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jeff

jeff Abruptly Stopped Lamictal & Seroquel

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jeff

From the 2008 to 2012 I was taking Seroquel and Lamictal. Dosages increased throughout the time so that I was taking about 200 mg of each by 2012. On 9/25 I tapered both medications, the Seroquel for 1 month and the Lamictal for 2 months. Now my legs have nerve pain, a little bit of unsteadiness when I walk, fingers hurt, tongue protrudes when I talk (I can control it if I try hard). Mouth seems dry also and sometimes I slurr my speech. It's been 2 months since I stopped the Seroquel and 1 month since I stopped the Lamictal. Is this going to get better or is this permanent? Is there anything I should be doing to help in the mean time?

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Altostrata

Hi, Jeff, welcome.

 

We see gradual improvement from post-discontinuation symptoms over time. This can take quite a while.

 

The tongue protrusion sounds like a mild motor symptom associated with antipsychotics such as Seroquel.

 

Did you get any withdrawal symptoms while you were reducing the two drugs? Did you reduce both at the same time?

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Jemima

Welcome to the forum, Jeff. There's a lot of good information here and friendly folks to help see you through this. I'm not familiar with either drug, but there are a number of other people who are.

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jeff

Hi Alto -

 

Yes, I was tapering both at the same time but finished the taper of seroquel on 11/2 and lamictalon 11/25. Starting on 11/29 I was having some issues keeping my eyes open which lasted for a couple days. The night of 12/2 I started back on the seroquel by taking about 25mg that night because I thought it might help out with the eys problems and the next morning I had no problems with the eyes but a little bit of the speech/tongue thing going on. Also to note is while I was tapering down the Seroquel they were giving me trazadone in order to get to sleep because of the reduction in the Seroquel.

 

As for the withdrawl symptoms I didn't really notice any withdrawl symptoms while I was lowering the dose of the Seroquel, but I'm not sure, I might have been having withdrawl symptoms and just not aware of it because I didn't know it was a possibility. I wasn't really aware of the fact they might occur at the time so I might have had some withdrawl symptoms and just not known about it.

 

The first time I noticed the withdrawl symptoms was a week after stopping the Seroquel, that's when my legs were burning and tingling.

 

Does this sound like Dystonia? Have you seen this quick of a taper before with someone actually recovering?

 

Jeff

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Altostrata

Yes, people recover after fast tapers. It's preferable, of course, to do it slowly to reduce the risk of prolonged withdrawal symptoms after you're off. But there is a large range of reactions.

 

I don't know if you're experiencing dystonia.

 

Do you have any lamotrigine left?

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jeff

I do have some of the lamotrigine left yeah. I went to a new psychiatrist who told me to take clonazepam and cogentin. I've been taking the clonazepam for a couple weeks now. I'm afraid to take the cogentin. I'm just worried these guys are just throwing things at me to see what works and I'm worried things are just going to keep getting worse. I still can't believe the advice I was given from the original pyschiatrist. I appreciate the responses. These symptoms are absolutely miserable.

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Altostrata

Yes, they are just throwing things at you. Few psychiatrists understand withdrawal symptoms.

 

You might try taking a little Lamictal to see if it eases your symptoms, stabilize, and taper off more gradually from there. If I were you, I might try 10mg to start. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1122-tips-for-tapering-off-lamictal-lamotrigine/ for tips about titrating small amounts.

 

Is the clonazepam helping?

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jeff

The Clonazepam works a little for the restless legs type of feeling and pain in the hands.

 

So I take it what I did to my nervous system was basically destroy it. Is my nervous system still in a vulnerable state that I should not be taking the Clonazepam or is pretty much the damage already done? I'm also taking Ambien now to get to sleep when needed, is that not a good idea?

 

As for the Lamotrigine, are you suggesting going back on it because the nervous system needs it or just to get rid of the withdrawl symptoms. So basically is the reason for going on the Lamotrigine to make me feel better or to make sure my nervous system is in a better state later on down the road.

