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The slowness of slow tapers (micro-taper)


Rhiannon

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indigo,

 

Thanks for responding and the update!

It sound the slow taper wored for you rather well. I'm happy for you and glad to hear that!

 

0.1 ml cut is more than 10% still. You may want to cut even smaller than that. My cut is less than 1% still brutal. Compound pharmacy is a good idea giving the high cncebpntration of the liquid you are using.

 

My main issue most days are still the pain, numbness and needling. They are almost daily and very disturnbing and sometimes intolerable. I also consider holding longer like you said the WD can be cumulative.in the past year I got down 1 mg, I may need to go half of that for the coming years.

 

You take care and be gentle to yourself.

Lex

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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  • 1 month later...

Hi friends, 

 

I wonder if the very slow taper pace, and intermittent holds, will work for neuroleptics? I am on Seroquel and I am having a pretty rough time of it. My last reduction was in late April-- 450mg to 400mg-- but since then I have tried to make two reductions  (50mg several weeks ago, and 12.5mg last week) and both failed miserably. The result is I felt I had no choice but to updose after both failed reductions, so I am now on 600mg. :( This has been really demoralizing and disheartening, especially since I am still experiencing very intense somatic symptoms in the nighttime (head pressure/pain).

 

Any feedback would be welcome! 

 

Cas

2006-11: rx-ed klonopin for anxiety from life trauma  

2011: accidentally c/t klonopin....lots of healing but reinstated on 20mg valium 8 months later after alchohol use (stay away from booze!)

-tapered valium over the course of a year  2012: hospitalized for 8 weeks after major s/a bc of failed valium taper and put on Seroquel 350mg xr and multiple drug trials w/SSRIs, mood stabilizers, etc. 2013: multiple hospitalizations and failed drug trials

-tapered all other drugs and "stabilized" on Seroquel xr and started tapering 2014: re-hospitalized after failed taper, added amitryptaline

-bounced around on different doses of Seroquel xr, maximum 600mg 

2015: finally found good doctor and therapist, tapered amilitryptaline to zero

=looking to start taper again from 550mg Seroquel xr but rough somatic symptoms, especially at night

-failed reduction of 12.5mg in late August, updosed back to 600mg seroquel xr, intense somatic sx at night

-starting in november, using compounded capsules to drop 3mg every 5-8 days

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Hi Cas

I used this method to taper off benzos and am now going this route to get off gabapentin. It is the only hope I have to make it off in one piece. I don't see why it wouldn't work for someone tapering neuroleptics. If i were you I would start off with an even smaller cut and go from there.

Elgee

2.5 tapered to .75 mgs ativan (7 months) c/o to 7.50 valium tapered to 0 (15 months) benzo free 12/2011!<p>1500 mgs gabapentin microtapering, down to 1350 as of 1/5/2015, 1225 as of 11/1/2015

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Hi Caster-- there should be no problem following a slow or micro taper schedule with Seroquel.  The important thing is to not go faster or bigger than what is advised.  Looking at what you just wrote your first drop was fine at just over 10%, but the other drops were too big and too close together.  It would be a good idea to spent a month or so on the 600mg just to let things settle out then start your slow taper. There is good information at the beginning of this thread on how to do the slow taper.  You've probably already read it but take another look at the thread on tapering Seroquel.

 

Tips for tapering off Seroquel (quetiapine)

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been slow tapering effexor XR and venlafaxine immediate since Jan 2013. I'm down to 16.96mg

My main symptoms are chronic fatigue and body pain especially knees. Have any of slow taperers experienced these wds?

I read in other people's posts that some got better with these particular symptoms after totally done.

Started Effexor August 2012 Sept'12-150mg=extreme anxiety Oct'12 cut half-75mg severe wds

Feb 2013 68.5mg. Mar'13- 65mg. Apr'13-59mg. May'13-57mg. June '13-52mg Aug'13 49.75mg.

Sep'13-48.75. Nov'13-47mg Dec'13-45..5mg

May 2014 42mg. Jun'14 40mg (depressive mood started). Aug'14 -40mg/ started brintellix 2.5mg

Oct '14 -39 Nov'14 36.89 Dec'14 34.45

Jan 2015- 31 Feb'15 29mg. Mar'15 26.72. Apr'15 24.48. May'15 22.31mg. Jun'15 20.30mg

Aug'15-18.89. Oct'15 16.96. Nov/16- 16.10. Dec/15- 15mg

Jan 2016-14.22. May'16 11.45. Aug'16-9.60. Sep/16- 8.88mg. Oct/16- 8.39mg. Nov/16- 8.13. Dec/16- 7.89

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  • 4 weeks later...

I, too, had succumbed to the very slow taper and did well at first/  Now I had to basically give up and went to a compound pharmacy to keep things at the 6mg I had made it to.  I had to stop being in withdrawal all the time.  It felt like my life was taken away and I was a mess each time I tried to lower. I was going down by hairlines and had reached the point that I would have to titrate (add liquid so I could go even slower)  BUT I was done.  So won't go any further.  I refuse to spend the rest of my life (which is how long it would take) withdrawing and feeling aweful all the time.  

 

So, things are at an even keel as long as I take the 6mg pills every night.  Sad, but hey, no more trauma.  A nice change.

