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SandCastle: missed the tapering boat


SandCastle

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Well, who knew you weren’t supposed to just stop taking this stuff when you felt like it?

 

Back in January 2020, I had gone to the doctor 3 times over a one month period swearing I had kidney problems based on some symptoms I had. After the third appointment and all tests coming back normal, the doctor diagnosed me with anxiety and prescribed 25 mg Sertraline. I started taking it immediately and within a few days I had developed limb pain. I didn’t relate it to the medication and actually thought it was a symptom of anxiety. Another week or so went by and limb pain spread to joint paint and then to this feeling of being bruised or punched in my thighs, stomach, hips and chest, even though bruises never surfaced at that point. I also had an off and on lump in my throat and my voice would randomly go hoarse. By end of March, I had rigid muscles, had gained 30 lbs and clusters of red dots and small bruises were forming all over my body. I thought I was developing a serious blood disorder and since I had seen a hematologist in the past for iron deficiency anemia, I was able to get an appointment without going through my gp. A few weeks before the appointment, around mid-April (so 3 months on Sertraline), I read online that bruising was a rare but possible side effect of the medication. I quit immediately to see what would happen, and within about three weeks the bruises, red dots and some of the pain disappeared. Everything was normal at the hematologists. However, even though the bruises went away, I had started getting these other issues like “restless arm syndrome” (only way to describe it), dizziness, numbness in feet and hands, muscle twitching, panic attacks and other things I can’t remember. After my appointment, since my blood tests were fine, I reinstated the 25 mg Sertraline in early May. I had no clue these were withdrawal and assumed I had developed either a severe neurological disease or Somatic Symptom Disorder. I still can’t believe I went back on the meds, but as soon as I did all hell broke loose. The withdrawal symptoms went away but I developed horrible muscle cramping to the point I couldn’t hold a phone, pain in response to any kind of touch including my pants rubbing against my legs or someone touching my hand softly. I had pain in my ears, eyes and throat. The bruises and red dots came back immediately and with a vengeance. At this point I knew it was the Sertraline. And I was only on 25 mg!! I managed to stay on for around three  more weeks then quit cold turkey again. Right away I got a plethora of symptoms:

 

-restless feeling all over
-Muscle twitching all over body

-muscle weakness 

-this weird warm feeling that started in the back of my head and spread down my spine (I no longer have this)

-loss of coordination 

-pulling in my thumb, forefinger and cheek on my left side like they were trying to move themselves (This doesn’t happen often anymore)

-brain zaps - not really sure if that’s what it is since it feels less like a zap and more like someone holding an electric razor up to my head in different spots.

-Numbness/tingling in feet, lower legs, hands (I no longer have this)

-Nausea 

-panic attacks 

-short of breath

-forgetfulness 

-dizziness 

-loose feeling in joints like they won’t hold my limbs together

-joint pain

-cracking joints

-muscle pain

-buzzing in legs and feet

-palpitations 

-feeling like I would fall down (I no longer have this)

-this feeling in my sinuses like they would tighten and then clear up (this is rare these days)

-general soreness

-lump in throat

-insomnia - often only getting 2 or 3 hours of sleep at night

-acute fatigue (this feeling of intense fatigue that feels like I spent hours working out in the sun that will last maybe 20 minutes to an hour)

-heartburn


There were so many more I can’t think of. I’ve been off the medication around 4.5 months now, but not much of this has improved. A few of the scariest symptoms seem to have gone away, probably around the three month mark, and with the remaining symptoms, I have gotten a few windows recently. The body pains used to be constant, but now I get a few days off per month. This encourages me. At the same time, I’ve developed new symptoms recently like intense stomach discomfort, palpitations and the lump in my throat, although I had this when I first started the meds too. Many symptoms have gotten less severe/intense and that helps a lot. The craziest thing about all of this is that my highest dose was 25 mg! Not to mention I was only on it 4 months total. I’m really hoping I’ll be back soon to post a success story. I remember reading a post from a success story poster that basically said whenever a symptom would go away temporarily, even if it came back and hung around for a while, they knew it would be gone eventually because it had shown its weakness. I wish I could remember who it was because it’s completely true and that has really helped me get through the last few months.

