Jump to content

Stacedesign: Hello and Thanks for having me. Confused about AD's and what I should do.


Designgirl732

Recommended Posts

Designgirl732

Hello!

 

I have been around these different types of boards just as a 'viewer' and NEVER thought i'd join but this particular group seems to be the perfect type for me-highly researched, and wanting to take their own health back and into their own hands!

 

My quick story: struggled with anxiety my whole life on and off. Especially health worrying and obsessing. This past summer it got really bad and I couldn't stop looking online about symptoms of this disease or that. Facebook didn't help. And by the end of this summer it snowballed into depression because I was just feeling hopeless and consumed with worry I stopped going to the gym and doing things that interested me (like cooking healthy foods, etc). Backtrack-for a YEAR my GP was trying to get me to go on lexapro or paxil and i kept saying 'no' - so he gave me xanax. So I was taking that (.25 mg) for about 6 months at night and it was keeping things at bay (until this summer).

 

So I go and see at talk therapist, to talk about my 'health obsessions' and she mentions that Celexa would be the 'perfect' drug for me and she's seen people 'just like me' do great on it. So I start taking 10 mg I think end of Sept/beginning of October 2013..I was feeling OK on it but around the 4 week mark I started waking up in a complete panic, sweat and couldn't breathe. Then these panic attacks led to suicidal thoughts-I thought I was going crazy, I was not ME. So mid-october I go off of it cold turkey (only been on it about 6 weeks). Felt awful for a week, tried 5-HTP, Valerian Root..felt a little better but my therapist and those around me kept saying 'i needed something' and I had friends who had been on these meds and were 'feeling fabulous' So I thought maybe I just didn't find the right med.

 

So I decided to see a psychiatrist this time. Beginning of November, I see a psych, does an hour evaluation, perscribes me effexor. Started at 37.5..5 days later, panic attack in the morning, a plan to kill myself. 

 

*NOTE* I NEVER HAD PANIC ATTACKS OR SUICIDAL THOUGHTS BEFORE THESE MEDS

 

My Psych and Therapist tell me: 'you would've had these attacks anyway, nothing to do with the meds, up your dose' - so I up my dose and spend 4 days at a mental health clinic for 'anxiety and depression' - Then for the next month I upped my effexor dose to 150. For a couple weeks I felt agoraphobic and didn't want to leave my house. Turns out the effexor gave me really high BP so my dr has been weaning me off of this (which i'm happy about anyway because I don't want to be on this and i'm glad my BP is my 'excuse' for getting off of it) - so now i'm BACK on celexa, but this time 20 mg. I have NO panic attacks BUT I have horrendous nightmares. Once i'm done weaning off of effexor completely in the next week or so ( i'm going to split the 25mg in half and then i'm done doing this weekly).

But my question is-do I stay on Celexa? Will Celexa actually 'retrain my brain' to be 'right?' (my friend's GP actually told her that). Or am I just prolonging the inevitable of relapsing and I should just go off of it now. 

I'm researching SAM-e. St. John's Wort. 

positives: my mood has improved on celexa, my anxiety is down to nothing, BUT I wake up exhausted from these dreams, i have diareah, (sorry if that's TMI), and my obsessions about health are just turning into obsessions about what these meds really do to your brain. 

I'm meditating now, reading about buddhism which is helping and I journal every night.

THANK YOU if you read this-or even a little bit-is it me or is it the meds that caused these attacks? Am I going crazy? I kind of miss the 'old me' looking back that was a worried anxiety mess-because atleast i was ME. Hindsight's 20/20 I suppose. 

Wishing you all well. I look forward to making some friends and hearing from you guys.

Link to post
  • Replies 140
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Designgirl732

    74

  • Altostrata

    33

  • mammaP

    6

  • Rhiannon

    6

Designgirl732

I meant to also say..once i'm fully weaned off of Effexor i'm debating about weaning off of the 20mg celexa..but worried about THAT. So i've been researching SAM-e, etc.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Stace, welcome to SA. I am shaking my head here at the doctor and therapist! You certainly do not 

NEED the meds you have been given! You have had quite a reaction to effexor and is good that you are

tapering it. We don't usually recommend a fast taper because of the chance of withdrawal but it seems 

like it's necessary for you. How is your BP now,is it any lower now you have reduced? 

