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Lovedby2: Sertraline Taper Newbie


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Hello! I am Lovedby2. I have been on Sertraline for about 7 - 8 years. I have tried to taper off 4 times and have not been able to. I read about tapering off years ago by diluting in OJ and reducing an ounce at a time after a month or two. I started with 10 oz of OJ and would drink all but one oz for several weeks, probably more like a month or two the last time I tried. When I felt like I had adjusted, no depressive thoughts or brain zaps I would reduce again, repeating until I had gotten to empty. It took at least a year. Every time I got to about the last oz or two I would start feeling really depressed again. I stayed at that 1 oz dose for weeks, but I was never able to go all the way.


I am not sure if the meds are causing my loss of memory, brain fog, etc., but I would like to try to get off to see. I still struggle with depression, but I also have Fibromyalgia so who knows.


Btw, I am on 50 mg. I am here to get advice about successfully get off the meds and to hear from others about their lives after antidepressants. Thank you.

Edited by scallywag
highlight doses and timeline; add white space
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Lovedby2 -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants
I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums enlightening and helpful for your taper.  I'm glad that you found us before starting to taper sertraline.
Is sertraline the only drug you're taking?
It will help us help you if you create a signature that shows your current drug(s) and dose(s). Please list all drugs in your signature, including non-psych drugs, and supplements if you take them.

Please put your withdrawal history in signature

To plan for your taper, please read:

Introduction to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

3KIS: Keep it slow. Keep it simple. Keep it stable.

Why taper by 10% of my current dosage instead of start dosage?

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)


This topic -- your introduction thread -- is where you can record symptoms and progress, ask questions, and chat with members of the SA community.


You may way want to follow this topic so that you get notifications when someone posts in your thread.  Click the gray "Follow this topic" button. A dialog box appears:  select one of the notify options, then click follow this topic in the dialog box.


That's all from me for now. Have look at those links, come back and ask questions.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here

scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Lovedby2, 


It sounds like you were doing a linear taper, reducing by the same amount each interval.  I'm happy to hear that you waited a good long interval before cutting again.  However, your cuts got relatively larger as you went.  We advocate the 10% taper based on the previous month's dosage, so that each cut gets smaller and smaller.  This may be why when you got to the last part it was so hard, that you were ending up doing perhaps a 50% cut at the low end of the dosage scale where small cuts lead to big changes in receptor occupancy.  See the article in this link:  Why taper?


Welcome to SA!  You will succeed this time!



Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor


My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Look around here for the stories on supplements and alternative therapies too.  It may be that you need a little help to get over the final barrier.  I am using Acupuncture as well as magnesium supplementation.  Many good contributors here--and the moderators will definitely help. 


Prayers for you to be free from SSRI's.  You will succeed this time. 



Began Paxil for situational panic attacks in 2000. Then psych put me on Prozac to transition me to Lexapro in 2008. I forget the dosage of Paxil and Lexapro. Switched to100mg Sertraline since 2011.


75Mg taper began 06/21/2016. 67.5 mg taper began 07/10/2016. 61mg taper began 08/01/2016. 54mg taper began 08/24/2016. 48mg taper began 09/06/2016. 44mg taper began 09/20/2016. 40mg taper began 10/11/2016. 35mg began 10/25/2016. 25 mg began 11/15/2016.  20 mg began 12/03/2016.  12.5 mg began 12/22/2016.  DRUG FREE JANUARY 16, 2017!!


Began daily meditation 12/01/2016.  Very helpful!!


Prayer, always, and Acupuncture, as needed.<p>Isaiah 50:7 (NLT): Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be dismayed. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will triumph!

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