Jump to content

diamond: Tapering off Zoloft


Recommended Posts

I want to start tapering off my meds. I'm currently taking 150 mg per day. Just wondering where to start with this process?

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

I've struggled with depression since I was a teen. 2013- Went on antidepressants. Can't remember how long or what it was. Stopped taking them after a short bit. Didn't take anymore antidepressants till 2022. Started taking 100 milligrams Zoloft for a while, then went up to 150 milligrams, which I have been taking sporadically for the past 3 years. There are times where I stopped taking them for week or two and I would start feeling withdrawal symptoms so I would start taking them again, but I have been taking them pretty consistently for a while now.

 

Link to comment
  • Emonda changed the title to diamond: Tapering off Zoloft
  • Moderator

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

 

I know Emonda has already sent you a warning, but if you could complete your drug signature, we would appreciate it.  This helps us see your history at a glance, so that we can provide you with the guidance you need.  In order to do this, click the following link, fill in the box with drug information- drug names that you've been on, dates, any supplements you are currently taking, etc.  You can have a look at my signature below to see the general format. 

 

Your drug signature

 

Once we know a little more about you, we'll be able to provide you with assistance and advice.  In addition to your drug signature, feel free to write another post telling us a little more about yourself and your current situation.  You could include things like what made you start taking antidepressants, if you have tried tapering previously, and what happened when you did, and any challenges you feel you may encounter during your taper.  All of this info helps us help you!

 

Looking forward to assisting you on your journey, diamond! :)

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

 I've struggled with depression since I was a teen, but when I got pregnant with our first my depression got worse. Bad enough that I heard a voice once. That was the way it was with all my pregnancies and postpartum too. When our third baby was probably 6 months i started on Zoloft 100 mg. Then moved up to 150 mg. I never tried tapering but have stopped taking it for a week or two where I would start to feel withdrawal symptoms. I would then keep on taking them. I really want to stop taking the pills but another part of me is scared, because I have 3 kiddos to take care of and we live on a huge property. I don't know how well my husband would cope with me if I would be struggling with withdrawal. 

I've struggled with depression since I was a teen. 2013- Went on antidepressants. Can't remember how long or what it was. Stopped taking them after a short bit. Didn't take anymore antidepressants till 2022. Started taking 100 milligrams Zoloft for a while, then went up to 150 milligrams, which I have been taking sporadically for the past 3 years. There are times where I stopped taking them for week or two and I would start feeling withdrawal symptoms so I would start taking them again, but I have been taking them pretty consistently for a while now.

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi @diamond!

 

I can fully relate to your story- I had severe postpartum depression and psychosis.  It was the hardest thing I have ever been through.  I can also appreciate wanting to get off the pills.  

 

I see you tried stopping cold turkey a couple of times- this is obviously not advisable, and it seems you've discovered that the hard way.  Here are a couple of links regarding how these drugs change your biology, and why a slow taper is recommended. 

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

What is Happening in Your Brain?

 

Here at SA, we recommend starting to taper at a rate of 10% of your current dose, no more often than every four weeks.  So, as an example- 10mg- 9mg- 8.1mg, 7.3mg and so on.  This is known as a hyperbolic taper, and is designed to help reduce withdrawal symptoms.  Some people need to go even slower (I'm one of them- currently reducing at 5% per month, and will likely need to go even slower!).  But this is a good place to start.  Click the following link to learn more about the 10% reduction method:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

The goal is to keep you stable as you drop.  This method does not eliminate withdrawal symptoms altogether, but can keep them at a manageable level, where you can continue to live your life.  Stability is incredibly important, and rushing your taper is a recipe for disaster. 

 

Keep it Simple, Keep it Slow, Keep it Stable

 

You may need to create your own liquid formula in order to do 10% reductions.  Here is a link on how to make your own liquid.  Of course, we can assist with the math on this as well.  Your doctor will not likely know anything about tapering via this method- most doctors tell you to taper far too quickly, by cutting doses in half, or skipping days.  This is highly destabilizing, and most definitely not recommended here!

 

How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsules

 

What types of symptoms did you experience in withdrawal when you did your cold turkey stops?  There is nothing that surprises me anymore about symptoms- these drugs affect your entire body, not just your brain.  I can guarantee that, whatever you are experiencing, someone here has experienced the same thing.  We have all sorts of threads here on managing symptoms without the use of other drugs that I can link you to, once I know what types of symptoms you are having.  We do not recommend using other psychiatric drugs to manage the symptoms of withdrawal, as this can be very destabilizing, and will also put you in a position of having to taper yet another drug.  We also only recommend two supplements- magnesium and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  If you wish to try those, start slow, with a very low dose.  People in withdrawal are often hypersensitive to medications, supplements, and even some foods!

 

I will attach a list of typical withdrawal symptoms here- it is a good idea to keep a symptom diary as you proceed.  It can help you identify patterns, and give you a place to look back and see how far you've come when you're having a tough day!

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms

 

It is normal to go through periods where you feel better, and periods where you feel worse as you taper.  This is known as the windows and waves pattern of stabilization.  Again, there is no way to guarantee avoiding withdrawal symptoms altogether- the goal here is to make those waves tolerable, so you can continue to function. 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

In summary, I would strongly recommend that you start out with a 10% drop to your dosage- so from 150mg to 135mg, and see how that goes.  Keep a symptom journal- you can use the checklist above as a template.  Take note of anything that makes you feel better, or makes you feel worse as you proceed- this will help you manage your symptoms.  And most of all, stay strong, reach out here for help along the way, and have faith.  You CAN do this!  We're here to help you every step of the way!

 

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

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy