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Elqueso: Zoloft tapering and updosing


Elqueso

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Moderator note: link to Elqueso's benzo thread - Elqueso: Xanax taper help

 

Hi all. I am sorry in advance if my signature history is a bit off. I really had a hard time pinpointing the exact times I made the dosage changes, so they are my best approximations.

 

I was on 100 MG of Zoloft for around 4 years starting in October of 2013, and after a while of feeling almost no anxiety, I decided to drop the dose to 50 MG after talking to my primary care doctor. This happened about a year ago in June or July 2017, and held at that dose until around November or December.

 

About 5 months ago I started breaking the pills in half so that I was taking 25 MG doses. I did start to notice some mild anxiety in march/april 2018, but it was not debilitating.

 

However, around July 20th I started researching AD withdrawal symptoms, and on the 22nd I had a massive panic attack that lasted hours. Out of fear I started taking 50 MG of Zoloft again, hoping it would make the anxiety stop.

 

I did not notice any immediate changes after taking the new dose, but I did have this residual anxiety that would not go away. On Friday the 27th, I began to feel depersonalization and derealization, which I am still experiencing.

 

My question is, should I continue taking the 50 MG of Zoloft, or go back to a lower dose? I know I should not have made such a large dosage change out of panic, but at the time I did not know this could have adverse effects.

 

I am also taking 0.25 of xanax a couple of times a day to help manage the anxiety and DP/DR. It helps, but not much.

 

Any advice you can offer would be very much appreciated.

Edited by Shep
added link to benzo forum thread

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Elqueso: Zoloft tapering and updosing

Started with 50 mg of zoloft about 5 years ago, mostly for help with panic attacks I was having. The medication did help and for years I staid at around 100 mg of zoloft. Then, I went down to 50 mg again for around 4-5 months since I felt fine. About 2-3 months ago I started to break the tablets in half to 25 mg doses, and for the most part I felt the same, although I did notice a very slight uptick in anxiety. However, this prompted me to start looking into withdrawal symptoms, and I think this triggered my panic disorder that is health related. About 7 days ago I had a massive panic attack that lasted for hours, so out of panic I started taking the 50 mg dose again instead of the 25. So far the anxiety has staid the same, but now I am also experiencing depersonalization and derealization. I am not sure if I should continue with the 50 mg doses, or if this was too big a jump for me and need to go back to 25.

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Elqueso and welcome to SA. 

 

Thank you for completing a drug signature so we can see your history. 

 

A couple of things: 

-You could still be experiencing withdrawal from a drastic (50%) cut in December/January.

-It's hard to tell for sure, but 50mg may have been too much. Have the symptoms changed since July 22? Had you had dp/dr before this? 

 

It would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with concepts relating to updosing and reinstatement here: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms.

 

Waking up with severe anxiety/panic is common in withdrawal and is related to cortisol spikes: Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing cortisol spikes.

 

Again, welcome.

 

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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Hi SkyBlue,

 

Thank you for responding. Yes, I realize now the cut may have been too drastic, and the WD symptoms are only now starting to hit me full force.

 

The first 4 or 5 days after taking the 50 MG again, I felt almost no difference in my anxiety. On Friday the 27th though, I started experiencing the DP/DR, which brought on more anxiety, which also makes the DP/DR worse. So, I'm in a rough spot.

 

I have experienced DP/DR in the past, but it was always triggered by a massive panic attack. They never continued once I calmed down from it. Now though, the anxiety and DP/DR have not subsided, and am wondering if the dosage increase was too much (Probably was...).

 

Really I just want some guidance on whether I should hold at the 50 MG and see if the anxiety and DP/DR improve, or start a very slow taper down from the 50 MG? I've had about 8 doses of the 50 MG since July 22nd, because I accidentally missed one night.

 

Thanks for your input so far. I will read up on those links today.

