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Shanannigans - Help!


Shanannigans

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Hello there,

 

I will try to summerize a horrific 3.5 year journey as best as I can. Although it would surely fill a novel LOL!

 

5 years ago I developed a sudden onset of severe allergic asthma, I should be living in a bubble, no exaggeration I promise.

Anyway after a year of chonic symptoms and zillions of unanswered questions, My husband left me. That is a whole other novel

 

Well initially to help with the anxiety my doc prescribed 1mg of ativan at night to help me sleep as I was a mess. While going through all of that, I was also trying to find answers and relief to my spiraling illness. Well my Respirologist was stumped so recommended antidepressants as a way to help with the anxiet which surely was making my asthma worse ( or so they convinced me) So silly me without doing the research I started on Zoloft. 200 mg/day. I was on that for almost a year and the grand result was me feeling like a zombie and weighing 30lbs more than I have ever in my life. The weight gain was in the first 5 months. Surprise, surprise it did not help with my asthma. I stopped the zoloft cold turkey, and joined a gym. I was moody and weepy for about 5 months (Nothing compared to pristq withdrawal) and went back to my doctor who prescribed the wonderful new miracle drug Pristiq. In retrospect I can see now that I was probably just suffering from withdrawal from the Zoloft and just stuck with it but I was a newbie and trusted my doc.

 

So at 100 mg/ day of pristiq I felt ok. Gained more weight but was able to taper my ativan from 4mg/day (yup it had jumped that high because of tolerance withdrawal)to 1.25 mg/ day and I didn't feel so numb. still a bit flat but not like the zoloft. I was on the pristiq for about a year and decided I wanted off. I want a baby and I was tired if being so overweight. August 2012 I began a quick taper from 100mg to 50mg one week, then 50mg every other day for a week and then nothing.

 

Well The symptoms were unbearable and apparently typical. Brain zaps, aches and tremors, sensitivity to light and sound and the worst vertigo. No I didn't feel the need to increase the ativan butit stopped the taper cold.

 

2 weeks of this and I went back to my doc and he gave me 7 10mg capsules of prozac to take every 3 days. It did the trick. Completely stopped all of the symptoms. Exactly 4 weeks after my last dose of prozac, I started experiencing increased anxiety, mood swings etc... and a new one, chest pains and severe shortness of breath. It feels like I am hyperventilating all day long. In October I went back to my doc to start the prozac thing again. same sched. just he gave me 20 days worth. Well a week after taking the prozac every 2 days, I started experiencing side effects from the prozac. The worst anxiety I have ever felt! After a few exp. I confirmed it was definately the prozac so now that is no longer an opttion for me.

 

It has been 3 weeks since my last 10 mg dose of prozac and I am a mess. Mood swings, irritabilty, raging appetite and the WORST chest pains and breathing problems ever. Like I said it feels like I am hyperventilating 24/7. I am up to 3mg of ativan and that barely takes the edge off.

 

It is now the last week of november, and my doctor tells me I should be back on some sort of AD. I refuse to belive this is me now. I wasn't like this before I took an ssri so I still think this is withdrawal, but it has been months. I find myself considering going back on something again but I want to be med free, and I don't want this last few months to have been for nothing. Could all of this still be withdrawal????

 

 

Well that is my storey in a nutshell, a big nutshell...sorry.

discontinued Pristiq Aug.2012

Occasional Proazc treatment for withdrawal symptoms

Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Shanannigans, to our community.

 

Yes, it's withdrawal. The good news for you is it seems Prozac helps. The bad news is you've become hypersensitive to the it, probably from all the ups and downs and alternating dosages, which is second only to cold turkey for eliciting withdrawal symptoms.

 

If I were you, I'd phone my doctor right away and insist on a prescription for liquid Prozac.

 

Try taking 2mg every day, at the same time. With any luck, that level won't trigger your hypersensitivity and will help the withdrawal symptoms.

 

Stabilize on this for perhaps 2 or 3 months, then very, very carefully taper off.

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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That sounds like a good option, but doesn't prozac come with it's own built in taper? So in theory wouldn't the 10mg dose taper slowly over the course of the week? I will add this though, the day after the dose I would feel a lot better but, once the prozac induced anxiety calmed down but then the other "anxiety" would creep back in within a few days and I would be back where I started.

 

I hesitate to take more prozac because it does stay in your system for about 4 to 5 weeks. that should be a good thing but I feel like its setting back my brain's recovery another 4 weeks when I take it. I just know I have to do something.

