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Narcissus

Stabilizing - what does that mean?

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Narcissus

I have a few questions for you anti-depressant vets (I think we ought to come up with a snappy name for ourselves) about stabilizing. First, what do we really mean when we say 'stabilize'? I guess understand stabilizing to mean adjusting to an altered dose of medication. The implication is that there is a temporary period of instability following a change in dosage in a medication, whether we've gone down or up on a familiar drug, or we're starting a drug for the first time. But what does stabilizing mean after withdrawal syndrome has kicked in? For example, I want to 'stabilize' on my 75 mg of dosage Effexor (half of my original dose) before trying to taper down again. It's been about two months and I'm still having very dramatic waves of symptoms, and I get the sense that while they may decrease in intensity I'll be dealing with them for a while. Ugh. My brain isn't working very well tonight. Here is my question: At what point can we say that we've 'stabilized' at a certain dosage and are to begin tapering again when we've already entered the withdrawal syndrome stage, which seems so inherently unstable? It seems like we must be looking for a place of very relative stability, but how can we tell when we've reached it and are ready to go down again? Is this just a personal judgment call?

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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primrose

I'm an AD vet, but I have not started tapering my AD as I am tapering other meds.

What does stabilizing mean after withdrawal syndrome has kicked in?

 

To me, it means not being debilitated by your withdrawals, so that activities of daily life are disrupted.

Holding your dose and monitoring it (a journal is a good idea) and your instincts will tell you when you feel strong enough.

I need to be clear on the above, really in order to try and help.

 

I am not knowledgeable with tapering antidepressants, and have read on here that going back up may not work.

 

Some members of benzo forums on short acting benzos have found it helpful to split their dose evenly and take at evenly spaced intervals over the 24hours.

 

I am not sure, however, if you could do the same for effexor, so I urge you not to try this without first speaking to someone who is knowledgeable enough about coming off SNRI's like effexor, to tell you if 'the benzo way of stabilizing'

.

Edited by scallywag
deleted quote of immediately previous post for readability

pregan taper 600mg down to 240mg, daily cuts since xmas

valium, just over 75mg, tapering 0.1 a day, will keep this more udated, cos amounts going down

i have borderline personality, chronic ptsd, and suspected adhd and substance misuse as a symptom, which i am addressing with help of medical staff, drugs agencies & mh sta

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Skyler

I'm an AD vet, but I have not started tapering my AD as I am tapering other meds.

What does stabilizing mean after withdrawal syndrome has kicked in?

 

Stabilizing withdrawal symptoms, so they hopefully disappear completely between cuts. If after several months the symptoms do not fully disappear, some people will want to taper judiciously, watching that the overall level of symptoms do not increase in the process.

To me, it means not being debilitated by your withdrawals, so thatactivities of daily life are disrupted.

Holding your dose and monitoring said (a journal is a good idea) and your instincts will tell you when you feel strong enough.

I need to be clear on the above, really in order to try and help.

Your life should stabilize as withdrawal symptoms decrease but the way we use the word stabilizing is very direct... stabilize withdrawal symptoms.

 

Let me use myself as an example. I have tinnitus from withdrawal that was just aggravated because I tapered too fast (LOL, not by alot but by by enough!). I was being careful but not careful enough, so now I'm holding for another two months to regain my footing, so to speak. At that time, tinnitus may still be there, but it will be very faint. Then it will be possible to taper without every reduction causing an uptick in symptoms (and making me utterly miserable in the process)... this is my stable..

 

Stable may be somewhat different for each of us, depending on how withdrawal manifests, but if the symptoms do not entirely remit, when tapering recommences, there should be no significant fluctuation when a small cut is made.

Edited by scallywag
increased font size so that great information is legible. :)

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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primrose

 

I'm an AD vet, but I have not started tapering my AD as I am tapering other meds.

What does stabilizing mean after withdrawal syndrome has kicked in?

 

To me, it means not being debilitated by your withdrawals, so that activities of daily life are disrupted.

Holding your dose and monitoring it (a journal is a good idea) and your instincts will tell you when you feel strong enough.

I need to be clear on the above, really in order to try and help.

 

I am not knowledgeable with tapering antidepressants, and have read on here that going back up may not work.

 

Some members of benzo forums on short acting benzos have found it helpful to split their dose evenly and take at evenly spaced intervals over the 24hours.

