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HugHK: Amitriptyline taper attempt gone bad


HugHK

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Hi all, 

 

I'm new to this forum so this is my first post. I have joined following a horrible experience trying to taper off Amitriptyline.

 

I was prescribed Amitryptiline for about a year for insomnia, and although I originally went up to 100mg, I quickly came back down to 50mg without too many issues. 

 

I attempted to taper off starting in Dec 2020, initially cutting a quarter off the original dose, then an eighth in early jan and another eighth in late Jan. Early Feb my central nervous system essentially blew up in one day (8th Feb): Woke up very early feeling wired, felt very anxious the whole day, and then couldn't fall asleep when I went to bed.

 

This became a daily occurrence after that day, and after three weeks, I went back up from 25mg to 35mg. Symptoms eased for a few days and then suddenly came back. By mid march I decided to go back up to 50mg and again things eased for a little while but the symptoms came back after a week or so. Under my doctor's advice (psychiatrist and GP), I went up to 75mg in April, which is what I am taking now, but it has not really relieved the symptoms. 

 

I would describe the main symptoms as a general sense of potent discomfort, kind of like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff: my mind is hyper alert and cannot relax; I cannot concentrate, I get occasional muscle spasms / jolts, in particular if someone touches me unexpectedly (dropped a few glasses for example); sweaty hands occasionally and tingling feeling after exercising as well. I've also had bouts of gastritis. 

 

I think things have eased slightly since the start but it's hard to tell. I don't want to change the dosage or take other meds as I want things to even out on their own at the current dosage, and hopefully in the future, taper slowly back down to 50mg once I will have been stable for some time (probably 2.5mg / month once I've been stable). 

 

 

In terms of what I am doing about my current situation

 

-I do cardio exercising 5-6 times a week, usually outdoors. Even on my rest days I at least go for an hour long walk. 

-I try and practice mindfulness 3 times a day (morning before work, lunch break and after work. 

-I eat healthy, although I only just recently cut out alcohol (10 days ago).

- I'm about to start a CBT course to improve how I relate to my discomfort

-I make a conscious effort to attend as many social events as I can even if my mind seems to be telling me to stay at home and do nothing...

-I read a lot, switch off all screens 1h30mins before bed, go to bed at the same time every night etc.

-I find natural supplements like kava and valerian root help as well, I usually take one before bed. I try not to use them too much during the day as I just try and limit any psychoactive products. 

 

 

The main question I have is the following, and I would be super grateful for any advice on this please:

 

I've notice my symptoms worsen after I've exercised: instead of the good relaxed energy I usually get, I feel hyper alert, in an uncomfortable way: light headedness, racing mind and generally anxious. This usually lasts a  few hours after exercising. It's not absolutely horrendous, but just worse than pre exercise sesh. Has anyone else had this? and if so how did you go about it? My doctors have struggled with a medical interpretation of this. 

 

My point of view right now is that this is frustrating but not necessarily worrying or bad: the adrenaline rush generated by exercising just overstimulates my mind a bit, but the long term benefits of exercising outlay the discomfort it causes, hence I should persist with the cardio. A bit like the muscle pain experienced after a vigorous work out which is actually a positive. I also feel like it helps me feel more relaxed in the afternoon and / or evening (say 6h after the exercising)

 

Note that originally when the symptoms were worse, even a hot shower in the morning or laughing at a good joke / getting really positive news would lead to being fully wired... ie anything stimulating, even if good.

 

Again any advice on what more I could do, and on the exercising, would be super helpful.

 

 

 

 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

Link to comment

Hi all, 

 

I'm new to this forum so this is my first post. I have joined following a horrible experience trying to taper off Amitriptyline.

 

I was prescribed Amitryptiline for about a year for insomnia, and although I originally went up to 100mg, I quickly came back down to 50mg without too many issues. 

 

I attempted to taper off starting in Dec 2020, initially cutting a quarter off the original dose, then an eighth in early jan and another eighth in late Jan. Early Feb my central nervous system essentially blew up in one day (8th Feb): Woke up very early feeling wired, felt very anxious the whole day, and then couldn't fall asleep when I went to bed.

 

This became a daily occurrence after that day, and after three weeks, I went back up from 25mg to 35mg. Symptoms eased for a few days and then suddenly came back. By mid march I decided to go back up to 50mg and again things eased for a little while but the symptoms came back after a week or so. Under my doctor's advice (psychiatrist and GP), I went up to 75mg in April, which is what I am taking now, but it has not really relieved the symptoms. 

 

I would describe the main symptoms as a general sense of potent discomfort, kind of like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff: my mind is hyper alert and cannot relax; I cannot concentrate, I get occasional muscle spasms / jolts, in particular if someone touches me unexpectedly (dropped a few glasses for example); sweaty hands occasionally and tingling feeling after exercising as well. I've also had bouts of gastritis. 

 

I think things have eased slightly since the start but it's hard to tell. I don't want to change the dosage or take other meds as I want things to even out on their own at the current dosage, and hopefully in the future, taper slowly back down to 50mg once I will have been stable for some time (probably 2.5mg / month once I've been stable). 

 

 

In terms of what I am doing about my current situation

 

-I do cardio exercising 5-6 times a week, usually outdoors. Even on my rest days I at least go for an hour long walk. 

-I try and practice mindfulness 3 times a day (morning before work, lunch break and after work. 

-I eat healthy, although I only just recently cut out alcohol (10 days ago).

- I'm about to start a CBT course to improve how I relate to my discomfort

-I make a conscious effort to attend as many social events as I can even if my mind seems to be telling me to stay at home and do nothing...

-I read a lot, switch off all screens 1h30mins before bed, go to bed at the same time every night etc.

-I find natural supplements like kava and valerian root help as well, I usually take one before bed. I try not to use them too much during the day as I just try and limit any psychoactive products. 

