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HollyHope


HollyHope

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Hi all,

 

Firstly, I am so grateful to have come across this site and I hope that by sharing my experience I might be able to help others and also gain some help and support in return  :).

 

So, my story - I have suffered on and off with depression since my late teens, I have now just turned 30. I was first prescribed the antidepressant citalopram when I was 18, I took a low dose of this (can't remember how much exactly). I took this for about 6 months and then stopped as felt a lot more in control of my life and generally happier. I unfortunately relapsed about 5 years later and was prescribed citalopram again which I took for about two years. After a while I felt that it was not having much of an effect on me and my mood so my GP switched me to sertraline which I have been on since, about 4 years roughly at 50mg a day.

Sertraline has worked very well me and I have been lucky that I have not suffered too many side effects while being on it. 

Over the years I have tried many therapies, CBT, counselling, human givens and acupuncture to help combat my depression. In all honesty I am not sure how much of an effect any of these things have had on my well being but I do find that having a safe place to talk things through in a non judgmental environment has been a blessing at times. I am currently trying Human Givens therapy with a lovely lady who I feel very secure to talk things through with.

 

I made the decision about 2 years ago that I wanted to be, or at least try to be, medication free to give my body and mind a chance  to cope alone. I first tried to taper off sertraline in March 2014, I did pretty well and got down to taking 25mg just three times a week (however, since then I have read that it is not generally a good idea to alternate the days that you take the medication as the levels of the drug are then not consistent in your body.... or something along those lines). Anyway, after splitting up with my then boyfriend in June, I had a major relapse and went back up to 50mg daily. 

In the summer of 2015 having been consistently on 50mg since June 2014 I decided that I wanted to give it another go and try and come off the sertraline. I have slowly tapered to 25mg over several months and I have been taking 25mg a day for the last week and a half. I am going to stay on this dose for at least one month to allow my body and mind time to adjust before making the next reduction.

It has however not been smooth sailing to get to this point and I am now left feeling very anxious, agitated, unmotivated and generally quite dull (I have no sparkle!). If I had the choice I would probably chose to stay in bed all day and just sleep. Of course in realityt this is not possible as I have a full time job and bills to pay. I used to be a gym addictt and would exercise atleast 3 times a week which I found to be very good at helping to stabilise my mood. However, over the last two months I have no motivation or energy to go to the gym and feel anxious at the thought of going (I have never really suffered with anxiety before!) I know that if I start going it will probbaly help me on the road to recovery but I just feel so unmotivated. Also, over the last two months I have completly lost my libido and feel so sorry for my boyfriend who probably feels very rejected... I just have no desire at the moment and feel out of touch from my friends, family and boyfriend who have all had to put up with me being negative and agitated recently. 

Finally since making the reduction to 25mg I am suffering my bouts of diarrhoea almost every day :wacko: .

 

I can only assume that this is part of the withdrawal process as I did not feel like this before I began to taper. My only hope is that it will pass eventually. My symptoms are manageable currently but I know that I am not living life to the full which makes me feel pretty rubbish. I am also worried that as I further decrease the amount of sertraline  I take, these things that I am feeling now will become more intense and I may not be able to cope.

 

It is hard to discuss with my GP as she will say that I am relapsing and advise me to go back up to 50mg, I know that this is not a relapse. 

 

I have seen some people mention that it is easier to taper using liquid serttaline? I feel this may be helpful as I am unsure when the time comes how I will make the next reduction as I already half the 50mg tablet to give me 25mg and I think it would be impossible to half that tablet again without it crumbling to pieces. Does anyone know if liquid sertraline is a thing? and if so is it availabel in the UK? I would love to hear from anyone who is currently tapering or maybe you have successful got off sertraline? Is it possible? Will I ever feel okay again?

 

This is me and this where I am currently at.

 

Thank you so much for you time.

 

R

 

 

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

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  • Moderator

Hi HollyHope-- Welcome to the group, I'm so glad you found us.  I'm sorry to hear that your taper has left you feeling so bad.  Making a 50% cut over the course of several months, while it sounds good is actually very fast. Which is why you're now getting the symptoms you're feeling.  We recommend dropping by 10% of your previous dose every 4-6 weeks.  This allows time for your brain to restructure itself as the dose decreases.  For right now I would suggest that you hold at the dose you're currently taking until the symptoms stabilize.  Then we can help set you up in a slow gentle taper that will successfully get you drug free.

