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  1. Moderator note - link to Severntiger's benzo thread: Severntiger: Tried Valium Cold Turkey - Evil side effects - Now Attempting Tapering I am 39. I have had chronic insomnia and anxiety all my life. From age 14 I have had drug and alcohol addiction and dependency problems. In 2014 I discovered, through a friend, an illicit source of good quality Valium where I could get as much as I wanted when I wanted through the post. I started off using them as "occasional use" to help me sleep when there was an emergency situation the next day, e.g. job interview, having to move home but then it quickly turned into using them for stressful situations, e.g. noisy flatmates, stress at work etc. and that of course turned into most days. So for the last 2 and a half years I have been taking Valium more days than not with an average dose of 52mg a day. I started to get seriously worried about my sleeping pill consumption end of 2015 and so in 2016 and 2017 I have recorded my Valium (and other sleeping tablet) consumption every single day. Therefore I have been able to work out each month how many days I took Valium and what the average dose is. Oddly my Valium consumption has been sporadic, e.g. not every day or the same amount every day. e.g. my latest record before I decided to try cold turkey. 06/07/2017 – 30mg 07/07/2017 – 30mg 08/07/2017 – 30mg 09/07/2017 – 1 Nitol 10/07/2017 – 60mg 11/07/2017 – 90mg 12/07/2017 – 1 Nitol 13/07/2017 – 80mg 14/07/2017 - Clean 15/07/2017 - Clean 16/07/2017 – 1 Nitol 17/07/2017 - Clean 18/07/2017 - Clean 19/07/2017 – 30mg 20/07/2017 – 30mg 21/07/2017 – 120mg 22/07/2017 – Didn’t sleep as too much Mephadrone 23/07/2017 – 90mg 24/07/2017 – 60mg 25/07/2017 – 60mg 26/07/2017 – 80mg I then tried to go cold turkey, using Zopiclone to help sleep, until I ended up taking 75mg of Zopiclone on 02/08/2017 and 03/08/2017 and hallucinating and going AWOL and not being able to function at work or outside work. Last Friday 4th August, 5 days ago, I then threw all my Zopiclone in the bin and decided I was going to come off everything. And its here that the nightmare has started For 4 days I didn’t sleep a wink, apart from 3 hours passing out after necking a bottle of wine at 3am one night. I had the worst anxiety/panic attacks I have ever had. I felt that my skin was crawling, apparantly. My flat mate said I was wide eyed, on edge, jumpy and acting crazy. Sunday night after 3 Nitol I still couldn’t sleep a wink and Monday (2 days ago) I tried to go into work but couldn’t function properly ( I am trying to hold down a Management Accountant job) and after another sleepness night and rising panic I had to admit defeat, phone in sick yesterday (Tuesday) and look to the internet for help where I learnt that going Cold Turkey was the worst thing to do and that Valium was worse to come of than herion. So I panicked big time and went to the doctor. Thankfully the doctor was very nice and agreed that tapering off was the best solution and he would help me come off them legitimatly so no need for the black market. I am now on 20mg a day for 4 weeks then to go back to him and see where I am and try to reduce the amount. He hopes I can get off them by Christmas. I took 20mg last night and immediately calmed down and slept for 5-6 hours and feel shattered but much better today. My question is: Do I now go onto 20mg every evening before bed? Or do I try to go without any Valium every now and again and see how many clean days I can get before any side effects kick in in which case I can just take 20mg again before bed?