 

Its a relief to know that you can still be suffering from withdrawal even after months

discontinued Pristiq Aug.2012

Occasional Proazc treatment for withdrawal symptoms

Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms

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  • Administrator

Some people are sensitive to reductions in Prozac dosage, same as any other SSRI.

 

Although it has a long half-life, if it helps stabilize your nervous system, it's helping you heal.

 

You can very carefully taper off it after you stabilize.

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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Hmmm interesting!

 

Well I took your suggestion and actually used the instructions on the forum and made myself liquid prozac. I have quite a few 10mg capsules left over, so I took 2mg yesterday and today. The good news is that I felt a little bit better, withdrawal symptoms wise immediately after the first dose, particularly my chest pains and breathing problems easing up a bit. The bad news is that after my second dose I can feel little hints of the prozac side effects coming regardless of the very small dose. Heart racing, skin crawling sort of feelings, though very mild compared to when I take 10 mg. Also though I'm not sure it is related, my face was flushed and pink today too.

 

I am hoping to see my doc on Thursday to discuss my options. My question today is, what are some of the milder ssri's available, with less side effects and liquid forms? (for tapering incrementally later) I don't think Prozac is an option for me anymore.

 

Also I just wanted to say that I think this site is great and I am so happy to be able to share and receive feedback from people that understand firsthand :)

discontinued Pristiq Aug.2012

Occasional Proazc treatment for withdrawal symptoms

Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms

Link to post

Hey there

 

I have been using prozac on and off to help with my withdrawal from pristiq months ago, however it seems now I have a terrible reaction to doses even as low as 2mg/day.

 

I was wondering what milder ssri's are available, with less side effects and liquid forms? (for tapering incrementally later) I don't think Prozac is an option for me anymore.

 

Also I just wanted to say that I think this site is great and I am so happy to be able to share and receive feedback from people that understand firsthand :)

discontinued Pristiq Aug.2012

Occasional Proazc treatment for withdrawal symptoms

Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Shanannigans,

 

I moved your post and attached it to your introduction because it's part of the ongoing conversation about your history and progress. Only one Intro is allowed per member.

 

The next time you want to comment on your situation, please come to this topic and click on "Add Reply". Type your post, preview if you wish, and then click on "Add Reply" to post it. Thanks.

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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oops sorry!

 

I started a new topic because I was hoping for more feedback. I see my doc tomorrow and was hoping to hear some opinions etc...before then.

 

Thanks Jemima!

discontinued Pristiq Aug.2012

Occasional Proazc treatment for withdrawal symptoms

Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms

Link to post
  • Administrator

I'd try 1mg Prozac, Shanannigans.

 

It might be that your nervous system has become so hypersensitive it will reject any psychiatric medications.

 

There is no such thing as a "milder" SSRI. The effect of a substitution of any other antidepressant or psychiatric drug will be unpredictable.

 

Like almost all doctors, your doctor probably is not aware of withdrawal syndrome or what to do about 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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Yup. my doctor thinks that I should accept that I may need some kind of medication to control my "anxiety" ( I didn't have it before taking antidepressants)for the rest of my life,

 

He gave me 10 mg of celexa to try, so we will see.

discontinued Pristiq Aug.2012

Occasional Proazc treatment for withdrawal symptoms

Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms

Link to post
  • Administrator

Please don't take 10mg Celexa. It could trigger a very bad reaction. If you must, try 1mg.

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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Really???? Well I took it today and I don't feel better or worse. I will reduce the dose and try that I guess. How can you have a bad reaction? People stop other medications and start new ones all the time don't they? I was hoping to stabilize on the celexa and then get the liquid to taper down.

 

Now I am really confused

discontinued Pristiq Aug.2012

Occasional Proazc treatment for withdrawal symptoms

Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms

Link to post

Hi all!

 

I have a little bit more time to post today, so I figured I would elaborate more. Altostrata, I am sill really confused.

 

Instead of taking the celexa again this morning I took the prozac. Yesterday I obviously didn't take it and only took the new medication. Well, my mood was not great and and I experienced laboured breathing and chest tightning as the day progressed. I know that it takes time for a new SSRI to work but if my brain is in seretonin withdrawal, wouldn't any med make me feel a little bit better?

 

I can't take more than the tiniest dose of prozac without feeling very anxious, so even though it helps with some of the symptoms I still don't feel 100%. When I was taking Pristiq I felt pretty good and stable. The only reason I stopped was because I felt like I didn't need it anymore and I was tired of gaining weight. I want to feel like that again.

 

Having a chronic illness like I do, makes everything harder but I was coping even with my limitations. Now dealing with all of this on top of my illness is unbearable!

 

Perhaps I should stick with the prozac through the holidays so I can at least funtion and then really commit to starting a new medication? I just don't know what to do!!

