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Iwillsurvive: Anafranil - OCD


iwillsurvive

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Hello to all.

 

I have been on a low of 50mg of Anafranil for 25 years for Pure OCD. This is the 4th time I'm tapering of this medication. I mainly rely on the therapy, i.e.: CBT, ERP and insight for managing my OCD condition.

I've had no clinical depression for over 20 years but the anxiety is always there. I'm fairly convinced the medication has hardly any benefit apart from an anxiolytic effect which does help anxiety a little although I've had enough of sleeping 12 hrs a day for all this time.

 

I decided to taper down very slowly as I rushed a little in the past and have had to restart the original 50mg dosage. I cut the small 25mg tabs in 4 and started with 43.75mg for 2 months. There was no problem. Then I started on 37.50 for 2 months. There was no problem. Next I started on 31.25 for 2 months and there was no problem.

 

About 1 month later which was 1 month ago and after feeling somewhat triumphant I started 25m. 3 weeks later as of just over 1 week ago my tinnitus has doubled in volume and my anxiety has increased which is also amplifying my OCD condition.

 

Its difficult because its relentless but tolerable. I haven't seen any small window of abatement and this is what is a little scary. The question I ask is, what if this goes on for months or is even permanent?

 

I also start thinking that maybe I could reinstate the extra 6.25mg which is where I felt stable at this last dosage for at least 2 months and then decrease by an even smaller amount like half of that?

 

Ideally I would like to carry on the way I have been and hope that soon I shall see some improvement. Obviously there are no garuantees but how long should someone continue experiencing these side effects before making some type od decision one way or another.

 

I understand that being on medication for 25 years and expecting no withdrawal symptoms when tapering off is a lot to ask for which is why I decided to taper off 25mg over 8 months. Unfortunately stressing about the side effect of anxiety probably perpetuates it but these thoughts come instinctively through years of experiencing them. I'm trying to stay aware of this.

 

Hope you're all doing better, what a ride this is!

 

Any thoughts you may have will be appreciated and I thank you in advance.

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi and welcome to SA.

 

It does seem that you tapered too fast and are suffering from withdrawal symptoms. We recommend tapering no more than 10% of the current dose, with no less than 4 weeks between cuts. You did well to start but it caught up with you and your brain is objecting!  If you hold where you are you will stabilise eventually but no-one can tell how long that will take.

 

If you decide to updose slightly I would make it very tiny and not the full 6.25 as that may be too much after a month of the lower dose.

 

You have tried tapers and gone back again which have destabilised your nervous system and now it is struggling a little. You did what you thought was best, most of us here have done the same!  Things will settle down again but I would hold for a few months rather than weeks to allow your brain and CNS to stablilise before restarting the taper. Then throw the calender away and make smaller cuts, listening to your body along the way. You did well till 25 but then withdrawal started which is a warning that it was too fast and the cuts too large.  As the taper goes along the cuts should get smaller, it is often the last few mgs that are most difficult, contrary to what doctors tell us! 

 

I couldn't find a topic specifically for clomipramine but here are some that are very helpful. 

Why taper 10% http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

What is withdrawal syndrome http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

The most important is the 3 KIS Keep it simple...Keep it stable....Keep it slow... http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6632-the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

 

It would help us if you could put some more detail in your signature strip, the same as in your post, amounts that you tapered and when.

 

Thank you for filling out your signature, that little extra info will help so staff can see at a glance how  it has been going. 

Edited by ChessieCat
fixed up paragraphs

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

 

 

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

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

2002  effexor. 

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

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

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

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

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Thanks very much. There's so much info out there it's dizzying. I've heard many people turn to drops just to be able to manipulate them for the percentage wanted. I shall stick to the current dose and if if it gets a little too much I might updose to around 3mg for a couple months and then go come down to 25mg again. Hopefully I will not need to. Time will tell.

 

Regards

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I agree with MammaP's advice. 

