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RachelSusan

RachelSusan: Zoloft - on, off and reinstated

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Frogie

Hi RS:

 

Just wanted to pop by and say hi.

 

I read that you are doing really well. That's great!

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

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RachelSusan

Frogie,

it’s great to here from you. Today I am doing ok. I understand that you are on new medicine for a medical condition.  I’m sure it will take some time but hopefully you will get your energy back.  My thoughts are with you.

xoxo

RS

 

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Frogie
2 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

Frogie,

it’s great to here from you. Today I am doing ok. I understand that you are on new medicine for a medical condition.  I’m sure it will take some time but hopefully you will get your energy back.  My thoughts are with you.

xoxo

RS

 

Thanks RS:

 

It's for my thyroid. I've been fighting my dr since May of last year. We have been monitoring my thyroid and it finally went up to 7.3. No more fighting with the dr. If it would have stayed on the high side of normal it would have been ok. But I hope it does give me my energy back because I have zilch.

 

I'm glad you are doing well.

 

Thanks for your thoughts. Means a lot.

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

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RachelSusan

I'm thinking about doing another taper. The last taper was December 9. I had mild to moderate symptoms the first week.  The symptoms went away but then around the 3rd week some of the symptoms returned (mild to moderate) and lasted for another seven days.  They then cleared up. I have been doing really good for the last three and a half weeks.  I  however still have what I call "withdrawal normal" symptoms.  I have mild burning skin, which has been with me almost a year and never goes away, as well as mild hot sweats.  The sweats have also been with me about a year.  They tend to come 3 to 4 times a day and last from 10 to 30 seconds. Since I was thinking of tapering Feb 3 perhaps I should be prudent and add another week and start the taper on Feb 10? I want to go from 4.75 mg of Zoloft to 4.5 mg of Zoloft which is 5.3%. I really hate tapering. I hate the fear before I start and I hate the symptoms, no matter how mild.

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JamesF

Hi Rachel, I vote take the most cautious option of Feb 10 🦍. 

 

When I got to these doses there was a phenomena where I got hit hard a long delay after a reduction. Equally, I got hit hard 2 months after coming off when I thought recovery was in sight. It's difficult to explain this delay / protracted withdrawal in terms of biology, mostly because it's still unclear exactly how SSRIs function (the serotonin hypothesis was largely disproven a long time ago and a lot of other metabolic/functional/structural changes happen downstream). But my working model of how it seems to function is as though some compensatory mechanism/metabolism will take over in the absence of the SSRI if sufficient rewiring has not happened. Then this gets depleted after an interval. An analogy might be the way "running on adrenaline" can give a reserve of energy or numbs you to pain. But instead, longer term and do with the depletion of neurochemical precursors or metabolic intermediaries in their biosynthesis. 

 

Anyway I didn't mean to get too nerdy on you. My point would be wariness about these delayed effects now you're closing in on the end of your taper... you're very close to the finish line. Take care

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RachelSusan
7 hours ago, JamesF said:

Anyway I didn't mean to get too nerdy on you. My point would be wariness about these delayed effects now you're closing in on the end of your taper... you're very close to the finish line.

@JamesF

Hi Jay,

Thank you for your input.  You can never be too nerdy, it appears you do your research and I appreciate the information. I have indeed noticed more of a delay in the symptoms now that I am involved with the lower doses and I was also wondering why.

 

It looked like you were stabilizing on 15mg of Setraline, expect for last Sunday.  I hope there has been improvement since then.  Please keep posting because I do follow your thread. 

 

I dread my next taper and I am keeping my fingers crossed for the best.  I will indeed delay to the 10th of February and perhaps even another week after that if I see any signs that I need to do so.

 

Thank you again for stopping by my page, it really means a lot to me.

 

Warm wishes,

Rachel

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Frogie

Hi RS:

 

I just read your signature and saw you had surgery?

 

You don't have to say for what if you don't want to, but I'm just making sure you are ok?

