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Rainer: Insomnia/Tinnitus from Seroquel Withdrawal

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Hi I took last dose of seroquel on 12/31/19 and now have insomnia. I've titrated down from 20 mg  to 5mg of Trintellix and 15 mg to 5mg of lorazepam. That's the last of the drugs. I have residual tinnitus from going off Effexor too fast 20 years ago. Now I have 4-alarm ringing in left ear from Lamotrigine withdrawal. I know there's no cure for the tinnitus - so am going to ENT specialist next week for hearing tests and to look into use of new hearing aid to mask noise. I had cut the 5mg lorazepam in half - but was only getting about 2-3 hours of sleep, so I'm back up to the 5mg.  I'm 72 and have been on various cocktails of drugs for over 30 years. Original diagnosis was depression then bi-polar and now the current psychiatrist says I'm not bi-polar but have ADHD.  He has no knowledge of tapering. I really need suggestions on next steps. I want off these drugs. Thanks,

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Welcome to SA, Rainer.  We are a site for tapering off psychiatric drugs and helping members cope with withdrawal.  We'll be happy to help you get off these drugs.


We don't pay much attention to psychiatric diagnoses here.  They are, as you've seen from the varying labels your psychiatrists have put on you,  quite often arbitrary, differ significantly from psychiatrist to psychiatrist, and are influenced by what is currently popular in the psychiatric world.


To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly. Please include the rate at which you tapered the Seroquel, when you started it, original dose and the date of your last dose; the rate and date of your Trintillix taper and your lorazepam taper; and the taper rate, dosage and date of last dose of your lamotrigine taper.  Please use the following link for this drug signature, which will appear beneath your posts and will be a big help to the moderators.


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


Once we have this information, we'll be able to better advise you about future drug tapering.  Other than the insomnia and tinnitus, are you having any other withdrawal symptoms?


What is withdrawal syndrome.


Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF)


We recommend tapering activating drugs, known as accelerators, first, leaving the more sedating drugs, known as brakes to act as a buffer to be tapered later.  In your case, that would mean you'd taper the trintillix first, leaving in place the lorazepam to be tapered later.  We recommend tapering only one drug at a time.  Otherwise, if problems arise, you won't know the cause.


Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?


We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


The Brassmonkey Slide, alternate tapering method that we also recommend, is a way of making micro-taper reductions weekly, as opposed to a larger reduction once a month. 


The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering


The following link is specifically about tapering trintillix, including how to get the small doses you'll need for your taper.  Again, please wait until we've received your drug signature and you've answered my questions about your withdrawal symptoms before starting the taper.


Tips for tapering off Trintellix (vortioxetine), previously called Brintellix


We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 


Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 


Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 


Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.


Here are some tips to help with sleep.


Tips to help sleep - so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia


Relaxation exercises, guided meditations, calming videos, sleep hypnosis


Tricks and tips to fall asleep faster



This link contains helpful information, including insomnia and also non-drug coping skills.  


Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems


Some members have found Melatonin helpful with insomnia.   


Melatonin for sleep   


It's best to start at a very low dosage, such as .25mg, and gradually increase if needed to the lowest effective dose.  


This is your Introduction topic, where you can do your drug signature, answer my questions, ask your own questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.










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