 

When you cut from 31.25 to 25 mg that was a 20% cut; we recommend cutting by no more than 10% of your current dose, so it's not surprising you got hit at that point.

 

I agree, either hold where you are or updose a tiny bit and then hold. Either way, I think with a good long hold you'll settle down. Once you get stable you can continue to taper, but I'd recommend making cuts of 10% or less of your current dose.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

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Thanks Rhi,

 

Much appreciated. It's great to be getting some feedback from people who have been there.

 

Regards 

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all, I thought I'd submitt a small update. It's now been about 6 weeks since my last taper down to 25mg. The OCD symptoms are slowly decreasing which is an improvement but they're so random as they've always been. My love for coffee definitely doesn't always help. The tinnitus however is still there at the level that was elevated when my brain started to disagree with the last taper. I have often suspected that the tinnitus might be here to stay for the rest of my life. The ANAFRANIL does induce tinnitus when consumed but in general the anxiolytic effect has over all generally kept it at bay. So the increased tinnitus is probably a combination of, tapering, coffee (at times), stress / rumination and maybe my brains default higher than usual level of tinnitus due to having developed OCD 25 years ago in the first place. May you all enjoy the festive season and if you do not celebrate it all the best for the New Year!

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, iwillsurivive. I just found this site. I have been on Anafranil for the past 9 and a half years. It would have been 10 years this April. I have had OCD and depression since the age of 10 and put on Paxil when I was 14. Then I tried to withdraw from the medication at 20-21, ended up in the hospital for severe depression for withdrawal, and then was put on a few more meds, including Anafranil. And I've been on Anafranil ever since. For 4 years, I was on Anafranil, and only anafranil. I was on 100-200 mg in the first few years and then on 300mg for the past year or so. Then I came off by weaning down and now I can't sleep without another med.

 

I don't know if you are going to come back to this forum, but if you do I have a few questions for you.....How are you doing now, almost 3 months after this post? And are you taking any other medications?

Currently on Zoloft 150mg  and Trazadone 50mg, both medications started in 2015.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Apple,

Im glad I found this section as I thought you might have deleted your comment seeing Ive taken so long to respond. Im no high tech guru but the way this site is designed baffles me every time.

 

This is my first time back and would like to report that soart from the everyday stress mist have Im doing quit well. Ive tappered off at 25% each time which is more than the 10% recommended on this site because Im on my last dose and the tabs are too small to do do. Id have to get drops made to do the 10% or scrape up granules to get down to the last dose.

 

I have however taken 2 years or so to get down to the last quarter of the small 25mg tabs and the trip has been amost easy. The second 6.75 (quarter) of the 1st as well as one qyrter taper of the 2nd tab almost a year ago was a little shacky. Had little extra anxiety snd felt little panicky for 1-2 weeks but that worked out well. The last taper 2 months ago though was the hardest but very doable.

 

More anxiety n little psnic which actually csme on after almost 3 weeks and for 2 weeks was a little scary but I stuck it out and again after 2 weeks back to normal. Im sure the nosemo affect and the way week think about withdrawing is at least 50% of the problem if not more.

 

That being said, in about 1 to 2 months I will be taking my last dose and will probably need to come back here to ask for some advice as I know it will be somewhat tricky. Not long to go now n I'll be free relying on 25 years of therspy, experience n wisdom to live without medication. I welcome this time. Hope your feeling better. The only thing that has stuck to my head ever since reading your post is the frustration in knowing that your Dr who ever they are think that you need to be on 300 mg of Anafranil for it to be of any benefit. Ehsts srong with these people?

 

Snyway dorry for my projecting but although Im not a Dr Im not sure sll these meds plus their quantity could pissibly be helping any problems such as ours. Please feel free to express your feelings if you disagree. The objective is to try to help each other without the need for so much meds. Regards!

Edited by scallywag
inserted paragraph breaks

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

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Ps; Im not taking any other medication.