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

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Rosetta

Hi RS,

 

Thank you for the nice compliment in DaveB's thread.  I enjoy your posts a lot, too.  You are so kind and compassionate.  Good luck with your next taper.  I understand how scary that must be.  I often wish I had control over when and how much my brain changes, but if I did I would feel the same fear you do, I'm sure.  What a mess this all is!! It's still so shocking to me the reality of WD.  I hope you can see that you almost always have less intense symptoms than you fear and that it's not so scary after all -- most of the time.

 

Peace,

Rosetta

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RachelSusan

Hi Frogie,

 

Wow, I am impressed that you noticed. You are really sharp.  Yes I had hip replacement surgery.  I am at home recovering and in pain because I won't take the serious painkillers.   I actually went off the painkillers while still in the hospital, first day post surgery.  Some of my friends have started calling me "warrior woman" because of this. I'm proud of my temporary nickname. I earned it the hard way! :D Thanks again Forgie for checking in. 

 

xo

RS

 

 

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wantrelief

Oh wow, RS...you are a warrior woman, indeed!  I hope your recovery is going smoothly, or as smoothly as possible.

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RachelSusan

@Rosetta

Hi Rosetta,

Thanks for stopping by.   I have been following your posts for a while.  You are also kind and compassionate, but always with a little bit of hope too.  I always get something helpful out of your posts. It's amazing what we can learn on this site, isn't it?

 

It seems that we are both going through the painful situation of having been on SSRIs. However if I am correct you went through a Cold Turkey and a fast taper.  I was lucky enough to reinstate in time after a cold turkey. I can't believe that we are in this situation.  It seems like some sort of torture one would watch on an old Science Fiction TV show, nothing one would think exists in real life.  In fact when I was going through withdrawal after the cold turkey I didn't know what was happening to me. I had never heard of anything like this. Oh well, we are here now and we will move through it.

 

Thanks again for stopping by.

RS

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RachelSusan

@wantrelief

Wantrelief,

Thanks. I'm not brave, I'm just more afraid of withdrawal symptoms than of surgery pain. I can't think of anything else that is worse than withdrawal, at least not for me. Thanks for stopping by and for your encouragement.  So far things are going smoothly.

RS

 

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Rosetta
3 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

I can't believe that we are in this situation.  It seems like some sort of torture one would watch on an old Science Fiction TV show, nothing one would think exists in real life.  In fact when I was going through withdrawal after the cold turkey I didn't know what was happening to me.

 

Exactly.  I don't know if it's a part of WD that I keep having a sensation of "waking up" to a reality I would never have believed could exist or if this is truly so bizarre.  It must be both because the feeling is foreign to me and yet this matter of the medical establishment refusing to acknowledge the situation is beyond absurd.  Honestly, I have a recurring feeling that I've awakened from a bad dream after seeing a sci-fi movie the day before.  It's frustrating that the dream keeps continuing on and off, but I am awake.  It's all real.  I have to breath and say, "It's real, but it's ok. You are safe."

 

Also, I have to remind myself that it's only part of my reality that I'm in WD.  This is because it may last for another 6 months or longer.  I need to stop letting it define me, but I have a lot of fear that if I over-do anything I'll get worse.  I was in a tizzy over a tooth filling, and you had your hip replaced!!!  It's very inspiring that you felt strong enough that you could go through that.  We are stronger than we know until we are tested.

 

I agree with your decision on the pain meds.  Take as few as possible.  They are quite dangerous.

 

I'm really sorry you got into this mess, RS, but I do hope that it will somehow make you a happier person or have some positive outcome that will make all the struggle worth it.

 

Peace,

Rosetta

 

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RachelSusan

I tapered last Saturday down to 4.5 mg of Zoloft (Setraline). It was a 5.3% cut for me.  Thus far I’ve had very mild symptoms, however I won’t really know if I am out of danger until about three weeks from now as I sometimes get a delayed reaction.