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment
25 minutes ago, Elqueso said:

Hi SkyBlue,

 

Thank you for responding. Yes, I realize now the cut may have been too drastic, and the WD symptoms are only now starting to hit me full force.

 

The first 4 or 5 days after taking the 50 MG again, I felt almost no difference in my anxiety. On Friday the 27th though, I started experiencing the DP/DR, which brought on more anxiety, which also makes the DP/DR worse. So, I'm in a rough spot.

 

I have experienced DP/DR in the past, but it was always triggered by a massive panic attack. They never continued once I calmed down from it. Now though, the anxiety and DP/DR have not subsided, and am wondering if the dosage increase was too much (Probably was...).

 

Really I just want some guidance on whether I should hold at the 50 MG and see if the anxiety and DP/DR improve, or start a very slow taper down from the 50 MG? I've had about 8 doses of the 50 MG since July 22nd, because I accidentally missed one night.

 

Thanks for your input so far. I will read up on those links today.

I would stay on 50mg for at least some more days. It is advised to only make on up-changes at least once a week. When you taper u should reduce the dosage by 10% every 4 weeks. You can do this with a liquid zoloft solution.

 

As I have my own zoloft story, I hope you could answer me one question:

Did you take Zoloft on an empty stomach once in a while or even on a regular basis?

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Hi Tyof,

 

Yes, there were plenty of times I took it on an empty stomach. Not always, but really it just never occurred to me that eating before taking it was necessary or made a difference.

 

I am going to see a paychiatrist tomorrow for help managing my anxiety and DP/DR. Any tips on what I should say? My ultimate goal is to get off the meds, but I realize he will try to put me on another one.

 

I wilm stay at the 50 MG for a few more days and see what happens.

 

 

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

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40 minutes ago, Elqueso said:

Hi Tyof,

 

Yes, there were plenty of times I took it on an empty stomach. Not always, but really it just never occurred to me that eating before taking it was necessary or made a difference.

 

I am going to see a paychiatrist tomorrow for help managing my anxiety and DP/DR. Any tips on what I should say? My ultimate goal is to get off the meds, but I realize he will try to put me on another one.

 

I wilm stay at the 50 MG for a few more days and see what happens.

 

 

Did you ever have any stomach issues due to taking it on empty stomach? Like burping or feeling of a balloon trapped inside your upper stomach?

 

Regarding your question: It always is the patients last decision if he/she takes a medication or not - at least in a non-stationary setting. Keep that in mind, ask for his recommendations but dont forget your aim.

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Not really. There have been a few periods in the last year or so where I experienced more gas/bloating, but it is hard to say if was because of the Zoloft. Sorry if that isn’t very helpful. 

 

I forgot to add that I am taking 0.25 mg of xanax 1-2 times a day to manage the anxiety. It helps a bit, but not for very long.

 

 

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Elqueso,

 

You asked earlier about tips for your visit to the psychiatrist.  Keep in mind that very few doctors know anything about slow tapering or withdrawal.  They will usually suggest a far-too-fast taper.  Here are some tips for taking with your doctor.
 
 

 

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 Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

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

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

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% 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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  • Moderator Emeritus
2 hours ago, Elqueso said:

I am going to see a paychiatrist tomorrow for help managing my anxiety and DP/DR. Any tips on what I should say?

 

Gridley has very good points about how psychiatrists will usually approach tapering and any psychological symptoms. They know of one way to treat anxiety, dp/dr, anything, and it's prescriptions and more prescriptions. Of course, always do what you see fit. I find it personally helpful now for me to process my own stuff *outside* of the psychiatrist's office. 

 

3 hours ago, Elqueso said:

I wilm stay at the 50 MG for a few more days and see what happens.

 

That sounds like a good plan. 

 

Let us know when you read those links (especially the first page of the one on reinstatement) if that helps you decide if you'd like to try staying at 50 or if you get the sense that 50 was too high. 

