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Shashal

Shashal: Zoloft after finished tapering off benzo

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Shashal

Hello SA,

 

I just took 0.4mg Xanax for sleep during April 2019, after 8 weeks used I felt some unreasonable anxiety then seek help from the psychiatrist and prescribed Tandospirone* for me, but my anxiety got worse so my psychiatrist asked me to take 100mg Zoloft from 2, June, but still no improvement at all, then I thought was it something wrong about the Xanax? So I made a big mistake to cold turkey for Xanax, two days later I got severe withdrawal symptoms (almost all symptoms listed except the fits), but my doctor insisted that was the anxiety. Luckily I found the Ashton Manual and crossover to 7.5mg Valium then spent 8 weeks to tapper off the benzo, I jumped on 30, August, before that everything seemed better and better but I made another bad choice that rapid tapering for Zoloft as 10 days down to 50mg(which advised by my doctor) , then back to hell with new symptoms that burning throat and tongue, and acute anxious which was not severe during the benzo tapering, then I reinstating to 100mg Zoloft for two days still feels very bad muscle pain and anxiety. I hate the doctor did not recognize the benzo withdrawal and put me in another dangerous meds...Zoloft. Am I messed up the situation badly? Now what to do? Thank you 😭

 

* from wiki:  Tandospirone (brand name Sediel) is an anxiolytic and antidepressant drug used in China and Japan, where it is marketed by Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma. It is a member of the azapirone class of drugs and is closely related to other azapirones like buspirone and gepirone.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added drug info

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Shashal

Oh I forgot that during my benzo tapering I also took 100mg Trazodone for sleep then tapered to 25mg at the end of the tapering, but yesterday I reinstated to 50mg to calm down before bed.

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Carmie

Hi Shashal, 

 

Welcome to SA. I’m so sorry you are going through this. You are suffering from withdrawals because of all the changes you’ve made.  I’ve had the same thing happen to me in the past. My medications were continually changed and I was cold turkeyed too. 

 

Are you still on the Tandospirone or did you cold turkey that when you changed over to Zoloft?

 

When you cold turkeyed the Xanax you would have been going through withdrawals. Did you jump off at 0.4mg of Xanax? What date was that?

 

When did you start the 7.5mg Valium? When you said you crossed over to the Valium, how did you do that? Did you reinstate the Xanax again?

 

What date did you jump from 100mg of Zoloft to 50mg? That’s a massive jump, we recommend tapering by no more than 10% a month. 

 

So you’ve been back to taking 100mg of Zoloft again two days ago. Is that correct?

 

You said you took the Trazodone throughout your benzo taper too? Were you on that for the whole eight weeks as well? Did you taper that down from 100mg to 25mg throughout the eight weeks or did you do it quickly towards the end? What date did you come off it? You’re back on 50mg I see. 

 

You’re poor brain is struggling really hard to find some equilibrium with all the changes you’ve made. Could you please answer the above questions so we may know how to help you further. Once you’ve answered them I’ll let Shep know about your benzo tapering, she’s the benzo expert. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

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Shashal

Hi Carmie,

 

Thank you for your warmly reply🤗

 

I just cold turkey for the Tandospirone and switched to Zoloft, and I tried to cold turkey 0.4mg- 0.6mg Xanax twice two weeks before I started the slow tapering on late of May, and switched to Valium on 27th, June suddenly, but reinstated Xanax 0.1-0.2mg twice then got stable.

 

Yes now I know it was just a mess to drop off 50mg Zoloft from 1st, September to 10th, September which advised by my stupid psychiatrist then reinstated to 75mg Zoloft but I felt I need more so resumed to take 100mg two days ago, luckily it seems get control now and I just have some transient anxiety and sweating hands and feet, also very wired my hands and feet turned red suddenly and felt numb then it’s fade away ...

