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LunarCyclist: third time lucky coming off quetiapine?

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LunarCyclist

Hello everyone,

 

I've been lurking on this site for a while now, gathering knowledge on how to come off psychotropics. I'm 37 year old female with a long history of depressive episodes and have been taking SSRI's of some sort (must have gone through most of them by now!) since 1998, when I was 17.

 

Around 4 years ago (it's hard to tell, as my memory is utterly atrocious) I had a bad time again with depression and had psychotic symptoms. I was put under a psychiatrist who prescribed me 75mg quetiapine, and upped my sertraline from 100mg to 150mg. I've been on sertraline around 12 years and I haven't had much of an issue with it. The quetiapine, on the other hand, I am not prepared to live on indefinitely. I have put weight on (although not a huge amount), my blood sugar levels are causing concern (I exercise regularly, eat sensibly, have no diabetes in my family), I am like a zombie until lunchtime and I don't think there's been a night in 4 years where I haven't woken stuck to the sheets from profuse sweating. At night, especially if I've exercised in the day, my body is like a furnace. Makes not much difference if the room I'm in is cool; my body's thermostat is on the blink. If I miss a dose, I just don't sleep. The next day I'm a wreck.

 

The last time I saw the psychiatrist (about 2 years ago) I asked him about coming off quetiapine - I've been on the lowest dose of 25mg since then. He was really cavalier in his attitude and said "it's fine - just come off it when you want to". So around a year ago, after I'd been stable for a good while, I did. And I didn't sleep for a week. So I caved in and started taking the 25mg again. 6 months later, I wanted to try again, so I went to my GP and asked for a short course of zopiclone so I could sleep whilst coming off the smallest dose. She would only give me 5 day's worth of Zopiclone (UK guidelines) - and even then, I still couldn't sleep without Quetiapine. In addition, I developed INTENSE itching all over my body, in really localised areas. I know now this is a histamine reaction and a common withdrawal symptom for quetiapine. At the time I thought I had some sort of weird invisible skin infestation! So I went back on the Q again after a week.

THIS TIME, I'm even better armed. Despite being told that stopping 25mg quetiapine would not cause any problems, as it's such a low dose, I know better. The tablets are tiny, but I'm cutting them in half and then half again. My plan is to reduce in stages, taking once month for each stage. 25mg - > 18.75mg - > 12.5mg -> 6.25mg -> 0mg. If I manage this, I could be off it in three months. 

I'm currently 2 weeks into stage one (reduced by 25%). The first few days I had a little trouble getting to sleep, but that soon rectified itself. My mood over the last week has been steadily getting lower and I've been feeling more "mental" and unable to cope with stuff. I know the Q can augment the Sertraline. I haven't told my GP yet that I'm doing this, because every time I've brought it up there has been resistance and he tries to persuade me to stay on it. Probably because another hospital admission is far more costly than continuing the drug! (cynical..? Moi..?!) I'm being the most sensible I've ever been as regards self-care. No alcohol, eating well, exercising regularly, good sleep habits, etc etc.

 

Anyways. Here I am. Hope my mood improves over the next two weeks in time for stage 2, though I am prepared to stick longer between reductions if needs be.

 

Lunar

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ChessieCat

Hi LunarCyclist and welcome to SA,

 

2 hours ago, LunarCyclist said:

Despite being told that stopping 25mg quetiapine would not cause any problems, as it's such a low dose, I know better.

 

Doctors think in terms of "therapeutic dose" which is an arbitrary term that the pharmaceutical companies use.  SA prefers "lowest effective dose".

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

When a psychiatric drug is taken away too quickly we can experience withdrawal symptoms.   Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

2 hours ago, LunarCyclist said:

My plan is to reduce in stages, taking once month for each stage. 25mg - > 18.75mg - > 12.5mg -> 6.25mg -> 0mg. If I manage this, I could be off it in three months. 

