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I've been taking 50mg Pristiq for about 3 or so years I think. I've had acid reflux issues with SSRI use that seem to get worse over time. It got bad enough that I wanted to go off the Pristiq. I consulted my doctor about this, but she wanted me to get in with a primary care doctor first to have my acid reflux checked.

 

I don't currently have a PCP and with covid, it's a lot of hassle, so after a couple of months of more acid reflux, I decided to "taper" of the Pristiq.

 

It's worth mentioning that I also take generic wellbutrin and adderall to deal with autism.

 

Pristiq was a medicine we had tacked on to the Wellbutrin to even me out. First starting at 25mg and then moving up to 50mg. I didn't think much of it since, at the time, it didn't seem like a high dose. I cut my 50mg pills roughly in half and took a half each day for 4 days.

 

The first 4 days were pretty okay. After that I got dizzy spells (what people call the zaps). I expected this since I down dosed so quickly. I toughed it out for about a week and then dizziness went away. So at that point I thought I was done.

 

I've been going through a lot of life stresses lately and my mood started to tank pretty bad. I thought it was all the stress, but I'm pretty sure now that it's withdrawal.

 

I was pretty much crippled with sensory overload, anxiety, panic, and depression. My appetite was gone and I was force-feeding myself, but I couldn't eat much. I was in extremely rough shape and desperate for help. I live alone and dealing with that emotional distress was too hard to do alone. I spent significant amounts of time on the phone with my folks. They were packing to move to the neighboring state (Colorado), otherwise I would have gone to stay with them (I thought I was having Autistic Burnout).

 

They eventually moved and I wasn't getting any better. With them gone, my local support network was basically 0. My therapist was working overtime with me (for free) because she was so concerned about me. It got to the point where I didn't want to be around my apartment (long story, but I felt it antagonized me from the neighbor noise), so I looked at checking my into a residential treatment facility. Long story short, my insurance wouldn't cover it because I wasn't actively suicidal (thoughts, but no intention, despite the hell I was going through).

 

I broke down sobbing on the phone with my Dad. I was desperate and didn't know what to do. I asked him if I could stay with them at their new place. He talked it over with my Mom and said sure. It was very difficult for me, but I bought a next day flight to Denver. I had insane panic attacks that night about the flight (I've almost never flown). I called a crisis center just to have someone to talk to so I didn't feel so alone. I couldn't sleep at all.

 

I'm a day sleeper generally, so flying at noon made me sleep deprived. I don't know how i got through the whole process and flew out here to Denver, but I did. I was actually doing pretty okay at first. I was overdid it though and towards the evening I just crawled up next to my mom on her bed and sobbed. My stomach started getting really achy that night, which was more intense than it has been before. I wasn't thinking clearly. I wanted to go into the doctor but insurance would only cover ER out of state. Anyway, eventually I talked things over with a nurse practitioner over the phone and she basically told me the ER was unnecessary unless I was in extreme pain and to try some pepto and check in with an in-network doc online.

 

I went to bed. I slept for over 16 hours straight. I was exhausted. That evening I had more panic and crying. I realized then, now that virtually all my stressors from home were gone, that this whole ordeal was very similar to the Xanax withdrawal I was going through about 3.5 years ago.

 

I did some googling and found this site. I read through the entire page on tapering off Pristiq and pretty much any other information I could find and realized how bad the Pristiq withdrawal really is. I explained this to my folks and it made a lot more sense to them. Despite all this, since it's been I think close to 3 weeks since I first tapered, I thought I'd try to see this through to the end.

 

Well, in addition to some anxiety and crying tonight (it seems to be getting better), my stomach is hell right now. It's been cramping to the max. I was even dry heaving earlier. This is all new. I've also been unable to sleep more than about 6 broken hours in the last 24.

 

The other motivation is that I didn't bring the Pristiq with me to Denver, only my other meds. If i were to taper now, I'd either have to find a pharmacy that would tide me over here and pay out of pocket or go home with a costly plane flight and go back in the 50mg until I can get hold of my doctor. That said, I was hoping to stay here through Thanksgiving and really don't want to go back to the noise, stress, and loneliness of that apartment.

 

I know withdrawal times can vary and the best course is to generally taper down. But having been through so much and knowing that Pristiq is very hard to taper off of, I almost feel it might be more convenient and less painful in the long run to just stay the course. My question is, how much longer do you think it will take for my CNS to get back to some sense of homeostasis where I can function better? So far my mood has been much better, except for some hiccups during the night where I get dysphoric. The real bear right now is my stomach. Will I be out of the woods soon?

 

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to leox: Pristq

Just an update. It's the weekend and I couldn't reach my doctor for a consult. I opted to ask the local pharmacist his thoughts. He said he wouldn't go back on and to get some Dramamine for any nausea and such. Said I should be out f the woods soon.

 

Stomach cramping is intense. Dramamine helps some, but not so much with the cramping. Mood has been better. Nervous system is beginning to get back to normal.

 

Have had insomnia. I do eventually crash, but usually for 2-4 hours before waking.

 

Overall I'm getting better. I definitely don't advocate cold turkey as this has been a nightmare. Having supportive people makes a huge difference.

 

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Leox.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  Please include dates of your cutting the 50mg Pristiq in half and when you stopped it altogether.  Also include the Wellbutrin and what type of Wellbutrin you're taking, as well as the Adderall.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

We don't recommend cold turkey of psychiatric drugs, which can present some long-lasting withdrawal symptoms.  The percentages of people who suffer significant withdrawal is a subject of debate. Some say a significant majority, some a large majority.  Recent findings indicate it's almost 50/50.  Generally doctors (and apparently the pharmacist you talked with) don't believe in significant withdrawal, but information is slowly surfacing about the prevalence and severity of withdrawal.

 

Cosci, 2020, Acute and Persistent Withdrawal Syndromes Following Discontinuation of Psychotropic Medications

UK's NICE health guidelines now caution about severe and ...

It is for this reason, to avoid a severe withdrawal, that we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks. 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

For your reference, this link is specifically about tapering Pristiq.  

 

Tips for tapering off desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. Get supplements that are single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gridley

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 March 22: 14.4mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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I took some time to compile a little more detailed outline of my withdrawal, including a day by day. I didn't become aware that this was withdrawal until a few days ago, so the details from before then are a little more general and approximate in time. Some of the earlier days might overlap as my memory has been iffy with everything going on. It's been at least 3 weeks, if not 4.

 

-----

 

Generic Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped late October 2020. 

 

Tappered at roughly 25mg of Pristiq (cut ER tablet in half) for 4 days. Cold turkey since.

Days1-4 tapering: normal

Day 5: Stopped taper, still normal

Days 6~13: "Brain zaps". Slight dizziness when moving head quickly.

Days 14-24: Zaps stopped. Extreme dysphoria, depression, and anxiety, worsening daily. Stomach cramps, diarrhea, appetite loss. Cold and hot sweats. Irritability and increased sensitivity to environment. Anhedonia.

Day 25: Began staying with my folks to stabilize and get the support I need. Did not sleep (not related to withdrawal). Some relief in the day, but dysphoria, anxiety, panic, and crying in the evening. Stomach cramping very bad and not much appetite. Eventually crashed and slept. Stopped the Adderall to give my CNS a break and to avoid anxiety.

Day 26: Exhausted. Slept for roughly 16 hours. Was up at night. Mood was anxious and lonely. Touchy stomach, some cramping. No appetite.

Day 27: Very upset stomach. Lots of cramping. Dry heaving from cramping at night. Heartburn. Dysphoria, anxiety and crying in evening. Insomnia at night. Got 2 hours of sleep. Nights seem worse.

Day 28: Fatigued. Mood was okayish; not good, but not really negative. Appetite returning. Still felt edgy, especially in evening, but was okay.

Day 29: Slept well. Mellow morning, but then good mood. Felt more myself. Appetite normal. Slightly irritable in the afternoon/evening. Slight anxiety in late evening.

Day 30: Fell asleep pretty quickly, but woke up after a couple of hours with an extreme buzzing sound in my ear. Not sure if dream, hallucination, or sensory sensitivity triggering off tinnitus; leaning towards sensory. Also was having extreme dysphoria, panic and anxiety, and depression. Hot and cold sweats. Crying. Took me 3 hours to calm down enough to go back to sleep. Woke up in the morning with fatigue. Was still dysphoric and anxious. Felt worn out. Mood improved a bit towards afternoon. Consulted my doctor. She originally suggested a 25mg taper and was concerned at the length of time for my withdrawal. Ultimately we agreed to stay off the Pristiq and she prescribed me 5mg Buspirone 1-3/day as needed for the anxiety and dysphoria. She said if I really needed, I could even double up on the dose. Took one in the afternoon. Helped calm my nerves. Feeling a little down in the evening.

Day 31: Slept in the early evening. Woke up and began feeling anxious shortly after. Some dysphoria, but manageable. Took 5mg Buspirone. Anxiety decreased. Hope the rest of my day goes better. Things seem better during the day.

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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Day 31 (addendum): Midday I felt restless. I had a lot of nervous energy. This lessened in the evening.

 

Day 32: Woke up at 4am after 4-5 hours of sleep with dysphoria, anxiety, and shaking. Took 5mg buspirone and slept for about another hour. Was awakened by some noise in the kitchen (unimportant what). Was sweating quite a bit. Took Dramamine and went back to sleep for another couple of hours. Woke up with anxiety and shakiness, but dysphoria mostly subsided. Spells are still bad but seem to be improving a little bit each day. I just want this to end.

