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bgail: I am in a mess


bgail

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Post moved from symptoms. 

 

This is my first post so I do not know if I am entering this in the correct section. I began tapering from Lexapro last fall and my last dose was in April of this year. I actually felt good for four months. I was sleeping well and had energy. Then I noticed I began to experience fatigue and began to wake up in the middle of the night and could not go back to sleep. I began experiencing constant adrenalin rushes. After going four nights without any sleep, I had to go to the ER to get some relief. Now I am taking herbs, amino acids, and sometimes Klonopin (which I hadn't taken in years). I am seriously thinking of calling the doctor to get back on Lexapro, but am so disappointed I made it this far only to have to get back on. Not sure what to do, but I can't take this much longer. I knew to taper slowly but I did not know about protracted withdrawal. Any suggestions or advice? I can't hang on much longer.

Edited by mammaP
Post moved to start intro

I took six months to finished tapering Lexapro in April. Did very well for four months but now, six months later, I am having severe anxiety. Had four sleepless nights and had to go to ER where I was given an Ativan injection. Scared I will have to go into hospital. Do not know where to turn.

 

Update: It has almost been a years since tapering of Lexapro. Now trying to taper off Ativan which I was put on in January. But I have the MTHFR mutation along with some others, including COMT, which makes it hard for my body to break down methyl. And methyl is in EVERYTHING!

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

My doctor is helping me switch from Ativan to Klonopin to help with withdrawal. She wanted to switch me hoping I could taper easier because klonopin had a longer half life. I had to have Klonopin compounded because I have a genetic mutation to makes it difficult for my body to break down methyl and methyl is in the filler. She just wanted me to substitute Klonopin for Ativan last night. I felt good for about four hours, then terrible, terrible anxiety and panic all night. Can switching from ativan to klonopin cause withdrawal? I am desperate and miserable and now it's the weekend and dr isn't in. Ativan was 1 mg and klonopin was 0.5 mg. 

I took six months to finished tapering Lexapro in April. Did very well for four months but now, six months later, I am having severe anxiety. Had four sleepless nights and had to go to ER where I was given an Ativan injection. Scared I will have to go into hospital. Do not know where to turn.

 

Update: It has almost been a years since tapering of Lexapro. Now trying to taper off Ativan which I was put on in January. But I have the MTHFR mutation along with some others, including COMT, which makes it hard for my body to break down methyl. And methyl is in EVERYTHING!

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

bgail, hello.

 

Welcome to the site. How quickly did you taper off of your Lexapro? Could you add that, and length of use, to your signature line? That would be useful information for us.

 

I see what your doctor is attempting. My doctor switched me from Xanax to Ativan, because Ativan has a longer half than Xanax. Klonopin was going to be next for me. Often times for a benzo taper, Valium is used because it has the mother of all halves. Anyway, it is not abnormal what is happening. It sounds like things have become rather intense for you and I am sorry you are suffering. That fear is unworldly, I remember.

 

Are you saying you have the MTHFR mutation? Many of us do I have found.

 

I saw you pop in and wanted to welcome you to the site. As a moderator, we like to do this and provide you with helpful links, etc. I am on a mobile device and therefore I can't cut and paste links in the same way I like to on my stationary machine. So let me ask you to take a peek at our benzo section, and also have a look at our section on tapering Lexapro, to see if how you tapered at all matches what we typically advise. And seeing as you have already mastered filling out your signature line, adding that extra info would be really great.

 

Sleep is important. Are you supplementing with anything at all? Many find magnesium, especially magnesium glycinate to be useful. Also, are you creating a good, restful environment for sleep? Blocking all light, etc?

 

I get your hesitance on the hospital, especially because you likely feel ready to crawl out of your skin. Many of us have been there. You are so not alone.

 

Please try to remain as relaxed as possible, despite the fear and panic you feel. This can be sorted. I wanted to take this moment to welcome you, others will too, and please use this space to post questions, updates, etc. it is now your journal of sorts.

 

Hang in there.

