A Major Setback

On January 26th, 2017 , I had major surgery receiving a total hip replacement of my left hip.  At that time I was on 30mg of Celexa.  I was still experiencing withdrawals, but after surgery and the addition of hydromorphone for pain control, the withdrawals stopped.  What a blessing i t was!  They had difficulty controlling the pain, but after coming home an adequate  dosage was found.

Now for the bad news.  The doctor prescribed  the wrong dosage of Celexa so I was left with 40mg tablets and 10 mg tablets.  We were to cut the 40’s in half and take half and one 10 to. equal the 30mg.  This was February 24th.  Sometime between then and the end of March, my husband forgot to cut the tablet in half first and was giving me 50mg of Celexa.

I began filling out my meds the second week of March., so I was giving myself 30mg.  Sometimes my husband would fill them , still at 50mg.  I began having symptoms of withdrawal again and couldn’t figure out why, until the mistake was discovered about two weeks ago.  Since then my doctor put my dosage back down to 40mg .

I now am at square one in tapering the Celexa and experiencing all of the classic withdrawal symptoms.  Severe anxiety accompanied with choreatic movements, burning sensation in my head, legs and arms, blurred vision, ringing in the ears., insomnia, painful muscles and joints.  , sensitive hearing.

 

Right now I am staying at 40mg. of Celexa and 20mg  hydromorphone until I become more stable.    I am scheduled to have my right hip replaced in July, so I need to stay stable.  I won’t be tapering again until after that surgery.

 

 

 

 

New Development

Because I believed the Lyrica and Celexa were causing an interaction I tapered again on my Celexa.  I am now down to 30mg. but will remain there for at least six months until my hip surgeries are complete and I am healed from them.  That could be a year from now.

I continue to struggle with insomnia, sweats and chills, ringing in the ears, sensitive to light and sound, painful burning headaches, muscle and joint pain, intrusive thoughts, anxiety.

Because this has been going on for so long I became discouraged and in need of some relief of some kind.  The supplements I have tried did not seem to be helping much anymore and because of lack of sleep my quality of life was down.  Not able to be mobile makes it even harder to cope, but getting out of the house to the show once in a while or to church or even just going to Walmart for a change of scenery helps.

I felt inspired to try acupuncture as I heard it could help relieve withdrawal for some people.  Last week was my first appointment and the night after I slept 8 hours in total minus bathroom trips of course, but I went right back to sleep.  The treatments are for anxiety, pain and insomnia.  I noticed an improvement immediately the day of treatment and some of the next day.  Of course the effects do not last long-term at first and repeat appointments were set up.  My second appointment, the same thing occurred, this time I was able to sleep 9 hours.  My anxiety is down and the headaches have improved.  Again, I have another appointment on Thursday.  Over time the symptoms will gradually decrease.  Healing seems to be that way doesn’t it?

What I am learning from this is listen to your heart and try new things, have patience in the process and trust in the Lord that everything will be o.k. in the end.

Day Three of Celexa Taper

Well, all Hell broke loose this morning after waking from a nightmare.  The Chorea Movements were VERY severe, with even many muscle groups in my face contracting.  At one time I couldn’t open my eyes, then one eye would open alternating with the other one.  I lost the ability to speak one moment then blurted out a word I had no control over saying ( it wasn’t a bad word),  I just couldn’t control it coming out and I couldn’t stop laughing.  I believe it was a manic like episode that was very brief.  My back was arching, my legs and arms jerking in quick succession.  The muscles on both sides of my back contracted .   On top of that I had to go to the bathroom and I couldn’t walk there because of all the movements going on.  I tried to relax as much as possible as this was going on so I woudn’t hurt myself, then I remembered that hearing music which is slow and rhythmic controls the muscles making them contract in time to the music!  Fasinating!  I had Doral get out a song book and sing to me and the movements became less jerky and were smoother and easier to cope with.

Today the withdrawals have been severe on the most part, including the burning in my head all over at once, sensitive hearing and light sensitive ( I wear sunglasses in the house  and earplugs)  Doral is very helpful in keeping the volume of the TV. down and turns off most of the lights.  The ringing in the ears has been non -stop as well.

I’LL BE GLAD TO BE OFF THIS JUNK!!!

Tapering off Celexa ( Citalapram)

Since my last post I have started tapering off Celexa.  I started at 40mg and decided to decrease to 35mg. due to the side effects I was experiencing from it.  I find it no longer is doing anything for me to make it worth continuing.  Because I had stopped taking Seroquel and Morphine in May of this year my nervous system was still very sensitive when I also tapered the Celexa causing more problems than I was expecting.  The Chorea Muscle Movement Disorder became more severe and I experienced the following withdrawal symptoms which I now know were also protracted withdrawals from the last 25mg. of Seroquel:  Burning sensation in head and body like acid being poured over me,  severe muscle and joint pain, anxiety, sensitive hearing and eyes, blurred vision, sweating and chills, severe insomnia, chest pain, ringing in the ears, hair loss, dry sore eyes, overactive bladder.

To help me through this I joined an online support group at www. survivingantidepressants.com   They recommend tapering at 10% per month .   Because I was already two weeks into my taper I decided to stay at 35mg. and deal with the symptoms.  It has interfered with my life in a big way.  Before I go anywhere I have to make sure I have gone to the bathroom and be home again within an hour or hour and a half or I have an accident.  My nervous system which controls bladder control is not working properly and I sometimes have no control over my bladder.