 

and the Trazodone, I think I didn’t take them regularly but took it as needed for sleep from very beginning of my benzo withdraw, and I felt that no symptoms related to the dosage change from Trazodone but the Zoloft and benzo did.

 

hummm... actually I tried Gaba, CBD oil, melatonin, omega-3, vitamin B,C,D, zinc, nicotinic acid, propranolol... sounds crazy 😂 but only beta blocker have the response to my withdrawal symptoms (lower my heart rate and muscle tremors, took them as needed only), and I tried three times for 100mg magnesium (from multivitamin supplement or swisse relax & sleep pills), but they made my muscle symptoms worse and don’t know if that caused by the magnesium. Also I’d tried Gabapentin and Pregabalin (Lyrica) which were the disastrous for me...

 

Thanks again for all of the people here who help each other with very valuable information, hope everyone can get rid of these meds🤗

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Shashal

I just woke up with a suddenly muscle pain and tremor at 1:40am, heart beat racing with the high blood pressure (135/85mmHg normally mine is 100/60mmgh)don’t know if it is the serotonin syndrome, I took 20mg Trazodone at 0:00am before bed but before the highest dosage was 100mg  and no symptoms like this😭 Don’t know if I can still on Zoloft or fast tapering that drug? Or just stop taking Trazodone?  Please help...🤒

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Shashal

Back from hospital for the blood tests, luckily most of the results are fine, especially the creatine kinase level is normal that the severe muscle pain didn’t cause a rhabdomyolysis. And a clue is the similar symptoms was first appeared at very beginning of my benzo withdrawal, I thought that was caused by the trial of the Lyrica, but now I remembered that night I took 75mg Trazodone for sleep before bed, and I’m still on 100mg Zoloft. Around 2:00am, I got a hot flash all around my limbs, then severe muscle pain terrified me and I thought that I could probably got the rhabdomyolysis (Witch is one of the side effects from Lyrica  ). Then I took 0.4mg rescue dose Xanax and drunk 2L water to protect my kidneys. I always believed that was my benzo withdrawal symptoms. But now I had clean form benzo for 2weeks, the post withdrawal should not like that. And another clue is my first symptoms from Xanax withdrawal was only anxiety, confused and akathisia, the muscle stuffs e.g. pain, hypertonia, tremor hands and teeth were came out after I was putting on the Zoloft, and the benzo covered all the symptoms caused by Zoloft combined with the Trazodone (one of the treatment for serotonin syndrome is using benzodiazepines), now the benzo has gone, so the symptoms just came out. That is my thought of my case, what do you guys think? I decide to stop taking Trazodone and hold 75mg Zoloft from today and see what will happen to me. Wish me luck 🥴

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Carmie

Hi Sahshal, 

 

I’m really sorry you’re struggling so much. Thanks for answering some of the questions. I’ve just left Shep a message, she’ll get back to you when she’s available. My brain fog is really severe at the moment and I can’t concentrate or read much. Shep is an expert in the benzos and she’ll help you with what steps to take. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

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Shashal
15 minutes ago, Carmie said:

Hi Sahshal, 

 

I’m really sorry you’re struggling so much. Thanks for answering some of the questions. I’ve just left Shep a message, she’ll get back to you when she’s available. My brain fog is really severe at the moment and I can’t concentrate or read much. Shep is an expert in the benzos and she’ll help you with what steps to take. 

 

Sending hugs🤗


Thank you very much for your kindness reply Carmie, very sorry to know you’re still struggling too, hope everything will be fine for us soon🤗

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Shep

 

On 9/12/2019 at 9:07 AM, Shashal said:

I just took 0.4mg Xanax for sleep during April 2019, after 8 weeks used . . . .

 

. . Luckily I found the Ashton Manual and crossover to 7.5mg Valium then spent 8 weeks to tapper off the benzo, I jumped on 30, August,

 

Welcome to SA, Shashal. You may be able to reinstate the benzo. Benzo reinstatements are best done within 2 - 4 weeks of coming off, so you are definitely in that time frame.