 

Please also add the Xanax to your signature --it's all helpful information. I'd also encourage you to start building or adding to a "toolkit" of ways to cope with anxiety and other symptoms. There are a lot of good suggestions here on this 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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  • SkyBlue changed the title to Elqueso: Zoloft tapering and updosing

Hi Skyblue,

 

I took a look at the reinstatement link, and I can see how upping my dose so much may not have been the smartest idea.

 

I didn’t notice any immediate changes after switching to 50 MG. It was only in the past 3 days that the DP/DR started. This has also led to increased anxiety and panic while trying to block out those thoughts. 

 

Today was the first day I felt any sort of relief. It comes in small windows, usually 15 minutes or so, but it is noticeable. Staying at the current dose seems like the best option for now, although I am going to ask the psychiatrist for a liquid form of the Zoloft so I will be prepared for future tapers. 

 

Any tips you can offer for dealing with the anxiety, panic, and dp/dr? Meditation maybe?

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment

Hi all,

 

Just wanted to stop by and let you know that somehow, my anxiety levels have dropped significantly, along with my DP/DR. It's crazy how 12 hours ago I was a mess, but now I am back to being functional.

 

I will say that my irritability and agitation has increased quite a bit since this ordeal started a couple weeks ago. My nerves feel like they are completely frayed and I need to sleep for a week...

 

Have my appointment tomorrow, but odds are I will not make any changes for the time being. Will probably stay at 50 MG for a month at least, because of how traumatized I feel from this experience.

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment

IGood to hear your are feeling better and your anxiety is down. 

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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Have been feeling fairly anxious again today. But it feels more like a nervous energy than pure anxiety, so it is more manageable.

 

A bit of DP/DR still, but has decreased at the same pace as my anxiety.

 

Woke up in the middle of the night and had a bit of a panic attack. Was able to go back to sleep though.

 

So overall the symptoms are still there, but have decreased in intensity.

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment

Hi guys,

 

Sorry for the constant posting. It feels like you are the only ones I can actually talk to about what I am feeling. No one else understands what it is like trying to get your life back together after having your brain rewired by these awful medications.

 

My anxiety seems to come and go randomly throughout the day. One moment I can feel fine with little to no anxiety, the next I feel the need to curl up in a ball.

 

It is almost like being hypersensitive to everything around me. Perhaps the 50 mg is too much. Will have to wait another day or so to see if this is just part of the stabilization process or if I am too sensitive to the 50 MG.

 

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment

Today was a rough day for me. I went to a concert with some 'friends', and I ended up snapping at them because they were treating me like ****. I am a pretty passive person most of the time, so I usually don't have much of a reaction to people messing with me. But after years of putting up with it, I had enough.

 

I got into a serious fight and I was completely unrestrained. It scares me to think about it now, because my self control was gone. If others hadn't been there to help break up the fight, I don't know what would have happened.

 

Some of it was because of the hellish weeks I've had recently, but on the other hand, I could tell it was a part of me that had been holding in all this anger for years. I am still angry. But I will not put myself in that situation again.

 

I hope someone can relate to this. I am not a violent/angry person at all, but sometimes you just have to stick up for yourself in the best way you can. I will not justify myself to bullies who think they can use people as emotional punching bags because it is easy.

 

I've probably lost most of my friends over this, but then again they were never really my friends.

 

Feeling heartbroken and ... lost. I don't know who I am anymore.

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Moderators, please note that Elqueso started a thread in the benzo area to address the Xanax. 

 

Elqueso: Xanax taper help

 

Elqueso, I left you some non-drug coping techniques for anger in your benzo thread. It may be coming from a paradoxical reaction to the Xanax and / or from the Xanax-Zoloft combination, so it would be best to remove the Xanax since you've only been on it for 2 weeks. 

 

Please add Xanax to your signature. Please include the dates taken, as well as the dose. A direct link is here:

 

Account - Settings - Edit or Create a Signature

 

Edited by Shep
fixed link

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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 for the links Shep, appreciate it.

