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Stall: greetings


Stall

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Hello, I ve been attempting to discontinue ssri's for quite some time with mixed results. Currently reduced my celaxa from 2.6 to 2.4. My brain isnt really liking it. Judging from past experience its not that severe. But severe is relative. It doesnt really feel good and can be quite frightening at times, increased depression, apathy and a little/lot of fear. I expected it to be a little easier judging from my last cut in Oct. 2013. Its frustrating that such a small reduction can have such a pronounced effect. My current meds are listed in my sig. Hopefully, with some help I ll be able to be med free one of these days. I already know its a long process.

 

 

Me...

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Stall and welcome to SA!

 

Thank you for providing us with your drug history. I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling. When I'm looking for reasons that might explain your current difficulties the first thing that comes to my mind is how you reduced Celexa from 20 mg in 2010 to 2.6 mg in 2014. Given the long period of time, unless you were going up and down in doses, it seems that your cuts were small. But more details on that period between 2010 and 2014 will probably explain your situation at the moment better.

 

It seems that you are much more informed about tapering that most of us were when we first came here: you are reducing the most activating drug first  while holding the others (except that I'm personally not acquainted with wellbutrin except seeing members here who are struggling with it).

 

The reasons I asked for more details on your previous tapering is because the way we feel at the moment might not be entirely dependent on our last cut but is more likely to be a manifestation of things we did many months ago. Cuts have a kind of cumulative effect. that's why we advise longer holds even after small cuts.

 

It's also possible that you'll have to go slower than slow simply because your brain doesn't like it. But long holds balance things out together with our support for our CNS through non-drug methods you can find here in Symptoms and self-care sections.

 

You will find a lot of friendly support here and I look forward to learning more about your taper.I believe this will give us more insights to help you in your process.

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Stall,

It could possibly be that the 200mg of wellbutrin is causing the symptoms. Wellbutrin tends to be activating and now that your level of celexa is lower, the side effects of wellbutrin may be effecting you more:

 

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/wellbutrin-sr-side-effects.html

 

Perhaps you could hold on your celexa taper and reduce the wellbutrin, it may cut down some of those symptoms.  Here is our wellbutrin tapering thread:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/877-tips-for-tapering-off-wellbutrin-sr-xr-xl-buproprion/?hl=%2Btips+%2Bfor+%2Btapering+%2Boff+%2Bwellbutrin

 

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

Welcome to the forum, Stall. I'm glad to see that you've been reducing your Celexa very slowly and I agree with Petu about holding where you are, stabilizing, and then reducing the Wellbutrin, which is stimulating.  I'm not familiar with Buspar, unfortunately, so I don't know what to say about that.

 

There's a wealth of information on this site.  Please take your time reading all you can and learning about the withdrawal process.  Again, welcome.

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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 more details on that period between 2010 and 2014 will probably explain your situation at the moment better.

 

Thank you all for your replies. I will try to answer all the questions, though it may take me a while. One of the worst aspects of ssri withrawal is the inability to think critically while I am withdrawing. It literally hurts to think. Thats the only way I can explain it. Complexities make me irritable. Its awful to be around people when my disposition is like that. Anyway, I am sure most of you are familiar with the feeling.

 

Nevertheless, the 2010- 2014 period is lumped together because I had a hard time keeping my sig in the 750 character or less range.

 

My first experience with withdrawal was with paxil. I tried to quit cold turkey around 2007, I think. I was completely ignorant of withdrawal syndrome, as was my psychiatrist. He gave me the, take a pill one day skip the next day do it for a week then cease altogether advice. Weeks into it I was SUPER irritable, and getting into arguments spontaneously. I began to get brain zaps when I moved my head to quickly. I thought I was losing my mind. I had no idea it was from withrawal. My doctor swore up and down that I "shouldnt" be having such a hard time and I believe he thought I was exaggerting my symptoms. Desperate I began to look for anwers on the web and I found the website quitpaxil.org.

