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SunshininDay Hello! 13 years on ADs and trying to quit. Should I taper now?


SunshininDay

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SunshininDay

Hello everyone.  I am glad this place exists.  I am currently trying to get off antidepressants and have read many posts on this forum.  I would appreciate any advice on my current situation.  Here are the basics:

 

March 2001

  • At age 18, tried marijuana and a high dose of coricidan cough & cold (dextromethorphan) along with alcohol on spring break.
  • Experienced a 'bad trip', freaking out and thinking I was going to die.
  • For the next couple weeks I felt 'off': experienced dissociative feelings, derealization and anxiety (feared I would never feel back to normal)

April 2001

  • Returned to "normal"

June 2001

  • Developed a cold, and upon taking cough medicine, the dissociative feelings returned and I had a panic attack, fearing I had brain damage from taking the drugs which was causing the feelings, along with heart palpitations, minor chest pain and shortness of breath.  Went to the ER and they gave me Valium to calm down.
  • The next day the dissociative feelings were still strong.  Went to my PCP and he prescribed Paxil 20mg to anxiety.  I was also given Xanax to use when the panic feelings were too strong.
  • Along with anxiety symptoms, noticed ringing in the ears after starting Paxil.

July 2001

  • After 6-8 weeks, the dissociative feelings lifted.  I felt more normal.

August 2001

  • Although feeling better, still had problems with anxiety and depression at night, so PCP increased Paxil dose to 30mg.
  • After increasing dose, noticed ringing in the ears again, along with mild dizziness/vertigo and dissociative feelings.  PCP assured me that these symptoms would subside in a few weeks, and that every negative feeling was a result of the anxiety disorder, while the medicine was making them go away.

January 2002

  • Felt better and under doctor's advice, began tapering from Paxil.

February 2002,

  • Ringing in ears got worse after stopping Paxil, as did dissociative feelings and anxiety.
  • Doc prescribed Xanax as needed.
  • (can't remember if I went back on Paxil)

December 2002

  • Overwhelming anxiety, dissociative feelings, depression and panic attacks return. 
  • PCP placed me on Prozac 20mg

January 2003

  • Experiencing chest pain and tightness, panic attacks, and extremely high heart rates when exercising.  Higher than normal.  Anxiety still bad.  Doc reassured me I would be fine and this is normal.  Taking xanax almost daily to control anxiety
  • Panic attacks became intense, and anxiety was 24/7.  No relief.  Had to drop out of college and come home.
  • A few weeks later, went to PCP and he took me off Prozac and put me back on Paxil.  

April 2003

  • Anxiety, dissociative feelings and panic attacks have gotten better, but still 'on and off'.  Feel okay for a week then feel bad for a week.  
  • Doc puts me on Paxil CR 50mg.

August 2003

  • Things have improved.  Feeling more 'normal.' Able to enjoy things. 
  • Went to the doc wanting to lower dose of Paxil.  He put me on 12.5mg.

October 2003

  • Switched to Zoloft 200mg because symptoms were returning
  • Felt back to "normal" after a few weeks and able to enjoy things again.

January 2005

  • Lowered dosage to 200mg Zoloft because of weight gain and feelings of fatigue

October 2005

  • Dissociative symptoms, anxiety and depression returning.  
  • Doc takes me off Zoloft and puts me on Wellbutrin XL 300mg

May 2006

  • Diagnosed with sleep apnea

October 2006

  • Symptoms return.  Doc places me on Effexor XR 150mg.
  • After a few weeks feel back to "normal".  Able to enjoy things again.

September 2008

  • Wanted to get off medication for good.  After getting my wisdom teeth out and being on Vicodin, I thought that would be a good time to do it.  2 weeks later, I freaked out and things were AWFUL. 
  • Went to the psychiatric ER and immediately restarted Effexor XR.  Felt back to "normal" after a few weeks.

July 2012

  • Begin having "episodes" where i feel lightheaded, and a "wave" feeling comes over me.  This is accompanied by a significant raise in pulse and blood pressure, extreme panic and anxiety, and dissociative feelings.  The episodes last about 10-15 minutes.  Often times I vomit.  They seem to happen after a lack of sleep, drinking lots of caffeine, or smoking too many cigarettes.  
  • Attack becomes so severe I head to the ER.  They do tests, all come back negative.
  • Over the next few months, these episodes become more frequent, and anxiety in between these episodes goes up.

