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Freeatlast: Coming off of Sertraline


Freeatlast

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I feel I am strong and ready to finally rid myself from Sertraline.  I was taking 50 mg Sertraline for 4 months and did a 1 month taper. Yesterday Oct 26, 2015 was my last dose. I was previously on Sertraline August 2013 - Sep 2014 and tapered off and withdrew. A Dr. reinstated me back onto Sertraline, but my new Dr. feels Sertraline is causing me GI problems and highly recommends I get off of Sertraline. I agree.

 

I am ready to press on!

 

 

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Free,

 

Welcome to SA.

 

Your situation is an interesting one.  On the one hand I am tempted to scream "congratulations" because it is clear you feel good about where you are and what you have done.  And there is certainly a reasonable chance that it will go well and you will be fine with little or no symptoms (as we know there are many people who fall into that category although they are not usually on this board).  Having said that, part of me is quite conflicted as I would never recommend to you that you taper that quickly off Sertraline given that (i) this is your second time coming off the same drug and (ii) you sandwiched a Valium taper in between with no rest after the second Sertraline taper.

 

Putting all that aside, given that this is a site dedicated to helping people come off their SSRIs and to helping those that have come off and are experiencing withdrawal in the aftermath of coming off, what kind of support are you seeking from us?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Hi Andy and thank you for your quick response!

 

I need support from those that already have and are experiencing what I'm going through.  I feel this is a solid group that I can go to when I am faced with any symptoms or somewhere I can just let off some steam when things get tough.  The support I would like from SA is to know that I'm not alone and understand that the symptoms are from the sertraline.  Also I want to be able to ask questions and learn from others. 

 

My first taper from Sertraline was done that  way  because I didn't have any guidance.  I just knew I had to taper off and not go cold turkey.  With my first withdrawal from Sertraline I did have some dizziness and brain zaps.  I managed to get through it in about 3 weeks.  But later about 3 months later I started having symptoms that I thought was something else going on with my health and eventually led me to ativan, valium and back on sertraline. But, looking back I think it was withdrawal symptoms from the sertraline. A Dr. thought I needed to go back on the sertraline and was put on ativan and switched to valium.  That same Dr. didn't acknowledge withdrawal symptoms from Valium.  He thought it was in my head.  I disagreed with his methods and have not returned to see him.

 

With this 2nd withdrawal with the guidance of my new Dr. she is pushing me off of sertraline at the pace I tapered.  I have had GI issues that the new Dr. says is from the Sertraline and I need to get off of them.  Also, she feels I am sensitive to sertraline along with other SSRIs that was was on year ago.  I agree. Now, after being off of sertraline and reading comments on SA I'm realizing I may have gone too fast on the taper.  But I feel I can move forward.    

 

 

I believe that I've found a great support group of people that can help me get through this and eventually I can get me health back to square one.

 

Sharon

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Fair enough, Sharon.  I get it.  It's a very delicate balance between wanting to get off a drug that you think might be causing you harm on the one hand, and going off too quickly that can cause you harm on the other.  If you were symptomatic from the first taper I fear you might have some issues from a "too fast taper" this time around as well.  Nobody can tell you for sure how it is going to go but my suggestion would be to hold onto the spare Sertraline in the event that you do develop symptoms within the time frames where reinstatement at a low dose might well be helpful.  Again, I'm not saying you WILL have a problem, but given the history here I want you to be prepared in case you do.  In that regard, I would suggest you read the following:

 

REINSTATEMENT

 

Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal. Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work. Once you have stabilized on a low dose of the drug, then a slower, safer taper can be started. Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:  About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

As far as support, we are here to give you help as you go forward.  Hopefully, you won't need us much.

 

;)

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Don't do it. I have watched my daughter go through hell and now she is sectioned after quitting her ad. Just like you she had quit before and quit again, and again. Felt fine for a while then started to go through hell. It could have been avoided by going slow.

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Much,  I'm curious if I may ask as to how long was your daughter on Zoloft and how much was she taking?  Trying to wrap this around my head.  I'm getting negative reaction so far from SA and is very unsettling.  

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I'm getting negative reaction so far from SA and is very unsettling.

 

Free,

 

Trying very hard not to be too negative. As I said, there are certainly people who come off of these meds after time frames like yours who do so pretty easily, but you have to understand that the vast majority of people on SA have had a bad experience and don't want to see others similarly damaged. So, the bias will always skew towards a slow taper on this site and hearing about a faster one will raise antennae. We will support your decision and nobody will tell you what to do -- these are personal decisions only each affected individual can make. People have experienced and seen others experience really challenging situations on this site so being conservative is deeply ingrained.

