Jump to content
rosebuddy

rosebuddy: taking multiple drugs with side effects

Recommended Posts

rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

I have terrible short term memory loss to the point that I almost cannot function. There is no way that I can work; I also have trouble learning new tasks, such as posting photo's online. My husband has to explain it to me every time. I have blurred vision.

 

I am on 5 psych drugs.

 

Which do I taper first? I am on the Ashton Method to substitute Valium for Xanax. I have gone from 80 mg of valium to 30mg, and would like to get off of them. Buspar 30 twice a day, Wellbutrin 450 mg., Abilify 5 mg, Lamictal 200 mg. I also take uroxitrol for urinary retention and flexeril for fibromyalgia. Cold turkey w/d off Percocet 60mg a day 2 1/2 weeks ago. I am fine stopping the percocet. Would really like to get off the Buspar because I think it is causing the most side-effects.

 

I am on disability for mood disorder. I want to go back to work.

 

Thanks, Rose

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

Welcome, rosebuddy.

 

I moved your post here to start your Intro topic, for you to keep track of your taper.

 

Psychiatric drug polypharmacy can indeed make you foggy.

 

How has your benzo taper gone? Have you felt any differently as you reduced?

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

I could not taper xanax. I just couldn't. I felt like there was an elephant on my chest and I was so anxious I couldn't leave the house, and at that time I was working. I got on-line and searched and found the Ashton method and it worked great for me with valium substituted for xanax. I stopped the taper, not because of w/d but because valium helps me sleep. I have fibromyalgia as I said, but I'm ready to taper again and get off of it.

 

I don't think it is causing the blurred vision though and the short-term mem loss. I think it's the Buspar. I like my psychiatrist. It's just that if I am even a little off kilter, he prescribes me another med. I filled the last one but didn't take it--clomipramine.

 

I've read about how people are on prescription cocktails. I think that's what I'm on. I started taking xanax in 1996, because of job stress. I wish I never would have taken that. Then the Wellbutrin, which was making me kind of hyper and agitated. I dwelled on negative stuff and couldn't stop talking about it. Then my diagnosis was hypomania. And then it changed to Borderline. (Which I am definitely not, and have been told that by 2 therapists. Then came the Lamictal to level out. From then on, if I'm not feeling well emotionally, my psych adds another med. Then came the Abilify. Then the Buspar. Then the clomipramine.

 

I feel like I don't even know who I am. Maybe I have clinical depression, I don't know. But I don't think I need all these pills. I'm at home. I am not under any stress.

 

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

Since you suspect Buspar, might as well start tapering it, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3210-tips-for-tapering-off-busipirone-buspar/ If it's any consolation, it should be somewhat easier to taper than a benzo or an antidepressant, and you should be able to go off it fairly quickly. But better to start slow and be safe rather than sorry.

 

After the Buspar, if I were you, I'd go off Wellbutrin http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/877-tips-for-tapering-off-wellbutrin-sr-xr-xl-buproprion/ If it's so activating, it could be the cause of many of your problems.

 

Then, I'd reduce the Lamictal half-way, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1122-tips-for-tapering-off-lamictal-lamotrigine/, hold on the Lamictal and go off Abilify http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1896-tips-for-tapering-off-abilify-aripiprazole/

 

After Abilify is done, finish tapering off Lamictal. Any of your drugs, including Flexeril, may also be conflicting with each other, put them all in here http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html and post any bad interactions in this topic.

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

15 drug interactions with my 7 meds!

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

What are they? Please post the link.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

These interactions may be where your memory loss and blurred vision are coming from.

 

It's quite the basket of interactions. If it's any consolation, our esteemed member Tezza http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1644-tezza-risperdal-withdrawal/ reduced a similarly dangerous polypharmacy and is doing much better now.

 

I do think you should go off buspirone first, because it will be relatively easy. Then, I'd reduce lamotrigine half-way (changed my mind from above), then go off Wellbutrin, which will also be relatively easy. Then we'll deal with the others.

 

How does that sound?