 

It was a godsend, all the symptoms I was going through had been experienced by others. In fact I believe that site has a list of all possible withdrawal symptoms. I garnered a lot of info from the site. Unfortunately, I found that I had to go back on paxil and then slowly reduce my dosage. I am not sure but I think my restarting dose was 20 mg. Eventually, I had gotten down to 10 mg of paxil (I believe I made two 5 milligram dose cuts). I dont remember how long I spaced out the med cuts either. The final 10 mg I used liquid paxil. When I got down to around 5 mg  I made a mad dash for the finish line. I think I cut 1 mg every two to three days. I briefly succeded getting off ssri's. My last dose of paxil was around January 2008, but boy what a summer I had that year.

 

I rember being really depressed, anxious, and easily activated/outraged but it was manageable. Suddenly, I experience two extreme life stressors and I collapsed into an anxiety relapse. The story is to long to explain in detail, but end result was for one month out of the next three I was either in a behavioural health ward or in a crisis home. In the process, I lost my job. The hospital doctor put me on celexa and ramped up the dose from 0 to 40 mg in two weeks. Just like withrawal symptoms can be activated by a quick decrease of medication, a quick increase in medication can induce many negative side-effects; tachychardia, anxiety, psycho motor agitation, insomnia, suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation. I had it all. Of course the doctor believed these new symptoms to be part of my neurosis. I knew better because I had never experienced anything close to these new symptoms.

 

My anxiety disorder was panic attack centric, combined with social phobia. The experience was truly horrific. I believe that I had an adverse reaction to celexa. I have never felt good or relaxed on celexa. It seems I just learned how to tolerate the drug. It took me three months to finally settle into something that resembled normalcy. I believe I was on 40 mg. Around 2009 I made two ten mg cuts in the span of a month. Around 2010, at 20 mg I cut a 10mg pill in half and went to 15 mg. I stayed on that dose for many months then finally went down to 10 mg. Which I stayed on for quite some time quite possibly for a year or more. The whole time I was fighting with my doctor about lowering my doses. He resisted helping me though he begrudgingly agreed to prescribe the liquid celexa. Unfortunately, my Doc convinced me to take Wellbutrin, which I am currently on now. So from 10 mg I began to lower my doses by .2 mg. Anything more than that has incured unbearable withdrawal symtoms. I space the dose cuts out by a month at the least and sometimes by 6 or more months. Finally, I reached the dose of celexa I am at right now, 2.4. From 10 mg to now I think spans 2011 to current date. I

 

So there it is, I hope that is not too convoluted and I apologize for the poor grammar, but its a lot of info to divulge and I dont really feel like editing ;)

 

Interestingly, I feel a ton better than when I made my first post. I think I may have found a new strategy for decreasing my dose. Yesterday, I accidently, took two doses of my celexa. Today, I took my new reduced dose, but it seems the previous extra dose may have taken the edge off the withrawal. I feel pretty damned normal right now :blink:. I believe, I read a journal where doctors used this strategy for withdrawl symptoms i.e. a brief revisiting of the normal dose. Interesting...

 

BTW I started the wellbutrin ~2010

 

I'll try to respond to the other questions later, right now I feel like I've written an auto-biography.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Stall.

 

I agree with Petu, I might hold on tapering the Celexa, perhaps at a slight updose of 2.5 mg, and after a month or so, work on reducing the Wellbutrin.

 

What is your symptom pattern now?

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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To answer the questions about the wellbutrin, I have already thought of and tried reducing it. I don't think I went about it the right way. However, I have already decided to go off the celexa first. I am aware that wellbutrin can be anxiety inducing. However, I don't think its the culprit.

 

Of course I went about it all wrong, I followed my former doctors advice and I cut the dose too rapidly. I cant believe I did the , take one pill skip the next day do this for a week then cease altogeter. I hoped that wellbutrin would be different. since its not an SSRI. The cut was from 200 SR mg a day to 100 mg SR a day. I was on the lowered dose for about 2 months. The first few weeks wasnt bad, then I had terrible nausea, headache, and with that came mad anxiety. It just didnt go away. Eventually, I went back on the 200 mg dose and it took around two weeks to stablize. When I did stablize, I was relatively fine.