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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I've been having waves of anxiety. They seem to be getting further apart.

 

I flew back home. Was an overwhelming day. Neighbors were quite noisy again. My sensory sensitivities have been way worse since discontinuation. It's been causing me considerable distress.

 

Being here is adding a lot of stress and I have little doubt it will prolong my recovery time. I need help.

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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Hi Leox. I have sensory processing issues as well and I think that made my withdrawal (I’m not entirely sure if I should call it that, since I had an immediate adverse reaction and have been dealing with the aftermath) much more difficult. It’s like my nervous system ramped up and my SPD has been on high ever since. I tried to find positive sensory input to get me through the worst of it. For me, it was taking epsom baths every night for like a month. I like exercise, so doing a really sweaty workout helped, too. Basically, a distraction, but also reminding myself that my body sensations weren’t all negative/overwhelming. Do you have any sensory inputs that you like? Heavy blankets also feel good to me. The sound one is really difficult. I have four little boys and we’re in a pandemic and my house is chaos. Earplugs don’t help me as they are uncomfortable and I feel like my ears can’t breathe. Is there anywhere you can go and sit outside (a park)? Do you like ASMR at all? Just some ideas. I know sensory overload is very real and very difficult.

2014 & 2017 - 25mg sertraline for postpartum depression

Late May ‘20 - Early June ‘20: 7.5mg buspirone 2x/day (adverse reaction)

Mid-June ‘20 (six days total): 5mg escitalopram (adverse reaction)

 

currently taking: vitamin D, magnesium, omega 3, occasional melatonin.

 

no alcohol, no caffeine.

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7 hours ago, HopeToHeal said:

Hi Leox. I have sensory processing issues as well and I think that made my withdrawal (I’m not entirely sure if I should call it that, since I had an immediate adverse reaction and have been dealing with the aftermath) much more difficult. It’s like my nervous system ramped up and my SPD has been on high ever since. I tried to find positive sensory input to get me through the worst of it. For me, it was taking epsom baths every night for like a month. I like exercise, so doing a really sweaty workout helped, too. Basically, a distraction, but also reminding myself that my body sensations weren’t all negative/overwhelming. Do you have any sensory inputs that you like? Heavy blankets also feel good to me. The sound one is really difficult. I have four little boys and we’re in a pandemic and my house is chaos. Earplugs don’t help me as they are uncomfortable and I feel like my ears can’t breathe. Is there anywhere you can go and sit outside (a park)? Do you like ASMR at all? Just some ideas. I know sensory overload is very real and very difficult.

 

Thanks for your reply. I was feeling a bit lonely.

 

I'm 36 and have PDD-NOS (atypical autism). I was diagnosed at 16, but didn't understand that it was an actual autism diagnosis until I was about 23. Never had any behavioral training or anything like that. My social deficits are slight; more noticeable when I was younger. My sensory processing issues have been notably difficult, especially sound and light. Much of it revolves around not being able to process chaos or sudden and unexpected stimuli. It might sound a little weird, but this includes my emotional and physical state. With the withdrawal, my emotions are all over the place and in a way that I can't control or really manage in any way. That adds a further level of distress because of that chaos.

 

I don't really stim, at least not... stereotypically? I don't really think of it as stimming at least. I have a lot of stuffed animals, but notably a couple of stuffed pigs that I love more than anything in the world I think. They're very soft and comforting. They've been getting tons of hugs. I've curled up in my comforters quite a bit. Part of it is softness, but the main part is warmth. I don't know if it's just the anxiety or what, but I've been having spells where I feel very cold like I'm running a fever. My head is quite warm and everything. My hands are ice. As far as I know right now, I am not sick. I'm surprised, tbh, because I'm at rock bottom as far as being worn down is concerned.

 

For the neighbor noise, I try to keep my box fan on high to help drown out some sound. I have some high quality noise cancellation headphones, but they don't really work for impact sounds and I can't wear them in bed if I want to lay on my side. I have some earbuds I use for my phone to watch Netflix or listen to music. I've often used them lately to just block out sound. They can be a little uncomfortable in my ears, since to block sound I have to push them in a little bit more to get a decent seal. It beats my nervous system going haywire from overload though. I've even taken to wearing a beanie and pulling it down over my ears with the buds in. It doesn't block everything, but it's okay. They're wireless though, so for music and stuff they can only last a few hours.

 

It's quite cold here so being outside for too long is tough. I try to go out every day, if for any reason, to combat some derealization and get some sun. It really takes it out of me. If you're familiar with spoon theory, I feel like I start out with 1 spoon a day and I use it to get out of bed and exist. Recovering a spoon takes some rest, so I often feel like I'm overdoing it and just crashing. I'll just sob and shake. I talk to my folks on the phone as much as I can. They've moved about 400 miles away recently and they're my main and one of my only support systems. Especially with covid, it makes everything so much harder. I stayed with them for about 12 days. It's quieter there, so that helped, but I was getting homesick and needed a little space. I got home yesterday (flew both ways) and it was overwhelming. Just way too much change and the neighbors were making quite a bit of noise. It's not loud music or anything. They have all vinyl flooring up there and no rugs or anything I don't think. I hear a fair bit of creaking and people dropping things on the floor, which makes me jump. Chairs moving around. That kind of thing. I think it's enough that even a normal person would be irked by it. For me it's upsetting and with the withdrawal, it's pretty much agonizing with how intense it feels.

 

I'm not a fan of ASMR. It actually kind of triggers me. xD

 

I play a lot of video games. It's been hard to do that. They can be intense sometimes and, I think, regardless of the game, they're intended to take a little bit of effort or forethought. That can be a bit much for me to handle. It all depends on my mood.

 

A fair amount of time, I feel like any sensory input at all is upsetting. Like I can't be soothed at all by anything. I'm just totally ramped up. It can be incredibly hard, if not impossible, to try to relax sometimes. The only thing I've found that gives me at least a little relief is a hot shower. I think it kind of overwhelms my nervous system and confuses the sensation of vigilance and such for being bombarded with water. It also helps relax my muscles since it's hot, which helps relieve tension.

 

I wanted to mention that I live alone and have for 13 or so years now. I've been on my own more or less since I was 17, when my parents kicked me out of the house (there's some trauma there, but they didn't understand I had autism, nor understood what was really going on with me until the last few years). It's quite lonely, especially this year and with my parents moved so far away. I went through a Xanax withdrawal about 3.5 years ago during a sudden an unexpected move (while taking it as prescribed, but regularly, for about 2 weeks).

 

During the Xanax withdrawal, I very meagerly attempted suicide for the 2nd time in my life and just couldn't bear to go through with it. I decided that, even if I wanted it to, the risk of failure with disastrous results is too high. If not for my strong will to live and what support I've had, I wouldn't have been able to endure this for as long as I have. I want to be clear, I won't kill myself. If I seriously start feeling that way, I won't hesitate to check myself into the hospital. I'd rather give up my freedom and comfort than give up all control by ending my life.

 

I tapered off the Xanax for about 2-4 weeks or so as directed by my doctor, I think, and then I was okay. No prolonged withdrawal or anything, though the initial withdrawal felt very similar to what I'm going through now. Anyway, I'm on disability and couldn't afford a new place. Housing here is impossible to get on and the housing crisis makes things infinitely worse. My dad helped me find and pay for an apartment downtown, but I had to leave the neighborhood I'd been living in for about 10 years. My social life basically collapsed after that. My best irl friend and I had a falling out of sorts. Another friend of mine cut ties with me. The church community I was going to was too far away to attend anymore (I don't have a car). I just became more and more isolated. I have online friends and such, some very good friends, but it's not exactly the same. With the prolonged withdrawal, the isolation has been extremely hard. My folks do their best with talking with me on the phone (for hours and hours every day right now), but it's taking a serious toll on them. My therapist has been doing a lot of phone sessions with me, free of charge, because she knows how much I need it right now. She's only seen me as bad as this back when I was withdrawing from Xanax.

 

Bleh, I'm rambling. It's approximate based on my memory, but I believe it's been 38 days now since I effectively went off the Pristiq. This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with in my life and I feel the ASD compounds my suffering greatly.

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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::nods::

 

I hear you on so much of this. I feel like I *feel* everything. Not necessarily emotional feeling, but actual physical sensations that then trigger emotions like fear and anxiety (and irritability...so much).

 

When my symptoms were at their very worst, I really just wished I could turn my senses OFF. I still wish that sometimes, or really just turn them down to whatever it is almost everyone else seems to be feeling. I also get fixated on sensations in one particular area, like my chin or my hands (ugh, hands are the worst), or my ear. This fuels further anxiety for me because as much as my logical mind knows there’s an explanation for my sensations (even if it’s just basically oversensitivity, which it always ends up being), my anxiety tells me “there is something wrong with your body (and you might die from it),” which isn’t conducive to dealing with anxiety in a healthy way. I really have no idea how to relax. I know people do it, but I can’t even grasp it.

 

I always thought I hated ASMR, and I honestly don’t love the sounds (ha!), but I like that it’s a seemingly caring person talking to me calmly and telling me reassuring things. Like I imagine a big sister would do if I had one. I don’t get the tingly thing people who experience ASMR do. I’m just there for the nurturing and no need for me to worry about my own social awkwardness.

 

It sounds like the loss of those social outlets has been really difficult, and such bad timing, too. I am glad you have your parents to talk to, even if only from a distance. 

