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RachelSusan

RachelSusan: Zoloft - on, off and reinstated

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Skeeter

RS,

You make me giggle. I try to never hold past mistakes against anyone. Until one goes through how badly these drugs can bite you in the bum, you just do not have the capacity to understand the horror, pain, amazing amount of time it can take to "undo" a mistake, and how truly scary it all can be. We do expect people to make mistakes. Some people need to make multiple mistakes, others really get it with that one that bites them bad. That fear of not knowing when the pain and other symptoms will end is so scary. That is what I did not want you to feel. It was hard to hear you go through it.

 

Now I am not all knowing. You do not HAVE to listen to me. You do not have to follow exactly what I say, you can switch things when/how you like. I just liked teasing you about going all out on you like your sister does...lol. As long as you follow our general guidelines, which is 10% or less every 4 weeks (though some people need longer than 4 weeks), you CAN do it yourself. Please know, however if you want advice so you have a second set of eyes/ears out for you, I do not mind one tiny bit. It is what I am here for! I am human, and do make mistakes, too, but I am very careful to listen so that no big errors are made.

 

Keep it up!!!

Skeeter

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RachelSusan

Last taper was March 1 for 9%.  Overall a good taper.  Had a little discomfort for a total of 2 hours.  1 hour each day in the late afternoon, over the course of two days. Hot, sweaty and a little shaky.  But overall, no complaints.  Next time I'll do a little less, perhaps a 5 to 6% taper.

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Tattycorum

That's great! Thanks for keeping us posted. 

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Skeeter

RS,

So proud of you!!!  You sound stable!  I LOVE that.  I wanted nothing more for you than for yo to stop feeling o ill al of the time, and it happened...YAY!  I am so proud that you are living you life again (assumedly).  Keep going!  Slow and easy does it!

 

(((HUGS)))

Skeeter

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Madeleine

Thanks for sharing. Glad to hear your taper is going well

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RachelSusan

Thanks for the good wishes Madeline. Hearing from you means a lot to me.  I just looked at your thread and it appears that you have encountered a lot of the same symptoms that I have had.  It' so difficult. I'm slowly getting off though.  I'll keep an eye on your thread from now on as well.

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Madeleine

Yes, we are both on zoloft, and we both went off, then reinstated, but I at a much higher level   :wacko: 200 mg,  and as you read on my thread, I haven't even started tapering it yet because I'm tapering the zyprexa first. But, I will get there, i.e. starting the zoloft taper at some point later this year -- if all goes as planned.

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RachelSusan

Time to check in. Last taper on 4/10 went very well. I had a very small reaction during one day. I felt slightly jittery; like too much coffee.  I am considering doing something like Brass Monkey's slide. Today I started another taper but only 2.9%. I'll see how it goes and if it works for me I might be tapering more frequently, but even a smaller percentage amount. To be determined.  Overall my tapers the last few months have been good with very tiny reactions.

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Madeleine

Good to hear you update. Glad taper is going well. :-)

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RachelSusan

Thank you Madeline. I had a rough go of it last summer, however using the guidelines I learned on Surviving Antidepressants has made a world of difference. 

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Skeeter

I am so proud of you!!  You have firmly taken your taper in stride, and are even considering doing small tapers in different ways to see if it help!  Good one!  AM so proud!!

Skeeter

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RachelSusan

Skeeter,

Thank you so much. It means a lot to me that you approve.  I read your post this morning about J's surgery.  Wow, you have a lot on your plate. I hope for a quick recovery for him.  Yes I know, back surgery recovery is not quick, shall I say a "relatively" quick recovery.  It's hard on both of you, but it is better than not doing it. Please keep us posted as to his recovery . Hang in there my friend. By the way, I too am enjoying springtime.  All the little new shoots and buds are great. 

xoxo

RS

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Skeeter

RS,

You have really found your own legs.  You were like a baby deer not quite having taken that first step when you got here, now you are jumping an frolicking like any  deer should be in the spring flowers! 

