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Stormageddon: withdrawal from depakote and celexa


Stormageddon

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Hello! This is my intro post. Currently my brain is rather fuzzy due to withdrawal symptoms so I apologize if this post gets confusing or if I end up giving up before I've had a chance to share all the info that I need to. If I do, I'll come back and add info later. Feel free to ask me questions too!

 

I'm a 32 (turning 33 next month) year old female from the Sacramento area of California.  I'm a freelance graphic designer currently living with my boyfriend of 7 years. He's the primary bread winner of the household and we're currently not hurting too bad for money so I chose this time to go off of my medications.  I'm also fortunate enough to have a very wonderful and loving support network of family and friends. I joined this site so that I have a place to talk about what I'm going through with people who have gone through it and are currently going through it. My support network is great, but there's only so many questions they can answer. I also don't want to cause any added stress to their lives.

 

Here's my long and boring history with psych meds (note, my memory isn't that great, so dates may not be completely accurate)...

 

Prescription and diagnoses history:

I was prescribed Prozac for depression at around age 16 (1997), which made me incredibly manic and gave me hallucinations, so I was switched to Clomipramine shortly after that. I reacted badly to the Clomipramine as well, so they then switched me to Paxil. It was then suggested at around age 18 (1999) to my mother and I that I probably had bipolar disorder and so I was prescribed Lithium to take along with the Paxil. Between 1999 and 2002-ish, I continued on the Paxil, but my second medication changed a few times, from Lithium to Zyprexa to Depakote. The Zyprexa made me gain a LOT of weight.  Around 2003 or 2004 I switched to Celexa because the Paxil was making me unable to cry or orgasm (sorry if TMI). I have since been on 20mg Celexa and 500mg (and later 250mg) Depakote daily from then until earlier this year. I've also been taking Lorazepam as needed (though not very frequently, maybe an average of one dose per week or so) since around 2001.

 

Why I decided to go off of my meds:

Well for one thing, I was an adolescent when they were prescribed to me and I'm now in my thirties.  Also, doctors were handing these meds out like candy at that time (probably still are, I'm not sure, I don't have any kids of my own).  I feel like my brain and body and metabolism have changed a lot since then. When I was first prescribed them, I was under 100lbs and when I started tapering I was 175 (I've lost 10lbs since tapering).  I'm in a different place in my life as far as stability and mental state goes, and when I would start to think that I would have to be on these meds the rest of my life just to function, I got incredibly depressed at that thought.  Also, there's a slight chance that I might want to have kids someday (still very unsure, but the remote chance is there), and I wouldn't want to be on these meds while pregnant or breastfeeding.  I decided that I would go completely off of all meds, then re-evaluate. I don't want to ever go back on the meds, but I'd like to look into other treatments if needed.  The counselor that my doctor has me see once a month says that based on my history, it doesn't sound like I ever was bipolar, but of course that remains to be seen. I personally think I was misdiagnosed.

 

Depakote taper:

I tapered off of the Depakote by skipping progressively more doses every few weeks until I felt worse on the days that I took the pill than I did on the off days. I have been completely off of Depakote since July of this year. The first two dose reductions were pretty rough. Mostly mood swings and headaches and lack of appetite. Going off completely from taking one 125mg pill every 4 days was pretty easy for me.

 

Celexa taper:

I started tapering the Celexa in mid August, starting by breaking my 20mg tablets in half (they're oval shaped and scored in the middle so that was easy).  Then I started cutting the halves in half for my second reduction, which wasn't as easy.  The first few weeks of each dose reduction were pretty rough. Symptoms included mood swings, irritability, rages, flu-like symptoms, chills, sweats, loss of appetite, food tasting different, difficulty digesting certain foods (greasy foods, red meat), inability to tolerate much alcohol or caffeine. I used to drink one to two cups of coffee per day, but I can now only handle up to a half of a cup or I get incredibly jittery and wired. But if I drink no coffee, I get bad headaches. Since this latest reduction (from 5mg to 0, which started on the 19th of October), my friend suggested switching to green tea. So far it's helping. My symptoms don't feel quite as bad after having a cup.

 

So that brings me to now. As of today, I'm on day 9 of no Celexa. The first 2 days weren't too bad. The third day was manageable. The fourth day and every day since has been progressively worse. I've had flu-like symptoms most of the time. I'm not exactly getting the "brain zaps" that I would sometimes get if I missed a few doses before, but they're more like "brain twitches" I guess. Just slightly less jarring than brain zaps.  If I lay really still, I can avoid them, but other than that they're pretty much constant. It's incredibly disorienting, so I can't drive at all. I'm constantly alternating between being too hot and too cold. Sometimes I feel like I have a fever, but it's only ever low grade when I take my temperature.  My muscles are sore, I'm starting to get twitches that make my head kinda rotate to one side quickly.  My jaw clenches tightly for no reason sometimes. I've been manic for the most part, wanting to do "ALL THE THINGS!" but my brain is too foggy to be able to deal with even some of the things.  Loud noises are incredibly disorienting to me, it feels like my ears kind of clench up and my brain sort of "twangs".  I have a hard time dealing with certain situations and I'm very quick to anger. I have to keep myself from snapping at people.  I love my boyfriend very much, but I have a hard time dealing with him when he's home since I've started tapering. I feel the intense need for alone time, like I can't deal with people at all, even the ones I love the most.  The past few days I've been having a hard time finding words when speaking (it's not too bad typing) and I get easily confused and my short term memory is horrible. I've been having incredibly vivid dreams with all senses very much in full effect, mostly dreams about mundane everyday stuff, so it's very hard to differentiate between what's really happened and what was a dream. My doctor has prescribed me benadryl to help me sleep, so I take that almost every night and I'm sure that's not helping with my symptoms. I've also had to take my Lorazepam more often to deal with the anxiety from the withdrawals. I think it's gonna be a long time before I can go completely off of that.  Oh, and last night I had my first random crying spell, but I felt much better afterwards.

 

Some things that help:

Music, watching favorite TV shows on Netflix, indulging in my hobbies (art, archery, books, geeky fandom communities online), hanging out with my cat. Animals help me a lot. Sometimes I'll sit by the window and listen to the birds, or if I'm out and about I'll go to the pet store and look at the animals. Also meditation and stretching help a lot. And sensory stuff, like squishy stress balls or silly putty. I have 3 sets of bucky balls (little super strong ball magnets) that I play with sometimes and make shapes with, then squash.

 

Wow! This got way longer than I had planned. I guess I had a lot to get off of my chest and I've got a kind of long history.  Sorry if I put anyone to sleep. I'm looking forward to being a part of this community, helping anyone I can help, and reading about your experiences as well!  I'm pretty drained now so I think I'll step away from the computer for a while, but I'll come back later to see if there are any replies and to read the other threads.

 

Nice to meet y'all!

-Stormy

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Stormy,

Welcome to SA, your post wasn't confusing at all, thank you for sharing so much detail, it helps, also thank you for filling out your signature.  I'm sorry for what you are going through, but its lucky you found us when you did, because you stopped taking celexa only 9 days ago, there is a good chance you will be able to reinstate a partial dose and have it work to stop the withdrawal symptoms.

 

For a brief introduction to withdrawal please see: Intro to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

 

You have been tapering too fast.  We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising.  Also, stopping at 5mg is too high, you need to taper much lower before stopping. Please read through this post which will explain why:

 

http://survivinganti...0-of-my-dosage/

 

Many of us are here because we tapered too fast while believing we were doing it right.  Over time, these drugs change your nervous system. By tapering slowly, it enables the nervous system to gradually change back to the way it was before without too much of a shock.

 

Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work.  Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:

 

http://survivinganti...rawal-symptoms/

 

My suggestion is to go back to your last dose of 5mg and hold there for a good long while until your nervous system stabilizes again, then you can continue tapering.

 

Here is our celexa tapering link:

 

Tips for tapering off celexa

 

I'm sorry for throwing so much information at you, but there is one more thing which I think is important.

 

Lorazepam is a fairly short acting benzo. It peaks out in your bloodstream in less than three hours and then begins to fall. We find that with short acting benzos people can then get withdrawal symptoms as blood levels fall (anxiety, tremulousness, panic). This is called "interdose withdrawal", or rebound anxiety.  So this may be part of your problem, you may actually be inducing some symptoms by your intermittent use of this drug. If you're taking it more than twice a week, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about trying a longer-acting benzo like diazepam or clonazepam and taking it regularly to keep blood levels even.  If you have been taking it more than once or twice a week, or regularly for longer than 2 weeks, you may have become dependent on it and will need to taper that too.

 

But for now, please read through the links, especially the one about reinstatement and give it some consideration, withdrawal symptoms can go on for a long time for some people, and you have had a long history with these drugs, starting from a young age.  But with proper tapering, I'm sure you will be able to come off your medication and be well.

 

Once again, welcome to the community, I'm glad you found us.  Please feel free to write whenever you want, you will find a lot of friendly 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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Hi Petu, thanks for your reply!

