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Callietallie: Introduction


Callietallie

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Callietallie

Hi,

 

After being on SSRI's since the early 2000s, I find myself at the end of an unplanned, too fast, taper from 100 mg Zoloft. I had been on 10 mg Lexapro for a number of years, but it wasn't really working well anymore.  Had been in a major depression state for many months (Covid isolation, mother with advancing dementia, empty nest), so Psychiatrist upped the Lexapro, but it barely helped and he said we should try different SSRI because he said, over time, a particular drug can lose it's effectiveness, so we tried Zoloft. Again, it helped a little, but not much.  So he wanted to try Cymbalta. I had an insurance SNAFU with the Cymbalta, and we are in the middle of downsizing and moving out of our home of the past 25 years, so I just didn't have the wherewithal, to deal with it.  Kept meaning to, and started the tapering of the Zoloft, but never added in the Cymbalta for the "cross-taper."  I did 50mg Zoloft for a week, and then just stopped.  That was about a week ago?  Maybe 1.5 weeks? 

Was doing ok, but now the withdrawal has set in big time. I can deal with the brain zaps, but I've been experiencing a sense of disorientation, and brain fog that is setting off my health anxiety, which is what drove me to SSRI's in the first place. I do also have tremendous mood swings and am always holding back tears, but I have a new therapist who is helping me work through a lot of that.  I have a lot of unprocessed grief to release.

But back to the brain fog and disorientation, is this a symptom of the withdrawal? Does it make any sense to go back to 50 mg of Zoloft and begin a proper taper from there or should I just "tough it out"? I have tapered off before at various times over the years, but don't remember this much trouble with my thinking. It's getting scary to drive because that's when it affects me the most.

 

Thank you for listening, just getting started reading past posts.

2001 to 2011  - On & off primarily Lexapro 5 to 6 times (also tried Clexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor and Prozac)

09/2011 - Buspirone with Clonazapam to start, then weaned Clonazapam, didn't work

2012 to 2016 - On and Off Lexapro, 10 mg a few times

12/2017 - Lexapro increase to 15 mg

2018 - Added Buspar to mediate teeth grinding, didn't work, off then on Lexapro

01/2021 - Lexapro, 15 mg, bumpy increase

02/2021 - Cross taper off Lexapro to 100 mg Zoloft

03/27/2021 - Very short taper, 50 mg Zoloft for one week then stopped (was supposed to be cross tapering with Cymbalta)

2011 - current Xanax .5 mg PRN

Hydrochlorothiazide & Losartan for blood pressure

 

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  • Moderator
getofflex

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a peer owned and run forum of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this difficult time with withdrawal.  Yes, brain fog and disorientation are symptoms of WD (withdrawal) from psych meds.  You say you have tapered off in the past.  The more times we go on and off psych meds, the more our nervous systems tend to get sensitized, and the harder it is to get off the drugs in the future.   Not only that, you did a very fast taper.  We at SA suggest a very conservative and slow taper to allow the nervous system to adjust to getting off the meds.  You could consider doing a small reinstatement, which I will address later.  

 

First of all, can you please give us specific information about your drug history for all drugs you are on and have been on?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your taper in a concise list (no symptoms), only specific dates (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day) and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.  Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  

 

How to List Drug History in Signature

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.  This will help you understand why fast tapers cause problems.  

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

This explains why we do a very gradual exponential taper: 

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

When we recover, there are times of feeling OK mixed in with times of feeling bad.  This is called windows and waves.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 

 

Magnesium

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

Finally, going back on a small dose of your drug, which we call reinstatement, is best done very carefully.  This is temporary, and after stabilizing you would then taper gradually off of this.  There is some risk involved, and we need more specifics about your drug history before we can suggest a good dose at which to reinstate.  Here is some information about reinstatement.  

 

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

I've given you quite a bit of information here.  Please read through it, and mull it over, and we will take it from there. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and take heart.  We in this forum have been through this, and we understand first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.  Please know that the brain is amazing in it's healing abilities.  It takes time, but healing can and will happen. 

