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Tristana: from sertraline 100 to hellish withdrawal


tristana

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Hi all and sorry we meet on this forum.

 

I was put on sertraline 100mg when my husband entered his midlife crisis in 2014. I tried to quit them the next year but could not cope with the withdraw symptoms so I decided to take them again. So I had been on sertraline 100 mg for 3 years when a few months ago I decided that since my husband's state of mind improved significantly and we were a solid couple again, it was time to try to quit again.

 

My gp recommended I should reduced the dosage to 50 mg for 2-3 months, then reduce the dosage every week (once every other day, then once every two days and so on).  I wwent a bit quick on this last part and got it over in about 3-4 weeks. The first symptoms appeared during this last faze (reducing the dosage every week). I had one week on insomnia and I got ill with a strange virus that kept me off work for one week. I would get very irritated by my employer's impulsive decisions at work and my husband's messiness at home. During the PM period I had strange moments when I felt so anguished I wanted to scream. At some point I could identify that there was this part in my brain that was anchored in the present, which was like a lid covering a boiling pot. Every now and again I had thoughts (about the past or the future) that made me anxious and I would reject them.

 

I have been off sertraline for about 5 weeks now. A few days ago I was due to fly back to my home country (I am an expat in Ireland). The anxiety had been taking my mind over little by little every day. The day when my flight was due coincided with a full moon and the PM period. I simply could not get on that flight. It felt like that boiling pot exploded. I have been going through this wave for a week now. Every morning I wake up with terror and fear. I would do anything to be calm and detached again, to have peace. Every morning I want to go back on sertraline. With this occasion I identified clearly that all these years my psychological issue has separation anxiety. During the moments of clarity I know that I learnt something while taking sertraline, which is that one can be happy if they focus on the present. But that seems a distant memory now, as the anxiety caused by withdraw is excruciating. The anxiety feels like a program  that has been switched on and it took over my mind. It is a familiar feeling though, it is the old childhood trauma of separation.

 

Exercise seems to make things better. Also, cleaning around the house, making a plan for the day, watching a film. Sadly, when I moved to Ireland I found it very difficult to make friends in a culture where drinking prevails, I am still working on that. I can talk to my family on skype and my husband, who is doing his best to support me, but I can tell that the whole situation is new to him and he finds it draining. A couple of days ago I woke up annoyed, it felt like when one had a broken leg and wants to feel fine and keep waling. Today I felt so anxious I agreed to see my gp for advice. Most likely she will just put me back on sertraline, as all testimonies point to on this forum. Of course, when I feel better I want t hang on and go through this to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

 

I have read the basic information on this forum and I can see that most of you have been going through far worse than me, for a longer time. I hope that given the low dosage and the relatively short time I have been on sertraline, this period will end sooner then later.

 

 

 

Edited by baroquep

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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  • Moderator

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.  I am glad that you found the site.  

 

At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  

The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops. The taper your GP prescribed for you was far in excess of our recommended rate; and skipping doses is never recommended as your central nervous system needs stability.  When a drug is reduced too quickly or there are too many changes it throws our central nervous system into chaos and results in the withdrawal symptoms that you are now experiencing which is also referred to as withdrawal syndrome (see link below).  Given the circumstances, what you are experiencing is completely normal.

 

Without having more information with respect to your drug/tapering history it will be difficult to make any recommendations.  We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance.  This helps moderators determine you current situation and we would ask that you follow the instructions at the link below.  Please give all dose changes and dates.  

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

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

 

The only known solution at this time to decrease or eliminate withdrawal syndrome is to reinstate a very small amount of the Sertraline back into your system and then to hold until you stabilize, then taper down slowly. We will need to see your withdrawal history signature before making any specific recommendation.  I will attach the links on reinstatement to give you an idea of the process involved and something I think you may want to consider.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
What to Expect in Reinstatement (James Heaney article)

  
To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a few topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here.