 

Been having some more anxiety today. Less severe than when the WD symptoms first started, but still noticeable. If I can distract myself long enough I forget about it for a bit, but then it comes back. Feels like a small wave to me.

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment

Hey guys,

 

So my WD symptoms have lessened in severity and I am still improving overall. My DP/DR is almost completely gone, my anxiety is still there but more intermittent than constant, and my emotions seems to be stabilizing as well.

 

one thing that seems to have gotten worse is my depression. There are times when it gets so bad that it feels like a physical presence. I was depressed before the WD symptoms appeared, but it is noticeably worse now. 

 

Ive been reading up on liquid zoloft prescriptions to help with tapering. Is there a downside to switching to all liquid from pill form?

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment

Still stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft. There are good days and bad days, but the bad days aren’t as bad as when the WD symptoms first appeared. It definitely seems to follow the 1 step forward, 3 steps back pattern.

 

Can someone recommend a good scale to use when I start tapering? Also, would it be a good idea to get a prescription for liquid Zoloft so I can use it to gradually reduce the dosage?

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment

Anyone still reading this?

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
16 hours ago, Elqueso said:

Can someone recommend a good scale to use when I start tapering? Also, would it be a good idea to get a prescription for liquid Zoloft so I can use it to gradually reduce the dosage?

 

Liquid is generally the easiest way to taper and gives you precise control over doses.  It will be good if you can get a prescription for liquid Zoloft when you're ready to start tapering.  If not, it may be possible for you to make your own your own liquid.  See: how to make a liquid from tablets or capsules and:  tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

Another option is to use a scale.  Some pills are very small, so it may be difficult to measure very small dose drops.  It's also time-consuming to make all the doses up.  You need a scale that weighs down to 0.001g.  They are usually described as "jeweller's scales".   See:  using a digital scale to measure doses.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

Link to comment

Hi Songbird, thanks for the information. Any suggestions on if I can go straight to the liquid form or should try to gradually switch to it from the pill form? 

 

I am also curious if I should avoid things like cannabis and alcohol while stabilizing. These were a part of my life before this started, but I am not sure if they would slow down my healing process. 

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment
  • Moderator

We recommend a gradual cross-taper from pill to liquid:

 

3/4 dose by pill, 1/4 dose by liquid for 3 days

1/2 pill, 1/2 liquid for 3 days

1/4 pill, 3/4 liquid for 3 days

all liquid thereafter

 

Cannabis and alcohol should be avoided as they can negatively affect the healing process throughout your taper.

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 Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

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

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

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% 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.

Link to comment
6 hours ago, Gridley said:

We recommend a gradual cross-taper from pill to liquid:

 

3/4 dose by pill, 1/4 dose by liquid for 3 days

1/2 pill, 1/2 liquid for 3 days

1/4 pill, 3/4 liquid for 3 days

all liquid thereafter

 

Cannabis and alcohol should be avoided as they can negatively affect the healing process throughout your taper.

 

Great thank you for that information. Was unsure of how I should approach a cross taper.

 

The reason I asked about the cannabis was I smoked last night with one of my friends because I felt like I could handle it. But today I’ve been feeling some anxiety returning and I am guessing that is why. Hopefully I can get back on track by avoiding it from now on.

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Things have been steadily improving since my last post. My windows are getting longer and the waves shorter and less intense. Still have some bad days, but they don't bother me as much as they did originally.

 

I'm still not completely stabilized, so I will wait a while longer before starting my next taper. I've definitely learned my lesson about going to fast because of over eagerness to get off the drug.

 

Thanks everyone for their advice so far. It has helped me more than any doctor has up til now.

