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FenrirHeideran

FenrirHeideran: how to come off 150mg sertraline (Zoloft)

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FenrirHeideran

Hi,

Currently taking 150mg of sertraline a day and looking to ween myself off it. How would i go about doing this?

I did some digging and it seems to go by 10% a month of lower dosage.  Is this correct? Also, could someone explain why liquidising the dosage is better?

 

Is there no other method of safely tapering? I was going to reduce it by 25mg a week consecutively. Would this be non advisable?

Thanks.

Edited by scallywag
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scallywag

FenrirHeideran -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

I'm glad you found us before you started to decrease your dose and that you're familiar about tapering by 10% per month.  There are people, doctors included, who suggest reducing by a set amount per week or per month.  Making changes once per week is going to be too fast for the vast majority of people. The problem with this approach, even if decreases are monthly, is that you don't know whether it will be a problem for you until a problem arises - moderate to severe symptoms. For more about withdrawal symptoms, please read

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

We think it's better to try to prevent the symptoms than to ease painful or uncomfortable symptoms after they arise. Therefore, we suggest reducing by 10% to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms. The way we suggest to do this is that each new dose is 90% of the previous dose.  Please (re-) read these topics:

Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

 

The information at these links may be helpful in understanding how your CNS (central nervous system) reacts to the presence, changes in dose, and absence of these medications.

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants

 

Liquid titration isn't necessarily better, it's just easier to make very very small adjustments when needed. If you discover that you are very sensitive to changes in the medication, dry-cutting tablets or weighing cut tablet crumbs may cause too much day-to-day variation in your dose. Information relevant to your situation:

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules .

Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques].

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

I've given you lots to read and at least one thing to do, so that's enough from me.  Please let us know what you decide and how things are going for you.

 

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Madeleine

25 mg a week is way, way too fast for the vast majority of people. Even if someone manages to taper at that pace and doesn't suffer severe withdrawal symptoms during the taper, then what usually happens is 2-4 months after stopping totally people have a crash -- and many end up suffering badly and many have to reinstate and get back on the anti-depressants.  If you read through this site and see other peoples' stories, you'll see that is usually the pattern in the majority of cases, regardless of what anti-depressant you are on.  

How long were you on 150 mg of sertraline?

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FenrirHeideran
On 6/22/2017 at 9:03 PM, Madeleine said:

25 mg a week is way, way too fast for the vast majority of people. Even if someone manages to taper at that pace and doesn't suffer severe withdrawal symptoms during the taper, then what usually happens is 2-4 months after stopping totally people have a crash -- and many end up suffering badly and many have to reinstate and get back on the anti-depressants.  If you read through this site and see other peoples' stories, you'll see that is usually the pattern in the majority of cases, regardless of what anti-depressant you are on.  

How long were you on 150 mg of sertraline?

 

Ah i see, Thanks for the info. I've been on 150mg of sertraline for around 2-3 years now.

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FenrirHeideran

Hey. It's been a year and a half since I was last active here. I ended up staying on my anti depressants. I now however want to start to taper off.

 

if I remember correctly it is 10% a month reduction. However I want to taper relatively quickly. I find they're making me worse and are a serious problem. 

So going by that rule it will take upwards of 25 months;

Month  1; 135mg

Month 2; 122mg

Month 3; 110mg 

Month 4; 99mg 

Month 5; 90mg

Month 6; 81mg

Month 7; 73mg

Month 8; 66mg

Month 9; 60mg

Month 10; 54mg

Month 11; 49mg

Month 12; 45mg

Month 13; 41mg 

Month 14; 37mg

Month 15; 34mg 

And so forth...

 

would I not be able to do this say daily. So slowly over a month I reduce it by a 3-5%?

 

I just currently feel ready to stop all together and throw them in the bin and stop taking them. I don't want to rush obviously otherwise I wouldn't be here, but I want to taper relatively quickly. 

 

I assume it is a terrible idea to go cold turkey. I'm just at that extreme point of view of all or nothing. 

 

 

 

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Altostrata

Hello again, Fenrir. Yes, cold turkey is a terrible idea.

 

What kinds of problems does Zoloft cause? When did these problems start?

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FenrirHeideran

Yeah I assumed it would. I just found almost like an epipheny that its what I find is holding me back now. 

 

I find I struggle to express my emotions. I feel suppressed. I feel agitated and frustrated because of this, I never use to be THIS. I feel hostile and closed off. I feel selfish and argumentative. I find that all of the things I have slowly become overtime are more of a result of being on this medication. I am having a form of identity crisis because I'm finding it harder and harder to actually remember how I lived day to day not being on sertraline. 