 

I'm not sure how to post my timeline in the signature, but it’s pretty short so I’ll leave it here.

 

25 mg Sertraline from January to mid April.

Cold turkey mid April to early May.

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May for next three weeks then cold turkey again. Have been off for 4.5 months and take no meds or supplements at this point.

 

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to SandCastle: missed the tapering boat
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, SandCastle.

 

Here's the link to post your signature. You'll need to use a computer rather than a phone.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

You had an adverse reaction to the Sertraline, which basically means the drug is poison to your system.  You're also likely experiencing withdrawal from your cold turkey.  The symptoms are both are very similar, and the symptoms you list are typical of adverse reaction/withdrawal.  The fact that you're improving is a very encouraging sign of healing.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

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.  

 

These explain the healing process really well.

 

Brain Remodelling 

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

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 complete your drug signature, ask questions and connect with other members.  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 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 June 15: 10.5mgai.  Taper is  44% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (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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Thank you Gridley, this is very helpful. The physical reaction to this drug was immediate and it’s hard to believe it took 3 months on the drug followed by stopping and re-instating to realize that’s what was causing it. I also had no warning about a possible withdrawal. Seeing that there are hundreds of pages and thousands of views/responses, I can’t believe doctors still don’t know this is a thing.

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’ve been going through a wave recently, which has me pretty disheartened since my last window was longer than any other. I didn’t think I’d still be going through this 5 months after my last dose. I’ve been having a lot of lower back and hip pain that makes it really difficult to get out of bed. I’ve had muscle problems and pain from the start, but it’s always been more in my legs, arms, hands and feet. Thankfully, I don’t have it in those areas recently, which has been a huge plus, but now it’s settled in the center of my body. The IBS that started a little over a month ago but disappeared after a week has just returned. I’m also getting hot flashes anytime I’m in an area that’s slightly warm. I can also feel my anxiety increasing a lot at night too. I’m not sure what set all this off. Maybe it has something to do with all the Halloween candy I’ve been eating lately. I’ve also upped my caffeine intake to about 4 cups of coffee a day. I’m thinking the nice window I had in September was due to the fact that I had cut back to one cup of coffee per day. I’ve noticed some people have had luck with giving up coffee and alcohol, but does anyone have luck just reducing? I can’t imagine giving up coffee completely! What other foods have people given up and had success with? I don’t follow any dietary restrictions right now.

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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  • Moderator
2 hours ago, SandCastle said:

I’m thinking the nice window I had in September was due to the fact that I had cut back to one cup of coffee per day

 

2 hours ago, SandCastle said:

but does anyone have luck just reducing?

The fact that you felt better with just one cup indicates cutting back would help.

 

I've given up sugar.  It produces anxiety.  Even a glass of orange juice is too sweet.  Also chocolate, since it has both sugar and caffeine.  Everyone's different, but I do well with meat.

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 June 15: 10.5mgai.  Taper is  44% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (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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sunnysideup69

Hi there, yes, sadly for me also, sugar induces waves. 

Am about to put myself back on a strict dietary protocol until Xmas. No sugar no wheat, and will also be reducing my morning tea and weaning off.

I got a bit cocky with the diet recently because I've been feeling so much better, and I can't help notice the effects of sugar now....like Gridley, it tends to make me agitated/anxious.

January 2008 to April 2015 Citalopram 20mg to 5mg, reducing in 50 per cent leaps. Jumped off at 5mg

March 2016 used MDMA triggered setback

April 2016 Citalopram 10mg October 2016 cut to 5mg, May 2017 cut to 2.5mg

May 2018 used MDMA triggered setback

June 2018 Citalopram 2.5mg up to 10mg, then back to 5mg

July/ August 2018 7.5mg, then 10mg

June 2019 updosed to 20mg Citalopram

August 2019 cold switch to Venlafaxine 75mg XR

Supplements; 1100mg fish oil daily; also 200mg Magnesium Glycinate

 

 

 

