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Seasprite: tapering off sertraline / Zoloft


Seasprite

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I have been on Sertraline(Zoloft) since January 2017.my dose was 50mg/25mg alternating until this January,when I began tapering down to 25mgs daily.

Having lived with chronic & acute anxiety from early childhood,I experienced a 2 year depression with panic disorder 2011-2013.GP prescribed a normal dose of Cetalopran & I had very bad reaction.Stopped overnight after 4 weeks & endured 2 years unmedicated.

Self-medicated SAMe 200mgs for a year with good results 2013-2014.

second depressive breakdown 2016.SAMe didn't help so asked GP for low dose of Sertraline.

Good results & not feeling unwanted side effects at 25mgs daily,apart from a decrease in energy & motivation,but not in an unpleasant way,like depression.However I have auto immune underactive thyroid & since being on Sertraline I have put on a lot of weight.I am now heavier than I have ever been & know that the SSRIs are interfering  with the effectiveness of my thyroid medication.

I would like to taper down to zero,to allow my thyroid medication to have maximum effect.

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  • Moderator

Hello, Seasprite, and welcome to SA.   We will be happy to help you taper your Zoloft.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication 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.
Please include the dates of your taper, the rate at which you tapered, and whether you did every-other-day dosing.  Please keep your signature as simple and easy to read as possible.
 

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.  Another method is the Brassmonkey Slide Method, where you do four equal 2 1/2% cuts every four weeks, with a 2-week hold.   We strongly advise you never to alternate doses.  Every-other-day dosing is very hard on your nervous system and makes withdrawal more difficult.
  

 
 
 
Here is some information on withdrawal.
 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 
 
Please be aware that sometime withdrawal symptoms don't appear immediately after a too-fast taper.
 
 
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
While it is often a first response to stress to take a B-Complex, in withdrawal it can be overstimulating.
 
 
Many members have found the techniques in these links to be helpful during tapering.
 
 
 
Most doctors know nothing about tapering or withdrawal.  Here are some tip on talking to your doctor about tapering.
 
 
This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.
 

 

 

 
 

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 Seasprite and welcome to the group. I'm sorry you have to be here, but you will find yourself with a good group of people that will give you lots of support. Welcome aboard.

Rachel

HISTORY

Feb. 2016 to June 2016  - Was on 150mg Zoloft. 

Quit Zoloft (Sertraline) June  2016,  reinstated 50mg of Zoloft July 2016.  From July 2016  to October 2016 went from 50 mg down 2.3 mg. I up-dosed in November 2016 to 12.5 mg. Held there until January 2017 when I started a much slower taper.

STARTING SENSIBLE  ZOLOFT TAPERING USING GUIDELINES FROM THIS SITE

Dec. 10 2016  - switched to Liquid Zoloft (Sertraline) @ 12.5 mg.   Jan. 4, 2020 1.875 mg (6.3%). Jan. 25, 2020 1.75 mgFeb. 29, 2020 1.625mg (7.10%).  Apr. 4, 2020 1.5 mg.  May 9, 2020 1.375 mg.  June 6, 2020 1.25 mg. (9.10%).  July 4, 2020 1.125 mg. (10%).  August 15, 2020 1.0 mg.  Oct 24, 2020 .875 mg.  Nov. 28, 2020 .75mgJan 16, 2021 .685mg (8.7%).  Feb 13, 2021 .62mg. March 12, 2021 .56mg.  May 1, 2021 .375mg.  May 29, 2021 .25mg. June 26, 2021 .0125mg. July 25, 2021 .065mg. August 22, 2021 .048mg.  October 2, 2021 .043mg.  October 10, 2021 .038mg.  October 23, 2021 .035mg.  October 30, 2021 .032mg.  Nov. 13, 2021 .030 mg.  Dec 4, 2021 .0285 mg.  Dec 11, 2021 .0265 mg. Dec 18, 2021 .0246 mg. Dec 25, 2021 .023mg. Jan 1, 2022. 0 mg. OFF COMPLETELY

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator
6 hours ago, Seasprite said:

I have been on Sertraline(Zoloft) since January 2017.my dose was 50mg/25mg alternating until this January,when I began tapering down to 25mgs daily.

Having lived with chronic & acute anxiety from early childhood,I experienced a 2 year depression with panic disorder 2011-2013.GP prescribed a normal dose of Cetalopran & I had very bad reaction.Stopped overnight after 4 weeks & endured 2 years unmedicated.

Self-medicated SAMe 200mgs for a year with good results 2013-2014.

second depressive breakdown 2016.SAMe didn't help so asked GP for low dose of Sertraline.

Good results & not feeling unwanted side effects at 25mgs daily,apart from a decrease in energy & motivation,but not in an unpleasant way,like depression.However I have auto immune underactive thyroid & since being on Sertraline I have put on a lot of weight.I am now heavier than I have ever been & know that the SSRIs are interfering  with the effectiveness of my thyroid medication.

I would like to taper down to zero,to allow my thyroid medication to have maximum effect.

