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Farout: brief exposures to pysch drugs led to long withdrawal


Farout

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Hi, I have been a long time lurker and didn't think I'd need to post but I am hoping for a bit of reassurance and support.  I have so far not involved myself, because I am one of those who didn't take ADs for long and had a reaction.  

 

I am generally a happy, healthy and pretty confident, level person. My young son got ill in 2013 and had to have a couple of operations. He’s absolutely fine now but, having held it together all the while I think I started to process it once it was all over and I noticed that I was worrying excessively about him.

 

By February 2014 I was getting concerned that, if left unchecked, my issues could smother his adventures and exclude my daughter so, when it spiked around the time he started school I decided to see someone about it. At this point I had never had a panic attack or anything even close to it, a few intrusive thoughts about my son’s health that I felt were gaining a bit too much traction for a couple of weeks but was generally still enjoying life and getting on with my days. The day before I saw the psych I went to the movies with my girlfriends and had a lovely time. The week before we had friends over and I remember feeling happy, almost to the point smug, thinking 'I love my life. I'm so lucky'. 

 

I went, just expecting to talk it through but instead spent 15 minutes with a psychologist who diagnosed me with GAD and did a real number on me about how sick I was and how I would never get better without medication, which I was reluctant to take. She phoned the female GP at my practice (my normal doctor was away) and told her that I needed meds but would resist. The GP scared the crap out of me, telling me the next stage is psychosis and I would be hospitalised if I left it untreated, did I want to be away from my children for a month if that happened, etc, etc. None of it stacked up against my own experience of myself and my husband didn’t get it either but these people were the experts, they should know, right?

 

Anyway, I took pristiq and ativan for three days and everything just fell apart. Within hours of taking it I was being hit by wave after wave of panic attack, then came the hallucinations, suicidal and violent thoughts, agoraphobia, it just kept on giving. I was convinced I couldn’t be trusted around people, let alone my children. It was a living nightmare so I stopped taking them.

 

The withdrawals were terrible; more obsessive suicidal and violent thoughts, vomiting, watery diarrhoea, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision and pain behind my left eye, adrenal jolts and just fear like I’d never known. I was determined not to go back on them and in hindsight should have just continued through it.

 

Instead I went to see a naturopath who gave me a fairly hefty dose of St Johns Wort. I was worried about taking it so soon after discontinuing the pristiq but he assured me I would be fine. I wasn’t. It was awful but I stuck with it for several weeks. Worried about another set of withdrawals, my psych dismissing all symptoms as not possibly related to the meds or herbs (which she laughed at) and mistrusting doctors I had totally lost sight of who I normally was. I tapered off it as fast as I could – all the usual, though less pronounced physical withdrawals, increased anxiety, more suicidal thoughts and a very strange dysphoria – like someone else jumped into my mind, thought a load of random, truly awful negative stuff that I would never normal think and then hopped back out again leaving me muddled and anxious. 

 

Eventually I went to see my own doctor, who has been treating me and my family for the past ten years. I told him what was going on and he said that he had seen similar in people who are really sensitive to psychotropic drugs and that I had probably suffered serotonin syndrome and to ride it out. He pointed out that worrying about your kids, particularly after times of stress, isn’t a mental illness and that the hand pain I was experiencing (the psych told me these were a symptom of my anxiety, as my heart was pumping blood faster and I didn’t even realise it was happening) was more likely referred pain from a whiplash injury the month before. 

 

So fast forward to now, a little over a year later and I have been doing well.  I have been having waves but they are manageable and I am back to my normal self during windows, which are lengthy (the last being four months).  Until now. I am presently in a wave that has lasted for nearly a month (with the odd window within that time) and as about as bad as during the earlier phases of withdrawal.  I am having some serious obsessive and scary thoughts and a whole barrage of physical symptoms; nausea, bloating and a butterflies feeling) headaches, a cold, trickily feeling down my spine, some brain zaps, pain behind my eye and, when there is a reprieve from those, an almost depressive state where the negative self talk takes over - like I am incapable and not good enough to do the job I have been doing perfectly well for years.  If it wasn't for the emotional/psychological symptoms, I would think I was really sick (the anxious withdrawal-hypochondriac is chanting that I probably am. Very).