  2. Hi Everyone! Long time listener, first time caller etc. I found this site and the *amazingly* helpful advice here almost a year ago when I started making serious first steps into tapering off Effexor. Abridged personal history - Started Effexor for General Anxiety around 21 years ago after a short period of trying Zoloft, Remeron and Buspar. Tried to come off once around 10 years ago after tapering off over four months, but that didn't really work, and life circumstances were not ideal, so I've spent the last ten years working insanely hard to get to a place that I felt confident in along with my Psychologist and Psychiatrist where I could give it another go. So six months ago I found a great compounding pharmacy and started the taper, going down 10 percent each month, which has been going great! It's been going so great though, that I feel I've reached a plateau, and that at the current rate, it could take another three years using this method! So - I was just wondering if anyone here has any anecdotal or personal stories of what might work to potentially accelerate the process, so I can get it closer to a further 6-12 months. What would be a conservative figure to drop down by for this timeframe? Curious to hear how other people approach this Thanks in advance!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. My personal history is in my signature, but I'll put it here in my introduction aswell. I tried three different anti-depressants from December 2012 to December 2013, to treat anxiety. The first was Celexa, the second was Zoloft and the last one was Prozac. In December 2013 I had a manic episode after being on Prozac for a month and a half. Then I stopped taking any medications for about a month. Then I had a second manic episode in February 2014. Then I visited a psychiatrist in March 2014 and was given a bipolar diagnosis (now I know it was an anti-depressant induced mania, not true bipolar disorder). So I was prescribed Lithium 900 mg in March 2014. Then in April 2014 I started taking 50 mg Zoloft again for anxiety (along with the 900mg lithium I had just started taking). Since that time, I have spent 1.5 years at a 50mg level, 6 months at a 100mg level, 1.5 years at a 75 mg level. As of a couple months ago, I am now at the 50mg level again. (Not knowing much about withdrawal, my reduction from 100mg to 75 mg was a single 25mg reduction all at once- I survived that but didn’t recognize the withdrawal symptoms at the time, and I will not do that again! 6 months later I started a process of going from 75mg to 50mg, in 6 to 12 mg chunks. So as of May 2017, I am at the 50 mg level. And I am still taking 900mg Lithium. Luckily I have not experienced any manic behavior since the second manic episode in February 2014. But I know that Lithium withdrawal can cause mania so I know that I need to be careful not to make reductions too quickly.) Now I need to figure out how to taper off BOTH Lithium and Sertraline. My question is- how do I know what order to taper off this drug combination? -Seeing as antidepressants are what triggered a manic episode in me a couple years ago, it makes sense to taper off / quit Sertraline first … and it seems like it would be best to wait to wait to taper off Lithium until I feel “stable” after quitting the antidepressants. -But on the other hand, these two medications seem to have opposite effects. Antidepressants seem to be a little bit more stimulating. Lithium seems to be a little bit more sedating. If I completely quit my antidepressants first, am I going to be extremely sluggish and glum (having no positive emotion)? Could the antidepressant withdrawal effects take longer to recover from in this scenario, because I’m still taking a high dose of Lithium? What do you guys think about my situation- how should I proceed? Has anyone here tapered off the lithium/antidepressant drug combination? Thanks in advance for your help!
  6. Hi everyone, I have been on Citalopram for 9 years. I haven't needed it for a good 4 so decided to see my GP who advised alternating 20mg and 10mg every other day. Multiple GP's have totally underestimated withdrawal challenges. I started alternating the week before last and felt ok, probably over confidently, i decided to drop to 10mg every day 5 days ago. I have flu like symptoms, spaced out and headaches and insomnia. I'm now not sure what to do? Should i keep going as i have got this far or will ot get worse so should i take a 20mg and how often etc? I'm getting on a flight today and need to feel in control of my symptoms a bit more. Any advice would be deeply appreciated, please.
  7. Hello, I've suffered with depression for 33 years. 12 years with no medication because I thought I just needed to try harder. Finally my father, who had suffered with it too found me a helpful church counselor who convinced me I needed medicine. This saved my life. The first medicine Anafranil kept me from suicide. It got me back to work more steadily and made me able to live. Then I started 21 years of Zoloft and then Paxil. Oh, with 3 years of Pexeva in between and it was fine. But government insurance changes forced me back on Paxil the last 3 years or so. I lost my 26 year marriage. The day after my mom died my wife asked for a divorce and exploded my family. I had only 1 son who partly stayed with me for the last 5 years. The other still treats me well but lives with his mother. She and I are on good terms and I am a Christian who doesn't believe in divorce. Just FYI with some of this stuff. About 5 years ago i couldn't work any longer and it was the excuse my wife needed to do what she wanted. Anyway it left me alone with idleness and depression and lonliness in a new town where I could afford to live. 6 months ago I went back to my original counselor and wanted to try to taper off, which she is good with. BTW, my GP knows nothing and just wants to try new meds. Ive tried them all and can only take a few. So, after gut trouble started 14 months ago I have was taken down from 30 mg to 20 mg Paxil. Didn't suffer that I noticed. Then I noticed that in a 6 month period of time I had missed 25 days of Paxil. So I had steadily and accidentally tapered to what amounted to about 15 or so MG. Vitamin B complex made me angry! I am afraid to take 5htp with Paxil. Any suggestions on safe supplements? Will my gut ever get any better? My family tends to have IBS D anyway and I have had it for 14 months and am trying to live on Imodium. This site came highly recommended as experts in the field. I have only met one psychiatrist who knew what he was doing in 33 years. So........... Pete
  8. Hi Y'all, I have been taking an SSRI since 1993 ????. I was prescribed Prozac for Panic D/O. I am now committed to ending my addiction to this poison. Knowing there are many others that are going through the same process is very comforting. I am grateful for this forum and everyone's contributions. With trepidation and hope.
