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Does tapering reduce the likelihood of protracted withdrawal syndrome?


Janie

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If one tapers gradually enough to minimize the acute withdrawal symptoms, will that also help guarantee avoiding the onset of anxiety and depression that can occur 1 or 2 months after full withdrawal (withdrawal SYNDROME)? Or is there no connection. Does anyone have any information or experiences along these lines?

2002? zoloft.  Start of synthroid unknown.

2002? switched to paxil  - Developed restless leg syndrome. stopped all caffeine which helped for many years.

2003? switched to effexor XL 75 mg. May 2012 began taper

July 2012 stopped all effexor . Usual WD symptoms, lost excess weight, had more energy. RLS stopped immediately!

Sept 2012 depression off and on, increasing. Tried tryptophan and acupuncture

Dec 2012 severe anxiety began

February 2013 used magnolia bark for anxiety - helped but developed central sleep apnea, so I stopped it

by April 2013- stopped tryptophan, using saffron herb successfully and started HRT

June 2013 doctor noticed bradycardia. I tried very small dose cytomel sev days for hypothyroidism but seemed to strain my heart.

July 2013 stopped saffron due to slow heart and palpitations - did not help.

July 2013 Increased synthroid from 50mg to 75mg. depression and anxiety improved. Heart problems continue.

September & October 2013 - 2 month course of antibiotic for possbile lyme disease - mood and anxiety improved further.  Heart pvc's flair up at times. 

 

 

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Yes, we believe careful tapering reduces withdrawal symptoms while you taper and the likelihood of prolonged withdrawal syndrome after you are off the drug.

 

This is exactly why we recommend careful tapering.

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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  • 3 months later...

If one tapers gradually enough to minimize the acute withdrawal symptoms, will that also help guarantee avoiding the onset of anxiety and depression that can occur 1 or 2 months after full withdrawal (withdrawal SYNDROME)? Or is there no connection. Does anyone have any information or experiences along these lines?

 

Where's the information on this site about Protracted Withdrawal and Withdrawal Syndrome, that I can print out and show my psychiatrist?

2005-2008: Effexor; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit. 7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor (crying spells at start of new job.)
2009-3/2013: Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013: Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014: Tapering Lexapro (Lots of withdrawal symptoms)
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia and uncontrollable daily crying spells
12/2014-6/2015: Tried Ambien, Klonopin,Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron, Gabapentin - Developed Anxiety disorder, PTSD, and Psychogenic Myoclonus
7/2015-1/2016: Reinstated Lexapro 2 mg (mild improvement, but crying spells still present)

1/2016-5/2017: Lexapro 5 mg ( helped a lot, but poor stress tolerance & depressive episodes)

5/20/2017 - Raised dose to Lexapro 10 mg due to lingering depression(Total of 2 failed tapers & severe PAWS)

9/11/2018 - Present: Still on 10 mg Lexapro and mostly recovered.(Extremely sensitive to stress which triggers Myoclonus.)

Intro page: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4149-lilu-depression-worsened-by-meds/

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strawberry17

Lilu, if you look at the top of this tapering forum at the sticky link about the 10% method you'll find lots of info and links to items you can print off to show your psychiatrist.

*** 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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  • 3 weeks later...

Unfortunately, even a slow taper does not guarantee you won't be sidelined by severe withdrawal effects even with a slow taper.  I am on zoloft, and I believe i am stuck on zoloft; these ssris were developed by design.  Pig pharma lies; they knew people would never be able to just "stop" their medication.  I have made innumerable slow taper attempts at getting off of this drug to no avail.  I'm currently doing a 50 mg. taper with a nail file.  I'm shaving tiny bits - holding that dose for one month - and then filing more for the next month until I'm done.  I hope this taper works.  I may be in the minority.  Some people have success with employing a slow taper.  I may be a lifer.  It's unimaginable that ssris are more difficult to come off of than heroin.  I wish I never went near them - so much for trusting psychiatrists.  I wish you only the best with the slow taper.  I wouldn't with this type of withdrawal on anyone except the designers of these dangerous drugs.  They should all be on ssris and in jail for life.

