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HLH44: tapering for 3 years and gotten myself into trouble


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I've been lurking on this site for years, dreaming of one day coming off of meds and seeing if I can live my life med free. I was given Zoloft 23 years ago after a panic attack before my wedding. Since then its been a never ending cycle of getting "stable" on a med for a couple of years then having it poop out and drs switching me over to a different SSRI. Ive also been on benzos and mood stabilizers. I've never really tapered until 3 years ago. I suddenly hit crisis after being stable on 20mg of Lexapro for 4 years. I just did not want to switch meds again as I've been on them all now. My dr. suggested just adding Remeron. I reluctantly took 3.75 mg and the SI went away. It didn't cure anything but it got me functional. I immediately gained 25 pounds and started sleeping 12 hours a night.  I started doing research and realized that my symptoms could be due to the chronic med use for 20 years. I started to taper both the Lexapro 20 mg and the Remeron 3.75 in Sept. of 2018. I finished the Remeron taper in February 2019 but 3 months afterwards developed slight akathisia....I panicked and reinstated. Now been tapering both since then and very suddenly akathisia has appeared in its most deadly form. I have never EVER experienced anything like what I have the last 2 weeks. I had no idea that horror on that level existed. I had to be watched round the clock. My partner is out of town so had to have friends watch me. Again, have never gone through anything of that magnitude and it brought on so much trauma that I completely dissociated. I ended up having to updose the Remeron from 1. 6 to 2 to 2.2 just to keep it at bay . I cannot attempt again until my partner is home for good and I don't even know if I can do it then. I am going to hold my taper on both meds for a few months, though it devastates me to my core to do so. 

 

SO thats my story. Thank  God for this site. I don't have a dr. and I don't want one. My GP whom I've never met prescribes.

 

 

Edited by arbor

 

zoloft 50 mg 1998  , 1999 switched to Celexa 20mg
2000 switched to Neurontin, Xanax 2 mg, Depakote  .May 2001, cold turkeyed all 3 drugs
reinstated Celexa in the middle of pregnancy, august 2001
after birth of child switched to Prozac weekly september 2002
2008 ..added  Lamictal..dropped after 1 month , switched from Prozac weekly to Effexor 75mg
2010,  upped dose to 150 of Effexor
.tapered down to 20mg over 8 months January to December 2012, started Lexapro 2012 10mg
upped it to 20 mg eventually...Spot treated randomly with .25 of Klonopin once or twice a month
2017  Did not want to switch meds again, tried Lamictal again...c/t after 4 weeks.

added 3.75 mg of Remeron...started researching...found the groups...started taper Sept. 2018.

current doses 4.5 Lexapro, 1.6 Remeron ...updosed Remeron to 2.2 October 2021

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oops. How do I add my history??

 

(CC PMed member with information about how to do this)

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added note

 

zoloft 50 mg 1998  , 1999 switched to Celexa 20mg
2000 switched to Neurontin, Xanax 2 mg, Depakote  .May 2001, cold turkeyed all 3 drugs
reinstated Celexa in the middle of pregnancy, august 2001
after birth of child switched to Prozac weekly september 2002
2008 ..added  Lamictal..dropped after 1 month , switched from Prozac weekly to Effexor 75mg
2010,  upped dose to 150 of Effexor
.tapered down to 20mg over 8 months January to December 2012, started Lexapro 2012 10mg
upped it to 20 mg eventually...Spot treated randomly with .25 of Klonopin once or twice a month
2017  Did not want to switch meds again, tried Lamictal again...c/t after 4 weeks.

added 3.75 mg of Remeron...started researching...found the groups...started taper Sept. 2018.

current doses 4.5 Lexapro, 1.6 Remeron ...updosed Remeron to 2.2 October 2021

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to HLH44: been tapering for 3 years and gotten myself into trouble

HLH44 Akathisia coming and going, need help desperately

 

Hi All.

 

I posted for the first time yesterday but did not really ask for help....

 

I have been tapering Lexapro and Remeron for 3 years now...I hit tolerance with the Lex 5 years ago, dr added Remeron and it made me functional but also gave so many other health issues.  I am down to 4.3 of lex and I was down to 1.6 of Remeron and doing ok when suddenly severe Akathisia set in. Pacing all nite, chemical terror, confusion, ticking, Parkinson's-like gait. I actually think I went into some sort of shock b/c I was so terrified by the appearance of the Akathisia and how much people suffer with years from it.  I could not tolerate it for one more moment and updosed the Remeron from 1.6 to 2 mg....this did not do much. Still in severe crisis. Updosed again 5 days later to 2.2mg. Have been pretty stable the last couple of days but now its back again. I feel like Im losing touch with reality. Is that part of it?? Im so terrified. Just not sure if I should updose again. Before this came out of nowhere, I was having some great days and thought I was gonna make it through my tapers. Im so devastated. Please help

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title before merging with intro topic