  9. Forgive the strange title: I believe those words relate to an ancient Zen story. Anyway: a little about me....I have been on Seroxat (Paxil) for close to 20 years, have tried 2 or 3 times before to quit it, I am over 6 weeks into my latest attempt, and it ain't easy just now. I have done a gradual tapering; I used to just about (but not really) get by on 20mg....Ended up during that time living and working in another country ? , finally burnt out over there and admitted defeat. Came back to the UK. On the advice of family, went up to 30mg (not for the first time). The recent tapering has involved: back to 20mg for at least 6 months; then down to 10mg for over 6 months....Down to nothing for the last 6 weeks. (With hindsight, and reading a couple of other posts on here, etc, I realise this was probably too quick). I would say all withdrawal symptoms are mental rather than physical; although I know these two aspects are intimately linked and interacting, I've done it slowly enough to avoid any of the classic "shock" sensations associated with Paxil - or what one might call "Seroxat Flu".... Also, my sleeping patterns don't appear to be too much disturbed. Not too long after I returned from another country my father died. I am 42 years old and lost my mother to cancer at the age of 13, so am effectively now a middle-aged orphan. Have one sibling, a sister, who also has mental health problems, but there is much bitterness and anger between us (even though we do deep down love each other). We haven't spoken for about 6 months. She accuses me of only ever contacting her when I have a problem or am down, so I'm fairly stuffed down that avenue at the moment ? I have never had a proper romantic relationship...Almost hardly ever had sex - and usually not got much "out of it" due to the SSRIs and probably some emotional problems too. I was diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder in 2000....I am just about managing to hold that at bay at present, but depression and some catastrophic thinking patterns are vying for space in my mind.....I am trying to stay in the moment as much as possible, trying to meditate....Some sporadic success here does alleviate some of the emotional pain occasionally. I try to treat myself to certain material things, or life events, every so often, and that helps also. When my dad died, I inherited more money than I have had in my life; but it is relatively little considering the cost of living in the UK these days. I have already squandered a small fraction of that money on one occasion on a girl - an example of lust over love, my own vulnerability and loneliness and naevity - but I have mentally put that behind me. I tentatively manage to hold down full-time work; how well I am actually functioning at work depends on each individual perspective of my various coworkers - as strange and obtuse as that sounds. I suppose I am trying to say that I gel well, in terms of compatibility and likeability, with certain coworkers far more than others. Anyway. I have written far more than most people would easily be able to digest in one sitting.....If you got this far then thank you so much ?
  10. 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.
  11. Psychiatrist has told me to stop Sertraline from 150, down to 100mg the next week, then down to 50 the next, then stop (not because my depression has eased but because it doesn't seem to have helped at all. However, online I see that people are recommending a much longer tapering. . The problem is, when I rang the surgery today to try and voice my concerns about this and some other things I wasn't sure about, I was told by one of the staff to just follow what the psychiatrist says. I tried telling her that I had to go away for three months to work in a place where I have no friends, family or doctor, but she didn't seem to want to listen. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is this too quick a time period and if not, aren't I just dependent on whatever a certified doctor tells me to do?
  12. Hi, Currently taking 150mg of sertraline a day and looking to ween myself off it. How would i go about doing this? I did some digging and it seems to go by 10% a month of lower dosage. Is this correct? Also, could someone explain why liquidising the dosage is better? Is there no other method of safely tapering? I was going to reduce it by 25mg a week consecutively. Would this be non advisable? Thanks.
  13. Hello, I'm new to this site (although I've read a lot of your content by now), and I'm so grateful I found it!! I've been suffering from anxiety disorder and depression since I was a kid, around 8 years old (I'm 30 years old now). I've been in countless treatments since then, too many to remember. I've been taking Cymbalta for about 8 years now, I've tried going off cold turkey and obviously failed miserably and had to be put back on Cymbalta 60mg. Currently I am taking 30mg. My doctor said I should try alternating days to try to taper off, and since reading your content I realized this was the wrong approach. So I bought the Gemini 20 digital scale and the gelatin capsules, and I'm ready to start today with my 1st 10% reduction. I know I'm affected by withdrawal symptoms because when ever I forget taking mi pill I start getting brain saps, confusion, fatigue, etc. So I'm hoping this approach will help me taper off without any harsh side effects. I'm also taking Itravil, this is Clobenzorex, 30mg once a day. Basically I was prescribed and started taking this because of the fatigue I was experiencing, which now I believe could have been a result of the reduction in dosage of Cymbalta... So I don't know exactly what effects this medication will have in my withdrawal. Hoping for the best!
