PatriciaVP

PatriciaVP: #TweetingMyRecovery 140 Characters is all I got

339 posts in this topic

I've been meaning to introduce myself for a while now, but getting myself to sit down and actually write something has been so incredibly hard. I just can't focus. Things I want to say or share come in bits and pieces and are gone by the time I can get on this site. I'very been tapering off Lexapro since August and am down to 10 mg fromy 30. I know it's faster than suggested here, but it seems to be OK. Well, I am still alive anyway. Since I can only seem to put together short thoughts on everything and need to get them out right away, I've decided to use Twitter primarily #TweetingMyRecovery. My handle is @AbleWriterSays if anyone cares to join me or follow along.

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Hi Patricia , welcome to the site.    

You've tapered very fast , as you point out.  Are you aware that there is often a delayed onset of w/d symptoms from

ssri's ?   

How long have you been on lexapro for?  Any other meds. before that?

 

You might think about having a good long hold here , cross your fingers and hope for the best.

 

Welcome aboard ,  Fresh

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Hello Patricia. Welcome between us.

Dont worry about you cannot write or to comunicate  your thoughts to us. I imagine how difficult is for you to do this , but you will. This is the most IMPORTANT.

Dont be affraid . We will be with you. To help you better, pls, go to your signature and write your history resume in 12 lines to us to understand you more.

As Fresh told you above, do what he asks to you, to help him to help you as fast as possible and he say to you hope words beautiful. Believe

in him. You will stay well. Dont give up!! I am new here, because that i write a few words. :)  :)

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Thank you Fresh and Esperanca. For some reason I thought my med history was already in my signature. Turns out I read the directions wrong. They should be there now.

 

A very short history. I’ve struggled with rage and depression ever since childhood, but did not start meds until my mid-20s while going through a drawn out divorce from an abusive husband. For many years after that I went on and off that drug for many reasons including not being able to afford it and moving from FL to NH. In 2002 I finally got a job with reliable benefits, went to psych doc about trouble with concentration and was prescribed Lexapro and Adderall.

 

Still having trouble with uncontrollable anger, I went to a psychologist who did more in-depth testing and he confirmed what I thought to be true. I actually had Bipolar disorder and ADHD. I had trouble finding a doctor who was taking new patients (my old one had been out of my network) and ended up with a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Nice guy, but sometimes he seems a little clueless. He put me on Depakote because I refused Lithium. My mother (diagnosed with schizophrenia then schizo-effective disorder then back to schizophrenia) had been on it for years and her mind and everything else was turning to mush.

 

Fast forward 6 years to last Aug. I had already cut my Lexapro and Depakote a couple of times because I couldn’t stay awake during the day. I came across the book Anatomy of an Epidemic and it felt like I was reading my own biography. Keep in mind that when I started with the Lexapro, I was working full time and thought I had finally found my place in the world. All I had needed was a little help with lack of focus and bad memories. Now I’ve been on full time disability for several years and have trouble staying awake for more than a couple of hours at a time. I was starting to lose hope. The only thing I seemed to be able to concentrate on was thoughts of how to end my life.

 

Once I realized that this never-ending sensation of nothingness was not me, but the drugs, I knew I had to get off. I talked to my NP about tapering and HE was the one that told me it was fine if I tried reducing it from 30 to 20 mg. Anyway, I’m down to 10 now and plan to hold through the holidays (maybe). 

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Nice work on the sig , now we have a better picture of you.  

No bloody wonder you're so tired and unable to work when we see your drug history.  

I was put on Lexapro 40mg for 6 years , and also went from working to being chronically exhausted

and sick. (bear in mind the maximum dose recommended by the manufacturers is 20mg!).

 

Your brain has been molded around ssri's for so many years , you're a prime contender for

protracted withdrawal syndrome. This is where you stop the meds , and then get hit with increasingly

disturbing symptoms 6 , 9 or even 12 months later.  By then there's no quick fix . . . it's like an unstoppable

snow-ball.  