 

So while I know Wellbutrin can incur anxiety, it is not the case for everyone and I honestly dont think its the culprit. Besides, some people say, reduce the SSRI first. I would be running around like a chicken if I followed everyones advice. I am going to titrate off the celexa then work on the wellbutrin. The reasoning is that at 2.8, 2.6 of celexa I have had stability, and even serene states. I dont  believe that at 2.4 would be any different.

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  • Administrator

Our rule of thumb is to reduce the most activating drug first. In your case, that would be Wellbutrin.

 

Wellbutrin unquestionably has common side effects of jumpiness, anxiety, and sleeplessness.

 

Since you have reduced the Celexa so much, it's unlikely those symptoms are coming from Celexa. It's possible that having reduced Celexa, you've changed the interactions of your drugs and Wellbutrin is now doing things it hasn't done before.

 

When you ask questions here, we answer to the best of our abilities, based on hundreds of tapering cases and what we've gleaned from the medical literature (which is very poor regarding withdrawal). Your rationalizations about how your drugs are behaving run counter to my experience. Yes, small decreases, particularly at low dosages, can have big effects. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Welcome, Stall.

 

I agree with Petu, I might hold on tapering the Celexa, perhaps at a slight updose of 2.5 mg, and after a month or so, work on reducing the Wellbutrin.

 

What is your symptom pattern now?

Not sure what you mean by symptom pattern. My symptoms now are: headache, irritability and difficulty concentrating. I made the cut on the 8th of this month so I am near the two week mark. Initially, I was depressed, apathetic, then shortly after the irritability.

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Also,increased depression,  headache irritability, difficulty concentrating have always been concurrent during every ssri cut I've made, even before I was on the wellbutrin. I understand your point that wellbutrin may be the culprit, but it also may not.

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  • Administrator

It seems you probably reduced Celexa too far, too fast, which is why we are suggesting a slight updose, to perhaps 2.5mg, and then stabilizing for a month or more.

 

Why was Wellbutrin added? What was Buspar added?

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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Originally, I reduced the celexa fast, in ten mg increments. But, from 20 mg to 10 mg I quarterd a 10 mg pill and decreased by around 2.5 mg at each step. At 10 mg of celexa I started decreasing with liquid doses. The whole process has taken years.

 

Wellbutrin was added to counter the sexual side effects of the celexa (talking to a phamacist: he says adding wellbutrin to be rid of already existing sexual side effects is absurd). It actually can cause sexual side effects. In October 2013, I lowered my celexa from 2.8 to 2.6 mg. The cut went OK but I had an increase in general anxiety. In January, I came to the same conclusion that you did, my lowered dose of celexa is causing the wellbutrin to react differently with my chemistry and was causing me problems (I was starting have ceaseless anxiety). However, grrrr, I followed my then doctors advice: take the normal dose one day skip the next etc. The goal was to move from 200 mg to 100 mg a day.

 

It wasnt too bad and by the second week I felt OK. In fact the anxiety ceased to be an issue. About a month into I got what I thouhgt was a stomach flu, lethargy, malaise, gastrointestinal issues. Later I found these sound very similar to many of the wellbutrin side effects. Normal GI disturbances associated with the stomach flu last for a few day and this was going on for weeks. The GI stuff resolved itself but I was left with this terrible depression and sense of forboding, aching  head inablity to concentrate dizziness. All this two months into it. The end result was me getting back on the 200 mg dose of wellbutrin. The whole ordeal lasted into March 2013 and by April 2013 things had evened out pretty well.

 

I think my issue with withdrawal is this: I dont have the capacity to deal with that much discomfort. In fact prolonged periods of discomfort agitate my already existing "disorders". In short I am easily overwhelmed by stress. Which in turn makes reducing my meds very, very difficult.

 

Eventually, I dumped my previous doc and got a new one. His suggestion is to be rid of the celexa first. So my previous experience and his suggestion is why I am a bit resistant to decrease the wellbutrin. But, I am actually considering it now.

 

 

Also, I went back up to my previous dose of celexa 2.6 mg. I coudnt take the discomfort anymore and it has already been two weeks.