  14. Hello to all of you First of all I want to thank all of you for the information posted on this page. I am a guy living in Copenhagen, and I'm currently taking clomipramine. In a couple of months I will turn 30, and by that time I will have spend the last 12,5 years of my life on antidepressants. I am diagnosed with OCD, which most of all manifests in GAD like symptoms today. The first 10 years I was on 20 mg of citalopram, and it was only increased a couple of times during this period. Last year I was seeing a psychiatrist, and we tested a lot of different medicine (paroxetine, pregabalin, mirtzapine, sertraline, escitalopram), but none of it helped with my symptoms. I wanted to try clomipramine as a last resort, which my doctor prescribed me. It felt good for a couple of weeks as all the other drugs have, but I simply can't stand the feeling of being doped any more. I feel like I have to get back to me in some way, but talking about me is also kind of crazy after being on antidepressants for 12,5 years. I was taking 25 mg of clomipramine which I cut in half about a month ago. It's been kind of a tough month. The anxiety and anger overtakes me, and today I have made a water solution and taken 20 mg instead of 12,5 mg. Hope the symptoms will improve! I do have some worries now. The whole water solution makes me really nervous. Like do I get enough, will the solution get stronger as I get near the bottom of the glas etc. Like doing the whole water solution is agony, when you suffer severe anxiety. Do you guys have some calming words or any suggestions to combating the anxiety? I have made my mind up about wanting to stop the medicin, and I'm planing to do the 10% method etc. That make me drug free in 2020 or something, but just decreasing the drug slowly will be a reward in it self. I'm so tired of feeling numb, apathy and not being able to love like I once did! Greetings Henrik
  15. Hi everyone! I was prescribed Abilify for severe depression and anxiety and I have been able to slowly taper off thanks to miracle product called cysteine, highly recommend it. When I crossed 15mg of Abilify, instead of constipation I got diarrhea. Now, when I was on 9-8mg, even my genital numbness receded a little. However now, when I lowered the dose to 7.5mg, my genital numbness is even worse, I got constipation again as well as water retention. What might be going on?
  16. Hi, I thought I'd share this as it's quite relevant, not 100% sure if this is the right subforum, will post in both this and research. PDF of American Journal of Psychiatry article or Summary and excerpts from study in the Journals forum of survivingantidepressants The pretty pictures are from page 4 onwards in the PDF. (Admin note: Pretty pictures here.) What these fellows did here, was attempt to measure serotonin transporter occupancy at various doses for 5 different drugs. (Zoloft, celexa paxil, effxor and Prozac, not in that order). They fit curves for both the oral doses and blood concentrations. Long story short for anyone who doesn't know, SSRI’s ‘work’ by binding to the serotonin transporter protein (SERT) and stopping it doing it’s normal thing (reuptake of post-synaptic serotonin), resulting in serotonin hanging around for longer. Now a couple of interesting things: -at minimum therapeutic doses in every case, there was about 80% SERT occupancy. That shocked me personally. Even the minimum doses are locking down 80% of your brains reuptake ‘capacity’. Higher doses do more but it’s obviously not linear – they actually have plotted curves, and they’re quite a good fit statistically, particularly for the blood concentrations. Really good in fact. Point here though is that there’s a long way between 0% at no drug and 80% at the minimum dose. -the curves man, look at the curves. This gives a fairly good indication of why some people find tapering necessary. You NEED a percentage taper just to get a linear decrease in SERT occupancy. Linear decreases in dose will actually hit you with exponentially increasing drops in SERT occupancy, particularly drops between the minimum therapeutic dose and 0 Basically, this paper provides a real basis for percentage reductions in dose when discontinuing SSRI’s. I realize I'm kinda preaching to the converted and telling people what they already know, but it seems there may actually be a real reason why some people find it necessary to do these percentage tapers to get off SSRI's. Caveat: I have no idea what the relationship between SERT occupancy and post synaptic serotonin is, it’s probably not linear since if it was higher doses would have basically no effect, but this is nevertheless very interesting to look at. They were only looking at one part of the brain but pointed out it correlated strongly to elsewhere. Moderator notes To search for whether there is a study for your medication, google the generic name of the drug with these other two search terms: 5HTT occupancy If you find a paper, please post the both the name of the medication and a link to the paper. 2016-July-01, Cymbalta (duloxetine) MMarie found this paper on dose and 5HTT occupancy. The site, academia.edu, requires login: http://www.academia....orter_occupancy Link to screen shot of dose-occupancy and dose-plasma concentration curves 2016-November-12, Anafranil (clomipramine) and Luvox (fluvoxamine) Link to study on occupancy vs. dose Link to chart of occupancy-dose relationship
  17. Hello Everybody! In December 2010 (I just turned 21) I started taking Paxil because I was having severe anxiety (Agoraphobia / Emetophobia). After intensive therapy I made a good recovery which allowed me to pick up daily life (the Anxiety is never completely gone, but it no longer has a big impact on my life). I tried to stop twice and twice this failed extremely hard. By then me and my psych/GP thought it was easy and with todays knowledge I can say that the failures were probably due to way to fast withdrawal schedules (first time I halved to 10mg and stopped the week after.. second time I reduced by 2mg each week). Early summer 2016 I was feeling better than ever on every aspect of my life, but in the second half of the summer suddenly I started feeling worse. Fatigued, unmotivated, tingling sensations and a somewhat drugged/absent feeling. Even though I did feel familiar (to Paxil symptoms, which I had a lot the first ~2-3 months when starting Paxil each