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Cook54: I want to wean off Zoloft 50mg, after 20+ years


COOK54

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I was put on Zoloft years ago when I was having panic attacks and very stressed and also had some depression, not to the level that I was a danger to myself or couldn't leave my home. But I tried weaning (taking 6 months) about 5 yrs ago, I remember nausea, but about 3 months after my last dose I felt like I was going downhill again, the doctor thought I should go back on and I did. Felt like myself again.

Now I have been doing yoga for many years and started meditation. I would like to try to stop again and see if my current lifestyle will be enough. 

I have read that when you get older there are dangerous side effects being on SSRI's, I am 62 years old.

Any help would be appreciated.

I thought I would cut 1/3 off my 50mg for a month to start.

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Welcome.  

 

A moderator will come by and let you know all the details about tapering.  

 

My view may not be popular....but I believe, from my experience, that if you have been on an SSRI for more than a decade, some major planning needs to happen in order to address any underlying physical issues that caused you to get on the meds to begin with.  The most common being gut issues/undiagnosed food sensitivities.  

 

You are in good hands with this forum.  Lots of great folks here...

HISTORY: Lexapro 10mg (current and for approximately 7 years; Prozac 20mg for 5 years and Zoloft 50mg for 5 years)

Lexapro (too fast taper) 9mg 09/13; 8mg 10/13; 7mg 12/13; 6mg  02/14; 5mg  04/14; 4mg 06/14 2.5mg 08/29/14 2.25 mg 12/04/14;

 

Re-instatement - 2.5mg 12/17/14; 03/01/15 3.0 mg; 04/01/15 - 5mg;  05/01/15  6mg; 5/15/15 6.5mg 6/01/15 7.5mg

 

2nd attempt at micro taper: starting dose is 7.5mg using liquid compounded rx: 12/16/17 - 7mg;  02/05/18 - 6.75mg 04/06/18 - 6.5ml  05/31/18 re-instate back to 6.75mg 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Cook,

 

Welcome to SA.  You've found a great site with members and voluntary staff who are supportive and helpful.

 

This site recommends a 10% taper of the previous dose followed by a 4-6 week hold to allow the brain the adapt to receiving less of the drug.  Doing a 33% taper IS NOT a good idea.  The idea of tapering slowly is to minimise withdrawal symptoms.  These might help you understand:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery

 

Would you Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature.  Please include ALL drugs, dates, doses and how you decreased/increased.  Starting from when you went back on Zoloft will probably be enough. This will allow the staff to offer suggestions based on all the details.

 

Personally I this it is a good to learn coping skills, for example MCBT (Mindfulness Cognitive Based Therapy).

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator

Hi Cook-- welcome to the group, It looks like you found us just in time.  Well done on making the lifestyle changes, they will go a long way to helping with life in general and with getting off of the Zoloft.  Side effects from these drugs are bad for people no matter what age they are, but I've not seen anything that shows our "advanced age" is any greater risk factor. (Got you beat by a year.)  In fact I have found from working on this and other boards that the more mature members have a better time of it in general when it comes to tapering.  A lifetime of experience has its benefits.  You're actually in a very good position to start a taper, only on one drug, in a stable condition, positive lifestyle, they're all good factors.

 

CC gave you some really good links to follow to get information, to them I would add:

 

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

Have a read and then comeback and ask a lot of questions.  You're in a good place so let's do this right.

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.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     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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