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Pandora


Pandora

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Hello everyone,

 

I've never joined a forum before, but I've never felt the need as much as I do now. I am about 3.5 months off Celexa (10 yrs) and Cipralex (2 years) which I'd been on about 12 years as well as Epival and Lithium off and on. My psychiatrist convinced me I was bipolar, although I never had a manic episode. I moved to a new city a few months ago and decided to try going off all these drugs as I'd been thinking about it for about a year. I have no family doctor, and without one psychiatric help is nearly impossible (with a doctor it's a year wait) so after some research into discontinuing, I decided to just go for it. I took only about 3 months to do it, and realize now I'd done this way too quickly.

 

Over the last 3 months I've suffered night sweats, insomnia, an intense itchy, burning rash which lasted about a month, felt like I had the flu most days - and now, into my 4th month next week, I'm suffering depersonalization which I have to say is the worst symptom of all. Has anyone else out there suffered from this as a symptom in their 3rd or 4th month drug free? How soon will it go away?? How did you deal with it?

 

The good part has been that I can feel again. The anger and sadness that the drugs have numbed out all these years has come back with a vengeance, and though not pleasant it's made me see how much work I still have to do to deal with these feelings.

 

I'm not sure all these symptoms isn't a relapse of anxiety/depression but I'm trying to get past it and work towards trying to live without drugs.

 

Thanks for listening!

 

PS...can someone please help me with inserting the signature information? I can't seem to figure it out. Thanks.

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Pandora

 

Welcome to the forums, people here are really friendly and gentle. It certainly sounds like you did come off the drugs too fast for the amount of time you've been on them and what you are experiencing are with withdrawals most definately, with the real you and your long buried emotions mixed in. You probably won't want to hear this, but, I think it would be a good idea to reinstate drugs, stabilize yourself and embark on a much slower taper, lots of info on tapering in the tapering forum. As you've been on multiple drugs I really don't know which and how much is best to reinstate, hopefully Alto or someone more knowledgable will come along and help you with that one.

 

With regard to your signature, if you look in the top right corner of the screen and click on your name, then click the "Your Profile" tab, then to the right is a button with "about me" on it, then you should see "change signature".

 

strawberry

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Just found Alto's post about how to put a signature in your profile:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Pandora. Thanks for joining us.

 

Yes, you are suffering from withdrawal syndrome, as you recognized.

 

Sometimes reinstating at a low dose will help withdrawal symptoms, but this becomes less and less likely the farther away you are from your last dose. At 4 months, it's a gamble. It could help, it could do nothing, it could make you worse.

 

You were taking Cipralex and Celexa at the same time? At what dosages? Why did your doctor want to do this, they are almost identical 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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Welcome, Pandora. Thanks for joining us.

 

Yes, you are suffering from withdrawal syndrome, as you recognized.

 

Sometimes reinstating at a low dose will help withdrawal symptoms, but this becomes less and less likely the farther away you are from your last dose. At 4 months, it's a gamble. It could help, it could do nothing, it could make you worse.

 

You were taking Cipralex and Celexa at the same time? At what dosages? Why did your doctor want to do this, they are almost identical drugs?

 

Thank you Altostrata and Strawberry for responding. I'm still trying to figure this forum out so hopefully this gets to you both! I was taking Celexa for about 10 years, and then it was replaced with Cipralex. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't question my old doc about it, I just did it cause I trusted him. He said something about it being more effective.

 

I have wrestled with going back to a low dose but as you suggested I might be past the point of return. I did, however, see a clinic doctor about my chronic insomnia and she of course suggested I was back in full swing depression because she didn't know how to handle what I was telling her (about the AD w/d). I ended up accepting a prescript for Trazadone at a low dose for sleeping as opposed to a benzo. It's working pretty well. I'm pretty leery of going back full on and risking making things worse as I'm just starting to enjoy some small windows of feeling normal (whatever that is - I constantly question whether this is me? Was the drug addled person me?). Perhaps normal at this point just means not feeling horrible:)

 

I can't tell you how grateful I am to have found this forum. Knowing there are people who understand the meaning of feeling 'off balance' or 'perceptually altered' is such comfort.