time) I did not immediately link it to my medication due to no increase in anxiety. However after a thorough checkup (both physically and mentally) without any other possible finding the only remaining hypothesis was the sudden change in how my body responded to the medication. I decided to start tapering of paxil, but this time I would be prepared: I found out about the 5-10% in 3-6 weeks schedules and found a psychiatrist to help me with my tapering. I also switched to liquid Seroxat to make tapering easier. My plan was to start with tapering 10% each 4 weeks and only reduce dosage once I felt mainly stable/good during the last week. The first taper step went good with only minor/innocent side effect. The second step already became a bit heavier especially with the addition of headaches and eye floaters both of which reduced my daily productivity/concentration. However after 5 weeks I felt stable/better and decided to taper again. The first week on my new dosage (14.4mg) went surprisingly well. But after that suddenly everything changed: The anxiety came back in full force. In addition I felt hunted/restless, nauseous, vague/absent (like I'm a spectator in my own life), still had headaches, almost no energy, heart palpitations and sometimes hyperventilating. We are now three months further and I slowly/steadily start feeling better each week but still feel far from stable (more like a house without foundation which could collapse any moment). Besides all I remain positive and hope to feel better in a couple of weeks, but I am uncertain of what to do next: - I could continue tapering Paxil as if nothing happened, but given the insane symptoms I just recovered from I might consider a smaller step of 5%. - An alternative could be, due to the heavy symptoms in a this early stage of tapering to switch to an AD which is famous for being still-horrible-but-slightly-less-horrible-than-parox with regards to tapering and withdrawal symptoms. I found this topic on this site which states this and that Prozac is often used for this. I can not decide what to do.. hopefully this and other topics on this site will help me make this decision..
  18. Hey Guys, Name's Kittie. Go by SailorMew on here. I'm 22. Diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and PTSD. Have some anxiety thrown in there as well but not enough for a full GAD diagnosis, but rather as more of a symptom of the other two diagnoses. I've been in and out of therapy since I was in 3rd grade, and on and off meds since I was 14. Finally found a mix that helped. Got put on Seroquel and Lamictal in April of 2016. As well as .25 of Xanax as needed for panic attacks. My ending doses before I started to taper were Lamictal 100mg 2x day morning and night Seroquel 100 1x day night Xanax .25 as needed I've been doing better. Hit a plateau. Found a new therapist to start Rapid Resolution Therapy with, high hopes for this one. Going to get my trauma figured out. The other day (2/22/2017) I actually missed my whole nighttime dose of medication because I fell asleep on the couch and then woke up and went directly to bed. The next morning I woke up at 7 am, which is unusual for me, fresh, energized and in a great mood. I've missed my meds before but I haven't felt that great in a while. I took my normal 100mg Lamictal that morning. Felt a little woozy but felt fine after taking the Lamictal. Had a great day. Forgot I could feel so much. Decided that my progress has plateaued with the meds and maybe its time to get off of them now, and learn to continue progress without meds, at least this one for now. I was initially put on it for sleep, in any case, and at such a low dosage it's mostly considered an antihistamine more than an antipsychotic. Although what I experienced that day could be considered maybe a hypomanic state, but since I'm not bipolar I don't have much worry over this. Personally, I just attribute it to the lack of zombie-inducing Seroquel in my system. (they say it's completely out within 48 hours, since I only take it every 24 hours and had missed a dose, it was already out IMO). Last night (2/23/2017) I decided to start my taper since I had already missed a dose. (good idea? bad? I don't know) I took 100 Lamictal as per usual. and 90mg of Seroquel. I used 1 50mg tablet and another 50mg tablet that I cut up to into quarters and only took 3 of 4 quarters. right before I took it I still felt kinda wired. once it set in sleep was normal. This morning (2/24/2017) I had the day off, so I slept in. woke up groggy, feeling kinda useless. definitely feeling the Seroquel back in my system. This sucks, I think to myself. Oh well. I read something that just the day before I would have gotten really emotional and inspired over, whereas today I was more like, hm, yeah, that's nice *apathy* towards. As the day goes on it starts wearing off a little more and I feel more lively. I take a nap around 6 pm and I wake up feeling a little more like the day before. Maybe I slept off the rest of it. Tonight I will take the same amount (90mg) before bed. Going to let this dose stabilize and then drop to 80mg. Just sharing my experience. Tips, tricks, and advice on tapering Seroquel welcome. Anyone on the same combination of meds and/or with the same disorders, your input is especially valuable! PS. I know it's ill advised to make decisions about your medication, while not on said mediation. I've taken that into account, considered it thoroughly withdrawal and side effects included, and I've consulted my close ones and gained support with this decision. I am currently trying to get in contact with my Psych, their office is hard to get a hold of (*cough* the secretary sucks *cough*) Generally though, she is more than supportive of whatever I choose to do with my medications. This is because I've been in the psych circuit for a long time, correctly self-diagnosed where professionals were constantly misdiagnosing me (as bipolar, ADHD, and a plethora of other things) (diagnosis confirmed while in DBT treatment), and because I've done my own extensive research on what works and doesn't work for my particular disorders. (Mostly everything I read points to Seroquel and Lamictal being the only effective meds. DBT is still the best therapy modality for it, in combination with trauma-focused approaches. I've found this to be true through personal experience) But I digress. Thanks!
