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Lilu: Depression worsened by meds

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Lilu

ADMIN NOTE 10 09 17 Lilu wants everyone to know:

 

"Please disregard my initial posts, since my knowledge about the subject of withdrawal was very limited and often wrong. Please follow the administrators' knowledge and advice to properly taper your medication."


 

I would like to know if anyone else has experienced while on Pristiq: I take 50 mg of Pristiq every morning at around 8 am. But despite sleeping for 8 or 9 hours a night, I wake up feeling tired and sleepy with a heavy brain fog that pretty much lasts all day. It does seem to lift at around 3 pm when I find myself suddenly feeling more clear and awake. Sometimes though the sleepiness (somnolence) last all day and I feel like I just can't think clearly. It's as if I'm always slightly buzzed or sedated. Recently I found out that Pristiq reaches it's peak concentration level after 7.5 hours. So I will try to take it at night, and see if I will feel more awake and fog-free in the morning. Also, I guess I should mention that when I forget to take a dose of Pristiq, I start to feel extremely drowsy, just as if I have taken a sedative.


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

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

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

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

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

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StormySea01

I just started taking Pristiq 50mg 3 days ago and I feel the same way, only I feel tired all day.

My eyelids get so heavy, I have to lay down and nap for up to 2-3 hours, at least twice a day. I constantly feel like

I'm under the influence of something. I can't drive-- walking is even weird because I just don't feel right, I feel like I'm staggering.

I hope this stops soon because I feel like I'm sleeping my life away! I also take Seroquel, which also makes

me tired. I take both pills at dinner-time, about 5 hours before bed, and they hit me like a ton of bricks. I just

pass right out pretty much as soon as I lay down, and the effects never wear off by morning. I'm just tired and sleepy all day.

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Altostrata

Interesting. Many people find Effexor and Pristiq to be very stimulating; insomnia is a common side effect.

 

StormySea, please introduce yourself in our Intro forum so everyone can get to know you.


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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Lilu

I would like to know if anyone else has experienced while on Pristiq:

 

I take 50 mg of Pristiq every morning at around 8 am. But despite sleeping for 8 or 9 hours a night, I wake up feeling tired and sleepy with a heavy brain fog that pretty much lasts all day. It does seem to lift at around 3 pm when I find myself suddenly feeling more clear and awake. Sometimes though the sleepiness (somnolence) last all day and I feel like I just can't think clearly. It's as if I'm always slightly buzzed or sedated.

 

Recently I found out that Pristiq reaches it's peak concentration level after 7.5 hours. So I will try to take it at night, and see if I will feel more awake and fog-free in the morning.

 

Also, I guess I should mention that when I forget to take a dose of Pristiq, I start to feel extremely drowsy, just as if I have taken a sedative.

 

Ok, I don't know how anybody can take Seroquel and function. I took it once, and in the morning I felt like I was coming out of a coma! But I'll tell you what I've noticed about Pristiq - it seems to increase the effects of other medications. Something about not letting the body flush out the meds in a timely way, thereby increasing how long they stay in your system.

 

Pristiq and Effexor ARE for the most part stimulating drugs since they work on Norepinephrine (Adrenaline). The insomnia that people experience with Effexor and Pristiq is a side effect that subsides within the first 3 months.

 

Another major thing, Pristiq should be taken in the morning, to take full advantage of its energizing properties. When I experimented taking it at night, I experienced a lot more sleepiness or drowsiness during the day.


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

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

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

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

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

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Gardner

 

I would like to know if anyone else has experienced while on Pristiq:

 

I take 50 mg of Pristiq every morning at around 8 am. But despite sleeping for 8 or 9 hours a night, I wake up feeling tired and sleepy with a heavy brain fog that pretty much lasts all day. It does seem to lift at around 3 pm when I find myself suddenly feeling more clear and awake. Sometimes though the sleepiness (somnolence) last all day and I feel like I just can't think clearly. It's as if I'm always slightly buzzed or sedated.

 

Recently I found out that Pristiq reaches it's peak concentration level after 7.5 hours. So I will try to take it at night, and see if I will feel more awake and fog-free in the morning.

 

Also, I guess I should mention that when I forget to take a dose of Pristiq, I start to feel extremely drowsy, just as if I have taken a sedative.