 

Does anyone know of people getting such a pronounced wave after such a long time?  I know it can't be a relapse, because I was never even remotely like this before, but it is scary.  The further out from taking the pills, the less assured I feel that it is still withdrawal, which I guess is the catch 22. My normal doctor is away again and whilst he is sympathetic, I am frightened he will become sceptical as time draws on.

 

I would appreciate any insights people can offer.

 

Thanks

Edited by scallywag
tags added

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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LoveandLight

A 4 month window! Wow!

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Farout , welcome to the site , and thankyou for sharing your experience.

 

My first thought was:  have you taken ANY other medications that may have triggered this episode?

You clearly have a sensitive cns , and episodes can be triggered by antibiotics , asthma meds , pain meds , the list goes on.

 

There's a thread in the Relationships section for Australian members - pop by and say hello when you can.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Farout, welcome to SA. That is some adverse reaction you had and I am so glad that you stopped the drugs when you did! That shrink needs locking up  :angry: !

You've done great and I'm glad that you were here reading and learning about withdrawal and drug reactions, I'm certain that they would have had you taking multiple drugs that would have completely zapped who you are and turned you into a non functioning vegetable!  Thank goodness your regular GP was more understanding, it's just a shame that he wasn't there at the start.  

 

Yes, sadly people do sometimes get waves so far out after being fine for a while, but rest assured that this will pass. I know how frightening it is but it will settle down again and you will recover.  Each day that goes by is one day closer to being completely healed. It's important to avoid anything stimulating while going through the awful waves, caffeine, alcohol etc, some supplements can also worsen withdrawal but most people can tolerate and do well with magnesium and fish oil. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

Some B vitamins can be activating and make people more agitated.  Try not to panic, it's good to have some kind of distraction, whatever it is as long as it takes the focus away from the awful symptoms. Gentle walking is good, get the fresh air and really take in the surroundings. Listen to the birds and look at the trees, feel the breeze and note how it feels.   Take a look at the symptoms and self care section which has many topics on what has helped people to get through. And the success stories which will show you that people do recover.   

 

It would be good if you can put the drugs you took and the supplements, plus any supplements  you are taking now into your signature . You can find instructions here.. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

**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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Thank you for your kind words. I know I'm very lucky having such a long window.

 

Fresh- I think you might be onto something. I am on antibiotics for a stubborn ear infection - clarthromicin and amoxicillin. The wave was there before and bad enough for me to cut all alcohol. It has really intensified in the past week or so though.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That would make you feel pretty rotten Farout, many people can't tolerate antibiotics very much in withdrawal, and the infection will be making you feel unwell too. All on top of withdrawal.  I hope you start to feel better soon, are the antibiotics nearly finished?  You will need to take a probiotic or eat yogurt to rebalance the gut after antiB's, when the gut is out of whack it makes withdrawal worse.  

 

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1229-probiotics-and-gut-health/?view=findpost&p=26917&hl=diet

**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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Thank you for your kind words. I know I'm very lucky having such a long window.

 

Fresh- I think you might be onto something. I am on antibiotics for a stubborn ear infection - clarthromicin and amoxicillin. The wave was there before and bad enough for me to cut all alcohol. It has really intensified in the past week or so though.

Hi Farout

 

I don't know if this helps but I took Clarithromycin  for a chest infection when WD first hit. It made me extremely ill, intensifying all the WD symptoms. Depression and anxiety was ramped up and all sorts of physical things too. It took me a few weeks to get back to normal. I found that probiotics helped as MammaP suggests.

 

You have done so well  - I do hope you are feeling better soon.

 

Flowers x

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight.

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg. LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.

 

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Thank you so much. It really helped to hear that yesterday. I stopped the clarithromicin a few days ago and the amoxicillin yesterday and I am feeling a lot better today. I have been ill during windows and not had any issues.

 

I was talking to a colleague the other day and suddenly saw the flesh melting on his face. It was only a couple of seconds but it shook me. I haven't had any thoughts/hallucinations like that since I took the tablets and those very early days of withdrawal. Yesterday the suicidal ideation hit me in a big way, again more than I've had in ages.

 

I'm relieved to have an explanation.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hiya farout ,   how are you doing?   :)

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for asking Fresh. I am doing ok. I was a lot better but I'm having another wobble. I googled side effects of clarithromicin and what I was experiencing were all listed as known side effects, even without the previous SSRI experience.

