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Dabhob33

Dabhob33: Introduction

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Dabhob33

Moderator note: link to Dabhob33's benzo thread:  Dabhob33: Valium taper...

 

Hello

I’ve been on antidepressants for 28 yrs.  

Started on benzos in Nov 2015.  After 3 months immediately wanted to come off.   Psychiatrist switched me to Librium (100mg) after showing him the Ashton Method.   

 

I was prescribed levaquin while on benzo on June 16, 2016.   I took one 500mg dose and had diarrhea for a month and felt psychologically awful.   Has this permanently damaged me?

 

Tapered down to 55mg by Jan 2017 and went into FL facility that brought me off in 4 weeks.  I was off the benzo for 5 months until I’m reinstated.  Currently on valium (originally 20mg), now 11mg.   Dropping 5-10% per 1-2 weeks.   In Jan 2016,  I tapered off of pristiq after 6 months (tapered over 4 weeks).    I’m still on lithium 900mg to help with Benzo Withdrawal.    I want to taper lithium now.  

 

I want off these drugs in the worst way.  I’m depressed and don’t have a life.  My wife loathes me (treats me like an addict, but this is doctor prescribed addiction) and 9 and 11 yr old need their dad.  I want to be healthy and engaged in life again.   I want to help others once I make it through this.  

 

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at 17 (I’m 46 now).   I’ve been on ADs for 28 yrs.   I had my ups and downs through the years, but had a breakdown at 44.   Been in patient 7 times from late 2015-2017 (I’ve never been before) with loads of meds tried on me.  I had 19 ECTs.   I’m done with the conventional method and just need help.   I’m not crazy.   I’ve just been medicated - which I believe is the reason I’m in this mess.   

 

I’m on the couch most days,although I have to force myself to engage, help with the children.   My relationship with my wife has deteriorated.  I’m not working.   I have cog fog, not engaged with friends, no joy, overwhelmed by the slightest things, body burning, front of my head tight and burning.   There is no intimacy in my life.   I feel ashamed and guilty by the state I’m in.  

 

My family is everything to me.    A 9 yr old boy and 11 yr old girl.    I want to get well for myself and my family so we can have fun again, go on vacations and find the joy again.  

 

I want to reconnect with my wife.   We have been more brother and sister over the last few years. 

 

Edited by Shep
fixed up font (CC), added link to benzo thread (Shep)

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AliG

Hi Dave. Welcome. I'm so sorry for what you have been through but glad that you found your way here. You will find a lot of support and comfort ~ we do understand and a lot of us are also or have been going through some rough times. You are in good company.

 

Thanks for doing your drug signature : history. That's a good start.

 

To start with : a few questions , as we get to know you ~ You say you finished tapering Pristiq in January 2018, in your signature but in your post you say January 2016, tapered over 4 weeks. Which is correct and how did you taper? You were on it for 6 months: what were you on before that? 

 

You were on 20 mg Valium : now 11 mg and also currently on 900mg Lithium. Is that correct? Why were you put on Lithium?

 

This is multi - layered and it may take a little while to decipher and work out a plan. That's ok. Once we have a little more information we can start to do that.This is your thread to journal progress, ask questions and also interact with the SA community.

 

Ali

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Dabhob33

Hi Ali

 

-Pristiq taper finished Jan 2018

-I was on risperdal, zyprexa and Luvox prior to pristiq.   Doses and lengths are a blur.  I’ve essentially been on all SSRIs over the 28 yrs.  

- I started on 20mg valium and dropped to 11mg since Oct 2017.   I’m holding until further notice or at least that’s my plan.  

-Dr put me on lithium for suicide ideationand depression and kept me on to hopefully help with the withdrawal symptoms.  It hasn’t helped except make me more tired and I believe more depressed.  My psychiatrist is apprehensive to take me off to avoid upsetting things more.  

-I just saw my psychiatrist today and she prescribed me liquid valium for flexibility to slow the taper further.

 

one other thing I failed to mention was that I wake in a panic and burning any time I drift off, no matter how long or short the sleep.  Absolutely horrific. 

 

Did my signature show up in my intro post?

 

I’m terrified.   Hurting.   Will I be ok? It doesn’t seem anyone knows how to help.  Feel hopeless. 

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Dabhob33

Hi Ali

Do you/administration make suggestions based on the info I provided?   I am open to suggestions, particularly ones that have helped others heal with the least amount of suffering.

 

Would you be able to share your benzo history?  

 

I’m terrified and looking for any kind of solace.   Am I going to heal?   I’ve read so many horror stories and can’t get them out of my head.   Feel pathetic.   I’ve never been a victim in the past.  

