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Jon Tapering off of Zoloft


Jon

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Hey there, 

 

So I have been on antidepressants for close to six years. I was first placed on remeron in high school to help stop me from ruminating. I took the remeron (15-45mg) for two years and then stopped. I was then placed on zoloft (50mg) my freshman year of college and have taken that for over three and a half years. 

 

While on the zoloft I noticed: bulging pupils, lack of sex drive, inadequate erection, inability to ejaculate, INSOMNIA, and it made me more socially isolated. 

 

Recently over winter break I decided to taper myself off of the medication according to my doctors schedule. I started the first week by taking 50mg on day 1 and then breaking the pill in half and taking 25mg day 2. The next week I took only half tabs (25mg) and then on week three I went cold turkey. 

 

I felt great for close to 2.5 months and then one day it hit me. I felt like I was in a constant state of panic, I had difficulty focusing and remembering things, internal shaking, weight loss, and loss of appetite. 

 

I currently am taking half of a 50mg tablet of Z (25mg) and am experiencing relief from most of my symptoms (I do feel somewhat anxious and feel that I made need to jump back up to 50mg). 

 

I've read that others have had this same experience with the internal shaking and nasty withdrawal effects. Can anyone please help me and suggest some methods of tapering off of the drug with 50mg tablets. I have already read the liquid tapering section and may try this but I would like to hear how exactly people have done this and what increments they have decreased by. 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Jon.

 

I moved your post to start your Introductions topic. You can track your progress off Zoloft here.

 

Yes, you got severe withdrawal symptoms from going off Zoloft too fast. Plus, you were have adverse reactions to Zoloft while you were taking it. You need to treat your nervous system gently, it will take some time to recover.

 

You did the right thing to reinstate 25mg. Good to hear it's helping. It will take some months for your nervous system to settle down.

 

Please see Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)  Zoloft comes in liquid form for easier tapering.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Alostrata,

 

I do not believe that I will be able to obtain the oral concentrate of Zoloft liquid. Just wondering if you have had any members who have had success using your scale method of weighing the total pill (including the filler) and multiplying by the % you wish to take? Can you put me in touch with some members so I can get some support. Also, would you suggest weighing using a scale vs using the naltrexone method (dissolving pill in water and drawing up correct amount with syringe)? 

 

thanks,

 

Jon

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Jon and welcome to SA,

 

It's great that you have joined us here.  The members are very supportive and encouraging and there is a lot of excellent information on this site.

 

It would be helpful if you would Please put your Withdrawal History in SignatureThis will enable the staff to offer suggestions based on your individual situation.  Please include ALL drugs, dates, doses and how you decreased/increased.  When you change your doses please remember to update your signature so that it remains current and your history can be seen at a glance.

 

You say that you don't believe that you will be able to obtain the oral concentrate of Zoloft.  Why do you say this?  You haven't disclosed your country so we aren't able to offer any advice.  (If you would prefer to keep your location private, I suggest you PM me and I can then have a chat with the other mods.)

 

However if you are concerned about requesting a script from your prescribing doctor it might be helpful to read these before seeing them:

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

Here are a couple more topics which might have useful information.

 

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

Using a digital scale to measure doses

 

Here are some general links regarding withdrawal and tapering:

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

Have a read of the above and then come back to your Intro/Update topic to ask questions.  If you click Follow This Topic (top right) you will be notified when someone replies.

 

This helped me to under why slow tapering is recommended.  The drug/s change our brain, and by tapering and holding it allows the brain to adapt to not receiving as much of the drug.

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery

 

I realise that I have given you a lot of links, but there is a lot of useful information in them.  Having the knowledge helps us to make informed decisions.

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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I am in week 2 of tapering off of 25 mg of zoloft. I am making my own liquid. I started with 10% and it was too much for me. The withdrawals were too much. I switched to 5% after 2 days. So I'm going to decrease 5% every 2 weeks instead of the 10% every 4 weeks. And I may hold depending on how O feel.

1995-zoloft 100 mg. I can't remember dates, but decreased to 50 mg shortly after. Currently at 25 mg. Unable to decrease further without severe WD symptoms. Attempted several times and returned to 25 mg. 3/15/16 Day 1 of attempting 10% decrease with making my own liquid medication.3/17 changed to 5% every 2 weeks due to strong WD symptoms with the 10% drop.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Jon,

Just picking up on this:

I currently am taking half of a 50mg tablet of Z (25mg) and am experiencing relief from most of my symptoms (I do feel somewhat anxious and feel that I made need to jump back up to 50mg).