 

I have heard Paxil is impossible to stop and I believe it.  It was either, go through a constant withdrawal for the rest of my life or give it up and just pay the drug company (the drug pushers) for addicting me and be at peace.

 

End of story.

 

Good luck to all those who are trying to end the addiction nightmare. 

And good luck to those, like myself, who aren't willing to be in a state of withdrawal forever and had to stop.

Took 11 months to kick Benzo? On Paxil for ten years 20mg? Got down to 7.5mg easily but hit a wall.Tried to lower it but kept hitting walls and updosing until..Now liquid Paxil4/3/2013 Took over 6 months to reach 7.2mg =3.6mL5/3/13 7.0 mg = 3.5 mL8/13. 3 mL or 6.6 mg7/5/2014 took a year to get to 6.1 but am stable there and still going.<p>12/2014 now at 6.05mL The good news, no or almost no withdrawal symptoms.

Have MS now so every little drop is difficult with symptoms. Not fun!

Stopped withdrawing at 6mg.

Got too hard with MS and is taking way too long...years, over 10. I may not be here that long and didn't want to spend my entire life in withdrawal so gave up at 6mg. Got a compound pharmacy to make the exact amount.

I have to squelch the feeling that "they" won! Really sucks but oh well, I have my life back.

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Gosh I'm so disappointed in reading this thread. I thought by going so slow I would be able to get off with much less difficulty however as I read this thread it is apparent that's not the case. I hope we can all carry on to the finish line and be rid of this evil once and for all. Hugs

 

Hi Lexy,

 

I'm sorry you found it disappointing from couple of the not so positive experience with the slow taper. I believe you already learned how different each individual can be in relationship to this scenario even the med history is very similar so you really don't want to compare to anyone else. As I mentioned, I read many got out with slow taper, some even got all the way down with none or minimal symptoms. As for me, I believe if I started the slow taper before jumping around so many times in the first few years and literally CTed tons of times by on/off the drug, my system would not have been harmed and sensitized that badly, my slow taper would be a much smoother and easier journey and won't be stucked in the middle. Your taper has been steady and your system is not super sensitized which is more important for a success and safe WD.

 

I truely believe your case is much much better and you won't have hiccups like what I had.

 

Lex

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Gosh I'm so disappointed in reading this thread. I thought by going so slow I would be able to get off with much less difficulty however as I read this thread it is apparent that's not the case. I hope we can all carry on to the finish line and be rid of this evil once and for all. Hugs

I'd been feeling a bit the same Lexy, on first reading these latest posts.  But I've been thinking about it overnight, and in the end I still feel really positive about becoming drug-free.  As LexAnger said, each person and case is so completely different. 

 

But also, this is still not the end of the story for any of the people on this forum - there may be further developments in each person's story as time goes on.  The stories may yet become stories with good endings.  Especially in these really drawn-out cases.  So often since I've been in withdrawal I've been reminded of being in child-birth!!  Of that point (usually near the end) where you feel you've given everything you've got and you simply can't go on, it's just too terrible and un-ending.  Well that's usually the turning point, and babies are born fairly soon after that.

 

Anyway, I often think of that when I feel really stuck :blink:.  Things have a way of going on even if we don't know how the heck it will happen.  I ended up with two baby girls, and now I hope to end up with a new me :D

 

Love,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

2023 December - Now on 5 micro-beads Effexor. Minimal symptoms but much more time needed between drops. Symptoms begin to increase.

2024 April - Updosed to 6 microbeads - immediate increase in symptoms for 4 days. Decreased to 5 microbeads.

 'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Just so you don't lose hope. Just because some can't get off he antidepressants, like me!, doesn't mean it is hopeless. I got odd lorazepam which is also highly addictive. I switched to Valium which is easier to withdraw from, then went down slowly. It took 11months but it is done! I can even take it on rare occasions and not get hooked again. So, very successful taper, just not with Paxil. Don't know why except it was really really bad and would take years so I made. Good decision for me only. Everyone is so very different! If you are having success wether fast or slow or very slow, keep the faith. It IS POSSIBLE, we just haveto be and ARE smart about it, unlike so many docs who have no clue whatsoever. Forums like this are priceless. The best support is right here!!

Took 11 months to kick Benzo? On Paxil for ten years 20mg? Got down to 7.5mg easily but hit a wall.Tried to lower it but kept hitting walls and updosing until..Now liquid Paxil4/3/2013 Took over 6 months to reach 7.2mg =3.6mL5/3/13 7.0 mg = 3.5 mL8/13. 3 mL or 6.6 mg7/5/2014 took a year to get to 6.1 but am stable there and still going.<p>12/2014 now at 6.05mL The good news, no or almost no withdrawal symptoms.

Have MS now so every little drop is difficult with symptoms. Not fun!

Stopped withdrawing at 6mg.

Got too hard with MS and is taking way too long...years, over 10. I may not be here that long and didn't want to spend my entire life in withdrawal so gave up at 6mg. Got a compound pharmacy to make the exact amount.

I have to squelch the feeling that "they" won! Really sucks but oh well, I have my life back.

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  • 1 year later...

It sure would be nice to talk to Rhiannon on here. I agree with her on the sloooooow taper. When it is time to taper again, some day, it will be sooooo sloooow. Thanks Rhiannon for all your good advice!!!!