 

Like suggested, I gradually started feeling better over a couple of weeks after I stopped taking them. I've had a good week or so at work (although I'm finding a few memory lapses from the bad times and attention difficulties). We took the kids camping and did some spectacular walks, climbing through gorges. I noticed some intrusive thoughts creeping in yesterday and the anxiety started to rise. I kept my husband awake last night, repeatedly checking on the kids and today I'm having dizzy spells, nausea, no appetite, jaw and eye pain along with anxiety.

 

It's a lot worse than the recent waves I'd had before the antibiotics. The eye pain was a major feature of my early WD and waves but I haven't had it in months. The anxiety was trailing down to a familiar pattern, usually preceding a few days of disassociation and depression before lifting. Today it is back to the hardcore OCD, almost psychotic thoughts I had on the tablets and in early withdrawal. I now have a new theme to add to the other horrors - the antibiotics messed with my sense of taste. So now, when I lose my appetite, or something doesn't quite taste right, I panic (and I mean borderline panic attack, which I haven't had for ages and never before the AD experience) that I'm going to develop a food phobia. Oh, and health anxiety around the symptoms.

 

I know I've had quite a smooth run compared to some but I really, really hate this. It's exhausting.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

Link to post

PS. Apologies for not sorting my signature out yet. Is there a way to do it on my phone?

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm sorry that you are feeling so bad Farout, this will settle in time. I know that isn't much consolation but time is the only healer here. Take care of yourself and remember that your brain is healing and recovering, the antibiotics have thrown a spanner in the works but things will get better again. 

 

CW has posted instructions how to do a sig on a phone here.... http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/?p=116334

**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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Thank you for your reply. I really am having a shocking time. I thought this was all behind me. Today it is sinus pain (which is what I went on the anyibiotics for in the first place - maybe it was just part of the wave that I was already in - but nowhere near as bad?), nausea, no appetite and an overall jittery feeling with some adrenal jolts going to my legs.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

Link to post

So sorry you are suffering Farout.

 

I did get better after taking the Clarithromycin but it took a while. I am better now than I have been since WD started.

 

I suffer with my sinuses and get flare ups occasionally. Now I am too scared to take antibiotics to clear it up. I have found that salt water nasal sprays help a lot with sinus pain and it's natural. Have you tried this?

15 yrs on 20 to 30 mgs CITALOPRAM.  MAY 2014 Increased to 40 mgs per day.SEPT/NOV 2014 tapered in 6 weeks down to 10 mgs as per Dr instructions due to violent nightmares/palpitations.Given Noctamid (lormetazepam) to help with anxiety. On average took 2mg per day for 8 weeks.No taper was advised.DEC 2014 WD severe. Nervous tic in eyes and limbs, muscle pain,fluct  temp, weakness, dep and anxiety, nausea, giddy, unstable when walking. Different Dr suggested taking 20mgs CIT. BROMAZEPAM 3mgs up to 3 x daily for anxiety.DEC 9 2014 Updose CIT to 30mgs. Only taking BROMAZEPAM in emergency.DEC 31 2014 Settling at 30mg CIT - helping with depression. No Brom for 2wks.Found SA.APR 2015 Trying to stabilise on 30mgs CIT.  JAN 2016 Started Cit Taper reducing by 5% per month.  28.5 mgs 
FEB  Taper held bereavement. APR Taper resumed 27mgs . MAY 25.50 mgs .  JUNE 24 mgs .  JULY I stupidly mixed up my BP meds with CIT. Consequently took no CIT for 3 days and doubled my BP meds. Waiting for the fallout....Holding for a while until any chance of repercussions have abated. SEPT taper resumed to  22.5 mgs . OCT 21 mgs .NOV 19.95 mgs DEC crashed. 2017: FEB 3rd updose to 20.5 mgs to try to stabilise.FEB.switched over to 75mgs of Venlafaxine XR for 3 weeks.Too stimulating so switching back to Cit. 12 March 37.5 Ven and 20 Cit. 21 March 18mg Ven 20mg Cit. 4 April 9mg Ven 20mg Cit. Xanax .50mg when needed.  13 April 0 mgs Ven, 20mg Citalopram. Xanax .50 mg per day. 5 May reinstated a small amount of Ven to stabilize  1 mg twice a day. 20 mg Citalopram at night. Xanax .25 mg twice per day.Other Meds: Losartan (BP)Started 1993 at  50 mgs at night.  Seretide (Asthma) Started 1996 at 1 puff twice a day. Jan 2019 Antibiotic Ceclor 500mgs twice a day for bronchitis and  Atrovent 2ml capsules twice a day for asthma. Finished the course of both Jan 17. 

