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My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby ObjectsInMirrors » Dec 17, 2012 2:39 pm

After the increase on 11/15 I just held there for a month. I had a crisis this month with ptsd and getting suicidal and couldn't risk any additional turmoil over thanksgiving or during finals. On 12/15 I am back down to 1.75mg risperdal. At a minimum I want to taper to 1.5mg over the next month. My goal though is going to be tapering a half mg to 1.25. I think that's ambitious but we will see. Stupidly, I have been forgetting to take my birth control for some unknown period of time without realizing it. I am concerned about getting a period being triggering and also PMS. Also concerned about the affects of being at my parents house. Goal is to decrease .0625 (1/16 of a mg) twice a week. At this point I think that doing water titration is probably wise. So I guess the goal will be to decrease by approximately .02084 mg per day. I am currently taking my whole dose in .25 mg tablets to make the taper easier, so heres the goal for the next week:

_______
Notes
Quarter mg pill = .25
half of a quarter mg pill (1/8 of a mg) = .125
quarter of a quarter mg pill (1/16 of a mg) = .0625
________

numbers in bold are approximate goal for each day. The toal number at the end of the calculation is what the actual dose will be however

m taper to 1.72916
take six .25 mg pills (total 1.5) + half of a .25 mg pill (total 1.625) + a quarter of a .25 mg pill (total 1.6875). Now I just have to add .04166. Use water titration with a quarter of a quarter mg pill. .04166 is about 66.66% of .0625 (calculated by .04166/.0625). That means I need to subtract 33.34% (calculated by 100% - 66.66%). I will disolve the pill into 200 ml of water. 1% of 200 = 2. 2ml times 33.34= 66.68 ml need to be taken away. I will measure this using the eyedropper and 10ml beaker. drink a total of about 133 ml.

I have to decrease .02082 mg again tomorrow which is half of .04166. Therefore on tuesday drink 133/2= 66.5 ml

tu 1.70832
take six .25 mg pills (total 1.5) + half of a .25 mg pill (total 1.625) + a quarter of a .25 mg pill (total 1.6875) + 66.5 ml of a quarter of a .25 mg pill disolved in 200ml of water ( which equals .02082 ) (total= 1.70832)

w 1.68748
make it easy just take take six .25 mg pills (total 1.5) + half of a .25 mg pill (total 1.625) + a quarter of a .25 mg pill (total 1.6875)

th 1.66664
take six .25 mg pills (total 1.5) + half of a .25 mg pill (total 1.625) + 133 ml of a quarter of a .25 mg pill dissolved in 200ml of water(which equal .04166) (total 1.66666)

f 1.6458
take six .25 mg pills (total 1.5) + half of a .25 mg pill (total 1.625) + 66.5 ml of a quarter of a .25 mg pill disolved in 200ml of water (which equal .02082) (total 1.64582)

sa 1.62496
take six .25 mg pills (total 1.5) + half of a .25 mg pill (total 1.625)

su 1.60412
take six .25 mg pills (total 1.5) + a quarter of a .25 mg pill (total 1.5625) + 133 ml of a quarter of a .25 mg pill dissolved in 200ml of water(which equal .04166) (total 1.60416)

Maybe this taper will be too fast. I can reassess next week or if I have a flare up of painful experiences. If anyone sees a flaw in my math please let me know.
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby yellowrose » Dec 28, 2012 12:16 pm

Hi OIM,

I am reading your tapering story with interest. I am thinking about tapering off Risperidone a little. I am currently on 4mg but my therapist suggested I should maybe drop to 3.75mg. Im worried that maybe this is a little too fast but the water titration method seems a little complicated to me (Maybe I could work it out - probably I could).

Sorry I havent read back over this thread. Did you get any ill effects from reducing your Risperdal?

