal. I went down also quite fast and from 150 to 66 mg, without much problems. But going down from 66 mg became more and more difficult with every small step. 

 

Eventually I went down from 66 mg in many small steps to 33,3 mg. The last dosage changes (almost 1 year ago ) were two steps of 1 mg each (6% down in total). This small step down (after 1 year stabilizing!), sent me to hell for 8 months. More than one year earlier I also went down 2 mg only (6%) and I experienced the same during 8 months.

 

So it seems that there can come a point where further tapering of bupropion is nearly impossible when taking also a SSRI. I know this does not account for everyone. But I see so much similarities in your experiences and mine that it might be the case with you as well. 

 

In my case it all came to more rest after these 8 months. And after that I could easier taper the SSRI again.

 

I do not know exactly how it works with bupropion and the blockage of the dopamine receptors. There is hardly any information to be found there. But I do know that with all SSRI’s withdrawal gets more and more difficult the nearer you get to zero.

 

I could explain why this is, but that becomes quite technical. And this information can also be found on this website.

 

But it is a fact that the last mg’s of an SSRI are the most difficult for most of us. This might be the case for bupropion as well. Especially when still taking a SSRI next to it.

 

So I think you are on the right track when you stabilize as much as possible now, before going down with the Lexapro. The withdrawal effects that you feel right now could still be from the bupropion. 

 

You will get there. You are not alone!

 

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. Jan 2021 0,55> 0,53>0,51mg  Feb 0,47mg

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects dring 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac.

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

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I so much appreciate this exchange. I just submitted a plaintive message on my introduction thread asking for encouragement because of feeling I’m just getting worse after 1 year and nine months since going off Effexor. I substituted Prozac for it, and I’ve been on 2 mg of it for going on 4 months. Last summer, not understanding the problem of tapering from already low doses and the need to taper at 10% of previous dose, I wanted so badly to get off the Prozac that I tapered from 6 to 1.8 in less than 3 months. With @Altostrata advice I updosed back to 2.0 in mid November, though that did not relieve my main symptoms of gnawing anxiety and heavy derealization. So I’m just staying at 2.0. The conversation between @Go2zero and @benesh has given me hope this morning. 

Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mg (poop-out  April 2013).

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos. To 450 mg tapered to 0 in 3 wks no w/d trouble.

Lexapro 2014 30 mg Cymbalta 2014.

Neuro-Feedback 2015 May-Sept, no ADs 5 months, no significant benefit, rather increased anxiety during and after; Buspirone 2015 40 mg STOPPED after several months.

Venlafaxine Dec. 14, 2015 – May 23, 2019 150 mg.

Bupropion/Wellbutrin Mar 2017 – July 19, 2019 300 mg; Lorazepam 0.5 a few days only, stopped 08/31/2019

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, taper from 20 mg started 01-2020, linear 10% every 4 wks., tapered 6 to 4 mg 6-29-20, 4 to 2 mg 7-15-20,  2.0 to 1.8 mg 08-26-20), updose from 1.8 mg to 2.0 (11-16-20)

Naltrexone (for derealization) 10/27/20, STOPPED after 10 days; B12 1000 mg STOPPED 10-29-20; D3 2,000 mg; Omega 3; Magnesium Chelate, 250 mg; L-methylfolate (Deplin) 15 mg STOPPED 09/3/20; Inositol (pseudo B8) powder 4 tsp (water solution sipped throughout day), started 11-12-20; ashwaganda, 1/2 caplet started 01/14/21.

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