 

 

2014 & 2017 - 25mg sertraline for postpartum depression

Late May ‘20 - Early June ‘20: 7.5mg buspirone 2x/day (adverse reaction)

Mid-June ‘20 (six days total): 5mg escitalopram (adverse reaction)

 

currently taking: vitamin D, magnesium, omega 3, occasional melatonin.

 

no alcohol, no caffeine.

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It's been a rough day. The morning tremors, anxiety, and dysphoria are intense. Some days they seem to last quite a while, despite my efforts to relax as much as practical.

 

Been feeling quite sick today. Migraine headache, very upset stomach, shaky and cold, and just overwhelmed in general. Enough I cried, which I seem to only do when I'm past my threshold for coping with stress. It made me feel better at least. I haven't had the stomach to eat much of anything. I've just been munching on a slice of wheat bread every so often throughout the day. It's all I can really handle at the moment. Powerade also seems to help keep my blood sugars up.

 

Does anyone have any advice on dealing with the intense cold feeling? I wrap myself up in my comforter and have the heat turned up reasonably, but I can't seem to get warm. I have my suspicions that this might be low-blood sugar, but I'm not sure. I'm doing my best to eat what I can manage and do it frequently. The evenings are usually much better for me, but today I just feel like crap in general. I'm beginning to forget what it feels like to be "normal". :(

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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  • Administrator

Hello, @leox

 

Yes, it sounds like you have withdrawal from Pristiq. Withdrawal makes just about anybody hypersensitive to stimuli, if that's any consolation.

 

Temperature dysregulation is also a common withdrawal symptom, but if you're barely eating, it could be low blood sugar. This may bring on waves of what feels like anxiety, too.  It sounds like your stomach is relaxing a bit?

 

Going off any psychiatric drug as fast as you did can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. It can also make you hypersensitive to the other drugs you're taking. Do your symptoms follow any daily pattern?  Please keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms throughout the day. Post 24 hours of notes at a time in this topic, in a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right. This can show if your symptoms are adverse effects from one of your drugs.

 

Many people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see
https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

You might try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you. Be sure to take fish oil with a little bread so you're not taking it on an empty stomach.

 

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

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I was keeping daily notes but I just don't feel like I have the energy to do it anymore. The hypersensitivity on top of my autism sensitivities is just way too much. My next door neighbors started playing loud music last night, something they almost never do, and I immediately had a panic attack. It took me 2 hours to calm down to a more rational point. I was hearing music this morning and had the same thing. I actually woke up without the shakiness and stuff this morning, but quickly became a little shaky and such from the anxiety 20 minutes later. If it was quieter and I wasn't alone here, things would be much easier.

 

The stomach stuff comes and goes, especially with the anxiety. When I get stressed and anxious, it's like my nervous system goes full throttle. I start burping a lot, which is not normal for me (started with going off the Pristiq). My stomach cramps up a lot and I generally just feel sick and washed out all day. Some days it just does this even when I'm not feeling notably anxious, but anxiety always makes it worse.

 

I just want peace. Even when I was well, all I've ever wanted was peace. I don't feel like I belong anywhere.

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi leox and welcome aboard,

Notes are fairly simple and should not deplete you of much energy.  They can be so helpful in giving an objective view, as to how your current, drug(s), supplements, and day to day stuff all interacts.

 

How long have you been on the Adderall now?  And perhaps start with your daily schedule with that.

time- name of drug, dose

time- symptoms, and you can rate them if you want.  Say from 1-10.  Symptoms like your "anxiety" or "feeling stressed".  1 could be for minimal symptoms, and 10 could be for the worst case.

time-name of drug, dose

time- what you ate even

time- name of drug, dose

time- symptoms, rate if needed

time- sleep pattern(usually after the fact)

 

I see you noted Adderall 10 mg 2-3/day.  Do you take the same dose at the same times of day?  This can often be helpful to do, and for us to see.

And then of course, you are in acute WD(withdrawal) now from the Pristiq.

What time do you take the Wellbutrin 300 mg?  Do you split that dose?

 

Can you do a Drug Interaction Report.......that just involves going to Drugs.com and plugging your present medication(s).

Drug Interaction Report- Drugs.com

And once done, copy and paste in a reply.

 

Altostrata may have some valuable tips for you, or suggests, once we can see some Notes.  They can be really helpful to us.

 

Try and do a 24 hour segment and then just post it here, on your Introduction page, in a reply.

 

Meantime, sending peace, and hope.  And I am so glad you joined us here at survivingantidepressants.org.  You belong.  ((((leox))))

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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Your symptom pattern sounds like severe withdrawal syndrome. I had this myself. Please do give us more information about your daily drug intake and symptom pattern.

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I got an upset stomach when I reduced my Pristiq too quickly from 100mg to 50mg.

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 27 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.295 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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All I can tell you is these few things:

 

Drugs

-----------

1. I was taking Adderal (generic amphetamine salts) around twice a day for about a month when I started. I then went down to about one a day. I took them whenever I felt I needed energy and/or was getting too focused on sensory issues.

2. I went down to that one a day Adderal because I noticed an increase in migraines I was having. This helped avoid migraines.

3. For about 2 weeks now I haven't taken any Adderal at all so my nervous system was being overwhelmed. My doctor also agreed with this.

4. While in Colorado I used Cannabis edibles for 2 or 3 days to deal with some of the symptoms. While it didn't take away the anxiety and all of that, it definitely made me more comfortable and made getting through the day easier. Notably it makes it hard for my mind to latch onto things to worry about. I end up mostly spacing and forgetting about them, which is exactly what I want.

5. The first day I took a 10mg indica. It helped a lot to mellow me out.

6. The second day I took about 30mg worth of THC over the course of the whole day (10mg with about 4 hours spaced between). It was a slight mistake because I was using an indica for the first 20mg and didn't realize that I was as high as I was because body high and all that. So I took a 10mg hybrid and, well, I was high while I slept.

7. The third day I took 10mg and that was enough for the whole day.

8. After the second day of Cannabis, I took a two day break. I don't know how to describe the feeling, but it's kind of like after a night of drinking how you don't want to drink the next day cause it would be a bit too much on your body. Cannabis doesn't work the same way, but I felt it was better to take some time because otherwise I might not handle it as well. This wasn't just my reasoning; it was a gut feeling.

9. Consistently I've been taking my Welbutrin 300mg every day. I used to wake up in the afternoons, so I would take it when I woke up. Anxiety and weird dreams wake me up every morning around 7 or 8. I still take the Welbutrin midday. There was a couple of days I was late to take my dose. I don't know for sure, but I suspect it may help me to feel better after I take it. The evenings are usually much easier for me.

10. About 3 days after being in Colorado, I was able to get in contact with my doctor and explain what was going on. She initially felt I should taper and was surprised at how long the symptoms were lasting. I said I'd already been through 3 weeks of being off the Pristiq and that I didn't want to risk going through this for even longer. At that point she agreed I should stay off of it and she prescribed me 5mg Buspar, 3x a day as needed, for the anxiety. She said if I needed, I could even double up doses if I needed it. So far, I have not done that.

11. While in Colorado, I took the Buspar morning, afternoon, and usually in the evening. It helped take the edge off the anxiety. Only noticeable side-effect has been slight dizziness kinda randomly. Apparently this is a common side-effect.

12. Read Psych #5 for current Buspar dosing.

 

Psych

------------

1. The first 10 days of psych symptoms were extremely intense. I had a lot of dysphoria, loneliness, anxiety, sensory overload, depression, and crying spells. I was unaware I was withdrawing and this all was happening while I was going through some significant life stressors. I initially attributed these symptoms to that, though even I noticed that this was more of an extreme reaction than I had expected I would get.

2. After that I flew to Colorado to stay with my folks. Evenings were worse with dysphoria and crying spells. At some point, this switched to mornings being harder. It's quieter there, so I wasn't as distressed with sensory issues (though still some). Having social support, hugs, and someone to make me food helped keep my stress levels down. My condition improved considerably. I even got my appetite back for a few days and felt more normal here and there. If you want more specifics on that, scroll up and see what I've posted above.

3. I stayed in Colorado for 12 days and then flew back to Utah. I had some anxiety coming back home and my sensory issues were set off about 10 minutes after I stepped through the door. Any major changes are stressful for me when I'm normal. With the withdrawal, this was quite overwhelming. I was having panic attacks and crying. I spent most of the day curled in a ball in bed with earbuds in, beanie pulled over my ears, sometimes even covering my ears with my hands. Was crying off and on. Normally, I only resort to plugging my ears when I'm having a hard time. I've never been one to hold my head with my ears covered like that.

4. I managed to adjust over the last few days. I don't know if my sensory sensitivities are getting better, but I've tried to coexist with the noise the best I can and I'm getting less distressed by some of it. Basically, I'm trying to prevent a full on meltdown by trying to actively meditate my way through it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

5. Still, every morning, I wake up with anxiety and dysphoria around 7-8am. Doesn't matter how much sleep I've had. Staying asleep proves impossible when I'm like that. Typically after a little bit I'll get up and take a buspar. It takes the edge off. If I can try to stay calm and let the drug do it's thing, I'll usually be okayish until mid afternoon when the anxiety picks up again (which then I take another buspar). Sometimes it doesn't pick up and I coast through to evening. Usually I'm better in the evening, but the last couple of days I've had some anxiety and stress, so I take 1 last buspar in the evening. On average, it's about 2 a day right now.