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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  • getofflex changed the title to Callietallie: Introduction
  • Administrator
Altostrata

Welcome, @Callietallie

 

You have Zoloft withdrawal syndrome. If I were you, I'd get a prescription for 5mg liquid sertraline, reinstate and stabilize, and taper off later by tiny amounts. We often find reinstatement of very low doses is sufficient to stop withdrawal symptoms.

 

Yes, your antidepressant "pooped out" on you. After this happens, subsequent antidepressants often don't work. You may need to accept that antidepressants are not the answer for you, not even newer, trendier ones, after you recover from withdrawal syndrome and tapering sertraline this next time.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

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
getofflex

Here is a link on how to taper Zoloft: 

 

Tips for Tapering Zoloft

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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Callietallie

Thank you both for our thorough responses.  I have done my best to condense my 20-year history onto the signature line.

 

I have primarily been on Lexapro the whole time, with trials of other SSRI's and Buspirone. I have tried many times (which apparently, after reading some of the information here, is not a good thing) to go off because I always felt tired no matter which option I tried. Plus I didn't like the sexual side effects.  I also finally realized about 3 years ago that the SSRI's were causing my severe Bruxism, which caused me much pain, multiple crowns, and anxiety. 

 

At one point I went back on because of anxiety related to tinnitus, which again, reading through things, was actually a withdrawal symptom.  Sigh.  Ears are ringing quite loudly as I type this. . . .

 

I am still reading and debating with myself about restarting to ease symptoms and do a proper, super slow taper. I am actually having a really good day and feeling hopeful I can do this so starting "over" isn't appealing.  Was able to run some errands with a clear head an no disorientation. But I know tomorrow I may find myself in a puddle of tears and anxiety. If I decide to do that would I go back to Zoloft, which I didn't do too well on, or Lexapro which has been my primary med?

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2001 to 2011  - On & off primarily Lexapro 5 to 6 times (also tried Clexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor and Prozac)

09/2011 - Buspirone with Clonazapam to start, then weaned Clonazapam, didn't work

2012 to 2016 - On and Off Lexapro, 10 mg a few times

12/2017 - Lexapro increase to 15 mg

2018 - Added Buspar to mediate teeth grinding, didn't work, off then on Lexapro

01/2021 - Lexapro, 15 mg, bumpy increase

02/2021 - Cross taper off Lexapro to 100 mg Zoloft

03/27/2021 - Very short taper, 50 mg Zoloft for one week then stopped (was supposed to be cross tapering with Cymbalta)

2011 - current Xanax .5 mg PRN

Hydrochlorothiazide & Losartan for blood pressure

 

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  • Moderator
getofflex

I'm happy to hear you are feeling good today!  

9 hours ago, Callietallie said:

If I decide to do that would I go back to Zoloft, which I didn't do too well on, or Lexapro which has been my primary med?

I will confer with the other mods on this question, and one of us will get back to you. I suspect Lexapro, but let me double check. 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

Link to post
  • Administrator
Altostrata

When you went off Lexapro and onto Zoloft, how did you feel? Did you get any odd symptoms as you left Lexapro behind?

 

If your symptoms are decreasing, you may want to hold on trying reinstatement.

 

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. Please let us know how you're doing.

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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Callietallie

Before I tried switching to Zoloft, I had tried increasing my Lexapro from 10 to 15 mg on Jan 5.  In an email to my psychiatrist 9 days later,  I told him that the increase was "... a little bumpy (headaches, some really, really down days, not sleeping well)."  5 weeks into the increase I reported "I am back to doing not well. Zero motivation. Very little energy. Restless anxious feelings alternating with bouts of extreme sadness and crying all day."  I also had a full on panic attack at one point, which is not my norm even when I am extremely anxious. 

 

Started the cross taper to Zoloft on 2/26. A month later on 3/26, I reported to him that the Zoloft had "helped some. I am having more good days, but I still have days where I can’t get off the couch." But I had experienced a return of severe bruxism which had been a big problem for me and had somehow "magically" gotten better as the Lexapro "pooped out."  It was because of that, I asked for a different option and was offered the Cymbalta. 