 

Here are some links that will help you understand what is happening:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome? 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

If you would please add a signature block with your drug history it would really help us to keep track of what is going on:

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Hi brassmonkey and thank you for your response,

 

On reflection you are right that I have probably tapered too quickly but did not have the 10% knowledge back then but am so glad that I know about it now! I am going to stay on the 25mg dose for 1-2 months and hopefully things will stabilize for me before I make a 10% reduction.

 

I saw my GP yesterday to see if I was able to get sertraline in liquid form as I believe this could make it easier for me to make the 10% reductions as 25mg (half a 50mg tablet) is hard to break into smaller increments. My GP said there was no such thing.... :angry:  I then went into the pharmacy to see if they knew of liquid sertraline. The pharmacist told me that it is impossible to get hold of sertraline as a liquid as it is too expensive so the NHS won't prescribe it and for that reason pharmacy's do not stock it! I'd love to hear from someone in the UK who has been able to get hold of sertraline as a liquid?

When I asked my GP's opinion on what my next step should be in regards to my taper she did agree that I should stay on 25mg for 1-2 months but then I should take 25mg every other day, then every two days and then every three days and so on..... Very frustrating as I know that this is setting myself up to fail! I wish GP's took antidepressant withdrawal seriously. Anyway I shall stick to the 10% way as from what I can gather this seems the most successful approach.

 

Good luck with your taper and thank you for your support  :)

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

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Hi Holly ,

 

Do you have a " compounding pharmacy " ? You should be able to get liquid sertraline, somewhere.  As you can see , your G.P's opinion is really not worth much . Alternating dosages, is like " playing ping- pong " with your brain . If you taper by 10 %, you should be fine.  I'm sure someone here will be able to tell you were to get it. UK  / London members ?

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Thanks Ali!

 

I shall look into a compounding pharmacy, as had not heard of this before but just did a google search. 

I agree about my GP!! So frustrating, do not want to play ping-pong with my brain!

 

Thanks for your reply. 

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Holly,

Its possible to make your own liquid, many people have successfully tapered this way. see: How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hi Holly, I'm working on this very issue right now. If you can't get a prescription for a compounded liquid, you can order Ora-plus suspension base off the web and make your own. Try to get outside and just even take a walk if you can, I find it so very helpful. Best wishes on your taper!

Sarah

1975--first signs of depression

1981--started on imipramine (Tofranil) for IBS and depression

1983-1986--severe depression, rotated through several drugs, on MAOI for one year, eventually back to tricyclics

1986-1994--chronic low grade depression, on tricyclics

1994-96--severe depression, rotated through several drugs inc. Prozax, Effexor, etc..

1996-2013--chronic low grade depression, SAD, on amitryptiline usual dose 12.5-25mg

     flurazepam (Dalmane) as needed for insomnia

2013--developed temazepam (Restoril) dependance for 2 months, tapered off over 1 month

   started bio-identical progesterone 5 mg., depression has lifted completely to this day

March 2016--forced to c/t both amitryptiline and flurazepam, zolpidem not helpful

reinstated small dose (.5 mg) amitryptiline due to stomach issues and tapering w/titration

June 19th--jumped from amitryptiline--drug free!

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Hi,

 

I wondered if anyone can relate to my symptoms and I wonder if they are even withdrawal or if I have just become a horrible person, which is what I feel like at the moment?

 

I have been tapering off 50mg of sertaline for the last few months and am currently trying to stabilize on 25mg a day. The last month has been awful and I have just wanted to hide to away in bed over this Christmas period. 

 

It seems to be getting worse and I feel anxious, spaced out, and unmotivated all of the time. I also find myself being moody and short with my family and partner and a lot of the time I just want to be on my own.... I want to just snap out of feeling like this because it is so horrible but it seems no matter what I try it does not work. 

 

For the last two days I have felt physically sick too (don't know if this is withdrawal too?)  Has anyone else experienced this?

My sleeping is not great either at the moment, I am waking at 2/3 am and then struggling to get back to sleep but I guess this could be due to the fact that I am sleeping too much in the day at the moment?

 

I am taking omega 3 and cod liver oil and magnesium daily to try and help me through. I also have started to take 5-HTP before bed each evening. Not sure if these supplements will help but willing to try.

Does anyone have any other advice or tips that might help me through?