6. In general, I'm much more emotionally sensitive right now. It doesn't take much to get an emotion out of me. I've had no anger except for just once, while feeling quite distressed, I snapped at my Mom on the phone a couple of days ago. I don't even remember what about. I was so upset by that reaction, I immediately apologized and started crying. Maybe years of anger management therapy paid off, I dunno.

 

Physical

-----------

1. The first 10 days of psych symptoms my appetite went away. I imagine this is from the stress/anxiety. I forced myself to eat, but I couldn't stomach much. My stomach muscles just constantly were cramping.

2. The first 4 days in Colorado, I had extremely bad stomach cramping. So bad I wanted to go into the urgent care, but I didn't have any coverage in Colorado, so resorted to talking to a nurse practitioner over the phone (free service through my insurance). Tried some Pepto. Didn't help. Had quite a bit of acid reflux as well. Much worse than when I was on the Pristiq. After the 4 days, at worst it has been stomach cramping, not feeling well in general, and loss of appetite.

3. I've been eating, at most, 1000 calories a day. A lot of what I've been able to eat is a slice or two of bread here and there throughout the day. Some days when I don't have the physical symptoms, my appetite returns and I can eat better. Usually I take advantage of this. Yesterday was the first day that I think I actually ate a normally daily calorie amount.

4. Mornings always suck for appetite and physical symptoms. I've never been big on eating in the morning as it's always kinda made me sick anyway. Even so, I try to eat a slice of bread or two to keep my blood sugars up. Some of the issues maybe be blood sugar lows, but I know that if that's the case, it's only a contributing factor.

5. The morning anxiety and stuff often follows with trembling, sweating, and feeling quite cold. Today wasn't as intense.

6. I try to get out and walk every single day. Getting sun and exercise is important. That said, it tends to tire me out and it isn't unusual for me to cry when I get home because I overdid.

7. I have 1 spoon (spoon theory) most days and my daily habits are generally based around recovering more spoons to get me through the day.

8. I always feel on edge. My nervous system is hypersensitive and it doesn't take much to overwhelm it.

9. Cognitively I'm okay, but it's easy for me to loose track of days. I've only been home for 6 days, but it feels like 2 weeks. Days seem to take a long time to get through. This isn't really surprising since you tend to have better memory from stressful events. That said, I don't remember too much of the details of past days.

 

Overall, I feel like I'm improving and that the spells aren't lasting as long. Their intensity seems to be decreasing somewhat as well, but it's not super consistent.

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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I wanted to say, I understand that yall want as much information as you can and such. I'm sincere in saying I don't often have much energy to do it. It's not just the act of writing, but the act of emotionally confronting what is happening to me. It can easily feel overwhelming.

 

Mostly, I'm here for what support I can get. I don't have many places to turn to for support, especially with covid. It's very hard trying to go through all of this alone.

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Hi leox,

Yes, it can seem overwhelming.  And sometimes the polypharmacy or drug "cocktails" prescribed can contribute to this as well.

And so, I am seeing Buspar at present, along with Wellbutrin, and Adderall.

 

Can you get the start date of Buspar, and daily dose into your signature?  That's the piece you see under members posts.

You can use this link to get there, and then press SAVE when update:  Account Settings/signature

 

Any luck going to Drugs.com and checking current drug interactions?  You'll see the link in my previous post to you.  Add in all current drugs in the interaction checker, and then copy and paste here.  If difficulty, just let us know.

 

And I am reading through your recent posts as well and should be back later today. 

So the Cannabis experiments were just before coming off Pristiq, fast taper? 

Are you still taking any Cannabis?

 

And yes, we all need and deserve support.  Do you have an interest in getting drug free one day?  Or even getting to lowest possible dose, of least medications?

I just ask, as it's helpful for us all to know what your hopes are, going forward, as well as your current beliefs around medications.

And it helps us, to know how to support.

 

And.....lot's of those symptoms that you've mentioned in your lists and narratives, might be from not only WD(Pristiq), but from the combination of medications that you are now on, and dosing patterns as well.  Hoping that eventually, we can help you get it into the Notes/daily drug and symptom logs........as this is not only helpful to us, but should also prove educational for you, and a beginning way of seeing just what affects what, and then how to self monitor going forward, when any new changes come up.

Regular dosing, same times, same dose is always easier on the nervous system too.  When there are frequent changes, or additions, and sometimes drugs being taken at different times through the day(then maybe different the next day), it does make it harder for us to heal and adapt or re-adapt.

What is withdrawal syndrome?

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

I expect that a lot of what you are feeling and experiencing now, is not at all in line with your own personal norms of feeling and functioning.  In other words, I don't think you have some new "Mental Illness" to worry about, some type of sudden onset, biomedical lifelong chronic thing going on.

 

What got you started on the Effexor to Cymbalta to Pristiq, and Paxil prescriptions?  If you don't mind saying.

Did you find any of these drugs to be helpful to you, at any time, or for any amount of time?

 

And apologies.  I've probably completely overwhelmed you again, and so will stop now.  Try for just bits and pieces for now......as far as relating back to my questions......or pick one item, answer, take a break, and then come back to the whole again.........see if that works any better. 

leox, I think we can probably get you on a nice path out of the woods soon, okay?  It CAN seem difficult and overwhelming at first here, we realize that.  We're glad you are here.  And hoping you make some good new connects with people, going through similar struggles, here too.  These are particularly challenging times that we are all living through.

 

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
spelling, additional ?, links

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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5 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

Any luck going to Drugs.com and checking current drug interactions?  You'll see the link in my previous post to you.  Add in all current drugs in the interaction checker, and then copy and paste here.

Interactions between your drugs

Major

buPROPion

amphetamine

Applies to: Wellbutrin XL (bupropion), Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with amphetamine. Combining these medications may increase the risk of seizures, which may occur rarely with either medication. In addition, buPROPion can increase the blood levels of amphetamine, which may increase other side effects. You may be more likely to experience seizures with these medications if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol during treatment. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

buPROPion

dextroamphetamine

Applies to: Wellbutrin XL (bupropion), Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with dextroamphetamine. Combining these medications may increase the risk of seizures, which may occur rarely with either medication. In addition, buPROPion can increase the blood levels of dextroamphetamine, which may increase other side effects. You may be more likely to experience seizures with these medications if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol during treatment. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

buPROPion

desvenlafaxine

Applies to: Wellbutrin XL (bupropion), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

BuPROPion may rarely cause seizures, and combining it with other medications that can also cause seizures such as desvenlafaxine may increase that risk. You may be more susceptible if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

busPIRone

desvenlafaxine

Applies to: BuSpar (buspirone), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

Using busPIRone together with desvenlafaxine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

amphetamine

desvenlafaxine

Applies to: Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

Talk to your doctor before using desvenlafaxine together with amphetamine. Desvenlafaxine may increase the effects of amphetamine, and side effects such as jitteriness, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, and racing thoughts have been reported. Combining these medications can also increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

dextroamphetamine

desvenlafaxine

Applies to: Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine), Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

Talk to your doctor before using desvenlafaxine together with dextroamphetamine. Desvenlafaxine may increase the effects of dextroamphetamine, and side effects such as jitteriness, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, and racing thoughts have been reported. Combining these medications can also increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

busPIRone

cannabis (Schedule I substance)

Applies to: BuSpar (buspirone), cannabis

Using busPIRone together with cannabis (Schedule I substance) may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

cannabis (Schedule I substance)

desvenlafaxine

Applies to: cannabis, Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

Using cannabis (Schedule I substance) together with desvenlafaxine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Quote

So the Cannabis experiments were just before coming off Pristiq, fast taper? 

Are you still taking any Cannabis?

 

Starting about 4-5 years ago I tried weed and felt the effects in reasonable doses helps my autism symptoms. When overwhelmed, I have trouble letting go of stimuli that are upsetting me. It takes me quite a while to recover from most sensory overload episodes that get my anxiety up. This isn't just sound and such, but my own sense of wellbeing, emotional state, etc. I need structure and when things get chaotic, it adds quite a bit of stress in a kind of positive feedback loop.

 

Because it's illegal (and of this year in Utah, only medically legal), I haven't used weed much. I've never bought from a dealer or anything like that. I'd just hang with friends and vape some every so often. Sometimes smoke from a pipe or bong, but I don't care for smoking.

 

When I went to visit my parents in Colorado (about 3 weeks after starting the taper), since it is legal there I was able to pick up some 10mg THC gummies and try them to help get me through the withdrawal each day. I was a little skeptical in my current state and didn't want to overwhelm my nervous system. Being mild to moderately high helped me to relax and pass time. It makes it very hard for me to get stuck in the aforementioned feedback loop. I used them for about 3 days, with a day or two between. 10mg once a day for two of the days. 30mg one of the days. Was unintentionally too much, but didn't exacerbate my symptoms. Started that on Nov. 25, 2020. Not currently taking any because it's difficult to get here, despite it being medicinally legal. I wish I had some though, so it helps me get through the day.

 

 

Quote

Do you have an interest in getting drug free one day?  Or even getting to lowest possible dose, of least medications?

 

This has been the most severe withdrawal I've ever had, however Xanax withdrawal (while I was on it and taking it as directed only for 2 weeks about 4 years ago) was comparably bad, but didn't last as long as this. I was able to taper off of it as recommended by my doctor and the symptoms didn't persist. That said, at this point I will never take an SNRI ever again. I will be extremely wary of SSRIs in the future and will definitely do some thorough research on any drugs prescribed to me before I decide whether to take them.

