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lunkhead5353 - on remeron for almost 17 years


Lunkhead5353

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I have been on Remeron for almost 17 years.  It all started with panic attacks.  I was put on xanax and many SSRI's.  Besides the anxiety, I couldn't sleep - getting at most 2 hours sleep a night.  The SSRI's would make me extremely sick.  Doc finally prescribed me remeron and it was like a gift from heaven.  I have had no problems at all with sleep since.  I took myself off Xanax myself without knowing how to taper correctly.  I was on xanax for almost two years.  i was lucky and thought to take myself off xanax a little each week and was totally off in like a month with little side effects.  I think i was lucky to get off without major side effects.  I've taken valium on an as needed basis for years - averaging maybe one tablet every couple of months - so i rarely used it.  But the panic came back pretty hard about a year ago, and my doc put me on klonopin.  I'm taking .5 mg everyday for almost 10 months.  I'm ready to get off the klonopin now.  a poster on benzobuddies.org suggested i taper off remeron first and suggested this site.  I don't think I'm having any problems with the remeron but feel like I'm building tolerance to the klonopin. Now i'm not sure what to do.  I'm scared to get off the remeron because i've been on it for so long.  Is it unusual to be on remeron this long?  My doc said he doesn't know anyone that has been on it as long as I have been.  He has no issues with me continuing taking it.  I do want to get off eventually.  Can someone please suggest what I should get off first?

starting taking Remeron in 1998.  Been on 15mg since taken once at bedtime.  was on xanax from 1998 to 2000.

starting taking .5mg klonopin April 2014.  take .25mg twice daily - once in morning and then again in afternoon.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Lunkhead,

 

We normally suggest get of the antidepressant first because it is usually more activating than a benzo.  However, in the case of Remeron it has significant sleep effects as you have observed.

 

I'm going to consult on this one and get back to you.  In the mean time can I ask you to complete your signature.  It makes it easier as a ready reference for your medication instead of having to keep going back to your first post.  Instructions here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Please include dosages, how much remeron are you taking?

 

D

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

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

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

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

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

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

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

As a rule, here, we recommend getting off the more activating drug first, which is usually the antidepressant. When you come down off a benzo you're going to get a lot of activation as a result of lowering your dose, and if you're also taking an activating AD, it can be tough.

 

However, everyone's situation is different. Remeron does have sleep-inducing effects. Sleep is important. And it doesn't sound like you have made up your mind yet about whether or not you even want to get off the Remeron. You sound more sure that you do want to taper Klonopin.

 

I would say that there would be no harm in tapering the Klonopin for a while and seeing how that affects you. If you find that you're feeling too stimulated after you get your K dose down a bit, then you could hold that taper and start working on the Remeron taper, if that's the route you choose. 

 

It's got to be your decision, though, because you're the one who has to live with the consequences, not me.

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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since I've been on remeron for so long, have a permanently damaged the way my brain functions?  am I going to need to be on this drug for the rest of my life.  I asked my doc this question, and he said he couldn't tell me for certain.  Said as long as it's working for you, why get off it.  I am more concerned right now about the klonopin.  i definitely feel the "need" for it every day.  my body actually gets tense and tight when I am close to my next dose.  I never really felt the need for remeron.  I took it because it helped me sleep in a time when I could barely sleep.  I'm really scared to get off these drugs cause right now i can function and work.  I have two young children and a mortgage.  not working is not an option for me

starting taking Remeron in 1998.  Been on 15mg since taken once at bedtime.  was on xanax from 1998 to 2000.

starting taking .5mg klonopin April 2014.  take .25mg twice daily - once in morning and then again in afternoon.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Lunkhead,

 

whatever you decide, tapering a drug properly, that is as slow as your brain allows it minimises the risk of significant effects on our quality of life. 

 

You came to the right place. You made a great decision to inform yourself of things before you actually start changing anything. Take your time. You are in a great situation because you are feeling stable unlike most of us who came here after we have already messed things up. After you have spent some time reading the information that has been collected here I'm sure you will be in a better situation to make an informed decision.

 

This is what I would advise as a good start for reading:

 

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/

 

We will be here to answer any questions you might have. Just take your time.

 

Best,

Bubbl

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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i'm having second thoughts about tapering the klonopin first.  My fear is that I'll taper the remeron, won't be able to sleep which will make my anxiety worse and will end up on more klonopin.  Is it totally ok for get of Klonopin first or am i making a mistake?

starting taking Remeron in 1998.  Been on 15mg since taken once at bedtime.  was on xanax from 1998 to 2000.

starting taking .5mg klonopin April 2014.  take .25mg twice daily - once in morning and then again in afternoon.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Unfortunately we don't have a crystal ball to be able to tell you what will happen.   Rhi has given you a good explanation of the key things to think about.

 

I think if you are really worried about your sleep (which is a reasonable fear) I would stay on the one that you think helps you sleep the most, taper the other one very slowly and then plan the next bit

 

Dalsaan

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

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

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

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

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

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

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

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

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  • Administrator

Welcome, lunkhead.

 

Given that you were doing okay with the Remeron alone, I would think you could try reducing the Klonopin as Rhi suggested.

 

However, your nervous system has changed since you were on Remeron alone -- years have passed, and now you are dependent on Klonopin as well. So we don't know what will happen. It could be your system is sensitized to any drug changes.

 

You don't have a "chemical imbalance" corrected by the Remeron, but since you've been on it so long, you are physiologically dependent on it. If you wish to reduce it, you will have to taper it very carefully.

 

But, one thing at a time. If you want to try going off Klonopin, concentrate on that first. Given your history, don't take chances as you did before, make very, very small reductions at a controlled rate.

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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