 

Thank you for reading.

R

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

Link to post

Hi Holly, I am not an expert, but trying to get off Zoloft as well. I read that you dit not reduce the dose for the same amount every day, but some days took 50 mg, and other days 25 mg. I think that is like playing ping pong with your brains, so maybe that is the reason for feeling so bad now? 

Best wishes for 2016!

Zoloft 50 mg since november 2011. Start stopping (10%) at 11 december 2015.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi HollyHope (love your nick),

 

Just thought I'd quote your post from Sertraline withdrawal here as it related to your personal taper and will give you a better record of your progress.

 

Hi,

 

I wondered if anyone can relate to my symptoms and I wonder if they are even withdrawal or if I have just become a horrible person, which is what I feel like at the moment?

 

I have been tapering off 50mg of sertaline for the last few months and am currently trying to stabilize on 25mg a day. The last month has been awful and I have just wanted to hide to away in bed over this Christmas period. 

 

It seems to be getting worse and I feel anxious, spaced out, and unmotivated all of the time. I also find myself being moody and short with my family and partner and a lot of the time I just want to be on my own.... I want to just snap out of feeling like this because it is so horrible but it seems no matter what I try it does not work. 

 

For the last two days I have felt physically sick too (don't know if this is withdrawal too?)  Has anyone else experienced this?

My sleeping is not great either at the moment, I am waking at 2/3 am and then struggling to get back to sleep but I guess this could be due to the fact that I am sleeping too much in the day at the moment?

 

I am taking omega 3 and cod liver oil and magnesium daily to try and help me through. I also have started to take 5-HTP before bed each evening. Not sure if these supplements will help but willing to try.

Does anyone have any other advice or tips that might help me through?

 

Thank you for reading.

R

 

Hi Holly, I am not an expert, but trying to get off Zoloft as well. I read that you dit not reduce the dose for the same amount every day, but some days took 50 mg, and other days 25 mg. I think that is like playing ping pong with your brains, so maybe that is the reason for feeling so bad now? 

Best wishes for 2016!

 

I agree with Codebie that it most probably from:

 

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

 

You may have gone down too quickly and need to reinstate a small amount.  I'd wait for a mod/admin to respond before doing this though.

 

Also be cautious of supplements.  See 5-HTP.  To research on this site, google survivingantidepressants.org and whatever you are looking for.

 

CC

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Holly,

I moved your post to your intro thread so you'll get more answers. 

 

Karen

x

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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Thanks all for your responses. I am pretty sure that I have gone too quickl with the taper. The last two days have been horrific but today seems to have been smoother. 

I suppose I could reinstate to a higher dose but not sure what to go for as I went from 50 to 25mg.... maybe 35mg or something? Anyway I think I will just try to tough it out at 25mg for now but reistate if things get worse.

I am off work for the whole of Jan and am heading away to Australia for the month so I am really hoping that that will pull me through!

 

Thank you Karen for moving my other post into this one, I think I finally understand how the site works now!

 

Thanks for all of your help and a Happy New Year to all. 

 

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Just continue to monitor - keep symptom notes on paper.  If things continue to improve then stay at that dose. 

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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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,

 

I just thought I'd give you all an update on my progress.

 

I am back in the UK and back to work after spending the whole of January away in Australia with my partner (it was bliss!) 

I have been taking 25mg of sertraline throughout and just about feel that I have now stabilized on this dose  ^_^. When I was away I was struggling with feeling irritable and moody from time to time but I do feel that that has now subsided, thankfully!

 

My plan is to make a 10% reduction in March and see how I go with that. I think I will need to purchase milogram scales though to ensure that I am being consistent with my dose as its going to be tricky to shave/cut my 25mg (half of a 50mg tablet), Any advice would be appreciated.

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

Link to post

Is this normal....? All was going well (see above post) then on Thursday I felt a wave of blackness come over me and my mood just changed. I flipped out at my boyfriend over the tiniest of things. We've not spoken since. I can't think what's brought on this sudden darkness apart from having an extremely stressful week at work and feeling isolated from everyone. Maybe that's enough to have done it? I can't stop crying and just spent 30 mins on the bathroom floor having an anxiety attack. I'm so scared and feel so alone. I feel that there is no one I can talk too, no one that understands this hell. I felt hopeful last week but that has now gone.  :(

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

Link to post

Hi Holly.      I'm sorry you're experiencing this. It's never easy and these feelings can make you feel very alone. It sounds like " windows and waves " pattern of withdrawal symptoms.  Neuro - emotions can be tumultuous , and catch you off guard fairly quickly.  Even though it can be disconcerting, it's a sign of the body trying to get back to some sort of homeostasis. You did some fast tapering last year and it's quite likely to be catching up with you , to an extent, now.