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Hey everyone, just wanted to check in again and give a status update. I am still taking 50 MG of Zoloft, as stabilizing has taken longer than I anticipated. On the plus side, I don't feel like I am losing my mind any more, so my symptoms are gradually decreasing in severity. Some days I feel almost back to normal and can forget about the WD for a bit, and on others I am a mix of depression and anxiety. This seems to be par for the course when it comes to stabilizing on an AD so I will need to give myself more time before making another dosage change

 

The thing I am not dealing with so well is my 14 year old brother being given 200 MG of Zoloft to treat OCD and the anxiety it causes. He has told me that it doesn't seem to be helping, and in fact is making his anxiety worse. This disturbed me a lot because it is similar to my experience with Zoloft and how after it stopped having any positive effects, I started to taper off. Of course, in my case I decided to rapidly taper off, which led me to my current situation. The difference is I was able to make that choice for myself, and my parents are just going along with whatever the doctor tells them. When I tried to talk to them about my concerns, they basically told me that the doctor knows best because of his medical training... I think everyone here knows how wrong they are about that sentiment. I tried my best to talk them out of this, but they have made up their minds. It is causing me to harbor a lot of resentment towards them, and I am not sure what to do at this point. If things continue to get worse with my brother, I will have to give them an ultimatum. Choose me, or the drugs.

 

Does anyone have any advice on how to navigate this situation? I love my family and I know they think they are helping my brother, but the fact that they don't want to listen to what I have to say is driving me up a wall. I don't want to get to the point where I can only communicate through anger with them.

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment
  • Administrator
6 hours ago, Elqueso said:

Does anyone have any advice on how to navigate this situation? I love my family and I know they think they are helping my brother, but the fact that they don't want to listen to what I have to say is driving me up a wall. I don't want to get to the point where I can only communicate through anger with them.

 

You might want to give your parents a copy of this book:

 

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

 

If they don't want to read the book, ask if they will at least listen to a video clip of the author, Robert Whitaker, discussing the issue: 

 

Robert Whitaker, author Anatomy of an Epidemic video (11 minutes)

 

If you were to find a SA recommended doctor, perhaps you could convince them to get your brother a second opinion. 

 

Recommended doctors, therapists, and clinics

 

The Mad in America site has a Provider Directory that might be helpful:

 

MiA - Provider Directory

 

And you might see if there are other members in your area who could recommend someone. Here is a list of the "check in" areas on SA:

 

"Check in" topics: SurvivingAntidepressant.org members near you

 

You may also want to read and post in the Relationship section, as other members may have ideas on how to talk to family about this:

 

Relationships and social life

 

Helping Family Understand

 

It's great you're being an advocate for your brother and trying to educate your entire family. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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.

 

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for providing all of that information, I didn’t realize there were doctors recommended by members of the site. That is a huge weight off my shoulders because my current doctor is still convinced that zoloft is the way to go.

 

In terms of my symptoms, I’ve been having some anxiety and dp/dr returning over the past 3-4 days. I can still go to work and have a conversation, but it is pretty uncomfortable. Not sure if this is a wave or something else going on. Maybe stopping cannabis after smoking daily for a couple years is having more of an effect than I anticipated. Will have to wait and see how things go over the next few days.

 

Should I avoid things like caffeine as well? I drink coffee pretty much every day but if it’s controbuting to my anxiety than I guess I’ll have to cut that out too.

Edited by Elqueso
Additional question

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment
  • Moderator

It would be good if you could cut out the caffeine.  It can definitely contribute to your 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 Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current Valium dose as of Feb 22, 2022: 4.8mg 

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8 and shift to Imipramine taper

Taper is 74% complete.

 

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

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

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of May 17: 10.5mg 

Taper is 86% 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.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for the links Shep, I will try and send the video to my mom since she probably isn't going to read the book. I've decided that if my parents won't listen to me any more about this subject, then I will need to give them an ultimatum. Either they at least try to understand my point of view, or I walk out and cut off contact until they see reason. I need to do what is best for me, and dealing with the stress of WDs is enough of a challenge without trying to convince my parents of the evils of these drugs.