 

The reductions that I was making were suggested by my doctor, and also seemed to be the general guideline in Dr. Glenmullen's book "The Antidepressant Solution", but I always felt that it was too fast.  My mom recently got off of her AD, but she was doing the skipping doses method, which I didn't want to attempt.  This site has some awesome guides for more gradual dose reductions. I just hope that I don't run into resistance from my doctor if I need to call in my prescription again.  She put "no refills" on it because she assumed that I wouldn't need anymore. I'll do some more reading about how to measure the doses and stuff and I'll start back on 5mg tomorrow morning.  It'll be hard to explain why I'm reinstating to my boyfriend, but I'll just tell him to read this thread so that I don't have to haha!  We've been talking about how far I've come and that I don't want to go back on the meds at all.

 

As for the Lorazepam, yeah I figured I'd deal with getting off of that later and I kinda suspected that I was making things worse with it, but it does provide temporary relief.  What makes me angry is that when it was prescribed to me, it wasn't really explained at all. They just said "when you're having anxiety, take one, maybe two if you need it."  They never said anything about how often I should or shouldn't take it, withdrawals, anything like that. There were times when I went months without taking any, and I actually hadn't had any in maybe 3 or more months before I started tapering.  But I think that with reinstating the Celexa to 5mg, stabilizing, then reducing the rest of the way by 10% at a time, I shouldn't need to take it nearly as often.

 

So glad I found this site! I just wish I had found it sooner.  :huh:

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there--

 

Petu has covered the bases, but I wanted to say hi and welcome you. And also to say AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaa yikes! you have been going too fast, especially for someone started on these drugs so young, with so many changes of meds over the years! Please please reinstate, get stable, and then hold the Celexa for many months, until you're sure you're stable from quitting that Depakote so fast.

 

Read through all the "pinned" topics and the links in those topics. This forum is an encyclopedic wealth of the best information you're going to find anywhere about tapering psychiatric meds, thanks to Altostrata.

 

And here are a couple of things to read by me:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6447-best-of-sa/?p=91582

and

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6447-best-of-sa/?p=89902

 

Don't get scared or discouraged. You can still totally pull this off. But please stop now and learn and think and explore for a while. Withdrawal is a big deal, people can get really really sick for a long time. Your brain is a big deal, you only ever get one, and those meds alter one's thinking and personality in ways large and small that will amaze you once you establish normal function and see the difference.

 

Also, get hold of a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker sometime, and read that too.

 

No rush. It's a lot, I know. 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

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 welcome and additional info!

 

I reinstated this morning as per Petu's suggestion, which made me sad because I thought I was almost done with this.  But it also made me happy because I'll be feeling better soon.  This whole journey is just frustrating as hell.

 

I didn't really feel like I went off of the Depakote too fast, because I started off on a relatively low dose and I felt a lot better once I stopped completely. I waited two weeks before starting the Celexa taper after stopping the Depakote and I felt fine during those two weeks.  But who knows what was going on in my brain. I was just really eager to get off of everything.

 

Thanks for the book suggestion, I love reading and I'm always looking for new knowledge to soak up!  I'll definitely be picking that up soon.  I'll also read up on the topics you linked me to. There's so much info here that I think it'll take me a while to get through all of it, but I'm glad it's here!

 

I also updated my signature to reflect the Celexa reinstatement.

 

Thanks again, Rhi and Petu for your help and for being so welcoming to me!

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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Update:

Day 6 of reinstatement to 5mg. I started feeling better within a day of reinstatement and I'm feeling just about normal already. I feel pretty stable with only slight irritability and mood swings. I want to start tapering again as soon as possible and I'm trying to figure out how best to measure out the dosage. I don't think there's a pharmacy that makes Celexa in liquid form anywhere near me.  I'll have to invest in a pill crusher or something.  

 

I'm just so impatient and want to be done with this crap already. I was willing to deal with heavy withdrawal symptoms, but what I was experiencing was just awful going from 5mg to 0.  I've been able to deal with going from 20 to 10 mg and from 10 to 5 mg fairly well, so I'm sure I can handle going from 5 to 2.5 mg maybe in a week or two. I just don't think I have the patience to do the 10% reductions at this point.

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

We generally find that withdrawal symptoms increase as the dose gets lower.  Its more important to taper slowly as the dose decreases and gets closer to zero. 

 

This study shows why its important to taper slowly at low doses.

 

http://survivinganti...-concentration/

 

Your plan to go from 5mg to 2.5mg is a 50% cut, please read the links I put in my earlier post, learn how to taper properly and try and be patient.  Once our nervous system crashes, and we find ourselves with withdrawal syndrome, it can be quite difficult to achieve stability again, it can sometimes mean months of suffering with nothing helping.

