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Original topic title before shortening:

 

a story of lamictal, prozac, cymbalta all switched or tapered too fast, ending in a disastrous bout with an antipsychotic.

 

Thank you for your amazing service.

 

I was a very anxious child. And i started feeling depressive episodes as early as 7 years old. In my adolescence I self medicated with alcohol and quickly developed an addiction to this and other drugs as I grew into an adult. I mostlyd loved drinking (anti anxiety) and i loved psychedelics (anti depressive). 

 

In 2001 I was in my early twenties and spent a year living in New York, I was working in the Twin Towers when the attacks occurred. The experience triggered my addictive behaviors and my life in NY became very destructive. I entered a severe depression, complicated by substance abuse. I returned to my home in Mexico. I was in therapy but after some months my therapist said we were not advancing, she considered I could benefit from seeing a psychiatrist and getting some extra help for what seemed to her like a chemical imbalance. 

 

The psychiatrist prescribed me 50 mg of Lamictal. it helped me tremendously, I still had all the feelings, but I had an ability to distance myself from them, not let them pull me down into a hole. My life got back on track. I worked a lot, I made successful pieces, I started exhibiting my work, I got married, I found some stability. the only problem was the allergies, In my childhood I had been allergic to cats, but as an adult I adopted a pair, I was really allergic to them at first and slowly the allergies subsided. When I started taking Lamictal the allergies came back, but I solved it taking antihistamines almost daily (!!!)

 

Then one day, after eating some strawberries I had a severe allergic reaction, my throat started closing up, my skin was full of red spots. I had to go to the pharmacy to get a shot. After that I always carried an epi pen with me, as it kept happening with different things I was not previously allergic to. Shrimp, Nuts, Concrete. My doctor related it to the Lamictal and decided I should go off it with a quick taper, as my psychiatrist recommended.

 

After that I went back to drinking and drugging heavily. In 2007 I went to do an artist residency in Madrid, where my drug consumption led to me having a psychotic break. i was convinced I was on a mission, everything spoke to me, everything was a message. I never felt more connected. This trip was disastrous to my life, my career seemed to be thriving but my marriage was really hurt. I returned to Mexico and my husband and I separated. I hit a new bottom, I wanted to cut back on my drinking, I had never been more depressed. I would stop drinking for a few months but I always relapsed. I had no support, no tools to do it. I continued struggling with anxiety and depression, but considered them to be a normal part of my hangovers and periods of withdrawal from alcohol.

 

In 2009 I met someone who lived in Barcelona, he suggested I should see a psychiatrist, I did and was put on 5 mg of Lexapro, I had a hard time adapting to it, especially because it caused me terrible nightmares, and when i drank I would immediately blackout, in the months that followed I moved to Spain, I was in love but still struggling with depression, the medication seemed to help but my emotional instability was intensifying, I was still drinking and doing psychedelics once in a while. 

 

We moved back to Mexico in 2010, I am ashamed as I write this since I realize how messy I was, taking medication while being an active alcoholic. I would go on and off the medication, I knew I shouldn't drink when on it because of the blackouts and so sometimes I would stop the medication in order to drink the way I wished to, then I would stop drinking and go back on the medication. Meanwhile my depression and anxiety were worse than ever.  I kept cancelling everything, sometimes i would stay in the car crying unable to go into the grocery store, sometimes I couldn't get out of bed, but i was able to keep making work on the good days. I eventually went off the Lexapro completely, probably with a very fast taper. 

 

In 2012 I went to a new psychiatrist who started me on 20 mg of Prozac, I was on Prozac for years, every 6 months or so I would try to get off it. It was always a fast taper and I always failed, it felt like I relapsed (now I know it was ADWD), so i was put back on it and usually upped the dosage to 20 mg one day and 40 mg the next. I was on 40 mg daily for a while, and when i was feeling better went back down to 20. Prozac was easier, the only side effects I had were a constantly clenched jaw and I was anorgasmic (which at this time in my life I didn't mind). 

 

In 2015 I began my recovery from drugs and alcohol, I had been going to meetings for a while, but in 2015 I finally stopped relapsing ( I am over 7 years clean today). When I quit drinking and drugging my emotional stability got better. I still had ups and downs but the downs lasted a lot lot less, just a couple days tops. But usually just one day of being out of commission. 

