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Natureboy: Which to taper first?


Natureboy

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Taking 50mg Lamictal daily, 20mg diazepam daily and 10mg Prozac every other day. Stabilized and want to continue tapering that was started 8 months ago. Which of the three should I concentrate on first? I go to sleep easily but only for one hour, get up work puzzles then go back to sleep for two hours. I am not rested at beginning of day. These three drugs prescibed to come off Paxil 20 mg daily and 4mg of Xanax daily. 10 months ago. No Paxil since and no Xanax in six months. I do not have depression just aggitation and insomnia. This first switch went well to he short half life to the long half life. Anybody with same situation that could give some advice. I know when you start experimenting with chemistry to stabilize again can take months. I am stabilized but want to move towards my goal. I am a 65 year old man, very active physically, extreme sports, and strict healthy diet of food and good friends. Thanks for any suggestions.

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Welcome, Natureboy. I moved your first post here to start your Introductions and Updates topic.

 

You've asked a lot of good questions.

 

How long have you been taking Prozac every other day? Is your sleep worse on the days you take it?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 1 month later...

What a wealth of information. I have spent many hours reading many of the topics to try to understand what I can expect the outcome of my multi drug tapering will be.

 

In one on the discussions Dr. Healy from the UK was one of the first I have seen mention the big word "AGE". He even went so far as to say in a delicate way that the neurotransmitters have been damaged so much that individuals that are elderly....Hmmmmm How old is elderly these days?

 

I think I know that answer but this is why I am writing.

 

I was put on Paxil 20mg daily and 2 mg Xanax daily 15 years ago for severe irritable bowel syndrome. BTW if I had known how severe the side effects of chronic use of these drugs in comparison to IBS I would have taken more antiacids and changed my diet and got more exercise but that was not the case so at age 62 the drugs themselves created terrible symptoms of dizziness, insomnia, increased anxiety.

 

I am sure there were other mitigating stressors that were challenging my health but when I would skip a dose or miss a day I would feel better until withdrawal symptoms kicked in and I would run for the shelter of drugs.

 

In my belief then that the health professions especially pdocs wanted to see that the quality of my life was as good as it could be and maybe in his thinking and looking at my age he did not believe I could taper off these drugs and my neuro receptors would repair with time. That was 18 months ago and now I am 65 years old.

 

He put me on 6mg Xanax daily, 100mg Lamictal daily and 10mg of Prozac every other day. He said if I was to withdraw do first with the benzo then the Prozac then last the lamictal.

 

In six months I switched from Xanax to Diazepam following the Ashley protocol so I was then taking 120mg of Diazepam daily. Currently I am taking 12mg Diazepam and have reduced the lamictal to 25mg daily and 18 days ago stopped taking Prozac every other day.

 

I have arrived at a place that I have begun to loose confidence to continue this slow taper. I stopped the taper of benzos when I read the article in this blog about stopping the AD's first then benzo's.

 

The withdrawal symptoms I am experiencing wax and wane. I have stopped any tapering until I have stabilized without any AD (Prozac).

 

I will have four good days and good nights then one day when I have symptoms of benzo and AD withdrawal and a night or two of insomnia. I keep a very accurate daily log and have mg scales for measured dosage.

 

When I stop the sub therapeutic dose of 25mg of lamictal daily after two days I notice a big difference.

 

I live alone in a very remote cabin in the mountains. Now after this long rant my question is has anyone thought about how tapering and healing is effected by age and is there any clinical data supporting the idea that at some age and of course many other health factors such as diet, exercise, CBT, other addictions and abuses and genes.

 

So this must be a generalized question with answers that I hope to get from others in my age bracket that have had similar experience. This I know!!!!!.......I am more ME now and I like ME than I was 18 month ago on 6 mg Xanax, 100mg Lamictal and 10mg of Prozac every other day. I would like to think I could wake up with checking my medication schedule one day. Can I look forward to that. I am a very determined person and now that I have time and resources to deal with the stresses of life I will choose them over medication but I would like to have a light in the dark to follow knowing that the punishment of this withdrawal and continuing will see positive results. If my age prevents my neuro receptors from repairing themselves as they do in younger people then I would like to hear from others that I will always need medication to deal with permanently damaged nervous systom.