XANAX  Jan 27  - Feb 3 2019 Failed Valium Crossover.   Feb 14 2019  Updosed Xanax by .0625  Feb 17 2019 Decreased Xanax by .0625. Back to .50mg daily.  Update Xanax 28.2.20 tapered to .1250 mg 8am .25 mg midnight.

Current Meds 28.2.19: CITALOPRAM  20mg  taken at midnight. VENLAFAXINE  .9 mg twice a day at 8am and 10pm.  XANAX .50 mg split into 4 doses per day. 10am .0625mg / 2pm .1250mg/ 6pm .0625mg / midnight .25mg. LOSARTAN 50 mgs taken at midnight.  SERETIDE 1 puff taken at 8am and 10pm.   7.7.19 VENLAFAXINE UPDATE: Started tapering 10% every 4 weeks. Currently .4 mg twice a day at 8am and 10 pm.  2.9.19 .36 mg x 2. 1.10.19  .32 mg x 2. 26.11.19 .29 mg x2. 26.12.19 .26 mg  x 2. 23.1.20  .23 mg x 2.  20.2.20 .21 mg x2.20.3.20  .19 mg x 2. 21.4.20 .17 mg x 2. 19.5.20 .13 mg x 2.  18.6.20 .11mg  x 2 .18.7.20.10 mg x 2.1.9.20.09 mg x 2. 30.9. 20 .08 mg x 2. 1.11.20 .07 mg x 2.  2.12.20 .06 mg x 2.  8.1.21 .05 mg x 2.  4.2.21 .04 mg x 2. 9.3.21 .03 mgx2.  7.4.21  .02 mg x 2.

 

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

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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Thanks Altostrata. I hadn't yet tried the fish oils and magnesium as I've been wary about adding anything to the mix just yet. I have tentatively steered on probiotics which seems to be calming my solar plexus. I'm feeling a lot better emotionally today so started fish oils and magnesium too.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

Link to post

I went to my normal doctor on Friday. He was in no doubt that pristiq can cause brutal reactions and said 'it can sometimes take a long time to feel fully better afterwards'.

 

He hadn't heard about clarithromicin causing the types of symptoms I was re-experiencing and I didn't mention potential drug sensitivities post SSRI (I didn't want to push my luck). He did say that some illnesses cause unusual psychological symptoms so it was hard to say whether it was tr antibiotics or the 'toxicity' of the virus I had causing the issues. He said, either way patients feel better when it has passed.

 

It's calming down but I am definitely not having normal responses to normal situations. The intrusive thoughts and health anxiety are off the charts. Normally I'm pretty sensible about these sorts of things. I can feel the cortisol spike in the morning, so I'm trying to do things to help manage that. Tingly skin and some brain zaps too.

 

Really frustrated.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

Link to post

I spent last night in a state of mini-meltdown with the anxiety and intrusive thoughts.

 

My husband was out and I was convinced he had been in some terrible car crash, when I heard his key in the door I cowered that it was an intruder and when he went for a shower I became certain that he would commit suicide in there! The obsessive thoughts are crashing around trying to settle on a new theme all the time - I've had extreme health anxiety, anxiety around tastes and smells, all sorts of new stuff.

 

I am waking some nights and most mornings with the jitters (I assume cortisol?) and feel exhausted. I still have the tingly skin, brain zaps and today woke with nausea.

 

I am taking probiotics, magnesium and fish oils but my stop in case they are activating.

 

I would really appreciate some words of encouragement. I really thought all this was behind me. It's like living in some long forgotten nightmare.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It will pass farout , it really will.     Just like before , the weirdness will start to come less often and be less intense.

You have to brace yourself and hunker down. 

Let me know if a skype chat would help.  Chatting on skype is instant messaging.

 

:blush:

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thank you so much for the offer Fresh. I would love to talk - this experience can be so isolating, I dare not even tell my husband the worst of it. I'm not on Skype but could set it up when I get home.

