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Day To Day Updates Wellbutrin,celexa,klonopin


Maximus0988

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Hey everyone, long time lurker first time writer. These forums seem to be active and full of helpful encouragement and advice so i thought i would share my experiences and try to help others who may be going through similar things as well. I was not sure if this was the correct place to post this but here goes anyway. The short part of the story is I have been on Celexa 40mg and Klonopin 1mg(.5 twice daily) for about 18 years. Recently this combination had not really been working that great for me. I was improperly tapered off of klonopin once before and led me into a relapse. My doctor has basically stated now that he wishes to try me on Wellbutrin while tapering off of Celexa. He also does not want me to continue benzos. Like alot of doctors nowadays he seems to be a benzophobe however I am open to the idea of getting off benzos if done right. His suggestion for treatment has been to slowly cut down on the Celexa and only take Wellbutrin. I started at the 150mg for about a week which i felt improved some things for me only a week in.  I was the raised to his target dose of 300mg, no celexa and was told to taper down to .5mg klonopin(.25 twice daily). The first three days were ok. Since then the days have gotten progressively worse and I do not remember feeling this bad since i started taking the medication in the first place 18 years ago. Today is Day 8 of taking 300mg and .25 klonopin at noon and then the same dosage before bedtime. I have every symptom you can think of, stomach problems, headaches, worsening depression, brain zaps, high general anxiety, unable to concentrate etc. You name it I have it right now. I can barely go to school and function as i need to, its been a very tough struggle and it isnt getting any easier. My question is did my doctor do to much at once? Changing me to Wellbutrin, while tapering Celexa, while tapering klonopin? The plan is to eventually taper me onto vallium for 9 months and slowly decrease that since he thinks that is the best approach. I can honestly say I do not know which symptoms belong to what procedure. Do i feel some symptoms due to switching to Wellbutrin and leaving celexa? or are all these symptoms related to benzo withdrawl(most likely i think)? Any advice or guidance is greatly appreciated.:)

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Hello and welcome Maximus0988

 

I have previously taken Celexa myself (although in the U.K. it's called Citalopram). I recognised a lot of the symptoms you mentioned. I don't know about you, but every anti-depressant I have taken has just made me feel like a zombie -- and that was the best I ever felt on them! But I suspect I'll probably be back on them at some point in the future. 

 

I hope you find the right meds for yourself and keep posting here. 

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Hello and welcome Maximus0988

 

I have previously taken Celexa myself (although in the U.K. it's called Citalopram). I recognised a lot of the symptoms you mentioned. I don't know about you, but every anti-depressant I have taken has just made me feel like a zombie -- and that was the best I ever felt on them! But I suspect I'll probably be back on them at some point in the future. 

 

I hope you find the right meds for yourself and keep posting here. 

 

Thanks for the response Mark. Yea I definately feel like that, which is why im looking to switch or get off them completely. I will post day to day progress for those interested. Any feedback or questions is welcomed from everyone.

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I had big problems with Welbutrin on above 300mg daily dosages, taken at 150+ twice daily.  I had hand tremors that came on with intense emotion and rages near time for my evening dose.  I was also on Trazadone to help me sleep.  I've never taken benzos, but I hope this helps. Please don't forget to tell your doctor about everything. You might also consider talking to your pharmacist, and using one pharmacist for all your meds.  My pharmacist literally saved my life before. 

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Yea I have been feeling the effects of 300mg alot harder than the 150mg, however I am also tapering off citalopram and klonopin at the same time so its hard to know what is working.

 

 

 