November 2012

  • Wake up in the middle night.  Extreme fear and panic.  Heart RACING.  I call 911 and an ambulance has to come pick me up.  At ER, all tests are negative and they give me xanax.
  • Go to a psychiatrist who takes me off Effexor XR and puts me on Lexapro.
  • Anxiety gets worse over the next two months.  

January 2013

  • Anxiety is worse than it has ever been.  It is absolutely unbearable.  Like a 24/7 panic attack from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed.  Psychiatrist puts me back on Effexor XR 150mg, and Klonopin 25mg 3x daily to keep me from freaking out.  Things are AWFUL.  Like a mental pain and anguish as iff someone is constantly shaking my head.  I can't even describe how awful it is. 

March 2013

  • Things have not improved.  Pdoc raises my dosage to 225mg of EffexorXR.  After a few days, things get even WORSE.  They are so bad I have to go to the ER and we decide to put me in an inpatient facility.  After a couple days in there, I realize there is nothing they can do for me other than mess with medications.  I got out of there after a couple days.

May 2013

  • Things have not improved.  I decide to enter a partial hospitalization program where I go in for half the day.  They do all sorts of classes about mood and attitude and stuff but this is a physical feeling of mental anguish and pain, not a state of mind.  They try to convince me it is a state of mind and I can talk my way out of it.
  • Pdoc tries to increase Effexor XR dosage again.  Symptoms get even WORSE.  My heart rate races up to 150bpm just walking down the street.  BP is up to 140/100.  (normally 120/80)

June 2013

  • We finally decide to taper me off Effexor XR and back on to Zoloft.  
  • It takes about 2 months, but I finally get off Effexor and onto Zoloft.  The transfer was HELL.  I would have episodes of extreme anxiety and mental pain, and moments where it felt like my brain was being electrically 'charged up.'  Every night I went to bed thinking I was going to die in my sleep.  I wish there was a way to describe my anguish.
  • Now taking 200mg Zoloft and 25mg Klonopin 3x daily

August 2013

  • Not getting better.  Discover benzobuddies.org.  Decide I need to get off the Klonopin.  It is making me feel drugged and fatigued and unable to live life.  And makes me feel like my legs are tingling and asleep all day. 
  • Begin my slow taper from Klonopin.
  • Every time I make a cut it SUCKS... 

November 2013

  • Finally get off the Klonopin
  • It's rough for a while, but SLOWLY gets better

February 2013

  • At this point I am able to have moments where I'm not thinking about the anxiety/mental pain.  This is a step forward.  I still have dissociation and derealization, no 'clarity', mental fog, confusion, unable to organize thoughts, feeling ADHD all the time... but slowly improving

April 2014

  • Feeling better.  No 'painful' anxiety.  Only taking 200mg Zoloft daily.  Still have dissociation and derealization and anxiety and depression.  Can't feel excitement, love, passion, sex drive, etc. 

 

I want to get off all medications.  I have felt better since getting off effexor and Klonopin, although it has taken so long.  I want to get off Zoloft, but I'm not sure when to begin.  Because I am not completely better, I am afraid I will get worse if I try to taper now.  But I am ALSO afraid that if I do not taper soon, I will get worse and need more medications to help.  

 

Advice???  Thank you :-)

 

Edit: I have always been told that all these symptoms are from my anxiety disorder.  After years of research, I'm wondering if the original anxiety was from the imbalance, but all these other problems are from the medications.  Do I need medications to get better?  Or do I need to taper off them to get better.  That is my fear :-(

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi mckdrummer and welcome,

 

I read through your intro and I'm so sorry you have had to go through all that.  Its clear to me that all the medications and changes over the years have increased your problems, not helped.  Its good that you are relatively stable now, a good place to be in order to start a slow safe taper.

 


Edit: I have always been told that all these symptoms are from my anxiety disorder.  After years of research, I'm wondering if the original anxiety was from the imbalance, but all these other problems are from the medications.  Do I need medications to get better?  Or do I need to taper off them to get better.  That is my fear :-(

 

I don't think you have an 'anxiety disorder'.  This is what it looks like happened.