 

Ok, I don't know how anybody can take Seroquel and function. I took it once, and in the morning I felt like I was coming out of a coma! But I'll tell you what I've noticed about Pristiq - it seems to increase the effects of other medications. Something about not letting the body flush out the meds in a timely way, thereby increasing how long they stay in your system.

 

Pristiq and Effexor ARE for the most part stimulating drugs since they work on Norepinephrine (Adrenaline). The insomnia that people experience with Effexor and Pristiq is a side effect that subsides within the first 3 months.

 

Another major thing, Pristiq should be taken in the morning, to take full advantage of its energizing properties. When I experimented taking it at night, I experienced a lot more sleepiness or drowsiness during the day.

 

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Gardner

I have been following you on this pristiq journey wild ride huh?

Your last post was so right on tomorrow I try my first 25 milligram of effexor. My story is like yours. Feel drugged all the time

Interesting to see if effexor hype's me up

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Lilu

Actually I figured out that it wasn't the Pristiq that was giving me brain fog and making me sleepy. This may be true for someone who has just started taking the drug. Or is within the first 3 months of it. I have been taking Pristiq for about 4 years now. So what was making me so foggy and sleepy? - Iron deficiency anemia. Once I started taking iron supplements, I was all better within two months!


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

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

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

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

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

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Jemima

I have been following you on this pristiq journey wild ride huh?

Your last post was so right on tomorrow I try my first 25 milligram of effexor. My story is like yours. Feel drugged all the time

Interesting to see if effexor hype's me up

 

Gardner,

 

I can't seem to find an introductory post for you, so when you have time, please make a post in the 'Introductions and updates' discussion and add your drug history to your signature like so:

 

How to Add Drug History to Signature

 

We're here to help, but we can't do that very well without knowing anything about you or what you're trying to do with regard to getting off antidepressants.

 

And now, returning this topic to oaklily....


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Gardner

Must get on the computer to do that.

I'll do it soon. THANKS

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Gardner

Actually I figured out that it wasn't the Pristiq that was giving me brain fog and making me sleepy. This may be true for someone who has just started taking the drug. Or is within the first 3 months of it. I have been taking Pristiq for about 4 years now. So what was making me so foggy and sleepy? - Iron deficiency anemia. Once I started taking iron supplements, I was all better within two months!

 

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Gardner

Thanks I just had a full blood panel in the iron was fine but the D was low.

Liked your fact of the 7.5 hr alertness

I agree

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Lilu

Hello all,

I felt it necessary to share what I'm sure is not going to be a popular post on this forum. But I feel that quitting a medication "cold turkey" should be considered as an option to tapering. This is my own personal experience. And while this may not be a good option for some, it may be the best option for others. Basically what I discovered for myself, as I suspected, that by tapering, you are just prolonging the withdrawal. Sure your initial symptoms might be less severe, but personally I'd rather "get sick" for a week or two, than drag the side effects out for months at a time. Of course, this is best done if you are not working or can take a couple of weeks of from work.

 

In order to withdraw from Pristiq, I used both the "Bridge" technique and the tablet cutting technique. For the bridge, I used Lexapro. I added 10 mg of Lexapro to 50 mg of Pristiq. I waited 2 weeks for the Lexapro to kick in and then started my taper from Pristiq. I cut the Pristiq tablet in half and quarters and took 3/4 of a tablet in the morning instead of the whole tablet. I did that for a week. For me, initial withdrawal side effects from Pristiq manifest as extreme drowsiness, confusion, & disorientation. So once the extended release property of the tablet was severed, the side effects would kick in after about 7 or 8 hours of intial dose.

 

When I tried to take the quarter tablet in the evening, it wasn't soon enough, since the drowsiness had already kicked in by 6pm (if i had taken the initial dose at 10am). Then I would perk up after an hour or two from the renewed medication in my system, only to wake up in the morning again with extreme drowsiness, fatigue, brain fog, etc. It would take a good four hours for the symptoms to lift, only to return at around 6pm.

 

I had finally had enough with this constant up and down of withdrawal that has now been dragging for a month and making me completely miserable and hardly able to function. Yesterday, I quit Pristiq cold turkey, while still maintaining my morning dose of Lexapro 10 mg. (Which, while lessening my depression symptoms, has not helped at all to counteract the sedative side effect of Pristiq withdrawal!)

 

My side effects on the 1st day of quitting Pristiq, were unbelievable drowsiness, extreme difficulty in focusing, confusion, etc. These lasted all day. However, when I got up this morning, despite my usual 4am-5:30am waking, and oversleeping, I am finding that none of the side effects that were present yesterday, are present today. I feel better than I have felt in weeks.

 

Now, I know that it takes at least a couple of days for full withdrawal to kick in, so I will keep you posted if new or more severe symptoms kick in. But so far, I am very hopeful. Even if I feel worse, I am prepared to tough it out, as I would the Flu. Heck, we've all done it many times. I certainly have been sick for a month or more in the winter before, with various flu-type illnesses. To me, this seems like the better option than the neverending roller coaster of tapering.

 

Even if I could taper Pristiq as a liquid, drop by drop, as slow as possible - the fact that the TIME RELEASE mechanism is no longer in place, and Pristiq has only an 11 hour half-life, with side effects kicking in around the 8 hour mark, there is no way to avoid the roller coaster ride. Maybe if you time your doses just so, at the 5 hour mark.... For me it's just way to much trouble to go thru, unless you trully have impossible side effects that you cannot tolerate.

 

Well, I'll keep you all posted on how it goes for me. Incidentally, I did search the web to see how others did after quitting Pristiq cold turkey, and the best compilation of experiences that I found can be found here: http://connect.mayoc...wal?reply=20047 It was interesting to read about the different reactions and how long it took for people to feel "normal". One woman describes 7 days of feeling absolutely horrible, and then poof! - a total lifting of all the symptoms. For another person, it took them 17 days before all the withdrawal symptoms subsided. This is exceptable to me as well. If I had quit Pristiq a month ago when I first started, I would have been done already.

 

I should also mention that my plan of action also includes using alternative treatments that I've researched in order to help and/or shorten my withdrawal time. As well as to treat my depression once I'm off all the meds. One, is to take L-Tyrosine and 5-HTP AT THE SAME TIME, based on the work of Dr. Marty Hinz. (whose research has shown that these supplements must be taken together in order to work.)

 

The other is to use Cranial Electrotherapy, which has been greatly suppressed in this country as a safe alternative, non-invasive treatment for various psychiatric disorders. This is not ECT (ElectroConvulsive Therapy) and not Transcranial Magnetic Therapy. This is a small device with electrodes that you clip to your ears, which delivers microcurrent that you barely feel. I researched the Alpha-Stim, which is the unit that most clinical trials have been done on, but bought another compatible unit, that costs less than $100 vs the 1200 for the Alpha-Stim.

 

Once I try these alternative therapies, I will post my results in a separate topic.


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

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

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

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

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

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Altostrata

oaklily, I hope your decision to cold turkey works out well for you. Please let us know how you do -- you may be one of the lucky ones.

 

Otherwise, rather than posting your theories for others to try and possibly harm themselves, I'd like to see you supporting people in the Introductions forum who have gone cold turkey and found it was a terrible mistake.

 

"Cold turkey" should be considered ONLY when the drug is causing SEVERE adverse effects. Any other time, it is an unacceptable risk.


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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Jemima

About a year ago, my doctor switched me from Pristiq 50 mg. to Lexapro 10 mg. with no bridging whatever. I experienced no withdrawal from this, just a feeling of greater calm, as Pristiq was far too stimulating for me.

 

My too fast taper off Lexapro was a different story. I went from 10 mg. to 0 mg. over a three and a half month period, including taking 2.5 mg. every other day for the last two weeks, and after a few weeks off Lexapro I was in withdrawal hell. I experienced three to four months of near-total disability, then a very slow and gradual return to normal function. I'm sixteen months out now, and still have some problems with emotional numbing.

 

I most definitely do NOT recommend cold turkey or fast tapers of any sort.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Sparrow

I quit 50 mg Pristiq cold-turkey in September 2009. The months and months of akathisia and suicidal rebound depression were beyond anything I could have imagined possible.

 

"Getting sick for a week or two" -- are you kidding? Have you spent much time on psych-drug withdrawal forums? Cold-turkeying is the fastest way to seriously destabilize your CNS and put you at risk for prolonged post-withdrawal problems.

 

You're playing with fire, Oaklily, which is fine, do what you like. I do have a problem with someone coming here to advocate cold-turkeying as "the best option" (after a whole 24 hours' experience!). Not really what this site is about, as I've understood it.

 

Sparrow


2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO

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Lilu

About a year ago, my doctor switched me from Pristiq 50 mg. to Lexapro 10 mg. with no bridging whatever. I experienced no withdrawal from this, just a feeling of greater calm, as Pristiq was far too stimulating for me.

 

My too fast taper off Lexapro was a different story. I went from 10 mg. to 0 mg. over a three and a half month period, including taking 2.5 mg. every other day for the last two weeks, and after a few weeks off Lexapro I was in withdrawal hell. I experienced three to four months of near-total disability, then a very slow and gradual return to normal function. I'm sixteen months out now, and still have some problems with emotional numbing.

 

I most definitely do NOT recommend cold turkey or fast tapers of any sort.

 

Everyone is different. A close friend of mine took Lexapro for a month or two, then quit cold turkey. She didn't experience any withdrawal symptoms. I hope what you went through doesn't happen to me. That really sucks.


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

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

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

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

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

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Lilu

I quit 50 mg Pristiq cold-turkey in September 2009. The months and months of akathisia and suicidal rebound depression were beyond anything I could have imagined possible."Getting sick for a week or two" -- are you kidding? Have you spent much time on psych-drug withdrawal forums? Cold-turkeying is the fastest way to seriously destabilize your CNS and put you at risk for prolonged post-withdrawal problems.You're playing with fire, Oaklily, which is fine, do what you like. I do have a problem with someone coming here to advocate cold-turkeying as "the best option" (after a whole 24 hours' experience!). Not really what this site is about, as I've understood it.Sparrow

It is precisely because I do read and have read A LOT about other people's experiences that it took me FOUR years to try to get off Pristiq. In my case, my fear of withdrawal prolonged an unnecessarily long stay on a drug that was hardly helping. And it was precisely because of all the horror stories I have read for years now, about how horrible withdrawal was that I tried tapering Pristiq first. I also experienced it for myself with Effexor, which I tapered without any "bridge". I also investigated other people's experiences into quitting their meds "cold turkey". And saw that for some people it only lasted SEVEN DAYS or a little over two weeks. Considering that I have been able to easily go from 100 mg down to 50 mg with Pristiq, with only a week of what feels like a mild cold, I think that I should be fine. I have watched Pristiq stop giving me previous side effects, and become less and less effective. My feeling is that its not doing much. And getting off it shouldn't be that hard. I could be wrong. We'll see.Either way, this is not a completely cold-turkey situation, as I am bridging it with Lexapro 10 mg. Which another user posted as being really seamless for her.

 

Yes I posted after 24 hours - I was excited to see my symptoms lift! But I did include a link from another forum where users shared positive experiences with quitting Pristiq cold turkey. I believe that all options should be presented. I wish people would share more positive stories when they quit a medication and nothing bad happens. But I guess that's not who tends to post on these type of forums. People usually post their horror stories with withdrawal, and don't post at all when things go smoothly. Sometimes, listening to all the horror stories, is not the best course of action. I kept delaying and delaying getting off a drug, that just piled up it's nasty side effects. I never felt quite ready to deal with withdrawal symptoms. I know the horror stories are real, and I have one of my own. But they dont present a balanced perspective. Maybe there are just as many people out there who don't taper their drugs, or do a fast taper, and are perfectly fine. But we just don't hear from them on these type of forums. See what I'm trying to say?


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

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

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

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

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

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Altostrata

oaklily, why are you urging people to cold turkey when you are bridging with Lexapro? That's a little different, isn't it?

 

All the same, I hope it goes well for you.


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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Jemima

 

Everyone is different. A close friend of mine took Lexapro for a month or two, then quit cold turkey. She didn't experience any withdrawal symptoms. I hope what you went through doesn't happen to me. That really sucks.

 

Quitting CT after only one or two months on Lexapro may very well not incur withdrawal symptoms, especially if the person involved has never been on an antidepressant before. Quitting by fast taper after five months on Pristiq and ten months on Lexapro did me in, and my only previous experience with an AD was taking Wellbutrin for three months for smoking cessation and dropping it CT because it wasn't doing a thing. I had no withdrawal symptoms at that time whatever.

 

I don't understand at all why you're trying to persuade other people to go this route. If you want to risk months of pain and disability for yourself that's your privilege, but I would rather that you not claim cold turkey withdrawal works until you've proven it to be so. If you're able to come back in six months to year and tell us that it was smooth sailing, well and good, but please don't claim that this is a good way to get off antidepressants until you know for certain that it worked for you.

 

Good luck.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Lilu

I am not trying to persuade anybody to do anything. I am trying to present options. If you read my previous post, you would understand my perspective. And actually I did take myself off Effexor 4 years ago. I did a fast taper over 2 months. And then stopped. My only withdrawal side effect AFTER stopping the medication was intermittent and unusual for me, rage. In retrospect, I wish I had added some natural supplements to cushion the 2 months after stopping Effexor. But other than having rage, which was scarry and hard to control, I was fine. Basically I went back to being the way I was before going on Effexor. I still felt depressed, but I had good days, and I was able to look for work, and go on interviews, and get a job.

 

Getting off an antidepressant is not a horror story for everyone.

 

I think the most horrible thing about the whole Effexor experience were the side effects that it caused while I was on it. Worse yet, is the "side effect" of gaining 50 lbs. That kind weight gain has put me into the obese category, and added a whole host of other problems associated with weight.


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

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

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

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

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

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Lilu

oaklily, why are you urging people to cold turkey when you are bridging with Lexapro? That's a little different, isn't it?

 

All the same, I hope it goes well for you.

 

Thank you. I guess I wrote so much in my initial post, that the fact that I bridged with Lexapro got lost. See, I thought that even though I bridged with Lexapro, I had to still taper Pristiq. Which I tried to do for a month, to only be on a constant roller coaster. Quitting Pristiq completely, while on Lexapro, seems to be a better option than tapering. So yes, it's not a completely cold turkey situation. Although, I cant say that the Lexapro has made much difference overall. But I'm sure it has been a little bit of a cushion. It certainly has been of no help with the drowsy side effect of Pristiq.

 

Any SSRI is probably ideal if Effexor and Pristiq is too stimulating for a person. Wellbutrin would have probably been a better bridge. Since Pristiq, despite it's 14:1 Serotonin to Norepinephrine ratio, has quit having any energizing effect on me what so ever. For all I know, the Lexapro has only contributed to the constant state of sleepiness and brain fog that I've been in the last 3 to 4 months.

 

Actually, in retrospect, I wish I hadn't taken Lexapro at all. Well, hopefully getting off Lexapro wont be too bad, and hopefully just using natural things, like group therapy, supplements, electrotherapy, exercise, will help. All these things are certainly harder and require a lot more discipline and work, than just popping a pill everyday. Perhaps that is the lesson for all of us who wind up inside the Antidepressant Matrix - that we need to develop better emotional coping skills to deal with life's stressful events. To do what's healthy and right, while riding out the storm, instead of going to a doctor and saying, "I can't stand to feel this way! Please give me a pill and make this go away!"


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

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

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

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

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

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Narcissus

Getting off an antidepressant is not a horror story for everyone.

You're right, and I think we tend to forget this sometimes.

 

I'm sympathetic to the fact that some people are able to get off these drugs much faster than others, but surely a fast taper would be better than quitting cold turkey? Under what circumstances would suddenly quitting a drug be better than quickly tapering off of it?


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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dalsaan

Considering that I have been able to easily go from 100 mg down to 50 mg with Pristiq, with only a week of what feels like a mild cold, I think that I should be fine.

 

I have had numerous attempts to taper over the years, could always go quicker at the start than towards the end. Its faulty logic to assume that your body's reaction

will stay constant and that your experiences at the beginning will reflect your experiences at the end.

 

I have no doubt there are many people who can stop quite quickly and not experience problems. But they are not the people who search for this kind of website. The purpose

of the site is not to debate antidepressant withdrawal and to make sure all options are out there, particularly when some of those options are likely to be

highly detrimental to people that are sensitive to withdrawal. This website exists to provide advice to people who are struggling and it's our responsibility to be cautious with that advice.

 

People often arrive here desperate for answers. I know I did and advocating cold turkey or riding out the symptoms because they are short lived is not only dismissive of the experience

of many on this website, its also dangerous for people who's nervous systems are going haywire.

 

I cant think of any circumstances where cold turkey is the best option as a planned discontinuation strategy (leaving some room in circumstances of sever serotonin toxicity)

 

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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jr1985

"Sure your initial symptoms might be less severe, but personally I'd rather "get sick" for a week or two, than drag the side effects out for months at a time."

 

I'm sorry but it completely baffles me how you can say this when the entire reason this website exists is because withdrawal doesn't always last "a week or two"!?

