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  1. In july I was diagnosed with psychosi due to ptsd. I was in an abusive relationship. I started the resperidone 3mg in july and I am supposed to be tapering off in June, and Im a little nervous about the withdrawal and other things. Im just curious has anyone been successful in tapering off risperidone? All I have read are horror stories. I am supposed to taper off this drug and I wont be put on any other drugs, and I was just curious if anyone has come off risperdone without being put on any other meds? Are you able to feel emotion again? Did the psychosis return? Did the mask-like face go away? Will I return to normal I guess is my question.
  2. 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.
  3. BuddhaMama: Intro

    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!
  4. I am writing this while I can function. It comes and goes. I have been off work since this thing started almost four weeks ago. I am very scared. Please help me. I've been on Prozac since late 2002. Prescribed because I was depressed. Initially at 20mg / day. Later the effect wore off somewhat and within a year or so it was upped to 60mg / day. I stayed on this dose until December 2013. While on it I sometimes reduced the dose to 40mg and sometimes skipped days to see what would happen if I come off it. After at most two or three weeks, I think I felt somewhat flat and took the full dose again. I suspected that the worse that could happen was that if I come off it I would feel depressed. I was led to believe this drug is safe for long term use. But I was in for a nasty, nasty, nasty surprise. In December 2013 I decided to fully come off it. Things went ok for a few weeks. I did notice that my muscles would lose power when exercising during January and early February 2014. By mid February I developed loss of appetite; nausea and brain zaps, muscle and joint pain and tiredness. This was followed within days with what appeared to be the worst flu that I ever had, exhaustion and fever. My blood pressure went down and my heart rate went up. I wondered if it might be related to the Prozac. So I took 40mg and waited. For about 1-2 hours. Symptoms were gone. By the next day I was back to normal. This scared me senseless as I realized for the first time what incredible power this drug has. Little did I know that the acute withdrawal was no big deal compared to what was to follow later. I started tapering in April 2014, reducing by 0.8mg / week over 50 weeks. When I reached zero mg by mid March 2015 it was *not* followed by acute withdrawal. There is one complication at this point. Between February and July 2015 I took about 35 doses of 100mg of Tramadol for chronic lower backpain. I was led to believe it is a mild opioid only. In early July I took it three days in a row. My vision blurred. I looked up Tramadol side effects and what I saw was scary. I learnt that in addition to being a mild opiod, Tramadol also contains two additional unwelcome guests in the form of an SSRI and an SNRI: "Tramadol provides analgesia through 3 mechanisms: mu-opioid binding (through its metabolite O-desmethyltramadol), serotonin reuptake inhibition (through (+)-tramadol) and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition (through (-)-tramadol). O-desmethyltramadol (which is formed from tramadol through O-demethylation catalyzed by CYP2D6) is responsible for theopiate-type effects of tramadol." I dropped the Tramadol there and then. Within a couple of days I was a weeping from sadness and melancholy. This phase lasted about two and a half weeks then improved slowly. Back to main story: Five months free and clear of Prozac and 7 weeks free and clear of Tramadol I slipped into a nightmare that I am still fighting as I type this. One night in late August 2015 I slept only half the normal time. 3.5 to 4 hours (Usually 7.5 hours) for two consecutive nights. This was followed with restlessness and then, akathisia (look it up - it is not bearable). I panicked and took 0.8 mg of Prozac. In about three hours the symptoms gradually faded out and I felt normal. At that point I thought I could just stay on a super low Prozac dose. Woke up around 2am the next morning with severe symptoms again. Took 0.8mg Prozac again, then every 2 hours until eventually I reached 6.4 mg for the day. It did not work like the day before. It might have relieved the symptoms somewhat for a part of the day. By the evening symptoms resumed. It then occurred to me that Tramdol might have something to do with it and not the Prozac. I took 1/6th of the usual Tramadol dose (1/3 of a 50mg capsule). Within an hour I was calm, but it is hard to say at this stage whether it was due to the Tramadol or not based on subsequent experience (I learnt that it comes and goes in waves through the day). At this point I decided not to take any further Prozac or Tramadol. I was now on a rollercoaster. (I am keeping hour-by-hour logs of what is happening and will post here maybe later in a chart or something.) Severe symptoms for hours on end, followed by a respite. Then