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HardWork: Looking for guidance


HardWork

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Hi, I am new here and so awe-inspired by this supportive network of intelligent informed people. I am tapering off Lithium, doing it slowly. The problem is I haven’t found yet the right psychiatrist... Can anyone share a psych in New York who is taper-savvy & patient-friendly? Also, any live support group for ppl in the tapering process? I so appreciate this support! Good luck to all who are sweating this through! Take of yourself!
<Desperate>

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to HardWork: Looking for guidance
  • Administrator
Altostrata

Welcome, @HardWork

 

FYI, here's Tips for tapering off lithium

 

We offer online support, please do post here about how you're doing. 

 

To connect with others near you, see New York members, please check in here

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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Thank you so much! I will surely check out “tips on tapering off Lithium”. Going through withdrawal waves currently, makes it too difficult for me to concentrate to share how I’m doing🙄... At the same time increase in clarity and stability with each taper is what keeps me going... So in the meantime I’ll find support from shares of others and other info on this website, which is hard as well; computer screens are dizzying these days. I am very educated in tapering & about psych-bluff, despite my zombie-ing state I managed to educate myself through books and sites. I do a huge amount of self care and stress reduction. The way I feel now is GOLD compared to where I’m coming from (tapering over a year already, very very slow). I’m grateful for the way I’m feeling, out of zombie land! Searching for a (anti)psychiatrist- even out of NY, it’s all virtual anyhow now with Covid... Keep it up! You’re truly the best!!!!!

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

Thank you! Please do make yourself at home in our community.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator
brassmonkey

I saw this on one of the other forums and felt that it would be better to answer it here.

 

"Hi! I finally received my medication from a compounding pharmacy after struggling with breaking pills in quarters for such a long time... Ordered my meds from a diff state, I feel so accomplished! Before I start taking it, Im wondering- is there anything to beware of?, like- can different brand cause more side-effects, or anything else to watch out? Or is compounding all good and i should just go ahead with taking it? If yes, Id love to start tonight! so please let me know asap!! Thank you so much!!

Also, can I relate my grueling side-effects to pill-cutting, as its impossible to cut evenly?"

 

There should be little trouble with switching to the compounded pills. Your dosing will be more accurate and it will make things easier all around. There should be no problem with starting tonight. You will probably find that having a more consistent dose will help mitigate some of your symptoms.

 

In the past we have seen that some people will react differently to different brands of the same medication, so there is a possibility that this could happen for you. Also there can be a sensitivity to changing how ones dose is prepared, so just the change from cutting up pills to using a compounded pill could also cause an uptick in symptoms. Unless either is a very severe reaction then it is just something that needs to be put up with until it settles down, which can take several days to several weeks, but tings will settle down. This is not to scare you but to bring the possibility to your attention so you won't be shocked if it were to happen.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thank you so much! Another question that came up... I took Lithium ER until now (took entire dose, 825 at night) The compounding dose is SR- slow release. Do I need to divide dosage over the day? If yes, how many times (I got 3 capsules per dosage). Im pretty forgetful these days, dividing would make it trickier, but if I need to I will...

Also, is an uptick in symptoms common? Because I generally do fear symptoms! (and definitely dont want to go through self-placeboed-symptoms.

Thanks again!!!!

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  • Moderator
brassmonkey

There shouldn't be much difference between the ER and the SR. About the only way to tell is give it a try and see how it goes. If there is a spike of symptoms during the day, then spreading out the dose might be called for. Keep a symptom diary to try and pinpoint any fluctuations.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thanks! The pharmacy did say it’s different... Is there better chance to first decrease to 750- whole pills only, and then switch to compounded pills? Thanks for your patience!

Also, is there a good psychiatrist in the US you can recommend? I’m too bleared from meds to go through the list or research. Thanks in advance!