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

Link to post
  • 6 months later...
iwillsurvive

Hi All,

I was looking forward to coming back on the forum a couple of weeks ago to share my success of finally coming off my antidepressants. I'd come off 50mg very, very slowly over 2 years. I finally had my last 6.75mg dose this Feb 2.

 

Although it was originally suggested that I should only be decreasing by 10% each time I would cut down by app 25%. Out of the 8 times of tapering I'd say there were 3-4 bad experiences and the rest was ok.

 

Ive been feeling victorious and excited but since about a week ago Ive hit a bit of a brick wall. Ive been working full time as a driver with that popular ride sharing name and although I've enjoyed the flexibility dealing with abrupt / sometimes drunk people has sent my anxiety upwards including anger which has always been there anyway.

 

Ive also in the past 3 weeks spent most of my savings to get better equipment for my photography and had my first little job which was a birthday party for a woman who is dying of cancer. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get as many properly exposed images and have since found out that the woman is disappointing as her friend who hired me says in that she was hoping I'd capture more special moments considering she might not be around for more that 6-12 months. What a thing to have to deal with.

 

So, naturally I'm under enormous amount of stress which has caused a lot of anxiety. Ive woken up few times with severe anxiety which does happen every now and then but the main effect as been shortness of breath and dry reaching. Ive obviously had shortness every now and then but this last week it's been quite bad. Comes and goes.

 

I love the flexibility of being able to work when I want but I feel I might need to take couple of weeks off to regroup. On the other hand if I don't face my fear getting back on the road I feel that it might be even harder when I do.

 

I guess the question is not knowing whether the anxiety is solely based on a very bad month or including the start of withdrawing from my last dose. Not sure if this will get worse and how long I should wait before considering reinstating my last dose or just hang in there like Izvestia always done and just try and work when I'm feeling better. Im sleeping a lot at the moment but my body clock like always is all over the place but worse.

 

Would love some feedback and wish that everyone is doing well.

Edited by ChessieCat
added paragraphs

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It would seem that "I finally had my last 6.75mg dose this Feb 2" has caught up with you.  These drugs are strong, and 6.75mg is not a low dose.  Many members find that the lower their dose gets as they taper the slower they need to go.

 

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

When to end the taper and jump to zero?

 

If you do decide to reinstate, please do not go back on the last dose you were taking.  Your brain will already have made some adaptation during the time you have been off the drug.  We can suggest a small dose for you to try.  1mg may be enough to bring the withdrawal symptoms to a bearable level.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce 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 are some SA discussions:

 

Irritability, Anger, Rage

 

Neuro Emotions

 

Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommendations:

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 6 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.328 mg

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 Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

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iwillsurvive

Hi ChessieCat,

 

It appears once again I replied to the wrong department. I finally found this thread in order to be able to reply back to you. It was kinda long but I'll keep it short this time. Thanks for your reply much appreciated. Not sure which way I'll go but if it gets much worse I'll have to reinstate meds. I feel that regardless how slow one tapers there will always be discomfort to the process. I understand the objective is to minimise it.

 

The coincidence of the immense amount of stress has definitely compounded the problem. All the more to taper off even more slowly I guess. I wasn't under this amount of pressure when I'd had my last dose. I was actually feeling quite proud of a new career as well as some small success in the Arts and feeling great. I never get used to the cliches that occur with psyche meds, its unreal.

 

Anafranil tabs are very small and if I decide to reinstate it, I might have to buy a mini digital weight scale to help the process. I came off them twice many years ago and went back on them mostly due to relapse. I had not developed enough skills in managing OCD back then and had needed the anxiolytic effect of Anafranil to help minimise the anxiety in order to be able to start practicing CBT and ERP Therapy again.

 

The difference now though is that its been over 25 years that I been on these meds and to be honest some of the worst times I've had have been while being on them. They basically don't do too much if anything other than a bit of sedation, which can help a little sometimes. All the work managing my condition has come from profound hard work and very professional help for a very long time which I hardly use anymore. It was hard going back on them, the first day in particular is quite scary but after few days the madness subsides.

