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  1. Hi, After reading many many posts, I'm more confused than ever ... I just obtained a prescription to have Pristiq compounded and reduced by 10% of current dose each month in hopes of getting off this beast. After reading some of the posts, it appears that it may not be a good idea to compound this drug because of the extended release properties of the 50mg pill. Is there anyone on this site that has had success tapering off of this drug using a compound pharmacy to do a 10% taper per month? I"m now nervous to get the prescription filled after reading some of the posts. I contacted the compound pharmacy (Guardian Drugs in Toronto, Canada) and they have the same reservations about crushing the extended release tablets as they tell me, that while they can do it, they don't know exactly how the compounded drug with react in my system. In compounding it, the drug will most likely be weaker (by exactly how much they can't say with any accuracy) and therefore she cannot say with any certainty whether or not it will cause withdrawal symptoms which I am desperate to avoid. Tried to taper off about five years ago (second or third try) by cutting the pill and reducing it gradually and had such bad withdrawal symptoms, I thought I was going to go mad so back on the stupid drug I went. The compounding pharmacy offered to call my family doctor and suggest to her that I switch to Effexor (75mg) which she said is equivalent to 50mg of Pristiq. She said that Effexor is much easier to come off of and much easier to compound. She said it didn't sound like my family doctor has much experience with coming off antidepressants (don't think my doctor is alone on this point). She also suggested reducing the Effexor by 5% each month rather than 10% to help avoid withdrawal altogether. She said it is better to taper very gradually and to take as long as possible to get off these drugs. Even a year or more sounded reasonable to her. So I guess my questions are (1) is it feasible/best approach to switch to Effexor to taper or am I just switching to a different beast even more difficult to get off of? (2) should I just get the Pristiq compounded and hope for the best ... ? (3) better suggestions/experience than the above two points? I would really like to get off of Pristiq, have been on anti-depressants far too long and never able to get off of them properly because of the horrific withdrawal symptoms so basically I've been held hostage by a little pill and would like my life back. Tired of feeling flat and not having any real emotions and don't want to Stepford Wife/Walking Dead it anymore. I've been taking 50mg of Pristiq for about 7 years and prior to that was on Effexor extended release 37.5 x 2 for about the same amount of time. Any suggestions from people with experience getting off these drugs would be most welcomed and appreciated. Thank you for reading.
  2. Hello, I am currently tapering Luvox and I went from 222 mg to 220 mg. I am doing this very slow. However, even with this little taper LESS THAN 1%.. I still feel terrible symptoms.. my head feels really weird and it feels like I’m having a out of body experience... I dont get why because even tho I’m tapering so slow but I somehow still have withdrawal symptoms! I don't mind withdrawal symptoms but I didn't expect it to be this bad on such a low taper.... is this normal ? I was thinking maybe it is because I had caffeine (jasmine tea) a few days into the taper by accident and I know that interacts with luvox.. but I’m just pretty confused because I was steady on 222 mg for a few months. -side note... I went from 223 mg to 222mg in the past and it was awful but I think that was because I was bouncing the dose around to much then as I had a lot caffeine that ‘interacted’ with it. I was on 222mg steady no interactions for a few months until I dropped to 220 mg this week... I just had the tea which could have interacted with it.. I don't know if that would cause my taper to go bad. Thank you~
  3. I am an almost 30 year old wife and mom of 2 beautiful kiddos. I stumbled across this website while trying to figure out if the current issues I have been having were from tapering off of Zoloft in November 2017. I started SSRI's (Paxil) at 11 years when diagnosed with OCD tendencies. (recurring thoughts, perfection/control issues). Switched to Celexa after weight gain issues after starting Paxil. Had issues with body image and eating (over eating and restriction). I started restricting heavily and binging and purging at 20 years old and was switched to Prozac. I also was on adderall for ADHD in my early 20's for a brief period. (I was mostly concerned about not being able to concentrate, brain fog, and irritability). I was diagnosed as anorexic with bulimic tendencies at inpatient care for eating disorder at 24 (2012). Had a couple of relapses after inpatient, but then became pregnant in 2013 and haven't relapsed since. I switched to Zoloft (100 mg) during early pregnancy (2013). In Summer of 2017 I realized that my medication didn't seem to be helping me at all anymore. I suffered from insomnia, irritability, fatigue, and brain fog. I decided to taper from the 100mg of Zoloft I was on. I dropped to 75 mg for a month, then 50 mg for a month, 25 mg for a month, and have been medication free as of November 2017!!! I had no withdrawal symptoms, but still had irritability, insomnia, fatigue, and brain fog. In February 2018 I started getting super itchy at night. I would get hives and I couldn't fall asleep. It was maddening!!! I switched laundry detergents, made sure I used fragrance free soap. I took all the normal precautions for skin issues and nothing helped. I tried relaxing through the issues and it has helped the itching, but I have developed Dermatographia (skin writing). I will get hive like marks where clothes rubs or any extra stimulation has occured on my skin (for example: if I carry a bag, I get tons of hive like marks where the bag was resting in the exact shape