 

Another factor, I realize now, that needs to be considered, is that for the past 4 years or so, I had developed the habit of smoking marijuana in the evenings. Somewhere around the end of March, beginning of April (so while I was on the Zoloft), I decided to stop.  I wasn't enjoying it so much anymore, and I knew it was contributing to my lack of motivation and brain fog. What's interesting is that while I was on the Lexapro, I was concerned I was addicted to it, because I didn't think I could stop.  As of right now, I have zero interest in taking up the habit again. I am also finding myself not enjoying alcohol either.  Tried a glass of wine the other night, didn't like it, didn't want more. 

 

I know that stopping long-term marijuana use can have withdrawal symptoms. What I don't know is how it interacts with SSRI's and the combined effects on the neurotransmitters? But it is interesting that my intense craving for it dissipated while I was on the Zoloft.

 

My status now, is that I had a very productive day yesterday with good mood and energy. I also have a doctor's appointment later today to examine a lump. This is something that in the past could have easily set me over the edge. Fear of cancer is one of my greatest health anxiety challenges.  However, while I want it checked out, I am not super freaked out about it.  Small thing, but it is important. I have ruined family vacations in the past obsessing about cancer.

 

However, despite being very sleepy (something which doesn't always happen), I couldn't fall asleep until after 2:30 am because of restless leg. Each time I would almost drift off, my leg would be "restless." I also had a bad migraine which no amount of Advil or Tylenol seemed to want to touch. I usually link RLS to my electrolyte levels and usually getting up and having a glass of milk and a banana or taking some (Natural Calm, magnesium carbonate) will be enough to calm it enough to sleep. But not last night. I have been taking Natural Calm most nights for awhile now, and my potassium snack didn't help either. I also use a Magnesium Oil spray and often take Epsom salt baths to try and maintain my magnesium levels. Confident I have "leaky gut" which means my body does not absorb dietary magnesium very well. I am working on healing that as well and have gut out gluten and most dairy.

 

Anyway, I am rambling. Current status is my mood is better than it's been in a long while.  My brain is much clearer. However, sleep is still an issue. I have an appointment with my ND on Wednesday. I am going to get his opinion on whether I should restart or carry on and see what options there are to support this process. I am also going to get started back with acupuncture and cranial sacral therapy (both have helped me before), now that I am partially vaccinated (2nd does beginning of May).

 

So, I think I'm leaning against reinstatement at this time, unless there is something in that detailed recent history that you think screams I should reinstate? 

 

Also, any suggestions to manage insomnia and RSL would be appreciated as well.

 

Thank you so much for this forum and your time. So frustrating that we have to figure this all out ourselves and that psychiatrists are of very little help. I'm sure you have saved many lives.

2001 to 2011  - On & off primarily Lexapro 5 to 6 times (also tried Clexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor and Prozac)

09/2011 - Buspirone with Clonazapam to start, then weaned Clonazapam, didn't work

2012 to 2016 - On and Off Lexapro, 10 mg a few times

12/2017 - Lexapro increase to 15 mg

2018 - Added Buspar to mediate teeth grinding, didn't work, off then on Lexapro

01/2021 - Lexapro, 15 mg, bumpy increase

02/2021 - Cross taper off Lexapro to 100 mg Zoloft

03/27/2021 - Very short taper, 50 mg Zoloft for one week then stopped (was supposed to be cross tapering with Cymbalta)

2011 - current Xanax .5 mg PRN

Hydrochlorothiazide & Losartan for blood pressure

 

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Callietallie

Also night sweats. Forgot to mention the night sweats keeping me up, depleting electrolytes . . . .