the symptoms take over again. On some days it went on with almost no respite for two consecutive days. One unusual observation. One night ( a week in) I slept a full 7 hours or so. The next day I was back to normal. My relief was short lived, however, as I woke up with an incredible surge of fear in my chest and the symptoms returned, seemingly stoked on by the fear. After a week of this, I was desperate. I got a prescription for a beta blocker Bisoprolol (2.5mg). I took it and seem to have gotten relief as I was feeling normal later that day. But alas, at about 2am I was up again with the same symptoms. Tried 2mg of Diazepam. Nothing. The next day I switched the prescription to Propranolol. For the next week I tried the beta blockers on their own and together. At this point the Akathisia seemed to be easing off somewhat but in its place there was an absolutely paralyzing fear and anxiety that is hard to describe. "The Scream" by Edvard Munch comes to mind. At the beginning of this week my total sleep seemed to shrink to between zero hours(one night) and 2.5 hours. I took Midazolam sleeping pills a few times to try and get relief and some sleep. On the best day I got 3 hours extra. On the worst I got barely 30 minutes extra on it. Then I had three nights of 5.5 hours or so. That was followed by a 2 hour night. By this time the anxiety/fear was getting unbearable. I was getting exhausted. The fear and anxiety was ramping up in spite of the beta blockers. Throughout this time I had very little if any appetite. But I forced myself to eat because I needed energy to keep moving. The akathisia and anxiety compelled me to keep moving, moving, moving, pacing back and forth back and forth back and forth, sometimes without respite for up to 10 hours, starting between 2am and 4 am. My muscles were starting to indicate that they couldn't take this much longer. I made a rational calculation that I have only a few days left before muscle spasm or something sets in. I wondered if the "normal" day I had at the end of the first week might have been due to the 6.4 mg dose of Prozac I took at the beginning of that week. SO I decided to see if I could reinstate. I did not take this decision lightly. But after weighing it up for another day I took 4mg of Prozac. Symptoms eased off after that (but it could be coincidence as it comes and goes in waves). That was Friday. I took my last dose of beta blockers the day before (Thurs) and decided to stop beta blockers is I was going to re-instate. On Saturday morning I took 4mg and then 2 hours later anther 4mg. On Sunday morning I took 8mg On Monday morning I took 8mg. For the past few days things seem bearable between mid-day until I go to sleep. But early morning until the afternoon I get overwhelmed with panic and fear and I pace relentlessly. I still don't know if it was the right choice and whether I should abort reinstatement. I still cannot see a clear pattern of improvement, I do not know if I should up the dose or wait. I read the reinstatement page and also Eva's story (seem very similar to mine) on the edge of my seat. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5715-eva-struggling-after-20-years-prozac-and-now-without/page-4 But it ends with a cliff hanger. She never reported whether her dose increase stabilized her. I am thinking if I can stabilize then I can regroup and plan the next step. Should I continue to try and reinstate or abort reinstatement? Will I be able to taper again if I can stabilize on this reinstatement? I have not been able to go to work for the past three weeks. I am now in week 4. I am very scared and need help. Please, please help me.
  5. Hello! I am currently tapering off of 75mg Effexor XR using the 10% method and holding each dose for 3-4 weeks. I’m coming up on half of the amount of beads in my 75mg. Believe it or not, but my 75mg ranges from 235-290 beads inside each capsule. I have averaged out 8 capsules when I started and the average amount is 266 beads. So I have been using that as my baseline for removing by 10%. Currently, in my tapering schedule I am removing 115 beads in each capsule. I have been removing beads like this: 254-115=139 280-115=165 247-115=132 266-115=151 So the amount of beads I take each day is different. The size difference in beads varies a lot and I make sure there’s a good amount of all sizes of what I’m ingesting. I’m honestly not even sure if I’m doing this correctly and should be counting what I’m taking, rather than what I’m throwing away. (?) What my main question is... Since I average about 266 beads can I switch to 37.5mg capsules once I’m taking on average 133 beads (1/2 of 266) I’d like to hold at 37.5mg through the holidays as I am busiest at work during this time and I will be traveling a lot and don’t want to deal with withdrawals. Is half the amount of beads in a 75mg capsule truly 37.5mg? I don’t put anything past Effexor, and really want to do this safely and effectively. Any input is greatly appreciated. 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. 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!