 

 

The main question I have is the following, and I would be super grateful for any advice on this please:

 

I've notice my symptoms worsen after I've exercised: instead of the good relaxed energy I usually get, I feel hyper alert, in an uncomfortable way: light headedness, racing mind and generally anxious. This usually lasts a  few hours after exercising. It's not absolutely horrendous, but just worse than pre exercise sesh. Has anyone else had this? and if so how did you go about it? My doctors have struggled with a medical interpretation of this. 

 

My point of view right now is that this is frustrating but not necessarily worrying or bad: the adrenaline rush generated by exercising just overstimulates my mind a bit, but the long term benefits of exercising outlay the discomfort it causes, hence I should persist with the cardio. A bit like the muscle pain experienced after a vigorous work out which is actually a positive. I also feel like it helps me feel more relaxed in the afternoon and / or evening (say 6h after the exercising)

 

Note that overall anything stimulating, including exercising, a hot shower, a positive reaction to good /exciting news, laughing at jokes etc.. all lead to an anxious feeling oh hyper-alertness which is very uncomfortable...

 

Again any advice on what more I could do, and on the exercising, would be super helpful.

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Previous post moved to your intro topic (double post).  Please keep all your questions and discussion about your situation in this one thread, so we can best help you.  

 

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.  

 

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 drug names, 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.

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Amitriptyline

 

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

 

 

7 hours ago, HugHK said:

I've notice my symptoms worsen after I've exercised: instead of the good relaxed energy I usually get, I feel hyper alert, in an uncomfortable way: light headedness, racing mind and generally anxious. This usually lasts a  few hours after exercising. It's not absolutely horrendous, but just worse than pre exercise sesh. Has anyone else had this? and if so how did you go about it? My doctors have struggled with a medical interpretation of this. 

 

This is very common for people withdrawing from psych meds.  I have the same thing.  It is because our nervous systems are sensitized and in chaos from getting off the drugs.  Exercise causes us to release cortisol and other chemicals that can irritate a sensitive nervous system and cause further symptoms.  Cortisol is activating, hence your symptoms.  A nervous system in psych med withdrawal tends to be overactive, and any stimulation can cause uncomfortable symptoms. This will very gradually lessen with time, and proper tapering that is very very slow and careful.  What I do, is I do mild gentle exercise, and I don't have any problems with it.  

 

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
  • Moderator
7 hours ago, HugHK said:

I think things have eased slightly since the start but it's hard to tell. I don't want to change the dosage or take other meds as I want things to even out on their own at the current dosage, and hopefully in the future, taper slowly back down to 50mg once I will have been stable for some time (probably 2.5mg / month once I've been stable).

I'm glad to hear it is slightly better.  This sounds like wise and prudent plan.  We do suggest an exponentially smaller taper as you get lower in your dose.  See the link on "tapering by 10%".  

***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
9 hours ago, getofflex said:

Previous post moved to your intro topic (double post).  Please keep all your questions and discussion about your situation in this one thread, so we can best help you.  

 

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.  

 

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 drug names, 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.

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Amitriptyline

 

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

 

 

 

This is very common for people withdrawing from psych meds.  I have the same thing.  It is because our nervous systems are sensitized and in chaos from getting off the drugs.  Exercise causes us to release cortisol and other chemicals that can irritate a sensitive nervous system and cause further symptoms.  Cortisol is activating, hence your symptoms.  A nervous system in psych med withdrawal tends to be overactive, and any stimulation can cause uncomfortable symptoms. This will very gradually lessen with time, and proper tapering that is very very slow and careful.  What I do, is I do mild gentle exercise, and I don't have any problems with it.  

 

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. 

 

Brilliant thanks for all the info. 

 

it's quite reassuring for me to hear that the exercising thing is normal - I was worried I might have some underlying issue here. I even did a heart stress test to make sure I don't have a heart condition or anything.

 

Another thing I've noticed is that although my sleep has objectively been bad (around 6h vs 7h usual, which would normally leave me tired all day without caffeine), this time I never feel tired or sleepy... I guess just another result from my over-stimulated nervous system?

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

Link to comment

I think the below can be combined to my post above, for when a moderator sees it (I can't seem to edit my previous post, I guess from being a new member)

 

regarding the exercise, you think it is actually preventing the healing (or slowing it down)? I'm not good at sitting still and I'm quite into my fitness so I can't imagine myself not hiking / swimming etc so not sure what to do about this... :(

 

I read a lot which seems to help a lot in calming the mind. 

 

Also I wanted to ask - why are you against supplements such as valerian root / kava / chamomile etc..? From what I read online they have proven properties and I do personally feel like they help when I take them.  

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Hello, @HugHK

 

On 5/6/2021 at 12:21 AM, HugHK said:

I've notice my symptoms worsen after I've exercised: instead of the good relaxed energy I usually get, I feel hyper alert, in an uncomfortable way: light headedness, racing mind and generally anxious. This usually lasts a  few hours after exercising. It's not absolutely horrendous, but just worse than pre exercise sesh. Has anyone else had this? and if so how did you go about it? My doctors have struggled with a medical interpretation of this. 

 

Yes, you are increasing adrenaline but your episodes of withdrawal symptoms have sensitized your nervous system to this. Your nervous system is telling you to slow down, it wants less stimulation. If I were you, I'd listen to it and help it settle down by reducing exercise intensity as you stabilize on your reinstatement to 75mg, until your tolerance for this kind of stimulation increases.

 

See What is withdrawal syndrome? 
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

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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OK thanks. That's definitely the toughest thing for me at the moment: the fact that any usually nice feeling of being stimulated lead to uncomfortable sensations. I think I'll try and reduce slightly the intensity of my workouts, and swap for maybe slightly longer, less intense workouts. 