 

I am stressed beyond belief, but I will make it, and update my thread.  Thank so much for caring!!

Skeeter.

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TryingToHoldOn

Hi.  Just checking in to see how you're tapering is going.  Hope things are good and steady.  Take care!

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RachelSusan

Hi Trying to Hold On,

Thanks for checking up on me. The tapering is going very well.  I'm doing a modified version of The Brass Monkey Slide.  I just had what he calls a hold week. I'm down to 6.75 mg of Zoloft and this Saturday I go to 6.5 mg of Zoloft. While during the taper weeks there is nothing wrong, no discomfort, I have to say I do feel better during the hold weeks.  I can't say how or why, I just do.

 

I was just reading your signature. It looks like you aren't on medication.  Is that correct?  How do you feel?

 

RS

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Madeleine

Good to hear your tapering is going well :-)

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TryingToHoldOn
15 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

Hi Trying to Hold On,

Thanks for checking up on me. The tapering is going very well.  I'm doing a modified version of The Brass Monkey Slide.  I just had what he calls a hold week. I'm down to 6.75 mg of Zoloft and this Saturday I go to 6.5 mg of Zoloft. While during the taper weeks there is nothing wrong, no discomfort, I have to say I do feel better during the hold weeks.  I can't say how or why, I just do.

 

I was just reading your signature. It looks like you aren't on medication.  Is that correct?  How do you feel?

 

RS

Good to hear!  Listen to your body and don't rush things!  Good luck to you!

 

Yes, med free the wrong way (fast tapers - Dr. recommended).  I hell, but fighting my way out.  

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RachelSusan

Yes I know the hell. I went cold turkey but was able to reinstate.  I then went on a too fast taper (dr. supervised) which was hell too.  Went back up on dosage and was able stabilize. I had months of hell but I'm so thankful I was able to pull out of it. I feel for you. I haven't forgotten how bad it was. I'm so sorry. I am grateful that I was one of those that was able to reinstate and stabilize. I owe it all to this web site. 

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TryingToHoldOn

RS,

 Thank you so much for your kind words.  I hope that things are still going well for you and am cheering you on all the way.  It's an unfortunate place to be in, but you are in the best possible position.  Be well.

 

Happy 4th!

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RachelSusan

Hi Trying to Hold On

Yes I am in a good position because I was able to reinstate.  I remember the few months of pain I was in and I'm most grateful that I didn't have to ride the entire process of WD out that that same way.  Thanks for the 4th of July good wishes, same to you.

RS

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RachelSusan

Hello,

Today is my one year anniversary of my first taper. I've gone through a lot of pain and suffering and I am so very lucky that I was able to reinstate and now do a slow taper.  However as I get into the smaller dosages, currently 5.25mg of Zoloft, I find myself getting frightened.  I'm just worried about the pain returning.  Anybody out there who is currently in the same situation I'm in, getting down there and worried?  If so I would love to hear from you.

RS

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Tattycorum

Hi there RS, I'm at about 12 mg now so I won't be down in the fives until February. I'm interested in what you learn. The way things are for me, I don't feel the impact of my monthly reductions, but I continue to have many of the same (although reduced) symptoms that I've had since my too-fast taper a year ago. Not nearly as bad since I reinstated at 25 mg last fall, but still up and down. My symptoms get worse with emotional upset or heat, but not at the time of each reduction. (My symptoms are ringing ears, vivid dreams/nightmares, morning depression, heat intolerance, rapid heartbeat when it's hot, some POTS symptoms, fatigue, some anxiety and low grade depression.)

 

Good luck!