 

In March 2001 at spring break, you had a frightening reaction to a combination of substances, which doesn't mean you have an anxiety disorder, it just means that you had a 'normal' reaction to some toxic substances.  But you recovered, your body healed, that probably should have been the end of it.

 

But a couple of months later, some cough medicine gave you some sensations similar to the frightening ones you experienced previously and it caused anxiety and a panic attack.  In my opinion, this is the point at which the CBT classes about attitude and thinking would have been able to help.

 

Unfortunately, your doctor took the medication route, which most of them do and now you most likely have some medication caused imbalances, which you can recover from, but it takes a while.

 

This is just my opinion, and I hope others will chime in.  Here is our link for tapering off Zoloft:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/?hl=%2Btips+%2Bfor+%2Btapering+%2Boff+%2Bzoloft

 

If you decide to come off Zoloft, its important you do it very carefully because your nervous system may have become sensitized from all the drugs and changes, but with our 10% protocol and careful monitoring of your body and symptoms, if you get any, you should be fine.  You will find a lot of help and support here.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello mckdrummer,

 

I haven't read through your entire post word for word, but in skimming it, I believe a lot of the emotional and physical pain you've been through is the result of being on and off of a number of psychiatric drugs.  I'm not sure what you mean by an "imbalance", but if it's the old, unproven 'chemical imbalance' theory of mental illness, I want to advise you that that theory has been blown out of the water and renounced by the American Psychiatric Association.  That hasn't been widely publicized, so there are still quite a few doctors and patients who believe that a'chemical imbalance' is a medical fact.  NOT.

 

What happens with antidepressants is that over time they cause physical changes in the structure of the brain.  That's the reason why they often take three or more weeks to take effect.  It's also the reason to taper off very slowly, because going too fast doesn't give your brain enough time to adjust and rebuild itself back into its normal structure. Yes, antidepressants create a real,physical dependency, although most doctors and certainly the drug companies deny this.

 

Well. All of that said, 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.

 

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SunshininDay

Thank you so much for your replies. After reading through forums for the past few months, petu's reply is what I have come to believe. Anxiety has always run in my family, and many are on ADs for it. So I was told by my family I would probably be on them for life. Since then I have always believed I had a chemical imbalance and I needed drugs to treat them :(

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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  • Administrator

Welcome, SunshininDay.
 
It sounds to me like you are a person who was always naturally sensitive to neuroactive substances and, as Petu and Jemima said, you have had bad reactions from being on and going off psychiatric drugs.
 
When you say you're not completely better, what do you mean? Did you have withdrawal symptoms from going off Klonopin? How did you do that?

Edited by Altostrata
name change

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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SunshininDay

Hello Altostrata.  

 

When I say I'm not completely better, I mean that in my current state, I do not feel "normal."  There is a constant dissociative feeling and a certain level of anxiety that is always persistent.  In the past, medications have temporarily removed these feelings, but I end up getting worse over the long run.  

 

I did have withdrawal symptoms from going off the Klonopin, but I was feeling awful to begin with, so the withdrawal effects of the Klonopin only exacerbated how I was already feeling.  It took me about 4 months to taper off Klonopin.  I did it with dry cuts.  They weren't exact, but it was the only way I knew how.  Here was my taper:

 

8.21.14 - stabilized at .75mg (.25 3x daily)
9.11.13 - .5mg (.25am .25pm)
9.21.13 - .375mg (.125am .25pm)
10.5.13 - .3125mg (.0625am .25pm)
10.12.13 - .25mg
10.23.13 - .1875mg
10.30.13 - .125mg
11.7.13 - .0625mg
11.13.13 - nothing

 

I guess my overall point is that I haven't felt balanced in about a year and a half.  I've had an overarching "feeling" that haunts me 24/7.  Occasionally it gets better and I am able to focus better on things, but in general, it's just not balanced.  In the past, any time this "feeling" has come back, they have increased my medication dose or changed medications.  I believe that I need to get off psychiatric medication (slowly) and allow my brain to heal itself.  I am sick of not being able to feel emotions like I should, and want my life back

 

Thank you for your comments.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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  • Administrator

How has your symptom pattern changed since you went off Klonopin in November?

 

It helps to keep notes on paper about daily symptoms, drug dosages, and when you take your drugs.

