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Cipramillion

Cipramillion: Cipralex

227 posts in this topic

Hi all!

 

Been hanging around and read up on some of the great posts on this forum over the last week.

Impressive work!

 

My english is not that good, so pls bear with me.

 

Here is a summary of my medical background/history.

 

My problems startet after an acute reaction to a vaccine i took 3 months ago. A few weeks later i also found out that i had an Epstein Barr infection, most likely during the same period that i took the vaccine. My symptoms after taking the vaccine were severe with extreme depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia and generally feeling very ill. My doc think i might have developed chronic fatigue syndrom/ME as a result of the vaccine/infection, but at this point nothing is certain. I have no previous history of psychiatric problems or other somatic illness. I lived a happy life with my family and enjoyed my work fully at 100%. Now i cant work at all, and the situation is tough with two small kids to look after.

 

As a result of my symptoms, which didnt seem to stabilize after 2 months, i aggreed starting treatment with Cipralex (Lexapro/escitalopram) 5mg. My doc told me to increase the dose to 10mg after 3 days, which i did not do. I noticed just after the first couple of days that i was sensitive to the medication and had lots of side effects (headache, feeling dizzy, mild depersonalization etc). Then tried to stabilize at 5mg for 3 weeks. Felt a bit better the second week, more energy and better mood, but still the side effects were bothersome. I changed to the original brand after using the generic for the first week. It helped a bit on the side effects. Also got parasthesia, a burning sensation in the body and face. Feeling very warm and uncomfortable. Sporadic panic anxiety. So after 3 weeks i decided to reduce the dose to 2.5 mg after discussing this with my doc. I told him to prescribe the liquid version (Lundbeck), which only comes in 20mg/1Ml in Europe, but still makes it more accurate for 2.5 mg. Im not sure how to use this at lower doses. He was a bit puzzled about my sensitivity to the medication. Probably need to take a CYP test to see if im a poor metabolizer. I`ve noticed that im very sensitive in general after i got sick. Cant drink anything with caffeine now. Sugar is also no good. Before i used to drink a lot of coffee. Now i cant take a sip without getting restless and almost dizzy from it.  Anyway. After the dose reduction i startet to feel a lot of naseau and dizziness, and after 2 days i woke up in the middle of the night with fast heartbeat and lots of anxiety. My first thought was that this probably was withdrawal from the dose reduction, which surprised me after just taking 5 mg over 3 weeks. I felt better over the next few days, but still got lots of headaches, dizziness and not feeling very well. Depressive thoughts and feelings of hopelessness. This was also something i did experience before i took the medication, but somehow it feels a bit different now. Before i would be having crying spells regularily, not happening much now. Feels like everything is more locked up inside. I think the medication does some job at keeping my emotional reaction at bay here.I`ve also been sleeping better after starting taking the medication. Before i barely slept for 2-3 hours pr night. I still wake up a lot, also have very vivid dreams. Im able to fall asleep again after i wake up, which was more difficult before. Im not sure what to do next. I dont think my reactions to Cipralex is good for me, and i really want to stop, but im also very scared of withdrawal symptoms. Feel a bit trapped here.  Should i increase the dose just a bit (3,5mg) to help with the withdrawal? Or should i just wait and see if i stabilize before eventually taper down more slowly?     

Edited by scallywag
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Hello Cipramillion and welcome to SA.

 

English is also not my mother tongue and yours sounds perfectly Ok ;) I'm sorry you have found yourself in this situation.

 

If you want a short answer from my experience I woudl do what you indicate in the second half of your question: take time to stabilise at a lower dose and then taper more slowly.

 

It seems you are one of the people who are very sensitive to these drugs, one more reason not to try to deal with your symptoms with them. I was just writing to another new member in a quite similar situation as you: axl617. So I will actually copy what I wrote to him if you don't mind:

Many of us here wish we could turn back the clock and go back to where you are now and try everything else possible instead of taking these drugs.

