Brain Zaps after tapering off anti-depression medication

Posted by dablues @dablues, Jul 27 6:08pm

Years ago I went off a depression med can”t remember name suddenly and got sick with Brain “Zaps” and other symptoms. Brain Zaps never went away. I also was on clonazapam but stayed on it and still had brain zaps. Weaned myself off of Clonazapam but now had to go back on it. I periodically get brain zaps when I first wake up in the morning then they go right away. They are infrequent but today I have had them all day long and get a bit dizzy. Any ideas as to why I still get them and why today I had it all day and am still having them.

@dablues Why did you go of the first med do you remember or what it was? Maybe you went of it to fast . Drugs.com is a good reference for any drugs ,side effects and interaction . Sorry I can't be of anymore help . I hope you are seeing your Dr .

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I had terrible brain zaps when I went off Cymbalta years ago. They have decreased some with Citalopram but I still get them and they are bad if I’m late or miss a pill. Cymbalta was horrible to come off of!

Liked by Leonard

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@bellatrac
Did you come off it cold turkey by chance? How many years ago did you come off it?
Jake

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@jakedduck1

@bellatrac
Did you come off it cold turkey by chance? How many years ago did you come off it?
Jake

Jump to this post

Yes, I came off cold turkey. My Dr didn’t know any better cause it was a new med at the time. It was many years ago, probably about 10 -12. I remember calling my pharmacist on a weekend and he said I was going through withdrawals and I might as well just keep going through it now if I could tolerate it. It was awful.

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@lioness

@dablues Why did you go of the first med do you remember or what it was? Maybe you went of it to fast . Drugs.com is a good reference for any drugs ,side effects and interaction . Sorry I can't be of anymore help . I hope you are seeing your Dr .

Jump to this post

I was going to get allergy testing done and the nurse said I had to stop taking those meds one week before being test. So I stopped both. Then I was sick for about a week with brain zaps and other things. The brain zaps never went away but became infrequent. used to get them once in a while when I first got up. I went back on my clonazepam and weaned myself off of them and was just on welburtrin. Still got them sometimes, then this past hear after having the Shingrix Vaccine I had terrible side effects that lasted 4 months, plus panic attacks that stayed with me constantly so would up in the hospital twice which didn't help. Now I'm on welbutrin abilify which I stopped taking, cymbalta and clonazapam. I think that's too many meds. Dr. wanted me to stay on all but did stop abilify since I've gained 14 lbs since being put on abilify and cymbalta. Looked up to see what each one was causing weight gain the most and it came back as abilify so I weaned myself off of it but didn't tell the dr. It took 4 months before all the side effects from the vaccine stopped including the panic attacks. But now getting them all day was kind of scary. Didn't have one today. Why does it still happen?

Liked by Leonard

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@bellatrac

I had terrible brain zaps when I went off Cymbalta years ago. They have decreased some with Citalopram but I still get them and they are bad if I’m late or miss a pill. Cymbalta was horrible to come off of!

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I'[m currently on Cymbalta since February.

Liked by Leonard

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@jakedduck1

@bellatrac
Did you come off it cold turkey by chance? How many years ago did you come off it?
Jake

Jump to this post

Sorry I replied to the wrong person, read below. I thought I was replying to you. The reply went to Bellatrac

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@dablues

Sorry I replied to the wrong person, read below. I thought I was replying to you. The reply went to Bellatrac

Jump to this post

Hi @dablues,
I noticed your posts about changes in meds. How is the Cymbalta working for you?

You also mentioned that you stopped the meds you were taking for testing. Did you get any good information from the allergy testing?

Liked by Leonard

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Hi @dablues, I am sorry that you are dealing with such discomfort. I know that @jh31251, @texasduchess, @sheffieldsmith, @rwinney, and @cp6401 have experienced tapering off of anti-depressants/anxiety medication.

One of the Connect members in the past mentioned weaning off of her medication (Effexor) for depression and suggested the following tips which I think might be helpful during your search for an answer.
1) You may need to ask your doctor for a slower tapering program than other patients. Some people are just more sensitive to dosage changes. Be aware that symptoms will get better, then may reappear each time you taper. AAFMA (practice group of family physicians) says that the symptoms typically last 1-2 weeks and as long as 4 weeks, so I just kept reminding myself that it was temporary.
2) Be watchful for things that make your symptoms worse. For example, caffeine seems to trigger the brain zaps for me (still, even after being off for several weeks), so I cut back my caffeine intake. I didn’t give it up completely (because I still need to function), but cut back on how much real coffee I was drinking, mixed decaf with regular, and switched to tea sometimes. In the end, I probably cut my daily caffeine intake in half, and it did help quite a lot.
3) Ibuprofen or other pain reliever can help with the flu-like body aches.
4) Benadryl helped with the brain zaps.
5) Exercise helped with both. Even if I wasn’t up to a run, a few blocks of walking would settle down the symptoms for a while at least. (Then, when they come back, just take another walk. We took a lot of walks for a while there).
6) Get enough sleep. As I came down off the meds, my normal sleeping patterns returned, which was great, but it did mean that I needed to plan time to let my body rest.
7) Pay attention to your diet. Your brain uses carbs to make seratonin, so now is not the time to go on the Atkins diet. Eat well and make sure you’re getting enough healthy carbs. You may crave sweets; I certainly did. I tried to counteract this by having bananas, graham crackers, and other healthy things I could snack on instead of sticking my head in a birthday cake like I seemed to want.

