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Treatment Withdrawal
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Treatment Withdrawal

Hi All,

I finished tx a little over a week ago and have been feeling worse than on tx!  First I got a real flu (the first in 15 years) with all the body aches, etc. Now I am having complete sleeplessness, moodiness, much like when I first started tx (although the irritability never seemed to go away).  I was finally able to give up the sleeping meds towards the end of tx because I was able to sleep on my own again.  I am also experiencing more of the neck and upper back pain with terrible headaches.

So, I was thinking . . . going cold turkey off the riba could produce these effects?  I know that you are never supposed to go off an AD or anti-anxiety quickly due to the rebound effects.  The meds caused such sleeplessness, anxiety, mood swings, etc., much like an AD so it would make sense that this is happening now.

Has anyone experienced anything similar and for how long?  

-cbee
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31 Comments Post a Comment
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I'm just starting so have no personalknowledge, but you know, that makes sense, in a way.  Your body is adjusting to a whole different chemical makeup.  I know one of the sides of the tx is a build up of mucous in the system.  Logically, it is going to have to flush out after tx.  I would think your body is just going through another radical change but will be just fine.

Good luck and congratulations on being done.
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I don't remember everything back then but for sure I experienced sleep problems after tx. I had no sleep problems prior to tx or during-except waking up to pee about 10 times a night. For probably  a 3 or 4 month period post tx I could only sleep about 3 hours and then I would be wide awake. Sleeping is quite normal now for me.


frank
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Boy, I know all about that waking up to pee all night.  Drink water and pee.  That's all I do. Well, almost.  And I am banging the fool out of my shins on our wooden clothes hamper the size of a cedar chest getting to the pot.  I'm going to have to rearrange the furniture.
Kathy
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I just knew the thought of dose altering would appeal to you!  haha.  I'm glad you checked in.  I was wondering what you'd think.

Laika
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veggie I drop in here from time to time and am a graduateof tx witha nall clears post 1yr
I do have a few contacts and i am near Toronto u can e me at derailhcv at msn dot com and i can get the particulars and maybe some answers for you
Mattie glad to see you are still around and things are better for you (HUGS)my sista
cbee sorry for jumpin in on this thread BTW my withdrawel lasted longer than i was on tx but everyone is different
scruff you old sock hows it going
anyone please fell free to e me
oh and by the way # 6 and # 7 gkids have arrived
cheers all  and I hope the sides are smooth
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Avatar_n_tn
Ugh!  I just did my last shot; I don't want to think about withdrawal for some unknown period of time!

I, too, have wondered about tapering off riba.  After taking 1190 pills of riba over the last 24 wks, I know my body would have to feel shocked to suddenly stop getting it.

Laika
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Avatar_n_tn
Kathy move that clothes hamper TODAY! (why fight it?)

Derail, always a pleasure when old svr's come by to say hiya. Congrats on the g'kids-your family will inherit the earth. All is well in my world.more or less. frank
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Oh boy can I relate to this!!! I got so depressed. I almost felt safe on tx. I had most of the sides but made it through with alot of help from Procrit, anti depresson pills, Tylenol PM, xanax and LOTS of water. But after tx, you really go through some thing else and it must be because of all the meds you were on but I am one year post tx, virus free and feel great. So, just like tx, just hang in there and it will all come together for you. Lots of hope.
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I'm 1 week post tx, I feel like i'm going thru withdrawals too. Nerves are shot so bad it feels like my insides are shaking. I was on prozac the last 3 or 4 months quit them too, that might be whats causing it. I got my appetite back though.

Monte
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Avatar_f_tn
I went through quite a bit of withdrawal symptoms, insomnia, etc., whenever I stop my treatment drugs.  The last time it took me about 5 mon. before my sleep started working again.  I also was very hyper and ate everything in sight.  I got a bad cold about a month off of treatment.  I think these withdrawal symptoms are fairly normal.

Susan
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I didn't have withdrawals, I was just so glad to finally stop taking that ****.
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Too bad you're not getting off easy.  Thanks to your warning, which I deeply appreciate, I'm going to try tapering off the riba this coming week as I do the last shot:  maybe a 200 mg reduction each day.   I'm wishing you the best as you have one last wrestle with the demon lover.
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Jim, Lynn, Susan thank you so much for your thoughts.  I tend to try to prepare myself for the worst possible scenario, and need to hear from a few folks who have a different way of looking at things.. and some experience...keeps me from going off a cliff with it!  I've got a week to decide, but I'll probably just stop.

Califia...it just jelled with me.  One more week to your last shot!  Ooooh...you must be starting to feel a little happy inside.  4 weeks away from the end, I was mean, mad, nasty, grumpy, but when it was only 1 wk away from the last shot, glimmers of joy began to reach me.  I sure hope you get the forever goods, it's been so very long for you, I can't even imagine...

Laika

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Avatar_f_tn
you counted the ribas? holy canoli!
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Hey, when i finished tx, in about a week, i felt like i was on speed or something....wired to the max just on "LIFE"........tx is  sort of a fog to me.  Still trying to located things i put away to be in a safe place...
I never felt sick  b4 tx and mentally and physically i feel much better than i did b4 taking the drugs......
Now that i am undetectable i feel like i have a new lease on life.........Hang in there all you newbies, tx is doable...
Lov all you guys........DEB  :)
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I'd consider it an honor to share that broom.
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Avatar_m_tn
If memory serves me, riba half life is around 100 hours but traces can remain in your system up to six months. That's why they want you to wait 6 months before having unprotected sex.

