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Fightingawar

Fightingawar: Withdrawals after having serotonin syndrome

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Fightingawar

I have been on antidepressants for 16 years many different ones, the last one I was on was Clomipramine I was on it for a year and a half. I recently had to go the ER for high blood pressure and my heart rate being very high I was diagnosed with serotonin syndrome and was took off my antidepressant rapidly (10 days) I am now on day 16 of being completely off and suffering terrible withdrawals, how long does this last and how do you get through it. I am still taking Ativan twice a day but I feel like I’m fighting a war and I’m so desperate to win 😪

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Altostrata

Welcome, Fighting.

 

What dosage of clomipramine were you taking? Have you told your doctor that you are suffering withdrawal symptoms?

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ChessieCat

Hi  Fightingawar and welcome to SA from me too,

 

We ask all members to create a drug signature.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  Please keep it nice and simple.  We only need details for the last 2 years.  Date, drug and dose only, no symptoms or diagnoses.  The other years can just be an overview.  

 

This is the preferred format which is helpful for the mods.  Thank you.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 2 years particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 

 

There are many existing topics and discussions on this site.  You can use the site search function on the main page of the site at the top right, or use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in your search string.

 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  We suggest that members visit each others Intro topics so that can support and encourage each other.

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Fightingawar

Ok so I went off Clomimipramine in 14 days because I developed serotonin syndrome but we are still not 100% sure that’s what it was but  I’m in week 7 of serious withdrawals at least that’s what I think it is. I have been on antidepressants for 16 years never in those years have I been off them so I need to know if this is really withdrawal I feel like the past week I have only gotten way worse severe anxiety, no appetite at all I have lost 30 pounds in 7 weeks, fatigue, aching, just feeling the worst I have I ever felt in my life. Could this really be withdrawals and what can I do about my appetite it’s very serious that I’m not able to eat hardly anything. Did anyone else get that too? I’m scared I need someone to talk someone who has been where I am. Desperately looking for answers!!

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Fightingawar

I was taking 125 mg, it has been 7 weeks can I really still be in withdrawals if they seem way worse and severe?

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SkyBlue

Welcome to SA. 

 

It does sound like you are in withdrawal. There is a lot of information and support on this site. You may want to start with What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

To help us know more about your situation (dosages and dates, etc.), Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature 
 

This will be your topic for asking questions (I'm sure someone will have also experienced the appetite problems and may have advice) and sharing your progress.


Again, welcome.

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Gridley

I too have little appetite and have lost a good bit of weight and attribute it clearly to withdrawal.  One suggestion is to eat several small meals a day.  I make a real effort to eat.  Are there special foodsyou like or used to like?  Stock up on those.  For me, nutrition wise, I feel I get more "bang for my buck" given my limited appetite from protein.  

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Fightingawar

How long have you been in withdrawal? I’m starting to wonder if I’m going to get better, I have lost 30 pounds and I am so very sick could this really still be withdrawals?

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Gridley

I've been in withdrawal for about a year and a half.  Withdrawal can go on for quite a while.  Yes, it is very likely withdrawal, especially since you had to go off the drug so fast. Please read:

 

This post and Is it withdrawal or relapse?

 

 The experiences of the members of this site indicate that you will get better.  Unfortunately, it will take time.

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
While it is often a first response to stress to take a B-Complex, in withdrawal it can be overstimulating.
 
 
Many members have found the non-drug techniques in these links to be helpful in dealing with withdrawal:
 
 

 

 

 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Fightingawar.

 

21 hours ago, Fightingawar said:

I went off Clomimipramine in 14 days because I developed serotonin syndrome

 

Why did you think it was serotonin syndrome? That is usually a result of more than one drug interacting.

 

Yes, you need to eat what you can. This is a good time to put butter on everything.

 

 

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BAT
16 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Why did you think it was serotonin syndrome? That is usually a result of more than one drug interacting.

 

 

Just curious serotonin syndrome can't happen with one medication at too high of a dose?

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Altostrata
30 minutes ago, BAT said:

Just curious serotonin syndrome can't happen with one medication at too high of a dose?

 

It can, but then you just reduce the dosage.