 

I realise some people (maybe the majority?) can quit cold turkey and be fine but why risk it when a) it could last for years and B) reinstating doesn't always work. Personally, alto's advice on tapering seems most logical - taper 10% for first two months, then go slower or faster depending on symptoms. You might find you can taper much more rapidly than 10% this way, but I wouldn't just quit without knowing how you'll respond to a tiny drop first.

 

Btw, I was able to drop from 75mg to 37.5mg Effexor without any withdrawal symptoms. However, once I went below I started getting the brain zap, nausea, etc then all hell broke loose after I quit completely. This was tapering over the course of a month, not cold turkey.


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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Meimeiquest

Hi Oaklily,

 

First, I support your making your own decisions on your own 100 %. That's something we all have in common. I will say that when I CT'd Cymbalta, not realizing that was what I was doing, it was much, much worse than the present tapering withdrawal. Yes, there were the initial symptoms of the first month, but the real problems didn't start for about three months. But at least if you have problems, you'll at least know what's wrong.


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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Lilu

Hi Oaklily,

 

First, I support your making your own decisions on your own 100 %. That's something we all have in common. I will say that when I CT'd Cymbalta, not realizing that was what I was doing, it was much, much worse than the present tapering withdrawal. Yes, there were the initial symptoms of the first month, but the real problems didn't start for about three months. But at least if you have problems, you'll at least know what's wrong.

 

I would think that if your "withdrawal" started 3 months after stopping medication, that it wasn't withdrawal symptoms you were experiencing, but symptoms from something else, whether your illness or other drugs. How can withdrawal start long after the drug has been out of your system? That just doesn't make sense to me.


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

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

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

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

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

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cmusic

The problem is the risk. I CT'd Prozac in 2010 after being on SSRI's for seven years. I had no idea of the risk and since then life has been a nightmare. I tried for the last two years to get back on and get stable and it didn't work. So now I'm off again, barely hanging on.

 

I would have never done this if I knew the risks. Yes I could have been lucky and it could have passed, but I wasn't. And now it's too late. And it's basically destroyed my life.

 

So who in their right mind would roll the dice like that?


Started on Zoloft in 2002
Switched to Lexapro in 2005
Switched to Prozac in 2008
Off Prozac abruptly in 2010 (a mistake) - crashed
Lexapro end of 2010 - didn't work
Effexor until 2012 - roller coaster from hell
Back to Prozac November 2012 - one last rise and fall
Quit Prozac 01/13

Reinstated Prozac 5mg 05/13
Trial of 7.5 Remeron for one month 06/13, then off

Off Lamictal 06/13

Quit benzos 06/13

 

Reduced to 4mg Prozac 8/15/13

 

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Meimeiquest

 

Hi Oaklily,

 

First, I support your making your own decisions on your own 100 %. That's something we all have in common. I will say that when I CT'd Cymbalta, not realizing that was what I was doing, it was much, much worse than the present tapering withdrawal. Yes, there were the initial symptoms of the first month, but the real problems didn't start for about three months. But at least if you have problems, you'll at least know what's wrong.

 

I would think that if your "withdrawal" started 3 months after stopping medication, that it wasn't withdrawal symptoms you were experiencing, but symptoms from something else, whether your illness or other drugs. How can withdrawal start long after the drug has been out of your system? That just doesn't make sense to me.

 

No. Words.

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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Lilu

The problem is the risk. I CT'd Prozac in 2010 after being on SSRI's for seven years. I had no idea of the risk and since then life has been a nightmare. I tried for the last two years to get back on and get stable and it didn't work. So now I'm off again, barely hanging on.

 

I would have never done this if I knew the risks. Yes I could have been lucky and it could have passed, but I wasn't. And now it's too late. And it's basically destroyed my life.

 

So who in their right mind would roll the dice like that?

 

I see that you are on Lamictal. This probably doesn't apply to you, but thought I'd mention that for me, Lamictal gave me so many psychiatriatric side effects, including irritability, crying, and insomnia. As well as physical side effects such as frequent urination, headaches, constipation, stomach pain, dry mouth, intense hunger. As soon as I stopped, the symptoms went away. Sometimes, the symptoms we experience, we don't make the connection to the antidepressants that we are taking. Effexor gave me severe skin-picking side effects. My doctor thought I was picking my skin cause I was itchy. (eye-roll)


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

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

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

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

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

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Barbarannamated

Yes, there were the initial symptoms of the first month, but the real problems didn't start for about three months. But at least if you have problems, you'll at least know what's wrong.