 

I am not sure, however, if you could do the same for effexor, so I urge you not to try this without first speaking to someone who is knowledgeable enough about coming off SNRI's like effexor, to tell you if 'the benzo way of stabilizing'

 

Sorry, my above post does not make sense and should be dis-regarded.

I have changed it below (see red text) so that it makes sense.

 

I'm an AD vet, but I have not started tapering my AD as I am tapering other meds.

 

What does stabilizing mean after withdrawal syndrome has kicked in?

 

To me, it means not being debilitated by your withdrawals, so that activities of daily life are disrupted.

Holding your dose and monitoring it (a journal is a good idea) and listening toyour instincts will tell you when you feel strong enough.

 

As you are suffering withdrawals at the moment, I am interested to know how you got down to 75mg effexor, did you halve the dose or did you rapid taper?

I need to be clear on the above, really in order to try and help.

 

I am not knowledgeable with tapering antidepressants, and have read on here that going back up may not work.

 

Some members of benzo forums on short acting benzos have found it helpful to split their dose evenly and take at evenly spaced intervals over the 24hours.

 

I am not sure, however, if you could do the same for effexor, so I urge you not to try this without first speaking to someone who is knowledgeable enough about coming off SNRI's like effexor, to tell you if 'the benzo way of stabilizing' is also suitable for stabilising on effexor or not


pregan taper 600mg down to 240mg, daily cuts since xmas

valium, just over 75mg, tapering 0.1 a day, will keep this more udated, cos amounts going down

i have borderline personality, chronic ptsd, and suspected adhd and substance misuse as a symptom, which i am addressing with help of medical staff, drugs agencies & mh sta

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Skyler

The concept of stabilization as used here is the same for ADs, benzos or any other class of psychotropic drug.

 

Stabilizing in this context means getting to the point that withdrawal symptoms disappear, hopefully completely between cuts. If after several months the symptoms do not fully disappear, some people will want to taper judiciously, watching that the overall level of symptoms do not increase in the process.

Most people are stable on psychotropic medications before their first taper, so there are no withdrawal symptoms. Holding helps to stabilize withdrawal symptoms that are acquired while tapering, going off CT, etc. The meaning of stabilization does not change with the drug. (And the steadier the dose in your system, the more stable you will be and so there are no resulting withdrawal symptoms) Withdrawal symptoms include those which are 'physical' as well as neuroemotions, the latter experienced as emotional while they are actually physical in origin. When withdrawal symptoms subside, your quality of life is better as your ability to cope with the daily demands of living improves.

 

So stable means few or no withdrawal symptoms, whether physical or emotional. The concept of stabilization as used on this forum does not refer to lifestyle issues, though those are obviously impacted when people feel unwell. Most people stabilize when they hold (sometimes for as long as several months), and if symptoms do not entirely remit during that time, they become more manageable.


As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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primrose

The concept of stabilization as used here is the same for ADs, benzos or any other class of psychotropic drug.

 

Stabilizing in this context means getting to the point that withdrawal symptoms disappear, hopefully completely between cuts. If after several months the symptoms do not fully disappear, some people will want to taper judiciously, watching that the overall level of symptoms do not increase in the process.

Most people are stable on psychotropic medications before their first taper, so there are no withdrawal symptoms. Holding helps to stabilize withdrawal symptoms that are acquired while tapering, going off CT, etc. The meaning of stabilization does not change with the drug. (And the steadier the dose in your system, the more stable you will be and so there are no resulting withdrawal symptoms) Withdrawal symptoms include those which are 'physical' as well as neuroemotions, the latter experienced as emotional while they are actually physical in origin. When withdrawal symptoms subside, your quality of life is better as your ability to cope with the daily demands of living improves.

 

So stable means few or no withdrawal symptoms, whether physical or emotional. The concept of stabilization as used on this forum does not refer to lifestyle issues, though those are obviously impacted when people feel unwell. Most people stabilize when they hold (sometimes for as long as several months), and if symptoms do not entirely remit during that time, they become more manageable.

 

Hi Scuyler

 

Withdrawal symptoms include those which are 'physical' as well as neuroemotions, the latter experienced as emotional while they are actually physical in origin.

Why am I having such a struggle trying to get my doctor, or anyone for that matter, to understand neuroemotions being physical in origin?