Your only way to stop this is to slow down now , stop tapering and allow your brain to catch up.

From your first post it sounds like you're not doing so well. 

 

"seems to be OK. Well, I am still alive anyway. Since I can only seem to put together short thoughts on everything and need to get them out right away, "

 

Please read the following links.  

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

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

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2207-taking-multiple-psych-drugs-which-drug-to-taper-first/

 

You have some very serious contraindications from the meds you're taking.  

Moderators and/or Admin will be along to suggest the safest way to move forward from here.

From drugs.com:

Interactions between your selected drugs
Major amphetamine  escitalopram

Applies to: Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine), amphetamine, Lexapro (escitalopram)

Talk to your doctor before using escitalopram together with amphetamine. Escitalopram may increase the effects of amphetamine, and side effectsicon1.png such as jitteriness, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, and racing thoughts have been reported. Combining these medications can also increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptomsicon1.png such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Major dextroamphetamine  escitalopram

Applies to: Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine), Lexapro (escitalopram)

Talk to your doctor before using escitalopram together with dextroamphetamine. Escitalopram may increase the effects of dextroamphetamine, and side effects such as jitteriness, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, and racing thoughts have been reported. Combining these medicationsicon1.png can also increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasmicon1.png or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Moderate divalproex sodium  escitalopram

Applies to: Depakote (divalproex sodium), Lexapro (escitalopram)

Using divalproex sodium together with escitalopram may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience some impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

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Welcome, Patricia.

 

I don't know of any test for bipolar disorder, which is widely overdiagnosed. Have you considered your rage and depression might be due to family issues?

 

If you want to go off drugs, you'll have to manage, with non-drug techniques, any symptoms or behavior patterns they're supposed to address, or you'll end up back in "the system." Also, you'll have to distinguish withdrawal symptoms from your "normal" state, and deal with them calmly so you don't make mistakes.

 

It might be helpful for you to work with a therapist who might be sympathetic to the idea you do not have a condition that needs to be treated with drugs, and will help you unravel your emotional pain, which will still be there when you go off the drugs.

 

As Fresh indicated, your cocktail may be causing problems of its own.

 

At what times of day do you take each drug? Please read the links Fresh so kindly posted for you.

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It might be helpful for you to work with a therapist who might be sympathetic to the idea you do not have a condition that needs to be treated with drugs, and will help you unravel your emotional pain, which will still be there when you go off the drugs.

 

I know this is really important but I have no idea how to find a therapist who can help me with this. Whenever I suggest getting off the meds and finding other ways to control my emotions, they all look at me like I have three heads. And none of the lists out there include anyone in NH. Which means they're all outside my network.

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Welcome, Patricia.

 

I don't know of any test for bipolar disorder, which is widely overdiagnosed. Have you considered your rage and depression might be due to family issues?

 

If you want to go off drugs, you'll have to manage, with non-drug techniques, any symptoms or behavior patterns they're supposed to address, or you'll end up back in "the system." Also, you'll have to distinguish withdrawal symptoms from your "normal" state, and deal with them calmly so you don't make mistakes.

Yep, have definitely considered this. Any idea if withdrawal would be any different for someone who never had the condition they were being medicated for? 

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*topic moved from tapering forum

 

I already had problems with lethargy, fatigue, suicidal thoughts, etc BEFORE I started the taper. I really don't think it's been all that much worse since even though everyone seems to think I am going way too fast. I don't think I have YEARS. It's already BEEN years.

 

How do I tell the difference between side effects and withdrawal symptoms?

Edited by Petunia
added note

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Hi Patricia,

I moved your post from the tapering forum, your own thread is the best place for asking these kinds of questions.

 

If you had symptoms before you started tapering, then they are likely to be side effects, if you had them before you started medication, they they are likely to be your own original problem. But its not really that simple because withdrawal can produce the same symptoms and magnify existing symptoms. You may have had symptoms previously, but then they became worse in withdrawal.