of the bag handles) Skin issues seem to occur more in the evening hours, but still can happen during the day, usually more mild. I do sometimes get a burning/tingly sensation in areas (usually hands or feet), but that goes away rather quickly. In April 2018, I started a new job and have had less issues with insomnia. Just a random night here and there where it is difficult to sleep, but I work a 12 hour rotation on first shift and have 2 young children, so that could very well play into that 😉 I also started having recurring stomach issues. Lots of gas/bloating. Sometimes it is super painful. I get so bloated at times I look like I'm in early pregnancy! It is usually more painful during the evening hours. I have diarrhea/loose stools every day. I do follow a balanced Vegan diet (dairy and egg introlerances) and I am very active, but it has never seemed to be an issue before. The fatigue just has me constantly feeling like I want to take a nap and thinking of picking up my 30 pound toddler or walking up a flight of stairs just exhausts me. It's hard to even push my kids on the swings. My last period was March 5th and I have never been this late (NOT pregnant.... husband has a vasectomy and I took 5 tests 😆) I am unsure of whether this is a result of being off of SSRI's or if it is a different health issue. It is driving me crazy trying to figure it out!!! I just want to enjoy my time with my family and function properly. I have a doctor appointment in June for a pap and to talk about my symptoms, but wanted to see if anyone else has went through something similar (and I honestly think the doctor may tell me I'm crazy-- lol). 💜a7xbabydoll 2000 - Paxil A few months later - Celexa 2010 - Prozac 2012 - Brief period of Adderall 2013 - Zoloft (100 mg) 8/2017 - 75 mg, 9/2017 - 50 mg, 10/2017 - 25 mg November 2017 - MED FREE!!!
  4. You could call me a psychotropic veteran. I hope soon to become a recovering, zero-tolerance advocate against most things psychotropic. My family history of depression is that it was really tough; heartbreaking in fact; so much so that I was wary of my own mental health and open to the use of SSRIs when they appeared in the early 1990s. I started with Prozac and ran through the gamut of similar meds - so much so that I can't bring myself to bore you with a detailed description. Suffice it to saw that no matter what the SSRI or SNRI or whatever (even some Klonopin, Buspar, etc.), they would work great for a little while, then not so much at all. Psychiatrists, being how they were trained, upon my complaints would immediately throw higher doses at me or switch to a new miracle med. Every dose increase was followed by even more anxiety, bruxism, hyperactivity, GI problems, etc. New drugs soon became not so new and I floundered on. After decades of this, last fall I was diagnosed not with depression or anxiety but with what has apparently become the latest buzz illness: bipolar. Ah, Bipolar II even! Eureka! Still being somewhat naive, gullible, and insecure, I started a new class of drugs: Lamotrigine, Gabapentin accompanied by a longtime standard, Buspar. The last six months have brought no more relief then what I got from SSRIs. It has brought weight gain, such swelling of my legs that I couldn't sleep, and four unexplained and ridiculously painful urinary tract infections - abacterial infections that mimicked bacterial ones but that couldn't be relieved with antibiotics. Finally, I put my scientific, medical and research hats on and figured out that Gapapentin was causing the leg edema and weight gain. Slowly I tapered that off. Next, I learned that Lamotrigine can cause the abacterial UTIs/bladder spasms in women my age. My GP didn't catch it; neither did the prescriber. Of course, the prescriber doesn't even want to consider the possibility of such a side effect. UGH! I am now down from 200mgs of Lamotrigine to 25mg, with the vaginitis/bladder pain diminishing along with the med. I'm seeing a urologist on Monday and hope to confirm my own diagnosis: Lamotrigine (and possibly Gabapentin as well) were what caused a miserable last six months of vaginitis, mimicked UTIs, etc. By chance, I moved to a new city recently and found a new psychologist who turned out to be as skeptical and disgusted by the pharmaceutical industry as I am. She actually laughed at the bipolar diagnosis ("You're NOT bipolar!!!"); then I did too. Without her encouragement and support I wouldn't have found the internal strength to defy my prescriber's advice and slowly get off this stuff. I might have been worried that my new psychologist was an anomaly, but apparently not. There are many psychologists and psychiatrists out there, with small voices in the wind, beating drums about the dangers of meds that have undetermined etiologies; chronic side effects and no definitive studies of their long-term effects. I see a light on the horizon for the first time. So far, I'm doing pretty well. I have to stay vigilant about self-care, which is against my nature. Daily, I must meditate to increase the Alpha waves destroyed by such longterm use of antidepressants. I have to eat healthily, exercise A LOT and not drink alcohol. I have a lot of anger at what the pharmaceutical industry has done and continues to do in a country that used to hold companies accountable, but I'm planning on channeling that anger to where it will do some good. It took me a long time, but I'm finally accepting and acknowledging that when the FDA-listed possible side effects of a medication FOR depression or FOR anxiety IS depression and/or anxiety; SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG! Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years, and having seen and learned things I can't unsee, I carry some guilt; but that, too, is motivating. I am very happy to have found these forums and this site. I would appreciate any encouragement and really hope I can keep this drive off these ridiculous medications strong and get through these last bits of tapering. Thank you for "listening."