 

Dave

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AliG

Dave, how long did it take you to taper off the Pristiq and what method did you and your doctor use?

 

Were you diagnosed by your doctor as Bi-polar? Hence ~ Lithium or was it simply depression? And SI?

 

My history is antidepressants ~ no Benzo's. It's in my signature at the bottom of the page. :) I guess I was lucky in that way. I never really suffered from anxiety.

 

I know it's a lot of questions but we really need to get a full history, first. So you are currently on Valium 11mg and Lithium 900 mg. Is that correct?

 

I know you're terrified and suffering but you're in the right place with people that understand and care ~ yes, you will be ok.

 

Ali

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Dabhob33

Ali

for some reason I can’t see the signature.  Is it because I am doing this via my smart phone?

 

i was on Pristiq from July 20, 2017-Jan 5, 2018. I tapered over 4 weeks per psychiatrist.  

 

I wasn’t diagnosed as bi-polar.  Just depression (and anxiety).  Yes, SI.  Feeling hopeless. 

 

Ask as as many questions possible.  I appreciate the depth of concern.  Yes, currently 11mg Valium and 900mg. lithium carbonate.  

 

One thing that keeps running through my mind is the rapid taper of Librium in Jan 2017.  I dropped equivalent of 16mg of valium (55mg Librium) and Cymbalta 60mg in 4 weeks.   Could I still be dealing with that even though I’m on valium? 

 

 

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Dabhob33

 

One other thing regarding meds.

I take 3 different eye drops for glaucoma I’ve been diagnosed with well before my taking benzos in late 2015.  

 

They are:

dorzolamide HCL - Timolol Maleate

Latanoprost

Brimonidine Tartrate

 

While researching these drops in relation to AD and Benzo wd I came across a post where a gentleman has been off 6mg clonazapam for 6 years and is still suffering immensely.  My goodness.   With all the meds and quick tapers, and benzo reinstatement, have I set myself up for a similar situation.   I know for all the ADs I’d taken over the years, they were all quick cross overs, no titrations or tapers.     Have I damaged myself to such an extent?   I apologize for the drama.   I really try not to obsess.  

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Dabhob33

I have to believe l’ll heal in a reasonable amount of time.   Have to believe.  

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scottenter

 

Sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time. What has been done to you (and many of us) by mainstream psychiatry is criminal. Have you heard of the site Mad in America.com. Many inspiring recovery stories in the blog section there. 

 

All I can think to tell you is look for inspiration and keep up hope.

 

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Dabhob33

My relationship with my wife is awful.  She refuses to gain an understanding on benzo/antidepressant withdrawals.  She has disdain for me.  There is no intimacy and love.  It’s as if we’re brother and sister.  I feel awful.  Symptoms are raging.   I feel like such a victim.  I’m trying to push through regardless how I feel but just feel exhausted.  

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Dabhob33

I’m coming off valium and came off pristiq in Jan 2018. I have pressure headaches and burning over my body.   What have people taken with similar symptoms.  Tylenol?  ibuprofen?    This may not be the type of question (meds) that can be answered on this group.  

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Dabhob33

I hope you’re having a good day.

 

After reading your site in relation to pristiq taper, I realize my psychiatrist brought me down terribly fast.   100mg in 4 weeks this Dec 2017 to Jan 2018.   

 

Between my valium taper 5% weekly and the ultra fast pristiq taper, I’m a mess.  

 

Is is there anything I can do?   I feel horrible. 

Thank you...

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Dabhob33

Do you work strictly with ADs or with other psych meds like benzos?

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ChessieCat

I tried reducing my Pristiq from 100mg to 50mg and after 3 weeks I was unable to type.  I took extra Pristiq and after about 4 hours I was able to type again.  I have since been tapering as per SA's recommendations and am down to 12mg.  I get my tablets compounded into capsules with a slow release formula.

 

I suggest you read Post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Please note that SA recommends starting with a lower dose than the last dose you took because your brain will have already made some adaptations in the time you have been off the drug.

 

Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Keep Notes on Paper

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

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Dabhob33

I’m freaked out.   How would I know what mg to start back on.  

 

Dave

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Dabhob33

ChessieCat - when did you start your reinstatement?   What other symptoms do/did you have?

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samanthaelizabeth

I hope you get an answer soon-Hang in there-There's hope!

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Dabhob33

It’s been a month since coming off pristiq.    I’m somewjat functional.   Just not sure where symptoms are coming from - valium drop or pristiq.   We’ll see. 

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ChessieCat

Please provide the following information so we can assess what dose you could try:

 

Q1:  When did you first start taking Pristiq?

 

Q2:  What dose of Pristiq were you on before you started reducing it?

