Jump to content

If you find useful information here, your gift would help keep this site going. Our staff is entirely volunteer.

Photo
* * * * * 4 votes

What is withdrawal syndrome?


  • Please log in to reply
43 replies to this topic

#1 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,005 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 16 June 2011 - 03:26 PM

Here are some topics that may answer your questions.

Intro to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome
 
History of the black box warning on antidepressants about "discontinuation syndrome"

 

Click on the links and add to these topics if you wish:

_______________________________________
WHAT CAUSES WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS?

One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

dysautonomia

What is happening in your brain?

Why do some of us have such bad withdrawal? Genetic differences in neural adaptation

protracted withdrawal symptoms -- why?

Immediate adverse reactions to SSRIs? How long for recovery?
 
After being healed... Can protracted WD ever be forgotten?
 
Brain remodeling
 
_______________________________________
WHAT ARE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS?

Papers on diagnosis of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist (PDF)
 
Is it withdrawal or relapse? Or something else?
 
_______________________________________
HOW DOES HEALING HAPPEN?

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

"Is it always going to be like this?"


Edited by Altostrata, 03 June 2016 - 05:37 PM.
updated

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.

#2 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,005 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:29 AM

The Mayo Clinic describes autonomic dysfunction here, calling it autonomic neuropathy: http://www.mayoclini...ECTION=symptoms

Signs and symptoms of autonomic neuropathy vary, depending on which parts of your autonomic nervous system are affected. They may include:

  • Dizziness and fainting upon standing (orthostatic, or postural, hypotension), caused by a drop in blood pressure
  • Urinary problems, including difficulty starting urination, overflow incontinence and inability to empty your bladder completely, which can lead to urinary tract infections
  • Sexual difficulties, including erectile dysfunction or ejaculation problems in men, and vaginal dryness and difficulties with arousal and orgasm in women
  • Difficulty digesting food, due to abnormal digestive function and slow emptying of the stomach (gastroparesis), which can cause a feeling of fullness after eating little, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal bloating, nausea, vomiting and heartburn
  • Sweating abnormalities, such as excessive or decreased sweating, which affects the ability to regulate body temperature
  • Sluggish pupil reaction, making it difficult to adjust from light to dark and causing problems with driving at night
  • Exercise intolerance, which may occur if your heart rate remains unchanged instead of appropriately increasing and decreasing in response to your activity level


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.

#3 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,005 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:22 AM

Our esteemed member and moderator Rhi's description of the neurobiology of withdrawal syndrome:


 

A lot of people, including healthcare practitioners; in fact, I guess, most people-- are operating from entirely the wrong paradigm, or way of thinking, about these meds. They're thinking of them like aspirin--as something that has an effect when it's in your system, and then when it gets out of your system the effect goes away.

 

That's not what happens with medications that alter neurotransmitter function, we are learning.

What happens when you change the chemistry of the brain is, the brain adjusts its chemistry and structure to try to return to homeostasis, or biochemical and functional balance. It tries to restabilize the chemistry. 

For example: SSRI antidepressants work as "serotonin reuptake inhibitors." That is, they cause serotonin to remain in the space between neurons, rather than being taken back up into the cells to be re-used, like it would be in a normal healthy nondrugged brain.

So the brain, which wants to re-establish normal signaling and function, adapts to the higher level of serotonin between neurons (in the "synapse", the space between neurons where signals get passed along). It does this by removing serotonin receptors, so that the signal is reduced and changed to something closer to normal. It also decreases the amount of serotonin it produces overall. 

To do that, genes have to be turned on and off; new proteins have to be made; whole cascades of chemical reactions have to be changed, which means turning on and off OTHER genes; cells are destroyed, new cells are made; in other words, a complex physiologic remodeling takes place. This takes place over time. The brain does not grow and change rapidly. 

This is a vast oversimplification of the amount of adaptation that takes place in the brain when we change its normal chemistry, but that's the principle.

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay.

When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse.

SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. 

It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. 

I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long. 

With multiple drugs and a history of drug changes and cold turkeys, all of this becomes even more complicated. And if a person is started on these kinds of drugs at an early age before the brain has ever completely established normal mature functioning--well, it can't be good. (All of which is why I recommend an extremely slow taper particularly to anyone with a multiple drug history, a history of many years on meds, a history of past cold turkeys or frequent med changes, and a history of being put on drugs at a young age.)

This isn't intended to scare people, but hopefully to give you some idea of what's happening, and to help you respect and understand the process so you can work with it; ALSO, because you are likely to encounter many, many people who still believe these drugs work kind of like aspirin, or a glass of wine, and all you need to do is stop and get it out of your system. 

Now you can explain to them that no, getting it out of your system is not the issue; the issue is, you need to regrow or at least remodel your brain. This is a long, slow, very poorly understood process, and it needs to be respected.

 


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.

#4 tanit

tanit

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts
  • Locationcurrent location tunisia leaving soon for california

Posted 25 January 2015 - 06:36 AM

withdrawal symptoms go away but side effects persist 

please people there is a big difference between both and we should learn to distinguish the two problems to be more efficient in finding solutions.

 


''I''took paxil for 30 days (did`nt felt  a lot of side effects when ''I'' stopped it)

after two weeks I developed the worst headache I ever felt (some sort of permanent migraine, tinnitus..).

after a month of headaches a decided to take another pill to see.I took a pill because i was thinking that it  was may be withdrawal and it caused me a what my doctor called `some thing like serotonin syndrome`` which never improved and caused me severe muscle problems...

in retrospect I know that it was not a serotonin syndrome , my receptor were very stimulated and reacted in weird ways

 


#5 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,005 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 25 January 2015 - 11:55 AM

One huge difference is

  • Side effects occur when you are on the drug, they are a result of the drug's presence in your body.
  • Withdrawal symptoms occur when you reduce the drug, they are a result of physiological dependence and the drug's absence at the accustomed level in your body.

Mild side effects, such as nausea, might go away over time. In fact, doctors assume that ALL side effects will go away over time. However, this is not true, and continuing side effects indicate the drug and your body will never get along at that dosage.

