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Missy: Having a hard time getting off Seroquel


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I was originally placed on Lexapro 20 mg, Klonopin 1 mg and Seroquel 100 mg in December of 2011, 3 month's before my mother passed away to help with depression, sleep and anxiety.


I stayed on these for 2 year's when I decided I no longer needed to be medicated. I tapered all 3 at the same time by cutting them in half, waiting a few month's and then in half again. I stopped Lexapro in December of 2014.


Then as per an incompetent doctor stopped the Klonopin in May of 2015. I ended up in the E.R followed by signing into a detox facility. I had no clue what a benzo was let alone that I had been on one and felt as if I was going to dye from what they said was benzo withdraws.


Since then for the past year and a half I have tried to taper off Seroquel about 4 times. Each time was horrible and I was put back on the original dose of 100 mg. Through research and what a couple of doctor's have told me I was tapered to fast.


I am a 21 year federal employee and have now been out of work since this January. I am at risk of losing everything I've worked so hard for including my home.


I signed into another detox facility in February because they promised to get me off Seroquel and regain my sleep. It was a waste of time and money, I was lied to.


So the doctor I am currently seeing has placed me on 2 benzo's to try and help with sleep and anxiety. they only help with my anxiety. One is  Xanax .5 mg  and Flurazepam 15 mg. She has tried many different meds trying to regain my sleep enough that I can function and go back to work but nothing is working. I feel as though I a m going through pure tortuous hell. Everyday is a battle and I am at my wits end!!


I am currenty tapering down to 75 mg's one night 1st week then 2 night's 2nd week until I am down to 75 mg's every night which will take 7 weeks.


I can't function, have no appetite, feel nacious, no energy and just feel like death warmed over. I can't push through much more as my day's have turned to weeks and my weeks to month's. I have so many reasons to live and so many thing's to look forward to but all I do is pray to God to just let me die in my sleep. I have no more push left in me. This has been like a never ending nightmare!! I would go to a detox facility in a heartbeat if they were ligit but the past 2 were horrible.


I need my life back. I feel Seroquel has destroyed my life and I may even end up losing my job of 21 years. Is there an easier way to get off this or a detox facility that REALLY does get you off and help you??

Edited by scallywag
added paragraph breaks and tags
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, Missy.


Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA). 


First, please put those thoughts of not having a reason to live aside. You have a LOT to live for because now that you're getting the right information, you can get off these drugs and heal. 


The problem with detox facilities is they have you come off way too fast. Your mind and body simply can't adjust to the changes, and the damage to the central nervous system (CNS) can be quite profound. They work under the erroneous mentality that once the drug is out of your system, the symptoms stop. We know that is not the case. The mind and body take time to repair the damage that the drugs caused. Detoxes are driven by "addiction mentality", but we're dealing with "dependency".


This article by someone who is a "benzo survivor" explains this well:


Don’t Harm Them Twice: When the Language Surrounding Benzodiazepines Adds Insult to Injury 


The good news is with a careful taper, lots of support (even if it's just on sites like this one), and lots of non-drug coping skills, you're going to be fine. 


Here are some links to general information about withdrawal and recovery:


Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?


What is withdrawal syndrome? 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization



This is the history I was able to get from your post:


Lexapro 20 mg  -  December 2011 until December of 2014, came off at 50% decreases


Klonopin 1 mg  -  December 2011  until abrupt cut off by doctor May of 2015


Seroquel 100 mg - December 2011, several attempts to come off, back on 100 mg


Placed on Xanax .5 mg and Flurazepam 15 mg - February 2016 (?)


Questions for you:


1.  Please verify that the above information about your drug history is correct.


2.  Please give the dates you went on Xanax and Flurazepam.


It's impossible to say which drug is causing which symptom, as all of these drugs can cause dependency. But with your antidepressant usage ending 2 years ago, it would be best to concentrate on the benzos and Seroquel.


It's possible you're dealing with benzo withdrawal. We have a members-only benzo forum, and I would encourage you to go ahead and check it out.  Once you're ready, please start a new topic for yourself there. These links will get you started:


Members only benzo forum


The Ashton Manual will give you more information on what to expect with benzo withdrawal:


The 2002 Ashton Manual is at http://www.benzo.org...anual/index.htm


The April, 7 2011 Ashton Manual Supplement is at http://www.benzo.org.uk/ashsupp11.htm


Please note that even though Dr. Ashton advocated using antidepressants to come off benzos, her manual was written before a lot was known about antidepressant withdrawal. We do not advocate the use of other drugs to help with symptoms, as it generally causes problems due your already destabilized central nervous system (CNS). But her manual is extremely valuable in helping people understand the symptoms of benzo withdrawal. 


Please fill out your signature with your drug and supplement history. 