 

I shall soldier on and keep this thread updated soon.

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Anafranil is soluble in water so you can make a liquid from your tablets. For details about how, please read Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules .

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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iwillsurvive

Hi,

 

Much appreciated. Thank for the info. Trying to keed it together at the moment with better reactions towards anything that is negatvie or detrimental to my mind whatsover. Im ussuslly a serral offender but in times post full on strees and exuastion I remarkably become a philosopher! Lol. I'll see how I go and if things turn out worse for longer that I can handle I'll be happy to go back to some of it.

 

On another note I just remembered that is a little in contrast with the last couple of replies. A while back in the past 2 years when tapering off 50mg tyere were abot 3 times during the 7 changes made me feel anxious / panicky for 2 weeks max. Then I was back to normal. It was suggested at the time that 25% reduction even though done slowly over 1.5 years was too much and I could either reinstate and go slower or wait and know tgat after not too long the WS would subside. And they did. No doubt during some of the time the nocebo would have been a little bit of an influence.

 

So Im assuming if I hang in there, I might be able to complete the cessation. I understand that there is a difference betwwen tappering and your brain not having any of the chemicals its used to at all but Im not too bad at the monent. It comes and goes. Im having some time if work, doing some soul searching and trying to stay active as well.

 

I am open to their reinstatement though and pride / ego soon loses to the WS when they get unbearable. Challenging times indeed. Im hoping with my insight, support and experienced help from this forum will in the end help me overcome come what may.

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I did a search on "tyere" and found only typos where the word "there" was intended. What is the medication you mention tapering 2 years ago?

 

Would you provide more detail about your medication and withdrawal history in your signature?  What you have right now is a general statement that doesn't give us any specifics to help you. :(

 

A request: Please summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly:

  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site. Instructions are in Post 9 and Post 10

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

Link to post
iwillsurvive

Hi,

 

Sorry for the typo. I was originally asked to always update on this page so I thought that the previous posts and the original title Iwiillsurvive -Anafranil  - OCD would be sufficient. In your list of suggestions there is 'Please leave out symptoms and diagnosis" Sorry if I've misunderstood but sometimes symptoms of a disorder can be hard to differentiate from withdrawal so Im not sure whether I'm following.

 

Unfortunately I haven't kept a complete journal. But if I could try to summarise a bit:

 

Anafranil is the medication I've been on for 28 years.

 

Came of them 26 years ago abruptly and again at 24 years ago with no major issues. The first time I was off it for over a year. I started them again due to relapse due to lack of CBT, ERP and life skills to deal with pure OCD.

 

This is the 3rd time (hopefully final).

 

Ive generally been on 50mg for most these years.

 

I decided to take my time and taper over a 2 year period or more if it was need. Hence my original post from Nov 2014 up top.

 

I incrementally decreased the doses by 25%. 

 

50mg, 43.75mg, 37.50mg, 31.25mg, 25mg, 18.75mg, 12,50mg, 6.25mg → 0.

 

All the increments were done 3-4 months apart. I originally posted as I was experiencing some withdrawals. 3 out of the 7 times were bit hard and the reason I didn't taper down by 10% after it was suggested was because of the other tapers that were no problem, laziness, and inconvenience (to be honest). 

 

So at the moment I'm at about the same level where I was with the 3 times I was experiencing higher anxiety, tinnitus and feeling panicky. The reason the past couple of weeks though got out of hand was 100% due to me pushing myself unrealistically causing exhaustion and inducing some bad anxiety. A bad coincidence no doubt. 

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

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  • Moderator Emeritus

No it's fine that you've put OCD in your thread title.  We suggest leaving diagnoses out of your signature because many psychiatric diagnoses are, not to put too fine a point on it, absolute BUNK! The diagnoses provide little useful information for tapering and withdrawal. If OCD is an important consideration for you, leave it in. It's your body, your mind, and your signature. ;)
 
We ask you to summarize your medication and withdrawal history in your signature so that we  get an overview of your situation without having to read your entire thread.
 
