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dready: My introduction - enough is enough


dready

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Two years ago I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder. At that time I was having drinking problems, first with 1-2 beers daily then 5-6 beers per day.

Luckily it didn't affect my job and my relationship so I decided to stop drinking beer. Out of the blue, anxiety and depression started to grow inside me, fears of death and diseases, fears of basically everything.

I went to "day care" psychiatric hospital and they threw a bunch of medications at me, at that time paroxetine 20mg, Xanax and Respiridal. I was released from that "day care" hospital after 3 weeks in perfect mental shape but medications stayed with me.

Over time situation wasn't better, it was stagnating at best so I tried to find another pDoc. I changed three pDocs because only answer from them was - "just take more of the paroxetine, lets say 30mg". I was tired and frustrated and finally found pDoc that will try to listen and help so I stayed with her.

Before first appointment I was trying to quit paroxetine and was tapering by 25% which I couldn't manage at all, I didnt have a clue about tapering...so I was switched to 37.5mg Venlafaxine XR (Zamfexa XR in Macedonia).

That stabilized me and I'm on this drug less than a year. But I don't want to be on any psychiatric drugs anymore so I have a question, is it smart to start tapering Venlafaxine in the same time when I'm tapering benzo Lorazepam? Or I should take one step at a time and wait for benzo to taper off completely, then go with Venlafaxine tapering?

 

Thanks in advance, 

dready.

2.5mg Lorazepam daily - starting tapering off by 25% on 06/11/2014 

06/22 - 25% didnt work - updose to 2.25 x4 day

06/28 - 2.125mg

37.5mg Venlafaxine XR in the morning

5mg Olanzapine at night

07/01 - Starting daily titration (vodka/water) slow micro-cuts 0.0167mg/day of Olanzapine

07/07 - 4.8833mg Olanzapine

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello dready and welcome to SA!

 

I'm really glad you found us before starting your taper, or at least early enough I wish I had done the same. You will find lots of friendly support in your process here. Just take some time to inform yourself on what is the best way to manage it. 

 

Thank you for providing details of your drug history in your signature. You are asking all the right questions. What we advise here in case of taking more drugs at the same time is to taper first the more activating one (antidepressants activate and benzos act as brakes). Therefore we start with antidepressants first since they are activating and we keep brakes as a useful asset.

 

Here are the links on how to taper venlafaxine (also called Effexor) and the topic explaining what to taper first in case of taking more drugs. We have a special section here on benzos since the main forum specialises in antidepressants as the name says. But take your time with that. We will be very happy to answer all the questions you might have.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2207-taking-multiple-psych-drugs-taper-the-antidepressant-first/

 

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

 

I just need a bit more clarification regarding the signature. Does it mean that you started tapering Lorazepam by 25 % on 6 November? Our friends from the States write months before dates so for them that might be June ;)  Was 2.5 mg of Lorazepam your starting dose or is that your current dose? What are your symptoms now?

 

Welcome once again.

 

best,

bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Thank you for the warm welcome.

 

I modified my signature to be more descriptive. Starting dose was 2.5mg Lorazepam and I'm in the first week of tapering. 

Current dose is 1.875mg and I plan to cut again after one week from now by 25% and stay on 1.25mg for two more weeks. 

My symptoms are nausea, morning anxiety, tiredness, brain fog, muscle and joint pains...symptoms come and go, I had perfect days during tapering but also awful days during the process in the first week.

 

I wasnt sure where to start with the tapering since I hate all 3 medications equally :) so I consulted my pDoc and she says to start with Lorazepam since it "might" be addictive after long time use. Fair enough, so I started with Lorazepam. I think I will continue with tapering only Lorazepam for now to see how it goes.

 

Thank you again for the support.

2.5mg Lorazepam daily - starting tapering off by 25% on 06/11/2014 

06/22 - 25% didnt work - updose to 2.25 x4 day

06/28 - 2.125mg

37.5mg Venlafaxine XR in the morning

5mg Olanzapine at night

07/01 - Starting daily titration (vodka/water) slow micro-cuts 0.0167mg/day of Olanzapine

07/07 - 4.8833mg Olanzapine

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That's what pdocs usually say: that benzos are addictive so greater harm. But we see ADs are equally addictive. You will also sooner or later find out that most doctors know next to nothing about tapering, deny withdrawal syndrome and when you crash after such fast reduction they will just say your "illness" came back. 