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  • 10 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

How is everyone doing with their slow tapers? I’ve been tapering for years with the cut and hold method. Have gone through severe withdrawals but have managed to get down from 300mg of seroquel to 7.5mg. Some of my holds were long too as I needed a break from withdrawing. Was thinking of doing a micro taper with the smallest of amounts, I’ve never done one.  Won’t be for a while as I’m still going through withdrawals from my last cut and hold taper.

 

It took me forever to do the math and I will probably have to change it the lower my dose gets. If I need to hold I’ll hold. Might take me a million years to get off these meds😃.

 

This is what I’ve figured out for now

 

A 7.5mg compounded tablet in 300ml of water.

 

Each ml= 0.025mg

Half a ml=0.012mg

Quarter of a ml= 0.006mg

 

5% of 7.5mg = 0.37

 

If I go down by 0.012 for 30 days  that is 0.36mg a month and 1.44mg every four months.

If that ends up being too quick I could go down by a quarter of a ml a day which is 0.006mg which would be 0.72mg every four months, which is a 2.5% cut each month

 

My brain exploded after having to figure out the math😃, I have Cfs and memory problems, but I got there in the end.

 

Hope everyone is coping as best they can.

 

 

 

 

 

Seroquel. 2019:➡️ From 7.25mg to 5.80mg. 2020➡️5.60 to 4.80. 2021➡️4.60 to 4.0.  2022➡️3.95 to 3.55. 2023➡️ From 3.50 to 3.25.  2024➡️Jan15=3.20✔️ Feb19=3.15✔️ March26=3.10✔️May1=3.05✔️This is NOT medical advice.Consult your doctor.

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Hi Carmie,

 

I’ve been tapering gabapentin for a few years. I never imagined it would take as long as it has to drop from 1500 mgs to 1000. 

A slow taper has allowed me to live a relatively normal life. I’ve read too many horror stories of people tapering too fast and paying a high price. 

 

Keep up the good work, Carmie! You’re doing a great job.

 

Elgee

 

 

2.5 tapered to .75 mgs ativan (7 months) c/o to 7.50 valium tapered to 0 (15 months) benzo free 12/2011!<p>1500 mgs gabapentin microtapering, down to 1350 as of 1/5/2015, 1225 as of 11/1/2015

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Elgee,

 

Good work on the patient taper and being able to live your life.

 

Would you mind updating your signature to reflect your current dosage?

 

 Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Elgee, 

You keep up the the good work too. Slow and steady does it with lots of holds. 

 

It’s taken me many years to get from 300mgs of Seroquel to 7.5mg. Now that the doses are smaller the cuts become much much smaller too. I’m not rushing it. If it takes me another ten years it takes another ten years.

 

Our natural inclination is to get off these meds as quick as poossible but I know when I go too quick the akathisia gets unbearable. It’s not worth it, you don’t get any further, you just end up having to make your holds really, really long and you suffer so much more. You haven’t gained any ground.

 

I think it’s a good idea too occasionally when you stabilise and are ready to do another taper, don’t straight away, allow yourself a month or so of a bit of normalcy and do some things you love to do.

 

Take care of yourself 

 

 

Seroquel. 2019:➡️ From 7.25mg to 5.80mg. 2020➡️5.60 to 4.80. 2021➡️4.60 to 4.0.  2022➡️3.95 to 3.55. 2023➡️ From 3.50 to 3.25.  2024➡️Jan15=3.20✔️ Feb19=3.15✔️ March26=3.10✔️May1=3.05✔️This is NOT medical advice.Consult your doctor.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

That's good advice, Carmie.  You've done a great job tapering down that Seroquel.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 17/04/2018 at 10:40 PM, Songbird said:

That's good advice, Carmie.  You've done a great job tapering down that Seroquel.

Hi Songbird, 

 

I couldn’t find your thread.

 

How are you doing with your tapering?

 

Sending hugs

Seroquel. 2019:➡️ From 7.25mg to 5.80mg. 2020➡️5.60 to 4.80. 2021➡️4.60 to 4.0.  2022➡️3.95 to 3.55. 2023➡️ From 3.50 to 3.25.  2024➡️Jan15=3.20✔️ Feb19=3.15✔️ March26=3.10✔️May1=3.05✔️This is NOT medical advice.Consult your doctor.

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I was actually on 2.5mg Olanzapine as my last dose and have been taking 2.5mg for the past 2 month.Last week I saw the 2.5mg pill of Olanzapine but felt it isn’t necessary to cut it anymore so I just stopped it,and I am still doing okay after 1 week,the only issue is insomnia.

 

i am also taking fish oil everyday and might be getting melatonin for my insomnia if it continue

Jan 2009-Mar 2016---Abilify(20,15,10,5mg),Risperidal(3mg,2mg,1mg),Mirtazapine(30mg,15mg)

 

2 years before:

Mar 2016-Feb 2017---Abilify(5mg,2.5mg)

 

July 2017-Oct 2017---Olanzapine 15mg

Oct 2017-Nov 2017---Olanzapine 10mg

Nov 2017-Feb 2018---Olanzapine 5mg

Feb 2018-NOW---Olanzapine 2.5mg

 

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  • Altostrata changed the title to The slowness of slow tapers (micro-taper)
  • 5 months later...
On 6/4/2012 at 9:19 PM, dalsaan said:

thanks for the post Rhi. In order to get my head around the prospects of a really slow taper I have

to work through what it represents to me, the things I say to myself that encourage me to go faster.

