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Stabilizing, what does that mean? How long does it take after reinstating or updosing?


John
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Now that its been 19 months since my cold turkey from Effexor, Im about 85% recovered. As you know im now tapering slowly off of Effexor from when I reinstated in my 3rd month of the cold turkey. How is it that im recovering from the first withdrawal while im still on the medication the second time and tapering?

On Venlafaxine XR 75mg > 20 years, because a general MD decided to try these new "calming pills" taken from his sample closet because my pulse was a little high since I get nervous going to the doctor.

 

June 2010 - Cold turkey

September 2010 - Sudden onset of EXTREME anxiety, constant terror and fear that got marginally better at night.  I had no idea what or why this was; had no idea it was the quitting of Effexor.  (I was never in my life even remotely like this)

December 2010 - reinstated 75mgs Effexor XR, felt no better months later

January 2011 - Began 5% taper every month

2012 - Anxiety began improving by had many windows and waves

January 2014 - Fell back into sudden onset of same anxiety, fear as in 2010; realized I was tapering too quickly.  I was not allowing withdrawal effects to dissipate before another taper.  Began 2% taper every 6 to 8 months

2016 - Fear, anxiety began to wane

2017, 18 & 19 - Constant Fear & anxiety stopped, just occasional minor bouts that lasted 3 days or so

December 2020 - Now at ~40mgs Effexor XR, 2.5mgs Crestor (Cutting 5mg pill in half due to sudden palpitations or PVCs)

 
 
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The autonomic dysregulation caused by the first withdrawal was only partly corrected by medication. Going back on medication does not guarantee that withdrawal damage will be "fixed."

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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John,

I read your post several times and it's not computing (I'm not fully awake yet). If I'm reading correctly, you CT'd Effexor, then reinstated and are tapering now. How have you determined that you are 85% recovered from CT ? Excuse me if you've discussed this already.

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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Well, of course the 85 percent isn't exact. I'm just estimating it on how I feel. Compared to 19 months ago, I feel much much better. There are days and weeks that go by without the horrifying anxiety that I had constantly when this all began, and even when it does flare up, its not nearly as severe as it was.

On Venlafaxine XR 75mg > 20 years, because a general MD decided to try these new "calming pills" taken from his sample closet because my pulse was a little high since I get nervous going to the doctor.

 

June 2010 - Cold turkey

September 2010 - Sudden onset of EXTREME anxiety, constant terror and fear that got marginally better at night.  I had no idea what or why this was; had no idea it was the quitting of Effexor.  (I was never in my life even remotely like this)

December 2010 - reinstated 75mgs Effexor XR, felt no better months later

January 2011 - Began 5% taper every month

2012 - Anxiety began improving by had many windows and waves

January 2014 - Fell back into sudden onset of same anxiety, fear as in 2010; realized I was tapering too quickly.  I was not allowing withdrawal effects to dissipate before another taper.  Began 2% taper every 6 to 8 months

2016 - Fear, anxiety began to wane

2017, 18 & 19 - Constant Fear & anxiety stopped, just occasional minor bouts that lasted 3 days or so

December 2020 - Now at ~40mgs Effexor XR, 2.5mgs Crestor (Cutting 5mg pill in half due to sudden palpitations or PVCs)

 
 
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Sorry, John. I think I understand. I had not heard of anyone differentiating stages of w/d from same drug as you did. Interesting.

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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Have you heard of people going through this with a different drug?

On Venlafaxine XR 75mg > 20 years, because a general MD decided to try these new "calming pills" taken from his sample closet because my pulse was a little high since I get nervous going to the doctor.

