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  1. Hello all, new to this site. I am completely off of Wellbutrin as of August 11, 2017. My brief history: I was on 300 mg WB from 2005-summer 2014, when my dosage was upped to 450 mg. I was on 450 mg from summer 2014 through May 2017 when I began my taper. I've tried to get off WB twice before and went cold turkey both times. I gained weight and was so depressed I went back on WB within a month. This time, I tapered under my doctor's care. While I am thrilled to finally be off of WB, I am gaining weight like crazy. I eat healthfully and have been exercising like a fiend, but am still gaining weight (one day I did an hour and 20 mins of cardio and still gained a pound). And as a result, I'm starting to get very depressed again. I feel like I have absolutely no control over my body and what it is doing. I'm petrified as unfortunately, weight is a major issue for me psychologically. My question to the group is: has anyone experienced the same issue? There is a ton of anecdotal evidence that going off Wellbutrin causes weight gain. If you have, can you give me an idea of how much you gained and how long before it finally stopped? And were you able to successfully lose it again? I feel like if I know to a certain extent what is ahead, I can better brace myself. My doctor ordered a bunch of blood work, which I think is just her way of trying to placate me. Many thanks in advance...
  2. Thank you to the creator of this site, what a great resource! I have been through withdrawal many times and I hoping this is it. I was put on Zoloft in college for Generalized Anxiety disorder (20 years ago) and it became impossible to go off of it. I tried many times and always ended up back on because off of the meds, I was very depressed. I was not even depressed like that before I went on Zoloft in the first place. Thankfully, over the years I was able to reduce the amount I needed from 100mg to 50 then 25, and felt ok for a while. A couple of years ago it seemed the Zoloft stopped working and I was switched to Prozac,10mg. Also in the past few years I started talking to therapists, life coaches, going to workshops, reading everything self-help, meditating, etc. About 4 months ago I started doing Crossfit and exercising in some way daily, and meditating almost daily. Kundalini meditation specifically has been helpful. My body told me it is a good time to try again to stop the meds. It has been 6 weeks since my last micro-dose and I am mostly ok, besides for crying spells. It has been difficult to tell what has been from withdrawal and what is hormonal for me because I am already very sensitive and have awful periods. But in the past 2 weeks there has been a lot of sobbing that is more than normal for me. It does not last longer than 10-15 minutes usually but has been daily (sometimes 2x a day) except for today. If I can have ONE good day like today where I felt normal then I believe this is possible, even if it comes back tomorrow! I have also used many supplements before, during and after the taper/ withdrawal, if it is ok I will list them here, maybe others can do their own research on them and see if it might help them. This is all trial and error, after all of the attempts, this combination might be working. I have to add that tapering off of Prozac was much easier for me (physically) than Zoloft. Before starting taper I used supplements from the Road Back Program. This made all the difference in the world for me as far as physical withdrawal symptoms, comparing to previous tapers without it. (I am in no way affiliated with this company or any other company/supplement here) I found out there is an MTFHR gene mutation in my family so made sure all B vitamins were methylated. Thorne makes an excellent one. I use 5htp at night 100mg In the morning on an empty stomach I started taking DLPA. This helps boost dopamine and gives emotional boost for me. For energy and focus (I also have A.D.D.) I use Weyland "focus" pill at times. Lithium Orotate I am still learning about but I started that in the evening recently. (This is a mineral, NOT lithium carbonate.) Niacin 100mg I just want to send everyone going through this a huge hug, and lots of love, I hope I can help contribute in some way, and am grateful to people sharing their stories here, it has been a huge help to me knowing I am not alone (and not crazy lol) I already took the survey as well.
  3. Hello fellow withdrawers (if that's a word), I'm Bokart and I'm here on a journey to quit my medication of Olanzapine. Down to 7,5 mg at the moment (see my signature). My story short: back in February 2015 I got admitted in psych ward due to psychosis (due to my destroyed sleep because of my night-shift work). There began my involuntary medication of Olanzapine, which pulled me out of a psychosis, so at least it did some good. I was released from the hospital after two weeks of being there. Now, after jojoing with my olanzapine dose (see signature), I'm finally set to quit it for good. I found this community after searching for succesfull withdrawal stories on the internet and found this community to be great, people being helpful and supportive and giving good advice... I know it can get rough when I approach smaller doses so I do know I will need support. And hopefully I can give support too and offer people hope after and during my taper. I know lots of people are in the same boat as me. Why I want to quit? I got no sexuality anymore, my motivation lacks big time, even personal hygiene is suffering because of that. I can't memorize things like before - learning is difficult. I have very little emotions left in me, basically I'm a dumbed down version of myself nowadays with this drug. I have little social skills - which I would badly need because I plan on working with children in school so some situational awareness is needed (I might have to quit my studies due to me making no progress in my studies... due to this drug). No happines, no enjoying things, lethargy and demotivation... About my psychosis, after it was gone I haven't had any symptoms of it returning (like delusions, paranoia, hallucinations), even after trying to quit my drug cold turkey once, which I see as a good sign. Now I don't want to slip into psychosis again so I need to be extra careful with my taper. After I hit 5,625 mg I will go on tapering by feeling, so no reductions until I feel stable enough. My main concern is sleep. I have a prescribed medication of temazepam (a benzodiazepine), which I can use when my insomnia has hit a threshold of needing immediate attention. I'm trying to limit my use of it to every three days to prevent tolerance and dependence (I know benzodiazepine withdrawals can be bad). But the thing is, lack of sleep led me to psychosis once, so it is a big deal to me. I need at least one night on a while to hit at least 4 hours of uniterrupted sleep, which 40 mg of temazepam does. I've tried many other sleep aids such as low to medium dose of quietiapine (no effect), low to medium dose of levomepromazine (didn't help), low dose of doxepine (no effect), even melatonine and l-tryptophan and 5-htp and none of those helped. One thing that helped me though was phenibut combined with temazepam - I slept 13 hours with that combination! So I know I have an emergency brakes on my train now (assuming that combination works again, haven't taken phenibut in 2 months to avoid tolerance and dependency), but I'm planning on limiting the use of this combination to once a month. On this dose of 7,5mg I'm currently having 2-3 hours of good uninterrupted sleep plus 3-4 hours of bad, constantly waking up kind of sleep So, thank you all for being here! And I wish a speedy recovery to those who are withdrawing from their drugs, we are all here together.