 

We have a lot of ideas on non-drug ways to deal with such states:  

http://survivinganti...ional-symptoms/

 

I'm not a doctor but I'm struck with how bizzare their opinions can sometimes sound: how can you say that somebody has a "chronic" condition after three months? Anyway, as far as I know the main symptom of Epstein Barr infection is fatigue and vaccines (as well as antibitics for instance) can affect central nervous system and cause it go symptomatic. It might be that your brain is just too sensitive to all those substances so it would make sense to keep away from them. The thing is that our brains heal and recover if we leave that process to go naturally. It might take longer but it will not turn you into somebody with a life long dependency which we are all here trying very hard to break.

 

I do believe you will go back to how you were ig you allow yourself a period of less than optimal functioning even if it takes months taking yourself as gently as possible in the meantime.

 

Once again welcome and let us Know how you are doing. Thank you also for filling in your signature.

 

Bubble

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welcome 'cipramillion'

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Thank you!

 

I will try to stay on 2.5 mg (4 week over the weekend). The naseau and dizziness is more or less gone, but i got severe headaches every day. It follows a distinct pattern. I take my dose at the same time every morning. About an hour later the headaches start to build up and get more and more troublesome during the the afternoon/evening. When i wake up in the morning it is gone. The headache startet the same day i changed to the liquid solution. Had already used 2.5 mg pills a couple of days before that, and no headaches. Could this actually be a side effect from the liquid? Both the pills and liquid is from Lundbeck. The thing is that they use different support chemicals in the liquid (Ethanol). I suspect this could be a problem for me. I also had severe headaches from the generic, but not from the original brand. What do you think? Should i try to switch to 2.5 mg pills to see what happens? Do i risk to ruin my taper schedule?. I find i t hard to cut the pills right on such a low dose. I will need the liquid to do that? 

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Welcome, Cipramillion.

 

Some people are very sensitive to serotonergics such as Cipralex. Their systems do not get along with the drug. These people suffer symptoms identical to withdrawal syndrome after a very short time on the drug.

 

You may be one of those people. It sounds like you are getting an adverse reaction to the drug. This may be more pronounced because the liquid is absorbed faster than a tablet.

 

If I were you, I'd lower the dosage to 1.25mg in preparation for going off completely. I'd still use the liquid.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

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Hi Cipramillion,

How are you doing now? Did you lower you dose? I was also on Lexapro/escitalopram, but unlike you, I was on it for years, the side effects built up over the years and made my general health much worse. Its good you have only been on it a short time.

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Thank you so much for replying!

 

Unfortunately i did not see your posts before already making my descision. I was so worried about the side effects and the liquid version, i just jumped off 2.5 mg and quit. 

 

Now im experencing withdrawal symptoms and my depression is returning with vengence! Insomnia, mood swings, periodically vibration/tremors, lethargy, dizziness, headaches,

 

Next week will be my fourth without the medication.  

 

My doctor fixed me up with a psychiatrist, gonna see her next week. Im sceptical and dont have any high hopes for a solution, but im gonna hear what she says. 

 

Im feeling worse in the morning/early day (cortisol?), and better in the evening. The depression seems to be the most ugly reaction right now. The other symptoms have lessen some during the last week, but are not completely gone. 

 

Im really scared and dont know what to do next. Should i consider reinstating 1 mg and tapper off again? 

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Hi Cipramillion ,   reinstating a small amount will hopefully take the edge off your symptoms.

Then you can get stable , and taper off more slowly.

You'll need to give the 1mg at least 4 days to get to a steady-state in your blood stream.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

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Thank you, Fresh.

 

I feel this is such a difficult descision to make. One the one side, withdrawal symptoms are no joke, and im scared i they will spiral out of control. And i can lose the window for reinstatement. On the other side, my reaction to the medication has been so bad in the first place, really just want it out of my system. The first day after quitting i got tinnitus in both of my ears (still not gone). This is pure poison! The reason for why i started this crap in the first place was reaction after vaccine and Epstein Barr virus. I now know that this types of incidents can cause havoc on the nervous system. I did actually experience all the classic symptoms (insomnia, depression, anxiety, depersonalization/derealization, hypersensitivity, POTS). Alot of these symptoms are in line with the concept of autodysnomia, which i see you guys have focus on here. Some of the symptoms are also very overlapping with the symptoms one gets from withdrawal. Putting my nervous system more at risk with a potent SSRI like Cipralex is just pure disaster. Will never forgive myself and the doc for this horrible descision. I have survived 3 weeks of withdrawal, and i feel some of the symptoms already are getting better. The head pressure/ache has been around for almosdt 6 weeks and wont leave. My depression is getting worse and insomnia is back. The depression seems like coming in waves during the day, sometimes with physical symptoms (stomach, nausea and some anxiety). All around my mood is for the most part in the "dark corner", but the intensity varies. The waves are really hard, but will not stay for the whole day. Get some relief in the evenings. Is this a good sign? I really want to ride this out, but not sure if i can tolerate to pay the price of longstanding withdrawal. This is so frustrating!  