 

I know that I have more trouble with the holds than the increments. I think I view the hold as disempowering,

as an expression of me 'needing' the medication, that I am beholden to it, its dictating the terms.

This isnt a very positive relationship to the hold! Rather than a barrier to being off, I need to see it as an important strategy

to success and a choice I am making.

 

I also think that not holding long enough hasn't enabled me to have the 'good spells' and the rest I need to recover and keep going,

so, being really tired, I've then wanted to speed things up, to get to the other side.

 

My experience tells me to listen to my body and that getting my head around it is important.

 

 

 

 

 

Clonopam 1999-2003 .5/day as needed

Lexapro 10 mg (4months in 2009) , clonopam 1pill (4 months in 2009)

Buspar 5mg (one year 2009-2010)

Paxil 20mg 1999 to present day minus one year (2008-2009).  Tapered off and on 2005 to 2009.

Paxil 20mg, 4/18  19mg paxil 

Paxil 10 mg as of January 2022.  Went from 20 to ten miligrams.  Sleep improved.  some symptoms, but not unmanageable.  The difference from one year ago when I tried to taper?  More confidence, and the belief that I can do this.  

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  • 4 months later...

What would one consider as a 'long hold'?   I've been micro-tapering two meds for over a year now and think I need to do a longer hold to let things settle a bit.   

 

2010:  Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg.   Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg. 

2011:    Tapered Mirtazapine: 5 month successful taper.  Then tapered Lexapro:  4 month successful taper

May 2011 to August 2017:   No medications, full recovery

September 6, 2017:  started Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg  - due to severe sudden insomnia 

November 16, 2017:   started Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg

January 1, 2018 to October 30. 2020 -- 34 month taper off of Mirtazapine 15 mg to 0.00 mg

June 16, 2018:  Started slow taper of 10 mg Escitalopram (Lexapro)

Current (mgai):    0.23 mg  Escitalopram

Supplements:  Fish Oil, Curcumin, bio active B vitamins, zinc, magnesium glycinate, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, saffron, citrus bergamot, ashwagandha

 

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:34

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33 minutes ago, PH1 said:

What would one consider as a 'long hold'?   I've been micro-tapering two meds for over a year now and think I need to do a longer hold to let things settle a bit.   

 

Me too!  I have been tapering two meds for a bit over a year and I am planning to do a longer hold as well.  

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2 hours ago, PH1 said:

What would one consider as a 'long hold'? 

 

A long hold is a pretty elastic term.  It could be anything from two to six months or even longer.

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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Thanks Gridley.  I’m going to hold until I feel good, then stay there for a couple of weeks at least.

2010:  Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg.   Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg. 

2011:    Tapered Mirtazapine: 5 month successful taper.  Then tapered Lexapro:  4 month successful taper

May 2011 to August 2017:   No medications, full recovery

September 6, 2017:  started Mirtazapine (Remeron) 15 mg  - due to severe sudden insomnia 

November 16, 2017:   started Escitalopram (Lexapro) 10 mg

January 1, 2018 to October 30. 2020 -- 34 month taper off of Mirtazapine 15 mg to 0.00 mg

June 16, 2018:  Started slow taper of 10 mg Escitalopram (Lexapro)

Current (mgai):    0.23 mg  Escitalopram

Supplements:  Fish Oil, Curcumin, bio active B vitamins, zinc, magnesium glycinate, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, saffron, citrus bergamot, ashwagandha

 

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:34

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Withdrawal Normal Description

 

WDnormal (withdrawal normal)

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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On 9/4/2019 at 12:24 PM, Gridley said:

 

A long hold is a pretty elastic term.  It could be anything from two to six months or even longer.

Agreed.

For me a long hold is at least three months. That seems to be sort of a critical time period for me, I usually notice a big improvement somewhere around three months.

 

I think that's the longest I've done a 100% hold since starting, but sometimes I will hold one med or another for six months or more while continuing my multi drug taper of other meds in very tiny and slow increments. 

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • 1 month later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

I had a pretty hectic weekend out of town and had some alcohol (one drink a day, three days in a row). Nothing that would be abnormal for normal people, but I'm feeling it today. So this morning I spent about an hour and a half tucked up in bed with my iPad reading posts on this forum, including rereading over this thread. What an accidentally great idea! There is somebody named Rhiannon who posts here who has a lot of good advice that seems to apply specifically to me, I should listen to her more often.


It's gotten me thinking about everything that's been happening since 2015. I updated that on the Success Stories thread, you can catch up there. Suffice it to say it's been one major upheaval after another.

 

Honestly, after writing all that down on that thread, I am amazed at how well I've done. It's been bumpy, for sure, but I've managed to keep going. No wonder I sometimes feel like I could use a nice long rest. 

 

Saturday I went for a short walk out in a field where I used to walk back in 2010 when I first started my taper and had first moved up here. That was such a challenging time, I was in pretty intense withdrawal and really just getting by from one day to the next and hanging on by my fingernails. As I was walking there this past Saturday, I talked to my "past self", telling her it was going to be so much better, and how grateful I am to her for the courage she had and the fact that she just hung in there and walked and walked through those days and just kept on going.

