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Horty: Benzo withdrawal followed by AD withdrawal


Horty

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Hi,

I'm really annoyed to find that after a horrid bz wd that the ad wd is going to give me grief also.

My story. I had (what I now know) is an adverse reaction to an antibiotic that resulted in extreme anxiety, just over 3 weeks ago. I was diagnosed with depression and put on an antidepressant (mirtazapine) and a benzo (alprazolam). When the AD should have been working I did what I thought was a slow taper off the BZ over 2 weeks (ha!), 3 weeks later ended up in hospital (was not recognised as BZ WD). Was switched to diazepam and clomipramine abruptly. Stayed there for a while, then abruptly came off the clomipramine (with no adverse impact). Was well and truly in tolerance WD from the BZ and in desperation was put on mirtazapine. Mirtazapine did nothing for the anxiety and depression that were causing me so much trouble but did help me to sleep so I stayed on 15mg while I tapered off the diazepam over 6 months. The BZ WD was unbelievably bad- I am amazed I survived it. 4 months ago (14 months after I finished tapering the BZ) I started tapering off the mirt. I was not well at that point, was still struggling through each day but felt I was well enough to start to come off the mirt. I cut about 12.5% every 3-4 weeks from 15 down to 7.5, last cut 5 weeks ago. I think it was way too fast. The anxiety has ramped right up and the depression and just feeling horrible is awful. I'm finding living through each day really difficult. I've decided that I will just stay here for a while, until I feel like things are OK again before cutting the mirt again.

I'm also takign a heap of supplements (started before I knew the benzos were my problem- prescribed by an orthomolecular dr) including Sam-e (1.2g) , 5htp (400mg/d), melatonin 1.5mg), P5P, Zn. I want to come off these too at some stage (andbelieve it or not I've cut down a lot, there was a lot more) but I will only tackle one thing at a time!!!

Suggestions appreciated. I'm truly hoping that I will see some lessening of the AD WD symptoms soon!!! Anyone care to make any predictions?

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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Hi Horty

 

So sorry to hear of your situation, I'm not experienced to help you on this but, there are people on this forum who will be able to advise and support you.

 

You have come to the right place, someone will be along shortly to help

 

Welcome :)

 

Debbie x

17 years on seroxat/paxil CT off - thought I was dying luckily found this site. 21st May 2012 12mg seroxat

Stable - Tapered Diazepam slowish.1st June 10mg Seroxat

2nd June 1mg Diazepam.15th June 9mg seroxat

2nd July Changed to 2.5[ml liquid diazepam]2mg=5ml. 16th July 2ml Liquid Diazepam

2nd August 8mg/4ml Seroxat/Paxil 2nd August 1.5 ml Diazepam

18th Aug 2012 1ml Diazepam 1st - 5th Sept 0.5

Diazepam Free!

13th Oct 7mg/3.5ml seroxat - 26 Jan 2013 3.25ml/6.5mg-Mar 3ml-April 2.7ml-May 2.5ml

01/07/14 very slow taper over the last year now on 0.5 ml of liquid Seroxat ......November 14 Seroat Free!!!!!!!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Horty and welcome. I'm not the one to advise you either. It sounds like you've been through a lot and it sounds like you've tapered in a wise manner so far. There will be someone to give you good advice and you'll get support from others.

 

You've made your way to the BEST forum on the web, IMHO.

 

Tezza

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  • Administrator

Hello, Horty, welcome to the Intro forum.

 

How much mirtazapine are you taking now?

 

I'm also takign a heap of supplements (started before I knew the benzos were my problem- prescribed by an orthomolecular dr) including Sam-e (1.2g) , 5htp (400mg/d), melatonin 1.5mg), P5P, Zn.

Some of those supplements are activating and may be contributing to your anxiety and sleeplessness.

 

You might try reducing them one by one, to see which helps and which hurts.

 

P5P, a concentrated form of vitamin B6, is a prime suspect.

 

SAM-e can cause problems. Increasing serotonin is activating and doesn't help antidepressant withdrawal syndrome -- your serotonin receptors need to feel a normal level of serotonin to recover (downregulate).