 

Also not sure if you saw my question about why you are against most forms of supplements even if they are natural extracts? I'd value an opinion on this and am intrigued to hear your thoughts

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

Link to comment

Hi HugHK,

 It’s great  you’re doing a lot of healthy things to manage your w/d symptoms. My central nervous system is very activated by coming off this drug as well. Although I usually do gym workouts I had to stop that for the time being and am doing yoga and walks in nature. Listen to what your body is telling you, you will heal faster if you do. Sending you healing vibes!!

Been on medication since 1999. Previous medications include Remeron, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Xanax, Ativan, Valium.

 

Since 3/20 CT’ed MMJ, fast tapered 10mg Lexapro and 2mg Abilify (was on each for about a month) and tapered off 50 mg Amitriptyline. 

 

Klonopin: doses varied since 2001; currently on .5 mg

 

Supplements: Magnesium citrate: 250 mg; Fish oil: 1200 mg

 

“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”  - Albert Einstein 

 

 

 

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OK thanks guys, I think I will reduce intensity of cardio workouts for a little bit then and see how I get on. 

 

Another question I had is regarding how long to be stable on the reinstated dose before tapering off again?

 

Essentially I'm having some better days recently, which is more than welcome after the last few months, however I do have side effects on my current dose of 75mg of AMT, which I didn't have at 50mg: some acid reflux, a higher resting heart rate, slight weight gain, and sexual disfunction (in the sense I find it hard to reach an orgasm). In that sense I still feel a lot of frustration at being worse off than I was before my last tapering attempt. 

 

I'm also starting CBT in ten days so I'm looking forward to that. Got my first covid jab tomorrow and am sort of dreading that - I've never had an issue with a jab before but I've also never been in a position with such a sensitive nervous system.

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

Link to comment
  • Moderator
On 5/6/2021 at 8:23 PM, HugHK said:

Another thing I've noticed is that although my sleep has objectively been bad (around 6h vs 7h usual, which would normally leave me tired all day without caffeine), this time I never feel tired or sleepy... I guess just another result from my over-stimulated nervous system?

Yes, you are correct.  When in withdrawal from psych meds, our nervous systems tend to be over activated.  

 

On 5/7/2021 at 5:51 AM, HugHK said:

regarding the exercise, you think it is actually preventing the healing (or slowing it down)? I'm not good at sitting still and I'm quite into my fitness so I can't imagine myself not hiking / swimming etc so not sure what to do about this... :(

I'm the same way as you.   I would suggest walking.  It is milder and gentler, and less likely to cause trouble.  Or, perhaps taking shorter, easier hikes.  By the way, I love hiking too, but if I overdo it, my withdrawal flares up. 

 

5 hours ago, HugHK said:

Another question I had is regarding how long to be stable on the reinstated dose before tapering off again?

Stability

 

On 5/8/2021 at 5:37 AM, HugHK said:

 

Also not sure if you saw my question about why you are against most forms of supplements even if they are natural extracts?

Because even natural extracts can stimulate or further destabilize a nervous system that is in chaos from psych meds.  Any time we take something that alters our nervous system, be it artificial (drugs) or natural (supplements), it can cause our symptoms to worsen. 

 

Supplements, etc.

***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
  • 2 weeks later...

Hey everyone. So I've stopped cardio exercise a week ago now, replaced it with long walks in the park. I aim for 10-15k steps a day kind of thing. 

 

I guess I get the added benefit of no horrendous sensation after exercising but frankly daily symptoms seem pretty stable. Feel hyper alert most of the time and frequently get a horribly uncomfortable feeling after anything stimulating, even good things that I enjoy.

 

I've been almost a month on 75mg of amitriptyline now, and I feel like it hasn't really helped me if I'm honest. As such I am considering starting to taper back to 50mg, even though my condition isn't back to normal. I have some side effects I don't really like, so at least some of these could fade in time. I am very worried it might make things worse even if I take my time - any tips on whether this is a good idea?

 

Really at a loss when facing the fact I haven't found a single way to alleviate symptoms in over three months to be honest. I've had anxiety before but never this constant feeling of discomfort. 

 

 

 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

Link to comment
  • Moderator
11 hours ago, HugHK said:

Feel hyper alert most of the time and frequently get a horribly uncomfortable feeling after anything stimulating, even good things that I enjoy.

Yes, this is typical of psych drug withdrawal. Our nervous systems tend to be very activated.  I'm the same way.  It very gradually improved with time.  Have you tried the magnesium or the fish oil supplements?  

 

11 hours ago, HugHK said:

I've been almost a month on 75mg of amitriptyline now, and I feel like it hasn't really helped me if I'm honest.

It may be your system has been sensitized by the frequent dose changes made earlier this year.  With each change in a psych med drug, it tends to make our systems more and more sensitive.  If I were you, I'd be very cautious about making any future changes to the drugs.  Have you been feeling worse recently, or about the same?  

 

11 hours ago, HugHK said:

As such I am considering starting to taper back to 50mg, even though my condition isn't back to normal. I have some side effects I don't really like, so at least some of these could fade in time. I am very worried it might make things worse even if I take my time - any tips on whether this is a good idea?

I would not suggest making another change to your drugs.  I think you may be right in that it could make things worse.  If it were me, I would stay on your current dose for a while.  One of the best things I did for my WD was doing a 5 month hold on my dose.  My WD because significantly easier after that.  

***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
7 hours ago, getofflex said:

Yes, this is typical of psych drug withdrawal. Our nervous systems tend to be very activated.  I'm the same way.  It very gradually improved with time.  Have you tried the magnesium or the fish oil supplements?  

 

It may be your system has been sensitized by the frequent dose changes made earlier this year.  With each change in a psych med drug, it tends to make our systems more and more sensitive.  If I were you, I'd be very cautious about making any future changes to the drugs.  Have you been feeling worse recently, or about the same?  