 

Then I slipped and fell down and decided I had better focus more on where I was walking here and now in 2019. Fortunately I was walking slow so it was a mild fall. And hopefully, if it's possible to send messages to our past selves, she received it.

 

Anyway, just to say, I am still certain that going as slow as I need to and taking holds as long as necessary is by far the best choice for me. I am still on tiny doses of Xanax and citalopram and it feels like they aren't doing much, but when I tried to quit them I got withdrawal symptoms that I just don't have the time and patience for nowadays with my life as full as it is. So I'm going to keep going on this path. Even if I do slip and fall sometimes, I'm going slow enough that I will be able to recover and keep on going and growing.

 

 

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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1 hour ago, Rhiannon said:

Hi Rhiannon,

Thank you for your post.  I have struggled with lots of withdrawal and denial over the past year and a half.  I think the rest of my journey though will be more like yours.  I was in a bad marriage and probably had c-ptsd and low thyroid and low Vitamin D.  I got treated with Prozac and Wellbutrin but it looks like you got quite the cornecopia 😞.  I am super sensitive to the withdrawal.  I suspect I will get off the Wellbutrin in two to three years and that I may take 10+ years to get off the Prozac.  It seems to many years to give up to be so sick and have difficulties with work etc to go quicker.  I often think too on the ski lift of where I was a year ago regarding the withdrawal and where I will be in my journey the next time I am on the ski lift.  Thanks for your post.  I've been thinking about taking a very long time to withdrawal from the Prozac.  I really appreciate your post.

 

1 hour ago, Rhiannon said:

 

 

 

 

 

I had a pretty hectic weekend out of town and had some alcohol (one drink a day, three days in a row). Nothing that would be abnormal for normal people, but I'm feeling it today. So this morning I spent about an hour and a half tucked up in bed with my iPad reading posts on this forum, including rereading over this thread. What an accidentally great idea! There is somebody named Rhiannon who posts here who has a lot of good advice that seems to apply specifically to me, I should listen to her more often.


It's gotten me thinking about everything that's been happening since 2015. I updated that on the Success Stories thread, you can catch up there. Suffice it to say it's been one major upheaval after another.

 

Honestly, after writing all that down on that thread, I am amazed at how well I've done. It's been bumpy, for sure, but I've managed to keep going. No wonder I sometimes feel like I could use a nice long rest. 

 

Saturday I went for a short walk out in a field where I used to walk back in 2010 when I first started my taper and had first moved up here. That was such a challenging time, I was in pretty intense withdrawal and really just getting by from one day to the next and hanging on by my fingernails. As I was walking there this past Saturday, I talked to my "past self", telling her it was going to be so much better, and how grateful I am to her for the courage she had and the fact that she just hung in there and walked and walked through those days and just kept on going.

 

Then I slipped and fell down and decided I had better focus more on where I was walking here and now in 2019. Fortunately I was walking slow so it was a mild fall. And hopefully, if it's possible to send messages to our past selves, she received it.

 

Anyway, just to say, I am still certain that going as slow as I need to and taking holds as long as necessary is by far the best choice for me. I am still on tiny doses of Xanax and citalopram and it feels like they aren't doing much, but when I tried to quit them I got withdrawal symptoms that I just don't have the time and patience for nowadays with my life as full as it is. So I'm going to keep going on this path. Even if I do slip and fall sometimes, I'm going slow enough that I will be able to recover and keep on going and growing.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus
On 10/21/2019 at 1:28 PM, DSparrow said:

Thank you for your post.  I have struggled with lots of withdrawal and denial over the past year and a half.  I think the rest of my journey though will be more like yours.  I was in a bad marriage and probably had c-ptsd and low thyroid and low Vitamin D.  I got treated with Prozac and Wellbutrin but it looks like you got quite the cornecopia 😞.  I am super sensitive to the withdrawal.  I suspect I will get off the Wellbutrin in two to three years and that I may take 10+ years to get off the Prozac.  It seems to many years to give up to be so sick and have difficulties with work etc to go quicker.  I often think too on the ski lift of where I was a year ago regarding the withdrawal and where I will be in my journey the next time I am on the ski lift.  Thanks for your post.  I've been thinking about taking a very long time to withdrawal from the Prozac.  I really appreciate your post.

 

 

 

Hi @DSparrow! Good luck to you with your tapering. I wish it didn't take so long, but now that I've been at it for a while I'm really glad I did go so slow, since I was able to hold down a job and actually save some money. I had lost everything when I started and at 55 literally had a negative net worth, no retirement savings at all and very little credit towards Social Security. Now I've reached a place where I won't have exactly what people call a "comfortable" retirement, but I think I will be able to afford at least a heated room to live in and enough food to eat and enough time and money to get to the library and the senior center and the park and visit my kids, and honestly I think I can be happy with that.

 

As time has gone along and I have continued to get more and more well and down to lower and lower doses, I find that every area of my life is improving.

 

If there was a way I could have had all this AND gotten off meds fast, that would be my first choice. But that's just not an option for me. Nowadays I just say, well, I will just keep lowering my doses at whatever rate works for me, because the lower I get the better, but I'm not really focused on getting to the "end."