 

June 2010 - Cold turkey

September 2010 - Sudden onset of EXTREME anxiety, constant terror and fear that got marginally better at night.  I had no idea what or why this was; had no idea it was the quitting of Effexor.  (I was never in my life even remotely like this)

December 2010 - reinstated 75mgs Effexor XR, felt no better months later

January 2011 - Began 5% taper every month

2012 - Anxiety began improving by had many windows and waves

January 2014 - Fell back into sudden onset of same anxiety, fear as in 2010; realized I was tapering too quickly.  I was not allowing withdrawal effects to dissipate before another taper.  Began 2% taper every 6 to 8 months

2016 - Fear, anxiety began to wane

2017, 18 & 19 - Constant Fear & anxiety stopped, just occasional minor bouts that lasted 3 days or so

December 2020 - Now at ~40mgs Effexor XR, 2.5mgs Crestor (Cutting 5mg pill in half due to sudden palpitations or PVCs)

 
 
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I haven't been on other boards, but have read of a few here who are tapering an SS/NRI and benzo or anticonvulsant, for example, and can differentiate the w/d symptoms and patterns.

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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I believe your nervous system has been going through a gradual healing process, John, perhaps helped a bit by the reinstatement of Effexor.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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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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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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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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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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^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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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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Hi Everybody,

 

I'm interested in hearing your experiences with this topic.

 

Has anybody noticed their symptoms getting worse BEFORE they improve after an updose? Mine seem to have progressively worsened over a 2 week period.

 

What is the average time it takes for you to feel better after you updose?

 

At what point do you say 'the (highest) updose hasn't worked, where do I go from here'?

 

Any insight and your experience is greatly appreciated

 

thanks

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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Basil, this isn't something that's happened to me personally, because I haven't had to do a large updose on my taper (only small corrections so far, fortunately). But I have seen it happen to other people. It's especially common with benzos. The problem seems to be that once your CNS is screwed up and destabilized by the drugs and the withdrawal attempt/s, it doesn't necessarily react predictably and smoothly to a reinstatement or updose. Updosing and reinstatement can be a bit of a crapshoot in that way.

 

By far the best thing to do, if you can, especially if you've already had a "crash and burn" in your history somewhere, is to taper so slowly and incrementally that you don't have to do a large updose.

 

Someone with more experience with ADs will be along here to advise you what to do now. I just wanted to let you know that your experience is not uncommon.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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I think Rhi's answer pretty much nailed it. I've been at this game for years now, and had a range of experiences reinstating/updosing, in the past I've been able to reinstate to full dose after months out from a cold turkey withdrawal and recover fairly quickly, but I understand that's pretty unusual.

In the past 5 years I've been tapering excrutiatingly slowly, the drops have been so tiny and such a long time between that I've been tricking my nervous system. However I fell foul before Christmas, too big a drop near the end, and had to updose a bit, and if I'm honest I'm still not entirely right. As Rhi said everything is a crap shoot really when it comes to reinstating or updosing, you just never know how long it's going to take. I'm sorry if that isn't what you want to hear. Really the best thing you can do is an excrutiatingly slow taper when you do feel better. I've been 5 years tapering, but I personally know someone else in their 7th year.

*** 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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Hey thanks Rhi and Strawb.

 

Actually it's exactly what I wanted the hear Strawberry. Just like you in the past I've been able to reinstate the full dose from zero and recovered within a matter of days.

 

This time it's far more challenging and I was worried that if I wasn't right in a few weeks I'd never be right. Became paranoid that even though in the past reinstatement has worked fine, this time my luck's run out and I'm doomed to feel this way forever.

 

Also I think lack of sleep is giving me symptoms that otherwise would have fallen by the wayside.

 

Thank you both for sharing your knowledge and experience.

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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Basil,

 

I CTd Risperdal from .5 to zero for two weeks in September '11. I reinstated .5 October 1, '11. By the end of October, I slept for two nights and thought it was ok to taper some off the tablet at that time. I know now that I should have waited longer before tapering. I have no clue how much I was trimming off the tablet.

 

In December I trimmed some more off, again I was guessing the amount. I found this site and ordered a scale, I was taking approximately .375 mg. Alto told me to insist on the liquid from my doctor, I finally got it in Jan. '12 and was able to accurately measure out my .375 dose. I stayed on that dose until March 22, at which time I reduced to .35. I was in real bad shape from the time I CTd until a few days after I made that reduction to .35. Then, I started getting better, FINALLY!