 

I would not suggest making another change to your drugs.  I think you may be right in that it could make things worse.  If it were me, I would stay on your current dose for a while.  One of the best things I did for my WD was doing a 5 month hold on my dose.  My WD because significantly easier after that.  

 

OK thanks for the advice. 

 

it's difficult to tell if I'm feeling any better to be honest. Sometimes I feel a bit better and it makes me optimistic, and then the next day I wake up and I'm back to feeling bad. 

 

I haven't tried the fish oils etc but I do eat fish every day as part of my diet. 

 

How long did you suffer from an overly sensitive nervous system? sounds like it was going on for months?

 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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  • Moderator

It sounds like you are going through the normal windows and waves recovery pattern. 

 

I still have a sensitized nervous system, but it is very gradually becoming less so.  

 

This explains what stability is: 

 

Stability

 

Hang out on your current dose of 75 mg for a while, and I suspect you will very gradually begin to feel a bit better. 

 

What are your symptoms now?  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, how would you rate your symptoms overall on average?

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, 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

 

 

10 hours ago, getofflex said:

It sounds like you are going through the normal windows and waves recovery pattern. 

 

I still have a sensitized nervous system, but it is very gradually becoming less so.  

 

This explains what stability is: 

 

Stability

 

Hang out on your current dose of 75 mg for a while, and I suspect you will very gradually begin to feel a bit better. 

 

What are your symptoms now?  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, how would you rate your symptoms overall on average?

 

Hi Getofflex, 

 

OK thanks for your recommendation regarding stability. That does make sense to me, and I think I'll be patient and stick to that. 

 

In terms of my symptoms, the three that are left are:

 

1/ a very deep feeling of anxiety (constantly very alert, uncomfortable, almost never feel relaxed). This is the really bad one - the others I don't mind too much. Occasionally light headed.

 

2/ neuropathy (just found out what it's called...): tingling sensation in my legs in particular, occasional muscle twitching too. 

 

3/ Sometimes an elevated heart rate for no apparent reason, highly correlated to the anxiety feeling described in 1/ though. 

 

I don't really have insomnia anymore so that's definitely a positive - although I never felt tired anyway as I was so alert...

 

My stomach problems seem to have gotten better too, I've almost reduced PPI medication (omeprazole) to 0. 

 

Rather than how bad the symptoms are, what I find tougher to cope with is:

 

-The slowness of any form of progress: I think originally I felt a lot worse than recently, but as long as I thought going back on the med would alleviate symptoms in a few weeks it didn't bother me too much. Now it's sinking in that this is a complete waste of a year as things are slowly reopening after covid, and I'm not even sure I'll be back to normal by the end of the year. Everyone else in my life is having a great time and I'm stuck not being able to drink or exercise - my 2 favourite activities. 

 

-The  unpredictability: no correlation with work stress etc... it just comes and goes as it pleases. Beyond exercising which is an obvious trigger, I haven't identified anything that really makes it worse, so it's not like I can just avoid whatever the triggers are. 

 

-The fact that when the symptoms hit, it's like there is nothing I can do about it: I'm completely powerless against them. I'm not normally the kind of person that sits and waits for things to happen - in fact that's completely the opposite of my life philosophy, where I believe that good things happen to people who put themselves out there and go and get what they want from life. Right now it all occasionally leaves me feeling hopeless, as the only thing I really want in life right now is to feel normal again, and there's apparently nothing I can do to get that - if I'm so powerless in such a simple ask, why am I even bothering with anything else...

 

-The car crash it's causing in my life: Socialising, Physical activity, dating (both the emotional and physical sides), career: everything is impacted and reduced to a fraction of what they were before (in fact dating has been reduced to near 0 over the last three months). 

 

-The worry that even when things improve, I could be in for round 2 when I try and taper off again. I'd give anything for this to go away and never come back. Frankly, I think I will just taper down slowly to the original dose Iw as taking with little to no side effects, and then take that for the rest of my life - I genuinely have no interest in feeling the way I've been feeling for the last three and something months...

 

This is why I've found a therapist to help me psychologically with coping with both my thoughts and by physical symptoms when they arise. It won't come easy for me to just watch all my friends having fun while not even having a clue if I'll ever be able to join them again at some point... 

 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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  • Moderator
On 5/22/2021 at 2:10 AM, HugHK said:

1/ a very deep feeling of anxiety (constantly very alert, uncomfortable, almost never feel relaxed). This is the really bad one - the others I don't mind too much. Occasionally light headed.

Oh, I know this feeling all too well.  Our nervous systems tend to become activated while we are in withdrawal from psych meds.  I'm glad you are being patient,  this will subside, but very gradually.  Time is the main healer. 

 

On 5/22/2021 at 2:10 AM, HugHK said:

I think originally I felt a lot worse than recently,

This is great!  I'm happy to hear this.  It shows your nervous system is healing. 

 

On 5/22/2021 at 2:10 AM, HugHK said:

 it's sinking in that this is a complete waste of a year

On the surface of things, it may seem that the time was wasted.  However, people have reported here that going through this WD has given them a deep inner strength and wisdom.  This quality will serve them well for the rest of their lives.  

 

On 5/22/2021 at 2:10 AM, HugHK said:

Right now it all occasionally leaves me feeling hopeless

have you read any of the success stories on this forum?  Just go to the home page, they are about halfway down. These always gave me hope when I was feeling despair.

 

On 5/22/2021 at 2:10 AM, HugHK said:

The worry that even when things improve, I could be in for round 2 when I try and taper off again.

I believe that if you go super slowly and carefully, it won't be as bad.  

 

On 5/22/2021 at 2:10 AM, HugHK said:

This is why I've found a therapist to help me psychologically with coping with both my thoughts and by physical symptoms when they arise.

I hope your therapist is helpful and good fit for you. 

***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
On 5/24/2021 at 12:24 AM, getofflex said:

Oh, I know this feeling all too well.  Our nervous systems tend to become activated while we are in withdrawal from psych meds.  I'm glad you are being patient,  this will subside, but very gradually.  Time is the main healer. 