 

I have a lot on at work at the moment and people are depending on me so it isn't the type of thing you can just drop for six weeks. It's partly comforting to have the distraction, partly overfacing to need to deliver when I just don't feel up to it.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, me again. Update and a question:

 

Things are improving. I'm having days together of complete normality (apart from feeling a bit tentative, given the recent experience). My motivation and concentration is back - getting though all the things I enjoy - work, hobbies.

 

It's waves and windows but the windows are really good again and the waves are a bummer, not hideous. The hardcore intrusive thoughts have stopped and given way to a more free floating, lower grade anxiety - mainly focussed on the physical symptoms I'm experiencing.

 

I have incredible neck and back ache and a really weird sensation of pressure under the base of my right rib. I can't decide if it's wind or I am imagining it.

 

They are on and off, coming along with other more familiar withdrawal symptoms - dizzies, bloating, tingling, numbness, bowel issues. I can't believe that they are not related.

 

I think they only bother me because they are less familiar. Any thoughts/suggestions?

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

Link to post

Well, it looks like the rib pressure thing was a precursor to another wave.

 

I spent yesterday feeling blah, very negative thoughts hitting me at random. It was alternating between weird and fine then back to weird at the drop of a hat. It got worse into the evening so I had an early night, then the nausea and eye pain hit, followed by a good attempt at a momentary panic attack, which I managed to talk myself down from. I had a **** night's sleep with the old harm intrusive thoughts.

 

Today I have cancelled my work appointments as I just don't feel up to it and will stay home. My gut is a mess and I have a weird taste in my mouth again.

 

Can antibiotics really knock you about like this in WD? It seems incredible. I had none of this before I took antidepressants. Not even close.

 

Last week I was making the kids' school play costumes, feeling good. Now this again.

I went out with the girls on Friday and thought I might pay the price for having a drink (I have steered clear of alcohol since this started up again). Maybe it's that?

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

How are you doing now, Farout?

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...

Better but not fully recovered, thanks Alto.

 

I've had a couple of good weeks with just the odd, niggly and easily dismissed, intrusive thought. The last couple of days have had a return of the face tingles/numbness, sinus/tooth pain and funny taste in my mouth. All quite off-putting and causing a bit of health anxiety.

 

I'm jittery in the morning and again in the evening when I get tired these last few days. Otherwise I generally feel calm but wary - wondering if it's all just bubbling up for another wave. I'm not quite at the point where I can rely on consistency.

 

I did discover that the ABs I was on were another brand name for ones that had me in hospital for two days in my early 20s. Back then it was intense stomach and muscle pain. I don't recall any emotional symptoms but it took months for my gut to settle afterwards.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • Administrator

Yes, antibiotics can sometimes have very large side effects.

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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  • 4 months later...
  • Moderator

Hey Farout, how are you going?

 

What a horrible trip you went through psych-drug land.  Brief, but no less intense.  There are so many things that can send you for a loop - especially once you've taken the dread AD's (and Pristiq is famous for its nastiness).

 

Maybe you wouldn't have been so sensitive to the antibiotics - or the ear infection - but once you took the AD's, anything put your brain on an extra spin cycle.

 

As Fresh said, statins, stomach drugs, even anti-inflammatories, caffeine - even (and especially) alcohol and artificial sweeteners can feedback loop on you.

 

And in case you hadn't heard it - and based on your symptoms in July - 80% of the body's serotinin is in the gut.  So they give us the drugs for our "brains" and our "emotions," when really, it is doing all kinds of things all over our nervous system.  Including the gut.

 

I'm hoping that your response to this is to tell us that you've been going so well, you forgot to post!   :)

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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  • 2 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Farout ,  how have you been doing?

 

Here's to a happy and healthy new year.

 

:)

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi, I have been meaning to update. I'm well & getting better. I still have waves and windows but it's getting a lot less pervasive over time. I'm noticing that the waves tend to be in a pattern around my cycle, which was largely how it was at a similar stage out from the ADs.

 

I don't know if I'm imagining it, whether it's just the comparison to the wave, but I often feel like I've returned even more to myself after one. I'll take it anyway.

 

I have a cold at the moment and, as perverse as this is, it's quite nice to be perfectly happy and relaxed that it is just a cold - rather than freaking out and going global! I just hope it doesn't develop into something needing antibiotics! I have got a bit of fluid behind my ears ????.

 

So, not entirely out of the woods but a long way down the path (fingers firmly crossed).

 

I have been reading with interest as, now I'm feeling more healthy, I am starting to piece together what led me to ADs in the first place. Whilst I am certain that I didn't have GAD - because I was really only worrying about my son & with reason, and it turns out that I had four slipped discs and a trapped nerve causing tendinitis in my hand. There was the odd thought process that was unusual for me. Nothing that particularly distressed me, just stuff I noted as unusual every once in a while. In WD waves I took these small thoughts as proof that I was losing it.

 

Anyway, all this happened in the six months after I had surgery. In the weeks afterwards I got the jitters a few times and anaesthetist told me that it was the pre-med I was given, a type he wouldn't have used because it was known for it. I was also on endone along with another strong painkiller and antibiotics for around three weeks afterwards. I'm wondering if we can trace all this back to then.

 

I would appreciate your thoughts.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

Link to post
  • 2 months later...

I am around 2 years out from a bad reaction to pristiq and I am noticing some similar stuff to an earlier, largely forgotten period in my life, which has prompted me to amend my signature   I want to post about it just so that it is on record.  

 

For the past few months I've had a really itchy scalp, with lots of dandruff and my hair has been getting really greasy between washes.  (I have posted i the symptoms section about this).  I am also having a nightmare with bloating and IBS-type symptoms.

 

The ONLY other time I have experienced these symtpoms was about 11 years ago, many months after I had tried a couple of sartroline, which I was prescribed a few weeks after I had been the victim of a violent crime.  Surely it's not a coincidence that I'm having both these symptoms both at the same time, during this time again?

 

The first time I was crying in the GPs surgery, wanting a sick note for a court hearing, and she diagnosed PSTD within five minutes.  The second time the PTSD diagnosis was plucked out of distant history and used to bolster the GAD diagnosis, when I was 'resistant' to it - not withstanding that I hadn't even thought about it for years and was quite accepting of the whole thing. 

 

[EDITED TO ADD - in for a penny and all that.  No-one IRL really knows about this] I should probably also mention that the crime involved being drugged with overdose quantities of GHB.

 

I hadn't really ever put the two SSRI incidences together.  As far as I saw it, I had a nasty thing happen and was crying a lot, I took a sartroline, I had a panic attack, I stopped taking them, I had a period of recovery from the nasty life event and then I was fine. 

 

Over the past couple of years I have been noting the odd thought process that I recognise as being much the same as during that earlier time (as in, I haven't had them before or since).  I had always assumed it was the crime that put me through the period of suicidal thoughts, which I haven't ever really told anyone about.  But the weird thing is that I didn't have them in the first few weeks before the tablets.  In those weeks I was just crying a lot, struggling to focus at work (not least because the police kept calling needing various things and my long-term boyfriend dumped me just when I needed him most) and was probably drinking a bit too much in the evenings, with a supportive friend.

 

When I took the sartroline I had a panic attack, I was convinced that I would end up under a train as I waited at the platform.  I was given valium to counter it, but that made me really fuggy so I decided that they weren't for me (or anyone else who had a job) and stopped taking them after two sartroline and one valium. Shortly afterwards I remember sitting on a train, not upset or depressed, but mentally listing reasons why I should stay alive.  From then I recall periods of feeling back to myself and periods of feeling lost and confused.  I recall times of being quite manic and times of being completely flat for no apparent reason.  I made some pretty full-on choices on a whim (which happily didn't work out too bad at all, but still...).   When I look at this now, I wonder if it was the tablets.

 

It continued for a while, nowhere near as bad as this time but still quite marked and very, very similar.  Further out, I would lie awake worrying obsessively (and uncharacteristically) about the most ridiculous things - whether the meal I'd prepared for a dinner party had poisoned everyone, whether I'd said something offensive to a new acquaintance without knowing it, really silly stuff.  The type of stuff that niggles me in the waves now really.

 

Anyway, I don't suppose it really matters now.  I pulled through that and I have done/will do again this time.  If the first experience was a reaction/WD then I'm taking it as a positive that I healed and had over a decade of wonderful in between.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Farout,

Thanks for updating, I'm happy to hear you are feeling better now. From what I read in your posts and signature it looks to me like you are sensitive to serotoninergics and what you have been experiencing is not so much withdrawal but recovery from adverse reactions to substances which increase serotonin levels.