 

But if they haven't become worse, then they are likely to be side effects. Its still advisable to taper slowly because this way you will avoid encountering withdrawal symptoms. Keep good notes on paper of your daily symptoms and any new ones which arise, this way you will know if you are going too fast and need to slow down.

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Hey Patricia, wow!

 

Just for fun, my birth-name was Patricia.  It's like my "secret identity!"   :ph34r:

 

You write:

Still having trouble with uncontrollable anger, I went to a psychologist who did more in-depth testing and he confirmed what I thought to be true. I actually had Bipolar disorder and ADHD. I had trouble finding a doctor who was taking new patients (my old one had been out of my network) and ended up with a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Nice guy, but sometimes he seems a little clueless. He put me on Depakote because I refused Lithium. My mother (diagnosed with schizophrenia then schizo-effective disorder then back to schizophrenia) had been on it for years and her mind and everything else was turning to mush.

 

I used to believe that too - and some of the things my birthmother (and genetic grandmother and great-grandmother) had done would fall into the "bipolar" or schizophrenic realm, and definitely, I've been documented with "manic episodes," and "outrageous behaviours."  But I'm learning (still learning) that these labels are convenient places to "put" people in distress.  Perhaps your Mum had traumas that she could never speak about - perhaps she learned dissociative states in order to cope with her traumas.  And then, perhaps, as Alto inferred, she taught those coping mechanisms to you.

 

Instead of calling it "bipolar" and "ADD" - consider calling it "memory problems," "rage and mood control issues," or "trouble maintaining emotional steady state" - whatever "label" you put on it has as much validity as what the Authorities Call it from their Big Book Of Disorders (DSM)

 

I've learned that there's genetic predisposition, but environmental / situational causes.  Not every twin with schizophrenia has a twin with schizophrenia - only 40% do.  Even if they were raised in the same house.  What is the other 60%?  Life events, trauma, coping strategies, survival instincts, support (or lack of), nurturing - myriads of influences coming into play.

 

As a former "bipolar" (I've left the diagnosis in my medical charts so that I can refuse drugs like tramadol and statins) I've been on depakote and lithium, and I believe the depakote, for me, was far more muddying, sedative, etc.  At first, on the lithium, I didn't realize that the fog was coming down - it took about 3 years before I was completely demotivated.  Then, I was flat, uninterested, apathetic - and then at about 7 years in started to suffer toxic side effects.

 

You wrote:

Once I realized that this never-ending sensation of nothingness was not me, but the drugs, I knew I had to get off. I talked to my NP about tapering and HE was the one that told me it was fine if I tried reducing it from 30 to 20 mg. Anyway, I’m down to 10 now and plan to hold through the holidays (maybe).

 

Just because he's natural, doesn't mean he's right. NPs, even MD-NP's tend to prescribe too many stimulating supplements.  And this withdrawal schedule does not take into consideration - as Fresh said - the delayed response. 

 

I suggest you hold until further notice - maybe 3-6 months! To see if there's going to be any whiplash from this impact,  You may even need to reinstate some of what you have tapered, in order to prevent - or mediate -  the worst symptoms

 

This is akin to a fast cold turkey withdrawal.  Cold turkey is like jumping off a cliff -  only it takes 3-6 months to hit the bottom.  Then, you can be shattered into pieces, and it's very difficult to get back up the cliff to where you were before.  At SA, we prefer to rapell down the cliff in increments, tiny amounts to fool the nervous system, so that we can stabilize with minimal symptoms.

 

You will actually get off the drug faster this way, because big drops and reinstatements destabilize the system even more than staying on the drug.  Change is the enemy, and you want to do it gently.

 

Please see: 

Rhi's description of healing the brain

 

As far as practitioners in NH,  last week I just found a recovery clinic in New Hampshire:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/?p=193502

 

It is an inpatient facility (you check in for treatment) - but they may be able to refer you to practitioners in your area who could help you.


