Quitting antidepressent cold turkey!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Solstice, Apr 12, 2003.

  1. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    This is my second day of not taking the drug Lexapro. It was prescribed to me about a month ago. 10 mg.

    Ever since starting to take it, I have done little else but sleep.
    At first I thought I was just having one of my crashes. But it has continued and I feel terrible on it.

    I had been on Serzone prior to going on Lexapro, for years. 200 mg. (After stopping the serzone, I found out from this site about liver damage on serzone. When I told my doc last week, he said oh.......I just didn't want to scare you, so I didn't tell you about it!!!)
    The transition to the new one was a bit rough. But this lexapro is not helping me feel any better.

    I told my doc last week that I didn't want to keep taking the lexapro, but he insisted that I keep taking it.

    I am somewhat nervous because I have not been off of an antidepressent for so many years, I don't know what to expect.

    I also take 10 mg. of elavil at bedtime, and I am continuing with that.

    I know they say don't quit things cold turkey, but I am giving it a try.

    If anyone has any ideas for me, I would be glad to hear from you.
  2. RedB

    RedB New Member

    since Elaval is also an anti-depressant. That one made me tired all of the time. I can imagine how you must feel if you are taking a second one! Even if you drop the Lexapro, you will still be on an anti-depressant.

    Since I'm that knowledgeable about this, I'll leave it up to the others to help you. Just wanted to wish you good luck.

  3. marta

    marta New Member

    Yes, my suggest is that you NOT quit cold turkey. I can't recall for sure, but isn't Lexapro a tablet? If so, cut the sucker in half for a week, then quarter it for a week. How long depends on how long you've been on the drug.

    I couldn't take Lexapro but I have taken anti-depressants in my doctor's determination that I'm "just" depressed and used to take Trazadone for sleep. I did cold turkey with Trazadone thinking that, since I was taking Ambien in place of it, it would be OK. That was before I knew much about the drugs and wouldn't do it again. The effects snuck up on me until I was crying at the drop of a hat and didn't know why. I've heard of worse reactions.

    You don't want to cold turkey anti-ds.

  4. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    I would like to hear more please................
  5. Lendi

    Lendi New Member

    Marta is right, you should not quit cold turkey. While it is correct, you are on another anti-depressant they are chemically not the same. Not even in the same class. Cut the tablet in half. You may even find that half is just the thing for you. If not and you're still determined to get off the lexapro then cut it in fourths then quit taking it all together. I take lexapro and resteril. Elavil knocked me out like you are talking about with lexapro. Too much lexapro can do that too. I had to find the right combo.
  6. AC77

    AC77 New Member

    Finding an antidepressant that work is far harder than finding a pain med that does, that's one thing I know. I support your decision to come off Serzone, although I think the portrayl of it as hepatoxic is blown out of proportion by the media. It does carry a black-box warning but in my opinion there are many drugs that should also but don't because of various FDA B.S.

    Your options are actually many and varied. Here are a few things I would want to talk to you doc about, as follows: you could go back on Serzone and get regular Liver Functions Tests,(LFTs), to make sure your liver is in good shape, and have them repeated regularly.

    If Elavil is making you sedated you could switch to its metabolite and sister drug, Nortriptyline (Pamelor) which is far less sedating.

    Or you could just taper and stop for a while and see if your depression comes back-as it may not!

    There are a ton of other AD's also you could try if your depression requires one, which it very well may. The problem is, unlike pain meds, which you know work for you or don't rather quickly, a trial of an antidepressant takes an irritating 3-6 weeks!

    Good Luck...

    [This Message was Edited on 04/12/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/12/2003]
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Quit taking our meds cold turkey without talking to our docs. Sometimes the side effects of stopping a drug can be worse than the side effects of taking it.

    Love, Mikie
  8. layinglow

    layinglow New Member

    Please do not do this--you may not be experiencing the effects of cold turkey now, because you still have some in your system.

    Some who initially have side effects such as sleepiness, and grogginess, after taking for a week or two find these go away.

    You may be one who is chemically sensitive and would benifit from a very low dose---one half to one fourth tab.
    But do not, please go cold turkey.