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I did switch over to compounded pills last night! Twas a big step as im petrified of physical symptoms... At first i had like acid reflux (maybe twas just fear) but now in the morning feeling so great! So far so good... Thank you so much for your assistance! And thank you to everyone who is helping out! Its the first time in 10 YEARS that i actually have support in everything i intuitively knew, yet was in it all alone! Heartwarming!!! Thank you once again!!!

Ps i havent yet come across one insane message from all these "mentally-ill" participants... 

Any recommendation for a good (non) psychiatrist who is taper-savvy and non-controlling? As well as a therapist? Thanks in advance

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Follow up: first 3-4 days on compound felt heavy at night, and mild detachment, fizzled/waves in head by day. But I think I’m fine now. Still have agitation at end of day- things turn me off fast, losing temper/control. It’s not terrible, just hard to control. Food helps. 
physically I feel a lot better- like a sea after storm, & my mind much clearer...

Is it safer to divide dosage into day/night... Or is it ok to leave it to just night?

Another question: thinking of DBT therapy... Is it worth a try? Please try to respond as I need to follow up with DBT therapist whether I’m interested. Thanks in advance!

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  • 1 month later...
HardWork

Hi, thanks to the good-hearted people who have helped me until now. I am a brand new person on compounded pills! Whoa! No comparison... so many side-effects gone! Much clearer, more grounded, & all horrible physical effects are history... words can’t really describe... Pharmacy said it’s due to the fact that they don’t use additives/inactive ingredients that commercial pills have.

2 questions- 1. Is there a psychiatrist that can help me with tapering PLEASE? So far I’m seeing someone for Medicaid who is that birdbrained; has the benefit that she just listens to ME. I’m the one controlling the taper COMPLETELY. All for free... but I do need the support. Any suggestions?

2. when is it considered a bad withdrawal reaction and when is it normal? In other words- how do I know if my 10% taper is not considered too fast? Here’s the thing- I feel really miserable at first but then back to normal. Is that considered regular.. I do match up my bad symptoms to broken pills though, wasn’t so miserable on whole pills I think. (When my previous $400 psychiatrist went too fast, when I was still ignorant, yep those were dangerous reactions no doubt (close to mania-from lithium. And dissociation- from Zoloft)- are those the too fast signals we’re looking for? Or even milder is not okay) what are the tell tales to go slower? The fact that my symptoms eventually go away is good enough (although maybe harsh- or normal, not sure..,)? I wait 3 months bet doses, I don’t feel safer to go faster. 
Thanks for reading! I hope I was clear enough... Looking forward to your response!

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HardWork
6 minutes ago, HardWork said:

Hi, thanks to the good-hearted people who have helped me until now. I am a brand new person on compounded pills! Whoa! No comparison... so many side-effects gone! Much clearer, more grounded, & all horrible physical effects are history... words can’t really describe... Pharmacy said it’s due to the fact that they don’t use additives/inactive ingredients that commercial pills have.

2 questions- 1. Is there a psychiatrist that can help me with tapering PLEASE? So far I’m seeing someone for Medicaid who is that birdbrained; has the benefit that she just listens to ME. I’m the one controlling the taper COMPLETELY. All for free... but I do need the support. Any suggestions?

2. when is it considered a bad withdrawal reaction and when is it normal? In other words- how do I know if my 10% taper is not considered too fast? Here’s the thing- I feel really miserable at first but then back to normal. Is that considered regular.. I do match up my bad symptoms to broken pills though, wasn’t so miserable on whole pills I think. (When my previous $400 psychiatrist went too fast, when I was still ignorant, yep those were dangerous reactions no doubt (close to mania-from lithium. And dissociation- from Zoloft)- are those the too fast signals we’re looking for? Or even milder is not okay) what are the tell tales to go slower? The fact that my symptoms eventually go away is good enough (although maybe harsh- or normal, not sure..,)? I wait 3 months bet doses, I don’t feel safer to go faster. 
Thanks for reading! I hope I was clear enough... Looking forward to your response!

 

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