 

Thanks


pregan taper 600mg down to 240mg, daily cuts since xmas

valium, just over 75mg, tapering 0.1 a day, will keep this more udated, cos amounts going down

i have borderline personality, chronic ptsd, and suspected adhd and substance misuse as a symptom, which i am addressing with help of medical staff, drugs agencies & mh sta

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Skyler

Why am I having such a struggle trying to get my doctor, or anyone for that matter, to understand neuroemotions being physical in origin?Thanks

Because unfortunately, most docs are clueless about withdrawal, same as the keyworker you talked about. That's why it's good to take materials from resources like Bliss Johns when you go for appts, and just pray the doc is open to what you want to share.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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primrose

 

Why am I having such a struggle trying to get my doctor, or anyone for that matter, to understand neuroemotions being physical in origin?Thanks

Because unfortunately, most docs are clueless about withdrawal, same as the keyworker you talked about. That's why it's good to take materials from resources like Bliss Johns when you go for appts, and just pray the doc is open to what you want to share.

 

Hi Sculyer and thanks.

I read Bliss Johns page not so long ago and while it would be wonderful for my doctor to read that page, I am certain that she will just tell me she hasn't got time.

She never even rang Battle Against Tranquilisers.


pregan taper 600mg down to 240mg, daily cuts since xmas

valium, just over 75mg, tapering 0.1 a day, will keep this more udated, cos amounts going down

i have borderline personality, chronic ptsd, and suspected adhd and substance misuse as a symptom, which i am addressing with help of medical staff, drugs agencies & mh sta

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Skyler

Hi Sculyer and thanks.

I read Bliss Johns page not so long ago and while it would be wonderful for my doctor to read that page, I am certain that she will just tell me she hasn't got time.

She never even rang Battle Against Tranquilisers.

Could well be she did not (you took a copy of the page with you??.. they won't go to an URL). Half the battle is advocacy, just as long as doc gives you what you need to taper yourself. You may never get validation from her, but the ability to taper slowly is where it's at.

 

Hope you made out okay with the keyworker.

 

Schuyler


As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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primrose

Hi Schuyler

 

No I didn't take the bliss johns page with me because I did not want the 'kick in the teeth feeling' of her saying she doesnt have time, or pretending to read it and just skimming through.

My keyworker does not understand the withdrawal problems niether so I feel like suffering caused by other people is being ignored and penalised. I am on welfare so if they do not acknowledge the suffering from the withdrawal, they cannot support withdrawal in my application for welfare, so those who pay it will not have supporting evidence. These are my fears, however I intend to create my own income so that I no longer have to rely on welfare, and so that it no longer matters whether people acknowledge my suffering or not.


pregan taper 600mg down to 240mg, daily cuts since xmas

valium, just over 75mg, tapering 0.1 a day, will keep this more udated, cos amounts going down

i have borderline personality, chronic ptsd, and suspected adhd and substance misuse as a symptom, which i am addressing with help of medical staff, drugs agencies & mh sta

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Rhiannon

 

What does stabilizing mean after withdrawal syndrome has kicked in?

 

To me, it means not being debilitated by your withdrawals, so that activities of daily life are disrupted.

 

That's pretty much how I see it too. Plus, having it be like that not just on occasional good days, but on more days than not. Ideally all the time with maybe occasional small wobblies. When I get to where I feel about 80% steady and not symptomatic, I consider that pretty stable.


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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Nikki

Hi everyone....

 

Good question. I could mean different things to each one of us, depending on the WD symptoms and how hard they hit. That was my first thought.

 

During a Lexapro taper, it meant, that I would stop crying and the anxiety would abate, AND the neuro-emotions would subside and I could laugh and let things go.

 

With Celexa...yes, there are the neuro-emotions after a drop (crying, hopelessness, wired/fried brains) and then it subsides and if I stay put for a long enough time, I feel just fine. Able to carry on and see life thru a better color glass.

 

I think the drug may affect all of this, some are worse than others.

 

I am not looking at my self as WDing this time around. I am looking at differently or somewhat different. I am getting off of Celexa, dropping after a good amount of time, living my life and then dropping again at some point in time. Working better for me this way.

 

Hugs


Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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jr1985

Hmm, I thought stable was when you had zero withdrawal symptoms. The presence of withdrawal symptoms indicates your nervous system is unstable, so isn't it best to hold until they go away completely? Even if they are manageable, surely reducing the dose, even by tiny amounts, could cause debilitating symptoms in the future?