 

In any case, the rate at which you are going with reducing Lorazepam is a way too fast and your brain is telling you this loud and clear through your symptoms. We recommend to start with 10 % every 30 days on your current dose. (If and only if your CNS allows it you can go faster). The problems is that you might not feel the cuts immediately but they will accumulate, cause you a lot of trouble and pain and in the end delay discontinuation. So I would strongly urge you to slow down, both in terms of the percentage of cuts and in particular with waiting between doses. To reduce the percentage of cuts you will have to learn how to get  doses of your drug smaller than what you can get by cutting it. Pharma doesn't do anything to help us come off medication. 

 

You will get more advice on tapering benzos on the sub-forum here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/29-members-only-benzo-tapering-discussion/

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, dready.

 

If I were you, I'd hold on reducing the benzo and taper the Effexor XR instead. The benzo and Seroquel help you sleep; reducing any of the drugs can cause sleeplessness. If you reduce the Effexor first, you will be more likely to maintain your sleep.

 

Do you have Effexor XR capsules with little beads inside?

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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Yes, there are around 120 beads in each capsule of 37.5mg. If I start with micro-taper, removing one bead each day I will be finished in 120 days with tapering. If I go with 10% monthly I will remove 12 beads more with each reduction and it will take 10 months with this approach.

I'm taking the benzo in the morning along with the Effexor XR and olanzapine at night, I think benzo is more for anxiety and olanzapine is the one that maintains sleeping. Not just sleeping, I'm feeling like tranquilized horse every morning when I wake up. :)

I'm really confused not sure what to do... 

2.5mg Lorazepam daily - starting tapering off by 25% on 06/11/2014 

06/22 - 25% didnt work - updose to 2.25 x4 day

06/28 - 2.125mg

37.5mg Venlafaxine XR in the morning

5mg Olanzapine at night

07/01 - Starting daily titration (vodka/water) slow micro-cuts 0.0167mg/day of Olanzapine

07/07 - 4.8833mg Olanzapine

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Sleep is really important to healing and emotional wellbeing during withdrawal - that's why we put great importance on sleep when deciding which meds to go off first.   If your sleep falls apart things get pretty ugly very quickly

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Oh and I would go with the slower method.  The idea is to come off meds in good shape, not cross the line first in a big hot mess.  Please excuse my lack of eloquence, its night time in Australia and my brain has switched off.

 

D

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thanks...

I will hold off benzo taper, trying to stabilize on the current dose and then starting with Effexor XR taper. 

If benzo w/d symptoms become untorelable with the current dose I will get back to the starting point at 2.5mg and stabilize then start Effexor XR taper.

I agree that sleeping is essential in healing and I'm scared to death when I think how it will be when I go to taper Olanzapine. I experienced near c/t experience when I forgot to take pills and that is really scary.

2.5mg Lorazepam daily - starting tapering off by 25% on 06/11/2014 

06/22 - 25% didnt work - updose to 2.25 x4 day

06/28 - 2.125mg

37.5mg Venlafaxine XR in the morning

5mg Olanzapine at night

07/01 - Starting daily titration (vodka/water) slow micro-cuts 0.0167mg/day of Olanzapine

07/07 - 4.8833mg Olanzapine

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks...

I will hold off benzo taper, trying to stabilize on the current dose and then starting with Effexor XR taper. 

If benzo w/d symptoms become untorelable with the current dose I will get back to the starting point at 2.5mg and stabilize then start Effexor XR taper.

I agree that sleeping is essential in healing and I'm scared to death when I think how it will be when I go to taper Olanzapine. I experienced near c/t experience when I forgot to take pills and that is really scary.

 

This plan sounds good to me. The only thing I would suggest differently is that you might want to up your lorazepam to 2.25 mg right now. What you are feeling now, if you cut by 25% on the 11th, is only the beginning, and it can and probably will get worse; benzo tapers are notorious for a "lag time" effect before you really get the full blow, and then it can be hell.  

 

And 25% is a large cut that I would only recommend to someone who'd been on the drug for four weeks or less. (I'm not clear when you started the lorazepam; if it's been only a short while then you might be able to get away with the 25%.)