The mental health care system could learn alot from you, at least the one here in Ontario Canada.

 

Pandora

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

Link to comment

Hi Pandora

 

Welcome to the forums, people here are really friendly and gentle. It certainly sounds like you did come off the drugs too fast for the amount of time you've been on them and what you are experiencing are with withdrawals most definately, with the real you and your long buried emotions mixed in. You probably won't want to hear this, but, I think it would be a good idea to reinstate drugs, stabilize yourself and embark on a much slower taper, lots of info on tapering in the tapering forum. As you've been on multiple drugs I really don't know which and how much is best to reinstate, hopefully Alto or someone more knowledgable will come along and help you with that one.

 

With regard to your signature, if you look in the top right corner of the screen and click on your name, then click the "Your Profile" tab, then to the right is a button with "about me" on it, then you should see "change signature".

 

strawberry

 

Thank you Strawberry. It's taken me a bit to figure this forum out and how to reply to a post. Looking forward to sharing my recovery and hopefully help others with these terrible experiences of withdrawal. It looks like you've been around here for a while. I really admire you guys for offering this amazing service to us and with such vast knowledge, intelligence and understanding.

 

I received a reply from Altostrata who also suggested a possible reinstatement and then gradual taper, but as pointed out it could be more risky given the length of time I've been off. I am so horrified by the remotest possibility of MORE symptoms! I'm starting an exercise program and getting into some really healthy eating and hoping this will ease some of the symptoms.

 

Thanks again.

 

Pandora

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

Link to comment

How do I post without clicking 'quote' first? Or did I just do it?

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

How do I post without clicking 'quote' first? Or did I just do it?

 

You did it, but in case you don't remember what you did, to reply to a post scroll down to the bottom of the page where there's a dark blue button that says "Add Reply" and click on that. It won't actually add a reply, it will bring up a box where you can type a reply and preview it before posting. To post, scroll down a bit and click on "Add Reply" again.

 

I hadn't noticed how un-intuitive that was before.

 

BTW, welcome to the forum. It has been a godsend to me.

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

Yes, apologies for the software, it has some quirks.

 

How much trazodone are you taking, Pandora? When did you start 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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Thank you Jemima. I'm so glad to be here.

 

Astrostrata, I am taking only 25 mg Trazadone about an hour before bed. I don't think this small amount would be accessing any of my receptors - would it? I have felt better since taking it but I think it's just because I've been getting more than 3 hrs sleep a night. It's still broken sleep (I'm in full on menopause on top of this w/d syndrome and have night sweats about every 2 hours that wake me up). My timing really sucked. If anyone out there is considering quitting their SSRIs anywhere near menopausal age, I highly advise against it!!

 

Pandora

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

Link to comment

Ok, I thought I was doing better today....ALTOstrata.

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

If the trazodone helps, it helps, Pandora. Sleep is important to healing from withdrawal syndrome.

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

Pandora, welcome, we're glad you're here.

 

It seems that WD and menopause are very similar in symptoms. Both of these have stressful effects on hormones. You will learn a lot here, I'm sure.

 

Lots of caring, helpful souls. It's been a Godsend to me.

 

Well wishes and take care,

 

Tezza

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If anyone out there is considering quitting their SSRIs anywhere near menopausal age, I highly advise against it!!

 

Welcome to the forum, Pandora. I am 42 and think my hormonal changes are making my withdrawal issues more of a challenge as well. Unfortunately, by the time I found this forum is was too late for me to reinstate (8 months off). I wish I had gone off way sooner and way more gradually!