There are a lot of people that experience "brain zaps" when tapering of anti-depressants at a rapid rate. How long ago did you wean yourself off of the clonazapam and how long was the intermission before starting it back up?

Liked by Leonard

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@dablues, I would also like to welcome @helenfrances to the conversation to speak about her experience with clonazapam.

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@amandaburnett

Hi @dablues, I am sorry that you are dealing with such discomfort. I know that @jh31251, @texasduchess, @sheffieldsmith, @rwinney, and @cp6401 have experienced tapering off of anti-depressants/anxiety medication.

One of the Connect members in the past mentioned weaning off of her medication (Effexor) for depression and suggested the following tips which I think might be helpful during your search for an answer.
1) You may need to ask your doctor for a slower tapering program than other patients. Some people are just more sensitive to dosage changes. Be aware that symptoms will get better, then may reappear each time you taper. AAFMA (practice group of family physicians) says that the symptoms typically last 1-2 weeks and as long as 4 weeks, so I just kept reminding myself that it was temporary.
2) Be watchful for things that make your symptoms worse. For example, caffeine seems to trigger the brain zaps for me (still, even after being off for several weeks), so I cut back my caffeine intake. I didn’t give it up completely (because I still need to function), but cut back on how much real coffee I was drinking, mixed decaf with regular, and switched to tea sometimes. In the end, I probably cut my daily caffeine intake in half, and it did help quite a lot.
3) Ibuprofen or other pain reliever can help with the flu-like body aches.
4) Benadryl helped with the brain zaps.
5) Exercise helped with both. Even if I wasn’t up to a run, a few blocks of walking would settle down the symptoms for a while at least. (Then, when they come back, just take another walk. We took a lot of walks for a while there).
6) Get enough sleep. As I came down off the meds, my normal sleeping patterns returned, which was great, but it did mean that I needed to plan time to let my body rest.
7) Pay attention to your diet. Your brain uses carbs to make seratonin, so now is not the time to go on the Atkins diet. Eat well and make sure you’re getting enough healthy carbs. You may crave sweets; I certainly did. I tried to counteract this by having bananas, graham crackers, and other healthy things I could snack on instead of sticking my head in a birthday cake like I seemed to want.

There are a lot of people that experience "brain zaps" when tapering of anti-depressants at a rapid rate. How long ago did you wean yourself off of the clonazapam and how long was the intermission before starting it back up?

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@dablues
Hello,
Excuse me for betting in here but I would be curious to know what the AAFMA would have to say to the people who have had withdrawl symptoms for five years plus. I realize some people are able to stop medications much quicker than than others. But unless you’re one of those people I wouldn’t count on withdrawals being over in four weeks if you’re even having withdrawals. The majority of the time withdrawals are avoidable.
Wishing you the very best of luck,
Jake

Liked by malakeet

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I titrated from 4 Clonazepam 0.5MG daily to 3 tablets per day to 2 tablets per day then 1 tablet (2 halves) Per day. Now: half per day
Please consult with your doctor for your schedule. You may need a different schedule depending on length of time you took Clonazapam , your age, your medical issues.
Please read the prescription information (side effects, precautions) that comes with this drug. I did not!

Liked by Leonard

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@hopeful33250

Hi @dablues,
I noticed your posts about changes in meds. How is the Cymbalta working for you?

You also mentioned that you stopped the meds you were taking for testing. Did you get any good information from the allergy testing?

Jump to this post

Cymbalta is working except I gained 14 lbs. I was underweight but now am uncomfortable as the weight goes directly to my stomach first. Since the YMCA reopened I went back to exerciing and hope to see if I lose weight. I am not a big eater so always was on the slim side

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Thankful just to read brain zaps are a thing.

Took myself off all medications 6 years ago. Anti-depressants were last to go. Kept trying to explain to my family these electrical surges happening in my brain. Went on for quite some time.

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I don't know about "brain zaps" but I do know from many years of depression and many different meds that I learned that you never start, stop or even wean without working with your doctor because the side effects can be even worse than the side effects of the meds. So please contact your doctor and get back on track with him/her.

Liked by sears

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