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Kitness24: Fourth time lucky: tapering from 25mg sertraline


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Hi Everyone, I'm glad to be here. I've been aware of this site for a couple years and had it tucked away in my mind for a future date when I would be ready to begin the final taper from antidepressants.

 

I have struggled with panic, anxiety, and depression since 1999 and was first offered antidepressants by a GP in about 2003/4, which I turned down at that time. Life continued and the anxiety and depression persisted. In 2010, it worsened to a point where I felt there were no other option but to start on antidepressants. I was prescribed an SNRI, duloxetine, 30mg and stayed on this for about 10 months before coming off fairly quickly on my own. I started to get badly depressed and started on duloxetine again, this time at 60mg. After becoming stable, I weaned myself down to 30mg and stayed on this until 2016.

 

In 2016, I started to taper off duloxetine by opening the capsules and counting beads. Perhaps I'd already come across this site, or another one similar, back then because I knew it needed to be done slowly. I took several months (6/7/8?) to taper down to a small amount and then quickly tapered the last part. At the time, I was in a very brief and unhappy marriage and went through a separation. I had a breakdown middle of 2017 and started back on duloxetine, 60mg. As soon as I felt stable, I weaned back down to 30mg.

 

In 2018, I started another taper and did the same thing, starting slowly and then dropping quickly at the end. I withdrew over about 8 or 9 months (I can't remember exact time periods now) and it coincided with another difficult relationship break up in the first half of 2019. I had a second breakdown and went back on duloxetine, 60mg. Once again, when I felt stable, I weaned back down to 30mg.

 

At the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020, I started a 3rd taper, coming off completely at the end of 2020. I had a 3rd breakdown in early 2021 and this time was put on an SSRI, sertraline, 50mg. When I stabilised, I withdrew to 25mg and I've stayed on this dose since then.

 

I don't want to be on antidepressants and it's my goal to be free of this medication. One of my mistakes in the past was rushing the end of the taper. I've also done a lot of somatic trauma work since the last breakdown and have a lot more regulation and capacity in my nervous system so I'm in a good position to start the taper process again. At the same time, I have some fear around it because of the breakdown experiences in the past, which were hell on earth.

 

I know it's important to go through this process with support, which I didn't do in the past. So I've signed up to this site and am sharing my story and intentions here. I look forward to getting to know some of you and being part of this community.

 

Sophie

2010 started duloxetine 30mg for anxiety and depression. Withdrew same year.

2011 started again on duloxetine at 60mg. Weaned to 30mg.

2016 started taper and came off early 2017. Had breakdown and went back on 60mg of duloxetine. Weaned down again to 30mg.

2018 started taper and came off early 2019. Had 2nd breakdown and went back on 60mg duloxetine. Weaned down to 30mg.

2020 started 3rd taper. Had 3rd breakdown early 2021. Prescribed sertraline 50mg. Weaned down to current dose of 25mg.

Starting the final taper journey from 25mg sertraline.

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  • Emonda changed the title to Sophie: Fourth time lucky: tapering from 25mg sertraline
  • Administrator
Posted (edited)

Welcome @Kitness24

 

It sounds like you've done some reading and rightly concluded that you've probably rushed your taper. To taper as per the 10% rule mentioned below, realistically, it's a journey of some years.

 

This link is a good one to read: Why taper by 10% of my dosage?. The reductions should get smaller and smaller each month.

 

When you taper too fast, you will likely experience unpleasant WD symptoms: Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) Can you relate to these items from your previous attempts? If you have unpleasant WD symptoms, you should pause your taper, and once stable, taper more slowly moving forward.

 

These are some helpful links for your tapering journey:

 

Windows and waves pattern of stabilization

 

Emotional Spirals

 

Non-drug coping strategies

 

Melatonin for sleep

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but two that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. Add one at a time and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Avoid alcohol. 

 

Don't change the manufacturer of your AD - I made this mistake with Sertraline many years back.

 

This is your own Introduction topic.  Each member has only ONE Introduction topic.  Your own Introduction topic is the best place to ask questions and the place to journal your progress.  This keeps your history in one place and means you do not have to repeat your story. 

 

Once again, welcome to S.A.

 

Emonda

Edited by Emonda
Member name change

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg, 23 May 1.80mg,

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  • Emonda changed the title to Kitness24: Fourth time lucky: tapering from 25mg sertraline

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