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Hello SandCastle, I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with all of this and are in the midst of a wave. Your story is similar to my experience taking Sertraline. I just want you to know that I have found your story very helpful. I have referred back to it several times regarding the loose joints. Loose joints is exactly what happened to me. One thing I have found helpful in stabilizing my low back and hip during this healing process is an SI belt. The one I use is inexpensive and easily worn underneath clothing. This could be helpful in giving you some relief and stabilizing your low back and hip while your body heals. I can send you an Amazon link to the one I have been using, if you are interested. I have found on forums where people have recovered from the popping/cracking/loose joint reaction, which has also been encouraging. I have had a day here and there where things seem to be stabilizing, so I hold on to those days. One more thing to help ease your mind...there is a treatment that has been around for several years called Prolotherapy that actually stabilizes loose joints. I can send you more information on this as well, if you're interested. Hopefully, you will find this note encouraging. :)

Zoloft 50-75MG. 2018-2019 (3 months 19 days).

Quit cold turkey.

 

 

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  • Moderator

I sympathize with you, SandCastle.  I took Zoloft much longer than you, but recognize many of your symptoms.  I've had some relief over time from hip pain after changing the angle at which I sleep--mainly using a pillow under my hips, and then finally moving to a softer mattress.  For awhile I used ice packs and then a heating pad.  The physical therapist gave me a bunch of exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles.  I also at first avoided hills and walked on a track.  After about 6 to 9 months, the pain improved and I could hike again.  Perhaps my hip tendons will continue to be tender, I don't know, but they're much better, and I hope for you that this can be an encouragement that you will heal and be free of pain.  

Thinking of you,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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On 10/31/2020 at 2:55 AM, sunnysideup69 said:

Hi there, yes, sadly for me also, sugar induces waves. 

Am about to put myself back on a strict dietary protocol until Xmas. No sugar no wheat, and will also be reducing my morning tea and weaning off.

I got a bit cocky with the diet recently because I've been feeling so much better, and I can't help notice the effects of sugar now....like Gridley, it tends to make me agitated/anxious.

I think that’s what I need to start trying. It’s so difficult for me since caffeine really gets me through the day! And sugar is just such an important part of the whole holiday season :). Going to give it a shot though! At this point I think I’d go on an all lettuce diet if it worked for enough people...

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

Link to post
On 10/31/2020 at 2:30 PM, Furlow said:

Hello SandCastle, I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with all of this and are in the midst of a wave. Your story is similar to my experience taking Sertraline. I just want you to know that I have found your story very helpful. I have referred back to it several times regarding the loose joints. Loose joints is exactly what happened to me. One thing I have found helpful in stabilizing my low back and hip during this healing process is an SI belt. The one I use is inexpensive and easily worn underneath clothing. This could be helpful in giving you some relief and stabilizing your low back and hip while your body heals. I can send you an Amazon link to the one I have been using, if you are interested. I have found on forums where people have recovered from the popping/cracking/loose joint reaction, which has also been encouraging. I have had a day here and there where things seem to be stabilizing, so I hold on to those days. One more thing to help ease your mind...there is a treatment that has been around for several years called Prolotherapy that actually stabilizes loose joints. I can send you more information on this as well, if you're interested. Hopefully, you will find this note encouraging. :)

Thank you for letting me know you’ve been experiencing the same thing. Loose joints is one of those symptoms I’m afraid will never go away because I haven’t had many good days when it comes to that one. I really do find it encouraging that you’ve had some improvement and that you’ve seen where others have recovered. I hate the cracking and popping, but the feeling is the absolute worst. I’m about to research your suggestions now!

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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On 10/31/2020 at 5:01 PM, arbor said:

I sympathize with you, SandCastle.  I took Zoloft much longer than you, but recognize many of your symptoms.  I've had some relief over time from hip pain after changing the angle at which I sleep--mainly using a pillow under my hips, and then finally moving to a softer mattress.  For awhile I used ice packs and then a heating pad.  The physical therapist gave me a bunch of exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles.  I also at first avoided hills and walked on a track.  After about 6 to 9 months, the pain improved and I could hike again.  Perhaps my hip tendons will continue to be tender, I don't know, but they're much better, and I hope for you that this can be an encouragement that you will heal and be free of pain.  