 

If you doctor writes a prescription for the liquid, then your pharmacy should be able to order it if they don't already carry it.  Or you can make a liquid yourself.  See http://survivinganti...lution-yourself

 

Many of us are here because we came off these drugs too fast, but by the time we found this site, it was too late to reinstate and do it properly.  You have the chance to do it right and avoid a lot of pain.  Please slow down and give yourself a chance to get off this drug and stay off.

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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  • Administrator

Welcome,SG.

 

Celexa comes in a liquid form, read

 

Tips for tapering off celexa

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 1 month later...

Update: About 5 weeks back on 5mg Celexa.

 

My therapist suggested staying at 5mg at least until the Spring because of seasonal depression. I agreed. I usually get really depressed around the holidays too because I start missing family members who are no longer with us.  My doctor prescribed 10mg tablets so that I can just split them in half instead of trying to quarter the 20mg tablets.

 

I think I'm mostly stabilized, or I would think I should be by now. I still have waves of dizziness and mild brain zaps, and my head twitches to one side sometimes. I'm still really irritable and find it hard to be around people at all. The sound of anyone chewing food sets me on edge and I have to leave the room. Also I have zero sex drive.

 

There have been some good changes though, my mood is overall improved.  Also, the creativity that I lost after being on the meds has returned and I've been more productive with my art and design business. I'm also more productive overall whereas before I had zero motivation to do anything. But I wonder if that's just me coming from a depressed state into a manic state. I'm not completely sure if I ever was bipolar, but lately I'm wondering if maybe I am and it's just a really mild case.  I also wonder how much of the depression and other symptoms are from my fibromyalgia and PCOS. Gotta love having multiple ailments right?  -_-

 

Either way, I'm glad to be off of the Depakote and I'm glad that I'm on a lower dose of Celexa. I'm feeling better overall.  I'm hoping the irritability, dizziness, and lack of sex drive will diminish in time.  My therapist mentioned the possibility of needing to either stay on 5mg of Celexa or possibly switching to a low dose of a milder antidepressant like Zoloft or something and just staying on it.  I was really not liking that idea at first but now I think I could be ok with that. 

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

How are you doing now, SG?

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 had a really rough patch a few weeks ago. And I was having some jaw and ear pain so I went to my doctor and she said it's stress induced TMJ. I have been clenching my jaw a lot.  She wrote me a new prescription for Lorazepam and the instructions say to take two 0.5mg tablets per day, but I don't want to get more addicted to that than I already am, so I'm only taking one per day.  I know I'll need to taper off of that eventually, but for now it's really helping with the withdrawal symptoms. I seem to be doing much better since taking the Lorazepam regularly once a day instead of sporadically just a few times a week.  I seem to be a lot more stable now.

 

I'm still having the irritability, but not to the extreme extent that I was earlier this month.  Also, I can feel my sex drive slowly returning, which gives me hope. 

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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  • Administrator

Rather than take the benzo, I strongly suggest you get a bite guard from a dentist. There are some cheaper DIY ones on the Web, don't know how they work.

 

I broke fillings from clenching in early withdrawal. Believe me, the bite guard is a much better solution and you can easily discard it when you don't need it any more!

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Well, the benzo is helping with the insomnia and anxiety quite a bit.  I do have a bite guard from back when I was grinding my teeth as a side effect of one of the anti-depressants I was on in the past (I don't remember which one, probably paxil).

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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  • Administrator

I would definitely use the bite guard as well, to protect your teeth and jaw.

 

Are you taking the benzo regularly?

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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  • Moderator

I've had great success using the mouth guards I get in the sports dept at the local drug store.  Only cost a couple of dollars and only take a few minutes and some hot water to "custom fit".

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • Administrator

brassmonkey, please post that tip in Symptoms, you'll save many teeth!

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, I'm taking the Benzo regularly now. 0.5mg per day.  Guess I should update my signature.

 

... Updated :)

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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  • Administrator

Please plan to taper the benzo when it comes time you want to go off it.

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 that's what I'm planning on doing. 

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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  • 1 year later...

Wow I feel like I've been in a time warp. I can't believe it's been nearly 2 years since I went off of Depakote and started my Celexa taper.  I'll try to update y'all without writing too much of a novel...