  5. I am diagnosed with Bi-Polar II. In January 2017 I was prescribed 50 mg/day of QUEtiapine. May dosage was increased to 100mg/day; and September increased to 200 mg/day. I’ve been suffering severe side effects to include skin rashes, chronic fatigue, insomnia, shin splints, significant weight gain, and change in food tastes and smells. I told my Physiatrist I wanted to change my medication so he prescribed me Aripiprazole 5mg/day. After researching this drug, I quickly realized its in the same family of anti-psychotic drugs with the same if not worse side effects. I took it at bed the first night I purchased the prescription and experienced a frenzy night of insomnia; tossing and turning all night in a bed of soggy sweat. I’ve decided to not take the Ariprazole and instead, taper myself off the QUEtiapine and off anti-psychotic drugs in their entirety. I’m going to attempt to taper in a shorter period of time than what is recommend on this site. I will start with 175 mg/day for 5 days and if all goes well will continue tapering down every 5 days.
  6. Hello everyone! I am a new user here. I've lurked around this site before but have yet to introduce myself. I was a Prozac user for a year from August 2015 - September 2016. I had taken it for social and general anxiety. I was on 20mg/day. Initially, I was actually doing fine and great emotionally but had side effects like massive fatigue everyday (not even 3 cups of coffee could wake me up!) and constipation every time I went to poop (sorry for TMI). I also felt like a zombie for a brief period in which I was neither happy nor sad. In May 2016, I decided to abruptly stop taking the Prozac by choice without consulting my doctor (bad move!) and had brain zaps and mood swings which I assumed as worsening depression. I then just asked my doctor to simply increase my dose because I thought I was getting worse (bad move again!). I was put on 40mg/day from June - August 2016 in which I was ok at first but then I was hit with a panic attack so severe I had to rush to the ER. For that week, I was having very severe symptoms. So I was instructed to go back down to 20mg/day. From then on, I decided to stop taking it a few months ago in September because I felt better and didn't want to rely on medication anymore to make me happy. I consulted with my psychiatrist who said for me to just take 10mg for one month and then I can stop. I did just that. Over the month of October I was fine and felt completely normal. However, I realized symptoms would come later once the month of November started. I have since felt every type of symptom under the sun including brain zaps, hot flushes, insomnia, irritability, tingling sensation of the skin, anxiety, shortness of breath, sweating, tremors, and slight vertigo. I have never felt these symptoms in my life til now! I've talked to my doctor and he doesn't believe in withdrawals. At this point I feel helpless. I am experiencing waves and windows in which I have waves of really bad flare ups and then windows of good normal days where I feel fine. But they keep cycling back and forth. I now have questions to ask: 1. Do windows of no symptoms mean that my body is getting better? 2. Should I reinstate the Prozac and taper off more gradually? Someone suggested I shouldn't because I've already been clean for 3 months now. But what do you guys think? 3. Will symptoms go away if I keep pushing cold turkey? 4. Should I try medical weed to help ease tthe symptoms? I want to try natural ways of healing
  7. Hi. Was taking 4 mg of risperidone for two months. Suddenly stopped taking it for a week (didn't notice any withdrawal). Then took 2 mg for two weeks (approved by psychiatrist). Then took 1 mg for two weeks (approved by psychiatrist). Have not noticed any withdrawal symptoms. Asked psychiatrist if it was okay for me to suddenly go from 4 mg to 2 mg, and then 2 mg to 1 mg. She said it was okay since I hadn't been showing any symptoms. I have read that withdrawal symptoms can surface after months or even a year after you stop taking it. I am not sure what that person's credibility was. I have also read, from a .org website that the withdrawal symptoms are mild and rare. I have stopped taking the 1 mg for almost a week, and I am wondering if I will be alright. I have not noticed any withdrawal symptoms, and I feel like I will still be seeing my psychiatrist for a little while at least. I am also wondering if it is true that withdrawal symptoms can surface months or even a year after you stop taking the medication. That just seems far-fetched to me. Any help is appreciated!