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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SunshininDay

I am more alert, my focus is better, my mood is better and my anxiety is better.  I no longer have panic attacks, although sometimes I have moments where my anxiety gets bad... just not to the point of an all out panic attack.  Things have been slowly stabilizing.  But it's like there's another hurdle to jump over.  My pdoc wants to put me on another medication, but that is what they have been doing for 13 years.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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  • Administrator

For what reason does your pdoc want to put you on another drug?

 

Are you near any of the physicians on this list http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

 

By the way, any MD can prescribe Zoloft for tapering purposes.

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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SunshininDay

The reason is that he believes I have an underlying genetic chemical imbalance that is causing my anxiety and depression symptoms.  He says if I have the symptoms, it is because the medicine isn't working, or it has "pooped out."  So I must switch to another medication to control my chemical imbalance.

 

Unfortunately, the closest physician on that list is an hour away, and doesn't accept insurance.  I cannot afford his services.

 

I have already contacted my Pdoc about tapering, but I may need to switch docs because he doesn't want me to go off the Zoloft.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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  • Administrator

You are not suffering from an "underlying chemical imbalance" that can be corrected with psychiatric drugs. No one is. The "chemical imbalance" theory is a myth, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4291-again-chemical-imbalance-is-a-myth-stop-the-lies-please/

 

Any MD can prescribe Zoloft for tapering. You may not need to be paying this pdoc at 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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SunshininDay

Thank you for your advice.  I believe I am slowly learning this.  THE HARD WAY.  I tried to contact my Pdoc today but he didn't call me back.  I am anxious to begin the tapering process.  (But also know it can take a long time, as it did with the Klonopin)

 

I know it may be a few years until I am fully healed.  But I am prepared to finish this challenge and know I will be stronger in the end. I am glad I found this community.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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SunshininDay

Based on your knowledge and experience on this forum, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind answering a question for me. Is there any reason I should wait to start my taper? The reason I ask is because I have not stabilized at this dose of Zoloft. It could be from prolonged Effexor withdrawal and it could be from prolonged klonopin withdrawal. I feel like of I wait to stabilize on 200mg Zoloft it will never happen and I will get worse. But if I start my taper now, I'm at least moving in the right direction.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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  • Administrator

SunshininDay, I wish I could give you a big hug. All the horrible stuff you've been through has been iatrogenic -- because of the drugs.

 

Since it seems you're slowly stabilizing on the Zoloft, I wouldn't be in any hurry to taper. My guess is you're still recovering from the benzo withdrawal.

 

In the meantime, maybe we can find a few things that will help you along a little bit.

 

Have you tried fish oil and magnesium supplements, see

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

Edited by Altostrata
name change

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm not clear on your history with benzos. What's up with the Xanax? Are you taking it? When did you quit?

 

Xanax will cause panic attacks and anxiety when taken regularly, unless you take equal doses every three to four hours around the clock. I suspect that this may have been the source of much of your "anxiety" problem. More about that later if you're still taking it, but if you've been off it for a while it's moot now.

 

You went off Klonopin really fast, and probably experienced benzo withdrawal (which is nasty stuff) as part of your complex of symptoms during that period. You may be done with it now, I don't know, it doesn't really matter at this point and moving forward, just thought I would let you know because it doesn't sound like your docs have been very well informed about benzos.

 

I agree with Petu, I don't see any particular sign that you have some kind of underlying anxiety condition. Sounds like you should probably stay away from cough medicine. (Studies show it doesn't work any better than placebo anyway, so it's no great loss.) You should maybe be careful with all kinds of medication including over the counter cold medications and such, given the history you describe, but reactions to those are normal and well documented and it doesn't mean you have some abnormality.

 

I would say that it sounds like any chemical imbalances you may have experienced have been due to effects of drugs.

 

Yes, you can taper, and we have all the tools here that you'll need to do that. You should start by educating yourself, by reading the "pinned" topics in the forum sections and reading the threads linked in those topics. Also I would recommend reading Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.

 

And also read this:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5891-rickoshea-hi-and-help-please/?p=80624

 

Good luck! I think if you hang out, educate yourself, learn and listen, we will be able to help you. It's going to take some time, but you can get off psych meds and probably stay off them the rest of your life if you want to.

