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Anyone know the benefits of a super slow taper?


angie007

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Hi guys,

 

I am hoping to be able to finalise the end of this thread with the complete answer

at some point in time.

 

But for now:-

Does anyone really know what are the obvious benefits of doing a super slow taper from these meds?

 

Does anyone here also know if your brain is healing/recovering between tiny drops????

Or does healing/recovery only begin when the medication is stopped completely???

Does it lessen the severity of wd symptoms???

Is recovery time quicker????

 

Or am i Surviving Antidepressants one

and only guinea pig lol, to have completed this method, and your all waiting for me

to answer my own question hahaha

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

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Altostrata

angie, the benefits are that your nervous system adjusts between drops. When drops are small, it's easier to acclimate.

 

Think of it as a tiny, vulnerable baby in a pram. Say you take the baby on a mountain trail. What does it feel as it goes over the rocks in the path? If the rocks are big enough, the baby will get bruised, and hurt.

 

To protect it, you want to wheel it over a smooth path, with tiny bumps that are hardly noticeable.

 

(I'm awful at metaphors. If somebody else can think of a better description, please chime in!)

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

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I definitely think a slow taper is a must. It gives your system/brain a chance to adjust to the new dose. How much to lower your dose just might be another story. In a way, I'm a guinea pig... I recently dropped from 15mg Celexa to 12 1/2, which is more than generally recommended. However, I felt this would work if I gave myself a long while to adjust to the drop. I had several rough days, but I'm already starting to feel better. I think the answer is different for everyone. As we know, some people simply stop and are fine... but many aren't. Actually, I think those of us that took antidepressants are all guinea pigs...

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Hi guys,

 

I am hoping to be able to finalise the end of this thread with the complete answer

at some point in time.

 

But for now:-

Does anyone really know what are the obvious benefits of doing a super slow taper from these meds?

 

Does anyone here also know if your brain is healing/recovering between tiny drops????

Or does healing/recovery only begin when the medication is stopped completely???

Does it lessen the severity of wd symptoms???

Is recovery time quicker????

 

Or am i Surviving Antidepressants one

and only guinea pig lol, to have completed this method, and your all waiting for me

to answer my own question hahaha

 

Nobody can really answer the questions about what's happening in the brain during a taper, because it would take scientific studies to say, and those studies haven't been done.

 

Studies per se haven't really been done on the symptoms, but a lot of people have talked about it. It seems to me that the main benefit to slow tapers that we can really point to is that they are generally less disabling than faster tapers and c/ts. That is, people are more likely to be able to work, take care of families, etc. doing a slow taper than a fast one.

 

At least, that's what I've observed.

 

And on the benzo board I work on, there's a consensus that recovery time after a slow taper is shorter and smoother than with a faster taper.

 

And overall, people who taper more slowly and smoothly seem to have fewer complications than people who have tapered fast or done lots of switches of meds and quick changes.

 

But as far as exactly what happens in the brain--well, I have my own ideas about what is probably going on, but it's all speculation. I personally do think that the brain is adapting during the taper process in ways that will make the final adjustment to no med at all be easier, less drastic.

 

For example, if receptors have to be added or taken away to adapt to not having the med, then if you taper slowly, it seems like those adjustments can be already taking place as you go down, so when you get to the end there's less to be changed. Again, speculation, but it makes sense to me.

 

And similarly it seems logical to guess that the other physical, chemical, structural adaptations that have to be made, are being made during the process of the taper, so that there will be less of a shock to the system when the drug is removed completely.

 

But as far as KNOWING if that happens, no, I don't think ANYbody knows.

 

I personally think your odds of a smooth recovery are better with a slower taper, both because of peoples' self reported symptoms and histories, and because of what I speculate about what might be happening in the brain.

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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Thankyou Rhi,

 

Wouldnt it be wonderful if your theory is right,

for me, there was no other way, after a failed ct taper from 30mg,

that rendered me non functional, and i ended up back on the poison at 20mg.

 

Yes i was terrified, not so much of letting go of the tab, but i knew

the repercussions of just ditching it, and i feared greatly what may come

either way. So yes!!! i did a pthetically slow taper, wether it will pay off,

again only time will tell.

 

How scary that man can develop chemicals that can do this to any human being!!!!!!!!!!

When all i was unnecessarily medicated for originally was grief, which is afterall

a normal human emotion. The days of trusting a doctor to take care of your health

here, are long gone.

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

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compsports

With the exception of Wellbutrin XL, which I pretty much cold turkeyed, I did a super slow taper of the rest of my meds. My taper lasted from 8/06 to 6/10. I got off of 4 meds and started this "fun" in 1995.

 

I am still not 100% but I am totally convinced that if I hadn't done a mostly slow taper, I would have been pretty much non functional.

 

My biggest challenges are insomnia, adehonia, lack of focus, and brain fog. This sounds strange but due to the brain fog that worsens near the end of the day ( I am reluctant to take fish oil capsules too late for fear they will cause insomnia), I keep making the same mistakes that don't help my insomnia.

 

So I literally have to remind myself that today, after I eat dinner, I will drive to the nearby library so I can stay awake until it is time to go to sleep. Falling asleep prematurely is not a good thing.

 

I also sit at the computer staring at Outlook trying to figure out what tasks I should take care of next so time management is another issue I struggle with. That was in issue with me prior to meds and I feel being on meds while they initially helped has over time greatly worsened that problem.

 

Anyway, I guess my point is that a super slow taper does not solve every problem but in my opinion, not doing one, makes things a whole lot worse.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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angie, the benefits are that your nervous system adjusts between drops. When drops are small, it's easier to acclimate.

 

Think of it as a tiny, vulnerable baby in a pram. Say you take the baby on a mountain trail. What does it feel as it goes over the rocks in the path? If the rocks are big enough, the baby will get bruised, and hurt.

 

To protect it, you want to wheel it over a smooth path, with tiny bumps that are hardly noticeable.

 

(I'm awful at metaphors. If somebody else can think of a better description, please chime in!)

 

This is an adorable metaphor! New SA meme -- "Don't take the baby over the Himalayas!" :D

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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hi,

 

very slow taper is much better than quick taper,

but this is only one of many parameters : the other are the amount dose, the duration, the amount of receptors burned and were, and the individual ability to repair

i see slow taper who suffer and cold turkey who have recovered better

if i had choice today, i would do a two years taper instead 11 months, but not more years because i read in benzo forum, it is prolonging the agony

for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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This is a particular worry to me stan,

because im none too sure, this is exactly what i have done, and this

is the cause of a lot of my suffering.

 

As according to the other site, slow taper should mean minimal wd, ct was horrendous

and this has been comparable, but far from minimal i would have to say.

I was even told on the other site, that they had never heard of anyone slow tapering as

i had and having wd, i felt like a fraud for being a victim of a pharmaceutical drug.

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

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I was even told on the other site, that they had never heard of anyone slow tapering as

i had and having wd, i felt like a fraud for being a victim of a pharmaceutical drug.

 

 

Angie, this just isn't true...from what I have read over the course of six years some people have a hard w/d recovery regardless of how slow or fast they come off the drug. So please don't let that comment upset you.

Began Paxil 10/97*

Paxil free 10/16/04 (tapered over 2.5 months)

Severe withdrawal

12/04 started Lexapro due to Paxil w/d symptoms (tapered over 4 months)

Lexapro free 8/2/05

 

2 1/2 year severe protracted withdrawal

Doing well now with a few residual symptoms

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  • 3 weeks later...
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strawberry17

Hi

I am doing an excrutiatingly slow taper, about 5% reduction every 5 weeks approx, I don't care how long it takes, if takes another couple of years so be it, I've had so many failures over the years from withdrawing way too fast I got phobic about it.

Another advantage of the slow taper is that SSRI's numb your emotions and personality, coming off slowly means that you get a slow gradual readjustment to the return of normal emotions and dealing with them, it also greatly reduces the anxiety about coming off the medication, if I have a bad withdrawal I know I can always go back to the previous dose until I feel reassured and ready for the next reduction. Luckily I haven't had to do this but I know it's there as an option.

*** 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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  • 2 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi

I am doing an excrutiatingly slow taper, about 5% reduction every 5 weeks approx, I don't care how long it takes, if takes another couple of years so be it, I've had so many failures over the years from withdrawing way too fast I got phobic about it.

Another advantage of the slow taper is that SSRI's numb your emotions and personality, coming off slowly means that you get a slow gradual readjustment to the return of normal emotions and dealing with them, it also greatly reduces the anxiety about coming off the medication, if I have a bad withdrawal I know I can always go back to the previous dose until I feel reassured and ready for the next reduction. Luckily I haven't had to do this but I know it's there as an option.

 

Wow, I hadn't really thought of it that way, but it's true. I'm slowly beginning to be able to feel again, and it's intense, particularly as I have a lot of grief about the things that happened and the things I lost during the years on the Drugs. When those emotions wash over me, it's quite intense. I hadn't thought about the fact that the slower taper gives me more time to adjust to feeling so raw, so alive, feeling things so intensely again.

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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