 

Reinstatement with benzos can be iffy if not done fairly early, so personally I wouldn't recommend waiting it out more than another week. 

 

The idea is to get you stable (get you settled down, get the withdrawal symptoms settled down) as soon as possible (which will still be a few weeks even if you adjust your cut upwards now). Often when people cut too much they crash and burn and then it takes a pretty long time to get stable enough to continue tapering.

 

It's better to be conservative at first. If you start with smaller cuts and long holds between them, you will learn--safely--how your body is going to respond, and then if you find you can tolerate a more aggressive taper, you can ratchet it up slowly to tolerance. But if you go too fast at first and have that "crash and burn" experience, it can be many many months before you're stable enough to restart the taper, and when you do you may find you're so sensitized you have to go extra slow.

 

So I'd really consider adjusting that lorazepam now, going up to 2.25 (which would be a 10% cut off the original 2.5 mg) or at least up to 2 mg, and then just taking good care of yourself and riding out the withdrawal from that cut for a month or two (however long it takes, only your body can tell you that).

 

And don't be scared about tapering the olanzapine. If you do a slow taper it won't be anything like that CT type experience. I know exactly how you feel, it's horrible to imagine going through that again. But we find that with a conservative taper, the symptoms are mild and short-lived.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

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

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It's so nice to hear you are taking into account our advice. You have great chances of getting this right.

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Thanks a lot for the advice and spending time helping me getting this right.

 

I think I have a plan now. First thing I will split benzo in 4 doses since Lorazepam has half-life of 6 hours and I will take each dose at exact time during the 24 hours. I will avoid inter-dose withdrawals with this approach since I'm taking whole dose in the morning at the moment and that is causing symptoms in the afternoon (on a good day I still have sympoms after ~4PM).   

Then I will wait for stabilizing the system, once I feel that I'm stable enough on benzo I will start cutting Effexor XR by 10% each month. Once I'm done with the Effexor XR in 10 months and stabilize again, I will continue with benzo, trying to cut 10% every two weeks. It will be hard with such small pills and doses but I will figure it out. At the end, starting with Olanzapine withdrawal by 10% each month.

Thats 25 months...lets the journey begins :) 

2.5mg Lorazepam daily - starting tapering off by 25% on 06/11/2014 

06/22 - 25% didnt work - updose to 2.25 x4 day

06/28 - 2.125mg

37.5mg Venlafaxine XR in the morning

5mg Olanzapine at night

07/01 - Starting daily titration (vodka/water) slow micro-cuts 0.0167mg/day of Olanzapine

07/07 - 4.8833mg Olanzapine

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  • Moderator Emeritus

that sounds good although we avoid making long-term plans but rather rely on listening carefully to our CNS. But I have to congratulate you for the speed at which you are learning. I learnt how to make a liquid suspension of my drug so everyone can do it :) when the time comes. Now just focus on stabilising, increasing your general wellbeing and basically putting tapering into the background of your life. 

 

What about Rhi's advice to go back on the previous dose of Lorazepam BEFORE withdrawal hits you? This might put you in unnecessary pain and delay the whole process.  

 

Although 25 months sounds like a long time, my previous attempts at quitting medication just meant that 5 years later I am not only still on them but on higher doses ;( So slower actually makes things faster...

 

good luck!

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Thanks a lot..

I will definitely listen Rhi's advice and go up to 2.25mg. I will have to be patient so couple of weeks or month delay is not a big deal. I'm not that long on the medications (2 years overall various stuff - alprazolam, respiridal, paroxetine - then lorazepam (less than a year), venfalaxine and olanzapine.) so everything I have now is hope and patience. 

2.5mg Lorazepam daily - starting tapering off by 25% on 06/11/2014 

06/22 - 25% didnt work - updose to 2.25 x4 day

06/28 - 2.125mg

37.5mg Venlafaxine XR in the morning

5mg Olanzapine at night

07/01 - Starting daily titration (vodka/water) slow micro-cuts 0.0167mg/day of Olanzapine

07/07 - 4.8833mg Olanzapine

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  • Moderator Emeritus

we all want off these drugs and we want it to happen asap so we have to remind each other not to rush. I'm so glad slowing down is not a problem for you and you don't need persuading. You have what it takes for a successful  process :)

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Good on you Dready, let us know how you get on and never be afraid to ask for support or advice

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Great job Dready, I can see you're taking this all seriously and reading through the forum and learning really fast and making great decisions. You're obviously very intelligent and decisive. I'm so pleased, this means you're going to be a success! 