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

It sounds good to me. Thank you for helping me. Do I write how I'm doing on this thread as I taper?

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

Yes, this is your journal topic.

Share this post


Link to post
tezza   
tezza

Hi Rosebuddy,

 

Welcome to our group. I've taken the advice of Alto and have been able to greatly reduce the meds I was taking.

 

Please believe me, she is much more knowledgeable than any doctor I know.

 

Look at my signature...I've had to remove some of the steps because of length. I still have a while to taper. I was in a mess when I found this forum.

 

You can do it, just hang in there and follow Alto's advice. I'm much, much better than I was last year and at much lower dosages. I've completely tapered Neurontin and still working on the rest.

 

Alto, thank you for the vote of confidence, it means a lot.

 

Tezza

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

Thank you Tezza. How do i list my meds at the bottom of my posts?

Share this post


Link to post
tezza   
tezza

Click on your name, on the drop down menu- click on 'settings'...then click on the tab that says profile. On the left you should see 'signature'

 

Hope that helps ... :)

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

I am now tapering Buspar. My scrip is for 30 mg in the morning and 30 mg at bedtime. I have over 90 pills. They are scored into 3rds. I took a piece off the morning one so it would be like a 1/4 less a pill. or 55 mg a day. Then in 2 weeks, I plan to take a 1/4 off the night time pill.

 

Do I need to taper this slowly? Can I just taper a scored 1/3 and if so how often?

 

3 weeks ago, I did a cold turkey w/d from Percocet prescribed for my fibromyalgia that I didn't need anymore. I cannot sleep through the night, have weird dreams, get up at 3 and watch tv and feel like crap til I take an hour nap the next day. I wish I would have tapered off the percocet. I was taking 6 10 mg a day. Also, about 3 days ago, I forgot to take my night meds, had to figure out how to take them in the morning and still function and add my morning meds later, so I am still off kilter right now. I don't feel like I normally do.

 

Rose

Share this post


Link to post
peggy   
peggy

Hi ROse, we will always caution slow is best. It's hard to undo damage, always best to avoid it in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

rose, maybe because of quitting Percocet and getting off your med schedule, you might give it a week or two before reducing Buspar.

 

When you do reduce, try reducing by one quarter of a tablet in the morning or evening, to see how that affects you. Don't reduce by two quarters, morning and night, at first.

 

This is what I would do: Reduce by 1 quarter in the a.m. for 4 days. If no symptoms, also subtract a quarter off the evening dose for another 4 days. If all goes well, take another quarter off the morning dose for 4 days. Etc.

 

If you do get withdrawal symptoms at any stage, hold on decreasing. You may wish to back up on the dose.

Share this post


Link to post
Nikki   
Nikki

Hi Rosebuddy

 

The short term memory loss is a very common issue with just taking one drug. It's not you, it is the medications.

 

I can't give you advise on how to taper, Alto and some of the others can. Believe me you can trust their experiences (first hand) and knowledge.

 

You are in a good place on this site.

 

Nice to meet you.

 

Nikki

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

I only woke up about 14 times last night to check the time. I had decided not to get up because that makes it worse the next day. I am positive that this is from from stopping the Percocet.

 

Thank you for advice on how to taper the Buspar. It reminds me of paying off a credit card a little at a time and then having it paid off. Then moving onto the next credit cards, one by one til they are paid off. I know it's going to take a long time, but I am looking forward to being free from all this.

 

By the way, when I did the Ashton method for getting off of xanax, I didn't stop any antidepressants. The switch over to valium and then tapering that has worked for me so far. I think I cut by 5mg then by 2 mg. Right now I have 90 of 10 mg. Using the Ashton method was my idea, and my doctor went along with it, even though he had never heard of it. I plan to stay on it as I taper the other meds first.

 

I see my Psychiatrist next week. How do I talk to him about tapering? I do not want to insult him.

 

Thanks,

Rose

Share this post


Link to post
tezza   
tezza

Hi Rose,

 

You said before if you're not feeling well emotionally, he adds other meds. Personally, I wouldn't worry about insulting him, but that's me, now. I might run it by him to see if he's willing or knowledgeable about it and if not, I'd play him to get my scripts. That's what I did until I talked to my GP and stopped seeing the psych doc.