 

I'm not anti-medication, but I believe the mass competitive commercialization of medicine in this country has had very dangerous consequences that the majority of the public and many doctors are unaware of. The pharma companies have a responsibility to do more extensive studies than they currently do, especially considering long-term effects and withdrawals. How many of these drugs work isn't fully understood and I feel it's a pretty dangerous practice to prescribe them as casually as many doctors do. Vast majority of the time they recommend them as the first treatment option and I don't think that's appropriate in most situations.

 

I've been in and out of mental health services all of my life. I've seen about 7 different therapists in my 36 years of life. I was put on anti-depressants as a teenager. I spent time in a residential treatment facility twice when I was 16, where I received my ASD diagnosis. I've attempted suicide twice in my life. From the beginning, I never liked meds and especially as a teenager, my folks found it difficult to keep me on them. In my adult life, I've been on and off meds. At one point I even got my doctor at the time to agree that meds weren't the right choice at the time and went off of them completely. I remained that way until about 6 or 7 years ago. I was mostly against it, but my current therapist made a pretty good argument for why I should go back on them. Mostly because my depression and anxiety was taking a toll on me. Sadly, it's just a thing that comes with the territory of autism. It's hard to live in this society when it mostly doesn't accommodate people like me. It's extra stressful.

 

So I went back on the meds. For the most part, I function better on them, at least for a while. That's always been my chief complaint with these drugs; tolerance can happen and it's nightmare trying to maintain consistency through all the changes. Further, doctors almost never have an exit strategy planned for their patients. With pain meds (which have their own problems), at least they have a limit on the amount of time you're expected to take them.

 

Since I've been back on, my meds have been changed off and on. Over time, acid reflux becomes a serious problem for me with SSRIs. Teeth grinding is also a big concern of mine. These have been some of the main reasons I've switched meds when I have. That's why I'm on Welbutrin. I don't seem to have noticeable side-effects from it. Unfortunately, SSRIs also seem to be the most effective in treating my symptoms. A flat NRI isn't enough. So that's why my doctor put me on Effexor, switched to Cymbalta, and then switched to Pristiq. Cymbalta messed with my libido and gave me pretty bad heartburn. We went back to venlafaxine because it was working okay with me before, but if I recall, my doctor said the Pristiq should have less side-effects than the Effexor. It worked okay for a while, but the acid reflux kept being a problem, which is why I ultimately went off. I had talked with my doctor about doing that, but she wanted me to see a GP to see if there's something that could be done for the acid reflux. I couldn't follow through with this because of the craziness this year. It's been noteably hard to find a regular GP that's accepting new patients here anyway. So, since I was on such a low dose and I was given the impression it was a very minor tack on medicine, I did a short taper and went off. I figured I'd get the dizziness and stuff, but it'd go away pretty quick. I never expected these complications as I've never had this kind of difficulty with meds before.

 

So that said, I'm more inclined to move towards being drug free in the future. At the very least, I only want to take very low-risk drugs and find more practical means to deal with my problems. Cannabis has been something me and my doctor have been hopeful about as an alternative to the drugs I've been taking, but Utah has made this notably difficult for me to obtain. Further, I don't have much money at all, so not having it covered by insurance just adds another difficult barrier to accessing it. The Adderall has helped quite a bit with my depression and some of my sensory sensitivities. I'm not interested in going off of it at this time. It's very similar to what I've done to deal with depression all my life: use stimulants like caffeine to feel a bit better. The Welbutrin remains to be decided. If I decide to, I at least want to wait until I'm past most of the withdrawal issues I've been experiencing.

 

I'm extremely skeptical of any kinds of holistic or herbal alternatives and typically avoid them.

 

After everything I've been through, it's given me more perspective on how much I feel I should tolerate before resorting treating my issues with anti-depressants and such.

 

Quote

I expect that a lot of what you are feeling and experiencing now, is not at all in line with your own personal norms of feeling and functioning.  In other words, I don't think you have some new "Mental Illness" to worry about, some type of sudden onset, biomedical lifelong chronic thing going on.

 

Yeah, definitely not. I'm very conscious of my own mood states and norms. This is extremely out of the norm, even compared to some of my worst depression. My therapist has expressed the same sentiments. She said this is completely unlike my normal way of being. I've been seeing her weekly for something around 6+ years, maybe more, so she has more than enough of a baseline to compare against.

 

I think some of the complications come from my ASD. I'm already pretty sensitive to sounds and such, but the WD has made this so so so much worse. I suspect the added stress to my already extremely taxed nervous system has prolonged my ability to recover. I also suspect that still being on an NRI maybe be complicating some of the balance issues. That or it's preventing them from being that much more worse. Hard to say. I've been pretty consistent about taking my drugs. The exception is the Adderall, which I backed off of as to not tax my nervous system further. As of yesterday (Dec. 7, 2020), I've resumed taking it like I did before. The Wellbutrin I've been slowly ticking backwards to when I wake up in the mornings instead of the afternoon. I haven't adjusted this by more than 1 or 2 hours every couple of days. I don't know if it's having an effect. Of course, with some of this, it might take days before seeing results.

 

Quote

And apologies.  I've probably completely overwhelmed you again, and so will stop now.

 

No worries. I'm actually functioning pretty decently today, despite some mild anxiety this morning. On the bad days, even thinking about any of this can cause me a panic attack. :( I dunno about doing daily reports. It's hard for me to confront this every day. What I can tell you though is that overall I am improving. There's ups and downs, especially downs when my sensory stuff is being overwhelmed, but overall they're getting shorter and mostly less intense. Every day I just do my best to take care of myself and am basically slowly nursing myself back to health. I'll get there one day, but only a day at a time. I'm strong. I've had to be not only to get through this, but to live as the person I am in this world. Even in my darkest moments, I cling to that knowledge that at my core I can trust myself to do everything I need to take care of myself.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added "chopped off" part of interaction report at very top

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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Hello, @leox.

 

Thanks for the explanation. I understand how difficult it is to look back on the ups and downs.

 

I am still confused about your current drug regimen. Could you do this: Keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms throughout the day. Post 24 hours of notes at a time in this topic, in a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right. This can show if your symptoms are adverse effects from one of your drugs.

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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manymoretodays

Hi leox,

1 hour ago, leox said:

Because it's illegal (and of this year in Utah, only medically legal), I haven't used weed much. I've never bought from a dealer or anything like that. I'd just hang with friends and vape some every so often. Sometimes smoke from a pipe or bong, but I don't care for smoking.

 

And okay ^.  This too, could interfere with regaining stability.  Here's our topic:

Cannabis, marijuana, hashish, THC, and CBD

 

It's really another psychotropic thrown into the mix.  And so, good, that you are doing without right now.  We've got nothing on it, as far as helping or hindering with WD, as far as data goes.  And you'll see that members experiences run the gamut.

 

If you back up a bit, in the posts here, you'll see the links to the 2 supplements that we do endorse, in another post from Altostrata.

Something to look over soon, and then, of course, just make one change at a time, and when you do try something new, start low and go slow.  Keep records.

 

And I'm reading through your stuff, and hoping you are feeling some relief, just having a place to put it all out there.  We can offer some more too, in the way of non-drug coping, for symptoms.  We've got a whole forum devoted to that:  Symptoms and Self Care.

And leox, I'm offering support, support, and more support, as much as I can.  Oh my gosh, it's been a journey for you thus far.  This is clear.  And a bumpy, rocky road of one to boot!  I'm so sorry.

I am also glad to read that you have a good working relationship with a therapist that knows you well too.  I have benefited from that myself.  Some have, others not so much.  I think it really can take time to find a good fit, or that was my experience. 

 

Let's prioritize.  And get to some notes.  You may be amazed, at what stands out.  And I'm always, somewhat honored when Alto steps onto any case here.  This will help Alto to see, and then offer up some good stuff for you to consider.

45 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

I am still confused about your current drug regimen. Could you do this: Keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms throughout the day. Post 24 hours of notes at a time in this topic, in a simple list format with time of day on the left and notation (symptom or drug and dosage) on the right. This can show if your symptoms are adverse effects from one of your drugs.

 

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Click on the link ^, take a look at my previous post to you too, on this.  I tried to really simplify for you.  I bolded some in the quote above as well.  Post the 24 hour segments right here in your introduction.

You are off the Pristiq now, aren't you?  I noticed you had that in your interaction report too.  And thank you for doing that and posting.  What did you think? 

Edited by manymoretodays

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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On 12/7/2020 at 4:17 PM, Altostrata said:

I am still confused about your current drug regimen. Could you do this: Keep daily notes of times of day you take your drugs, their dosages, and your symptoms throughout the day.

 

I'm pretty consistent in my regimen with Wellbutrin, though the Adderall and Buspar are as needed and I take them about 4-6 hours apart. The Adderall I typically only take once a day. I only ever take 1 or 2 additional doses (3 total max each day) if I need the extra kick, especially if I'm having any depression.