Stress can exacerbate symptoms, as well, and sometimes bring on a wave.

Try , if you can to remain as calm as you possibly can.  Not easy , I know but at least if you can understand what is happening , it can help to get back on track , to a degree.

It can be hard for partners to understand this process, but it helps if you can educate them a little. If you haven't read " Anatomy of an Epidemic" , by Robert Whitaker, it would be helpful and then try and  convince your boyfriend to read it.  I found that it helped my husband understand what was going on , a little better, even though he only read certain parts. He's busy and hard to pin down, but I used to read sections out to him anyway and have tried to educate him, along the way.

 

Deep breathing and meditation , can be helpful to manage stress as well. Here's some useful links : These will help to explain the process.

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Video:  Healing from Antidepressants:  Patterns of Recovery

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9809-neuro-emotions/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

 

I hope this helps.

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Hope that the "blackness" has passed, and you are doing better! I'm sure the stress at work brought that on and hopefully your boyfriend can understand. You might want to look into getting smaller tablets, or going to a liquid. A compounding pharmacy would probably be able to make a liquid form for you, so you can be much more accurate. Or you can figure out how to dissolve/suspend the medicine into a liquid form yourself, then just use a syringe to measure the dose. I don't know much about sertraline and whether/how that can be dissolved, but there might be more info on that in the tapering forum.

Sarah

1975--first signs of depression

1981--started on imipramine (Tofranil) for IBS and depression

1983-1986--severe depression, rotated through several drugs, on MAOI for one year, eventually back to tricyclics

1986-1994--chronic low grade depression, on tricyclics

1994-96--severe depression, rotated through several drugs inc. Prozax, Effexor, etc..

1996-2013--chronic low grade depression, SAD, on amitryptiline usual dose 12.5-25mg

     flurazepam (Dalmane) as needed for insomnia

2013--developed temazepam (Restoril) dependance for 2 months, tapered off over 1 month

   started bio-identical progesterone 5 mg., depression has lifted completely to this day

March 2016--forced to c/t both amitryptiline and flurazepam, zolpidem not helpful

reinstated small dose (.5 mg) amitryptiline due to stomach issues and tapering w/titration

June 19th--jumped from amitryptiline--drug free!

Link to post

I am broken quite simply. My partner has thrown me out saying he can't cope with my mood swings anymore.

I have not eaten since Saturday. I am having up to 5 panic attacks day to the point where I nearly pass out. I am broken. Saw gp today offered to sign me off work not that I've done any this week. Gp said I need to go back up to 50mg of sertraline. I know ultimately it's my decision but I am worried for myself that if I don't get some control of my life back I will do something stupid. ????????????

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

Link to post

I feel your pain, it is a terrible feeling ???????? but you found a great forum and all of us are living it, you are not alone. The mods will be a great help for you, hang in there.

10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

 

Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.

 

Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.

 

Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????

 

Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.

 

Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

Link to post
  • Moderator

Hi Holly-- I'm so sorry to hear that things have turned so ugly.  I would not suggest going back up to 50mg.  Your system has become very sensitive  because of the alternating doses last fall and going back to the full dose could really cause you trouble. 

 

I'm assuming you are splitting 50mg tablets to get the 25mg or are you taking 25mg tablets? 

 

A small updose should help take the edge off of things, but I wouldn't start with any more than 2mg.  It will take at least 4 days for an updose to become steady state in your blood during which time your symptoms could fluctuate.  Once the drug is steady state then your body can start to sort things out and calm down, which could take several weeks.  When we see how you react to the 2mg, then we can maybe adjust a bit to fine tune things.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

This thread should give you some more information.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I just want to say thank you to everyone that has taken the time to read my posts and to respond. It is amazing how supported you can feel from the friendliest of others going through a similar thing or who have gone through something similar.

 

Things are a bit brighter. I have managed to stay on 25mg and giving things another shot with my partner. I guess it can be hard for people close to fully understand depression and antidepressant withdrawal, I really hope that we can get through it together but if not I feel confident that I will continue to fight through this rough patch.