 

When are you taking 5-htp? It could be causing paradoxical reactions. It also boosts serotonin, not a good thing in withdrawal.

 

Is the melatonin helping at all? When do you take it?

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 ALtostrata,

The supplements I have been taking for a long time now, over 2 years. I only tackle reducing anything one thing at a time. Perhaps when I stabilise at my current level of mirt I might start on some of these.

Of all of them, the melatonin seems to assist, I take it before I go to bed, along with the mirt and 200mg of 5htp. It's a mess that's for sure but nowhere near as big a mess as 18mo-1yr ago.

I'm on 7.5mg of mirt now, was on 15mg....and I had a mistake in my prev post, the nightmare started just over 3 years ago, not 3 weeks!

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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  • Administrator

Given that your system may have become more sensitive because of withdrawal, I suggest you take the P5P and SAM-e separately, at different times of day, and see if either seems to set off anxiety.

 

You might cut down on the 5-HTP one night and see how that affects you. You'd be surprised, your sleep might improve.

 

Since you've stopped at 7.5mg mirt, have your symptoms changed?

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 Altostrata,

I do take the Sam-e and 5htp separately and I can't say that I notice any impact on mood after I take them. What I have found with the BZ WD is that things cycle being quite up and down and that there seems to be a pattern with my menstrual cycle. What has happened as I decreased the mirt is that the pattern seems to have cycled downwards. It was difficult to see to start with because you really need to look at weeks together to see the pattern (although I did have a day or two after each cut which was clearly a response to the cut- nasty stuff) but it's difficult to pick apart mirt WD from the BZ WD that I am still experiencing. So symptoms have not changed in content really but just amped up depression and anxiety and that awful feeling.

Once things get a bit easier I may decrease the 5htp (or the Sam-e). My sleep has actually been OK for quite some time...until I started decreasing the mirt which resulted in a few pretty awful nights but it's back to being pretty good.

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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  • Administrator

That is correct, it's hard to distinguish between benzo withdrawal and other withdrawal.

 

It seems you definitely need to not make any changes in your meds for a while.

 

I am suggesting looking at 5-HTP and SAM-e because they could be exacerbating your anxiety symptoms. Often people feel better when they're off those kinds of supplements.

 

But you'd need to do a careful experiment because they might somehow be helping in unknown ways.

 

Naturopaths don't know any more about withdrawal syndromes than any other kind of doctor, and the supplements they prescribe, such as your cocktail, are for people with stable nervous systems who complain of low mood. People with withdrawal syndrome are a completely different animal, with lots of hypersensitivity issues.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Agree. Time to stabilize if you can. Can you updose the mirt slightly and then just hold everything? If not, just hold everything for a while as is.

 

Many people find SAM-E to be way too stimulating in withdrawal, especially AD withdrawal.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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I'm reluctant to change anything just at the minute because I'm really struggling. When I am feeling a bit better I will definitely look at decreasing the sam-e and 5htp. I guess I think of them like I would consider the situation if they were a drug and that in a time of crisis it is not a good idea to change anything. I have been on them for a long time and my brain is having a hard enough time coping with the BZ and AD WD (the AD reduction being very recent). I really don't know if they are helping or hindering. Certainly some suggest that people take these supplements during AD WD? Is that something that you know anything about? They were actually prescribed a bit over 2 years ago by an orthomolecular Dr who diagnosed me with pyroluria and undermethylation- not diagnoses that are generally accepted by mainstream medicine but before I knew that the benzos were the problem I was desperate for answers....just ended up with me being on a lot of supplements that I now need to deal with.

ANyway, thoughts on my current position with mirt...the strategy of staying at the current level until there is good improvement and then tapering super, super slowly? I'm thinking that it will probably be 6mo or more before I have another go at reducing? Do you think that that length of time will be problematic? I just don't like being on drugs! And worry about even greater habituation.

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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  • Administrator

Horty, are you reading this site on a cell phone?

 

Yes, we have experience that those supplements can be a problem for people with withdrawal syndrome. They may be causing your symptoms or making them worse.