 

After reading other comments on this website I believe I will eventually have to taper smaller percentages as I get into the lower dosages. Adding to my thought process is the fact that in the past I tended to be highly symptomatic when tapering.   

 

If I do decide to go into smaller percentage cuts I’ll need to dilute the liquid Setraline I’m using with more water than my current formula so that I can measure smaller amounts with the same syringe.  Andy if you are reading this I was wondering if at some point we could review my current formula and what I should do in the future to make an even more dilute mixture. I think an extra set of eyes on any new water to medication ratio might be a prudent move.  The old saying Measure twice, cut once” definitely applies, but when it comes to WD I add even more onto the proverb and I say measure 10 times, have 5 people look over your shoulder, and hopefully avoid a trip into h*ll because of a mistaken dosage.

 

If anyone else has any suggestions on tapering once getting in to the smaller doses I would appreciate hearing from you.

 

RS

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apace41
3 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

Andy if you are reading this I was wondering if at some point we could review my current formula and what I should do in the future to make an even more dilute mixture. I think an extra set of eyes on any new water to medication ratio might be a prudent move.  The old saying Measure twice, cut once” definitely applies, but when it comes to WD I add even more onto the proverb and I say measure 10 times, have 5 people look over your shoulder, and hopefully avoid a trip into h*ll because of a mistaken dosage.

 

Happy to do what I can, RS.  In fact, it is timely for me as I intend to start diluting the mixture myself so that I can move to more of a "microtapering" approach where I do like 1-2% a week with a week off at the end.  Probably only be about 5% per month drops but if I can handle that I'd be pleased.

 

Please explain your process for dilution and we can discuss.  The principal itself is, of course, simple.  If you mix equal parts water with Sertraline you wind up with a mixture that is 1/2 as strong as you had.  Thus, if you measure the same amount that you did before the dilution, the amount being reduced is half as great.  The devil, alas, is always in the details.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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Frogie
On February 2, 2018 at 12:23 PM, RachelSusan said:

Hi Frogie,

 

Wow, I am impressed that you noticed. You are really sharp.  Yes I had hip replacement surgery.  I am at home recovering and in pain because I won't take the serious painkillers.   I actually went off the painkillers while still in the hospital, first day post surgery.  Some of my friends have started calling me "warrior woman" because of this. I'm proud of my temporary nickname. I earned it the hard way! :D Thanks again Forgie for checking in. 

 

xo

RS

 

 

Hi RS:

 

The site never notified me that you responded. So I'm sorry I just saw this.

 

How are you feeling by now? I hope well (or better). You are "warrior women" not taking pain pills. I've seen people go through hip replacements, not fun at all.

 

I have the virus that is going around the world. Not fun. Sneezing, blowing my nose (it hurts so bad), body aches, freezing and can't catch my breath. But there isn't anything they can do for it. But no fever. Just has to run it's course, lucky me.

 

I'm glad I saw your response.

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

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Rosetta

Hope your recent decrease goes well for you.  I'm glad you are in control of your WD.  So important.  Hope your hip is ok, too.  Take care, Rosetta

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RachelSusan

Thank you Andy for looking over my “formula.”

 

I am using a liquid Setraline, and 1 mL equals 20 mg.  I currently mix together 1 mL of medication and 1 mL of water so that the new mixture equals 1 mL for 10 mg of Setraline. So far, does my math agree with yours?

 

Now here is the more diluted formula I will be using if I need to get into smaller tapers.  1 mL of Setraline to 3 mL of water should equal 5 mg per 1 mL of this new mixture. This is the area I am questioning.   Does this formula make sense?

 

The biggest problem I see is remembering to double what I take out of the syringe.  With my current formula I draw out .45 mL  and it equals 4.5 mg.  Easy to remember. Using the new formula I would have to draw out .9 mL to equal 4.5 mg. I’ll have to think of a way to keep this straight each time I make a new cut. It will however allow me to get into smaller dosages.  With my previous formula it is just to hard to get between the lines on the syringe.

 

Thanks again Andy for taking the time for review this.