 

And people who know me will tell you that I don't tell everyone that. I don't mince words much. If you listen, don't resist advice, learn, take your time, plan to go slow (years), I think (from the history you have described) you have a good chance.

 

Correction: Did you go off Klonopin in 2012 or 2013? Your post contradicts your sig line. If 2013 then you are probably still dealing with withdrawal from that now and need to take that into account.

 

Also, one of the reasons I think you stand a chance is that you appear to be very self-aware, aware of your internal states and symptoms, and organized, since you've been able to describe your past so well. If you journal, that's excellent, because a withdrawal journal is a crucial helpful tool in tapering.

 

Okay, I have to go now, good luck to you, I think you can do this.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I said so many things this might have gotten lost so let me underline it: Get hold of a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.

 

Don't taper anything yet; you are correct, in your current state it's not a good idea. Right now work on lifestyle changes, reducing stress, getting into some regular routines of good self-care habits (see Symptoms and Self-Care). Use this time to learn everything you can about tapering and prepare for a safe, slow taper that will allow you to maintain some quality of life and be functional. Given the history you describe it is absolutely crucial that you take this process slowly.

 

We encourage a harm reduction approach, which means that you may decide that you need/want to stay on meds at some level. That's an option if you're not feeling entirely sure you want to come off them altogether. Psych drugs are usually prescribed at doses many tens of times over the minimal effective level, so much that the side effects can be overwhelming; those effects will reduce as you reduce your dose, as long as you do it slowly enough (which is to say much much more slowly than your doctor will tell you to.)

 

Okay, I have to go now. There's a lot to learn, take your time. Welcome!

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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SunshininDay

I apologize for my lack of detail on the benzos. When I was taking Xanax, it was as needed every couple days and I stopped taking it when I felt better. So I wasn't taking any benzos from 2006 until January of 2013. I tapered off the Klonopin over the course of four months. I was never "stable" when I started that taper. I felt awful. I feel better now than I did.

 

And therein lies my fear. I fear that if I don't taper now, and try to "stabilize" on the Zoloft, that will never happen. I have already been on Zoloft and "pooped out" on it ten years ago. I don't feel like I will ever be 'stable' enough to begin a taper. That's why I want to start it now, since I have only been on it for about a year. I would rather start the taper now and let my brain start to heal itself than wait.

 

Thanks again for your advice. I will be sure to study all the pinned posts.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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SunshininDay

Also worth noting I have been working out almost daily and eating healthy. Taking vitamin d and magnesium.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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SunshininDay

Here is my taper plan:

(starting from 200mg) 

175mg for 1 month.

150mg for 1 month.

137.5mg for 1 month.

125mg for 1 month.

112.5mg for 1 month.

100mg for at least 1 month.  Hold and reassess.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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SunshininDay

Rhi and Alostrata, a quick question. 

 

You both mentioned that you believe I should stabilize on 200mg before I try to start tapering.  Because I have not been stable in over a year and a half, do you think it's worth waiting to stabilize on 200mg of zoloft, or should i just go for it and start the taper?  I'm afraid I won't stabilize on the 200mg of Zoloft.  The reason I'm afraid is because I was stable on Effexor for 6 years, and then out of the blue I just started getting bad, without changing anything.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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SunshininDay

I should also report that I took 175mg of Zoloft today. 

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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SunshininDay

My fear is that if I stay on 200mg and wait to stabilize, I will get worse before stabilizing.  Ideally, if I can stabilize before starting my taper, I would like to do that.  Especially since I have a baby boy on the way.  I need to do what is best for my family.  I'm just scared that I won't stabilize :-(  That's why I'm anxious to begin the taper.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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  • Member
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

A 10% reduction would have been to 180 mg. Going down more if you are still not stable seems a little risky.