Please put your withdrawal history in your signature


Before you begin tapering what you need to know


This is your thread to list your symptoms and ask plenty of questions. 


Please let us know how you're doing. 

Edited by ChessieCat
Added "Before you begin" & removed link which was ascribed to "list your symptoms"



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Missy, I want to address your suicidal thoughts in a separate post for ease of reading. If you do feel you are at risk for self-harm, please see these resources:


For those who are feeling desperate or suicidal


Self care is so very important throughout this, so please also take a look at these resources:


Non-drug Techniques to cope with emotional symptoms


Neuro Emotions


 "Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms


And just knowing that there is a way out of this nightmare can be life affirming. I hope this information is helpful. 


Please let us know how you are doing. 



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Thank you very much!! Yes the medications you listed are correct. I was placed on Xanax and Flurazepam approximately in August of this year. I will most definitely check out these other sites you have listed. The way they have me tapering off Seroquel this time by going down 25 mgs once a week then twice, ect is this a safe and steady way to go about it?

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Missy. No , this is not safe. I would encourage you to have a read of all the links provided and start a topic in the Members only Benzo forum.  Link above.

Please add your drug history signature as well . Until you do that it's difficult to help.

Once we have a little more information we can offer more concise help.


Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014


                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014

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Originally Lexapro 10 mg, Klonopin 1 mg and Seroquel 100 mg.

Stopped Lexapro Dec. of 2014 and Klonopin in May 2015.


Remained on Seroquel trying multiple times to taper off but the tapers were too fast and my insomnia became worse. So these following drugs were added to try to regain my sleep and help with the depression I was having due to lack of sleep.


Remeron 15 mg - Started June 2015  Stopped Sept. 2016

Divalproex SOD ER 250 mg Started June 2015 stopped approx. Dec. 2015

Gabapentin 100 mg Star ted June 2015 Stopped approx. Dec. 2015

Bupropion MCL XL 150 mg Started June 2015 Stopped approx. Dec. 2015


The above meds were prescribed by a psychiatrist whom I stopped going to because she kept upping the dosages, nothing helped to regain my sleep, I  felt like I was going in circles with her and during one visit she told me I could just stop the Seroquel, Remeron and Gabapentin which sent me into a week of withdraw hell. I ended up back on all three.


My new psychiatrist has tried the following meds to try and stabilize my sleep before tapering off Seroquel. I was only on each one about 2 months.


Clonazepam 1 mg

Diazepam 10 mg

Fluoxetine HCL 10 mg

Hydroxyzine HCL 50 mg

Olanzapine 10 mg

Temazepam 30 mg

Triazolam .25 mg

Ziprasidone HCL 40 mg


My current medication is as follows:

Seroquel down to 75 mg - twice at night, second time when I wake up and can't get back to sleep

Alprazolam .5 mg - twice at night, second time when I wake up and can't get back to sleep.

Flurazepam 15 mg

Prazosin 2 mg


I am currently trying to taper off Seroquel as follows:


Take 7 weeks to go from 100 mg down to 75 mg, 1st week go down to 75 mg one night, 2nd week go down to 75 mg twice, 3rd week three nights ect. until I am down to 75 mg every night on the 7th week as I am currently in my 7th week.


My insomnia got really bad in Oct. - Nov. 2015 when a doctor took me down to 25mg of Seroquel in Oct. then 12.5 in Nov. and told me to stop in Dec. 2015. I only made it half way through Nov. I was a zombie to say the least so he took me back up to 100mg of Seroquel and referred me to another doctor whom I am presently working with. My sleep was at it's worse in Oct. and Nov and I thought it couldn't possibley get any worse until Jan. 2016 I hit rock bottom with severe chronic insomnia. Sleep study revealed 196 sleep disruptions in 6 hours with only 34 mins of deep, restorative sleep. I am a 21 year USPS employee and have now been out of work since Jan of this year. I am at risk of losing my job all because it seems almost impossible to get of Seroquel. I'm darned if I stay on bc it doesn't help my sleep anymore and I'm darned to try and get off.


Thank you,











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Missy, I've had a hard time with Seroquel. I went from 25mg down to 17mg with a lot of pain and had to stop there because my sleep started to fall apart. I did it by making a liquid suspension and reducing a tiny bit every few days. I couldn't cope with tablet cutting.


I'm holding now and considering trying my Valium before I go back to the Seroquel.


There's a Seroquel thread somewhere on here. Can't remember where it is though. :unsure:  Hope you can find it!



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Thank you MNgal1960! I will try to find that thread. I am barely sleeping and it's been 9 month's of pure torture. I've had multiple tests ran and tried every med under the sun to regain my sleep bf starting to taper off Seroquel. Nothing has worked so I'm in my 7th week of tapering and I don't know how I'm going to get through this. I've been out of work since Jan. of this year, 21 years of service with the USPS and I am at risk of losing my job bc I can barely function day to day. My doctor and I believe that Seroquel is what's causing the severe insomnia.

