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Int J Risk Saf Med. 2013 Jan 1;25(2):105-9. doi: 10.3233/JRS-130586.

New onset alcohol dependence linked to treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

 

Source

 

Department of Psychological Medicine, Hergest Unit, Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital, Wales, UK.

 

Abstract at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23796469

 

BACKGROUND:

Genetic and environmental factors influence the development of alcohol dependence and alcohol dependence increases the risk of developing Major Depressive Disorder-MDD (vice versa). Amongst antidepressants, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are likely the most frequently prescribed for MDD. However, findings on the role of SSRIs in alleviating alcoholism are conflicting.

 

CASE DESCRIPTION:

A review of the literature is highlighted with a case of middle-aged lady with new onset alcohol dependence syndrome after commencement of SSRI, which resolved following discontinuation of the SSRIs and the introduction of Mirtazapine.

 

DISCUSSION:

The serotonin transporter gene has been linked to excessive drinking, early-onset problem drinking, alcohol dependence, anxiety and impulsiveness. While the evidence for antidepressant use appears consistent in alleviating depressive symptoms in patients with comorbid alcohol dependence and depression, some groups of patients may show an increase in alcohol consumption. Alternatively, there are a series of studies suggesting that antagonism of S-3 receptors can lead to diminished cravings for alcohol. This case highlights the need for further research into the effects of SSRIs on alcohol consumption in those with and without previous alcohol dependence syndromes. It also indicates a need to monitor changes in alcohol consumption and behaviour while on SSRIs.

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

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

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I have given up beer during the withdrawal process. It's interesting to see others experience the same thing. I really miss it. I want to want beer. My friends are almost all beer drinkers. It's part of social life for me. I know it's not really a 'bad' thing but it affects me socially. It was one of life's pleasures and now it's no longer available to me.

 

I spend alot of time by myself in the basement. I just don't feel like being out there in the world like I used to. Like someone else mentioned, often just communicating online with people is all I'm up for.

 

I have also noticed that I appreciate feeling moderately crappy. I'm having one of those days today. It is much better than full on crappy. Yay

On Effexor since February 2003; Mar/2012 - dropped from 150mg to 131mg; Apr/2012 - 112.5mg; Jul.2/2012 - 94mg;
Oct.21/2012 - 75mg - first started noticing withdrawal symptoms; Nov.16/2012 - 56mg; Dec.11/2012- 37.5mg; Jan.5/2013 - 19mg; Jan.22/2013 - 22.5mg (withdrawal too strong); Jan.23/2013 - 37.5mg (MUCH worse; very sick)
Jan.24/2013 - 30mg; May 26/2013 - 27mg (started 10% method - too much)

Dec.25/2013 - 27.3mg (no relief after 7 month hold; slow updose)

Mar.6/2014 - 37.5mg (3.5 year hold, no improvement);

Nov.2/2017 - 2.5% drop/36.6mg; Nov.30/2017 - 4% drop/35.1mg; Dec.28/2017 - 6% drop/33mg; Jan.25,/2018 - 8% drop/30.4mg; Feb.22/2018 - Held at 30.4mg; Mar. 22/2018 - 10% drop/27.4mg; Apr.19/2018 - 10% drop/24.7mg; May 17/2018 - 5%/23.5mg; Nov.21/2018 - 1.7% drop/23.1mg; Dec.19/2018 - 1.7%/22.7mg; Jan.23/2019 - 2.6%/22.1mg; Feb.27/2019 - 3.6% drop/21.3mg..holding...considering slow updose back to full dose

 

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It's hard to get away from it up here in the Pacific NW. It's not a drink, it's a culture. And I have to admit I've never liked the taste of beer much but the microbreweries here are pretty good, I'm starting to like beer.

 

I learned to appreciate a good beer while living in Portland, before that I'd never cared for it much.  A cold pint of Black Butte Porter at Deschutes made me a convert.  

 

 

Yeah, it's good. Seattle too. And I live out in the Columbia Gorge and you know this is where Full Sail is and a bunch of microbreweries in Hood River, plus Everybody's in White Salmon.  There are tons of wineries out here too but I've never really been a big wine drinker so on that rare occasion when I indulge in alcohol I go for a nice microbrew. I like the blond ales actually (I'm a wuss, I don't like the hoppy stuff).

 

Overall though (to get back on topic) alcohol and withdrawal go very poorly together. Definitely earlier in my taper I couldn't drink even one beer, and even now I usually get just a half pint.

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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^Ah, I do miss the Northwest sometimes.  

 

Half a pint, not bad!  I hope to get there eventually.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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UnfoldingSky

I am not sure if I can handle beer now...