 

But if I could try to summarise a bit:
 
Anafranil is the medication I've been on for 28 years.
 
Came of them 26 years ago abruptly and again at 24 years ago with no major issues. The first time I was off it for over a year. I started them again due to relapse due to lack of CBT, ERP and life skills to deal with pure OCD.
 
This is the 3rd time (hopefully final).
 
Ive generally been on 50mg for most these years.
 
I decided to take my time and taper over a 2 year period or more if it was need. Hence my original post from Nov 2014 up top.
 
I incrementally decreased the doses by 25%. 
 
50mg, 43.75mg, 37.50mg, 31.25mg, 25mg, 18.75mg, 12,50mg, 6.25mg → 0.
 
All the increments were done 3-4 months apart. I originally posted as I was experiencing some withdrawals. 3 out of the 7 times were bit hard and the reason I didn't taper down by 10% after it was suggested was because of the other tapers that were no problem, laziness, and inconvenience (to be honest).


Based on your post, here's a list of key dates and doses:

 

1989: started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

____: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

Last dose of Anafranil:  ___ mg, on ____ (date)

 

Does that look correct? If yes, please update your signature with something that provides that level of detail.

 

I'm not clear what your current situation is: Are you taking Anafranil now? If not, when was your last dose and how many mg was it?

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

Link to post
iwillsurvive

No probs, thanks. Yes the above dates are pretty much them.

 

So as I mentioned in my post from three days ago, I had my last dose of 6.25mg this year on Feb 2. So app 55 days ago.

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please revise your signature so that your medication and withdrawal history appears below each of your posts. You can copy+paste the summary I posted and fill in the blanks.

 

There are many people posting and asking questions. Moderators often don't have time to read all your posts. If you make it easier for us, you'll get better and faster answers.

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

Link to post
iwillsurvive

Hi and sorry for misunderstanding. WS much worse tonight. Dry reaching, a lot of anxiety, panicky, very itchy in certain parts and quite loud Tinnitus.

 

1989: started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2/2/17

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi,

 

To enter what you have posted above please select it, right click and copy it.  Then click on this link:  Create or Update Your Signature  It will take you to the place to update your signature.  Click in the bottom signature box and then Ctrl + V.  This will paste in your signature.  After pasting it remember to click on SAVE under the box.

 

This way your drug history will appear below every post you make.  Thank you.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 6 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.328 mg

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 Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

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

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iwillsurvive

Hi, I've just created / updated my signature. Hopefully I've done it correctly. Thanks for your help!

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

Link to post

Thank you IWS. How are you feeling now ?

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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iwillsurvive

Hi AliG, Yes I am thanks. I just did a search for IWS online for its abbreviation meaning and started feeling frustrated until I looked up at my username lol. Last night / this morning, can't even remember now, has been the worst so far. Experienced a bit of everything. Little calmer now. It is such a fine line between a condition flaring up severely having pushed yourself so much vs feeling the affects of DS. The hardest decision is not knowing whether to reinstate or put up with the suffering and have enough time off work hoping things will calm down enough to go back. Within just a few hours one can go through panicky contemplation of reinstating due to severe reactions. I'll just hang on a little bit longer. The fact that I have few hrs here and there where Im not too bad kinda helps but then, its bam! 

 

A slow decrease in this roller coaster and in its severity in general would help but of course wishing this probably slows down the process. No doubt the Nocebo is effect is in overdrive!

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

Link to post
iwillsurvive

I clicked on the tinnitus discussion and read some of the comments. I have a few thoughts and would like some feedback. It appears that since comping off Anafranil, my tinnitus has increased considerably. It would come up every now and then after listening to live music or playing my drums but with the lack of anxiety it would more or less subside to a bearable level after few hours. The tinnitus I'm having now is due to a combination of the extreme stress I've experienced in the past 2 weeks and DS.

