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joeygilbert Question about anxiety w/d and medications


joeygilbert

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Hi everyone-

 

I'm looking for some support. I was recently trying to SLOWLY wean off Paxil. I was down to 16mg using a scale. I was probably cutting too fast. My relationship ended w/my 1.5 year girlfriend and I've been out of work for 4 months though I don't have money worries. I went up to 18mg's waited a week then to 20mg of Paxil where I've been now for 17 days. I've been really battling strong morning anxiety for the past couple of months but it worsened after the break up along with effecting my sleep. I also stopped taking Ambien 13 days ago. I didn't take it everyday but 5-7 days I did at 5mgs.

 

To further muddy the water, ive been having to take .5 Ativan 1-2 times a day to cope with the anxiety. I usually take it in the morning when the anxiety is the strongest. I've only really taken .5 for the past two weeks and never usually more than 1mg. I've been taking this as needed for the past 3 months with the most usage during the past two months. I also take Soma as needed to help with the muscle tension and take 10mg of Busbar which I don't think does much.

 

So my question is this, what's causing this extra, nasty am anxiety? I've been dealing with GAD for 4 years now. Until I lost my job, I would have good days and ok days but wasn't having to take any benzo's. Only occasion Ambien at night.

 

I KNOW i'm taking to many medicines which is why I stopped taking the Ambien. The only w/d side effect I got was the anxiety though I was having the morning anxiety even while taking it. Could the Paxil dosage changes be causing this anxiety? The stress of the break up and un-employment?

 

Any thoughts are really appreciated! Thanks so much.

Current meds-

 

Paxil 20mgs since 6-8-13. Have tried to wean off twice this year. Back in March, was down to 12.5mgs dropping 2.5mgs per month. Went back to 17.5 and held there till stabilized a few weeks later. Then dropped to 15-16mgs and had bad anxiety/insomnia. Went back up to 20mg's in two stages. I've been on Paxil since 2009, before that was Prozac.

 

Busbar- 10mg's since 10-12 Just bumped up to 15mgs today on way to 20mgs.

 

Ambien- Stopped C/T 14 days ago. off/on use for past couple of years. Usually 5mg's and occasional 10mgs

 

Levothyroxine- Had half my thyroid removed. Take the smallest dose.

 

Soma- Take as needed. The past couple of weeks, it's been 1-2 a day to relieve anxiety tension

 

Ativan- Take as needed. The past couple of months, it's been taken 5 out of 7 days. Usually .5 to 1mg.

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Welcome to the forum Joey, you will find lots of support here.  I'm sure someone will be along shortly with suggestions.  They might also ask you to list your current medications in your signature.  Hope you find relief, anxiety sucks. 

Past: Started on 30 mg of celexa in 2003 with lorazepam for sleep, switched to clonazepam in 2007

Last few years were spent cartwheeling around with various AD cocktails and multiple ER visits

Current:  5 mg celexa, .5 mg clonazepam, 1 mg melatonin for sleep 

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Hi Joey, I don't know any of your meds, my history is quite simple compared to many here, so maybe someone will be along soon who knows more than me. But I think you've answered your own questions by asking them: Could the Paxil dosage changes be causing this anxiety? The stress of the break up and un-employment? Yes, and yes, they could.

 

I'm currently recovering from my first-time w/d symptoms from citalopram -- it's been about a month now -- at around the same time that I split with my husband cos he was thinking about everybody except me! The onset of my w/d symptoms weren't timed with the actual split, and their easing came first with reinstating some citalopram, but there were still some very difficult days until my husband showed me his love and we've been able to make love (talking is still not easy). Now the days are 'just' difficult. And BTW my husband can suffer from anxiety and he still has shaky days, a hangover from the shock of it all. He also does not have paid employment and I'm sure that affect his sense of security and self-worth.

 

HTH. Hopefully someone will be around who knows Paxil and Ambien and your other meds.