 

Dave

1996 - .5mg Ativan as needed, 7.5mg Remeron daily2008 - .5mg Xanax, Ativan discontinued, Remeron continued2012 - .5mg Xanax, .25mg Ativan 3x daily, Remeron continued2/2012 - Jumped from Remeron, continued .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily4/2012 - Began rapid taper of .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily6/2012 - Jumped from Xanax and Ativan, voluntary hospitalization followed7/2012 - 2nd voluntary hospitalization, reinstated Remeron, bumped to 30mg, also given risperidone.8/2012 - discontinued risperidone, tried gabapentin, dicontinued gabapentin, Remeron 30mg continued10/2012 to current - tapered Remeron 10% every 4 to 6 weeks (sometimes more time) using liquid compound12/2014 - 2mg Remeron 1/16/2015 - 1.9mg Remeron 8/1/2015 -1.6mg Remeron - 03/1/2016 - 1.5mg Remeron - 1/2/2017 1.3mg - 5/7/2017 1.2mg - 5/13/2017 - syringe size change - 6/8/2017 - 1.1mg - 7/10/2017 - 1mg - 9/1/2017 - 0.9mg - 10/22/2017 - 0.8mg - 11/22/2017 - 0.7mg - 2/2/2018 - 0.6mg - 3/13/2018 - new compound pharmacy - 5/20/2018 - 0.5mg - 8/31/2018 - 0.4mg - 11/16/2018 - 0.3mg - 12/24/2018 - 0.2mg - 4/1/2019 - 0.1mg - 5/1/2019 - .05mg - 0mg achieved 2019-06-15. 🤞

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I would have like to have use Valium in the taper but it has methyl in the actual medication. It's the methyl that's driving me crazy. I try to take niacin with it to soak up methyl groups. I just didn't think it went well trying to with benzos. I might just try to get off ativan although I know that will be hard. I don't think I have much choice.

I took six months to finished tapering Lexapro in April. Did very well for four months but now, six months later, I am having severe anxiety. Had four sleepless nights and had to go to ER where I was given an Ativan injection. Scared I will have to go into hospital. Do not know where to turn.

 

Update: It has almost been a years since tapering of Lexapro. Now trying to taper off Ativan which I was put on in January. But I have the MTHFR mutation along with some others, including COMT, which makes it hard for my body to break down methyl. And methyl is in EVERYTHING!

 

 

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Hi bgail, I'm sorry to hear you are having such a rough time.

But you have come to the right place, people here will help you in every way they can.

Hang in there!

started on 10mg Sipralexa (Lexapro) in january 2010 for general anxiety disorder/panic attacks (possibly burn-out from studying).
stayed on it for 4,5 years.

started to reduce Lexapro with this "schedule" (and ignored doctor's advice to quit in 14 days):
- 10mg to 5mg on 16/07/2014 (no WD symptoms)
- after 8 weeks: 5mg to 2,5mg on 12/09/2014 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; mood swings (angry), brainfog/derealization)

- after 7 weeks: 2,5mg to 2mg on 03/11/2014 (1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: mild brain zaps, eye floaters, mood swings)
- after 14 weeks: 2mg to 1,5mg on 14/02/2015 (
1st week: heavy sweating at night; from 2nd week on: shaking, trembling, severe anxiety attacks, loss of appetite, insomnia, very depressive feelings; from 3rd week on: shaking and trembling reduced, sometimes a "window" but anxiety always returns, very dark thoughts)

- updosed to 2mg on 07/03/2014

 

supplements: Metarelax (magnesium + Vit B ); Omega 3-fish oil; Sedinal drops in case of extreme anxiety;

acupuncture + CBT  

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So so sorry you are having to go through this.    I just wanted to ask if you are attempting to just take the Klonopin now or do you have Ativan with you also?   The crossover from Ativan to Klonopin can be problematic in that Ativan leaves the system much more quickly than Klonopin so that if you just substitute the Klonopin for the Ativan without taper off one and onto the other, you will most likely experience interdose withdrawal from the loss of the Ativan.  Also, I'm not certain the crossover dose of Klonopin is sufficient to cover the Ativan dose.   And the anxiety can be really harsh, I know.  There are people here who are tapering or about to taper directly from Ativan and I do know of a lady who just successfully finished a direct Ativan taper, using a liquid base.  So hoping you'll find what you need to make the taper as smoothly as possible. 