Hey everyone, long time lurker first time writer. These forums seem to be active and full of helpful encouragement and advice so i thought i would share my experiences and try to help others who may be going through similar things as well. I was not sure if this was the correct place to post this but here goes anyway. The short part of the story is I have been on Celexa 40mg and Klonopin 1mg(.5 twice daily) for about 18 years. Recently this combination had not really been working that great for me. I was improperly tapered off of klonopin once before and led me into a relapse. My doctor has basically stated now that he wishes to try me on Wellbutrin while tapering off of Celexa. He also does not want me to continue benzos. Like alot of doctors nowadays he seems to be a benzophobe however I am open to the idea of getting off benzos if done right. His suggestion for treatment has been to slowly cut down on the Celexa and only take Wellbutrin. I started at the 150mg for about a week which i felt improved some things for me only a week in.  I was the raised to his target dose of 300mg, no celexa and was told to taper down to .5mg klonopin(.25 twice daily). The first three days were ok. Since then the days have gotten progressively worse and I do not remember feeling this bad since i started taking the medication in the first place 18 years ago. Today is Day 8 of taking 300mg and .25 klonopin at noon and then the same dosage before bedtime. I have every symptom you can think of, stomach problems, headaches, worsening depression, brain zaps, high general anxiety, unable to concentrate etc. You name it I have it right now. I can barely go to school and function as i need to, its been a very tough struggle and it isnt getting any easier. My question is did my doctor do to much at once? Changing me to Wellbutrin, while tapering Celexa, while tapering klonopin? The plan is to eventually taper me onto vallium for 9 months and slowly decrease that since he thinks that is the best approach. I can honestly say I do not know which symptoms belong to what procedure. Do i feel some symptoms due to switching to Wellbutrin and leaving celexa? or are all these symptoms related to benzo withdrawl(most likely i think)? Any advice or guidance is greatly appreciated.:)

 

 

Daily update

 

Day 9:I barely slept last night the anxiety was bad. Like most of us facing anxiety I was so tired but could not get to sleep because my mind was racing.  When I did eventually get to sleep it was disturbed and my dreams were very vivid. So far today it has been a little bit rougher than yesterday. I was originally prescribed citalopram and klonopin 13 years ago give or take for a tragic event that almost ended with my death. I had always struggled with anxiety and this combination helped but like many others just stopped working recently. I never did suffer much depression but now that I am switching and trying to do different things, the depression is just as bad as the anxiety if not worse. Today I awoke in a near panic attack but it was time for my meds 150mg wellburtin and 0.25 klonopin as instructed by my doctor.  The major panic has gone but I still feel pretty much every side effect that has been documented, I'm still very tired(obviously the lack of sleep didnt help), very anxious, and feeling more down than I did yesterday.  Headaches have now been added to the mix along with indigestion obviously brought on by stress. I have a secret stash that I have been always keeping for a rainy day and it is increasingly difficult not to just relapse to feel better.  I plan on seeing another doctor soon for a second opinion and will see my current doctor in less than two weeks. I will keep posting my updates for those who wish to know about the side effects day by day.  Any input is welcome and appreciated.

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Day 10: Tough to get to sleep again last night I trust it is probably the Wellbutrin XL even though I am taking it well before bed time.  The difference last night was that I actually slept relatively undisturbed.  The dreams were still there and caused some disturbance. I have read on forums and articles that there are moments during tapering where a person feels great then goes back to feeling s***ty until they eventually even out, i could be entering one of these periods its tough to say.  I have began to wonder if I was moved up to 300mgs to quickly or if I should've been boosted that high at all. I went and saw a walk-in clinic doctor yesterday and basically left with what i hoped for and that was a backup supply of klonopin in case things got to s***ty.  The temptation for relapse to just feel better is there but I feel better knowing I have them.  I also spoke candidly with my pharmacist how I have had for a long time and he made a few suggestions.  He seemed to think it was ok to bump back up from .5 klonopin, to .075 for a week or so as he thought the taper should have been slowly. I'm hesitant to backtrack and probably only will if I really need to. The biggest thing that is hampering my day to day function now is "brain zaps". I do not know how many of you are aware of these but in a nutshell it feels like an electric current going through your brain. They leave me feeling dizzy. Apparently these are temporary and are due to SSRI discontinuation syndrome but i feel as if it is more benzo related. Anyway of course I have a long way to go and eventually I will be updating every week rather than day, but for now I thought people may be interested to listen to my experiences for the first few weeks.

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That is a low dose of Klonopin but because you took it for 18 years, I think your doctor should have brought you down from 1 to .75 to .50 to .25 with.....2-3 month intervals between steps.  Klonopin has a such a long shelf life.  My doctor switched me from Klonopin to Ativan with no taper and I was not well for two weeks.  I went to my regular doctor because I thought I was developing neurological problems but he knew right away what was wrong.  My body was looking for Benzos that weren't there anymore.  Ativan has a shorter shelf life that Klonopin.  Anyway, I'm rambling, keep us informed.