2001 to 2011  - On & off primarily Lexapro 5 to 6 times (also tried Clexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor and Prozac)

09/2011 - Buspirone with Clonazapam to start, then weaned Clonazapam, didn't work

2012 to 2016 - On and Off Lexapro, 10 mg a few times

12/2017 - Lexapro increase to 15 mg

2018 - Added Buspar to mediate teeth grinding, didn't work, off then on Lexapro

01/2021 - Lexapro, 15 mg, bumpy increase

02/2021 - Cross taper off Lexapro to 100 mg Zoloft

03/27/2021 - Very short taper, 50 mg Zoloft for one week then stopped (was supposed to be cross tapering with Cymbalta)

2011 - current Xanax .5 mg PRN

Hydrochlorothiazide & Losartan for blood pressure

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
getofflex

 

5 hours ago, Callietallie said:

Current status is my mood is better than it's been in a long while.  My brain is much clearer. However, sleep is still an issue.

From this, it sounds as if you are slowly improving, even though you still have some issues.  I personally don't see anything that screams that you need reinstatement. Reinstatement can be risky and works in some cases, but can cause problems in other cases. 

 

I understand how difficult it is when you can't sleep well.  This has also been an issue for me in withdrawal.  However it continues to improve gradually and slowly, in fits and starts (windows and waves).  So I believe it will for you, too. What helps me is to listen to relaxing music on Spotify with earbuds (my husband doesn't share my musical escapades at night 😉). There is a harp music playlist that is over 14 hours long, that is very soothing and relaxing for me.  Here is a link with more info about natural ways to help sleep:  

 

Tips to Help Sleep

 

I don't know much about RLS.  Perhaps another moderator can chime in on this.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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  • 2 weeks later...
Callietallie

Well, it's been almost 10 days since my last post, and I am struggling . . . hard. My jerks and restless leg continue and I am getting very little sleep, which is causing me to have so much anxiety about not sleeping. I do not do well with bodily symptoms, it's what causes my anxiety in the first place. I am alternately shaky as if I'm cold, and then I sweat.  Over and over again.  Then there are these waves of muscle jerking as I start to drift off to sleep. I just resorted to taking a Xanax for the first time in a couple weeks. I've been afraid to take one because the thought of being really drowsy and still not being able to sleep because of the muscle jerking was anxiety provoking in and of itself. Feels like I'm in hell.  I realize I am hyper-emotional right now, but that's how it feels.  I am so tired and can't sleep.

 

I am considering reinstating at a low dose, so I can do a proper taper. My last Zoloft, 50 mg, was one April 2. I was only on 100 mg Zoloft for a month, but I had started not reacting well to the Lexapro. I don't know what to do, I'm so afraid I've messed up my neural system beyond repair.

 

Anyway, what dosage of Zoloft would you recommend going back to?  50 mg?

 

Thank you.

 

2001 to 2011  - On & off primarily Lexapro 5 to 6 times (also tried Clexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor and Prozac)

09/2011 - Buspirone with Clonazapam to start, then weaned Clonazapam, didn't work

2012 to 2016 - On and Off Lexapro, 10 mg a few times

12/2017 - Lexapro increase to 15 mg

2018 - Added Buspar to mediate teeth grinding, didn't work, off then on Lexapro

01/2021 - Lexapro, 15 mg, bumpy increase

02/2021 - Cross taper off Lexapro to 100 mg Zoloft

03/27/2021 - Very short taper, 50 mg Zoloft for one week then stopped (was supposed to be cross tapering with Cymbalta)

2011 - current Xanax .5 mg PRN

Hydrochlorothiazide & Losartan for blood pressure

 

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  • Moderator
getofflex
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Callietallie said:

Anyway, what dosage of Zoloft would you recommend going back to?  50 mg?

I would not suggest jumping back on at 50 mg. You have been off of it for 27 days, and your nervous system has made some changes, so jumping back on this big a dose could possibly destabilize you further and make things worse.  We generally suggest reinstating to a very small initial dose at first, to see how your system handles the change. I would suggest reinstating to 5 mg of Zoloft.  It takes about 7 days for you to feel any changes in your symptoms from this.  Let us know how you feel at this time. We will take it from there. This link will help you know how to dose a small amount: 

 

Tapering Zoloft

 

Please read the link in my first post about reinstatement, if you haven't already.  🙂

 

" My last Zoloft, 50 mg, was one April 2" 

 

Please update your drug signature with any changes to your doses, thanks. 