  8. So, a 5 mg pill of Trintellix weighs .155 grams on a milligram scale. I'm better with words than mathematical calculations. Can someone help me through making the calculations for a 10% reduction? My plan is not to create a liquid suspension but to crush the pills, and add the powder to a capsule, or to water and drink it. Many thanks!
  9. I've been on antidepressants for close to 18 yrs. They were originally prescribed for severe PMS. The doctor said the Prozac was very safe. Ha! After several years, I tried a couple times to get off of the Prozac under my doctor's supervision, but each time I had withdrawal symptoms. I thought it was my depression returning, and took it as confirmation that my condition was permanent and that I would just have to be on meds the rest of my life. No one EVER explained about the possibility of withdrawal symptoms from the medication or that the symptoms may subside once my body adjusted to being without the medicine. I was on Prozac for about 7 years before it stopped working for me. Since I switched from Prozac, I've gone through multiple antidepressants (SSRIs/SNRIs but no atypicals.) Same vicious cycle: try something new, feel better, it quits working, up the dose, feel better, it quits working, try something new... You get the idea. My depression has gotten so much worse over the years. My doctor put me on Effexor, and I was flying high at the first follow up appointment. The next week, I was suicidal. Up the dose...add Wellbutrin... here we go again. I was feeling like I was running out of options, and I really didn't want to go the atypical antipsychotic route so I started looking online to see if maybe I could go back to Prozac and have it work for me again. I found this site's info on prozac bridging and tapering. I ordered the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. Both I and my husband read it. Wow! Why hadn't anyone told us this before!!! Talk about feeling deceived! (My husband and I are both science people. I graduated with a degree in premed and he is a PhD biochemist so we are familiar with evaluating scientific data. Whitaker was definitely not selling snake oil! It's scary to think that doctors don't even know this stuff.) My husband and I discussed it and decided that I would talk to my doctor about tapering off. I had my husband go with me to the appointment. My doctor thought I was nuts but agreed to order capsules for me so I could try tapering. I've been tapering 10% a month for over a year now. I've gone down from 250mg of Effexor (venlafaxine ER) to under 50 mg. I've had a couple times I've had to hold off on lowering my dosage until I felt better, but overall I seem to follow a pretty consistent pattern as far as my body's response to the cut in meds. About 2 wks after I cut my dose, I feel crummy: really irritable and lacking in motivation. After another 2 wks I've usually stabilized enough to cut the dose again. Just knowing why I'm feeling horrible helps so much! I hope to be down to the minimum effective dose in February. Yay! Then I'll need to taper off the Wellbutrin...
  10. sungirl: Intro

    Hi, Not really sure what this is supposed to look like, but here goes. Began Wellbutrin and Paxil (don't remember doses) fall 2004 after major anxiety over a move. (I've experienced depression and anxiety since childhood.) I successfully tapered and remained off the Wellbutrin, but 3 months after Paxil taper experienced huge crash and reinstated. This happened the same way the second time I tapered. Both times the anxiety was way worse than any I had ever experienced and I knew it had something to do with withdrawal but my doctors did not believe me. I have been on 20mg/day. A year and a half ago I decided to try to taper again. Was originally tapering by 5mg at a time and got to 10 but was having difficulty. I found some helpful articles by Dr. Stuart Shipko and contacted him. Following his advice, and with my doctor's support, I went back to 10 and have been tapering by 1mg/month. I was down to 5mg when we went through some major life traumas. Still felt fine until tapered to 4.5, went back to 5, but started experiencing symptoms without realizing what it was (felt like my heart was pounding a lot/felt wired but did not feel anxious) Symptoms gradually have gotten worse and worse. Started to updose by 2 mg, 2 nights ago. Hoping I can stabilize, I feel terrible right now and don't want to live like this! Honestly not sure if I will complete the taper or not at this point I just want to stabilize.