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I actually appreciate the "rambling". I tend to agree with you completely. I wish he wouldve done what you suggested then I wouldn't feel like I'm in hell. Thanks for the response. I'll keep updating my progress, if reading this helps one person or helps them relate then mission accomplished.

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Day 11

Once again I barely slept last night. It has been impossible to get to sleep earlier than 4am lately which is taxing on my everyday life. Last night I experienced a really weird sexual side effect. I have read that wellbutrin may have sexual side effects such as increased libido but nothing like this. This may be a little off topic as I think it relates to the wellbutrin I have started rather than withdrawal however I thought I would share it anyway. It constantly feels like I am having an orgasm, while the obvious question of why does that bother you, that sounds great haha comes to mind it is very uncomfortable. Try going to sleep with that constant feeling. This is a weird symptom and I honestly hope it doesn't last long because it is weird as hell. Some of my other side effects have decreased. I can now sit still in one place without experiencing every symptom in the book. However once I begin doing stuff I start to get anxious and the symptoms return. An easy thing like a football fantasy draft I had to day made me sweat buckets due to the anxiety and withdrawl symptoms I have been having. Last night I reached a weird lucid state where I felt completely out of it but was not experiencing very man side effects besides feeling out of body. This is the most significant change I have had since the taper started and its hard to say if its for the better. I am extremely dizzy today and its hard to get anything done being this tired and dizzy. The high level of anxiety, dizziness make it impossible to truly relax. It's really hard to explain but I feel as though I have finished one stage of withdrawl and moved on to a different stage with less symptoms but the symptoms that are still there are very intense. Anyway the short of it is I'm still having trouble sleeping and it is still difficult to do even the slightest things like entertain family at dinner. The depression has lightened but I am still depressed about the fact that I still feel so terrible and can't sleep.

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Day 12

 

I finally slept last night, even though I didn't fall asleep till 2 am.  Pretty sure my body just shut down, I didn't really have a choice in the matter. Brain zaps have continued, they are less during the day since that is when I take my medication but later on they become pretty unbareable. I can't really do anything when these happen because they make me insanely dizzy. I have a doctors appointment in a week although I have been contemplating on making it sooner, as this is getting pretty tough.  Luckily my days have required minimal effort since I am finishing off my bachelor at school so days end at 3. It has become nearly impossible to concentrate over an hour though and it is effecting my effort tremendously. At this point it is hard to pinpoint whether it is the citalopram withdrawl, me not reacting well to wellbutrin, or the benzo withdrawl.  It is most likely the latter, but I am unaware if brain zaps can happen from benzo withdrawl or just ssri discontinuation syndrome. I feel mildly ok if I just lay down and do something mindless like TV although the anxiety is still high, the brain zaps and dizziness are less.  How the doctors expect someone to withdraw and keep living their everyday life is beyond me. The depression is there, but at this point it is there because these symptoms feel like they will never go away.  Even if I wanted to feel happy and the meds were being effected they would be overshadowed by the constant dizziness, brain zaps and anxiety.  Honestly it can be difficult just to write these posts, so you can imagine how hard it is to do schoolwork or carry on normally during that day. Anyway in short its much of the same except for the fact that I actually slept last night. I keep hoping day after day that the next day will be better but for now I am stuck in the continuous vacuum of symptoms that dont seem to be improving.  This is a long battle but any sort of relief would be welcome at this point. Many of you have posted helpful things and that helps, I do agree that I was forced into way to many switches of medication and taken off to many things at once.  This is something I hope to address with my doctor next week. Until then i hope for some change in in the coming days so I can have at least something positive to report.

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Day 13

 