 

In 2016 When I was one year clean, I tried going off Prozac, I thought being clean I would be able to do it, i felt good. I did (what i now know was) a fast taper (as my doctor suggested) one day on, one day off, one day on, two days off, etc. (I now know this is terrible) 

 

My body collapsed, I was in so much physical pain I couldn't walk. I had brain fog, I had panic attacks, I was in bed for weeks with the pain. I saw many doctors, I had an MRI, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, inflammation of the nerves, dysautonomia, fibromyalgia, one osteopath said i would have to be on opiates from now on for the pain (Luckily being an addict in recovery I turned them down). Let down by allopathic medicine I went to see a naturopath, She put me on an elimination diet. I went off gluten, dairy and sugar and was able to walk again as the pain stopped.

 

It was a scary episode that lasted around three months. I had gone back on the Prozac after 6 weeks of being off it, but my depression came back and I went to see the psychiatrist, when i explained the pain I had had she said i probably had fibromyalgia, she switched me to Cymbalta 60 mg. 

 

The switch was easy, my mood got better, the pain didn't come back. The major side effect with Cymbalta was that I was just perpetually constipated, I had to really watch my diet and take psyllium husk everyday if i wanted to go to the bathroom every other day. I did not like this but it was ok considering how horribly i had felt when off the medication. 

 

I was on Cymbalta from 2016 thru 2019, several times i tried to go off it with a taper (which I now know was extremely fast) as my doctor recommended. Usually cutting down to half my dose for a couple weeks and then half again. Every time I tried i failed and had to go back on it with a higher dose than before. (up to 120 mg when i had been taking 60mg)

 

I was tired of being constipated forever. I was ready to go off the Cymbalta. I switched Psychiatrists, he said we could do it, first he switched me back to Prozac, and then we tapered off (again, not slowly enough!) 

 

For the first time in my life I was not able to work. I have not been able to work since 2020. When the depression came back the psychiatrist put me on another antidepressant (not an SSRI, something relatively new... I cant remember what!) i was on that for a month and when it wasn't working he proposed we switch to an antipsychotic, Sulpiride 200 mg, ( I think its not available in the US). 

 

The antipsychotic made me very calm, my mood was pleasant, but i felt as if my body was almost shutting down. And then it actually did, my libido was gone and then my period stopped. I thought maybe I was an early menopauser (I am 46) but after 6 months I suddenly started lactating. I went to a doctor, had some tests done and my hormones were all over the place, I had dangerous levels of prolactin and extremely low progesterone and estrogen. The doctor was shocked and asked if I was on any medication, when I mentioned the Sulpiride she said I have to go immediately off it. She mentioned i was at risk of developing a small tumor in my pituitary so i had to go off it and fast. 

 

I was afraid to go off the medication. I knew i had tried many times in the past and the results had been bad.

 

So this is my recent experience going off medication: 

 

I tried to do it right this time, I am so bummed I hadn't found this site. I made A LOT of mistakes. I now know.

 

First I got a Journal, so its all written down, I tapered of the 200 mg of Sulpiride during the course of 4 weeks, going from 200 mg to 150 the next week, to 100 the next, to 50 the next, one day on one day off the next. (this was the instruction from my psychiatrist)

After only a week off the Sulpiride, on April 11th 2021,  I started microdosing with psilocybin, i did the Paul Stamets protocol. I was told it would help my brain create "new connections", it sounded good. It actually was a mess. 

 

I went into the highest anxiety period of  my life. I woke up feeling someone turned on a high voltage switch in my chest. My whole body vibrated. I felt like i was choking all day. I couldn't see people, I couldn't be indoors as the walls caved in, I couldn't be in the street as I was paranoid. I spent my days in the garden looking up at a tree, trying to breath. I was convinced the psilocybin would help me through the transition, but I am sure now that it only made my WD symptoms much worse. I was on the Psylocibin protocol for 2 weeks, then i decided to stop. 

 

The anxiety continued for another month, in that time I saw my naturopath and she prescribed St. Johns Wort 900mg daily, GABA supplement at night to sleep.