 

But, for what it is worth, most of my food and "substance" intolerances are more or less gone.  Sugar, though, spaces me out a bit more than I need, but it no longer makes me climb the walls like it did.  And I had a long list of intolerances--sugar, caffeine, gluten, casein, sweeteners like honey, processed foods, most supplements, etc...  Even fruit could be an issue. 

 

I don't know if people whom have taken benzos and had severe issues with them can ever drink again?  Not that I mind, I'll gladly abstain if it means keeping my health.And, as a bit of dark humor, at one point one of the only things keeping me alive was the possibility of eating a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing again.  I even dreamed of the forbidden cupcake...And eventually, at long last, we were reunited.

 

Never underestimate the power of a cupcake. 

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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And, as a bit of dark humor, at one point one of the only things keeping me alive was the possibility of eating a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing again.  I even dreamed of the forbidden cupcake...And eventually, at long last, we were reunited.

 

Never underestimate the power of a cupcake. 

 

:D 

 

At the peak of my withdrawal, when I was trying to drown out my pain with sugar and starch, I found myself waiting outside a cupcake shop as it prepared to open at 10 in the morning.  Oh, the shame.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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UnfoldingSky

 

:D At the peak of my withdrawal, when I was trying to drown out my pain with sugar and starch, I found myself waiting outside a cupcake shop as it prepared to open at 10 in the morning.  Oh, the shame.

 

  :lol:

 

That sounds like a regular morning for me before I was in withdrawal...

 

Okay, now back to the beer.

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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Maybe we should change the name of this thread to "beer and cupcakes." Or maybe just "never underestimate the power of a cupcake."

 

Although for me it's ice cream...Ben and Jerry's or Haagen Dasz usually. Butter pecan. Cherry Garcia. Sigh...

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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I haven't been able to drink beer since I found out I was celiac and I wasn't that big of a beer drinker before withdrawal ... I know they make gluten free beer, but I'm just not interested.  I've had wine on occasion and I was actually better than moderately crappy :lol: . 

 

My vice is tequila :P .  I love a good margarita or a tequila sunrise ... If I limit myself to one I don't really feel ill ... but I am conscious that alcohol can confuse my CNS and like many here I am concentrating on getting well.

 

Long ago when I was young and visiting the clubs I realized that I didn't enjoy how I felt the next morning after a night of drinking ... and I decided that I wasn't going to drink any more because "cause and effect" didn't work for me (this was before ADs and benzos).  I became everyone's favorite buddy because I still went to the clubs to dance and they could always count on me to be the designated driver :D .

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg;
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Maybe we should change the name of this thread to "beer and cupcakes." Or maybe just "never underestimate the power of a cupcake."

 

Sounds like a grand idea.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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UnfoldingSky

 

 

Although for me it's ice cream...Ben and Jerry's or Haagen Dasz usually. Butter pecan. Cherry Garcia. Sigh...

 

Well don't worry, I am sure someone here would be kind enough to give you a side of ice cream with the cupcake of your choice...Or perhaps a side of cupcake with the ice cream of your choice...But the true test of recovery I believe is whether or not you feel better than moderately crappy after eating a cupcake...soaked in beer.And don't even try to tell me you don't like beer cupcakes...I'm having none of it. :lol:

 

US

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

 

 

 

Although for me it's ice cream...Ben and Jerry's or Haagen Dasz usually. Butter pecan. Cherry Garcia. Sigh...

 

Well don't worry, I am sure someone here would be kind enough to give you a side of ice cream with the cupcake of your choice...Or perhaps a side of cupcake with the ice cream of your choice...But the true test of recovery I believe is whether or not you feel better than moderately crappy after eating a cupcake...soaked in beer.And don't even try to tell me you don't like beer cupcakes...I'm having none of it. :lol:

 

US

 

HA! snort!

 

thanks for the grins!

 

(trying not to think too much about beer-soaked cupcakes...)

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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  • 1 year later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

I had two glasses of wine last night. I might drink that much once a month, if that. I woke up with a panicked, tight feeling in my chest this morning. Because anxious thoughts followed the physical symptoms (rather than the other way around) I'm pretty sure it was Akathisia rather than anxiety. Now, several hours later it's lingering, and as has accompanied Akathisia in the past, I'm pretty tired.

 

I know Alcohol interferes with the sleep cycle, and sleep or lack there of influences cortisol secretion. I've also read that alcohol consumption can cause an increase in cortisol plasma levels...

 

I know and have had cortisol mornings... But Akathisia mornings? Or am I mistaking Akathisia for Cortisol? I hope I am, because then the puzzle pieces fit. Am I overlooking something?

