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Terry

Terry: withdrawing from Xanax and Zoloft

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brassmonkey

Yes, it is a good idea to be stabilized before doing a taper.  In some cases it's not possible however.  Stability is not the absence of WD symptoms, but rather a steady state of feeling crappy without any major swings either direction.  The steady state of feeling bad is what establishes your baseline, referred to as WDnormal.  It can take several months to determine your average level of symptoms.  Over the course of your taper the improvements in your WDnormal is the best gage for measuring progress.  It will be slow at first, something like "hey, I just realized that I'm feeling better than I did six months ago".  But as your taper progresses the improvements in your WDnormal baseline will increase in speed.

 

When a person makes a drop there will be several weeks of increased symptoms. Once these symptoms have settled back to an average "dull roar", then it's time to make another decrease.  In general it takes six weeks from the time of the decrease to the point where things are stabilized enough to do it all again.

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Terry

Thank you.  That makes it clearer.  After tapering for the first 2 months my WD symptoms seemed to get better.  Now after 3 1/2 months they seem to be mostly tolerable.  Have you had any WD symptoms since being drug free?  

 

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brassmonkey

I had some mild ones to start but they have gotten progressively better overall.  There have been a couple of waves that I had to pay attention to.  They were primarily anxiety and just needed to be pushed thorough and endured until they resolved themselves.  I'm coming up on nine months off and there has been a lot of improvement since I made the jump.

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Terry

I don't feel as brave or as strong as so many on this forum seem to be.  I'm afraid of coming off the drugs and having WD symptoms I'm unable to handle.  If I could feel as good then as I do today I would be very, very happy.

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brassmonkey

Being brave and strong has nothing to do with not feeling fear or handle things in a "proud" manner.   It's doing what has to be done to survive, sometimes minute by minute, hour by hour or day by day. If it's hiding in a dark place crying or going for a walk when you legs are too sore to move, getting out of bed and taking a shower, if it needs to be done and you do it, that's being brave and strong. Marching down the street exuding strength is a show of bravado which frequently accomplishes nothing, unless that is what the moment calls for.  The people around you who appear to be towers of strength, are often brittle and will crack and break when things don't go their way.  This is a big factor in why people in ADWD slowly lose many of their friends over time.  The friends do not have the strength and bravery to face the situation and so in time turn and run.  For those of us in the thick of it, we have no choice, to get through this we must go on minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day doing what needs to be done, and by doing so each and every one of us displays strength and bravery beyond the superhero level.

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Terry
On 12/2/2017 at 2:24 PM, brassmonkey said:

 It's doing what has to be done to survive, sometimes minute by minute, hour by hour or day by day

This is what I would call strong, and I'm not sure I could hang in there.

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Terry
On 9/19/2017 at 12:10 PM, Terry said:

You're currently taking  0.125 mg alprazolam at 7 am and 7 pm. The goal is to get to 4 doses of .0625 mg taken at 7 am, 12 pm,  5 pm, and 10 pm.  This will space out your doses evenly 5 hours apart. If 10 pm is too late, you may want to take that dose a bit earlier, but as long as you're consistently taking it earlier (say 8 or 9 pm every night), you'll be fine. 

Your suggestion to take alprazolam at 5 hour intervals has worked quite well for me.  I know this will be sometime later, but I'm wondering how I can taper it using this method.  Or would I be able to use a different sort of schedule?

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RachelSusan

Terry,

I'm checking in to see how you are doing.  How are you feeling?  Are you stabilized?  I hope you had a good holiday and 2018 is a great year for you.

Rachel

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Terry

Hi Rachel,

Thanks for checking in on me.  I seem to have had more WD after my last taper from 13.8 mg to 12.5 mg, including nausea which I've never had since I started tapering.  However, I'm now on day 13 being on 12.5 mg sertraline and things seem to be getting better.  Actually, I feel almost "normal" today.  I think I'm stabilizing.  I did have a very nice Christmas with all my sons and their families, though the the anticipation of everything I had to do caused some anxiety.  How are you doing?  Will you be Zoloft-free yet this year?  Wishing you the best in 2018!

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Terry

How good should I feel before further tapering?  I seem to always have a degree of early morning anxiety.  I've also been feeling lack of energy, interest in much, and mild depression.