L
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby ObjectsInMirrors » Dec 31, 2012 3:17 pm

have been tapering at least every third day but have been too lazy many days to do water titration. dry cuts have been fine. Current risperdal dose 1.4375 mg LESS THAN HALF OF THE STARTING DOSE!!! In the last week or so some creative interests have been coming back- I've started learning to play some songs on the keyboard and take photos again. I have been more irritable but I think that might be some pms because of missing birth control doses as well as fighting with my mom a lot and my sleep being really messed up. This is so exciting!! Since the taper has been going so well I think I'm going to try to speed things up Basically, I think I'm going to try tapering by .03125 mg per day for 14 of the next 18 nights which is 1/32 mg. This will be a taper of 0.4375 in the next 18 days getting me down to a single mg. It might be too fast so if things start flaring up so if necessary i will slow it down to a total .25 mg taper in the next two weeks. Very exciting- I hope I'll be off of risperdal by the end of april!
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby bangali tigerzzz » Dec 31, 2012 3:36 pm

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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby Corvus » Dec 31, 2012 5:05 pm

Bengali, there is plenty of evidence that psychosis is caused by drugs, both taking them and withdrawing from them. But even if there was no science (with how much you argue against psychiatry, why are you bringing that up anyways?) personal experience should be plenty.

That's great that you quit something at some time cold turkey.

They call it cold turkey because of the withdrawal symptoms, so it's ironic that you called it that. Anyways...

OIM, sounds like you're doing a great job stepping down in a way that works for you. Keep up the good work.
Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you. -Jung
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby bangali tigerzzz » Dec 31, 2012 5:43 pm

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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby yellowrose » Dec 31, 2012 7:28 pm

I don't know whether to just reduce my medication myself or wait to see the p doc. I might not get an appointment till march, they re likely not going to agree to a 100 microgram reduction and also I am getting symptoms of TD now.... I'm just worried about taking matters into my own hands.
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby bangali tigerzzz » Dec 31, 2012 7:31 pm

" and also I am getting symptoms of TD now...."

Oh my God. I wish you the best.
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby yellowrose » Dec 31, 2012 7:32 pm

You really are obnoxious
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby bangali tigerzzz » Dec 31, 2012 7:36 pm

You're calling me obnoxious? What did I do? I heard about your TD symptoms, and I was shocked.

I wish you the best and I mean it.
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby yellowrose » Dec 31, 2012 7:38 pm

Sorry maybe I miss read your comment, apologies....

Yeah iam shocked myself....it's only very subtle but I'm worried it might get worse which is why I'm trying to get off the drugs
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby ObjectsInMirrors » Jun 25, 2013 10:55 am

After not tapering for several months due to emotional crisis triggered by an external event not related to medication reduction, I have started tapering again in the last month.
May 30 - 1.3125 mg
Today 6/25 Currently down to .895mg of risperdal. for a total taper of .4175 mg in the last month without any significant withdrawal which is really great. Currently am reducing 1/16 of a mg or .0625 mg every three days making dry cuts. At this rate I should be off of Risperdal in 40 days at aug 4th. My psychiatrist has warned that getting off the last tiny bit of risperdal will probably be the hardest part of the taper- but to continue my tapering as planned and just adjust as needed. I have a 3.5 week window to recuperate after the end of my taper to before my semester starts. I may start tapering slightly faster since I'm not having any problems and taper every 2 days instead of every three to give myself even more cushioning of time to recover at the end.

Progress since I've started tapering in may 2012- I alternated the different colors of the lines just to make it easier to read.


Start May 2012_____________________Current June 25, 2013
Adderal XR 20mg.............................Discontinued in May 2012
Risperdal 3mg ............................._.895 mg
Lamictal 250mg..............................Tapered to 225mg around december
Luvox CR 100mg............................100mg
Prazosin 4mg...................................4mg
Xanax 1.5 mg as needed ...................1.5mg as needed using 2 or 3 times a month
(was using 1-5 times a month)

Other non-psych meds
blood pressure med, birth control, vitamin D, vitamin B12, over the counter acid reflux meds, melatonin as
needed



My psychiatrist has suggested the following order for taper
Risperdal
Lamictal
Luvox CR

Prazosin ( may not taper- sleep is too valuable- and is not a typical psych med but an old school blood pressure med)
Xanax I also dont think i will get rid of totally. I don't drink or smoke or do anything else substance wise to combat overwhelming emotions. I use xanax infrequently and it's a valuable tool to get me through periods of crisis and intense suicidality.