  11. 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).
  12. 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
  13. Hi, this is my first post and I'm glad to be a part of this group. Seems to be a lot of good information here. I've been on Paxil 20mg since 2010. I've gone off twice, and it was quite difficult so I went back on at 20mg. I just seem to feel more functional (and social) on it, though I don't want to rely on it anymore. I want to feel like myself again, and have my creative faculties at full strength. Not to mention my emotions. The emotional blunting and low motivation from Paxil are really affecting my quality of life. So, about 3.5 weeks ago, I dropped down to 10mg from 20mg. That was before I found this site. I know that a 50% reduction is not so wise, and I'm starting to feel the negative effects. Depression, lethargy, suicidal at times. It sucks. I'd like to do this the right way– what is the best way to start again? Can I just start back at 20mg? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
  14. I've been tapering 15 mg. Mirtazapine for about 7 months now. I am now down to 8.5 mg. After having received bad advice from a doctor about this time last year, I struggled greatly after he did a huge decrease in my dose. I waited quite awhile before I tapered again. I started out doing very tiny decreases because I was so hesitant of trying again, as little as 2-3%. Obviously I didn't put much of a dent in the 15 mg., so the past few months I decided to taper quicker, the recommended 10%. Still, I estimate the total time to be around 2.2 years. This just sounds SO LONG! I haven't known many people who have tapered from Mirtazapine, but I'm wondering about how long it would take most people to taper off of 15 mg. Mirtazapine? Or if anyone could give me an estimate on how long to taper from the second highest dose from ANY drug? I appreciate anyone's answers. Thanks!
  15. My doctor prescribed Venlafaxine (Effexor) for me 4 years ago after I complained that I was having hot flashes that caused my face to turn bright red. She told me the medication was an anti-depressant but that it was approved for off-label use to treat the flushing symptoms. I didn't get a second opinion, nor did I look into the side effects. I went blindly ahead. I didn't know how bad it would be to miss just one dose. During the first six months, I missed a few doses and the withdrawal symptoms would start within 10 hours. I didn't connect the symptoms to the missed dose. I thought that there was something wrong with my brain or my inner ear, but it would clear up the next day (because I took my dose). Eventually, I figured it out and I spoke with my doctor about it. She told me that I was in a small percentage of people who have that experience, but she advised against discontinuing the medication. And, by that time, I had to admit that it had helped my moods and my mild anxiety. I felt a lot more content, and I rarely felt frustrated or angry by small things. But ultimately, I got tired of worrying about missing a dose. I travel internationally and I worried that I'd lose medication (or have it confiscated) while in a foreign country and that I wouldn't be able to get a new prescription. And the missed doses (despite everything I did to prevent them) still happened, and they would set me back a half day. So I read a lot of information on this site, and I came up with a tapering plan. I'll post more about that plan in the tapering section. In short, it took six weeks and I suffered quite a bit. In addition to the physical symptoms (dizziness, brain zaps), I had terrible, dark moods. I wondered if I'd ever make it through and whether I'd permanently messed up my brain. But it was manageable, and I did make it through. I'm thankful that I found this site. And I'm thrilled to finally be free.
  16. 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!
  17. I was on Prozac for around 6 and a half years, 50 percent of the time i was on two 20mg tablets and the other 50 percent i was on one 20mg tablet. I self tapered for around a month and a half by taking one every other day, then every 2nd day, then every 3rd day...etc and eventually i was off them. I took my last pill nearly a month ago. I am feeling withdrawals. Bloating, bad skin, rosacea-like symptoms, irritable, anger, aches and pains, negative thoughts. Its very uncomfortable and debilitating BUT i would be able to stick it through if i knew i was on the right path. I'm just worried that i messed up because of how fast i tapered. I don't know wether to keep going or if i should start taking prozac again and taper more slowly?