 

Does anyone know of a good tapering spreadsheet I can use? I am not ready to taper just yet, but I would like to be prepared for when the time comes. I am going to get a liquid prescription from my doctor soon as well since others have stated that it is the easiest way to control dosages.

 

Update on symptoms: I've been feeling pretty strange the past week or so. It feels like I have an almost constant low level anxiety and am in a mental fog. I am struggling with anxiety when waking as well, which I thought had gone away but I guess not. The symptoms are not as severe as when they started a couple of months ago, but still uncomfortable. Another thing I struggle with is irritability. I have to constantly remind myself not to overreact to a given situation, because it feels like I am on the verge of yelling at someone when they start to annoy or anger me. Sometimes it isn't even for a legitimate reason. This might be a wave since I had a brief period of little to no symptoms about a month and a half ago, but it's hard to tell.

Edited by Elqueso
Symptoms

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment
  • Administrator
8 hours ago, Elqueso said:

Does anyone know of a good tapering spreadsheet I can use?

 

You may find this thread helpful:

 

How to calculate dosages and dilutions? Spreadsheets and calculators

 

8 hours ago, Elqueso said:

The symptoms are not as severe as when they started a couple of months ago, but still uncomfortable. Another thing I struggle with is irritability. I have to constantly remind myself not to overreact to a given situation, because it feels like I am on the verge of yelling at someone when they start to annoy or anger me. Sometimes it isn't even for a legitimate reason. This might be a wave since I had a brief period of little to no symptoms about a month and a half ago, but it's hard to tell.

 

I'm glad your symptoms are not as severe. That's a definite improvement.

 

It sounds like you may be dealing with some neuro-emotions. Reminding yourself not to overreact is good to do in these circumstances. You may find more ideas in these links:

 

Neuro-emotions

 

Dealing with anger during SSRI withdrawal

 

8 hours ago, Elqueso said:

I've decided that if my parents won't listen to me any more about this subject, then I will need to give them an ultimatum. Either they at least try to understand my point of view, or I walk out and cut off contact until they see reason. I need to do what is best for me, and dealing with the stress of WDs is enough of a challenge without trying to convince my parents of the evils of these drugs.

 

Avoiding people who trigger you for now may be necessary. I've found that it's very hard to advocate my position on these drugs while I'm so sick, but as I'm healing, my voice is stronger in articulating the harms these drugs do.

 

Perhaps re-invite them for a discussion after you're completely off the drug and healed. You'll not only have the supporting documentation such as the medical journal articles from SA, but you'll also "own" your own experience as a survivor of these drugs. You'll have a much stronger voice at that point. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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  • 4 months later...

Hello all, sorry for not updating this thread in such a long time. I've been staying with the 50 MG of zoloft since my last post, and for the most part my symptoms have stabilized. They aren't gone, but I am able to function.

 

I want to make a plan for tapering off of the zoloft when I feel ready, but I am not sure how to do this. My primary care doctor wants me to stay on the drug, or even increase it, so I am not sure that he will help me lower my dosage. This is stressing me out a lot because I am not sure who I can talk to about getting off of it.

 

If anyone has any suggestions about finding professional help for tapering, I would greatly appreciate it.

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

It is highly unlikely that you will find a doctor who understands tapering.  Not many medical professionals understand psychiatric drug tapering and withdrawal which is why this site exists.

 

As long as you have a doctor (any doctor can write a prescription) who will prescribe Zoloft for you, then you don't even need to tell him that you are tapering. 

 

If you do need to get something specific from your doctor for your tapering then before you see your doctor, I suggest you check out these topics.  You might find it helpful to write a script and rehearse what you are going to say so that you can get what you need to taper.  Be calm, gentle but assertive.  You are the customer, it is your body.  Use words like I'd like to try this, or I'd prefer to do it this way.  If a suggestion is made that you don't want to follow, say I'd like to think about it before making a decision.