 

I also take B vit suppliments, Omega 3's, ZN, 1000mg Vit C twice daily, no alcohol, low carb diet, exercise routine 30minutes daily, eat steamed fresh veggies and kill and eat my own deer meat. Thanks for reading and tell me your thoughts on how to proceed with the two remaining drugs....25mg lamictal and 12mg diazepam. Thanks

Edited by Altostrata
added paragraph breaks
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  • Moderator Emeritus

What a wealth of information. I have spent many hours reading many of the topics to try to understand what I can expect the outcome of my multi drug tapering will be. In one on the discussions Dr. Healy from the UK was one of the first I have seen mention the big word "AGE".

 

Hi Nature.. you put a lot of work into what is a great post.. but it's difficult to read without paragraph breaks.. It also appears much of this is your introductory post as it would help with the development of a taper plan. Help us help you! :)

 

btw.. there are many of us here who are the same as or near to your age. Also, it sounds like your taper has been faster than the 10% reduction of each previous dose hold for one month protocol. Developing a slower taper plan should reduce withdrawal symptoms. The use of schedules, etc. for tapering is part of the price we pay for getting drug free.. but you should be able to feel better in the process.

 

My sister lives in TN and I'm well aware of the mountainous terrain in your beautiful state.. it's breathtaking. ~S

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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I have been taking Prozac 10mg every other day and diazepam 10mg twice daily for about 18 months. The condition for prescribing medication has passed and I want to withdraw from AD first as I have read in this blog. Also I have read alternating doses of and AD are not clinically proven to be effective.

 

Question: Do I start my taper by taking 5mg daily for a week then begin to taper.

 

I tapered down to 5mg every third day then went CT. Felt probably the best in years for the first three weeks then most of the symptoms you have mentioned surfaced. Insomnia, agitation, anxiety, lack of appetite, headaches and especially neck and muscle tension.

 

I took one dose of 10mg Prozac at day 21 and symptoms went away in about 5-6 hours. Now after four days without withdrawal symptoms have emerged.

 

I would add that I am a 65 year old man that was given Paxil 20mg daily for IBS and in 2007 symptoms of IBS returned with a vengence. Switched to Prozac before started withdrawal.

 

Question again: If I have been taking every other day 10mg Prozac do I start by taking 5mg Prozac everyday. Stabilize then start or do I continue CT after this past 26 days off Prozac?

 

There is not enough research on the aging population that was put on these powerful chemicals many years ago and as we get older we do not metabolize chemicals as well as younger persons. Thanks for all the information on this site.

Edited by Altostrata
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Welcome back Natureboy, I moved your post to your Intro topic.

 

If you've been off Prozac for 26 days, if I were you, I'd take 5mg every day for a month to stabilize. Do this right away.

 

You may feel better sooner, but I agree because of your age you should move cautiously.

 

Please do NOT ever skip doses again. Your system may be sensitized now and you might have a more difficult time.

 

I agree, not enough is known about these drugs in an aging population -- or any population, really.

 

Be sure to report your problems withdrawing from Prozac to the FDA 1-800-FDA-1088

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Welcome Natureboy! Listen to Alto, she knows what she's talking about. She gives VERY good advice. I'm well today because I've taken the advice given here. I still have a long haul but I'm going at a snails pace. You only have one nervous system, be gentle with it and it will repair.

 

I love Tennessee !!! :rolleyes:

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  • 1 month later...

Natureboy 65 y/o man

 

A year ago I saw my first pdoc when my GP retired. Was on Paxil 10 mg for IBS and Xanax 2mg for anxiety. Nothing else

 

The pdoc decided I was bi polar and put me on:

 

Prozac 10mg every other day

Lamictal 100mg daily

Xanax 6mg daily

 

I used the Ashton method of Benzo withdrawal and am now taking:

Xanax 1 mg daily in the form of four 5mg diazepams...no xanax in my diet

 

I have slept two hours a night for six months. exhausted.