 

This is great!  I'm happy to hear this.  It shows your nervous system is healing. 

 

On the surface of things, it may seem that the time was wasted.  However, people have reported here that going through this WD has given them a deep inner strength and wisdom.  This quality will serve them well for the rest of their lives.  

 

have you read any of the success stories on this forum?  Just go to the home page, they are about halfway down. These always gave me hope when I was feeling despair.

 

I believe that if you go super slowly and carefully, it won't be as bad.  

 

I hope your therapist is helpful and good fit for you. 

 

Do you mind if I ask, how long did you stay off cardio exercising? Also do you have any other annoying triggers (for me this can ba a hot shower, some really exciting news). I also feel like I notice the symptoms more when I am not doing anything - for example if I'm joking around with someone no problem, but then when I settle down to do something at work 5 mins later I feel a bit wired...

 

Also did you find the GABA supplements made any difference at all? I tried them a while back and didn't really feel any difference - also I read online that they may not get through the blood / brain barrier (unlike natural forms of supplements such as kava extracts, chamomile etc..)

 

in your signature I see you are tapering by 0.1mg... and you are still getting withdrawal symptoms at those levels?

 

 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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  • Moderator
6 hours ago, HugHK said:

Do you mind if I ask, how long did you stay off cardio exercising?

I no longer do intense cardio, such as the elliptical.  I now do a slow or brisk walk for an hour a day.  

 

6 hours ago, HugHK said:

Also do you have any other annoying triggers 

Yes.  Sudden changes in the weather, high stress, major change in diet, eating too much sugar, caffeine, being overly active for a whole day, toxic people are all triggers for me.  

 

6 hours ago, HugHK said:

Also did you find the GABA supplements made any difference at all?

I don't think they are doing any thing for me.  I started taking several amino acids that were supposed to be calming because I read a book several years ago that recommended them.  I can't recall the book's name.  I've already weaned off the previous 2. I'll wean off the GABA at some point.  

 

6 hours ago, HugHK said:

in your signature I see you are tapering by 0.1mg... and you are still getting withdrawal symptoms at those levels?

I'm getting minimal WD from these tapers at this point, but it's hard to say.  I sill have a windows and waves pattern, and the waves are not always correlated to my changes in dose.  Occasionally they are, but I'm not sure if this is coincidence.  

***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
4 minutes ago, getofflex said:

I no longer do intense cardio, such as the elliptical.  I now do a slow or brisk walk for an hour a day.  

 

Yes.  Sudden changes in the weather, high stress, major change in diet, eating too much sugar, caffeine, being overly active for a whole day, toxic people are all triggers for me.  

 

I don't think they are doing any thing for me.  I started taking several amino acids that were supposed to be calming because I read a book several years ago that recommended them.  I can't recall the book's name.  I've already weaned off the previous 2. I'll wean off the GABA at some point.  

 

I'm getting minimal WD from these tapers at this point, but it's hard to say.  I sill have a windows and waves pattern, and the waves are not always correlated to my changes in dose.  Occasionally they are, but I'm not sure if this is coincidence.  

 

OK thanks for the additional info. Interesting about the changes in the weather - didn't know this could play a role. Although I've noticed out here, the heat (90 Fahrenheit) and humidity (70-90%) can occasionally make me feel uncomfortable if I'm having a period of bad symptoms for example. 

 

At this point it's more of a personal question so please feel free to not  answer if you are not comfortable doing so, but when I look at the sacrifices that you have made to come off the medication, I do wonder what your inner motivations to come off the meds were? Essentially, what makes it worth sacrificing cardio, caffeine, sticking to a healthy diet all the time, little boozing etc... just to come off a med?

 

Having thought about my current predicament a lot in the last few months, I feel like I have made the necessary change in my lifestyle, only because I didn't have the choice, in the sense that I am taking a larger dose of medication than I was originally and yet I still feel pretty bad - so I need to get fully better on the current dose before considering any next steps. But when things do go back to normal on my current 75mg dose (and by normal I mean able to do vigorous cardio, drink alcohol and caffeine, and handle stressful situations without worrying about my nervous system blowing up), I think I will very slowly taper down to 50mg - but I doubt I will ever try and go below that level. Essentially, I want to make sure I never have to experience the pas 3-4 months again - and I certainly wouldn't go though such an ordeal for years.

 

Perhaps life situation plays a role - I'm 28, work in the finance where client entertainment is part of my job, and also single, so I have no time to waste on any side (and certainly not what's left of my twenties or early thirties...). But I guess you must have some deep underlying reasons to find the strength to go through this over such a long period of time?

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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Hi guys,

 

I'm not sure if this is the right place but haven't found anything on this yet. I actually have three questions so it's a bit of a miscellaneous 

 

the first is regarding reinstatements:

 

In my case, I tried to withdraw completely from AMT last year, cutting a quarter of the dose every 2 weeks. I got bad anxiety and insomnia, so went back on 50mg (original dose) and anxiety subsided in days, and the sleep took a few months

 

This year, I tried again doing an eighth of the dose every 2 weeks this time. At around 25mg, everything went south again, and this time reinstating to 35mg, 50mg, 60mg and 75mg didn't solve the problem. It's been almost 4 months now, and little progress to show. Part of me still can't believe it, part of me is livid at getting nowhere, part of me wants to try another med and part of me never wants to see a doctor again. 

 

Even rationally I struggle to understand why reinstating wouldn't work. To me same meds = same effects. Any ideas on why reinstatements don't work?

 

My second question is - has anyone ever done a brain MRI? Anything interesting come up? I'm thinking this as my nervous system seems overly activated (highly sensitive to anything). perhaps an MRI could show too much activity in one part of the brain etc..?