 

Continuing side effects or severe side effects, often called adverse effects, will continue as long as you are on the drug. I

 

Adverse effects are dosage-related; it's possible that a lower dose will not cause side effects. Unfortunately, misinformation about psychiatric drugs is so pervasive that many doctors will increase the dosage rather than decrease it when side effects persist, in the mistaken belief that more is always better. Excessive dosage can bring on additional problems.

 

Severe side effects are often called adverse effects. Confusingly, withdrawal syndrome is also sometimes called an adverse effect of drugs, but it cannot be called a side effect because side effects arise from the presence rather than the absence of the drug.

 

Withdrawal syndrome arises from inconsistent dosing or dosage reduction and tends to resolve over time.


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.

#6 tanit

tanit

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts
  • Locationcurrent location tunisia leaving soon for california

Posted 25 January 2015 - 02:50 PM

@Altostrata
you actually  misunderstood me

antidepressants have side effects that are permanent like arrhythmia,changes in blood pressure ,diabetes ,fibrosis, sexual dysfunction....

in this forum they are never discussed.Some side effects appear later after you have stopped the medication(the antidepressant ``lowers the threshold ``for them to happen and you can`t do anything about that )and that is why we talk of  increased stroke risk ,cardiovascular diseases ,osteoporosis .They are not due to withdrawal but they will appear later 

withdrawal effect can persist in rare case if the body is unable to adjust again.I think of it like a wound ,the less wounded you are the faster  you heal but some don`t regain full strength .Some don`t heal very much also.

I wish there is more awareness of those tardive side effects too because they exist .

Edited by scallywag, 07 January 2017 - 12:37 PM.
lines added at paragraph breaks

''I''took paxil for 30 days (did`nt felt  a lot of side effects when ''I'' stopped it)

after two weeks I developed the worst headache I ever felt (some sort of permanent migraine, tinnitus..).

after a month of headaches a decided to take another pill to see.I took a pill because i was thinking that it  was may be withdrawal and it caused me a what my doctor called `some thing like serotonin syndrome`` which never improved and caused me severe muscle problems...

in retrospect I know that it was not a serotonin syndrome , my receptor were very stimulated and reacted in weird ways

 


#7 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,005 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 25 January 2015 - 03:25 PM

Those side effects are not necessarily permanent. We have many, many people who have recovered from them.


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.

#8 stan

stan

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 583 posts
  • LocationFrance

Posted 09 March 2015 - 06:32 AM

Personal thinking after 6 years off any psychotropic

 

withdrawal syndrome is many disorders, some acute, some less acute...made by a substance we can call poison, toxic...each med is a toxic(even insuline gives gangrene after years...)

 

nobody has the same disorders, therefore for example, we speak from pseudo parkinson, pseudo high blood pressure etc - not the real parkinson from natural disease -

 

before pills, the body was in order, sick for example in a local place, the rest is in order...

the pill makes disorders everywhere, not in one place, in random ...

 

can we cure disorder with a pill, no , a pill cannot replace in order, only the brain can replace , he is the boss, not the pill, the pill can only make a new disorder...

 

can the brain order all in same place as original?

impossible or we had testimonies of people 15 years on a drug and cured 100%, this do not exist,

he creates a new order, sometime not good for us and after years often...

 

what about people who where 2 years on drug and say they are 100%? less you are on drug, less are disorders, if you have 5% wrong in your liver, kidneys, heart valve, you will have no visible or feeling problem, but the disorder exist and will maybe reorder with months or years...


for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

66 years old - 8 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal syndrome

 

chronic fatigue syndrome...off balance and dizzy...sleep very bad...dryness syndrôme...prostate...derealization...itching psoriasis...unable to be quiet inside... to rest though improvements akathisia...dilate bronchitis ...auto-immune disorder...conversion disorder...strong back pains...permanent stress...emotions no control...my senses are false... many feelings are false since beginning...locomotor disorder ...

 


#9 alex

alex

    Gold star

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,116 posts
  • LocationCosta Rica

Posted 15 March 2015 - 08:45 AM


impossible or we had testimonies of people 15 years on a drug and cured 100%, this do not exist,

 

 

WRONG!!

I have seen people who were on the drug 15+yrs, and they are doing ok now....

Attitude Stan...your thoughts will create your inmediate future...if you think it's not going to happen, it wont.


4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 


#10 btdt

btdt

    Fingers of titanium

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,153 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 11 April 2015 - 06:51 PM

English is Stan's second language.  I don't see a lot of people doing great who were drugged for 15 or more years 100% recovery is less likely in my opinion possibly because many have tolerance before this time and are on more than one drug by the time 15 years comes around. I was drugged for 18 years so I keep an extra keen eye open for anyone in my time frame.  Some did not reach tolerance but some did I don't have specific numbers but it is a mixed bag.  Improper tapering and drugs switches are also more likely in this group of people as less was known about these drugs 15 20 25 years ago compared to today proper taper and withdrawal was unheard of then. I have been reading sites like this for 8 years now this is my opinion after watching these years.  

As for my thoughts creating the future... kind of a mean thing to say to a person who is in protracted withdrawal in my humble opinion. A bit of kindness and understanding goes a long way on sites like this again in my humble opinion. 

It feels bit to me like blaming the victim... if you can think happy thoughts you will heal if you can't you won't heal and it will be your own fault... like that... it just doesn't seem right to me.  I also think there is a stage of recovery people reach where negativity is the theme for a certain time and not much shifted me when I was in it so I try to be careful about predicting other peoples healing journey. I think the worst thing one could say would be they are creating their own misery when it is the brain/body recovery that is actually at work. This is how I see it. 

I wish you healing and peace.


WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivinganti...ng-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)


#11 stan

stan

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 583 posts
  • LocationFrance

Posted 12 April 2015 - 05:19 AM

this makes me think of a post in PP where Buxy2222 who is here also, after several years(maybe 6?)and  bad , the Scottys telling her : "if you think you will not heal, you will never heal" and she answer them that if thoughts could heal withdrawal, it would be known and it gave a classic little fight...

the antidepressants are poison, against toxics,  thoughts cannot fight, or so little; what you can do is delude yourself you heal, but it is only a dream...

if you took cocaine and have problems, nice thinking will do nada...

nice thinking help a healthy body, not a drugged brain with mood chemical altered...

the effects of good thoughts are very tiny if they are...

i speak friendly, 


for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

66 years old - 8 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal syndrome

 

chronic fatigue syndrome...off balance and dizzy...sleep very bad...dryness syndrôme...prostate...derealization...itching psoriasis...unable to be quiet inside... to rest though improvements akathisia...dilate bronchitis ...auto-immune disorder...conversion disorder...strong back pains...permanent stress...emotions no control...my senses are false... many feelings are false since beginning...locomotor disorder ...

 


#12 btdt

btdt

    Fingers of titanium

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,153 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 12 April 2015 - 06:46 AM

 I truly believe there are things that we can do to help ourselves be more at ease when we are in some stages of withdrawal.  I am a firm believer in meditation and/or deep relaxation as I have found it to be helpful in almost all stages of withdrawal and it  was indeed the first thing I ever noticed to make an almost unnoticeable change in my suffering.  The more I did it the more noticeable the change was it was in no way a miracle but small moves towards healing need to be honored and sought if  we are going to survive this wd syndrome and get to a more stable place.  Yes it can be that bad and I do not want to harp on that.... but we need things to see us through this.  Deep relaxation was one of those things for me... the book " The Power of Now"  helped me greatly with my perspective at one point so much so you will see my recommending it all over the internet to help people survive withdrawal. How much we heal is an unanswered question how much we suffer can be helped by some things we choose sometimes...not always.  An important   fact as surviving this is the most important thing at the end of the day.sadly not everybody makes it out.. if we are going to survive we need to have tools to help us.  

Understanding what is going on is part of the tool box in my opinion this area is still lacking but some head way has been made.  

 

I want any new person who comes to this thread to be hopeful but not foolish... it will be challenging to get through this.  Some things that will help are understanding and some tools to try.  Please heed the warning of those who came before you... we/they learned by doing and have no reason to tell you any lies if we say to start supplement low it is because we suffered from not doing so... if we say taper has to be better than cold turkey it is because we have done cold turkey... let our mistakes help you to not make the same ones.. to lessen your suffering and increase your odds of a more complete recovery.  The only motive we have to be here is to help other people not have to go through the pain we have lived... well that is my reason... I think it is the same for others and support.  

 

We are all learning from each other lets try to be as kind as we call everybody hurts. 

 

Tools to help you:

http://survivinganti...-and-self-care/

 

Journals to learn from:

http://survivinganti...ntific-sources/

peace


WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivinganti...ng-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)


#13 eiledon20

eiledon20

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 174 posts
  • LocationPhilippines

Posted 29 June 2015 - 06:56 PM

Am i "growing a new brain" while tapering? Seems very controversial. Hopemits true. i just wanna be my old self again...

Partner suddenly died 2014. Severe depression AGAIN (had previous episode 10 years ago). I was given escitalopram but could not bear the side effects, so i ask for an ECT (not sure if this helped). During the treatment and my hospital stay I was given Depakote mood stabilizer.  PDOC says I need to take it for two years. After 4-5 months I have a hard time with the Depakote. Hard to get up in the morning. Depression again or Depakote effects? So stopped Depakote (did not know about tapering then)

 

Januray 21, 2015. Severe depression again, started Pristiq 50mg and clonazepam 0.5 mg nightly. Had confusion, suicidal thoughts, thoughts about death, and find it hard to understand the TV, much more type in a computer.

 

Had adverse reaction to most antidepressants: muscle pain/spasms, irritablity, restlessness. Also Tried Prozac, Zoloft, Escitalopram years ago.

Started to taper pristiq and clonazepam after four months:

5th month:

2 weeks - 3/4 tablet PRISTIQ   (deducting the clonazepam also, so hard to cut)

2 weeks - 1/2 tablet PRISTIQ   (crumbs of clonazepam nightly)

2 weeks - 1/8 or less (hard to cut really) (zero clonazepam)

Then jump off pristiq.

I just wonder why I was cured during the 10 year period (2004-2014) I have no depression symptoms and no meds either. Pdoc said I might be biploar 2 but it is a "grey" area. Aren't bipolars supposed to be on maintenance meds?! Damn this diagnosis. I am tapering Pristiq either way.


#14 NJJ

NJJ

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 72 posts
  • LocationAustralia

Posted 30 June 2015 - 03:58 PM

I was just reading you post Alto and wondered what you thought may of happened to me.

 

For around ten years (15-24years) on 50mg Zoloft had no side effects that were noticeable anyhow. At the time of withdrawal had no anxiety what so ever, within one month went from 50mg, 25mg then zilch, that's when I developed pretty much every single withdrawal symptom there is.  Next month went from zilch straight up to 75mg from doctor mistaking it as relapse. That's when the brainzaps, electric jolt type seizures happened.  Ever since then (withdrawal & upping dose) I've always had the brainzaps and overactive reflexes, usually only when Im run down or stressed, not all the time.  I've always been convinced that I have developed some sort of neurological damage or movement disorder from the withdrawal and dosage change or wether its the side effects from the higher dose.  I do know that Dr Lucire said I should never have been put on it as a juvenile because the brain is still developing and the drug wouldn't of even cut in until 25. So basically I have been on a drug and tried to withdrawal before my brain had even fully developed. This is what worries me about withdrawal, if  I will ever recover.


[list]
[*]At 15 years was put on 50mg of Zoloft for generalized anxiety and panic disorder.
[*]2006 Tried to withdrawal from 50mg . Doctor told me I would have no trouble. I tampered over about a month (50mg-0) which left me with severe and debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Doctors put my dose up to 75mg mistaking my withdrawal symptoms as a relapse. Stayed on Zoloft 75mg since 2006.
March 2015- adverse reaction between Zoloft (75mg) an antibiotic and anti nausea drug resulting in debilitating symptoms/recovery identical to withdrawal. Have not altered or changed dose since 2006.