 

 

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

Link to post
Callietallie

Thank you.  

 

Any tips for negotiating dosages with your prescriber?  On the one hand he generally just goes along with what I ask, but I'm not sure how supportive he will be with prescribing the lower dosages so I can reinstate and taper.  Because, you know, these  I'm having are not withdrawal, but just my anxiety coming back. I can just see him sitting there very smugly with his all knowing smile meaning "I knew it wouldn't work."  Just like my appointment with a PCP yesterday about my suddenly high blood pressure which couldn't possibly be related to stopping the SSRI. 

 

Do they know the torture they've put us through and don't care? or do they really believe they are right and we are misguided?  

 

Anyway, trying to take it day by day, but I am getting worn down from not sleeping. Feels like rushes and rushes of adrenaline causing my body to twitch, jerk and shake, then hot flashes come and I sweat profusely, and we start again.

 

Again, I am rambling.  Thanks again for any insight and further suggestions.

 

 

 

2001 to 2011  - On & off primarily Lexapro 5 to 6 times (also tried Clexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor and Prozac)

09/2011 - Buspirone with Clonazapam to start, then weaned Clonazapam, didn't work

2012 to 2016 - On and Off Lexapro, 10 mg a few times

12/2017 - Lexapro increase to 15 mg

2018 - Added Buspar to mediate teeth grinding, didn't work, off then on Lexapro

01/2021 - Lexapro, 15 mg, bumpy increase

02/2021 - Cross taper off Lexapro to 100 mg Zoloft

03/27/2021 - Very short taper, 50 mg Zoloft for one week then stopped (was supposed to be cross tapering with Cymbalta)

2011 - current Xanax .5 mg PRN

Hydrochlorothiazide & Losartan for blood pressure

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
getofflex

Only you live with your mind and body.  The doctor doesn't have to. You have the right to decide what you do with your drugs.  Doctors are shamefully ignorant of the issue of withdrawal from psych meds.  Some of them are arrogant, and think they know more than their patients.  There are some good articles about psych med withdrawal that you could share with your doctor.   This thread goes into the issue of how to talk to your doctor about this issue, and has some links to some good articles to show him/her. 

 

How to Talk to a Doctor About Tapering and Withdrawal

 

The other option is to find another doctor.  

 

I know how hard it is when you can't sleep, and deal with the hot flashes.  These were issues for me as well, and still are, but to a lesser degree.  

 

Let us know if you decide to do the reinstatement, and how it goes if you do.  Hang in there, this will eventually pass.  

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

Link to post
  • Administrator
Altostrata

Zoloft comes in liquid form so you can measure small doses. Ask your doctor specifically for the liquid.

 

On 4/19/2021 at 8:21 AM, Callietallie said:

Started the cross taper to Zoloft on 2/26. A month later on 3/26, I reported to him that the Zoloft had "helped some. I am having more good days, but I still have days where I can’t get off the couch." But I had experienced a return of severe bruxism which had been a big problem for me and had somehow "magically" gotten better as the Lexapro "pooped out."  It was because of that, I asked for a different option and was offered the Cymbalta. 

 

The bruxism was a sign that the dosage of the SSRI -- Zoloft or Lexapro -- is too high.

 

Please note: We are not after treating "depression" here, we want to reduce withdrawal symptoms so you can stabilize and taper off.

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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Callietallie

Thank you both. He's not a bad guy, I think, my psychiatrist, and if I decide to reinstate he will likely be ok with it. It's just frustrating that they have so much control.

 

I am coming to the conclusion that my too-fast taper has been very hard on my adrenals, which I have had issues with before.  I also don't think I've mentioned earlier, but we have been getting our house of 25 years ready to sell this past month.  My husband had to do vast majority of the work, because I wasn't able to do much, but I did push myself more than I should have.  Not good timing on my part, but it seemed to be what the universe wanted me to do. But it means extra stress for my adrenals in addition to the physical stress of stopping too quickly. So, I'm working to address that and keeping things slow and simple.  The house is on the market as of yesterday and I am confident it will sell quickly, which will be a big relief and stress reducer.

