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Offline Cwhite513

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Going med free?
« on: July 07, 2014, 03:01:49 PM »
 Hello! I'm new here and I'm glad I found a place full of people like me who can give great advice. After being on Pristiq for about 5 years I had to go off of it due to insurance changes. We switched insurance plans and pristiq was no longer a covered drug. It was going to be $202/mo. Since we couldn't afford that I switched cold turkey to effexor xr and it worked for a few months then good old panic reared it's ugly head. I started getting that old "I'm gonna die" feeling and being afraid to do normal things like leave my house. So recently my doc had me switch cold turkey from effexor to Paxil. He said I could just drop one and pick up the other. Well That was a mistake! I had bad withdrawal symptoms like night sweats and my anxiety just got 10x worse. So a few days go by and I start getting weird side effects with the Paxil. Not only am it panicking all the time but I'm having horrible insomnia and when I do sleep I'm having nightmares. I was also feeling like I wanted to hurl myself off a bridge. The last night I took it which was last tues I woke up 2 hours later and I was shaking so bad and my body was agitated so much I was walking my house and couldn't stop. My heart rate was going sky high. It was scary. The next day I just said that's it. I'm done.  It's been a real struggle this past week but I'm trying hard. I don't sleep but at least the nightmares have stopped.

So my question is have any of you gone med free and how did it work for you? Once the withdrawals are gone what helped you keep your anxiety in check?
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Re: Going med free?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2014, 06:14:08 PM »
So recently my doc had me switch cold turkey from effexor to Paxil.

You were switched from the antidepressant which often produces the most severe withdrawals to the one that is the second hardest to quit. Sigh.

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So my question is have any of you gone med free and how did it work for you? Once the withdrawals are gone what helped you keep your anxiety in check?

If you don't wish to take antidepressants then the cognitive and/or behavioural and/or mindfulness therapies can be at least as effective as meds but require more effort and therapists can be expensive.

Ian

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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline Cwhite513

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Re: Going med free?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2014, 09:29:10 PM »
I believe you that effexor and Paxil have been nightmares to get off of. I'm still feeling the zaps even a week off now.

I see my doc tomorrow and I'm sure he is going to recommend another drug which I'm not opposed to medication but now I'm so scared of side effects and withdrawals that I'm unsure if I even want to start! As far as the therapies my family doesn't have a lot of extra money to spend on psychologists or therapists. Our health insurance is a high deductible plan so until we hit $5000 out of pocket insurance pays nada.

What medications are proven to have the least side effects and withdrawals?
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Re: Going med free?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2014, 12:11:19 AM »
What medications are proven to have the least side effects and withdrawals?

Of the SSRIs, Prozac (fluoxetine) is usually the least difficult to quit because of its very long half-life, with the Celexa (citalopram) and Lexapro (escitalopram) twins also usually being less troublesome than the others. The older tricyclic antidepressants typically also produce less severe withdrawal symptoms. HOWEVER, in all cases this doesn't mean you can quit them 'cold-turkey,' not even Prozac. They should all be tapered off over some weeks or months.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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