    Although I have FM/CFS, I am very resistant to drugs...and I cannot tell when I have taken my 10mg. of lexapro at all.
    Whereas it knocks my sister with CFIDS out....when we take the same meds at similar doses. She always finds it neccessary to modify "normal" doseages.

    You just need to find the correct dosage for you.
    Or wean off VERY slowly----

    Please be safe...
  9. Dayle

    Dayle New Member

    You could end up worse off than before. LIKE IN THE EMGERGENCY ROOM . Please do not go cold turkey. I had been on 150mg of EFFEXOR for close to a yr. I thought I could get off of it so I very slowly tapered down to 37.5mg. I was having a rough time with getting off it completely so I will just give myself more time. I just hope you will decide to take it slow.
    Love , Day
  10. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    Thanks for the idea to take pamelor as opposed to elavil. I am going to speak with my doctor about that. I take such a low dose of elavil. but my concern is that it causes sugar cravings. I am hypoglycemic. And if I indulge the cravings, I am more fatigued from the low blood sugar. Will the pamelor be without the cravings? And I have heard less weight gain than with elavil?

    But as far as me not taking the lexapro.......and going cold turkey......what is your advise about that?

    everyone here seems to be saying I should NOT go cold turkey. I am ending my second day without it. I feel little in terms of withdrawl, and this was the first day I was not sleeping most of the day. At this point, should I still go back and try to taper???

    Thanks much to all of you for your responses!!
  11. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    with quitting cold turkey??????
  12. I wouldn't stop cold turkey, slowly taper off. I took Effexor for quite awhile for fibro. Do you take it for fibro or depression that would make a difference. It helped but then I decided I am not depressed so why take it. If I was depressed it was as a rsult of the fibro. My family dr. told me to continue taking it, my rheum. told me to taper it off if I wanted to. I have read so much about the killing off of brain cells that I sure didnt want to do that as with fibro I had enough problems. Good luck on whatever you decide. We should always make the final decision, I am skeptical of taking too many pills.
  13. AC77

    AC77 New Member

    Lexapro has way fewer withdrawl effects, if any, depending how long you have been on it. I took it myself but it make me to zzzzzzz not to mention sexual dysfunction. But as far as SSRI's, it had the least side-effects of any I ever took! I was on 10mgs.

    I currrently take Remeron, this is not a good choice if you are overweight and already have food cravings. But if you are underweight and tend too skip meals and have bad insomnia, its a great choice.

    Nortriptyline is basically, as I have said, the metabolite of Elavil (amitripyline), it might cause a little less food cravings, as is is less anticholingeric. It is for sure less sedating and in the studies I have seen, about as good as Elavil for pain. It has more effect on noref. and dopamine and less on serotonin. It is a top of the line AD for withdrawn types of depression and works well when the SSRI's have failed. All tricyclics are dangerous to the heart and can cause B/P changes, regular monitoring can rule this out. I think all of this class causes a desire for carbs/sweets and I don't know how one would mitigate this effect.

    Paxil and Effexor without a doubt are the worst offenders of withdrawl! I don't even need to explain;anyone who has been on it knows. I never will Rx Paxil to a patient and Effexor XR only to Pts who are not helped by another med, and I give them FULL informed consent of the wthdrawl syndrome and side effects, and try to keep the dose as low as possible.

    There is the natural route also, as I like to give both sides: the western, allopathic side and the holistic approach :) there is 5-HTP and SAM-e and I have seen in the few pts who use it, folic acid, b-12 and b-6 with Fish oil, about 3grams, great results. St John's Wort is good also, at the correct dosage of at least 900 mgs daily, taken as 450 BID and then TID as tolerated. Be careful in the sun though!

    Oh, for withdrawl from Effexor and Paxil, my friend, A P-Doc told me of this trick to help get rid of the withdrawl: After you wean over the course of 4-6 weeks too the lowest dose of the med you can take, until you get the side-effects, add Prozac 10mgs a day for a week-10days and then stop! Add a Benzo as needed and take Magnesium with Calcium. He swears by this approach, as the long half-life of prozac-5 weeks sometimes, will help the body slowly acclimate back to its previous state. I don't know but talk to the doc about it.