Thinking of you,

Arbor

Thanks so much for the encouragement. I have been considering changing mattresses because I wonder how much that contributes to it. I have also been avoiding any kind of incline walking but since most of the surrounding area where I am is hilly, that really just means I’ve been avoiding all walking! That also might be a contributor because when I was doing better, I was taking a 20 minute walk daily. Now I’m really wishing I had kept with my new exercising/eating better/cutting back on caffeine routine!

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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christianjw12
1 hour ago, SandCastle said:

Thanks so much for the encouragement. I have been considering changing mattresses because I wonder how much that contributes to it. I have also been avoiding any kind of incline walking but since most of the surrounding area where I am is hilly, that really just means I’ve been avoiding all walking! That also might be a contributor because when I was doing better, I was taking a 20 minute walk daily. Now I’m really wishing I had kept with my new exercising/eating better/cutting back on caffeine routine!

Hi @SandCastle, your story is very similar to mine ! I took Lexapro from January to April and I did a too fast tapper so I ended in withdrawal hell as you. I'm at 6 1/2 months off my last dose of Lexapro (5mg). The good news is that I'm way better compared to 6 months ago. I'm not healed yet and I think there's still a long way before I'll become to who I was before taking this poison. If I knew that I'll end up in this withdrawal, I wouldn't have taken this drug. Anyway, we'll all heal ! Don't worry about that and focus on living a meaningful life even though it's very hard to cope daily. There's a book I would recommend you to read The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris. I'm sure it will help you and you'll like it.

23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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On 11/2/2020 at 3:32 PM, christianjw12 said:

Hi @SandCastle, your story is very similar to mine ! I took Lexapro from January to April and I did a too fast tapper so I ended in withdrawal hell as you. I'm at 6 1/2 months off my last dose of Lexapro (5mg). The good news is that I'm way better compared to 6 months ago. I'm not healed yet and I think there's still a long way before I'll become to who I was before taking this poison. If I knew that I'll end up in this withdrawal, I wouldn't have taken this drug. Anyway, we'll all heal ! Don't worry about that and focus on living a meaningful life even though it's very hard to cope daily. There's a book I would recommend you to read The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris. I'm sure it will help you and you'll like it.

Thanks so much for the recommendation! After a few weeks of feeling terrible again, I’m finally starting to get a few improvements. I’ve been a little more distracted lately and that always seems to help. I’m coming up on 6 months since quitting too, and I’m holding onto hope that will mark a turning point!

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
Quote

Have been off for 4.5 months and take no meds or supplements at this point.

 

Please amend your signature and change to the date you stopped and the last dose you took.  Thank you.

 

40 minutes ago, SandCastle said:

I’m coming up on 6 months since quitting too, and I’m holding onto hope that will mark a turning point!

 

Please continue to take good care of yourself and don't become complacent.  See the sub topic "It Doesn't End at 0" linked in Post #1 of this topic.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just wanted to put it out there that cutting back to one cup of coffee per day has seemed to help quite a bit. I’m not really in a window or anything, but the symptoms I’ve had recently seem to be more manageable and I’ve had much less pain. I still haven’t tried giving up sugar, but hopefully I can stick to this for a while and then try some other dietary restrictions.

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve suffered a pretty bad setback ever since contracting a bad cold. I really thought I was having a breakthrough after cutting back so much on caffeine, but now I’m having physical symptoms like a pulling sensation on one cheek and thumb (had this in the beginning and was terrified it might be the start of TD and was really relieved when it stopped), cramps in my hands and arms, lump in throat, horrific joint pain, rashes on my face, not to mention nightmares, lack of motivation and unprompted fears throughout the day. I think the virus has caused a renewal of symptoms. I’m just hoping it goes away after the cold ends. Has anyone else noticed a virus as simple as a cold can cause a relapse? I’ve confirmed it’s not covid.

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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  • Moderator
2 hours ago, SandCastle said:

Has anyone else noticed a virus as simple as a cold can cause a relapse?

Physical illness can definitely cause withdrawal symptoms to increase or new symptoms to appear.  I hope your symptoms improve as you get well from your cold.

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 June 15: 10.5mgai.  Taper is  44% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (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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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Dear @SandCastle  I'm wondering how you're doing.  I sure hope that you're feeling some relief.