 

I'm going to see what information and literature are out there at some point, but in the meantime I was wondering if anyone had any info or knew of any information regarding alcohol and Akathisia, or cortisol and Akathisia.

1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg to treat an eating disorder. Several unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.Fall 2012: Failed attempt to discontinue then -> 40mg Prozac and added 150mg Wellbutrin.Late summer 2013:Began slower Prozac taper.Spring 2014:Got to 10mg Prozac, 75mg of Wellbutrin -April 2014: 9mg Prozac & 37.5mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 9mg Prozac & 25 mg Wellbutrin 2x/day->9mg Prozac 1x/day & ~8mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 8.1mg Prozac, 0 WellbutrinSept '14: 8.1mg Prozac -> crashed hardOct '14: 10mg ProzacNov '14: 20mg -> 30mgDec '14: 30mg, Feb 10: 27mg. Mar 7: 25mg Mar 21, 2015: 20mg. May 21, 2016: 20mg and holding strong.

 

My experience: http://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

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You might look up DAO enzyme..,I saw it on Amy Meyers' blog. It's a lack of an enzyme in the gut to properly metabolize histamine, and that affects alcohol as well. It is the cause of "Asian flush" as the lack of this enzyme is common in people of Asian descent.

 

But, more commonly, most people have a horrible tolerance for alcohol in withdrawal.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • 2 months later...

Any bad things that can happen? Or is it safe?

 

From what I heard from my psychiatrist, is that alcohol reduces citalopram in the blood for a few days.

 

I drank some wine, I feel the skin on my face is a bit tingly, is that normal for alcohol?

-On SSRI since April 2006.
-December 2007: SSRI discontinuation and withdrawal start.
-February 2008: SSRI reinstatement... improvement, yet withdrawal symptoms remains to this day.
-Currently taking: 16mg Citalopram, 1mg Risperidone (for insomnia).
-Current issues: obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), insomnia, exaggerated physical symptoms of anxiety, muscle fatigue, weight gain, high prolactin/low testosterone

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You could try looking it up on RX list to see if it says anything about the interactions.

 

However, several times years ago while I was on an SSRI (which may have been Celexa, I can't recall which one now) I got drunk and the next day I woke up with a face full of tiny broken blood vessels.  They went away after a day but that pretty well scared me off mixing SSRIs with alcohol.  It could be some sort of idiosyncratic reaction, don't know...I've never heard of anyone having an issue like this before.  A larger issue with SSRIs and alcohol, or at least some of them is that they can cause people to become alcoholics--some people find they suddenly crave large amounts of alcohol while on them, then when they stop the cravings just abruptly stop too. 

 

Also and not to wind off-topic but where in the world did you get that cat photo? That has to be the funniest thing I have ever seen...

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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That is strange with the popped capillaries. I know alcohol dialate them, and SSRI make skin easily bruseable though. I drank alcohol and smoked pot for a long time while on SSRI, risperdal, welbutrin, and buspar all at the same time. I didn't have any bad effects back then. Fortunately I did not have any big cravings for alcohol.

 

I tested drinking alcohol today, I feel fine so far, but my face feels a bit tingly and slightly numbed... I wonder if medication free people get that too.

 

I don't even know how I ran into the cats lol.

 

eJDjk.gif

-On SSRI since April 2006.
-December 2007: SSRI discontinuation and withdrawal start.
-February 2008: SSRI reinstatement... improvement, yet withdrawal symptoms remains to this day.
-Currently taking: 16mg Citalopram, 1mg Risperidone (for insomnia).
-Current issues: obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), insomnia, exaggerated physical symptoms of anxiety, muscle fatigue, weight gain, high prolactin/low testosterone

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lol, I logged on while playing music and found the cats dancing in perfect unison with it...Earthworm you have me hypnotized now...

 

I haven't had anything to drink since becoming drug free so don't know what to tell you re the tingling.  Maybe someone else has some input.

 

Oh I should have added re the broken capillaries that it only happened when I had a lot to drink.  One or two drinks didn't seem to do anything to me. 

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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So I got drunk 2 days ago lol. I drank 658ml of wine all at once... was on the edge of super fun and unpleasant. No face tingling this time, had a good time hanging out with a couple friends. Unfortunately, I think the alcohol screwed up my sleep and I slept a shallow 2 hours lol.

-On SSRI since April 2006.
-December 2007: SSRI discontinuation and withdrawal start.
-February 2008: SSRI reinstatement... improvement, yet withdrawal symptoms remains to this day.
-Currently taking: 16mg Citalopram, 1mg Risperidone (for insomnia).
-Current issues: obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), insomnia, exaggerated physical symptoms of anxiety, muscle fatigue, weight gain, high prolactin/low testosterone

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Ah well, alcohol could do that anyway...Might have nothing to do with the drugs.  Glad you had a good time. 

