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Tezzy

Tezzy - My Story

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Tezzy

Hi everyone

 

Thank you for allowing me to join. I will tell you a little about myself.

 

I am currently an inpatient at a private facility in West Australia (so please excuse the spelling lol).

 

20 years ago, I had my first bout of depression and agoraphobia. I was placed on Zoloft 125mg and lived happily ever after... well for 16 years at least. No benzos or anything else but Zoloft. The problem was that I had been on such a high dose for such a long time, I developed Seratonin Syndrome and became extremely ill. If only my GP had thought to do a slow taper off during this period of well-being, this story might have a much happier ending to it.

 

Instead, in 2009/10, I spent 4 months in and out of the clinic. Eventually, I had my first and only course of ECT which seemed to work wonderfully and after that I was placed on Nortriptyline (Allegron) 25mg and Pristiq 100mg.

 

I have never felt the same relief as I did on the Zoloft. I still had bouts of depression and always anxiety (albeit very low on some days, it was still there).

 

In Sept/Oct 2012, I tapered off of the Allegron (over a 2 month period) and that's when the trouble started. Again, I began getting symptoms of the Seratonin Syndrome, so my Pdoc immediately cut my dose of Pristiq from 100 down to 50. I handled this relatively well as far as withdrawals go, but fell into a hole with my depression and anxiety. So he started me back on the Allegron. I became so down and ill that I was admitted to hospital 31/12/12 - not a great way to spend New Years Eve :(

 

I have not improved in hospital and on Thursday night, my pdoc told me that I was coming off of Pristiq as of the next day. He has added some valium to go with the Klonopin I take to "help with the withdrawals".... yeah right! :o

 

This is the hardest thing I have ever done. Zoloft was a breeze compared to this. I am really suffering and to make it worse, I don't feel that I am getting a lot of support from the hospital staff. Just comments like "it will get better", "Just a few more days"..... I am going thru hell at the moment. I am not a vengeful person, but just for one day, I would like the Doctors who prescribe this and the caring nurses who just don't seem to get it, to feel what I am going through!

 

Well, I am in tears now, so I will come back and update more later.

 

T x

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Altostrata

Welcome, Tezzy.

 

I can see you are in a difficult position.

 

In Sept/Oct 2012, I tapered off of the Allegron (over a 2 month period) and that's when the trouble started. Again, I began getting symptoms of the Seratonin Syndrome, so my Pdoc immediately cut my dose of Pristiq from 100 down to 50. I handled this relatively well as far as withdrawals go, but fell into a hole with my depression and anxiety. So he started me back on the Allegron. I became so down and ill that I was admitted to hospital 31/12/12 - not a great way to spend New Years Eve :(

What do you mean by serotonin syndrome, exactly? That would be unusual if you are reducing an antidepressant.

 

Rather, it sounds like you had withdrawal symptoms from going off nortriptyline or possibly Zoloft. Withdrawal-induced "depression" can be like a black hole.

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peggy

Hello Tezzy,

Welcome to the forum and I look forward to hearing more about your situation. I am not sure how to suggest you handle a taper when you are an inpatient - how long have you been on klonopin and how much do you take?

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moonbow0202

Welcome Tezzy,

I don't have any particular words of wisdom but can relate to your frustration with perhaps well meaning but closed minded, and in my opinion, arrogant medical professionals. I can also relate to crying while posting. As tricky as your situation is - being inpatient - how wonderful to have access to the internet and this site!

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Jemima

Hello, Tezzy, and welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through these awful experiences. Jerking someone off of Pristiq like that is horrifying. We're here to help however we can.

 

Here's some information on tapering off Pristiq, which means switching to Effexor. Perhaps your doctor would consider discharging you with a script for that?

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__p__7507__hl__pristiq__fromsearch__1#entry7507

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Tezzy

Hello everyone and thank you so much for your replies and words of encouragement. :wub:

 

I am sorry if my post are a little scattered at the moment.

 

To clarify, I was on Zoloft for 16 years when I developed seratonin syndrome from being on it at a high dose for so long. I had fever and very sposmadic muscular movements. I couldn't even hold a pen.

 

Zoloft is an SSRI and so my Pdoc thought to try an SNRI (being Pristiq). I was going along quite well and we decided to eliminate the night time Allegron. But when I did that, I started to get SS symptoms again from the Pristiq which I was still on. Hence, I had to immediately cut the dose back from 100 to 50 (I did this at home).