 

* Side note: I was taking 100 mg wellbutrin twice a day. When I decreased it , I was only taking one 100 mg dose daily. I think that may have had something to do with my issues. If I could have taken two 50 mg doses maybe it would have went differently. But, they dont make 50 mg doses of SR

 

Buspar was the first med I ever took for anxiety.

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  • Administrator

It sounds like you got withdrawal symptoms from going off Wellbutrin too fast.

 

Often people hit a plateau in tapering, usually at a very low dose, where small decreases are uncomfortable. In those situations, a long hold often increases tolerance for the final push of small decreases.

 

You may be in that stage with Celexa. In addition, you have a history of adverse effects from Wellbutrin. While you are holding on Celexa, you might find you can taper Wellbutrin and end up in a better place to finish tapering Celexa.

 

Nobody likes withdrawal symptoms. Our thinking is: Taper at a rate you can be comfortable. Do not try to push your way through withdrawal symptoms. Any withdrawal symptoms are a sign your nervous system is in distress.

 

Petu gave you the link to the topic for tapering Wellbutrin. Are you reading the links we post for you?

 

Also, many people do better with 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/

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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I read that post when I was researching how to get off wellbutrin, months ago. Unfortunately, I didnt find it until after the fact. I also have read the post on magnesium/calcium channel blocker and I ve been taking it since March. At this point I am going to lay off tapering anything indefinitely. I am just tired of feeling like ****. I had been stable on the 2.6 celexa 200 mg wellbutrin plus the buspar for a few months. So hopefully I can be stable again.

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Update: Went back up to 2.6 mg of Celexa on 6-22-14. Really bad withdrawal symptoms, pressure head ache, trouble thinking and concentrating, irritable, all this activated my anxiety. Its really hard to be positve and upbeat about my medication situation when I feel like that. It almost seems hopeless. But, I know what my goal is and I will try again hopefully with more success next time. 6-24-14 I saw my doctor and told him of my attempt to decrease. At first he thought it was anxiety symptoms returning and suggested that "its because your body needs the medicine", but when I explained the headaches and difficulty concentrating he relented that it is most likely withdrawal. However, he does not think wellbutrin has any part in my symptoms. His reasoning is that it works on a different "channel" than the celexa so it should not have any effect on me.

 

However, I am not completely sold on that reasoning. I doubt that  caffiene works on the same "channel" ssri's work on and I am pretty sure caffeine aggravates withdrawal symptoms. I decided to wait a month before I change anything again. I may decide to drop the well butrin down by a 25 mg increment and see how that goes. If it goes well then I can continue. Hope it does. I want to stay active on this site so when I do my decrease Ill have a little support.

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  • Administrator

Sorry, your doctor is full of it. Wellbutrin adverse effects are very, very well known.

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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Sorry, your doctor is full of it. Wellbutrin adverse effects are very, very well known.

 

Well isnt that the crux of the problem? Doctors that are ignorant to the effects of the drugs they prescribe. Even I ask for help they/he really doesnt know how to help me. So, I am feeling really hopeless now. Right now I have a bit of suicidal ideation, sense of foreboding doom, and reading articles that are saying some of the damage done by ssri's, esp. for long term users, is irreparable. So even if I do manage to get of these things, like my experience with paxil, I am fecked because I may never fully recover? Thats just great. Venting, but I am really starting to get angry about this situation.

 

Also, Altostrata, are you fully off meds at this point? I a good reason to keep trying.

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Altostrata, do you have any links to literature on withdrawal syndrome particulary the wellbutrin. Next time I see my doc I want to be armed with some information.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Suicidal ideation and a sense of foreboding doom are classic withdrawal symptoms. You'll find many, many reports of those from the people here.

 

I think holding and stabilizing is a good idea for now. When you do feel ready to make a cut in the Wellbutrin, i would start with a much smaller cut. No more than 10% and personally, as sensitized and destabilized as you are, I would prefer you not to risk even that high a level, and start with 5% and see how that goes.

 

Everything you describe sounds to me like you're having classic withdrawal symptoms, probably from cutting Celexa too fast, aggravated by the stimulating and activating side effects of Wellbutrin, which as Alto says are pretty well known and very common.