 

Anyone ideas of Doctors in the dallas area I should go to see, neurologist or psychiatrist?

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Jemima

The Clonazepam works a little for the restless legs type of feeling and pain in the hands.

 

Have you tried magnesium? That worked for me when I first came off of Lexapro and started getting RLS at night. Here's a topic on how to use it:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

So I take it what I did to my nervous system was basically destroy it.

You didn't destroy it. The quick withdrawal from the drugs destabilized your nervous system. That's not the same thing. Your nervous system is just temporarily out of order. As Alto said, people recover from withdrawal in time.

 

Supplements are generally to be avoided, but many of us have found high quality fish oil to be soothing:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

Is my nervous system still in a vulnerable state that I should not be taking the Clonazepam or is pretty much the damage already done? I'm also taking Ambien now to get to sleep when needed, is that not a good idea?

How much Clonazepam are you taking and how often? I can't comment until I know that.

 

As for Ambien, here's a list of side effects. And please note that I've heard of people sleep-walking on this stuff and doing really dangerous things, like driving around while basically unconscious. You might try a small dose of Melatonin instead. It's available over-the-counter at most drugstores, and it's cheap.

 

Ambien side effects:

 

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

 

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

 

Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

 

Lightheadedness or fainting

 

Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not really there

 

Severe depression or thoughts of suicide

 

Unusual or disturbing thoughts or behavior

 

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

 

Confusion, blurred vision, or problems with balance

 

Dizziness

 

Headache

 

Memory loss

 

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

 

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

 

(From PubMed Health)

 

As for the Lamotrigine, are you suggesting going back on it because the nervous system needs it or just to get rid of the withdrawl symptoms. So basically is the reason for going on the Lamotrigine to make me feel better or to make sure my nervous system is in a better state later on down the road.

 

Both. Once you're stabilized on a low dose you'll feel better and then you can then begin to taper off very slowly and avoid at least some of these withdrawal symptoms.

 

Anyone ideas of Doctors in the dallas area I should go to see, neurologist or psychiatrist?

 

We have a list of sympathetic doctors, but it doesn't look like we've found any close to you.

That doesn't mean that there aren't any, just that we haven't discovered them yet.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

 

I hope this helps.

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Jemima

I do have some of the lamotrigine left yeah. I went to a new psychiatrist who told me to take clonazepam and cogentin. I've been taking the clonazepam for a couple weeks now. I'm afraid to take the cogentin. I'm just worried these guys are just throwing things at me to see what works and I'm worried things are just going to keep getting worse. I still can't believe the advice I was given from the original pyschiatrist. I appreciate the responses. These symptoms are absolutely miserable.

 

Beware of Cogentin. It's a drug to treat your drug. In other words, it's supposed to lessen the side effects of antipsychotics, especially the tongue protrusion, but it's trouble unto itself. It's been around since at least the late sixties, so there's likely lots of information on it out there on the Internet if you care to look it up.

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jeff

Thanks for all the info Jemima -

 

As for the Clonazepam I'm taking 1 mg daily (twice daily .5 at a time). Do you think it's best to avoid that as much as possible at this point?

 

I'll check out the magnesium, only thing is I'm getting the painful feelings in my legs during the day too so not sure it's RLS.

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Jemima

Since you've been taking a steady, daily dose of clonazepam for two weeks, it's probably not a good idea to change that right now. Best to get stabilized on the Lactimal first.

 

Magnesium may also work on your daytime leg pains. It's a natural muscle relaxant.

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Altostrata

jeff, both Lamictal and Seroquel can incur withdrawal symptoms if you come off them too quickly.

 

I suggested reinstating a little Lamictal because it may take the edge off some symptoms. It's a less risky drug than Seroquel.

 

The benzos and sleep drugs, which are benzo-like, have their own problems. If you use a benzo or sleep drug regularly, it can cause physical dependency and be difficult to quit. Either can go paradoxical, unexpectedly. Then you have the problem of going off the drug while it's also causing agitation.