 

And I am feeling happier and healthier all the time. I like feeling good and being stable and strong enough to have a life. I don't have time for withdrawal. I think we just have to make our own harm reduction choices, you know? Everyone's body is different and everyone's life is different.

 

Good luck to you with your tapering. Take your time and enjoy your life!

 

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • 2 years later...

Nobody wrote here for a long time but I must say that it warms my heart to read about improvement of life quality over long periods of time, even when tapering very slow, I am just at the start of my journey, but very hopeful that I too will see it to some comfortable point, and after reading @Rhiannon thoughts about microtapering I think I will try that method for a start, as I am very sensitive to AD's and think that it will be the safest choice for me. I hope everyone who wrote on this topic is doing well with their lives and wish You all the best :)

Duloxetine 2016/17 - 30/60mg/30mg, c/t, light WD.

Sertraline June 2019 50mg ADR

Clorazepate June 2019 20-15-10mg for 3 weeks then sparsely until 2022, 2 times per month max and very low dose (5mg)

Clorazepate Jan2022 10mg 5 days 2,5mg 2 days then off

Venlafaxine June 2019 75mg ADR, 17,5mg, titrated to 37,5mg

Venlafaxine Jan 2022 Covid, hard ADR on 37,5mg, reduced to 20mg ADR, tried ct, crash,

Venlafaxine 22Jan22 reinstated 9,4mg, too low/ 01Feb22- 12mg/ 12Feb- 11,25mg/ 16Feb- 11mg/ 20Feb- 10,8mg/ 24Feb22-10,575mg/ 16Mar22- 10,46mg/ 26Mar22- 10,35mg/ 26Apr22- 10mg/ 01Oct- 9,9mg/ 13Nov- 9,7mg

01Jan24-7,5mg

MAR24

Due to another sudden intolerance had to fast taper venlafaxine to 1,14mg 

Seems like all of this time I was in benzo withdrawal, because when I took it now in desperation to help it made me feel worse, tried reinstatement first 1mg, then 0,05mg both made me feel worse.

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  • 10 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Making one of my infrequent visits here--I was having some thoughts about the extremely slow tapering I've done and I thought I'd share again a couple of things I have learned that have been helpful to me.

 

One thing that I think is important is realizing that a lower dose of psychotropics is less disabling than a higher dose. Progress isn't perfection, but it's definitely progress! Yes, ideally we want to be free of the drugs completely, but if the cost of that is disabling withdrawal for years, is that a cost we want to pay? It wasn't a cost that I could afford, it wasn't a choice available to me, because I had to stay stable enough and functional enough to work for a living. In retrospect I'm glad I didn't have that option though. I suffered so much from withdrawal, after 18 years on a complete circus of revolving doses of drugs. I'm glad I was forced to take the taper at the glacial pace that my nervous system required for healing. 

 

And I found that once I was down to about a third of my original dose, more or less, with each drug, I began to notice changes, my original personality and abilities coming back. Particularly with the AD, it was a little more subtle with the Xanax, but the changes came. And that continued to improve as the doses went down. So you don't have to wait until the end of the taper to enjoy a lot of improvement and success, and if you're tapering slowly with enough holds, you can feel pretty good a lot of the time. 

 

Another thing that helped was when I realized that tapering or not, this is my life, right now, and I need to enjoy it. Tapering so slowly, I wasn't going to get much of a thrill from the taper success. I tried to make my taper "background" and just have it be something I do, like exercise or eating right, to take care of myself, while I go on and live my life with all of its ups and downs. I am aging, I have other health issues, I still have CPTSD and trauma recovery issues, there is always a lot going on. I just do my best to take care of myself all the way along using the best information I can get and paying close attention to my body and my heart. My tapering is just part of that. I don't know if I will even get all the way off all psychotropic drugs before I die (although I anticipate that I will). But I am damn sure I am going to do my best to reduce the damage those drugs do to my life. 

 

I think if you are a turtle taperer, if you need to go very slowly to feel well enough to enjoy life, it's helpful to focus on what you're doing to help yourself by doing that, rather than focusing on how much you wish you could be going faster. Look at the progress you've made and give yourself all the kudos for that, every single day. 

 

 

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • Mentor

I really appreciated this post. I know I was a  turtle taperer when I got off the Zoloft, I just didn't have a name for it. I think giving us a name is brilliant. Thank you for every wonderful thought in this post.

 

I am not a health professional in any way.  I do not give medical advice.   Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a professional medical practitioner.

 

NEW INFORMATION FOR GABAPENTIN TAPER

April 29, 2022 900 mg to 800 mg (11%), May 29, 2022 800 to 700 mg (12.5%), June 20, 2022 700 to 650mg (8%), July 20, 2022 650 to 575 (12%), August 20,  575 to 500 (13%),  Sept 20, 2020 500 to 475mg (5%) Nov 7, 2022 475 to 425 (11%), Nov 21, 2022 500mg

Medications: Gabapentin,  Cortisol Inhaler daily. 

HISTORY FOR ZOLOFT TAPER

Feb. 2016 to June 2016  - Was on 150mg Zoloft.  Put on Gabapentin at 900mg a day in 2016 due to antidepressant withdrawal. 