 

As I said, your situation is in my view a little unique because of your relatively short-term use but multiple tapers and the Valium in between. Our goal here is to provide you with information and opinions informed by experience. What you do at the end of the day is your choice and we can only hope it goes well and provide support.

 

We do not simply "rubber stamp" and cheerlead people's decisions. We want to make sure they have eyes wide open. But you should know we are all on the same side.

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Free,

 

Welcome to s/a.  I'd like to encourage you with the fact that in this forum we strongly believe people will be able to get off meds and heal really well.  That's why we're all here, and we believe that you too will be able to do this.  In order to help you do this, we want to share what has been learned here about tapering gently.  That way you won't get caught out like some of us have. 

 

You could have a look http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/.

 

Remember, each story has to be seen in the wider context, so don't let the more negative stories scare you.  There are a lot of positive stories too, and also dificult stories that ended up as success stories.  As you read more and take more in and mull it all over, I think you'll get some instincts about what is the right way for you - and you have such a positive spirit to help you along. 

 

And whenever you have questions or things to share, there are people here to listen and help.

Wishing you peace and strength,

Hugs,

KarenB

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.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

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

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Karen,

 

Thank you for your kind comments.  I welcome your approach rather than a confrontation of sorts since I didn't join this group to battle with anyone.  I would like to continue to stay on SA for support and to gain information.  And thank you for the hugs!

 

Sharon

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Hi Sharon,

 

It's a pain (at least for me), but I'm thinking it would be very helpful for you to start keeping a diary of symptoms or lack thereof right away, so you can track how you feel. There is a symptom sheet from the book "The Antidepressant Solution" by Glenmullen that is posted somewhere on these forums- maybe that would make it an easy task for you to do daily. I wish I'd been more consistent about this earlier in my process, when I was feeling a lot of symptoms. When symptoms take on emotional forms or affect thinking it's easy for me to have fatalistic thoughts about how I'll never feel better, it's all my fault, etc- and knowing that these feelings are simply my nervous system reacting to the absence of a very powerful drug can make all the difference! I hope that you don't have symptoms, but if you do, be ready for them so that you know what cropped up, when, and can therefore make the most informed choice about how to respond. Good luck, and congratulations on joining this forum- a responsible thing to do!!

 

Best from, the Orange Cat.

Found this site for real in 2015. Decided to taper slowly.

** I should mention that anytime I haven't been in a wave, I've felt pretty amazing! I only record the waves to look for patterns : ))**

50 mg Zoloft 6/2015, with intermittent fish oil

6/9/15 alternated 50 mg/37.5 mg - doc's idea (she meant well) 6/17 terrible morning anxiety and rumination, flu symptoms, and prickles in legs. 6/18 up to 45 mg liquid Zoloft. 6/26-29 cortisol mornings and bad anxiety. 6/30 started to take mag 100 mg and fish oil regularly with med 7/4 44 mg. 7/8 42.6 mg. 7/16 40 mg. 7/23 39 mg 8/1 32 mg (bad idea).

8/5 fatigue, anxiety, can't sleep, depressed. 8/7 36 mg resolved to be patient and try to keep to THE THREE KIS's. 8/13-15; 8/17- 23 painful physical and mental wave. Started light therapy 20 m in am. 8/25 34 mg, added 80-100 mg liquid mag during day. great window til 8/29 2 day down stretch 9/8 32.8 mg 9/11-14 wave added acupuncture 9/22 31.5 mg teeny wave 10/6 30 mg small grumpy wave 10/19 28.5, same pattern- small wave at day 5. A few tough weeks. Held around 29 until 11/18 when dropped to 28 mg; 11/22 the usual fluey fatigue. 11/30 27 mg 12/14 25.75ish mg "hold til Xmas club" (in my case New Years) Xmas was tough, kept holding: by 1/15, feeling good again. 1/25/16 Mirena IUD out after nearly six years- I think it was affecting my mood and taper- feeling super great! 2/2 down to 24 mg. symptoms much less severe. One day, not too bad wave on 2/8. 2/15 down to 20 mg from 24. A week later, two restless mornings and one morning of brain fog. 3/2 from 20 to 16 mg! Wish me luck.

 

Medicine History:

Currently tapering from 50mg Zoloft. Ten years of SSRI's including Celexa, Prozac and Zoloft, as well as a stretch with Wellbutrin added to the Zoloft. When I started on Zoloft (4 years ago?) I was on 100 but was able to taper down to 50 via 25 mg increments slowly around 2013. Have used light therapy and fish oil intermittently since around 2013. Have tried unsuccessfully to get off the meds since then in what I know now to be too large a taper (for example, jumped from 25 to 12.5 and that did not work). Motivated to do this slowly because that's the only way it will happen.

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