My therapist said i have drastically changed her opinion of how necessary it is to use psych meds and the benefits (or lack of risk) of tapering. More on that later.

Very excited to be on less than 1mg of risperdal!!
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby - » Jun 25, 2013 11:57 am

That is so awesome and way to get your doc on board!
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby Anzu » Jun 25, 2013 7:35 pm

Great work. Great work with your therapist.
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Guide to Risperdal Reduction- Nearing the finish line

Postby ObjectsInMirrors » Jul 14, 2013 6:09 am

Thank you for the encouragement and support Anzu and hecates! it means a lot!

I have currently been tapering from risperdal for 14 months. Starting dose 3mg. Current dose .5 mg !! I expect to be completely off of risperdal in less than a month. I had several periods of multiple months with no tapering due to external stress or crisis (mostly unrelated to taper). However- I've never had to increase the dose more than by .125 mg to a prior taper.I had been on risperdal for 10 months at start of taper and had been on various antipsychotics for years prior.


Crucial to my success
-SLOW STEADY TAPERING. Making larger cuts and holding was not doable for me. At certain periods I was using water titration to taper something like .003 mg a day for a month and for the last 6 weeks or so I have been tapering 1/16 of a mg every three days. (the smallest dry cut I can make)
-supportive therapist
-supportive friends
-not tapering when I knew I was already dealing with a lot of stress

Improvements since tapering
-drastically less suicidal
-making friends much more easily
-having a sex drive and romantic interests again
-much less mood swings
-happier
-more spontaneous
-some creativity that had been completely deadened by risperdal returning
-no more panic attacks
-drastically less dissociation
-20 or 30 pounds of weight loss that had been gained when starting the medication

Biggest withdrawal symptoms + how I coped
-how substances pass through my blood/brain barrier is now fucked up -
shortly after beginning to taper risperdal I noticed how my body metabolizes sedating medication is now completely fucked up and unpredictable. this effect of how substances which pass the blood/brain barrier being altered in coming off of multiple psychiatric drugs has been observed elsewhere and documented such as on beyondmeds.com For example: I am prescribed xanax to use as needed. It used to be that when I took xanax i would feel it in about a half hour- feel drowsy/sedated maybe two hours and that was that.I could take smaller doses for smaller effects. I have .5mg pills. Now i feel nothing unless I take 1.5 mg or more. How it affects me is different every time. Sometimes it will start working in 15 minutes and last for a few hours like it used to / is supposed to. other times it does absolutely nothing for 7 hours and then leaves me feeling so drugged I cannot function for an entire two days. Similarly other medications which are known to cause drowsiness such as benadryl, melatonin, and over the counter sleep aids are also totally unpredicable. which leads to

-Insomnia
the insomnia has been a big problem made hugely more complicated by the issue with how medications that cause drowsiness now being a total crap shoot about how they will impact me. insomnia= more anxiety, trauma, sensory issues, mood swings, etc and is a huge vulnerability problem for me. luckily the periods of insomnia have come and gone. trying to not get in a pattern of staying up late is crucial. melatonin was sometimes helpful. in a desperate emergency such as rare times when i was so sleep deprived and having a horrible panic attack and starting to have some hallucinations i would take more xanax than usual and try to sleep. I have reached a point of desperation where I have asked my psychiatrist to prescribe ambien to try to use for a couple of days to get me back on track. havent actually used it yet. There are other threads discussion insomnia solutions- for example herbs for sleep

