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Stardust: on multiple meds for dep/anx; ready to reduce, seeking advice on which to taper first


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Stardust

I have struggled with the evil twins of depression and anxiety for all of my adult life.  I'm now in my late 60s.  

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day; 

bupropion SR 100mg/day;  

buspirone 20mg/day;

I've been on citalopram and bupropion for many years.  Buspirone was added about three years ago.

Under medical guidance I tapered too fast off benzos two years ago, a hellish withdrawal experience.  I'm 99% recovered and ready to chip away at the heavy load of psych meds I'm on. I'm determined to do a slow careful taper to avoid anything resembling what I went through with benzo withdrawal. I just ordered the Gem

I'm not certain which med to start with.  I'm thinking the citalopram dose is the most immediate concern because it's so high but I'm hoping to get feedback on SA.

Thanks

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day. June 2021 started tapering using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

 

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

 

Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins D3, C and B12

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  • Moderator
Gridley
Posted (edited)

Welcome to SA, Stardust.  Congratulations on being benzo-free.

 

To start:
 
Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. Please indicate which type of Buproprion you're taking (SR, XR, XL).

 

A direct link to your signature is here:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature. Please note: 
  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
As you provide more information, we can better guide you in setting up a slow and careful taper. Please continue to use this thread to ask question and document your taper. 
 
As to your taper, we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.
 
 
Regarding which drug to taper first of your remaining drugs, we recommend tapering only one drug at a time and tapering the most activating (stimulating) drug first.  SSRI's like Citalopram are stimulating.  Buproprion (Wellbutrin) is also stimulating.  Buspirone is sedating.  
 
 
Tapering either the Citalopram or the Buproprion first would be fine.  Here are some factors to consider in deciding which to taper first:
 
1. How you feel after tapering the Citalopram and how do you feel after taking the Buproprion?  ?  Do you feel more activated after taking one than the other?
2.  You will be able to finish the Buproprion taper more quickly as, unlike other antidpressants, it can often, after an initial trial taper,  sometimes be tapered a bit faster than 10% every four weeks.  The link below explains.
3.  You are, as you say, at a high dose, of Citalopram and that's a factor to consider as you continue to reduce your drug burden. 
 
Here are links with specific information about tapering both Citalopram and Buproprion, including various methods to get the non-standard doses you'll need for a 10% taper.  Again, you'll be tapering only one at a time.
 
 
Citalopram comes in a prescription liquid and is a convenient and accurate method of tapering.  It does require a gradual crossover from the tablet before you begin tapering.  If you choose this method, let us know and we can recommend a crossover schedule.
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

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

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can complete your drug signature, ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

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


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

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Stardust

Thank you very much Gridley.

I think I'll start with citalopram/Celexa taper.  I don't like the idea of being on such a high dosage.

I expect to receive the Gem scale next week and start the taper then.

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day. June 2021 started tapering using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

 

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

 

Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins D3, C and B12

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  • Moderator
Gridley
13 hours ago, Stardust said:

Thank you very much Gridley.

I think I'll start with citalopram/Celexa taper.  I don't like the idea of being on such a high dosage.

I expect to receive the Gem scale next week and start the taper then.

That sounds fine.

 

To start your taper, we advise weighing 10 Celexa tablets and use the average weight for your taper.  Tablets differ in weight slightly but this is inconsequential because there is much more filler in each tablet than active ingredient of the drug.

 

You will keep track of your taper by milligram pill weight, abbreviated mgpw, and keep track of your dosage by milligram active ingredient (mgai).  I made a handwritten chart with columns for the date, mgpw and mgai.

 

The best way to taper with the scale is to thoroughly crush the tablet between two spoons, then stir the powder with a toothpick to evenly distribute the active ingredient throughout the powder.  You can use tweezers to add or subtract powder from the scale to get the weight you need.  When you have the weight you need, you can use a bent 3" Post-it to pour the powder into a size 0 gelatin capsule.  Save extra powder in a gelatin capsule for later use.

 

If you are tapering by 10% of current dose every four weeks, you would multiply the weight of your current dose by 0.9 to get your next dose.

