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Protracted Withdrawal or PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome) - How long does it last?

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ADMIN NOTE There is no definition of "protracted withdrawal" in psychiatic drug withdrawal as medicine holds withdrawal to last only a few weeks and is "time-limited."

 

Withdrawal symptoms during those few weeks are called "acute withdrawal." Anything after that has long been considered to be an unusually long period for withdrawal symptoms. However, this is starting to change. See

 

Chouinard, 2015 New Classification of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Withdrawal

 

Davies, 2018 A systematic review into the incidence, severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal effects: Are guidelines evidence-based?

 

Lerner, 2019 Dependence, withdrawal and rebound of CNS drugs: an update and regulatory considerations for new drugs development.

 

Cosci, 2020, Acute and Persistent Withdrawal Syndromes Following Discontinuation of Psychotropic Medications

 

Because a condition that last 6 months is "chronic", withdrawal that lasts 6 months or more is clearly "protracted withdrawal" or "post-acute withdrawal syndrome" (PAWS), as it's known in addiction medicine. There's no question that is in excess of "normal" withdrawal.

 

Addiction medicine recognizes acute withdrawal (also of a few weeks' duration) and views PAWS as what happens afterward, but until recently, PAWS has not been attributed to psychiatric drugs. (In addiction medicine, PAWS is considered to be a phase where the addict, who may be disoriented, sleepless, etc. struggles with addiction and learns to reform his or her ways through rehabilitation processes. Any "craving" for the drug is symptomatic of the addict's "psychiatric disorder", it's not recognized as a withdrawal symptom. Many people go back on the drug to relieve PAWS -- just as with psychiatric drugs.)

 


I have been searching the internet to try and find people who have experienced symptoms as long as I have without any success.I know there are a few on this board.When do we say this far out its either something else or this is my state of health now.Even looked at Benzo withdrawl and found nothing.

Edited by Altostrata
Updated admin note

Started Seroxat(Paxil) for panic attacks in 1997 stopped the drug in 2005 tapered over 3 months ( doctors advice)

Suffered severe and protracted withdrawl ever since.

No other medication taken.

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Hopeful

Squirrel, I hear what you are saying, but I don't have an answer. That's why I would like to try an antihistamine for my allergies. I'm tired of sitting around "waiting" for everything to go away. My allergies for example I had as a kid...I do understand that antihistamines work on the same receptors as Paxil and maybe I wouldn't have had a resurgence of hay fever had I not taken Paxil, but how do I know.

 

(I do understand that some symptoms for some are residual of the w/d though too.)


Began Paxil 10/97*

Paxil free 10/16/04 (tapered over 2.5 months)

Severe withdrawal

12/04 started Lexapro due to Paxil w/d symptoms (tapered over 4 months)

Lexapro free 8/2/05

 

2 1/2 year severe protracted withdrawal

Doing well now with a few residual symptoms

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Altostrata

squirrel, no one can say what to do about treating protracted withdrawal syndrome overall because it's a lot of different symptoms. The primary cause probably is a brain center that was affected by the medication -- see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/392-one-theory-of-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

From there, a lot of systems in the nervous system and the body get bad signals. The symptoms become diffuse.

 

The best we can do is try to reduce symptoms one by one.

 

I've still recovering, at nearly 7 years off Paxil.


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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Razzle

I wanted to share that I did a lot of research on withdrawal and why some of us are so severe. Dr. Keri Buck's lab at Oregon Health Science University (I think it was around 1996) first discovered that genetics were the determining factor in sedative/hypnotic tolerance and withdrawal (steroids, benzos, alcohol, barbiturates). It was later found that all drugs that alter brain function have a genetic link to how fast and how much neuroadaptation we incur.

 

Some people can have their nervous system bathed in numerous chemicals and have no structural or biochemical changes occur. Others of us a few doses are enough to destabilize the system.

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Altostrata

I've heard this put as: People with higher neuroplasticity are more affected by withdrawal because their brains and nervous systems have adapted more completely to the drugs.

 

The good news implied in this: If you had higher neuroplasticity before, you've still got it, and your brain can re-adapt.


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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Razzle

True Alto

 

You have to have the ability to conform to these drugs in the first place. I know from anxiety conditions it is harder to heal after a breakdown than to stay on the right side of the condition in the first place

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squirrel

I know this is about Benzo's but can someone explain if this means the damage is reversible or not please?