 

The people who are prescribing them for withdrawal don't know what they're doing.

 

Please see our Symptoms and Self-Care forum.

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'm reluctant to change anything just at the minute because I'm really struggling.

 

Are you referring to Rhi's suggestion that you possibly updose the mirt slightly?

 

As for the 5-htp and SAM-e, I used both (either or both of 5-htp and tryptophan, and SAM-e, while on the paxil I was on. I don't think the 5-htp or tryptophan did anything for me so didn't take them very long, but had no problems with them. I took SAM-e for quite a while (for literally crippling, disabling inflammatory arthritis - for which it was extremely helpful) with no problems except that I'm allergic to the enteric coating, and that became such a problem I stopped taking it (while still on my full dose of paxil) after the arthritis became at least somewhat less disabling.

 

But once I went off the paxil and was in w/d (withdrawal), I tried all of these supplements at various times. This time to address my severe w/d. In each case I got brief relief of some symptoms briefly, but soon developed worsening of w/d symptoms. And one experience with the SAM-e so horrifying I don't want to relate it.

 

I did a very fast taper off paxil and wasn't taking any of those during my taper, so I have no way of knowing if these problems would have happened while still tapering or not. (I actually felt better and better with every drop during my too-fast approx 6-week taper and better yet for a couple of weeks after my last dose. But I then was hit with horrible w/d that lasted many years. This "delayed reaction" has happened with other people, and while in my case the lag times were unusually long, it illustrates the more common phenomenon of people having a varying sequence of withdrawal - which I did too - that makes it tricky to pinpoint cause and effect.)

 

This may not be relevant to you yet, but many people have had bad reactions in w/d to those two supplements (and again, I didn't have them right away - not when I first resumed taking them, and then when they did start happening, I'd still experience brief relief after the dose before having it "spin around" and make w/d symptoms much worse than ever until it wore off).

 

(Darn, I just noticed that one phrase and at least one sentence in what I'd previously typed just vanished while I was correcting just a couple of words. I had to click "Undo" three times to get them back, and now am not sure if the small correction I'd made is there or if all the deleted words are back. At least it looks like complete sentences now.

 

(I don't know what I'd doing that causes that, but at least I'm feeling less like I'm losing my mind when so many of my posts turned out to have glitches, especially missing words or sentences, that literally changed what I was saying into the opposite of what I'd typed. But if anything in this post or anything else I post doesn't sound right, please, everyone - let me know!)

 

Back on topic, I'd suggest you might try stopping one or two of those supplements now, either by doing a fast taper (they don't work the same way as these meds, so any temporary increase in symptoms like muscle pain would be gone very quickly - at most a few days, I'd think), or at least make sure you've tapered off them by the time you get to the lowest doses. Certainly before you're totally off an AD.

 

I just don't know if there's a point when still on meds where the body responds differently to these supplements, or if it occurs (which it does with most, though not all, people) only once off a med. I wish I knew.

 

When you stop any of those supplements, be sure to do it one at a time, and allow at least a few days or so before going off the other one. That's the only way to know what's what and to minimize any brief changes you might feel.

 

Another possibility I thought of is that all SAM-e tablets are enteric coated because stomach acid degrades SAM-e. If you're breaking the tablets to taper them, you might be absorbing them differently. I don't know.

 

But the most important thing to remember is that too many of us have found that a body in withdrawal reacts extremely differently to these substances - especially SAM-e - than it does when not in w/d. If it were just my experience I'd chalk it up to an individual quirk or coincidences. But many, many people have reported this.

 

Occasionally - rarely, but it happens - some people report problems from SAM-e even if they're not in w/d. I don't know if they had a hypersensitivity from having taken a medication in the past we were unaware of, or if it was a rare but real adverse reaction, which can happen with any potent substances. But in my case and many other people's, we not only tolerated but benefited from the supplements very well prior to w/d, but had severe reactions to the same supplements after going into w/d. Such things have been known to happen with other supplements too, but these two are among the most notable for this.