 

:(

discontinued Pristiq Aug.2012

Occasional Proazc treatment for withdrawal symptoms

Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms

Link to post
  • Administrator

Withdrawal syndrome may have sensitized your nervous system to Celexa as well as Prozac. If you're going to try Celexa for withdrawal symptoms, start very low to minimize the risk it will make you worse.

 

Since you had laboured breathing and chest tightening when you were completely off Prozac, it doesn't seem due to the Prozac. It seems like a withdrawal symptom.

 

I would stay with the Prozac for a couple of days and take notes of your symptoms and when you get them.

 

People go on and off antidepressants all the time, get withdrawal syndrome, and develop worse adverse reactions to the medications. This is a major problem with the drugs and how they're prescribed.

 

It's important you be consistent and take notes. It's unlikely your doctor really understands what's going on with you and has taken withdrawal syndrome into consideration.

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 Shanannigans - great name!

 

You really have been given the run around by your doctor! But now that you are in this mess you have to navigate your way out. I would be hesitant to add Celexa into the mix. I would be more inclined to try and stick with the smaller dose of prozac as that is what you are currently withdrawing from. But if you insist on going the celexa route i agree with Alto about the lowest possible dose.

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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Thanks Peggy!

 

It has been a nickname of mine for years.

 

So Alto has recommended that I note prozac side effects, and withdrawal symptoms daily as I continue with 2mg of Prozac daily. I have put the celexa on hold for now.

 

So I took my 2mg of prozac this morning and within half an hour my mood improved, but I felt headachy and my chest/ breathing was not great. That could have been having yesterdays dose of celexa still in my system though. As the day progressed I felt a little better but still kind of achy. Also Prozac does crazy things to my appetite. I always feel starving!

 

I will continue this for the next few days to see how it goes. Just a note though, to Peggy specifically. I originally discontinued Pristiq 4 mons ago and suffered wicked withdrawal. I was only prescribe three 10mg capsules to take over a week which worked wonders. 5 weeks later however the withdrawal symptoms minus the vertigo and other acute symptoms came roaring back.

 

my doctor than gave me another weeks worth of prozac to help but after 3 days of taking 10 mg prozac daily, I started having horrible side effects from the medication.

 

So you see I have never really been on prozac consistantly for any duration of time. This begs the question, am I still experiencing withdrawal from the pristiq or is it now the prozac?

 

To be continued...

discontinued Pristiq Aug.2012

Occasional Proazc treatment for withdrawal symptoms

Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms

Link to post
  • Administrator

Shanannigans, 1mg Prozac might be more tolerable for 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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shanannigans,

I do understand that your withdrawal is from the pristiq - but from your description, the prozac relieved your symptoms. The advantage of stabilising on the prozac is that it will be much easier to reduce off as it is available in liquid form.

 

If the prozac wasn't managing your withdrawal symptoms then you may need to consider going back on the pristiq with the aim of stabilising and reducing off. It is very important to stop the withdrawal symptoms as they are signs that your nervous system is unhappy - the longer you are in this situation, the more risk you have of entering protracted withdrawal.

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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Good Morning

 

You are every right Peggy! I have been thinking about the Pristiq (Shudder) I took only 1.5 mg of prozac today and I feel less achy, less malaise, but I can't tell yet if my worst symptom, the scary breathing or lack of breathing is a factor yet. My asthma is usually worse in the morning so right now I feel horrible anyway.

 

I really felt pretty good on the Pristiq hence my reason for wanting off of it. It only comes in 50mg and 100mg coated slow release pills. So you can't cut them or make a tinture. There really is no way to safely taper off of it thats why i got the prozac.

 

I want to feel good enough again to start tapering the ativan which I should have finished tapering before I stopped the pristiq as it was going really well. I just had no idea this could happen after stopping an AD. Even my clueless doc aked why I just didn't simply go back on it.

 

I will continue with the prozac for a while longer but if I keep having to reach for the ativan, it will not be a viable option for me

 

Today I have mly neice's 3rd bithday party to go to and she is the apple of my eye <3 so I am going to try not to dwell on all of this today and enjoy it. I hope you all have a great weekend

discontinued Pristiq Aug.2012

Occasional Proazc treatment for withdrawal symptoms

Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Shanannigans, I think you would do really well some meditation around breathing. That will really help with the breath catching feeling.

Hope you have a great 3rd birthday party with your niece - enjoy some good family connectedness time

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

You might be interested, S, we have quite a lengthy discussion of going off Pristiq here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/

 

Judging from how often Internet guests are looking at it, it may be our most popular topic.

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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