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Gridley

My guideline for being ready for the next taper is that WD symptoms are tolerable and without big swings from day to day.  Tapering is not, as a general rule, going to be symptom-free and there is going to be some discomfort, but discomfort you can deal with, with the use, for example of non-drug coping skills such as meditation.

 

It looks like you are tapering at 10% every two weeks, which is twice as fast as we recommend.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

 It is especially important to go more slowly as you get lower in doses, which is where  you are now.  The higher doses are generally easier than the lower doses.

 

It is also important to hold from time to time to let your system catch up.  WD symptoms can build up as you taper and then manifest all of a sudden.  Symptoms can also be delayed during a too-fast taper.

 

Delayed onset of withdrawal symptoms

 

This would be a good time for a hold of 2-3 weeks or longer.

 

 

 

 

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Altostrata

Hi, Terry, here's your Intro topic. Please bookmark it or follow it so you can find it again.

 

You can always take a vacation from tapering if you feel like it -- hold for a couple of months or more.

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Terry
3 hours ago, Gridley said:

My guideline for being ready for the next taper is that WD symptoms are tolerable and without big swings from day to day.  Tapering is not, as a general rule, going to be symptom-free and there is going to be some discomfort, but discomfort you can deal with, with the use, for example of non-drug coping skills such as meditation.

 

It looks like you are tapering at 10% every two weeks, which is twice as fast as we recommend.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

 It is especially important to go more slowly as you get lower in doses, which is where  you are now.  The higher doses are generally easier than the lower doses.

 

It is also important to hold from time to time to let your system catch up.  WD symptoms can build up as you taper and then manifest all of a sudden.  Symptoms can also be delayed during a too-fast taper.

 

Delayed onset of withdrawal symptoms

 

This would be a good time for a hold of 2-3 weeks or longer.

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Gridley.  I guess I've been so anxious to get drug free that I've been tapering when WD symptoms were minimal.  I will also have to taper alprazolam next, so the thought of doing this for several years yet is discouraging.  We are selling our home and moving to a new senior building next year and I'm hoping that doesn't cause too much additional stress.

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Gridley

Terry,

I can sympathize.  It is definitely a long-term project for me too.  I try to go with the one-day-at-a-time attitude.

 

Regarding your move, there's a pretty solid rule here at SA: do not taper when times are hard.

 

Gridley

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JanCarol

i don't know about the multi mineral - but here's a clue:  if it has calcium, magnesium, and iron in it - then stop taking it.  Anyone who bundles these together doesn't realise (or care) that they cancel each other out in the absorption competition.

Because I have osteoporosis, I'm taking a complex of calcium, magnesium, vitamins K2, D3, C. boron and strontium.  I'm hoping that you're not recommending stopping these, because I think they're really necessary in my situation.

 

Terry - I picked this up from Waterfall's thread.  (first quote is mine, second quote is yours - I'm not very good at copying quotes yet).

 

This sounds like a doctor prescribed combination supplement meant to ease your mind about osteoporosis.

 

However, the calcium and the magnesium will be eating each other up, cancelling each other out.  There may be, in a pharmaceutical formula, a buffer of some sort to keep them separate in the digestive tract, but I don't have much faith in pharmaceutical formulas.  Especially not formulas which combine calcium and magnesium (I see them in the shops all the time, and shake my head in wonder - people really buy these things!)

 

If I were you, I would take these same supplements divided.

Calcium, K2, D3 C boron & strontium can go together (this is off the top of my head - I am unable to do research right now)

Likewise Magnesium, K2, C, boron & strontium can go together.  K2 is an awesome supplement for osteoporosis, and can be found in grass-fed butter, and Nattokinase.  

 

Calcium and Magnesium should be taken at least 2 hours apart.  I take my calcium in the morning with breakfast, and my magnesium in the afternoon and after dinner.  I need calcium because my parathyroid gland was surgically removed, and so I don't produce it for myself.  If your supplement involves taking Calcium and Magnesium at the same time, then if I were you, I would be asking all kinds of questions of doctor and pharmacist.


Additionally, MSM (elemental sulfur, not the same as ingredients in most supplement forms), is an essential mineral for bone health.  This is at the cutting edge of my research, I have some, and am still learning how to take it, and what the benefits are.  Like Magnesium, it is involved in hundreds of cascades in the body - but - I am still researching this one, so my "off the top of my head" information is limited.