 

And my third: I've noticed that if my symptoms are mild and I am doing something that I am fully focused on, I don't notice the symptoms. For example, a really enjoyable conversation, reading a nice book, sex, doing something interesting for work etc... It doesn't really apply if my symptoms are potent. Anyone else notice that? 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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  • Administrator

I think your question is, "Why didn't reinstatement work for me?"

 

You had 2 rounds of withdrawal syndrome in about 7 months. Your nervous system probably hadn't recovered from the first withdrawal when you started on the second. The second bout of withdrawal symptoms may have sensitized you to amitriptyline and you reinstated too high a dose. Then you went higher and higher and irritated your nervous system more.

 

We see this all the time here. Consequently, we usually recommend very low dose reinstatements. Also, slower tapers than what you've used.

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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Well apparently im not the only one for who it doesn't work, cf a lot of members on this forum. So I meant it in a more general sense than just my case, but your explanation does make sense to me.

 

Although I was fully back to normal for a few months before I started round 2. normal sleep, no anxiety, not even when hungover etc... No sensitivity to huge workouts or caffeine or alcohol etc... Couldn't have been feeling more normal.  

 

For sure I tried to cut down too fast but when doctors tell you a quarter of the dose every two weeks what are you meant to do... Not point dwelling on that.

 

It feels like going to higher doses helped for a few days and then it it didn't. either way I am not sure if it's made things worse or not. That was under doctor's advice as well so again, I'm not going to blame myself for it. I am pretty frustrated at my doctor though, I feel like it would have been their job to know.

 

Regarding question 2/ I think that actually warrants a topic on its own, I feel like I am sure some members of the forum would have given it a go and I'd be interested in knowing what they found. is there another thread where I can post this? Some answers here could possibly go a long way in explaining what's actually going on in our minds.

 

38 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

I think your question is, "Why didn't reinstatement work for me?"

 

You had 2 rounds of withdrawal syndrome in about 7 months. Your nervous system probably hadn't recovered from the first withdrawal when you started on the second. The second bout of withdrawal symptoms may have sensitized you to amitriptyline and you reinstated too high a dose. Then you went higher and higher and irritated your nervous system more.

 

We see this all the time here. Consequently, we usually recommend very low dose reinstatements. Also, slower tapers than what you've used.

 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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14 hours ago, HugHK said:

And my third: I've noticed that if my symptoms are mild and I am doing something that I am fully focused on, I don't notice the symptoms. For example, a really enjoyable conversation, reading a nice book, sex, doing something interesting for work etc... It doesn't really apply if my symptoms are potent. Anyone else notice that? 

Yes, definitely. Whatever you focus on creates your reality for that moment. Focus on your symptoms and that’s what’s happening, get lost in nature and that’s what’s happening, etc. If you think about it from the perspective of focus all experience is actually neutral. I’m in the process of retraining my brain by getting out of my head and into the present moment. I now find that when I have anxious thoughts I can shift my focus much easier even with the strong pull to think of them. This has helped me tremendously with the symptoms of a super fast amitriptyline taper, especially sleep!!

Been on medication since 1999. Previous medications include Remeron, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Xanax, Ativan, Valium.

 

Since 3/20 CT’ed MMJ, fast tapered 10mg Lexapro and 2mg Abilify (was on each for about a month) and tapered off 50 mg Amitriptyline. 

 

Klonopin: doses varied since 2001; currently on .5 mg

 

Supplements: Magnesium citrate: 250 mg; Fish oil: 1200 mg

 

“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”  - Albert Einstein 

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey everyone.

 

Finally I have made some progress in the last few weeks. Feel almost normal during the day, sleep at night seems fine too. Walking at a good pace not a problem neither. Still get occasional tingling in my feet and feel a bit wired after a shower. Will wait a few more days before I test some low intensity workouts like press-ups etc see how I react to that before starting cardio again, hopefully in the next couple of weeks if things go well.

 

I'm still a bit frustrated at the situation as on my current reinstated dosage of 75mg, (vs 50mg stable previously), I do get side effects, namely a faster heart rate and less sensation during sex (hard to finish). The faster heart rate isn't a problem when I'm not doing anything (I occasionally have to take a deeper breath) but I have been catching my breath after walking up some stairs etc and it is particularly annoying if I drink (which also increases heart rate) and hence I feel uncomfortable at times. I expect it will make sport performance harder when I pick up exercising too. At 50mg I didn't really notice any meaningful side effects (heart rate at rest 70 or less).

 

I will certainly look at tapering back down to 50mg at some point, but not sure when: I've just been promoted at work and will be moving across the world to NY so I don't think it's a good idea to taper before I have fully settled in over there - so probably start decreasing the dose early next year.

 

I had one important question with regards to tapering:

 

-Does it matter if I use a different brand of medication? currently I take 3 x 25mg from Apotex, and the 10mg I have are from another brand. so if im going to taper 5mg a month, I'd be going to 2x50mg + 2x20mg the first month etc... Could this be a problem?

 

-Are there any problems to get AMT in the US / some brands aren't available etc..? I've read on google conflicting information about it being taken off the market but can still be prescribed...

 

I guess the last taper has made me feel quite nervous at the idea of changing the dosage again now that I've realised what's at stake... I'd like to be as sure as possible that things go smoothly this time round, even if it means going slowly.

 

 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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  • 2 weeks later...

Actually it seems all I needed to do was talk about feeling better for the symptoms to worsen again...

 

Recently, I've been sleeping well, but waking up completely startled, sweaty hands etc... Consequently no chance of doing any sport any time soon. So infuriating.

 

I had a load of blood tests done and no issue there. Also had a brain MRI which didn't show any issues.

 

As I said to the doctor when I got blood tests results when she announced it as good news: to me it's not really, I'd have preferred something physically wrong than those weird symptoms I've been having that make me feel bad all day every day. Nothing worse than being told: we don't really know what the problem is, we don't really know if there's anything we can do about it, we don't really know when if it will go away or if you will ever get back to feeling normal.