 

2pm: Wellbutrin 300mg, Adderall 10mg

 

  • Wellbutrin 300mg
    • 2pm
  • Adderall 10mg
    • As needed
    • 2pm
    • Rarely I'll take a second dose later in the day if I have depression. I have only done this today though (today has sucked and I've had anxiety and deep depression all day).
  • Buspar 5mg
    • As needed
      • 5mg when I wake up, usually around 12pm right now. Before it was 7am, always because it would wake me up.
      • Sometimes 5mg in afternoon (around 3 or 4pm)
      • Sometimes 5mg in evening (around 7-9pm)
  • Anxiety/Dysphoria (sometimes crying)
    • Every morning when I wake up, regardless of time. Used to wake me up at 7am every day no matter what, but hasn't done that in the last couple of days where I've slept until 12pm.
    • Sometimes I get anxiety in the afternoon, but not always. If I do, it's around 3 or 4pm
    • Sometimes I get anxiety in the evening, around 7-9pm
    • If I get anxiety in the afternoon, it's rare I have anxiety in the evening. Usually only happens on bad days.
    • If I don't get anxiety in the afternoon, I often seem to get it in the evening. Sometimes I only get it in the morning, but that's rare.

A notable complication is how sensitive my nervous system is, on top of my autism related sensory issues. I have some extremely noisy upstairs neighbors (lots of impact noise throughout the day). Typically they're the noisiest at 7am, 1pm, and 6pm. It's possible some (but not all) of my anxiety is because of this or exacerbated by this. It is definitely stressful for me to hear them every day and I really value the quiet time I get.

 

In the evenings I'm often feeling much better than earlier right now. 2-3 weeks ago, my anxiety was bad in the morning and evenings and a little less in the afternoons. It was much more intense and consistent throughout the day than it is now. Currently I seem to get spells of anxiety for 3 or 4 hours. There's only been a few days in the last 8 days that my anxiety has stuck around most of the day, including the evening.

 

Overall, my mood has been improving with time, but it's quite slow and the notably bad days come every couple of days and last for a day or two.

 

I don't think the drugs are responsible for any negative symptoms. The Buspar seems to take the edge off the anxiety (as it should). The Adderall gives me some energy and motivation.

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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manymoretodays

Hi leox,

 

And wow, sorry, that you posted Wednesday, and am just seeing this now. 

 

On 12/9/2020 at 2:37 AM, leox said:

I don't think the drugs are responsible for any negative symptoms. The Buspar seems to take the edge off the anxiety (as it should). The Adderall gives me some energy and motivation.

Are you concerned with the interactions?  I see the interaction report above.

I'm a little concerned with your varying times of dosage on  both the Adderal and Buspar.  Were they prescribed that way, to be taken in a prn(as needed) manner?

Are you interested in maintaining on medications, or do you have any interest in minimizing and/or tapering at some point?

 

On 12/9/2020 at 2:37 AM, leox said:

I'm pretty consistent in my regimen with Wellbutrin, though the Adderall and Buspar are as needed and I take them about 4-6 hours apart. The Adderall I typically only take once a day. I only ever take 1 or 2 additional doses (3 total max each day) if I need the extra kick, especially if I'm having any depression.

 

I'm not following ^.  What are you taking 4-6 hours apart?

I'm a little concerned with your varying times of dosage on  both the Adderal and Buspar.  Were they prescribed that way, to be taken in a prn(as needed) manner?

 

And ahhh, some improvements.  That is always worth focusing on.  Yes, value the quiet time you get.  WD sure made me extra sensitive at times to noise.   And then of course, you've noted that you have some additional sensitivities pre-existing as well.  You are doing really good leox.  I know it's tough, but just want to encourage you.

 

It can be pretty normal to see improvements in fits and starts. 
see:  The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Thanks for organizing your information some more.  Would you try a list, for a 24 hour period.  I'll give you that link again, and pull the sample note out here too.  Then post a whole 24 hours at one time too.  Or even 3 days of notes at once is also very good.   I think I went over a little more how to in an above post too.  These are helpful, in seeing just how symptoms relate to drug intake in a single days time.  Sometimes something stands out that otherwise would not.

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1779-keep-daily-notes-of-drug-schedule-and-symptoms-to-track-patterns

you can pull down the quote in the first post ^

The time of day, dosage, and severity of symptoms are essential information. Include

 

- Time and dosage for all drugs taken throughout the day, psychiatric and non-psychiatric.

- Following each dose, note any symptoms. If you are having a reaction to the drug, it may take hours for a symptom to show up -- that's why we ask you to keep notes all day long.

- If you're not taking any drugs, your symptoms throughout the day.

- Your sleep pattern. Since so many drugs disturb sleep, if you find you're waking in the middle of the night, it could be from a drug you took earlier in the evening. If you're not taking any drugs, there may be ways you can improve your sleep.

And so forth. A diary, in chronological order, looking something like this:
 
6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety (but less than yesterday)

 

And okay.  Hope this finds you well enough today.  Again, apologies, for no responses since you posted Wednesday.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

Edited by manymoretodays
took out a duplicate line

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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manymoretodays

Hi leox,

How are you doing today?

Are you still getting the reflux that you had mentioned in your first post?

On 12/9/2020 at 2:37 AM, leox said:

In the evenings I'm often feeling much better than earlier right now. 2-3 weeks ago, my anxiety was bad in the morning and evenings and a little less in the afternoons. It was much more intense and consistent throughout the day than it is now. Currently I seem to get spells of anxiety for 3 or 4 hours. There's only been a few days in the last 8 days that my anxiety has stuck around most of the day, including the evening.

 

I'm sensing a lot of improvement noted in this post ^.  More Windows than Waves is great!

 

On 12/9/2020 at 2:37 AM, leox said:

A notable complication is how sensitive my nervous system is, on top of my autism related sensory issues. I have some extremely noisy upstairs neighbors (lots of impact noise throughout the day). Typically they're the noisiest at 7am, 1pm, and 6pm. It's possible some (but not all) of my anxiety is because of this or exacerbated by this. It is definitely stressful for me to hear them every day and I really value the quiet time I get.

 

And I'm hoping you are getting more quiet time too. 

Some of that extra sensitivity could also be from the Wellbutrin and Adderal too.  Possibly from Buspar.  We often class drugs as accelerators or brakes.  And at least the Wellbutrin and Adderal would be considered accelerators.  And I don't know that Buspar is really an antidote, or that there is data on it, really helping with acute WD. 

 

And then, it is always probable that with inconsistent dosing, such as what you do with the Adderal and Buspar, that that contributes even more to nervous system instabilities.  Drugs have a characteristic of having half lives that when they are taken regularly, at consistent times, every day, then........they will eventually reach a steady state that is maintained.  But when you take them inconsistently then the blood levels keep fluctuating, and that can account for some symptoms too.

 

What has your dosing looked like for the past couple of days and then what has your symptom pattern looked like.

 

Hoping todays a good day, a Window day for all of us,

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays
spelling

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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8 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

How are you doing today?

 

This morning was rough. The rest of the day has been okay, surprisingly. Last night was pure hell and I almost went to the hospital cause I was afraid I might do something to hurt myself if I didn't. I came out of it late in the night and felt okay enough to sleep and get through the night okay. I had about 3 or 4 days of good mood, but more severe depression in the evening. That's a little more new. Crying was always a thing, if for any reason cause everything is so stressful, but staring into the abyss again... that's something I hadn't felt that intensely since week 4. I'm starting on week 9 now.

 

8 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

Are you still getting the reflux that you had mentioned in your first post?

 

So the acid reflux is something that has always seemed to be a problem with me and any ssri. It's okay at first, but after being on a drug for like 6 months to a year, it starts getting bad. Eventually I have to go off them. That's why I stopped the Pristiq. Normally I switch, but I didn't feel the need to and didn't think much about going off a low dose.

 

As of now, my reflux is much better overall. I was getting some it from the withdrawal around week 5, but now I think it's just whatever is normal for me. Usually cause I eat something greasy or whatever.

 

8 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

I'm sensing a lot of improvement noted in this post ^.  More Windows than Waves is great!

 

I was thinking so, and I think in some regards I am getting better. The stress of the noise here is destabilizing me. Unfortunately, there's nothing much I can do about it. This is one of the curses of my autism, especially in relation to my emotional state. I get hung up on stimuli, especially emotions and my senses. It takes me a lot of time to process, let go, and recover from that stuff. It's called perseveration. The only thing I can really do to calm down is to isolate myself and when my home is the source of the problem, it makes it virtually impossible for me to fully relax. The only drug that has notably helped me deal with this is Cannabis, because it seems to stop me from getting stuck in the first place.

 

 

8 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

And I'm hoping you are getting more quiet time too. 

 

Somewhat, but not really. The neighbors have been super understanding, but I don't think it's possible to resolve the noise fully. I just do what I can to isolate from it the best I can. Unfortunately, that's often not enough and I'm mostly out of practical solutions.

 

8 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

Some of that extra sensitivity could also be from the Wellbutrin and Adderal too.  Possibly from Buspar.  We often class drugs as accelerators or brakes.  And at least the Wellbutrin and Adderal would be considered accelerators.  And I don't know that Buspar is really an antidote, or that there is data on it, really helping with acute WD. 

 

I was skeptical of my doctor prescribing me Adderall at first, however it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. ADHD is another disorder that has issues with perseveration, it's just what they're getting hung up on is different than what I do. It's also not as distressing. The idea was that the Adderall would help me get unstuck and focus on the things I want. It was also to help me with my depression. It helps with both of these things somewhat, but not completely.

 

8 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

And then, it is always probable that with inconsistent dosing, such as what you do with the Adderal and Buspar, that that contributes even more to nervous system instabilities.  Drugs have a characteristic of having half lives that when they are taken regularly, at consistent times, every day, then........they will eventually reach a steady state that is maintained.  But when you take them inconsistently then the blood levels keep fluctuating, and that can account for some symptoms too.

