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FeelingAlone - Serotonin Syndrome and withdrawels


FeelingAlone

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Hi everyone, I really need support to get through this nightmare I'm in.

 

I was on Celexa 40 mg for 8 years until Sept of 2012 when I got Serotonin Syndrome....I had to stop taking it immediately so as to reverse my condition. I had to go through a wash out period before my doc could try to treat my crippling anxiety and depression.

 

I started on Lexapro in Dec 2012 and slowly worked my way up to 15 mg. Everything was going ok until the day I increased from 10 mg to 15 mg. A few hours after I took the increased dose, my body went into Serotonin Toxicity. So, once again, I had to stop the Lexapro cold turkey.

 

Now I'm having to deal with not only the withdrawal from an SSRI, but also my original condition returning :-(

 

My doc wants me to start a non-ssri med, but I'm too scared to put anymore drugs into my body. I feel like I'm never going to be "me" again. I feel like I'm completely alone and just looking for some emotionally support.

Edited by tezza
Added name to Topic Title

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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I should also add that my psychiatrist said I could never be on an SSRI/SNRI again due to my body not tolerating them. I wish I could taper slowly to minimize this hell, but I have no other choice than to go cold turkey....

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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I am so sorry FeelingAlone - I am not sure what to suggest to you, Alto is the most experienced and I am sure she will be along soon to give you some advice that can hopefully help to relieve your symptoms. Fish oil is one of the mainstays of supplements that seems to help most people, so i would definitely be looking at getting a good one - i take two or three capsules 3 times a day with my meals, but you may need to start with just one to make sure you can tolerate them.

 

One thing i will say though - you are probably not dealing with a return of your original symptoms, rather you are dealing with withdrawal symptoms that can mimic depression and anxiety. Perhaps you will be one of the lucky ones and have withdrawals for only a few weeks...

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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Hi

 

I really feel for you. That's an awful situation to be in

 

What are your current symptoms?

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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I'm very sorry to hear about this. Please let us know how you are feeling and what's going on with you?

 

I'm also curious why your doctor wanted to bump you up to 15mg if you'd been doing fairly well on 10mg?

 

Welcome to the forum. Please take some time and peruse some of the topics. These threads contain much worthwhile information on antidepressants and other meds that you may not have come across before.

 

best,

Alex

"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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My doc wanted to increase my dose because I still was presenting with anxiety and derealization. My thought is that those symptoms were my body not tolerating anotherSSRI.

 

I currently am experiencing brain zaps, tremors, leg spasms, anxiety, I feel as though I am in a fog, and insomnia. I also feel as though I'm experiencing every emotion at once! I'm so scared that I'll never be happy again. No one in my life understands what I'm going through.

 

My mind and body are in such my pain from this.

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi and Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry for what you're going through. There is no way anyone could understand what you are going through unless they've been through , at least, something similar.

 

I understand the "feeling alone" too, but you will find lots of friendly support here.

 

Would you mind adding your drug history by following the instructions in this link:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

This will allow others to see your history without re-reading through your thread each time.

 

I'm very glad you found your way here!

 

Tezza

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Welcome, FeelingAlone,

 

I think you'll feel much less alone here!

 

I'm not sure whether you actually have had serotonin syndrome or whether, as your doctor said, you just don't tolerate SSRI meds well (adverse effects, or perhaps sensitivity that makes higher doses unsuitable for you).

 

I'd be very wary of trying other meds. Your nervous system may be too sensitive - especially at this time, after two cold-turkeys - to tolerate other meds that act on the nervous system.

 

I think it might help Altostrata and others to know when you took that last dose (cold-turkeyed) of lexapro.

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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The Celexa, in combination with two other drugs, did cause Serotonin Syndrome and almost killed me. The withdrawals from that were harder I think due to them being completely unexpected.

 

My last dose of Lexapro was on Feb. 15th. I didn't get serotonin syndrome this time, but was considered serotonin toxicity. But on this withdrawal, my entire body feels like it was hit by a bus. The aches and pains are horrendous.

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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Dear Feeling Alone,

 

My heart goes out to you! I have had the experience of going off Cymbalta cold turkey after I developed mild mania. The dr. didn't realize what was happening, and kept giving me various antipsychotics which didn't help. It was very hard because it was awful and I thought that was the new "me." Knowing it is just withdrawal helps, I hope. I was thought to be having a very major bipolar downswing. Actually, lithium helped me a lot, but I don't know if I really need it or not. I am slowly peeling away the drugs to find out what really lies beneath. Hugs , Meimeiquest

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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A little P. S... I was though to have fibromyalgia before I had the mania (I fear I just never tolerated antidepressants well...so many wasted years). I was accustomed to pain. But about 10 days off Cynbalta I developed the kind of pain that makes you cry...I took narcotics for about 5 days. I think it ended within 2 weeks. Best, Meimeiquest

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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Hang in there! You have found a great resource here.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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Welcome, FeelingAlone.

 

I agree with Alex. It sounds to me like you had a reaction to an excessive dose of Lexapro, possibly serotonin syndrome, and it was your doctor's fault. 15mg Lexapro is equivalent to about 45mg Celexa. From your reaction to Celexa, he should have been much more cautious.

 

He probably was trying to stamp out your withdrawal symptoms from the Celexa cold turkey.

 

He is not taking responsibility to your having a bad reaction to his excessive dosing. He's calling it "serotonin toxicity." Apparently he cannot conceive of lower doses. He was irresponsible having you cold-turkey off 15mg Lexapro.

 

While I have no doubt the adverse reactions and precipitous discontinuations have sensitized your nervous system to ALL psychoactive medications, not just SSRIs and SNRIs, taking a very small amount of Lexapro, even as low as 2mg, might reduce the withdrawal symptoms. Once your nervous system stabilizes, you can very gradually taper off that low dose.

 

Lexapro comes in a liquid. Any MD can prescribe this for you.

 

As for underlying "depression," it's impossible to assess that when a person has severe withdrawal syndrome. If I were you, I'd work on reducing the withdrawal symptoms. Once they go away, see how you feel. And I would find another doctor to work with.

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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Thank you for your response Alto, my only concern is putting Lexapro back into my system at all. I'm worried that it'll make me feel worse. I don't know if that's me just being paranoid or not.When I was on the 10 mg of Lexapro it was giving me anxiety and derealization. Would the low 2mg dose bring those back on?

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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  • Administrator

I don't know. It's likely when you went on 10mg Lexapro, your system was sensitized by your adverse reaction to Celexa and the cold turkey off it. 10mg Lexapro is a whopping dosage in those circumstances.

 

My worry is you might have to deal with withdrawal symptoms for a long time. Cold turkey produces the worst withdrawal symptoms. Reinstatement of even a low dose can reduce symptoms.

 

If 2mg makes you nervous, you might try 1mg.

 

However, there is a risk you are so sensitized that you'll have a bad reaction to any amount of any psychiatric drug. You'll have to judge whether you want to do this.

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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My next question is, if I decide not to try a small dose of lexapro, what are other alternatives to help alleviate my symptoms? I've been going for 45 minute walks everyday, listening to meditation music at night, and positive thinking. After my experience, I'm not sure if I'll ever be comfortable putting any psychoactive drugs into my body.

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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I can certainly understand that !!!!!!!!

 

We have suggestions for coping with symptoms in the Symptoms and Self-Care forum.

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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Sorry to bother you Alto, I had one more question....have you heard of people using a low dose lamictal to help with withdrawals and brain zaps?

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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My next question is, if I decide not to try a small dose of lexapro, what are other alternatives to help alleviate my symptoms? I've been going for 45 minute walks everyday, listening to meditation music at night, and positive thinking. After my experience, I'm not sure if I'll ever be comfortable putting any psychoactive drugs into my body.

 

 

FeelingAlone, I'm right there with you. I stopped Zoloft and Lamictal cold turkey on Feb 18. My head is a pain level of 4/10 when I wake up and 8/10 by night time. I don't sleep well at all. I'm freezing/shivering and sweating at the same time. I can't walk from my couch to my bed without feeling like I'm going throw up, or actually doing it. I'm dizzy and lightheaded even lying down. I also have the same fears of not wanting to put any more meds into my system. This is easier said than done, but think of the little victories: You are able to go for a 45 min walk! I can't do that right now, but you can. Yesterday I wanted cookies so badly, so I made some. I chalk that up as a little victory. I was able to eat some at that time, but not today because I'm too nauseous.

 

I'm so sorry for what you're going through, but I'm also relieved to know that there is currently someone out there who is experiencing similar things. I'm now looking for a new psychiatrist as well as looking into essential oils, energy work, and biofeedback. Do you have any knowledge of those? So far, peppermint oil helps my nausea and I'm downing liters of water with Lemon oil to help washout the medication from my system all in the hopes that this withdrawal time won't last long. Cold help the pain in my head, but makes me shiver more.

 

Please post more "little victories" and I will too.

 

2Reds

2008: Started Lexapro after dealing with a year of not wanting to admit to myself that I had postpartum depression

2008-2010: Normal until 2nd pregnancy, which was WAY more difficult than the first

2011: Struggling with postpartum depression again. Lexapro not working anymore

2012: Wellbutrin, Celexa, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Vistaril, Xanax, Zoloft, Lamictal

January 2013: Zoloft 250mg and Lamictal 300mg

Developed Lamictal rash on my face and a persistent headache.

Weaned down to 100mg for both meds over a few weeks.

Feb 18 2013: Rash unchanged, headache severe. Stopped both meds.

Now dealing with AD withdrawal

 

 

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How come you quit your meds cold turkey 2reds?

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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Something to keep in mind...Once you are off your meds and have a difficult time it may be difficult to start another med. Everyone is different, but hyper-sensitivity to all kinds of substances seems to be a common symptom in withdrawal.

 

I'm sorry if that seemed negative. I don't want to scare you. I just wish I had known in the beginning.

 

My Ndoc tried to put me on buspar to help with some anxiety ( I think in Jan.?) and I had to stop taking it after day four. It was bad.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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Yes, I have. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/392-one-theory-of-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

Sorry to bother you Alto, I had one more question....have you heard of people using a low dose lamictal to help with withdrawals and brain zaps?

 

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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Hi everyone, here's a lil update today. Yesterday evening the depression was horrible along with mood swings. Thank god my best friend was able to help me get through the night. It scared me enough to rethink my path of getting off antidepressants. I have an appt with my doctor today to discuss starting a low dose of lexapro or possibly starting on a low dose of lamictal. I am very wary of putting meds back into my body, but there is also no need for me to be suffering the way I am. Wish me luck :-)

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm sorry you had such a rough time last night.

 

I'm curious as to why you questioned about the low dose of Lamictal, did your doctor suggest it? I'm hoping you have a doctor that is more knowledgeable than most seem to be.

 

I do wish the very best to you!

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Hi Tezza,

 

Yes, my doctor suggested it at a low dose to augment the damage from the serotonin toxicity and lexapro withdrawal. I'm scared that it might make things worse, but I'm at a point where I have nothing left to lose. I've researched the lamictal myself and it seems like a pretty viable option. The psychiatrist I'm seeing is known to be a meds specialist in my state. Every doctor I've seen recommends him highly. Fingers crossed :-)

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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How come you quit your meds cold turkey 2reds?

 

The pain from the headaches took me to the ER, where I had a CT scan done (normal) and blood work checked (normal). Two ER docs I saw both said that whatever started the headache was being exacerbated by my meds and advised me to stop everything I was taking, especially since no other medications even touched the pain, and I'm talking ibuprofen, tylenol, apsirin, caffeine, Excedrin, Imitrex, and opiates. When I contacted my psychiatrist the following day, he echoed that advise to stop all meds. Unfortunately, no one said anything about expecting withdrawal symptoms. I seriously wish they would have shared just a little "head up" on that point.

 

FeelingAlone, I really hope you are doing ok today. I'm latching onto your story because you seems to be in the thick of it like I am. After going back and forth about restarting Zoloft, I decided that I'm going to stick it out and have a relatively shorter time of severe, nasty withdrawal vs the less intense, drawn out taper. I can't bear the thought of having to do this again, so I'm looking into alternative ways to cope and manage. I have a scientific background, so anything that's not evidence-based/research backed seems like voodoo to me, and I tend to be skeptical of the latest alternative medicine fads. That being said, I've been drinking loads of water with Lemon oil to cleanse and washout, and I've put peppermint oil all over to help with the pain and nausea. It doesn't take any symptom away, but it does slightly help. I even tried an anti-nausea medication, but that didn't help either.

 

I'm not swearing of all pills entirely. It's just that nothing is helping right now, so I'm looking at other avenues and trying a more holistic view.

2008: Started Lexapro after dealing with a year of not wanting to admit to myself that I had postpartum depression

2008-2010: Normal until 2nd pregnancy, which was WAY more difficult than the first

2011: Struggling with postpartum depression again. Lexapro not working anymore

2012: Wellbutrin, Celexa, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Vistaril, Xanax, Zoloft, Lamictal

January 2013: Zoloft 250mg and Lamictal 300mg

Developed Lamictal rash on my face and a persistent headache.

Weaned down to 100mg for both meds over a few weeks.

Feb 18 2013: Rash unchanged, headache severe. Stopped both meds.

Now dealing with AD withdrawal

 

 

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2Reds,

 

I am doing better today, but yesterday was horrendous. I just wish I knew when my emotional health will be back. I can cope with the physical aspect of withdrawal, but the emotional side is worse than my original condition. Do you know if this lasts weeks or months? Maybe it would be easier to cope if I knew when I'll start to feel better....Very happy to hear you are making progress though.

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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Weeks or months? I don't know. Most literature states an average of 2-4 weeks. But that's just an average.

 

With my psych doc I've discovered that I'm not in the "usually" category. He always begins that way, "Usually, blah, blah, blah." "Usually" Zoloft helps in my condition. That backfired. "Usually" lamictal helps as a mood stabilizer in combo with Zoloft and if increased slowly I won't get a rash. No true in my case. For myself, I'm thinking around 4-6 weeks. If that's overestimating, then great. That means that I'll be through quicker. If it's not an overestimation, then it will be a realistic thought.

