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Winner51: Symptom Update, Month 24


Winner51

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I am so thankful to have found this website.  I’ve gotten so much useful information!

 

I began taking 15mg mirtazapine in Feb of 2015 and began the tapering process in Aug of 2018. Prior to Aug, beginning in 2016 I followed my doctors orders and simply discontinued the drug.  As you all know I suffered greatly from this.  Trusting my doctor and not having done any of my own research, I thought all of the very severe withdrawls were my anxiety. I went cold turkey several times and tapered to 7.5 several times each time getting the same results.  I began to do research and discovered all the info on the web about this drug. I did a cut to 7.5 in Aug 2018 and then cut 15% a month later.  I continued a 15% cut every two weeks until Aug 2019 I stopped altogether. 

 

I’ve experienced windows and waves since but no waves as severe as the last few days.  I wanted to mention my experience for other woman who may experience what I’ve gone through over the last week and specifically the last 3 days.  Anxiety, nausea, severe tinnitus, nerve pain and muscle spasms, severe insomnia, extreme tiredness, etc. have plagued me for the last week and hit me like a ton of bricks the last three days. I’ve experienced all of these symptoms before but never all together and as severe as they’ve been lately. I was really terrified I would be facing this situation for a long period of time and I was ramping myself up to try to deal with it.  I am relieved to say however, all of those very unpleasant symptoms have eased since I started my menstrual cycle. In the past 3 mos since I stopped the drug I noticed more symptoms with more severity around my menstrual cycle but nothing like this past week.  It was horrible!  So, I wanted to tell the ladies out there who haven’t gone through the change to be aware this could happen to you.  It will subside and if you are like me you will get relief fairly quickly.

Started 15mg Mirtazapine 2/2015

Began Taper 8/2018

Stopped drug 8/2019

 

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Winner51.

 

Unfortunately, doctors know nothing about safe tapering or withdrawal.  At SA, we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  Your taper was a bit faster.  At what dose did you stop taking the Mirt?  

 

Many members reports increased symptoms around their menstrual cycle.  Also, it's very common to experience increased withdrawal symptoms at the three-month point.

 

What are your symptoms now?

 

So that you have a better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal.

 

 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
These explain it really well:

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  Rhiannon said: 
When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

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. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

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 Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Aug. 5, 2022: 4.3mg

Taper is 77% complete.

 

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

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

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% 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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I stopped the Mirt at .49mg.

 

Symptoms:

light sensitivity

noise sensitivity

bloating

nausea

insomnia

sleep disturbances

dreams, nightmares

night sweats

severe anxiety

muscle twitches and spasms (I have benign fasciculating syndrome). Symptoms severe with withdrawal

severe tinnitus (severity comes and goes)

sever itching and redness

severe allergic reactions including runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, skin allergies, food allergies, stuffy head and ears

nerve and muscle pain

back pain

vertigo once

crying

sadness

malaise, tiredness

 

This list isn’t all of the symptoms but it’s fairly comprehensive.

Started 15mg Mirtazapine 2/2015

Began Taper 8/2018

Stopped drug 8/2019

 

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  • Moderator

 

28 minutes ago, Winner51 said:

Symptoms:

 

This may not be something you'd want to consider, and it's not necessarily something I'd recommend, but reinstatement of a very small dose of your previous drug is the only known way to alleviate (not eliminate) withdrawal symptoms.  It doesn't always work, it can make matters worse, and you're a bit outside the time frame (3 months) when reinstatement predictably works.  On the other hand, many times it offers relief.  I wanted you to be aware of this possible option.  Please read:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic
 
If reinstatement is something you want to explore, please let me know, and I'll suggest a reinstatement dosage.  Please don't reinstate without letting us suggest a dosage.
 

 

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 Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Aug. 5, 2022: 4.3mg

Taper is 77% complete.

 

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

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

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% 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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Gridley, thank you for your suggestion.  I’m going to stay the course. As long as I can manage to get enough sleep I think I can endure the symptoms.  Along with the withdrawls, my cycle was really throwing me a curve ball.  I think things have improved since I made the hormonal shift.  Hoping that is the case anyway...

 

Thanks again for your time and consideration.

Started 15mg Mirtazapine 2/2015

Began Taper 8/2018

Stopped drug 8/2019

 

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  • 1 year later...

My Withdrawal Symptoms - 24 Mos

 

 

Insomnia (some nights I didn’t sleep at all); Waking with cortisol spikes. Waking because of no breath almost like I had sleep apnea; Waking with racing heart beat (These issues are now resolved)

 

Nasal drip 24/7. Must always have Kleenex on hand. Right nostril will completely close when I sleep. (The nostril situation improved and I thought it was resolved but it reappeared and the nasal drip is continuous). 

 

Chronic constipation and other IBS symptoms, nausea and severe bloating and swelling. The IBS symptoms have been one of my worst symptoms. (Symptoms still severe)

 

Tinnitus. It is still here and has not left even briefly. The tones will change and the head pressure will change but the noise always present.