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Mentor

Hello people- On David Healy's blog there's a post by Anne-Marie: http://davidhealy.org/out-of-my-mind-driven-to-drink In this she explains, in short, that SSRI-medications (paroxetine, citalopram for her part) can cause intense craving for alcohol in a person who earlier had not had an alcohol problem. How common is this problem? How have people come to grips with it?

I can totally relate to this.  With me it was Effexxor I think, but I have been on so many different ones.  Now my brain is clear, I am horrified, but so glad I am surviving.  Only 50mg Seroquol to go!

When I first "got ill"... was told by a new recruit of the "psychiatric era", my sister, that its OK drink, everyone knows that depressed people drink, and the new antidepressants are made for that, they go fine together.  I wasn't a drinker then, weird because my mum tried to fix my sadness/depression by giving me straight scotch and sherry in a big glass (as Sherry isn't as strong as it used to be?).  hahah rofl.   Well that just meant I couldnt get out of bed the next day, made problem worse, so off to my sisters I was sent.  He madly loved her psychiatrist, in hindsight, weird.  I also became a recruit in the new psychiatry, was pretty well brainwashed besides the new drugs, when I went home again after three weeks.  Silly me, had the shakes, couldn't see without magnified glasses, seemed OK on the inside, but obviously wasnt, who would go back to work as an obvious nutter?  My sister liked it, proved that "it ran in the family"  this chemical imbalance.  I told everyone else how great these wonder drugs were, how they are not addictive like the old benzos, my sister had taught me well.  I knew nothing was naive. After years of ups and downs, and just ordinary moderate drinking, I went on Effexor.  Would have 8-10 cups of coffee in the morning, wine and water all afternoon, evening.  I told my psych, she said "well with all that coffee, no wonder you are drinking to slow down in the afternoon.  ie not my meds, just my madness.  I gave up effexor two years ago, in a disastrous attempt to get off these "non addictive" things, over 3 weeks.  Had done it before over three weeks on other drugs, (but had only been on those drugs two weeks, or less).....and then been drug free for 6 years (so glad of that).

I was drinking wine to help cope with the withdrawals, so now I have a reputation for not only being mad, but also an alcoholic.  None of my sisters/brothers/want to know me...yes not even the sister that I was copying (she was exactly the mess I had become, when I first went to see her, all those years ago)...

Well weird now, I am treating the alcohol as just another med, that I need to cut down or have, or reduce.  And it is not hard.  Tried a bottle of wine, while stabilizing on 50mg Seroquol.  No good.  Tried two glasses of red, one at 4.00pm, one at 6.00pm.  Woke up well that next day (well got out of bed..:)).  

Last night 3 1/2 glasses of red over 5 hours.  Couldn't go out of house today, so on computer  (Yes, I am kind to myself).

Tonight I will have two glasses of red wine, one at 4.00pm, one at 6.00pm.   Every day, I will drink later, ie one glass at 6.00 one glass at 8.00.   

I believe once I get over my "mind addiction" to the alcohol, I will not have an addiction to it at all anymore.  8 years of drinking a bottle of wine a night while on Effexor, it has just become a habit.  

Can anyone relate any symptoms I might have while on the Seroquol, I wish to give it up as soon as I can.  But I am terrified of not sleeping  (as most of us on this site have become so terriefied of things).

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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  • Mentor

 

Hi Alex,

 

thanks for responding.

 

It is very interesting to me, because it was actually while I was on Effexor that I was able to stop drinking alcohol. I was taking the 'delayed release' variant.

 

Now, on escitalopram (Cipralex) it has been very difficult - I had strong alcohol cravings tapering escitalopram, even appr 2 weeks before quitting completely. And now after reinstating I have been having and still am have strong cravings for alcohol. I would say, though, that the strongest cravings were after quitting completely last fall. But I am still struggling with wanting to drink now appr 1 month after reinstating. That is why I am wondering if maybe I should not have reinstated? I realize that there have been some triggers - but I think that I would have been able to resist alcohol before quitting escitalopram, since I have been able to for appr 7 years, and there were some triggers in those 7 years, including the the death of my father.

 

But even that is true, I still have to taper very very slowly, right? Not stop cold turkey even if I feel the drug is hurting me with regard to alcohol cravings?

 

Thanks!

Escitalopram is lexapro. As I say, while on escitalopram I struggled with horrid alcoholic drinking which improved a bit when I switched to Effexor and finally resolved when I then quit Effexor... That was my experience.