 

Did you keep a journal of your taper? If so, look at your journal and see what dose of Valium you were on 2 - 3 weeks ago. That will give you an idea of a good reinstatement amount. You don't want to reinstate the full amount of 7.5 mg because your nervous system is likely sensitized by now. So a smaller amount will be best.

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Shashal

Hi @Shep

 

thank you for your help, I just came off for V because of I had tolerance withdrawal for benzo so it’s that good to do so? And what should I do after I reinstate the benzo? Two weeks ago I’m on 1.5mg Valium, thank you again for your advice 😚

Edited by Carmie
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Shashal

I have another question... if I stop taking 25mg Trazodone should I add an equivalent of Zoloft to avoid withdrawal symptoms? Thank you 😁

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Shashal

Update: yesterday I took 75mg Zoloft but I forgot the 25mg Trazodone had played a part for the ADs, so I got the WD sxs before bed and got almost no sleep last night with illusions, wired smell and muscle pains, although I reinstated 2.5mg Valium but it had done nothing to me. So today morning I took back my 100mg Zoloft then suddenly got relief  just felt like I took Xanax for benzo withdrawal...

 

So here is the puzzle, how can you identify the symptoms were caused by the benzo withdrawal or the antidepressants? For me, they almost the same!

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Shep
On 9/14/2019 at 12:28 PM, Shashal said:

thank you for your help, I just came off for V because of I had tolerance withdrawal for benzo so it’s that good to do so? And what should I do after I reinstate the benzo? Two weeks ago I’m on 1.5mg Valium, thank you again for your advice 😚

 

I'm not sure you had tolerance withdrawal. You did a very rapid crossover so you may have been dealing with Xanax withdrawal. Hopefully the Valium reinstatement will help cover the Xanax withdrawal and you'll feel better. 

 

Please do not make any other changes.  Let's give this reinstatement time to work. 

 

10 hours ago, Shashal said:

Update: yesterday I took 75mg Zoloft but I forgot the 25mg Trazodone had played a part for the ADs, so I got the WD sxs before bed and got almost no sleep last night with illusions, wired smell and muscle pains, although I reinstated 2.5mg Valium but it had done nothing to me. So today morning I took back my 100mg Zoloft then suddenly got relief  just felt like I took Xanax for benzo withdrawal...

 

So here is the puzzle, how can you identify the symptoms were caused by the benzo withdrawal or the antidepressants? For me, they almost the same!

 

I'm confused with what you're taking now.  Please add a signature.  A signature is a list of your drugs with the start and stop dates. Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. Here is a direct link to your signature:

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Here is an example of a signature:

 

Quote

 

Example:

2001–2002 paroxetine 
2003  citalopram 
2004  paroxetine
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to 2016 Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg

 

 

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Shashal
14 minutes ago, Shep said:

 

I'm not sure you had tolerance withdrawal. You did a very rapid crossover so you may have been dealing with Xanax withdrawal. Hopefully the Valium reinstatement will help cover the Xanax withdrawal and you'll feel better


Hi @Shep, thank you for your reply, I think now I’m not in the Benzo withdrawal anymore but it’s from Zoloft, I had a successful tapering with Valium everything feels good until I started the Zoloft tapering.

 

I think the key point is I didn’t take the Trazodone regularly as I just thought they were sleeping pills for me. Two days ago I experienced a serotonin syndrome 2 hours later after I took the Trazodone before bed, the symptoms are suddenly muscle spasm, sweating a lot and skin rash and burns. 
 

After reading the topic from @Altostrata, I think it’s really caused by the Trazodone and which the side effects were covered by the benzo, now benzo gone, syndrome comes.

 

So I decide to stop taking Trazodone but seems the Zoloft have to be up-dosed ? Because when I took 100mg Zoloft in the morning, I would experiences the symptoms in midnight, which was not happening if I took the Trazodone before.