 

I finally broke down and used a Xanax the other night which helped the sleep immensely.  I'm not planning on using it every night, my goal is still to be med free, but I figure every 3-4 nights if I'm still not sleeping well is a reasonable use for now.  

 

Thanks again, it so helpful to be able to come here for advice, perspective and support.

2001 to 2011  - On & off primarily Lexapro 5 to 6 times (also tried Clexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor and Prozac)

09/2011 - Buspirone with Clonazapam to start, then weaned Clonazapam, didn't work

2012 to 2016 - On and Off Lexapro, 10 mg a few times

12/2017 - Lexapro increase to 15 mg

2018 - Added Buspar to mediate teeth grinding, didn't work, off then on Lexapro

01/2021 - Lexapro, 15 mg, bumpy increase

02/2021 - Cross taper off Lexapro to 100 mg Zoloft

03/27/2021 - Very short taper, 50 mg Zoloft for one week then stopped (was supposed to be cross tapering with Cymbalta)

2011 - current Xanax .5 mg PRN

Hydrochlorothiazide & Losartan for blood pressure

 

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  • Moderator
getofflex
Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Callietallie said:

I finally broke down and used a Xanax the other night which helped the sleep immensely.  I'm not planning on using it every night, my goal is still to be med free, but I figure every 3-4 nights if I'm still not sleeping well is a reasonable use for now.

Just be very careful.  If it were me, I would do this on a short term basis, as I think you indicated.  They are quite addictive.  Here is a link about using benzos during withdrawal. 

 

Using Benzos During Withdrawal

21 hours ago, Callietallie said:

if I decide to reinstate he will likely be ok with it. It's just frustrating that they have so much control.

I'm glad to hear this.  Yes, I understand your frustration, because they can control whether or not we get the drugs we need to taper.  

 

Have you started the Zoloft reinstatement yet?  

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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Callietallie

It's the weekend, so I haven't started reinstatement yet because I was going to talk to my Psych.  Still taking it day by day.  

 

I will do a search, but any links to info on using GABA supplements to deal with the anxiety?  Or links on ways to increase your GABA naturally?  And yes, I am trying to be very careful with the Benzo, because I really don't want to go down that road.  As I said, it's never been an issue for me, but given that my system is so hyper-sensitive right now, who knows?

 

Also, any links about blood pressure?  Mine is up quite a bit after years of being well controlled.  MD has increased one of my meds, but it's not really doing anything.  And, I have a very full, pulse-y feeling in my head that doesn't seem to go away, which makes me start to spiral with health anxiety around caridovascular things.  Sigh.

 

Thanks, as always.

 

2001 to 2011  - On & off primarily Lexapro 5 to 6 times (also tried Clexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor and Prozac)

09/2011 - Buspirone with Clonazapam to start, then weaned Clonazapam, didn't work

2012 to 2016 - On and Off Lexapro, 10 mg a few times

12/2017 - Lexapro increase to 15 mg

2018 - Added Buspar to mediate teeth grinding, didn't work, off then on Lexapro

01/2021 - Lexapro, 15 mg, bumpy increase

02/2021 - Cross taper off Lexapro to 100 mg Zoloft

03/27/2021 - Very short taper, 50 mg Zoloft for one week then stopped (was supposed to be cross tapering with Cymbalta)

2011 - current Xanax .5 mg PRN

Hydrochlorothiazide & Losartan for blood pressure

 

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  • Moderator
getofflex

Just a heads up, your psychiatrist may try to convince you to go back on a full dose of the meds.  I've seen this happen to many people in here, and often it has made their withdrawal situation worse.  Mostly, all these docs know how to do is dispense pills.  In fact, one who I knew personally actually said she felt like a Pez candy dispenser.  No kidding, she did say this.  