 

Naturopathic health care providers are only very rarely aware of the difference in response to many supplements that tend to be the norm in bodies that are physically going through the changes we term withdrawal. I was and still am a strong advocate of natural alternatives to allopathic medicine whenever possible. But what is expected to happen, and in the past has happened, with supplements often changes drastically in withdrawal and often for some time afterward.

 

We don't know why, but we need to be aware (and health care practitioners need to become aware) that this is a reality for many of most people.

 

 

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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  • Administrator

We have a couple of people who experienced withdrawal symptoms from SAM-e, one (Romido) for at least a year.

 

This indicates that, like antidepressants, SAM-e can downregulate serotonin receptors. If you are struggling to recover from withdrawal symptoms, this is not what you need.

 

Also, since SAM-e can cause withdrawal symptoms, I suggest tapering from that if you decide to quit.

 

Horty, as I suggested before, you might reduce SAM-e by, for example, 25% to see if it is responsible for some of your symptoms. If it is, you'll want to taper off it.

 

Same with 5-HTP.

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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OOOHHHH I just don't know what to do. I think that the best action for the moment will be to stay just where I am. It might sound silly but I don't want to up my dose of mirt a little because not only do I want OFF but also because staying at this level is easy at a practical level (just 1/2 a tablet). I think that my next move will be to deal with the Sam-e but I want to see if things settle before I traumatise my system more by changing anything. I'm now 5.5 weeks away from my last decrease of mirt and gosh I so hope that there is some improvement soon. The bz wd really sent me to an awful place, a place where I couldn't think or do even the most basic of things. I didn't cook or shop for my family for a year, I was severely debilitated. I am no where near as bad now, this WD has not affected my reasoning or ability to think except as in the anxiety and feeling of awfulness makes it hard to think about anything else! My memory is shot though!!!

I've never been happy to take the sam-e. The Dr who prescribed it has poo pooed my concerns. She says that the people who react badly to it are those who are overmethylators and not undermethylators like myself. Sometimes I just don't know what to believe...but the dose I am on is high- 1.2g. I was on 2g but reduced 800mg late last year.

Altostrata, you set up this website I think and you are a long time away from the drugs, how long did it take for you to recover? Or at least to recover to the point that symptoms were annoying rather than debilitating.

I shall try to get to writing a sig soon.

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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Oh, I was going to ask...wht do you think of the idea of staying at this level of mirt for some time and dealing with the supplements? Am I likely to cause myself more grief by staying on the drug for longer while wait to stabilise and I taper off the supps?

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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  • Administrator

Yes, I believe you should stay at that level of mirt and deal with the supplements.

 

Since you've been taking such a huge amount of SAM-e for such a long time, I suggest a 10% decrease for 2 weeks at a time rather than a 25% decrease.

 

You don't want to add SAM-e withdrawal on top of everything else.

 

If you're reading this on a cell phone, I suggest you use a computer instead. You seem to be missing a lot.

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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Thanks very much Alto. I've ordered 200mg tablets of Sam-e so I can decrease by 200mg increments. That's more than 10% but it's as good as can be done because Sam-e is enteric coated.I might do a drop every 3-4 weeks. Anyway, it's a moot point at the moment because I'm not changing anything until things are a bit better. Will stay where I am. I am reading on a computer, what have I missed?

Hopefuly things will pick up a little soon. I keep saying to my partner, I just need a few good days to give me the stamina to keep going!

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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  • Administrator

We've been encouraging you to hold on the mirt!!

 

Good to hear your plan is in order. I hope it goes well.

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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Oh OK. I was reading everything it's just that I was concerned about staying on the mirt for any longer...I just worry that the longer I am on the more my brain habituates to the drug.

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hooly Dooly! It's now been 2 months since I stopped reducing mirtazapine and I'm feeling as bad as what I did in acute BZ WD when I was tapering. It feels terrible. I'm wondering when I will start to feel better or could it get worse or stay like this for a long time? I don't know that I can do very much more of this. Any advice?

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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  • Administrator

What are your symptoms now?