 

My most severe problems started at about 3 to 4 months off, too by the way. The last time I tried to quit (2008), I got depersonalization/derealization at about 3 months. The good news is that, at least for me, those are the symptoms that have improved the most. I still deal with broken sleep and anxiety, along with my usual depression, but I'm feeling much more like myself, at least 90% of the time!

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Pandora,

 

Don't feel bad about trusting your doc - we have all done that. What counts now is taking control over our health and decisons about treatments.

 

I also have night sweats and hot flushes with my withdrawal. I think that i have always felt hot on effexor - i went on it at about age 40 - and i would sweat profusely in synthetic night clothes or anything other than cotton sheets. I am now 52 and for the last few years have had terrible hot flushes - i have been on and off effexor in that time, i haven't been tracking them very carefully, so don't really know whether they are happening at times when my effexor has been lower or not. I understand that effexor is often used for women who can't take HRT to reduce the intensity of hot flushes, so it stands to reason that withdrawal from effexor might interfere with our heat mechanism.

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi,

 

I've had the hot flushes when waking during the night coming off three different medicines. They were set off when I CTd Risperdal and its an antipsychotic. I think the heat may be connected to the cortisol elevation. I may be wrong about that but it's definitely withdrawal related because there have been men and much younger women experience this symptom.

 

Hugs to all,

 

Tezza

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Thank you all for your input on the night sweats posts. I started taking a very low dose of Trazadone to help keep me asleep during the night, and it works sometimes. Last night was a hell ride, for some reason. I'm so disappointed as yesterday was one of my best days since quitting Cipralex. I'm chalking it up to drinking black tea at 9 pm!

 

I'm going to let this ride for a bit but am considering HRT if the night sweats don't improve as the withdrawal subsides. Anyone have any experience with hormone replacements during withdrawal syndrome? Any contraindications there?

 

Thanks.

 

Pandora

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Pandora, caffeine can definitely exacerbate withdrawal sleep problems. You may wish to avoid it entirely.

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 Altostrata, I agree it would be a good idea. Now that I remember, I also had coffee around 7 pm...

 

Another query.... I've suffered from heartburn (which turned into GERD) over the last few years. Doc at the time put me on a proton pump inhibitor which worked great, until I stopped taking it of course. I quit smoking about 1.5 years ago and the GERD improved alot without meds. Now, it's come back, started about 6 weeks after stopping my ssri.

 

Do you know if there's a connection with stomach problems and withdrawal, and if so, what is the connection?

 

Thanks.

 

Pandora

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

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  • Administrator

Yes, a lot of people have digestive problems in withdrawal.

 

See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/604-important-topics-about-symptoms-including-sleep-problems/ -- there are links to food topics at the bottom.

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

Pandora,

 

My heart really goes out to you being menopausal and suffering WD at the same time. Both are hell individually so I'm sure you are having a very rough time. I think there are a few members that are taking HRT on the forum.

 

I wish I had the answers you need. I had a hysterectomy several years ago and was on HRT immediately after. I successfully weaned off it after taking for a few years but had not started taking ADs at that time. My OB/GYN had told me I would probably have to take HRT until I was 65 years old and I refused to accept that if it didn't have to be. I will be 55 next week on the 4th.

 

I'm so sorry for all you are going through.

 

Love and hugs,

 

Tezza

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Thank you Tezza. It has been a rough ride, but I am hoping that each new day brings more healing. From both :)

 

Pandora

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm going to let this ride for a bit but am considering HRT if the night sweats don't improve as the withdrawal subsides. Anyone have any experience with hormone replacements during withdrawal syndrome? Any contraindications there?

Pandora

 

I considered HRT, i am SOOO over the hot flushes -but mine seem to come and go, so i am not sure whether they are menopause or w/d related, so i am reluctant to throw another drug into the mix. I have been taking evening primrose oil and a natural menopause supplement from a naturopath - don't know if it is helping, but it doesn't seem to be hurting. i don't think there are any real contraindications unless you are particularly sensitive. My biggest hesitation is that one day you have to come off the HRT and likely to have the hot flushes again...