 

RS

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RachelSusan

Hi Forgie,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your virus. I've also been following your latest taper. I hope all things improve for you quickly.

 

Forgie, I am so proud of you. In one year you have gone from 9mg of Lexapro to 2.25mg. You've also tapered other medications prior to the Lexapro. You've worked so hard, someone should be throwing you a parade.

 

One good thing about my hip replacement is I haven't been out of the house for weeks.  It's good because it cuts down my exposure to any illnesses.  I remain flu and virus free.

 

Take care my friend.

RS

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RachelSusan

Hi Rosetta,

 

You always make time for others no matter how poorly you feel. Thanks for making time for me.

 

I read on your thread about the fund raising pressure your daughter is going through at her school. It is absolutely shameful. For the school, as well as this outside company, to use such blatant and manipulate tactics on young children as a way into pressuring the parents, as well as the children, into making sure the money is forthcoming is beyond terrible. I am very impressed with how you handled the whole situation, including offering your daughter a prize that you give to her. I can't image going through WD while having this other garbage* to deal with. *I would like to use a stronger word here but I guess I would have to go to the swearing thread for this.

 

Speaking of sweating thread, it's the best ever. If anyone here hasn't found it yet, I suggest you look for it.  It's no joke. I love the thread.

 

Take care of yourself Rosetta.

 

RS

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apace41
25 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

Now here is the more diluted formula I will be using if I need to get into smaller tapers.  1 mL of Setraline to 3 mL of water should equal 5 mg per 1 mL of this new mixture. This is the area I am questioning.   Does this formula make sense?

 

Yes RS.  It does.  In essence, you are creating a ratio of 1/4 (Setraline to water) which would mean the you have diluted the strength of the Setraline by a factor of 4.  Hence, the 20mg initial strength will have been cut by that same factor of 4 and mean that 1ml equals 5mg.

 

I understand that the challenge is remembering how much you need to draw out of the syringe but that is because of what you are currently "accustomed to" doing.  Once you start using it you will get more comfortable.

 

At least I hope since I'm going to start doing that soon!

 

Best,

 

Andy

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RachelSusan

I like the swearing/cursing thread so much I decided to find it and post it here. Sometimes it gets so bad one just needs to make use of it.  I love the posts on this thread.

 

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RachelSusan

Andy,

Thank you for your review.  I see over and over on this site people saying how confusing this type of measurement is and how they aren't good at math.  I am one of those people as well.  However when knowing that a mistake on my part can throw me into a world of hurt I have been forced to buckle down and figure it out.  It doesn't mean that I trust myself 100%.  That's where you come in. Thank you.

 

RS

 

P.S.  Here's hoping that a correct measurement will keep me from having to use the cursing thread myself. See the above post. I do love that thread though. I don't normally swear but since this withdrawal experience has started for me I can let out a blue stream in the privacy of my own home.  Having the cursing thread to go to let's me know I am not alone in this and allows me to feel others are shouting from the rooftops the same words I am using in my home.  Sometimes it just helps!

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Frogie
1 hour ago, RachelSusan said:

Hi Forgie,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your virus. I've also been following your latest taper. I hope all things improve for you quickly.

 

Forgie, I am so proud of you. In one year you have gone from 9mg of Lexapro to 2.25mg. You've also tapered other medications prior to the Lexapro. You've worked so hard, someone should be throwing you a parade.

 

One good thing about my hip replacement is I haven't been out of the house for weeks.  It's good because it cuts down my exposure to any illnesses.  I remain flu and virus free.

 

Take care my friend.

RS

Hi RS:

 

I think I'm starting to feel a little better. I'm just so weak and tired I don't have the effort to do anything.

 

Thanks for the "pat on the back" with the meds. The psychiatrist took me off all those meds before Lexapro really fast. He was an idiot. I have made mistakes along the way, but hope it doesn't hurt me in the end.