 

At the minute, I am holding my Effexor dose in hopes that any symptoms I have will eventually disappear, as my nervous system regain stability, after the battering I gave it with all the drug switching, etc. Am I just wasting my time? Should I taper regardless? I can still live my life, etc but couldn't starting a taper now cause more serious problems?


2003-2011: Paroxetine,Citalopram,Effexor; Aug/Sept 2011: Effexor to Mirtazapine; Oct 2011: C/T Mirtazapine back to Effexor; Nov/Dec 2011: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell; Feb 2012: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg; June 2012: Dropped to 35.6mg; Jan 2016: Propranolol 2.5mg per day for general anxiety; Feb 2016: Finasteride 0.25mg per week to slow hair loss; 18th May - 8th June 2019: Started Vyvanse 7.5mg and increased by 7.5mg weekly to 30mg (lowest “therapeutic” dose for adults).; 21st June 2019 - 12th July: Cross tapered from venlafaxine brand Rodomel to Efexor (1/4 > 1/2 > 3/4 weekly before ditching Rodomel); 13th July 2019: Cut Vyvanse dose to 15mg; 15th July 2019: Akathisia returned after years of being free; 16th July 2019: Went back up to Vyvanse 30mg

Supplements: Omega-3, Vitamin D, Zinc, Phosphatidylserine 

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Narcissus

Jr, I'm having the exact same dilemma at the moment. It's been over two months trying to stabilize, and it just doesn't seem to be happening. I get the sense sometimes that starting a taper might actually relieve some of my symptoms. Is this possible? Or does dropping down always further destabilize things? Has anyone ever experienced relief from lowering their dose? I really don't know if I can keep waiting this out.


3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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Nikki

Yes I have. It happened a number of times with two different drugs at two different periods of time.


Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Narcissus

^Thanks, Nikki. If I've been at the same dose for two and half months without much improvement should I consider trying a small reduction? What do you think about this Alto?


3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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Altostrata

pgd, you have such a complex history with the medications, I don't know what to say.

 

Sometimes people report stabilizing over 6 months. Other times, reinstatement does not completely work. So I can't say if it makes sense to hold or reduce in your situation.

 

If the medication is not causing adverse effects, I suggest holding. So-so stability is better for your nervous system than no stability.


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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lexicon

And what are the chances that someone like me, who had two AD 'S dropped within 15 days, and has been, and is completely in distress, totally unstable, and debilitated after almost 3 months?

What are chances that I can stabilize in this century?

Thank you for any input ..


Hello,
I am tapering Lorazepam, and my daily dose is 1.125 mgs.

I followed a long hold for 5 months, ( Nov-March 2019) hoping to find some stability, 

but it did not work. So I resumed my taper and hold pattern.
For the last 3 years, I have been using a daily microtaper, cutting .001mgs per day, with holds as needed.
Symptoms are head pressure, labored breathing, palpitations, abrupt surges of dizziness, this being my worst symptom for now, internal tremors, my latest nemesis, unsteadiness, anxiety, plus many other symptoms that cycle in, and cycle out consistently. Not a day passes, without grief :(

I take no other meds.

January 2013 - 15 day quick taper off 10 mgs of Lexapro, and 25 mgs of Sertraline,

at a detox clinic.

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Altostrata

People heal at different rates. In 6 months, you might find you're much better.


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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basildev

Yeah

 

I'm still experiencing fluctuating sleep after 2 months (since updosing). I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever get better. It's comforting to know that others here have take longer than the seemingly 'average' 4-6 weeks to completely stabilize.

 

(Not that I want to take any pleasure whatsoever in other people's discomfort!)

 

I wish I could believe my sleep is going to get back to normal. Everything else has(:

 

I'd love to hear from anybody who has experienced complete (symptom free) stabilization after updosing/reinstating, but had to wait a much longer than average time for this to happen(EG: months instead of weeks).

 

Anybody out there?


July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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strawberry17

I'm interested in this as well Basildev, I'm in a similar boat and wondering if I'll ever get back to normal.


*** 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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Rhiannon

I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever get better. It's comforting to know that others here have take longer than the seemingly 'average' 4-6 weeks to completely stabilize...I'd love to hear from anybody who has experienced complete (symptom free) stabilization after updosing/reinstating, but had to wait a much longer than average time for this to happen(EG: months instead of weeks).Anybody out there?