Not sure what your nurse is up to with the riba, but it seems  that if you treat (for example) 48 weeks, then you treat 48 weeks. That means you take the riba for a week after your last shot. Maybe someone has different info.

Congratulations of finishing tx! Keep popping by from time to time.

-- Jim



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Thanks so much for your well wishes.   How odd a transition time this is after 60 weeks of poison, which is nothing compared to many of the folks here who accomplished 72+.  

FYI, the nurse was concerned about my recent blood loss (Vicious Plant Syndrome)  and I assume that's why she wanted to chuck the riba.   Bad idea, I think, but this is the nurse who thinks I'm nuts for having insisted on extending tx.   Of course, if she'd bother to actually read the research I provide her with we'd probably be meeting more often on the same page.  You know how THAT goes.

Hope you're feeling relatively well today.  



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Califia
I think Groucho Marx eyebrows are an age thing. Are you saying you think they are tx related????  If I don't dab mine down in the mirror every so often, they poke right up.  I see it a lot in elderly men.  Not so much in women, but I think they probably poke them down too.  Hairspray?????

When I was waiting for my GI one day, an elderly lady came in.  She had missed an early appointment and they were fitting her in.  She proceeded to pull out her little mirror and twizers in the waiting room and pull out her chin hairs.  Pleeeeeeeeeeeease may I never go there!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kathy
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well...it was an estimate.  24 wks X 35 per wk.  But I actually missed at least 5 doses during due to the dense fog.

I have decided to stay on with the Lexapro for awhile in case it may help with withdrawal symptoms.  It seems like it would help with sleeplessness.  Also, stopping the other drugs all at once is enough of a body shock.

I have a shot of Peg and some riba left over.  I could do half a shot, then a quarter and another quarter and do the same kind of thing with the riba.

There have been some interesting inputs on this thread about tapering off ... I'd love to hear from others.

Laika
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Avatar_m_tn
I don't believe tapering off these drugs is a very common practice.  

As Eisbein mentioned, riba has long half life, so the taper here is built-in.

As far as peg goes, I've heard of "withdrawal" anecdotally, and even think I've experienced it myself sometimes on day 7, but personally, I will follow standard protocol and make my last full shot, my last shot.

"Withdrawal" be d*mn. When I've finished my weeks, I'm FINISHED with this stuff. :)

-- Jim
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No withdrawals here.  My biggest problem was my impatience to get all my energy back.  It came back very fast.......I just wanted it NOW and it took a few wks.  Felt better and better every day off the meds.

Good luck to you.
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Avatar_f_tn
I've done the weaning off/withdrawal thing every time I've come off my meds and yet, I still take several months to get the meds out of my system enough to be able to say that I feel normal again.  

Susan
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You know, I am a survivor from that last graduating class of MH--joined them late and remained after the majority of them had finished tx. Back in the old days, my child, which is to say only just a few months ago that could have been years,  there was always much talk about hair or the lack of it and eyebrows suddenly going vertical.   And not only on the full moon, either.  It seems to be an overnight phenomenon.  You wake up, confront the mirror for the first time, and go into shock:  What the f-----!       One thing I've noticed, tho':  as much as you experience accelerated aging while on tx, and boy is it horrifying to fast forward and get a glimpse of yourself in the debility of old age, most of it reverses itself even while  you're still on.   I had never looked my age before until this treatment, and there was a point  when....oh well, never mind.   It's still too close.  But thanks be the goddess,  the bad dream ends.   After only three days without swallowing riba, my dear friend Peg (1b, late 50s, treated for 72 weeks) actually looked like she'd spent a year at a spa.   A whole brand new woman.

I guess I was so busy looking at her smile that I forgot to notice her eyebrows.

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Avatar_f_tn
Hold up, you mean now my eyebrows are going to take on a mind of their own? And I am going to look older??? Yikes! That's all I friggin need...and then my hair should fall out on top of it all...??...oye...But you say you bounce back and become normal once again??? Please tell me you return to normal...
Cin
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Yes the Groucho eyebrows will quickly disappear! My eyebrows grew dark from center toward nose and very coarse during tx. After tx they quickly regained normal color and texture. I called my tx brows devil brows. The devil brows plus the pissed off look made me look somewhat deranged I thought. You will be your normal lovely self-hair, skin,smile and disposition. No worry. frank
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Well, obviously it's not a chick thing.  Maybe a a few of us have a wolfish gene or two that becomes activated.  But wait,  we're cat people!   How can this be?  This mad science experiment has obviously gone too far!

Frank, I may be channeling a bit of Chev right now, but I swear if I had a single friend in Minnesota I'd hook you right up....     :)



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Avatar_f_tn
I had ONE eyebrow acting up during tx, we called them Spock eyebrows then (MR. not DR). I guess Groucho  can take the honor this time. With the first term we were able to modify to describe the "condition", spockified, spockification, etc. How is the Groucho term going to be used? grouchy eyebrows? hum, that might work.
Enjoy them and the LONG eyelashes, they wont stay after Tx.
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On the eyebrow thing, my father had these wiry, beastly eyebrows, and during his last few years, I would occasionally try to trim and tame the things, always thanking God I'D never wind up with those nasty old man brows.... Guess what? ? Mine started to do that BEFORE tx. I haven't noticed any SUDDEN growth yet, but I think I'm destined toward the Groucho look even post tx.
Cal/Lai/cb
Glad to hear that the end has arrived for you all and I'm saying my prayers for ya!
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I'm not giving up the long lashes and that's final!
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Can't help you there. My lashes were so long during tx they hit my glasses and got in my eyes. Sorry Calif, they also return to normal. sad smile. Hee, frank
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