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LastMile: Reinstate Zoloft or push through nightmares?

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LastMile

Hi, Mid-50 year old male here.  Been on 200 mg of Zoloft since 2013 for general anxiety and doctor agreed that I could try tapering off.  Over the past five months I tapered off from: 200mg > 150mg > 100 mg > 50mg > 25mg > 12.5 mg > 0mg. I had no noticeable side effects until I was completely off the medication about one month ago.  Symptoms amounted to feeling light-headed/tired during the day for about 3 weeks.  About a week ago, those symptoms went away but suddenly I'm having nightmares.  A few times this week, I've woken up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts, feeling like I'm another person,  can't snap out of it, keep waking up and not able to get back to sleep.  The good news is the intensity of these awakenings has reduced somewhat each time.  I'm also feeling somewhat irritable/anxious during the day. I can push through the daytime anxiety but the awakenings in the middle of the night are dreadful. I don't think I'll be able to handle these nightmares and sleep deprivation if it lasts any more than another week.

 

I'm guessing my mistake was that I tapered off too quickly in the last month when I went from 25mg > 12.5 > 0mg. Would love to hear your thoughts on whether I should remain off Zoloft and hope things get better quickly or reinstate it and then try the 10% taper process?  Any other advice?

 

Looking forward to your replies.


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, LastMile.

 

As you've guessed, you tapered the Zoloft too fast and as a result are suffering from withdrawal symptoms.  We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.

 

Insomnia is one if the most common withdrawal symptoms. 

 

Reinstatement of a very small dose of the original drug is the only known way to help alleviate withdrawal syndrome.  The only other alternative is to try and wait out the symptoms and manage as best you can until your central nervous system returns to homeostasis.  Unfortunately no one can give you an exact timeline as to when you will start feeling better and while some do recover relatively easily, for others it can take many months or longer.  

 

Reinstatement isn't a guarantee of diminished symptoms for everyone but it's the best tactic available.  You're still in the time period where reinstatement predictably works, up to 3 months after last dose.  It is best to reinstate as soon as possible after withdrawal symptoms occur. We usually suggest a much smaller reinstatement dose than your last dose.  Your system has become sensitized and If you take too much it may be too much for your brain and can cause you become more unstable.  If you decide you want to reinstate, you would stabilize on the reinstated  dosage, which can take several months then begin a 10% per month taper down to zero.   Please read:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic

 

If you reinstate, I would recommend a dosage of 1mg -- no more.  It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  

 

This link explains how to get the small dose of Zoloft you'll need for a reinstatement.

 

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

Please let us know what you decide to do.  If you do reinstate, it's a good idea to keep daily notes on how you're doing to keep track of how the reinstatement is going.  Please also keep us updated on how you're doing.  

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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LastMile

Gridley, Thank you for your very informative response!  I read through the links you provided and have a few questions:

 

1. I was surprised that you recommended reintstating to only 1mg since my last dose was 12.5mg.  Just wanted to confirm that 1mg is indeed the recommendation?

2. In order to make a 1 mg dosage, I would mix a 50mg tablet in 500ml of water to obtain a mixture of 1mg/10ml. I would then use a syringe and take 10ml of liquid.  Is that correct?

3. What would the shelf life be of such a solution? I saw a few comments ranging from 3 days to 1 week but no one really seemed to know for sure.  Is there any additional information on how long such a mixture would be effective? 

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

 


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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Gridley
19 minutes ago, LastMile said:

have a few questions:

 

1.  Yes, 1mg would be my recommendation.  During the time you've been off the drug, your system has made accommodations to tnot having the drug.  Too much can overwhelm your system.  It's important to start low.  You can alway go higher if necessary.

 

2 & 3  I've never done liquid, so I'm bringing your questions 2 & 3 to the attention of the administrators and other moderators.


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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brassmonkey

This will not work. Zoloft is not soluble in water.

 

A 50mgai tablet must be dissolved in  100mL of vodka for several hours and then the volume rounded up to 500mL by adding water. He can then take a dose of 10mL to get the 1mgai.