 

Anafranil also induces tinnitus but most of the time its bearable. I've read some people having tinnitus even after 1 or more years or even permanently after coming of their medication. I understand that no one can obviously suggest how long I should be willing to put up with loud tinnitus until it subsides and there is also the point that even when my anxiety does comes down in the future if it stays at this currently high level, I will most definitely choose to reinstate a small amount of Anafranil hoping that this might calm the tinnitus down and if it does, be happy to stay on it for the rest of my life. 

 

What would be really disappointing is reinstating and tapering to the smallest realistic level which would take 6-12 months and after the last dose start experiencing tinnitus after 2 months once again at the current level and again not knowing how long it might be until it subsides which would then again prompt questions of reinstatement. I appreciate the mindset of not allowing your mind to be to focused on the tinnitus too much but as many know when its at a very high level it makes it difficult to not be aware of it. There were many years ago where due to high stress / anxiety while on the medication it was at certain points relentless but making some changes to my life somewhere along the way it became very bearable.

 

I'm just hoping the the current situation improves as time goes by and that things settle down. At the moment though I'm struggling a bit in choosing to wait it out.

 

Hope everybody is feeling better today!

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Iwillsurvive: Anafranil - OCD
  • 6 months later...

Hi IWS,

 

Did you end up re-instating Anafranil from your last post ?

 

Ryder.

 Cymbalta, Zyprexa, Seroquil, Rispiridone, Valium, Zoloft, Clonazepam,. + 1 other Benzo. Total 11 yrs.

·           April 9th 2018 Hospital. 50mg Zoloft > 0 discontinued. 6mg Clonazepam > 2.5mg over 8 weeks stay.

           October 25th 2019: Hospital:  Clonazepam 1mg > Bridged to 20mg Diazepam.

           

           Anafranil: 1st May 18': 150mg, 1st June: 150mg. 23rd June: 125mg. 6th July: 100mg. 12th July: 75mg 22 July: 62.5mg. 5th August 18: 50mg. 10th November 2018: 45mg. 25th August 2019: 40mg.  Sep '15: 37.5mg.  1st November 2019: 100mg (Re-instated during hospital). 25 morning / 75 night. 22/01/20: 95mg. 03/02: 90mg. Currently 90mg

                          

        Clonazepam: (k) 1st May 18: 2.5mg. 6th July 2018. 1.5mg K. 03 August 2018: 1.25mg K. 17th August > 10 November 2018: 1mg K. Jan - August 2019: (Dosing between 1mg and 0.87mg)  September 10 2019: 0.9mg. Discontinued 25th October 2019.

 

        Diazepam (V): 25th October 2019, 20mg. 22 Dec 2019 19mg. 4 April 20: 18mg,  30 September: 17.5mg , 13 November 20: 17mg

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Hi Ryder,

 

Thanks for your question. I've often thought of coming back to this thread and sharing my experiences whereby others might find useful but I've been somewhat all over the place as its so easy to be given my history. So in short no. There is no proof that the symptoms I experienced the first 6 months were solely based on withdrawal. We all know how powerful the psychological factor is. I suspect it was 20-30% withdrawal first few months and the rest from my mindset with the thought that the small anxyolitic effect that did help from time to time was now missing.

 

Because of this, I'd often pointed out to myself when suffering in the past while still on medication that I should always be prepared and ready to point this out in the future had I come of it so as to point out that if I'm going to suffer why not suffer without the handcuffs of medication. This is different for everybody though and perhaps their benefit from it might truly outweigh the pitfalls without it. It's easy to reach for crutches when one starts feeling ill or insecure be it alcohol or medication etc. I took such a slow approach to tapering off it that although it was suggested I could go back and re-instate the last dosage I'd been on and then taper of that, I basically lost patience. 

 

I actually went to my GP and he was happy to give a prescription for a chemist to create drops to help with the process but it felt messy so I just to the risk as I'm known to do and if we minus the psychological effect it wasn't really horrendous. It was tough but doable and thats having being on the for 28 years. I felt like superman and forget I'm still off them but as you know life goes on. 

