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g3rm4nsn1p3r: trazadone withdraw symptoms after 5 years of trazadone (1st post - advice appreciated)


g3rm4nsn1p3r

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Around the age of 18 years old, I started to develop severe anxiety due to mental abuse form my parents. Around that time is when I had trouble sleeping. I ended up using ear plugs and abused melatonin for year there after to get sleep.

 

At 25/26, around February/March 2019 I got tinnitus ONLY IN MY LEFT EAR. I obtain the disease from playing videos games with a headset which were too loud. At this point I've been using ear plugs for 8 years and sleeping without them was impossible. The reason bring this up is because ear plugs exacerbate the side effect of tinnitus. The tinnitus itself was low and could only really be heard when I wore ear plugs. I tried to sleep without ear plugs but couldn't any little noise would wake me up. My ears became WAY too sensitive to noise. I spent the next 2 months going to ENT's, doctors, and my primary care physician. Everyone basically told me there was no solution. My PCP eventually prescribed me trazadone (50 mg). This helped me get sleep and I continued to use this for 3 years until it didn't work. I was unaware of any side effects/oblivious to what a anti depressant was. In fact my PCP told me she had dozens of patients on trazadone long term for sleep issues. 

 

Around April 2022, 50 mg wasn't enough for me anymore. I needed more. they upped my dose to 100 mg. Which helped me get sleep until may 2024 when I had a massive health scare unrelated to trazadone and tinnitus. I talked to my friends who were studying to be a doctor and some ER doctors about my health and medication. All of them asked me why I was on trazadone in the first place and told me to get off that crap. Upon doing more own research of how bad of a medication this was, I now set my goals to completely get off of it. 

 

On may 18th 2024, I decreased my dose from 100 mg to 50 mg. Insane insomnia hit me and I couldn't sleep or function. After 2 weeks (around June 3rd) of no sleep I jumped back up to 75 mg thinking I cut too much out. For the 2 weeks I was on 75 mg, I still got severe withdraw symptoms the biggest being insomnia.  I stayed on 75 mg until 2 days ago where all of a sudden I got tinnitus getting louder in my left ear and EVEN louder tinnitus in my right ear. I never ever had tinnitus in my right ear before. This freaked me the **** out. I increase my dose to 87.5 mg last night and actually got sleep for the 1st time in a month. 

 

This bring me to today. No idea what the f*** to do. My logic is the following: 

-The possible causes of my increase in tinnitus is due to 1.) anti depressant withdrawal 2.) stress form not being able to sleep/health concern/work. ( I haven't gone away where recently with loud volume/music because I already an trying to stay away from extremely loud locations due to my current tinnitus.)

-going to take 93.5 mg of trazadone tonight and will do so until July 1st. Then I will slowly taper 5% every 2-4 weeks and slowly get rid of this drug from my system.

 

I am hoping that if I increase my dose back to near normal, my tinnitus from my withdraw symptoms will most likely go away BUT my main goal is to not make it worse. I know this will be a LONG multi year process and trying to create a  spreadsheet of future 5% tapering will most likely get me off this medication in 2-3-4 years. 

 

My main goal is going to be minimizing the side effects of withdrawal, mainline tinnitus because I can't live with tinnitus. If it gets worse I won't be able to live with it. I just won't. 

 

Goal is to start tapering slowly. In the mean time I will try to live my life and try to not stress about things I can't control. Just go out and live. because I'm not sure if I'll even be living in a few years with my health concern/tinnitus. Seems like such a far road ahead. 

 

 

Suffering from tinnitus, insomnia, GERD, and anti depression medication dependency. 

30 year old Male

 

Medication currently on:

0.5 mg Dutasitirde (hair loss)

10 mg melatonin (Sleep - only use sometimes) 

 

2019/05/01 to 2022/04/18 - 50 mg of trazadone

2022/04/18 to 2024/05/18 - 100 mg of trazadone

2024/05/19 - 50 mg; 2024/06/03 - 75 mg; 2024/06/15 - 87.5 mg, 2024/06/16 - 93.5 mg

 

 

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Attached is a screenshot of my tentative schedule of tapering off of trazadone. Instead of doing 10% every month. I want to aim to reduce around 5% every 2 weeks. More smooth taper. If I have some side effects at that dose I will pause for longer (longer than 2 weeks) and adjust the schedule as needed. 

 

 

traz dose.PNG

Suffering from tinnitus, insomnia, GERD, and anti depression medication dependency. 