  19. Hello, My name is Dennis and I have been on Ssri antidepressants for ten years. I am 24 years old and I have Autism along with depression and anxiety. Just last week, my doctor put me on Welbutrin XL 150mg and had me take 50mg of Zoloft, my normal dosage being 100mg. She wants me to stay on that for two weeks, then go off, as she said that Welbutrin will help. I have gone through ssri withdrawals before, and I always got the usual brain zaps, increased anxiety and depression, and more agitation. I feel that two weeks is not enough to completely taper off an ssri, so that is why I am here. I will post my day by day progress on here. Any advice would help. Thank you, Dennis
  20. 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
  21. Hi Everyone! I´m new to the site. There is so much good information here. I´m so glad I was referred to it. I have a question about tapering. I´m taking 100 mg of Thorazine and 75mg of zoloft. A couple of months ago I got down to just taking 75mg of thorazine and had sucessfully tapered off the zoloft. After a month of just taking the thorazine I became depressed. It seems that I can´t take either one without the other. If I take the thorazine alone I get depressed. If I take the zoloft alone I can become manic. Can I just taper them both at the same time? Thanks in advance
  22. Hi all, to start I would like to say I wish I'd found this website 8 months ago. But if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Just a disclaimer here, I'm a writer, so this is going to be detailed.... I started taking Escitalopram after I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression in April 2013 (At that point I had a 21 month old and a 3 month old), I had just hit the crazy 3 month post partum hormone phase, my hair had started falling out the week before and the hormones, lack of sleep and a pigheaded obsession with just taking on too much while having two small children just got to me. When the Dr and the mental health nurses suggested that I go on Escitalopram, I investigated the possible side effects from the medication, asked how long people usually take them for, but I didn't ask about the withdrawals.... After 9 months on them, I decided that I was probably in a better place with the kids and the pressure, I'd been back at work for 2 months, I'd had one appointment with a psych and missed a second one, I foolishly thought that I would be fine. The mental health service wouldn't take me back to give me advice about cessation, so I called and asked to speak to the mental health doc in the Post natal ward at the hospital who told me that I could just go off them cold turkey. Yep, thanks for that, Lady! I stopped about a week before Christmas and went back on them about 6 weeks later - I had been driving to work and found myself thinking about suicide, not planning, just thinking and that is a huge warning sign for me, so back on the tablets I popped. This year I decided that everything was a bit more stable, the kids were 3 and 4, and I thought that I might be in a position to start coming off the tablets. My doctor advised that I should be able to come off them, but only went as far as giving me a prescription for the suspension. He offered to do a mental health plan assessment and get me some free appointments with a psychologist, again, something I should have considered, but I went into this with a pretty cavalier attitude. I then discovered that I couldn't get the suspension, I tried a couple of pharmacies, but was told that it had been discontinued (although it is still on the PBS in Aus). I think my first dose reduction was to 5mg (much too large as I know now, but looking at the charts, it seems as though a difference in the larger doses is not as critical). After a couple of months, I made a suspension using tablets and water (I am a scientist by training, I convinced myself that I knew what I was doing), I think my dosage drops went to 3mg, then maybe 2, I'm not entirely sure as I didn't document it (naughty me). Over those few months, I didn't have too many issues, I noticed a few times that I was a bit anxious in the mornings, but I could always talk myself out of it, I might have had a few melancholy days, but all manageable. There were also a couple of positives, like the return of my libido, that was certainly a bonus. In October I finally found a compounding pharmacy who made me the suspension and I started on 1.25mg/day. October/November were crazy busy, so I just maintained that dose until the markings on my syringe started fading. I think I missed a couple of doses, but I reckon my last one was about the 19th or 20th of December. On Xmas eve I came down with a cold, so I spent Xmas day feeling pretty seedy, only had one glass of sparkling. On the 26th and 27th hubby and I were finishing the construction of a cubby house for the kids in about 35degree temperatures, which wasn't pleasant. In hindsight, I think I knew I was on edge, I needed to take a break, but I really just wanted to get the damn thing finished, despite the heat. On the evening of the 27th I had a panic attack, as is my usual reaction, I then had the stress runs, then total freak out. I made a Dr appt for myself and my daughter (who I caught the cold from) the next morning as by then I had lost my voice. Then the next morning I had a text saying the Dr was not coming in and I should reschedule, when I got that message I broke down again. I managed to see a GP who told me that it probably was withdrawals and I should wait two weeks to see how it went. I was too frantic to wait and when I popped the antibiotic for my cold, I also popped a full 10mg Escitalopram. In the cold light of the next morning, probably with the clarity of relieved withdrawals, I decided that I should stick it out and not keep taking it. Yep, super foolish, I know that now. Over the next couple of days I had a thumping headache (fortunately only for one day), anxiety, gastro upsets, dizziness, nausea, decreased appetite, lethargy, pretty sure I had heart palpitations, and no real drive to do anything (at least it was the Christmas break and hubby was home with me and the kids). I prescribed myself a lot of time on the couch and spent a lot of money on Romance novels in the kindle app. Oh and on Friday morning, I remembered that I noticed a pink spot in a stretch mark on my breast about a month ago and convinced myself that I was dying of breast cancer, because anxiety. I managed to convince myself to go out on New Years Eve and we spent the night at a friends beach house, with the kids, I had a single glass of sparkling (forgetting that I don't drink it because it gives me horrible gas tummy aches, fortunately I know how to relieve that) and a single bottle of cider. I forgot about antibiotic interactions and wound up with a terrific hangover, wise move Kat, wise move. After a healing dose of bacon, eggs, toast and fruit, I felt much better, but still didn't trust myself to do that so poor hubby, who was still recovering from an 11pm Jagerbomb, still had to drive the 1.5hrs home. I was feeling okay, but fragile; a little shaky and my heart still felt like it was racing. Monday morning I was anxious, I spent the morning on the couch with aforementioned romance novels, a nap and a trip out for a late lunch for a friend's birthday. After lunch, which I forced myself to eat half of and normally I gorge, we took the kids to a beautiful park with lake and streams that you can walk in. While out I felt okay, but fragile and a little shaky. When we got home, I still felt shaky and collapsed on the couch. Dinner for all was toast. I played a couple of games on the Wii and felt much perkier, almost happy as the kids were going to bed. When Tuesday morning rolled around, I was home alone with the kids (3 and 5). I was anxious when we woke up, but managed to feed us, shower (with company), brush all of our hair and get out for a walk before lunch. After lunch I felt pretty good again, but had an appointment with my regular GP, who I planned to talk to about whether I was having withdrawals or becoming symptomatic. He told me that I wouldn't still be having withdrawals and I should just go straight back on the medication. I filled in a K10 and he organised for me to have 6 appointments with a psych covered by medicare. He also told me that the spot on my breast is nothing to worry about. When I told him that I wasn't going to go back on the escitalopram he said he wanted to see me in two weeks. Despite his assertions that it couldn't be withdrawals, I couldn't quite believe it; anxiety wasn't the reason that I went on the medication initially, nothing else could explain the nausea or the dizziness, or my racing heart (I was feeling that my heart was racing, which you expect with anxiety, but I wasn't even anxious when the heart was pounding). Wednesday morning again started with anxiety, and was now saddled with a 4 and 5 year old as it was the little ones birthday . I had decided that I wanted to take the kids to the zoo. Unfortunately, I couldn't get organised until about 10, so we didn't get there until about 11, when it was already about 30degrees in the shade, not pleasant. We got home at about 3 and I was shattered; exhausted and anxious. I tried to have a nap on the couch, but the kids were too excited about the new slip n slide to let me rest long, although I did manage to get them to clean their room before letting them play. I was then short tempered and snappy while I tried to get the wretched thing working. After dinner, I went to bed pretty tired, but mostly happy. I had also realised the theme in how my days had been running and did a little positive thought work before bed. Thursday I woke up feeling fairly good. I managed to get to the gym for a Les Mills Body Balance class with my favourite instructor, I was still a little wired after the class, but by the afternoon I was feeling quite happy, I managed to get through the rest of the day, pulled down the Christmas tree and tidied the house a bit and did nothing out of laziness rather than inability. Even hubby said I seemed better. Of course, that didn't stay the way today. I forgot to do my positive thinking exercises last night, and I realised that in the night. I'm not sure if I was going to rebound a bit today anyway, if it was because I didn't do the exercises or if it was because I woke up in the night and remembered that I hadn't thought about not being anxious and worried that I would then become anxious. Aren't our brains amazing things? Today was hard. Its been stinking hot here, I've been stuck in the house with the kids all day. I started out anxious and had loads of jobs to do to prep for the birthday party on Sunday (which is shared with two other kids and not at our house, thankfully). I didn't manage to get out to do the job I had to do, but at least I did get the computer prep. I was almost in tears when I was on the phone to DH (twice). My brain was playing the anxiety game, worried about dying, worrying about depression, worried that I'll get to fifty and not have beaten the depression and lose the battle with it anyway. Then I thought that maybe I do just need to be on it, life with two young kids is hard (esp as miss 4 is going through a phase of just completely ignoring any direction or requests), I was good yesterday and I'm bad again today. I spent some quality time on the couch with the latest romance novel. I managed today, the tv was on all day, we were inside (not completely my fault), I still managed to feed everyone (although it was four snack packets of chips for afternoon tea between the three of us), I pushed myself to vacuum the rest of the chips off the couch. I had a cry when DH got home. Now I feel good. After reading some more information on the page, I have realised that my final taper was probably inadequate. I have been trawling the internet all week for information on tapering and withdrawals and had convinced myself this morning that the 1.25mg dose probably wasn't even a therapeutic level. Thanks to the article linked on the tapering page I now know that this isn't the case, even though they only look as citalopram in that article, I think there is some data to extrapolate for escitalopram. I'm now at the point of deciding whether to just ride it out (as much as you can ride out a hurricane that just keeps blowing back to shore), or to go back on to my lowest dose. At this stage, I've decided to wait until Sunday, then go back to 1.25mg if I feel I need it. I'm back at work next week, which has both positive and negative impacts. At least at work I will have something to keep me busy and distracted, but business won't actually ramp up properly until the week after, so it won't be too stressful, plus the kids will be at childcare so they will be adequately stimulated as well. But for now, to bed, some positive thinking and hopefully a good nights sleep! Even though I know people might not actually make it this far in the post (it is very long) I have found the process of writing it very soothing and I have seen how far I have come in the last few days. I have felt relaxed and happy, but now I am getting wired again, so off to bed I go!