-Trauma flare ups- very bad body memories. flash backs. horrible memories. feeling very triggered. getting startled easily. nightmares. very easily triggered. this was some of the biggest emotional struggle. to deal with trauma i would try to do things to stay calm and relaxed- talk to my therapist more- did some emdr- etc. there are other threads discussing dealing with trauma- for example this post i just made about coping with dissociation

-Rage really extreme rage (generally related to trauma). very intense urges to be destructive to the point of violent fantasies towards others. i'm not used to dealing with anger because meds completely numbed it out so this was a huge struggle i'm still learning to deal with. finding contained ways to express the rage has been helpful- such as breaking plates i specifically bought to destroy and writing rants and then reading them to supportive people.

Chronic pain/Fibromyalgia( unsure if related) during the 8 months I have developed chronic pain that has been diagnosed as and meets most of the criteria of fibromyalgia. it is not clear to me if this is related to withdrawal or not- but others have experienced pain related to withdrawal and written about it- again such as on beyond meds
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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby ObjectsInMirrors » Dec 28, 2013 6:59 am

I FINALLY GOT OFF OF RISPERDAL ENTIRELY IN AUGUST with a very smooth end taper!!!!!!!!!!

MEDS ELIMINATED
Adderal XR 20mg may 2012
Risperdal 3mg august 2013
Lamictal from 250 to 225 dec 2012 down to 150 with taper between sept and November 2013

Update
Current daily meds
Lamictal 150
Luvox cr 100
Prazosin 4

Supplements
Curcumin 1500mg
Vitamin d 6000

Non psych
-blood pressure med
-birth control
-acid reflux med

Current meds as needed
Klonopin .5-1mg or Xanax 1.5
Ambien 10

Non psych
Tramadol (pain)
Nausea med
Anti diarrheal
Fiber supplement
Gas med
Acid reflux med
Antibiotics frequent UTI
Pain med for UTI
Inhaler
Aleve for certain pain
Motrin from menstrual cramps
Benadryl frequent allergic reactions

supplements
L Theanine 700mg with ambien help for insomnia
Have tried kava kava- should use more often

Goals for taper
Trying to avoid new psychiatrist
This may mean while I have a Luvox prescription taper now with three months supply- I expect this to be completely disabling due Luvox having a half life of 15 hours the shortest of any ssri . If I finish the taper I probably won't be able to return to school. We will see. Making this decision. Definitely would like to either start Luvox process now of finish Lamictal - think the lamitictal can be completed In a taper span of two months max. The Luvox I have no idea what hell is in store- we will see- will definitely demand water titration (I have the graduated cylinders and mortal and pestle and blender and what not but my math lately is very bad so will need to be careful) not sure I will force the Prazosin. If I can get off that's great- if not it's not a typical psych med- it's old school blood pressure- been around a long time- it's a med I actually know is extremely helpful and If I'm gonna live I need to be able to sleep. And having. Horrendous PTSD night mares where I wake up and have sleep paralysis and hallucinate being choked or raped but can't move or speak and am having a horrendous panic attack then back to the dream the back to the paralysis is just unbearable shit. I like having the Benzos for emergencies especially on SO MANY meds that alcohol can really fuck with. I have to be careful with supplements because it's really unknown how a lot of them interact with meds. And the potential for bad interactions causing for example my birth control to be ineffective or a psych med to reach toxic levels is concerning. I have been told I basically must stay on blood pressure meds for the rest of my life. I think the psych meds caused in part the high blood pressure which my mom also has (and she also take anti depressants). But for A few years my blood pressure would be a bit up but not horrible like 130 Over 95 but then right after abuse in January when the health issues really took off I was in a doctors visit and my blood pressure was 180/100 (the checked It Multiple times manually and machine) and then did some other basic cardiac tests right there since that's getting very close to a hyper tensile crisis. But it was found my left ventrical is enlarged quite possibly from long term untreated high blood pressure which would eventually give me heart failure. So I can accept meds but no the daily psych meds. Never again. I'm so done: I also have finally gotten to a point where I'm willing to go gluten free but do not have the energy to even do things like throw out moldy food and take out trash and have remotely clean clothes so one step at a time.
A lot of info below is repetitive