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Once you have completed your withdrawal history signature and have had a chance to review the links that I've attached, please let us know if you are interested in a small reinstatement of Sertraline to help alleviate symptoms.  My understanding is that you have not taken the drug in five weeks, but I do not know your final dosage nor how long you were on it.

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Tristana,

 

you are not alone with your struggles with withdrawel. There are many people here who are in a similar situations. I hope you feel better soon! 

 

Dan

Starting taking Anafranil when I was in 8th grade for OCD. I only took it for about one year. I had no withdrawel coming off as a freshman in high school. 

Then started various SSRI's my first two years of college. I felt side effects from all different meds but they were still prescribed by docs.

2010-Finally landed on lexapro for about one year and I noticed cognitive issues while on it.

Taper quickly off and felt very depressed for around four months. Was put on 50 mg Pristiq and symptoms got better but still had depression to a certain degree. Started getting severe issues from Pristiq so I tapered off over a four month period and have been dealing with withdrawal and healing from withdrawal since.

I was on Pristiq for about 2.5 years and then tapered off in the fall of 13'.

I am currently taking:

 

-255mg of gabapentin (holding for now)

-10 mg viibryd (holding for now)

-5 mg buspar (2.5 in the morn and 2.5 at night) (I weighed out half a tablet and it weighed about .053 on my scale so I started measuring it out to .050 with a nail file morning and night. That was my first cut. Beginning of December was when it was made). 

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Tristana

I relate to the terror feeling. I can just say mine has gotten slowly better but I am early in my taper and did reinstate after a too fast withdrawal.

Wishing all the best for you!

-D

2001- Klonopin 0.125 mg.  2011- increase to 1 mg.  2018- increase to 1.5 mg

2010- Trials of SSRI's, several.

2011- Saphris 5 mg. CT. 6/2017- retry Saphris 5 mg sublingual, begin taper August 2020 10% taper with scale, and final taper liquid sublingual, August 2019- taper complete!

2011- Geodon 20 mg. Begin taper Sept 2019. 10% liquid taper. 2020: December-5 mg. 2021: Jan-4.5mg. (held Feb.for vacation). March-4mg. Apr-3.6mg. May-3.2mg. June-2.8mg. (Held July for vacation). Aug-2.4mg. Sept.- 2.2mg. Oct. 2mg

2011- Gabapentin 300 mg to present- 2020.

2014- Vyvanse 20 mg, 2020- Vyvanse 5 mg.

2016- Lithium 300 mg, June 2016 - FT.

2017- Cogentin 0.5 mg. June-August 2019- off Cogentin.

Omeprazole 20 mg and holding, Omega 3's/fish oil, Magnesium

Omeprazole 20 mg and holding, Omega 3's/fish oil, Magnesium

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Tristana: From Sertraline 100 to hellish withdrawal

Welcome to S.A. 

 

I can relate to your anxiety, not something I would wish on anyone, I'm sorry your going through this, as I know just how bad it can get. What drugs are you on? What dosage and for how long? You have tapered half in a month? I would go by what this site states as a reduction of only 10% holding for 4 too 6 weeks, or withdrawal can get worse in some people, you don't need that. Maybe reinstate a small portion and see if it helps at all, I'm no expert and would wait for  mod to say, but that's what I think, you just tapered way too fast. I dropped way to fast and ended up in hell, I had to reinstate and man I'm so glad I did. Now I can follow this group and do it proper. Take care and again welcome 😃 Ali 

10 years citalopram 30mg- tapered down in December 15/2015- Jan 15/2016 to 20mg for two weeks, ten for one week and five for another week, then stopped, less then two weeks later, sheer hell broke lose with debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

 

Update-- reinstated 5mg of celexa on feb 5-- within hours noticed immediate difference in WD symptoms-- Holding holding and more holding.

 

Updose- March 23/16 too 10mg- relieved the harsher head symptoms- current symptoms headaches, dizzy, numbness and tingling in my head.