 

I was one sick puppy for all those months but when I started getting better it gradually got progressively better from then on. I still feel some fleeting moments, almost like flashbacks, of mild depression. The anxiety has improved tremendously. Sleep isn't perfect but usually tolerable. Muscle twitches are only occasional now. Tinnitus is 90% better.

 

I have micro-tapered at a slow rate. Usually, when someone micro-tapers, they cut every few days. I hold two or three weeks between tapers but I'm multi-tapering.

 

I want to add that my original dose of Risperdal was 1mg, so .5 was only half the original dose. Risperdal is a VERY POWERFUL drug!

 

My point is: I was very sick for a LONG time and, thank God, I'm so much better now. I hope this gives you hope and encouragement. You will stabilize, I'm sure of it. It will take longer than you'd hope for, I'm sure, but you must believe that it WILL happen. Just try to be as patient as you can and try really hard not to stress over 'not getting better immediately'. Sometimes it just takes longer, especially when a lot of changes have been made.

 

Note that I held for three months at .375mg. That was to allow my nervous system time to adjust to all the previous changes I'd made too close together. I'm now down to .19mg which may not seem like much but it's actually almost 1/5 of the original dose. I'm looking to be tapering off that for at least another year, maybe longer.

 

Don't give up hope....you will get better, just give yourself some time to stabilize.

 

Hugs and love,

 

Tezza

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Wow!

 

So it took you 6 months to stabilize! That must have been tough Tezza.

 

I feel so much better after hearing these stories because I thought if I didn't get better within 4 weeks (which seemed to be the average expected time for reinatatement/updosing to kick in) it was all over for me. Now I see that it's different for everyone and I can relax a bit. I don't mind waiting, as long as it's worth it in the end - and let's face it, what other choice do I have??? I sure aint goin for a different med. This one's bad enough.

 

It does pose another question in my mind, though; I have often read and re-read the statement 'sometimes reinstatement/updosing doesn't work'. (while panicking that of course, I am one of the unlucky for for which updosing won't work)

 

Maybe some of these people didn't give it enough time to work? Maybe if they, like you, stuck it out for as long as 6 months it would have eventually allowed them to stabilize? Just a thought.

 

Hugs and love right back atcha:)

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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I'm glad you're ok with what we've posted Basildev, because I was having a bad yesterday and I worried that what I had written might not make you feel better about your situation.

*** 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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Basil,

 

I truly believe that you will get better, too! After 6 months, I still had some bad waves for a while but there were more (and longer) windows than waves. It happened so gradually that I can't pinpoint exactly when the greatest difference took place.

 

I'm glad you can relax and rest easier now. It just takes time but your brain is trying to repair itself even now. It will happen, maybe it won't take as long as it did for me.

 

My mother went cold-turkey off so many medicines over several years and although it took months after reinstating, she always eventually stabilized.

 

I wish so badly that I knew what all she left off and was started back on. I do know she had at least two FULL shoe boxes of partially filled bottles that she had left off. She was usually on only one or two medicines at the time.

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If you've been tapering, then updose too much, the increased antidepressant may be activating.

 

Overstimulation is a common side effect of antidepressants. One of the symptoms is sleeplessness.

 

As you taper, your nervous system may adjust to the lower level of the drug. Then, if you jump up in dose, it reacts as though you're taking a higher dose than you've ever tolerated before.

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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Okay

 

so I've dropped down to 19mg, on day 3 of the new dose. Got about half an hour extra sleep and no hot flushes yesterday, one small hot just at 3AM this morning - so a slight improvement).

 

How long do you think I should hold on that dose before dropping again, Alto?

 

(PS: This thread probably should be merged into my intro topic - not sure)

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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Strawb,

 

sorry you're struggling too. Last night before I went to sleep I said to myself 'may I sleep well tonight, and may Strawberry sleep well tonight too':)

 

At the end of the day I need to hear the truth from people so I can make an informed decision.

 

You spoke the truth and I'm grateful for that

 

xx

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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  • Altostrata changed the title to Stabilizing, what does that mean? How long does it take after reinstating or updosing?
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