 

I think cold turkey is never a good idea. Otherwise it is hard to give advice because I dont know enough about your case. I wasn't an excess drinker before taking ADs -- I started on Lexapro as a 19 or 20 year old after a couple of yrs trying Paxil, Prozac and so on to find the AD that 'worked for me'... In my early 20s I shocked everyone by becoming alcoholic since I had no history of substance abuse... I just know that for me, drug and alcohol cravings resolved when I stopped taking ADs and atypical antipsychotics...

 

Resolved when you quit effexor.  Thanks for that.  Now I need to read up on Seroquol.  But I know everyone is different.  Most people can tolerate valium, but even a small amount sends me psychotic. The person I trusted when I first went to "her doc", convinced me that alcoholics are just depressed, and need to go on antidepressants, omg. Thanks for this site, nothing in this world will ever convince my family and friends of the truth. It is a very lonely existence in some ways.

I will now have a glass of wine, a whole glass of water, another glass of wine, two glasses of water, a glass of wine, three glasses of water.  I don't think I will ever make it to the fourth glass.  But the idea that I need it, is still in my brain.  But the addiction isnt there like it was.....  I would drink 8-10 cups of coffee in the morning, Wine in the afternoon, and found it difficult to space it with water.  Now that is easy.

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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  • Mentor

I hope that Alex will weigh in on this - There has been discussion of carbohydrate and sugar craving on SSRIs also - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1667-cravings-advice-sought/page__pid__20641#entry20641 Just FYI

Would it help to start putting sugar in my coffee?  Not that I drink that much coffee now, used to drink 8-10 cups during the mornings.  Wine in the afternoon, how weird.

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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OutdoorsMan15

How has alcohol affected everyone's recovery process? I generally have tried to avoid it but sometimes, especially when im having a good day, i give in. There are some nights that it aggravates my symptoms and some nights when it doesn't.

September-December 2012: 10mg Paxil and no long term W/D symptoms

July-August 2013: 10mg Celexa for anxiety-based(?) insomnia, no W/D symptoms

October-December 2014: 37.5 and then 75mg Effexor XR

December 18, 2014: Last dose of Effexor after ~ 3 week taper

 

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antidepressantsNoMore

Alcohol..... where do I start?

 

My best piece of advice, Don't Drink.

 

Alcohol is an depressant. It could possibly make ALL your symptoms worse. It did for me anyway. Now, I'm not saying drinking a few beers will hurt you because it probably won't, but going out and getting hammer drunk will. It will probably cause you to experience even worse depression and anxiety the next day and even weeks after considering your body is going through w/d and is not functioning like a normal person.

 

I can't say I haven't gotten drunk during w/d because that would be a lie, but I haven't been drunk in over a year and I feel better than I have in a long time. I also have cut down on my drinking by a lot the last few years. I used to be able to drink like a fish, now I only drink a few beers here and there.

 

What specific symptoms are you referring to?

trintellix 1 mg and rexulti .5mg

 

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brassmonkey

Because of its availability and social acceptance most people believe that alcohol is a rather benign drug. Most of the ssris and snris that we deal with here have three serious side effects; they increase the desire to drink, they decrease the ability to self regulate ones intake, and they frequently increase ones tolerance to getting drunk.  I'm living proof.  It is best to stay away from alcohol until one is fully recovered, only then can one experiment responsibly. I'll get off of my soap box now.

 

Having been there myself I have made a point of talking to a lot of others on these boards who are dealing with alcohol.  It is a very common theme that someone will be doing very well on a low dose or a few months off and decide that it is okay to have a couple of glasses of wine at a party.  They have a wonderful evening and no particular problems the next day. Then wham the second day they are hit with the hangover of a life time.  But it doesn't clear up over night.  Of the people I have talked with they all feel that they have been thrown back into acute WD and it lasts three to five weeks before things start to settle down.  Even then it has set back their recovery by months.  Some times they are lucky and get away with a drink now and then, but eventually it catches up with them and they don't know what hit them.  It is best not to take the chance.

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.

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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I think that anything which interferes with your nervous system is a no-no when in WD. Why put your brain through that? The brain needs calm and as much stability as possible. I suppose a few beer won't hurt, but still I wouldn't drink or eat or take anything that even slightly destabilizes the nervous system, it's just not worth it. 