  4. Hi All, Apologies if this has been done to death... I was playing around in excel with a taper protocol and thought I'd share. The 10% is a good rule and very good at encouraging people to go slowly. Something a lot of us have trouble with. (well me anyway...) But like Achilles catching the tortoise, reducing 10% will never get you to 0. (An aim a lot of us have). I've plugged the following rule into excel (attached) to see how it comes out. Rule 1: new dose = old dose - (9% of old dose) - (1% of original dose). You plug the starting dose in and it will always taper to 0 in 24 months. Now this may be to quick for some which brings us to .... Rule 2: If you feel moderate to nasty withdrawal effects then stop and stabilize. After stabilizing restart taper from current dose. (which will also reset the end 0mg end point to 2 years from current dose). Here is an example of the output for a 20mg taper (though just an example!!) Month Dose 1 20.0 2 18.0 3 16.2 4 14.5 5 13.0 6 11.6 7 10.4 8 9.3 9 8.2 10 7.3 11 6.4 12 5.7 13 4.9 14 4.3 15 3.7 16 3.2 17 2.7 18 2.2 19 1.8 20 1.5 21 1.1 22 0.8 23 0.6 24 0.3 25 0.0 I'll probably look to start this from my current 2.5 mg Lexapro , thus aiming to be at 0 in 2 years. Cheers Damien ssri_taper.xlsx
  5. Hi, I have been on olanzapine since December 2014 (2.5 years). I started at 10 mgs, then went to 5 mgs after 2 months. I then dropped to 2.5 mgs. Last August, I started 1.25 mgs day and stayed there until July 2017. I am now doing .625 mg/day since July 6. I am cutting this from a 5 mg pill. I am on no other medications. I stopped seeing my psychiatrist last Aug. I lost my insurance then. I have been doing really well and feel like I will be ok coming off. Even when I was seeing the doctor, I told him I could not stay on this forever as I've gained 30 lbs and I am afraid of diabetis, the dulled effect to my personality and other side-effects. I lapsed into a depression that lasted a few months when dropping under 2.5 mg. I felt with absolute certainty that it was caused from tapering down the medication and not a return of any illness. The depression lifted suddenly back in the spring and I've felt more like my old self than I have in years. The only side-effect I seem to have right now from the taper is difficulty sleeping some nights. It's not every night...probably 3 nights a week that I wake up several times in the night. I don't know where to put my question but I'd like to know if anyone has successfully come off olanzapine (Zyprexa) and when they did the final jump. I am taking such a small crumb of pill that I don't think I can cut it anymore. I am thinking that my next step will be to do .625 every other night. I feel happier today than I ever did while on olanzapine. It depressed the heck out of me and blunted my emotions greatly. I look at this tiny crumb I take every night and wonder if it is doing anything at all. Can anyone direct me where to go to post my questions? Thank you!
  6. ADMIN NOTE This topic is a general discussion of how to make a liquid from drugs. For case-by-case consideration of what YOU should do, please put your questions in an Introductions topic. Do not put those questions in this topic, because such detailed discussion will take it off track and make this topic difficult for others to follow. The moderators will move any questions about YOUR particular case to the Introductions forum. Thank you. For those interested in reviewing pharmacy techniques for making liquid suspensions, see: Pharmlabs Suspensions Suspensions Liquid Dosage Forms Extemporaneously Prepared from Commercially Available Products – Considering New Evidence on Stability- PDF Also see Important topics in the Tapering forum -- find the topic in this list about tapering your specific drug Why taper by 10% of my dosage? Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques From Current Psychiatry: Tablets that may be split or crushed... How to cut up tablets or pills Using a digital scale to measure doses Making a Celexa solution yourself Haywood, 2013 Liquid dosage forms extemporaneously prepared from commercially available products - considering new evidence on stability. (refers to suspensions made with pharmacy liquids) Liquid medications -- use past expiration? A liquid preparation of an antidepressant or other psychiatric drug makes controlled tapering much easier. Taking part of your dosage in tablet form and part in liquid form makes the transition from tablet to liquid go smoothly. Some psychiatric drugs are available from the pharmacy as a liquid, many are not. Compounding pharmacies can make liquids from many medications. A prescription is required for both types of liquid. (Some medications, however, cannot be made into a liquid. Extended-release drugs such as Effexor XR, Cymbalta, and Pristiq are protected by a coating that cannot be broken. To find tips for tapering your particular drug, see Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ .) If a compounding pharmacy is not an option, many people make liquid preparations themselves. (This list from a UK medical group confirms that many drugs can be made into liquids: http://stockportccg.