The first rule of coming of psych meds, is:  get support in place.  This is key, because if you want to get off, and never come back, you need support and the ability to prevent and manage whatever it is that sent you to the psych drugs in the first place.  

 

You've done the prerequisite work - you've read Anatomy and challenged some of your previous thinking about the drugs, why you are on them, and what they are doing to you.  But really, the next step is to get support.

 

Please stay on the same dose for awhile, it will let you know how safe it is.  It may be that you are one of the lucky ones who will just walk away - these people do exist (and usually they don't come to SA, they just walk away from the drug, so we know very little about them).  BUT - if you read around the forum, you will see people crying and screaming in agony - and our job here is to try and prevent that, if we can.  You came to us in time, if you hold, until we find out what is happening in your nervous system (again, at least 3 months) - then we will know how to proceed from here.

 

Also please keep in mind that the last little bit is sometimes the hardest part to come off of.  There are people here who have reactions to reduction of a crumb or a pinhead sized change, when it gets that low.  So please, take your time, spend this time learning, getting support - and if in 3-6 months you are like, "so what?" and haven't had any rattles or waves - then you can think about, and get ready for, the rest of your taper.

 

Welcome to SA!  I have a few more quick notes which I will get to in a moment!

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I wrote:

As a former "bipolar" (I've left the diagnosis in my medical charts so that I can refuse drugs like tramadol and statins) I've been on depakote and lithium, and I believe the depakote, for me, was far more muddying, sedative, etc.  At first, on the lithium, I didn't realize that the fog was coming down - it took about 3 years before I was completely demotivated.  Then, I was flat, uninterested, apathetic - and then at about 7 years in started to suffer toxic side effects.

 

There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.  Likewise, there is no such thing as a "mood stabilizer."  Only drugs that cause effects to dampen "extreme states."

 

Depakote is an anti-seizure medicine - was originally for epilepsy. And while it's not as old school as the barbituates they used to give for seizures, it still is very sedating, hence your effects from it.

 

What did you think of Fresh's drug interactions?  Pretty criminal, eh?

 

You said:

Which means they're all outside my network.

 

You may have to go outside of network.  Nobody likes to hear this, but insurance is one of the gears which is driving this pharmaceutical engine.  Insurance is more likely to pay for a 10 minute "med review" than it is a 50 minute therapy session.  It is more likely to pay for the pharmaceuticals indefinitely, than it is to pay for coming off them.  It is not likely to be paying for your naturopath.  This work is often outside the realm of insurance.

 

In Australia, nearly everything is paid for.  I even get rebates on physical therapy, acupuncture, psychology, and if I had any left over (I don't) massage.  But it doesn't count after so many visits, and definitely doesn't pay for supplements - even if I depend on them for life - like my thyroid extract.  This was a difficult one for my hubby to accept.  My supplements, my ortho-molecular doctor, my compounded natural thyroid - all "outside" the system.  We used to get huge tax deductions for "medical costs."  No more, because we do a lot less "in the system" and a lot more around it.  And life is better this way.  But my supplement and "alternative" bill is likely as high as the medical bills were before.  The difference is, he is paying for them, instead of the government and insurance.

 

Lastly, you ask:

 Any idea if withdrawal would be any different for someone who never had the condition they were being medicated for? 

 

Nope.  Withdrawal is withdrawal.  And it's different for everyone, as Alto says.  The main consideration between those who have had this all their lives is - what do you need to put into place in order to not return to the drugs?  Someone who went on the drugs for CFS or menopause or smoking, may not have much issue with "original condition"  However, SOMETIMES, the withdrawal CAUSES psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, agoraphobia, mood lability, OCD - and these things become just as sticky as if they were "original conditions."  So all of us need to learn coping mechanisms, whether we were "born with it" or not.

 

and:

How do I tell the difference between side effects and withdrawal symptoms?

 

Please see: Is It Relapse or Withdrawal?