 

You can do a google search "survivingantidepressants.org GABA" for example.  Just type in the url, and then what you are looking for after it.  

 

GABA

 

High Blood Pressure

 

There are several other threads here on blood pressure. 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thought I would update since it has been a couple weeks.
 

I am mostly doing ok, thankfully, at least for now. My mood is ok. Health anxiety is trying to gain hold, but I’ve been able to cope. I have a strange sense of “everything feels wrong” at times, which is, I’m sure exasperated by the fact that we moved out of our home of 25 years during this process. 
 

The RLS/jerks as I fall asleep, which has been my most vexing symptom, have gotten better. Some nights they don’t bother me at all, other nights they do, but at least I’m getting some sleep. Not sleeping and being anxious about not sleeping was becoming a vicious cycle, so on nights when it flares I remind myself that I can still sleep. 
 

I must confess that I am very fortunate to have a very supportive husband whose job has excellent health insurance and who earns enough for me to not have to work. I also have the means to afford alternative care which is helping me cope with symptoms. For those going through this with a job and/or children my heart goes out to you. 
 

Things that are helping:

 

Specific supplements my ND recommended based on muscle testing. He tried lots of things but in the end only suggested 3. One is a trace mineral compound, a sublingual B12 (I have MTHFR for those who may know what that is) and the other is a RNA compound. He also tested a choline and zinc supplement I had been taking on my own. He said my body seemed to not want a whole lot thrown at it, just some extra support. 


I had been taking a fish oil/vitamin D combo, but I did my own version of “home” muscle testing and my body did not like it. So I tried testing separately and it turns out it didn’t like the vitamin D (which I had been taking pretty regularly to boost my immune system because of Covid). So I’m only taking the fish oil for now. 
 

I took GABA at night for my leg issues. It helped, but as of right now I don't seem to need it. 
 

I found a new acupuncturist and have had 2 treatments so far. The first was a bit too stimulating so he changed tactic a bit for the second one and it settled much better. I have had adrenal fatigue on the past and it very much feels like they are super sensitive right now. 
 

Speaking of adrenals, I also started an ashwaganda tincture to support them. 
 

I also had a very nice massage/cranial sacral session which is very calming for me. 
 

I try to walk and meditate each day and have weekly sessions with a new therapist. 
 

oh, magnesium. I take magnesium glycinate in the evening, use a magnesium oil spray after my shower and take Epsom salt baths most nights. 
 

so having said all that, it’s a lot of self care, but it seems to be working. My mantra is to keep my body as calm as possible. My main issues now are:

 

high blood pressure - upping another one of my preexisting meds for that. 
temperature dysregulation - so much sweating 

lack of appetite - I’ve lost about 7 pounds since this started. I’m overweight, so it’s not a bad thing, but I have to force myself to eat to keep my blood sugar stable so my adrenals stay calm. 
 

Thanks for this site. It is so good to know I’m not alone and to get sound advice. And to be able to record my progress and any future waves that will inevitably crop up. 

2001 to 2011  - On & off primarily Lexapro 5 to 6 times (also tried Clexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor and Prozac)

09/2011 - Buspirone with Clonazapam to start, then weaned Clonazapam, didn't work

2012 to 2016 - On and Off Lexapro, 10 mg a few times

12/2017 - Lexapro increase to 15 mg

2018 - Added Buspar to mediate teeth grinding, didn't work, off then on Lexapro

01/2021 - Lexapro, 15 mg, bumpy increase

02/2021 - Cross taper off Lexapro to 100 mg Zoloft

03/27/2021 - Very short taper, 50 mg Zoloft for one week then stopped (was supposed to be cross tapering with Cymbalta)

2011 - current Xanax .5 mg PRN

Hydrochlorothiazide & Losartan for blood pressure

 

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  • Moderator
7 hours ago, Callietallie said:

so having said all that, it’s a lot of self care, but it seems to be working. My mantra is to keep my body as calm as possible.

This is very good!  It sounds like you are doing a lot of good work to take care of yourself. Thanks for keeping us posted. 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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