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Fightingawar

I got high blood pressure 170/120 and my heart rate was 160 ant my reflux’s we’re hyper but I still don’t think that’s what it was I had been on Anafranil at 125 mg for 2 years and then just one day out of the blue I get serotonin syndrome I just don’t believe it. I worry about eating so much which makes my anxiety so much worse because I don’t want to be put in the hospital I’m scared they will put me in a psych hospital. I try my best to eat I drink ensure a lot but I’m still very weak and losing a lot of weight. They are thinking about reinstateing a small dose of Trintellix but I’m scared to do anything right now I just don’t want to be in the hospital.

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Altostrata

Did you take another drug? Such as an antibiotic?

 

Don't worry about eating when you've lost so much weight. Do you have an eating disorder?

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Fightingawar

No I didn’t take any other medication no I don’t have a eating disorder I am a big girl anyway but still don’t need to lose weight like this 😪

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Kristine

Fightingawar sent me a PM...I have her permission to post my reply to her publicly....

 

25 minutes ago, Kristine said:

Hey Fightingawar, I am so terribly sorry you are suffering, my heart goes out to you. I completely understand. I had a look at your thread and I would recommend that you try to complete your signature and answer Altos questions. It is important to know how long you were on the drug and at what dose. Also are you taking any other medications. For example, antiemetics (drugs to treat neausea) affect serotonin and can make matters worse. 

 

I also suffered from ongoing nausea. It has eased now. I also lost a great deal of weight. 15kg. Try to eat small regular meals. you need your strength, you must eat, your body needs adequate nutrition to heal. Protein is important. Also ginger has been my best friend to deal with nausea. Crystallised ginger, ginger tea and ginger beer (the natural nonalcoholic kind)...also essential peppermint oil...in a diffuser. I would also mix it with a carrier oil and massage it in a clockwise direction into my abdomen. 

 

Yes, I deal with anxiety everyday. This is something else you should write on your thread. How would you describe your anxiety? What does it feel like? What time of day is it worse? The first exercise I would recommend is learning breathing techniques...I know this sounds basic but it works. Maybe start with the  4-7-8 breathing technique...i  do this at least 5 times per day. Always first thing in the morning. Here is a example..there are many examples on the web....

 

would it be okay if I post this message on your thread? I think it is beneficial to have these sorts of conversations public so the moderators can help you more. What do you think? 

 

Much Love. K :)

I know this is all a bit overwhelming FAW, but you will find such an abundance of information and support here....it takes a lot of courage to join in the first place...welcome to SA :) you have landed in a safe place :wub: Much Love. K xo

 

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Kristine

Hey FAW...how much Ativan do you take? What dose? Also you mentioned metoprolol in the PM you sent me...I'd also add this to your signiture...was this added recently to treat your high blood pressure? Has your BP stabilised since ceasing the 125mg of  Anafranil? Sorry for all the questions...it will just help the moderators get a clearer picture of what is going on. Much Love K xo

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Fightingawar

I’m taking 1mg of Ativan 3 times a day, I have been on metoprolol for a long time for high blood pressure. My blood pressure is still running high but my heart rate has been good though.

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Kristine

A tiny reinstatement of Anafranil may help aliviate the intensity of your w/d symptoms. Have you got any Anafranil left? Please wait for a mod to advise you. You are going to be okay :) much Love. K xo

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Fightingawar

I haven’t gotten any left they want to reinstate Trintellix in a small dose, I’m just so scared now of everything. Do you think 7 weeks is to long to try and reinstate? And since your a nurse do you think I’m losing to much weight? How much is necessary for me to eat everyday to be okay? Do the obsessive thoughts ever stop, they tell me I’m dying constantly 😪

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Fightingawar

In what amount of time did you lose the weight you lost? I weighed 234 now I weigh 202 which would be great if I didn’t lose it this way. I feel like I’m bed ridden I ache and hurt so bad with no energy at ALL!!

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Kristine
3 hours ago, Fightingawar said:

I haven’t gotten any left they want to reinstate Trintellix in a small dose, I’m just so scared now of everything. Do you think 7 weeks is to long to try and reinstate? And since your a nurse do you think I’m losing to much weight? How much is necessary for me to eat everyday to be okay? Do the obsessive thoughts ever stop, they tell me I’m dying constantly 😪

The obsessive thoughts are normal during w/d but there are ways to control them and lessen their intensity. They are just thoughts...what is important is how you react to these thoughts. I would recommend you check out the symptoms and self care section until Alto or a moderator get back to you. Making all the information avalible now will help the moderators assist you come up with a plan. For example, when, for how long and at what dose were you on Trintellix? Was this CTed? At the same time as Anafranil? Put all this information into your signiture. Even though I'm a nurse it would unprofessional for me to make any kind of recommendation or assumption about your weight loss.