    Sorry if my spelling is off, I am in a BAD fog the past 2 days! My sentance structure is also hard to understand also. Makes me feel very dumb.
    [This Message was Edited on 04/13/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/13/2003]
  14. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    Thanks so much for your thorough explaination. I feel much better hearing that Lexapro has minimal withdrawal problems.

    I did end up, after two days of not taking it at all, taking a half this morning and have decided to take half for a few days, then a quarter, then none. I guess this is the safest way to get off of it. Although, I have only been on it for about a month. Prior to that, as I mentioned, I was on 200 mg. of serzone. When I stopped that, I went right to the lexapro, and did have intense withdrawl from that. Nothing I could not handle, just very noticably shakey and heart palapitations.

    I also really appreciate your suggestions about a more natural treatment regime. I am always pleased to hear people in the medical field considering an integrated approach. I personaly prefer that approach. I am an unlikely person to take drugs, as I have always been inclined to deal with things narurally. When I became so sick though, I guess I gave in to the traditional approach. I can't say it has done me a bit of good. Although, when I had to quit work, I was so depressed, I guess the AD did get me through that period. Now I am hoping that I won't need the AD anymore. I have grown in my coping considerably since then. Although there are always challenges, as we all know with these DD. (Hope I don't find I am a basket case after stopping the AD for awhile!)

    As far as the natural approach..........I am going to be starting treatment in JMT which is done by a chiropractor trained in the technique. If you are not familiar with it , you may want to look it up. I will let you know how it goes.

    I hope that being off of an Ad will make my brain less foggy. I have done other things that have helped like Reiki, yoga, meditation, journaling, drumming (there are studies that show that drumming improves the immune system), and diet. I have a hard time taking supplements......just hate swallowing pills. My biggest problem also is routine and discipline. Every day is different , and I frequently scratch my head trying to figure out what to eat, or what supplements to take. I am starting back on B12 shots. I used to take St. Johns Wort and maybe I will go back to that after done tapering off the AD. What is Sam-e for?????

    A year ago, I went on a raw food diet and I felt it helped tremendously. Also using wheatgrass daily. Unfortunately, I did not stick with it. But I am going to get back to it this spring and summer when produce is plentiful.

    Another avenue I may try is Dr. Richard Shultz's incurables program. I don't know that you can find information on the net about it.

    I have a dear friend who had esophegial cancer. He did go through cemo, but still had a large tumor. He rufused the brutal surgery and instead did the incurables program for a month, (fasting with juices and using herbs), from there he went into a raw food diet. 8 months later his tumor was gone!! And he continues on raw food, and is the epitimy of good health. So inspiring. I keep thinking if he can get over that I should be able to get over this with a raw food diet. But we also have underlying pathogens, I guess, and I am hoping the JMT will help with that.

    As you can see, I am always trying something, always hoping, and believing that something will work. And letting go at the same time, if it doesn't . A delicate balance.

    You are obviously very bright and caring, and your writing does not seem disjointed or what ever you were saying about sentence structure. I write so fast when I write emails that I don't always know if it is right. (I use spell check in emails, but don't know how to do that here) But I know how frustrating it can be to be so fogged out. It gets old. And I too feel dumb sometimes with it. Sometimes I just can't even talk. Embarrassing. And I know others don't understand.

    Well, I hope that you will find some relief in your quest to be well also. I am grateful for your advise. Let me know if you might try some of the more natural approaches we have discussed.


    [This Message was Edited on 04/13/2003]
  15. vsmith1210

    vsmith1210 New Member

    Hello I tried cold turckey in october of 2002, and i am much worse now "bieng since november of 2002" than i have eveer been dont quit no mater what i wont ever do it again ive been very sick since finally got back on meds in feb. this year but they dont work well for me now i guess cause my system changed from it i dont know.I knocked me for a loop i know that much. please coinsult your Dr, first I will next time i get the urge to do it my way. goood luck and GOD BLESS YOU!
  16. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    for helping me to make this important decision. I certainly heard enough here to convince me to taper off slwoly. Yesterday and today I have taken half of the dose, and will do that for awhile. Then I will go to a quarter for awhile then quit.

    we will see how it goes.

    Thanks again,