I'm reaching a boiling point of frustration and depression.  Last night I was so dizzy and the brain zaps were so regular that I could hardly function at all. I am slowly thinking of just saying **** it and getting back on my benzos and finding another gp that will realize that I just need them. I feel like I'm putting everyone around me through hell, I'm as useless as can be. Once i take my meds i can somewhat operate but I still need a huge effort to do simple things. I knew benzo withdrawal was gonna be hard but it has been made even harder with my GP switching my SSRI at the same time while trying to taper me. I honestly do not know what to do, I was prepared for a battle, but this doesn't even feel like a fair fight. This is more like me constantly being down on the mat. The biggest thing that I wish would disappear are the brain zaps since they are the thing that is bugging me the most out of all other symptoms. I am feeling more on the mad side of things today. If even one symptom would get better I would feel that this experience is worth it but at this point everything is worsening. I have read in benzo withdrawl there are periods were people can feel normal and then immediately go back to feeling horrible. I think I had one day in there where it kinda felt like this and let me tell you its disheartening thinking that you are making progress just to be tossed back into the pit. I hope reading this can continue to or give anyone insight on how hard this can be.  I honestly did not want to quit benzos, at 1mg a day I could at least function although as most of you know the tolerance started to build up and I was not receiving the full benefits.  I had two choices either except that I was gonna be on benzos for life and sometimes feel like I'm in a drug filled haze but more or less happy and not anxious, or try to get off benzos and try to return to "normal".  Unfortunately these choices were narrowed down when I was curious about upping to 2mg a day or even 1.5 as my doctor said that he would no longer prescribe me Klonopin and that he thought that I should have not been on them for the 14 years I had been on them anyway.  So i decided to give a shot and here I am. Here's to a better tomorrow i guess...if i don't just cave and end up relapsing. Apologies ahead of time for all the writing mistakes.

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Recently, I also switched from Celexa to bupropion. I recall the brain zaps to be the hardest to overcome. Once that passed, the unnatural joy Celexa caused faded and I began to have other emotions. After being on bupropion for almost 6 months, my dosage has increased to 300mg/day. This is to better help my symptoms as I was on the baby dose. I found your post to be helpful so please keep sharing your experience.

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Day 14

 

So yesterday I had enough of my symptoms and managed to get in and see my GP.  I told him that I had received many professional opinions as well as opinions from others who have gone through tapering that his approach seemed kind of drastic. He double checked a few things and asked me if I was on 1mg before of klonopin and I said yes and belived this taper procedure was inapproriate.  I am not sure how many of you have read or are aware of the Ashton manual but this is essentially a guide that a lot of doctors use loosely to withdraw patients from benzos.  I looked at my dosage(the only chart was the 1.5mg daily chart) and compared it to this chart roughly. Anyway this is what I believe I should have been doing for this taper to make it much less difficult. After talking to me and reviewing his notes my GP realized that he had thought that i was on .25mg twice a day orginally rather than .5 twice a day.  This made me furious as he had made a mistake that cost me tons of unneeded stress and struggling that could have been less difficult. Long story short, I was angry but he understood that he made a mistake and renewed my script for another month. So basically I am back up to 1mg where i started int he first place and will be following the Ashton manual after this month to begin a proper taper.  Once again I fall back on the fact that nobody knows you better than yourself. This is a ridicoulus mistake, and i will have to begin my taper again, albeit properly this time. Doctors make mistakes and it is frustratingly hard to deal with when you are going through this. In general you somewhat have to trust your GP, but be well informed.  However it is difficult to completely monitor and understand what they are doing when you are in the state I was in. So today I am back to 1mg of klonopin today. I feel more or less back to "normal" although I am very tired because of the big increase that my body was not use to having these past couple weeks. Once I begin my taper from klonopin I will update that weekly for those interested as the Ashton Manual goes through every week with a different approach. I am not sure if i can link this resource but you can google professor ashtons manual and it should take you to her official site. So now that is cleared up, i'll focus a little more on my citalopram to wellbutrin switch. This switchover has not been easy as they are different classes of drugs. Citalopram working on serotonin levels while Wellburtin works on Neuro and dopemine neuro-transmitters. The brain zaps have continued and it feels as though they will never stop, this is very difficult to go through, especially with the other mistakes that were made. I plan to give the Wellbutrin the chance it needs(6 weeks or so) to work effectively. Once again the doctor overlooked this though, I should have been slowly tapered off of citalopram on to wellbutrin as to avoid brain zaps and other unpleasant side effects.  At least now with the klonopin I can carry on with my day even though the other side effects are still there the crippling anxiety is much less. I will keep doing daily updates until I hit day 30 then will be doing weekly updates. Please continue to post feedback and suggestions, they are appreciated and much needed.