 

Withdrawals gave me severe Sjögrens flare. I can no longer wear contacts after wearing them 40 years.  My gums are always inflamed and I have dry mouth. This symptom is always here but will improve somewhat and then get severe again.

 

Various Urinary issues. There were times I felt as if I had a UTI but I did not. (This symptom has improved greatly and I believe it is close to being completely gone)

 

Light and noise sensitivity. This has been an extreme symptom. This process has really affected my eyes. Sunlight and artificial light can bother me at times to the point it hurts. (This symptom still comes and goes).

Major muscle a nerve pain has been present since the beginning of this process. I experience this in my back mostly and into my upper legs. My shoulder muscles will ball up in a knot and cause severe pain. I have spasms, twitches and muscle tension. This pain has affected me so that I couldn’t bend over for a period of time. This symptom has been one of my worst and it still affects me.  I experience pins and needles sensation as well as numbness. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis so this process I believe has aggravated it.(While this symptom has improved, it’s still present)

I experience moments of extreme fatigue and tiredness. (This symptom has improved some but it’s still around)

Major skin issues have been present since day 1.   Rashes, hives, skin eruptions and skin allergies have been some of the things I have experienced.  My skin has aged a great deal through this process.  My skin is highly sensitive. A touch from an abrasive object will send me over the edge. If I bump a piece of furniture it is extremely painful. My nerve sensitivity is over the top. Cold sensitivity bothers me as well at times.  I have indentions in my skin when I grip objects tightly. (These symptoms are still present). I experienced major itching episodes throughout this process and this symptom has improved greatly. Mostly now I itch on my hands. I have been having skin eruptions on my hands for the last 5 mos too. In the beginning I experienced burning sensations on my face but none now. I had random bruises appear on my body for no reason but this issue seems to have resolved itself.

 

I feel sensations throughout my body that I can’t explain. I assume this is nerve related. I had eye twitches for some time as well. (These symptoms have resolved)

 

I experienced one or two brain zaps in the beginning. I also had a strange noise in my brain at times when I would drift off to sleep. The best way I can describe it is it sounded as if a door was shutting in my brain.  This only happened when I was drifting off to sleep (This symptom appeared in month 5 and has been long gone).

 

Heart palpitations and racing heart (Issues resolved)

 

Exercise intolerance. I’m happy to say I resumed exercise in month 8. I took a couple of breaks during this time  because of back pain. I started slow walking and increased my time and duration over the last year. I incorporated some weight training as well (when my muscles are acting up, I leave off the weights). I now walk daily for one hour. In most cases the exercise energizes me.  On occasion I experience extreme tiredness from it so I will rest my body.  The key is to listen to your body.

 

Tremors. In the first year of withdrawal I would experience tremors specifically with my left hand.  While holding a book for instance my hand would begin to shake so much so that I would have to switch hands.  Typically this would happen after long periods of holding a book.

 

Symptoms much more severe during PMS.

 

Obsessive thoughts. (Still have this symptom but improved greatly)

 

I tried to give a comprehensive list of symptoms but I know I forgot many of them.  Emotionally speaking Im not affected as much as I am by the the physical symptoms. In fact many of the emotional symptoms are caused by the physical ones.  The fear of the unknown is very real. Overall my situation has improved and most of the existing symptoms have lessened from what they were in the beginning. Month 24 has been no cake walk for sure.  It’s been tough. I don’t feel I’ve ever experienced a window but my journey has been one of peaks and valleys.  My symptoms will improve to the point I feel pretty good and can see normalcy trying to reappear and then I will get hit with a big wave. I keep my head above water by keeping my eyes on the prize.  I hope my symptom update will help others in their journey and I’m very thankful for this website and all of the tremendous help it’s given me.

Started 15mg Mirtazapine 2/2015

Began Taper 8/2018

Stopped drug 8/2019

 

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Thank you for this update .. today marks 2 years off paxil for me and i am experiencing many of what you mentioned. Problem is i am a hypochondriac and every symptom drives me crazy thinking about the worst possible thing.

hope it will be better for us all

2008 - 2015 seroxat 20 mg daily

Jun 2015 - Dec 2015 tapering

Jan 2016 - stopped completely

April 2016 - today suffering withdrawal symptoms both physical and psychological

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Yes, it’s hard not to obsess on the symptom.  The new ones especially are hard for me…. The fear of the unknown.

Started 15mg Mirtazapine 2/2015

Began Taper 8/2018

Stopped drug 8/2019

 

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  • Moderator

Hi Winner, 

merging this with your intro topic as it is important to have it all in one place. It is great to see that you have so much improvement and sorry that some significant issues still remain. It is good to take stock and notice the progress because it gives both you and us a lot of hope. 