 

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Unfortunately, even a slow taper does not guarantee you won't be sidelined by severe withdrawal effects even with a slow taper.  I am on zoloft, and I believe i am stuck on zoloft; these ssris were developed by design.  Pig pharma lies; they knew people would never be able to just "stop" their medication.  I have made innumerable slow taper attempts at getting off of this drug to no avail.  I'm currently doing a 50 mg. taper with a nail file.  I'm shaving tiny bits - holding that dose for one month - and then filing more for the next month until I'm done.  I hope this taper works.  I may be in the minority.  Some people have success with employing a slow taper.  I may be a lifer.  It's unimaginable that ssris are more difficult to come off of than heroin.  I wish I never went near them - so much for trusting psychiatrists.  I wish you only the best with the slow taper.  I wouldn't with this type of withdrawal on anyone except the designers of these dangerous drugs.  They should all be on ssris and in jail for life.

Hi TaperQueen!

 

You might want to look over the topic on tapering Zoloft and the stuff on slow tapers. Many of us have found that we have had to do very, very slow tapers to keep the withdrawal symptoms under control. But there's a very good track record with slow, controlled tapers.

 

With any taper, but especially for people who are extra sensitive (which it sounds like you might be) it's important to be careful with your dosages. I don't think it's possible to have the kind of control of dosages that is needed by using a nail file. (Unless you're using a sensitive milligram scale and measuring the pill so you know you're taking off the same amount each time.) 

 

Without a scale it's just not a controlled enough method, the dosages can fluctuate enough to mess up a taper, especially for people who are sensitive to small dosage changes.

 

Fortunately there are alternatives, which you can find here.

 

I am extremely sensitive to psych drugs and changes in them, due to having been on so many for so long, and I am doing very well with a very, very slow and very controlled, carefully measured taper.  I feel better tapering than I ever did while I was taking the meds at the dosages recommended.  I realize that's just me, but I want you to know that even if you've had a lot of trouble in the past, I believe there's still hope for you.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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thank you so much for your advice.  i will buy a jeweler's digital scale.  the scale should've come with the drugs.  i have lost everything - family, friends and employment.  i will make sure to weigh them carefully going forward.

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Does tapering reduce the likelihood of protracted withdrawal syndrome?

Yes, it does.

 

"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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i have lost everything - family, friends and employment. 

 

Hi Taper Queen, 

What is your story?

2005-2008: Effexor; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit. 7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor (crying spells at start of new job.)
2009-3/2013: Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013: Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014: Tapering Lexapro (Lots of withdrawal symptoms)
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia and uncontrollable daily crying spells
12/2014-6/2015: Tried Ambien, Klonopin,Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron, Gabapentin - Developed Anxiety disorder, PTSD, and Psychogenic Myoclonus
7/2015-1/2016: Reinstated Lexapro 2 mg (mild improvement, but crying spells still present)

1/2016-5/2017: Lexapro 5 mg ( helped a lot, but poor stress tolerance & depressive episodes)

5/20/2017 - Raised dose to Lexapro 10 mg due to lingering depression(Total of 2 failed tapers & severe PAWS)

9/11/2018 - Present: Still on 10 mg Lexapro and mostly recovered.(Extremely sensitive to stress which triggers Myoclonus.)

Intro page: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4149-lilu-depression-worsened-by-meds/

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thank you so much for your advice.  i will buy a jeweler's digital scale.  the scale should've come with the drugs.  i have lost everything - family, friends and employment.  i will make sure to weigh them carefully going forward.

I'm so sorry. I can totally relate--lost everything myself too.  Including, the worst part, the years of my childrens' childhoods, especially my younger baby, who was only two and a half when the doc first put me on Prozac.

 

But gradually rebuilding a life now, three plus years into my taper. (I started feeling kind of normal, good enough to get out and do things, around two years in...)

 

I hope to see you become another success story!

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • 2 years later...

Am I being really nieve but doing a slow taper does it mean less chance of protracted withdrawal? I'm started to get myself wound up in case I go through it again after coming of gabapentin too quick. Taking 8.5mg of mirt at the mo so way off coming off altogether but still worried!

Gabapentin 300mg 7 wks on, came off July 2013 after 11 days. Hadn't been told how slow to come off, shear hell.
August 2013 mirt 30mg 6 wks.
Straight onto citilopram,6 wks.
Straight onto duloxatine 1 month,stopped cold turkey fine.
Aug 2014 amitryptaline 20mg,end of Feb came off probably bit to quick. Withdrawal awful 3 wks after so straight onto mirt 15mg.
Just about to start to taper with avenza tabs.
May 2015 15mg. Sep 2015 9.5mg. Feb 2016 6mg. March 2016 5.4 mg. Oct 2016 2.85 mg. Nov 2016 2.6 mg

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Please read this topic from the beginning, and Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

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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  • 4 years later...