 

I think it would be best to wait a while after the effexor before starting to taper celexa to give your nervous

system chance to recover. I'm a bit confused about the xanax, are you still taking it and if so what dose? If

you stopped the xanax did you taper? 

 

It would help if you could include all drugs that you are taking now and what you have had in the past, doses

and started and stopped. Sometimes symptoms can be from an earlier drug that has been stopped, or 

a reaction with an over the counter med. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

Link to post
Designgirl732

Hey Mamma P! Thank you SO much for your reply. Yes, I've done a very slow taper with Effexor. It's a 4-week taper. I did the 15-112.5 by myself because my BP was through the ROOF. Then I decided since I also have a genetic irregular HB, my Dr and I both agreed I should just not be on it altogether. (it's my fault i forgot to tell him this). So the taper is: week 1: 75, week 2: 37.5, week 3: which I'm on now-25 (tabs), and week 4, cut that 25 in half and then discontinue. I'm ALSO taking 20 mg citalopram during all of this. 

I'm no longer on xanax. I take 5mg of diazepam at night. Even though my dr perscribes me the 10mg EVERY TIME i see him, i cut them in half. (he just loves that script pad LOL). Luckily I do not have an addictive personality. I plan on weaning off of the diazepam eventually too.

 

I think that's just it-my nervous system is shot.  I'm not going to taper of celexa until I see my psych March 4th when I'll be off of the Effexor by then. I've had no withdrawals from Effexor thus far as I've only been on it around 3 months (4 if you count the taper month). 

I guess my questions are things like: If the Celexa eventually stops causing me nightmares and I'm doing well and feeling good..does it 'help retrain your brain' or does it ultimately cause damage? I'd rather quit while i'm ahead.

My psych also said if I want off all my AD's he'll give me Buspar but said there's limited success on that.

Has anyone heard of SAM-e? 

 

Thank you in advance! If you need anymore info from me please ask.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Celexa will absolutely NOT retrain your brain! I wonder where they get their info from.........oh yes

of course it's the drug companies and doctors seem to believe every utterance from them.  ;)

I wouldn't consider the buspar either, but look at non drug ways of dealing with things. 

 

I must stress again about giving your system time to recover after the effexor taper. Your doctor calls

it a slow taper but to us it is very very fast. I've been tapering effexor for almost 2 years and will not be

finished for another 6 months! Others have been even longer but some have been faster. Everyone

has their own rate.

 

There is a topic on SAM e here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/572-sam-e-s-adenosyl-l-methionine/

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

Link to post

Stace. I'm new here too and I have no advice to give because I have no idea what I'm doing myself. I just wanted you to know that you're not alone. Take care and be kind to yourself.

Slowly coming off 150 mg venlafaxine a day after nine years on it. Removing a small amount of beads from a capsule each month. Then I stabilise and remove another small amount. Not as precise as the 10% method but so far so good.  Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

Link to post
Designgirl732

Thanks again Mamma P - So should I STAY ON the celexa for a while after tapering off the effexor?? yes, I will look into non-med ways of help. My friend's dr actually told her that..she was on celexa for a year, tapered and said she's 'fine now' - personally I think her life got better in a lot of ways and that's why. 

Harmonica-thank you-i'm here for you too!!!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Please check out Peter Breggin online, about suicidality and ADs. The data have been severely suppressed but there's a strong association and given that you've had that reaction twice now I urge you to never take an antidepressant again, I think it's probably dangerous for you.

 

I highly highly recommend you read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and Medication Madness by Peter Breggin, where you'll learn a lot about why your healthcare practitioners are so ignorant of the problems with these drugs.

 

There are other ways to cope with the things you describe. Usually when people are struggling with emotional issues--almost all the time--what they need is support in dealing with processing through things, and often support in making changes in their lives. Lifestyle changes, particularly exercise and diet and exposure to sunlight, are more effective than drugs in giving permanent and safe resolution of mild to moderate depression. There are many things you can do that are much less dangerous than these drugs. I'm glad you're exploring your options and educating yourself--maybe you will avoid a fate like mine. I lost 20+ years of my life, my career, and the opportunity to have a love relationship, to these drugs. The stakes are high, it's not a decision to be made lightly or without being well informed.

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.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Oh I don't mean stop taking an AD if you're taking one now! You must taper off.