 

And another sign for this I can get suddenly relief after I take the Zoloft... Is that good to take 100mg in the morning and 25mg Zoloft before bed to crossover the Trazodone? Do you have any advice to this? Thank you 😄

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Shep
20 minutes ago, Shashal said:

And another sign for this I can get suddenly relief after I take the Zoloft... Is that good to take 100mg in the morning and 25mg Zoloft before bed to crossover the Trazodone? Do you have any advice to this?

 

No, I'm not familiar with crossing over from Trazodone to Zoloft. These are two completely different types of antidepressants. 

 

But if you think you have serotonin syndrome, you don't want to increase the Zoloft, since it will increase your serotonin levels even more.

 

20 minutes ago, Shashal said:

After reading the topic from @Altostrata, I think it’s really caused by the Trazodone and which the side effects were covered by the benzo, now benzo gone, syndrome comes.

 

By "now benzo gone", are you no longer taking Valium? I thought you reinstated it.

 

Are you taking any supplements? If so, please list them? 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Shep
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Shashal
9 minutes ago, Shep said:

By "now benzo gone", are you no longer taking Valium? I thought you reinstated it.

 

Are you taking any supplements? If so, please list them? 

 

Hi Shep,

 

I only took 2.5 Valium yesterday for sleep after I jumped  10days ago. Now I only took fish oil and vitamin C.

 

Unnecessary polypharmacy
If your doctor has given you a benzo to help with adverse effects caused by trazodone, mCPP, or drug interactions, you are taking two medications to counter the adverse effects of another drug: Trazodone to counter insomnia from the antidepressant and a benzo to counter the effects of trazodone.


This is quote from @Altostrata for Trazodone tapering tips, so I think my serotonin syndrome was caused by Zoloft and Trazodone interactions.

 

Thank you Shep🤗 

 

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Shashal

Today I found that when I experienced the benzo withdrawal like symptoms, after I took the Zoloft I just felt relief very soon. And after I stop taking Trazodone, I experienced the inter dosing withdrawal symptoms for Zoloft?? So these days the symptoms were caused by the AD but not benzo???

 

I missed the key part of my whole benzo tapering that took Trazodone as needed just messed up my withdrawal journey. The day before yesterday I just C/T for the Trazodone then that night with zero sleep! So I truly believe that Trazodone does interact other SSRIs should consider very careful during tapering, and the doctor knows nothing about how dangerous they are! 
 

Today I decided to stop taking Trazodone but try 50mg Zoloft before sleep instead and see what will happen.

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Shashal

It’s a bad idea to take Zoloft before bed, I still woke up around 2am with muscle twitches, heart pounding, sweating and strange feelings, now I have no idea how to back to track to get stabilized, someone who can help me😭

 

yesterday meds I took

9am 100mg Zoloft

9pm 50mg Zoloft 

11pm 2.5mg Valium 

 

so if I want to back to 100mg Zoloft per morning, how should I take it today? 75mg or 50mg?
 

Thank you so much if anyone can help me😩

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ChessieCat

Is this the first time you have split the Zoloft dose?  If yes, you could try taking the 50mg at lunch time the next day and then in the morning the day after.

 

If you have been taking 50mg Zoloft at night for more than 3 days, my suggestion would be to take in 1 hour earlier each day until you are taking it all in the morning.

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Shashal

Thank you so much ChessieCat, yes, but I had already took 50mg on 9am today already , and I took 25mg the day before yesterday at 2am I thought it would helped me for the effects of Trazodone... So how can I back to my original path? 

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Shep

 

On 9/13/2019 at 11:25 AM, Shashal said:

Yes now I know it was just a mess to drop off 50mg Zoloft from 1st, September to 10th, September which advised by my stupid psychiatrist then reinstated to 75mg Zoloft but I felt I need more so resumed to take 100mg two days ago, luckily it seems get control now and I just have some transient anxiety and sweating hands and feet, also very wired my hands and feet turned red suddenly and felt numb then it’s fade away ...