 

Your tapering plan could see you end up suffering bad withdrawal symptoms for many years.  We have lot of members who end up experiencing insomnia from going too quickly which adds a new level of suffering to the withdrawal symptoms.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

Many members find that the lower their dose gets the slower they need to go, by reducing less and/or holding for longer.

 

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

Jumping of at 6.25mg is very risky:

 

When to end the taper and jump to zero?

 

This topic has links to Tips for Tapering various drugs and explains how to get the dose you needImportant topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

 

 

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

 

 

This is your own introductions topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

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ChessieCat

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand what is happening:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description

 

When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.  These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

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ChessieCat

During any taper, there will be times of discomfort.  We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through tough times.

 

Understanding what is happening helps us to not get caught up with the second fear, or fear of the fear.  This happens when we experience sensations in our body and because we don't understand them we are scared of them and then start to panic.

 

This document has a diagram of the body explaining what happens in the body when we become anxious:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

 

 

Audio FEMALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Audio MALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

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Carmie

Hi LunarCyclist, 

 

Welcome to SA from me too, 

 

I’m tapering off Seroquel too.Your tapering schedule is WAY TOO FAST. We should never taper any more than a maximum of 10% a month. I can only do around 5% or so. Reducing by 25% was way too quick. 

 

Wishing you all the best with your tapering, sending hugs🤗

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LunarCyclist

Hello !

 

Thanks for all that info,  ChessieCat; I appreciate it. I'll sort my signature out soon... no idea how I'm going to remember my medication history though! 

 

I know dropping by 25% is not advisable,  but my main problem is the size of the pills. About 5mm diameter, and convex,  making them very hard to spilt. Quarters is the smallest I can manage,  with a very sharp blade.  Even then,  it's not as accurate as I'd like.  Quetiapine isn't soluble enough to make a solution either. I bought micro scales to try and weigh the pills,  but they don't even register, there's so little to them.  

 

So I really don't know how to taper less than 25% at a time. 

 

Lunar

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ChessieCat

Other members here are managing to taper quetiapine.  Carmie has already mentioned above that she is tapering the same drug.  From her drug signature:   I’ve  managed to taper from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg.  And she said: 

 

5 hours ago, Carmie said:

I can only do around 5% or so.

 

 

This topic explains how to get the doses you need:  Tips for tapering off Seroquel (quetiapine)

 

If you need to see your doctor to get a prescription to allow you to taper you might find it helpful to write a script and rehearse what you are going to say.  Be calm, gentle but assertive.  You are the customer, it is your body.  Use words like I'd like to try this.  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?

 

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LunarCyclist

ChessieCat, Carmie - thank you. I didn't know Seroquel was quetiapine. I'll have a read of how others are managing to taper this drug and amend my plans. Much appreciated!

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ChessieCat

You are very welcome.

 

8 hours ago, LunarCyclist said:

I'll have a read of how others are managing to taper this drug and amend my plans.

 

Very pleased to hear this.

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Carmie

Hi Lunar, 

 

You can definitely water titrate quetiapine, I’ve been doing it for years. Yes, the 25mg tablet is certainly a small tablet, I just crush it with a mortar and pestle and add 20ml of water to it. I’m down to 7.5mg, so I take 6ml. 

 

When I get to the tinier doses I’ll have to up the water or get smaller syringes. I won’t be jumping off until I’m down to 0.0something. All the best with your tapering💚

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LunarCyclist

I've decided to try the dry taper method, and have ordered microgram scales and gelatine capsules. I may switch to making a solution in future,  but right now that seems a bit complicated for me to deal with. 

 

I'm currently considering reinstating the full 25mg dose, from 18.75mg. The first week was ok, but now I'm having a resurgence of depression and it's having a big impact on my work (am self employed, work alone). All my hopes and dreams from new year appear to have crumbled,  but I know that's just the illness talking. I also have a slight headache all day and occassional nerve twitches in my legs,  but those I can cope with. I don't know whether to stick it out for another two weeks to see if things settle down. 