 

Long-Term Damage and The Post Withdrawal Syndrome (PWS)

The existence of the post withdrawal syndrome is recognised and accepted for other drugs like the barbiturates, opiates and alcohol. (See references 3, 20, 26). Its occurrence is routine enough for it seldom to be commented upon. Although many alcoholics and hard drug addicts receive primary treatment for four to ten weeks, a minority need and receive residential treatment and rehabilitation for up to 12 months.

 

It would be appropriate if similar opportunities were available to benzodiazepine therapeutic addicts. There is a desperate need for them. Just as there was (and is) a strong resistance from the medical profession and the drug companies to recognising and accepting therapeutic dose dependence there was (and is) a similar reaction to the benzodiazepine post withdrawal syndrome.

 

There is a strong knee-jerk reaction geared to diverting the blame from the drugs and prescribing practices onto the patients. A range of speculative reasons is offered e.g. the symptoms are a return of the original complaint, latent mental problems exposed by the drugs and the old chestnut, personality disorders.

 

Contrary to these myths are the following: Few if any studies have actually checked the original records for prescribing diagnosis, most information is anecdotal. The best evidence there is suggest that at least 85% of prescriptions are given for non psychiatric disorders. There is no evidence that personality traits or characteristics predispose anyone to dependence (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1987). The few before, during and after dependency studies show no correlation. All aspects of drug dependency can be fully explained by biochemical factors (World Health Organisation 1993).

 

The claim that drugs expose latent problems is unprovable, unsustainable and unscientifc. What is provable is that psychoactive drugs cause psychiatric disorders and marked changes in personality. From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s there was an increasing number of papers studying this syndrome up to five years after discontinuation of drug taking. These studies were sometimes in parallel with investigations of the nature of long-term damage and conclude that it is an iatrogenic condition. In addition, there is a significant overlap between the syndrome, acute withdrawals and long-term ingestion of benzodiazepines, clearly establishing a link between the post withdrawal syndrome and adverse reactions caused by these drugs.

 

Summary

There is a very wide range of physical and psychological symptoms for example: paranoia, delusions, shaking and trembling, paraesthesiae, depression, behavioural disorders, unstable mood, headache, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, malaise, poor concentration, gastrointestinal problems, abdominal discomfort, depersonalisation, derealisation, emotional instability, sensory disturbances, perceptual changes, auditory changes, tinnitus, vulnerability to stress, unsteadiness, neck tension, neuro-muscular problems, "bursting head", phobias, panic, obsessive features and palpitations.

 

The post withdrawal syndrome is largely responsible for relapse - from 30 to 70% in different studies, up to five years after discontinuation.

 

The studies have established that the PWS is:

  • Linked with biological abnormalities - up to 3.5 years Is reversed for short periods by flumazenil, an antagonist, up to five years.
  • Associated with a non-reversal of tolerance up to 3.5 years.
  • Linked with permanent changes to the central nervous system. Patients with a history of benzodiazepine dependence are unlikely to respond normally to these drugs after discontinuation.

 

There is a 1:1 correspondence between long-term damage and the post withdrawal syndrome. Careful management of the PWS is required and should include help from doctors, family, friends, support groups, stress management, cognitive behavioural therapy, knowledge and information - to help the patient come to term with the patients changed life situation.

 

At least 30% of benzodiazepine dependent patients experience the PWS rising to nearly 100% for long-term chronically dependent patients.

Edited by Altostrata
added paragraph breaks

Started Seroxat(Paxil) for panic attacks in 1997 stopped the drug in 2005 tapered over 3 months ( doctors advice)

Suffered severe and protracted withdrawl ever since.

No other medication taken.

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alexjuice

hey squirrel,

 

well, this is a cheery one!

 

Do you have a link?

 

alex


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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squirrel

yes Alex;

 

 

www.benzo.org.uk/vot4.htm


Started Seroxat(Paxil) for panic attacks in 1997 stopped the drug in 2005 tapered over 3 months ( doctors advice)

Suffered severe and protracted withdrawl ever since.

No other medication taken.

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stan

hi,

 

i based my taper on benzo org uk because i found nothing else at that time, and i see benzo and antidepressants are similar;

the manual benzo becomes a little old, Ashton tried to give hope, and do not long explain her failure examples, we do not know what they become today, but she speak about them(people who were not able to wean for example), her conclusion was to wait, improving can always happen;

but she never wrote all people have improved, many have improved.