Started citalopram May 12, from 10 to 40 mg/d over 2 months

 

Wanted to come off in May 13 and did it too quickly: decrease from 40 to 0 mg/d over 2 weeks; WD from then onwards, increasing in intensity to be unbearable at 4 weeks later;  reinstated 10 mg/d for 2 days (WD severity halved); reinstated 20 mg/d (initial WD symptoms decreased but not gone entirely until after 8 weeks)

 

Started 5--7% taper: Aug 13: 19 mg/d, mild WD on day 3; thereafter none notable; Nov 13: 18 mg/d, no WD; Dec 13: 17 mg/day, no WD for 3 weeks, then (at Christmas) tearfulness; Jan 14: 16.7 mg/d, Apr 14: 15.7 mg/d, Jun 14: 14.5 mg/d; Jul 14: 13.5 mg/d (6.9% reduction), Aug 14: 12.5 mg/d (7.4% reduction)

 

Sharing experience makes a difference

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  • Administrator

Welcome, joey.

 

What time of day and at what dosage do you take each of your drugs? Please include them all.

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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Welcome, joey. What time of day and at what dosage do you take each of your drugs? Please include them all.

Hi Altostrata-I take 20mg's of Paxil, 25mcp Levothyroxine and 5mg's of Buspar at 7am. I then take 5mg of Busbar at 6pm at night. I take the Ativan and Soma as needed. Lately, it's been around .5mg of Ativan and one Soma to ease the AM anxiety. Thanks for your help.

Current meds-

 

Paxil 20mgs since 6-8-13. Have tried to wean off twice this year. Back in March, was down to 12.5mgs dropping 2.5mgs per month. Went back to 17.5 and held there till stabilized a few weeks later. Then dropped to 15-16mgs and had bad anxiety/insomnia. Went back up to 20mg's in two stages. I've been on Paxil since 2009, before that was Prozac.

 

Busbar- 10mg's since 10-12 Just bumped up to 15mgs today on way to 20mgs.

 

Ambien- Stopped C/T 14 days ago. off/on use for past couple of years. Usually 5mg's and occasional 10mgs

 

Levothyroxine- Had half my thyroid removed. Take the smallest dose.

 

Soma- Take as needed. The past couple of weeks, it's been 1-2 a day to relieve anxiety tension

 

Ativan- Take as needed. The past couple of months, it's been taken 5 out of 7 days. Usually .5 to 1mg.

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  • Administrator

You may wish to check drug interactions here http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html

 

What reactions have you had to the Buspar?

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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You may wish to check drug interactions here http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html What reactions have you had to the Buspar?

I'm not sure I've had any improvement since adding it to the Paxil back in Oct of last year. I saw my doctor yesterday and he knows I'm under a lot of stress from the break up of my 1.4 year relationship and still not back at work. I told him I want to stop taking the Benzo as I don't want a long wean off it. The only other option was to raise the busbar to 20mg's to see if that would help w/the anxiety. I told him I didn't want to switch from Paxil to Lexipro or anything like that. I've done that before and it's HELL for a few weeks/months.I'm just trying to get my anxiety to calm down a bit cause it elevates up an hour after I awake and stays there till around 11am. I can't see going back to work with my anxiety this high. I also wonder if I screwed up my brain by going up/down on the Paxil. Then you have the Ambien that I stopped almost two weeks ago. I'm not sleeping that great, 4-6 hours a night as well.Any thoughts or suggestions?

Current meds-

 

Paxil 20mgs since 6-8-13. Have tried to wean off twice this year. Back in March, was down to 12.5mgs dropping 2.5mgs per month. Went back to 17.5 and held there till stabilized a few weeks later. Then dropped to 15-16mgs and had bad anxiety/insomnia. Went back up to 20mg's in two stages. I've been on Paxil since 2009, before that was Prozac.

 

Busbar- 10mg's since 10-12 Just bumped up to 15mgs today on way to 20mgs.

 

Ambien- Stopped C/T 14 days ago. off/on use for past couple of years. Usually 5mg's and occasional 10mgs

 

Levothyroxine- Had half my thyroid removed. Take the smallest dose.

 

Soma- Take as needed. The past couple of weeks, it's been 1-2 a day to relieve anxiety tension

 

Ativan- Take as needed. The past couple of months, it's been taken 5 out of 7 days. Usually .5 to 1mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

There do seem to be multiple factors at play here including the changes in Paxil dosage.  It would be very helpful if you'd put your drug history in the signature area of your profile, like so: 

 

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

 

Please be sure to include the dates a drug was started and stopped and the dosage.  Once we have a clear picture of your drug history and current use, we'll be able to offer better advice.

 

Welcome to the forum, Joey.  You'll find lots of solid information and friendly support here.