 

Q3:  How did you reduce your Pristiq?  Did you cut up your tablets to get your doses or did you skip days?

 

Q4:  What doses did you take to get off?

 

Q5:  How long were you on each dose for? 

 

Q6:  What was the last dose of Pristiq you took?

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Dabhob33

I have to correct my taper timeline.  I was going off the top of my head, but I keep a journal and confirmed the timeline.  

 

1 - I started at 25mg on July 20, 2017

 

2 - I was on 100mg (took 100mg from Aug 24-Nov 29, 2017)

 

3 - I did neither.  I took 25mg, 50mg and 100mg tablets. 

 

4 - I dropped by 25mg weekly 

 

5 - I was on each dose for a week

 

6 - I took my last dose (25mg) on Dec 20, 2017

 

Note.

my doctor then put me on Prozac (“since I couldn’t drop any further from 25mg with the pristiq and Prozac is long acting.”  He said we couldn’t cut pristiq due to coating):

- 40mg from Dec 24-Jan 2,  2018

- 20mg from  Jan 3-Jan 10, 2018

 

That was the end of the taper.   Dave

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ChessieCat

There is no information about Pristiq doses and dates or about prozac in your signature.  The mods need your signature to contain all information about your drugs so we can see it at a glance without having to read through and piece it together from your posts.  Please amend your signature using this preferred format:

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

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Dabhob33

Ok.  Is there a way to extend the line limit in the signature.  There’s a lot of info to provide. 

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Dabhob33

Could you please cut and paste and send me the info I gave you for the pristiq taper?  

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Dabhob33

Nevermind....have the info

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Altostrata

Hi, scotte. Please start an Introductions topic for yourself so we can get to know you.

 

Hello, Dabhob.

 

First, please stop tapering the Valium for now. Symptoms from that may be confusing things.

 

Do you date your present symptom pattern from coming off Pristiq? Or was it present from when you came off Librium?

 

Do your symptoms follow any daily pattern? When do you take your drugs, and at what dosages? Please put ALL your drugs in the Drug Interactions Checker https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php
and copy and paste the results in this topic.

 

Regarding the lithium (which seems like a mistake), are you getting regular liver and kidney function tests?

 

If your symptoms date from going off Pristiq, we often see reinstatement at a low dose reduces withdrawal symptoms. See About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Pristiq, though, is difficult to titrate. Have you ever taken Effexor? Effexor is a sibling of Pristiq and is somewhat easier to take in a small dose. You may wish to try reinstating 5mg Effexor and see if that helps.

 

Effexor XR comes in capsules containing tiny beads, you can open up a capsule and take some number of beads. (For a more exact milligram dosage, you'd need a scale to weigh the beads.)

 

Immediate-release Effexor is easier to handle, you can make a liquid out of a tablet. But it has a short half-life and you may have to take it twice a day.

 

This topic explains how to take a small amount of Effexor Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

On the other hand, you might want to take a small amount of Prozac instead of Effexor for reinstatement. Substituting Prozac for Pristiq is
more iffy, but Prozac is easier to taper.

 

Ultimately, though, if you go off these drugs, you will have to deal with your tendency to "depression" or the difficulties in your life that are causing these feelings. You might as well get started on non-drug techniques now, they'll help you deal with drug symptoms, too, see Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

 

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Dabhob33

Thank you Altostrsta

 

I was supposed to drop my weekly  .5mg Valium tonight.  Definitely holding.  

 

My present symptoms (burning body and head, heavy eyes, tightness around head - most in forehead area, depressed, my head’s in slow

motion) started after my latest 1mg per week Valium drop (5-10%).   The 4th week is when it hits me.  Might be the long acting nature of Valium.  And then I hold.    I held after my 20-16mg drop.  Now holding at 11mg.  Not sure if coincidence.  

 

Are burning and tightness around head symptoms of pristiq withdrawal?

 

I too question the lithium, but my psychiatrist is worried about tapering me off of it with potential of causing more wd issues.    Is lithium tough to taper off of?    I started lithium on Aug 23, 2017.  

 

Lithium and valium interactions:

Interactions between your drugs

Minor

lithium  diazepam

Applies to: Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium), diazepam

Consumer information for this minor interaction is not currently available. Some minor drug interactions may not be clinically relevant in all patients. Minor drug interactions do not usually cause harm or require a change in therapy. However, your healthcare provider can determine if adjustments to your medications are needed.

You're absolutely right regarding the dealing with depression without the drugs.  I will read your article and am open to any siggestions.  I’ve been meditating, but need to make it more of a consistent practice.   Along with working out.   I’ve also found a therapist who has gone through Benzo wd and depression himself.   Very well respected in the area. 