 

6 hours ago, Shashal said:

So how can I back to my original path? 

 

By "original path", do you mean to go back to 100 mg a day? 

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Shashal
7 minutes ago, Shep said:

 

 

 

By "original path", do you mean to go back to 100 mg a day? 


Yes Shep, which I did good before I screwed it up 

that 100mg Zoloft in 9am, 25mg Trazodone before bed

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Shep

It's best to take your drugs at the same time and dose every day. Now that you've stopped the periodic Trazodone and reinstated the Valium, I would hold everything steady, being careful to take your drugs at the same times of the day every day until you've stabilized. 

 

How well are you sleeping with the Valium reinstatement? 

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Shashal
1 hour ago, Shep said:

It's best to take your drugs at the same time and dose every day. Now that you've stopped the periodic Trazodone and reinstated the Valium, I would hold everything steady, being careful to take your drugs at the same times of the day every day until you've stabilized. 

 

How well are you sleeping with the Valium reinstatement? 

 

Thank you Shep,

 

1 pill 2.5mg Valium did not cover my Trazodone WD at all, I woke up around 2am with heart pounding and leg cramps...

 

I think I’m now in the AD’s withdrawal not Valium 😥 if I took Zoloft before bed instead, I felt very terrible during my sleep, but it’s not WD, kind of side effects or hallucination?


So today I decide to return to my “old path”  worth a try 🥺

 

 

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Shashal

I have a good news that back to 100mg Zoloft in 9am, 20mg Trazodone before bed was working for me today, finally I got a 7 hours sleep. I woke up at 6am with shaking body and a little anxiety, then I took 1/4 pill Zoloft from my daily dose then back to sleep again, although it made me feel bad when I woke up again.

 

It seems that 100mg Zoloft can only effect until evening, and 20mg Trazodone can effect until dawn, let’s see if they will last longer and longer 🤪

 

Symptoms today 3/10 (0 no symptom - 10 severest symptoms)

3/10 sleepiness/early wake up 

5/10 morning woke up with shaking body

2/10 anxiety

3/10 woke up again with depression 

2/10 tinnitus 

3/10 muscle stiffness/muscle pain (back and legs)

4/10 sweating hands and feet 

2/10 tight arms

1/10 dizzy head

2/10 burning tongue

2/10 charring smell and taste 

 

Meds and supplements 

23:30 20mg Trazodone 

7:00 12mg Zoloft 9:00 88mg Zoloft

19:00 10mg Propranolol for heart pounding 

Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E, Q10, Creatine, Oryzanol, fish oil

 

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Shep

 

22 minutes ago, Shashal said:

23:30 20mg Trazodone 

7:00 12mg Zoloft 9:00 88mg Zoloft

19:00 10mg Propranolol for heart pounding 

 

If splitting out the Zoloft like this works for you, it's fine to take it this way, but please keep to the same schedule every day at the same dose each day.

 

Did you take the Valium or did you decide not to continue the Valium reinstatement? If you did take it, please post the time of day and the dose. 

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Shashal
10 hours ago, Shep said:

 

 

If splitting out the Zoloft like this works for you, it's fine to take it this way, but please keep to the same schedule every day at the same dose each day.

 

Did you take the Valium or did you decide not to continue the Valium reinstatement? If you did take it, please post the time of day and the dose. 


Thank you Shep, I split the Zoloft as the rescue dose so I will take them at one time then. And I decided not to reinstate the Valium any more.

 

I woke up around 2am and experienced little muscle tetanus, extremely dry mouth and heart pounding, I’m not sure if it was related to the serotonin syndrome or just WD, can I decrease the Trazodone from 20mg to 15mg and see what happens today?