Hi Taper Queen, I was doing exactly what you were doing except I was tapering off of Ativan when I found this site. I was using a nail file too and even trying to measure using the numbers on the pills as a guide. It was a nightmare and I had no idea how to get out of it. I got a jeweler scale. And I Crush my pills with a mortar and pestle and I am tapering by weight. I bought some gelatin capsules and I measure out on my scales how much for that taper. I am sensitive to the meds and am tapering Point .001 in weight every 4 days. I recently switched to every 5 days. I've gone off of Ativan and I'm almost done with Lexapro. I have had some withdrawal symptoms and I just hold my taper and extra 4 days or however long I need until I feel better. Please don't give up. You can do this and it doesn't matter how much time it takes as long as the job gets done. This group is amazing to help I shudder to think where I would be without them.

1.5 mg Ativan - .5 mg  three x daily -start date 9/16 - taper start 2/17.  1/07/2017 tapering A.m. and pm doses .001 every 4 days.  Prescribed for a thyroid medication mess up made thyroid go crazy for 8 months.
Also on Buspar .5 divided into 2 even doses AM and PM- Start date 9/2016 - Lexapro .PM - 5 mg start date 11/2016 increased to 10 mg 2/17.

Current: 3 doses  doses at 8AM - 2 PM and bedtime (varies) reduced from pill weight  from .069 to .035 on each dose. Tapering .001 every 4 days of midday dose.  As of 1-29-2018 .011 - AM and PM dose .030, holding. 

Current, 5/2/18: Ativan a.m. dose .030 and p.m. dose .018 (tapering by weight. ) Tapered off midday dose 3-15-18. Tapered off p.m. dose 7-16-18. Over half way tapering off last dose - morning dose. All other med doses remain the same. OFF ATIVAN! 11-16-2018

Very very sensitive to Ativan. 

1-1-2019 Began tapering Lexapro.  .001 mmg every 4 days. 9-15-19 At .093 in weight from beginning weight of .152.  Still tapering .001 every 4 days 1-1-2020 .069

N.P. Desiccated Thyroid.  12-22-17 reduced  from  75 mg. to 67.5 daily  Bio-identical female hormones. Bi-est/Prog cream 1 time daily.  .04-6-2020 Lexapro at .050 in weight. Buspar .5 divided into 2 doses am and pm  4-22-2020 Lexapro taper .047  6-15-2020 Lexapro taper .037  8-21-2020 .020  10-10-2020 .012 Lexapro taper 11-6-2020 .007

My intro: Moonpie:. Need help and supporting tapering off of Ativan

My benzo thread: Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering

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oops just saw how old this post was 🥺

1.5 mg Ativan - .5 mg  three x daily -start date 9/16 - taper start 2/17.  1/07/2017 tapering A.m. and pm doses .001 every 4 days.  Prescribed for a thyroid medication mess up made thyroid go crazy for 8 months.
Also on Buspar .5 divided into 2 even doses AM and PM- Start date 9/2016 - Lexapro .PM - 5 mg start date 11/2016 increased to 10 mg 2/17.

Current: 3 doses  doses at 8AM - 2 PM and bedtime (varies) reduced from pill weight  from .069 to .035 on each dose. Tapering .001 every 4 days of midday dose.  As of 1-29-2018 .011 - AM and PM dose .030, holding. 

Current, 5/2/18: Ativan a.m. dose .030 and p.m. dose .018 (tapering by weight. ) Tapered off midday dose 3-15-18. Tapered off p.m. dose 7-16-18. Over half way tapering off last dose - morning dose. All other med doses remain the same. OFF ATIVAN! 11-16-2018

Very very sensitive to Ativan. 

1-1-2019 Began tapering Lexapro.  .001 mmg every 4 days. 9-15-19 At .093 in weight from beginning weight of .152.  Still tapering .001 every 4 days 1-1-2020 .069

N.P. Desiccated Thyroid.  12-22-17 reduced  from  75 mg. to 67.5 daily  Bio-identical female hormones. Bi-est/Prog cream 1 time daily.  .04-6-2020 Lexapro at .050 in weight. Buspar .5 divided into 2 doses am and pm  4-22-2020 Lexapro taper .047  6-15-2020 Lexapro taper .037  8-21-2020 .020  10-10-2020 .012 Lexapro taper 11-6-2020 .007

My intro: Moonpie:. Need help and supporting tapering off of Ativan

My benzo thread: Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering

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