After two months of suffering and having the symptoms not getting better, and others appearing which were not there before, I had a look at my supplements and was advised to increase my Omega 3’s. and Magnesium.  I now take 3,000 mg. of DHA and EPA, 1000 mg. Vitamin D, 1000 mg. Magnesium, 15 grams L-Glutamine, 750 mg. L-Glycine 2x day

I am on Lyrica for pain instead of Morphine.  I have noticed an increase in episodes of difficulty breathing or labored breathing.  I looked up interactions on http://www.drugs.com and found that there is a moderate interaction between Lyrica and Celexa which could cause a depressed respiratory system.  Because of the unstable nature of my nervous system I have become more sensitive to this adverse reaction.  Beginning October 16 I again decreased my Celexa by 5% and I have noticed lessening of all my withdrawal symptoms for two days now.  It is now difficult to know if what I had been experiencing was side effects from the Lyrica or genuine withdrawals.

 

I am now on 32.5 mg. of Celexa taken in the morning by slicing a 10mg. tablet in quarters and taking three 10 mg. tablets with it.  If all goes well I will continue to taper very slowly until I receive my surgery date for hip replacement.

 

 

 

 

 

Stress and withdrawal

There are many kinds of stress, each leading to increased withdrawal symptoms.

The stressors in my life right now is the pain from my hips and the anticipation of hip replacement surgery on my left hip.  For one thing stress like this leads to not sleeping well, which makes coping with the pain the next day more stressful.

Associated with the pain is the difficulty in doing things for myself or inability to do things for myself.  Everything takes two to three times longer to do, so you need to allow more time when you need to go anywhere.  Another stress is incontinence or having to go to the bathroom every hour or hour and a half ; if you don’t accidents happen.  I needed to be away from home most of today at the hospital for pre-surgical screening. I therefore had to find a bathroom every hour and a half to make sure I didn’t have an accident.

Unfortunately Trail hospital is not handicap friendly to people in a wheelchair.  Either my wheelchair didn’t fit through the bathroom door, or the configuration of the restroom didn’t allow for the wheelchair to be close enough to the facilities ( namely toilet).  We therefore had to go searching for a bathroom and be back in time for the next test that needed to be done.  Stress, stress, stress.  I was almost in tears a few times .

One of the symptoms I have learned is called Neuro-emotions.  These are emotions that come up all by their little lonesome , non expectantly.  I was dealing with those all day as well, usually anger or tearfulness.  On top of that I was freezing cold all day!

I was so happy when I was able to come home, relax in my recliner and put my comforter on, get toasty warm and fall asleep for an hour. 🙂

Bonus was I was passed all the tests, heart, x-ray, blood work and doctor accepted me for surgery.  Now I have to wait for my surgeon to come back from holidays.

Changes needed

After not sleeping at all two nights in a row, I did some more research about withdrawals and nutrition.  I have been on a Ketogenic diet up until today, when I discovered that I needed the fruits and vegetables not available to me on the  Ketogenic diet in order to withdraw from the Celexa more successfully.  So today I tasted some strawberries, yogurt, potatoes, and apple and cheese  for the first time in over a year and boy did they taste good!  I am now following the Canada Food Guide , but decreasing the amount of bread in half.  This worked out well today.  I found I don’t need all of the protein the Ketogenic diet was asking  to satisfy me.   I will be concentrating on eating healthy with this change in diet and if I lose weight, good; if not- that’s o.k. too.  I expect to lose weight due to decreasing the Celexa anyways.

Because I am not sleeping well, and the Chorea movements keep me from sleeping I have also decided to slow down the taper.  It will take longer to be off the Celexa, but hopefully I will be able to cope better at a slower taper.  Time will tell.

 

My Progress So Far

My weight loss has stalled since May and I have been trying to determine where the problem was.  I was following the diet closely with only minor cheats when we had a special occasion.  Although I have lost 100 lbs. it was going no where down from there.  Why?  And why am I having more of the movement disorder symptoms?

I had done a liver/bowel/kidney cleanse for two weeks and the symptoms of head burning, sweating, muscle movements, headaches, dizziness etc. increased.  I therefore went off the cleanse, but the symptoms did not decrease; in fact they got worse.  The involuntary muscle movements became more severe and more frequent, and lasted longer.

Upon looking up the side effects of Celexa ( which I am still taking),, it turns out involuntary muscle movements (dystonia or chorea) can be one of the side effects.  Knowing my tract record for having every side effect in the book, it dawned on me that the Celexa must be causing the Dystonia along with many more side effects I was not aware of until I went down the list and checked off over eight of them.

It has been going on four months since discontinuing the Seroquel, so perhaps it is the Celexa now that is causing me problems.  I therefore saw my Doctor today and she agreed that the Celexa may be responsible for not only my weight stalling, but causing Dystonia.  Starting tomorrow morning I am decreasing my Celexa and on my way to going off of it 5 mg. at a time with a one month interval.  I expected to be off all of my psychiatric drugs in eight months.  It is scary for me as I have never been completely off an anti-depressant in over 35 years.  I know I have some bad days ahead of me, but in the long run I will gain so much from being free from these drugs.

As far as my hip surgery goes, my doctor believes I should be getting a date by the first part of September.  I’ve had to wait longer than I thought I would, but the end is near. 🙂

Wish me luck.