 

I'm also pretty pissed off at psychiatry/ big pharma / mental health services for putting me on this crap 5 years ago. I only started taking it because I was assured it would only be "short term"  and I  could come off it any time i wanted. This situation is precisely what I was trying to avoid. 

Edited by LunarCyclist
spelling mistakes

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LunarCyclist
13 hours ago, Carmie said:

You can definitely water titrate quetiapine, I’ve been doing it for years. Yes, the 25mg tablet is certainly a small tablet, I just crush it with a mortar and pestle and add 20ml of water to it. I’m down to 7.5mg, so I take 6ml. 

 

When I get to the tinier doses I’ll have to up the water or get smaller syringes. I won’t be jumping off until I’m down to 0.0something. All the best with your tapering💚

 Thanks so much Carmie for your input. I really appreciate it. Do you squirt the solution straight into your mouth from the syringe? Just wondering...

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ChessieCat
8 hours ago, LunarCyclist said:

I'm currently considering reinstating the full 25mg dose, from 18.75mg.

 

So you have already reduced from 25mg to 18.75mg?  And that was at least 1 week ago.  Please add the date and dose to your drug signature.  We need to be able to see this information at a glance so we don't have to go back and read through your posts to get the information.  Thank you.

 

If it was me, I would not be going but up to 25mg.  You might find that going up to 20mg may be enough.

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Carmie
10 hours ago, LunarCyclist said:

 Thanks so much Carmie for your input. I really appreciate it. Do you squirt the solution straight into your mouth from the syringe? Just wondering...

 

Hi Lunar, 

 

Yes, I put the solution straight into my mouth with the syringe.💚

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LunarCyclist

Update : 
My depressive symptoms seem to be lifting, thank god. The slight headache and leg muscle twitches at night are still there, but are bearable. 
I've decided to stick at 18.75mg quetiapine and not redose back up, though I will hold on this dose a little longer (so 5 weeks overall instead of my planned 4), seeing as it was such a large jumping off point ( - 25%). 

My mg scales and gelatine capsules have arrived and I've made up three week's worth of pills at 18.7mg. I've done a load of calculations and it will take me around one year to get down to 5mg quetiapine, all being well.

 

My biggest issue right now is adjusting my expectations. Having gone from expecting to be able to stop quetiapine completely from 25mg ( medical opinions from GP and psychiatrist), to thinking that 3 months was "taking things REALLY slow" (just my own initial plan of coming off 25% a month), to realising that at least a year is more likely ( consensus from reading a lot from this site); I'm just having to come to terms with that and be REALLY patient! (not one of my usual qualities). 

 

I woke this morning to news on the BBC that certain medications are in short supply and there is a possibility they won't be available everywhere ( could be Brexit related, doesn't matter if it is or not... it just is). Guess what.. quetiapine is listed as one of those medications! A couple of years ago when I was trying to explain to my GP why I wanted to wean myself off psychotropics, part of my argument was that I feared not being able to get hold of them, if something happened outwith my control (eg. civil unrest, political reasons, whatever...). My GP just laughed a little, and said " oh, I don't think that's ever going to happen! There are safety measures in place..." and I felt like a paranoid idiot. Well then. Looks like I wasn't being paranoid after all...


 

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ChessieCat
9 hours ago, LunarCyclist said:

My biggest issue right now is adjusting my expectations. Having gone from expecting to be able to stop quetiapine completely from 25mg ( medical opinions from GP and psychiatrist), to thinking that 3 months was "taking things REALLY slow" (just my own initial plan of coming off 25% a month), to realising that at least a year is more likely ( consensus from reading a lot from this site); I'm just having to come to terms with that and be REALLY patient! (not one of my usual qualities). 

 

Yes, many of us have had to do the same thing.  I was hoping to be off Pristiq by my 60th birthday at the end of 2017.  I'm not going to be off until at least the end of 2020, possibly the beginning of 2021.

 

It is what it is.  I can't get off it any quicker than my brain will allow.

 

And patience.  That's another thing.  It seems that during this tapering journey we will inevitably have times when we do become impatient.  It's well worth being prepared for it.  Just before Christmas, not long after I had spent $75 on my latest batch of compounded capsules, I started thinking about jumping at 5mg.  And I've been a member here for 3+ years now and seen lots of members make large cuts and jump off from too high a dose and the result of doing that.

 

We sometimes/often feel the need to be "doing something" and holding on a dose feels like we are doing nothing.  In fact we are doing something, even though it doesn't feel like it.  We are giving the brain time to adapt.  It would be much easier for us if we could see or test what is happening in the brain but we can't.  We can only go by the experiences of the people who have gone before us.

 

10 hours ago, LunarCyclist said:

I've decided to stick at 18.75mg quetiapine and not redose back up, though I will hold on this dose a little longer (so 5 weeks overall instead of my planned 4), seeing as it was such a large jumping off point ( - 25%). 

 

My suggestion would be to hold for even longer.  I think 2 months would be the minimum hold after such a large reduction.  Think of it as getting yourself in the best position to start from.  I only held for 2 months after going from 100mg to 75mg Pristiq (with 2 weeks at 50mg before updosing) and when I tried to make a 10% reduction I had to updose because I was getting very bad ear pain.  After increasing by a small amount the ear pain disappeared.  I should have waited longer before starting to reduce.  During my taper I have made a couple of longer holds just to give my brain a chance to catch up if it needed it.  Three months at 50mg and 7 weeks at 20mg.

 

It is better to hold for longer than to reduce too soon.  If you do decide to reduce after a short hold, my suggestion would be to make a smaller than 10% reduction so you can assess whether your brain how caught up.

 

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ChessieCat
10 hours ago, LunarCyclist said:

I woke this morning to news on the BBC that certain medications are in short supply and there is a possibility they won't be available everywhere ( could be Brexit related, doesn't matter if it is or not... it just is). Guess what.. quetiapine is listed as one of those medications! A couple of years ago when I was trying to explain to my GP why I wanted to wean myself off psychotropics, part of my argument was that I feared not being able to get hold of them, if something happened outwith my control (eg. civil unrest, political reasons, whatever...). My GP just laughed a little, and said " oh, I don't think that's ever going to happen! There are safety measures in place..." and I felt like a paranoid idiot. Well then. Looks like I wasn't being paranoid after all...

 

This is no reason to try and go faster.  It might never happen.

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LunarCyclist
22 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

My suggestion would be to hold for even longer.  I think 2 months would be the minimum hold after such a large reduction.  Think of it as getting yourself in the best position to start from. 

 

Thank you so much for your input, Chessie Cat - I do appreciate it. What you've said about a minimum 2 month hold currently makes perfect sense. What's another month in the long scheme of things, if it helps pave the way for future reductions? Nothing really. 

 

24 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:
10 hours ago, LunarCyclist said:

I woke this morning to news on the BBC that certain medications are in short supply and there is a possibility they won't be available everywhere ( could be Brexit related, doesn't matter if it is or not... it just is). Guess what.. quetiapine is listed as one of those medications! A couple of years ago when I was trying to explain to my GP why I wanted to wean myself off psychotropics, part of my argument was that I feared not being able to get hold of them, if something happened outwith my control (eg. civil unrest, political reasons, whatever...). My GP just laughed a little, and said " oh, I don't think that's ever going to happen! There are safety measures in place..." and I felt like a paranoid idiot. Well then. Looks like I wasn't being paranoid after all...

 

This is no reason to try and go faster.  It might never happen.

 

Don't worry  - I wasn't thinking along those lines. I was just feeling a bit angry at seeing my concerns, which were pooh - poohed,  become a possible reality. I suppose I'm just angry still at being on these drugs. It's struck me earlier I've been medicated for half of my life.  I need to work on that and direct the energy forwards in a positive way. 