 

I will say however that by coincidence last 12 months have been the hardest I've ever experienced. Change of career and financial hardship have truly taken their toll and I keep trying to convince my parents that going back to my medication would not help my situation as far as I'm concerned. Even others who might see you struggle become fixated with medication you might have been on before cherry picking the good old days and disregarding the bad even though they know, your whole life has recently turned upside down which has nothing to do with it, or in the least so minimal that it might as well be zero.

 

Please feel free to reach out with anything you feel you might want to discuss.

 

Regards and best wishes to you and all,

 

IWS

1989:   Started taking Anafranil for OCD; 1991: stopped abruptly, no problems

1992/3: started taking again; 1993: stopped abruptly, no problems

1993: started taking again, 50 mg Anafranil

Nov. 2014: started tapering, cutting 6.25 mg every 3-4 months; doses 50 mg, 43.75, 31.25, 25, 18.75, 12,50, 6.25, 0

 

Last dose of Anafranil: 6.25 mg, on 2 Feb 2017

Link to post
  • 11 months later...
On 1/19/2015 at 5:04 AM, iwillsurvive said:

Hi, I'm new here as well. I wanted some feedback / support with my decision to in tapering off ANAFRANIL as well. I initially got some responses but perhaps I was expecting too much.

 

Nevertheless I have been on this medicine for over 25 years and although I'm not an academic or a pharmacist I di have a lot of experience with it.

 

I've always been on a low dosage. 50mg and for the first 20 years I increased it to 75mg on very few occasions. I believe the 3 main causes for my OCD' s exacerbation at times has mainly been my genetics, life / circumstances and decisions I've made.

 

Although these are the main 3 reasons affecting OCD when it comes to the nature of fully diagnosed conditions they are a unique beast. Some might say forget placing a label on behavior and that's fine but when this behavior does not allow you to carry on at times and you are completely incapacitated then it is obvious that something is not in order that requires unconventional remedies.

 

The way I've been able to get a grip on my condition is with many years of therapy, reading about my condition as well as various behavioural articles and most importantly having always thrown my self in the face of fear relentlessly. Even when this meant I would be experiencing horrific anxiety.

 

People like me are wise enough or at least should be in knowing that no matter how much you learn to manage your condition / symptoms you cannot allow yourself to get cocky because it doesn't take much for your brain to revert back to under the right 'wrong' circumstances to a place that is terrifying.

 

So after all these years it me that has managed my condition and while ANAFRANIL has helped with anxiety due to its sedating effect it has also contributed to my 12 hour sleeping cycles that I no longer want.

 

I don't believe that the drug is helping me in any way for many years now. My psychological dependence is what has kept me on it and fear of relapsing but through rebellion towards my negative thinking about this I'm am now tapering very slowly off this drug.

 

It's taken close to a year just to taper down from 50 to 25mg. There was a slight withdrawal symptom with my last taper but as some of the experienced members suggested if I could tolerate the symptoms they would most probably diminish. And they have as of approximately 2-3 weeks now.

 

My goal is to come off the drug before I'm 50 years of age. Im in no rush, I have over 2 years which is ample. I need to succeed immensely and I'm quite confident I will.

 

Sorry If I've ranted a bit. I'm available for any questions you might have at any time.

 

Anyone is free to ask me about ANAFRANIL and although I'm aware each individual responds differently to medication, we have to start out journey somewhere!

 

Regards

 

George

Hi George, I was looking for long term effects on Anafranil and came across yours.  I have been on it for over 20 years also.  I was on 75mg but now on 50mg.  I am very afraid of going off it because I am afraid to think the way I used to before I went on Anafranil.  My sex drive is so low and i have gained at least 30 pounds over the years.  But my dr. also had me on Prozac but taking both of them my anger was worse.  I am not sure what to do, i would like to be "normal' again.

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