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Littlebluetemple: Adios, sertraline


Littlebluetemple

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Hello all, story time.

 

I've been on antidepressants for 11 years.

 

At University, age 20, I started on prozac for severe depression and anxiety. I hit rock bottom, lost a lot of weight and had to drop out for a semester to recover. But recover I did, and my antidepressants really seemed to help. 

 

A year or two later, I wanted to stop taking the meds as I was feeling well. I followed my doctor's advice and halved my dose for a month, then stopped altogether. No-one told me about withdrawal syndrome, so when I started feeling anxious and upset, I assumed it was because my body needed the drug. I resumed my full dose.

 

In later years I switched to citalopram, then sertraline which I found suited me well. I tried several times to stop my meds without success.

 

I had five years of therapy which helped address the underlying causes of my illness. It was excellent but my therapist always dissuaded me from trying to stop my medication. I tried to accept I'd be on sertraline for life. 

 

A few months ago, I found an article on antidepressant withdrawal by coincidence, and a light went on. If I tapered very, very slowly, I might just be able to kick the meds. By going 10% at a time, I'm now down to 150mg/day. Joy!! It hasn't been a walk in the park so far but it IS happening. I'm finally succeeding.

 

After helping myself to other people's insights and advice on this forum for a while, I thought it might be polite to actually contribute.

 

So that's me. Hello :)

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Littlebluetemple: Adios, sertraline
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Littlebluetemple, welcome to SA. Yes it is an eye opener after years of believing you need drugs for life then finding out that it is not true! 

Are you tapering 10% of the current or starting dose? We recommend tapering 10% of the current dose. This means the cuts get smaller and the brain can adjust. 

When I tapered effexor I cut 10% of the start dose, it took a year. Then after a month off I had terrible withdrawal, came here and discovered I should have tapered 10% of the CURRENT dose.  If you have been having symptoms, however mild you would be best to have a long hold to let your brain catch up, then restart when you have been feeling stable for a month or two. Pushing through means the nervous system is becoming more unstable. It's best to slow down or hold to let it recover, you will still get there but without being knocked down by withdrawal after being so careful. I was devastated after all that time thinking I was doing it right, I even felt better as the dose lowered but felt some mild withdrawal and pushed through because that was not as bad as the side effects. Then found that full blown withdrawal is MUCH worse than side effects!  It sounds like you have been reading here for some time so I will  not post all the links, just these 2 in case you didn't see them. 

 

 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks MamaP. It's been a little while! 

I'm finding that 10% is too big of a cut for me so am working on 5% cuts which means the withdrawal process is taking FOREVER. But no matter, I am keeping on keeping on! 150mg > back to 175 > several small cuts > now at 145mg/day.

 

I've found the windows and waves model a great comfort - it's okay, it's just a wave and it will pass is something I tell myself often.

 

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  • 3 months later...

How are you doing Littlebluetemple?

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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Oh you're so kind to check on me! Some little bumps but am now down to 90mg/day! My lowest dose in years and years. Have made some lifestyle changes, namely dropping work back to 30 hours a week, which I recommend to everyone. Feeling pretty good :)

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3 minutes ago, Littlebluetemple said:

Oh you're so kind to check on me!

Thankyou for those kind words.

 

wow that was a fast reply.

sounds like you have this tapering sorted.

Great to hear from you.

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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  • 1 month later...

Oh joy!

 

I'm now down to 12.5mg of sertraline/day from 200 - the end is in sight! I accidentally cut my dose by 50 mg in one hit a couple of months ago, but remarkably I seemed to tolerate it and have been able to make much smaller, regular cuts ever since.

 

Interestingly as I've hit smaller doses, I seem to tolerate the cuts much better which is the opposite of what you'd think would happen? But I'm not complaining!

 

Anyway thank you ALL for your support, information and just being there. It's been hard but so worth it xx

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Littlebluetemple,

 

I've merged your new Intro topic with your original Intro topic.  Each member has only 1 Intro topic where they can ask questions about their own situation and journal their progress.  This keeps your history in one place.  Please do not create any more Intro topics.  Thank you.

 

That's good news that things are going well.

 

It would be helpful if you would create a drug signature.  It seems that this request was missed previously.

 

We ask all members to create a drug signature.  Please update it whenever you make a change.  Please keep it nice and simple.  We only need details for the last 2 years.  Date, drug and dose only, no symptoms or diagnoses.  The other years can just be an overview.  

 

This is the preferred format which is helpful for the mods.  Thank you.

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 2 years particularly?

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Hi Little Blue Temple!

Glad to read you are feeling well and your taper is progressing smoothy.   Excellent news.  
Hopefully everything will continue to go well. It seems you have been tapering a bit quickly due to the 50 mg drop, so make sure to monitor yourself and slow down a little if you feel you need to; often at the lower doses people slow down a bit. 
With best wishes,
M.

200 Zoloft; 10 mg Zyprexa; 4 mg valium as of May 2021;  Valium taper: July 16: 3.5 valium; July 30: 3 mg (paused valium taper); Aug. 23: 2.5 mg
Zyprexa: July 26: 8.75 mg; Aug. 9: 7.5 mg; Aug. 30: 7.1 mg

-------
Dec 1, 2016. 10 mg zyprexa for 1.5 month. Started taper mid-Jan. 2017. Cut 1.25 mg every 2 weeks; smaller cuts 2.5 mg down. Stopped at .6 mg. May 7, 2017: zyprexa free. 
Zoloft: Dec1, 2016, 200 mg. Started taper: Jun12, 2017: 197.5 mg; Jun19,:195 mg; July 2:185mg; July 9,:180 mg; July16,: 175; July 23: 170; July 30: 165; Aug6: 160; Aug13: 155; Aug. 20: 150; Aug.27: 146 mg; Sept3: 145 mg; Sept10:143 mg; Sept17:140 mg....Nov5: 122 mg...Dec3:112.5 mg; Jan14, 2018: 95 mg...Jan28: 90 mg; Feb21:80 mg; Mar11: 75 mg; May2:70 mg; May15: 68 mg; May28: 65 mg; Jun9: 62 mg;Jun25: 60 mg:July22: 55 mg; Aug25: 45 mg. Aug28: 50 mg...Oct 28: 38 mg; Dec.4: 30 mg; Jan8,2019: 25mg; Feb6: 23.5 mg; Apr1:17.5mg; May1:1 mg; May 5: 18;  May 18:15mg; June 16:12.5mg; Sept 10:11 mg; Sept.16:10 mg; Oct. 1: 9mg; Nov. 27: 8mg; Dec.5: 7mg; Jan.1,2020, 6 mg; Feb1: 5 mg; May 1: 2.5 mg; Jn 1: 2 mg; Jy 1: 1.5 mg

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