 

I'm also takign a heap of supplements (started before I knew the benzos were my problem- prescribed by an orthomolecular dr) including Sam-e (1.2g) , 5htp (400mg/d), melatonin 1.5mg), P5P, Zn. I want to come off these too at some stage (andbelieve it or not I've cut down a lot, there was a lot more) but I will only tackle one thing at a time!!!

Suggestions appreciated. I'm truly hoping that I will see some lessening of the AD WD symptoms soon!!! Anyone care to make any predictions?

 

The following can cause or exacerbate anxiety, palpitations, and wakefulness:

  • Sam-e (1.2g)
  • 5htp (400mg/d)
  • P5P
How did you arrive at 1.5mg melatonin? If you take too much, it can interfere with 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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Welcome to the forum!

 

Please take a deep breath and listen to what everyone is saying. It seems that you are letting fear drive your decisions. The only thing fear will do is lead you into rash decisions and more fear and worry. If you had the tenacity to taper off benzos, then getting through your current situation should be a walk in the park. But, I certainly understand your rush to get off pmeds. And I can understand how the plethora of impatient or incompetent MDs would drive someone to seek the advice of a naturapath. However IMO such practitioners know next to nothing about the human body or drug interactions. 

 

Add me to the list of members who think that the supplements you are taking are the crux of your problems. As well as making a 50% cut from mirtazaprine. But what is done is done. IMO PAWS from a benzo taper isn't factor, but I do not have the details to make judgement.

 

First off, I urge you NOT to make any further cuts to the mirt. If anything, I would CONSIDER titrating up (maybe 25% up?

 

I think your neurotransmitters have been overloaded and confused. But, I think the supplements are hurting more than helping.

 

For example, anxiety and insomnia are reported side effects of Sam-E. While 5-HTP helps to synthesize Serontonin (this is effecting the efficacy of mirtz)and B vitamins are extremely activating. Finally, some people react to these supplements as well as mirtz by being thrown into mania. I would be willing to bet that a second opinion using a diagnosis from a psychiatrist would end up with labeling you as suffering from rapid cycle BP disorder. Which I highly doubt is the case.

 

With regards to your arthritis, two full weeks of a NSAID which will reduce inflammation followed by the use of glucosamine chondroitin  (which will promote the production of synovial should help immensely). I suffer from cervical and arthritis and this works well for me.

 

I hope this helps in some way,

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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What are your symptoms now?

 

The following can cause or exacerbate anxiety, palpitations, and wakefulness:

  • Sam-e (1.2g)
  • 5htp (400mg/d)
  • P5P
How did you arrive at 1.5mg melatonin? If you take too much, it can interfere with sleep.

 

 

I think the things that are bothering me most are anxiety (though that's not new!!), depression (that is definitely diff from just the BZ WD) and just a feeling of hopelessness and awfulness (like I just want to die!).

Yes, I know that it is possible that the supplements are an issue and I will come off them next. Just need to stabilise some before I do that. The supplements were to address metabolic issues diagnosed after testing. Alto, have you done any reading on orthomolecular medicine? The SAM-e, P5P and Zinc are to treat Pyroluria and undermethylation (specifically the SAM-e, if someone is an overmethylator then SAM-e should cause anxiety but it should be calming with an undermethylator). I've got an appointment with the prescribing dr in a week and a half and will discuss some more how to go about coming off....I wish I'd never gone on it all. I think that my situation is quite different from a situation when someone is starting something to deal with symptoms- I've been on this stuff for a very long time now, 2+ years.

I was originally on 3mg of melatonin. I cut down to 1.5mg about a year+ ago?? That's the supplement that I am least concerned about. 1.5mg is pretty low I think. The melatonin will probably be the last thing I come off!

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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Thanks Whatever. I have found real encouragement in reading your success story. I'm definitely not making any rash decisions- I'm trying to just sit tight and wait out adjustment to the drops in mirt that I made. As I said to Alto, I'll be seeing the Dr who prescribed the SAM-e and other supplements soon and will be asking for retesting and some input in how to come off/what to expect. I do think that my system has been overloaded with too many chemicals- I'm in a better place than what I was- I've dropped loads of supplements altogether (niacinamide, taurine, DHEA...), dropped the dosage of quite a few (5htp, SAM-e, some vit b and Zn) and come off diazepam altogether. It's been a slow steady 2 years to get to where I am now and obviously quite some time to go. Fortunately, I have an excellent psychiatrist now who is really supportive of me coming off, respects me as a person and doesn't think there is actually anything wrong with me apart from the drugs.