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Thank you, bubble!

 

The 3 weeks after going from 2.5 mg to 0 has been pure hell. My mood is "up and down" all the time. Last 2-3 days the depression has been intolerable, just plain hopeless. Means a lot to me that the small Windows actually is a Sign of healing. Im not feeling great or like my old self, still got a lot of other stmptoms, the pressure/headache is insane, but still i feel significantly better in the Windows. I know this is only the beginning, but i will try to focus on the positive signs

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Exactly! That's what I did: clinging to every little relief while overal I felt awful. And then they slowly got longer and more frequent.

 

Hang in there.

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Yes, Been taking omega 3 and magnesium for several years. Im a bit sensitive to magnesium, so now i take 85mg. Got no brain zaps, which i hope is due to the omega 3 ????????

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Terrible withdrawal symptoms last couple of days. This insomnia is killing me! 2-3 hours pr night. Depression is fierce, and headaches from hell! Im so close to reinstate 1mg, but not sure if its worth it. Anyone else who has reinstated like this, even if you had adverse effect from the medication in the first place? I quit on 2.5 mg because i was worried about the side effects. Now im not sure if that was the right choice. Often i feel a bit better in the evenings, but the rest of the day is just terrible. Crying spells all the time. Intolerable pain!

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CPM,

 

Did you quit  C /T ?  If you did , this is " withdrawal".   Maybe it's not too late to reinstate, a small amount to get stable again.

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Yeah. I was on 5mg for 3 weeks and had lots of side effects. Then went down to 2.5 mg and stayed there for almost 4 weeks. Then CT. Im extremely sensitive to cipralex

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Anyone here who has been taking CYP tests? I have not. Im just wondering if my adverse reaction to Cipralex could be connected to poor metabolizing. What do you think?

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It probably is Cipramillion . . . many of us have had the CYP test and it shows that we either metabolize too rapidly

or too slowly/not at all , which leaves the drug floating around giving toxic side effects.

 

"Some people lack specific liver enzymes needed to metabolize specific drugs. For example, many antidepressants require the liver enzyme designated at P450 CYP2D6 to be safely metabolized.

People who are low in CYPD6 (an otherwise normal genetic variation that causes no problems other than with drug metabolism) would be called "poor metabolizers" for CYP2D6."

Discussion is here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2158-genetic-testing-personalized-medicine-liver-enzymes-genotypes-gen

or try a google search for "survivingantidepressants gene test" or similar for other threads where it comes up.

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Thank you!

 

So if we are slow metabolizers, what does that mean in terms of tapering?

 

Doctors should always check this before prescribing this poison.

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And one more thing... Is it smart to reinstate 1 mg now (im having severe withdrawal symptoms) when i dont know my metabolism status? Im afraid of the drug making more harm. CT from 2.5 mg because of adverse reactions, which could indicate poor metabolism. Im in for one hard road without reinstating, been off for 3 weeks now. So hard to choose :(

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That's where personalized medicine is heading . . . doing this test BEFORE initial prescribing. 

It has no impact in terms of tapering.   You are the best judge of a safe tapering rate depending on how you

tolerate reductions.

If you were to reinstate 1mg , you'll know pretty quickly if it helps or not , despite the adverse reaction you had before.

 

I waited many months and endured so much unnecessary suffering by thinking I could wait it out.  I'd encourage

you to reinstate , get your life back ,   then start a proper much slower taper when you've been stable for a couple

of months.

