Came off of this evil drug cold turkey. (Sharing my journey)

Posted , 5 users are following.

(Sorry for bad English)

So, I had no problem at all except some sleep problems. A dude told me to take this whenever I needed to sleep. Note that I live in Turkey and here you can find this drug almost everywhere without prescription for a single dollar. I went and got a bottle of 10mg pills without any prescription and started taking them. I was clueless what it was and that it might have withdrawal symptoms. ( In fact taking depression seriously is a Western thing. We don't believe it exists. My grandpa always would say that depression comes with bad life decisions and goes away when you fix your life)

Long story short, I would take the pill every now and again and it was very good for I could sleep very easily when taking it. I would take it sometimes once a week and sometimes everyday (not always cuz I normally can sleep by myself). Last time I just got a 25mg cuz 10 wouldn't work anymore. I would sometimes just stop taking them for a long period. Noticed some mood swings and anger and just worrying about everything and decided to stop it a month ago.

I did stop taking them and threw all of them out. I was okay up to 15 days and then I experienced first panic attack in my life. (I am a teacher and had to leave my class)

I started reading about it and found out that I should've tapered down, but since I hadn't been taking them regularly I just didn't buy that. First week after symptoms appeared was the most horrible week of my whole life. Horrible panic attacks and anxiety attacks, stomach upset and nausea, chest pain. Now it's been almost 15 days after symptoms appeared and more than a month after my last dose.

I feel much better. My stomach upset is getting better and I experienced no panic attacks last week. Anxiety is still there tho. Simply when some slight thing happens I get anxious. Like when my girlfriend goes out alone to a crowded or stressful place, I get panicked, or when I call my sister and she, for whatever reason, doesn't pick up first time, I start concentrating on bad possibilities and become very very anxious. I have been unable to take elevator, train, even buss for the first week, but yesterday I forced myself to travel to another city by train and I did. I felt so bad and almost got off in the middle of nowhere, but just kept going and did it. After doing that I felt very very very good like I achieved an amazing thing in life.

Sorry for a lot of detail, I thought I need to do that so some people can get help from my experience. I also have no appetite at all and lost 20 pounds, but noticed some serotonin surge in the last couple of days when I mysteriously started laughing and feeling super good again (which is a good sign), but it went away.

In general, I feel much better. My stomach is less upset and slowly starting eating bigger portions. My anxiety is mild now and hope it all goes away soon.

I also take multivitamins and vitamin D and Omega 3 and B-complex. I also bought what they call serotonin precursor (5-htp) or something like that. I haven't taken 5-htp yet tho. I really am terrified of manipulating my serotonin again and messing with it. Want to keep going that way and if it was unbearable, I might took that 5-htp.

At the end, I want to say to ppl here that just stop taking it if you can. I didn't taper down and wouldn't. I'd rather suck it up all and get rid of it once for all. I will never EVER take any antidepressant for the rest of my life and also I, again, stop believing in anxiety and depression.

Believe in urself when you quit and remember that you'll get better if you persevere. Just let your body take care of its own problems.

Best of luck to all and again sorry fir too much detail.

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Ako, tapering slowly off these is recommended. Even slow tapers can cause withdrawal effects. I had to taper by tiny amounts because it caused my blood pressure to spike to hypertensive. Otherwise, my blood pressure is very healthy and always has been. I have come off a cocktail of meds over the past 9 months, and do not want anyone to underestimate how awful the withdrawals can be even with slow tapers. Everyone is different, and age, health, weight, sensitivity, and dosage all play a part in how we are affected.

    Am pleased to hear you are off these.

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    • Posted

      I want to also add, that I have read many times that cold turkey affects can make withdrawal not only worse but longer. Am not a doctor but just imagine the shock your brain and nervous system has to go through when coming off them.
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    • Posted

      Dude... Stop scaring the s**t out of poor people. I Remember at that time your comment gave me a major panic attack. Why do you do that??? My main problem while withdrawing was getting freaked out from scared ppl's hideous comments. Quitting even coffee can shock your brain. Why don't you try to help people instead of scaring the s**t out of em? I was so sensitive and comments like yours almost got me worse. I could not even answer cuz I was really scared that I will die with "the shock". NOW TELL ME THAT, and I will laugh. PLEASE do not scare people, specially while withdrawing.