 

This is what happened to me, also. I had some withdrawal symptoms during my 8 month taper of Pristiq, but I didnt know that it was related to drug withdrawal becsuse i didnt have brain zaps that I expected. I remained very functional. It wasn't until I read others' experiences that I realized the early morning panic attacks and hypomania were classic symptoms.

 

It was a few months after my last dose that I got hit with debilitating fatigue and extremely low mood unlike anything I'd experienced in my life. It was definitely related to drug and not a new condition or relapse. It seems that people who got through a fast taper ok are often hit with protracted withdrawal. At that point, nothing can be done in terms of reinstatement to taper more slowly.

 

It's everyone choice, but seeing all of the lives in chaos for years, it's beyond my comprehension why anyone would risk a c/t or fast taper.


Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Altostrata

I changed the title of this topic as it was misleading.

 

It's not news that some people have no problem at all going quickly off any combination of psychiatric drugs. Others suffer the torments of hell. You can't know which you are beforehand.

 

Obviously, you can find evidence that cold turkey is a good way to go off if you look for it. The people who post on the Web about how easy cold turkey was would be singing another tune if it failed.

 

While the journal literature is fairly clueless about withdrawal syndrome, even the most enthusiastic pharma shills enjoin against cold turkey. Why? Because the results -- which they didn't bother to publish -- were so horrible even the pharmaceutical companies agreed patients should be warned against cold turkey.

 

Here's a study indicating the frequency of harm from cold turkey http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2966-einarson-2001-abrupt-discontinuation-of-psychotropic-drugs-during-pregnancy/

 

Since no one can tell the future of any attempt to go off psychiatric drugs, all that we know is tapering reduces the RISK of withdrawal symptoms. Bridging with another drug is possible but unpredictable -- the second choice in going off.

 

oaklily has chosen a path for herself, only time will tell if it was the right choice.


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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Lilu

Alto, have you found anything in your research that even tries to explain how a person can experience withdrawal symptoms, after months of going off antidepressants, whether after a taper or quitting cold turkey. I just don't understand, what would cause that to happen. I know that using antidepressants causes neuro receptors to shut down and/or desensitize. So once a person stops taking the antidepressant, and the selective reuptake mechanism is no longer flooding the brain with neurotransmitters, the receptors that are there are "closed for business" so to speak. This is what causes antidepressant poop-out as well. But I would think this would all be apparent within the first 3 months of stopping medication use, NOT AFTER. Have you found any explanation for this effect?


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

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

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

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

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

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Sparrow

I changed the title of this topic as it was misleading.

Thank you, Alto.


2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO

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Barbarannamated

 

I changed the title of this topic as it was misleading.

Thank you, Alto.

 

Ditto.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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peggy

I have wondered many times about withdrawal that appears to start 3 months or so off meds - perhaps withdrawal isn't the correct term.

 

My own experience is that since being on AD's my threshold to develop anxiety/depression is greatly reduced. What I suspect has happened is that there has been some kind of neurosensitivity resulting from too rapid discontinuation - i had had 5 episodes of unmedicated depression, so my history was cycling between normal mood and depression - about 3-4 year cycles of normal mood, followed by 6-9 months of depression. The literature about recurrent depression is quite suggestive that the more episodes someone has, the less stimulus is needed to bring an episode on - perhaps depression sensitises the nervous system - and perhaps antidepressants do something similar, considering that an antidepressant is quite a sledgehammer to the nervous system.

 

There is an article by Harvey called the Neurobiology of Antidepressant Withdrawal that suggests this sensitivity. It made a lot of sense to me.

 

And there is the discussions by Fava that suggests that use of antidepressants worsens the course of depression by shortening the time between episodes. So, perhaps the 3 month later onset of depression/anxiety is a new episode brought on by withdrawal from the antidepressant, which could be considered as a withdrawal phenomena.

 

This is kind of where i am at the moment. Unable to get off Effexor as when i reduce - even at the 10% per month rate, when i get to about 15mg (3 times now) i have had acute anxiety and depression that is only relieved when i increase my dose. I was not willing to tough it out because i don't wish to expose my nervous system to the stress of withdrawal OR depression.


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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