  23. Hi everyone, I am taking Effexor for chronic pain not depression. On Effexor for 10 years, half of those years on 112.5mg the other half 150mg Started reducing a year ago February 2012 - 150mg March 2012 - 131mg April 2012 - 112.5mg July 2nd 2012 - 92mg July 23rd - chronic pain got worse October 21st - started 75mg (chronic pain flare up subsided and has been stable ever since) November 16th - 56mg December 11th - 37.5mg January 5th, 2013 - 19mg January 22nd, 2013 - 22.5mg January 23rd, 2013 - 37.5mg January 24th, 2013 - 30mg From November 16th when I dropped to 56mg up to January 22nd the withdrawal effects gradually got worse. Prior to this I experienced no withdrawal effects. On January 22nd when I increased the dosage to 22.5mg I was trying to decrease the withdrawal effects because they were getting too strong. The small increase had no effect. On the following day when I increased to 37.5mg after an hour and 45 minutes the withdrawal effects got significantly worse. I went to my family Doctor (who was much more knowlegeable than I thought) and he recommended taking 30mg. Today I feel slightly better than yesterday but still not as good as when I was on 19mg. I'm wondering if I should stay at 30mg or should I decrease to maybe 25mg since I felt better at 19mg and I was on 19mg for 2 and half weeks? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Best of health to everyone! Thank you!
  24. I was prescribed Citalopram (Celexa) by my doctor in London UK, when I was depressed during a period of unemployment. I took it for 3 years, taking 20mg once a day. I never felt like it did much good helping me, and it made me feel a bit spaced out, not all there. After 2 years on Citalopram I started to have some suicidal thoughts, but far more homicidal thoughts. I wanted to kill people. I had thoughts of driving head on into traffic, pushing people under trains, killing my partner, my dogs and burning the house down. I had never had these kinds of thoughts or ideas before, and was convinced they were a side-effect of the anti-depressant Citalopram which i was taking. I told my doctor about my suicidal/ homicidal thoughts and he was told me to double my dose of citalopram! I told him that the drugs were the problem, not me! I then slowly reduced my dose once each week for 10 weeks, taking the drug on alternate days, and then cutting the pill in half and only taking it on alternate days. Every time I reduced the dose I woke up the next day with cramps in my intercostal muscles? (muscles between my ribs), feeling very sore and stiff, like I'd been kicked in the ribs. I also felt quite sharp electric shock; in my neck and shoulders, and had some jerky twitches of my neck and shoulders from time to time. The symptoms went away after day or two, until the next time I reduced my dose. After 10 weeks I was off of Citalopram completely, and have been off them for 5 years now. It took about 3- 6 months for me to feel normal again after coming off of Citalopram, My life is much better without Citalopram, and I have had NO suicidal or homicidal urges or thoughts since I gave up the SSRI drug. I do not think doctors are not helping their patients by drugging them with SSRI's.
  25. Hi Guys, I posted this in the media section but realized it needs to go in this section. We are seeing some major changes here in the UK, at the moment we are on the cusp of fighting for a national helpline for Tapering etc, this petition is about putting the onus on the pharma companies to provide information for Tapering etc, please sign its by my friend and someone who has been affected by ADS, https://www.change.org/p/secretary-of-state-for-health-jeremy-hunt-make-pharmaceutical-firms-help-users-who-want-to-stop-taking-anxiety-depression-drugs?recruiter=58757463&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=mob-xs-comment_share-no_msg thanks Guys!