 

Have you asked your doctor about the scientific results achieved with this particular supplement?  Is there evidence that it actually saves bone and prevents breaks or bone loss?  

 

I no longer buy everything that doctor tells me, I believe that I am in charge of my own health, and do the research myself to confirm or deny what the doctor claims.

 

I hope you see the sun today!

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JanCarol

Hey Terry - this came in my inbox this morning from ConsumerLabs. 

 

It is naughty of me to report it here, as it's from behind a paywall - so I will include my usual ad that ConsumerLabs is an extremely valuable service, and for about $35 a year, you get up-to-date information on supplements of all kinds - what works, what doesn't, what forms are better, recalls, and studies from all over the world.  It is worth that, and more, for anyone who wants to take charge of their own health.  This month, they are reviewing Ashwaganda, which looks like a super valuable review.

So - without further ado:  Probiotics (especially l.reuteri) and osteoporosis - and the kinds of studies about bone density, bone loss, and breaks that I am asking for concerning your current supplement:

Probioticsbonedensit.jpg

Edited by JanCarol

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Terry
1 hour ago, JanCarol said:

Is there evidence that it actually saves bone and prevents breaks or bone loss?  

Yes.  In a 12 month study of 414 participants the increase in bone density among post-menopausal women was 1.3%.  This is a plant-based product derived from algae.

 

"Three groups of post-menopausal women each took different (brand hidden) formulations with all groups increasing bone density at one year. The smallest average increase among the 3 groups was 1.3% – an extraordinary result since traditional calcium supplements do not increase bone density. This comparative effectiveness study measured bone density via DEXA scan at baseline and then again at 6 months and one year. (Brand hidden) results were compared to published data on traditional calcium supplements BMD scores."

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Terry
1 hour ago, JanCarol said:

 

Terry - I picked this up from Waterfall's thread.  (first quote is mine, second quote is yours - I'm not very good at copying quotes yet).

 

This sounds like a doctor prescribed combination supplement meant to ease your mind about osteoporosis.

 

However, the calcium and the magnesium will be eating each other up, cancelling each other out.  There may be, in a pharmaceutical formula, a buffer of some sort to keep them separate in the digestive tract, but I don't have much faith in pharmaceutical formulas.  Especially not formulas which combine calcium and magnesium (I see them in the shops all the time, and shake my head in wonder - people really buy these things!)

 

If I were you, I would take these same supplements divided.

Calcium, K2, D3 C boron & strontium can go together (this is off the top of my head - I am unable to do research right now)

Likewise Magnesium, K2, C, boron & strontium can go together.  K2 is an awesome supplement for osteoporosis, and can be found in grass-fed butter, and Nattokinase.  

 

Calcium and Magnesium should be taken at least 2 hours apart.  I take my calcium in the morning with breakfast, and my magnesium in the afternoon and after dinner.  I need calcium because my parathyroid gland was surgically removed, and so I don't produce it for myself.  If your supplement involves taking Calcium and Magnesium at the same time, then if I were you, I would be asking all kinds of questions of doctor and pharmacist.


Additionally, MSM (elemental sulfur, not the same as ingredients in most supplement forms), is an essential mineral for bone health.  This is at the cutting edge of my research, I have some, and am still learning how to take it, and what the benefits are.  Like Magnesium, it is involved in hundreds of cascades in the body - but - I am still researching this one, so my "off the top of my head" information is limited.

 

Have you asked your doctor about the scientific results achieved with this particular supplement?  Is there evidence that it actually saves bone and prevents breaks or bone loss?  

 

I no longer buy everything that doctor tells me, I believe that I am in charge of my own health, and do the research myself to confirm or deny what the doctor claims.

 

I hope you see the sun today!

Thanks for your reply and all the information you sent.  I appreciate the time it took you to do it.

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neroli

Hello Terry

 

"Oh, you gave me quite a laugh!  I'm even older than you, but I sure hope to be done with this stuff well before I die."

 

I'm glad I gave you a bit of a chuckle, there was a dose of irony in my rumination!  Seriously, though, I feel so unstable I daren't go fast on the taper and I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel - and I'm struggling as it is.  If you are even older than me and intend to be off the drugs before you die, that is a ray of hope for me.  Thank you for dropping by - nice to hear from you.