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

As for links to withdrawal information, I would look around the forum. Alto and others have created a wealth of links both to media sources and to our own material. You can also check out "cepuk.org" and read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Peter Breggin. The Whitaker book has an exhaustive list of citations, I'm not as familiar with Breggin.

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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  • 1 year later...

Whew, last time I posted here was a while ago. Update

Like my sig says I was on 200 mg of Wellbutrin SR (100 mg twice a day, ). I reduced it by 50 mg in early 2015. First I tried changing my evening dose to 100 mg of IR. A lateral switch. I wanted to get IR so when I finally starting cutting down I wouldn't have to order two different types of the same medication, and also I wasn't comfortable cutting the generic SR tabs.

 

So I took  an 100 mg of IR and it had really bad anxiety afterwards. Im sure IR hits your system quickly but also dissipates from your system quickly to. I tried reducing it by 25 mg/ 75mg dose, still as soon as I took the 75mg dose I experienced bad anxiety. I ended up staying there for a few days. However, I was all keyed up. Finally, I cut it to 50 mg and straightened out in a few days. Ive been at 150 mg of wellbutrin for around a year now 100 SR in the morning and 50 IR in the evening. For the most part Ive been stable.

 

Strangely, I have a hard time moving from SR to IR. According to the literature I read, and yes I have read "Tips for tapering Wellbutrin... thread" laterally switching from IR to SR shouldn't be a problem, but it is with me. Regardless, 5 days ago I figured I would drop the 100 mg of SR to 50 IR. My dose would look like this: 50 mg IR twice a day plus buspar 40mg  and celexa 3.2 mg. I figured since I had success cutting 100 SR to 50 IR Id be able to repeat the process.

 

Well, on day 5 I felt bad but not horrible bad. I had low energy, trouble concentrating, irritability flu like aches and pains and a bit of anxiety. I mean I felt worse and I am sure I could have pushed through it but I gave in and took the 100 mg of SR yesterday evening.  The problem is it didn't make me feel better it made me feel worse. I got a burst of anxiety and haven't been able to sleep since. The anxiety is now wearing off but now I am at a crossroads.

 

I want to revert to the 50 mg of IR and push through it but there are no guarantees the withdrawal symptoms will subside anytime soon. Or I could just go back to the previous medication regimen but who knows how long it will take to readjust to that? Remember, shortly after I took the I experienced anxiety.  in hindsight I should have tried a smaller reduction but, I didn't. I don't know its just frustrating. I really thought it wouldn't be difficult. I was able to do it previously. I am not sure why I'm even posting on this forum. I think mostly because its cathartic. I feel every decision I make about meds is wrong. Its like walking a tightrope. Well into the universe this post goes...

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Thanks for taking the time to do an update Stall.

 

Strangely, I have a hard time moving from SR to IR.....Regardless, 5 days ago I figured I would drop the 100 mg of SR to 50 IR.

Correct me if i am wrong here but it does appear to me that you have changed 2 variables at the same time. You moved from SR to IR BUT also at the same time you did a 50% drop in the morning dose? You have attributed issues to the IR but it could just as easily have been due to the 50 % cut.

 

I notice above Rhi suggested 5% cuts. I also am a big fan of 5% cuts.

 

I know wellbutrin is supposed to be easier to get off but a 50% cut sounds a lot to me.

 

in hindsight I should have tried a smaller reduction but, I didn't. I don't know its just frustrating. I really thought it wouldn't be difficult.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

 

I was able to do it previously.

When it comes to ssris like other things in life past performance is no predictor of future performance.

 

I feel every decision I make about meds is wrong.

Thats the past it doesnt have to be that way any more. 

Here's an idea you could follow the advice of this site.

 

So glad you stopped by to give an update

 

You can do this many here are. 

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Thanks for the reply. I was feeling a bit dejected when I wrote the post yesterday. Today, I took my "regular" dose/s of wellbutrin, SR included. The withdrawal edge is mostly gone. I am feeling more my normal self today.