Quit Zoloft (Sertraline) June  2016,  reinstated 50mg of Zoloft July 2016.  From July 2016  to October 2016 went from 50 mg down 2.3 mg. I up-dosed in November 2016 to 12.5 mg. Held there until January 2017 when I started a much slower taper.

STARTING SENSIBLE  ZOLOFT TAPERING USING GUIDELINES FROM THIS SITE

Dec. 10 2016  - switched to Liquid Zoloft (Sertraline) @ 12.5 mg.   Jan. 4, 2020 1.875 mg (6.3%). Jan. 25, 2020 1.75 mgFeb. 29, 2020 1.625mg (7.10%).  Apr. 4, 2020 1.5 mg.  May 9, 2020 1.375 mg.  June 6, 2020 1.25 mg. (9.10%).  July 4, 2020 1.125 mg. (10%).  August 15, 2020 1.0 mg.  Oct 24, 2020 .875 mg.  Nov. 28, 2020 .75mgJan 16, 2021 .685mg (8.7%).  Feb 13, 2021 .62mg. March 12, 2021 .56mg.  May 1, 2021 .375mg.  May 29, 2021 .25mg. June 26, 2021 .0125mg. July 25, 2021 .065mg. August 22, 2021 .048mg.  October 2, 2021 .043mg.  October 10, 2021 .038mg.  October 23, 2021 .035mg.  October 30, 2021 .032mg.  Nov. 13, 2021 .030 mg.  Dec 4, 2021 .0285 mg.  Dec 11, 2021 .0265 mg. Dec 18, 2021 .0246 mg. Dec 25, 2021 .023mg. Jan 1, 2022. 0 mg. OFF COMPLETELY

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello everyone

 

Reading these posts has given me great comfort. I'm also in the slow taper club, but I haven't yet found a taper slow enough! After 2 months tapering at 10% hit me hard, I held for 8 months, stabilized nicely, and decided to cut .01 MG and hold for 3 days each time. Well after about 2 weeks, I only cut .07 MG before I hit a wall of symptoms. So I reinstated back to 4 MG today.

 

How is .01 every 3 days still too fast? This is so deeply frustrating. I don't mind a slow taper but I have to find a speed that actually works first before descending into symptoms every time. 

June 1 - June 8 2020: 10 MG of Prozac for Panic Attacks * June 9 - July 25 2020: 20 MG of Prozac * July 26 2020 - April 7 2021: 30 MG of Prozac
April 8 2021 - May 8 2021: 20 MG Prozac * May 9 2021 - May 31 2021: 10 MG Prozac
June 1 2021 - July 30 2021: 0 MG, withdrawal symptoms of brain zaps, fatigue, bodyache, headache, and fresh anxiety attacks near the end of July.
August 1 2021 - 5 mg liquid prozac. Stabilized in November, had panic attacks and anxiety in December but tapered anyway. 

January 1 2022 - March 1 2022: 4.5 mg

March 2 - Nov 5 2022: 4.05 mg

Nov 6 2022 - December 15 2022: 4 mg in two syringes.

December 15 2022 - January 1 2023: Attempted Tapering by .01 mg every 3 days, had very bad WD and anxiety symptoms. 

January 1 2023 - May 31 2023: Reinstated to 4 mg in two syringes.  

June 2023 - Present: 4 mg in one syringe. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Hi @Leland

that sounds like a very strong reaction to such a small drop of prozac - it's not impossible but is there something else that happened around that time that you may have misattributed to WD symptom return due to tapering? Alcohol/pot/some odd vitamins or antibiotics? 

 

The reason why this is odd is that prozac's half life is very long - that means that in 3 days you are still metabolizing some of the doses from 15 days ago, so the effect of the 0.1mg drop is like dropping less than 0.01mg which is 0.02%. 

 

We are each different so I am not saying it is not possible but I would look for other culprits. 

 

I have been doing a very very slow taper myself - 0.3% cuts about 15 times a month, occasionally 20, depending on how I feel. I do get symptoms occasionally and then I slow down but it has generally worked better for me than the 2.5% every week + 2 week hold or the 10% every 4 weeks drops which all resulted in significant symptoms. 

 

I am writing this to help you not get discouraged. 

It may help to hold for a bit to start this from a place of stabilization. 

 

OMW

Edited by Onmyway

"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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Hi @Onmywaythanks for the response! Agreed that it seemed like a very harsh reaction to such a small dose change, over 3 days. I haven't had alcohol in months, weed in years, and the only vitamins I'm taking are supplements (Magnesium, Seriphos, NAC, and Sulforaphane) that generally don't give me any reactions. The only thing I could say I was dealing with during my short taper was anxiety and stress, certainly as all humans do, but it was also the holidays and I spent a lot of the time pretty worry-free. So I don't know, it's hard to pinpoint what happened. 

 

At this point, to your point, I'm going to hold. For a long time. I don't know what else to do, since tapering has given me so much trouble. Ultimately I just want to feel good. I have lots of important life milestones this year that I want to be fully present for! I'm on 4 MG prozac, which doesn't seem like a high enough dose to cause me problems on its own. I never feel side effects from the medicine itself, all my symptoms are from withdrawal. So I might stay on 4 MG for a year. 