 

Rhi cautioned this above:

 

/quote Don't taper anything yet; you are correct, in your current state it's not a good idea. Right now work on lifestyle changes, reducing stress, getting into some regular routines of good self-care habits (see Symptoms and Self-Care). Use this time to learn everything you can about tapering and prepare for a safe, slow taper that will allow you to maintain some quality of life and be functional. Given the history you describe it is absolutely crucial that you take this process slowly. /quote

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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SunshininDay

Thank you very much for the advice.  The reason I chose 175 is because I could dry cut my current tablets to that level, and 12.5% is close to 10%.  The reason I am tapering now is because I don't feel that I will stabilize on the Zoloft.  Maybe I'm using the word 'stabilize' wrong.  I mean I don't feel I will get back to normal.  In terms of stability, I am stable.  I am consistently feeling the same way without mood swings or anything like that.  It just doesn't feel normal.  I have spent the past 8 weeks getting into a routine of eating healthy and exercising 5-6 times a week.  I have also been cooking every day.  I try to keep busy because I know that even though I don't have much motivation to do anything right now, I will be happy I did things once I feel better.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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SunshininDay

Is there a better way to get a more accurate cut without making a liquid?  I'm not confident in my ability to make the liquid correctly.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Wait, you're pregnant? Well, that complicates things.

 

Not sure what to tell you. I think you're still in benzo withdrawal. You came off a very high dose of Klonopin in four months; I've never seen anyone pull that off without going into extended withdrawal. It's a terrible time to start another taper. And being in withdrawal during pregnancy and with a new baby, which you will be (combined Zoloft and benzo withdrawal) is going to be tough.

 

On the other hand, I can definitely understand why you'd want to be off drugs while pregnant.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

Link to post
SunshininDay

I'm sorry.  I'm a male :-(  My wife is pregnant.  I should mention that when I started the Klonopin taper I was FAR worse than this.  I had just come off a terrible experience having a bad reaction to Effexor, then having a bad reaction coming off Effexor and trouble getting on Zoloft.  It was pretty much awful the entire time.  

 

I'm worried about having a bad reaction from the zoloft like I did with the effexor.  I can't go through that again.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

Link to post
SunshininDay

The problem is I don't know if I'm still in benzo withdrawal.  I felt awful before getting off the benzos, I feel better now.  I still feel bad but it's tolerable.  

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

Link to post
SunshininDay

Currently I see three scenarios:

- continue at 200mg of zoloft until stable.  taper over the course of a couple years.

- continue at 200mg of zoloft until stable.  i have a bad reaction like i did with the effexor and it gets worse again and i need to be put on benzos or other medicines. 

- start tapering now, and get off the medicines and let my brain begin to heal itself.  

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

Link to post
SunshininDay

Can you explain what it means to be stable? I respect your opinion and experience very highly. If it is possible for me to stabilize on the Zoloft then I would like to heed your advice. I'm just so afraid of going through what I did with the Effexor. I was stable for six years then out of nowhere it just got bad.

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

Link to post
SunshininDay

If I understood what happened with the Effexor I would feel better

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

Link to post
SunshininDay

For the record, I am going to go back to taking 200mg tomorrow.  I realize my brain is not stable right now.  I just fear that it won't get stable while I'm on the Zoloft :-(  That's why I was in such a hurry to start the taper. 

Jun '01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN

Dec '02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)

Jan '03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03

Oct '03- Zoloft 200mg*

Oct '05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*

Oct '06- Effexor XR 150mg*

Nov '12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN

Jan '13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily

Mar '13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily

May '13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft

Aug '13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb

Feb '14 - Jan '15- Stabilized at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

January 9, 2015 - 187.5mg (Began Zoloft taper)

February 9, 2015 - 175mg

March 6, 2015 - 162.5mg 

April 16, 2015 - 150mg

May 28, 2015 - 137.5mg

June 30, 2015 - 125mg

Link to post

For the record, I am going to go back to taking 200mg tomorrow.  I realize my brain is not stable right now.  I just fear that it won't get stable while I'm on the Zoloft :-(  That's why I was in such a hurry to start the taper. 

I did not note a change in your dose of Zoloft from 200mg in your message what was the change and how long ago did you change your dose...

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 :)

Link to post

For the record, I am going to go back to taking 200mg tomorrow.  I realize my brain is not stable right now.  I just fear that it won't get stable while I'm on the Zoloft :-(  That's why I was in such a hurry to start the taper. 

"October 2006

  • Symptoms return.  Doc places me on Effexor XR 150mg.
  • After a few weeks feel back to "normal".  Able to enjoy things again.