 

The solution will last about a week in the refrigerator and then should be discarded.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Gridley

@LastMile I just wanted to make sure you saw Brassmonkey's post above answering your questions 2 & 3.


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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LastMile

Yes, thank you. I'm going to be traveling extensively so the Vodka may pose a problem. I guess the other alternative is to see if my doc will give me a prescription for the 20mg/ml liquid concentrate.  Some more questions:

 

1. Would this be the correct procedure for using the concentrate:  Combine 1 ml of concentrate with 19 ml of water.  That would give me a solution of 1mg/20ml.  Then take 1 ml of the diluted concentrated?

2. Will 1 ml of the concentrate dissolve properly with 19 ml of water or would I need to mix it with something other than water?

3. How long will it last?

4. Does it need to be refrigerated?

 

Thanks again!

 


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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Gridley
53 minutes ago, LastMile said:

Some more questions:

I've alerted Brassmonkey and asked him to address your questions


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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Altostrata

In the US, Zoloft comes in a prescription liquid. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may wish to get that. You take it with an oral syringe and you can dilute it with water if necessary.

 

As it is a prescription liquid, it is permitted by the TSA.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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brassmonkey

That method would work fine, or you could get a smaller oral syringe that is divided into 1/10th mL increments and take half of one increment of the undiluted liquid.

 

If you dilute it then you can keep it for 4-7 days in a refrigerator. For the undiluted liquid the instructions are on the bottle.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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LastMile

Perfect! It didn't occur to me that I could get that small of a syringe.  Will request prescription for the concentrate and report back.

 

Thank you again.


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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LastMile

I didn't hear back from doc today so I decided to make my own concentrate in the meantime. I'd prefer to avoid using vodka to dissolve the pill so I tried it with just tap water.  I found that the 50mg pill dissolved in water with no problem.  Is there any reason not to use just tap water if the pill appears to be completely dissolved?


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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LastMile

Started my reinstatement at 1mg a few days ago. I understand it takes about 4 days to get fully in the blood stream and a bit longer to register in the brain.  Does that mean I should feel changes within a week if it's working?  And if I don't notice improvement, how long should I wait until I increase the dosage and what would the next dosage be?


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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Gridley
1 hour ago, LastMile said:

Started my reinstatement at 1mg a few days ago. I understand it takes about 4 days to get fully in the blood stream and a bit longer to register in the brain.  Does that mean I should feel changes within a week if it's working?  And if I don't notice improvement, how long should I wait until I increase the dosage and what would the next dosage be?

 

it might take 8 or 9 days.  The effect should get stronger during that time.  If 1mg is enough, it still may take some weeks or months for your nervous system to settle down. You probably will continue to have waves and windows, but symptoms won't be as intense.  

 

If after 9 days there's no improvement, you could increase to 2mg.

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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LastMile

The good news is that it's been about 8 days since I reinstated 1mg and the horrible withdrawal symptoms are gradually subsiding.  I realize there's no way to tell if this is due to the reinstatement or not. However, I'm now anxious and on-edge just as I was before I began taking the medication. The medication did work for me so I'm wondering if I do need it to control my anxiety.

 

At this point, would you recommend that I stay at 1mg and hope the anxiety subsides or should I gradually increase the dosage until I feel the effect of the medication?


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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Gridley
1 hour ago, LastMile said:

would you recommend that I stay at 1mg and hope the anxiety subsides

Definitely stay at the 1mg.  You've had a great result.  As I said earlier--

 

On 2/15/2020 at 11:46 AM, Gridley said:

it still may take some weeks or months for your nervous system to settle down. You probably will continue to have waves and windows, but symptoms won't be as intense.  

 


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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Dave1

When I first went off my antidepressant, I went cold turkey, fully reinstated and was okay. 
 

This time, I’m 5.5 months out, and struggling to reinstate and it is the scariest thing I’ve ever gone through. I’m having wild symptoms and my nervous system is hypersensitive to almost everything. 
 

Please continue reinstating until you are stable then slowly taper from there. It is likely you will be able to tolerate a much higher dose than 1MG, and it’s really up to you, but I would increase until you feel decent and functioning again. Stabilize there for a few months up to a year then consider a very slow taper. 