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/34838_Med_Admin_Dysphagia.pdf ) Note: Most do-it-yourself liquids are suspensions -- particles of the drug float around in the liquid, and the mixture needs to be shaken for relatively equal distribution of the particles. How to make a medication in tablet or capsule form into a liquid As an overview, here is a video about making a liquid from a naltrexone tablet. Naltrexone is not a psychiatric drug, but the principles are the same: (Refrigeration of the batch is not necessary while the tablets dissolve. Refrigerate the liquid afterwards, though.) Below are general instructions for making your own liquid with water or pharmacy liquid. Basically, you need - the drug, as a tablet or powder from a capsule - water or Pharmacy liquids to make suspensions - a way to measure the amount of water or pharmacy liquid (oral syringe, pipette, measured container or graduated cylinder) - a clean container with a cap in which to keep your liquid Try to be very consistent with your method every time you make a batch of liquid -- do everything in the same order, with the same equipment. Assemble your equipment 1. Obtain a way to measure the water or pharmacy liquid A 10cc (10mL) or 20cc (20mL) oral syringe (as seen in the video) OR A 100cc (100mL) medicine bottle from the pharmacy. These usually have markings showing 100cc or mL (ask for the cap with the hole in it, so you can fit the oral syringe in it to draw from the bottle). There should be no charge or a very small charge. OR A graduated cylinder marked with ccs or mLs. Graduated cylinders are more exact than oral syringes or medicine bottles and best for large volumes of liquid) 2. A small clean transparent wide-mouthed jar with a water-tight top or an empty tinted plastic medicine container with a top. 3. If your medication is in tablet form, a pill cutter or crusher. (This is optional. You can cut a tablet with a knife and crush it, if necessary, with the back of a spoon.) 4. Depending on how much medication you wish to take, a .5mL, 1mL, 5mL, or 10mL oral syringe to take a measured amount of the drug. How to mix the liquid 1. Prepare the drug. Alternatively, if your medication is in tablet form, you can cut the tablet up into rough quarters with a pill cutter or knife crush the tablet into powder using a pill crusher or mortar and pestle cut it up and carefully crush it with the back of a spoon on a piece of waxed paper If your medication is a powder in a capsule, carefully open the capsule above the container and pour the contents into the bottom of the container. To open a capsule, grasp each end in your fingers and gently twist. The capsule should come apart in the middle. Do this over the open container, to catch the powder in the container. 2. Measure the water (or pharmacy liquid) With an oral syringe: Draw room temperature (not hot, not cold) water into an oral syringe and convey it to the container. A 10mL (10cc) or 20mL (20cc) oral syringe is handy for this purpose.[br][br][br] For example, if you wish to make 30mL of a solution, fill the 10mL syringe 3 times with clean water and inject it into your container. With a graduated cylinder: For example, if you wish to make 30mL of a solution, fill the graduated cylinder to the 30mL mark and pour it into the container. With a 100cc (100mL) medicine bottle: Fill carefully to the 100cc or 100mL line. You'll have to bring the bottle up to your eye level to do this. Please note the measurements on these bottles are less exact than the graduated cylinder. To mix, put the cap on the container, tightly, and shake it gently. You will be able to see particles swirling around in the water (some of the filler used in tablets and capsules is insoluble). Wait until the tablet chunks are dissolved before taking a dose. How much liquid should I use to make my suspension? The only tricky thing about making a solution is creating and remembering the concentration: the ratio of drug to liquid. The easiest concentration is 1:1 or 1mg medication in 1mL solution. Examples: If you want to take 18mg Prozac, for example, you can mix 20mg with 20mL water and take 18mL, which contains 18mg Prozac. You could put a 10mg Paxil tablet in 10mL water for a 1:1 dilution. There would be 1mg in 1mL and 0.1mg in 0.1mL. The 1:1 dilution would require a small 1mL oral syringe. To reduce 10% from 1.1mg, you would take 1mL. Another 10% reduction would be 0.9mL. You may find a 1:1 dilution to be a little thick or grainy. For convenience, you may wish to make a higher dilution of a 10mg tablet in 20mg water for a 1:2 ratio. There would be 1mg in 2mL and 0.1mg in 0.2mL. If you made this liquid, your dose would be 2.2mL (1.1mg). To reduce by 10%, you would take 2mL (1mg). For doses of hundreds of milligrams, you may want to make a higher concentration. Examples: To taper from 100mg Lyrica to 90mg, you can mix 100mg Lyrica in 50mL water, making a 2:1 concentration, each 1mL containing 2mg Lyrica. Or, you can mix 100mg Lyrica in 25mL water, making a 4:1 concentration, each 1mL containing 4mg Lyrica. Keep a note of the concentration! Be sure make a note of your recipe ("100mg Lyrica in 50mL water") and dosage instructions to yourself: "Take 45mL for 90mg Lyrica." What if my medication is "insoluble" in water? About solubility or insolubility, our esteemed member Rhi, who has lab experience, has made many, many homemade liquids: Measure your dose and take it With a liquid, you use an oral syringe to take the dosage you wish. Get your oral syringe ready. Put the cap on the container and shake it gently. (You may see particles swirling around, this is normal.) Using the oral syringe, draw from the middle of the liquid, not from the top -- there may be less drug there, it sinks to the bottom. If your bottle cap has a hole in the top, draw the liquid from the bottle by following these instructions. If this is still confusing, ask your pharmacist to show you how to use an oral syringe Ex: If your liquid is a 1:1 concentration, containing 1mg in 1mL, and you want to take .5mg, you would take .5mL of the liquid. You can adjust the amount you take as you continue your taper. See Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques Also see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-using-an-oral-syringe-and-other-tapering-techniques/page__view__findpost__p__50942 Refrigerate homemade liquids Most homemade solutions may keep for at least a few days, refrigerated. Drugs tend to be degraded by heat and light, which is why pharmacy containers are tinted. Refrigeration delays the growth of bacteria and mold in your homemade liquid, which was not made under sterile conditions. To find tips for your particular drug See Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ . (You can also Google your "medication soluble stability" to see how long yours will keep.) For more information, consult a pharmacist.