 

If I were you, I would stay away from Cogentin:

 

From the US NIH http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/archives/fdaDrugInfo.cfm?archiveid=1147

Antiparkinsonism agents do not alleviate the symptoms of tardive dyskinesia, and in some instances may aggravate them.

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alexjuice

What do you mean by tongue protrusion? You stick your tongue out? This is voluntary -- you can control the relfex if you try hard enough, unlike a tremor or twitch?

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jeff

As for the tongue, it sounds like that's tardive aka permanent in your opinion since i didn't have it while i was on the medication you think?

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jeff

I seem to be just swallowing saliva and when I do that my tongue protrudes out of the side of the mouth kind of like I'm licking my lips. I can control it if i want to. When I'm talking a lot of running it seems to want to do this.

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alexjuice

As for the tongue, it sounds like that's tardive aka permanent in your opinion since i didn't have it while i was on the medication you think?

 

Is this directed at me?

 

I wasn't implying either - TD or permanence.

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jeff

I meant to say when I'm talking a lot or running I start licking my lips. I guess the motion is really just licking the lips but the end result is the tongue is protruding out of my mouth. If I focus on it though I can ensure it doesn't happen but if I don't make any attempt to stop it, it would just continue to happen.

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jeff

No, not at you, just anyone in general or Alto.

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alexjuice

I seem to be just swallowing saliva and when I do that my tongue protrudes out of the side of the mouth kind of like I'm licking my lips. I can control it if i want to. When I'm talking a lot of running it seems to want to do this.

 

I experience some tongue problems. They come and go, depending on other factors. In my case, I run my tongue over the ridges of my front teeth. I do subconsciously and repetitively.

 

Like you, I can stop it but it takes a lot of effort. I also sort of feel rewarded, like part of my brain doesn't want to stop moving. But I can and I do chose to stop it when I catch it.

 

This is not tardive dyskinesia. Tardive dyskinesia is a disorder that involves involuntary movements, and you can control your tongue with conscious effort.

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Altostrata

Tardive dyskinesia sometimes resolves off medications. It is not necessarily permanent.

 

We have quite a few people here who had various movement issues that went away.

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jeff

When I went off the Lamictal on 11/25 I was taking 100mg a day so even though I tapered down from 300mg it wasn't a real taper I guess. Do you think it's still a good idea to go back on to 10mg of the Lamictal? So is it possible that with the state that my nervous system is in right now the Clonazepam and Ambien could be doing long term damage as well? When you say they might cause Paradoxical side effects do you mean just short term side effects or is are they adding to long term damage of the nervous system as well?

 

Thanks for you help, much appreciated.

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Altostrata

A little Lamictal might help your nervous system settle down.

 

Clonazepam and Ambien can both incur dependency. You might have to taper off both.

 

A paradoxical reaction means that instead of calming, a drug causes agitation or mania, for example.

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jeff

It's been a while since I've posted here, been a rough month.

 

The movement disorders clinic says I have a tardive tic disorder in the mouth region (ie. I can suppress the movements but eventually make them).

 

They suggested I see a psychiatrist to help me deal with the anxiety because the anxiety will make tics worse. So great go back to the same people that got me here.

 

Any thoughts about how to deal with these tics? I'm starting to look into natural remedies. Is Ginko Blogoba a good thing to reduce the anxiety to help out with the tics does anyone think? Are there other vitamins / herbs that work? Again, this isn't tourette's syndrome but a tardive drug induced neuroleptic induced tic disorder I guess you would say.

 

Thanks All, I appreciate it.

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Altostrata

That movement is a side effect of Seroquel usage and withdrawal, tardive dyskinesia, see http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tardive/tardive.htm

 

It is not related to anxiety. There are no definite treatments. I would be wary of taking any neuroactive drugs to treat it as they may make your overall withdrawal syndrome worse.

 

It's best to let the nervous system heal with gentle support, such as gentle, regular exercise, good sleep, good nutrition, and a few helpful supplements such as fish oil and magnesium.

 

We have people here whose TD symptoms went away on their own.

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