Best wishes,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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Hi @arbor, I’m doing a little better lately, thanks for asking. Some of my more persistent symptoms, like muscle twitching and insomnia, have died down quite a bit which is giving me some sense of relief. My hip pain and lower back pain is still pretty strong, but I went through a phase where it was so strong I had a hard time getting out of bed or out of a chair, so I consider it a success that it’s not that severe anymore. Overall I think there’s been vast improvement since May, it just isn’t as noticeable as it should be since it’s been very gradual.

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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  • Moderator

Hi @SandCastle--Oh, I think this is sounding good.  I'm so glad.  Especially the insomnia--if you're getting some sleep, that's probably going to move things along more quickly.  Happy holidays!  Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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@arborHappy holidays to you and I hope you’re doing well also.

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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  • 4 weeks later...
HealthHopeHappiness

Hi @SandCastle I just wondered how you are doing now? I am currently 8 weeks into withdrawal from Sertraline and having real issues with muscle twitching which I can see you suffered with too. The twitches started in my foot, then thigh and now they are getting more widespread and started in my upper arm this afternoon. I am feeling really concerned about it and wondered if or when this symptom settled for you. Hope you are well. 

Mid-August 2020 - started 15mg Mirtazapine, increased to 30mg 2 weeks later. Late-September 2020 - switched to 20mg Paroxetine as Mirtazapine exacerbated RLS. October 2020 - stopped Paroxetine because of worsening RLS, muscle twitching and general restlessness.

Mid-October 2020 - Switched to 50mg Sertraline. Restlessness, muscle twitching and other symptoms even worse. Stopped taking it on 18 November following advice from GP - took every other day for a week before stopping completely. Mid-November 2020 - GP prescribed Propranolol to take as and when required for anxiety. Have only taken a few times as it makes me very light headed. January 2020 - currently taking magnesium citrate powder in evenings to help with RLS. Also taking high strength omega-3 fish oil. 
 

 

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SandCastle

Hi @HealthHopeHappiness It’s funny you ask this now because I was just about to post here on this exact topic. The twitching started a few weeks after I quit Sertraline and remained one of my most persistent symptoms - I had it every day, usually for a noticeable amount of the day - for about 5 months before I even got a small break from it. I kind of remember it starting in my upper back/shoulder, different parts of my face and my left leg. But before long it was all over my body. That first small break after 5 months was 3 days. After 3 days it came back as strong as ever, even worse sometimes and stayed that way for another 2 to 3 months. It was pretty discouraging that it came back so hard, but towards the end of that 2 to 3 month period, I was only getting it in one leg and occasionally my lip. Somewhere around the middle of December 2020, it pretty much stopped and in the last month I’ve had maybe a total of 5 twitches. It’s not like muscle twitches are life altering or disabling, but there’s something just a little terrifying about it and it was the symptom I wanted to end the most. So needless to say it’s been a great month! I don’t want to get my hopes up that it’s gone forever since I’ve had so many symptoms come and go and come again, but I’m kind of getting my hopes up at this point :). I’m hoping that at the very least you’ll get a break soon too!

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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JesusSavemefromWD

Hi @SandCastle

i am happy to hear ur doing better. I just read your whole thread and saw you pointed a couple of times “ I was only in 25mg”!!! I have said the same thing so many times myself “I was only on 25mg for just 3&1/2 weeks!!!  “ so little so short time and It destroyed me. I am seeing small improvements after almost 3 months OFF it, but nothing towards being as before I took this poison. It really upsets me when doctors tell me...” 25mg is a baby dose, it probably never even reached ur brain, it’s impossible you have suffer all these from 25mg Zoloft “..... ok then I guess it is a big coincidence that i started experiencing all these mental issues immediately once I started Zoloft and after I tapered OFF it, but never ever before in my life? Great doctors ! 

August 15,16 cipralex:went CRAZY

August 28, 2020 sertraline :25mg -3&1/2weeks,tapering 4&1/2 weeks; last dose 4mg Oct 26th

March 1st: 20-25mg 5htp/day

- DPDR/crazy/ brain disconnection/ bedridden, soul despair/feeling dead;eye floaters/ tinnitus/no appetite;inner terror/ anxiety/panic attacks;mild insomnia 

4 months OFF: pure hell, I regret not reinstaining, too late to do now?