 

As Bubble mentioned, we don't really encourage people to cling tightly to a pre-planned calendar schedule, because your body is the expert that will tell you how fast you can taper, and you will learn about that as you go.

 

However, as long as you're willing to adapt as you go and do what your body needs you to do, it can be helpful to have a general idea of the overall time frame. That can be the hardest part for people to accept--that it's going to take a couple of years.

 

You're doing so well. I'm impressed and pleased.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

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

 

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

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Thank you Rhi for your kind words. 

Just a little update, I updosed benzo to 2.25mg which is 10% of the original 2.5mg dose and I'm planning to stay on it for maybe 2 weeks more. I also split the dose x4 day and I can see great improvement, especially at evenings/night. Mornings are still unpleasant but I guess brain is adjusting still to the new regimen. I'm planning to do one more cut and get to 2mg due to limitations of the pills. Then I will stop with benzo taper. In the meantime I was reading a lot about olanzapine and I'm scared for its side effects, like diabetes and weight gain (I gained about 40 pounds in the past 2 years and my cholesterol is high) and I also hate its sedating effects in the morning where I cant get out of the bed quickly. So I started to cut olanzapine by 10% in the past 2 days and all is fine so far. I will see how it goes, if its not going well I will stop it and try to stabilize. But definetely olanzapine is the first drug I want to kick out due to potential health complications.

I'm waiting for the Gemini scale and when that arrives I will think what to do next.

2.5mg Lorazepam daily - starting tapering off by 25% on 06/11/2014 

06/22 - 25% didnt work - updose to 2.25 x4 day

06/28 - 2.125mg

37.5mg Venlafaxine XR in the morning

5mg Olanzapine at night

07/01 - Starting daily titration (vodka/water) slow micro-cuts 0.0167mg/day of Olanzapine

07/07 - 4.8833mg Olanzapine

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That sounds good. Take your time, since you're cutting two drugs at once you need to allow extra time for withdrawal symptoms to appear, play out, and resolve.  Also if you're tapering two drugs at once you need to go with smaller cuts than 10%, more like 5% or less.

 

You've got a good plan.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

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

 

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

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Hi Rhi, 

Thanks for the advice. I think I rushed a bit...slight change of the plan, I will drop the benzo to 2mg but keep olanzapine at 5mg. Once I'm stable on benzo I will hold the benzo taper and start olanzapine daily micro-taper with liquid titration. Once I'm done with olanzapine I will continue with benzo daily micro-taper. 

I hope in 10 months I will be olanzapine-free.

2.5mg Lorazepam daily - starting tapering off by 25% on 06/11/2014 

06/22 - 25% didnt work - updose to 2.25 x4 day

06/28 - 2.125mg

37.5mg Venlafaxine XR in the morning

5mg Olanzapine at night

07/01 - Starting daily titration (vodka/water) slow micro-cuts 0.0167mg/day of Olanzapine

07/07 - 4.8833mg Olanzapine

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello, 

I know this is kinda old thread, but if anyone successfully tapered olanzapine from wafers, please let me know since I started tapering 4 days ago using wafers and vodka/water liquid titration.

My method is: putting wafer in 3ml vodka and let it dissolve for about 20 minutes. Then put 297ml water making total od 300ml solution. Stir up a bit to make particles spread evenly in the liquid and then cut my dose. My math is pretty simple, I'm tossing by increment of 1ml daily until I reach mark of 300ml (300 days is my goal). 1ml of the solution contains 0.0167mg olanzapine, so thats my daily reduction of 5mg wafer.

Please let me know if this method is not good or someone have another suggestion for tapering. It's my 4th day of tapering and I dont feel any w/d symptoms so far.

Thanks in advance.

2.5mg Lorazepam daily - starting tapering off by 25% on 06/11/2014 

06/22 - 25% didnt work - updose to 2.25 x4 day

06/28 - 2.125mg

37.5mg Venlafaxine XR in the morning

5mg Olanzapine at night

07/01 - Starting daily titration (vodka/water) slow micro-cuts 0.0167mg/day of Olanzapine

07/07 - 4.8833mg Olanzapine

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