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ChessieCat
28 minutes ago, LunarCyclist said:

What's another month in the long scheme of things, if it helps pave the way for future reductions? Nothing really. 

 

Exactly.  I was checking out my proposed taper schedule and was going to try and reduce some of my hold times (because of my capsule dose combos I can't taper exactly 10%).  Then I realised that in the course of a year it wasn't going to make much difference.

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Carmie

Hi Lunar, 

 

Glad to hear you’re going to do a long hold. It’s really the best thing in the long run, sending hugs🤗

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LunarCyclist

UPDATE: 

 

I was doing really well on 16.79mg quetiapine during February but I got impatient and jumped down 20% to 13.43mg on 17/03/19. Should have known better : I've been in a really bad way this last week or so, with the worst day seeing me unable to move, even to feed/drink. It's wearing off slightly now and I'm slowly getting better, but I should have stuck to 10% reduction. I've experienced:
- unable to get to sleep at night (though sleeping 10+ hours and unable to get up at a normal time)

- low mood

- lack of motivation 

- loss of appetite

- urges to self harm

- finding it really hard to move (such an effort to get up/dressed/eat etc)

- ringing in my ears, esp at night

- fits of crying (shaking and bawling) for up to 45 mins at a time

- dizzyness

- unable to leave house/missing out on work/missing appointments with clients/missing out on family time

 

When I'm stablised on a dose, my mental health has never been better; clarity of thought and increased focus and motivation has been wonderful. It's made me realise just how drugged and incapacitated by quetiapine I've been these last 5 years. It's a miracle I've managed to achieve what I have in my life, considering! I have needed to teach myself how to fall asleep again though. 5 years of relying on a chemical cosh means I now have to have a bedtime routine to get to sleep. Before, I just waited for the drug to kick in, and BAM, asleep for 9 hours straight. 

 

The main thing is keeping in mind, during the dark days when I'm adjusting to a drop down in dose, that this is NOT my illness returning legitimately. This is withdrawal. It's not my "fault"; it's a biochemical imbalance. The suddeness and severity of the onset of withdrawal symptoms just helps to show this. It's hard to keep this in mind though, when my mood sinks low and I blame myself for feeling this way.

I've been drinking lots of water, having a bedtime routine, eating healthily and exercising when I can. Also a spot of meditation and Qigong. When **** hits the fan, that can all go out the window! 
Going to stay on this dose for at least 6 weeks before I review. Lessons learnt.

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LunarCyclist

Update : still feeling pretty awful,  six weeks after dropping to 13.43mg quetiapine. I'm experiencing depression and quite severe dissociation, which has kept me confined to my flat for days on end, inspite of my good intentions to leave and go outside for a bit of air/shopping etc.

 

I'm scared to go to the GP, because they will just say to reinstate the full 25mg dose of Q, and I don't want to undo all my hard work. But I'm also quite frightened of losing my mind. I'm living through a seies of metaphors and am at the point when metaphors start to merge with reality and become the reality. I went to the shopping centre the other day as I had to get a couple of things, and I embarrased myself with talking to loads of random people about random things...I even went into my bank and started chatting and "over-sharing" about my mental state with one of the staff there. My judgement is way off. The memories come back in flashes, like after a night of heavy drinking and then you gradually/suddenly get viisons of what you've done or said. 

When I speak to people it's like I'm reading a script someone else has written, though I think maybe if people don't know me well they wouln't think anything was amiss.

 

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Vonnegutjunky

How are you today lunar? Are you feeling any better? Have your symptoms gotten any better?

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LunarCyclist

Hi Vonne,

 

I'm doing  a LOT better - thank you. I'd actually forgotten I'd written the last post, I was so dissociated; so I didn't realise to update once I started to feel better.