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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  • Administrator

Hi Pandora

 

I do take HRT using compounded troches for estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It is working for me, but I was using HRT before I really got very far into my taper off of Effexor and I had not experienced any real withdrawal symptoms when I started it. I went into menopause in my forties.

 

One thing I learned is that refined sugar can cause night sweats. I didn't believe it, so I did an experiment - I went without refined sugar (no high fructose corn syrup, either) and didn't have night sweats, then I ate a gluten free brownie at night (made with refined sugar) and had night sweats. I thought that was a fluke and tried it again ... for me it was true. I eat very low sugar now.

 

If you use something like Stevia as a sugar substitute or evaporated cane juice (Florida Crystals) that hasn't been refined you may find that the night sweats stop or are not as severe.

 

If you find that you are still having GERD type of problems, you might try adding some HCL with your meals. In my case I found that prevacid lowered my stomach acid - so I really had a problem of too low stomach acid rather than too much. I am completely off of prevacid and just use HCL with breakfast and lunch to ensure good digestion, now.

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

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
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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Hi Pandora

 

I do take HRT using compounded troches for estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It is working for me, but I was using HRT before I really got very far into my taper off of Effexor and I had not experienced any real withdrawal symptoms when I started it. I went into menopause in my forties.

 

One thing I learned is that refined sugar can cause night sweats. I didn't believe it, so I did an experiment - I went without refined sugar (no high fructose corn syrup, either) and didn't have night sweats, then I ate a gluten free brownie at night (made with refined sugar) and had night sweats. I thought that was a fluke and tried it again ... for me it was true. I eat very low sugar now.

 

If you use something like Stevia as a sugar substitute or evaporated cane juice (Florida Crystals) that hasn't been refined you may find that the night sweats stop or are not as severe.

 

If you find that you are still having GERD type of problems, you might try adding some HCL with your meals. In my case I found that prevacid lowered my stomach acid - so I really had a problem of too low stomach acid rather than too much. I am completely off of prevacid and just use HCL with breakfast and lunch to ensure good digestion, now.

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Karma

 

Thank you so much Karma. I will definitely try the no sugar. My intake is pretty low (I think) but who knows where it's all hidden unless you're really diligent.

 

I was reading an excellent article about GERD linked by someone in the forum (thank you) and learned about the too low acid factor that people (and most doctors) don't realize is the real problem. And here I am popping Zantac like it's candy... Pardon my ignorance but is HCL Hydrochloride? How do you use it?

 

Thank you so much for this. Today has been a rough day. I've felt extremely flu-ish, tingling in my gums and tongue, a lot of sneezing even though I don't have a cold, sluggish speech, muscle aches... it's so disappointing when you've had a good couple of days in a row. This process really is one day at a time.

 

Pandora

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Pandora,

 

I went through menopause in my mid forties and didn't have too much trouble. Night sweats were the worst though. I found that eating spicy food like pizza ( could have been the salt or msg...who knows?) for supper triggered night sweats. Also, if I had a beer in the evening I could pretty much count on waking up soaking wet.

 

Now that I am tapering Lexapro they have returned. Both during menopause and now with the lex taper I handle a more nasty night sweat ( one that I am soaking wet and can't fall back asleep) the same way. I get out of bed to cool off. It doesn't take long. 5- 10 minutes sitting in the living room in the dark I can return to my now damp sheets and nearly shiver to death.

 

Fun ehhh? I never did the HRT thing so can't help you there. Watch what you are consuming in the evening & if you can't fall back asleep or cool off you may just have to get up for a bit. Interrupted sleep sucks .. no doubt. Good luck!!!

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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Hi Pandora

 

You are in a great place for helping to deal with drug WD. I took Ciprolex (Lexapro) and I am currently on Celexa (Citalopram). Yes the symptoms you have described are from a quick taper in conjunction with menopause.

 

WD can cause hot flashes, night sweats and also cause cold spells.

