Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 990604

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My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine)

Posted by JohnnyW on July 9, 2011, at 5:56:18

Hi there, I've been having the most unpleasant withdrawal effects (discontinuation syndrome) from taking Stablon, and I really felt the need to post about it somewhere.

Here's a diary of what's happened so far (this has all happened over the PAST WEEK!). I started taking Stablon for my depression and mild anxiety.

First three days:
Tapered up from 1 tablet to 3 a day - Felt good. Felt a definite improvement to my mood and outlook. Also a reduction in the anxiety I had been feeling. I felt more talkative and mentally aware, and also occasionally felt a nice little "buzz".

Day four:
Woke up in the middle of the night feeling as though something was wrong. I felt panicked. (A little side detail: I remember I had very lots of colourful shapes behind my eyes when I first woke up (with my eyes closed) but they disappeared.)

I woke up fully and the panic was extreme (although it wasn't a full blown panic attack) and was accompanied with very negative thoughts. The whole experience became unbelievably overwhelming. I was still very tired, and so tried to sleep through it, but every time I drifted into "alpha" sleep (when you start day dreaming before you sleep) I got a jolt of anxiety that would wake me up. It was horrible.

The mixture of anxiety and negative thoughts kept me awake, and I didn't know how much longer I could put up with them. I know that if I had to feel like that every day, I would have happily chosen death as an alternative. It was extremely horrible. Worse than anything I'd ever experienced. Like depression and anxiety x 100.

Day five:
That morning I eventually had to go to work, without having sleep. I was still panicked in work, but it became less so. And I didn't feel quite as negative.

Spoke to my friend (who had had success on Stablon) and they convinced me that the experience was probably a "bump in the road" due to taking something new. As such things would probably improve as the medication "levelled out" in my system.

I held off taking any more Stablon until about 11am, but when my nerves from weren't completely subsiding I decided to take one. I immediately began to feel better. So I took another one in the evening, hoping my friend had been right.

That night I slept for 8 hours and felt OK.

Day six:
I decided to only take two tablets a day from now on, and I felt ok for most of the day, but by the evening my sense of anxiety had started to grow again. The nerves made me worried that I was going to have a repeat of the horrible experience.

I tried to keep myself calm by meditating and I eventually fell asleep. But sure enough, after about 2 hours sleep, I woke up and felt panicked and negative again.

It was just as overwhelming as before, and again I didn't know how much longer I could put up with such a feeling. I felt FAR too sensitive, mixed with negativity and anxiety. It was just as horrible as I'd remembered from the previous night.

And again, I remember feeling, at times, that death would have been better than overwhelming negative thoughts coupled with crippling anxiety. It was HORRIBLE. (Although I didn't have any plans for how I might end my life -- it was just a logical reasoning: It this feeling wasn't going to go away, I could never live with it. Luckily I felt that it would eventually go away.)

Day seven: Had to go into work again, but this time the nerves didn't subside as much during the day. I couldn't eat properly because my stomach was churning too much. I made a decision to come off Stablon for good. Nothing was worse feeling as bad as I had done the previous night, and I honestly didn't know if I could withstand another similar experience.

With the nerves not subsiding, and with the idea that stopping abruptly could be bad, I took one final tablet in the late morning. Hoping it would at least give me the mental lift that I could ride out.

Unfortunately it didn't help much, my nerves still persisted, and so I decided not to push my luck -- no more Stablon.

That evening the nerves in my stomach were still there and I couldn't sleep. (I got about 3 - 4 hours, off and on.)

Yesterday:
My nerves continued throughout the day. They got so bad, and coupled with the few hours sleep I'd had over the past two days, I asked if I could leave work early.

I managed to get a short-notice appointment with my doctor that afternoon. I tried to explain my severe anxiety and how it was stopping me from sleeping and eating properly... I didn't mention my experiment with Stablon for fear of reprisal. (I doubt he would have heard of the medication, and would probably have just told me something along the lines of, "Well it's your fault for trying to self-medicate" -- possibly not entirely untrue).

His only solution was an SSRI -- something I REALLY don't want to take having been on them so many times in the past, I just didn't want to have to go down that route. He began to get a little frustrated with me for resisting an SSRI ("it will help" he insisted -- even though he said the effects wouldn't be felt for three weeks(!)). I eventually agreed that I would try Zoloft, something I had previously had success with, and he gave me a prescription.

I haven't taken the Zoloft, and I don't plan to until I at least feel like these side-effects have subsided more. I really don't want to risk tripping anything else in my brain right now.

I went to my pharmacist and he was more sympathetic to my feelings of anxiety, telling me to try vitamin B supplements, Omega 3-6-9, getting more exercise, drinking plenty of water, good pro-biotics, etc.

I also picked up some Valerian root. I haven't tried any of these yet, though.

Last night my stomach nerves were still there, and I had difficulty falling asleep -- although mercifully I eventually did.

Today:
My stomach nerves and mental sensitivity are still here, but I think they may finally be starting to subside. (Although I'm beginning to wonder exactly when they will go -- I'm SO sick of feeling like this.)

