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FadedBlack: Zoloft tapering


FadedBlack

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Hi everyone,

 

I just joined this site.  I am tapering from 200 mg of Zoloft.  I've been taking Zoloft for about 20 years now, and a better amount of that time has been 200 mg.

 

I started tapering by 25 mg every 2 weeks on February 7, 2019.  I just started 100 mg today.  I had a bit of a hiccup and had to take 125 mg for a bit longer than expected.

 

The reason for my taper is that I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.  I was originally diagnosed with depression, and used alcohol as a crutch.  I quit drinking early November of 2018 and am enrolled in DBT classes.  My psychiatrist seems to think that my issues are mainly BPD and alcohol so I may be able to get off the Zoloft.

 

I'm having a multitude of symptoms and I would love to be welcomed in your group so that I can share my experiences and learn from others.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added space

Zoloft (Sertraline) taper:  02/06/19: 175mg;  02/19/19: 150mg;  03/06/19: 125mg;  03/14/19: 150mg;  03/16/19: 125mg; 03/18/19; 150mg; 03/23/19

Zoloft (Sertraline):  ~2009-2019: 200mg

Zoloft (Sertraline):  ~1998-2009: gradual and sporadic increases from 25mg to 200mg.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to FadedBlack: Zoloft tapering
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi FadedBlack and welcome to SA,

 

Tapering 25mg every 2 weeks is going too quickly and is "confirmed" by the fact you had a bit of a hiccup and had to updose.

 

It's really good that you have found SA so early in your taper and that you have only had a minor issue up until now.

 

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 we taper using this protocol we may experience mild withdrawal symptoms.  However when the drug is taken away too quickly we can get withdrawal symptoms which are more than mild:  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

This topic explains how to get the dose you need.  You will probably find it easier taking the majority of your dose in tablet and the balance in liquid, which you can make yourself.  Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

 

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.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

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

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

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

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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.

 

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

 

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.  

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

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

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

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

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

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Thank you so much for this information!  I will read through all of it :)

Zoloft (Sertraline) taper:  02/06/19: 175mg;  02/19/19: 150mg;  03/06/19: 125mg;  03/14/19: 150mg;  03/16/19: 125mg; 03/18/19; 150mg; 03/23/19

Zoloft (Sertraline):  ~2009-2019: 200mg

Zoloft (Sertraline):  ~1998-2009: gradual and sporadic increases from 25mg to 200mg.

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I've updated my signature to reflect my history.

I've been on the 125mg for a few weeks now and I'm feeling good finally... for now I guess.  Would it be a good idea to continue here for a while and then start the 10% decrease method? 

There would be no reason to up the dosage now if I'm doing ok, would there?

Zoloft (Sertraline) taper:  02/06/19: 175mg;  02/19/19: 150mg;  03/06/19: 125mg;  03/14/19: 150mg;  03/16/19: 125mg; 03/18/19; 150mg; 03/23/19

Zoloft (Sertraline):  ~2009-2019: 200mg

Zoloft (Sertraline):  ~1998-2009: gradual and sporadic increases from 25mg to 200mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for updating your drug signature.

 

When a person is taking a very high dose of a drug, then they might be able to get away with making large reductions to begin with.  This looks to be what happened with you.  This topic discusses this:  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

It's good that you are feeling improvement on 125mg.  It would be best to hold on that dose for at least 2 months, possibly longer, before making another reduction.  To test to make sure that you are ready to start tapering again, you might consider making only a 5% reducing the first time.  If that goes okay then after 4 weeks you could make a 10% reduction.

 

It is better to hold for longer than to risk reducing ago too soon.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

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

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

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

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

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I'm back up to 150mg now.  I couldn't cope on 125mg.

I have a lot going on right now, and a lot of stressors.  I feel like I don't have any time to work on myself or to even take a moment to relax my mind.

Since going back up to 150mg five days ago, my mornings are better.  I feel inspired and focused at work for the first few hours and then by the end of the day I am spent.  I feel like my brain is shutting down.

When I get home and have so much more left to do in the day, the only way I can get through it is to go on auto-pilot and just force myself through.  I haven't even had the time to get to the gym which has helped me drastically since I began tapering.

I'm going to try and ride through this until my upcoming appointment with my psychiatrist (April 3).  Hopefully she will realize what a difficult time I'm having and suggest I just stay on 150, or maybe she will increase me again.  I am feeling at times like this was all a stupid idea.  How can I find the motivation to continue on this path of becoming less dependant on a drug if I have no time to work on myself...

 

I've had a couple concussions in my life and I can say that this absolutely feels like recovering from one.

 

My plan is to take my lunch break to read through some more content on this site.  I haven't had time or energy the last week to do so.

Zoloft (Sertraline) taper:  02/06/19: 175mg;  02/19/19: 150mg;  03/06/19: 125mg;  03/14/19: 150mg;  03/16/19: 125mg; 03/18/19; 150mg; 03/23/19

Zoloft (Sertraline):  ~2009-2019: 200mg

Zoloft (Sertraline):  ~1998-2009: gradual and sporadic increases from 25mg to 200mg.

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