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Elavil1

Elavil1: advice on tapering amitriptyline / Elavil

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Elavil1

I have tapered down from 125mg to 25mg of Elavil and now each time I try and reduce I get quite severe side effects. It's like I have hit a wall and cannot reduce further. 

 

I have been trying to get off this drug for over 30 years and I have not been able to work full-time over that whole period.

 

What got me down to 25mg was a herbal preparation (Corydalis/Chapparal) but it still took over 2 years of slow reductions to get there.

 

Last time I tried to reduce I went down by 1/80th of 25mg (24.69) (last night) and still had immediate effects the next day including brain fatigue and changed (reduced) sleeping.

 

I really need to find a way to bust through this wall and would be grateful for any advice. Surely I can't make the reductions even smaller??? Very hard to measure the quantities as it is. I am in New Zealand and we have no compounding pharmacies. I use a plastic beaker and oral syringe. Sometimes cold water and sometimes hot water as solvent. Did try vodka solvent last night 1ml to 79ml water.

 

Admin: Can't find any way to add signature.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed whate space at bottom of post

1988 10mg elavil

1989 150mg elavil

1990 tried to withdraw at 0mg was very ill

1992 150mg elavil

1995 tapered off over 9 months very ill

1996 150mg elavil

2005 reduced to 125mg elavil

2008 tapered to 100mg elavil

2012 tapered to 75mg

2015-2018 tapered to 12.7mg elavil

2019 October 17th brand changed by government to another manufacturer. New brand not working so back up to 150mg and tapered quickly to 25mg

2020 all attempts to go below 25mg failed

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ChessieCat

Hi Elavil and welcome to SA,

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  If we reduce the drug too quickly we can experience withdrawal symptoms.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

We need to know the timeline for your taper.  Please create your drug signature and include ALL DRUGS including supplements and state the doses and the dates you made the reductions and any increases.

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Once we have more information we will be better able to offer suggestions.

 

Please do not make any reductions in your dose at this time.

 

There are details instructions in Post #1 of this topic about how to make a liquid from tablets:

 

tips-for-tapering-off-amitriptyline

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

 


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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Elavil1

Tried again last night to go below 25mg by cutting 25mg by 1/160th (24.84mg). This is a 0.625 % taper - way under 10% recommended. Side effects (brain fatigue, eye soreness) when woke up and throughout day. Used vodka 1ml and 79ml water (cold) to do the taper. Have noticed hot water works much better. Now I will go back up to 25mg for at least 4 days to stabilize before next attempt. Will use hot water and no vodka this time as I have on some of my previous tapers. Any advice would be appreciated.


1988 10mg elavil

1989 150mg elavil

1990 tried to withdraw at 0mg was very ill

1992 150mg elavil

1995 tapered off over 9 months very ill

1996 150mg elavil

2005 reduced to 125mg elavil

2008 tapered to 100mg elavil

2012 tapered to 75mg

2015-2018 tapered to 12.7mg elavil

2019 October 17th brand changed by government to another manufacturer. New brand not working so back up to 150mg and tapered quickly to 25mg

2020 all attempts to go below 25mg failed

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Link to post
ChessieCat

Thank you for creating your drug signature.

 

2019 brand changed to another manufacturer (defunded) back up to 150mg and tapered quickly to 25mg

2020 all attempts to go below 25mg failed

 

We need to know when you made dose changes and the dates you made those changes.  Like this:

 

dose, date; dose, date; dose, date;

 

59 minutes ago, Elavil1 said:

Now I will go back up to 25mg for at least 4 days to stabilize before next attempt.

 

It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full level in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  If this is the way you have been tapering then your brain is getting very confused.  It would be a good idea to do a hold at this stage and provide the information requested above so that we can see exactly what reductions you have made and when.  Once we have this information we will be better able to make suggestions about when you might resume your taper.

 

Please also answer these questions:

 

Were you experiencing withdrawal symptoms just prior to making last night's reduction?  If yes, what were those symptoms?


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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Elavil1

Have attached daily records (Excel spreadsheet) going back to 2016. Have no accurate dates before that. Changed from Mylan brand to Arrow brand on October 17th 2019 and had to go back up to 150mg because the new brand didn't work the same. Reduced quickly to 25mg with some problems. Was previously on 12.7mg of the old Mylan brand.

 

Some columns on spreadsheet for other things such as herbal supplements and breathing exercises. Any missing dates are because I just continued at the last recorded dose.

 

Your question: 

Were you experiencing withdrawal symptoms just prior to making last night's reduction?  If yes, what were those symptoms?

Answer: Yes, kind of a stunned chemical feel in my head behind eyes but sleep was pretty good the night before.

 

Thank you for your help.

Elavil Withdrawal.xls


1988 10mg elavil

1989 150mg elavil

1990 tried to withdraw at 0mg was very ill

1992 150mg elavil

1995 tapered off over 9 months very ill

1996 150mg elavil

2005 reduced to 125mg elavil

2008 tapered to 100mg elavil

2012 tapered to 75mg

2015-2018 tapered to 12.7mg elavil

2019 October 17th brand changed by government to another manufacturer. New brand not working so back up to 150mg and tapered quickly to 25mg

2020 all attempts to go below 25mg failed

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ChessieCat

I've had a quick glance at your spreadsheets.

 

You tapered from 150mg (October 2019) to 25mg (January 2020) which is only about 3 months.  That is much too quickly.  If you had tapered at SA's recommended taper rate (explained previously) it would have taken you a minimum of 72 weeks to go from 150mg to 25mg.  That's about 1 year and 5 months

 

I also noticed that you have often got drunk in 2020 (I didn't check 2019).  That may be making your withdrawal symptoms worse.

 

alcohol-and-beer

 

You've also done a liver flush in May 2020 (haven't check any other years).  This can also worsen your withdrawal symptoms.

 

liver-detox-gallbladder-flush-internal-cleansing-enemas-fasting-other-detoxification-methods

 

You've also been taking Corydalis/Chapparal for a long time.  I can't find any members using this on SA.  However, some members have used different things and they worked for a while but then turned paradoxical.

 

October 2019 there is an entry stating "hard exercise".  Have you been over doing the exercise since reducing to 25mg?  exercise-do-more-do-less-do-nothing-what-worked-for-you

 

Q:  Do you drink caffeine beverages?  Eg strong or lots of coffee, cola drinks (Coke), energy drinks.

 

Q:  Do you go to bed and get up at a regular time?

 

My suggestion would be to start looking after yourself better:  cut out the alcohol (if you drink regularly you may need to reduce it gradually), stay off the caffeine and try to keep yourself as stress free as possible.  This will give your brain and nervous system a chance to recover.

 

I think it would also be a good idea to do a nice long hold and not even think about reducing for at least 3 months.

 
 

Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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