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Michellea910 - Zoloft taper


michellea910

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michellea910

I'm not sure where to start..but I will make a long story short..I am very scared to taper of Zoloft. My doctor is not wanting to cut my dosage she actually wanted me to increase it. I find no need to because I feel fine where I am now..other than being exhausted all the time and numb..The reason I am scared is because I have been benzo free since June 6th. I went into a rehab center and they did a 4 day taper with Librium to get me off xanax and klonopin. That was the beginning of my hellish nightmare. I am feeling better..So all I can do is keep moving forward. Now is the time to taper of the zoloft. I understand how I should taper very well..and trust me it will not be over a 4 day period. I am taking 50mg of Zoloft. What I am wanting to know if anyone else has come off of benzo's and had horrible withdraw...if this means the withdraw from the zoloft will be bad as well?

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Just wanted to welcome you to SA, Michellea. People who know lots more about these meds than I do will answer you shortly.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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michellea910

Thank you so much!! It is comforting knowing that I can share this with others and they actually understand..

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  • Administrator

Good to see you here, Michelle.

 

How stable are you from your benzo taper? This will have a lot to do with how your system responds to the stress of Zoloft withdrawal.

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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michellea910

I am off of the benzo's some of the withdrawl flares up every now and then just depends on if i am stressed or not.. :(

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  • Administrator

How long have you been off? How long have the symptoms been minor?

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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I have been off of benzos since june 6th of this year..The mild withdrawl has been since Sept...June, July and August were horrible..

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Hi Michelle,

 

How long have you been taking Zoloft? Is that the only med you're taking now?

 

[And when you get a chance, you may want to put your benzo & zoloft info in your signature. Then you don't have to answer so many questions!]

 

I'm sorry you had a rough summer, but I'm glad to hear you're doing better.

History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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  • Administrator

Michelle, I know you are eager to be done with Zoloft, but if I were you, I'd wait a bit, maybe 3 months, and give your nervous system more time to recover from the benzo taper. It's still in a fragile state.

 

Is that doable?

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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I can wait...I was put on the Zoloft the middle of June..I know this is not something I want to rush..I do not want to be thrown back into withdraw hell..But I also know that my doc told me I would need to take the zoloft for at least 2 years..I think that is not the case.. Zoloft is the only med I am taking right now.. 50mg of it! The doc did want me to increase it to 100mg but I told her no.

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Barbarannamated

Just confirming.... you were put on Zoloft in June of 2011?

Barb

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Administrator

Why were you put on Zoloft, Michelle?

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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Yes, I was put on Zoloft June 2011. The reason I was put on it was because the anxiety I was experiencing from the benzo withdraw was so severe...per my Doc's advice...Do you think this was a wrong move?

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Barbarannamated

Michellea,

I look forward to more informed responses to your question.

Did the detox docs suggest Zoloft? Perhaps you said already, but how did they do the benzo detox? I don't know alot about the process, but have heard of various approaches.

Barb

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Administrator

Good questions, Bar.

 

Michelle, did the Zoloft help any?

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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I went into a rehab facility to come off of the benzo's and did it on a four day taper..which I would never recommend to anyone. It was my choice to stop the benzo's my doc stood behind me 100%. They took me off xanax and klonopin with librium. The zoloft is helping with the anxiety I was having. I had never experienced anxiety like that before..until I came off of the benzo's. I have had panic attacks in the past..only 2! But they did put me out of commission for a few days. But never the anxiety like i did after benzo withdraw. See this is where it gets a bit hard to answer. I know it takes time for you brain to heal properly after coming off of the benzo's...so i do not know if it was the zoloft that helped the severe anxiety i was experiencing or if it was my brain healing...what are your thoughts? My Doc said she thought I would need to be on the zoloft for around 2 years. ughhhhhh!

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The past two weeks I have noticed that i am experiencing increased heart rate and fatigue again..My doctor also wanted me to increase my zoloft to 100mg and I told her no...

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My doctor and I tried to taper ourselves off the benzo's...she was worried that I would suffer seziers from the withdraw. That is why I went into a rehab..

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Barbarannamated

Michellea,

I am new to all of this and hesitate to toss in my 2 cents. However, IMHO, it is unsettling that an additional psychotropic is being used to cover the adverse events of another, be it primary side effects or withdrawal symptoms. It may be enlightening to know your doc's experience w tapering from SSRIs. Did she tell you why 2 years is her treatment?

Have you spoken with anyone who went thru the same detox regimen/facility?

I don't mean to be badgering you w questions. It is not an approach I've heard of, but I know quite little!

Barb

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Barbarannamated

Seizures are a valid concern when DCing benzos. Im not clear on how the rapid detox protocol protects from that. Just thinking out loud.

Did they use amino acid therapy? I've only heard of that, know nothing of it's efficacy.

One last question and then I'll stop. ;-) Is your current doc working with or under direction of detox clinic?

Barb

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Barbarannamated

Michellea,

In full disclosure, I tried a university detox program in S Ca. It was a bad experience, so I am jaded. They tried to DC oxycodone, fentanyl, Klonopin all at once using Ativan, clonidine (blood pressure med in patch) and something else. I left AMA after 3 days w treatment team sitting around big conference table shaking their heads, warning my husband (an MD) that I would die w/i the year if he took me out. It was the most horrid 3 days of my life. It was psychiatrists blaming pain meds for ADs not working while pain docs had never heard of it. I'm not defending the use of opiates (DC'd in 2008) and there may well be interference w ADs. Just wanted to let ya know where I'm coming from.

Barb

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Ok..hopefully I will answer everything that you asked..and it is more than ok to ask as many questions as you want..my concentration is crappy lately so sometimes I jump around with what I am saying :( the facility I went to in no way shape nor form capable of understanding the withdraw process..The last day I was there I felt great..two days later (which NO doctor warned me of) all hell broke loose..There were nights I really did not think I would be able to make it..had countless trips to the ER, neurologist and my Doc...She is not wise on how a proper taper should take place as well..I have found most are not..my family doctor is the one the prescribed the benzo's...he told me that xanax was a "chill pill" ughh..ok..but to answer your question regarding my Doc...she is the same as most are. She does not know how to taper properly either..I worry it will come back with a vengeance if I continue with the zoloft taper..I have no idea where she came up with the two year zoloft...She is not working with a detox center. I have never heard of the amino acid therapy..My doctor actually sat in front of me the day she gave me the zoloft and said that anxiety is not debilitating..if you have experienced severe anxiety we know that it is..Regarding the seizures..with the quick taper they did..I could still have had them..:( Thank you for sharing with me...

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  • Administrator

Michelle, I'm not a benzo withdrawal expert but I have never heard of an SSRI remedying benzo withdrawal symptoms.

 

And I personally would NEVER increase the Zoloft dosage at this point.

 

You're lucky you're in as good shape as you are. Don't add further stress with more psychotropics.

 

Your doctor doesn't seem to know anything about withdrawal. I'd take any advice from her with a grain of salt. My guess is she said "2 years" because that's what she thinks is needed to treat depression.

 

Heart rate and blood pressure variations are a common withdrawal symptom.

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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  • Administrator

I would if I were you. Make sure your nervous system is stable from the benzos.

 

In a month, I might try a very small taper from Zoloft, perhaps 10%, and see how that works.

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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