 

The PDOC would have just kept adding or changing my meds. He never saw me over five minutes and most of that time he was writing something in my file. He would ask a few questions and then he would say aloud what he interpreted my answer to be, then write down what he wanted. I only saw him a few months. My GP has been helping by writing my scripts and is very willing to help me taper off slowly.

 

I wish you the best with that appointment. How you handle it depends on what his reaction to your coming off meds is like. I hope he will be supportive.

 

Hugs,

Tezza

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

If you don't trust your doctor, perhaps you should just ask him what he knows about tapering, let him do all the talking. At the end, tell him you've reduced Buspar, you feel the reduced dosage is enough, and ask for the prescriptions you need, such as 10mg Buspar tablets.

 

If you complain about feeling weird, as tezza said, you're likely to get more drugs.

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

I have 4 more days of 1/3 30mg Buspars then I'm off. The blurred vision and short term memory loss are better, esp. the blurred vision. Tapering them has not been difficult at all.

So next is take the lamictal down from 200 to 150 to 100 to 50 and off 2 weeks each.

Then stop the Wellbutrin? I think I will have too many depressants in my body.

I feel more comfortable cutting the abilifies in half for 2 weeks each half

cut the flexerils from 20 to 10mg

then the 300 mg. Wellbutrins. I just stop taking them?

Then start on those awful valiums last.

 

I have been on Wellbutrins for so long and I don't want my nervous system to get too depressed.

 

Does this make sense?

 

I go see my psych tomorrow. I'm just going to tell him I am tapering the buspar.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

In my opinion, you're expecting to taper too fast for any of those drugs.

 

After you stop Buspar, I would wait a couple of weeks to let your nervous system get used to the new situation.

 

Then, start tapering lamotrigine by 10%, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1122-tips-for-tapering-off-lamictal-lamotrigine/

 

Don't go faster than 10% per month until you see how your nervous system is handling the decrease. This will take about 4 weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
tezza   
tezza

These interactions may be where your memory loss and blurred vision are coming from.

 

It's quite the basket of interactions. If it's any consolation, our esteemed member Tezza http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1644-tezza-risperdal-withdrawal/ reduced a similarly dangerous polypharmacy and is doing much better now.

 

I do think you should go off buspirone first, because it will be relatively easy. Then, I'd reduce lamotrigine half-way (changed my mind from above), then go off Wellbutrin, which will also be relatively easy. Then we'll deal with the others.

 

How does that sound?

 

 

Hi Rose,

 

This is the suggestion Alto made. She has never steered me in the wrong direction, in fact, I'm so much better after following her advice.

 

Your plan sounds quite speedy to me and that concerns me a bit.

 

Buspar is usually not very difficult but some of these others could be a horse of a different color.

 

We always recommend starting out slow to see what your body can handle but it's better to be safe than sorry, later.

 

We consider 10% or less to be a good place to start and then 10% or less of each successful taper. That would mean your cuts would be less with each taper.

 

Please be careful...

 

Tezza

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

If you don't trust your doctor, perhaps you should just ask him what he knows about tapering, let him do all the talking. At the end, tell him you've reduced Buspar, you feel the reduced dosage is enough, and ask for the prescriptions you need, such as 10mg Buspar tablets.

 

If you complain about feeling weird, as tezza said, you're likely to get more drugs.

 

I went to see my phsyciatrist, and he was fine with tapering off the buspar. After I'm off that, 2 more days, then he said to cut the lamictal 200 mg to 150 mg. Hmmm that sounds familiar. He was great about me wanting to get off some meds. I just have to be careful when I go in when I'm not feeling great not to mention that because he WILL prescribe for me. Like I told him when he asked me if I was more depressed in the winter, I said well, most people are more depressed in the winter here in the midwest. I don't need a pill for that. And he talked about tapering the valium. I asked him if we could save that for later.