I read some have still little improvements such as 5/6 years off, but more i have no testimonies actually.I know i have neurological damage today at 28 months.


for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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Maybe

Linked to permanent changes to the central nervous system. That does not sound good.


End of 2008: Remeron 15mg for around 2 months. Unorthodox taper, no problems.
End of August 2009: Lexapro 10mg for only 4 days. Panic attack after 3 pills. Severe gastro problems in the morning for 3 days after last pill. 2 weeks later strong w/d symptoms set in.

Acute WD lasted around 3.5 years. I am feeling much better today, 5.5 years out, but still have some symptoms left.

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angie007

My feelings exactly Maybe, its scary to read stuff like this, especially as ssri wd is very similar to benzo.


Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

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Altostrata

Please, guys, no one could know if there are "permanent" changes in the CNS. That would take autopsies, and I don't believe you can view the CNS with any imaging device.

 

Anytime you read something like this, please take it as conjecture.


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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Claudius

It scares me too, while I try not to read too many of those articles, when I see something like this I feel really upset. I do not want to believe in permenant damage but now about 4 years on the road in fact 2 years more counting the previous failed attempts) the drug has already consumed about 6 years of my life. I cling to the reports of people who did recover after 5 or 6 years...


10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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Maybe

Claudius,

 

do your symptoms still change or do you now have remaining symptoms that are always the same?


End of 2008: Remeron 15mg for around 2 months. Unorthodox taper, no problems.
End of August 2009: Lexapro 10mg for only 4 days. Panic attack after 3 pills. Severe gastro problems in the morning for 3 days after last pill. 2 weeks later strong w/d symptoms set in.

Acute WD lasted around 3.5 years. I am feeling much better today, 5.5 years out, but still have some symptoms left.

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Claudius

I have persistent nausea and pretty awful jolts in the chest which never are away but sometimes they are less prevalent. These are the still scarce moments I feel lots better. But I feel still pretty debilitated due to these symptoms and am still unable to resume a working life. Really hope they will finally vanish... :o


10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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Punarbhava

Please, guys, no one could know if there are "permanent" changes in the CNS. That would take autopsies, and I don't believe you can view the CNS with any imaging device.

 

Anytime you read something like this, please take it as conjecture.

 

 

I agree with you Alto. Autopsies would be the only method, that we presently have, to determine the alleged "permanent" damage.

 

 

TBH, while there are many valid points mentioned in the article, there are many areas that need to be challenged.

 

Too many unknown variables and unknown complicating factors that couild exist, within any given individual, and thus, I feel the report is making some general assumptions, as well as taking a few leaps, based on very limited research and/or based on insufficient information.

 

There's a lot of speculation going on within this report IMHO.

 

 

Just my humble 2 cents.

 

 

Pun


To Face My Trials with "The Grace of a Woman Rather Than the Grief of a Child". (quote section by Veronica A. Shoffstall)

 

Be Not Afraid of Growing Slowly. Be Afraid of Only Standing Still.

(Chinese Proverb)

 

I Create and Build Empowerment Within Each Time I Choose to Face A Fear, Sit with it and Ask Myself, "What Do I Need to Learn?"

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Maybe

Claudius,

 

some things seem to take much more time to heal than others. That is the fact with every other part of the body also. I always have to think of Goldenbawls (or so) whose remaining symptoms went from 100 to 0 over the course of a few days.

 

Did those symptoms develope earlier or late in your wd exerience?


End of 2008: Remeron 15mg for around 2 months. Unorthodox taper, no problems.
End of August 2009: Lexapro 10mg for only 4 days. Panic attack after 3 pills. Severe gastro problems in the morning for 3 days after last pill. 2 weeks later strong w/d symptoms set in.

Acute WD lasted around 3.5 years. I am feeling much better today, 5.5 years out, but still have some symptoms left.

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Claudius

MAybe, yes I remember the story of Goldenbawls and he was surely an inspiration for me. I thought his turning the corner moment was at about 32 months. BEcause I am now at 46 months, I am really getting the creeps :(

There has been some evolution in my symptoms, the nausea was there from the beginning, the twitching eyes started at about 14 months in WD (!!) and the overall crappy feeling was from the beginning. THe intestinal mess is gone and the overall feeling of total derealization is way better now, 2 years ago I had no slightst idea about my future and now I am very eager to resume life and career but am still hindered by these nasty symptoms. I still have hope but 4 years is a tremendous long time.