#15 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,005 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 05 December 2015 - 12:25 PM

People do tend to heal. This can be very slow and frustrating and take many years, which is why we urge people to taper slowly rather than gamble on recovery from withdrawal syndrome.


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.

#16 SalvadorAlcantara

SalvadorAlcantara

    Getting started

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • LocationDalton

Posted 05 December 2015 - 09:26 PM

Withdrawal occurs because your brain works like a spring when it comes to addiction. Drugs and alcohol are brain depressants that push down the spring. They suppress your brain's production of neurotransmitters like noradrenaline. When you stop using drugs or alcohol it's like taking the weight off the spring, and your brain rebounds by producing a surge of adrenaline that causes withdrawal symptoms.



#17 lanah

lanah

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 151 posts
  • LocationEurope

Posted 08 December 2015 - 01:13 AM

People do tend to heal. This can be very slow and frustrating and take many years, which is why we urge people to taper slowly rather than gamble on recovery from withdrawal syndrome.

 

 

I get that, but I did so many cold turkeys in my past (before I knew all this) and that's why I'm wondering. On the benzo forum they did enquiry's and 98 % is healed after 2 years. But I wonder how this is with antidepessants. Because it seems to be longer lasting am I correct? 


Several ssri's, antipsychotics, opiads and benzo's since 2003.

Flurazepam: rapid taper after 6 weeks usage in beginning of march 2015

Trazodone: rapid taper from 50ms to 0mgs end of july 2015

Current medication:12 mgs seroquel (from 25mgs)


#18 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,005 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 08 December 2015 - 10:07 AM

It is impossible to compare benzo withdrawal and antidepressant withdrawal. They are alike in many ways, but there are no statistics about relative severity or recovery time.


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.

#19 reachingforthestars

reachingforthestars

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 204 posts
  • LocationEurope

Posted 08 December 2015 - 11:08 PM

Does anyone know what is the average time to heal from withdrawal after long term use (10+ years)? So so much more intros comparing to success stories makes me little desperate... 


Citalopram 40mg from 2003-2015

Jan 2015 started tapering first dropped to 35mgFeb 30mg, March 25mgApril 20mg, May 17,5mg, June 15mgJuly 12,5mg, Aug 12,5mg,

Sep 0mg for 5 days because of stomac flu and after I raised to 7,5mg. All the symptoms of acute WD shaking, diarrhea, vomiting, barely could walk ect. Still didn't realize that it wasn't only stomac flu but I was also going through WD.

Oct 2,5mg and crashed again badly and quickly raised to 4mg. It was then when I knew my symptoms were due to WD.

Then in November after a month holding on 4mg raised to 5mg due to muscle weakness and had a VERY BAD reaction to reinstatement: akathisia(lasted for one or two weeks), insomnia, anhedonia... Drop quicly back to 4mg, Dec 3mg

Jan 2016 2,6mg( in the middle of Jan after I had been on 2,6mg for a week I tried to updose to 2,8mg and immediately had bad reaction to it: akathisia for a day, andehonia got worse. The next day dropped back to 2,6mg), Feb 2,4mg( a new symptom PGAD lasted 24/7 for 2 months after that on and off), March 2,4mg, April 2,3mg, May 2,2mg, June 2,1mg, July 2,0mg( Pgad almost nonexisting, sleeping pretty good, still some anhedonia but there has been a lot of gradual progress), Aug 1,97mg-1,89mg, Sep 1,88mg-1,49mg, Oct 1,48mg- 1,70mg,

Nov 0,65mg- current dose 0,5mg

 


#20 Altostrata

Altostrata

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,005 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco, CA

Posted 09 December 2015 - 09:50 AM

There is no average time. No statistics have been collected. It's probably a  normal curve, with some people recovering within some number of months and others within some number of years.


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.

#21 Mjau

Mjau

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 125 posts
  • LocationScandinavia

Posted 21 April 2016 - 11:33 AM

I've been on AD:s for nearly two decades. Slowly slowly I experienced increasing side effects from the drugs. Eventually I was not functioning at all. After being a zombie for a whole year I realized the drugs were the major cause and I started tapering them. During tapering I have begun to feel much better - with many ups and downs, two steps forward, three steps back, one step forward and so forth.

 

I wonder - does anybody else find it difficult to distinguish between side effects and WD symptoms?

 

Some symptoms I clearly see as side effects: sexual dysfunction, visual symptoms i.e blurred near vision, restless legs

Typical WD symptoms: body zaps, blood pressure falls, dizziness, headache 

 

Symptoms that I think I've had both as wd and as side effects: brain fog, trouble concentrating, difficulties with planning and organizing, heart palpitation, tiredness, feeling like a zombie, emotional numbness, bruxism. 

 

I guess I'm asking the question because I often find it hard to know when to do the next dose reduction. When are you stable enough? I guess if you have mostly side effects then you should drop the dose, If it's mostly WD then you should hold.

 

Wow I managed to write this! :D  I've been pondering this for quite some time and I haven't been able to put the words down until now! Yey!


Edited by KarenB, 03 May 2016 - 01:00 AM.
merged topics and added bold to reflect lost title

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 


#22 SquirrellyGirl

SquirrellyGirl

    Gold star

  • Moderators
  • 1,350 posts
  • Locationnear Fresno, CA

Posted 21 April 2016 - 11:59 AM

I'm waiting to see what the more experienced mods say, but I find this a perplexing question, too.  

 

You've got start-up symptoms when taking a new drug, due to the drug causing neurochemical imbalances; these often go away as the nervous system attempts to bring about homeostasis through remodeling.

 

Then you've got residual side effects, such as insomnia and sexual side effects.  Perhaps due to a drug being activating or interfering with the normal progression of signaling in the case of sex (not sure if a mechanism has been proposed...).