 

By the way, my sister stopped taking her zoloft and it took 6 months to get back to normal. She said she would feel like her brain was being electrocuted, and she was always getting zapped. She says she is fine now.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

Good to hear about your sister. If she has a chance, she might add to our recovery success stories here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/28-recovery-success-stories/

 

If your psychiatrist wants to be helpful, he might prescribe part of your dosage in 25 mg tablets for you, so you can split them for tapering. Insurance will accept this if the prescription instructions are to take twice a day, which is common with lamotrigine.

 

Most likely, you can tell him how you want to taper and the dosages you need. He'll probably be relieved you're taking responsibility for this.

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

So after the Buspar, go to 1/2's of the 200 mg lamictal and stay on it how long before I cut another? I go back to him in 2 months. He said to go to 100 mg. Thanks as always. This is an amazing site.

Share this post


Link to post
Rhiannon   
Rhiannon

Rose, you're getting good advice here. I would just like to add my own voice to say that it sounds like you're planning to taper way too fast. It's much better to start too slow and then speed up. When people start too fast they "hit the wall" and get very symptomatic and out of control and it can take a long time to stabilize from that. They generally don't gain any time at all by going so fast, because it takes so long to recover from the crash.

 

If you start slow, you can safely get a feel for how your body is going to respond to cuts. You can always speed up gradually until you're up to the level that works for you.

 

As you can see from your reaction to quitting Percocet, there's a lag time effect when withdrawing from drugs that change your neurotransmitters. These drugs cause your brain to remodel its chemistry and when you remove them everything gets destabilized and it can take a while for your brain to recover. Better to take it slow rather than overdo it.

 

I would also like to add this possibility, since you're having so much cognitive trouble and you're on several drugs that can cause cognitive problems: you may want to consider reducing your Buspar to half what you're on now, then reducing another one to half, et cetera, rather than going fully to zero before reducing another one.

 

I took Buspar for years and it did make me pretty spacey. Lamictal and benzos also mess up your short-term memory.

 

Anyway, you can definitely get this cocktail under control, at the very least get down to lower doses of the smallest possible number of meds. But please be cautious until you see how it's going to go for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

How does your doctor want you to go from 200mg Lamictal to 100mg Lamictal?

 

Do you have 100mg tablets?

 

So after the Buspar, go to 1/2's of the 200 mg lamictal and stay on it how long before I cut another? I go back to him in 2 months. He said to go to 100 mg. Thanks as always. This is an amazing site.

 

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

No, woops, they are 200 mg. tablets. So cut by 50 mg a month? I think that's what he meant.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

No, woops, they are 200 mg. tablets. So cut by 50 mg a month? I think that's what he meant.

 

I have no idea what your doctor intended.

 

Since he's left it up to you, I suggest you direct your own taper. If I were you, I'd phone him and ask him for a prescription for 50mg tablets so you can cut them up to taper.

 

For example, for your first decrease you can take half a 200mg tablet (100mg) plus 1 50mg tablet plus 3/4 of a 50mg tablet = 187.5mg

 

Your second decrease would be half a 200mg tablet (100mg) plus 1 50mg tablet plus half of a 50mg tablet = 175mg

 

Your third decrease would be half a 200mg tablet (100mg) plus 1 50mg tablet plus 1/4 of a 50mg tablet = 162.5mg

 

Your fourth decrease would be half a 200mg tablet (100mg) plus 1 50mg tablet = 150mg

 

For your fifth decrease, probably in a few months, you'd get a prescription for 100mg tablets plus 25mg tablets and do something similar. And so forth.

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

Hi, I am so grateful this site is still here. I can't believe I found you, or my user name and password. I had it all written down, but didn't remember the name of your site. So i googled the topic. Anyway, need help with short-term memory loss.  I want to take a coding course. I was a medical coder before I went on SSDI in 2004 for "mood disorder." I think that what was really wrong with me was 1) onset of fibromyalgia, and 2.) short-term memory loss from all the psych medications I was on. I want to get off of SSDI, and take a coding course to become a certified coder in Jan 2015. There is no way I will be able to retain information. I feel like I have early senility or something. It is really scary. I looked up all my medications on-line and 6 out of 7 cause short-term memory loss. So I need help. I have a caring physician. I mean, he listens and tries to help me. But all he does is adjust or add to the medications I'm on. Two weeks ago I went to him for my 3 month visit, and I talked with him about the short-term memory loss. He put me on medication that is for elderly people who are senile. It has all kinds of side-effects. I never took it. So I see him next week, and am going to ask him to help me taper off the medications I'm on.