 

I fell in a heap and was admitted to hospital. My Pdoc says that Seratonin Syndrome can be life threatening and that is why he just stopped the Pristiq cold turkey on Friday. He had already put me back on the Allegron and I am waiting to see some benefits from that.

 

Anyhow, I had a tiny bit better sleep last night. Not so many 'zaps' waking me, and I only had vivid dreams, not terrifying ones like the night before. I am still experiencing zapping today but it is not so frequent. I feel very low in my mood and quite irritable, even bordering on angry! :angry:

 

I am due to see my Pdoc in the next hour or so, so I will be finding out a little more about the 'plan' he has in mind for my care.

 

Normally at home I take Klonopin .5mg twice daily for anxiety, but in the last couple of months, it just hasn't seemed enough. Since he stopped the Pristiq, I am on it 3 times daily (and one PRN) and also 3 x 5mg valium (and two PRN). I am trying to take as little as needed to just get through.....

 

I am so grateful that you have taken the time to reply to me.... I am feeling very alone and afraid at the moment :(

 

T x

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Altostrata

I am wondering if your pdoc has correctly identified serotonin syndrome.

 

Serotonin syndrome is due to excessive serotonin, usually from taking more than one serotonergic at the same time.

 

It might occur when you are increasing dosage, or adding another drug, but it doesn't make sense that it would occur when you are decreasing dosage.

 

Your first bad reaction, to Zoloft, might have been serotonin syndrome if another drug, even an antibiotic, was added that interacted with Zoloft.

 

But I believe your pdoc is identifying all adverse effects from antidepressants as serotonin syndrome. This is not a good sign for his or her overall competence.

 

It seems likely to me your adverse reaction to 100mg Pristiq is because the dosage was too d*mn high. Your adverse reactions to dropping the nighttime nortriptyline and halving the Pristiq dose were withdrawal reactions, not serotonin syndrome.

 

I hope reinstatement of the nortriptyline helps you. If I were you, I'd set about finding a different doctor. This one sounds dangerous.

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dalsaan

Hi Tezzy

 

I can't add anything to Alto's post but just wanted to wish you well and I hope you get some good support soon. To be honest anger is a perfectly reasonable reaction to your situation although probably not responded to well by staff.

 

Take care

 

Dalsaan

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Tezzy

I am wondering if your pdoc has correctly identified serotonin syndrome.

 

Serotonin syndrome is due to excessive serotonin, usually from taking more than one serotonergic at the same time.

 

It might occur when you are increasing dosage, or adding another drug, but it doesn't make sense that it would occur when you are decreasing dosage.

 

Your first bad reaction, to Zoloft, might have been serotonin syndrome if another drug, even an antibiotic, was added that interacted with Zoloft.

 

But I believe your pdoc is identifying all adverse effects from antidepressants as serotonin syndrome. This is not a good sign for his or her overall competence.

 

It seems likely to me your adverse reaction to 100mg Pristiq is because the dosage was too d*mn high. Your adverse reactions to dropping the nighttime nortriptyline and halving the Pristiq dose were withdrawal reactions, not serotonin syndrome.

 

I hope reinstatement of the nortriptyline helps you. If I were you, I'd set about finding a different doctor. This one sounds dangerous.

 

Hi Alto.

 

Seratonin Syndrome can also be caused by taking too much of the med - similar to an overdose. Which is exactly what happened to me after the prolonged time on a high dose of Zoloft.

 

I am happy to report that I am now through the worst of the withdrawals from Pristiq. For the first time in over 20 years, I am SSRI and SNRI free! :D I will stay on Allegron and Clonazepam for now. The plan is to get stable on these two meds. We are hoping that once I can get my confidence back up (and with the help of regular visits to a new Psychologist), I can aim for and work towards minimal medication and dare I hope, even med free one day. I know I still have a long way to go, but I am feeling very positive.

 

I would not wish this withdrawal process on anyone. I am glad I am no longer thinking irrationally and I am no longer feeling angry. I am still having zapping and vivid dreams though. I hope today I will also be nausea-free!

 

I know Rome wasn't built in a day and I am going to pace myself in my recovery. I have to learn to be kind to myself - now that I know what that means.

 

I am looking forward to keeping this journal going as a reminder to myself of my progress along the way.

 

T :rolleyes:

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FeelingAlone

Hi Tezzy, I can completely relate to your experiences as I have been on a rollarcoaster since getting Serotonin Syndrome in Sept 2012. I'm currently not on anything due to my fear off getting SS again. While going through SS, did you experience a numb, derealization feeling?

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