10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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Maybe

Well, I think it is a good sign that you did not develope any new symptoms way out and I am sure your remaining symptoms will resolve or get much better. I read about people who were as far out as you and still improved more and more. And the best example is Charlie.

Heads up, Claudius, even if it is a long road!


End of 2008: Remeron 15mg for around 2 months. Unorthodox taper, no problems.
End of August 2009: Lexapro 10mg for only 4 days. Panic attack after 3 pills. Severe gastro problems in the morning for 3 days after last pill. 2 weeks later strong w/d symptoms set in.

Acute WD lasted around 3.5 years. I am feeling much better today, 5.5 years out, but still have some symptoms left.

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Claudius

We have to Maybe! Charly is one of my heroes too. Indeed I have no new symptoms last 2 years but very little progresion in the remaining ones. I will really celebrate the corner moment if it ever comes.


10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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poodlebell

I recovered from benzo's and know of another who did too, so there is no reason why we should not recover from a/d's. I did taper off benzos and c/t off a/d's which I think makes a lot of difference. The other person I know took 6 years to come off benzos on a slow taper and one more year to completely recover, so hope this gives you more hope squirrel

 

poodlebell

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btdt

The information I have read in the past regarding PAWS was related to Effexor not benzo's. I had no idea it was a term related to benzos. i don't recall there being any discussion of permanent damage but there may have I am going to look for it and get back to you.

From what I recall it was at either of these sites.

effexoractivist.org

http://theeffexoractivist.org/forum/index.php

or

sister site

which I cannot recall sorry I will get back later.

think it may be here

http://theeffexoractivist.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=52&sid=eaf85188e66e44d781073faf53e9da3c

under long term effects

it is here but sorry it is not called paws it is called panes may not be the same but seems like it is to me.

Persistent Adverse Neurological Effects Following SSRI Discontinuation (PANES).

http://theeffexoractivist.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=2425

Sorry for all the links took you with me on a trip if you like the last link is all you need to get to panes.


WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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chirping

...I would like to try an antihistamine for my allergies. I'm tired of sitting around "waiting" for everything to go away. My allergies for example I had as a kid...I do understand that antihistamines work on the same receptors as Paxil and maybe I wouldn't have had a resurgence of hay fever had I not taken Paxil, but how do I know.

 

 

Hi -- I had the same problem with very severe allergies. I stopped consuming dairy (hard for me -- I love dairy) and was amazed that my allergies went away. I didn't even need the Clarinex-D I had been taking, in addition to a lot of other allergy meds. My allergies were so bad I felt sick all of the time. I still experience other w/d symptoms, but allergies are basically gone. It's worth a try -- it might help. I don't remember how long it took for my allergies to go away, but I remember it was pretty fast improvement.

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Altostrata

That's very interesting, chirping.

 

I have to see if dairy is contributing to my nasal congestion. I wonder....

 

Some folks are trying a very non-irritating diet http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/890-scdgapspaleo-diets/page__pid__9872#entry9872 and finding they feel a lot better -- digestive problems are going away.


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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Altostrata

PAWS is a term originally referring to long-term damage from addictive substances, such as alcohol or methamphetamine.


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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Skyler

According to Robert Whitaker.. benzos are the second most difficult of the psychotropics to withdraw from, after antipsychotics. Ashton did a great deal of valuable work.. but her taper rate is too fast for many, including yours truly. If people come down very easy like it is possible to withdraw with little difficulty. But unfortunately, many end up reinstating because they have heard they should be able to get off in 12 months. I'm on month 14, and figure it will be free in another 8 before I'm off.. total 22 months. There is no free pass on benzos, if one comes off too fast.. the chances of PWS (Post Withdrawal Syndrome) are greater. For those who have previously come off, and then reinstated, kindling may make the next journey more perilous.. but doable. Where benzos are concerned, the Turtle wins the race.

 

Georgie

 

Used the TRAP 10% reduction rate from each previous dose, and held for one month for each cut. Slow.. but largely asymptomatic.


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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Altostrata

Thanks, Georgie. Really appreciate your adding your experience to our knowledgebase (such as it is).