  7. Hello everyone, I am a longtime lurker, only first posting now as I get ready to begin my taper from Remeron (Mirtazipine). I am seeking support here for my taper as I cannot count on support from my doctors. My husband is minimal support as he has his own mental health issues and we have a new baby. I'm ready to come off the Remeron mostly because I don't want to be on it forever and I feel like it got me through the hump of the early postpartum period, which was what I needed. I have gained 15-20lb on this med which is annoying because I am not one to gain weight normally, so I know it's the drug. I lost all the baby weight within the first month after I delivered and didn't start Remeron until month 2. I feel tired all the time (though it does help me sleep as i take it at night), and it makes me crave sugar and carbs like crazy. I'm also now starting to experience bodyside joint pain, which I've never had before. That seems to go away somewhat when i eliminate wheat from my diet. I have gotten my doctor to order me a solution of mirtazipine from compounding pharmacy, but after paying $54 fir an Rx that I usually get for free, I think I will try making my own solution using the tablets and the Oraplus I read about in the forums here. I'm nervous to begin my taper because the first time I tried at the beginning of December I went down by a 1/4 tablet for a week and every day I had excruciating headaches. BY the end of that week I was experiencing nausea and anxiety. AS SOON as I reinstated my full dose, all symptoms disappeared. I have a feeling I'll need to begin my taper at 5% rather than 10% given how sensitive I am. I would love to hear some encouraging success stories of coming of this drug slowly, as it seems it will take me long rot get off it that I was even on it to begin with. Other relevant info: I am 5 months post partum, have been on Remeron for 4 of those 5 months. I am married and have another child who is nearly 11 years old. I work part time and used to have regular exercise and meditation practices that have both fallen by the wayside with the new baby. I also can no longer tolerate alcohol. I've been off alcohol for several years (not because of AA or addiction issue, but because it makes me feel awful), and recently I thought I would try a half glass of wine with the holidays. Big mistake. Major depression and anxiety the next day. Good riddance.I'd much rather feel well and not drink at all. I think that's it for now!
  8. Hi, So quick background.. i took LUVOX (fluvoxamine) a few years ago and was able to come off of it safely and with minimum withdrawal. (I reduced 50mg at a time over a few months) (I know this wasn’t the right way to taper but I didnt know at the time) I took Luvox again this year and as I been withdrwaling, I realize it is MUCH harder. I can BARELY withdrawal 10mg at a time and I strongly feel the withdrawal. I been withdrawing less than 5% to. It just does not make sense to me that I withdrew much faster and easier before and now it is so much harder the second time... I don’t think it has todo with my diet or stress. If you Any thoughts as to why this is, it would be great thanks...
  9. Hello, I am new to this site and not sure how it works. Need some info and perhaps some reassurance.; I've been having a history depression and anxiety since my teenage years, I am 49 years old, which I have been able to manage it more or less. I attempted to use the antidepressants but also had an adverse reaction that I was not able/ready to put up with. Yet, living with the depression isn't easy either. In short, yet again, I started taking Lexapro last October in order to deal with the painful state of depression, and did seem to work in the past. I increased the dose very slowly from 2 mg and started feeling much better in January, at the 7 mg. At the same time I started some problems with my memory (to the point of a few seconds of blackouts) , persistent fatigue and lingering morning anxiety, and problems with the night sleep. The psychiatrist dismissed my memory problems, attributed my fatigue to the depression and decided to see if my sleep would approve. He also told me to increase my dose slowly aiming for 15 mg at some point. However, when I reached 8.9 mg, I could hardly function: feelings of being very unwell and under the weather allowed me to function only until lunch time, after which I would need to recline somewhere for the rest of the day. I started tapering on the 24 Mars and today is the 2nd day of 4.25 mg of Lexapro. I didn't follow the 10 per cent protocol, and my doses were fluctuating within 0.5 - 1 mg depending on my physical and emotional symptoms. However, in the last 10 days I've started having a strange heavy sensation in my head, it's difficult to describe, They are not brain-zaps, just uncomfortable feeling: a mix of resembling kind of heaviness, fogginess, slight headache and feeling/sensation. I have put this down to cutting down sugar and change in my diet (transitioning to being vegan). However, this sensation 8 days later is still there. In addition, I have got muscle ache at the minimum effort, have been unable to jog and do much of the physical activities for the past 3 days: stopped exercising, want to isolate, difficult to concentrate and get on with my daily activities. I do have "waves" when I do feel better for an hour upon awaking and yesterday, after I spent 3 hours on the sofa! We are in the process of moving , also need to book a holiday but I am feeling incapable of doing anything. So frustrating! Emotionally, I am not depressed though.... In addition, feeling rather scared, is it due to the antidepressants and will my brain heal and gets "remodeled" back? Have I got some other serious medical condition? In ideal world I would like to get off this drugs that do not work well for me and find some ways of dealing with the anxiety and depression, unfortunately, I did manage in the past to taper off the meds without too many problems only to get depressed 4-9 months later and be back on them. If this is what I feel are withdrawals, I am quite surprised why I had not experienced them in my past tapers? I would really welcome and would greatly appreciate any feedback and input! I also would like to know, if I should wait it out and stabilise on 4.25mg of Lexapro or need to updose it? Thank you in advance F47
  10. Hi all! I am a 28 year old clinical social worker who is currently withdrawing from Lexapro. I work as a medical social worker and spent most of my days helping patients with acute psychiatric and medical issues navigate their daily lives and the health system. As a seemingly experienced practictioner and someone who has battled with mental illness for the better part of 15 years, I thought I was "doing everything right". I went yearssss refusing to go on an SSRI or any medication, leading to my eventually hospitalization in which I still refused any and all medication. Many of us anxious-heavy folks grasp onto "control" to the extent that we would rather suffer immensely than even flirt with the idea of putting foreign chemicals in our bodies. So i suffered, for years. Daily panic attacks, crippling depression, suicidal ideation, agoraphobia. I was eating well, exercising, meditating, going to therapy and nothing was budging. In desperation, I went to my PCP and tried Celexa. Almost immediately I wanted to rip my skin off, I ended up in the ER. Then I tried Zoloft. Same response, skin crawling, vibrating, exhausting anxiety. Back to the ER I went. Retrospectively, I see I was started on doses far too high and should have been given a benzo to assist in the transition, but hindsight is 20/20 and at the time I was an early 20s basket case looking to just get through each hour of the day. These responses prompted me to change providers and go to a psych, as my immediate thought was "I'm bipolar! SSRI's are activating me!!!" as I have a thick family history of bipolarity. By some miracle, I sought out a psych NP with extensive trauma and PTSD experience, was diagnosed with complex PTSD, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and SLOWLY started Lexapro. My psych NP had even consulted with a panic specialist in Boston regarding the slow titration and after about a month, I worked up to 10mg and felt AMAZING. Not euphoric, not happy, but an absents of racing thoughts for the first time in years, SILENCE in my brain, calm in my body. Lexapro saved my life and I am forever grateful for that. So life resumed, I went back to school, got a masters degree, bought a home, got married, and generally did so feeling well. My agoraphobia remained a lingering symptom but I was and am fully aware of the cognitive components so I trudged on with therapy and CBT based treatment. After a few years, the racing thoughts and physical manifestations came back, I bumped up to 20mg and symptoms abated again. Once again, relative stability. But now this past year. My panic reemerged with a vengence. I was meditating, doing CBT, eating well, exercising, getting acupuncture, doing it all "right", even started some EMDR, explored other trauma processing options, the whole she-bang, but still my system was going crazy. My current psychiatrist is also my acupuncturist and is also very cautious to make sweeping med changes. We first got me back into a good acupuncture routine to help with hormones (i also have PCOS). He helped shape my diet, encouraged lifestyle changes, I did it all and still anxiety, panic, vomit. My parasympathetic nervous system was on vacation. So several weeks ago we finally decided to ween off the Lexapro and try Prozax. It was a cross taper that took a month (what I thought was a generous amount of time) but now here I am! Sick as a dog, feeling dissociated, extremely fatigued, nauseous, clouding and generally like ****. I take Alprazolam as a PRN in .5MG and have needed to utilize it daily. I am on Prozac 20mg now and haven't been on Lexapro in 2 weeks. I continue to have the aforementioned symptoms with also the joy of the brain zaps, the sweats, nightmares, and shakiness. As someone in the field, both personally and professionally, I assumed a good cross taper would minimize these symptoms, and that they would dissipate within weeks, yet here I stand a hot-mess. I am grateful to be here sharing my story and look forward to learning more about you all and your own journeys. With solidarity and love
  11. For the past 5 years, I had been on Effexor 37.5 mg. While not a huge dose, I realize how extremely difficult it is to taper off of this drug - along with how difficult it was for me to find information about how to taper. I was finally able to do it, and I'm happy to say I'm totally off of Effexor now! So I'm here to share what I did in hopes it can shed some light on this subject... The psychiatrist I had always gone to only offered one method to taper off of Effexor, which was to take one pill every other day, every two days, etc. For those of you reading this, you know that that is next to impossible with the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. I had done some research online about Effexor tapering, and all I could really find in any capacity was in regards to cutting the pills to slowly taper off. So I called my psychiatrist and requested the tablets instead of the capsules I was taking (which proved to be a pain, and took about 2 weeks to finally get). I tried cutting the tablet Effexor 37.5 mg's into halves, fourths, eights, and sixteenths in order to taper instead of taking the pills every other day. This was highly inaccurate, and after 3 months of decreasing by 10% (3.75 mg for me) per month, I realized this was going to take forever to taper off. I had the intense brain zaps, dizziness, nausea, tiredness, irritability, etc. - all of the symptoms that had motivated me to stay on the medication. I found a new psychiatrist who told me about the Effexor-Prozac bridge. I was skeptical at first because I just wanted to get off of medication completely, but after taking time to think about it, it's NOT worth losing days and nights, time off of work or school, time not being able to be spent with friends and family, just to get off of this horrible medication! Here's what he prescribed me and instructed me to do: Week 1: Take normal dose of Effexor 37.5 mg along with 10 mg Prozac daily Week 2: Take normal dose of Effexor 37.5 mg every other day and 10 mg Prozac daily Week 3: Stop Effexor 37.5 completely (I know, a little intimidating but the symptoms were dramatically less!) and take 10 mg and 5 mg Prozac every other day, daily Week 4 - on: Gradually arrive to 5 mg Prozac daily, then every other day, every two days, every three days, etc. My psychiatrist told me that I could do any of this at my own pace, but to allow at least a week for the Prozac (taken every day) to be in my system. There were some days where I had mild withdrawal symptoms, being a little tired, small brain zaps, a little stomach ache - but nothing that kept me from living my everyday life. Obviously I'm no doctor and can't know anyone else's situation but mine, but I hope this helps just a little!