 

I was perusing the site and I forgot what a really good resource for info it is. I cant remember the post but it spoke of how the nervous system likes routine and stability. It mentioned a normal sleep pattern etc. Funny , my sleep pattern is all out of whack and has been for the last year or so. There are so many little things I can do to help my anxiety even something as simple as not staying up till 4 am.

 

Also I noticed that I make the decision to decrease my meds abruptly. For instance, I had a bad anxiety episode which ended with me going to the ER. So I decided, "you know if I am gonna feel crappy and anxious I may as get a benefit from it"  . It isn't  sound reasoning but, it made sense at the time. It would make more sense to plan my next decrease and prepare in advance.

 

Incidentally, I went to my therapist today and told her all about the last week and we did a mindfulness meditation, which helped immensely. So I am in an improved state thank goodness.

 

Anyway hope to post on this forum more frequently.

 

Cheers.

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Strangely, I have a hard time moving from SR to IR.....Regardless, 5 days ago I figured I would drop the 100 mg of SR to 50 IR.

Correct me if i am wrong here but it does appear to me that you have changed 2 variables at the same time. You moved from SR to IR BUT also at the same time you did a 50% drop in the morning dose? You have attributed issues to the IR but it could just as easily have been due to the 50 % cut.

 

 

 

Your right, I did change two variables.

 

In the past I tried unsuccessfully to make a lateral switch from SR to IR it didn't go well. I mean I could have been me just being anxious but, once the anxiety train starts moving its hard to stop and my mind attributed the anxiety to the switch. I imagine I could try it again just to be sure. I  saw a chart on this forum showing the blood concentration for the different types of wellbutrin. IR peaks quicker and higher than the XL or SR. Not by much but it could account for the extra anxiety.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello, recently, from Oct. 22 til Nov 2nd of this year I was on lorazepam for a recent spate of anxiety. I took around .5 mg to 1mg a day. Sooooo, on the 2nd of this month I woke up with a headache and fresh anxiety & on the 3rd and 4th also. It wasn't as intense as the first day , but I had a hard time sleeping and was pretty much anxious all night. First, its really unusual for me to be at a high level of anxiety for more than 3 days in a row. I am guessing its the lorazepam causing the symptoms. Ive read on some forums that you can get physically dependent in less than a week. any way it sucks, but I feel a bit better. I have 2 1/2 pills left but I am afraid to take them because it may erase the slow progress Ive made. Any advice is appreciated.

 

Side note, due to the recent increase in anxiety I decided to enroll in an outpatient Behavioral Health program. It has a psychiatrist, psychologist and group therapy. Truth be told, I haven't seen a psychiatrist in more that 3 or 4 years. I can predict he/she is  going to want me to up my dosages or give me a new med. I am not looking forward to that. I want to keep things the same, but I really am anxious so I am afraid I might cave in to pressure.

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  • Administrator

Hi, Stall.

 

Yes, you can develop a dependency to benzos in 2 - 4 weeks, so you are right at the edge of being in that timeframe.

 

If I were you, I would simply stop now. If the symptoms are too unbearable, you might want to do a rapid taper of 25% every couple of days from the lowest dose you were taking until you are completely off. 

 

For more information, you may want to research benzos in the members-only benzo area:

 

Members-only benzo forum

 

Have you been making any reductions in any of your other drugs? From your signature, it looks like you've been on the same dosages since 2015. Please update your signature with any changes to those drugs, as well as add in your benzo use:

 

Account - settings - signature

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • 6 months later...

Haven't checked these forums for a while so apologies for the non- response. Update: I quit the short term dose of benzos and the anxiety dissipated. Also, my sig is the same, the only time I take benzos is if I end up in the ER with really bad anxiety (once maybe twice a year). In retrospect, I am not going to take them anymore. I think the above post was about rebound anxiety not necessarily withdrawal ( maybe its the same thing?).

 

I am posting now to get a head start on a planned med reduction. A month from now, June 6th I am going to begin a taper of wellbutrin. As it says in my sig, I am on 150 mg a day, 100 sr and 50 ir. First I am going to quit the 100 mg of sr and replace it with 100 mg of ir. Then depending on how that goes I will begin to taper... Thereafter I am going to need some help. I am pretty sure there is no liquid wellbutrin so a 10% decrease is going to be challenging. Cutting up 100 mgs of IR is going to be challenging.