- soul despair, anxiety/fear

- brain numb/crazy/off feeling 

- housebound, barely functioning

- stronger tinnitus

- mild eye lid twitches stopped after a week of 20-25mg 5htp.

- DPDR reduced by 50% since two months ago but no further progress

- sleep & appetite are fine

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HealthHopeHappiness
6 hours ago, SandCastle said:

Hi @HealthHopeHappiness It’s funny you ask this now because I was just about to post here on this exact topic. The twitching started a few weeks after I quit Sertraline and remained one of my most persistent symptoms - I had it every day, usually for a noticeable amount of the day - for about 5 months before I even got a small break from it. I kind of remember it starting in my upper back/shoulder, different parts of my face and my left leg. But before long it was all over my body. That first small break after 5 months was 3 days. After 3 days it came back as strong as ever, even worse sometimes and stayed that way for another 2 to 3 months. It was pretty discouraging that it came back so hard, but towards the end of that 2 to 3 month period, I was only getting it in one leg and occasionally my lip. Somewhere around the middle of December 2020, it pretty much stopped and in the last month I’ve had maybe a total of 5 twitches. It’s not like muscle twitches are life altering or disabling, but there’s something just a little terrifying about it and it was the symptom I wanted to end the most. So needless to say it’s been a great month! I don’t want to get my hopes up that it’s gone forever since I’ve had so many symptoms come and go and come again, but I’m kind of getting my hopes up at this point :). I’m hoping that at the very least you’ll get a break soon too!

This is fantastic news, I am so pleased for you. I totally agree, the twitches themselves aren’t debilitating but for some reason they cause a lot of distress and worry. I really hope you have turned a corner with it now and they become a distant memory. 

Mid-August 2020 - started 15mg Mirtazapine, increased to 30mg 2 weeks later. Late-September 2020 - switched to 20mg Paroxetine as Mirtazapine exacerbated RLS. October 2020 - stopped Paroxetine because of worsening RLS, muscle twitching and general restlessness.

Mid-October 2020 - Switched to 50mg Sertraline. Restlessness, muscle twitching and other symptoms even worse. Stopped taking it on 18 November following advice from GP - took every other day for a week before stopping completely. Mid-November 2020 - GP prescribed Propranolol to take as and when required for anxiety. Have only taken a few times as it makes me very light headed. January 2020 - currently taking magnesium citrate powder in evenings to help with RLS. Also taking high strength omega-3 fish oil. 
 

 

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HealthHopeHappiness
6 hours ago, SandCastle said:

Hi @HealthHopeHappiness It’s funny you ask this now because I was just about to post here on this exact topic. The twitching started a few weeks after I quit Sertraline and remained one of my most persistent symptoms - I had it every day, usually for a noticeable amount of the day - for about 5 months before I even got a small break from it. I kind of remember it starting in my upper back/shoulder, different parts of my face and my left leg. But before long it was all over my body. That first small break after 5 months was 3 days. After 3 days it came back as strong as ever, even worse sometimes and stayed that way for another 2 to 3 months. It was pretty discouraging that it came back so hard, but towards the end of that 2 to 3 month period, I was only getting it in one leg and occasionally my lip. Somewhere around the middle of December 2020, it pretty much stopped and in the last month I’ve had maybe a total of 5 twitches. It’s not like muscle twitches are life altering or disabling, but there’s something just a little terrifying about it and it was the symptom I wanted to end the most. So needless to say it’s been a great month! I don’t want to get my hopes up that it’s gone forever since I’ve had so many symptoms come and go and come again, but I’m kind of getting my hopes up at this point :). I’m hoping that at the very least you’ll get a break soon too!

This is fantastic news, I am so pleased for you. I totally agree, the twitches themselves aren’t debilitating but for some reason they cause a lot of distress and worry. I really hope you have turned a corner with it now and they become a distant memory. 

Mid-August 2020 - started 15mg Mirtazapine, increased to 30mg 2 weeks later. Late-September 2020 - switched to 20mg Paroxetine as Mirtazapine exacerbated RLS. October 2020 - stopped Paroxetine because of worsening RLS, muscle twitching and general restlessness.