 

I just mean, I don't think overall, in your life, that ADs are a safe option for you. I don't think they're really a very good idea for anyone who is not already severely suicidally depressed, but in your case since you are one of the significant percentage of people for whom they actually cause suicidality, they are particularly dangerous.

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.

Link to post
Designgirl732

RHI- LOL yes, I know-I'll definitely taper. Mamma P was suggesting it would be too much on my nervous system to get off Effexor, then taper Celexa ( i think that's what she was saying) - 

Exactly, I NEVER had these thoughts BEFORE the drugs and my dr's are saying that the panic attacks and suicidal thoughts are 'unrelated' and 'just part of my anxiety' - thank you for believing me.

 

I will look into those books and websites-thank you!!! I'm sorry you lost so much of your life with these drugs.

What's crazy is you can look online and find 'celexa saved my life' or 'I no longer suffer from anxiety and depression thank you celexa' so of course I read that and it's appealing to me. 

And I KNOW people on these drugs and they're just living life fine! So I start to think something is wrong with me-

I'm really glad I found this site.

 

Link to post
Designgirl732

Sorry to be a post-hog  - I also wanted to add that I felt suicidal and panic attacks only happened in the BEGINNING of starting these AD's..now I feel 'ok' but I am afraid to be on anything..yet when I come off, will I have those panic attacks and bad thoughts from withdrawal?

Link to post

If you come off in four weeks almost anything could happen! Effexor is actually a tough drug to come off of. Check out the tapering section for guidelines and ideas.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Sorry to be a post-hog  - I also wanted to add that I felt suicidal and panic attacks only happened in the BEGINNING of starting these AD's..now I feel 'ok' but I am afraid to be on anything..yet when I come off, will I have those panic attacks and bad thoughts from withdrawal?

 

It's not unusual for suicidality to come on like that at the beginning of using an AD. Just to reinforce this, what you're experiencing is actually not that uncommon.

 

It's also not at all unusual for people to become quite suicidal if they go off a med too fast, and in a nasty withdrawal that suicidality can last a while.

 

I've experienced both ends of that myself. I've been the least suicidal than any time during the past 20 years during these years of tapering down very slowly. I do still get mild bouts of it from time to time after cuts. However, I also have a history of severe abuse as a child, which probably contributes (although I was never actually suicidal before taking an antidepressant, in spite of my history!) 

 

You have the power to adjust the rate of your own taper, so you'll be able to control your symptoms much more than when you're just taking the drugs at full dose. You may have to taper much more slowly than you'd like to at this point.

 

You will probably have withdrawal symptoms to some degree even with a slow taper, and that will probably include unpleasant feelings and thoughts, but again, you will be able to control those yourself--that part makes a huge difference for me. Knowing that I can choose when to make cuts, and that the symptoms will pass and I will feel well again, and I can choose again when to make my next set of cuts. I've been at it so long, I know pretty much exactly what to expect now and how long it will last. It helps a lot.

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.

Link to post
Designgirl732

Wow RHI that REALLY helps a lot..i have no idea about a tapering schedule (other than what my psych gives me) and like you, i've had childhood trauma and still never experienced suicidal thoughts UNTIL either starting or withdrawing from a med.

 

For whatever reason, tapering from effexor has not been a problem (so far), after every 7 day taper i get a migraine for 1 day and I feel like there's water in my ears, for 1 day and that's IT. However, I'm not completely off of it, i'm on 25 mg as well as celexa as well as 5mg diazepam at night. So i'm no hero, believe me. It's just how my body is currently responding.

 

That being said, what would be a realistic taper for citalopram once i'm off effexor if you don't mind my asking? It seems as if you know what would be safest. Then I'll tackle the benzos. one battle at a time, yes? 

How are YOU doing? 
 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Yep, one battle at a time is usually the best approach.

 

I'd say start here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/

 

That should keep you busy for a while. ;-)

 

You might want to take a look at slowing down your Effexor taper a bit. People seem to get bit by Effexor withdrawal often not just at the time that they actually cut it down, but later. There seems to be a delayed reaction thing that kicks in three to six months out from a too-rapid taper.

 

Once you get off the Effexor I'd recommend just holding on the Celexa for a while before starting another taper. That will give you time to stabilize from all the med changes you've just come through, and you can use that time to read up about tapering here and get a feel for how it generally works.