Dabhob33

 

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Dabhob33

One other thing Altostrsta.  Regarding the rapid Librium taper in Jan 2017,  I wonder how much of that has to do with how I’m feeling.  Even though i reinstated five months later with Valium in May 2017.   I may have never balanced out.

 

I’m obsessed.  Can’t stop thinking about it and that I did permanent damage to myself.  

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Dabhob33

Sorry...realized I didn’t answer the symptoms pattern question:

 

mornings are worst.  Wake in panic and burning.   It’s remains steady throughout the day, with head issues coming mid morning to early afternoon.   Things subside a bit towards evening.  But are still present. 

 

Regarding lithium, would it be wise to push to come off lithium?   I do get my levels checked regularly and the results come back fine.  

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Altostrata

Those sound like withdrawal symptoms from the benzo reduction.

 

Yes, you could have some vulnerability from coming off Librium. People do recover from this. Healing can be slow and frustrating.

 

What times of day do you take your drugs, and at what dosages?

 

Please include eye drops, etc. in drug interaction report.

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Dabhob33

Doses and times

8am - valium 5mg and 3 eye drops

 

4pm - valium 5mg

 

8pm - lithium 900mg

9pm - valium 1mg and 3 eye drops

 

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Dabhob33
 
brimonidine ophthalmic
diazepam
latanoprost ophthalmic
timolol
Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium)


 

Interactions between your drugs

Moderate

lithium  timolol

Applies to: Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium), timolol

Timolol and lithium may have additive effects in lowering your blood pressure. You may experience headachedizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and/or changes in pulse or heart rate. These side effects are most likely to be seen at the beginning of treatment, following a dose increase, or when treatment is restarted after an interruption. Let your doctor know if you develop these symptoms and they do not go away after a few days or they become troublesome. Avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Moderate

timolol  diazepam

Applies to: timolol, diazepam

Timolol and diazePAM may have additive effects in lowering your blood pressure. You may experience headachedizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and/or changes in pulse or heart rate. These side effects are most likely to be seen at the beginning of treatment, following a dose increase, or when treatment is restarted after an interruption. Let your doctor know if you develop these symptoms and they do not go away after a few days or they become troublesome. Avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

lithium  brimonidine

Applies to: Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium), brimonidine ophthalmic

After using brimonidine ophthalmic, some of the medication may be absorbed into the bloodstream and occasionally produce central nervous system side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Combining it with lithium or other medications that can also have these effects may increase the risk. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

timolol  brimonidine

Applies to: timolol, brimonidine ophthalmic

After using brimonidine ophthalmic, some of the medication may be absorbed into the bloodstream and occasionally produce cardiovascular side effects such as decreases in blood pressure and heart rate. Combining it with timolol or other medications that can also have these effects may increase the risk. You may experience headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and/or changes in pulse or heart beat. These side effects are most likely to be seen at the beginning of treatment, following a dose increase, or when treatment is restarted after an interruption. Let your doctor know if you develop these symptoms and they do not go away after a few days or they become troublesome. You may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. Avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Moderate

diazepam  brimonidine

Applies to: diazepam, brimonidine ophthalmic

After using brimonidine ophthalmic, some of the medication may be absorbed into the bloodstream and occasionally produce central nervous system side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Combining it with diazePAM or other medications that can also have these effects may increase the risk. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Minor

lithium  diazepam

Applies to: Lithium Carbonate ER (lithium), diazepam

Consumer information for this minor interaction is not currently available. Some minor drug interactions may not be clinically relevant in all patients. Minor drug interactions do not usually cause harm or require a change in therapy. However, your healthcare provider can determine if adjustments to your medications are needed. 

For clinical details see professional interaction data.

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Dabhob33

I’m terrified that I’m permanently damaged.   The burning didn’t really get worse until the last valium 4 week drop from 16mg to 11.5. 

 

I did have burning periodically prior, but not like now.   I can kick myself for doing the rapid taper.   

 

Will I heal?   

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Dabhob33

The burning moves.   Never consistent.   Only the head pressure is consistent.   It just gets worse daily.  

 

Is there someone I can share my valium taper schedule with for feedback?

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Dabhob33
The file is too large I guess

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Dabhob33

One other thing Altostrsta.  Regarding the rapid Librium taper in Jan 2017,  I wonder how much of that has to do with how I’m feeling.  Even though i reinstated five months later with Valium in May 2017.   I may have never balanced out.

 

I’m obsessed.  Can’t stop thinking about it and that I did permanent damage to myself.  

 

I also wonder if the damage from the levaquin (June 2016 - 1 pill) could still be causing troubles?   Or is there a good chance that has passed?

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