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I'm so sorry about the insomnia. I have been through that, too. Yes, it's pure torture. And nothing worked for me until I was put on a benzo. That burned out very quickly and then I was put on low-dose Seroquel. Only 25mg. It is the only thing that has enabled me to sleep. At 25mg, it is a powerful antihistamine. OTC sleep meds are antihistamines, too, but not as strong. But Seroquel is a dangerous drug to be on long term and I know it will eventually burn out on me, too.


You have been off and on so many meds, I wonder if that is part of the insomnia now. Tapering fast and jumping around on meds can really upset the nervous system.


Do you know how to make a signature? It will show up on the bottom of each of your posts. Go into your profile and look for the link. Then put your history of meds into it. It helps the mods to see that every time you post. Then they can give you advice better.


Something that helps me relax and rest even when I can't sleep is doing body scans. The idea is to focus on what the narrator is saying. The relaxation comes as a result of focusing. Have you ever tried anything like that? I have actually dozed off while trying to focus! There are many free body scans online. Body scanning is a form of meditation that helps settle the mind. Truly, learning these sorts of mindfulness practices are the only thing that have helped me get enough rest so that I can drive, buy groceries, etc.


I can't work because of my fatigue and w/d. I can't imagine how you are strong enough to keep working.  With 21 years of service, can you take a leave or take early retirement if it comes to that?



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Here's the topic MN mentioned: Tips for tapering off Seroquel (quetiapine)

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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Thank you again, MNgal1960! Actually I have not been able to work since Jan. of this year. I am so scared I'm going to lose my job if I'm not better soon. I can barely function through the day. One feels like 3 and the only thing I look forward to is 9 P.M every night bc the meds knock me out but I barely get any deep sleep.


Thank you too,  Ontario, Canada!! I will read your link!!!

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Quote from a discussion topic on neuroleptics:


I am also trying "again" to taper off Seroquel and having a very hard time due to the insomnia. I've tried a few other times over the past year but my doctor at the time had me do it too fast and I ended up going back to the original dosage of 100 mg. My new doctor is tapering me very slowly. 1st week go down to 75 mgs one night, 2nd week go down to 75 mgs twice until I have reached the 7th week and am taking 75 mgs every night, which I am in the seventh week right now.

I read on here that someone got back on an antidepressant, Lexapro while tapering off Seroquel. I was on Lexapro for about 3 years and stopped it Dec. 2014. Should I get back on it, would it possible help me sleep and depressed mood and would it be easier to get off it than it is to get off Seroquel?

Originally on Lexapro 10 mg (Stopped in Dec. 2014)
Seroquel 100 mg (Still on this one, down to 75 mg)
Klonopin 1 mg (Stopped this one May 2015)

Currently on Seroquel 75 mg (Was on 100 mg for about 5 year's now on 75 mg twice a night bc I wake up and can not go back to sleep)
Flurazepam 15 mg (Been on this a few months)
Xanax .5 mg (Been on this a few months twice a night bc I wake up and can not go back to sleep)
Prazosin 2 mg (Been on this about 6 months)

I am a letter carrier for the USPS, 21 year's with them and I have been out of work since Jan. of this year. I feel like I've been through pure torturous hell trying to get off the Seroquel. My sleep is beyond horrible, I'm naucious, no appetite, no energy, feel like I'm running a fever but am not and can barely function during the day. Should I just push through with this newest slow taper and if so is there anything I can do to possibly regain some sleep?

Also are there any ligit detox place you can go to, to get off all this garbage at once? Once your off say the Seroquel how long (average) before your brain resets it's own sleep pattern?

Thank you,

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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Missy, This may be a long shot, but if you are taking Xanax only at night, it could be causing some of your problems. It has a very short half life. If you have become dependent on it, you are going through withdrawal in the daytime which would then make sleeping at night even worse. Have you considered starting a benzo thread? You may find some help there.


As far as legit detox places, I have never heard anything good about any of them, only horror stories. :(



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, Missy.


I received your PM, but I'm going to respond here in your Intro thread so you have a complete record of your tapers.


Please list a brief signature listing your drugs, as it's getting confusing having to read through your thread again and I don't want to make any errors.


Please put your withdrawal history in your signature



I agree with what MNGal said about the Xanax causing problems. This is quite common and it may help to spread your dose out. In order to better figure this out, please start keeping up with your drugs and your symptoms. This post will show you how:


Keep notes on paper about your drug dosages and daily symptom pattern


Once we have a better idea of how each drug is affecting you, it will be easier to set up a taper plan. 




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