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twocanbeasbadasone: Long time Zoloft user, brief history, taper mistake and problems


twocanbeasbadasone

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I have been struggling with panic and anxiety my entire life. I started taking Zoloft in 2010, and have been continuing on it , on and off. Though, now more on. I was able to easily taper off. And go back on without issues. However, last time I went on I also did so with Klonopin. This was due to severe panic attacks that would last days. Moved to Argentina and stayed on Zoloft and Klonopin.

 

Back in the states I dropped from 100 to 90 mg. and did the slow taper off of Klonopin. Long. Had withdrawal. Though I am thinking I also tried to lower my Zoloft with Klonopin and it was too much and too fast. Reinstated both and started the Klonopin taper again. Anyway, I then dropped the Zoloft to 75 mg. I was happy and satisfied. Dealing with Klonopin withdrawal well. Having Windows.

 

Decided to lower the Zoloft to 62.5. And then too quickly to 50. Well, once I hit 50, forget it. Terrible nerve pain, panic attacks. Just all out of whack. I'm now sick and reinstating back to 62.5. And will continue up to 75 if need be. My CNS is all out of whack and I need rest. I got way ahead of myself and I am looking for a community that knows what this is like.

 

I always go into the mind set that I have caused permanent damage. With brain fog, it's hard to manage a plan. It all just seems so overwhelming. My main questions are for people who reinstated and continued a slow low taper. Can I stay at 75 mg until I feel I am more healed or is the damage done? I am 3 days into an increase from 50 to 62.5. Don't want to shock my system by going directly back to 75. Any thoughts or additions are very welcome. Hugs for all. Xox

Edited by KarenB
added tags & paragraph breaks

2009 - started Zoloft ( sertraline )

 

Off and on ( more on) until present

 

Took Klonopin from 2013-2016

 

Tapered slowly until no Klonopin may 2016.

 

Present- 75-100 mg

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greetings and salutations twocan, and welcome to the island of misfit toys! i just wanted to welcome you to the forum and let you know a mod will be by shortly, and in the meantime if you could put your drug and taper history in your signature it would sure go a long way toward all of us being able to quickly understand your situation and offer advice in a more effective manner.

 

a signature is the short description/history at the bottom of my post in light gray. to make a signature just copy this link into your search engine http://survivinganti...your-signature/ and follow the directions. as i said before it would be very helpful for us if you could do this.

 

I'm sorry you have fallen into withdrawal and i know it isn't pleasant. i am also dealing with sertraline withdrawal, along with many others here. for now i will leave the med advice for a mod or more experienced member, but rest assured someone who can help will be along shortly. 

 

if you have any questions for me feel free to ask them here in your thread.

38 year old male

50mg sertraline for seasonal affective in spring of '13 through spring of '16

began uninformed taper mid march '16 ending 6 weeks later around may 1st

withdrawal symptoms began july 4th '16

reinstatement of sertraline at 25mg on july 7th '16

august '16 - present: many setbacks even more victories

currently holding at 25mg and ill hold there forever if I have to

looking forward to the day I can begin tapering

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello twocan,

 

That was a lot of changes both up and down, so your Central Nervous System is asking for a break.  We recommend a gentle taper, reducing by no more than 10% of your current dose each month.  This allows your brain time to adjust as you go, and lessens any withdrawal.  Looks like your tapers were faster than that, but then that's how we all ended up here! 

 

You might find it reassuring to read about neuro-plasticity, neuro-sculpting and brain restoration.  They gave me a lot of hope when I first came here.  Damage has been done, but it can also be healed.  Holding for a good long while should help.  Four days is the minimum time to allow improvements to show up, and after a lot of changes, it can take weeks.  I'd suggest holding at 62.5 for a bit longer yet, to give it a chance. 

 

Many people find Fish oil and Magnesium useful during withdrawal.  

 

Keep it Simple; Keep it Slow; Keep it Stable

 

And here's a good thread for ideas for building a strong foundation to help you deal both with withdrawal, and with underlying anxiety/panic.  Non-Drug Techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature – all drugs/dates/dosages etc - so we can see your situation easily whenever you post, and help you more accurately.  Thanks.

 

Have a read of those and then you can come back to this thread to discuss things further.  This can be your journal to record your tapering and healing progress, and to ask questions. 

 

Welcome to SA,

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

Welcome to SA twocan! I'm dealing with VERY similar issues (primary, panic attacks) and dealing with getting off the exact same medication as you (plus one other). You seem like you've done some research around all of this, but I really recommend reading through a lot of the great information on this website and other recommended sites this site links to. I'm firly new to this so I'm not in a position to give much more advice than that, but just to let you know you're in the right place nd you're not alone with this! Other more "seasoned" folks will chime in on your questions soon.

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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I got way ahead of myself and I am looking for a community that knows what this is like.

Welcome twocan,

You sure found the right place cos boy do we all know what this is like....welcome to the choir.

 

So glad you found sa ...millions never do.

 

nz11

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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  • Mentor

Welcome Twocan,

I too am in your situation.  I was reinstated on Zoloft after a distastes withdrawal. I am no doctor, in fact I am new on this site as well so I can't offer you anything but my sympathy and share my situation. I went back on Zoloft at 50 mg on July 8 and was very upset that I didn't see any improvement until around two weeks later (this weekend).  Yesterday felt terrific, today a few steps back but certainly not back to where I was before July 8.  When I didn't respond to reinstatement after one week my doctor suggested putting me back up to 100 mg, however due to my new education I held firm at 50 mg.  I am happy I did so, but that is only my story, everybody is different.   Best of luck to you.

RS

 

I am not a health professional in any way.  I do not give medical advice.   Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a professional medical practitioner.

 

NEW INFORMATION FOR GABAPENTIN TAPER

April 29, 2022 900 mg to 800 mg (11%), May 29, 2022 800 to 700 mg (12.5%), June 20, 2022 700 to 650mg (8%), July 20, 2022 650 to 575 (12%), August 20,  575 to 500 (13%),  Sept 20, 2020 500 to 475mg (5%) Nov 7, 2022 475 to 425 (11%), Nov 21, 2022 500mg

Medications and supplements: Gabapentin, Prednisone 5mg a day, Cortisol Inhaler daily, Azithromycin 250mg 3 times a week, Fish oil, vitamin D, Calcium.

HISTORY

Feb. 2016 to June 2016  - Was on 150mg Zoloft.  Put on Gabapentin at 900mg a day in 2016 due to antidepressant withdrawal.  As of Nov 2022 down to 600mg.

Quit Zoloft (Sertraline) June  2016,  reinstated 50mg of Zoloft July 2016.  From July 2016  to October 2016 went from 50 mg down 2.3 mg. I up-dosed in November 2016 to 12.5 mg. Held there until January 2017 when I started a much slower taper.

STARTING SENSIBLE  ZOLOFT TAPERING USING GUIDELINES FROM THIS SITE

Dec. 10 2016  - switched to Liquid Zoloft (Sertraline) @ 12.5 mg.   Jan. 4, 2020 1.875 mg (6.3%). Jan. 25, 2020 1.75 mgFeb. 29, 2020 1.625mg (7.10%).  Apr. 4, 2020 1.5 mg.  May 9, 2020 1.375 mg.  June 6, 2020 1.25 mg. (9.10%).  July 4, 2020 1.125 mg. (10%).  August 15, 2020 1.0 mg.  Oct 24, 2020 .875 mg.  Nov. 28, 2020 .75mgJan 16, 2021 .685mg (8.7%).  Feb 13, 2021 .62mg. March 12, 2021 .56mg.  May 1, 2021 .375mg.  May 29, 2021 .25mg. June 26, 2021 .0125mg. July 25, 2021 .065mg. August 22, 2021 .048mg.  October 2, 2021 .043mg.  October 10, 2021 .038mg.  October 23, 2021 .035mg.  October 30, 2021 .032mg.  Nov. 13, 2021 .030 mg.  Dec 4, 2021 .0285 mg.  Dec 11, 2021 .0265 mg. Dec 18, 2021 .0246 mg. Dec 25, 2021 .023mg. Jan 1, 2022. 0 mg. OFF COMPLETELY

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey just following up, did you decide to hold at the 62.5 mg of Zoloft or go back up to 70 mg?

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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Thank you so much for the replies. I have been having technical difficulties . I have added my signature

2009 - started Zoloft ( sertraline )

 

Off and on ( more on) until present

 

Took Klonopin from 2013-2016

 

Tapered slowly until no Klonopin may 2016.

 

Present- 75-100 mg

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I reinstated completely up to 87.5 mg. I feel so defeated and lost. It's like I can't stop changing it. I won't go any higher now but I feel scared. Has anyone kept trying and failing to get off? Can that permanently mess you up? Or is there hope of stabilizing and then doing the 10% protocol?

2009 - started Zoloft ( sertraline )

 

Off and on ( more on) until present

 

Took Klonopin from 2013-2016

 

Tapered slowly until no Klonopin may 2016.

 

Present- 75-100 mg

Link to comment
  • Mentor

Twocan,

I am so sorry you feel so defeated. I don't have enough of a history myself with Zoloft withdrawals to answer your questions.  I have been off once and then had to reinstate as well. I'm trying to stabilize before I try again. Unfortunately I found this website after I had gone off the first time.  I am reading as much as I can over and over and over again. From what I am reading here on this site it does sound like there is hope, it just seems that it takes much longer that we think it will.  At least that is what I get out of my reading. Hang in there and keep reaching out for support.

 

I am not a health professional in any way.  I do not give medical advice.   Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a professional medical practitioner.

 

NEW INFORMATION FOR GABAPENTIN TAPER

April 29, 2022 900 mg to 800 mg (11%), May 29, 2022 800 to 700 mg (12.5%), June 20, 2022 700 to 650mg (8%), July 20, 2022 650 to 575 (12%), August 20,  575 to 500 (13%),  Sept 20, 2020 500 to 475mg (5%) Nov 7, 2022 475 to 425 (11%), Nov 21, 2022 500mg

Medications and supplements: Gabapentin, Prednisone 5mg a day, Cortisol Inhaler daily, Azithromycin 250mg 3 times a week, Fish oil, vitamin D, Calcium.

HISTORY

Feb. 2016 to June 2016  - Was on 150mg Zoloft.  Put on Gabapentin at 900mg a day in 2016 due to antidepressant withdrawal.  As of Nov 2022 down to 600mg.

Quit Zoloft (Sertraline) June  2016,  reinstated 50mg of Zoloft July 2016.  From July 2016  to October 2016 went from 50 mg down 2.3 mg. I up-dosed in November 2016 to 12.5 mg. Held there until January 2017 when I started a much slower taper.

STARTING SENSIBLE  ZOLOFT TAPERING USING GUIDELINES FROM THIS SITE

Dec. 10 2016  - switched to Liquid Zoloft (Sertraline) @ 12.5 mg.   Jan. 4, 2020 1.875 mg (6.3%). Jan. 25, 2020 1.75 mgFeb. 29, 2020 1.625mg (7.10%).  Apr. 4, 2020 1.5 mg.  May 9, 2020 1.375 mg.  June 6, 2020 1.25 mg. (9.10%).  July 4, 2020 1.125 mg. (10%).  August 15, 2020 1.0 mg.  Oct 24, 2020 .875 mg.  Nov. 28, 2020 .75mgJan 16, 2021 .685mg (8.7%).  Feb 13, 2021 .62mg. March 12, 2021 .56mg.  May 1, 2021 .375mg.  May 29, 2021 .25mg. June 26, 2021 .0125mg. July 25, 2021 .065mg. August 22, 2021 .048mg.  October 2, 2021 .043mg.  October 10, 2021 .038mg.  October 23, 2021 .035mg.  October 30, 2021 .032mg.  Nov. 13, 2021 .030 mg.  Dec 4, 2021 .0285 mg.  Dec 11, 2021 .0265 mg. Dec 18, 2021 .0246 mg. Dec 25, 2021 .023mg. Jan 1, 2022. 0 mg. OFF COMPLETELY

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  • Moderator Emeritus

twocan, I hope that you'll hold steady at your current dose for at considerable time because that's the only way to get things settled. 

 

I started to cycle between startup side effects and cold-turkey w/d symptoms because of my medical-professional-advised taper skipping days.  I found SA,  read several threads, one about my med (Cymbalta) and one about the 10%.  Within a few days of returning to taking a consistent dose every day, my symptoms lightened noticeably and they were mostly resolved within 6 weeks.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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I am definitely not touching the dose. Staying put. I will sit at this dose for awhile. I have been reading as much as I can, but sometimes it just becomes so overwhelming and I feel stuck. Stuck because, I have always had anxiety from childhood and when you start a drug and then read possible implications of said drug, hindesight is 20/20. Like now I have no opportunity to build up coping skills with out the drugs. Or so it seems like a tough battle now... On ward and upwards.

2009 - started Zoloft ( sertraline )

 

Off and on ( more on) until present

 

Took Klonopin from 2013-2016

 

Tapered slowly until no Klonopin may 2016.

 

Present- 75-100 mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, onward and upward.  If reading about others' experience doesn't help and in fact makes things worse, good thing it's not compulsory. ;)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I understand that feeling of being defeated by the meds. They are a nasty foe! I think it makes sense to try and restablize at the dose you are on and holding. That's not defeat though, I think it's simply employing good tactics for your long term goals. I know I've been getting to an overall "more stable" place and it's because I've been willing to follow the advice to hold and let things settle. I just did a ten percent drop on my Zoloft after holding 3 months to try and stabilize. I could have probably held longer. But while I'm sticking with this drop, I'm prepared to hold again for another three months at this level if that's what my body says I need to do. My poor brain has been through hell over the last 2-3 years. I figure it can use a little compassion on my part.

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you read my background, you'll see I went from 150mg zoloft to 0, then had to reinstate back to 100mg. Once I did, have since dropped by about 10% and have for the past month been fine...I really believe the slow taper is needed, which is what I learned from this amazing forum! If you have questions, feel free to contact me to discuss.

Ben

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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