 

I don't go out either. But I did go to the dr office to have him look at a couple moles. And my fiancé works and comes home. He said everyone at his work is sick, so I got it from the dr office or him. They say it can last 2-3 weeks. It's been a week Saturday I really started feeling bad.

 

Sounds like you are doing well. Getting ready to taper somemore? I saw you were talking to Andy about diluting your doses. Eventually I will have to do that. Escitalalopram is 1:1 ratio, but I will be confused. And I was a bookkeeper lol...

 

Nice to hear from you.

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

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JS11

Hi RS,

 

I'm sorry It has been such a long time since I checked in on you.  How is day 7 of your taper treating you?  If I recall, you usually have a lag time before symptoms hit.  I wonder if your surgery will effect this, maybe in a positive way.  When I was speaking with Scorpio and from my own experience, I know that she had a brief respite from symptoms when she got slammed with a virus.  Maybe your body fighting to heal will take up all the effort and there won't be any room left over for withdrawal.  Oh wouldn't it be lovely.

 

Are you having lots of visits from P.T. and home health nurses to assist with your recover?  It is such a wonderful service.  I know they came for my dad and it was truly a Godsend not having to worry about transport.  Also, rather hard to negotiate getting in and out of cars when you have just had your hip replaced.  Hope it is going well.  

 

I understand the fear of pain meds.  Haven't had surgery in withdrawal from antidepressants but in recovery.  A difficult balance.  How is your pain level?  I know you are a touch cookie.  I also like the phrase "warrior woman."  It seems particularly apropos.  I think you should have someone design a cape for you.  W.W.   or W2.  

 

Wishing you healing and strength my friend, which you already have in great supply.

take care,

JS11

 

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RachelSusan

Hi J.S.

 

Thank you for stopping by.  I'm am moving along with my hip recovery. Physical Therapy is coming to the house. At first it was painful to walk with the walker, then after a week of that I started to see improvement.  They got me doing exercises sitting in a chair.  Now I have graduated to a cane. Still doing the exercises.  I got the staples taken out Tuesday. By thew way, last Friday made three weeks since the surgery.  It will be fine, it just takes time. As for the not taking the pain medication, yes it was very painful the first week. I just didn't want to risk it messing with my body.   It's taken me so long to find stabilization I don't want to take any chances.

 

As for the taper, well this one is pretty good.  On day five I got a few symptoms but now it's day nine and they have already gone away.  You are correct though, I am the queen of delayed symptoms so I'll hold for a month.  I'm also going to start doing smaller tapers. Smaller to me means somewhere around two to three percent. I'll see how that goes. For me, if I do small enough tapers and hold long enough I think I can get this taper thing to run more in the background of my life rather than me being physically sick for days and even weeks at a time.  Last spring I had a good run because percentage wise the cuts were smaller.  I think my issue back then was I didn't hold long enough in between and even though the tapers in spring were great by August it all caught up with me.

 

I'm going to go over to your thread to ask about you so that you have record on your page.

 

Thanks again for stopping by, it's great to hear from you.

 

xo

RS

 

 

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RachelSusan

Chessie Cat wrote this on someone else's thread but I liked it so much I copied it. Really great advice.

By the way does anyone know how to move a quote from another person's thread to my thread?  I know how to do it when I'm staying within the thread, but don't know how when I go outside of the original thread.  What I did below was a work around and I would rather use the easy way.

@ChessieCat

13 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Stop looking to the future for your happiness.  It's an "if only" way of looking at things.  We don't know what the future holds.  Look to what you do currently have in the present.  It can make a huge difference to how you get through this.


 

 

 

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Rosetta

I'm really glad you have made it through surgery without much distortion to your taper, Rachel! 

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Frogie

Hi RS:

 

Hope the hip is doing well.

 

I stopped my 3rd thyroid med, trying to get it out of my system. But I'm ok other than that.