Fortunately, I don't have arthritis so I'm not worried about losing the ant0-inflammatory effect of SAM-e...ut I wouldn't go near a NSAID with a barge pole regardless- very very bad for someone recovering from benzos!

 

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

Please take a deep breath and listen to what everyone is saying. It seems that you are letting fear drive your decisions. The only thing fear will do is lead you into rash decisions and more fear and worry. If you had the tenacity to taper off benzos, then getting through your current situation should be a walk in the park. But, I certainly understand your rush to get off pmeds. And I can understand how the plethora of impatient or incompetent MDs would drive someone to seek the advice of a naturapath. However IMO such practitioners know next to nothing about the human body or drug interactions. 

 

Add me to the list of members who think that the supplements you are taking are the crux of your problems. As well as making a 50% cut from mirtazaprine. But what is done is done. IMO PAWS from a benzo taper isn't factor, but I do not have the details to make judgement.

 

First off, I urge you NOT to make any further cuts to the mirt. If anything, I would CONSIDER titrating up (maybe 25% up?

 

I think your neurotransmitters have been overloaded and confused. But, I think the supplements are hurting more than helping.

 

For example, anxiety and insomnia are reported side effects of Sam-E. While 5-HTP helps to synthesize Serontonin (this is effecting the efficacy of mirtz)and B vitamins are extremely activating. Finally, some people react to these supplements as well as mirtz by being thrown into mania. I would be willing to bet that a second opinion using a diagnosis from a psychiatrist would end up with labeling you as suffering from rapid cycle BP disorder. Which I highly doubt is the case.

 

With regards to your arthritis, two full weeks of a NSAID which will reduce inflammation followed by the use of glucosamine chondroitin  (which will promote the production of synovial should help immensely). I suffer from cervical and arthritis and this works well for me.

 

I hope this helps in some way,

 

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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  • Administrator

I do not endorse the megadoses used by orthomolecular medicine, and I've not found orthomolecular doctors know anything about withdrawal syndrome or how to treat it.

 

I'd be very suspicious of the tests supporting treatment with megadoses. Google each one and see how well regarded it is in the medical community.

 

Horty, if you can recommend your psychiatrist, we're looking for doctors to add to our list here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

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 do not endorse the megadoses used by orthomolecular medicine, and I've not found orthomolecular doctors know anything about withdrawal syndrome or how to treat it.

 

I'd be very suspicious of the tests supporting treatment with megadoses. Google each one and see how well regarded it is in the medical community.

 

Horty, if you can recommend your psychiatrist, we're looking for doctors to add to our list here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

 

Yes, I know Alto, the diagnoses and treatments are not well accepted....but then ADs are well accepted and few believe that there is any problem with coming off them!! I didn't start the treatment to counter withdrawal, at the time I had no idea that they drugs were the problem but to treat the underlying issue that led me to the drugs in the first place (though now I think that the original problem was also drug related- a nasty interaction between alcohol and and antibiotic). I think that there is some useful stuff in there but I have no idea how useful (certainly treatment has helped a very good friend of mine) nor how it impact withdrawal....sigh, I am so tired and confused.

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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I'm personally pretty skeptical of the status quo, Horty, and I'd embrace orthomolecular medicine if I found it convincing.

 

Yes, medicine has betrayed our trust but that doesn't mean that a particular alternative treatment style is valid. It's all open to question.

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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Since I've been dealing with multiple medical problems literally since I was a child, and since I became very interested in alternative and natural health care modalities when I was a very young woman and continue to be many decades later, there's a lot I could say about this topic. But the most important thing in terms of what this group is about is that although I feel both allopathic and (many at least) alternative modalites have merits depending on the nature of the medical problem, neither of them have a clue about how to properly address the issues of how psychotropic and related meds have altered our bodies.