 

I will now start tapering off slowly since clearly going to 75mg didn't have any positive effects. New GP agreed that 2.5mg every 3-4 weeks should be Ok to try for the time being. No point taking a higher dose as I get side effects at this dose (the higher heart rate can be uncomfortable).

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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  • 4 months later...

Hi all... Oh how wrong I was back in July... Was just experiencing a window and nowhere near the end of this.

 

I've been keeping daily tabs of how things have been going since August, and have been rating my two main symptoms out of 5:

 

1/ my two main symptoms are hyper-alertness, and startledness (which includes weird physical sensations in my brain, excessive sweatiness, light headedness, and is usually correlated with tingling feeling in my feet).

 

2/ They are ranked out of 5: 0 would be no symptom whatsoever, 1 is mild symptoms, 2 is moderate symptoms, 3 is noticeable discomfort, usually requires cancellation of social events etc, 4 is terribly uncomfortable and 5 is total horror show (foetal position in the sofa all day). Luckily only had a few days that would have been 5 in May-June but don't remember which ones. For the first few months I just rated the months as the average of what I remember the conditions to be.

 

Anyway this is what it looks like since **** hit the fan when I increased my dose in late April: daily data starts 1st August. 

 

image.thumb.png.96cca04743186b5647899b9cba7cc956.png

 

Lots of windows and waves, and October - November is where I really saw some progress after a highly frustrating August-September period where no progress was made. 

 

This is the chart irrespective of which symptom, with the 30 daily moving average for combination of symptoms ratings:

 

image.thumb.png.40996421805f64b651e4482646aa24a5.png

 

I've come a long way this year.

 

My situation recently:

 

  • hyper alertness is slightly present upon waking but usually fades quickly.
  • Even the startledness is now starting to fade: I haven't had a single bad day since the start of November, and good days (rating of 1 for each symptom) are becoming more frequent, while days that aren't great (startledness reaches a 2) are becoming less frequent. 
  • Sleep is impeccable, even without doing my daily walks since October etc. can nap during the day
  • no more stomach issues although a couple of fatty meals in a row leave my digestion a bit weak...
  • These days, on some good days I can actually do mild swimming exercising, even though I will likely postpone any sport till next year. 
  • I've also been lowering medication dose by 2.5mg every 4 weeks. Now down to 60mg. 
  • I've been able to go out drinking occasionally, and it doesn't affect me too badly the next day
  • The tingling in my feet had mostly gone and came back a few weeks ago... out of nowhere.

 

I had been doing long walks religiously when, annoyingly, I developed plantar fasciitis in October. October was a really bad month for me as I had to quit walking, and still couldn't do sport.

 

However I do have a question for some withdrawal veterans...

 

One symptom that is still plaguing me is that I still have a high resting heart rate, around 80-85bpm (normally should be in low to mid 60s for me). A higher heart rate is a known side effect of AMT (When I was stable at 50mg I was at 70bpm I think) but here I think it's still my nervous system messing up.

 

Beyond the fact that it's uncomfortable (I randomly feel out of breath, especially when I go up some stairs, it's like I'm my nan), when I will be looking to pick up a normal lifestyle again next year (sport, drinking etc), I'm actually a bit worried about it. I had an EKG done in May and there were no issues to note, but I do have a weird pain around my left shoulder at times, which I think may be related. the doctor has prescribed beta blockers, tried them out a bit for a couple of days but I want to hold off for now, as I'm reluctant to go on long term meds. Also, I wouldn't be able to go out drinking and beta blockers may also affect sport performance, so not sure I want to be taking them next year when I get my life back on track...

 

Has anyone had experience with beta blockers in antidepressant withdrawal / if so did they help etc...? And anyone had prolonged period of fast heart rate?

 

Any thoughts on the beta blocker question would be helpful... thanks 

 

 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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  • Moderator Emeritus
11 hours ago, HugHK said:

when I will be looking to pick up a normal lifestyle again next year (sport, drinking etc),

 

Drinking is NOT a good idea.  Both whilst taking the amitriptyline and after getting off it.

 

alcohol-and-beer

 

It Doesn’t end at “0”

 

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full 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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
12 hours ago, HugHK said:

Has anyone had experience with beta blockers in antidepressant withdrawal / if so did they help etc...? And anyone had prolonged period of fast heart rate?

 

There are many existing topics on SA.  Use the site search function or an internet search engine and add site:survivingantidepressants.org to the search term.

 

I suggest you look for names of beta blocker drugs.

 

beta-blockers

 

There is also this topic:

 

high-resting-heart-rate

 

And there might be some information in these topics:

 

tapering-beta-blockers-or-alpha-blockers

 

tips-for-tapering-off-propranolol

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full 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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@HugHK Did you notice burping and belching ? 

2017 october--2018 march->(6 month) fluoxetine 20,30 mg-->cold turkey= after 2 month semen leakage

2018 july---2018 Aug-->(24 days) fluoxetine 20 mg --> cold turkey = vivid dreams begin

2018 december 2019 Jan-->(1 month) Amitriptyline 25--> cold turkey
--------++++--horror of drugs begins. Taking one after another and cold turkey-------+++------------------
2019 May--2019 May--> (12 days) Lexapro cold turkey

2019 May--2019 august -->(3 month)Cobazam 10 mg +amitriptyline 25 mg --> clobazam cold turkey

----2019 october ---> went cold turkey amitriptyline 25 mg.

