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Kimba1's Story


kimba1

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Hi

 

I'm new here but have a long story. I'm going to copy and paste an email I've just written, because I'm just exhausted right now. I hope it includes everything it needs to tell about my situation.

 

I tapered off of a benzo after over 20+ years use. A year to taper.

 

I've been on neurontin since march of this year when I had a major life stressor and restarted prozac(for 3 weeks), which threw me into a high anxiety mess (for 3 weeks). The doctor said it was an adverse reaction, probably because of my high stress level when I started it. I'm sad to say the doctor put me on neurontin and zyprexa at the time, which did stabilize me, but after a month or two I wanted off the zyprexa.

 

So after a month off the zyprexa, I tried tapering neurontin too fast (300mg/day per the doctor)and the anxiety settled back in. I went back up to the original dose 1500 mg of neurontin, but the anxiety didn't leave. I quickly reached tolerance on it. I've read that neurontin is notorious for pooping out. So I'm thinking if it's not keeping me stable, I might as well titrate off of it.

 

But there is more...the anxiety was bad, and I started to get these condemning racing thoughts, and I thought I was going crazy. I never knew that anxiety could lead to racing thoughts like that, so after a few med changes the doctor put me on risperdal. I'm on 1 mg a day and am very upset about being on it, but it is keeping those thoughts away.

 

Honestly, I don't know what's happening. The doctor says it's an underlying disorder, and I don't want to believe it, but I just don't know what to do anymore. I would like to think this is still benzo withdrawal, but I'm confused right now. My outlook changes when I have good days, but then bad days come and I'm back to square one. As you can probably tell this is a bad day.

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  • Administrator

Hi Kimba

 

Welcome to the community. I made the mistake of trying to decrement 100 mg of neurontin in one day and it started an ugly chain reaction of withdrawals ... I had high anxiety and irrational thoughts. We believe I was walking a tight rope om my Effexor taper and throwing the neurontin drop in there just pushed me over the edge.

 

It is most likely that you are still dealing with benzo withdrawals and a too fast neurontin taper - doctors like to tell us that we have an underlying condition because they don't understand withdrawals. Our recommendation is to reduce 10% of your previous dose and give yourself plenty of time for your central nervous system to heal.

 

Alto, the administrator, will be along soon to ask questions and give you some suggestions.

 

You will find the folks on the forum are very supportive.

 

Love and light,

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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  • Administrator

Hi, Kimba, welcome to our community.

 

It sounds to me also that you have benzo withdrawal syndrome. I can understand why you wouldn't want to take Risperdal....

 

BUT it's getting you by for the time being. You might want to let your nervous system settle down before making any changes.

 

Fortunately, Risperdal comes in a liquid so you can sneak your nervous system off it when the time comes.

 

See Tips for tapering off Risperdal (risperidone)

 

It also sounds like you have a serious problem with your doctor, who's mistaking adverse reactions for an "underlying condition." You may wish to see one of the doctors on our list here.

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 Karma and Alto,

 

It feels like acute benzo withdrawal, but mentally worse. I don't know what to make of it. I can't believe it would get this worse so far out from my quit date. I guess the AD flung me right back to day one. I'm hoping this is what it is, because I know I can't except if this is the knew me. Its been 6 months since my reaction to prozac, can it be the prozac still? I guess I just have to learn acceptance.

 

I took a look at the doctor list. There is one 1 hour away, I look into more tomorrow.

 

Thanks for getting back to me and all your help

 

Love

Kim

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  • Administrator

If it's Dr. London, she sounds like she's well worth the drive.

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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  • 5 months later...

It was akathisia from the risperdal. The doctor didn't believe me. Stopped risperdal, 50% better. Changed doctors but anxiety through the roof. Doctor put me on benzo again and effexor, I did what he said because I was desperate, suicidal thoughts, and at the end of my rope. A week later checked into a psych clinic where they detoxed me off benzo and put me zyprexa and trazadone along with the neurontin I was on. Left there in another benzo withdrawal which the acute phase lasted about 3 weeks, was stable about one month, now the anxiety is increasing daily. I see a new psych doc in a couple of weeks and don't know what to tell her. I applied for ss disabilty in the summer. Iam afraid if I tell her I want off all meds it will affect disability. I am so uncertain of what to do, I am just a zombie, lying on the couch all day. My brain feels numb, but the anxiety is still there.

 

Sorry I just had to vent. Any suggestions?

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  • Administrator

Did you see Dr. London?

