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FatherOfLewis

SSRI Bridging Possible?

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FatherOfLewis

If different SSRIs work on different receptors, can bridging your taper of one SSRI with a different SSRI allow you to float above the WD phase of the 1st SSRI, then have a lesser WD from the 2nd (since you weren't on it as long)?

 

It seems like the longer you're on an AD, the longer/harder the WD. If so, then for example, if I spent 9 years on Lexapro, couldn't I switch to Zoloft for like 2 years (assuming the WD from Lexapro will last about that long), then taper the Zoloft, expecting that WD from Zoloft won't be as bad, since I was only on it 2 years and it may have masked the WD from Lexapro?

 

Or is this just a pipe dream, and I'll still have to go through WD from the two combined (11 years total in this example)?


2005 - 2014 Adderall XR 15mg + Lexapro 20mg on/off, but mostly ON
2014 - Tried to quit for the "last" time; tapered Adderall very slowly, but was depressed and slow and sad on just the Lexapro 20mg.
2015 (early) - Switched to Wellbutrin XL 150mg. Began having increased GAD symptoms, irritability, and insomnia.

2015 (Nov) - Wellbutrin XL 150mg + Zoloft 25mg. Sleep restored, started feeling better.

2016 (Feb) - Wellbutrin XL 150 mg. Fast tapered off Zoloft. Increasing GAD and reemergence of insomnia.

2016 (May) - Off all meds. CT'd Wellbutrin as psych agreed it was probably causing my GAD. Slept well for awhile. Eventually had early morning wakefulness and greatly increasing GAD, and finally a panic attack, so started an anti anxiety (probably would have held off a little longer had I remembered all I'd previously learned on SA).

2016 (June) - Buspar 30mg as 10mg 3x daily. Eventually started having crazed "obsessive" episodes, which finally landed me in the hospital.

2016 (July) - Zyprexa 10mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

2016 (Aug) - Zyprexa 2.5mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

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brassmonkey

Hi FOL-- bridging between drugs is one of the trickiest processes there is. In theory it works, but in practice I have found the success rate to be very low. The most common one is using Prozac. The biggest problem is that even with a moderate speed cross taper the process still leaves you with WD symptoms from the first drug. In theory the second drug relieves those symptoms, but in reality it just covers them up sorta. Leaving you with WD from the first one, start up problems from the second and possible adverse interactions between them.

 

The cross taper between the drugs effectively causes you to CT the first one.  Recovery from that CT can take a lot longer than two years. By then you've been on the second drug for a long time (anything more that a month requires a slow taper).  So you then face several years of slow taper to get off the second. Time wise it's a lot better to have just slowly taper the original drug.

 

The CT from the first drug frequently leaves the body in a highly sensitive state, which makes dosing of the second drug much trickier, and opens one up to a whole slue of sensitivity issues.  All of which are very unpleasant.

 

The longer one is one the drug the more careful one has to be with their taper, but it's not necessarily harder.  Because the physical changes made by the drug is so entrenched it must be very slowly removed to allow the body to adjust and heal in a rational manner.  I was on paxil for 18 years when I started my taper.  It will be five years this fall when I finally reach "0".  Compared to many of the others here my taper has been uneventful. 

 

Unless there's a compelling reason, such as an adverse reaction to the first drug, bridging is really not called for.

 

Hope that clears things a little.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Altostrata

SSRIs all pretty much work on the same receptor.

 

See The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac

 

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)


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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wareagle82

If different SSRIs work on different receptors, can bridging your taper of one SSRI with a different SSRI allow you to float above the WD phase of the 1st SSRI, then have a lesser WD from the 2nd (since you weren't on it as long)?

 

It seems like the longer you're on an AD, the longer/harder the WD. If so, then for example, if I spent 9 years on Lexapro, couldn't I switch to Zoloft for like 2 years (assuming the WD from Lexapro will last about that long), then taper the Zoloft, expecting that WD from Zoloft won't be as bad, since I was only on it 2 years and it may have masked the WD from Lexapro?

 

Or is this just a pipe dream, and I'll still have to go through WD from the two combined (11 years total in this example)?

 

I successfully bridged from Paxil to Prozac, then Prozac to Lexapro, in a two week period.  No problems that I can remember.  Then, after several years on Lexapro, I immediately switched to Zoloft. No problem there either.  My Zoloft taper is also going well.  But the hard part lies ahead for me, as I am still in the 80% occupancy level on my current dose.

 

It may be easier for some to w/d from a certain med, but that is total speculation.  These meds (posions?) do different things to each user.  It is a total crapshoot, so best to stay with the devil you are using now and do the normal taper.


Began Paxil for situational panic attacks in 2000. Then psych put me on Prozac to transition me to Lexapro in 2008. I forget the dosage of Paxil and Lexapro. Switched to100mg Sertraline since 2011.

 

75Mg taper began 06/21/2016. 67.5 mg taper began 07/10/2016. 61mg taper began 08/01/2016. 54mg taper began 08/24/2016. 48mg taper began 09/06/2016. 44mg taper began 09/20/2016. 40mg taper began 10/11/2016. 35mg began 10/25/2016. 25 mg began 11/15/2016.  20 mg began 12/03/2016.  12.5 mg began 12/22/2016.  DRUG FREE JANUARY 16, 2017!!

 

Began daily meditation 12/01/2016.  Very helpful!!

 

Prayer, always, and Acupuncture, as needed.<p>Isaiah 50:7 (NLT): Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be dismayed. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will triumph!

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