      I am done with every symptom. All gone after 4 months, just to let you know. It was hell, but I withstood and they left. They had to.

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    • Posted

      Cold turkey was what I did. Tapering slowly is not my thing. I never EVER could have taken one more dose of these thing. slowly tapering means having the drug for more months which is probably worse than sucking the pain of withdrawal up and avoiding the drug at all costs. I am fully healed after 4 months. It was worth it and I am proud of myself. wish you all success, Just, again, do not scare people PLEASE
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    • Posted

      I am sorry you feel that way about my posts ako, and stand by everything I have said. These can affect people differently, and slow tapers are recommended, I was very ill from withdrawal. I am pleased to hear that you are recovered. All the best to you.
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  • Posted

    Amitryptyline can stay in your system for up to 12 days, and it's secondary effects on nortriptyline can last up to 21 days. 

    So it makes sense that stopping cold-turkey could have still been causing side-effects up to a month later. I'm currently on 25mg, and it's not really doing much other than barely reducing anxiety. I don't think i'm going to increase the dose. I already have a somewhat high resting heart rate (~85bpm), and this stuff is known to increase it further at higher doses.

    If you want to see how harsh of a drug this stuff is, bite a pill in half rather than cutting it with a pill cutter. The residual in your mouth will cause it to go numb. I won't make that mistake again.

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    • Posted

      All symptoms are gone. It's been 4 months and a couple of days. I am completely normal. Proud of myself that I came out of hell triumphantly. It was an actual glimpse of hell. Good luck and I wish nobody what I been thru. I am done here, so probably won't continue the conversation. Adios 

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  • Posted

    Thank you for sharing. I was wondering if you can give me your opinion on my situation. My dr's have been no help to me so I am looking for opinion from others who have had a bad experience with this awful drug: ( I copy pasted it here below  because I get sick of writing such a long description and repeating it over and over and am trying to get several opinions from those that have had bad experiences such as yourself): 

    I was wondering if anyone who has any experience with Amitriptyline could give me their opinion on my situation. I was placed on Amitriptyline at 10mg back in October 2017 by my Gastro dr for irritable bowel syndrome and anxiety.  He then increased the dosage to 25mg in January of 2018. I noticed shortly after the increase I was hearing auditory hallucinations in my sleep and that they just kept getting worse. I called my Gastro dr in May of this year and told him I wanted to go off the drug and asked what the best way to go off of it was. They told me just quit the drug cold turkey because it was a low enough dose. Very shortly after quitting my symptoms got much worse.  Most of my symptoms happened right when I was falling asleep which were brain zaps ( I didn’t even know what those were at the time), dizziness, sleep and sensory disruptions, tingling in my body & my jaw area. I also experienced symptoms in waking life also such as tingling & burning in my feet, headaches, diarrhea, feeling light headed, crying spells, anxiousness, and nausea. I called and told the gastro dr that I thought I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms  and he basically blew it off and said I didn’t need to taper off such a slow dose and that that the drug should be out of my system by now, as if I shouldn’t still be experiencing these symptoms weeks later. I also talked to my primary care dr who basically acted about the same about it. It has been about 6 weeks since my last dose of quitting cold turkey. It seems that there are some nights I sleep ok, but I am still experiencing these symptoms. I have never experienced such an array of bizarre symptoms before getting involved with this drug, and I feel my symptoms are definitely related to my nervous system. (Doesn’t this drug alter your brain and nervous system?!) Anyways these dr’s scare me and make me think I am crazy or have some other type of physical underlying cause and I can’t figure out what else it could be besides of this Amitriptyline experience.  I have had anxiety and still do but NEVER in my life has anxiety caused me such bizarre symptoms such as these ones I am experiencing. Can you shed any light on this? The doctors have been no help at all.