  12. Hi all, Just wanted to introduce myself, I'm a new user and new to SSRIs. I just start Paroxetine on 5/1/17 as part of treatment for PMDD, which has been exacerbated post-partum. My daughter is 16 months and I felt very strongly that it was time to deal with the returning depression that I have had and ignored for 10 years. Being pregnant was the best mood stabilizer I had experienced in a long time and it taught me that I could feel better and be a better version of myself. But now I've started Dr. Kelly Brogan's book "Mind of Our Own" and though I knew that I never wanted to be on an SSRI permanently, I want to begin tapering ASAP. I haven't been on this medication too long and I am so hoping that this makes tapering—albeit slowly—consequence free. Advice, recommendations, etc. are welcome. Isabella
  13. Hello everyone. This is a little lengthy post although I tried to keep it shorter ... I have a history of depression going back to 2008 after stressful job. In 2012 I started feeling better and was on Viepax and Zyprexa (Olanzapine) at that time. Started running 2 miles a couple times per week and also started spending more time at the beach. Felt mood improvement to the point of feeling euphoric or maybe hypomaniac, which is a good thing for me. Went from 253lbs to 190lbs and it seemed all was good as I felt there was a direction I was going, a progress. Last summer started feeling anxious. I was overexercising because it helped me to maintain focus on my business. Every time I felt relief, sharp mind and could focus and accomplish a lot of tasks. I think I have pushed myself too far and became out of balance. As a consequence I have suffered anxiety and depression. I had suicidal thoughts because I felt guilty and failed to reach a goal that I had. I thought I needed medication that would relieve anxiety and depression that I experienced in the morning. On February 2017 I went to psychiatrist who without reinventing the wheel prescribed me Zyprexa because it was last medication that I took before I felt better. Had I known the side-effects this medication causes I would not go to psychiatrist at all. All I needed was anxiety and stress relief because I thought once these are taken care of, this would relieve depression too. What I got was weight gain of 11lbs despite being active and eating well. It became harder to wake up and exercise as I became less motivated. I became a bit slower and noticed it was harder to focus on daily business tasks. Having heard that Zyprexa is a toxic drug that affects metabolism and causes fatty liver I decided to taper. I would be better without it because my problems were not that big of a deal when you weight in trade-off. I didn't want to gain weight that I worked hard to reduce and get in shape. As I lately started tapering with 1.25mg and had missing days of medication I experienced total depression and I don't know whether it was withdrawal symptoms or something that would happen either way. I had those days with depression before I started taking Zyprexa, so I don't know. To describe, I was waking up late and had no motivation whatsoever to do anything, despite I had a lot to do. It's like all the tasks became blurred and world turned upside down. I think I was finding happiness in food only and after eating, I would go to sleep. A complete empty feeling with no purpose to live for. After reading about tapering I understand that I started tapering and reduced dosage too soon. It is recommended to taper at 10% every 2-3 weeks. I did go from 5mg to 2.5mg and to missing dosage. It was less gradual than it is supposed to. Zyprexa does not have divider marks so I am not sure how to make it exact and less than 1/4 portion. The day before yesterday I missed the dosage intentionally and felt bad yesterday until I went outside in the evening and felt better. I took the 1.25mg dosage 4 hours later in the evening than I used to because I didn't want to experience withdrawal. Today feels good. What wold be your advice to someone who went significantly faster from normal dosage to low dosage and no dosage? Should I get back on 2.5mg and taper off at 10% or 1.25mg and taper at 10%? Within how many weeks should I adjust taper? See my signature for my tapering timeline. Thanks. Thank you!
  14. I was recently referred to benzo buddies http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?board=89.0for more success stories. I found tons success stories just for the year of 2017, and most are from much shorter tapering (less than a year). Wow, so we who are on ssri are in the worst hit of all, in the order of street drugs, benzo, SSirs with increasing difficulty in withdrawal???!!! This new awareness is very heart hardening.
  15. I'm taking 10mg Paxil I took 5mg before to which I experienced irritability, mood worsening and increased anxiety so im back to 10mg. My pdoc prescribed 20mg Prozac to take with 10mg Paxil for a month. I know tho deep down that he wants me to take an ssri and stay on it (e.g Prozac) for I don't know how long. This is a new pdoc. The previous one doesn't even want me off Paxil for f sake! Anyway, my plan is Week 1: 10mg Paxil, 10mg Prozac Week 2: 5mg Paxil, 10mg Prozac Week 3: 0mg Paxil, 10mg Prozac then stay on Prozac for a month then taper slowly (10% each month) Would this work?? Please help! P.s I've seen this post here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1463-the-prozac-switch-or-bridging-with-prozac/ but im confused which method works best.
  16. Hi all, For my 10% taper, I crush my lexapro and weigh it. I usually weigh on wax paper and then dump it into a scoop of yogurt to ingest. I started my tapering in January and have been more or less sticking to 10% taper every 4-6 weeks. I honestly feel better and better the less I take, but am nervous at this point. My withdrawal the first time from quitting cold turkey was awful. I'm down to 1.82mg and feeling pretty good. Has anyone tried filling gel caps? It would be quicker for me to fill up a bunch of caps instead of weighing every morning. Will the gel caps interfere with the lexapro powder at all? I tried filling one, and am confident I am filling properly. It just looks strange because the powder sticks to the walls of the capsule and gets all dispersed in the cap. Do you think the gel caps affect absorption? Best, Atium
  17. Hello Everyone I am new here. This is my first ever post to a form of any kind. I am currently tapering off Pristiq 10 percent per month under the care of my specialist. I was prescribed Pristiq in July/August of 2010 by my GP. Over the years, I have made several failed attempts at stopping the Pristiq as I found the process just too difficult while trying to balance the responsibilities of my career. I resigned from my position in 2016 and have been tapering since November 2016. So far so good, but it has been a long, emotional and isolating process. I still have some struggle every time I reduce my dosage, and it would be great to have the support of others who understand what I am going through. I also hope my journey can be of help to someone else.