 

Benzos- 2015-Ativan on and off for 6 months 2mg- switched to clonazepam nov 2015- 2mg till Jan 2016 Zopiclone 7.5mg nov-dec 2015- was tapered off over 4weeks- Currently in protracted withdrawal. ????????????????????????????????

 

Update- ended up in the hospital April 18/16 major suicidal ( never had that before) was admitted/ been there ever since, put me back to full dose celexa 30mg no drugs added, IAM FINALLY STABLE AFTER 3 months of tortuous hell. Got a great physiatrist that new all about WD, he will help me taper properly in a couple of months at 5% deductions holding 8 weeks. I never want to relive that hell again.

 

Udate- stable and holding, doing things slowly is key.

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Thanks a mil to all of you for welcoming me to this forum and for your feedback, it means a lot.

Gridley, I have edited my signature, it would be fantastic if you could help me with the decent reinstating plan.

 

I had a better day today, less anxious in the morning and I got some crafting done.

Also, I have seen my GP today and, although her advice was predictable the whole thing left me in a low mood. Although it looks like I lost truck of time and discontinued the AD even faster than she had recommended, she said that did not matter. I know from reading the information on this forum that it is in the line with the report they have at the moment. She put me back on Sertraline 50 mg (the discontinuation dose, my usual dose was 100 mg). I read the articles you sent me and I took 25 mg. Just to let you know that that is the lowest dose in Ireland, and the pills can be easily halved.

Gridley, could you please let me know your recommendations.

 

My GP saw my determination to quit these pills, so she mentioned the usual good sense advice that you have on this forum too - exercise, healthy eating, therapy. 

I have started taking Magnesium and Vit B a few days ago, so I hope that will improve things too.

 

I would be very grateful if you could let me know which plan suits me to go on from here. Many thanks in advance and have a wonderful weekend!

 

Edited by tristana
I reinstated the treatment according to the recommendations on this forum.

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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  • Moderator

Tristana,  I have asked the other moderators for their input as to how much to instate and I'll be back with you as soon as I've heard from them.

 

The magnesium is a good idea.  I would start with a low dosage and work up.  You might want to reconsider the vitamin B.  Vitamin B can have an activating effect and can produce anxiety.

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Thanks very much!

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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  • Moderator

Tristana,

 

Two questions:

1. What dosage were you taking on September 9 when you quit?

2. Are you now taking 25 mg?  If so, when did you start and how are you feeling with this dosage?

 

Please don't make any more changes until I can get back to you with a recommended dosage for reinstatement.   When we are in withdrawal, the central nervous system craves stability--as few changes as possible.

 

Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Hi Gridley,

 

Back on 9 Sep I was still on 50 mg, that is the lowest dose available as a pill in Ireland.

I have taken now two doses of 25 mg (yesterday and today morning). I cannot tell exactly how this affects me, I can't see a pattern yet. I think my mood was improving anyway, as the menstruation is coming to an end. I have experienced two extreme moods yesterday - from bliss to awful depression.

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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  • Moderator

Tristana,

 

I just heard from another moderator who recommends no more than 12.5 mg ( halving your 25 mg tablet) or even 5 mg.  If you go with the lower amount, could you halve the 12.5 half to get 6.25?

 

Another possibility is to make your Sertraline into a liquid.  If that is something that interests you, I can send you SA links on making a liquid. 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Many thanks Gridley! I am willing to do all that. I get the principle behind it, it's almost like homeopathy, of which I am a big fan, as it helped me a lot in the past. The question is, I have taken now three doses of 25 mg (I see no improvement, the usual ups and downs). Should I stick with this dose and decrease at some point or go down to the dose suggested by you guys?

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Tristana, how have you been feeling since reinstating?  Do you find that 25mg has reduced your anxiety or increased it?

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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Hi baroquep,

 

I can't see any improvement, still cycling up and down.

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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  • Moderator

Tristana,

 

We suggest 12.5mg.  If it's not enough, we can guide you to a higher dosage.  

 

Give the reinstatement time to work.  The following is from the SA protocol on reinstatement:

 

How long should you give reinstatement?