  8. Centime

    Converting mgs. to pill weight

    I have a mg. scale, and know how much one 10 mg. Paxil tablet weighs. I can easily figure how to cut it by 10%, then 10% of that dose, and so forth. But the site asks that we report our tapering progress in mg.s. How do I covert pill weight back to mg.s? I’m bad at math. Can anyone help me with this? Thank you!
  9. Hello forum! Female, 33, Sweden. Have been on Paroxetine, 20mg, for more than 5 years. In April 2017 I had my first major panic attack and ended up in the ER. My life completely changed and I developed panic disorder along with some GAD. Though the GAD may have been the underlying cause of panic, I don't really know. Since September 2017 I have been reducing my dose of Paroxetine, and am now on 10mg. Somewhere in December I got down to 10mg and thought I'd wait until I'm stable at this dose before continuing my taper. I have been using the Claire Weekes-method of trying to completely relax in the face of panic, and I seem to only have smaller attacks now. Palpitations have lessened, and I am less startled by my nervous system signaling panic. I have lately been feeling very off-balance/dizzy and sometimes theres an intense feeling of anxiety and dread in my body. Feels like there are bugs crawling around inside. Weird buzzing nerves? Dizziness is so bad I have to lie down sometimes. Last night I was holding on to the walls when moving around in my house. Feels like I'm losing my balance all the time, even when sitting on the toilet, but I can stand on one leg and walk in a straight line. So it seems to be some sort of misinterpretation happening in my brain, rather than an actual problem with my balance. Now to my question: When I wake up in the morning I usually feel perfectly fine. It is after taking Paroxetine that all of the horrible sensations start, and they seem to calm down slightly in the evening. Is this normal during withdrawal? Or does it sound more like I'm having actual adverse reactions to Paroxetine? They sort of worked until I developed panic disorder. But I clearly remember growing increasingly fearful and illogical during several months before I had that massive panic attack. Thank you in advance.
  10. Hi all, This is my first post here and my first real attempt at tapering off of all psychiatric medications. A very brief background, I have been on 20+ medications since I was 12, ranging from antidepressants, mood stabilizers, benzodiazepines, anti-convulsants, anti-psychotics, and sleep drugs. I am 22 now and finally, (sober this time) investigating some of the core issues that caused me to self medicate-via doctor and drug dealer-and I'm ready to really sit with my emotions and feel them fully. Currently I am on Lithium-1050mg, Gabapentin-600mg, Celexa-5mg I have been reading as much as I can on comingoff.org and SA and would like to prepare myself and set myself up for success. From what I understand 10% taper is ideal. I am not in any hurry, I just want this to be as positive experience as possible so this is fine. I met with my psychiatrist today and she had some smaller dosages prescribed for me and is on board and on my team for which I am thankful. I am wondering if there are other things I can do smartly prepare. I read briefly about remineralization but am not sure what that entails. Any foods, supplements, behaviors that would ease me into this journey? Ideas? Thoughts? I start this process April 1st and will post updates. Thank you!
  11. DoctorMussyWasHere

    Tapering calculator at ReversePsychiatry.org

    Announcing.. Reverse Psychiatry - Taper a calculator
  12. Does anybody have experience with tapering off 5 mg of Lexapro? I have been on for 8 weeks and wish to come off.
  13. Aargh! My head feels like when you go down an elevator too fast, pressure. Only opening your mouth and yawning do no good. I can't focus, think, sleep...My Dr. is attempting to remove Cymbalta from my regimen. He is suspecting that it may be causing or contributing to an ongoing bout of diarrhea that fails to respond to traditional or prescribed medications. I have to reduce it to zero and stay off for at least a week before I can begin a new medication. Surprisingly, not as much pain as I expected, but not quite off of it either. I drove to see my daughter yesterday and almost didn't make it home on my own. Crying jags and confusion. No driving for awhile. Struggling at this dose to cope with daily activities.