  18. Hi all, Long story short. Was anorexic last year until Christmas, starting recovering from that/weight restoring in January 2016. One of the ED therapists I worked with told me anxiety peaks once weight it restored, which happened (although didn't learn this until recently) - end of April 2016 I went into psychiatric hold because the anxiety was making me suicidal. Big mistake. Doc there put me on 20mg of Citalopram. For the next month I did therapy which along with an occasional Benzo resolved the anxiety. By May the Citalopram kicked in, with all its side effects. Extreme nausea, dry heaving, insomnia, weight gain, hunger cues messed up (already were from anorexia, but worsened), acne, gynecomastia, swollen fingers, fatigue - so bad (daily nausea was excrutiating) I nearly killed myself at the end of June. But I finally found a good doc, who through the next month of tests, determined it was the meds. Began tapering first day in August, 20 mg to 15 mg. Took a supp called Serosyn with 5HTP, L-theanine, and B vitamins. Withdrawal consisted of chapped lips in in the first week, increased hunger (I could be full but my brain still screamed to eat), fatigue (different form than when on 20 mg), wired feeling and weight gain. Leveled off a bit after 3 weeks, although I should have stayed there longer (but I didn't because the effects of 20 mg have been so bad that I've been trying to get off asap). 2 and a half weeks ago went down to 10 mg. Like before, chapped lips in the first week, wired feeling persisting, continued weight gain, and insatiable hunger. As before the lips are healing, but the hunger is still messed up (early fullness, insatiable hunger). Tired still, waking up hungry even after eating a lot at night. Haven't exercised in 8 months - first b/c of anorexia recovery, by now b/c exercise messes up my hunger cues/I cannot seem to physically eat enough. Worried I've been too aggressive with the taper, and that I'm doing irreparable damage to my nervous system. I wonder if I should reinstate 15 mg (scared it won't help/cause more complications) and start a slower taper? Seriously scared reinstating will mess things up even more, but equally scared that I've dropped too fast and have messed up my nervous system irreparably (and that my hunger cues/weight, which have been messed since starting anorexia recovery, are doomed for life). tl;dr: 20 mg citalopram was full of terrible side effects, dropped to 15 and then to 10 pretty quickly, and paying the price; wondering if I should wait it out for another week to see if anything improves like the 20-15 drop, or reinstate 15 and go slower from there (also scared I'm ruined for the rest of my life, I've had to quit a lot of things because of this damn med). On the bright side, gynecomastia, acne, and such are improving as expected. But this messed up hunger is getting at me (as is the weight gain and general crap feeling that I've had ever since starting this med).
  19. I work around a lot of physically vulnerable people, and don't want to expose them to the flu. So, in most years, I get a flu shot. But I'm nervous about getting the shot while I'm doing my AD taper. Has anyone else gotten a flu shot while tapering? Did you react differently compared with when you'd previously had the shot? Did it aggravate your WD symptoms? Thanks for your thoughts and feedback. -Mtnbkr
  20. Hello everyone, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 1 when I was 15. It's been 12 years and I have taken quite a few different medications over those 12 years. I've been up and down but the overall tone has been either having manic episodes or being numbed out. I now often sleep for 12 to 13 hours a day, sometimes more and I feel tired and numb in the head. I have no passion or spark. Last year in 2012 I saw a video on youtube by BipolarorWakingup and it hit me like a lightning bolt. For a few days I felt strange. It awakened a part of me I had completely forgotten and I felt like a part of me had been vindicated. From when I was first diagnosed with the condition, a condition which was triggered by a medication (Paxil) in the first place, I knew that taking medications was wrong and not the solution. I knew it and resisted as long as I could but in the end as a 15 year old, I was forced to take it. And slowly but surely I was convinced by the people in my life, the doctors and the community at large that I had something wrong with me and that I needed to take medications for the rest of my life. Sean Blackwell (BipolarorWakingup) burst open that door and that deep part of me that knows truth said YES, YES this is truth. And since then I've been investigating how to do this, how to taper off. I've been reading quite a few books since then: 1. Am I Bipolar or Waking Up? by Sean Blackwell 2. Spiritual Emergency by Stanislav Grof M.D. and Christina Grof 3. Healing the Split by John E. Nelson. M.D. 4. Kundalini Yoga Meditation Techniques Specific for Psychiatric Disorders, Couples Therapy and Personal Growth by David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa And then a few weeks ago I found out about this website. To see people tapering off medications and succeeding is wonderful beyond words. It is so excellent and I would really appreciate your support in doing this myself. My psychiatrist seemed to be on board with the idea a year ago but I've had about one to two manic episodes in June and it seems that because of those episodes he has changed his mind. He has now relinquished his support in tapering off my meds. I would consider the manic episodes I had to be more like spiritual emergencies since I was much more clear than my previous manic episodes and I was in touch with consensual reality. In the second episode I had learned from the first episode and I even prevented a hospitalization. It's strange because previously he told me if I can get my ego strength high enough I can have a spiritual emergency. I also suggested he read Healing the Split which is written by a psychiatrist who is or was (may be retired) in good standing with the psychiatric community. He agreed to but never did. In any case, he told me I could get a second opinion and I got a referral to another psychiatrist who I am currently waiting to see. In the mean time, if you guys can give me some suggestions on how to taper off my medications I would really appreciate it. This new psychiatrist may say no as well so I might have to do this on my own. I notice there is a tapering off guide here. I was wondering if you guys could offer specific instructions for the particular medications I'm taking. Here are the medications I am currently taking. I have been taking them for about three years. The Olanzapine was increased after my two "manic" episodes from 1.25 mg to 2.5 mg back in June. Once a day at night I take: 1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg 2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg It also says PMS before and after each drug name on the prescription label. I don't know what that stands for. I don't think it's premenstrual syndrome. Thank you so much. GreenFlameTiger