 

While that's not the exact question you asked, I think this thread will help you immensely to parse out "original condition", "side effects", and "withdrawal"

 

I hope you see the sun today.

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Lastly, I have a depakote story.

 

When I first accepted my diagnosis, I was poor, dirt poor.  I had to go to the charity system to get help.  The best I could get was a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.  I was smarter than she was (I hate it when that happens, I always hope that whatever expert I am going to knows more than me!).  She put me on Depakote and a full dose of effexor.

 

When the depakote started to give me tremors, and messed with my sleep/wake cycle, and sedated me, I complained.  I had to work at least 20 hours a week to keep my housing, and eat, and drive a car.  She looked up her charts and my blood tests and said, "but you are not on a therapeutic dose!"

 

I roared!  "YOU WANT TO INCREASE MY DOSE?  WHEN I AM HAVING SIDE EFFECTS? I HAVE TO KEEP WORKING!"

 

She looked at me (and this is the clincher, this is the one that gets so many people thrown "into the system") and said:  "Obviously, you are having trouble with mood control, so yes.  I want to increase your dose."   (this taught me never to roar at a practitioner!)

 

I was fortunate enough to have advocates (a social worker therapist I knew from my previously distressed marriage) and asked for a real doctor in the charity system (this charity was unique to the town I lived in - it wasn't governmental or church, it was a privately run hospital, one of the last in the nation at the time, and the all-female board-of-directors would "forgive" the bills of anyone they deemed appropriate).  I got a real psychiatrist who removed the depakote (it took about 2 years to convince him that I didn't need it) and put me on very small (37.5 mg) doses of effexor, and monitored me for "mania."  When I had trouble sleeping, he added 7.5 mg mirtazapine.  Again - doses WELL BELOW "prescribing guidelines."  I was sooooooo lucky!

 

It wasn't until I came to Australia, and the guidelines were applied more rigidly, because of the PBS ("socialized medicine"), and what was "on system" for "bipolar disorder," that I got nailed with lithium, more mirtazapine (still small, 15 mg), and later prothieden and reboxetine.  So, um, I don't think much of "systemic" prescribing....

 

But just a word about that social worker - don't limit yourself to believe that a therapist has to have a psych degree.  This woman was smart and clever - she knew how to draw out of me what she needed to work on.  The first 40 minutes of a session was me crying and moaning about all the things that were just so hard, and then, in the last 10 minutes, she would summarize and send me off with a plan of action. Something to get me through the week until I saw her next.  When I complained to her about the nurse practitioner, she advocated for me to get a psychiatrist.  She was the best therapist I've ever had.  

 

This advocating from a therapist has been helpful in my current status, too.  My therapist / psychologist writes glowing letters to my psychiatrist about how well I am doing off the drugs.  And what can the psychiatrist do, but agree?  It's very hard for her to go against the word of a trained professional.  Having support in your corner is so immensely helpful.

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I have an appointment next week with a neuro-psych specialist. I made this appointment a while ago desperately seeking a place to start searching for someone who could help me get off this poison. I kept thinking that since I have Cerebral Palsy, the drugs I'm on may be even worse for me than they are for others (if that's possible).

I figured if I could prove a correlation between the meds and a worsening of my CP "symptoms", I could convince the insurance to cover out-of-network providers.

 

This appointment is mostly testing and I don't think they will find any different info from testing I had done before except that maybe my symptoms have gotten worse. I just was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on what to say or do that would convince them that the drugs are the problem and I need help getting off them.

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I've been experiencing more mood swings, irritability and crying lately so I decided to go up slightly on the Lexapro by cutting my 10mg pills into quarters. So I am at 12.5 milligrams and holding right now.

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This might be a good time to convert part of your dosage to liquid, taking a 10mg tablet with 2.5mg in liquid. Then you can use the liquid part to taper more gradually.

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Thanks, Alto. I'made going to see my medication provider tomorrow. Armed with the information on tapering available here ideally he'll be willing to to prescribe the liquid. When I suggested it before, he said it wasn't necessary.