 

The Celexa taper has been incredibly slow and steady and I've had far fewer withdrawal symptoms doing it that way.  I'm now on 2.5mg daily (half of a 10mg pill every other day) and have been holding since late summer of 2015.  I decided I really needed to get off of the benzos, partly because they're cracking down on long term benzo use at the clinic where my doctor is and also because I really didn't want to be dependent on that for longer than I had to be.  I've since gotten a prescription for medical marijuana and that's helped with a lot of the things that the benzos were helping with.  So I had my doctor switch me to Diazepam from Lorazepam and I joined the benzo buddies forum to help me through that.  I'm now benzo free since last Monday and i feel great!  

 

I'm going to stay where I'm at for maybe another week or so then maybe reduce my Celexa dose down to about 1.7mg (one half of a 10mg tablet every 3 days instead of every 2 days as I'm currently doing).  My insurance doesn't seem to want to cover anything but the round tablets, which are kinda hard to split, so if I end up being unstable taking one half of a pill every 3 days, I may start crushing them into a powder to mix with food or juice.

 

In the year and a half or so since I joined here, I've learned how to listen to my body for when's the right time to move forward with my tapers and when to hold off. Also, I've learned a lot from the threads here so thank you all for helping to get me this far.  I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm in the home stretch now!

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, it's been a while since I've posted here.

 

I'm currently taking one half of a 5mg tablet of Citalopram (Celexa) every three days. This is a step down from one half pill every other day. Well I find that I feel ok on the days that I don't take it, but on my "dose days" or the days that I take the pill, I feel much worse. This same thing happened when I was tapering off of Depakote and I found that discontinuing the Depakote completely make me feel much better. I know that Celexa is way different though so I don't really want to try going off of that completely until I know this is what's going on. Anybody else experience this?  Sorry if I'm not making much sense, my brain is rather scrambled today  :wacko:

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Stormageddon

 

I moved your post into your intro/update topic because it will get noticed more here and also because it relates to your individual situation and keeps your history in the one place.

 

Skipping doses messes with your brain and CNS.  This would most probably be why you feel worse on dose days.

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable especially:

 

3.a. Do not suddenly quit taking your drugs. Do not skip doses to taper. These big, fast changes are the opposite of providing stability for your nervous system. Skipping doses causes the amount of the drug in your bloodstream to go up and down. Do not do this for any psychiatric drug.

 

If you are now taking 5 mg every 3rd day, your suggested daily dose would be 1.66 mg (5 mg / 3)

Edit:  I've just re-read your post and you say you are taking 1/2 of 5 mg every 3rd day, but your signature say 5 mg.  Are you halving a 10 mg tablet or a 5 mg tablet?

 

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram) especially:

 

Use Celexa liquid concentrate to taper
In the US, the liquid oral solution comes in 10 mg/5 mL (2 mg/mL), peppermint flavor. The bottle contains 240 mL. Pharmacy identifier is NDC 0456-4130-08

Use an oral syringe to precisely measure out doses as small as .01mg.

Making a Celexa solution yourself
See http://survivinganti...lution-yourself

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  Many members here have found that the lower they get in their dose the more slowly they need to taper.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Stormageddon, I did the skip-days "taper" and was fine until I hit every 3 days or every 4 days. Then I started to get insomnia and decreased appetite, and felt increasingly lethargic.  Restoring a daily dose (20 mg) lower than the amount of my capsule (30 mg) reduced my symptoms within days and virtually eliminated them within 2-3 weeks.  I hope you'll consider what ChessieCat has suggested, especially before your symptoms get worse.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Thanks for the replies.  I don't think my insurance covers the liquid form of Celexa but I'll look more into it. In the mean time, I was able to split the halfs of the tablets in half and spreading out the doses more. I was ok when I was taking 2.5mg every other day so I'll try 1.25mg two days then one day off. I didn't take anything yesterday so I took 1.25mg today and will do so again tomorrow.  I know, still not ideal, but It'll do until I can figure out if I can get the liquid or try to make some.

Antidepressant use since around 1994.

Mood stabilizers/antipsychotics added 2 years later due to bipolar misdiagnoses

Depakote taper started at 250mg June 2014

Celexa taper started at 20mg Aug. 2014

Diazepam taper started at 4mg Oct. 2015

Depakote free since July 20, 2014

Diazepam free since April 4, 2016

Discontinued Celexa Oct. 19, 2014 Reinstated at 5mg October 28, 2014

Now taking 1.7mg celexa per day (5mg every three days) since May 16, 2016

Signature updated on May 24, 2016

My introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7241-stormageddon-withdrawal-from-depakote-and-celexa/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You can make a liquid yourself. Apparently thousands and thousands if not millions of people have done this.

 

Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules

Using an oral syringe

Making a Celexa (citalopram) solution

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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