 

Once you're ready to taper, my recommendation is always to start slow. Make a small cut, maybe 5%, and then wait 2-4 weeks. Keep a journal of your symptoms daily and watch how they ebb and flow and unfold and play out. Do that again. Then once you have a sense of how you're going to do with the taper, you can adjust it, tweak it up to tolerance.

 

Unfortunately very few people take that advice. Most folks want to go fast at first. A few do okay with that, but many end up hitting the wall big time and then having to either reinstate or just spend months of misery getting their CNS settled back down.

 

Anyway, start with reading the stuff here, and consider slowing your Effexor taper down a bit. It's a balance between what the drug does to you and what too-rapid withdrawal does to you; we all have to walk that line. Trust me, withdrawal really sucks.

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.

Link to post
Designgirl732

thanks for the advice RHI - I think that's what happened to me before so I completely see what you're saying. There was a week in between the FIRST time I went on Celexa and Effexor and I felt awful and everyone around me convinced me 'See, that's why you NEED to be on something-look at you!' - So if I just stuck it out, my CNS would have eventually gotten back but instead I went right on something else.

Won't it be harder to come off of Celexa the longer I wait, though? Also, I've only been on all of these a total of FOUR MONTHS - I notice a lot on here are years, so i'm not sure if that matters or not?

I'm going to read that link you posted. I hope you're day is going well so far.

Also, I have 2 little kids..5 and 2 - I have to have stability for them.  :mellow:

Link to post
  • Administrator

Welcome, stacedesign.

 

You've been taking .25 mg Xanax for a year? How often do you take it?

 

We recommend slower tapers, a 10% decrease per MONTH, see

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/272-tips-for-tapering-off-effexor-and-effexor-xr-venlafaxine/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2023-tips-for-tapering-off-celexa-citalopram/

 

Celexa comes in a liquid for tapering.

 

But -- you're in a situation where you're switching drugs. How did you overlap Effexor XR and Celexa?

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.

Link to post
Designgirl732

Thank you for the welcome!

 

No, i'm off the xanax. I'm taking 5 mg diazepam at night. I'm not coming off of that right now.

Yes, I'm in a situation where i'm switching drugs. I am currently on 25 mg of Effexor and 20 mg Celexa.
I overlapped by going from 112.5 effexor xr for 2 months only to:

week1 : 75 mg effexor xr, 10 mg celexa for the first month.
week 2: Then 37.5 &  20 mg celexa
week 3: then 25mg (tablet) effexor to 20 mg celexa
week 4: 1/2 mg tablet effexor to 20 mg celexa
week 5: no effexor, only 20 mg Celexa

thoughts? The idea is to just stay on 20 mg Celexa, diazepam at night..

But I would like to get off of Celexa in the near future as well. I also wonder since I have a congenital (but benign) irregular heartbeat these meds are a good idea. Also in my previous posts starting these meds have given me panic attacks and suicidal thoughts so I imagine withdrawing will happen as well. ACK!

Thanks for listening :)
 

Link to post
  • Administrator

See the links about for tips about going off Celexa.

 

If the drugs give you destructive thoughts, you should not be on them at all.

 

Celexa at high doses is known to be bad for the heart. 20mg is not considered to be a high dose, but everyone is different and it might be a lot for you.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to post
Designgirl732

Altostrata - I agree, 20 mg isn't a lot. Here's my question..right NOW it's not giving me destructive thoughts. Only in the beginning with these meds (not like that's a good thing of course) It's been 8 weeks, my mood has improved, but I'm having horrific dreams/nightmares AND i don't want to be on AD's for that long anyway so why 'prolong the inevitable' as I read about things like needing to up the dose, or other side effects that can happen. I'm not sure what to do.  

 

What do you think?

Link to post
  • Administrator

Horrific dreams is not a good sign.

 

If I were you, I'd minimize dosage. Go carefully, as your system may be sensitized by the drug switch.

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.

Link to post

Hi Stace....

 

All of what you shared like Rhi said is not at all uncommon.  Overlapping drugs is a no-no however doctors ignore that, why I don't know.  I did have severe panic attacks and depression which was the reason I took meds.

 

However, the suicide ideation crept up on me during a lexapro taper (Celexa's cousin).  Never had it before like you said.  It was from tapering drugs.

 

Like you I am in a situation of having overlapped drugs.  It was supposed to be a crossover, but to get to the crossover part there is overlapping.  Not good.  I am having alot of problems.  Anxiety which is phobic, suicide ideation.