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I just reduced my Lexapro by 10 percent from 12.75 to 11.25 two days ago and I can't believe what a huge effect it's having on me. I'm extremely nervous,jumpy and back to being on a hair trigger again.

 

Before this last cut, I plotted out 10 percent reductions every two weeks until the end of June and that only got me down to 3 mgs. I keep wondering if I can do this. It feels like such a long road. Very discouraging.

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Alot of people find a 10% reduction too disruptive (in terms of symptoms) and choose to do smaller cuts. Perhaps

next time you can try 5% and see if it's more manageable.

 

How come you planned a 10% cut every 2 weeks?  

That's asking for trouble - you won't have any time to recover .

The recommended minimum hold is 4 weeks.

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I just realized the Adderall seems to be responsible for most of the negative withdrawal symptoms. Yesterday I felt fairly well, but terribly sleepy in the morning. I slept for two hours straight, and upon waking at 12:30 p.m., I went to take my afternoon dose. When I saw that I hadn't taken my morning dose, I went ahead and took both. Within 30 minutes I went from being sleepy and calm to being awake and calm and then being agitated, shaky and nauseous. I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest, and my head was swimming.

 

I'm thinking I may need to hold off on the Lexapro withdrawal, and try to get off the Adderall first. The only problem there is that without the Adderall, all I want to do is sleep all day. Any thoughts?

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Fresh, thanks for the feedback. I do realize that the recommended hold time is 4 weeks. My problem is: if I withdraw the Adderall first (and it looks like I may have to), that may mean 2 or more years before I can actually function during the day.

I guess I just have to figure out how that would work with all my responsibilities.

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Whenever I take my Adderall, I seem to have many of color][/background]

 

dextroamphetamine  escitalopram

Applies to: Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine), Lexapro (escitalopram)

 

Talk to your doctor before using escitalopram together with dextroamphetamine. Escitalopram may increase the effects of dextroamphetamine, and side effects such as jitteriness, nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, and racing thoughts have been reported. Combining these medicationsicon1.png[/size] can also increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasmicon1.png[/size] or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

 

Moderate[/size]

 

It really scares. My heart feels like it's going to pound through my chest. I'm dizzy, confused, irritable and nauseous. I know I shouldn't just stop, but I'm scared to take it. Of course, if I don't, I start going through amphetamine withdrawal. I have no idea what to do!

 

I'm afraid to go to the hospital because they'll just add another drug like benzodiazepine or another antidepressant.

If someone could please advise!!!

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Oh dear , taking a double-dose of anything is never good , , , I did it once and took 80mg lexapro instead of 40

and 2 paracetamol.  I was sure I had swine flu at the time anyway and was much worse for a couple of days, but

it did pass.

And that's on top of fallout from a decrease a few days ago . . . you poor chook.   You'll feel better soon , best if you

can wait it out at home.

 

I think you have the right idea about sitting on the 12.5mg lexapro and start with tapering adderall.   You'd want to

decrease both the a.m.and p.m. doses equally. 

You could get down to half and then and then start on lexapro.

 

Tips for tapering off Adderall - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Are you on depakote as well?

 

Btw , happy new year.  This is the year you get a handle on this whole drug thing , so that YOU call the shots.

:)

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I went to see my pdoc on 1/12 and told him about the adverse reactions I was having to the Adderall when I had last tried to lower my Lexapro by 10% from 12.75 mg to 11.25 mg. He told me that was probably because Lexapro has an anti-anxiety effect and agreed with me that it would make sense to hold steady on the Lexapro and work on getting off the Adderall first.

 

He was just going to have me stop the Adderall all together! I had to convince him that weaning might be a better idea. So he actually cut my dose in half. At first, it was really hard to stay awake, but I started forcing myself to stay physically active. Now it's not too bad. I don't think I'm any more tired than I was before starting the whole thing.