I suffer from depression, anxiety, pure-o ocd, and panic attacks since 2004. Been on multiple different psychiatric drugs since 2006. Never had a significant WD problem before, only brain zaps for a month and then I'd be fine...............Been on Cipralex (escitalopram) 15 mg and Fluanxol (flupentixol) 1 mg since Sep 2014. Stopped taking the Cipralex after a fast 20-day taper.Took the last 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 5th, 2015. Then took Seroxat (paroxetine) 10 mg for a week, and stopped it too. Severe WD started suddenly on Feb 16th. RI 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 18th, 2015. RI worked and was relatively stable for a while................April 7 - decreased Fluanxol from 1 mg to 0.5 mg and took it at this dose for a week. - BIG MISTAKE; April 13 - WD starts creeping in; April 14 - RI full dose of Fluanxol 1 mg => severe muscle twitching and jerking when trying to relax and fall asleep, overwhelming sense of doom, dread, terror, and horror, insomnia, hoping to stabilize.
Tried doing a 10% cut off Fluanxol in the end of May for a few days, but quickly updosed to full dose because the twitching returned.
Experiencing waves and windows in the following months.
Unsuccessful brief taper attempt of Fluanxol by 5% on November 1st. Symptoms hit the next day. Too scared to continue tapering, reinstate full dose.
Severe crash in November after stupidly trying a barbiturate on November 9th. Grave mistake. Sense of unshakable inescapable internal torture, like my soul is in hell being tortured, terror/horror/dread/doom (probably akathisia?) that gets especially bad when trying to relax and fall asleep, muscles twitch, jerk and move on their own, shaking, insomnia, can't eat, confusion, disorientation, brain not working normally. Never felt so bad in my entire life. Never experiment with other meds while in WD! Praying to God I stabilize and get back to my baseline.
December - things getting even worse.

January - unbearable suffering

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The 1st symptom that made me realize that things were not right, was a dramatic change in my reaction to alcohol. I was always a lightweight - got tipsy after 2 glasses of wine, but a few months after my last antidepressant, it was like a switch had been turned off in my brain - I remained cold sober even if I drank to my limit. At the same time, during that night and the next morning I'd get hit with a horrible despair. So, I didn't touch the stuff for about 3 years. Now, year 4, if someone I care about really wants to share a drink with me, sometimes I'll have a glass or 2. My nights and mornings aren't affected nearly as much and, although I still don't get a buzz, I get a "warm nostalgia?". But at home, I don't touch the stuff - not even tempted.

In 2004 was initially put on Effexor, but by 2007 I had a whole cocktail going - 112.5 mg Effexor, 200 mg Buproprion SR, 250 mg Depakote, and 27mg Concerta ER. I switched psychiatrists to get off of everything.  Systematically, my new psychiatrist took me down – last to go was the Effexor, which he switched to Prozac to soften the reaction.  My last pill was July 2011. Although with every change, up or down, I felt a bit rotten and flu-like, I would return to normal within a few weeks. Looking back, perhaps I felt a bit crabby, but I had no hint that I was in trouble until November 2011 when I experienced something odd - I got no buzz from an occasional glass of wine. By Jan 20112 I was hit, full force – insomnia, no dreams, pacing, twitchy, chemical despair – later:  tingling sensations, audio distortion ... Many symptoms have improved, some have not, some have morphed. I am still struggling, 3 years out. 

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InvisibleUnless

i was warned to look out for alcohol while on some of my meds---especially the antipsychotics, but i was never a heavy drinker to begin with.  it didnt seem to interfere with my drinking negatively (making me way drunker or not drunk at all) and i never had hang-overs, so i drank socially while taking meds, only getting drunk a choice few times, and it was almost always totally fine (and when it wasnt, it wasnt from the meds).

 

however, towards the final year or two, my body stopped tolerating alcohol.  even just one beer or one shot would make me puke, even if i wasnt drunk from it.  if i tried to hold down a little sip for hours to see if itd get better, id just have to give up and expel it before i slept 10 hours later.  so, i effectively quit drinking, even before i quit the meds.  and, in withdrawal, it has only improved slowly, incrementally, and non-uniformly.

 

so, naturally, i do not press it, never get truly drunk anymore, and rarely drink---still just socially, and in extremely limited quantities, for the pleasure of taste.  beer, and to a lesser degree wine, has positive health benefits that could rouse your healing process, however, as everyone has mentioned, there are psychoactive complications with alcohol and it is probably not at all worth the risk if you are someone that experiences, or could potentially experience, negative effects.  there are better ways of relaxing or promoting healing out there.  sometimes i have to avoid social situations that would make me feel sad/left out/bored/scrutinized to not drink, or say no to drinking even when it makes for an uncomfortable time, but its a no-brainer for me because my organs are in serious need of repair from all the medications and lifestyle choices and i am determined to give them time.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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Heart - the exact same thing happened to me with alcohol! I thought I was the only one. Ever since my withdrawal started on February 16th, I don't get drunk even if I drink a lot. Also benzodiazepines such as clonazepam don't work on me anymore. I'm so worried that my nervous system is damaged beyond repair.