Hi Seasprite:

 

Rachel told me about you being on here. Welcome, even though you are here for reasons we all wish we weren't.

 

I am tapering Lexapro and Xanax after that.

 

But, I was told you have thyroid problems. I just started taking NP Thyroid for a high TSH. All my other numbers are ok. I was just curious about your hypothyroidism? Or do you have hyperthyroidism? I'm hypo. I could really use any help you could give me.

 

Thanks...

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, 

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Seasprite.

 

Are you taking 25mg Zoloft every day? It's important to be consistent in your dosing, not to alternate days. This will become more and more important as your dosage goes lower.

 

Frogie, please take your questions about hypothyroidism to an online community for that condition. Thank you.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seasprite, 

Welcome to SA. Gridley has given you a lot of great information, but I just wanted to say welcome to the site. 

Current: 2019: 0.04 mg Paxil!! This is real. Soon, after taking Paxil my entire adult life, I will be free.

Long story short: After 18 years on Paxil, "tapered" almost completely off over a month, at doctor's advice in July 2015.

Self-care includes magnesium, reasonable exercise, mindfulness, this forum and nutrition/eating enough food.

Also on 100 mg Zoloft unfortunately!! (which I now will have the knowledge to taper properly)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Longer version: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety & depression caused by (undiagnosed) under-eating / eating disorder.

Doctor kept increasing dose, up to 60 mg; it never really helped but said it really was the best "med" for me.

Rapid doctor-led "taper" July 2015, down to 5 mg, with Zoloft as a "cross-taper" = Essentially a cold turkey. 

Severe withdrawal but didn't know it; believed it was my "underlying condition," and kept tapering, 5mg to 4 to 3  to 2 to 1.  

Feb 2016: Found SA! As of June 2016, tapering from 1mg at rate of 5-10% per month, Brassmonkey Slide! 

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Seasprite Tapering off Sertraline(Zoloft)
  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/20/2018 at 6:26 PM, Frogie said:

Hi Seasprite:

 

Rachel told me about you being on here. Welcome, even though you are here for reasons we all wish we weren't.

 

I am tapering Lexapro and Xanax after that.

 

But, I was told you have thyroid problems. I just started taking NP Thyroid for a high TSH. All my other numbers are ok. I was just curious about your hypothyroidism? Or do you have hyperthyroidism? I'm hypo. I could really use any help you could give me.

 

Thanks...

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

Hi Frogie

Sorry for the delay.Caught the common cold virus & still feeling rough.I am hypothyroid & have the auto immune disorder"Hashimotos".Most hypos have this.Have you had your antibodies tested?I am also on natural dessicated thyroid replacement,after 16 years on thyroxine/synthoid(T4) & 2 years on liothyronine(T3)

If the medics told you your other numbers are OK it means nothing,unless you feel really well.

My advice is to use"Stop The Thyroid Madness"website,Thyroid UK website & their forum on "Health Unlocked"I have been taking control of my thyroid illness for years,using these resources,as the medics in the UK do not understand or have the time for the individuality of this condition.

Look forward to your reply

Naomi xx

 

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  • 8 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi seasprite, 

 

How have you been doing? Sending hugs🤗

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 Seasprite: tapering off sertraline / Zoloft

Hi Carmie.I followed this forum's advice & tapered off Sertraline at 10% per month,finally getting to zero a few weeks ago.So far so good,though this is the worst time of year for my mood(lack of light etc)

I believe the Sertraline was having a negative impact on my thyroid hormone replacement,as my weight went up a dress size.

However,if I experience a third breakdown into depression with acute anxiety,I will take it again,rather than experience the two years of misery I endured the first time.

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 As previously requested:

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seasprite, 

 

Glad to hear you’re doing okay at the moment. Would you be so kind as to put in your drug signature with the dates so we can see how you did your tapering. Thanks. How low were you when you jumped off the meds?

 

A lot of the time if you’re experiencing depression, anxiety or a host of other symptoms when you’re off meds it’s withdrawals. Withdrawals can be delayed too. Some people come off meds and they’re fine for a few months and then withdrawals hit.

 

Take care💚

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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10 hours ago, Carmie said:

Hi Seasprite, 

 

Glad to hear you’re doing okay at the moment. Would you be so kind as to put in your drug signature with the dates so we can see how you did your tapering. Thanks. How low were you when you jumped off the meds?

 

A lot of the time if you’re experiencing depression, anxiety or a host of other symptoms when you’re off meds it’s withdrawals. Withdrawals can be delayed too. Some people come off meds and they’re fine for a few months and then withdrawals hit.

 

Take care💚

OK,will do that.I did not have any of my set of symptoms when I tapered down,then off Sertraline.Thanks for the warning re delayed withdrawal symptoms.Will be extra vigilant.Will do my drug signature today

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Seasprite,

 

One of our moderators who has been Paxil free for 1+ years wrote some excellent information here:  are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take   Especially:  It doesn’t end at “0”

 

And we have this topic too:  Experiences after tapering to zero

 

 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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