 

3 hours ago, Fightingawar said:

In what amount of time did you lose the weight you lost? I weighed 234 now I weigh 202 which would be great if I didn’t lose it this way. I feel like I’m bed ridden I ache and hurt so bad with no energy at ALL!!

 

I lost a lot of weight (15kg) due to dexamphetamine being also an appetite suppressant and nausea and vomiting. I can't remember the amount of time...somewhere between 5-7months.  Over the past four weeks I have started to gaining weight again. Lack of energy and body ache (can sometime feel like flu pain) is also common during W/d.  

 

Im really sorry you are feeling so unwell and scared at the moment. I understand. Please read all the links that have been provided for you by the mods, add as much detail to your signiture as you can remember...and breath! Try and calm yourself...have a Epsom salt bath, listen to a calming guided meditation, sit in the sun, do some simple stretches, get a hug, hug a pet, wrap yourself tightly in a blanket (like swaddling a baby) this can be calming...breath deeply...if you are still finding it difficult to calm yourself.. focus just on the temperature of the air going in and out of your nostrils.....cool air in...warm air out...repeat...

 

I hope this helps...Much Love. K xo

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Altostrata
6 hours ago, Fightingawar said:

then just one day out of the blue I get serotonin syndrome

 

If I remember correctly, TCAs have a narrow index of safety. Is it possible you accidentally took an extra dose? Were there any foods you were supposed to avoid while taking clomipramine? See https://www.drugs.com/food-interactions/clomipramine,anafranil.html

 

If you put your drugs in the Drug Interactions Checker https://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php
you might see some interactions that led to the serotonin toxicity symptoms. Please copy and paste the results in this topic.

 

Aside from that, it sounds like you had too much of it. As Kristine correctly pointed out, taking a tiny amount of clomipramine may reduce withdrawal symptoms. Trintellix isn't any substitute, your doctors must like the idea because it's trendy.

 

Kristine also brought up your Ativan intake. When do you take Ativan, at what dosage? How long have you been taking it? Do you take it every day?

 

 

 

 

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Fightingawar

I never took Trintellix this is just what they are wanting me to start taking a low dose to help the withdrawals. They are scared to try the Clomimipramine since they think it caused the serotonin syndrome 😪

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Kristine
12 hours ago, Fightingawar said:

I never took Trintellix this is just what they are wanting me to start taking a low dose to help the withdrawals. They are scared to try the Clomimipramine since they think it caused the serotonin syndrome 😪

Hey FAW, personally I would advise against taking Trintellix (Vortioxetine). I say this from personal experience. It is a new drug which doesn't even fit into any existing catagory of antidepressants. It effects multiple neurotransmitters. From the manufactures own publications (Lundbeck) the most reported side effect (33% from memory) is nausea. I suffered extreme nausea and vomiting from this drug. You already are suffering from nausea, so I'm concerned as to why they would even suggest it.  Just some thoughts FAW. I'm so sorry you are in this position. Much Love K 

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Fightingawar

If you have had serotonin syndrome I want to talk to you, I need some guidance!!

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Fightingawar

Can someone please tell he me or help me to figure out how to stabilize?

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Fightingawar

I take Ativan 3 times a day 1 mg each every day I have been taking it awhile. But the night I was diagnosed with serotonin syndrome I didn’t take any other meds other then my usual ones and I had been at that dose for awhile 125mg. They are talking about putting me in the hospital which I assume would be psych and put me back on a small dose of something and watch me but I am too scared to go to that kind of hospital. What should I do??

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Altostrata

FAW, what times of day do you take Ativan, and what dosages?

 

What about the food interactions with Anafranil -- could that have triggered the serotonin toxicity symptoms? Or did you take an antibiotic or other drug at the time?

 

18 hours ago, Kristine said:

You already are suffering from nausea, so I'm concerned as to why they would even suggest it.