 

Wishing you all a lovely weekend. 

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

Link to post

Great to hear!, glad you were able to avoid the updose and get back together.

Sarah

1975--first signs of depression

1981--started on imipramine (Tofranil) for IBS and depression

1983-1986--severe depression, rotated through several drugs, on MAOI for one year, eventually back to tricyclics

1986-1994--chronic low grade depression, on tricyclics

1994-96--severe depression, rotated through several drugs inc. Prozax, Effexor, etc..

1996-2013--chronic low grade depression, SAD, on amitryptiline usual dose 12.5-25mg

     flurazepam (Dalmane) as needed for insomnia

2013--developed temazepam (Restoril) dependance for 2 months, tapered off over 1 month

   started bio-identical progesterone 5 mg., depression has lifted completely to this day

March 2016--forced to c/t both amitryptiline and flurazepam, zolpidem not helpful

reinstated small dose (.5 mg) amitryptiline due to stomach issues and tapering w/titration

June 19th--jumped from amitryptiline--drug free!

Link to post
  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

So, I am still struggling on 25mg which I have been on since December. I have definitely experienced the 'waves and windows' but I just cannot seem to stabilize on this dose.

The things that I am struggling with are the constant anxiety that I feel which is triggered by things that never used to phase me before; going to the gym, going out with friends, going to work and sometimes even taking the dog out for a walk! Sounds crazy I know, especially as I had never suffered with anxiety prior to taking sertraline. As well as the anxiety, I am battling with my emotions everyday, feeling teary over the slightest of things, taking things personally and often feeling irritable and moody! It's fair to say I feel a complete mess.

 

I am worried about what's to come and if I will ever feel 'happy' again. I had wanted to taper again in April but I am worried about feeling worse.

The plus side is that I am still managing with everyday life and holding down my job (which I hate terribly!), I just feel constantly on edge. Has anyone else felt like this during their withdrawal? Any advice on when to make the next reduction?

 

Wishing you all a happy Easter. xx

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

Link to post
  • Moderator
brassmonkey

Hi Holly-- I'm sorry to hear that you're still struggling.  The alternating dose method that you've been following can cause things to go slowly in the stabilization department, but it will happen.  Another way to think of stabilization is the term "WDnormal".  Stabilizing is not necessarily the absence of symptoms, but more the leveling out of symptoms to a constant state.  There will still be windows and waves and different thing will trigger bad days but overall the symptoms are at the same level from day to day.  Feeling that you're stuck in a bad place for ever is actually a sign of stabilizing and an indication that it would be okay to do your next taper.  So I think sticking to your plan for April will be fine.

 

Well done on holding down a job while going through this.  Especially one you hate.  I found keeping a job was a good distraction from all the WD stuff. I had to concentrate on work so didn't have time to think about how badly I felt.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

Link to post
  • 1 year later...

Hello,

 

I joined this site back around two years ago and found it really helpful when I was trying to withdraw from sertraline 😊. Unfortunately things didn’t go to plan and I discontinued with my withdrawal having got down to 25mg a day. I strongly believe that this last withdrawal attempt cost me my relationship with my ex as I became moody, irritable and probably a very difficult person to be around...so much so that he no longer wanted to be around me and we went our separate ways. The whole trauma of the break up triggered a very serious bout of depression and I was advised by a psychiatrist to up my sertraline dose to 75mg (this was in June 2016 roughly). 

A year and I bit later if find myself here again thinking about the possibility of trying to taper off in the coming new year. I’m now stable on 50mg and have made some big life changes since the breakup such as changing careers and having to move back in with my parents (although this was a blessing when I was going through hell its now pretty depressing!). I’ve not been able to commit to another relationship since as part of me is holding on to so many feelings from my previous relationship, despite no contact with my ex since March. The thought of letting someone else in and letting them see me at my worst and then them leaving is too much to bare so I think it’s best I just remain on my own 😭. I know only too well the devastation that these drugs cause and I hope one day that I’ll be able to be free from them.

 

Much love to everyone. Xx

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome back Holly.  Sorry to hear about the end of your relationship and subsequent depression.  A favourite quote of mine comes to mind after reading that your boyfriend left you during a challenging time ... Those Who Mind Don’t Matter, and Those Who Matter Don’t Mind.  

 

Glad you found your way back to Surviving Antidepressants and have managed to get back down to 50mg, am sure it hasn't been easy.  Just so you know, I have merged your new topic into your original introduction topic as there is only one thread per member and it is best to keep all of the information relating to your own situation in one place.  

 

Would you mind updating your withdrawal history signature so we have a better idea of what has been going on with you over the last couple of years?  From what I am able to determine for your current signature it looks like you were tapering sporadically, alternating doses and switched anti-depressants, and it would therefor be helpful to the moderators to have current information in your signature.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature
 
    •    Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
    •    A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
    •    Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
    •    Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
    •    Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 

 

I'm attaching a few links to refresh your memory with the recommendations made by Surviving Antidepressants and hope that you are able to finally be free of Zoloft (Celexa?) once and for all.  

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Tips for Tapering off Zoloft / Sertraline

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

Link to post

Hi Hollyhope, I noticed that when you tried to taper in the past, you skipped doses or lowered doses every couple of days.  I'm not giving any advice, but I just wanted to say that I have been advised not to skip doses, that it is better to do a slow, consistent taper when you are ready.  In any case, I know you will get a lot of help on this site.  Thank you for sharing your experiences, and I wish the best for you.

Alcohol periodic excessive 1963-1976, Valium sporadic 1964-1973,  Imipramine off & on 1982-1985, Fluoxetine 10mg-80 mg. Oct., 1995-Jan., 2014; Cymbalta, other ADs 1/2014-3/2014; Abilify 5 mg. 3/2014 - 8/8/17; Trintellix 20 mg. 3/2014 - 9/2017; Propranolol 60-80 mg. sporadically Sept-Oct, 2017; Seroquel few days Sept 2017 (c/t); Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sept, 2017 updosed to 300 mg. few days till c/t Oct 8, 2017, fish oil, vitD, vitE Oct 16, 2017-pres. Lipoflavonoid 4/2017-pres.  Fluoxetine 10 mg. Sept-Oct 8, 2017, 20 mg. 10/9- 10/15; 10 mg. 10/16 - 12/29;  9 mg. 12/30 - 2/9; 2 mL liquid (8.1mg) 2/10 - 3/7; 1.8 mL (7.29 mg) 3/8 -3/20; 1.6 mL (6.561mg) 3/20-4/2; 1.4 mL (5.9 mg) 4/3-4/14; 1mL (4 mg.) 4/15-4/22; .9mL (3.6mg) 4/23-5/1; .81mL (3.24 mg) 5/2-5/24; .73mL (2.916mg.) 5/25-6/8; .65mL 6/9-6/23; .6mL 6/24-7/17; .58mL 7/18-7/28; .525mL 7/29-8/13; .5 mL 8/14-21; .45mL 8/22-31; .4mL 9/2-21; .35mL 9/22-10/4; .3mL 10/5-28; .25mL 10/28-11/10; .2mL 11/11-11/24; .18mL 11/25-12/3; .1mL 12/4-12/18. Zero-12/19/18-present.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to HollyHope

Thank you baroquep much appreciated! I’ve now updated my signature with where I’m currently at I hope it makes sense.

My last attempt to taper started with me alternating doses as this was the advice given to me at the time by my gp before I gained the valuable information on this site with regard to the 10% rule 🙏🏻. I did however make a 25% reduction to my dose in August as I knew 75mg was too much for me and just not needed. I was a bit unsettled for about 2 weeks but other than that I adjusted pretty well and remain on 50mg of sertraline. 

Im so scared of tapering again due to the awful experiences I’ve had in the past but hopefully by following the 10% rule it might be a bit more achievable for me to try again in the new year. 

 

Exercise has once again been my savour during my depression, giving me a focus, a distraction, an escape and little boosts of feel good hormones to keep me going 😊 I feel so sad reading back over my past posts where I can almost feel how hopeless I felt and couldn’t even bring myself to do the one thing that might have helped me through 😭 I’m still so sad for the relationship it cost me but I love the quote you shared “those who mind don’t matter....” this is actually really poignant for me so thank you so much for sharing. 

 

Best wishes all xx

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

Link to post
  • 8 months later...

Good afternoon everyone,

 

Although I have been on this site before it has been a while so I thought I should add a bit about my current situation is this section for now. 🙂

 

I am currently on my third attempt to become sertraline free and began my taper in February of this year - trying to follow the 10% rule! (Although please read on as I fear I am going wrong!?)