 

Regarding the post-nasal drip - it might help to see if you are allergic to dust, pollen etc. Do these symptoms increase when you are in certain rooms or locations? It is something I have had but prior to WD and I control that by just avoiding triggers. 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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  • Shep changed the title to Winner51: Symptom Update, Month 24

Unfortunately the nasal drip happens constantly. I carry tissue with me at all times. I’m hoping it will cease at some point. I have noticed it’s more severe when I use cleaning chemicals so I wear a mask when using them. Also when I brush my teeth I tend to have more nasal drip. 
 

I’ve noticed something odd the last few days…. I’m experiencing symptoms I haven’t had for well over a year. It’s almost like my body is quickly running through all the symptoms again.  Some are staying longer than others. Did you experience this?  Have you healed and if so, how long did it take you to heal?

Started 15mg Mirtazapine 2/2015

Began Taper 8/2018

Stopped drug 8/2019

 

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I see now you are still tapering.  Is that correct?  I’m not well versed at navigating and using the website.  My apologies.

Started 15mg Mirtazapine 2/2015

Began Taper 8/2018

Stopped drug 8/2019

 

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  • Administrator

Hello, @Winner51 To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.

 

What are the symptoms that have ramped up?

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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Hello Altostrata. It’s almost as if my body is doing a quick run through of all of the symptoms I’ve experienced since the beginning…. Muscle tightness in my jaw, face and neck, this weird sensation I have felt in different places in my body that maybe feels like a bruise in the muscle but it’s so hard to explain the feeling and bruising is the best I can do, my Sjögrens is severely flaring again, my left hand is shaking again especially if I hold an object for too long, burning when I urinate, dry cough is back and left again, obsessive thoughts, nerve pain in my lower back going in to my buttocks, and then there is the strangest symptom ever and it reappeared twice…. Again, this is really hard to explain but this symptom first happened in the beginning of my withdrawal and it reappeared twice this past week.  When I’m drifting off to sleep it sounds like a door slamming in my brain. I know that’s very weird but that’s the only way I can explain it.  The sound is not coming through my ears, it’s in my brain.  The last one I can think of that has reappeared is my right nostril stops up when I sleep.  I have to prop my head up against the head board to breathe from that side of my nose. Those are some symptoms I thought had stopped permanently but obviously haven’t.  I have many other symptoms on the list I struggle with daily but they haven’t left me yet. 

Started 15mg Mirtazapine 2/2015

Began Taper 8/2018

Stopped drug 8/2019

 

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  • Administrator

How has your symptom pattern changed in the last 6 months? How's your sleep? Please do enter your drug history in your signature.

 

Re the noise in your head 

 

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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I guess I do follow a pattern of windows and waves in a sense but my windows are never without symptoms.  My windows are times when I have fewer symptoms with less severity.  I just checked my calendar where I notate my symptoms and since Jan the notes have steadily declined until this month.  This month is full of notes. There are many symptoms that are present every day and I figure they are part of my life for now.  Those would be major IBS, tinnitus, all kinds of skin things, nerve pain, muscle pain, Sjogrens, light and noise sensitivity, etc...  The early symptoms that have reappeared seem to be just dropping in (I hope).  

 

I am so thankful my sleep is good.  I hope and pray it stays that way.  I went many nights without even an hour of sleep.  I will most nights awake but I quickly go back to sleep in most cases and the times I don't, I know how to work my brain to go back to sleep in an hour or so.  

 

I really appreciate the info on EHS.  It sounds like my experience.  I will awake at times out of breath and my heart racing and I thought I was having a sleep apnea episode.  In the beginning of taper and withdrawal I would jolt awake totally stifled for breath and I was terrified and my heart would be beating out of my chest.  I literally thought I was dying.  Thankfully I don't have that extreme symptom any longer just possibly waking with an elevated heart rate and normally I am really hot when it happens.  I don't know if I was having an EHS episode or cortisol spike or both.  

 

 

Started 15mg Mirtazapine 2/2015

Began Taper 8/2018

Stopped drug 8/2019

 

Started 15mg Mirtazapine 2/2015

Began Taper 8/2018

Stopped drug 8/2019

 

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  • Moderator
On 7/27/2021 at 1:48 PM, Winner51 said:

Unfortunately the nasal drip happens constantly. I carry tissue with me at all times. I’m hoping it will cease at some point. I have noticed it’s more severe when I use cleaning chemicals so I wear a mask when using them. Also when I brush my teeth I tend to have more nasal drip. 
 

I’ve noticed something odd the last few days…. I’m experiencing symptoms I haven’t had for well over a year. It’s almost like my body is quickly running through all the symptoms again.  Some are staying longer than others. Did you experience this?  Have you healed and if so, how long did it take you to heal?

Hi Winner, seems like you have chemical sensitivities. I can't handle new furniture smell (formaldehyde) for example. Mask and ventilation are good ways. It might help to get yourself an air purifier (at least for the bedroom) and see if that makes a difference. You may be allergic to dust mites which would cause a constant allergic reaction. I am not saying that the postnasal drip can't be from the ADs but if there are external causes at least you can solve them. 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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