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

This site has all the information you need to taper your drug.  The majority of members on this site are tapering without the help of their medical professional.  And if you have any questions or need help with your maths you can ask here in your Introduction topic and we can assist you.

 

If you are going to make your own liquid it would be best to do a cross over which is more gentle on your nervous system.  Do not make a dose reduction at the same time.  You would take the following combinations for 3 to 7 days:  3/4 tablet + 1/4 tablet dissolved in water, 1/2 tablet + 1/2 tablet dissolved in water, 1/4 tablet + 3/4 tablet dissolved in water.

 

Use the same tablet for the entire dose, just break it into pieces.  It won't matter if the pieces are not exact because you will still be taking the same dose in total.  Break the tablet over a piece of paper and add any crumbs/dust to the water with the tablet portion you will be dissolving.  I will add some maths for tapering in the next post.

 

Please check out these topics and ask any questions here in your topic:

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

WDnormal (withdrawal normal)

 

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

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

 

 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.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

After you have done the cross over to all DIY liquid it would be better to wait a few weeks before commencing the taper.  This will help to give you a good foundation to start from.

 

I hope that what I have provided below will help you understand that it is possible and easy to taper without the help of a doctor.

 

You will need to do everything the same way each time, including using the same equipment.  Also use the same area of the table or bench to measure the liquid.

 

There might be some bits still visible after dissolving the tablet.  These are tablet fillers.  For later reference:  when you need to store your liquid the sediment might form a film on the bottom of the container.  See:   Stored diluted liquid - see this post regarding white film at the bottom of container after diluting with water.
 

Please let me know if you would prefer to work with a larger amount of water and I can do the calculations for you.

 

If you want to make smaller than 10% reductions please let me know or you can use the Tapering Calculator - Online and you can use the following as a guide about getting your dose.

 

Zoloft solution:

 

50mg tablet dissolved 50mL water

 

This makes a 1:1 ratio solution.  Each 1mL of liquid = 1mg dose

 

First 10% reduction (or less if you want to go slower - let us know and we can help with that)

 

50mg x 0.9 = 45mg

 

To get 45mg dose, extract and dispose of 5mL liquid

 

Hold on that dose for at least 4 weeks

 

Second 10% reduction:

 

45mg x 0.9 = 40.5mg

 

To get 40.5mg dose, extract and dispose of 9.5mL liquid (50 - 40.5 = 9.5)

 

Third 10% reduction:

 

40.5mg x 0.9 = 36.45mg

 

This is a bit tricky to measure.  I would round up (never round down otherwise it will be >10%)

 

To get 36.5mg dose, extract and dispose of 13.5mL liquid (50 - 36.5 = 13.5)

 

Fourth 10% reduction:

 

Note:  When you round a dose you always calculate the new reduction on the rounded up number

 

36.5mg x 0.9 = 32.85mg which I would round up to 33mg

 

 

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.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

Link to comment

Hi ChessieCat, thank you for all of the links. The information is very helpful.

 

I'm going to ask my doctor for a liquid zoloft prescription so I can taper easier when I am ready. Would the method you suggested above for switching to a liquid form of zoloft still work if I get the liquid from my doctor?

- Zoloft 100 mg for around 3 years (October 2013 - November 2016) / Diagnosed with GAD and Panic Disorder in 2013

- Tapered to 50 MG in 2017 after feeling like it no longer had much of an effect

- Started breaking pills in half around December 2017 or January 2018 for 25 mg doses

- Anxiety started returning very slightly in spring 2018

- July 2018 started reading up on AD withdrawals, which eventually led to a massive panic attack and upped my dose to 50 MG again

- Have been on 50 MG zoloft since July 22. Terrible anxiety and DP/DR. Can still sleep but experience bad anxiety in mornings.

- 0.25 MG of Xanax 1-2 times per day over the last two weeks (starting July 22nd). Stopping CT.

- Stabilizing on 50 MG of Zoloft

- Currently off of Xanax and stabilizing on 50MG of Zoloft

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