 

After a severe CT in 2009 it took me about six months to get to feeling stable again. I've seen this in dozens of people, here on this forum and elsewhere.  It's not at all uncommon, especially after a CT or a series of ups and downs in dosage or a series of changes of meds, to take many months to stabilize; sometimes a year or more.

 

Seems like everyone does get better eventually, though. I know there must be rare exceptions, but from what I've seen they're extremely rare.

 

Anyway, months instead of weeks is a common variation.

 

It does require more patience but it's not a sign of a bad outcome. Many people have gone through spells like this, stabilized, and then gone on to do slow tapers quite successfully. 


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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basildev

That's very comforting to know, Rhi.

 

For my part it's definitely months.

 

I'm learning to just take it as it comes now.


July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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abir

it seems that it is going to be months for me too... it has been 3 months since re-instating, but i still have not stabilized yet, lthough I am feeling better now...


have been on various antidepressants (many SSRIs, SNRI, MAOIs) for chronic fatigue syndrome for more than 17 years, was on zoloft 100mg for the last 2-3 years, tapered over 2.5 months, ending october 24 2012.
reinstating AD:
march 28: started on 25mg co-sertraline, took it for 2 days
april 1: 12.5mg ONLY FOR ONE DAY- STOPPED taking meds
april 9: started on 2.5mg co-sertraline
april 17: increased to 5 mg

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Rhiannon

That's very comforting to know, Rhi.

 

For my part it's definitely months.

 

I'm learning to just take it as it comes now.

 

With your history I would expect it to take a while. You've gone up and down a number of times now rather traumatically, it sounds like, if I'm reading your sig line right. Like Alto says, our nervous system (not to mention endocrine) isn't made of rubber. I know I used up all my slack a long time ago.

 

If and when you decide to taper again I think you'd probably do better with smaller cuts and longer holds--especially the long holds. Plan on taking at least a couple of years.


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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basildev

With your history I would expect it to take a while. You've gone up and down a number of times now rather traumatically, it sounds like, if I'm reading your sig line right. Like Alto says, our nervous system (not to mention endocrine) isn't made of rubber. I know I used up all my slack a long time ago.

 

You're right Rhi,

 

In fact my last taper was too fast. In hindsight I was actually cutting by 25% and that's why I got into trouble. I was feeling fine so was cutting faster, then it all caught up with me. Then I added the whole Valium debacle into the mix and I'm now trying to stabilise from that mistake!

 

 

 

it seems that it is going to be months for me too... it has been 3 months since re-instating, but i still have not stabilized yet, lthough I am feeling better now...

 

Abir, I have been following your story and you've made huge progress since your first post here. Often others can see our progress more clearly than we can:). I believe you will fully recover.

Edited by Petu
fixed text

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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abir

 

Abir, I have been following your story and you've made huge progress since your first post here. Often others can see our progress more clearly than we can:). I believe you will fully recover.

 

I hope so, and I hope the same for everyone on this site...


have been on various antidepressants (many SSRIs, SNRI, MAOIs) for chronic fatigue syndrome for more than 17 years, was on zoloft 100mg for the last 2-3 years, tapered over 2.5 months, ending october 24 2012.
reinstating AD:
march 28: started on 25mg co-sertraline, took it for 2 days
april 1: 12.5mg ONLY FOR ONE DAY- STOPPED taking meds
april 9: started on 2.5mg co-sertraline
april 17: increased to 5 mg

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misterZ

Hi All,

This is my first post.  I've been consistently on ADs in various combinations for 20 years.  I got got off everything about five years ago in a difficult taper and stayed off for about three month untill the stress and super- rapid cycling got the best of me and I started back on ending up at 300mg Wellbutrin XR, 300mg Lamictal and 900mg Neurontin.  I have functioned, at least holding down a responsible job, taking care of a disabled parent, who died six months ago and a disabled sibling.  But my personal life isn't good. All my relationships are tainted by my anxiety. Any, six weeks ago I started to taper the Lamictal, 50mgs a week and it went smoothly, but when I got to zero, after a few days I started to feel really bad, fuzzy headed, anxious (sorry I can't better describe it).  At that point I called my psychiatrist who said to go back up on the Lamictal,  I immediately took 50mg and in a hour a so I felt okay. (that's my contribution to the topic)  Now I've started to go down on the Neurontin, 800mg as of three days and it's tolerable.  I'm seeing the doc tomorrow to strategize on how best to continuing to taper.  I guess I don't really have any questions as I've read about the ideas of super slow tapering and doing the ADs first, (of course I'm ignoring them by doing a fast Lamictal taper and moving on to the Neurontin instead of the Wellbutrin).  Patience isn't my strong suit.  I'm happy to have found this site.


