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GiodornesBruno: Psychotropic cocktail withdrawal


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Hey guys, I am withdrawaing from a cocktail of drugs. I tried the brakes first and was too difficult. Now I am trying the accerlerator (luvov). This is excruciatingly difficult. I have been prescribed dalmane and ambien to help me sleep. I am taking SAMe and exercising. Anyone ever come off a cocktail and survive?

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I started withdrawing pretty quickly from luvox.  I feel super unsteady and discombobulated, agitated, depressed...  The SSRIs IMO you can't wean to quickly, as opposed to seroquel.  I can get off seroquel quicker than luvox.  I have been on both for 16 years.  I was misdiagnosed.  Not recommending anything, but for me SAMe works a little bit, and what works amazingly well is just plain old xanax.  I am under a GPs care, and have been through the mill with psychiatrist.  Very hard to find a good one.  I feel psychiatry is too suggestive, and needs to look to being way more objective and logical.  We all know medical care has gone down the drain as someone who works in the field.  Sorry for being cynical, I used to be naive, but life made me a cynic.  Anyways, this helps me vent, and not many understand the hell of taking psychiatric medications.  Anyone with any pointers?  I am looking for any... thanks.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

GiordornesBruno -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)
Many people have successfully come off "cocktails" of psych medications with careful tapering. We suggest that people taper one drug at a time. The posts at this link discuss which drug to taper first.
Taking multiple drugs? Which to taper first.
When tapering, we suggest that people reduce the dose no more than 10% and make reductions no more often than once every 4 weeks. You can read more about that at these links:
Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know
Why taper by 10% of my dosage? .
A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly?

  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Any drugs prior to 18 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • You don't need to include symptoms or diagnoses other than the initial condition that led to prescribing the first drug.
  • We ask for this information in your signature so that we can see it at a glance. A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site. Instructions are in Post 8 and Post 9

In your second post, you've mentioned sertraline (Luvox) and quetiapine (Seroquel). Here are links to information about tapering these 2 drugs:
Tips for tapering off Luvox (fluvoxamine)
Tips for tapering off Seroquel (quetiapine)

If you are taking other medications, please post them in a reply post and include them in your signature. I'll make sure to give you links to the relevant topics.For information until then, you can either browse tapering forum, or use a web search tool, i.e. google or bing, with these search terms:
site:survivingantidepressants.org "tips for tapering" [medication]
You may also find it helpful to learn more about withdrawal symptoms. Links to our discussion topics about that:
What is withdrawal syndrome
Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list -- a list of many (but not all) common symptoms
List of links to discussion topics of frequently reported symptoms
I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.
Please read the links I've provided. If you have any questions, please post them here so that all your questions, answers and information stay in one place.

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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I have been on 3 psych drugs, occasionally 4 or 5 but only for brief periods of time.


Went off the lamictal cold turkey. I don't recommend that, but I couldn't dry cut it successfully or reduce it any other way. Plus I had been on it for less than 2 weeks and thought it was causing a rash.


Two weeks later I dry cut my 20 mg abilify tablet. Into fourths. Tapered to 15 mg, then 10, 7.5, 5, 2.5. Off in 10 weeks with no problems but some head aches, malaise, and trouble concentrating.


Two weeks later I started reducing my effexor beads by 10%. Don't feel great. Feels like I have a mild case of the flu a lot. Too tired/lazy to do much housework or exercising. Dry skin and eyes. Really this one has the nastiest withdrawal symptoms of any I have tapered. :( Could be worse though.

I have been on so many medications since I was 20 and diagnosed as "mentally ill" that I have lost count.

Right now, however I have been taking:

Lamictal 25 mg: I went on it in March for only 13 days, then cold turkeyed off when I thought I was developing a rash because of it. Pretended to go back on it, but didn't. Not the best idea, but I had no way to reduce the dose. Anyhow I had no adverse withdrawal reactions, probably because I was on it for less than 2 weeks.

Abilify 20 mg:  I have been on this for several years. Actually at least half the time I have spent as a meds "consumer" I have been on this nasty pill. I finished tapering off it at the beginning of 2016. Was reinstated during the 4 days I spent in a psych ward in March. Tapered off it again in 10 weeks, from say March 15-June 30. Needless to say this is not exact, but I remember I was off it before July 4 (patriotic holiday in America!) I am doing fine, although I know I may have to wait till Christmas or later to know I am out of the danger zone for withdrawal psychosis. The main thing I notice about being off is that I no longer crave sweets all the time and am losing weight without trying. Good thing since I used to weigh 350 lbs.!

Effexor 150 mg: This is the real trouble-maker. Since I have no other way of tapering I do the best I can by bead counting. I unscrew the gel capsule and count out the tiny micro-capsules or beads inside. This works fairly well with the generic time release version. Only 120 beads to count of almost identical size. Lately I have been "holding" at 20 bead removal due to some major stress in my life. Moving hundreds of miles from my old home and a bout of strep throat that wouldn't respond to antibiotics.  I guess that means I'm on 120 mg of Effexor right now. On October 16 I am going to recommence my taper since I am safely moved and no longer have strep! 

I admit now that I did something stupid. I had trouble opening the extra strength gel capsules containing the beads so I reinstated at the original dose for a week. I know it's not good to play ping pong with my brain, but I could never open the capsules without spilling those microscopic balls all over so I was never sure what dosage I was taking! Thank the LORD that I finally have the old kind again and can safely count out the amount. I am now back on 135 mg and feel somewhat better.

October 30, 2016. I am down to 120 mg effexor. November 27, 2016. Down to 105 mg effexor. December 25, 2016. 90 mg effexor. January 15, 2017. 75 mg effexor. January 21. 82.5 mg effexor. January 23, 90 mg again. Feb. 14, 81.25 mg. Mar. 15, 72.5 mg. Mar. 27, 65 mg.  Apr. 9, 58.75 mg. Apr. 24, 52.5 mg.

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