 

I talked to a psychiatrist and he suggested, upon making the sr to ir switch, I halve the ir and take 50 mg in the morning wait a few hours and take the other half as opposed to taking the full 100 mg of ir. I think thats a good strategy since ir peaks really fast then quickly subsides.

 

I am nervous, comes with the territory, about changing anything since my system is really sensitive and I dont deal well with medication cuts. My past experience in titrating shows that, med. titration, increases my anxiety and often becomes overwhelming. The outcome is I go back on the previous dose. So, I am trying to prepare before hand and see if anyone here has some advice or tips for me.

 

Also, thank you for the reply Shep, belated as it is. I am impressed your are med free. I hope I get to claim that status one day.

 

 

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  • Moderator

Welcome back, Stall.

 

This link gives detailed information about tapering Wellbutrin, including strategies for switching types of Wellbutrin and for cutting tablets.  I hope it helps.


Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Jan. 6, 2023: 2.5mg

Taper is 86% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Thanks for the reply: Yes I have that link from previous posts. It would be nice to get liquid Wellbutrin, but I'm guessing a compound pharmacy would be expensive and I am not going to try to make my own solution. The thing that sounds useful is using a digital scale to get exact doses. Ill have to search the web for one.

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  • Moderator

Many members, including me, use the Gemini-20 scale, available on Amazon.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Jan. 6, 2023: 2.5mg

Taper is 86% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 8 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Stall, 

 

How are you doing? Sending hugs🤗

Been on APs, benzos, ADs and opiates, all for chronic pain. Had severe Akathisia in the past that made me suicidal. Still on Seroquel. 2019:➡️ March10=7.25mg ✔️April17=7.0✔️June5=6.75✔️ July14=6.50✔️Aug28=6.25✔️Oct10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️  2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April2=5.40✔️May29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep29=4.80✔️2021➡️ Jan31=4.60 mg✔️April24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov1=4.10✔️ Nov21= 4.05✔️ Dec13= 4mg✔️  2022➡️Jan8= 3.95 Jan 31=3.90✔️March2=3.85✔️ April4=3.80✔️June16=3.75✔️July26=3.70✔️Sep2=3.65✔️ Oct21=3.60✔️Dec8=3.55✔️ Jan 26=3.50✔️THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, consult a doctor.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/10/2019 at 11:53 PM, Carmie said:

Hi Stall, 

 

How are you doing? Sending hugs🤗

January of this year I presume? Well thanks for asking. I intermittently check this website so apologies for the non reply. Lets see, my signature is still the same, which is kind of a bummer. Recently, I ran out of buspar and the prescription was filled with a new generic. I did not respond well to the new generic, my body is accustomed to the Mylan brand. I get symptoms really fast if I dont take buspar or the buspar is not a the generic I mentioned, extreme headache, agitation etc. So I suffered for a day until I was able to find a pharmacy that has Mylan buspar. I feel better, but I am frustrated that my life can be interrupted so quickly if I don't have access to the right meds. As you can see from my profile I have been on buspar for nearly 17 years. The problem is that I may not be able to get my hands on that specific generic in a few weeks and I may be in the same predicament shortly.

 

Anyway, I was feeling so crappy that the thought came to mind to just cold turkey the buspar if I had been unable to get my hands on the specific generic. I have a week to figure it out since that's how much buspar I have to last me. Every now and then I am reminded of how I am at the mercy of psych meds and its depressing.

 

On a different subject, I read your signature and had a similar experience when I first quit paxil. I ended up in ER with akathisia. It was the most horrible experience of my life for certain. In and out of psych wards for a month...Horrific.

Edited by Stall
word change
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Stall, 

 

I’m sorry you had such a reaction changing generics, some others have had the same problems. I’ve not actually had a problem changing generic tablets myself, but I had a major problem when I changed from tablet to capsule. It’s amazing that changing brands of the same medication can cause such problems.

 

You could do a crossover from the meds you’re on now to the new generic meds if you can’t get the old ones again. This is how you do it.