 

Neroli

 

 

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Terry

I'm wondering at what point it's safe to end tapering.  I know I still have a ways to go (I'm on 3.6 mg sertraline), but I want to have something to look forward to.  After that I will still need to taper alprazolam.

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Allreadygone

Hey @Terry I’m new to the site,seams like setraline comes in much smaller doses than Effexor.Im not sure how low that is compared to Eff.Im pretty sure u can hold as long as u wish if your in a good place in your taper.I held at 75mgs for 5 yrs as I was just happy to be able to function a lil .Ive got off several ADs with not much Wds and others like Eff is ruff it’s been in my system for 20+ years.I m on 3 drugs as well will be long haul.

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Altostrata

Hi, Terry, here's your Into topic.

 

How has your taper been going?

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Terry

I think I'm doing fairly well, though I have my share of WD symptoms:  broken sleep, mild depression, lack of energy, burning skin, and, of course, anxiety, especially early AM. This has been harder than when I tapered mirtazipine, which really went smoothly.   Early this week I felt up to shopping and while I was at the fabric store I suddenly realized that I felt almost normal. 😊 I wound up buying some fabric and now hope I have the ambition and energy to sew it.  I had lunch with some old friends yesterday and that was really good too.  I started seeing an acupuncturist and she thinks her treatments may lessen my WD.  She tested me and found that my endocrine system is not functioning at optimum levels, so maybe that has some bearing on the way I feel.

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Terry

Has anyone had problems with liquid sertraline?  Because I'm tapering I have to dilute my 20 mg liquid.  So I wind up with enough for about 4 daily doses of 3.6 mg. each (my current dose).   Recently I've noticed a white film on the bottom of my glass container.  I've tried shaking the container really hard, but the sediment won't go into solution.  I quit refrigerating it thinking maybe that was the problem.  I made a fresh solution yesterday, and this morning when I went to use it the solution was flocular and no amount of mixing helped to dissolve it.  I was hoping not to have to make fresh solution every day, first because the prescrip is expensive (I'd have to waste a lot of it) and second because it's extra work.

 

I'm also wondering how to measure to the nearest hundredth on my dose.  I've been measuring with syringes, but just rounding off to the nearest tenth. I'm thankful for any suggestions that may be offered.

 

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ChessieCat

If you are making 10% reductions and the figure is a difficult one to measure remember to round up, otherwise you will be reducing by more than 10%.  Remember to then calculate the next reduction on the rounded up amount, not the starting amount.

 

What sort of water are you using to dilute your liquid?

 

You could contact the pharmacy and ask them about it.  If they can't help, contact the manufacturer directly.

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Terry
38 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

What sort of water are you using to dilute your liquid?

I use filtered water which I have boiled, and store it in a glass container in the refrigerator.

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ChessieCat

That's good.  I'd be contacting the pharmacist or manufacturer then to get further information on what is in the bottom of the container.  You need to find out if it contains any drug or is other stuff and the drug is fully dissolved in the liquid.

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RachelSusan
17 hours ago, Terry said:

Recently I've noticed a white film on the bottom of my glass container.  I've tried shaking the container really hard, but the sediment won't go into solution.

Hi Terry,

I use liquid Sertraline and I too get the white film on the bottom of my container. I use pre-made liquid, meaning I buy it that way rather than make my own. I dilute it with water and the solution appears completely clear both before I dilute it, as well as after. I too have wondered what it is, especially since my mixture is so clear.  I live in a city that has hard water so I wondered if it is mineral deposits, or if it is indeed the medication at the bottom of the container.  I use water that has only been filtered once by a filter we have under the sink. After I clean the glass container it takes about about 3 to 4 days for the the deposits to build back up. I end up cleaning the container completely about once a week.

RS

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Terry

@RachelSusan

Hi Rachel,

     I get the liquid sertraline from the pharmacy, rather than trying to make my own.  I spoke to my pharmacy this morning, and the pharmacist had no real answers to this problem.  All he suggested was using one of the other recommended diluents such as lemon-lime soda.  I hardly ever drink soda and wouldn't care to start because of all the artificial ingredients they contain.  Our water is softened and filtered, so I don't think the sediment is minerals.  After I made my dilution this morning using a new syringe, I put it in the fridge and will see what it looks like tomorrow.  The pharmacist said maybe they could get a replacement prescription for me from the manufacturer.  I don't hold out any real hope for that happening.