 

Ive been practicing CBT techniques, EDT tapping, Ive been praying, I have a strong network of support from my 12step group, my boyfriend, my family, Ive been calling people everyday, Ive had so much help. But still it felt unbearable. 

 

On May 30th the anxiety stopped! I fell into deep sadness and cried for 3 days, but compared to the anxiety it was a huge relief to be crying. 

 

I then found your site and started reading non stop and getting informed. I got off the St. Johns Wort. I am still taking the GABA to be able to sleep. (Should I stop it?)

 

Every day I have different symptoms, the anxiety has subsided mostly, but waves of depression hit me two days at a time, I lose all hope, I feel there is no help, I lose my faith. I have intrusive obsessive thoughts, too. But I am no longer maintaining suicidal thoughts. I have been able to label them as unreal and turn them off.

 

Some days the anxiety comes back but nothing like the days on the psilocybin. These past 3 days my nerve and joint pain came back, I spent two days in bed since i could hardly move around. Its better today. But these days of pain my mood has been good. 

My last day on Sulpiride was April 10th. Its been three months and my period is back, Ive been testing my hormones and they are still off but getting slowly back to their normal levels. 

 

I feel like apart from the WD I am also dealing with a really tremendous hormonal imbalance caused by taking the Sulpiride. 

I feel like three months is too long now to reinstate, but Im not sure about this, and reinstating Sulpiride is out of the question due to my very bad reaction to the medication. 

 

Im very grateful for this forum, just knowing more about why I feel and how I feel is enough to make it more bearable. 

 

I was already losing hope and dreading the fact that i might have to go back on another antidepressant and probably be on them for life. I now know that is not true and i am willing to navigate the WD however long it takes.  I feel that is possible because i wont have to do it alone. 

 

I am shocked by all the information shared here on this forum and feel it is so important to inform others who are on medication about how to get off them safely. Even if I didn't find out in time, I am so grateful to have found this valuable resource. 

 

Thank you for all your work. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
shortened title, added spacing, removed image

2002-2006 50 mg Lamictal for Depression till it caused Histamine intolerance and severe allergic reactions. Quit Cold T. 

2009-2011 5 mg Lexapro for Depression. After 2.5 years, i quit with a very quick taper (maybe in 2 months) 

2012-2014 20 mg Prozac for Depression, 5 mg of Ambien to sleep at night. Quit with a quick taper.

2015 back on Prozac 20 mg. at a point i was alternating one day 20 one day 40 mg. 

2016  Switched to 60 mg of Cymbalta, no taper. due to diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

2018 Tried going off Cymbalta twice, tapering, but not slow enough. Failed and went back on.

2019 Cymbalta this time up to 120 mg for heightened symptoms. After 6 months back to 60 mg. 

2020 Switched back to Prozac, no taper. 20 mg with bad side effects. 2021 Switched to Antipsychotic SULPIRIDE (DOGMATIL) 200 mg. 

2022 Went of Dogmatil with a quick taper (2 months.) 200 mg/ 150 mg/ 100 mg/ 50mg/ 0

I tried microdosing psylocibin for two weeks with horrific results, St Johns Wort for a while, currently I take 250 mg of GABA supplement to sleep at night, Fish Oil, Magnesium, Zinc + Copper.  I also take 25 micrograms of Levothyroxine daily. 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Moss: a story of multiple psychiatric drugs and too fast tapering
  • Administrator

Welcome, @Moss

 

Your last dose of sulpiride was April 10, correct? And then after that, 2 weeks of psilocybin?

 

Since May 30:

 

On 6/17/2022 at 12:23 PM, Moss said:

Every day I have different symptoms, the anxiety has subsided mostly, but waves of depression hit me two days at a time, I lose all hope, I feel there is no help, I lose my faith. I have intrusive obsessive thoughts, too. But I am no longer maintaining suicidal thoughts. I have been able to label them as unreal and turn them off.

 

It's typical that antidepressant withdrawal syndrome symptoms fluctuate and come in waves. 

 

Over the last week, how has your symptom pattern changed? How's your sleep?