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

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RachelSusan

I will be doing a cut next week.  I'm going from 4.5 mg to 4.375 mg.  A tiny taper.  In anticipation of that I am creating a new ratio of 1/4 Setraline to water. That new ratio spelled out is: 1 mL of Steraline to 3 mL of water.   I started the new ratio today but did not start the cut. I want to practice for a week, make sure I got it right before I do a cut on top of the change. I'm just so concerned about messing it up and having WD symptoms come back. Prior to this I was doing 1 mL of Setraline to 1 mL of water. I was drawing out 4.5 mL.  Now that I am on my new ratio my calculations tell me that I should draw 9 mL if I wish to be taking the equivalent of 4.5 mL with the old ratio. 

Andy, still correct? I know I asked and already received and answer a few weeks ago,  I am just doing one last check.

I'm so cautions these days.

Thanks,

Rachel

 

 

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apace41
3 hours ago, RachelSusan said:

Prior to this I was doing 1 mL of Setraline to 1 mL of water. I was drawing out 4.5 mL.  Now that I am on my new ratio my calculations tell me that I should draw 9 mL if I wish to be taking the equivalent of 4.5 mL with the old ratio. 

 

Based on what you have said before, RS, you are currently doing a 1:2 ratio, i.e., sertraline is 1 to a total of 2 (sertraline plus water).  You are going to go to 1:4 ratio (sertraline plus 3 waters).  As a result your new solution is two times as diluted as the current solution which means that if you double your dose you come to the same amount of medicine.  So, yes.  Your analysis is correct.

 

I hope it goes smoothly.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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RachelSusan

 

Andy,

 

Thank you for breaking it down for me. I appreciate the effort you went through rather than just saying yes or no, without providing detail. Actually you broke it down for me before but hearing it again helps me to feel even more secure. I got myself into a mess by starting this medication two years ago and I didn't ask enough questions then. Now I ask the same medical questions over and over in slightly different ways. I ask until I am sure I understand.  I've probably become a real pain in the backside to most of my medical providers. But I will advocate for myself from now on. Thanks for the understanding and the help.

 

Oh yes, I was talking to one of my doctors about "occupancy rate" and was able to make a point about something we were discussing.   Everything I know about withdrawal and SSRIs I have learned on this site, or because of the other articles this site has directed me to. Yes to educating ourselves.

 

RS

 

 

 

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RachelSusan

As I get ready to start another taper in a few days I wanted to express how I am feeling now versus where I was in 2016. I'm one of those people that went cold turkey and then reinstated. After the reinstatement I started my taper way too soon.   My symptoms were really bad. I hurt physically for weeks at a time. I remember there was a period when I only slept for about two hours a night.  Right at this moment I am living close to a normal life.  I don’t know what the next taper will bring, but today is good and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is my hope that anyone reading this that is suffering gets some encouragement from my experience. Good luck to everybody here.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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DaveB
12 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

As I get ready to start another taper in a few days I wanted to express how I am feeling now versus where I was in 2016. I'm one of those people that went cold turkey and then reinstated. After the reinstatement I started my taper way too soon.   My symptoms were really bad. I hurt physically for weeks at a time. I remember there was a period when I only slept for about two hours a night.  Right at this moment I am living close to a normal life.  I don’t know what the next taper will bring, but today is good and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is my hope that anyone reading this that is suffering gets some encouragement from my experience. Good luck to everybody here.

 

 

This is great to read and give people hope. Thank you for sharing this!

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wantrelief

Good luck with your next taper, RS.  I am so glad you are feeling well and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! 

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Frogie
1 hour ago, RachelSusan said:

As I get ready to start another taper in a few days I wanted to express how I am feeling now versus where I was in 2016. I'm one of those people that went cold turkey and then reinstated. After the reinstatement I started my taper way too soon.   My symptoms were really bad. I hurt physically for weeks at a time. I remember there was a period when I only slept for about two hours a night.  Right at this moment I am living close to a normal life.  I don’t know what the next taper will bring, but today is good and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is my hope that anyone reading this that is suffering gets some encouragement from my experience. Good luck to everybody here.

 

Awesome Rachel!

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