 

If I were you, in future I would research everything before you take it and avoid these kinds of drugs and supplements if possible.

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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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been dipping in and out of a wave for the past 10 days or so. All the usual stuff; sticky eye, neck pain, vertigo and tinnitus, with some sticky emotional stuff. Uncomfortable but nothing too bad.

 

I've commented on it before but now I'm getting less anxious, I have noticed that my pain messages get really out of whack while I'm in the waves. I pulled my pectoral and shoulder muscle in the weekend. I know exactly when and how I did it, so I know that's what it is. Instead of the usual muscle soreness sensation, it feels like my skin is on fire at the site of the strain. If I didn't know better I'd expect to see a huge welt of a rash. It's bizarre.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I *think* I may have stumbled on a correlation with my more intense waves. Since stabilising from the initial reaction and settling into the waves and windows pattern, I have had three notably bad waves. These were in May 2015 (when I took the antibiotics), December 2015 and now. Each time I had quite pronounced OCD style thoughts, very negative self-talk (totally out of character for me - I'm a confident, optimist), visual/auditory distortions (all real, just distorted), significant aching, nausea, dull ears and dizziness - whereas my 'normal' waves tend to bristle under the surface and be entirely manageable.

 

Anyway, each of these times it gathers momentum for several days and really peaks for a few days. Every time, my son has started vomiting with some stomach bug, immediately before or during my wave. So, my theory is that I may also have had the gastro bug, but because my stomach is older and tougher, I haven't vomited - and the big waves are related to that.

 

(The May 2015 wave I am talking about was before taking the antibiotics - afterward it went clean off the charts).

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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mFrustrated

Hi Farout. Just read through your entire feed while looking for encouragement...and it was just that. Thank you for sharing it all. I hope you are coming out of your wave that you posted about last week.

mFrustrated

 

Celexa- 2 days (February 2016)

Paxil- 5 days (February 2016)

Zoloft- 11 days (February 2016)

BuSpar-2 days (June 2016)

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Thanks mFrustrated.  I am trying to be the person to stick around in the good spells too so that people can see it does get better.

 

Overall I'm pretty average at the moment as I'm still dipping in and out of a wave.  It's been every day, but not all day.  I'm a bit annoyed about it really. The dizzies are no fun at all.  I just have to keep on reminding myself that I'll pop back out of it again soon enough, as I have every other time.  

 

Sorry to hear you are going through it.  These tablets really suck.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • 2 months later...
  • Moderator

Hey Farout - you really have paid too high a price for the experiment that was done on you.

 

Yolanda Lucire, Dr. Yolanda Lucire Adverse Reactions to Psychiatric Drugs, would say that you probably don't have the right liver enzyme to digest the drugs, and maybe those antibiotics hit that receptor, too.

 

What is awesome to see, is how well you are doing with documenting your process in clear, descriptive language.  This is a gift you have given so many others who can read your story and see - 

 

it can be really hard.

 

it does get better.

 

Thank you for that gift!

 

 - and please keep us posted!  Sounds like you are cruising for a success story soon!

 

I hope you see the sun today!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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  • 1 year later...

I have been holding off from posting this in case I tempt fate but I think we can safely put a sun on my profile & chalk me up as a successful recovery.

 

It's been about 18 months since my last notable wave.  Since then I was stuck in a bit of a low ebb for a while- a bit flat, a bit more pessimistic, less pleased with myself (historically I was probably quite smug :rolleyes:).  The depression started to lift about a year ago and I have felt back to my old self for some time.  I'm eating well, exercising, feeling motivated, positive & content and generally engaged with life again (rather than just getting by).  

 

I still have the odd bristle of a cortisol spike at certain times in my cycle but, honestly, I think it's just that I recognise the feeling now, after being so hyper-aware for so long.

 

Anyway, I would prefer to never have been through all this, I am still furious with the system which is failing so many, but I've reached a level of acceptance about my own experience.  

 

I would like to thank you all and particularly the mods; Alto, Fresh, Petunia & JanCarol for helping me through this.  Your support has been invaluable.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Farout: brief exposures to pysch drugs led to long withdrawal
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