 

Then you have poop out or what some call tolerance withdrawal, where what seems like withdrawal symptoms arise even though the dosage hasn't been changed, usually with chronic use.  Not sure what the mechanism for that is since the nervous system has done it's best to attain homeostasis in the presence of the drug and the dosage hasn't changed....I know some take exception with the "tolerance withdrawal" terminology since apparently that is a benzo thing.

 

Then you have withdrawal symptoms from tapering too quickly or cold turkey, caused by the imbalance once again due to the drug no longer holding up it's end of things as far as the nervous system is concerned.

 

There certainly is a ton of overlap, though as I alluded, some symptoms are not necessarily due to imbalance but due to interference/toxicity.  It's a mess to figure out!

 

SG


Prozac 1995-1999, don't remember the dosage; Wellbutrin 1999-2002? Don't remember dosage though it was in the 300 mgs range
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Did fast taper, don't remember details, around August 2014.
Took Sam-E 200 mg AM and 500 mg L-tryptophan PM Sept.2014 to January 2015

Doing poorly, put on Viibryd 10 mg for 1 wk, 20 mg for several days, BAD ANXIETY, fast taper to 0 in a week; back on Sam-E 200 mg AM and L-tryptophan 500 mg PM until April 10, 2015; doing very badly, put on Remeron 7.5 mg start April 15-April 30, 2015; Increased Remeron from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly,

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  On p-doc's orders went up to 75 mg Effexor June 11-12, then back to 37.5 mg when I realized all the hell I had been through before was WD from Effexor!  Joined SA and began tapering both too soon one month later.

8/22/15: Effexor to 30.75 mg, Remeron to 22 mg. 9/9/15 Effexor 30 mg/Remeron 21 mg. 9/24/15: Remeron 19 mg. 10/25/16: Remeron 17 mg. 11/14/15:  Effexor 28.5 mg 12/2/15: Remeron 16 mg. 12/5/15: Effexor 28.1 mg. 12/17/15: Remeron 15 mg. 1/26/16: Remeron 14 mg. 3/22/16, Remeron 13.5 mg and Effexor 25.9 mg (had nudged it down by fraction of a mg since Dec).  4/28/16: Remeron 13 mg, Effexor 25.5 mg.  5/21/16: Remeron 12 mg, Effexor 24.75 mg.  6/17/16, Effexor 23.25 mg, Remeron 11.6 mg. 7/12/16:  Remeron 11 mg, Effexor 22.12 mg.  9/22/16:  Effexor 19.5 mg, Remeron 9 mg.  As of 4/12/17:  Effexor 12.4 mg  Remeron 5.9 mg.

 

My intro: http://survivinganti...e-2#entry196679

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


#23 Mjau

Mjau

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 125 posts
  • LocationScandinavia

Posted 21 April 2016 - 12:11 PM

Wow, thank you Squirrely, I like your answer :-) It surely is a complex thing and the drugs mess up our brains a lot. From this mess of symptoms our new brain is trying to grow and heal.... No wonder many of us are having such a hard time. A nervous system gone hay-wire! 


1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 


#24 LexAnger

LexAnger

    Gold star

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,902 posts
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted 21 April 2016 - 12:49 PM

Great question and answer!
It's been my constant struggle for years only found the next day that my analysis was wrong.

This is the hardest part in working with tapering, both direction and schedule. Eventually I had to flow with my body's reaction every minute, and go with the one less turturing (well, even both are very intel oracle most times).
<p>2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain; Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg, first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg, slight improvement with pain2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR2016 Feb., started fast taper for the drug toxicity caused by the one dose of 4.2mg, dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, sliding Down to 0.13mg by 2/13, then 0.07mg since 2/18, 0.06mg 2/20-3/17, 0.13mg 3/18

#25 SquirrellyGirl

SquirrellyGirl

    Gold star

  • Moderators
  • 1,350 posts
  • Locationnear Fresno, CA

Posted 21 April 2016 - 01:10 PM

LexAnger, I think your auto-correct went goofy!

 

Mjau, I think you answered your own question at the end.  


Prozac 1995-1999, don't remember the dosage; Wellbutrin 1999-2002? Don't remember dosage though it was in the 300 mgs range
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Did fast taper, don't remember details, around August 2014.
Took Sam-E 200 mg AM and 500 mg L-tryptophan PM Sept.2014 to January 2015

Doing poorly, put on Viibryd 10 mg for 1 wk, 20 mg for several days, BAD ANXIETY, fast taper to 0 in a week; back on Sam-E 200 mg AM and L-tryptophan 500 mg PM until April 10, 2015; doing very badly, put on Remeron 7.5 mg start April 15-April 30, 2015; Increased Remeron from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly,

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  On p-doc's orders went up to 75 mg Effexor June 11-12, then back to 37.5 mg when I realized all the hell I had been through before was WD from Effexor!  Joined SA and began tapering both too soon one month later.

8/22/15: Effexor to 30.75 mg, Remeron to 22 mg. 9/9/15 Effexor 30 mg/Remeron 21 mg. 9/24/15: Remeron 19 mg. 10/25/16: Remeron 17 mg. 11/14/15:  Effexor 28.5 mg 12/2/15: Remeron 16 mg. 12/5/15: Effexor 28.1 mg. 12/17/15: Remeron 15 mg. 1/26/16: Remeron 14 mg. 3/22/16, Remeron 13.5 mg and Effexor 25.9 mg (had nudged it down by fraction of a mg since Dec).  4/28/16: Remeron 13 mg, Effexor 25.5 mg.  5/21/16: Remeron 12 mg, Effexor 24.75 mg.  6/17/16, Effexor 23.25 mg, Remeron 11.6 mg. 7/12/16:  Remeron 11 mg, Effexor 22.12 mg.  9/22/16:  Effexor 19.5 mg, Remeron 9 mg.  As of 4/12/17:  Effexor 12.4 mg  Remeron 5.9 mg.