  • It takes at least 4 days for your body to fully register the addition of a neuroactive drug. Unless you have an immediate bad reaction, observe your symptom pattern for about a week to see if the reinstatement is helping. If you have an immediate bad reaction, reduce or stop taking the drug.
  • After reinstatement, the amount of time needed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms (stabilizing) varies according to the individual. Relief can be felt immediately, after some weeks, or after some months.
  • Once you feel withdrawal symptoms are reduced after reinstatement, give your nervous system time to stabilize before attempting dosage reduction. Think in terms of months, not days.
  • Be patient after you reinstate. Reinstatement may not immediately eliminate all withdrawal symptoms. You may still experience waves of symptoms, which usually lessen as time goes on. Do not attempt to taper again until you feel symptom-free, or at least until your withdrawal symptoms are mild and tolerable.
  • The dose needed for effective reinstatement varies according to the individual.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 8 months later...

Hi again, it has been a while. Last time I was here I was going through a difficult time following the attempt to discontinue sertraline, as per my gp's instructions. I went back on half dosage and I have been taking sertraline 50 mg for a little over half a year. I now know that is need to be discontinued very very slowly, 10% per month or even more slowly. However, there is no liquid version of sertraline in Ireland, and the price of this medicine on the internet is ridiculous. I guess there is always the option of buying high precision scales. So far I have been skipping the pill on Thursdays, four times now. Planning to reduce the dosage to 25 mg every 6th days next.

Half dosage has kept me on the edge, so I have got used to intense feelings and to managing a tendency to panick attacks. 

I want to stop taking this medicine because it is clear to me that I get used to it and it has no effect on me anymore. 

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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Are you able to access a compounding pharmacy? That’s how I’m reducing sertraline. This site typically advises against skipping doses...

 

2005 St John's Wort / 2006-2012 Lexapro 20mg, 2 failed attempts to stop, tapered over 4.5 months in early 2012

January 2013 started Sertraline, over time worked up to 100mg

July 2014 Sertraline dropped from 100mg to 75mg, held for six months, slower tapering until 2019 22 Dec 3.2mg

2020 Sertraline 19 Jan 3.1mg, 26 Jan 3.0mg; 1 Mar 2.9, 7 Mar 2.8, May (some drops here) 24 May 2.5, May 29 2.4, June 21 2.3, June 28 2.2mg,  July 4 2.1mg, July 24 (or maybe a bit before) 2mg, early Nov switched to home made suspension; 29 Nov 1.8mg; approx 25 Dec 1.6mg)

2021 Some time in about Jan/Feb realised my dosing was off and as probably on more like 1.8mg and possible mixing error in making suspension; doses after 10 Feb accurate; 10 Feb 1.6mg; 7 Mar 1.4

 

My thread here at SA: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1775-bubbles/page/17/

CurrentSertraline: 7 Mar 1.4mg / Armour Thyroid / endless allergy meds, erg

 

 

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Yes agree with bubbles the  compounding pharmacy is probably the best way imo.  But there are other ways too if you don’t have such a pharmacy near you 

 

Are you taking capsules with powder in them?  That’s what my sertraline/Zoloft pills are like.  

 

I am taking 55 mg having tapered down from 200.  I take 2 x 25 then open another 25 capsule and dissolve in 25 ml water.  I then take out 5 ml with a syringe and drink that. 

 

If your pills are powder maybe you can go the same.  Dissolve 50 mg on 50 ml water and take out 10 percent throw it out and drink the rest?  I think instruction to do this are on this forum in the tapering section.  There are also other ways depending on what your pills are like.  Check out the tapering Zoloft section for more info 

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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Quote

 

Are you taking capsules with powder in them?  That’s what my sertraline/Zoloft pills are like.  


 

 

I didn't know that sertraline sometimes came as a capsule!! Well, mine do, but that's because the compounding pharmacy crushes tablets and puts the dust into capsules for me. I've had regular sertraline at normal doses prescribed for me in two different countries, and they've been tablets each time. How interesting that they're different, in different places.