 

I started to withdraw from 50mg in February and so far I have felt very much in control compared to other times I have tried to taper. However, things are getting a bit sticky now and I am noticing that each reduction is taking me a bit longer to stabilize on. I also now find that about two weeks in to making a reduction I become overwhelmed with a huge lack of energy and motivation towards everything and am also so ridiculously tired and lethargic. Since this has begun to happen I now stay on each lower dose for a good 6-8 weeks until I feel completely stable on it. I also accept that as the reductions go on I may need to allow even longer to stabilize but I'm OK with that I am just so determined to get through this but equally at the same time I am so scared!

 

My only concern/query that I am after some help with is in regard to making reductions - I am not great at Math's as it and struggle to get my head around numbers sometimes!

 So to clarify, I was taking 50mg a day but obviously the tablet itself does not weigh 50mg (I think I discovered that a 50mg tablet weighs 0.16g?! - according to my mg scales) so I started my first reduction at 0.15g and have just been dropping down by 0.1g each time I make a reduction. I don't think this equates to 10% though? Also it makes me wonder how much of the drug I am actually getting each time I make a reduction... I am guessing the 50mg is evenly distributed in the tablet? I am just finding this a bit difficult to get my head around? I appreciate that this might not make any sense but if anyone can shed a bit of light on it for me or just clarify if I am actually tapering correctly that would be so helpful.

 

Thank you so much for reading and have a lovely Sunday,

 

Rachael 

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

Link to post
  • HollyHope changed the title to Half way through Sertraline taper...

Hello and welcome!

 

The active ingredient does have a mass of 50 mg. The tablet itself does not!

It has other components to make it a stable pill. You should reduce about 2,5 % per week which is close to 10% each month (not exactly but I'll not bore you with math,😉)

 

Your first dose was 50 mg. Your first taper should be 50*0.975= 48.75 (first week)

You second taper should be 48.75*0.975= 47.53 mg( second week).

 

You should not weigh 1 pill, that is not accurate. You can take 10 pills and divide the mass by 10. Then you have a good average mass of each pill.

 

If your pill weighs let's say 85 mg then your first taper should be 0.975*85= 82.9 mg. You take 82.9 mg of your pill or powder and you will have 48.75 mg of your active ingredient(first taper week).

 

You can also dissolve one 50 mg pill in 50 ml and take out 1.25 ml using a syringe. You will then have 50-1.25= 48.75 ml liquid left and drink that. 

 

My wife and I taper like this! 

 

If you taper by 0.1 mg each time your relative tapering becomes more and more each week/month. You should always take your last dose to calculate the next, NOT your starting dose.

 

Let me know if you have questions, I'm a chemist so I kind of trust my calculations 😙....ahummm

If I made a mistake please someone let me know.

How much do you take right now?

 

 

I can send you a spreadsheet with calculated dosage for you if you want

 

Good luck!!!!

 

Jozeff

- 2016 - Okt 2017 citalopram some months 15 mg some months 20 mg

- Nov 2017- Apr 2018 citalopram 25 mg

- April 2018 -  June 2018 citalopram 3 month TAPER too fast  from 25mg to 16.5 mg (0.1 mg per day decrease, felt horrible and crashed)

- June 2018 - Aug13th 2018 citalopram trying to stabilize at 16.5 mg for 5 weeks, felt absolutely awful.

- August 14th 2018 - April 29th 2019  citalopram 18 mg (1.5 mg updose). Try to stabilize.-

START citalopram TAPER 29 apr 2019 @ 18 mg,    29th Jun 16.4 mg / 19th aug 15.4 mg / 25th Aug 15.2 mg / 30th sep 14.0 mg / 4th dec 13.1 mg

2020  03Jan 12.75 mg / 28Jan 12.29 mg / 18Feb 11.83 mg, 25Feb 11.68 mg hold../7 May 11.33 mg hold, 4Aug 10.98 mg, 5Dec20 10.0 mg 4 month hold

2021 30mar21 9.8,  6apr2021 9.5 mg,  13apr2021 9.4 mg

 

 

Link to post

The sertraline is equally distributed in your pills. I worked in pharmaceutical industry and all American and Western European companies make absolutely sure their pills are accurate in weight, active ingredient and many many more requirements.