2019 october--2020 Jan -->(3 months) duloxetine cymbalta 30mg --->cold turkey

2020 jan-2020 Apr--> (3 months) paroxetine 25 mg --> Cold turkey

2020 July--2021 Jan--> (6 months) amitriptyline 50 mg ,75 mg,100 mg ,125 mg -> cold turkey

2021 jan--2021 May--> (4 months) imipramine 75 mg -->cold turkey

2021 may-2021 Aug--> (3 months) nortriptyline 25 mg --> cold turkey== still semen leakage and vivid dream

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On 12/20/2021 at 12:26 AM, PsychologicalSafe15 said:

@HugHK Did you notice burping and belching ? 

Hey,

 

Actually in my case I think the AMT was creating my stomach problems originally which is why wanted to come off. I did feel like the withdrawal period was punctuated by some bad days, but overall it's been fine. So far Christmas food is going down ok too. 

 

touch wood...

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

Link to comment

Are you not burping and bloating ? do you not get feeling to burp ? or urge to burp ??

Are you not getting acid reflux ? I am getting acid reflux like symptoms or excessive acid. please help

2017 october--2018 march->(6 month) fluoxetine 20,30 mg-->cold turkey= after 2 month semen leakage

2018 july---2018 Aug-->(24 days) fluoxetine 20 mg --> cold turkey = vivid dreams begin

2018 december 2019 Jan-->(1 month) Amitriptyline 25--> cold turkey
--------++++--horror of drugs begins. Taking one after another and cold turkey-------+++------------------
2019 May--2019 May--> (12 days) Lexapro cold turkey

2019 May--2019 august -->(3 month)Cobazam 10 mg +amitriptyline 25 mg --> clobazam cold turkey

----2019 october ---> went cold turkey amitriptyline 25 mg.

2019 october--2020 Jan -->(3 months) duloxetine cymbalta 30mg --->cold turkey

2020 jan-2020 Apr--> (3 months) paroxetine 25 mg --> Cold turkey

2020 July--2021 Jan--> (6 months) amitriptyline 50 mg ,75 mg,100 mg ,125 mg -> cold turkey

2021 jan--2021 May--> (4 months) imipramine 75 mg -->cold turkey

2021 may-2021 Aug--> (3 months) nortriptyline 25 mg --> cold turkey== still semen leakage and vivid dream

Link to comment
On 12/27/2021 at 8:14 PM, PsychologicalSafe15 said:

Are you not burping and bloating ? do you not get feeling to burp ? or urge to burp ??

Are you not getting acid reflux ? I am getting acid reflux like symptoms or excessive acid. please help

No I am not

 

 

 

 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

Link to comment

Hi all,

 

So I have continued with tapering by 2.5mg every 4 weeks, with the intent to get down to 25mg long term (a relatively low dosage). The reason I a targeting 25mg as in opposed to my original 50mg is that I suspect AMT was giving me stomach problems (gastritis), so I’d like to avoid those.

 

Overall things have been improving very slowly: one of the main symptoms (Hyper Alertness) has basically disappeared, while the other one (startledness) isn’t as bad as it used to be.

 

However I’ve been very disappointed by the current wave I’m in, which came out of nowhere right around Xmas, and brought back symptoms I hadn’t seen in weeks, perhaps even a couple of months.

 

The improvements have been much slower than I thought, and the improvement trend continues to consistently underperform my expectations. Basically I’ve had many times of thinking I’d be back to normal in a matter of weeks (including mid-December, where symptoms weren’t bad and I could even exercise etc…), only to have the dreams of normality shattered by a rogue wave: this is the progress since August:

 

Symptoms with an intensity of 1 indicate mild symptoms, symptoms rated a two are moderate intensity (that's when it starts to become really annoying and makes me want to not leave the flat). The current wave is the only spike in 7-day average I've had that has actually been worse than the previous one, hence the frustration. The implication on the trend is that overall things aren't really improving in the last two months. 

 

 

image.thumb.png.d6e824d58bfe829d9e83c0fa23ed11da.png

 

 

At this point, I am taking 57.5mg and am considering halting the taper when I reach 50mg. If I do that, there is a chance I may never taper again if it turns out my stomach issues never come back. I’d happily stick to taking 2 pills every evening vs enduring any more of this withdrawal BS.

 

The underlying question I cannot answer and would like advice on is this: is my slow taper (<5% / month) indeed prolonging the pain of WD (ie, if I continue tapering down to 25mg, it will push back considerably the point where I am back to feeling normal), or are my current symptoms and waves the lasting effect of my failed reinstatement back in April last year (ie my slow taper is probably not affecting my symptoms)?

 

If it’s option 1, then I’d stop at 50mg, at least for a year or so. If it’s option 2, it’s worth pushing to 25mg…

 

In terms of further info:

-I don’t notice any relationship between my taper dates and new waves coming in.

-The two symptoms I have left (feeling startled with physical sensation in my brain, tingling in my feet) came on when I upped to 75mg - they were not part of the initial withdrawal from lowering the dose.

-All symptoms from the original withdrawal (Hyper alertness & arousal, insomnia) have gone.

-In the 10 weeks where I held at 75mg between late April and early July, I saw strictly no improvements in my symptoms

 

I know there is no definite answer to this question, but I think any help / advice would be welcome.

 

 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

Link to comment
On 5/26/2021 at 8:44 PM, getofflex said:

I'm getting minimal WD from these tapers at this point, but it's hard to say.  I sill have a windows and waves pattern, and the waves are not always correlated to my changes in dose.  Occasionally they are, but I'm not sure if this is coincidence.  

 

Essentially seems I am wondering the same as getofflex: are these windows and waves uncorrelated to my taper... @getofflex if you are still on the forum, I wonder if you ever found the answer to this please?

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hugh, no I didn't.  However, I have been keeping a daily journal for the past 6 months and I'm finding that my waves are correlating with things like stress, volatile weather, major changes in my routine, intense exercise, being overstimulated, etc.  You might try keeping a journal, and writing down what you eat, your sleep patterns, your activities, etc, and see if you can't find any correlations of any of these factors with an uptick in symptoms.   This can be pretty helpful.  

***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

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