 

I don't ever think about killing myself.  I have the thoughts that I would be better off dead.  That is as far as it goes.  It is scary and produces more anxiety.

 

Like Mamap I can't get over the doctor or therapist.  It takes time to get off meds.  If you can follow Rhi's advise you will do well.  She is the voice of reason here on this site for many of us.

 

Nice to meet you.

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

Link to post
Designgirl732

Nikki nice to meet you too. It sounds like we're in very similar situations..suicidal ideation..that description is what you said is what happens!! Ugh..i'm not looking forward to it. I think I'm going to get off one med at a time. In a week or so I should be off the effexor completely. I'll wait a couple of weeks and when i see my psych I'm going to ask for citalopram in liquid form and follow the 10% rule.

 

Let me know how you're doing too!

Link to post
Designgirl732

hey guys!

 

i've noticed since i've become a member (thank you for the warm welcome by the way) that many of you have been on meds for years, and years. I have been on a total of 6 months-and that's not completely 6 months. HOWEVER-the first 6 weeks I was on citalopram I was told I could 'go cold turkey' by my therapist since I 'was only on 10 mg' and that week was AWFUL.

I have 2 little ones at home, my husband had to take off work, my mom had to come from 2 hours away to watch the kids..eventually I got my wits about me. The 2nd week I was functionable and using some benzos to help but my nervous system was still out of whack with panic attacks (never had them before the meds). When I look back, I was still probably in withdrawal but I ended up back on meds a couple weeks later.

Started effexor xr, suicidal thoughts (never had them before), hospitalized for 4 days, dr upped the effexor. I'm almost done weaning off of the effexor (will be a TOTAL of 3.5 months on it) and crossed over with Citalopram-10 mg in January and 20 mg starting this month of February. By the time I see my dr it'll be 9 WEEKS on CITALOPRAM.

To be honest, I'm kind of in the 'honeymoon' period..i feel like i'm getting my life back. I have energy to exercise, a good mood with the kids. I have awful sleep and terrible dreams but nonetheless you can't 'unknow what you know' and I know these drugs are no good for me and I was better off without them.

Sorry for the drawn out preamble but here's my question: Is there a different type of taper I can do with citalopram than the 10%? I just feel like i'll end up tapering on them longer than I was on them! My psych may say 10 mg 1-2 weeks, then 5, then stop..who knows. I'm just scared and confused and it's making me anxious.

I can't miss a beat right now-I have a job interview coming up, freelance work and 2 kids and a house to take care of all at the same time. ack!

thanks in advance

Link to post
  • Administrator

Anyone taking a psychiatric drug for more than a month is at risk for withdrawal syndrome.

 

We have people here who had been taking a drug for less than a month and still have major problems.

 

Given you need to stay functional, a very gradual taper will give you the best chance of minimal symptoms. Or, perhaps you should put your tapering plans on hold.

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.

Link to post
Designgirl732

Thanks! I hear what you're saying about putting them on hold..but then I feel like i'm just going to make the withdrawal harder because my body will be that much more used to the drug. But a slow taper plan is definitely important. Thank you! Hope you're feeling well.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

If you had only taken citalopram for nine weeks without any of the previous history, I would feel better about suggesting a more rapid taper, although frankly nine weeks is enough for people to have a hard time tapering off. The problem is that you have some kind of psych med history going back six months, including going on and off meds, and that's pretty disruptive to your neurochemistry, so it's harder to predict what will happen this time when you taper.

 

Usually if someone with no prior history on psych meds has been on for six weeks or less I would recommend a faster taper. That's about the only situation when I would.

 

I have seen dozens of people who have had to taper longer than they were initially on the full dose of the med, whatever med it was, over the years. 

 

What's really sad is when people try to come off too fast and have to go back on, then try too fast again and reinstate again--it can end up taking longer than a slow taper would have taken, with much more suffering and disruption along the way.  This is why I'm so conservative in my recommendations--I've seen so much suffering, I can't recommend a path that could lead to that, I will always recommend the safest path. I suspect other people here feel the same way.

 

But it's certainly possible that someone in your situation might be able to come off faster than 10%, at least at the initial stages of the taper. 

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.

Link to post
  • Administrator

There is the adverse reaction to Effexor that might have sensitized your nervous system.