 

I'm so sorry you are on a horrendous emotional roller coaster. For me, the emotional side is easier to tolerate than the physical side. I hate the unknown. I think that is one of the scariest places. It's scarier than limbo. I used to try to find the most positive pathway of thinking, but lately I'm been in a spiral of what my doc and counselor call "catastrophic thinking," which takes a situation to the worst possibility. I can't describe in words the difficulty in trying to turn this around and not go to worst case scenario, but let's error on the side that this won't last forever, it won't have negative lasting effects, and that there will be a light...we just don't know when that will be.

 

Good luck with the Lamictal. I hope you have better success with it than I did. I slowly increased by 25 mg without any side effects. My troubles with it began when I said I just wanted to feel a little bit better than I had been doing and increased from 200 to 300 mg. That's when I got The Rash. That's part of the reason I stopped cold turkey. My doc only had me back off on the dose, but not try to go off it, and I still have the rash on my face. It wasn't going away, and I was quite afraid of it. With your history of serotonin syndrome and sensitivities, I'd take it extremely slow. My doc said that once a person slowly gets to 200 mg then the dose can be increased by 100s instead of 25 or 50s. I wish my doc would've taken that into consideration with me, based on how my body reacted to the other meds I was on, and maybe, just maybe I wouldn't be in this position right now.

 

Best wishes for your appointment.

2008: Started Lexapro after dealing with a year of not wanting to admit to myself that I had postpartum depression

2008-2010: Normal until 2nd pregnancy, which was WAY more difficult than the first

2011: Struggling with postpartum depression again. Lexapro not working anymore

2012: Wellbutrin, Celexa, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Vistaril, Xanax, Zoloft, Lamictal

January 2013: Zoloft 250mg and Lamictal 300mg

Developed Lamictal rash on my face and a persistent headache.

Weaned down to 100mg for both meds over a few weeks.

Feb 18 2013: Rash unchanged, headache severe. Stopped both meds.

Now dealing with AD withdrawal

 

 

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2Reds,

 

Thank you sooo much for your support. My doc is going to start me probably at around 5mg or lower since I'm sooo sensitive to meds. If you don't mind me asking, what kind of scientific background do u have?

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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I have a degrees in biology and nursing, with a research background. That's why it's hard to put that aside and try a non-medical route.

2008: Started Lexapro after dealing with a year of not wanting to admit to myself that I had postpartum depression

2008-2010: Normal until 2nd pregnancy, which was WAY more difficult than the first

2011: Struggling with postpartum depression again. Lexapro not working anymore

2012: Wellbutrin, Celexa, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Vistaril, Xanax, Zoloft, Lamictal

January 2013: Zoloft 250mg and Lamictal 300mg

Developed Lamictal rash on my face and a persistent headache.

Weaned down to 100mg for both meds over a few weeks.

Feb 18 2013: Rash unchanged, headache severe. Stopped both meds.

Now dealing with AD withdrawal

 

 

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I guess my biggest fear is that I won't ever feel "normal" again....I feel like I'm stuck in limbo while everyone else is living their lives.

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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  • Administrator

FeelingAlone, whatever you do, make sure a low dose is a REALLY low dose, such as 1mg Lexapro or 5mg Lamictal. (Do not take both at once, try them separately to see which helps and which hurts.) Doctors don't understand hypersensitivity, and they tend to throw the kitchen sink at sensitive nervous systems.

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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Thanks Altostrara. I will ensure I get the point across to my doc that i will not take anything above 1mg of Lexapro or 5mg of Lamictal. Maybe you can answer a question for me...I'm still unsure of what route to take, but if I continue not taking any drugs, how long with this rollercoaster of horrible emotions last for before the discontinuation syndrome goes away?

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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  • Administrator

I can't predict how long recovery will take, FA. Each person is different. It could be a matter of months, or it could be years. Improvement can be almost imperceptible, which is why journaling your progress in this topic can help. After a while, you'll see some symptoms have faded.

 

If you get 5mg Lamictal tablets (available for children), if I were you I'd start with a quarter of a tablet (1.25mg).

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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When starting on a quarter of a tablet, how long do u wait before you increase to a half and so on and so forth?

Celexa 40mg from 2004-Oct. 2012. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Syndrome. Tried to reinstate 3 weeks after ct, but had an allergic reaction to it.

 

Amitriptyline 25 mg from 11/07/12-11/30/12. Stopped due to inability to stay awake and made anxiety worse.

 

Lexapro started at 5mg and slowly increased to 15mg Dec. 8 2012-Feb. 15th 2013. Had to stop cold turkey due to Serotonin Toxicity.

 

Lamictal 5mg 3/2/13 to try to stabilize my nerves. Seems to be helping with the brain zaps, emotional rollercoaster, and DP/DR.

 

Find a reason to smile everyday :-)

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