September 2008

  • Wanted to get off medication for good.  After getting my wisdom teeth out and being on Vicodin, I thought that would be a good time to do it.  2 weeks later, I freaked out and things were AWFUL. 
  • Went to the psychiatric ER and immediately restarted Effexor XR.  Felt back to "normal" after a few weeks.

July 2012

  • Begin having "episodes" where i feel lightheaded, and a "wave" feeling comes over me.  This is accompanied by a significant raise in pulse and blood pressure, extreme panic and anxiety, and dissociative feelings.  The episodes last about 10-15 minutes.  Often times I vomit.  They seem to happen after a lack of sleep, drinking lots of caffeine, or smoking too many cigarettes.  
  • Attack becomes so severe I head to the ER.  They do tests, all come back negative.
  • Over the next few months, these episodes become more frequent, and anxiety in between these episodes goes up."
  • I am not a doctor but it sure looks to me like your effexor stopped working for you.  I am amazed it worked that long as I could not get that much time out of it.. I generally pooped on E at 2 year intervals where the initial drug increase did not fly as mania was an issue so they added another drug... I will not say mania was not a problem with the other drug I will say nobody was around to notice it with the other drug.. like there was when E was increased... 
  • you hit tolerance that is how it goes

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 :)

Link to post

I was on Effexor 7 years but had to add other drugs as i could not increase the dose every 2 years .. 

 

When you hit tolerance you get withdrawal symptoms even tho your still taking the drug neat eh. 

 

Not something I was expecting tho I had never heard of tolerance so did not expect it at all.

 

Sorry things went down this way.. would have been nice for the doc to tell you you were running out of time on e try raising it and get you stable before you started a slow taper seems that would have been the kindest thing to do... as there was nothing wrong with you heart due to testing right... and nothing else wrong with you... I took my share of trips to emerg before I found out what was wrong with me too .. a bad feeling as if they can't find anything you constantly thinking my heart will give you when the doc turns his back... or at least I know I was... leading to more issues I did not need. 

 

I guess it could be other things I am not a doctor but that is what it looks like to me plain old tolerance I had it it sucks.. 

seems you have gone on from there to zoloft... and I wonder what start up problems did you have with zoloft hard to recall I know 

were there any changes when you increased the dose ever .. 

 

Drug start up and side effects are easy to mistake for withdrawal from another drug if you going off one and on another... 

I was just wondering if zoloft had any issues for you... is all

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 :)

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Given your history there is no way I can predict what's going to happen; you've been on and off so many different drugs, with multiple CTs and changes over the years. It's actually impossible to predict 100% what's going to happen even in a simple uncomplicated case (one med only, for a relatively short time) but it's a bit more consistent in those cases. But you are what I consider an extremely complex case (early onset before the brain was mature, long history on drugs, multiple changes of meds, and history of multiple CTs over many years).

 

So I can't tell you what will or will not happen with the Zoloft. If you're not having signs of a bad reaction to it yet, I'd be cautiously optimistic that it will continue to "work" (it's actually not doing much at this point other than preventing what would happen if you tried to quit it).

 

It's not as simple as "I took Effexor and then out of the blue it went all crazy on me." You had been on and off Effexor before that, it looks like a couple of times, and on and off multiple other meds, and had CTs, quite a challenging history already. It's hard to say what happened; I don't think it's as simple as "everything was fine in my brain and body and then suddenly the Effexor made it all go wrong." 

 

I generally find in cases like yours the safest path is to go very slow and minimize change. People seem to be able to tolerate a certain amount of this sort of neurochemical chaos early on, but as Alto says, our CNS is not made of rubber, and it seems to me that once people run out of "slack" things just seem to become more and more fragile and complicated.

 

All I can say is that from the hundreds of people I've seen go through this stuff, I think your best bet is to give it at the very least a few more months to make sure you've had time to recover from the Klonopin withdrawal (again, that was a very high dose in a very short time, and I for one would not consider another taper so soon, without a very compelling reason). During that time you can learn how to make the liquid or get hold of a compounded formula; I think very small reductions are going to be crucial for you, given your history, and probably your only hope for tapering successfully and staying off meds.

 

You have to grow a new brain. Unfortunately our brains have never before in evolution encountered anything like what these drugs do to them, so the healing process is not efficient and probably imperfect at best. Please respect the seriousness of your complicated situation and be cautious and thoughtful in your approach.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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