  14. My introductory post. I have a sleep disorder associated with Fibromyalgia. Fibro also is associated with anxiety and depression and inability to relax the muscles. So, Venlafaxine has been a real help for me to live a normal life for 20 years. But I'm 68 and want to get off. Today is the 6th day following a failed tapering, my second. My first tapering was a year ago. I have a terrible sleep disturbance: I have a panic attack while falling asleep. My husband is helping me find a better psychiatrist, one who is experienced with both a sleep disorder and tapering. But this time around as I tried to fall asleep a loud buzzing sound and vibrating sensation occurred inside my right nasal passage. As I type this I am aware it sounds unbelievable. It's so embarrassing. "Doctor, I have a bee in my nose." Well, I googled "my own snoring wakes me up" and found Sleep-Doctor http://sleep-doctor.com/blog/does-your-own-snoring-wake-you-up-from-sleep/ . Anyone have a similar weird sleep disorder? I bet it was due to tapering - some kind of neurological trauma. I'm exhausted. Last night I finally slept through the night.
  15. I am using Paxil for 19 years now and decided together with my doctor to bring the dose down and eventually stop altogether. Everything is stable in my life, and the summer is coming in Alaska. I went from 60mg to 40mg in a few months, but I experience flu like symptoms now. After looking on the web I found this site with success stories about slowly tapering. I am going up to 50mg now and as soon as I am stable will start tapering.
  16. Hello, Everyone here seems really wonderful and pretty knowledgable. I am trying to get off Lithium and Risperidone. But I need to do it safely as I am in college and can't take time off like I would like to. It seems it is hard to get off of these meds for many people. I got the "ok" from my doctor to get off of them, as I was only on them to begin with because of some traumatic things that happened in my life and I needed help adjusting.. however my doctor isn't really practicing anymore it seems.. its impossible to get ahold of her, so I am trying to figure out how to do this on my own. I really feel I am ready to be off of them yet cannot find a clear answer on the web as the how to do it. Can anyone help me? I have a very long history with medications (I was pretty sick for about 10 years.. only some of the meds are listed in my signature, mostly just ones during my worst) and while getting off of them, I never had withdrawals from any of them besides Citalopram. Currently, I am on 4.5mg of Risperidone and have been for a couple of years and I am on 1200mg of Lithium and have been on it for the same amount of time. I'm not sure if weight/height/age matter for getting off medications but in case it does I am 5'2 124lbs and am 24 years old. I would like to know how slowly I have to go off of these in order for it to not really effect much of my life or if I just need to be prepared to feel awful. Also, should I go one at a time? And if so, which medication should I start with? I am also on Amitriptyline. I deal with depression sometimes. Will going off of Lithium and Risperidone effect my mood? Also, when I was sick those years, I lived in a room and never left, it effected me very much. Thats why I am on Lithium and Risperidone now. When I re-entered society, it was pretty scary and created a lot of anxiety. Just having to ask someone a question was so foreign and startling to me that I decided to go on these drugs to help lower my anxiety and urges that I would get because of fear. I have readjusted really well, am doing great in school, finally able to talk to people, and hopefully will soon be able to better make friends, but these medications effect parts of my brain that I think I need. These medications make me feel less and I miss feeling what is around me. My art practice has kind of crumbled since I've been on them. They were helpful when I needed them but as I have said, I just feel it is time to be off of them. However, I am worried that going off will effect my ability to think clearly. I have come across this information in a few different places. But all in all, I just need some advice as to how to get off of these. If anyone has any advice for me about anything I have shared in terms of these medications, why I am on them or what to do to get off of them, I would really appreciate it. As I am worried I will fall back into a bad place if I don't go off of Lithium and Risperidone carefully. And although I don't have many withdrawals, I am very prone to side effects. If you have shared experiences or stories with either of these medications that would help me, please share them with me.
  17. Hello! About two months ago I have stopped taking Celexa (20mg) and Wellbutrin (150XR) and started Trintellix (5mg). For the first week, it was like a miracle. I was super clear and felt really balanced (not manic or just "better") then the itching started. If I don't take an antihistamine it is unbearable, but I really wanted this relief to continue so I figured it was a small price to pay. Unfortunately, over the last month I have developed vision and stomach issues, agitation, pain, swelling and numbness in my hands, arms, feet, major muscle spasms and a general feeling of discomfort. These symptoms come and go. Over the past 2 years I've become involved in different therapies and modalities of healing for PTSD and the myriad of issues that it causes. Because of the healing I've experienced and the support I currently have, I believe it's a good time to try tapering off the Trintellix and giving my brain a chance to reboot and see how it goes. Since I'm already on the smallest dosage, 5 mg, I was hoping to get some advice on making my own liquid dosage and how best to proceed. Thank you! Diagnosed w/ Early Childhood PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder Medicated with a variety of AD meds off and on for 42 years
  18. Hi everyone. I am hoping to get some much needed (and very much appreciated) advice on my situation. As you see, I had been on Sertraline for almost 2 years, or around the two year mark, before I began a too fast taper in 2016 which lead to my withdrawal syndrome in September 2016. My doctor had me taper in 6 weeks completely off Sertraline, jumping off at 25mg and not even tapering the 25mg, just cold turkeying the 25 per his instruction. Well, I was feeling some withdrawal symptoms, I just didn't realize what they truly meant, and my doctor had told me not to worry 'they will clear up in a few weeks" well they didn't really clear up, but actually got worse two-three months later. I want to make this as short as possible so it is easy to read, but long story short, I ended up reinstating Sertraline at 12.5mg first week, at the same time tapering the 30mg of buspirone my doctor had tried to test out on me for almost two weeks. Each week, he upped my dose of Sertraline during my reinstatement, until I reached 57mg and my body rejected anything above the 57mg. However, I did not know anything about withdrawal or tapering back then, and realize that I was put on way too high of a dose for reinstatement. This has me very scared and very anxious, I try hard not to be, and most of it is likely neuro related, but I wonder what I can do if I feel it's too high? I've got the anhedonia, but I've had this since December, and it actually was brought on more or less by my doctor trying to put me back up to 75mg, maybe that was just a coincidence, but I am not so sure. Each adjustment of the sertraline left me with worsened insomnia, worsened panic, trembling and what I can only describe as body jolts every morning for four months straight. And trying to sleep at night I felt like I was having seizures almost, where my body would jolt me awake just as I was drifting off to sleep, heart would be racing, fear and panic would run rampant and worsen in the morning. I still have mild teeth chattering every morning and especially when the anxiety or stress comes on. I reinstated pretty quick, where I reinstated as soon as my withdrawal symptoms started getting worse, I didn't wait it out even though I really wanted to. I didn't want to go back on the medication after what it had done to me, but didn't know what else to do. Then, everyone I trusted, my doctor especially, had me convinced I had developed several new mental disorders in a matter of three days. I was so so scared, and my anxiety was through the roof. I really stressed myself out a lot trying to figure out "what was wrong with me" because I did not know at the time. On top of that I had the professionals I trusted assuring me it was my "symptoms coming back" (they actually said that right after I already told them I never ever had these symptoms before in my life, not even one of them.) Then I happened to find SA, during my research into my symptoms and the ssri I was taking. I learned a lot in one night, and my jaw dropped. My gut had been telling me all this time it was the drug, it was withdrawal. But I ignored it and listened to the "experts" instead. HUGE MISTAKE!! Now I am stuck in a situation that makes me fear for the future, and not sure what I can do now that I am back on a higher dose. If I would've known better, I would not have allowed my doctor to titrate me up so high. I would've sat at the lowest possible dose, even the 12.5mg. My withdrawal symptoms had really settled down a lot for the last two or three months now though. My appetite came back, libido came back, depression lifted almost instantly upon reinstatement, the anxiety and panic took a while to lift but that has really settled down a ton and only sporadically (maybe lasting a second or two) I'll feel a blip of panic and anxiety (typically when under a lot of built up stress), and my biggest gripe for withdrawal symptoms as of now is the anhedonia, but even that was beginning to lift where I'd get moments of joy or contentment or my interests peaking through the veil of anhedonia. My sleep actually went back to normal in the last week or two, and I haven't been waking with the dread or anxiety for the past three months now, and I have been feeling pretty good except now I got back into this wave and I think it's because I'm stressing over tapering and my dosage after what I read last night. I read on SA someone said that being on too high a reinstatement dose can permanently damage your brain, where you will never heal from it. So I am really scared... I really need advice or wisdom on where to go from here. At this point, I worry I'll always feel this way and I'll never recover any further than where I currently am. I'd be fine if I felt somewhat normal, where I could handle the withdrawal symptoms temporarily until they pass, and I do admit that on my better days I certainly can handle them. But I feel like reinstatement was pointless or worse for me than just muscling through the withdrawals after what I read about high dose reinstatement. I feel like A) it's going to take forever just to stabilise on this dose and B it's going to be painful trying to taper when the time comes, due to that I may have permanently damaged my brain with my reinstatement. I guess what I am wondering now is, do I stay on this dose and wait for the anhedonia to completely go away, or how do I know when I am ready to begin tapering? At this point I am just feeling very confused and afraid about my dose and tapering in the future. I feel lost. I'd really appreciate any help! Thank you!