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Thank you so much for the fast response!

 

Sorry for all the questions. Im just really afraid of making the wrong descision. If the reinstatement dont work, how do i get off then? Taper slowly anyway? Alto recommended a drop from 2.5 to 1.25 to prepare for getting off completely. She was worried that i was sensitive to adverse effects and seemed to suggest a faster taper then the usual 10%. I did not see her post before i desided to CT.

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I'm thinking you can worry about the details of getting off once you're better.   A fast taper may or may not be best ,

it will depend on how your body responds to it.   Let's just nut out one step at a time for now.

 

If you have a significantly bad reaction to 1mg , you stop immediately.  

Otherwise , you need to give it 4 days to get to a steady state in your bloodstream to assess the effect.

 

If it doesn't help after a week or so , you will get advice from the mods on if you need to taper it or not.

 

It is a big decision , but there's no real "wrong" choice  It's a matter of what you can tolerate and what course

of action will best fit in with your lifestyle.

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Thanks again!

 

I guess time will show if the adverse reactions is worse than the withdrawal symptoms. Based on my experience with the med so far, im actually not sure. But i dont think i can handle the ugly withdrawals over a long period either. Just plain crazy that this problem shows up after such a short time on the drug and only 5 and 2.5mg. The power of these pills! Im gonna see a psychiatrist this week. I will make my descision by then. Im also gonna ask if she knows someone who has specialized in these types of problems. Dont have any high hopes, but still...

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Its done. Reinstated 1mg. Almost 4 hours ago. Feeling better already. A bit more anxiety but nothing alarming.

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Very good . . . it's about 12 hours later , how are you doing now?

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This is so strange. Almost all my withdrawal symptoms have subsided. Got 5 hours sleep this night (up from 2). So happy that i did follow your advice! Noticed some activation/anxiety yesterday, but nothing serious. Some small stomach issues and a little headpressure a couple of hours. Feel fine today. Will take the next dose in about an hour. Fingers crossed ????

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Sweeet . . . that's an excellent response.   You'll continue to improve  , wait and see.

 

:)

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Yeah, hope so???? Im only worried about the medication building up in my Body over time. Had more side effects esrlier. At the same time, some symptoms could be withdrawal after i reduced from 5 to 2.5 mg 2 months ago. The problems really started then. 1 mg is also a very small dose. Maybe some adverse effects could be dose related? Im also thinking that the stomach issues could be s result of starting up again and they will subside. Did not have those when i started on 5mg (way too high for me). Guess its true that the nervous system reacts a bit different after withdrawal to the medication.

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Need help!

 

Woke up in the middle of the night with extreme high pulse/heartbeat and my whole body was shaking. Involuntary movements of my body, could not control my hands. Worst experience ever! The worst of it was over in about 30 min. Was rushed to the ER. Took EKG and a blood test. They sent me back home again. The doc was clueless, but indicated that the symptoms could have a nevrological origin. He said that i could take the medication today. Since i started to have withdrawal symptoms, I`ve had some vibrations in my body and some mild tremor in my hands for shorter periods (max 1-2 hour a day). Im so scared. What could this be? If i discontinue the meds now, i will be so sick again. Should i tapper off?

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That doesn't sound good.     How have you been since coming back from hospital?

 

The vibrations in your body sound like mild akathisia.   It can't hurt you , and it goes away.

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Thank you so much for replying!

 

I feel tense, a bit shaky, scared and worried. Feel trapped. 

 

Is the akathisia from withdrawal? Im so worried about taking the medication now. 

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Yes , akathisia is from withdrawal.   It may get worse by itself , but lots of us have had it and recovered.

 

If you don't want to continue you shouldn't need to taper after 2 doses , and your w/d will run it's course.

 

Reinstating is the only way to avoid this.

 

Is it an option to take 1/2 a mg.?  I'm thinking you might feel safer.

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Ok. I might go for 1/2 mg. I think my anxiety is getting higher after reinstating. Feel more activated. Does that make sense? 

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It's certainly possible.  

Hard to know what's from what , but the initial s/e from reinstating (?activation)  are worth pushing through if they

disappear after a few days.

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