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Gastro - intestinal symptoms ..your experience?


areyouthere
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Have gastro intestinal problems been a WD symptom for you as a result of tapering from an antidepressant or other ? Just curious. Also... what are some of the proposed biological reasons for it. And lastly, what strategies can one use to reduce the probability of developing the onset of gastro intestinal/ digestive problems during a taper?

 

Thanks.

 

Oh. I see there were some other threads posted on this. Moderators ... do what you like with this post & or responses.

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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Lately I've been wondering if the colon spasms I have gotten since quitting are withdrawal related... I now have hemorrhoids as well. Sometimes it's tough to figure out what is aging or some unrelated cause and what is withdrawal. Anyway, I have striven to eat very, very healthy by eliminating processed foods and eating lots of fermented foods. Also, cutting out grains as much as possible.

'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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This is a symptom I have not had, thankfully.

 

Most serotonin receptors in the body are in the GI tract so it makes sense that this is common. My understanding is that SSRIs were first developed for GI problems but marketing was redirected to the larger market of depression/anxiety.

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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ok. So here was my problem and maybe someone can explain it and tell me what to do to avoid it happening again.

 

First , this was the first time I had a problem with ( uncontrollable diarrhea) and nothing in my medical history or persoanal habits ( eating, drinking etc) had changed with one exception... I had upped my dose of lexapro in September, this problem started in June, went on through July by gradually resolved itself by August.

 

Now first, once I describe to you the situation you might think"awwwwww but your time of day for of taking your meds changed...that's it! ". But I don't think it is because that changes every summer.

 

I teach, I take 2 mg xanax ( sometimes 1.5 and then .5 around 1pm....but somedays I skip that) at 5:30- 6 am and lex, go to work, come home and take 2 mg xanax before bed. Sometimes .5 an hr or so before I take the other 1.5 just before bedtime.

 

Anyway, every summer my sleeping habits change quite a bit and the time I take my meds in the am can vary anywhere from 7 am to 10 am. Never been a problem until this past summer when I started to walk in the morning. If I didn't take a crap before my walk I would be in trouble. As in "Oh crap, I have to CRAP. NOW". Luckily we live in the country and the couple times this happened I could find a nice corn field to hide in to do my unrequested duty.

 

You might not think this is a problem but it really did interfere with my life. I need to walk, I wanted to walk, but sometime I couldn't .

 

So what do you think? God. I can't believe I am posting this but I really am curious if it could be the delayed benzo dosing in the am.

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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First of all, it's nothing to be ashamed of, we're a patient-centered community so these sorts of things tend to come up.

 

I think these types of things are very difficult for me to judge via a snapstory over the internet. From what you've said, it does sound like there could be a connection and certainly antidepressants can affect the GI system. However, it's tough to say with certainty. Definitely possible. But correlation noequal causation.

 

It sounds that the issue has resolved, correct?

 

EDIT: I just reread your post, areyouthere, and I'm not sure my response addresses what you wrote. I'm also confused. You changed your AD in September and then noticed a GI change in June but it resolved in August, right? But also, in the summer, you take your benzos at a different time of the morning? I took benzos in the AM for many years, including some when I worked til 1am and some when I was a student. Between my changing shifts (and otherwise drugged-wacky sleep schedule) I would take my morning benzos at different times. Maybe at 7am sharp for 4 months then almost randomly for 4 months then around 11am for 4 months. I didn't notice a change by this as I always took them after I woke up. I have no suggestion for the sudden bowel issue you experienced.

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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if you want to wade through it I've got tons of info on psych meds and the gut on my blog.

 

I'm sorry I'm not up to consulting one on one right now...having a tough spell.

 

"People who have taken psychiatric drugs often have gut issues. Sometimes these issues predate the psych drug use (as it did for me) and sometimes the psych drugs destabilize the gut and body in general and so the drugs are the cause of such issues. In either case it’s common that the use of psych drugs in time will further exacerbate the problem."

 

here is the main gut page: http://beyondmeds.com/gut-health/

 

 

and this is something from a while ago on SSRIs and IBS http://beyondmeds.com/2009/02/28/tell-me-its-not-true-new-market-to-push-antidepressants-ibs-or-irritable-bowel-syndrome/

 

good luck...I'll check back and if there is something in particular that strikes me I'll see if I can add more later.

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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It sounds that the issue has resolved, correct?

correct.It was a significant problem mid- june to mid August. Which is what makes me think it was the schedule change. I don't THINK it was the updose in AD but it is the only differing factor in the year in the life of __________. I guess I'm mainly wondering if it could have been a WD symptom from the xanax because during the school year my dose is between 9 pm at night and 5:50 am whereas this past summer it was sometimes 12 hours between doses. I am getting older and am thinking that in general my body is not handling the drugs in the same way it used to.

 

 

I have no suggestion for the sudden bowel issue you experienced.

 

Yeah, I have none either. You know, there is so much of the "listen to your body" attitude here and I like that. The revelation that these meds are no longer helping but hurting my system slowly evolved over the summer. The digestive problems were just the beginning. I also just had an over all lethargic, I really don't feel good, what is wrong with me summer. It was in August that I decided I needed to taper. I'll be done teaching here at Christmas and I am just about as fearful of being home ( and feeling like crap) as I was just before school started. I nearly lost it with anxiety... as in close to having a mental "breakdown" and going on LTD.

 

I've managed to avoid tthat ( YAY!!!) but now want to get a grip on how/what to do to manage my life with no stress.... and drugs I may not be metabolizing in the same way.

Thanks for responding Alex. I have no answers either and maybe really don't have any serious questions . Just looking for reassurance I guess.

 

Thanks

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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if you want to wade through it I've got tons of info on psych meds and the gut on my blog.

 

 

 

Thank you Giak!! Your blog is a treasure trove!!! I hope you're feeling better soon. :) Thanks for responding I'll check it out if I begin to have problems when I am home for good!

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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