I suffer from depression, anxiety, pure-o ocd, and panic attacks since 2004. Been on multiple different psychiatric drugs since 2006. Never had a significant WD problem before, only brain zaps for a month and then I'd be fine...............Been on Cipralex (escitalopram) 15 mg and Fluanxol (flupentixol) 1 mg since Sep 2014. Stopped taking the Cipralex after a fast 20-day taper.Took the last 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 5th, 2015. Then took Seroxat (paroxetine) 10 mg for a week, and stopped it too. Severe WD started suddenly on Feb 16th. RI 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 18th, 2015. RI worked and was relatively stable for a while................April 7 - decreased Fluanxol from 1 mg to 0.5 mg and took it at this dose for a week. - BIG MISTAKE; April 13 - WD starts creeping in; April 14 - RI full dose of Fluanxol 1 mg => severe muscle twitching and jerking when trying to relax and fall asleep, overwhelming sense of doom, dread, terror, and horror, insomnia, hoping to stabilize.
Tried doing a 10% cut off Fluanxol in the end of May for a few days, but quickly updosed to full dose because the twitching returned.
Experiencing waves and windows in the following months.
Unsuccessful brief taper attempt of Fluanxol by 5% on November 1st. Symptoms hit the next day. Too scared to continue tapering, reinstate full dose.
Severe crash in November after stupidly trying a barbiturate on November 9th. Grave mistake. Sense of unshakable inescapable internal torture, like my soul is in hell being tortured, terror/horror/dread/doom (probably akathisia?) that gets especially bad when trying to relax and fall asleep, muscles twitch, jerk and move on their own, shaking, insomnia, can't eat, confusion, disorientation, brain not working normally. Never felt so bad in my entire life. Never experiment with other meds while in WD! Praying to God I stabilize and get back to my baseline.
December - things getting even worse.

January - unbearable suffering

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The 1st symptom that made me realize that things were not right, was a dramatic change in my reaction to alcohol. I was always a lightweight - got tipsy after 2 glasses of wine, but a few months after my last antidepressant, it was like a switch had been turned off in my brain - I remained cold sober even if I drank to my limit.

 

Something similar happened to me.  My favorite drink used to be bourbon and coke.  One drink would always make me feel pleasant and relaxed.  Suddenly, one evening, it no longer had this effect. Instead, my brain became 'foggy' and I felt irritable and agitated, it was causing anxiety. I tried it again the next night, with the same effect, very unpleasant.

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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  • Mentor

On effexor I drank, had alcohol cravings....never got drunk, had "blackouts"""".   Did stupid things, got done for dd twice....(Drink Driving).  I lost my brain on effexor, but somehow the alcohol gets blamed?  never the damn drugs?  convenient for Mr Big Pharma.......  All clear in hindsight, of course.   ...    Off all the tablets now    .........     I tried reinstating the zoloft, and different time, mirtazapine..... and  craved alcohol again., like the body was craving a sugar shot, instead of damn food............  God these poisons mess up everything....          God it was a relief to find out I was not an alcoholic, never was, the drugs, cause alcohol cravings.

 

I find at my point in withdrawals, if I drink some wine at night, I actually sleep better.........     but as everything changes on a day to day basis with Withdrawals, I dont think this effect will last......... i will just stick with this routine for another week....  I add as many ice blocks in as I do the wine, or space a glass of water, glass of wine............   I am still suffering the effects of stopping the zoloft reinstatement trial, only 5 days ago......  sure the desire will diminish, and it is a bit.

 

I regard alcohol as just another drug, thrown into the mix.           I never drink spirits, I drink wine. (Out of fear... dont like craving alcohol).......... I dont dare drink anything stronger, and dont dare drink before evening.  

When I am off the drugs, got rid of Withdrawals, I will kick the alcohol...........  But nice to know  it is just a passing phase.........and willl be able to drink socially in the future  (if I ever leave the house?, and socialise?  one day !).

 

I am lab rat proof, that the effexor damaged my liver, as my drinking hadn't changed when I had blood tests done  (while on the zoloft bridge).......  liver was back to normal. 

 

So long story short?  Try and kick the habit, as and if you can...... just another unwanted drug......   but in my case, so nice to know my alcohol cravings were just the damn drugs.........  so dont stress,  use your own judgement, you will know how alcohol affects you.........     We are all different, we are all our own lab rat, we all different.

 

And a weird thing, my daughter is now 30.........  from age 10- 16 she was on Augmentin forte, yes, double dose, for another medical problem... now gone, thank god!!..... anyway, at that age (now she tells me), if she had so much as a slurp of beer, she would be bedridden, and ill for days........  she didnt realise the connection......... now she is 30, if she ever touches antibiotics, she doesn't dare drink anything.......... she will be sick for days,  yes, even half a glass of wine.............  