 

I agree with Alto, sleep is so important, period. Particularly during a WD stage. Insomnia is a part of WD, so taking trazadone for sleep seems to be helping.

 

When I first read your post, I thought about reinstatement,and as I got further down and saw you are taking trazadone, I thought maybe the trazadone alone may help.

 

Nikki

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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  • Administrator

It is hydrochloride - you want to look for Betaine Hydrochloride(HCL) With Pepsin. Betaine HCl and pepsin are naturally occurring

gastric-juice components that render nutrients available for absorption and biological activity. I use the Solaray brand at 650 mg and I take one capsule with breakfast and one with dinner (either while I'm eating or just before I start eating). You could start with a lower potency - I think I've used 327 mg before (I don't know why it was an odd number of mgs) and see how it goes.

 

One thing I've learned by being a member of this forum is that after we have experienced withdrawals we become more sensitive. What that looks like for me is that I will start slowly and work my way up with any supplement. So you could start with the lesser potency HCL and just use it with one meal for a week and see what your experience is.

 

As for sugar ... yes, one has to be very diligent to find hidden sugars ... I am stunned by the places I find corn syrup! I have to be diligent anyway because I have celiac disease, so I've gotten really good at reading labels.

 

I'm sorry you had a difficult day. These really do sound like classic withdrawal symptoms - I hope that they begin to fade for you soon.

 

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
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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Thank you all for your support and helpful suggestions. I'm thanking the universe every day for leading me to this forum.

 

Nikki, your night sweats story is so awful!! I've read about these bed sheets they have out that work on the disposable diaper principle and absorb the sweats from you and keep the sheets dry. I might have to indulge if things don't improve in that area.

 

The good side to AD withdrawal? Other than the night sweats I can't really tell I have menopause!

 

Pandora

 06/12 - Tapered off Cipralex. 30mg/Lithium 600mg/Epival 500mg

Very difficult time with 3-month taper off all drugs.

11/12 - Doc prescribed clonazepam 1 mg. for insomnia

01/14 - Clonazepan taper from 1 mg to .75 mg, then liquid microtaper to .638 mg. Depersonalization, extreme fatigue, muscle aches off/on.

05/15 - Switched to dry cut at .625 mg. Ok for 2-3 weeks, then same strong symptoms. Holding .625 mg.

06/15 - Switched over to liquid dosing .3125 ml 2x/day, 11 am & 11 pm.  Symptoms mild and no sleep issues.  Holding .625 mg/day.

10/15 - down to .530 mg. clonazepam in 4 months. .265 mg 2x/ day @ 10 am/10 pm. 

11/15 - holding at .528

11/15 - started microtaper to relieve persistent w/d symptoms

01/16 - microtaper not improving things; extremely sensitive to slightest decreases 

02/16 - holding at .524. 

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Thank you all for your input on the night sweats posts. I started taking a very low dose of Tr

I'm going to let this ride for a bit but am considering HRT if the night sweats don't improve as the withdrawal subsides. Anyone have any experience with hormone replacements during withdrawal syndrome? Any contraindications there?

 

Hi Pandora. I am on estrogen replacement (patch) for very low estrogen/ovarian failure that just happened to be diagnosed at age 49. I didn't have hot flashes. I was surprised at how much it helped with muscle pain and head/neck pain. I saw your question on another thread and thought I'd mention.

 

I would get a thorough workup before adding just one hormone as that can cause an imbalance.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Pandora, I am sure you already know this, but just wanted to add that pure cotton or bamboo sheets are a must for me - any synthetic at all and i sweat much more. Also, if i have blankets, they must be natural fibre - wool or cotton - i have a silk doona for winter which is very good. And, of course cotton nightwear - i have some really light, loose cotton nighties. We have a latex bed which is quite hot, but i have a cotton protector on it and it makes a big difference - i would probably rather not have the latex, but my husband loves it and with the protector i can get by.

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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