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Sept 13: 9mg 

Taper is 52% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

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


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

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Stardust

Gridley - Thanks so much for these very clear instructions! 

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day. June 2021 started tapering using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

 

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

 

Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins D3, C and B12

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Stardust

I'm starting with the goal of reducing my daily Celexa/citalopram dose from 40mg to 20mg.  I want to do this before making a decision to taper off completely.

 

I'm confused: Do I start my monthly cuts based on the total dose of 40mg  or the 20mg I want to taper off?

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day. June 2021 started tapering using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

 

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

 

Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins D3, C and B12

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Stardust

Looking for suggestions for an online source for a good quality graduated cylinder and pipettes.  Thanks

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day. June 2021 started tapering using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

 

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

 

Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins D3, C and B12

Link to post
Stardust

Starting my taper of Celexa 40 mg today. 

Taking a cautious approach to this next step because I suffered so much tapering off Klonopin too fast nearly 2 years ago.  I've recovered 99% from that withdrawal and ready to start this new taper.

 

My Celexa dose was doubled and Buspar was added about three years ago when I went through a family crisis. I'm better equipped to deal with life's challenges now largely because I developed a range of skills to cope with stress during my benzo withdrawal.  I also have a great therapist. Just getting through the ordeal of benzo withdrawal showed me strength I didn't even know I had before.   

 

I'm starting the Celexa taper with initial goal of getting down to 20mg.  My overall goal is to reduce the Celexa and Buspar, probably taper off Wellbutrin completely and then assess where I am before making a decision to taper off Celexa and Buspar completely.

 

I got the Gem scale and calibrated it; weighed ten 20mg tabs and took average wt.  Been poring over the numbers and put together a spreadsheet based on Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet.   

 

 

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day. June 2021 started tapering using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

 

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

 

Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins D3, C and B12

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  • 1 month later...
Stardust

I've been tapering citalopram since early June using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet - per Gridley's guidance I've been crushing 20mg tablets, weighing the powder on Gem-20 scale and pouring into Sz00 capsules.  

 

I'm anticipating switching to a liquid taper because it will be harder to measure smaller amounts of powder accurately.  I'll be making my own citalopram solution.  My question is: at what point do others find it makes sense to transition from dry taper to liquid?

 

Thanks,

Stardust

 

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day. June 2021 started tapering using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

 

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

 

Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins D3, C and B12

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  • Moderator
brassmonkey

When it starts to become a problem to weigh the doses on your scale would be a good time to make the crossover. That will probably be once you get below 10mgai for your dose strength. You will want to do a crossover, decreasing the amount of powder and increasing the amount of liquid over several weeks. We have more information on how to do that for when the time comes, but it will be a while yet.

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

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

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

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

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Stardust

Thanks brassmonkey.

 

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day. June 2021 started tapering using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

 

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

 

Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins D3, C and B12

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  • 1 month later...
jutland86

Hi @StardustJust checking in. How are things going?

2010/2011-?: Citaloprapm 40mg, 30 and 20 mg

For the last couple of years: Citalopram 10 mg

Beginning may 2021: After advice from GP skipped doses (10 mg)

Mid may 2021: Went to 10 mg on one day and 5 the other day due to withdrawal

End may 2021: ~7,5 mg (Started cutting 10 mg in quarters to keep track of when to take what)

Beginning of june 2021: 7,5 mg (started on homemade liquid)

2021: Jul 7,5 mg, Aug 7,5

 

Suppl AM: Fish oil, NAC, Vit B Complex, multivitamin, vit D, ashwagandha

Suppl PM: Magnesium 200 mg, L-theanine 400 mg

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24975-jutland86-advice-for-a-guy-from-denmark-wanting-to-taper/

 

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Hi Jutland86,

 

It's going really well so far.  I haven't had any troublesome reactions to the reductions.  By the end of Sept. I will have reduced my daily citalopram dose from 40mg to 30mg.  It's a cautious, slow and steady taper using a scale and Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet - I'm convinced this is keeping withdrawal symptoms manageable. I still have a long way to go.  If it gets harder as I get to lower doses (and I know it might) I'll just slow down.  I would love it to be over with but I know better from my disastrous benzo withdrawal than to rush this.