 

It has completely taken control of my life and I want to take control back for myself.

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Rosetta

Well, I tapered quickly (6 weeks or so) off 150 mg sertraline, and 2 years later I'm still sick.  So, a CT is, to me, a terrible idea.  I would much rather spend 23 months or more slowly tapering than 2 years being sick and unable to enjoy life after a CT.  How I wish I had had that option.  I haven't been able to work, and I need help caring for my child even today.  In the beginning I was so ill that I couldn't be alone, I was suicidal, I had trouble sleeping, I was dizzy or on the verge of passing out, I was hot then cold, I couldn't eat, I had blood sugar issues, I felt terror, I had uncontrollable crying spells . . . . the list goes on.  It's called dysautonomia.  If you look it up, you will see a definition that indicates only a fraction of the horror that the syndrome causes.

 

What do you mean the sertraline is causing problems?  Can you tell us some of your symptoms? I had a lot of problem before I quit, too.  Sometimes simply reducing the dose can help with side effects.

 

Ten percent reductions every 4 weeks is the fastest anyone should risk.  However, many people slow the taper at various points.  The idea is to have very mild or no symptoms of withdrawal before decreasing the dose another 10%.  If you start off properly with only a 10% reduction you will avoid destabilization of your nervous system.  Once you destabilize the CNS, the need to hold the dose until the CNS stabilizes again can cause the time to get off the drug to be much longer.  

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FenrirHeideran

so you would definitely recommend I reduce monthly by 10%. So is my calculation correct in what I've posted above?

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Altostrata

Yes, your calculations are correct. You can reduce daily if you wish, see Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

 

8 minutes ago, FenrirHeideran said:

Yeah I assumed it would. I just found almost like an epipheny that its what I find is holding me back now. 

 

I find I struggle to express my emotions. I feel suppressed. I feel agitated and frustrated because of this, I never use to be THIS. I feel hostile and closed off. I feel selfish and argumentative. I find that all of the things I have slowly become overtime are more of a result of being on this medication. I am having a form of identity crisis because I'm finding it harder and harder to actually remember how I lived day to day not being on sertraline. 

 

It has completely taken control of my life and I want to take control back for myself.

 

Deadening emotions is a common side effect of antidepressants. Some people like this effect, you might say it's the way the drugs work.

 

As you taper, the side effects should decrease. If you decrease your dosage faster than your nervous system can accommodate to the change, you will get withdrawal symptoms. We recommend a gradual taper to avoid these symptoms. See Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

I'm sorry this seems so difficult. It would be a better world if it weren't.

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FenrirHeideran

Thank you very much. 

I'm just looking at the Links to make a liquid etc. I assume it is more precise than cutting the tablets.

is the sertraline oral solution available in the UK? I am going to book an appointment with the doctor tomorrow and bring it up with them. 

 

I remember this happening before with Fluoxetine. I ended up basically cold turkeying it where I just eventually forgot to take it. I got a job and things were stable then a year later everything went to **** with me.

 

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ChessieCat

If the oral solution/oral concentrate isn't available it is possible to make your own from tablets.

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FenrirHeideran
4 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

If the oral solution/oral concentrate isn't available it is possible to make your own from tablets.

Yeah I was reading this. So would I dissolve 150mg in 150ml then take the dose through oral syringe? Or wold it be easier dossolving 150mg in 15ml?

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Rosetta

How many mg in each pill that you have?  Do you have 100s and 50s?

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ChessieCat

You can take 100mg in tablet form and make liquid with 50mg tablet.  50mg tablet in 50mL of water.  Do everything the same way each time, using the same equipment, and the same place on the bench/table.

 

how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules

 

 

 

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FenrirHeideran
3 minutes ago, Rosetta said:

How many mg in each pill that you have?  Do you have 100s and 50s?

Yeah I have a 100mg pill and a separate 50mg pill.

 

2 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

You can take 100mg in tablet form and make liquid with 50mg tablet.  50mg tablet in 50mL of water.  Do everything the same way each time, using the same equipment, and the same place on the bench/table.

 

how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules

 

 

 

Ah ok so as an example for the next momth ill mix it and then take 35ml of the mixture then toss the rest? and do this till the next lowering and take 22ml of mixture for total 122mg for month 2?

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ChessieCat

You could dissolve 3 x 50mg tablets, or 1 x 100mg + 1 x 50mg, in 150mg water.  Ratio 1:1 (1mL solution = 1mg dose)

 

This will make 4 doses of 35mL/35mg.  Total 140mL/140mg.

 

Solution can be kept covered in the fridge for a few days.

 

Stir, extract and take 35mL of solution each day and dispose of the remainder after you take your 4th dose.

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