This is what I am taking now:

Valium 40 mg HS

Lamictal 200 mg HS

Abilify 10 mg HS

Wellbutrin 150 and 300 in the morning

 

I also take Flexeril 20 mg., uroxitrol 10mg. and Percocet 10 mg every 5 hours. 

 

All of these except for the Uroxitrol cause short-term memory loss.

 

Are there physicians in St. Louis, MO that specialize in tapering psych meds?  It all started when I wanted to stop smoking in 1996, and a doc in the building where I worked put me on Buspar. Then xanax, I used the Ashton method and switched to valium, then Wellbutrin and some other tricyclics but we always went back to wellbutrin. then the lamictal, then the abilify.

 

Any advice would be appreciated. I really want to work and have my life back. I can't even memorize my own phone number! I think i have learned it, but I just can't. And that's just one example.

Thanks.

 

Share this post


Link to post
bubble   
bubble

Hello rosebuddy,

 

I found your initial thread from 2013 and merged it with your post from yesterday. I read through quite a lot of posts with the advice you got here. It seems that since you last updated your thread here you are still on 7 medications which is a lot. If you again enter them into the drugs interactions checker it's bound to come up with more major interactions as the last time ;(

 

Unfortunately, it also seems you are still focused on addressing symptoms and search for quick fixes instead of slow tapering one drug at a time. This is all the more necessary for you given that you have been on one or the other psychotropic drug since 1995 which is almost 20 years. 

 

It would be good to update your signature with the changes that you did since 2013. 

 

Again, there are no quick fixes that would enable you to have your memory restored. On the contrary, focusing on quick fixes will cause both short, mid and long term aggravation of your situation. It seems you attempted to do just that since you were last here and as a result your main symptom is still unresolved, you are back on most of your drugs, even higher doses than before, etc. If you had gone much slower as suggested, you wouldn't be off of them completely by now but you wouldn't be on higher doses either. And it is very likely that the side effects would've decreased as the dose decreases and not only with doscontinuation of drugs.

 

If I were you I would educate myself more on the proper way of tapering. Unfortunately, most doctors, maybe even 90 % of them are completely ignorant of the issues. That's why we were forced to learn things on our own. I would made very slow tapering of one drug a time with 10 % cut per month on your current dose my priority in life. I would also look for some job were perfect memory is not so important as it seems to be the case for coders. I also have memory issues and all sorts of other cognitive issues, among other things, but I do a kind of job where this is not the key quality and were my analytical thinking is appreciated and I don't depend so much on memorising. I know it's very hard but we have to try to find a job or re-qualify to something that corresponds to our present abilities. 

 

I'm sorry if I couldn't be more helpful. But you again have a chance to do this right. You will as before find  alot of friendly support here but the choice is yours. 

 

Best,

Bubble

Share this post


Link to post
rosebuddy   
rosebuddy

Went back and read previous posts. I have been off the Buspar for along time. So now do I go to Lamictal, then Wellbutrin? It doesn't make sense to me, won't I be depressing my central nervous system with valium, Valium seems to be causing me the most trouble and seems to ve to be the drug or one of the drugs that I need to start tapering first. I will take your advice and start tapering the Lamictal. I don't know if my psychiatrist will taper me off of anything but the valium and I don't think he will give me 50 mg tablets of Lamictal. 

 

I admit to trying to taper too quickly.As you said, I've been on these drugs for such a long time. I will start tapering the Percocet today. Then still with the Lamictal and not the valium?

 

Thank you. I know I'm being redundant. I just want to be sure that I understand. Thank you

 

Rosebuddy

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.