 

@tristana Liquid sertraline is available in some EU countries. I'm not sure how it works, but while Ireland is part of the EU still (actually, I guess depending where you are, that may continue to be the case), is it possible to fill your Irish prescription from another part of the EU? It's fairly pricey, depending on your dose (at 100mg dose, a bottle would only last 12 days), but it may be possible to combine, say, half a tablet with some liquid to get an intermediate dose without blowing the cost out too much. Just a thought, I don't know how these things work in Ireland, or even how things vary between the two regions.

 

2005 St John's Wort / 2006-2012 Lexapro 20mg, 2 failed attempts to stop, tapered over 4.5 months in early 2012

January 2013 started Sertraline, over time worked up to 100mg

July 2014 Sertraline dropped from 100mg to 75mg, held for six months, slower tapering until 2019 22 Dec 3.2mg

2020 Sertraline 19 Jan 3.1mg, 26 Jan 3.0mg; 1 Mar 2.9, 7 Mar 2.8, May (some drops here) 24 May 2.5, May 29 2.4, June 21 2.3, June 28 2.2mg,  July 4 2.1mg, July 24 (or maybe a bit before) 2mg, early Nov switched to home made suspension; 29 Nov 1.8mg; approx 25 Dec 1.6mg)

2021 Some time in about Jan/Feb realised my dosing was off and as probably on more like 1.8mg and possible mixing error in making suspension; doses after 10 Feb accurate; 10 Feb 1.6mg; 7 Mar 1.4

 

My thread here at SA: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1775-bubbles/page/17/

CurrentSertraline: 7 Mar 1.4mg / Armour Thyroid / endless allergy meds, erg

 

 

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Oh, silly me, my brain only hung on to Ireland and completely missed Dublin!!!

2005 St John's Wort / 2006-2012 Lexapro 20mg, 2 failed attempts to stop, tapered over 4.5 months in early 2012

January 2013 started Sertraline, over time worked up to 100mg

July 2014 Sertraline dropped from 100mg to 75mg, held for six months, slower tapering until 2019 22 Dec 3.2mg

2020 Sertraline 19 Jan 3.1mg, 26 Jan 3.0mg; 1 Mar 2.9, 7 Mar 2.8, May (some drops here) 24 May 2.5, May 29 2.4, June 21 2.3, June 28 2.2mg,  July 4 2.1mg, July 24 (or maybe a bit before) 2mg, early Nov switched to home made suspension; 29 Nov 1.8mg; approx 25 Dec 1.6mg)

2021 Some time in about Jan/Feb realised my dosing was off and as probably on more like 1.8mg and possible mixing error in making suspension; doses after 10 Feb accurate; 10 Feb 1.6mg; 7 Mar 1.4

 

My thread here at SA: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1775-bubbles/page/17/

CurrentSertraline: 7 Mar 1.4mg / Armour Thyroid / endless allergy meds, erg

 

 

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I'm afraid sertraline comes in tablets here. Will have to look into the compounding pharmacy tip, thanks!

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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  • 5 months later...

I have been going down slowly and I am almost down to 25 mg (from 50 mg). Meanwhile, it looks like I need treatment for hypertyroidism. They say that antidepressants have no such side effects...

The good news is that there was an article on the main page of BBC taking about antidepressants withdrawal, so it won't be long until this issue will be recognised. Another failure of the pharmaceutical industry. 

 

Happy New Year to everyone!  

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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  • Administrator

Hello, tristana. Have your thyroid tests come back showing hyperthyroidism?

 

Otherwise, if you have anxiety and sleeplessness, it could be from your sertraline tapering. I would hold on reductions and see if those symptoms abate.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

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, my blood tests showed that I have hyperthyroidism, I am meeting my GP in a couple of days. 

So far, each time I reduced the dose, I have stayed on the new amount for three months. It is going OK, may be I need to slow down as I am approaching half dose.