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Day 15

 

These brain zaps are ridiculous. I can barely handle getting up due to the dizziness they cause. Citalopram to other classes like Wellbutrin needed to be weened very slowly to avoid these side effects.  Now that I no longer have to deal with the anxiety as much due to the klonopin it is still causing me high levels of anxiety that these zaps and dizziness are making it impossible to function unless im lying or sitting down. I had a period where they were less last night but they have since returned with a vengeance. As far as the other side effects, I am still insanely irritable but i think it is because my frustration over my main problem of dizziness and zaps. I read that they are very common when withdrawing from SSRI's, I hope the severity decreases cause this is complete hell.

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Day 16 and 17

 

Not much to report as far as differences in symptoms.  Since I have been put back on the klonopin for now to help with the celexa to wellbutrin xl taper, many symptoms have gone away. However many still remain.  Mood wise it is hard to describe how I feel, I do not feel happy but i do not feel unhappy either.  Irritability is pretty high though, i find if there is any sort of stress or a bad situation I lose it pretty easily. This was never an issue on the citalopram. One positive I can say about the switch so far is my libido is through the roof, those stories you read about wellbutrin being the only antidepressant to not effect sex drive are true. SInce they work on different receptors I have a much higher sex drive, however it is a little harder to perform since I am pretty much constantly dizzy. I Hope this side effect goes away soon, i can't take much more of it. The zaps are still here unfortunately just entering week three, they have decreased in severity since i first got them but they are still very noticeable and do effect me greatly still. Hopefully the return of football season can distract some of these symptoms.  Since I went on to this taper I have steered clear from major social gatherings.  i plan to give it another week and see how I am feeling and perhaps try to watch football with the boys, so I will let everyone know how my anxiety fairs in a common situation that was not a huge deal for me before the switch and taper.  Have a good weekend everyone.

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Day 18 and 19

 

The change to wellbutrin xl continues to have its many bumps.  However it acutally seems like the brain zaps are decreasing(albeit very little) in severity. Yesterday was an ok day. I actually got through most of the day without any zaps or major dizziness. But at about 5 o clock everything took a turn for the worse, every symptom continued to return.  I can't decide whether this is progression or regression. Anyways I went to see my p-doc and he suggested that I do not take a bit of my old ssri citalopram at this point and assured me that the brain zaps would slowly go away(this is however going on week three of having them). Instead of taking 150mg a day he switched me to 300mg once a day when i wake up in the morning. He thought this might help my energy levels remain constant.  He also assured me that after its full course of 6-8 weeks that the wellbutrin xl would level me out as well.  We all know how full of pdocs can be and we have to make our own decision, but i figure since i'm this far in what is the point in turning back now. I have also after some research decided to switch from generic wellbutrin(mylan is the drug company that made the ones i have been taking) to branded wellbutrin XL.  I have not only read articles about the fact that branded can make a huge difference for some people vs generic but I have had people first hand tell me that it worked for them. I figured why not. I do not have any real evidence that there is a difference, if you type this into google though there are several "reports" and forums that talk about the benefits of branded wellbutrin xl.  Anyway that is where I am at, continuing to push forward. Symptoms are still there and are not as bad during the day as they once were i guess by the days vary and the symptoms seem to always be there in the evening. Hopefully i can report some more improvement, because as I feel it I maybe progressed from a 1 to a 2, while its something, its a long way to go.

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Yea ironically enough desperados, it is hard getting to sleep but once i'm asleep im out for a good 8 hours without interruptions.  Thanks for the support virvellian!

 

Day 20 & 21

 

So I have hit the three week mark. I can feel a difference albeit minimal. The brain zaps are actually quite less, if I was a 10 before I am down to about a five now although they seem to worsen at night for some reason.  Dizziness is still a big issue i can walk around well enough for awhile like walking the dog etc but grocery shopping and major acitivites that already raise my anxiety are even tougher now with the added dizziness. I am hoping since this is only week 3 on 300mg that these side effects will disappear. I am still very much up and down which is annoying as ****, because one moment i can feel somewhat positive or otherwise happy and just feel like crap and down the next. I started the branded Wellbutrin 3 days ago now and alot of my other side effects have disappeared of course this could be the placebo effect but I have read many places that generic just doesn't cut it sometimes. At the moment I am in a bit of daze like state so its really hard to describe exactly how i feel, so i guess as the days go by I am experiencing two steps forward and one step backwards. At least some progress is better than no progress, i just wish there was consistency in my days.

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