 

This is possible and something I've taken into consideration recently. I will be taking both the Buspar at 12pm, 6pm, and 12am. The Adderall I will being taking at 12pm and again at 6pm. I could take a 3rd dose at 12am, but I find the Adderall can give me headaches if I take that much. Even 2 sometimes is a but much in that regard.

 

8 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

What has your dosing looked like for the past couple of days and then what has your symptom pattern looked like.

 

I'm taking my Welbutrin at 12pm every day (give or take 30m) and the other drugs I'll be starting regularly at the time I listed in the previous paragraph.

 

I talked with my doctor yesterday and today. She increased my dose of Buspar to 10mg (3/day). She also wanted to put me back on an SNRI, but I protested. She said okay, but she'd think it would help and that I should do my research on it and get back to her. In the meantime, she finally got approved to recommend me cannabis through the department of health, so my application for a card is pending. Cannabis will help me considerably with the sound issues and my short experience with it in dealing with the withdrawals has been positive. I can only hope that I can afford the amount I need.

 

I got back to my doctor today about the SNRI she suggested (Remeron). I did my research and did not like it. However, I had an idea I ran by her. Since the withdrawals have been lasting for so long and are so intense, I was thinking about bridging with Zoloft. I have a history with it and it hasn't caused me any issues with withdrawal. I've read up on bridging and the risks, especially considering it's so far into my recovery. I was curious if she thought that would be good or if possibly taking a low dose of Effexor instead would better. She felt going back to the Effexor would be too risky with my withdrawals and felt a lot better about a low dose of Zoloft. My thinking is, even if it doesn't help with the withdrawal itself (and I doubt that it won't), it will help me with the severe bouts of depression I'm getting. Further, since I'm already on an NRI (Wellbutrin), I feel the imbalance of serotonin is likely the more significant source of my withdrawals. She prescribed me 25mg once a day. She said if I wanted, I could break them in half and start there if need be. I'll be starting that tomorrow at 12pm. Hopefully it helps some and doesn't make anything worse. If the 25mg isn't enough and it's not making things worse, I'll slowly increase the dose until I'm stable. I'll taper after my blood levels even out. I'll work with my doctor on how much to taper, but I intend to do this slowly without any huge changes. I've not had problems going off the Zoloft in the 2 or 3 times I've taken it in the past, so I don't expect much, if any, trouble.

 

My theory is that by going cold turkey off the Pristiq, owing to the nature of the drug, has thrown off my nervous system. Enough so that I don't think it knows exactly what is normal for me anymore. I'm concerned about this being a continuing issue that I may not fully recover from. I believe using a familiar SSRI to stabilize my serotonin levels (and importantly my mood) will help to guide my brain back on track and keep it there more or less after a reasonable taper. Basically, stabilize, retrain, and gradually remove the drug in a way that allows my nervous system to adapt and maintain that stability.

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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manymoretodays

Hi leox,

 

And oh my, it appears that you are most willingly on your way to more polypharmacy.  And why?

11 hours ago, leox said:

My theory is that by going cold turkey off the Pristiq, owing to the nature of the drug, has thrown off my nervous system. Enough so that I don't think it knows exactly what is normal for me anymore. I'm concerned about this being a continuing issue that I may not fully recover from. I believe using a familiar SSRI to stabilize my serotonin levels (and importantly my mood) will help to guide my brain back on track and keep it there more or less after a reasonable taper. Basically, stabilize, retrain, and gradually remove the drug in a way that allows my nervous system to adapt and maintain that stability.

 

We can see what some of the other moderators think about the ^ too.  But if it was me, seriously,  I would stop theorizing now.  You are not cross tapering anything right now.  You are off the Pristiq.  We don't use more drugs to treat WD.  You are adding in yet another psychotropic medication to your mix.  And.......if you ask me, this is all getting a bit dangerous to boot.

Look at the therapeutic duplications, at the end of the report, as well.  Please.

 

Most do fully recover leox.  Where is this fear coming from that you will not fully recover?  Overall, you don't seem to be doing too bad......I mean I realize that your current status may be a stretch from your baseline feelings and functioning.  You don't seem to grasp though, what the implications are of your current polypharmacy , and what that might lead to.  I'm much more worried about that.  A potentially long career as a psychiatric patient, and with greater and greater dependencies on all sorts of medications, from all different classes.

 

I'm also including another link for you today:  Again, chemical imbalance is a myth. Stop the lies, please.

That comes from the Read This First forum.  The first forum up, on the Home Page.

 

Did you get a chance to go to Drugs.com to check interactions?  I just plugged in your current medications, plus the addition of Zoloft now, and here is what comes up.

I added in the cannabis, that you'd like to add......yet, I'm not sure that is the medical type that you are considering.

Drug Interaction Report- Drugs.com

 

Print

Drug Interaction Report

This report displays the potential drug interactions for the following 5 drugs:

  • Wellbutrin (bupropion)
  • Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)
  • BuSpar (buspirone)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • cannabis
    The interactions information for this drug may not be up-to-date. More...

Edit list (add/remove drugs)

Major (6)
Moderate (2)
Minor (0)
Food (6)
Therapeutic Duplication (2)

Interactions between your drugs

Major

buPROPion

amphetamine

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with amphetamine. Combining these medications may increase the risk of seizures, which may occur rarely with either medication. In addition, buPROPion can increase the blood levels of amphetamine, which may increase other side effects. You may be more likely to experience seizures with these medications if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol during treatment. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

buPROPion

dextroamphetamine

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with dextroamphetamine. Combining these medications may increase the risk of seizures, which may occur rarely with either medication. In addition, buPROPion can increase the blood levels of dextroamphetamine, which may increase other side effects. You may be more likely to experience seizures with these medications if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol during treatment. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

buPROPion

sertraline

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Zoloft (sertraline)

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with sertraline. Combining these medications may increase the risk of seizures, which may occur rarely with either medication. In addition, buPROPion can increase the blood levels of sertraline, which may increase other side effects. You may be more likely to experience seizures with these medications if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol during treatment. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

busPIRone

sertraline

Applies to: BuSpar (buspirone), Zoloft (sertraline)

Using busPIRone together with sertraline can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

amphetamine

sertraline

Applies to: Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine), Zoloft (sertraline)

Talk to your doctor before using sertraline together with amphetamine. Sertraline may increase the effects of amphetamine, and side effects such as jitteriness, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, and racing thoughts have been reported. Combining these medications can also increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Major

dextroamphetamine

sertraline

Applies to: Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine), Zoloft (sertraline)

Talk to your doctor before using sertraline together with dextroamphetamine. Sertraline may increase the effects of dextroamphetamine, and side effects such as jitteriness, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, and racing thoughts have been reported. Combining these medications can also increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

busPIRone

cannabis (Schedule I substance)

Applies to: BuSpar (buspirone), cannabis

Using busPIRone together with cannabis (Schedule I substance) may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

sertraline

cannabis (Schedule I substance)

Applies to: Zoloft (sertraline), cannabis

Using sertraline together with cannabis (Schedule I substance) may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

No other interactions were found between your selected drugs. This does not necessarily mean no other interactions exist. Always consult your healthcare provider.

Drug and food interactions

Moderate

buPROPion

food

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion)

Using buPROPion with alcohol may increase the risk of uncommon side effects such as seizures, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, mood and behavioral changes, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and panic attacks. On the other hand, sudden withdrawal from alcohol following regular or chronic use can also increase your risk of seizures during treatment with buPROPion. If you are prone to frequent or excessive alcohol use, talk to your doctor before starting buPROPion. In general, you should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with buPROPion. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

busPIRone

food

Applies to: BuSpar (buspirone)

You should avoid the use of alcohol while being treated with busPIRone. Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of busPIRone such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. Patients receiving busPIRone should preferably avoid the consumption of large amounts of grapefruits and grapefruit juice. If this is not possible, the busPIRone dose should be taken at least 2 hours before or 8 hours after grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Large amounts of grapefruit and grapefruit juice may cause increased levels of busPIRone in your body. This can lead to increased adverse effects such as drowsiness. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

amphetamine

food

Applies to: Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)

Using amphetamine together with alcohol can increase the risk of cardiovascular side effects such as increased heart rate, chest pain, or blood pressure changes. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with amphetamine. Let your doctor know if you experience severe or frequent headaches, chest pain, and/or a fast or pounding heartbeat. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

dextroamphetamine

food

Applies to: Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)

Using dextroamphetamine together with alcohol can increase the risk of cardiovascular side effects such as increased heart rate, chest pain, or blood pressure changes. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with dextroamphetamine. Let your doctor know if you experience severe or frequent headaches, chest pain, and/or a fast or pounding heartbeat. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

sertraline

food

Applies to: Zoloft (sertraline)

You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with sertraline. Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of sertraline such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

cannabis (Schedule I substance)

food

Applies to: cannabis

Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of cannabis (Schedule I substance) such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with cannabis (Schedule I substance). Do not use more than the recommended dose of cannabis (Schedule I substance), and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.

Switch to professional interaction data

Therapeutic duplication warnings

Therapeutic duplication is the use of more than one medicine from the same drug category or therapeutic class to treat the same condition. This can be intentional in cases where drugs with similar actions are used together for demonstrated therapeutic benefit. It can also be unintentional in cases where a patient has been treated by more than one doctor, or had prescriptions filled at more than one pharmacy, and can have potentially adverse consequences.