 

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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There do seem to be multiple factors at play here including the changes in Paxil dosage.  It would be very helpful if you'd put your drug history in the signature area of your profile, like so:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/ Please be sure to include the dates a drug was started and stopped and the dosage.  Once we have a clear picture of your drug history and current use, we'll be able to offer better advice. Welcome to the forum, Joey.  You'll find lots of solid information and friendly support here.

Thank you for the warm welcome Jemima! I added my drug list to my signature. I appreciate any and all feedback to my situation. I've really done some studying the last couple of days. I don't think it's the Ambien as i never took a high dose and I never stopped sleeping like so many people report. The last couple of days, my sleep has sucked 4-5 hours but I've been dealing with a lot of stress.I don't think it's the Ativan either. I can take it one day in the am and not the next day and be ok. If it was interdose w/d, i think I'd have more symptoms. I've been at 20mg's of Paxil now for 18 days. I'd think that I'd be somewhat stable now? It's just this damn anxiety and insomnia that are getting on my nerves. As I've mentioned, it's always worse in the am but improves as the morning wears on. Sometimes I get a wave or two during the afternoon or evening, but they pass quickly.Please, anyone share your thoughts! I love to hear it's the Paxil and it will ease up in the next couple of days or weeks.

Current meds-

 

Paxil 20mgs since 6-8-13. Have tried to wean off twice this year. Back in March, was down to 12.5mgs dropping 2.5mgs per month. Went back to 17.5 and held there till stabilized a few weeks later. Then dropped to 15-16mgs and had bad anxiety/insomnia. Went back up to 20mg's in two stages. I've been on Paxil since 2009, before that was Prozac.

 

Busbar- 10mg's since 10-12 Just bumped up to 15mgs today on way to 20mgs.

 

Ambien- Stopped C/T 14 days ago. off/on use for past couple of years. Usually 5mg's and occasional 10mgs

 

Levothyroxine- Had half my thyroid removed. Take the smallest dose.

 

Soma- Take as needed. The past couple of weeks, it's been 1-2 a day to relieve anxiety tension

 

Ativan- Take as needed. The past couple of months, it's been taken 5 out of 7 days. Usually .5 to 1mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

One thing that plagues many people in withdrawal is an elevated cortisol level which results in light sensitivity.  This can cause insomnia at night and anxiety, dread, or irritability in the morning, especially on sunny days.  Keeping your bedroom as dark as possible and wearing a sleep mask should help with the insomnia.  (Yeah, I know most sleep masks are frilly satin things, but the advantages are worth wearing one anyway.) In early withdrawal  I used to leave all the curtains drawn and even wear sunglasses inside until early afternoon.  It looks peculiar but it worked, and once I was able to get a decent night's sleep again other withdrawal symptoms began to lessen.

 

Antidepressant withdrawal syndrome is so different from one person to another!  Some people get relief from an updose in four days or so, but for others it takes six weeks to two months.  Paxil is a particularly nasty drug to get off.

 

And don't discount the addicting properties of benzos.  Addiction can happen very quickly.  You might want to read up on that or drop by our benzo forum at

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/29-members-only-benzo-tapering-discussion/

 

For now, I'd say just hang in there as best you can and take a look at our Symptoms and self-care forum for some non-drug ways to be more comfortable in withdrawal. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

If you've been taking Ativan pretty regularly, you can get withdrawal symptoms when you skip a dose, or even in between doses.  That might be something else to take a look at.  Benzodiazepines are incredibly addictive, very fast.

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

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

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

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Thank you Jemima and RHI for your replies. I'm hoping I just unstablized my brain by screwing around with the Paxil dosage twice this year. I do need to buy some drapes to help darken my bedroom though I usually wake up before sunrise and can't go back to sleep. I've read extensively on Ambien w/d and the only real symptom I had since stopping it was anxiety. I didn't have the "I haven't sleep two days". My sleep has sucked pretty much the 3 months anyway so I'm hoping the Ambien wasn't a contributor.

 

I'd just really like to get off these stupid meds. Over the holidays, all I needed was the 20mg of Paxil and 10mg's of Busbar. I was sleeping 7 hours a night for the most part and my anxiety was mainly ok. Now, I have to take the other pills to get through the day.

 

RHI, I hear you on the Ativan addiction and it's a big concern. I've also studied the symptoms of interdose w/d and withdrawal in general on Ativan. The only symptom I get is again, the anxiety. I'm trying to not take it at all but then I read that I shoud wean off it over a couple of weeks?