 

Last night I stopped taking the Depakote. I figured if I didn't have as much speeding me up, I wouldn't need as much slowing me down. I know the rules of thumb is to get off one drug at a time, but I really need to have more drive during the day. Most of my problems with,fatigue and lack of drive started when I got on the Depakote, and from what I understand about how it works stopping it should not caused problems like stopping antidepressants.

 

Just out of curiosity, I also cut my Lexapro down to 10 mg, and low and behold! No racing heart this morning. So for now I plan to hold steady at 10 mgs Lexapro, 30 mgs Adderall and no Depakote.

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That sounds like a lot of changes , all at once. I hope it goes well. ( not sure )  I think you should hold steady , for a good while, without changing anything from hereon in  . See , how you go . I hope you can make it stick , without too many symptoms.  However, it might catch up with you. I hope it doesn't .

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Since my last med change, I'very had my period non-stop. I am on birth control pills (Jolessa) that are supposed to keep my period down to once every three months, but I'very only just started the second month. I shouldn't be bleeding at all, but I have been for almost a week and a half. I'very been on these for five years now with only the occasional bleed through and that was usually when I missed a day or two. It wouldn't be such a big deal if it,weren't for the stomach pain and nausea it's causing.

 

Has anyone ever heard of this being a withdrawal symptoms?

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This morning I was trying to get my daughter's financial paperwork (aka the FAFSA) done for college next year so I decided to take an extra Adderall. I just went down to 20 mgs yesterday from 30, but have no gumption to do anything. So I just went back up to 30. Still only 1/2 of what I was on just two months ago. Within about 30 minutes, I started to feel kind of nervous, and just assumed it was the Adderall energizing me. The problem started when I went to look for my daughter's income tax return and couldn't find it. I got so frustrated, I started to feel self destructive. I've had these urges in the past, even acting on them, but never before was I able to connect them so clearly to the meds. Even though it all made for a terrible morning, I am thankful for the lesson I learned, and the reassurance it provided that I am on the right track.

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Hi Patricia , re irregular / extended bleeding , yes , this is something a number of members

have experienced There's a thread with discussion here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8142-pms-and-menstrual-cycle-problems-during-withdrawal/

 

I'd be inclined to do smaller drops of adderall , specially as you're tapering lexapro.

If this is going to be your last taper ever , it has to be done safely , not quickly.

 

:)

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I had to increase my dose of Lexapro from 10 mg to 11.25 mg at the beginning of Feb to stabilize. I thought I had written it down here somewhere, but I can't seem to find it. Two weeks ago, I was so tired after a day out, I decided to skip the 1.25 mg liquid and just take the 10 mg tablet. The next day, I could barely drag myself out of bed. It was like I had been hit by a truck! I spent the whole day sleeping. I got up maybe twice for about 30 min to force myself to eat. Better believe I was sure to take the liquid the next night.

 

This stuff is evil! I just want off! I know, I know.. slow and steady. Give the brain time to adapt. I get it and I intend to do that, but most days what I wouldn't give just to be able to think clearly, make a decision or actually look forward to something! Now that I realize it was the drugs that took these things and not an "illness", I just want them GONE!

 

I am still working on getting off the Adderall before I continue the Lexapro taper. So it will be a while. I dropped to 15mg on 3/29. Reducing the Adderall does not seem to have the extreme adverse effects that dropping the Lexapro does so that is why I am going a little faster.

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Since my last med change, I'very had my period non-stop. I am on birth control pills (Jolessa) that are supposed to keep my period down to once every three months, but I'very only just started the second month. I shouldn't be bleeding at all, but I have been for almost a week and a half. I'very been on these for five years now with only the occasional bleed through and that was usually when I missed a day or two. It wouldn't be such a big deal if it,weren't for the stomach pain and nausea it's causing.

 

Has anyone ever heard of this being a withdrawal symptoms?

Hey Patricia - 

 

All of these drugs affect the entire endocrine system.  Anything is fair game - hormones, digestion (90% of your body's serotonin is in the gut!), nerves, sleep, it's all fair game.