 

My intro: http://survivinganti...e-2#entry196679

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


#26 ingridphoenix

ingridphoenix

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 50 posts
  • LocationPortland, OR

Posted 21 April 2016 - 02:50 PM

I've been on AD:s for nearly two decades. Slowly slowly I experienced increasing side effects from the drugs. Eventually I was not functioning at all. After being a zombie for a whole year I realized the drugs were the major cause and I started tapering them. During tapering I have begun to feel much better - with many ups and downs, two steps forward, three steps back, one step forward and so forth.

 

I wonder - does anybody else find it difficult to distinguish between side effects and WD symptoms?

 

Some symptoms I clearly see as side effects: sexual dysfunction, visual symptoms i.e blurred near vision, restless legs

Typical WD symptoms: body zaps, blood pressure falls, dizziness, headache 

 

Symptoms that I think I've had both as wd and as side effects: brain fog, trouble concentrating, difficulties with planning and organizing, heart palpitation, tiredness, feeling like a zombie, emotional numbness, bruxism. 

 

I guess I'm asking the question because I often find it hard to know when to do the next dose reduction. When are you stable enough? I guess if you have mostly side effects then you should drop the dose, If it's mostly WD then you should hold.

 

Wow I managed to write this! :D  I've been pondering this for quite some time and I haven't been able to put the words down until now! Yey!

I'll be - same thing going on in my mind today - and I quit the ADs for same reason as you - this conversation confirms it - no taper for a while until my brain catches up. Some WD symptoms you listed I experienced whilst on the meds. 
oh well - let us both wait then until we feel stable again - then take the next plunge - well, 10% ;)

I shall follow your post - knowing I have a partner on this journey somewhere in this world who is at the exact same spot I am - I feel less alone.

Let's do this, Mjau, shall we? :)


Getting off Amitriptyline 25 mg, on 12.5 mg now. 50 mg to 25 mg; Cymbalta 60 mg, currently 30 mg/day for 15 days. Decided to cut open remaining 60 mg capsules and take the little tablets inside. 6 = 30 mg. If need be, I can up the dosage, but aside from a bit of toe pain I am ok.UPDATE: >>>>> Amitriptyline 25 mg 1992- ??? ----- 50 mg until March 21, 2016. 2016 - then 25 mg <<<<<went to 20 mg of Amitriptyline, and down 5 tiny tabs of Cymbalta. (less than 30 mg now. cut Klonopin to 1/4 mg now. Trazadone 50 mg 4/14/16Variety of ADs, Buspar, Effexor, Celexa, Zoloft, Wellbutrin (to quit smoking. Success!) Cymbalta, Klonopin from '95 to present.Norco (Vicodin or Hydrocodone) '92 to 2014 - cold turkey - minor issuesHad 1 day with withdrawal symptoms - dealing mostly with Side Effects. April 7, 2016: now taking Ami 12.5 and Cymbalta 30 mg. (in bead form) still 1/2 mg Klonopin. Melatonin 10 mg (have been for years). 1 Trazadone 50 mg for sleep. Amino Acids, Omega 3,6 and 9 w/DHA. Turmeric and Ibuprofen for pain,Tramadol, 50 mg, as needed (PRN) - take maybe 1 per day for Fibro pain. Had one day of very swollen calves and ankles, one day of lumps on calves, all better. Today the toes, lasted 2 hrs, now gone. Important to note I am getting off these drugs BECAUSE of multiple side effects. BM much better, I have an appetite and crave healthy foods again. More energy, but not nervous. Sleeping great, much easier to rise, ok with 7 hrs/sleep, used to need 9 or 10.No burning toes 2nd day. Doing well so far. 4/14/16. legs, ankles still an issue, but less so. <p>
4/21/16.>>>> went to 4 tablets Cymbalta and 15 mg Ami and cut Klonpin to 1/8.
UPDATE: 5/5/16 - 15 mg Amitriptyline, 3 tablet Cymbalta (there are 12 in a 60 mg capsule,) very little Klonopin, 50 mg Trazadone, 10 mg Melatonin, Inositol and Ashwagandha. Tramadol PRN.
---- feeling great - no addl. symptoms , only 3 times something like you all list here. leg/ankle swelling still an issue, but not so much-----

6/5/2016 - All done, except for Trazadone. 50mg/nt is all. It is next, in a couple of months. No more Tramadol either - that was unintentionally, but hey, I am not complaining. I am using Kratom once or twice daily.

6/13/2016 - 25 mg of trazadone. 
Doctor is happy for me how well this is all going. :) Almost done with it all!!


#27 SquirrellyGirl

SquirrellyGirl

    Gold star

  • Moderators
  • 1,350 posts
  • Locationnear Fresno, CA

Posted 21 April 2016 - 03:50 PM

LexAnger, I think your auto-correct went goofy!

 

Mjau, I think you answered your own question at the end.  

 

Actually, it was my brain that was the problem, not your autocorrect, Lex!  intel oracle....d'oh!  

 

SG


Prozac 1995-1999, don't remember the dosage; Wellbutrin 1999-2002? Don't remember dosage though it was in the 300 mgs range
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Did fast taper, don't remember details, around August 2014.
Took Sam-E 200 mg AM and 500 mg L-tryptophan PM Sept.2014 to January 2015

Doing poorly, put on Viibryd 10 mg for 1 wk, 20 mg for several days, BAD ANXIETY, fast taper to 0 in a week; back on Sam-E 200 mg AM and L-tryptophan 500 mg PM until April 10, 2015; doing very badly, put on Remeron 7.5 mg start April 15-April 30, 2015; Increased Remeron from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly,

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  On p-doc's orders went up to 75 mg Effexor June 11-12, then back to 37.5 mg when I realized all the hell I had been through before was WD from Effexor!  Joined SA and began tapering both too soon one month later.