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    • Posted

      All my symptoms slowly went away. I would say half went away after about 40 days. I can also say that by 3 and half months, I was almost completely my old self. I still get a little butterfly in stomach some days, But I would say it is very very little. like 1%, or probably just in my head from the experience. Just do not be afraid. Be afraid of taking these drugs not quitting them. No matter how bad it gets, hold on to it. You will be fine. I promise
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    • Posted

      these symptoms are most definitley withdrawal symptoms. ive seen so many mention very similar symptoms coming off of amitriptyline and other Antidepressants. I also had auditory hallucinations while sleeping once i came off. i still can not sleep more than 4 hours of extremely fragmented and shallow sleep. i am hoping it will recover soon as its been 4 months. how are you doing at this time? feeling any better?

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    • Posted

      Hi. Thanks for your reply and verification about withdrawal symptoms. I stopped cold turkey about 8 months ago from 25mg of Amitriptyline. All my symptoms were/are mainly in my sleep. I still get them randomly in my sleep and they wake me up but it is more random now then it was before, as before it was just about constant. They still can be scary feeling though, however now I am at least getting sleep as before I only got like 1-2 hours sleep and was a walking zombie. So i thank God I am at least getting many more hours of sleep now. Which drug were you on and what was the dosage and how did you stop ? did you taper of cold turkey? Did your auditory hallucinations while sleeping like wake you up in your sleep? Were they like random noises/words/sounds? I am just curious to know what others experience if similar to mine....its so bizzare and scary weird. i had one dr insinuate I was under some kind of spiritual attack and it scared me almost thinking I was but then I was totally awoken to the truth of what these drugs can do and how they alter the brain! It is so shocking to me how the doctors do not want to admit it or act like they know about it! And what a scam for them to say these drugs are not addicting when indeed they are! Why else would we be going through withdrawal symptoms?! Anyways, let me know. It sounds like you are getting better slowly, I bet your sleep will get better with time.

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    • Posted

      melody thats so great it has subsided for you some! im sure it will eventually disappear altogether. was it solely the auditory hallucinations keeping you up or could you also just not sleep. i was on 25mg for 4 weeks then 10 for 4 and came off after that completely. i heard random sounds.. bells, knocking, scraping/swishing sounds mostly. never any voices or words just random sounds. they were constant but i had several weeks of them. i wasnt really sleeping anyhow but yes they did keep me up when i was falling asleep. the doctors refuse to believe the insomnia is ami withdrawal related, but i guess it doesnt matter theres not much that can help no anyhow and i wont take more meds. thanks for your story. gives me some hope my sleep can improve. im desperate for a good nights sleep. currently sitting in the ER after careless mistake with the blender. thanks sleep deprivation

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    • Posted

      So you were only on it for about 2 months total? What made you go off of it? Like what started happening that made you quit taking it? I am sure your insomnia is AMI withdrawal and it makes me sick those doctors won't admit anything. I get sick when I think that I was on that poison for 8 months. It was the most horrific thing that ever happened to me in my life and just thinking about it makes me sick. Sick that it was allowed to happen! I could not sleep because I was horrified to sleep. It felt like Freddie Crouger movies' if you are familar with those at all. I would be woken up all night by brain zaps, random sounds, involuntary movements, shakes, dizziness, strange sensations that I can't even explain in words because I have never felt them in my life and can't even figure out how to describe some of them. I am writing a book on it all. Sleep deprivation is horrible and I pray for you that you will get sleep. I started reading verses in the Bible that talk about sleep. I would speak them every night before going to bed. I tried to take some comfort in that. I also started taking fish oil omega 3 3 times a day. I know sleep deprivation can lead to accidents and other health problems, as you said you had an incident with the blender. Some say melatonin might help for sleep. I was too scared to add too much of anything to my body after the crisis with AMI. When did you take your last dose and stop completely again? what is the longest you sleep for now?

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    • Posted

      yes, just 2 months total. Dry mouth and low energy feeling so I came off. That's a terrible experience you went through. I'm so sorry! So glad you are better now. I sleep on average about 4 sometimes 5 very broken, shallow sleep. Sometimes it's quite difficult to tell if I am sleeping. It's very strange. Praying it gets back to normal soon.

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