 

Thanks for asking!  How are things going for you?

 

Stardust

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day. June 2021 started tapering using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

 

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

 

Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins D3, C and B12

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jutland86

Hi Stardust

 

That is really great. I'm really glad that you are doing well. Only mild WD symptoms so far? And how long have they been lasting?

 

Take care

 

Jutland

2010/2011-?: Citaloprapm 40mg, 30 and 20 mg

For the last couple of years: Citalopram 10 mg

Beginning may 2021: After advice from GP skipped doses (10 mg)

Mid may 2021: Went to 10 mg on one day and 5 the other day due to withdrawal

End may 2021: ~7,5 mg (Started cutting 10 mg in quarters to keep track of when to take what)

Beginning of june 2021: 7,5 mg (started on homemade liquid)

2021: Jul 7,5 mg, Aug 7,5

 

Suppl AM: Fish oil, NAC, Vit B Complex, multivitamin, vit D, ashwagandha

Suppl PM: Magnesium 200 mg, L-theanine 400 mg

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24975-jutland86-advice-for-a-guy-from-denmark-wanting-to-taper/

 

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Hi Jutland,

 

I really haven't had any withdrawal symptoms so far! I attribute this to following Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet. Plus, it's really early in my taper; I know there's a greater chance of experiencing symptoms when I get down to lower doses. And as I said above, I know I have the option to slow down the rate, make smaller cuts and/or hold when necessary until my symptoms stabilize.

 

Stardust

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day. June 2021 started tapering using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

 

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

 

Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins D3, C and B12

Link to post
jutland86

That is really great to hear Stardust! That is a great start to your taper of citalopram. I'm really happy for you that it is going so well at the moment.

2010/2011-?: Citaloprapm 40mg, 30 and 20 mg

For the last couple of years: Citalopram 10 mg

Beginning may 2021: After advice from GP skipped doses (10 mg)

Mid may 2021: Went to 10 mg on one day and 5 the other day due to withdrawal

End may 2021: ~7,5 mg (Started cutting 10 mg in quarters to keep track of when to take what)

Beginning of june 2021: 7,5 mg (started on homemade liquid)

2021: Jul 7,5 mg, Aug 7,5

 

Suppl AM: Fish oil, NAC, Vit B Complex, multivitamin, vit D, ashwagandha

Suppl PM: Magnesium 200 mg, L-theanine 400 mg

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24975-jutland86-advice-for-a-guy-from-denmark-wanting-to-taper/

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Stardust!

I hope you are well.

Your story sounds so much like mine.

I just started tapering Citalopram. It’s so inspiring and reassuring to read about your plan and that it’s going well for you. I too feel like there is no rush, it’s much more important that it’s manageable. Good luck going forward!

Since 90s Cipramil, Cipralex, Prozac, off and on

2003-14 Lyrica (don’t remember dosage)

2012 - today Citalopram 40mg

2014 - today Buspirone 30mg x 2

2021 august starting Citalopram Brassmonkey taper 5%

2021 8/2 38mg, 8/9 36, 8/16 34, 8/23 32, 8/30 30mg

Taking Multivit/min, Omega-3, no caffeine

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Hi Zim-

 

Thanks so much for letting me know it's been inspiring and reassuring to you to read about my taper.  It's so good to hear my posts here have been helpful.

Congratulations on starting your taper. I'm so glad you're taking it slow - I truly believe slow, consistent and gradual is the best approach and that doing it any other way is just asking for trouble.  It isn't worth it to rush this because the cost is brutal.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I've been using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet. It took me a while to figure out the size of the cuts, weighing the powder etc.  (Thanks brain fog!) I checked and double checked my figures over and over before I started.

I hope your taper goes as smoothly as possible.

 

Take care,

Stardust

 

Current meds:

citalopram 40mg/day. June 2021 started tapering using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

 

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

 

Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins D3, C and B12

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