 

I'm SSOO not happy with our family genetics in that most people in our family suffer from anxiety. Mom, sisters, aunt, Auncle, all on Mom's side of the family. I guess it we have to make the best of it, either way.

 

Thanks again for your replies and I'll welcome any other suggestions. Have a good day everyone.

Current meds-

 

Paxil 20mgs since 6-8-13. Have tried to wean off twice this year. Back in March, was down to 12.5mgs dropping 2.5mgs per month. Went back to 17.5 and held there till stabilized a few weeks later. Then dropped to 15-16mgs and had bad anxiety/insomnia. Went back up to 20mg's in two stages. I've been on Paxil since 2009, before that was Prozac.

 

Busbar- 10mg's since 10-12 Just bumped up to 15mgs today on way to 20mgs.

 

Ambien- Stopped C/T 14 days ago. off/on use for past couple of years. Usually 5mg's and occasional 10mgs

 

Levothyroxine- Had half my thyroid removed. Take the smallest dose.

 

Soma- Take as needed. The past couple of weeks, it's been 1-2 a day to relieve anxiety tension

 

Ativan- Take as needed. The past couple of months, it's been taken 5 out of 7 days. Usually .5 to 1mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm SSOO not happy with our family genetics in that most people in our family suffer from anxiety. Mom, sisters, aunt, Auncle, all on Mom's side of the family. I guess it we have to make the best of it, either way. 

 

Don't let that discourage you.  Some of that pervasive anxiety may be due to genetics, but you can bet that a lot of it is also due to simply learning to be anxious from other family members.

 

Both my parents were worriers and sure enough, so was I for most of my life.  Antidepressant withdrawal syndrome changed all of that.  My withdrawal was so bad that all I could do was let go and let God take care of things, and sure enough He did.  Since then I've learned to let go and not be anxious most of the time.  I was 67 when I went into withdrawal, so there's always hope for changing oneself.  I still tend to panic at first when something unwanted happens, but I'm now able to get past that quickly, do what I can, and let go of the rest.

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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You're so kind Jemima- I do appreciate your thoughts.

 

About the anxiety, I have GA. When I was in my mid 20's, I had a bout of anxiety hit me. It hung around for 3-4 months. I saw my Mom's phychiatrist and didn't agree to drug therapy. It wasn't as bad as this "bout" has been but I remember really struggling with it. It then lifted and went away for a couple years, then I was ok for almost 20 years of just normal, day to day, anxiety.

 

I got put on Paxil around 8 years ago for stress issues and insomnia. I wish I'd done some research before taking the med. I was on it for a couple of years before switching to Prozac. In 2009, i was divorced and was upsetting girls I was dating due to anti-orgasmia the drug caused. I spoke to my doctor and he said, just stop taking it. It has a huge half life and weans itself down. Oh boy.. I had the zaps, sleep issues, aches and pains but no real anxiety. Around 6 weeks off, I woke up to HUGE anxiety.. It totally disabled me for two days. I went back to that doctor (who should of reinstated me back on Prozac) and he put me on Buspar and Xanax. Of course, neither covered up the withdrawal anxiety.. Anyway, a few months of changing different A/D's and I went back to Paxil. I've never gotten back to where I was prior to cold turkey stopping the Prozac. I have good days and bad days. I keep praying it might go back into remission though my life is too stressful right now for it too happen. Being recently single and un-employed isn't helping anything.

 

Thanks again for your continued thoughts and feedback. It's much appreciated.

Current meds-

 

Paxil 20mgs since 6-8-13. Have tried to wean off twice this year. Back in March, was down to 12.5mgs dropping 2.5mgs per month. Went back to 17.5 and held there till stabilized a few weeks later. Then dropped to 15-16mgs and had bad anxiety/insomnia. Went back up to 20mg's in two stages. I've been on Paxil since 2009, before that was Prozac.

 

Busbar- 10mg's since 10-12 Just bumped up to 15mgs today on way to 20mgs.

 

Ambien- Stopped C/T 14 days ago. off/on use for past couple of years. Usually 5mg's and occasional 10mgs

 

Levothyroxine- Had half my thyroid removed. Take the smallest dose.

 

Soma- Take as needed. The past couple of weeks, it's been 1-2 a day to relieve anxiety tension

 

Ativan- Take as needed. The past couple of months, it's been taken 5 out of 7 days. Usually .5 to 1mg.

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