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weallsing: My Doxepin Story


weallsing

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I am 55-years-old and have always had stomach problems (bloating and gas mostly). Twenty-five years ago, I went to a GI doctor, because I was having pain as well. Tests didn't really show anything.

 

This doctor put me on Doxepin for my stomach problems, not for depression. I am not and have never been a depressed person. I took 25MG a day for many years. I never thought of it as an antidepressant. It was my stomach pills. If I tried to go off of it or forgot to take it, I would get so sick I couldn't lift my head off from the pillow.

 

As time went on, I kept increasing my dosage because my stomach problems seemed worse. I got up to 100MG a day for the past couple of years. Over the years, I have had many tests that never really showed anything. A few years ago, I went to another GI doctor and said to him "When I try to go off from this Doxepin, I get so sick. Am I having withdrawal or is it really helping me that much?" He said, "It's helping you that much!". I trusted him and kept taking it.

 

I hadn't looked it up online and didn't know there was a problem with withdrawal. Last fall, I mentioned to my daughter that it's an antidepressant, and that I wished I could get off from it, but I get so sick when I try. She said, "Mom, you have to taper antidepressants". I said, "You do?" I didn't know anything about them.

 

Doctors had continued to write this prescription for me for 25 years, never questioning it. I decided to taper it myself, since it wasn't helping my stomach anyway. I tapered it for 4 months and then stopped taking it. My last pill was on Jan. 9th. I should have tapered it a lot slower, but I'm off of it now, and I won't take it again. It's been 50 days, and I still have bad withdrawal.

 

There are times during most days when I feel fairly normal, and then suddenly, I'll feel just awful...headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and a feeling like I have the flu. My stomach is gassy and hurts most of the time. Lucky for me, I have a photography studio in my home, so I don't have to go out to a job. I just wouldn't be able to do that.

 

I have to lay down when I feel really bad, and then it usually passes. My husband has been patient with me, and I've put him through a lot already. Sometimes I wonder if he thinks it's all in my head. My daughter is taking classes to do something in the medical field, so I do have her. I thank God for her every day!

 

When I feel good, I work fast and try to get things done, because I know I'll be feeling terrible again soon. I am eating a very healthy diet hoping it will help. This is sooo hard! This should have never happened to me! I wonder if I'll ever feel good again. Brenda

Edited by Altostrata
added paragraph breaks for readibility

I was taking Doxepin for stomach issues for 25 years.  When I stopped taking them, I would get so sick I couldn't lift my head off the pillow.  I didn't know I needed to taper.  No doctor ever told me that.  They just kept writing the perscription for me.  It was my daughter who told me I had to taper.  I took this drug for all those years without needing it!

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Hi Brenda, and welcome!

 

Doxepin is one of the older tricyclic antidepressants - they are often used 'off label' for things other than depression - unfortunately they have lots of side effects and can be just as problematic coming off them as the newer SSRI's are.

 

Are you taking any supplements? Do you find that your withdrawal symptoms are reducing? Are you experiencing anxiety as well as the physical symptoms?

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 Brenda,

 

I was on Doxepin (small dose) and it was hell to get off of.

 

By the way, were your stomach problems ever addressed or did you just get this pill as a shut up drug?

 

Gotta run but feel free to ask my any questions.

 

Welcome.

 

CS

 

Hi Brenda, and welcome!

 

Doxepin is one of the older tricyclic antidepressants - they are often used 'off label' for things other than depression - unfortunately they have lots of side effects and can be just as problematic coming off them as the newer SSRI's are.

 

Are you taking any supplements? Do you find that your withdrawal symptoms are reducing? Are you experiencing anxiety as well as the physical symptoms?

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi and welcome!

 

It doesn't seem fair that doctors don't inform us before they give us the crap! I'm so sorry, it seems it hit you hard and was unexpected.

 

If you don't mind, please add your history in a signature by following instructions in the link here:

 

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

 

It will be most helpful to those reading as your thread gets longer.

 

Thanks and many hugs,

 

Tezza

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  • Administrator

Welcome, weallsing.

 

I know you don't want to take this drug again, but reinstating a very small amount, even 2mg, might reduce your withdrawal symptoms. Then you can taper off that small amount more gradually.

 

Do you have any capsules left? You can make a liquid from it to take a small amount. See this topic on tapering doxepin http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3914-tips-for-tapering-doxepin-sinequan-zonalon/

 

Regarding your stomach problems, have you looked into non-irritating diets? Some people find they reduce chronic stomach problems. Simple changes like eliminating dairy can make a big difference. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2318-irritable-bowel-syndrome-gut-bacteria-and-what-you-can-do/ and other topics on digestion and diet 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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Thank you all for your replys and for welcoming me!

 

Peggy...I do take several supplements, and no, I don't really have anxiety, but I am more tense than I use to be. I'm working on relaxing more. When I was on the drug, I would sleep 8 or 9 hours and still have a hard time waking up. I thought that was normal for me. Now, I sleep about 6 hours and just suddenly wake up.

 

Altostrata...My husband and I talked it over and decided that I should try 2mg. I hadn't thought of mixing it with water. After I had been off the drug for 17 days, I had a meltdown. I felt so awful, and I started sobbing. My poor husband didn't know what to do. I saw my doctor a few days later, and she gave me a prescription for 10mg capsules. She didn't want me to fill it, and I said I didn't want to either unless I felt I had to.

 

It was easy to mix it with 10 ozs. of water, and I've been drinking 2 ozs. before I go to bed. My symptoms are definately a lot better. Thank you so much for the suggestion. I plan to taper it very slowly.

 

As for my stomach problems....Doctors have told me that I have IBS. I have tried eliminating things from my diet with no real success. Is it possible that the Doxepin has contributed to this problem?

I was taking Doxepin for stomach issues for 25 years.  When I stopped taking them, I would get so sick I couldn't lift my head off the pillow.  I didn't know I needed to taper.  No doctor ever told me that.  They just kept writing the perscription for me.  It was my daughter who told me I had to taper.  I took this drug for all those years without needing it!

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Hi Brenda, great news that you are feeling a little better. it's probably best to stay on the 2mg for a month or so to really stabilise and then begin the slow taper downwards. Regarding your IBS - my understanding is that the gut has most of the bodies serotonin receptors, so it could be possible that it has contributed to it, however i note that your GI problems were the reason you were put on doxepin to start with...

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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I was at a naturopathy seminar this weekend...your GI symptoms are the most frequent to drive someone to the doctor. Off the top of my head, the problem is usually candidiasis or another "bad" germ, a lack of probiotics, and/or lack of digestive enzymes. The diagnosis IBS tells you nothing...you already know your GI tract is irritable. Would you be willing to go to a naturopathic physician? If you eat a typical America diet, it would involve major dietary changes. But one thing I have seen here is that most of the people who are succeeding have made huge diet changes. 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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  • Administrator

Very happy to hear that a small dosage reinstatement helped, weall.

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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