8/22/15: Effexor to 30.75 mg, Remeron to 22 mg. 9/9/15 Effexor 30 mg/Remeron 21 mg. 9/24/15: Remeron 19 mg. 10/25/16: Remeron 17 mg. 11/14/15:  Effexor 28.5 mg 12/2/15: Remeron 16 mg. 12/5/15: Effexor 28.1 mg. 12/17/15: Remeron 15 mg. 1/26/16: Remeron 14 mg. 3/22/16, Remeron 13.5 mg and Effexor 25.9 mg (had nudged it down by fraction of a mg since Dec).  4/28/16: Remeron 13 mg, Effexor 25.5 mg.  5/21/16: Remeron 12 mg, Effexor 24.75 mg.  6/17/16, Effexor 23.25 mg, Remeron 11.6 mg. 7/12/16:  Remeron 11 mg, Effexor 22.12 mg.  9/22/16:  Effexor 19.5 mg, Remeron 9 mg.  As of 4/12/17:  Effexor 12.4 mg  Remeron 5.9 mg.

 

My intro: http://survivinganti...e-2#entry196679

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


#28 LexAnger

LexAnger

    Gold star

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,902 posts
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted 21 April 2016 - 04:00 PM

LexAnger, I think your auto-correct went goofy!
 
Mjau, I think you answered your own question at the end.

 
Actually, it was my brain that was the problem, not your autocorrect, Lex!  intel oracle....d'oh!  
 
SG

SG, your brain is still better than the autocorrection :)
I re read my lines and it made me smile, an unexpected bonus for a very painful day.
<p>2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain; Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg, first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg, slight improvement with pain2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR2016 Feb., started fast taper for the drug toxicity caused by the one dose of 4.2mg, dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, sliding Down to 0.13mg by 2/13, then 0.07mg since 2/18, 0.06mg 2/20-3/17, 0.13mg 3/18

#29 InvisibleUnless

InvisibleUnless

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 338 posts
  • LocationCalifornia, USA

Posted 21 April 2016 - 05:03 PM

i cannot speak for everyone, and i know this may not even be the majority opinion here, but i personally see no distinction in the possible range of withdrawal effects as divorced from side effects of regular dosing.  to restate: i feel they may both be all-encompassing---if bad stuff can happen, it can happen after taking and continuing a drug or after taking and discontinuing it.

 

that does not mean there isnt a much greater average incidence of certain side effects during withdrawal as compared to maintenance dosing, or that certain clusters are not more common to some time periods than others (like first beginning medications, or tapering down).

 

i have had some withdrawal experiences that seem to add to what most people generally consider withdrawal effects, for instance serotonin syndrome.  while the exact mechanisms behind initial effects and withdrawal effects may differ or interact in whatever ways, i dont feel like someone could accurately and deterministically state that some side effects can only happen while actively taking the drugs in question.

 

at the end of the day, changes in the brain are changes in the brain.  some circumstances and personal factors seem to make particular outcomes more or less likely, when it comes to side effects and withdrawal effects, and i do not propose obscuring the situation by saying "we should just call them all the same thing!".  there simply seems to be a lot of latitude, and no limit to the potential for overlapping drug effects.

 

when it comes to how that all reflects on tapering efforts...i could not comment as constructively.  tapering seems a pretty personal thing---trying to discern what happens in response to particular decisions or behaviors.  other people here have more experience and can give some good investigative advice, i just wanted to chime in about the serious level of overlap present.  someone will probably point out that instability or stress introduced by tapering might lead to a greater vulnerability to side effects from normal dosing which add to the withdrawal effects that may have accompanied the reduction.


from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  for all 5 years since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation


#30 btdt

btdt

    Fingers of titanium

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,153 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 21 April 2016 - 06:28 PM

I think there is a lot of cross over in symptoms but there are a couple I had only in wd and I have had a sever adverse reaction a failed taper and fail re instatement tho it was a shody attempt and protracted wd... 

 

Thins I recall as only in wd...

brain and body zaps

extreme noise and light sensitivity (only thing close to this is a real bad mirgraine) but wd sensitivity was much more extreme and constant

Could not speak or form thoughts properly

shaking 

having to move constantly

4 days straight of no sleep with lesser stints of 2-3 being the norm

reactions to chemicals and smells of all sorts reactions to food 

severe reactions to medications even low dose and coffee 

extreme dizziness ... fall down type

actually falling down with a loss of balance like the earth moved and I fell

severe digestive issues 

 

I could go on if thinking about this did not disrupt my peace but it does so that is the end of my list for now because thinking about is still bad for me. 

 

I wish you peace


WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivinganti...ng-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)


#31 Mjau

Mjau

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 125 posts
  • LocationScandinavia

Posted 22 April 2016 - 12:25 AM

I am glad to read all your answers to my question!  :)  It puts things into perspective!

 

You all have important things to say. The drugs disrupt the normal signaling between neurons. Som effects are more quick and direct, others are slowly onsetting and vice versa in WD and then you have a mixed state adverse effects-WD crisis..... :huh: Which is kind of what my situation is. 

 

IRL I feel very alone with all this. I am so glad this forum exists. We are not alone!


1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 


#32 JanCarol

JanCarol

    Platinum star

  • Moderators
  • 3,161 posts
  • LocationBrisbane, Queensland, Australia

Posted 22 April 2016 - 10:59 PM

Hey I can weigh in on this one!

 

I think it is "change effects," or "change symptoms."

 

Like Squirrelly said, you have symptoms when you start the drugs.

 

Then, as you adapt the the drugs, these may subside (homeostasis) - but I think that those changes are always waiting for you.

 

Any time you change, then, your life, your food, your dosage, your drugs, your exercise habits, you run the risk of going into symptoms again.  The smallest changes can require an adjustment in homeostasis.

 

I have a hypothesis that people who are on a drug for a long time - and the drug "poops out" - had mitigating factors.  I'm sure there are exceptions that prove me wrong - but a death in the family, a stress at work, a change (or gradual decline) in good diet, or addition of another drug (say, a statin, or PPI, or blood pressure, or even an NSAID) can throw that homeostatis out of whack again.

 

The more times you go in and out of homeostasis, each time your system becomes more sensitive.  Maybe you were 5 years on the drug, hit a rough spot when you went in for that knee surgery,  but then had another few good years before the next "change symptom" came into play.  