- 2016 - Okt 2017 citalopram some months 15 mg some months 20 mg

- Nov 2017- Apr 2018 citalopram 25 mg

- April 2018 -  June 2018 citalopram 3 month TAPER too fast  from 25mg to 16.5 mg (0.1 mg per day decrease, felt horrible and crashed)

- June 2018 - Aug13th 2018 citalopram trying to stabilize at 16.5 mg for 5 weeks, felt absolutely awful.

- August 14th 2018 - April 29th 2019  citalopram 18 mg (1.5 mg updose). Try to stabilize.-

START citalopram TAPER 29 apr 2019 @ 18 mg,    29th Jun 16.4 mg / 19th aug 15.4 mg / 25th Aug 15.2 mg / 30th sep 14.0 mg / 4th dec 13.1 mg

2020  03Jan 12.75 mg / 28Jan 12.29 mg / 18Feb 11.83 mg, 25Feb 11.68 mg hold../7 May 11.33 mg hold, 4Aug 10.98 mg, 5Dec20 10.0 mg 4 month hold

2021 30mar21 9.8,  6apr2021 9.5 mg,  13apr2021 9.4 mg

 

 

Link to post

Jozeff, thank you so much for your reply you have explained things really well! I can see that weighing by weighing say 10 pills and dividing the mass by 10 is a much more efficient way to do things so onwards and upwards! 

If you do have a preadsheet to hand that would be really helpful?!

its great to speak to someone who works in pharmaceuticals who has such an understanding so thanks so much!

 

rachael 

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I've moved the new intro topic you created and merged it with your original Intro topic.  Each member has only 1 Intro topic where they can ask questions about their own situation and journal their progress.  Please do not create another intro topic.  Thank you.

 

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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So gollyhope, how much sertraline do you take at the moment. I'll make a calculation for you if you give me the info.

 

Good day!!

- 2016 - Okt 2017 citalopram some months 15 mg some months 20 mg

- Nov 2017- Apr 2018 citalopram 25 mg

- April 2018 -  June 2018 citalopram 3 month TAPER too fast  from 25mg to 16.5 mg (0.1 mg per day decrease, felt horrible and crashed)

- June 2018 - Aug13th 2018 citalopram trying to stabilize at 16.5 mg for 5 weeks, felt absolutely awful.

- August 14th 2018 - April 29th 2019  citalopram 18 mg (1.5 mg updose). Try to stabilize.-

START citalopram TAPER 29 apr 2019 @ 18 mg,    29th Jun 16.4 mg / 19th aug 15.4 mg / 25th Aug 15.2 mg / 30th sep 14.0 mg / 4th dec 13.1 mg

2020  03Jan 12.75 mg / 28Jan 12.29 mg / 18Feb 11.83 mg, 25Feb 11.68 mg hold../7 May 11.33 mg hold, 4Aug 10.98 mg, 5Dec20 10.0 mg 4 month hold

2021 30mar21 9.8,  6apr2021 9.5 mg,  13apr2021 9.4 mg

 

 

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Thank you ChessieCat and apologies knew I’d end up writing my post in the wrong section 🙈.

 

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

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Jozefff, my current dose is 0.8g of sertraline. I think as the taper goes on it will be easier to achieve an accurate dose  if I make a liquid form, did you say to mix each tablet with 50ml of water to achieve this?

 

thanks so much.

 

2004 - Prescribed low dosage of Citalopram for depression/low mood. Took for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey.

2008- Relapsed and was prescribed citalopram again (50mg) Took daily for 3 years.

2011- Switched to Sertraline after citalopram did not seem to be working for me anymore. Have been taking 50mg since.

Feb -2014 - Tried to taper off sertraline but reduced too quickly and relapsed after I failed to cope with a relationship breakdown. Got down to 25mg three times a week but by July 2014 after a relapse was back on 50mg a day.

August 2015 - Began second attempt at tapering. Took 50mg 4 days in a row followed by dose of 25mg every fifth day.

September 2015 - 50mg three days in a row followed by 25mg every fourth day.

October and November 2015 - 50mg two days in a row followed by 25mg every third day.

December 2015 - I am currently now taking 25mg a day which I plan to stay on for the next 1-2 months. 

June 2016 - Big relapse and went up to 75mg dsily

August 2017 - Present - Altered dose to 50mg daily 

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