  18. 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
  19. When to end the taper and jump to zero?

    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
  20. No appetite

    I used to have the appetite of a wildebeest and was always excited for my next meal. Now, in withdrawal, the sight of food makes me sick and if I don't remind myself to eat a meal, I probably wouldn't eat at all. Does anyone else experience this as a result of their taper? When I do eat, I find that it doesn't give me the same joy it used to.
  21. Hey everyone- A little history, many moons ago (about 17 years now), I was put on an antidepressant to stop my migraines. I was never depressed and never had anxiety. Over the years, I was put on several different antidepressants because the headaches would come back. Nonetheless, I haven't had a migraine in years and decided that I truly do not need to be on this drug anymore. After going through a horrific z-drug and benzo withdrawal due to mis-diagnosed insomnia (which was really probably related to the antidepressants), I learned a lot and that pretty much convinced me that I needed to work to get off the antidepressant as well. It's been almost 3 years since I went through that and successfully tapered off those drugs. I knew my CNS would be sensitive so I waited until this year to start the antidepressant withdrawal. Back in March/April, I started a taper on Viibryd 40mg. I am down to 20mg. I have been doing fairly well with a few days here and there of withdrawal symptoms but nothing major. I decided in June that once I got down to 20mg, I was going to hold there for a while to stabilize, which I have no been doing for 3 months. I have felt great to the point, I finally started doing a mild work out daily. All has been going well for several weeks, and then I started getting adrenaline dumps on Friday. Scared the living you know what out of me (although it shouldn't since I experienced this horror with benzo and z-drug withdrawal), but nonetheless, for the past 3 days, I have been experiencing adrenaline dumps, some mild burning across my chest (ironically no muscle pain in my chest or body) just burning, major stomach queasiness, and internal tremors/shaking, limb weakness, sweating, inability to focus, and of course anxiety because all of the sudden I feel like complete crap! Being that I started this taper about 6 months ago and have been holding for the last 3 months, is this normal for antidepressant withdrawal? In 2012 I had an echocardiogram on my heart and it was found to be structurally fine.I don't drink, smoke, do any kind of recreational drugs, or drink caffeine, and I have regular blood tests when I got to the doctor twice a year and all my levels have been normal, so I don't honestly think there is anything wrong with me. But historically, whenever waves hit me, I tend to lose my mind questioning what is wrong with me. I haven't been able to find much about Viibryd withdrawal. So I am grasping at straws here to know if what I am experiencing is normal. Thanks in advance!
  22. Successful tapering after kindling

    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.
  23. Hey guys! So I have started my taper off of Lexapro 20 mg, for Panic Disorder and Pure O. When I spoke to my psych she said to just drop from 20 to 10. I of course looked at her like she had lost her mind! I have already quit cold turkey once and after 3-4 months of it, I had a very severe panic attack and went back on. Needless to say, I am doing this the right way now! I started at 18 mg, and have been here for almost 3 months. Of course, it isn't exact, due to it being a pill and a wonky pill cutter. So far, I have felt great. But then I started my period. Of course I was emotional, but that wasn't the problem. I have been having intense intrusive thoughts about dying. Yet, the second these thoughts manifest, I am instantly in a panic. Why? Because ONE- I do not like the thought of death, and TWO- I don't like the thought of harming myself. Of course, my conscious side is like "Hello! you are afraid of dying, classic panic, so calm down you're not going to hurt yourself," And I don't plan it out or think of ways to do it. I just simply think ok, im going to die soon and it may or may not be at my own hands. And it freaks me out. I think it is a combo of my hormones and the weaning. Please tell me this is normal! LOL. I can tell it is just a combo of things going on in my head, because I can usually talk myself down and after a bit of dwelling on it, I forget about it. But again, is this normal? I hate how you can think of one thing, and it spiral into something horrible. Everyone thinks of death and how it may happen, or when, or who will be at your funeral, or who will even notice, things like that. I just take it and run with it and get myself worked up over nothing. Oh to have an "un-medicated" brain again!
  24. Effexor Aug 2004, tapered up to 450mg in following few years. Attempts to taper off for years, now at 112.5 mg. Stuck. From original topic heading: 64 years old
  25. 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.
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