 

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Shep
12 hours ago, Shashal said:

can I decrease the Trazodone from 20mg to 15mg and see what happens today?

 

This is a 25% reduction, which is way too fast. Please see:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Because you've made so many changes recently, I would not make any reductions for several weeks. You need to give your nervous system time to catch up to these changes and to stabilize before tapering. You may want to take all of the Zoloft at one time in the morning and not close to when you take the Trazodone due to the major interaction between those drugs. That may be causing some of your symptoms such as heart pounding. 

 

How often are you taking Propranolol? 

 

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Shashal

Thank you Shep,

 

As your advice I will only reduce 20mg to 18mg Trazodone today, and yes I keep the inter-dose between Zoloft and Trazodone as long as possible to avoid major interactions and helps me sleep. And for Propranolol I only take them as needed, like heart pounding, not everyday.
 

Today my doctor prescribed me Remeron to replace Trazodone, to avoid interactions between Trazodone and Zoloft, but I think Remeron and Zoloft will be much more dangerous than Trazodone so I don’t want to take them.

 

Symptoms today 2/10 (0 no symptom - 10 severest symptoms)

6/10 sleepiness/early wake up 

2/10 morning woke up with shaking body

1/10 tinnitus 

3/10 muscle stiffness/muscle pain (back and legs)

2/10 sweating hands and feet 

4/10 fatigue 

 

Meds and supplements 

23:30 20mg Trazodone + 2.5mg melatonin 

9:00 100mg Zoloft

Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E, Q10, Creatine, Oryzanol, Fish oil, Caltrate(calcium + VD), Redoxon (VC + VD + ZINC)

 

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Shep
38 minutes ago, Shashal said:

As your advice I will only reduce 20mg to 18mg Trazodone today,

 

I want to be very clear - this is NOT my advice. I only listed the link to the 10% thread so you would know why we advise not going any faster than that.

 

My advice:

 

1 hour ago, Shep said:

Because you've made so many changes recently, I would not make any reductions for several weeks. You need to give your nervous system time to catch up to these changes and to stabilize before tapering.

 

40 minutes ago, Shashal said:

Today my doctor prescribed me Remeron to replace Trazodone, to avoid interactions between Trazodone and Zoloft, but I think Remeron and Zoloft will be much more dangerous than Trazodone so I don’t want to take them.

 

I'm glad you're not going to take your doctor's advice because it makes no sense - Remeron also has a MAJOR interaction with Zoloft.

 

Drug interaction report - Zoloft and Remeron

 

43 minutes ago, Shashal said:

2.5mg melatonin 

 

How long have you been taking melatonin? Please note this is a high dose. Please see:

 

Melatonin for sleep

 

Please note these tips:

 

On 4/6/2011 at 9:26 PM, Altostrata said:

Large doses of melatonin do NOT aid sleep -- they might cause your oversensitive brain to wake up, instead. 

 

 

Here's how to re-establish your sleep cycle with melatonin:

- Start with .25mg-.50mg melatonin for 3-4 days.

- Take at the same time, nightfall (but, given that it's summer, not later than 8 p.m.), every night.

- If needed, gradually increase by .25mg for 3-4 days at a time.

- Use the lowest effective dose.

- Try to turn lights off or keep lights low after sundown. Your bedroom should be quiet and dark. Darkness triggers natural melatonin production. Artificial lighting, including staring into the computer, can give the wrong signal to your pineal gland. STAY OFF THE COMPUTER AT NIGHT.

- Keep to a very regular schedule -- this is what your circadian rhythm needs.

- Do NOT take melatonin regularly at any time but nightfall or you might scramble your sleep-wake cycle.

 

 

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Shashal

Oh, I misunderstood your reply, sorry.

 

And these tips are so great for me, I had took 2.5 to 5 mg melatonin for weeks, but I can’t tell if it has any significant effects for me, I will try 1mg or stop taking them for a while.

 

Hope you have a nice day 🤗

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