Mid-October 2020 - Switched to 50mg Sertraline. Restlessness, muscle twitching and other symptoms even worse. Stopped taking it on 18 November following advice from GP - took every other day for a week before stopping completely. Mid-November 2020 - GP prescribed Propranolol to take as and when required for anxiety. Have only taken a few times as it makes me very light headed. January 2020 - currently taking magnesium citrate powder in evenings to help with RLS. Also taking high strength omega-3 fish oil. 
 

 

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SandCastle

Hi @JesusSavemefromWD 

I actually consider myself lucky that I didn’t connect the dots early on and realize all the side effects were from starting and stopping the antidepressant. I certainly would have brought it up to my doctor then and would have probably believed that they weren’t related on “such a low dose”. I started to realize it after quitting once and restarting, and at that point the pandemic had shut down my doctor’s office temporarily, so I did the research myself before ever bringing it up to anyone. I can’t believe doctors think that amount is basically nothing. At this point I’ve come across enough stories/questions of people saying they were only on 25mg and they don’t understand how they could have had such a startling reaction from a low dose, so you would think it would be obvious to the medical community by now! But I’m glad you’re putting your story out there since I found a lot of comfort in other similar “low dose” stories when I first started struggling (and still do!).

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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  • 2 weeks later...
HealthHopeHappiness

Hi @SandCastle I hope you are doing well? Hope you don’t mind me asking but did you ever get fine muscle twitches (fasciculations)? I am used to the bigger, more obvious twitches but today have had the finer ones in my foot, feel more tickly but are visible. It has really stressed me out! 

Mid-August 2020 - started 15mg Mirtazapine, increased to 30mg 2 weeks later. Late-September 2020 - switched to 20mg Paroxetine as Mirtazapine exacerbated RLS. October 2020 - stopped Paroxetine because of worsening RLS, muscle twitching and general restlessness.

Mid-October 2020 - Switched to 50mg Sertraline. Restlessness, muscle twitching and other symptoms even worse. Stopped taking it on 18 November following advice from GP - took every other day for a week before stopping completely. Mid-November 2020 - GP prescribed Propranolol to take as and when required for anxiety. Have only taken a few times as it makes me very light headed. January 2020 - currently taking magnesium citrate powder in evenings to help with RLS. Also taking high strength omega-3 fish oil. 
 

 

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SandCastle
18 hours ago, HealthHopeHappiness said:

Hi @SandCastle I hope you are doing well? Hope you don’t mind me asking but did you ever get fine muscle twitches (fasciculations)? I am used to the bigger, more obvious twitches but today have had the finer ones in my foot, feel more tickly but are visible. It has really stressed me out! 

Hi @HealthHopeHappiness I’m not sure, but I think what you’re talking about is what I always considered “buzzing”. The twitching is much lighter but faster is how I would describe it. Yes, I got this a lot and it was almost exclusively in my feet and legs. I would also get a buzzing feeling in my head, but I don’t think that was the same thing.

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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HealthHopeHappiness
10 minutes ago, SandCastle said:

Hi @HealthHopeHappiness I’m not sure, but I think what you’re talking about is what I always considered “buzzing”. The twitching is much lighter but faster is how I would describe it. Yes, I got this a lot and it was almost exclusively in my feet and legs. I would also get a buzzing feeling in my head, but I don’t think that was the same thing.

Yes that’s how I’d describe it. The buzzing prompted me to look at my foot and when I did I realised it was actually twitching really lightly and fast below the surface. I tapped the muscle while it was happening and it made the twitches bigger and more intense. Wish I hadn’t done that! Thanks for sharing your experience with me. 

Mid-August 2020 - started 15mg Mirtazapine, increased to 30mg 2 weeks later. Late-September 2020 - switched to 20mg Paroxetine as Mirtazapine exacerbated RLS. October 2020 - stopped Paroxetine because of worsening RLS, muscle twitching and general restlessness.

Mid-October 2020 - Switched to 50mg Sertraline. Restlessness, muscle twitching and other symptoms even worse. Stopped taking it on 18 November following advice from GP - took every other day for a week before stopping completely. Mid-November 2020 - GP prescribed Propranolol to take as and when required for anxiety. Have only taken a few times as it makes me very light headed. January 2020 - currently taking magnesium citrate powder in evenings to help with RLS. Also taking high strength omega-3 fish oil. 
 