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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Yes I saw Dr London about a 2 weeks before I went in the hospital. She was really kind, but she is expensive and an hour away from me. I can't drive that far and can't afford it. We are hurting financially. I am draining my husband finances. I asked her if she knew of any doctors close to me, but she didn't. She works out of her house, and does all that alternative stuff. I wish I could find a doctor with an open mind in my area. I am afraid that the akathisia is still there but being masked by all the meds I am on. I see a new doctor in 2 weeks. My insurance is really bad. We have to meet our deductible of $750 for this year and we don't have the funds as we are still paying on medical bills from last year. Please say a prayer for me.

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  • Administrator

What drugs are you on now and what dosages?

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

Hi Kimba,

 

I'm sorry for all you've been through. It sounds like you've been on a merry-go-round with meds. All the switching, stopping and starting have been rough on your nervous system, I can imagine.

 

You might want to find out how much your PDOC knows about safe tapering before asking to be taken off all meds.

 

As for how it would affect your disability claim, I'm not sure. If I were you, though, and intended to come off the meds, I'd make sure I had plenty in order to do a slow enough taper and hopefully reduce further harm.

 

Wish you the best,

Tezza

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Thanks Tezza - I tapered off benzos once, taper lasted 14 months, I thought I took it really slow.

 

I am currently on:

Zyprexa - 5 mg/night

Neurontin - down to 1600mg/day from 1800 (300 x3, and 700 at night)

Trazadone - 100 mg/night

 

I tried cutting the Neurontin last summer, but had a really hard time. At the time my doctor was trying different meds like risperdal, doxepin, depakote, and then ativan and effexor for a short time. But I seem to have an adverse reaction to some of them too. The akathasia I had left me traumatized, it was a very horrific experience-torture!Thats why I let myself try a benzo again.I hate benzos! Now everything seems so mixed up because of the meds I tried. I don't know what was the meds or what was my brain chemical imbalance.

Thanks for your posts.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

If I'd been through all of that, I'd be inclined to believe the anxiety and racing, condemning thoughts were due to withdrawal instead of an underlying condition.

 

IMO, the medications actually cause the chemical imbalances, I don't think it's something we were born with or that situations cause them.

 

Alto can give you the best tapering advice as she is most knowledgeable about your medications.

 

Zyprexa seems to be as nasty as Risperdal, IMO.

 

Again, I'm sorry you are suffering so terribly!

 

Hugs,

Tezza

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum, Kimba1.

 

I agree with Tezza that your symptoms are likely from withdrawal syndrome. You've been really jerked around by changing medications and reducing the amounts too fast. As for the "chemical imbalance" in the brain idea, that theory has never been proved and has in fact been repudiated by the American Psychiatric Association. (I thought we had a reference about this in the 'In the media' discussion, but can't seem to find it). Please quit blaming yourself for a chemical imbalance that you do not have. That was a bad idea largely propagated by Big Pharma.

 

What does cause a chemical imbalance is the drugs you've been on. I don't know how all of the meds you've been on work, but the SSRI antidepressants, such as Prozac, kill off some neurons in the brain and cause others to grow, which is why withdrawal syndrome can last far longer than it takes the drug to leave the body. The brain becomes destabilized during a rapid taper or cold turkey and the withdrawal symptoms are actually your brain's unsupported struggle to get back to its pre-antidepressant state. I suspect that they all basically work this way.

 

Right now it seems that the most important thig for you to do is get stabilized. I'll leave the details to Alto, who will no doubt have some very good advice. As I said, I'm not familiar with the drugs you're currently on so I'm not going to risk giving you bad advice.

 

You will get through this, though. Hang in there.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Administrator

Switching from one psychiatic drug to another can definitely scramble your nervous system. Once you've had a bad reaction, like akathisia, you might become sensitized to all psychiatric drugs. They'll have unpredictable effects on you.

 

How long have you been on Zyprexa? Of all those drugs, that's the one with the worst effects on general health.

 

Tips for tapering Zyprexa http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3743-tips-for-tapering-off-zyprexa-olanzapine/

 

Tips for tapering Neurontin http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2309-neurontin-gabapentin-tapering/

 

tezza is our Neurontin tapering expert.

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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  • Administrator

You may wish to taper the Zyprexa first, very slowly, to make sure those disturbing thoughts don't come back.

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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It notes olanzapine is "practically insoluble in water.

Will making a suspension in water be OK? If I use 5 mg with 100 mL water and take out 1mL/day would that be slow enough? Iam so afraid.

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