Started med reduction late may 2012. Went cold turkey on adderal XR 20mg that month. Got off of risperdal starting dose 3mg over 15 months (many months had no taper was being overly cautious after upheaval in my life due to being abused). Tapering too fast at the beginning meant months of hell after a taper. I found very small steady tapers were key. At one point I made a goal to get off a quart mg in a month. I was literally tapering like .009 mg a day through water titration. At the end of my taper I was mostly tapering by a sixteenth of a mg a day - I went from in the beginning horrendous months of withdrawal with horrible suicidality mood swings some visions paranoia etc to slow steady withdraw causing only slight temporary increase in PTSD and insomnia (the insomnia really bad at the end). I've been working on Lamictal now since September. Started 250. Dropped 25 last winter and between septet and November dropped 75mg down to around 150. A lot of upheaval in my life. Problems with Lamictal taper for me have been severe severe cognitive and memory issues as well as a horrible return of pms. I cannot tell if mood swings is related to the meds or not because my life is a wreck with so much abuse and bullshit I think if feel this way anyway- but I can tell you the meds I've gotten off so far over all have dramatically improved my life- romantic interests again, some creativity and spontaneity coming back, was able to make huge gains in treating past trauma I never thought would happen, was able to make
Peace with my body for a while, overall without the horrible triggers of abuse I'm less suicidal overall happier so glad I'm on this journey . I must take it slow I have severe severe PTSD
From being tortured in multiple psych hospitals- I can never risk hospitalization or arrest although it's been through the luck of finding a decent therapist and having local support that's helped. Acupuncture and prayer is helpful. Being in the sun is crucial. My dog is great for me. Being involved in activism is very important to me. Taking care of physical vulnerabilities like getting my chronic pain treated, fixing my sleep etc is very important. Taking Curcumin has been very important for me as a supplement for depression. I may need to pause the Lamictal taper to start tapering my Luvox CR 100mg which I have roughly 3 months to accomplish if I don't want to have to find a new psyhoatrist which I don't. I was prescribed it for OCD. I fully expect the withdrawal will be physical hell- it has the shortest half life of any ssri- when I got off of Effexor XR was the first time I hallucinated in my life horrible tremors sweats chills and hotflashes nauseous felt like I was dying. Since that starts happening just when I miss taking the Luvox dose for a few hours i know I'm in trouble. There is a coming off psych meds group that's going to start having phone or skype meetings I can send you that info you may also be interested in trying to start a coming off meds group in your area. One has been started by Laura Delano in Massachusetts that I know of- or if you have another local mad pride group that's always good for support or do the Sunday weekly Icarus call ins- I'd also love to stay in touch for med reduction support. You're not alone

I'm planning to get off the Luvox and Lamictal by the end of 2014 at the latest. I'm also on 4 mg Prazosin for nightmares- I'll try to taper but I may leave it. I also take Benzos as needed only klonopin or Xanax so it won't be a withdrawal or taper - I want to keep that emergency resource if possible with hopes of building other coping skills. Mad love
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Postby _._ » Dec 28, 2013 8:54 pm

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Re: My Med Reduction Journey- Thoughts always appreciated!

Postby yellowrose » Jan 05, 2014 10:17 am

Hi OIM,

Congratulations. I missed the fact that you had actually gotten off Risperidone.

Its a year late but I am finally ready to start my own med reduction journey. I think its going to be hard to get the psychiatrist to prescribe me the small dosages I need so I'm just going to shave a tiny amount (approx 0.25 mg) off the 4 mg pill. I think if that is succesful I am going to stick at that for a while.

:)
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