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.

Link to post
Designgirl732

Thank you guys SO MUCH for taking the time to even write all you did-i'm actually emotional feeling so grateful!

I'm seeing my dr on the 25th (a week earlier). We'll discuss a citalopram taper then - I'll ask for the liquid-i'll tell him to give me the slowest taper plan he's ever given in his entire career to me-ha!

Then this Monday i'm seeing a psychologist, phd who left the pharma industry and now helps people in my situation and is also a certified nutritionist. So we're going to come up with a 'post-med-plan' - i'm all about plans, lists, etc. 

 

But if something gives me hope, why not, right?

I just got all my bloodworm back, thyroid is good, adrenal glands normal, hormones good. Not sure there's a check for the nervous system but I'm sure that's obviously not at a point of homeostasis LOL

Tomorrow is my last week of effexor xr. It's half of the 25 mg tab. 

Again, thank you all so much and i'll keep you posted!

 

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...
Designgirl732

Hey guys!

 

So I saw my Psych today to start weaning off Citalopram 20 mg (been on only for 2 months). I'm still on 5 mg Diazepam.

 

My effexor wean 2 weeks ago went fine, I think I had a headache for a day. 

 

Anyway, I got my Citalopram taper plan. Will take about a month. I will update on that as well. I'm so embarrassed to say this but in the past 2 months i gained 20 lbs!!!! I was planning on getting off this anyway, but WTF!? I have 3 pairs of pants that fit me and feel even more awful.

 

My taper is: 10 mg for 2 weeks, then 5 mg for 2 weeks, then discontinue.

 

So my psych, who insists on giving me a script for 10 mg of valium EVERY TIME I SEE HIM (even though i tell him i cut them and only take 5's) said if I want I can try Luvox next.

 

i'm like 'no..i don't want anything right now.' He explained that Luvox isn't really prescribed here but it's very popular in Europe, that Solvay didn't have the $$ to run anymore tests on any other indication other than OCD so that's why it's not widely prescribed but he thinks because it has such a short half life, it's easy to get off of and doesn't cause any weight gain.

 

I was half tempted but my goal is to GET OFF MEDS.

 

My psych just loves that script pad of his. I wonder if he sleeps with it next to his bed at night.  :unsure:

 

Hope everyone is feeling better every day here.

 

So, that's my update. I'll let you know how the Cit taper goes.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Please take a look at our topic on tapering:  Why Taper By Only 10% of My Dose?  You may be one of the fortunate ones who can go off psych drugs rapidly with no ill effects, but if you begin having withdrawal symptoms please check back with us about reinstating.  Most psychiatric professionals don't have a clue about how to taper or reinstate the most effective way.

 

Aside from that, I'm glad you found us.  Welcome to the forum.

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.

 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Stace, I've moved your latest topic to your introduction, it is one topic per

person in the introductions forum.

 

I agree with Jemima, very few doctors know about withdrawal and how to taper. They have 

people tapering far too fast then tell them they obviously need the drug, usually for life.

Please read the link Jemima posted about tapering 10%.   You may be ok but I would hate

to see you  in withdrawal like so many people here who tapered too fast!

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

Link to post
Designgirl732

Thanks you guys! I am hoping this isn't too fast of a taper. Being that I was only on these for 2 months (10 mg in january) 20 mg feb - I'm PRAYING that going back to 10 mg for 2 weeks is OK. I'm tempted to do 15 mg for a week but i'm going to talk to my pharmacist when I pick up the meds today. I also think that if I got off effexor OK and was on it longer, i may be ok? I also have a bunch of homeopathic stuff to try and get me through-i pray I really don't miss a beat as I have to little ones at home (5.5 and 2.5) 

 

I also noticed when I go to the sauna at the gym and sweat a lot it really helps me feel relaxed. Of course, I hope i'm ok to GET to the gym..I'll keep you guys posted.

Link to post
  • Administrator

Is this the same psychiatrist who prescribed Effexor and Celexa together to a patient who had an irregular heartbeat?

 

Stace, you need a new doctor. Also, a prescription for liquid Celexa so you can taper much, much more gradually.

 

I hope your quick exit from Effexor has no repercussions. Please do not assume you can do the same with Celexa. When we go on and off these drugs, it makes our nervous systems more susceptible to bad reactions.

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.

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy