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Denisu93: Tapering off zoloft for two weeks to be put on welbutrin xl


Denisu93

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Hello, My name is Dennis and I have been on Ssri antidepressants for ten years. I am 24 years old and I have Autism along with depression and anxiety. Just last week, my doctor put me on Welbutrin XL 150mg and had me take 50mg of Zoloft, my normal dosage being 100mg. She wants me to stay on that for two weeks, then go off, as she said that Welbutrin will help.

I have gone through ssri withdrawals before, and I always got the usual brain zaps, increased anxiety and depression, and more agitation. I feel that two weeks is not enough to completely taper off an ssri, so that is why I am here. I will post my day by day progress on here. Any advice would help.

Thank you,

Dennis

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Hi Dennis,

Welcome to sa.

I'm not a moderator but feel compelled to comment as i am very concerned about this drug switch you are doing.

 

I think your worries about the two week taper off zoloft are well founded.

By the way side effects and withdrawal effects off these drugs can tick all the boxes in the DSM mimicing many conditions when really its the drug (withdrawal). Whats the bet the GAD label occurred as a result of one of your failed taper attempts. Were you diagnosed autistic (and the other labels ) prior to drug use ?

 

Are you able to put up the dates you started the drugs mentioned.

When did you start on 100mg of zoloft and were you ever on a higher dose prior?

When did you start taking the klonopin.?

What date did you start on the wellbutrin?

 

It is worth noting that 100mg of zoloft has an equivalent dose of 353mg of wellbutrin.

If your doctor intends to switch you to 150 mg wellbutrin then your doctor is intending to essentially cut your zoloft dose by more than  half (To be exact its a cut of 58%). That move alone after ten years use would be reason enough to be alarmed. But thats not the end of the concern.

Zoloft an ssri is a drug that boosts serotonin and dopamine. Wellbutrin only boosts dopamine. That means in two weeks time your brain is going to be in for a quite a shock...it will be expected to resume serotonin production for itself .... Withdrawal symptoms can be delayed so they may not manifest immediately.

 

Gotzsche quotes two studies showing that "more than half of the patients on sertraline(zoloft) developed abstinence symptoms within a week when they were switched from active drug to placebo. " that is, cold turkeyed off the drug. Yes i am aware you are being switched rather than CT-ied but for the above reasons i still think there is cause for concern.

What if the wellbutrin doesnt cover the wdl off the zoloft...i can guarantee you that your doctor cant predict how you will react.

After ten years use two weeks is considered a CT.

You may like to know that this site has found that to minimise symptoms of withdrawal  it is safer to taper 10% of your previous dose every 4 weeks that means  to taper from  100mg of zoloft to 1mg it would take 3.5 years if all going well. Many here are going slower than 10% in order to minimise wdl symptoms.

 

I would also like to tell you that i feel angry on your behalf that your doctor drugged you in 2007 at age 14 with ssris when a black box FDA warning had been out since 2004-2005 carrying a warning these drugs can cause suicide up to age 24. (its actually induced for all ages, so i dont for one moment think that if you had waited one more year all would be Hunky Dory....wouldnt have surprised me if the doctor had have suggested this though..sigh!). So these drugs should not have been given to one under 24.

 

Personally i feel what your doctor is doing is very dangerous and may well lead to dreadful withdrawal symptoms from the zoloft ..perhaps even more distressing than you have experienced in the past (did you realise that increased anxiety , depression and agitation are actually wdl symptoms)....one of these symptoms is a drug induced desire to commit suicide.

 

It would be well worth while to check out this link on tapering zoloft

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

And this link on why taper at a 10% rate

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This checklist is very good and lists 58 withdrawal symptoms from ssris....whats missing from this list is a symptom called akathisia but i guess its a combo of several listed. Also missing is a sense of the neurological terror that it induces however if you google Glenmullens testimony in front of the FDA you can see that he is very aware of this most intense form of distress.

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist
 

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

I think what you are doing carries considerable risk and is not a good strategy. You run the risk of ending up on a cocktail of drugs in order to stifle wdl symtpoms off the zoloft.

You havent said why your doctor is doing this switch....what are her  reasons did she tell you?

 

If you have only just started the wellbutrin in the last couple of days if i were you i would consider ditching it and going back to the zoloft. Get stable and then taper at the safe rate recommended by sa. imo. It would be good to have some other voices on this.