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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Hopeful

No permanent damage here... :D


Began Paxil 10/97*

Paxil free 10/16/04 (tapered over 2.5 months)

Severe withdrawal

12/04 started Lexapro due to Paxil w/d symptoms (tapered over 4 months)

Lexapro free 8/2/05

 

2 1/2 year severe protracted withdrawal

Doing well now with a few residual symptoms

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Altostrata

Hey, Hopeful, good to see 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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Hopeful

Hi! :D


Began Paxil 10/97*

Paxil free 10/16/04 (tapered over 2.5 months)

Severe withdrawal

12/04 started Lexapro due to Paxil w/d symptoms (tapered over 4 months)

Lexapro free 8/2/05

 

2 1/2 year severe protracted withdrawal

Doing well now with a few residual symptoms

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Rhiannon

I know a few people who are having prolonged recovery from benzos, years out. All of them are very slowly improving. I'm not sure if it's a "turn the corner" kind of thing or just a very gradual return of health. Benzo recovery is typically three steps forward, two steps back, so it's not linear, but over time the trend of improvement becomes apparent.

 

More so to me than to them, I think. That's an odd thing about drug recovery--it seems like the people who are recovering are less aware of how improved they are. I suppose it's partly because the process is so much slower and more agonizing when you're inside it than when you're checking in intermittently from outside. You know, the way other peoples' kids seem to grow so much faster than your own.

 

For me, journaling my symptoms helps with this; I can look back and read and see that there has been improvement.

 

Anyway, as far as benzos and permanent versus reversible, it seems like for most people recovery takes longer than they wanted or expected it to, but it does happen, sometimes very very slowly, and almost always erratically.


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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

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This is the first summer I have been vegetarian and mostly vegan (I have rice or oat milk instead of dairy) and I have had no allergies or hay fever so far. Up to now I have had really bad hay fever every year and needed anti-allergy meds. I have also read about staying hydrated helping with the hay fever. This has worked for me so far!


Currently withdrawing from fluoxetine after a switch from sertraline.
04/12-12/12 5.0-0.9 ml
30/01/13 - 0.88 ml     29/08/13 - 0.72 ml     21/11/13 - 0.66 ml     16/04/14 - 0.63 ml     29/03/15 - 0.58 ml
22/02/13 - 0.86 ml     12/08/13 - 0.74 ml     04/12/13 - 0.64 ml     21/11/14 - 0.62 ml     08/05/15 - 0.57 ml
14/05/13 - 0.84 ml     25/09/13 - 0.72 ml     19/12/13 - 0.62 ml     26/12/14 - 0.61 ml     23/05/15 - 0.56 ml

11/06/13 - 0.80 ml     13/10/13 - 0.70 ml     31/12/13 - 0.63 ml     23/01/15 - 0.60 ml

06/07/13 - 0.76 ml     07/11/13 - 0.68 ml     06/01/14 - 0.64 ml     08/03/15 - 0.59 ml

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Nikki

Squirrel you have been off all medications since 2005? Alto's explanation is the only one I have heard of and it makes sense to me.

 

Are you affected daily? Or are there windows of good days followed by the not so good windows?

 

What prompted you to take Paxil? For me it was really bad anxiety and depression. It did work. None of us knew there would be all of these residual issues.

 

I don't know if I would be able to tell the difference between Protracted WD and anxiety/depression (original symptoms). I have thought about that for years now. I guess "it's putting the cart before the horse" right now as I have a long way to go to get off Celexa.

 

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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btdt

It is 7 years since I went cold turkey from 150mg of Effexor use. You can see my signature if you want more details.  All this time I have been thinking I would be well by now normal even back to my life or some type of life.  

I still have symptoms get drug reactions some scary and serious to me. 

I have been reading sites like this for 6 years at least and most say you get well in time.  Don't get me wrong I am much better than I was but not where I expected to be. Now that I have reached this 7 year mark I wonder about others who may have reach it too and what life is like for them. 

So if there are any people who fit this category on here maybe even new here... come talk to me. 

 

Things I want to talk about.  Did you taper slow fast or go cold turkey. 

What symptoms are you left with.. do you still have waves? 

Are you functional?  how functional?  Can you tell somebody you will be at an event and actually go long before the event or do you have to say I will see how I feel when the time gets closer? 

 

Can you get up everyday or even some days and go to work?

 

Was there a point where you had to skip the no drug mantra and take something?  

What did you try... did it help. 

Are you still hypersensitive to drugs... which ones have cause reactions lets say 5 years after being off antidepressants?

 

How do you see your life going forward?  

If you did not completely recover and have accepted that this is how the rest of your life will be... how have you coped with the realization?


WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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