 

Just flow with it for awhile (no pun intended - but then again -  ;) ) if it persists for too long, then it may be something you have looked into.  How long is too long?  

 

Well, the birth control that stops your period for 3 months isn't natural, either.

 

There is a real possibility that the higher dosages of drugs - depakote, adderall, and lexapro too - were masking a problem with your female parts that is now showing up.  OR, it may be just the opposite - your female parts may be so happy to be off the drugs that they are just exploding with joy, and need to erupt for awhile to get over it.

 

So how long is too long?  You will have to decide on that one.

 

I think that - even though it is not recommended by SA procedures - dropping your depakote at the same time you drop your Adderall - could be helpful.  The Depakote is a brake, and the Adderall is an accelerator.  It's kind of crazy driving around town with one foot on the brake, and one on the accelerator.

 

But please, please, keep your doses at steady state.  If you are sleepy and tired, then maybe you need to rest.  If you keep hammering on the accelerator every time you run out of gas - well - that doesn't work too well, either.  You need to rest and refuel.  

 

And it's not a good idea to go up-down-up-down on your dosages.  That makes it harder to taper without symptoms.

 

How is your diet?  Much of what you describe sounds like it could be blood sugar spikes.  Chris Kresser has some ideas about how to manage blood sugar to keep your mood stable:  http://chriskresser.com/when-your-normal-blood-sugar-isnt-normal-part-1

 

And - lastly - do you have any exercise that you can do?  Walking can really be great for the brain - especially in the daylight.  But there are other things, too, which can improve your energy and uplift your fitness, and get you through this.

 

I hope you see the sun today!

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Thanks Alto. I do think that blood sugar may be an issue. I've always had a special place in my heart for sweets and the pills didn't make that any better. I do need to clean up my diet, but it often feels like this fog makes that too hard. I just have to keep working on it.

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Here's something that just occurred to me. I noticed some time ago that every afternoon around 4 pm my brain fog starts to lift and I start to feel more like doing something. The problem is that my husband usually comes home from work between 4:30 and 5 breaking my attention to anything I've just started. I also notices that every time I taper the Lexapro, I usually get lightheaded and a rise in my heart rate about the same time.

 

Now, I usually take the Lexapro before I go to bed around 9 pm. I was thinking if I change the time I take it to 6 pm, It might start wearing off earlier in the day thereby expanding the time I have in the afternoon when I am capable of actually doing something. Any thoughts?

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I literally feel like I'm being torn apart. I dropped down to 10 mg of Lexapro about 5 weeks ago. Mostly because I was going away for the weekend and bringing the liquid for just the extra 1.75 mgs seemed like a pain. I decided to stay there after and seemed to be doing OK. I was already down to 5 mgs on the Adderall. I didn't seem to be able to go below that and still have any motivation to even move.

Anyway, this past week, I ran out of my allergy medicine, Singulair, which I take at night. It must have some sort of dampening effect on my emotions because within a couple of days, I noticed myself getting extremely agitated mid morning. I had to stop taking the Adderall altogether because it made the agitation just unbearable.

Today, even though I didn't take any Adderall, I felt so awful. I keep feeling like I want to come out of my own skin. I just can't stop crying. I sent away for more allergy medicine. I hope when I start takin it again, it will take the edge off these extreme emotions.

If not, I'm considering reinstating the Depakote until I finish withdrawing from the rest. I'd much rather sleep all day than feel like this.

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For several years now I haven't been able to read through an entire novel. I"d get bored, distracted and not be able to follow the story line. Lately, though, I've been slamming through them one after another. Weird, huh?

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Since I could read, reading has been my most significant past-time. I had a similar period of inability to concentrate and/or boredom, though it was due to my stress-reactions, or the combination of stress reactions and psych drugs. I took up knitting.  At some point a few months later, I heard and could obey the siren call of books and reading material.

 

I'm glad to hear that you and long-form fiction have reacquainted yourselves and that it's going so well.

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