 

So glad you found sa.

welcome

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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Hello, Thank you for your time. I also feel the same way about the whole situation, I was also forced onto benzos when I was 18, not knowing what would happen if I decided to try to taper off of it. The doctors in my state are not the brightest, and I feel that weaning off Zoloft that quickly will just make things worse. I have dealt with SSRI withdrawal before, and it was not pleasant. I am changing doctors, as I feel this doctor does not know much about the risks of SSRI withdrawal. Her reasons of switching me is because the Zoloft was not working, after taking it for a year and a half. At first she was going to just switch me to Welbutrin without tapering me off, and I said I do not think that is a good idea to take me off it cold turkey, and thus she got frustrated with me. I was diagnosed with GAD right after I was put on SSRI medications, and diagnosed with autism 3 years ago by a different person, as my parents never got me checked out when I was younger. 

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Thanks for fast response Dennis.

Tell me what drug were you on prior to zoloft and what dose and how did you taper off it.

It could well be that you are still suffering wdl from that and the zoloft is not covering it...?

 

If the wellbutrin doesnt cover the wdl off zoloft then who knows what the doctor will do but if they decide to throw an snri into the mix (say effexor) and a little remeron to sleep then essentially you are being given cocaine... plus a benzo.

 

Oh yeah i think you can seriously doubt the medical diagnosis's you have been given in light of post #3.

imo your doctors have let you down and thats the politest way i can put it.

 

I am so sorry you are in this position.

When did you start the wellbutrin?

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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I was on Paxil before Zoloft, it caused low libido and low motivation so I was put on Zoloft. Before Paxil I was on Effexor, and it did not work at all, and before Effexor I was put on Cymbalta at the age of 14. SSRI drugs are the only type of antidepressants I have been on, and in my honest opinion, I think they make my anxiety worse. I was put on a SSRI for depression at the time, not anxiety, then after that it seemed like the anxiety increased. I was not tapered off of Paxil, as the same doctor said the Zoloft would replace the Paxil. And the thing is, if I talk to any of the doctors around here about withdrawal symptoms, they will just brush it off and say it is all in my head, as they have done before when a doctor pretty much took me off Klonopin cold turkey in 2015, after being on it for a year. I started the Welbutrin about 4 days ago, and earlier last night I decided to take my other 50mg of Zoloft, as I felt symptoms coming on. I feel that all of the doctors in my area are lacking in the medical department, and are just giving out these medications just to get patients out of their hair. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Dennis,

I'm so sorry for what has been done to you. I agree with much of what NZ11 has written. Children should not be given these harmful drugs by doctors who know very little about how they actually work, and even less about side effects and withdrawal when stopping them.

 

You have come to the right place for good information and support.

 

It sounds to me like you have been misdiagnosed and much of what you have  been experiencing is likely to be drug effects and withdrawal. I'm not a doctor, but its obvious to me that if symptoms start after taking a new drug, then its likely to be the drug causing the symptom, not some underlying 'disorder'.

 

Wellbutrin is a different kind of drug from Zoloft and is unlikely to treat the withdrawal symptoms you will probably get from coming off Zoloft too fast. We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising. Please read through this which will explain why:

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

If you want to stop taking your Zoloft, I suggest you taper it properly, using the 10% method above. It will be ok to take Wellbutrin at the same time because its a different kind of drug. But stopping the Zoloft too fast is likely to cause withdrawal symptoms.

 

I'd highly recommend reading Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. Psychiatric drugs can cause harmful side effects and long term, they can worsen health, increasing the risk of other illnesses. They don't cure anything, but work by creating a chemical imbalance in the brain, which alters natural brain function. For some people, these changes may seem helpful. But evidence is starting to show that long term, they cause more harm than good. From personal experience, my own research, and reading thousands of anecdotal stories, I've come to the conclusion that psychiatric drugs should only be used in the most serious of cases and then for the shortest possible amount of time.

 

Other resources you may find helpful are Your Drug may be you Problem by Dr. Peter Breggin and Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry

 

Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

 

Petunia,

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Thank you guys, I was at the emergency room this morning for Welbutrin side effects. They gave me hydroxyzine to battle the side effects until the Welbutrin gets out of my system. I talked to my doctor, and she put me back on my Zoloft, which I will be tapering off on my own, with the help of this site, and many other sources. I feel quite horrible right now from the side effects, but it will pass. 

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