 

3/4 of the old generic.              1/4 of the new generic.  ( 3-7 days ) 

 

1/2 of the old generic.               1/2 of the new generic.  ( 3-7 days )

 

1/4 of the old generic.                3/4 of the new generic. ( 3-7 days )

 

Then all new generic. 

 

When I changed from tablet to capsules I went into a three months wave. When I stabilised I decided to go back to the tablet because compounding formulas aren’t all that accurate. Anyway, I’ve done a crossover and so far it’s been smooth sailing, instead of another three months of waves. 

 

Please DO NOT COLD TURKEY! I know you only have a week of the old meds left, but even doing a shorter crossover is better than cold turkeying. Is there any way you can get even a few more of the old tablets? 

 

Again, please don’t cold turkey, you may end up with even worse symptoms. How much buspar are you now on? Could you please update your signature, thanks a lot.

 

Please stay safe, sending hugs🤗

Been on APs, benzos, ADs and opiates, all for chronic pain. Had severe Akathisia in the past that made me suicidal. Still on Seroquel. 2019:➡️ March10=7.25mg ✔️April17=7.0✔️June5=6.75✔️ July14=6.50✔️Aug28=6.25✔️Oct10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️  2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April2=5.40✔️May29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep29=4.80✔️2021➡️ Jan31=4.60 mg✔️April24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov1=4.10✔️ Nov21= 4.05✔️ Dec13= 4mg✔️  2022➡️Jan8= 3.95 Jan 31=3.90✔️March2=3.85✔️ April4=3.80✔️June16=3.75✔️July26=3.70✔️Sep2=3.65✔️ Oct21=3.60✔️Dec8=3.55✔️ Jan 26=3.50✔️THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, consult a doctor.

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On 2/1/2019 at 1:25 AM, Carmie said:

Hi Stall, 

 

...

Again, please don’t cold turkey, you may end up with even worse symptoms. How much buspar are you now on? Could you please update your signature, thanks a lot.

 

Please stay safe, sending hugs🤗

My sig is the same for 2019, buspar 40mg (20mg twice a day)

 

The only problem with crossing over is I have to have a supply of the original generic  and I don't. All I have is a 2 1/2  day supply left (10 10mg tablets) of Mylan buspar. I also have a 30 supply of Teva buspar. I called around and no one has Mylan (the brand I am used to). Also, I looked around on the web and it appears the FDA shut down their plant for violations and according to the FDA website they don't know when they will restart production. "availability and estimated shortage duration/ Out of stock. Re-supply: TBD"

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/01/well/mind/anxiety-drug-shortage-buspirone.html

 

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/drugshortages/dsp_ActiveIngredientDetails.cfm?AI=Buspirone HCl Tablets&st=c

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Stall, 

 

I’m sorry you can’t get any more of your old generic. Can you maybe for the next two days just take half of old and half of the new. It’s not much of a crossover, but maybe it’s worth doing anyway?

 

I know the new generic will be giving you more problems than the old one, but the alternative of going cold-turkey will probably be far worse. Please don’t cold turkey. You’ve had severe akathisia, like me, before too. If you cold turkey that may happen again. I really don’t want that to happen to you. 

 

Please keep us updated on how you’re doing. Wishing you all the best.💚

Been on APs, benzos, ADs and opiates, all for chronic pain. Had severe Akathisia in the past that made me suicidal. Still on Seroquel. 2019:➡️ March10=7.25mg ✔️April17=7.0✔️June5=6.75✔️ July14=6.50✔️Aug28=6.25✔️Oct10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️  2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April2=5.40✔️May29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep29=4.80✔️2021➡️ Jan31=4.60 mg✔️April24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov1=4.10✔️ Nov21= 4.05✔️ Dec13= 4mg✔️  2022➡️Jan8= 3.95 Jan 31=3.90✔️March2=3.85✔️ April4=3.80✔️June16=3.75✔️July26=3.70✔️Sep2=3.65✔️ Oct21=3.60✔️Dec8=3.55✔️ Jan 26=3.50✔️THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, consult a doctor.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Stall: greetings

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