  19. My third and hopefully final attempt to get off Paxil is here I start March 1st of this year, which is just around the corner. I have a lot of hope It will be over 3 years, but I feel good about my taper plan. Thankful for this site of encouragement and testimonies - I will be praying for freedom for you all! I've included a photo of my handwritten taper plan. The length of time is in months. Will keep this updated for whoever cares to read. Let's do this.
  20. Last summer, after I quit the last antidepressant (after 7 years of antidepressants and anxiolytics) under the guidance of my former psychiatrist, I started rapidly to develop old and new symptoms. I tried to resist but in two months time I fell into the abyss of withdrawal, without knowing what was happening to me. I went back to my psychiatrist who not only did not recognize or mention the withdrawal status, but prescribed new drugs that didn't help and made things worse, like paroxetine. I was lost and fearfully sick, I lost 3 kilos in one week, then I contacted another psychiatrist who still didn't say a word about withrdrawal but prescribed benzodiazepines that immediately reduced the symptoms. Then he added two antidepressants and diagnosed "major depression, relapse". I was in shock. I tried to explain that my initial and main problem were anxiety and panic but he said thet it was all part of the depressive state. As soon as we tried to reduce anxiolytics the symptoms burst out again. That's when something clicked in my head. I searched the Internet for weeks to find someone who could help me out of the maze, and fortunately I did. Now I'm following a program to eliminate antidepressants under strict medical a psychological control, and I feel confident. Psychiatrists in Italy never talk about the risk of withdrawal symptoms, turning people into lifetime patients. I was lucky enough, being a psychologist and speaking English to be able to find the help I needed, but most people go on taking more and more drugs that work less and less. The site people can refer to in Italy is: https://www.smettereglipsicofarmaci.unifi.it/index.php (University of Florence).
  21. I was browsing through this forum (still new here) and came across an extremely interesting scientific explanation of why the 10% taper is necessary. The following link graphically shows the relationship between Serotonin Transporter occupancy and dosage of two different antidepressants. http://www.mediafire.com/view/f3h1ao5ijfj93/papers#0yp2c8pbjrziaab Now this shows that obviously the relationship between mg drops and percentage occupancy is far from linear, and this is why dropping by a set amount each time results in dramatically different reactions at higher doses vs lower doses. To drive this point home, the graph shows that in terms of 5-HTT occupancy, dropping from 30mg to 10mg is equivalent to dropping from 10mg to 5.5mg which is also equivalent to dropping from 5mg to 3.3mg. Crazy Right? This is why the dynamic 10% Tapering method is so much more effective than cutting an absolute number of mg every time. So being an engineer/math nerd I decided to fit the curve on the graph and solve for the variables, that way I could plug the values into a spreadsheet in excel and see what the Occupancy drop was for each 10% taper cut from 40mg down to 0.1mg and what I found was surprising but also aligned with a LOT of the personal stories I've read on here. When I look by occupancy drop for 10% cuts, it gradually increases from 27mg down to 2.66mg, when cutting 10% at a time the period of largest occupancy drops (according to this methodology) is between 4mg and 1.75mg. My theory (call me crazy) is that occupancy of 5-HTT is the best measurable thing we can correlate to severity of withdrawal. I've read tons of stories of people getting stuck in certain areas (even using the 10% taper method) and hitting walls and those areas are predicted by my spreadsheet. For example, according to the occupancy drop metric of measurement, a 10% drop at 3mg is 3x as strong as a 10% drop at 27mg and the area in general between 2-3mg is the nastiest overall using the 10% taper method. So I designed a new tapering plan for myself based not on % of curent dose, but on occupancy drop. This means that I will always be dropping a stable amount of 5-HTT occupancy (closest thing I can measure for serotonin change) with each cut. I'll be starting from 20mg once I'm ready, and the % drops will vary between 10% and 4% until the dose is down to 0.37mg at which point it will increase until the dose is 0, always maintaining the same occupancy drop of 1% every 3 weeks and seeing how my body responds. This method can be applied at any tapering speed depending on the individual. The key is a consistent drop in serotonin levels with each dosage decrease. I've attached an excel spreadsheet, the first sheet is the occupancy drop method where you can choose the speed of taper just by changing the field in A3. Also, if interested look at the second page of the spreadsheet which highlights the variable 5-HTT drops at different doses using the 10% taper method. Anyway, just an idea and another method of tapering. Everything in this post is a personal thought/opinion and I am not a doctor or anything. The more information the better I figured, so for those interested have a look and they how the numbers work out for you and if they make sense or correlate with your experience. Occupancy-Taper.xlsx
  22. I have been on Paxil since the fall of 1998, when I was 19 years old. I'm now 38. I don't remember the dose I started with but at one point was up to 50 mg per day. Now I'm on 30 mg per day, plus 150 mg of wellbutrin per day. My doctor and I want to stop it. She has reduced me from 30 to 20 mg per day. It's only been 6 days. But I'm experiencing night sweats and shaking, nausea, headaches, dizziness, etc. She wants me to do 20 mg for a month, and then go to 10 mg for a month, and then stop. This seems ... faster than it should be. I am attempting to make an appointment with a psychiatric NP at my therapist's office.