30 year old Male

 

Medication currently on:

0.5 mg Dutasitirde (hair loss)

10 mg melatonin (Sleep - only use sometimes) 

 

2019/05/01 to 2022/04/18 - 50 mg of trazadone

2022/04/18 to 2024/05/18 - 100 mg of trazadone

2024/05/19 - 50 mg; 2024/06/03 - 75 mg; 2024/06/15 - 87.5 mg, 2024/06/16 - 93.5 mg

 

 

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  • Moderator

Hi @g3rm4nsn1p3r, and welcome to SA!  We are a community of volunteers providing peer support for the tapering of psychiatric medications, and the associated withdrawal syndromes. 

 

If you could kindly complete your drug signature by clicking on this link, we would greatly appreciate it, as it would help us to see your history at a glance, making it easier for us to provide assistance.  Please include any over the counter drugs and supplements you are currently taking, as many can have unwanted interactions with psychiatric medications. 

 

I'm so sorry for what you've been through.  I dream of a world where true informed consent happens before anybody starts taking these drugs.  I suspect none of us would ever say yes to years of side effects and withdrawal.  Trazadone is a terrible drug, and you definitely should have been warned that it is habit forming.  Though that's why we're here- most MD's aren't even aware of how these drugs affect us over the medium or long term. 

 

I can sympathize with how horrible tinnitus can be.  That has been one of my long covid symptoms, and it is decidedly unpleasant.  Mine comes and goes nowadays, but it used to be constant. 

 

I think you are absolutely on the right track by slowing down your taper.  However, I would strongly recommend holding steady for a little while to allow your nervous system to stabilize.  You've made a lot of dosage changes over the last 3-4 weeks, and that can be very destabilizing for your nervous system, and tapering before stabilizing can exacerbate symptoms, which I know you do NOT want.  I know you want to get this poison out of your body, but going slow is the way, and holding to stabilize after multiple rapid dose changes, like you have experienced, would only help you in the long run.  

 

You will go through the windows and waves pattern of stabilization- that is, you will have periods where you feel better, and periods where you feel just awful.  This is the way the brain heals, and having those windows is a good sign.  

 

Now for some bad news- I think your taper plan might still be too fast.  We typically recommend tapering at 10% of the CURRENT month's dose, no more often than every four weeks.  That means, if you start at 10mg, you would decrease to 9mg, then 8.1mg, then 7.29, and so on, rather than 10mg, 9mg, 8mg, 7mg.  This is called a hyperbolic taper, and it is much more gentle on the nervous system.  In your case, you could do 5% every two weeks instead, so as an example- if you are starting at 87.5mg, you would make the following decreases every two weeks: 83.1, 79.0, 75.1, 71.3, and so on.  Alternatively, a very gentle way to taper would be the Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering.  Here, you decrease by 2.5% per week, and after four weeks, you hold for an additional two weeks.  I kind of like this method, as it feels more active- you are constantly making tiny changes, so from an emotional standpoint, it does make you feel like you are making more regular progress than holding for longer periods. 

 

As for your sleep, please avoid taking other psychiatric drugs or using alcohol or recreational drugs to help with insomnia.  This will further destabilize your nervous system.  Good sleep hygiene is critical to making the best of a bad situation.  Here are a few links to help you find some more natural ways to facilitate better sleep while on this journey:

 

Tips to help sleep

Path to Better Sleep (a free online course)

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

Music for Self-care

Melatonin for Sleep

 

Be advised that supplements may not act the way we think they are going to when in withdrawal.  I, for example, find that magnesium actually disrupts my sleep.  You are best to start with very small doses, and titrate upwards from there, if you wish to try a supplement.

 

Overall, I want to congratulate you on your decision to get off this drug- it's a nasty one.  One more link- we do have a thread specific to trazodone that you may wish to review as you embark on your journey- here it is: Tips for tapering off trazodone.

 

We're here to support you all the way!  Please continue to post updates and questions here- this is your introduction topic, and everything related to you and your own journey should go here.  Engaging with other members, reading their threads and providing support is a great way to feel less alone. 

 

You've got this, @g3rm4nsn1p3r!❤️‍🩹

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell for many years.

2009- Daughter born 🥰 Post partum depression/psychosis- no meds taken.

2016- Back on escitalopram due to job change/anxiety

2022- Severe covid infection- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  June 12- 8.5mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 8- Brassmonkey micro taper started.  8.4mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN.  July 15- 8.3mg esc, 1.5mg LDN.  July 18 8.3mg esc, 2.0mg LDN

 

Supplements/other meds: Vitamin D, B12, Claritin

 

I am not a doctor.  I don't even play one on TV.  This is not medical advice, but based on personal experience.  Please consult a medical professional.