Duplication

Central Nervous System (CNS) Drugs

Therapeutic duplication

The recommended maximum number of medicines in the 'Central Nervous System (CNS) Drugs' category to be taken concurrently is usually three. Your list includes five medicines belonging to the 'Central Nervous System (CNS) Drugs' category:

  • Wellbutrin (bupropion)
  • Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)
  • BuSpar (buspirone)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • cannabis

Note: The benefits of taking this combination of medicines may outweigh any risks associated with therapeutic duplication. This information does not take the place of talking to your doctor. Always check with your healthcare provider to determine if any adjustments to your medications are needed.

Duplication

Antidepressants

Therapeutic duplication

The recommended maximum number of medicines in the 'antidepressants' category to be taken concurrently is usually one. Your list includes two medicines belonging to the 'antidepressants' category:

  • Wellbutrin (bupropion)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)

Note: The benefits of taking this combination of medicines may outweigh any risks associated with therapeutic duplication. This information does not take the place of talking to your doctor. Always check with your healthcare provider to determine if any adjustments to your medications are needed.

 

I'm going to post this reply, and do want to respond further to your last post, which I will do in my next reply. 

Edited by manymoretodays
additional, increased size of Major Interaction headings

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • Moderator
manymoretodays

And oh my gosh,  that's 5 potential MAJOR interactions leox. 

And the first time, I've run an interaction check here, and ever seen that.

 

14 hours ago, leox said:

I was skeptical of my doctor prescribing me Adderall at first, however it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. ADHD is another disorder that has issues with perseveration, it's just what they're getting hung up on is different than what I do. It's also not as distressing. The idea was that the Adderall would help me get unstuck and focus on the things I want. It was also to help me with my depression. It helps with both of these things somewhat, but not completely.

 

There are better ways to work on focus, concentration, and perseverance.......at least I think so.  Non-drug options for coping, and further development.  Have you been to the MadInAmerica website blog yet?  You might want to.  And then search ADHD.  Mad in America.com    

Definitely stay away from anything that increases your fears, both here and there, but you might find a beginning shift in paradigms that might begin to empower you.

 

And often, with stimulants or amphetamines basically, like Adderall.......it can lead to a lot of mood instability.  And then medical psychiatry will then want to diagnose some more, and start adding in some "brakes" too, and then on and on one might go, or around and around in circles with medications and diagnonsense.

 

And......if focus, concentration, perseverance is notably changed since your Pristiq, and prior Cymbalta usage, then CT........those symptoms truly could be due to WDsyndrome now, which does improve, with time, and patience.  It can take time for the nervous system to come on back and restore homeostasis. 

 

That you've already seen improvements too, is so great.  That's healing......it often come in spurts and sputters, but hang on to that.  Waves and windows......may the windows appear more frequently!

 

14 hours ago, leox said:

This is possible and something I've taken into consideration recently. I will be taking both the Buspar at 12pm, 6pm, and 12am. The Adderall I will being taking at 12pm and again at 6pm. I could take a 3rd dose at 12am, but I find the Adderall can give me headaches if I take that much. Even 2 sometimes is a but much in that regard.

14 hours ago, leox said:

I'm taking my Welbutrin at 12pm every day (give or take 30m) and the other drugs I'll be starting regularly at the time I listed in the previous paragraph.

 

I talked with my doctor yesterday and today. She increased my dose of Buspar to 10mg (3/day).

 

So this is your current drug schedule, with the addition of Zoloft 25 mg once a day, just started today.

I don't think you'd want to be taking Adderall that late at night, or early morning, the 12 am dose.

 

Can you list the times on the left and then your medications by name and dose on the right.

And then just try for one day of that, if you'd like further comment or suggests.

After you get that done, you could try one, with times on the left throughout the day, and still include the above, but add in symptoms too, and activity and sleep.

 

Keep daily notes of drug schedule and symptoms to track patterns and progess

you'll see in the first post ^, an explanation and a sample note to guide.

I just think this will be really, really helpful for us to see, and then as well for you to see.......to begin to see each day, just how you react to each of this now myriad of drugs, and then also to begin to track patterns and progress.

 

I don't know, if it was me.......right now, I'd ditch the Zoloft immediately.

 

Oh best leox.  Give us what you can or would like to.  If you want to minimize drugs, taper, etc., I think this is the place for you. 

If though, you want to continue with diagnosis, and medications, you might be better served at another site. 

Depression forums, patients like me.  I think there are many out there.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays
additional

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Oh, and forgive......I'm seeing just now, that you posted your interactions posted above.  Thank you for doing that.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post

Look, I nearly killed myself night before last. Holding out is, at this point, suicide. This isn't off my baseline; this is the worst depression and anxiety I've felt in my life. I don't like taking a cocktail of pills either, but it's this or kill myself.

 

Sorry to be rude, but you're not a doctor. This is a very serious situation. Suggesting I try to tough this out any further is reckless. I'm not dumb, nor uneducated. I don't claim to know everything; I'm just doing the best I can to keep myself alive.

 

I appreciate your concern, but not the disrespect. I was willing to give this forum a second chance. For my own well-being, I'm not returning. 

Pristiq: 50mg 1/day. Started mid 2016 after switching from Cymbalta, which I had switched to for 7 months after taking Effexor. Stopped cold turkey since late October 2020. 

Generic Wellbutrin: 300mg 1/day. Started in 2015, I think.

Generic Adderall: 10mg 2-3/day. Started sometime early 2020.

Generic Buspar: 5mg 3/day. Started 11/23/2020. Upped to 10mg 3/day 12/15/2020. Prescribed to deal with withdrawal anxiety.

Generic Zoloft: 25mg 1/day. Started 12/17/2020. Prescribed to bridge withdrawal symptoms.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It is understandable that when people come to SA they have difficulty trusting that the information and suggestions provided here is safe to follow because it is an internet forum staffed by volunteers who we don't know anything about and because we think that the doctors know best because they have a degree.  However the staff here have all experienced issues with psychiatric drugs.  We have one moderator and another member who are both off all drugs now after being on a cocktail of psychiatric drugs for many years:

 

Shep     Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

GiaK     withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug

 

We also understand that members can feel very angry, confused and overwhelmed when they find out that their medical professional is not helping them like they thought they were but is in fact making them worse.

 

There are not many medical professionals who understand psychiatric drugs.  They get their information about the drugs from the pharmaceutical companies (see the videos linked below).  Even though medical professionals may want to help people to feel better, all that most of them seem to know how to do is to write a script for a drug, which can actually end up making the person worse.  And then they prescribe another drug to try and fix that.  And so on, which is how people end up on a cocktail of drugs which should not be taken together.  We have other members here like you who have been prescribed several drugs  major drug interactions.  My question is why don't the doctors do a simple drug interaction check?  The drug interaction check is done by the FDA.  That is the reason that this site exists.  If the medical professionals were helping people and not harming them then SA would not need to continue.  Part of SA's mission is to educate the professional medical community and has already made a big impact:

 

survivingantidepressantsorg-mentions-and-honors

 

I strongly encourage you to listen to the recent interview with Altostrata, SA's founder.  It explains how SA came and how the information and knowledge which is provided here was gathered.

 

INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder   

 

Gwen Olsen was a pharmaceutical representative for 15 years and has personal and close family experience with the harm which psychiatric drugs can cause.

 

Interview:  Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher (51 minutes Gwen Olsen - ex pharmaceutical representative)
 

 

 

When I first joined SA I did a lot of reading and research.  I was shocked when I found out about it:

 

Approval Criteria Used by the FDA

Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect by Irving Kirsch (link to full article)


Abstract:

Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain.  Indeed, their supposed effectiveness is the primary evidence for the chemical imbalance theory.  But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect.  Some antidepressants increase serotonin levels, some decrease it, and some have no effect at all on serotonin.  Nevertheless, they all show the same therapeutic benefit.  Even the small statistical difference between antidepressants and placebos may be an enhanced placebo effect, due to the fact that most patients and doctors in clinical trials successfully break blind.  The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong.  Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.

Excerpt:

How Did These Drugs Get Approved?
....
The FDA requires two adequately conducted clinical trials showing a significant difference between drug and placebo.  But there is a loophole:  there is no limit to the number of trials that can be conducted in search of these two significant trials.  Trials showing negative results simply do not count.  Furthermore, the clinical significance of the findings is not considered.  All that matters is that the results are statistically significant.
....
(NB:  emphasis in abstract and excerpt are mine)

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 27 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.295 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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  • Administrator

I'm sorry you're having such a rough time, @leox

 

Please note we have been answering your questions and trying to get more detail about the drugs you're taking now. We can't provide quick fixes to anything, just advise to the best of our knowledge as peers about how to cope with Pristiq withdrawal syndrome.

 

If you feel your doctor has better ideas, by all means, please consult with your doctor about next steps.

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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manymoretodays

Oh me too leox,

Sincerely sorry it is presently so rough for you.

And forgive, I may have overwhelmed with my response, and also made you feel criticized.  Not my intent at all.

You sound very well educated and smart.

And of course, I don't want you to just "tough this out".

 

I get it, have been there, in that kind of WD that brings one to their knees, or the very pit of existence.  And agree, very much unlike anything I ever experienced before drugs.

 

I am concerned and hope you will return.

 

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

(definitely NOT a doctor)

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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