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Paolo: My Story and advices needed


paolo85

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Hi All

I found this website 2 years ago and it has been of tremendous help.

Here is my story.

Until age 24 (12 years ago) i have had a perfect metal and phisical health, always a very happy and joyful person.

I moved due to work out of my country, destination far north scandinavia.

Two year after, winter is terrible, absolutely no sunlights for long month and polar nights. This time it takes a mental toll and i get depressed for first time in my life. I get cipralex from the doctors and 1 month after i am back to work.

This is the beginning of everything. I am able to function well, however zero emotions of any type. I function but i am not myself anymore within 2 months. I am alive but not living, even if from outside everything seems normal.

 

After 1 year i started on suggestion of the doctor to taper. Obvioulsy too fast. Within 6 months hell breaks loose. Everything started with much dizzyness, headeche, pains  and with few days i was not able to function. I avoid to tell much details but you know, hell on earth. Going insane and losing the mind. No words can describes how bad it was. Moved back to my parents. 

The doctor put me back on 10 mg because he said i am still depressed. Within few weeks i am ok and back to work. However a suspect come in my mind. The symptoms i got this time were extremely different from the depression i previously got.

Life goes on, and during next 8 years i tried other 2 times to quit with the same devastating results (usually at the beginning is fine, but symptoms kick in after 5-6 months). Doctors keep saying i am depressed and have to stay on drugs. When i try to raise the issue if it can be the drug every doctor tell me: no way, it s you that are depressed, symptoms dont kick in that far out after you have quit.

Destiny wants that 2 years ago i met a girl who shares her story of antidepressant and withdrawn symptoms. SUDDENLY I CONNECT ALL THE DOTS. Everything fall in place and makes sense. I was always right since the beginning, it was the drugs, and the incompetence of doctors has kept me 10 years under these drugs. I am speechless of the total ignorance of the doctors , even psychiatrics on this topic.

I start researching and thanks God i find this webside, where i can recognize everything you describe. Specially the waves and windows patterns, the symptoms, etc..

I started using your method. In 2 years i am down from 10 mg to 2 mg at the moment. Many ups and downs, many waves and windows. Sequences of weeks and months of zero symtoms and almost great mental health alternated with period of 5-10 days of dizzyness, headaches and pains that happens out of the blue, and out in the blue they desappear, however still tolerable and that allows a normal life. 

Now that i am down to 1-2 mg per day i see waves are coming more often than before, and i see these last steps are more challenging than it s been until now.

 

My question for you people is:

I use liquid drops of 1 mg , where 1 mg is the minimum amount. How do i go from 2 mg to 1.80 mg? Since i can divide only for 1 mg , in order to taper now i started to do like this per week: 6 days 2 mg and 1 day 1 mg, and so on, after a month i do 5 days 2 mg and 2 days 1 mg. However i started to get more frequent and longer waves recently and i am wondering if it is because of this method.

Do you have any advice on how to taper smaller dosage?

 

Thanks very much for this website and all your efforts.

 

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  • getofflex changed the title to Paolo: My Story and advices needed
  • Moderator

Hello Paolo, 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 very glad that this forum has been helping you to taper.  I'm sorry you are having trouble getting off of the Cipralex.

22 hours ago, paolo85 said:

SUDDENLY I CONNECT ALL THE DOTS. Everything fall in place and makes sense. I was always right since the beginning, it was the drugs, and the incompetence of doctors has kept me 10 years under these drugs. I am speechless of the total ignorance of the doctors , even psychiatrics on this topic.

I couldn't agree with you more!  I feel the very same way about the doctors who prescribe these meds, and I've had a similar experience. Doctors know how to put people on the drugs, but not get off of them safely.   

 

First of all, can you please give us specific information about your drug history for all drugs you are on and have been on, especially for the past 18-24 months?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs 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.  

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we taper by 10% of the current dose, so that the taper becomes exponentially smaller.  It is important to take the same dose each day consistently, at the same time of the day.  We do not suggest varying the dose day by day.   Here in the USA 1 ml of liquid Lexapro contains 1 mg of the active ingredient.  Please verify with your chemist/pharmacist if this is true for your Cipralex - that 1 ml liquid contains 1 mg of the drug.  You can buy small syringes that measure less than 1 ml of liquid.  They are available on Amazon.  They measure up to 0.01 of a ml of liquid. This way, you can get very precise measurements of irregular size doses.  It would be easy to measure 1.8 , and you would take this exact amount each day for at least 4 weeks.  If you still don't feel stable at the end of 4 weeks, then stay on this same dose until you feel better.  We suggest listening to your body, rather than going by a rigid schedule.  There are times I don't reduce my taper for 6 weeks, or 2 months.  It all depends on how I'm feeling. 

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

 

The generic name for Cipralex is escitalopram.  The USA brand name is called Lexapro. 

 

Tips for Tapering Cipralex/Escitalopram

 

Important Tapering Topics

 

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

 

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, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone nightly, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

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

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to comment
1 hour ago, getofflex said:

Hello Paolo, 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 very glad that this forum has been helping you to taper.  I'm sorry you are having trouble getting off of the Cipralex.

I couldn't agree with you more!  I feel the very same way about the doctors who prescribe these meds, and I've had a similar experience. Doctors know how to put people on the drugs, but not get off of them safely.   

 

First of all, can you please give us specific information about your drug history for all drugs you are on and have been on, especially for the past 18-24 months?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs 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.  

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we taper by 10% of the current dose, so that the taper becomes exponentially smaller.  It is important to take the same dose each day consistently, at the same time of the day.  We do not suggest varying the dose day by day.   Here in the USA 1 ml of liquid Lexapro contains 1 mg of the active ingredient.  Please verify with your chemist/pharmacist if this is true for your Cipralex - that 1 ml liquid contains 1 mg of the drug.  You can buy small syringes that measure less than 1 ml of liquid.  They are available on Amazon.  They measure up to 0.01 of a ml of liquid. This way, you can get very precise measurements of irregular size doses.  It would be easy to measure 1.8 , and you would take this exact amount each day for at least 4 weeks.  If you still don't feel stable at the end of 4 weeks, then stay on this same dose until you feel better.  We suggest listening to your body, rather than going by a rigid schedule.  There are times I don't reduce my taper for 6 weeks, or 2 months.  It all depends on how I'm feeling. 

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

 

The generic name for Cipralex is escitalopram.  The USA brand name is called Lexapro. 

 

Tips for Tapering Cipralex/Escitalopram

 

Important Tapering Topics

 

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

 

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. 

Hei, thank you for your reply :)

 

I checked about the liquid cipralex, and 1 ml doenst cointain 1 mg but 20 mg. That s why i have problem tapering down. I would need syring that doesnt exist that measure 0.005 ml!

So one drop from the bottle is 1 mg. Indeed dosages are for example 5 drops per day. So it s very concentrated in a very small amount of liquid, therefore impossible split. 1 drop is around 0.01 ml. 

Any idea on how to diluite it further? 

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  • Moderator

Ah, I see.  I believe there is a way to dilute the liquid to make it easier to taper at the lower doses.  I have no experience in this, so another mod will help you in this.  In the meantime, I suggest you remain on your current dose. 

***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, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone nightly, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

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

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to comment
  • Administrator

@paulo -- we need to see your drug history in your signature. See How to List Drug History in Signature

 

Are you taking only 2mg now? Do you use an oral syringe? If you get a 2mL oral syringe, you can easily draw out 1.8mg rather than 2mg. Ask your pharmacist for one, or a veterinarian. Ask your pharmacist how to use it.

 

Read Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques

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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