Link to comment
6 hours ago, Catwoman73 said:

Hi @g3rm4nsn1p3r, and welcome to SA!  We are a community of volunteers providing peer support for the tapering of psychiatric medications, and the associated withdrawal syndromes. 

 

If you could kindly complete your drug signature by clicking on this link, we would greatly appreciate it, as it would help us to see your history at a glance, making it easier for us to provide assistance.  Please include any over the counter drugs and supplements you are currently taking, as many can have unwanted interactions with psychiatric medications. 

 

I'm so sorry for what you've been through.  I dream of a world where true informed consent happens before anybody starts taking these drugs.  I suspect none of us would ever say yes to years of side effects and withdrawal.  Trazadone is a terrible drug, and you definitely should have been warned that it is habit forming.  Though that's why we're here- most MD's aren't even aware of how these drugs affect us over the medium or long term. 

 

I can sympathize with how horrible tinnitus can be.  That has been one of my long covid symptoms, and it is decidedly unpleasant.  Mine comes and goes nowadays, but it used to be constant. 

 

I think you are absolutely on the right track by slowing down your taper.  However, I would strongly recommend holding steady for a little while to allow your nervous system to stabilize.  You've made a lot of dosage changes over the last 3-4 weeks, and that can be very destabilizing for your nervous system, and tapering before stabilizing can exacerbate symptoms, which I know you do NOT want.  I know you want to get this poison out of your body, but going slow is the way, and holding to stabilize after multiple rapid dose changes, like you have experienced, would only help you in the long run.  

 

You will go through the windows and waves pattern of stabilization- that is, you will have periods where you feel better, and periods where you feel just awful.  This is the way the brain heals, and having those windows is a good sign.  

 

Now for some bad news- I think your taper plan might still be too fast.  We typically recommend tapering at 10% of the CURRENT month's dose, no more often than every four weeks.  That means, if you start at 10mg, you would decrease to 9mg, then 8.1mg, then 7.29, and so on, rather than 10mg, 9mg, 8mg, 7mg.  This is called a hyperbolic taper, and it is much more gentle on the nervous system.  In your case, you could do 5% every two weeks instead, so as an example- if you are starting at 87.5mg, you would make the following decreases every two weeks: 83.1, 79.0, 75.1, 71.3, and so on.  Alternatively, a very gentle way to taper would be the Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering.  Here, you decrease by 2.5% per week, and after four weeks, you hold for an additional two weeks.  I kind of like this method, as it feels more active- you are constantly making tiny changes, so from an emotional standpoint, it does make you feel like you are making more regular progress than holding for longer periods. 

 

As for your sleep, please avoid taking other psychiatric drugs or using alcohol or recreational drugs to help with insomnia.  This will further destabilize your nervous system.  Good sleep hygiene is critical to making the best of a bad situation.  Here are a few links to help you find some more natural ways to facilitate better sleep while on this journey:

 

Tips to help sleep

Path to Better Sleep (a free online course)

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

Music for Self-care

Melatonin for Sleep

 

Be advised that supplements may not act the way we think they are going to when in withdrawal.  I, for example, find that magnesium actually disrupts my sleep.  You are best to start with very small doses, and titrate upwards from there, if you wish to try a supplement.

 

Overall, I want to congratulate you on your decision to get off this drug- it's a nasty one.  One more link- we do have a thread specific to trazodone that you may wish to review as you embark on your journey- here it is: Tips for tapering off trazodone.

 

We're here to support you all the way!  Please continue to post updates and questions here- this is your introduction topic, and everything related to you and your own journey should go here.  Engaging with other members, reading their threads and providing support is a great way to feel less alone. 

 

You've got this, @g3rm4nsn1p3r!❤️‍🩹

 

 

Thank you. I will stabilize for the next 1.5 months and go from there. I will adjust the tapering schedule a bit. I want to be a bit more active than 10% per month which I why I tried to closely resemble 5% every 2 weeks. I will look into the other tapering method you linked. I will also adjust the schedule a bit and upload here. 

 

 

Suffering from tinnitus, insomnia, GERD, and anti depression medication dependency. 

30 year old Male

 

Medication currently on:

0.5 mg Dutasitirde (hair loss)

10 mg melatonin (Sleep - only use sometimes) 

 

2019/05/01 to 2022/04/18 - 50 mg of trazadone

2022/04/18 to 2024/05/18 - 100 mg of trazadone

2024/05/19 - 50 mg; 2024/06/03 - 75 mg; 2024/06/15 - 87.5 mg, 2024/06/16 - 93.5 mg

 

 

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