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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  • Administrator

Hyperthyroidism can cause anxiety and sleeplessness.

 

My belief is that withdrawal can stress the thyroid. If you have a choice of treatments for hyperthyroidism, I would start with the mildest. It can be temporary. Some people even claim to be successful with herbal treatments.

 

What is your method for tapering sertraline?

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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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Tristana: from Sertraline 100 to hellish withdrawal

I saw my gp last week and I have started on 50 micrograms of levothyoxine for hypothyroidism (not hyper, I was wrong). I saw on the leaflet inside the medicines box that sertraline can have an impact on levothyroxine, so will have to take one in the morning and one at lunch time or in the evening. I started taking the levothyroxine while on a bad flu, so I cannot be sure what is at fault for the depression increase. Will be able to know more when I get over the flu, I guess. 

 

As for the sertraline tapering, there is no liquid form here or compounding pharmacies here. Just measuring it on the scale, decreasing 10% every 3-4 months.

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
18 hours ago, tristana said:

As for the sertraline tapering, there is no liquid form here or compounding pharmacies here.

 

It is possible to make your own liquid from sertraline tablets:  Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • 2 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

How are you doing Tristana?💚

Been on antipsychotics, benzos, ADs and opiates for chronic pain. 

Was cold turkeyed and put on and off lots of things. Was suicidal n ended up in a psych ward due to akathisia from WDs. When released I still had severe akathisia n was suicidal. Back to the ward and more meds. Tapered off one and have been trying to taper off Seroquel since. Many years of tapering. 

Tapered from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg./2019:➡️ March 10=7.25mg ✔️  
April 17=7.0✔️ June 5th=6.75✔️ July 14th=6.50✔️Aug 28=6.25✔️

Oct 10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️                                
 2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April 2=5.40✔️May 29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep 29=4.80✔️
 2021➡️ Jan 31=4.60 mg✔️April 24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov 1=4.10✔️ Nov 21= 4.05✔️ Dec 13= 4mg✔️

  2022➡️Jan 8= 3.95

I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. These are my own views based on what I’ve experienced myself.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Tristana: from sertraline 100 to hellish withdrawal
  • 1 month later...

I have been taking 25 micrograms of Levothyroxine (for hypothyroidism) for three months now, metabolism has improved and I am more awake.

 

At he same I am down to 25 gr of Sertraline (from 50mg). I am feeling quite anxious, running mind has been a problem for a while now. This seems to get worse as I reduce the dosage of sertraline. It is like a continuous buzz, songs or unimportant thoughts that keep repeating in my mind without me bringing them up. They just take over. Meditation works, but I have to make a big voluntary effort to dive into that peaceful void. 

 

So this is my update. I hope everyone on this site is doing well on their path.

😍

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been going through all sort of symptoms that I experienced before while tapering. Depression, anxiety,  insomnia - waking up during the night for a couple of hours. I have a fixed one year contract where I work, which is due to expire in 4 months. Today I was told there won't be any more work after that. Needless to say, I am experiencing panic attacks, crying spell, high level of anxiety. While this is obviously not the end of the world,  surely there are worse situations in life, I cannot get over the feeling of helplessness. It will pass...

 

Sertraline 50 mg for one month (May 2014). Dosage increased to 100 mg.

Sertraline 100 mg from Jun 2014 to Aug 2015. Discontinued very fast at the advice of my gp:  Aug 2015 - dosage decreased to 50 mg, then in Sep 50 mg every other day. October -  excruciating withdrawal symptoms, aggravated by marital separation issues at home. Back to 100 mg after one month. 

Sertraline 100 mg from Nov 2015 to Jul 2017. Dosage decreased: Jul and Aug 2017 - 50 mg, then on 9 Sep 50 mg, quantity decreased every week, fast within a month. -> although situation is peaceful at home, excruciating withdrawal symptoms.

Back to Sertraline 50 mg since November 2017. Trying to discontinue again, this time very slowly.

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