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RachelSusan

Hi Tattycorum,

Thanks for getting back to me. I had a heck of a time from July of 2016 until November of 2016.  I reinstated in July 2016, after CT, but then the doctor pushed me on a very fast taper.  Sick all the way down to 2.3mg. I then started up-dosing a little at a time and ended up with an up-dose in November to 12.5mg and started a slower taper in January of 2017.  So far it's been pretty good.  I had the symptoms on a daily basis when I was on a too fast taper last fall. I don't seem to have the symptoms on a daily basis now but rather I had them with each taper when I did an 8% and 9 % taper  They were heat intolerance, nausea, feeling of internal tremors, ear problems, and some anxiety. I didn't get ringing in the ears but I did get pressure in the ears. It was very painful.  In the fact the pressure is the first sign that I'm going a little fast with the taper.  I'm now doing something like the brass monkey slide and it's been working out a lot better for me.  Yesterday I was reviewing the percentage of my tapers that I have been making over the last few months and although I feel OK I started to get a little concerned because it is adding up to more than 10% a month.  I'm going to slow down a little just to be safe. Hang in there Tattycorum, we can do this. Again, thanks for the response.  For me it is helpful just to know I'm not alone.

RS

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AmyK

Don't be frightened, RS. You can do this. Just take it nice and slow. Bumps on the road are unavoidable, but you will handle them. Just stay focused on the goal. <3

Hugs! 

Amy

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RachelSusan

Thank you AmyK.  I appreciate your support.  I really hope you last wave is calming down.

RS

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AmyK

Thankyou, RachelSusan. It has calmed down. It always changes, we must not forget that. The brain is looking for stability.

You can always pause the taper if you want, you know. Wait some more weeks. Go with how your body feels and respond. Or taper even smaller. I could never go higher than 5-6 % per month.

Take care!

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Madeleine

Hi Rachel:  Thought of you today and thought I'd check in to say hi. How are you doing?
M.

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RachelSusan

Madeline Hi!!!

Good to hear from you.  I'm doing OK.  I've decided to slow my taper down a little.  I wasn't having any problems, but I don't want any problems, and I know how these drug WDs can spring up when we least expect them.  How is your taper from Zoloft going?  I see at the bottom of your page a link for a spread sheet, are you keeping one for yourself?  I've been keeping one and every single day I rate my day as it refers to any possible tapering side effects. Every drop in dosage is rated and so on.  I'm super cautions. I have also come to realize that my body gives me a sign if I am tapering to fast, before I have too many problems.  I feel a pressure in my ear.  Crazy, isn't it?  But very reliable.

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TryingToHoldOn

RS,

 

Glad things are continuing to go well for you.  I think you have a wealth of knowledge from this website and the moderators.  Listen to your body and you should be fine or just have minimal WD.  Don't be afraid.  You're so close and being very pragmatic.  We'll celebrate your success when you're finished and then you can close this chapter in your life. :)

 

Trying

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RachelSusan

TryingToHoldOn,

I'm hanging in there.  Thank you so much.  I'll get there.  These drugs are so powerful and yet doctors prescribe them so freely, except when a person wants to taper.

RS.

 

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Madeleine
On 8/1/2017 at 10:42 PM, RachelSusan said:

Madeline Hi!!!

Good to hear from you.  I'm doing OK.  I've decided to slow my taper down a little.  I wasn't having any problems, but I don't want any problems, and I know how these drug WDs can spring up when we least expect them.  How is your taper from Zoloft going?  I see at the bottom of your page a link for a spread sheet, are you keeping one for yourself?  I've been keeping one and every single day I rate my day as it refers to any possible tapering side effects. Every drop in dosage is rated and so on.  I'm super cautions. I have also come to realize that my body gives me a sign if I am tapering to fast, before I have too many problems.  I feel a pressure in my ear.  Crazy, isn't it?  But very reliable.


Rachel:  Thank you for your reply.  My zoloft taper is going OK.  I've been tapering 2 months now, cutting 5 mg each week.  It's averaged out to 10 % per month.  I did not feel any bad effects, until this last time when I started feeling somewhat anxious and had rapid thoughts a couple of days after cutting down.  I am OK now, but it was a wake-up call that I likely will have to slow down the tapering soon. You are much more disciplined than I am in monitoring your symptoms as I don't keep a log. 

I put the link to the spreadsheet in my signature as I will need it to make sure that I am cutting no more than 50% of the latest dose -- and I want to make it easy to find.  I downloaded it too.

You are totally right when you wrote that doctors are so fast to prescribe it, and then when you say you want to taper off, many of them do not want people to taper over a long period of time, and refuse to prescribe enough for a slow taper. It's illogical.

Hope your taper continues well. It seems as if it will as you are being very cautious and mindful. You are lucky that you are now on a low dose, compared to me at 165 mg.  But, I find the weeks go by fairly quickly and cutting a little bit weekly rather than a larger amount once a month makes me feel like I am making progress, even if both ways I will get to the same place at the same time. 

Wishing you well!

M.

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RachelSusan

Hello all,

I have a question for any of the moderators or other members on this site.  I'm currently using liquid zoloft and mixing it with water to get to the right dosage I need for my taper.  Everything is currently going very well however I now have what could be a potential problem coming in regard to my medication.  I need to have surgery sometime in the next one or two months which will put me in the hospital for a least a few days, perhaps a little longer.  I am concerned with getting my medication.  Have any of you faced this problem before? If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate hearing them.  Thank you for your time.

RS

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apace41

Hi, RachelSusan,

 

I have not read your full thread and am reacting solely to your post on Frogie's thread regarding your hips/quads, etc.  For the past couple of years I have been suffering from increasing hip and groin pain, along with muscle pain and tightness in my upper quads that sometimes makes me walk stiff-legged, etc.  I have been increasingly limited over that period going from playing competitive soccer 3 or 4 years ago to now being happy to do 30 minutes on the bike or walking inclines on a treadmill.  In the aftermath of what I used to consider a small workout I limp around and feel a ton of pain and discomfort.

 

My orthopedist says I need to have my hips replaced and its not a matter of "if" it's a matter of "when."  I'm not prepared to buy into that until I've gotten off the meds and started to see what healing will look like for me.  My suspicion is that I have some degenerative arthritis but that the withdrawal is exacerbating it to the point where it is much more disabling. I'm not prepared at this point to go in for the surgeries, pain meds, challenges with medicine dosing, etc. but when I saw your post I had to respond because you sound very similar to me in terms of what you are feeling.

 

Is the hospital stay you reference:

 

On 8/8/2017 at 9:47 AM, RachelSusan said:

I need to have surgery sometime in the next one or two months which will put me in the hospital for a least a few days, perhaps a little longer. 

 

a hip replacement?  What else have you looked into in terms of things like prolotherapy, plasma rich platelet therapy and stem cell therapy?  For me, regardless of the withdrawal, a hip replacement will be a last resort because the longer I can hold off the better the technology gets downstream.  Adding the challenges with the meds to the equation puts me in the camp of holding off for now to see how things progress.  I deal with a lot of pain but I'm prepared to deal with that at present.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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RachelSusan

Andy,

Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it.  We are both in the same boat.  The pain is excruciating, both when I try and walk and when I sleep. Walking is difficult both in the pain factor and sometimes just in the leg not moving and my getting stuck. The lower back hurts as well. I agree with you, we are on the cusp of some exciting new medical treatments and I wish I could hold out. I have had MRIs which show I have arthritis, with bone on bone and torn to pieces Labrum.  However with all that said, I too can't help but feel that while my condition is real, it has been exacerbated by the withdrawal from Zoloft, which is why I was reaching out to Frogie. I am trying to hold on but I don't think I will be able to much longer. I have surgery scheduled for a few months from now but I don't know if anything else I do between now and then will help. 

 

I was reading your signature and it looks like you have been taking your Sertraline (Zoloft) taper nice and slow yet you are still feeling the effects of the taper. Am I reading this correctly?  I too switched to liquid Sertraline and started tapering using the liquid.  Much easier than cutting pills.  I too have been using a variation of the brass monkey slide.  Up until my very last taper, 5.25 mg to 5.0, it has been smooth sailing. In fact I just recently posted I felt it was going a little too easy and a little too fast, and that I was starting to get concerned. I felt some small side effects just two days ago which lasted for two days.  Because of this I'm not doing my next taper and will hold and see how I feel.

 

Thank you again for reaching out to me.  It means a lot.  Any contact I can have with others that are suffering with these drugs keep me from feeling isolated.

 

RS

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apace41
7 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

I have had MRIs which show I have arthritis, with bone on bone and torn to pieces Labrum. 

 

Yes.  I get that.  The challenge is that there are, as I'm sure you know since you sound like you've done your research, any number of people who have x-ray and MRI images that are worse than yours or mine that DON'T have the pain.  In other words, the correlation between imaging and pain is very, very low.  That gives me reason to hold out hope that the "x" factor in all of this for me is the meds which have altered my pain response in some way.  It is entirely possible that I am simply fooling myself and delaying the inevitable, but i'm prepared to try to manage this with massage, acupuncture and other modalities to see if I can't delay any procedure in the hopes that as I get lower on the zoloft I see some improvement.  My right leg/hip is far more of a concern than my left at this point, but the left is trying to "catch up."

 

11 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

I was reading your signature and it looks like you have been taking your Sertraline (Zoloft) taper nice and slow yet you are still feeling the effects of the taper. Am I reading this correctly?

 

You are correct in that it has been anything but smooth sailing for quite a while and, as a result, I am in a holding pattern for a bit to see if I can stabilize a little before continuing the tapering process.  I, however, have a significant confounding factor you don't have which is the benzo withdrawal I undertook from 2012-2014 on the heels of which I began the Zoloft taper.  I think the polydrug aspect is very significant and that a lot of people find issues after 3+ years off a benzo.  Thus, I have had and continue to have a very hard time discerning what is the result of which drug.  Thus, while nobody's process seems to be straight-forward, yours would likely be more straight-forward than mine.  In addition, the first two cuts I made back in 2014 and early 2015 took me from 100 mg to 62.5 mg so that was a pretty sizable cut that may have set me off on a bad course at the outset in which case I've been perhaps playing "catch-up" ever since.

 

18 minutes ago, RachelSusan said:

In fact I just recently posted I felt it was going a little too easy and a little too fast, and that I was starting to get concerned. I felt some small side effects just two days ago which lasted for two days.  Because of this I'm not doing my next taper and will hold and see how I feel.

 

As I'm sure you know, there are some people who are able to do a relatively quick and smooth taper.  You wouldn't know it when you are on this board because those of us that wind up here and are long-term posters are the ones who have not had an easy time, but the majority of people get off these drugs without huge problems.  That is why popular sentiment is that we are, for lack of a better term, nutjobs.  :P

 

Best,

 

Andy

 

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RachelSusan

Andy,

I noticed you are a moderator.  Thank you for your time and support on this web-site, especially since you are going through your own issues.  This site has been a real savior for me. It took me a while to figure out how to make best use of this site and I hate to admit it but at the beginning I was very torn between what my doctor was telling me and what the mods were telling me.  I now have a new doctor.

 

5 hours ago, apace41 said:

Yes.  I get that.  The challenge is that there are, as I'm sure you know since you sound like you've done your research, any number of people who have x-ray and MRI images that are worse than yours or mine that DON'T have the pain.  In other words, the correlation between imaging and pain is very, very low.

What you said above is so very true.  As a matter of fact I didn't have the pain in my hips until suddenly last spring.  Now the arthritis has obviously been destroying my hips for years, but no pain.  Had my hip MRI been taken let's say in fall, before the pain, it still would have showed the same damage, but I wouldn't have been in any pain. And now I can barely walk.  It's crazy.  This is also what lead me to believe that perhaps the tapering was exacerbating my problem.

 

Thank you for explaining about the polydrug aspect of  tapering.  I'm on gabapentin, I hope when I start tapering that I don't have a compounded problem.

 

I wish you smooth sailing with your tapering.

 

RS

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