1996 -- 2007 a lot of different AD meds

9/1/2007-1/1/2008 taper

1/1/2008-4/1/2008  Med free

 

Starting 4/1/2008 worked back up to: 300 Lamictal, 300 Welbutrin XL, 900 Neurontin,

 

6/1/13:  250 Lamictal, 300 Welbutrin XL, 900 Neurontin

6/8/13: 200 Lamictal, 300 Welbutrin XL, 900 Neurontin

6/15/13: 150 Lamictal, 300 Welbutrin XL, 900 Neurontin

6/22/13: 100 Lamictal, 300 Welbutrin XL, 900 Neurontin

6/29/13: 50 Lamictal, 300 Welbutrin XL, 900 Neurontin

7/6/13: 0 Lamictal, 300 Welbutrin XL, 900 Neurontin

7/9/13: 50 Lamictal, 300 Welbutrin XL, 900 Neurontin

7/16/13: 50 Lamictal, 300 Welbutrin XL, 800 Neurontin

7/23/13: 50 Lamictal, 300 Welbutrin XL, 700 Neurontin

7/30/13: 50 Lamictal, 300 Welbutrin XL, 600 Neurontin

8/3/13: 50 Lamictal, 150 Welbutrin XL, 600 Neurontin

8/10/13: 50 Lamictal, 0 Welbutrin XL, 500 Neurontin

8/17/13: 50 Lamictal, 400 Neurontin

8/31/13:  25 Lamictal, 300 Neurontin

9/6/13:  300 Neurontin

9/13/13:  200 Neurontin

9/20/13: 100 Neurontin

 

9/27/13: 0 Anything

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Altostrata

misterZ, please see this topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1122-tips-for-tapering-off-lamictal-lamotrigine/

 

You might put that post in the Intro forum as your Intro topic.


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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sunflower

Dear Fellow Survivors:

 

Do most of you stabilize after a dose reduction and notice an improvement of WD sxs? How long does it typically take to stabilize (e.g., weeks...months)?

 

The reason I'm asking is because when I was tapering Klonopin I typically did not stabilize. However, because I felt better so much better with each drop, I continued to taper without waiting to stabilize.

 

Any feedback is appreciated.

 

Thank you.

 

Sunflower


1998-2010. Zoloft 100 mgs.

3/2010. Switched to generic Z and began not to feel well.

7/2010. Estrogen patch added which caused severe depression.

8/2010 to 10/2010. Zoloft increased from 100 mgs to 200 mgs., Klonopin .25 mgs in am; .50 mgs pm; Remeron

.25 mgs. added by new doc

1/2011. Began tapering K; last dose of K 7/2011.

11/2011 Began Remeron taper; last dose of R 1/2012 (Tapered K & R by dry cutting)

1/2013 Began tapering Z from 200 mgs to 100 mgs by dry cutting

3/2013. Experiencing wd sx...took break

9/2013. Down to 150 mgs.

2/2014 - Present. 100 mgs Z

1-21-15. Began dry cutting 100 mgs.

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Altostrata

Hi, sunflower. From what I've seen, most people stabilize within a few days after a reduction. Some do not feel it at all.

 

I changed the title of this topic because I think that there's a lot of variation and the experience of others will be very informative.


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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sunflower

Dear Altostrata,

 

Thanks for the feedback.

 

Sunflower


1998-2010. Zoloft 100 mgs.

3/2010. Switched to generic Z and began not to feel well.

7/2010. Estrogen patch added which caused severe depression.

8/2010 to 10/2010. Zoloft increased from 100 mgs to 200 mgs., Klonopin .25 mgs in am; .50 mgs pm; Remeron

.25 mgs. added by new doc

1/2011. Began tapering K; last dose of K 7/2011.

11/2011 Began Remeron taper; last dose of R 1/2012 (Tapered K & R by dry cutting)

1/2013 Began tapering Z from 200 mgs to 100 mgs by dry cutting

3/2013. Experiencing wd sx...took break

9/2013. Down to 150 mgs.

