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John3: Need advice on tapering off quetiapine/Seroquel after 7 days at 25mg and 6 days at 50 mg


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Hi, I'm a 62 year old male, 135 pounds with insomnia due to sleep interruptions and have three questions I hope someone would be kind enough to address.

 

Drug History

1) For a month or so over a year ago I was on 25mg Tradazone at night (I cut a 50 mg tablet in half) and eventually stopped by cutting the dose in half (quater tablet) for a few days then stopping all together. I had some mild withdrawal symptoms for a week after reducing the dose.

2) In April I took 1, 10 MG Belsomra/suvorexant tablet which did not work for me and caused repeated migraine auras, so I did not take it again, and did not have any withdrawals.

3) Currently: I've taken 25 mg quetiapine/Seroquel for 7 days, then, when the benefit stopped, upped that to 50 mg for 6 days. I'm looking to get off it since it's no longer helpful.

 

Questions

1) Since I have taken quetiapine/Seroquel such a short period of time, and do not have much of a history with these sorts of drugs or quitting them abruptly, do I still have to tapper off as slowly as the guidelines I've read here suggest?

2) If I tapper off 10% per month, then my first month of tapering would expose me to the drug twice as long as I've been using it thus far; is that really tapering or should I follow a different schedule?

3) Could someone explain why it would take the brain/body longer to adapt to not having a drug as it did to having it?

 

Deep appreciation for any guidance.

2023 Tradazone, Mid June-July 25mg; Tappered by using 12.5mg for 5 days
2024 Belsomra/suvorexant, 1 night April 2024, took only 1, 10mg tablet
2024 quetiapine/Seroquel, June 12th-18th 25mg; June 19th-25th 50mg

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  • Erimus changed the title to John3: Need advice on tapering off quetiapine/Seroquel after 7 days at 25mg and 6 days at 50 mg
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. We are a peer support forum to assist in tapering off psychiatric drugs safely, or recovering from psychiatric drug withdrawal.

 

You can taper faster than the guidelines suggested here if you have been on the drug less than one month, and have not experienced any severe symptoms that might suggest a problematic taper.

 

I would suggest you reduce back to 25mg for a few days, and then down to 12.5mg for a few more days. You will need to monitor how you feel and keep track of any symptoms you experience throughout this. If all is well then you can stop. Don't attempt to taper by taking doses on alternate days, it is not beneficial.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021, 55mg - 23 Feb 2024, 60mg - 20 March 2024, Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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Erimus, Thank you very much for your well considered and thorough reply.

My Dr has prescribed 300mg Gabapentin to replace the quetiapine/Seroquel. How long is a reasonable amount of time to wait after my last dose of 12.5mg of quetiapine/Seroquel before beginning the Gabapentin?

 

Many thanks in advance for anyone's input.

2023 Tradazone, Mid June-July 25mg; Tappered by using 12.5mg for 5 days
2024 Belsomra/suvorexant, 1 night April 2024, took only 1, 10mg tablet
2024 quetiapine/Seroquel, June 12th-18th 25mg; June 19th-25th 50mg

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  • Moderator

@John3,

gabapentin will also require tapering and coming on and off of these drugs may make future withdrawals harder. Think before you take these drugs. Ask your doctor if the drug is approved for the indication he is prescribing it for - 80% of gabapentin's uses were off-label in 2000 (not sure if that has changed now as it got some new uses approved). It is one of those drugs that doctors prescribe for everything without the evidence to support it. 

In the US it is approved for: 

1) epilepsy

2) post-herpetic neuralgia 

 

It is also known to cause suicidal thoughts. 

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/020235s036,020882s022,021129s022lbl.pdf

 

The evidence for benefit in insomnia is mixed  - some small studies show it can be helpful but others not. 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34819636/

https://evidence.nihr.ac.uk/alert/review-finds-little-evidence-support-gabapentinoid-use-bipolar-disorder-or-insomnia/

 

Hope this helps you make a decision. 

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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  • Moderator
15 hours ago, John3 said:

Erimus, Thank you very much for your well considered and thorough reply.

My Dr has prescribed 300mg Gabapentin to replace the quetiapine/Seroquel. How long is a reasonable amount of time to wait after my last dose of 12.5mg of quetiapine/Seroquel before beginning the Gabapentin?

 

Many thanks in advance for anyone's input.

We are not here to offer advice on which drug you might try. Our purpose is to aid people to a life free from medication, or in recovery from psychiatric drug withdrawal.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021, 55mg - 23 Feb 2024, 60mg - 20 March 2024, Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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Onmyway, thank you very much for the advice and links. I take your advice very seriously as I had the same concerns when another Dr prescribed the drug 8-months ago; in fact, I have not taken it yet for those very reasons. I'm revisiting my opinion after a detailed discussion with a long-term acquaintance of mine who suffered from the same unusual symptoms, as he has successfully treated them for 2 years with the medication. 

 

Erimus, nowhere in my post did I ask for a recommendation on what drug to try, or even input on the drug I'm considering. I appreciate that the goal of this site is to provide quality information on how to become drug free as I have tried very diligently to do over the last 15 months, albeit unsuccessfully. I could provide the details of my ordeal and my missteps, but assessing my path and providing advice on the best course of action is clearly not the purpose of this site.

 

With appreciation to you both,

2023 Tradazone, Mid June-July 25mg; Tappered by using 12.5mg for 5 days
2024 Belsomra/suvorexant, 1 night April 2024, took only 1, 10mg tablet
2024 quetiapine/Seroquel, June 12th-18th 25mg; June 19th-25th 50mg

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