1971-81  Valium 5mg c/t PAWS     1992- through now Zoloft 25mg    2003-05 Valium 12mg Slow Taper Off

2013 Afrin Exposure to CNS    2013 O/D Val 230mg    2013 Doxepin 50mg Clonidine 2mg Zoloft 25mg

3/15/16  Doxepin 49mg Micro Tapering  Zoloft 24.3mg Holding taper

3/15/16 Clonidine mg 0.1 1/2 -    Decreasing incrementally.  DISCONTINUED

10/9/16  Doxepin 48.9  Zoloft 24.3  Clonidine  01.10  Continuing micro taper on Doxepin.

11/16/16 Doxepin 48mg  Zoloft 24.3mg  Clonidine 1.30mg

5/4/17  Doxepin 45mg  Zoloft 24mg  Clonidine 1.20mg   Micro taper of Doxepin  , Clonidine

01/13/19  Doxepin 45mg   Zoloft 21mg   Will start Micro taper of Doxepin 2/19

12/21/21  Doxepin 20 mg ?  Reducing using water micro taper--Pulling 24ml from 75ml

12/2121   Zoloft .060 grams by weight--HOLDING (info from post added by CC: On 12/21/21 my dosage was .060grams by weight or 20mg. )

26 Apr 2022 - Zoloft at -0-

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello... the benzo 'equivalency' looks right, but Selma is absolutely correct in thinking the problem lies with the differing half lives.  Lorazepam's is much shorter..  When folks cross taper, and use the protocol's set up by Heather Ashton, they usually take a month, sometimes longer.  Switching one for the other is WAY too fast... do you have enough Ativan to keep taking that until you can get a cross taper schedule worked out?  Also, you can taper off of Ativan directly, but will need to learn how to do this.. for now, if you have enough Ativan, go back on the original dose.

And that way you would not need to worry about the K. filler.  As you can see, in this context, equivalent means a close approximation, though not perfect, because there are differences..  the differing half lives being one.

 

I don't know about all this testing for mutations, my take is they are overblown, but I'm not the goto person about that here.  Others will chime in shortly on this.

 

PS... you need to put your doses and how often a day you take them in your sig. line... I just took a look to see if you are talking about taking 1 mg. Ativan a day vs. .5 mgs of K, but there are no amounts in there.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Thank you guys for all the replies. Friday night was just plain awful, and yesterday I was a wreck. Anxiety and crying all day. Today is somewhat better. You answered my question about whether that was withdrawal I was having all night. I have my Ativan until I can get in contact with the doctor, hopefully tomorrow. After that experience, I think I will try to directly taper off Ativan. That will be compounded also to avoid methyl, in a liquid form, so it should help. At the end of last year, a different psychiatrist was "throwing" all kinds of medicines at me: SSRI, tricyclic, antipsychotic, sleeping pills, and i was getting more and more anxious. All but one contained methyl. I had a hugh meltdown after going to the ER and receiving hydroxyzine.  I was even having trouble with some of my vitamins and supplements if they contained methyl. I had genetic testing done, which confirmed that I had a COMT mutation (along with MTHFR and others). That means my body is slower to break down methyl groups and can cause horrific anxiety. The genetic testing involves genes that are involved in methylation processes in the body, but just because a person has a mutation doesn't mean it has to be turned on, or expressing as they say. I take 1 mg of Ativan three times a day, and the doctor was going to put me on 0.5 mg three times a day of Klonopin. I will fix the information in my signature line as soon as I can. Thank you again. :)

I took six months to finished tapering Lexapro in April. Did very well for four months but now, six months later, I am having severe anxiety. Had four sleepless nights and had to go to ER where I was given an Ativan injection. Scared I will have to go into hospital. Do not know where to turn.

 

Update: It has almost been a years since tapering of Lexapro. Now trying to taper off Ativan which I was put on in January. But I have the MTHFR mutation along with some others, including COMT, which makes it hard for my body to break down methyl. And methyl is in EVERYTHING!

 

 

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  • Administrator

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

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