 

There is also an effect when you've been adjusted by the drug for a long long time - as different systems, like your endocrine, your gut, your hormones & sleep patterns get affected by this artificial chemical.  Failures start to happen in thyroid, organs, stomach - and of course, it depends on your load from other sources, too - metals, pesticides, carpet fumes, traffic fumes - and more stress.

 

When change symptoms stack upon change symptoms, you get "tolerance," and the drug in your system goes haywire.  This is what is frequently called "side effects."  Then, you aren't sleeping as well, and all of a sudden the drug feels toxic.  But you can't withdraw too quickly, or you will get more "change symptoms!"

 

But really, it's the SAME effects that you had when you first went on the drug, only amplified.

 

When we withdraw the drug, the "change effects" come into play again, depending on how long you were on the drug, how stressful your life is around you, how well you've dealt with your traumas, your attitude (attitude counts for a lot!) towards the symptoms - these things determine how extreme your "withdrawal" will be.

 

That is why I'm very nervous around a lot of fast drug (or food, or supplement) changes!  The changes are nearly as dangerous as the drug, to me!


"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.

 

Currently Lithium Orotate 1.67 mg only.  I will re-evaluate this supplement in 2017.

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!


#33 Liquid

Liquid

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 39 posts
  • LocationMinnesota

Posted 23 April 2016 - 03:07 PM

I was put on Citalopram 20mg after having 4 weeks of cold turkey withdrawal from Effexor XR 37.5mg that I was only on for around 3-4 weeks. I was on the Citalopram for about 5 weeks and had a very severe reaction from it, so I did my best to taper down to 10mg for 4 days before quitting altogether.

 

I am 30 days off Citalopram and have experienced ZERO physical symptoms of withdrawal. I had some brain zaps and a little bit of a headache, but those have pretty much passed. I'm not experiencing any physical issues, just really harsh anxiety and lack of a buffer between moods.

 

Before the Effexor XR, I was feeling decent but having some issues with returning anxiety brought on by stress. I feel as though the Effexor withdrawal worsened my anxiety state and was causing panic attacks which have since ceased. I'm still dealing with leftover symptoms of either my GAD or the cognitive impairment that the stress of being on Citalopram caused.

 

Is it withdrawal if there are no physical symptoms evident after 30 days of being off of the Citalopram? The reason I ask is because I'm trying to work on this anxiety and I've been pinning it on the withdrawals, but I'm not sure that has anything to do with it. But it might, that's why I'm asking. :| I just can't help but feel confused because all of the posts that I read on here about people coming through bad withdrawals always has to do with the bad physical symptoms they are experiencing, of which I have none. No IBS issues or dizziness, no insomnia, just really bad intense anxiety and DP/DR.


Edited by KarenB, 03 May 2016 - 12:56 AM.
merged topics and added bold to indicate lost title

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)
2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)
I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.
March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.
April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

#34 ChessieCat

ChessieCat

    Platinum star

  • Moderators
  • 2,979 posts
  • LocationSydney Australia

Posted 23 April 2016 - 03:20 PM

Hi Liquid,

 

Yes, WD can be non-physical.  This link has people discussing their anxiety, and especially this post.

 

One thing you need to be aware of is that reading about other people's anxiety and symptoms can make your own worse.


Podcasts:    Let's Talk Withdrawal

 

Antidepressants:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft; Cipramil CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks soon after)

Pristiq:  50mg mid 2012, 100mg beg 2014 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)     Current:  Pristiq 25mg (from 21 April 2017)

 

Tapering history & graph

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

 

I've still got a way to go ... but I've already come a long way!!!

 

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.


#35 shelbytrev

shelbytrev

    Silver star

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 161 posts
  • Locationbanning

Posted 17 May 2016 - 09:13 AM

I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right spot. I have a question about intrusive thoughts. Has anyone experienced or does anyone know if intrusive thoughts can present as phrases or word thoughts that pop up but as a thought in your head. Not actual voices, like hearing voices. Mine have lessoned but it's always the same phrases out of two or three that happen to me. But I was afraid I might be hearing voices in my head. My psych and therapist say I'm not. But I get worried maybe they don't know. How would I know the difference ? And I never had this issue before coming of Effexor so it's not a prior condition. When first coming off they were non stop repeating over and over in my head. Now it it much less but seems to scare me even more when it does happen cause it's like whoah where did that come from??
Panic attacks-Prozac 20mg 4 years
Effexor 75mg approx 9 years
Effexor to Zoloft 25 mg approx almost 2 weeks
Also used very low dose of Valium 1 mg sometimes 2x a day for anxiety for a month during medication changes.
Zoloft to Celexa 10 mg approx a week
Celexa to Prozac 10 mg for approx 5 weeks
Weaned off Prozac 10-5-2.5 mg
As of 1-8-2016 off everything

#36 Junglechicken

Junglechicken

    Gold star

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,315 posts
  • LocationReading, UK and also Southwest, UK

Posted 17 May 2016 - 10:51 AM

Hi Liquid,
 
Yes, WD can be non-physical.  This link has people discussing their anxiety, and especially this post.
 
One thing you need to be aware of is that reading about other people's anxiety and symptoms can make your own worse.


Just made that mistake and completely freaked myself out.

Have throat pain and the feeling of a lump of phlegm and since reading all the symptoms others have had in their throats I am beside myself with worry :0(

<p>Feb 2014 -Cipralex/Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms disappeared over a few days. Have been on this dose ever since and am experiencing "windows" and "waves". Nov 15th 2016 Re-started Therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT. Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 4th Jan 2017. Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment starts - anti-Candida diet starts as diagnosis of Candida Related Complex (CRC). 24 March 2017 DETOX (3 weeks) started for anti-Candida to help "re-set" my gut. April 2017 "Genova Testing 3 day stool sampling" Comprehensive Analysis.  Gut Cleanse - 6 weeks.  Plan to re-start taper (liquid Cipralex/Escitalopram) when feel ready.