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soliDg: severe amitriptyline withdrawal syndrome


soliDg

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Hi, and thanks for welcoming me onboard!

 

I've had quite severe withdrawal symptoms due to trying to come off amitriptyline, and am seeking some guidance, as so far nothing seems to have resolved it.

 

Last year (Dec 2019) I was put on 10mg of amitriptyline for a functional gut disorder. I found myself a bit foggier, harder to bounce back from lows feelings, and had one 10 minute episode of severe depression (very out of character).

 

In January 2020, I moved to 20mg. Same symptoms, including a spell of a few hours of feeling very sad (very out of character).

 

In February I went (on advice) from 20mg to 10mg. I developed strong, flu-like aching. After 2 weeks, I went from 10mg to 5mg, the aching increased, and I started to feel emotionally ragged. I researched, and decided to go back up to 10mg. The emotional raggedness left, but the aching stayed.

 

In March the emotional raggedness returned. I continued on 10mg for a week or two, then went up to about 15mg (using a pill cutter). The emotional raggedness left, but the aching stayed.

 

In May I tried going up to about 16mg (still using a pill cutter). The aching left, I had a patch of diarrhoea (unrelated), moved, and got hit with severe depression - only it didn't go away (again, very out of character for me). After about a week the depression changed to agitation (out of character), which also didn't go away. I got a compounding chemist to make up smaller doses, and combined that with my tablets to make 17mg doses. My symptoms changed back to depression.

 

From that point on, the depression seemed to hang on, to some degree, and agitation gradually returned to become more of a regular problem.

 

During August and September, I experienced intrusive violent thoughts (some quite disturbing) and one episode of (maybe 10 second) personality change where my thoughts and emotional responses were deeply, deeply disturbing. I also noticed my memory was struggling greatly, along with difficulty thinking clearly.

 

In September I missed a dose, felt amazing and normal (was able to think clearly, almost free from depression and agitation and aching). I chose not to take the dose until the next day. Depression returned, even stronger, when I went back on the medication. After a while, the depression seemed to be overtaken (it is still there) by agitation that is even more persistent than it was before.

 

In October the agitation seemed to stay bad or get worse. I also developed sensitivity to certain types of noise, which left me feeling agitated or sensorily overwhelmed.

 

That leaves me now, in late October 2020, still with aching, depression, fogginess, difficulty thinking clearly, memory issues, ongoing severe agitation, massive problems relating to others and functioning as a result. These problems seem to start disappearing once I hit ~26 hours from my last dose. My sleeping patterns are also out of whack, but the drug doesn't seem to have caused that (I can still sleep pretty easily).

 

The way I see it, I can

(A) not change anything

(B) making a non-drug change (eg. a supplement or sleep change)

(C) go back up to 20mg(D) start tapering off

 

I found a helpful amitriptyline group online, and the person with the most similar experience to me said that they'd had success with 5-HTP and L-Tyrosine, but I am hesitant.

 

I can get doses as low as 0.1mg from my compounding chemist, which could allow me to ease slower through a taper (eg. 0.1mg jump every 3 days rather than 1mg jump every month).

 

I'm also interested to see if there is any specialist who can help (not much success so far), and curious to hear if splitting doses over the day reduces the jolt to my system.

 

It's clear my body doesn't respond well to this drug, and much worse than it used to. I'd greatly value any helpful input - and thank you for giving up your time to read this!

 

All the best,

 

soliDg

Click here for my symptoms and history posts.

Amitryptyline: Early Dec 2019 - 10mg, ~6 weeks

Late Jan 2020 - 20mg, ~1 month

Late Feb 2020 - 10mg, 2 weeks

Early Mar 2020 - 5mg, ~4 days

Mid Mar 2020 - 10mg, ~1 month

Late Apr 2020 - ~15mg, ~2 weeks (pill cutter)

Early May 2020 - ~16mg, ~2 weeks (pill cutter)

Mid May 2020 - 17mg, ~5 months (compounding chemist) [22 Sept 2020 - 1 missed dose]

Multivitamin: Since 2017 - 1, irregularly; from ~Sept 2020 - 1, daily

Movicol: Early 2017 - varied amounts daily, ~3 years; Ural: ~Sep 2020 - ~4 sachets a day

Previously taken, but none since Dec 2018: Ondansetron, metaclopramide, simethicone, prochlorperazine, domperidone, valium, prochlorperazine, fluoxetine, oxazepam, olanzapine, pregabalin, atenolol, motillium

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to soliDg: severe amitriptyline withdrawal syndrome
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello and welcome to SA,

 

To get you started and so that we can see your drug history at a glance, please create your drug signature.  Follow the instructions in this link and include ALL drugs and supplements past and current.

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature
Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

In addition to the drug signature please create a post with a nice and simple list (no explanations - if we need more we will ask for them or check back on Post #1) showing the date and the dose (1 per line) of the changes you have made with your amitryptiline taper so that we can assess your situation and provide you with suggestions of how to proceed.  Once we have a concise timeline of your doses we will be better able to assist you.


SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose with a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

But it is important to listen to your body/symptoms and hold if you are still experiencing symptoms.  We call it withdrawal normal.

 

WDnormal

 

When we reduce the drug too quickly we can experience withdrawal symptoms.  This list shows a large number and a wide variety of them:

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Post #1 of this topic explains how to get the dose you need:

 

Tips for tapering off amitriptyline

 

Much of Post #1 of this topic relates to updosing as well as reinstating.  You will see that SA recommends only making very small increases instead of risking taking too high a dose.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

As for supplements, SA only recommends 2 supplements.  Only make one change at a time.  Try one at a time.  Try a small amount of one to see how you react.

 

Magnesium

Omega-3 Fish Oil

 

the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable

 

There are many existing topics on SA.  There is one about 5htp and also l-tyrosine.  The best way to search for topics is to use an internet search engine and add site:survivingantidepressants.org to the search term.

 

This is your own Introduction topic which is the best place to ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.  This way your history is in one place and you will not need to repeat yourself.

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 6 Feb 2021:  Pristiq 0.365 mg

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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Hi ChessieCat, and thanks for all this information!

 

With the new post you've asked for, can I check - is that to replace the one above? If so, am I putting in symptoms as well? (So essentially a concise post, like my signature, but with mention of when symptoms came up?)

 

Thanks for your help,

 

- soliDg

Click here for my symptoms and history posts.

Amitryptyline: Early Dec 2019 - 10mg, ~6 weeks

Late Jan 2020 - 20mg, ~1 month

Late Feb 2020 - 10mg, 2 weeks

Early Mar 2020 - 5mg, ~4 days

Mid Mar 2020 - 10mg, ~1 month

Late Apr 2020 - ~15mg, ~2 weeks (pill cutter)

Early May 2020 - ~16mg, ~2 weeks (pill cutter)

Mid May 2020 - 17mg, ~5 months (compounding chemist) [22 Sept 2020 - 1 missed dose]

Multivitamin: Since 2017 - 1, irregularly; from ~Sept 2020 - 1, daily

Movicol: Early 2017 - varied amounts daily, ~3 years; Ural: ~Sep 2020 - ~4 sachets a day

Previously taken, but none since Dec 2018: Ondansetron, metaclopramide, simethicone, prochlorperazine, domperidone, valium, prochlorperazine, fluoxetine, oxazepam, olanzapine, pregabalin, atenolol, motillium

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for creating the drug signature.  It's nice and clear but can be simplified a bit by removing the drug name.  Please add dates if you know them.  The mods are experiencing their own withdrawal/post withdrawal issues (which quite often consists of cog fog/comprehension issues) so dates make it easier for us.  Thanks.

 

Are you, have you taken other drugs/supplements?  If yes, we need those to be added too please.

 

Please add the dates, check that I didn't accidentally delete anything and use this for your drug signature.

 

Amitryptyline:

? Dec 2019 - 10mg, ~6 weeks

Jan 2020 - 20mg, ~1 month

Feb 2020 - 10mg, 2 weeks

Mar 2020 - 5mg, ~4 days

Mar 2020 - 10mg, ~1 month

Apr 2020 - ~15mg, ~2 weeks (pill cutter)

May 2020 - ~16mg, ~2 weeks (pill cutter)

May 2020 - 17mg, ~5 months (compounding chemist)

Sept 2020 - 1 missed dose

 

Then,

 

If you can copy and paste the dated drug signature information into a post, add a "space - space" at the end of each line and give a BRIEF symptoms for each reduction.

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 6 Feb 2021:  Pristiq 0.365 mg

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.

Link to post

Thanks ChessieCat. I've endeavoured to add the right information in to my signature, although there is a lot so it got a bit squished trying to get the last bits to fit within 12 lines. I also don't know any dates apart from the missed dose.

 

I'd appreciate any feedback you might have.

 

Thanks!

Click here for my symptoms and history posts.

Amitryptyline: Early Dec 2019 - 10mg, ~6 weeks

Late Jan 2020 - 20mg, ~1 month

Late Feb 2020 - 10mg, 2 weeks

Early Mar 2020 - 5mg, ~4 days

Mid Mar 2020 - 10mg, ~1 month

Late Apr 2020 - ~15mg, ~2 weeks (pill cutter)

Early May 2020 - ~16mg, ~2 weeks (pill cutter)

Mid May 2020 - 17mg, ~5 months (compounding chemist) [22 Sept 2020 - 1 missed dose]

Multivitamin: Since 2017 - 1, irregularly; from ~Sept 2020 - 1, daily

Movicol: Early 2017 - varied amounts daily, ~3 years; Ural: ~Sep 2020 - ~4 sachets a day

Previously taken, but none since Dec 2018: Ondansetron, metaclopramide, simethicone, prochlorperazine, domperidone, valium, prochlorperazine, fluoxetine, oxazepam, olanzapine, pregabalin, atenolol, motillium

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