 

I am looking for help to taper first the Prozac 10mg every other day. Essentially 5mg daily. Then the Lamictal

 

I live in small town and few pdoc choices and the choices do not include docs that support withdrawal. No cognitive therapy just poly pharmacy and live with it. No family that is close and live alone in remote cabin in Tennessee mountains

 

I may have not written this introduction correctly. Alto does a good job of explaining but if this is incorrect please help me to correctly introduce where I am and what my goal is and that is to be at least Prozac and Lamictal free and be able to sleep at least 6 -7 hours each night. Thanks Alto

 

 

Xanax 2mg 1995 now Diazepam 20mg daily

Prozac 10 every other day since July 2011

Lamictal 100mg since July 2011

Edited by Natureboy
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Hi Natureboy, glad to see you again. :)

 

I'm not sure why your name did not pull up the previous posts you made, so have provided a link. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2322-natureboy-which-to-taper-first/

 

You are still taking Prozac every other day? Taking 5 mgs a day would be a good way to start stabilizing. In your last posts you mention taking 12 mgs of diazepam a day, did you updose to help stabilize. How long ago did you increase the diazepam.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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  • Administrator

Hi, Natureboy. Here's your Intro topic again.

 

Please re-read this response from July:

 

Welcome back Natureboy, I moved your post to your Intro topic.

 

If you've been off Prozac for 26 days, if I were you, I'd take 5mg every day for a month to stabilize. Do this right away.

 

You may feel better sooner, but I agree because of your age you should move cautiously.

 

Please do NOT ever skip doses again. Your system may be sensitized now and you might have a more difficult time.

 

I agree, not enough is known about these drugs in an aging population -- or any population, really.

 

Be sure to report your problems withdrawing from Prozac to the FDA 1-800-FDA-1088

 

Do NOT alternate doses to taper. Take 5mg Prozac per day for a month, then use the liquid to taper further.

 

I see you've found the Tips for Tapering Prozac topic. Please follow the information there.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks Alto for your advice on taking the Prozac daily. For a year I have taken 10mg Prozac every other day as prescribed by pdoc. Have not started my taper trying to have a plan first with good information. From reading your

 

post am I correct that I should take 5mg daily and not miss a day and begin my taper of the Prozac first before benzos and Lamictal? The first daily taper dose would be 4.5mg for me since that is 10% reduction. I like the weighing

 

then dump in small shot glass of warm water and stir and then drink. Since I am part of the elderly population I am terrified of which to start first and your forum has givin me what I could not get from our medical community. I

 

have been so tempted to taper the Lamictal first because it has caused so much memory loss and confusion I can not remember where I put my cup of coffee in the morning after I have made it. For me Lamictal lessens the effect of the

 

benzos for anxiety. I was prescribed 100mg daily of Lamictal but have only been able to tolerate 50mg daily. Has anyone experienced this that is taking both. I am taking 20mg diazepam now after a year taper from Xanax 6mg daily.

 

Have been stable on 20mg diazepam for 6 months now. Still some post anxiety that may never go away. Thank all of you and Alto especially for your personal replys.

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Hi Natureboy, I understand your reservations about being an older adult and tapering. I am 65 and there is at least one other member who is older, while a large number of folks here are 50 and above. Drug side effects and withdrawal problems catch up with us more as we get older, hence the showing of the over 50 crowd.

 

You are correct in your understanding of Alto's recommendations for tapering. But hold for at least a month on 5 mgs a day before you start to reduce, then go to 4.5 mgs to see how you feel. The 10% reduction is off the each successive dose, so the next cut would be incrementally less and so on, always going by what your body tells you. Some people need to reduce more slowly.

 

Generally, the best drug to taper first is the AD, and in your case, lamactil or diazepam last. Many folks cannot take the high doses prescribed by their docs. You do not need to taper any medication you do not so choose.. Congratulations on the xanax reduction. Did you taper this, do you think you are having any withdrawal issues. You might find your memory improves as you reduce the meds. Do you see any difference now you are on a lower dose of benzos? 6 mgs of Xanax was alot, and you may improve more as time passes.

 

How about taking one thing at a time, start taking 5 mgs of Proxac a day, then get into specifics on how to taper below that dose. There is a thread on this, but my guess is this would be enough for now. Maybe your anxiety starts to get out ahead of you at times?