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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Thank you @Altostrata

The last dose of Sulpiride was April 8th, then yes, two weeks of Psilocybin. This past week was very different, for the first time in weeks no anxiety, my thoughts have been very positive, and all i have now is terrible pain, in my joints, sore muscles, some days hardly able to walk because of the pain. I was in bed 4 days and then yesterday I felt better, today Im even more active, just very low energy. But my mood is good! The pain is exclusively physical. 

2002-2006 50 mg Lamictal for Depression till it caused Histamine intolerance and severe allergic reactions. Quit Cold T. 

2009-2011 5 mg Lexapro for Depression. After 2.5 years, i quit with a very quick taper (maybe in 2 months) 

2012-2014 20 mg Prozac for Depression, 5 mg of Ambien to sleep at night. Quit with a quick taper.

2015 back on Prozac 20 mg. at a point i was alternating one day 20 one day 40 mg. 

2016  Switched to 60 mg of Cymbalta, no taper. due to diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

2018 Tried going off Cymbalta twice, tapering, but not slow enough. Failed and went back on.

2019 Cymbalta this time up to 120 mg for heightened symptoms. After 6 months back to 60 mg. 

2020 Switched back to Prozac, no taper. 20 mg with bad side effects. 2021 Switched to Antipsychotic SULPIRIDE (DOGMATIL) 200 mg. 

2022 Went of Dogmatil with a quick taper (2 months.) 200 mg/ 150 mg/ 100 mg/ 50mg/ 0

I tried microdosing psylocibin for two weeks with horrific results, St Johns Wort for a while, currently I take 250 mg of GABA supplement to sleep at night, Fish Oil, Magnesium, Zinc + Copper.  I also take 25 micrograms of Levothyroxine daily. 

 

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Ah, and my sleep is good, Im sleeping around 7 hours every night, That was not the case the first month and a half I had a lot of sleepless nights due to anxiety and racing thoughts. But I've been sleeping well for the past two weeks. :D

2002-2006 50 mg Lamictal for Depression till it caused Histamine intolerance and severe allergic reactions. Quit Cold T. 

2009-2011 5 mg Lexapro for Depression. After 2.5 years, i quit with a very quick taper (maybe in 2 months) 

2012-2014 20 mg Prozac for Depression, 5 mg of Ambien to sleep at night. Quit with a quick taper.

2015 back on Prozac 20 mg. at a point i was alternating one day 20 one day 40 mg. 

2016  Switched to 60 mg of Cymbalta, no taper. due to diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

2018 Tried going off Cymbalta twice, tapering, but not slow enough. Failed and went back on.

2019 Cymbalta this time up to 120 mg for heightened symptoms. After 6 months back to 60 mg. 

2020 Switched back to Prozac, no taper. 20 mg with bad side effects. 2021 Switched to Antipsychotic SULPIRIDE (DOGMATIL) 200 mg. 

2022 Went of Dogmatil with a quick taper (2 months.) 200 mg/ 150 mg/ 100 mg/ 50mg/ 0

I tried microdosing psylocibin for two weeks with horrific results, St Johns Wort for a while, currently I take 250 mg of GABA supplement to sleep at night, Fish Oil, Magnesium, Zinc + Copper.  I also take 25 micrograms of Levothyroxine daily. 

 

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  • Administrator

It sounds like you are a very fortunate person recovering naturally from going off those drugs. 

 

What we see here is that withdrawal syndrome very slowly fades, with lots of setbacks, over months. Since you have seen some improvement already, this is likely to continue as long as you don't upset your nervous system again. Treat it gently. You should avoid alcohol, antibiotic and steroid treatments (if you can), artificial additives, overdoing exercise, extreme heat or light; eat fresh foods, minimize sugar; keep regular hours to preserve your sleep.

 

For the joint pain, you might try Epsom salts baths (contains magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant), acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, etc. 

 

Many people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see

 

https://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

https://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

You might try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

See 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Are We There Yet? How Long is Withdrawal Going to Take?

 

"Is it always going to be like this?"

 

The importance of recognizing you're feeling good

 

Progress! What withdrawal symptoms have gone away for you? 

 

Withdrawal dialogues & encouragement

 

Please let us know how you're doing, this helps other people!

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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