I remember her being so, so damn ill......... now we realise she cannot tolerate antibiotics (any of them) and alcohol.   I dont know if she was sensitised, after being on so many damn pills for 6 years of her life.  I dont know that I have ever taken antibiotics and alcohol?  Dont think so.

 

I do know that valium sends me psycho, so all I can do, is warn my kids, and my extended family... Some of them go  ""yeah sure" one day they will find out, one day I hope when their loved child, or bloodline relative  goes psychotic, they may remember that..... in our bloodline, valium sends ya crazy.  What can I do?  Watch and wait....

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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  • 5 months later...

Can I use skin care products that contain alcohol in them ? I've been using them without any reaction but I'm afraid the alcohol can act on some receptors and impact my recovery .

I'm dwelling about it and I'm afraid when using any kind of soap that it has an ingredient that interferes with the recovery process  :(

Also , about food that contains additives , is it ok to be part of my diet if I don't have any ploblems when consuming it ?

Thanks .

On and off prozac from 2010 -2014 .

Several failed fast tapers and reinstatements .

Cold turkey : March  2014 .

-----------------------------------------

took lysanxia 40 mg a day for almost a year
november -14- 2018 weaned to 30 mg
november -26- 2018 weaned to 20 mg
symptoms that got better : fatigue
current symptoms : severe anxiety
one rescue dose (10 mg ) december -15 -2018
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I am no expert but I have heard that alcohol in skin products is not necessarily good for our skin. I really don't know about the effects with antidepressants. To be on the safe side it might be worthwhile looking at more natural products?

I actually make a lot of my personal home care products, namely toothpaste and deodorant. The main ingredient? Bicarb! I tried using the 'no poo' shampoo method for a while but didn't have much luck so I now use a very mild coconut shampoo. There is a lot of information online about making your own creams and other facial products using 'safe' ingredients. 

I enjoy eating foods that are as natural as possible and try to avoid anything in tins or jars. But that is just me! the same with personal care items. If it becomes obsessive it is probably not a good thing. 

Good luck x

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  • Administrator

Alcohol in skin products has no bearing on withdrawal symptoms. You may wish to avoid it for other reasons, as the other posters noted.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

I would just like to urge everyone NOT TO DRINK, AT ALL. 

I thought I was stable and doing well and drank some rakia (a Bulgarian drink) on the 6th and I feel terrible since then. I lost my sleep, this is the thirs night where I can't fall asleep. I also feel unreality and like I'm not breathing at all. Very scary. I'm scared it will keep getting worse. 

I think I did some permanent damage to my brain with this alcohol. I'm scared I'm never recovering.

Please, DON'T DRINK AT ALL IN WITHDRAWAL. 

I suffer from depression, anxiety, pure-o ocd, and panic attacks since 2004. Been on multiple different psychiatric drugs since 2006. Never had a significant WD problem before, only brain zaps for a month and then I'd be fine...............Been on Cipralex (escitalopram) 15 mg and Fluanxol (flupentixol) 1 mg since Sep 2014. Stopped taking the Cipralex after a fast 20-day taper.Took the last 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 5th, 2015. Then took Seroxat (paroxetine) 10 mg for a week, and stopped it too. Severe WD started suddenly on Feb 16th. RI 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 18th, 2015. RI worked and was relatively stable for a while................April 7 - decreased Fluanxol from 1 mg to 0.5 mg and took it at this dose for a week. - BIG MISTAKE; April 13 - WD starts creeping in; April 14 - RI full dose of Fluanxol 1 mg => severe muscle twitching and jerking when trying to relax and fall asleep, overwhelming sense of doom, dread, terror, and horror, insomnia, hoping to stabilize.
Tried doing a 10% cut off Fluanxol in the end of May for a few days, but quickly updosed to full dose because the twitching returned.
Experiencing waves and windows in the following months.
Unsuccessful brief taper attempt of Fluanxol by 5% on November 1st. Symptoms hit the next day. Too scared to continue tapering, reinstate full dose.
Severe crash in November after stupidly trying a barbiturate on November 9th. Grave mistake. Sense of unshakable inescapable internal torture, like my soul is in hell being tortured, terror/horror/dread/doom (probably akathisia?) that gets especially bad when trying to relax and fall asleep, muscles twitch, jerk and move on their own, shaking, insomnia, can't eat, confusion, disorientation, brain not working normally. Never felt so bad in my entire life. Never experiment with other meds while in WD! Praying to God I stabilize and get back to my baseline.
December - things getting even worse.

January - unbearable suffering

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Alcohol and beer

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