 

zoloft 50 mg 1998  , 1999 switched to Celexa 20mg
2000 switched to Neurontin, Xanax 2 mg, Depakote  .May 2001, cold turkeyed all 3 drugs
reinstated Celexa in the middle of pregnancy, august 2001
after birth of child switched to Prozac weekly september 2002
2008 ..added  Lamictal..dropped after 1 month , switched from Prozac weekly to Effexor 75mg
2010,  upped dose to 150 of Effexor
.tapered down to 20mg over 8 months January to December 2012, started Lexapro 2012 10mg
upped it to 20 mg eventually...Spot treated randomly with .25 of Klonopin once or twice a month
2017  Did not want to switch meds again, tried Lamictal again...c/t after 4 weeks.

added 3.75 mg of Remeron...started researching...found the groups...started taper Sept. 2018.

current doses 4.5 Lexapro, 1.6 Remeron ...updosed Remeron to 2.2 October 2021

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  • arbor changed the title to HLH44: tapering for 3 years and gotten myself into trouble
  • Moderator

Hello @HLH44

Welcome to SA.

To get you started and to give you pertinent information, could you summarize your medication history in a signature – only drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in a vertical list format.  

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

I'm really sorry to hear of your suffering from these psycho-drugs.  As you've probably read on this site, these symptoms can be typical while on the drugs and especially during withdrawal.  Here are some links to recent publications by our founder Alto to share with your doctor:

 

 

Framer, A. (2021). What I have learnt from helping thousands of people to taper off antidepressants and other psychotropic medications. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacologyhttps://doi.org/10.1177/2045125321991274  

 

Hengartner, M. P., Schulthess, L., Sorensen, A., & Framer, A. (2020). Protracted withdrawal syndrome after stopping antidepressants: A descriptive quantitative analysis of consumer narratives from a large internet forum. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacologyhttps://doi.org/10.1177/2045125320980573

 

This link can also be useful when working with your doctor:

How to talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

I can relate to how scary these symptoms are, and also want to assure you that they do improve, and over time, with good care, people eventually heal.  Have you seen these links that can help you with non-drug ways to cope?  The whole self care section of the forum has been helpful to me.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms 

The Dr. Claire Weekes Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System 

"Change the channel" - dealing with cognitive symptoms

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 3 that many of us find helpful are magnesium, omega-3, and melatonin. 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

Melatonin

 

When you feel ready to continue tapering, these links can be useful:

Tips for tapering off mirtazapine

Tips for tapering off escitalopram (Lexapro) 

 

Please reach out and people here can assist you.

This is your Introduction site where you can ask questions, report your progress, and connect with other members.

I'm glad you've found us. 

Arbor

 

 

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

Welcome, @HLH44

 

What times o'clock do you take your drugs, with their dosages?

 

8 hours ago, HLH44 said:

I am down to 4.3 of lex and I was down to 1.6 of Remeron and doing ok when suddenly severe Akathisia set in.

 

When did this happen? What changes had you made in the prior week? Did you ever accidentally skip a dose or take it off-schedule? Drink alcohol? Take antibiotics?

 

What was your taper plan? Were you tapering both drugs at the same time?

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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Hi….

 

I take before bed around 10 pm

 

i was tapering both at 5% for two years …in January I started tapering the Remeron at 5% and the Lexapro at only 1%. The only thing I did different was crush pills and weigh powder instead of trying to cut and shave bc the doses were getting so small. No antibiotics ….only vaccine 35 days ago…some cbd but only one or two drops per day . No THC.

 

I had been feeling really good right before it happened. I had 14 good days in September And really thought I had turned a corner when the Aka set in …I had some early morning waking and restlessness a couple of weeks leading up to it but nothing like the extreme episode I experienced a week ago

 

zoloft 50 mg 1998  , 1999 switched to Celexa 20mg
2000 switched to Neurontin, Xanax 2 mg, Depakote  .May 2001, cold turkeyed all 3 drugs
reinstated Celexa in the middle of pregnancy, august 2001
after birth of child switched to Prozac weekly september 2002
2008 ..added  Lamictal..dropped after 1 month , switched from Prozac weekly to Effexor 75mg
2010,  upped dose to 150 of Effexor
.tapered down to 20mg over 8 months January to December 2012, started Lexapro 2012 10mg
upped it to 20 mg eventually...Spot treated randomly with .25 of Klonopin once or twice a month
2017  Did not want to switch meds again, tried Lamictal again...c/t after 4 weeks.

added 3.75 mg of Remeron...started researching...found the groups...started taper Sept. 2018.

current doses 4.5 Lexapro, 1.6 Remeron ...updosed Remeron to 2.2 October 2021

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may I jump in and ask a question? I updosed from 1.6 to 2.2 a week ago...it was just barely keep akathisia at bay but now its back in full force. My brain in just not working. I cant sit still. Been pacing for 12 hours. But it did seem to calm me down some from last week. If it has returned, I should keep gradually increasing, correct? Thank you so much. Family trying to get me to go to ER, which as we know will be the absolute wrong thing to do.