2/2014 - Present. 100 mgs Z

1-21-15. Began dry cutting 100 mgs.

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Rhiannon

You might enjoy reading through this topic:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3949-what-does-stabilizing-mean/

 

I'm doing a micro taper and I adjust my cuts and holds according to life stressors and how I'm feeling. Seems like I generally feel the cuts within two to four days after making them, and then I hold for however long it takes (usually a week or two, with the micro cuts). I definitely do stabilize and feel better, although if I know I have a period of time with not much stress coming up, I will push it and make a couple more small cuts before I'm fully at my best. I know I'm going to feel crappy for a while as a result but I know I will hold and it will pass.

 

When I hold for a longer period I am (so far) always rewarded with a spell of feeling pretty good, which lasts even after I start cutting again, for a while.

 

I have always felt better after holds and I have never done well with the "keep cutting even if you're suffering" approach, although some people apparently do okay with that. As always, our own bodies are the experts.


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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aberdeen

I used to notice my drops somewhere after the first week. I will wake up extra anxious and feel more jumpy and shakey, with DR...for a few days. Once i got below 3mg or so, Ive noticed the symptoms take longer to show up. Also in there, have been random spells where I just get a wave, be it depression, higher anxiety, DR, in any combination, and there seems to be no connection to any specific timeframe...it might last  a few weeks, or just a few days. When I have these spells, and its time to drop, I will sometimes wait another week and re-assess. I cant say my drops are causing much issue. My biggest issue is anhedonia and anger...and that I think has to do with the situation that occured prior to my tapering. I had a tolerance reaction to Effexor, it was intense and horriible and caused me to come off much too fast and then switch around a few meds all in 3 months time, which made everything worse. By the time i started tapering, i was already in a scenario of seeing windows and waves, and having anhedonia creeping up for the long haul, so I  cant ever say Im 100% between drops, for that reason. I drop 10% every 4-5 weeks, sometimes longer.


2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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sunflower

Dear Rhi and Aberdeen,

 

Thanks for your input! Really appreciated!

 

Sunflower


1998-2010. Zoloft 100 mgs.

3/2010. Switched to generic Z and began not to feel well.

7/2010. Estrogen patch added which caused severe depression.

8/2010 to 10/2010. Zoloft increased from 100 mgs to 200 mgs., Klonopin .25 mgs in am; .50 mgs pm; Remeron

.25 mgs. added by new doc

1/2011. Began tapering K; last dose of K 7/2011.

11/2011 Began Remeron taper; last dose of R 1/2012 (Tapered K & R by dry cutting)

1/2013 Began tapering Z from 200 mgs to 100 mgs by dry cutting

3/2013. Experiencing wd sx...took break

9/2013. Down to 150 mgs.

2/2014 - Present. 100 mgs Z

1-21-15. Began dry cutting 100 mgs.

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JanCarol

Bump.  Stability.  

 

My big lesson for today is that a hold is harder work than a taper.

 

We get impatient and want to take it down and down, or a pdoc pressures us into discontinuing since we're not at "therapeutic levels" anyway.

 

But to hold.  And hold.  And hold.  and wait until you're not suffering before you do a cut - and plan that cut weeks in advance.  And talk it over here, in SA, and with your support team if you have it.  If you hear enough people say, "I think you're doing really well," then a plan your next taper. 

 

Most of you are young, a year or two added to your taper is nothing - especially since you start to feel immeasurably better once you get down to 50% of "therapeutic dose."  Your head starts to clear, you start to take interest in things, you may care more about people, or even feel creative again.  And that's the payoff for the head zaps, blinding flashes, gut trouble, sinus difficulty, restlessness - that you had to go through to get there.

 

Holding is the key, for me.  It makes me feel like I am in control of the process.  If my life is disrupted, then it's time to hold.  If I'm having health issues or symptoms, then it's time to hold.  Holds are my friend, and I can feel the healing taking place during them.

 

But there is a possibility of permanent damage.  And maybe holding forever just increases the side effects you are suffering.  It's really difficult, in withdrawal, to separate drug side effects from w/d.  In that case, trying a taper is probably warranted, if the hold doesn't seem to be improving things.  You can always reinstate if it goes amiss.  And by tapers and reinstate, I'm talking the smallest possible amount.  5% maybe.  What I think of as a "test taper" to see if it's okay.


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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