  23. Hi, I am 6 weeks into withdrawing from citalopram 20mg. I have taken it for 20 years. I initially halved the dose to 10mg for 4 weeks then 10mg every other day for 3 weeks now. I am experiencing severe, debilitating headache on an almost permanent basis. I think I've reduced the dose too quickly. After reading this site, I am thinking about reinstating 10mg daily. I see my doctor tomorrow. Any advice gratefully received. I feel terrible.
  24. Hello to the community, I've been reading and browsing this site for a while, but hadn't ever formally joined. I've been taking medication (Paxil then Effexor) for the past 15+ years. In the past year or two I've become much more emotionally healthy and have entered a stable place in my life. From many different discussions with different medical professionals (and from personal experience!) I know it is best to taper from a position of strength and relative good mental health and I've fought so so hard to get to where I am. I want to taper off of my medications to recover my emotions and to potentially try to become pregnant. I find that I've become much more emotionally blunted - I am neither happy nor sad about things that would be joyful/upsetting for most people. I am also at the age where many of my friends are having children, and would also love to have a child. From the literature searching that I have done, I've found many conflicting opinions on whether or not a pregnant woman should take mental health medications - Effexor XR in particular. I've consulted 3 MDs and one naturopathic doctor and have connected with MotherRisk at SickKids Hospital in Toronto. I have been told the following: My GP: you should switch to Celexa ( less side effects/ lower risk of birth defects/) 2nd Doctor: keep taking your medication (Effexor) - don't worry about it. Naturopathic doctor - difficult decision - there is no one right answer and each person must decide the level of risk that is acceptable to him/her and also balance your own mental health needs. SickKids RN - Keep taking your meds. Internet research - conflicting opinions, scary stories etc. Some children of mothers taking Effexor are born and have withdrawal symptoms. I want to stay out of judgement - I think everyone needs to do what is right for them. Right now, for me it feels right to try and taper. In the past 7 months I've tapered slowly down with the assistance of a mental health RN and Naturopathic doctor who advised supplements for the brain zapps. I feel like there are so many people who take medication for mental health, and so many women getting pregnant - but the issue of the two together is very rarely talked about, at least in my experience. If there is anyone out there who has gone through this issue, or has some experience I would love to hear about it. I have found a few articles, and I believe there was recently a film made called "Moms and Meds" although I haven't seen it yet... possibly because I don't want to sob quietly for 30 or 40 minutes before bed. https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/pg75mg/for-pregnant-women-with-mental-illnesses-medication-can-be-a-minefield Taking things one day at a time. Whee... Cokemachineglow
  25. SeattleKee

    SeattleKee

    I began tapering escitalopram six weeks ago (December 2017). I did so in conjunction with advice from my physician, a naturopath. I was at 20 mg. I began by reducing to 15 mg twice a week and 20 mg the remainder of the week. The sequence, then, was reduction to 15 mg three times weekly, reduction to 15 mg every other day. Then 15 mg daily. I then moved from 15 mg to 10 mg twice a week, then 10 mg every other day, then 10 mg daily. I have been at 10 mg. for about two weeks. I am now experiencing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include a sharp headache along the medial line between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The intensity of the headache fluctuates, but, even at minimum, I am aware it is there. I also experience slight periodic nausea, never to point of vomiting, some irritability and a certain edginess or low level anxiety. In addition, I am noticing in increase in hypervigilance and self-critical thinking. All symptoms have been tolerable, if uncomfortable. My history with antidepressants is a long one. I started in 1982 when prescribed lithium carbonate for depression. Later, in the late 1980s, I moved to prozac. In the early 2000s I began taking Lexapro. I am choosing to taper and end medication as the stressors exasperating previous depressive episodes have been resolved for some time. I wish to be medication free in order to evaluate my psychological and emotional state in that condition. Secondarily, as I live in a state the has legalized THC and CBD. I am interested in using these for symptom relief and would like to hear from others who have tried these for self-medication. My physician is aware and supports this as a potential for symptom relief. Thank you.
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