 

^ So true. This indicates whoever "they" is does not even know adverse effects of the drugs they prescribe -- which is not uncommon, even among psychiatrists.

 

1 hour ago, Fightingawar said:

They are talking about putting me in the hospital which I assume would be psych and put me back on a small dose of something and watch me

 

Who is "they"? Are you a minor? Can you refuse to be hospitalized?

 

Very few doctors, even psychiatrists, know about tapering psychiatric drugs and even fewer know what to do about withdrawal syndrome.

 

If I were you, I'd accept a reinstatement of perhaps 5mg Anafranil to stop withdrawal symptoms. A compounding pharmacy can make up this small dose.

 

If the "they" you're seeing don't like this idea, is there another doctor with whom you can work? Any doctor can write the prescription.

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Fightingawar

I take Ativan 3 times a day at 5am, 12pm, and 6pm 1 mg each every day I have been taking it awhile. But the night I was diagnosed with serotonin syndrome I didn’t take any other meds other then my usual ones and I had been at that dose for awhile 125mg and I looked at the interactions of stuff with Anafranil but did not see anything that could have caused it. By they I mean the psychiatrist and my doctor are talking about putting me in the hospital which I assume would be psych and put me back on a small dose of something and watch me but I am too scared to go to that kind of hospital, no I’m not a minor I just didn’t know if they could put me in a psych hospital without my permission? Do you think if I can find a doctor to prescribe me the 5 mg of Anafranil that is would stopmy withdrawals and do you think that it wouldn’t hurt me if I did have the serotonin syndrome?  

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Carmie

I’m so sorry you’re in this predicament Fightingawar,

 

Looks like you did an extremely fast taper of two meds.

 

And they want to add something else in the mix?

 

Im sure the mods will be by to give you some advice.

 

Wishing you all the best

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Carmie

Just realised it was one medication you tapered off, 

 

Each medication seems to have a couple of different names.

 

Please wait for the mods, they have some amazing advice.

 

Thinking of you and sending hugs xxx

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RachelSusan

Hi Fightingawar,

I saw your question on Dave's page and decided to come over here to answer you.  Your question is below.

 

"How did you get through that RachelSusan, it’s been so hard my anxiety is so so bad and I can’t eat I’m so nauseous, my body aches from head to toe. How long did you suffer these withdrawals?"

 

It was quite a while that I had withdrawal symptoms, you can reread the post to figure out exactly how long. Nausea and body aches was of course all part of it.

 

I see that Altostrata is advising you regarding the Anafranil.  Can you take  her suggestion to your doctor and see if he or she will prescribe it for you? Perhaps you can call your doctor tomorrow?  I wouldn't wait, the sooner you do this the better. I don't like to see you suffering.  I know you are truly going through h*ll.

 

Best,

RS

 

 

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Kristine
13 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

I see that Altostrata is advising you regarding the Anafranil.  Can you take  her suggestion to your doctor and see if he or she will prescribe it for you? Perhaps you can call your doctor tomorrow?  I wouldn't wait, the sooner you do this the better. I don't like to see you suffering.  I know you are truly going through h*ll.

 

Hey FAW, I agree with RachelS...The sooner the better. it is very unlikely that a tiny dose of 5mg of Anafranil will put you at risk of Seratonin Syndrome. Much Love K xo 

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mammaP

Hi FAW, I have merged your 4 topics into your original introduction. We have a rule of 1 topic per person in the introduction forum, this keeps all your questions and replies in one place so it is easy to find your history. 

 

You have had some good advice here, the most important thing that you can do right now is  to breathe, just breathe slowly and don't panic. You are going to be fine. You will get through this, we all will.  You need a prescription for anafranil as soon as you can get one. The lowest dose that can be prescribed. When you have that we can tell you how to get the tiny dose.  Keep the ativan dose steady.

 

You will get through this and feel better again. 

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Fightingawar

So I’m not getting Clomimipramine the psychiatrist has repeatedly said no so all I have Trintellix I need someone to tell me something good. Has anyone ever went off a med had terrible withdrawals and reinstated with something else and felt better? Please give me some good news I’m taking this new med tonight and I’m scared to death not only because it could make me worse but because of the whole possible serotonin syndrome. Is there some good news out there that will get me through tonight?

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