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ADNoob: want to avoid long term use


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In July, I caught COVID and, between that and several other stressors, became extremely anxious at night. I fell into a terrible sleeping pattern, with several nights where I’d get zero sleep one night and crash the next. This resulted in increasing anxiety and later intrusive thoughts and depressive symptoms.


After several weeks, I was just desperate. I began contacting psychiatrists and ultimately received the dosages found in my signature: 50mg fluvoxamine and 25mg Seroquel.


I am 39 and had no prior history of any psychiatric issues; my primary complaint was - and still is - insomnia. Before the coronavirus infection, I’d never had any problems sleeping.


My psychiatrist advises that I should continue the fluvoxamine for 6 months and then taper. After doing some reading, I think I’d rather begin a slow taper now.


I’ve read the recommendations here and will buy a scale and begin a 10% taper on the Luvox this week, while keeping the Seroquel steady.


My primary anxiety comes up at night before bed. I often wake up in a low mood, especially if my sleep is poor, though it improves throughout the day.


I tried CBT-I for three weeks, and it went terribly. The rigidity of it helped cause my day on/day off sleep pattern. The low dose Seroquel does seem to help, along with meditation which I do twice a day.


For three weeks after establishing the drug regimen, my sleep gained in consistency, my mood improved, and I generally was pleased with how things were going. However, about a week ago, my sleep cycle began to deteriorate a bit again. It’s semi-stable, but after further reading I found that SSRIs can increase insomnia, which was the thing that really kicked all of this off! However, to be fair, the Luvox does seem to blunt some of the worst feelings after a bad night of sleep.


So, after more reading, I found this place. I’ve always intended to taper off the meds, but I thought I’d need to wait several more months.

I’ll post my progress here and would appreciate advice, particularly around dealing with sleep issues during withdrawal. Please know that my sleep hygiene/diet/exercise - all the basic stuff - is in place, though I don’t use any supplements other than a little magnesium in the morning and 5mg of melatonin.


I know my situation is a lot less involved than many here, but the last few months have been unsettling. I literally never even took aspirin before this.


Thank you all in advance for the help.

Edited by Gridley

July 27 2020 - Present: 50mg fluvoxamine in the morning

July 27 2020 - Present: 25mg Seroquel before bed

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, ADNoob.


It sounds like you have a good handle on your situation.  As we recommend, you're tapering the activating drug (Luvox) first, leaving the sedating drug (seroquel) in place to aid sleep and act as a buffer to be tapered later.


Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?


Luvox comes in a prescription liquid that you might want to consider for ease of use.  If you do switch, you'd need to do a crossover to let your system acclimate itself to the liquid before starting your taper..  I can give you more information on a crossover if you need it.  Using a scale is also fine.  


5mg melatonin is a high dose, which can have a paradoxical effect (keep you awake).  We recommend starting with a much lower dose, such as 0.25mg.

This link is to Amazon where you can buy 0.3mg melatonin, which some consider to be an ideal dose.  It's what I take.


(available on Amazon) 


As you know we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


This link is specifically about tapering Luvox.


Tips for tapering off Luvox (fluvoxamine)


We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 


Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 


Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 


Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.


It's good your sleep hygiene is in place.  These links.might also be helpful.


Relaxation exercises, guided meditations, calming videos, sleep hypnosis


Tricks and tips to fall asleep faster



This link contains helpful information, including insomnia and also non-drug coping skills.  


Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems


I've found the following restorative yoga pose helpful for anxiety.  You might try it before sleep when you experience anxiety. If (like me) you're less than limber or have a bad back, it also works to hook you kegs onto a chair.


10 minute Restorative Yoga for Relaxation | Up the wall


This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.


Edited by Gridley
removed whate space at bottom of post

Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  


Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to ADNoob: want to avoid long term use

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