 

The "bad" symptoms lasted around one week,  and I started to get pockets of normality after 2 weeks. I'm still slightly depressed, though nothing I can't handle. Excercise is helping, though I tend to over-do it and knacker myself for a few days someties. I'm staying on the same dose for a good while longer. I can't risk my mood dropping right now as I have lots of changes afoot (job interviews/moving house/work committments).

Thank you so much for asking. X

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LunarCyclist

UPDATE : 

After  11 days of really stable mood (not too happy, but not too depressed either) I'm dropping down a further 10% on the Quetiapine, which bring me to 12mg active ingredient. That's a 50% reduction overall since I started in January this year (6 months). It feels right to do this right now.

The scales I use for measuring are getting harder to use the lower I go; with the smaller pieces of tablet sometimes not registering on the scales. So I think after this stage I will have to switch to making up a solution. Will review in one month, all being well.

 

 

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LunarCyclist

UPDATE : 

I held for a while on the last dose of 12mg quetiapine because I didn't feel stable enough to reduce. Now taking 10.4mg ( 0.028 gms of tablet) but due to very small weight my scales are not registering as accurately as before. Need to switch to making up a solution.

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Gridley
3 hours ago, LunarCyclist said:

Need to switch to making up a solution.

If you do switch to liquid, be sure to do a crossover:

 

3/4 tablet, 1/4 liquid for 3-7 days

1/2 tablet, 1/4 liquid for 3-7 days

1/4 tablet, 3/4 liquid for 3-7 days

all liquid thereafter

 

Having just switched brands of Lorazepam and run into symptoms doing just 3 days per stage, you might want to consider the longer 7 day version.

 

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LunarCyclist
Quote
10 minutes ago, Gridley said:

If you do switch to liquid, be sure to do a crossover:

 

I hadn't heard of that before. But I don't think I'll be able to, as my issue is the few crumbs of tablet are not registering on my microgram scales anymore, which is why I need to switch to liquid. Darn.

 

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Gridley
13 minutes ago, LunarCyclist said:

as my issue is the few crumbs of tablet are not registering on my microgram scales anymore, which is why I need to switch to liquid.

 

I understand.  Are you using the Gemini-20 AWS scale?  If so, have you tried adding the little 10g weight with your crumbs to get a reading, then subtracting 10g to get your dose?  Might not work but worth a try.

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brassmonkey

The gemini-20 has trouble with weights below .004g. By adding the calibration weight to the mix it will move the scale into the middle of its range where it is most sensitive.  Place the weight on the pan before weighing the dose and press the TARE button, this will zero the readout so no calculation is needed.

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LunarCyclist

My scales aren't Gemini - they're just something called "TL Series". I've been using the calibrated weight provided and TARE-ing them for a while now, but even that isn't working, so onto solution I go. Just ordered a couple of medical dosing syringes. (one for measuring water, the other for extracting the dose). 

 

Cheers.

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LunarCyclist

Update:

 

I was doing well on the solution,  really well. Then I had to go away for a few days so I had to make up the capsules because I couldn't take all the gubbins I needed with me to prepare the solution medication each night. 

 

Long story short; I was on my own in the middle of the wilderness with no phone signal and had a wee bit of a breakdown. Coupled with physical exhaustion,  I've taken a bit of a dive, mood-wise. To further compound issues, I've run out of Sertraline and cant get it through the usual channels for a good few days. Going to see if I can get a GP appt tomorrow. Haven't been in ages. Worried about the response when I tell them about my taper.

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LunarCyclist

Update : Managed to get a GP appointment. Got my sertraline script, so no need to stretch out the meds to last.

 

Discussed taper of quetiapine and described my efforts thus far (since Jan '19). GP was supportive after grilling me on my reasons for wanting to stop taking the Q. When I mentioned I'd moved from the micro-scales to making up my own solution/suspension, he actually gave me some small syringes and more amazingly, a prescription for quetiapine solution! It is strong, at 20mg per ml, so I'll probably have to dilute it to administer correct doseage, but it ought to be far more accurate than my efforts with a pestle and mortar. 

 

Feeling relieved.

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