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Jan14: trazadone withdrawal horrific


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Hi everyone...


off of trazadone now since Aug 14 and the withdrawal has been horrific.  


My weaning schedule was much too quick and I’m now suffering for it.  Initially on 50 mg for 15 months, dropped to 25 mg June 22, 12.5 mg July 31 (doctor’s suggested timeline) and as I was not really sleeping at this point and had other bothersome withdrawal symptoms like low grade headaches (and a feeling like my head was clamped), tense muscles in back of upper neck and head, a raw feeling in my chest, creepy crawly tingling in a hip where I had injured it a year prior, etc. I decided to eliminate the last 12.5 mg Aug 14.  Mistake!  


So I’m coming up on three months trazadone free but hit bottom last week when I thought I was losing my mind!  I have always had a harsh relationship with drugs and tend to get side effects but this has been the worst!  Any thoughts as to when this could end?  


I just started some natural supplements to help with the sleep and they are helping.  I find however that the chest rawness, upper back discomfort, and head/neck symptoms are worse when I haven’t slept well.  

Edited by baroquep
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Jan14: trazadone withdrawal horrific
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Jan14,


Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA), am really glad that you found your way to the site.  As you've guess, you are likely feeling the effects of tapering too quickly and by far too large a dose.  When a drug is removed abruptly or reduced too quickly it throws our central nervous system into chaos and results in the withdrawal symptoms that you are now experiencing.  


The only known solution at this time to decrease or eliminate withdrawal syndrome is to reinstate a very small amount of the drug into your system and then to hold until you stabilize.  I will attach the link on reinstatement to give you an idea of the process involved and something I think you may want to consider.  Because you have been off of Trazodone since August 14th, you will want to weigh the benefits and risks as to whether reinstatement is a good option for you.  


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
What to Expect in Reinstatement (James Heaney article)


At SA, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.  


To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a few topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here. 


What is Withdrawal Syndrome?
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Tips for Tapering off Trazodone/Desyrel


We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance.  This helps moderators determine you current situation and we would ask that you follow the instructions at the link below.


Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature


 •    Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
 •    A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
 •    Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
 •    Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
 •    Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.


Please feel free to connect with other members of Surviving Antidepressants by posting in their introduction topics, our members are a supportive group, know what you are going through and are here to help.  


If you have any questions or need clarification, please post back here in your introduction topic and one of the moderators will get back to you.  



Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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