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Depo Provera detox Depo Provera detox

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Unread 02-20-2010, 10:30 PM
Depo Provera detox

I was on Depo for about 10 years and it controlled the constant bleeding and hormone levels. I was perfectly happy with it. My ob/gyn says I no longer need it since the hysterectomy on Feb 6th. I still have my ovaries. All of a sudden I have insomnia, shaky nervousness. I am supposed to be resting but feel like jumping out of my skin. Has anyone else had "depo withdrawal"?
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Unread 02-21-2010, 06:49 PM
Re: Depo Provera detox

I just read a medical journal article saying how progesterone stimulates the GABA A brain receptors exactly the way valium or barbituates would. The article goes on to say when progesterone is discontinued (even if it's natural as in before a period, after pregnancy or menopause) women will experience withdrawal just as though they stopped taking daily valium!!! If you are interested I will find the article and send it to you. It was very scientific - but the bottom line is yes - I can see how you might be feeling this way after having the Depo flowing for 10 year and then abruptly stopping. I wonder if your doctor could get you some Prometrium and wean you down from it slowly. Seems like you are having too an abrupt an exit from all that progesterone and your body is likely not producing much at all at this point. Good luck and let us know how you do. I felt I should write given I just read this article today, trying to figure out why I felt like I was in drug withdrawal every month when my progesterone drops!
Be well, Robyn
Unread 02-21-2010, 08:52 PM
Re: Depo Provera detox

Thanks, I would like to see the article. I have been taking zanax to alieviate the symptoms, but I don't want to continue doing that regularly. I think I will call the dr office tommorow and ask if there is some alternative I can take to wean me off the depo. My ob/gyn is a man, sometimes I don't think they "get it"!
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Unread 02-22-2010, 07:10 AM
Re: Depo Provera detox

Ok... The article's theme says that those in "progesterone" withdrawal won't respond as well - or will need more of the benzodiazapene class a of drugs (xanex, valium etc.) for the same effect. It explains clearly that the progesterone acts on GABA A receptors...the same as these drugs and that is why pms anxiety, post-partum depression, etc. Interesting. I think a slower wean off progesterone sounds smart - just as you would never jump off a benzo drug cold-turkey. Show your doc the article. I find the clinicians don't keep up with the research and they won't like it, but you can teach them and help the next victim!!
Let me know how it goes.

Unread 02-22-2010, 07:40 AM
Re: Depo Provera detox

Here is a link to the abstract (very technical).

The introduction pretty much has most of the information you need to understand. It is a metabolite of the progesterone (not the progesterone itself) that is responsible for the benzo-like withdrawal symptoms... It also makes one more tolerant of the benzo drugs "cross tolerance" (they use Ativan (very similar to Xanex) in the study to prove this). Hope this is helpful.
Unread 02-22-2010, 07:49 AM
Re: Depo Provera detox

Susan if reading that long technical article is way too much, this little paragraph sums it up pretty well"

"Use of all three P withdrawal paradigms not only further characterizes the
withdrawal properties of this endogenous compound, but may model clinical
syndromes, such as pre-menstrual syndrome [11], post-partum dysphoria or
post-menopausal anxiety. Attenuation of sedative response to the BDZs has also
been observed clinically in women experiencing PMS [38]; in this case a sedative
index was determined using eye saccades as a motor parameter. Thus, the present
results may have broader clinical implications as women are prescribed BDZs more
frequently than are men [44]. Behavioral response to BDZ treatment in rats has
also been shown to fluctuate across the estrous cycle. Both anxiolytic [3, 5,
14] and anti-convulsant [41] effects of BDZs are reduced on days of the cycle
when P levels have declined or following ovariectomy. In vitro studies have also
demonstrated cross-tolerance of 3α,5α-THP with the BDZs [31, 45]. However,
effects of P withdrawal may also have relevance for males under conditions of
chronic stress, as behavioral stress has been shown to increase CNS 3α,5α-THP
levels in male rats [30]. Thus, ‘withdrawal' from such stressful episodes might
be expected to result in BDZ insensitivity."
Unread 02-22-2010, 09:06 AM
Re: Depo Provera detox

(((SusanSister))) I'm sorry you're having problems with anxiety and jitteriness. Please keep in mind that you are only two weeks post op and *most* women experience insomnia in the early weeks post-surgery.

The article mentioned above, btw, is twelve years old and refers only to metabolites of natural progesterone. Depo Provera is NOT natural progesterone and does not behave the same way in the body.

I was on depo for a period of several years and stopped it a couple of years before my hysterectomy. I had absolutely no "withdrawal" symptoms when I stopped it, nor could I find any information on potential withdrawal symptoms from depo Provera in reputable scientific journals.

Much more likely, especially in your case, is that your anxiety and insomnia are due to low estrogen levels. Often the ovaries can go into a sort of 'shock' for a time after surgery, since their blood supply has been disrupted. You may also experience night sweats, though not everyone does. As you get farther from surgery, the symptoms should lessen - if they don't, be sure to talk with your doctor about them.

Meanwhile, if the insomnia is stressing you out to the point that you feel you're not able to heal from surgery, ask your doctor for help. Many women find that Sleepytime Extra tea (with Valerian) helps. So can a turkey sandwich and Ovaltine before bedtime. Melatonin and 5-HTP are also otc supplements that are helpful for some women.

Most importantly, give yourself permission to and heal from the surgery.

Unread 02-22-2010, 09:43 AM
Re: Depo Provera detox

I agree with Linda that 2 weeks is very early for any conclusions to be made, and indeed this can be a result of depleted estrogen levels due to ovarian "shock" (with possible diminished ovarian blood supply).

Since Susan had mentioned the long-term Depo Provera use, I thought it might be important for her to understand the implications of "progesterone withdrawal" and how it might also have an impact.

Here is a link to a much more recent study done on the topic (2006).

I find it fascinating that the metabolite of Progesterone (Allopregnanolone) acts on the brain (GABA A receptors) in the same way the Benzo class of drugs do - and can induce just as intense a withdrawal syndrome.

In any case... I have not done my homework on whether this metabolite of Progeseterone (allopregnanologe) is not produced by the synthetic progestins like Depo Provera. If it is not, than indeed this theory is likely not likely Susan's dilemma. Synthetic Progestins are known to be very different than bio-identical progesterone in many ways - this may be one of them.

As Linda said, there are many plausible explanations Susan. I hope you will improve and do well with conservative healing measures - and with time.

I guess we are all different in our reactions to meds and hormones - but the more informed we are going into our consultations with our physicians the better off I believe we are. This is why this forum is so invaluable.
Unread 02-22-2010, 10:42 AM
Re: Depo Provera detox

Thanks Robyn & Linda. It is nice to get some feedback. I called the dr office this morning. Hopefully they might be able to help. I know it is early and that my ovaries could be in shock too. But I am used to having that depo shot every two months, so of course I assume that is the answer.
Nothing is helping with the anxiety except the xanax, if I could run around the block a few times that might help too!!I also find it interesting that progesterone acts like the benzo drugs. I have taken estrogen in the past and had to stop because it caused anxiety and sleeplessness. I will update soon.
Unread 02-22-2010, 10:51 AM
Re: Depo Provera detox

(((Susan))) I'm glad you called the DR.

Progesterone -- natural progesterone -- can have a calming, almost sedative effect, which is why many of us use it at night rather than in the morning if we're using it at all. Depo Provera doesn't have that same effect, though. Completely different medication.

There is a huge difference in general between bio-identical estrogen and progesterone and the synthetic molecules used in birth control medications. They don't affect the body the same way at all.


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