 

This affects correctly diagnosing many problems, and also how the body responds to treatments, whether allopathic or natural/alternative.

 

I don't mean just trying to address withdrawal problems, but also how differently our bodies respond to remedies of many kinds.

 

I do find that alternative modality practitioners generally (not always!) tend to be more likely than allopathic medicine practitioners to take seriously the reality of withdrawal. However, they unfortunately tend to prescribe treatments based on what is generally effective on similar symptoms not caused by or not affected by the changes these meds create in the neuroendocrine system.

 

(Those changes also frequently include sensitivities that can last some time even once off the drug and even after most acute withdrawal symptoms have subsided.)

 

Sadly, that misguided approach usually causes more problems than it helps.

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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  • 2 months later...

Just giving an update. It's now 5 or so moths since I stopped tapering mirtazapine. SInce that time there has been some improvement but things are still really, really hard. On good days I feel like things are manageable but the bad days are too bad and they are 2/3-3/4 of the days so way too frequent. I have decreased the sam-e I was taking. I dropped 200mg in one go (down to 1g) and stayed there for 6 weeks or so and then I dropped 100mg (by alternating doses 800-1000mg/day). I plan to stay where I am until after Christmas when I will drop the sam-e to 800mg and probably stay there until after april (when I have an OS trip). I am managing to function pretty well compared to when I was in acute BZ WD but it is still such a struggle and I can see a long road ahead. How do people manage to keep fighting every day???I keep waiting for the symptoms to become annoying rather than over powering and it's not happening!!!

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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Horty,

 

 

I just saw your update and skimmed your thread, I don't have much of an attention span lately. I am currently holding at 6 mg of mirtazapine and lowering my dose of SAMe. I am having some WD from lowering the SAME and I got a liquid so that I could do it more precisely. After seeing your post I am very grateful that I was only on 800 mg of the SAMe.

 

I think this is a link to my intro topic.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3110-moonbow0202-effexor-and-remeron-withdrawal/page__view__findpost__p__34063__fromsearch__1

 

Are you holding your mirtazapine dose or are you off of it? I have found it difficult to find much info on mirtazapine WD. What i do know is that it hits me emotionally a couple of days after lowering my dose.

15+ years on various ADs and combos. Spent 3 yrs tapering (off & on ) off 225mg Effexor venlafaxine) XR & Remeron (mirtazapine). Finished tapering Oct 2014.

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Hi Moon,

Thanks for your post.. Seems that we're in not dissimilar situations. You're right there is very little info on mirtazapine WD and even less on Sam-e!!! WHat do you notice with dropping sam-e? I've got benzo withdrawal complicating things (which is most unfortunate). I think that I tapered too quickly with the mirt and I plan not to drop any more for some time though I hope I can get off the sam-e. I just need to keep the symptoms at a manageable level. I can't afford to let things drop further- the BZ WD almost killed me and I wasn't able to cook dinner for my family for eg for nearly a year. I'm not managing to live life almost normally though it is a terrible struggle at times.

Benzos (Xanax and then DIazepam) April 2009-Feb 2011 (Tapered off from Oct 2010-Feb 2011). Antidepressants April 2009- present Mirtazapine, Clomipramine, Effexor, Prisique then Mirtazapine again...on Mirtazapine since April 2010. Tapered from 15mg-7.5mg over May-July 2012. Still experiencing strong withdrawals from the benzos but want to come off the mirtazapine. Desperate to get well again and away from the horror drugs!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Horty,

I just wanted to say hi, I am the member with the Sam-e withdrawal. The symptoms I had were a lot of anxiety, among other horrific things. I hope a taper gives you a soft landing. How are you doing this week? At nearly 15 months off, my symptoms are mostly at the "present, not debilitating, but very annoying" stage. It's a long journey, but you can make it too!

R

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  • 6 years later...
  • Administrator

Hello, Horty, how are you?

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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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Horty: Benzo withdrawal followed by AD withdrawal

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