I'm even afraid of taking the B vitamins or Valerian root, just in case it makes me feel worse... I'm so afraid of feeling as bad as I did on those two nights.

Anyways, I'm sorry for this very long post! I just wanted to share my experiences, and maybe hear if anyone else has had anything similar? I would love to know what's causing all this, and what the best route to helping my anxiety subside might be.

Thanks for any advice. I wish I knew what I could do to definitely help.

- Johnny

PS -
It's such a shame: When Stablon made me feel good, it was amazing. It was so much better than any SSRI I've ever had -- if only it hadn't unlocked these weird side-effects in me :(

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine) JohnnyW

Posted by Franz on July 9, 2011, at 11:21:26

In reply to My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine), posted by JohnnyW on July 9, 2011, at 5:56:18

Hi and I am sorry for your bad experience. But let me tell you that it is very strange. I took tieneptine with no side effects and no discontinuation problems. Also I slept very well sometimes.
We are all different. Also, B vitamins cause anxiety for some people, not sure if it is the B6.

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine)

Posted by JohnnyW on July 9, 2011, at 13:06:41

In reply to Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine) JohnnyW, posted by Franz on July 9, 2011, at 11:21:26

> Hi and I am sorry for your bad experience. But let me tell you that it is very strange. I took tieneptine with no side effects and no discontinuation problems. Also I slept very well sometimes.
> We are all different. Also, B vitamins cause anxiety for some people, not sure if it is the B6.

I took some B vitamins today and it made my anxiety significantly reduce. Thank goodness. A surprising turns of events, but a welcome one. I guess I should do more of the things the pharmacist wanted me to... Exercise, etc.

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine)

Posted by sigismund on July 9, 2011, at 14:27:49

In reply to Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine) JohnnyW, posted by Franz on July 9, 2011, at 11:21:26

>'m even afraid of taking the B vitamins or Valerian root, just in case it makes me feel worse... I'm so afraid of feeling as bad as I did on those two nights.

I do understand. Anything might.

I took Stablon for a year or two until it made me too anxious.

Do you think your physical anxiety may have been related to the Stablon wearing off?

Anyway, how could you make this work for you?

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine) JohnnyW

Posted by floatingbridge on July 9, 2011, at 16:15:00

In reply to My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine), posted by JohnnyW on July 9, 2011, at 5:56:18

:-/ Hmmm. I am having similar sounding non-stop anxiety. I can't advise on the medication piece (I'm am too anxious to contemplate anything besides an ambien at night--).

But so, things that at least have not aggravated me so far:

Calcium magnesium supplement in a powdered drink.

A little gaba throughout the day. I have additional as sublingual, but can't personally feel the difference.
A nutrition drink called mediclear. But I
think any good powdered drink that wasn't extreme in any way and has more protein than carbs. Today I am trying to drink it every 3 hours.

Jeez. Epsom salts in hot bath.

You have any access to accupunture or body work? Nothing extreme.

Someone to share your anxiety driven thoughts with who will remain calm and let them pass.


 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine)

Posted by Phillipa on July 9, 2011, at 23:36:13

In reply to Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine) JohnnyW, posted by floatingbridge on July 9, 2011, at 16:15:00

I take B6 daily 200mg and it doesn't cause more anxiety but B complex does go figure. Phillipa

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine)

Posted by JohnnyW on July 10, 2011, at 9:30:27

In reply to Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine), posted by Phillipa on July 9, 2011, at 23:36:13

Thanks for the words of support and understanding. They go a long way.

I'm still taking the vitamin supplement, and I went to the gym yesterday, too. I managed to sleep most of the night last night (hurrah -- huge step forward) and today I got most of my appetite back.

I also started on some Omega 3-6-9 and plan on taking two vitamin supplements a day (one before bed).

The anxiety has significantly subsided, thankfully. I hope it continues this way.

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine)

Posted by bleauberry on July 10, 2011, at 19:51:05

In reply to My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine), posted by JohnnyW on July 9, 2011, at 5:56:18

My experience wasn't exactly like yours but very close. A few weeks later I tried it again, except at much lower dosing. I still ran into the same problems, mostly the gloom and doom stuff. It was bad. I think for me it was about 3 to 4 days to get back to where I had been before the drug.

Valerian root can work but I find it a little bit depressing, usually by the third day of usage. Once in a while is fine with me. My favorite in that class of herbs is Lemon Balm. Very calming yet without fogginess or sedation, and for some people is mood brightening (high doses usually) and improves cognitive performance. I had med induced nervous anxiety very similar to what you described and it was still just insanely intense after a day of work. One dropper full of Lemon Balm tincture, I was amazed about 20 minutes later how grounded and relieved I was. Lemon Balm does rapid rescue for me in emergencies. I've tried the capsules and they didn't work nearly as well. The tincture is the way to go with this particular plant.