 

In this long process do you have any problems getting various size syringes?  What sizes do you use and just how do you make your dilutions?  It looks like we are currently taking close to the same dosage, although you are tapering more slowly than I am.  How are you doing with WD symptoms?

 

Thanks for your reply, and wishing you smooth tapering.

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brassmonkey

It's possible that the additional water is forcing the drug out of solution and causing the film. It has a fairly low solubility rate in water.  It has a much higher solubility rate in alcohol so possibly adding a bit of vodka to the mix would help. Worth a try. 

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Terry
30 minutes ago, brassmonkey said:

It has a much higher solubility rate in alcohol so possibly adding a bit of vodka to the mix would help. Worth a try. 

You are so right!  I still had my dilution with the floccular sediment which I was going to toss out today, so I added a few drops of vodka and it cleared immediately.  When I make my next dilution I think I'll try using 1/2 or 1 ml of vodka and the rest water.  I think going with the smallest amount of alcohol that works is safest.

 

Thanks, brassmonkey!

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ChessieCat
3 hours ago, Terry said:

You are so right!  I still had my dilution with the floccular sediment which I was going to toss out today, so I added a few drops of vodka and it cleared immediately. 

 

That's great news.

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RachelSusan

Hi Terry,

 

I am currently using a syringe that is 1.0mL. I wanted to find one that was smaller and could show me more increments of measurements. I had no luck with that so I started making more of a dilute formula.  I now mix .5mL to 1.5mL of water.  I have a hard time getting my head around it but my doctor and Andy here on our site worked with me to make sure I was doing it right.  

 

Yes, I am a slow taper. Last spring I was going much faster, and didn't have any problems, then suddenly I crashed. It came on during the course of one week and left me with tremors and other withdrawal symptoms for close to three months. Now I am being ultra cautions.  I get slight symptoms with each taper.  Minor tremors, sweats, and sometimes sinus headaches.  The symptoms can come on anywhere between 8 and 15 days after the taper and tend to last about five or six days.  It's very tolerable. Burning skin is with me always and is my new normal.  I've had that now for about a year. 

 

What about you? How are you WD symptoms?

 

RS

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ChessieCat
On 5/2/2011 at 6:56 AM, Altostrata said:

Where to get oral syringes

Many pharmacies carry the larger oral syringe and, as Brandy implies, veterinarians carry them, too, to give animals medication.

 

Compounding pharmacies will have a wider range of oral syringes.

 

They cost very little; most pharmacies will give them to you gratis.

 

What size oral syringe to get

The larger 10 mL syringe can measure out dosages as small as .2 mg; the small 1 mL syringe (see the second post in this topic) can measure out dosages as small as .01 mL.

 

There are also .5mL oral syringes, measuring as small as .01 mL.

 

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Terry

 

18 hours ago, RachelSusan said:

Hi Terry,

 

I am currently using a syringe that is 1.0mL. I wanted to find one that was smaller and could show me more increments of measurements. I had no luck with that so I started making more of a dilute formula.  I now mix .5mL to 1.5mL of water.  I have a hard time getting my head around it but my doctor and Andy here on our site worked with me to make sure I was doing it right.  

 

Yes, I am a slow taper. Last spring I was going much faster, and didn't have any problems, then suddenly I crashed. It came on during the course of one week and left me with tremors and other withdrawal symptoms for close to three months. Now I am being ultra cautions.  I get slight symptoms with each taper.  Minor tremors, sweats, and sometimes sinus headaches.  The symptoms can come on anywhere between 8 and 15 days after the taper and tend to last about five or six days.  It's very tolerable. Burning skin is with me always and is my new normal.  I've had that now for about a year. 

 

What about you? How are you WD symptoms?

 

RS

 I have my share of WD symptoms:  broken sleep, mild depression, lack of energy, burning skin, and, of course, anxiety, especially early AM.   I seem to have some combination of these every day, though most of the time they are somewhat tolerable.  I may be paying for tapering too fast during my first year. 😣

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