 

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  • 2 months later...
  • Moderator

Hi @SandCastleI'm wondering how you're doing.  This is such a tough journey.  I send you best wishes.

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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Phoenixmama

Hello @SandCastle I would love to know how your doing ... 

 

 

started celexa 10mg feb 2nd 

feb 25th took my last 10g

feb 26th took 5mg

feb 27th took 5mg 

feb 28th cold turkey 

currently taking mag

 

 

 

 

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SandCastle

Hi @arbor I hate to be a downer but I’ve had a major return of symptoms lately. I was doing great earlier this year and really felt like all of this would be over by the time I hit one year in May, and I don’t think that’s going to happen now. The pain in my back and hip was completely gone for at least a month, the twitching was gone for a few months and I was walking 2 miles almost every day. I think at least a month passed recently where I could say I had no withdrawal symptoms. Now I have muscle twitching daily, acid reflux, major return of hip pain (no back spasms yet thankfully), feeling of a lump in my throat, weakness, nightmares, inability to sleep through the night and lack of motivation. I think I owe this all to taking an antihistamine for seasonal allergies. I took one allergy pill early on and had some symptoms come back so I swore I wouldn’t take another. Well this year has just been really bad and I caved and have been taking antihistamines (not even a decongestant!) for about a week now and have really paid for it. By the time I gave in, my eyes were so swollen and red that I probably gave children nightmares, and I would have sneezing fits that would last like 20 sneezes or more. I’m going to try giving them up again in a few more days. My biggest hope is that this won’t set me off on a months-long wave and will end soon! Thanks for checking in, and I hope you’re doing well!

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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  • Moderator

Dear @SandCastle--What a drag you're having to go through allergies on top of w/d.  Please don't worry about being a downer.  We're all struggling. At least we can support each other--What you're describing sounds so familiar to me.  It seems for sure our immune systems are discombobulated.   The slightest thing can throw them off, let alone allergies.  I really can relate to the frustration of the symptoms' return, especially since you’ve been doing, actually, really well.  I’m so glad for your windows.  I think that’s the main sign and clear direction you’re headed in.

 

Thanks for your well wishes.  The second vaccine set my immune system back, so I’ve been going through the crummy symptoms again—rash, nightmares, hip problems, depression.  Blah, blah, but they’re not getting worse, maybe, well, in fact, improving again.

 

Thanks for the update--

I can’t wait for all of us to be free of w/d and recovered….

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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HealthHopeHappiness

So sorry to hear how you’re feeling @SandCastle - it must be really disheartening after having some good spells. I am hopeful for you that this is temporary and better times come your way. 💕

Mid-August 2020 - started 15mg Mirtazapine, increased to 30mg 2 weeks later. Late-September 2020 - switched to 20mg Paroxetine as Mirtazapine exacerbated RLS. October 2020 - stopped Paroxetine because of worsening RLS, muscle twitching and general restlessness.

Mid-October 2020 - Switched to 50mg Sertraline. Restlessness, muscle twitching and other symptoms even worse. Stopped taking it on 18 November following advice from GP - took every other day for a week before stopping completely. Mid-November 2020 - GP prescribed Propranolol to take as and when required for anxiety. Have only taken a few times as it makes me very light headed. January 2020 - currently taking magnesium citrate powder in evenings to help with RLS. Also taking high strength omega-3 fish oil. 
 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
SandCastle

@arbor I had a feeling the vaccine might make symptoms return, and I was even going to ask if anyone had a problem with that. I’ve had the first, and maybe that has something to do with the symptoms coming back and it isn’t all allergies. I do notice when I stop taking antihistamines, I still have about two days of bad symptoms, followed by a day of extreme irritability, and it seems like everything tones down after that. I agree with you that it’s not nearly as bad now as it was even a few months ago. Not as bad in severity OR longevity which is really promising. I’m also sorry to hear that you’re having problems again but I’m glad to hear that it doesn’t feel as stifling as it once did!

25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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