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine) Phillipa

Posted by Franz on July 15, 2011, at 14:43:21

In reply to Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine), posted by Phillipa on July 9, 2011, at 23:36:13

> I take B6 daily 200mg and it doesn't cause more anxiety but B complex does go figure. Phillipa

I am sure you know about possible neurotoxicity of high doses of B6. Maybe you have reasons to take 200 mg B6 but it seems too much.

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine)

Posted by desolationrower on July 15, 2011, at 20:34:53

In reply to My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine), posted by JohnnyW on July 9, 2011, at 5:56:18

I might have skipped a bit of that, but it sounds like it might be good to try it with something that is good for stability, like lithium or valproate or something

-d/r

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine)

Posted by Phillipa on July 16, 2011, at 0:37:42

In reply to Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine) Phillipa, posted by Franz on July 15, 2011, at 14:43:21

No what are the risks? Thanks Phillipa

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine) bleauberry

Posted by JohnnyW on October 31, 2011, at 14:24:50

In reply to Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine), posted by bleauberry on July 10, 2011, at 19:51:05

Ah, it's good to know that I'm not totally alone in having this experience. I've since done more research and that horrible experience I had seems to go under the medical term "dysphoria".

I've had a few unpleasant moments since then, but nothing quite as serious as my reaction to Stablon. Shame it had that reaction with me :(

I'm finally considering going back on Zoloft (sertraline). Just a low dosage to help with the anxiety and depression... I hope I don't have a similar reaction to the one I had with Stablon (although no real reason to suspect I will, I guess).

J


> My experience wasn't exactly like yours but very close. A few weeks later I tried it again, except at much lower dosing. I still ran into the same problems, mostly the gloom and doom stuff. It was bad. I think for me it was about 3 to 4 days to get back to where I had been before the drug.
>
> Valerian root can work but I find it a little bit depressing, usually by the third day of usage. Once in a while is fine with me. My favorite in that class of herbs is Lemon Balm. Very calming yet without fogginess or sedation, and for some people is mood brightening (high doses usually) and improves cognitive performance. I had med induced nervous anxiety very similar to what you described and it was still just insanely intense after a day of work. One dropper full of Lemon Balm tincture, I was amazed about 20 minutes later how grounded and relieved I was. Lemon Balm does rapid rescue for me in emergencies. I've tried the capsules and they didn't work nearly as well. The tincture is the way to go with this particular plant.

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine)

Posted by sk85 on November 4, 2011, at 14:07:45

In reply to Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine) bleauberry, posted by JohnnyW on October 31, 2011, at 14:24:50

What you experienced is very logical. It happened to me aswell years back when I took tianeptine. Let me explain.
Tianeptine works through removing serotonin from synapses - that is why people feel initally good after just taking it because serotonin is ANXIOGENIC. But over time your neurons realize that serotonin is missing from the synapse and they increase serotonin output. That is when tianeptine starts to increase anxiety. Over time though this increased serotonin activity will desensitize your serotonin receptors and again anxiety will start decreasing.
You just didn't wait long enough till that last phase of neuroadaption would have taken effect. I experienced terrible anxiety about 2-3 weeks into the tianeptine treatment which went away around 5-6 week.
In reality tianeptine isn't that much different from SSRIs in the end-adaptions that it triggers in the brain (you can read that from the studies that have been done). Although its sexual side-effects are more benign as it doesn't probably affect that part of the brain that is responsible for regulating sexual functioning.
Overall in the 3-4 months I took tianeptine I didn't really like it, in the end I gave it up because it was having a negative effect on my cognition and wasn't providing the antidepressant power I needed. Although, again, I might have gave up on it too early. Tianeptine is something that you take for long term investment in your serotonin system. I have heard people reporting it starting working around 4-5 months in for the anxiety. Although that just is too long for its use as an effective anxiolytic.

-Ikaros

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine)

Posted by JohnnyW on February 21, 2014, at 3:54:05

In reply to Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine), posted by sk85 on November 4, 2011, at 14:07:45

I hate seeing posts like this with no follow up about what happened, so I thought I'd come back and share.

I ended up taking the Zoloft, and I haven't really looked back. I came off Zoloft last September and have been meditating daily since then (Mindfulness), and have been generally absolutely fine.

There's the occasional bump in the road, but generally speaking I'm good.

One side effect from my few days on Stablon which doesn't seem to have ever gone away -- and which not or may not be related -- is waking up feeling utterly confused. Not so much "where am I?", but more like "who am I?". This unpleasant experience passes as my brain wakes up, and it only happens once every few months, but if don't recall it ever happening before those two nights on Stablon. (I just had this experience this morning and that's what prompted me to look up this old post.)

Anyways, aside from that I'm completely fine now.

Thanks.

 

Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine) JohnnyW

Posted by SLS on February 21, 2014, at 7:41:13

In reply to Re: My experiences with Stablon (Tianeptine), posted by JohnnyW on February 21, 2014, at 3:54:05

Hi Johnny.

Thanks for posting.

Congratulations on finding your way through the challenges of mental illness. Whatever you are doing, keep doing it. Do you exercise at all?


- Scott


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