 

zoloft 50 mg 1998  , 1999 switched to Celexa 20mg
2000 switched to Neurontin, Xanax 2 mg, Depakote  .May 2001, cold turkeyed all 3 drugs
reinstated Celexa in the middle of pregnancy, august 2001
after birth of child switched to Prozac weekly september 2002
2008 ..added  Lamictal..dropped after 1 month , switched from Prozac weekly to Effexor 75mg
2010,  upped dose to 150 of Effexor
.tapered down to 20mg over 8 months January to December 2012, started Lexapro 2012 10mg
upped it to 20 mg eventually...Spot treated randomly with .25 of Klonopin once or twice a month
2017  Did not want to switch meds again, tried Lamictal again...c/t after 4 weeks.

added 3.75 mg of Remeron...started researching...found the groups...started taper Sept. 2018.

current doses 4.5 Lexapro, 1.6 Remeron ...updosed Remeron to 2.2 October 2021

Link to post
  • Administrator
Altostrata

I moved your post here. Since every case is very individual, we ask that if you have a question about your particular situation, please post it in your own Introductions topic, which contains prior detail and discussion.

 

Prior to the episode a week ago, did you reduce both drugs? Do you remember the date you made your last reduction of each?

 

We urge people to change only one drug at a time, because if something bad happens, you might be able to guess which drug was responsible. In your case, it might not be the Remeron.

 

Please try to remember what happened in the week prior to that scary bout. It sounds like a skipped dose or maybe an error in dosing. Did you change your method of measuring?

 

This could be because of Remeron updose or the natural course of your system settling down after a dosing error:

11 minutes ago, HLH44 said:

But it did seem to calm me down some from last week.

 

Why do you take both drugs at the same time in the evening? Do you take any other drugs?

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 only take both drugs in evening for convenience. 

 

About 4-6 weeks ago I started crushing and weighing instead of shaving and weighing b/ c the amounts were so small. I feel like Im basically licking the dust out of the air with the Remeron at 1.6 mg. That weights .016 if that gives you any indication. I have now raised it to .022 which is 2.2mg.  I need to raise it more. I simply cannot go on like this. When you asked what happened in the week before, I can only tell you that I actually was feeling really good....I thought maybe the vaccine had actually done something in my body to cure autoimmune issues or something...I just did not know. This came from out of the blue. Like I said before, I have stopped tapering the Lexapro and am holding at 4.3 mg (from20....took 3 years to taper so far )

 

zoloft 50 mg 1998  , 1999 switched to Celexa 20mg
2000 switched to Neurontin, Xanax 2 mg, Depakote  .May 2001, cold turkeyed all 3 drugs
reinstated Celexa in the middle of pregnancy, august 2001
after birth of child switched to Prozac weekly september 2002
2008 ..added  Lamictal..dropped after 1 month , switched from Prozac weekly to Effexor 75mg
2010,  upped dose to 150 of Effexor
.tapered down to 20mg over 8 months January to December 2012, started Lexapro 2012 10mg
upped it to 20 mg eventually...Spot treated randomly with .25 of Klonopin once or twice a month
2017  Did not want to switch meds again, tried Lamictal again...c/t after 4 weeks.

added 3.75 mg of Remeron...started researching...found the groups...started taper Sept. 2018.

current doses 4.5 Lexapro, 1.6 Remeron ...updosed Remeron to 2.2 October 2021

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  • Administrator
Altostrata
30 minutes ago, HLH44 said:

Like I said before, I have stopped tapering the Lexapro and am holding at 4.3 mg (from20....took 3 years to taper so far )

 

When did you stop tapering Lexapro at 4.3mg?

 

You may have made an error in your dry-cutting method that triggered a bout of withdrawal (or excessive dosing). At very low doses, using a liquid form of mirtazapine (or escitalopram) is a lot easier and more exact. See Tips for tapering off mirtazapine (Remeron)

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.

Link to post

I stopped tapering both meds September 1 and held …would you updose the Remeron more? I plan on switching to liquid as soon as I can get into see dr

 

zoloft 50 mg 1998  , 1999 switched to Celexa 20mg
2000 switched to Neurontin, Xanax 2 mg, Depakote  .May 2001, cold turkeyed all 3 drugs
reinstated Celexa in the middle of pregnancy, august 2001
after birth of child switched to Prozac weekly september 2002
2008 ..added  Lamictal..dropped after 1 month , switched from Prozac weekly to Effexor 75mg
2010,  upped dose to 150 of Effexor
.tapered down to 20mg over 8 months January to December 2012, started Lexapro 2012 10mg
upped it to 20 mg eventually...Spot treated randomly with .25 of Klonopin once or twice a month
2017  Did not want to switch meds again, tried Lamictal again...c/t after 4 weeks.

added 3.75 mg of Remeron...started researching...found the groups...started taper Sept. 2018.

current doses 4.5 Lexapro, 1.6 Remeron ...updosed Remeron to 2.2 October 2021

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