 

 

 

How long have you been at 25mg for?  As Alto says, it its best to give stabilisation a chance before changing dosage again.  It can take a few weeks.

 

It's good to hear of someone working out that they should reinstate - usually it's the path of least discomfort, but many are reluctant to try it.  Just give it time, and try to keep things calm and settled around you.  Avoid alcohol, coffee, too much exercise - they can all make symptoms worse.

 

Glad you're here for support,

Karen

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, 

 

I was dry cutting mirtazapine for the first part of the taper but have now switched to a liquid.  Dry cutting (measuring dry bits of tablet with a scale) works well for the larger dosages, and you can make up a batch of two weeks' doses at a time using empty gel caps.  This is nice for keeping the weighing consistent through a single weighing session. 

 

I have switched to doing a liquid because I am taking 13.5 mg of a 15 mg tablet and it just seems easier to draw up the 1.5 mg worth of liquid from a total of 15 than to try to remove that much of a tablet.  I make a  1 mg/ml solution with a 15 mg tablet in 15 ml of water.  The drawback is having to make up a batch every night.

 

If you decide to make a liquid, do not make a dosage change at the same time as switching to a liquid.  Since the liquid version may absorb differently than the dry pill, you could have WD symptoms rise up just from a change over to liquid, so it is actually best to do a cross-taper from dry to liquid, keeping the dose consistent.  Fussy, I know.

 

I don't think one method is recommended over the other, other than what might be more convenient.  For the dry, you'll need a milligram jeweler's scale and maybe some empty gel capsules.  For the liquid, you'll need a mixing container, a way to powder the tablet, a way to measure your liquid, and oral syringes to get the dose right.

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Jon , welcome to the site.

 

Please click FOLLOW at the top right , so you receive an email each time someone posts.

 

There are several discussions about the virtues of weighing versus making your own liquid in the Symptoms

and Self Care section here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

 

Please fill in your drug history in your signature , so readers can see it each time you post.

Instructions are here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Best wishes , Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Med hx:

 

Remeron: 15-45mg 2 years and then stopped (side effects: weight gain, sedation during the day, occasional confusion)

 

1 month later started taking: Zoloft 50mg for 3.5 years (side effects: decreased libido, dilated pupils at night, occasional poor sleep)

 

stopped taking zoloft (on nothing)....two and a half months (felt amazing) and then ---> internal shaking, panic, anxiety, distress 

 

Started taking half of 50mg tablet (25mg) of zoloft with relief of withdrawal symptoms. I have worked my way back up to a 50mg tablet and now have difficulty with sleeping. 

 

My doctor suggests that I switch from 50mg Zoloft to 20mg Celexa to see if my sleep improves. I feel the sleep side effects from the zoloft may be an early adjustment phase to being back on the medication. 

 

Should I make the switch to Celexa and plan on just tapering off of Celexa eventually? Or, would I have to taper off of Celexa and Zoloft? 

 

Does anyone have experience with this? 

Edited by KarenB
moved post from tapering forum
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Jon , please summarize your drug history (dates / dosages) so it appears under each post you make.

 

Instructions are here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

If you do the switch and complete the transfer within 2 weeks , you'll just be on celexa. If you stay on both meds. longer than 2 weeks , you'll be stuck needing to taper both.

 

How many days since you bumped up the zoloft to 50mg?

If it's started to interfere with your sleep , then the dose is too high. My suggestion would be to work your dose of zoloft back down asap (that's safe).

 

bw, Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Hey Jon, welcome to SA!

 

You ask:

 

 

Should I make the switch to Celexa and plan on just tapering off of Celexa eventually? Or, would I have to taper off of Celexa and Zoloft? 

 

You would then have to taper off of both.  Stick with the devil you know.  In my opinion, switching to another drug will just confuse your system and withdrawal even further.  And why Celexa?  It is comparable to Zoloft in causing problems in withdrawal.  I reckon your doctor doesn't understand withdrawal, based on that advice.

 

You have not filled out a signature yet - are you using a phone or tablet?

Complete your Signature from Phone or Tablet

 

also - How To Use Surviving Antidepressants from a Phone

 

you would get better benefit from using SA on a full computer - but I understand not everybody uses the web that way anymore!

 

So - did you bump your zoloft up to 50 mg?  Or are you still on 25?

 

Please - that signature is important.  We want to give you the best tools, so you can make the best decisions.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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