  21. So when I went to pick up my first batch of liquid Mirtazipine, I asked the pharmacist who the manufacturer was because I am sensitive to the difference in manufacturers for the same drug. He proceeded to tell me that "industry standard" for all pharmaceuticals is somewhere between 10-20% ( I think thats what he said, I can't remember exactly) as far as actual drug concentration goes. So, the 45mg tablets he used to make my liquid suspension could have 10-20% more or less than 45mg each. I am so sensitive that now I wonder how I'll ever start my taper. I went from 15mg tablets of one manufacturer taken for the last 5 months to doubling up on 7.5mg tablets of a new manufacturer (Aurobindo) so that I could slowly adjust to that "brand" before moving to the liquid suspension because the liquid was made from Aurobindo tablets at a compounding pharmacy. I just so happened to have these 7.5mg Aurobindo tabs left over from before I upped my dose, otherwise I would have just gone straight to the liquid and dealt with the adjustment. Anyway, I have been on the new manufacturer for over a week and have been getting on and off intense headaches (my main WD symptom from an earlier taper trial of 25% cuts) and I don't understand why. Could it be that the concentration of these tablets is so different from what I was using that maybe they are causing WD symptoms even though I have't begun to cut my dose? I have 15 days worth left on the Aurobindo (now in a new Rx of 15mg tabs) and then I move to the liquid. I just don't know what's causing these headaches but I am inclined to believe they are withdrawal because they do not respond to ANY of my usual remedies. Any ideas?? Thanks in advance. Also, please let me know if I need to move this post to a different forum page.
  22. Hello everyone, First I must say you are all awesome. The level of support and understanding is amazing! Sending lots of good vibes to all of you! So let's jump right in, I am currently taking the following medication. Wellbutrin (75MG) to counteract the zombieness feeling of Lexapro, 10mg of Buspar - three times a day - love this medication 2.5 mg of Lexapro - reduced from 10 mg since November. First, I want to mention that the reason I got on SSRI was due to General Anxiety Disorder. The Lexapro helped for a while but then it "pooped out" and it started to make me feel like a Zombie. The Wellbutrin did help with motivation but also caused even more anxiety especially with all the medication ( I reduced from 150mg to 75mg to lower anxiety) . Last month, I was given Buspar and OMG I LOVE IT. Buspar has for the most part eliminated the anxiety so I am very grateful. However the only issue I am having now is the constant fatigue and lack of motivation. I can stay in bed all day and have no desire to go out. I also have issues with having a good time and enjoying time with friends. Should I continue the tapering the Lexapro every 2 weeks (from 2.5 mg to 2.0mg) and perhaps increase my Wellbutrin to help with fatigue ? ( My doctor informed me that I could increase the Wellbutrin to 150mg if needed , but I don't want to mess to much with the nervous system.
  23. Hey everyone, Hope you all are doing well! So, I've been taking sertraline since I was 19. I started at 50 mg and ended up at 100 mg for a couple of years. I weaned down to 50 mg until I had a severe depressive episode at age 23 and worked up to 200 mg combined with risperdal. I came off the risperdal within a year but stayed on the sertraline. About 3 years later, I started to taper down. I went down 50 mg at one time and felt truly awful but stuck with it. I then tried a 25 mg drop but got really sick, not realizing that it was the medicine causing it. I went back to 150 until I was over my "sickness." After realizing that the withdrawals were making me sick, I tried different rates of drops over the course of a year. Sometimes 10 mg, sometimes 5 mg, sometimes 1/3 mg until I reached 100 mg. That was about a year ago; I'm now 29 and I still don't feel right. I'm anxious, fatigued, cloudy-minded and sick most of the time. So here are my questions: When should I expect to "level out?" I would like a period of feeling normal before I start back on my taper, but is that naive? Should I just keep tapering now? Furthermore, if these withdrawal side effects are permanent, shouldn't I stop tapering to prevent further damage? Any practical advice would be helpful. Thanks!
  24. Hello all, i am new and on quite the cocktail and i realize that withdrawing will take a significant amount of time. 3 weeks ago my doctor went from 25mg Zyprexa to 20mg voluntarily. Yesterday i went from 75mg Trazodone to 62.5mg. drug, morning dose, noon dose, evening dose, nighttime dose: Seroquel XR 300-0-0-0 Seroquel 0-0-0-650 Zyprexa 2.5-0-2.5-15 Trazodone 62,5-0-0-0 Venlafaxine 0-0-0-37,5 Metformin 500-0-500-1000 I have OCDish side effects from those and that sucks. Regards Julian
  25. Hello, I am looking for some success stories from those who have tapered successfully especially after having kindled. I suspect that I am supersensitive to drops because of too fast tapers and cold turkeys. I am having some anxiety from even thinking about tapering and the years it would take me to get off the drugs I'm on. Anyone's experience is much appreciated.