 

This post would be better in your intro thread as it applies so much to your individual situation. :)

 

PS.. I really don't feel like a senior citizen as yet.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Hi Schuyler..good to have a younger senior. Your response was well received and understood. I started the SSRI taper 1 months ago and was taking 10mg every fourth day. Doing fine but now I will try the every day equivalent which is 3.33 mg daily. Maybe this will smooth the symptoms out.

 

I can tell you sleep is returning and I am loving every night I wake up and look at the clock and it says 5:30 AM and not 1 AM. A prolonged taper over 3-4 years is difficult for me to face. I keep a daily mood log with every chemical I put in my body including food and record the number of hours slept and time awake. I work hundreds of Sudoku puzzles to turn on those areas of the brain dorment from 12 years of retirement.

 

Maybe long term will be the only way but for now I exercise vigorously daily and eat well, positive music and upbeat friends to dance to the music, always have a list to start the next day and the mornings are always the most difficult, and as long as this works I will continue to taper more aggressively. No my memory did not improve with decrease in benzos and yes that is a huge dose of xanax equal to 120mg diazepam, but it is improving with just this small reduction in the Prozac. I do not have a job, no debt, and travel lots around the world so I do not have some of the same stressors others have on this site.

 

I will be careful and already can sense when bad WD symptoms are on the horizon ( I think) and will adjust time between drops and or size of decrease. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments. Good luck to all of us trying to regain our lives.

 

For those reading....find medical help to follow you and support your taper. I miss that the most and is the most difficult ingredient in success that is for an extended time. Reinstatement is just as unpleasant as withdrawal and sometimes may not work DO NOT do as I am doing because I do not know if it will work or make my situation worse. I am not a doctor or have training or experience in drub withdrawal and you would be well advised to listen to those on this blog that already have the experience. PLEASE

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  • Administrator

Thanks for the tip to Natureboy, Schuyler. Yep, your Intro topic is the place to discuss the ins and outs of your own taper.

 

NB, I'm confused. In one post you said you're taking 10mg Prozac every other day and in another, 10mg Prozac every 4th day. ??

 

If you are having adverse reactions from the Lamictal, that's what you should taper first -- after you get stabilized on a daily dose of Prozac.

 

But you've also said your memory has improved when you've decreased the Prozac?

 

How do you determine it's the Lamictal causing the memory fog, and not the Prozac?

 

I agree with you -- ideally, people should go to doctors for tapering support, but doctors who know what they're doing are few and far between, all over the world. Lack of medical knowledge about tapering is an international problem affecting millions of people.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Xanax 2mg 1995 now Diazepam 20mg daily

Prozac 10 every other day since July 2011

Lamictal 100mg since July 2011

 

I started the SSRI taper 1 months ago and was taking 10mg every fourth day. Doing fine but now I will try the every day equivalent which is 3.33 mg daily. Maybe this will smooth the symptoms out.

 

NatB.. if you are taking 10 mgs Prozac every other day, why are you planning to take .33 mgs a day?? Have you actually been taking one every four days and you 'misspoke'?

 

I can tell you sleep is returning and I am loving every night I wake up and look at the clock and it says 5:30 AM and not 1 AM. A prolonged taper over 3-4 years is difficult for me to face. I keep a daily mood log with every chemical I put in my body including food and record the number of hours slept and time awake. I work hundreds of Sudoku puzzles to turn on those areas of the brain dorment from 12 years of retirement.

A prolonged taper really is not a big deal.. or rather it's not when you go slow enough so you have almost no withdrawal symptoms.. I would have been astounded to understand this at the beginning of my klonopin taper, but now, 25 months in (yep, I count every one), it's routine. I mix it up and take the liquid just like I would a pill. I have tinnitus, but that is pretty much it. As long as I watch my "Ps and Qs" life is pretty good. And I'm better off than when taking all the crapola. You Betcha. And besides, it 's not like we have a choice. Or, thinking.. maybe we do. Those of us who find sites like this before our systems become too neurosensitized can choose to come off real easy, and spare ourselves a great deal of grief. And for this, I'm very grateful.

 

PS.. I wish I lived in the woods. Tennessee is beautiful. I've driven through the hills and they are truly a delight.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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