June 1 - June 8 2020: 10 MG of Prozac for Panic Attacks * June 9 - July 25 2020: 20 MG of Prozac * July 26 2020 - April 7 2021: 30 MG of Prozac
April 8 2021 - May 8 2021: 20 MG Prozac * May 9 2021 - May 31 2021: 10 MG Prozac
June 1 2021 - July 30 2021: 0 MG, withdrawal symptoms of brain zaps, fatigue, bodyache, headache, and fresh anxiety attacks near the end of July.
August 1 2021 - 5 mg liquid prozac. Stabilized in November, had panic attacks and anxiety in December but tapered anyway. 

January 1 2022 - March 1 2022: 4.5 mg

March 2 - Nov 5 2022: 4.05 mg

Nov 6 2022 - December 15 2022: 4 mg in two syringes.

December 15 2022 - January 1 2023: Attempted Tapering by .01 mg every 3 days, had very bad WD and anxiety symptoms. 

January 1 2023 - May 31 2023: Reinstated to 4 mg in two syringes.  

June 2023 - Present: 4 mg in one syringe. 

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  • Moderator

Hi @Leland,

if you are not in a hurry to get off of prozac fast then I think that's the right approach - take a year or more off and start tapering slowly from a place of stability when you are ready. 

 

Good luck with all the milestones! :)

OMW

"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 

 

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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@Onmyway@Leland

 

ive had a similar issue cutting Prozac.  I dropped .05mg (half a percent each cut for me) twice in 2-3 weeks and felt it pretty significantly. This was at the time of a significant relationship ending, but the withdrawal effects were very clear and easily distinguished from the sorrow of a relationship ending. The difficulty with Prozac is sometimes the drops don’t fully  catch up with you and register in the brain seemingly for months.  I’ve seen another member or two comment on similar issues with Prozac..I was always told it was the easy one to taper off ha!
 

I’ve been holding for a month plus and don’t ever really seem to stabilize.  I guess it could be poop out coupled with withdrawal and potentially drug side effects.  It’s not a good place to be.  Rejoice in the fact that  you can actually stabilize I say.  Then taper as slow as you need.  Say, start with a 1% cut and wait for a few months, then try 2% and wait s few months, and so on until the symptoms Catch up then you’ll know the sweet spot. 

1997-2006 - Prozac 20mg

2006-2015 - Lexapro 15mg, Klonopin .5mg PRN

2015 - Paxil | 2016 - Remeron 30mg | Mar 2017 - Lexapro 7.5mg, Kpin .5mg |July 2017 - Pristiq 50mg, Kpin 1mg

Oct 2017 - Celexa 20mg, Kpin .5mg | Feb 2018 - celexa 20mg, Kpin to Valium 7.5mg 

April 2018 - rapid taper of Celexa and Valium leading to crash

May 2018 -  Aug  2019 - Fluoxetine 15 mg, Valium 3.5mg

Aug 2019 -April 2020 - Micro liquid taper off 3.5mg valium end April 6 2020. Liquid Fluoxetine 12mg per day

May 2020 - Nov 2021 -   liquid fluoxetine 12mg per day.

Dec 2021 Direct switch from 12mg generic liquid fluoxetine to 10mg Prozac Capsule | May 24 2022 - 9.5mg | July 1 9.2mg | Aug 14 9.0mg | Aug 30 8.9mg | Dec 1 8.8mg

*Zero alcohol since July 2020.  Supplement include 3000 mg Fish oil, 1000mg Vit C.  100mcg B12

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  • 4 months later...

I was wondering if there is such a thing as a too slow taper. By that a mean a situation where the total duration of exposure to a drug from a very slow taper carries health risks that are worse than the withdrawal effects from a faster taper.

 

For example, when coming off an antipsychotic too fast, you might get a movement disorder due to "dopamine supersensitivity". But the same (or worse) might happen with long-term cumulative exposure to an antipsychotic (even at small doses) -- you might get tardive dyskinesia, which may be permanent and disabling, making it potentially worse than the consequences of a rushed taper.

 

This seems to be more relevant for antipsychotics, which are notorious for producing movement disorders, possibly less so for antidepressants. I'm curious what are people's thoughts/experiences on that.

Since early March 2022: escitalopram 10 mg + trazodone 75 mg, after a month or so switched to sertraline 50 mg + mianserin 10 mg;

Later augmented with quetiapine 75 mg for insomnia;

Cold turkeyed all antidepressants in November 2022;

Currently on:

Quetiapine: 275 mg (21/02/2023; down from 300 mg) -> 250 mg (18/03/2023) -> 225 mg (26/04/2023) -> 200 mg (19/05/2023) -> 187.5 mg (12/06/2023) -> 175 mg  (27/06/2023) -> 162.5 mg (16/07/2023) -> 150 mg (31/07/2023) -> 137.5 mg (15/08/2023) -> 125 mg (17/09/2023) -> 112.5 mg (02/10/2023) -> 100 mg (17/10/2023) -> 87.5 mg (05/11/2023) -> 81.25 mg (01/12/2023) -> 75 mg (14/12/2023) -> 68.75 mg (22/12/2023) -> 62.5 mg (28/12/2023) -> 50 mg (11/01/2024) -> 43,75 mg (06/02/2024) -> 37,5 mg (20/02/2024)

Diazepam once every week/two weeks, or less frequently

Supplements: magnesium, vit. D3

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