2012-2019 Nardil/phenelzine (maoi) - 45MG

2019 Xanax - 1.5MG

(I went cold turkey off both in August 2019)

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Gridley
16 minutes ago, Dave1 said:

It is likely you will be able to tolerate a much higher dose than 1MG, and it’s really up to you, but I would increase until you feel decent and functioning again.

 

 

18 minutes ago, Dave1 said:

lease continue reinstating until you are stable

  

This is not good advice, Lastmile, and runs completely counter to everything we have learned here working with thousand of members  Your system needs stability, and the worst thing you can do is keep reinstating higher and higher after some elusive goal of perfect stability. Stability will come in time.  Your central nervous system is not the same CNS as it was when you were previously on your full dose, due to being destabilized by your cold turkey from 12.5mg, and your reaction to full dose will not be the same.  In reinstatement more is not better.  

 

 


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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Dave1

Obviously id defer to @Gridley here and I apologize for any misinformation. Overall, I would just say it’s great you were able to reinstate and do everything you can to keep things calm, stable, and sane. 


2012-2019 Nardil/phenelzine (maoi) - 45MG

2019 Xanax - 1.5MG

(I went cold turkey off both in August 2019)

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Georgina

I have a question - Brassmonkey said that Zoloft is not soluble in water - however, I have been mixing mine with water since last year March - should I not have been doing this? 

 


Started on SA website May 2015: Efexor at age 16 for a few years. I am now 35. Took a 'street' drug at 18 and suffered massive panic attacks. Epilim for approximately one year. At age 22 put on to Sertraline 100mg - took that for approx. 8 years. Dropped to 50mg around age 30. No problems. Tried to taper off 50 mg at age 32 (3 months taper). Was fine for a few months and then had massive panic, anxiety, depersonalisation, health anxiety etc. Went to 100mg for a few months. Dropped back to 50mg. Been on 50mg for past three years. Tried to taper again; went to 37.5 mg, then 25mg and started feeling weird so went back to 50mg. Tried 37.5mg again, found this site and read it's best to taper in 10% increments so put myself up to 45mg on Monday. <p>40mg since April 2015. Dropped to 36mg 06 Sept 2015. Dropped to 34mg 18 October (5% drop). Going to stay on for six weeks. Dropped to 32mg 29 November (5% drop). Dropped to 30mg 10 January 2016 (5% drop). Dropped to 28mg 31 January (5% drop). Dropped to 26mg 20 March (5% drop). Dropped to 25mg 08 April. Dropping to 24mg 17 April. Drop to 23mg 08 May. Drop to 22mg 21 May. Drop to 21mg 02 June 2016. Dropped to 20mg 17 June. Dropped to 19mg 09 July. Dropped to 18mg 20th July. Dropped to 17mg 18th August. Dropped to 16mg 25th September 2016. Back up to 17mg 10 October 2016. Back up to 19mg 20th October 2016. Back up to 20mg 27 October 2016. Held for a while. Dropped to 19mg 24 March 2017. Dropped to 18mg 05 May 2017. Dropped to 17mg 04 June 2017. 16mg 03 July 2017. 15mg 14 August 2017. 14mg 03 September 2017. 13mg 03 Oct 2017. 12mg 04 Nov 2017. 11mg 04 December 2017. 10mg 13 January 2018. 9mg 19 February 2018. 8mg 24 March 2018. 7mg 20 April 2018. Dad dies in May. 6mg 27 June 2018. 5mg Aug 2018. IBS symptoms start. 4.5mg approx. 03 October 2018. 4mg 20 October 2018. 3.5mg approx. 12 December 2018. 3mg January 2019. Approx. 2.5mg Feb 2019. Shoulder pain starts.  2mg 03 March 2019 (liquid suspension starts). 1.8mg 30 April 2019. 1.6mg 21 August 2019. IBS symptoms gone. Weird shoulder/neck symptoms/dystonia still around. 1.4mg 30 Sept. 2019. 1.2mg 5 Nov 2019. 1mg 8 Dec 2019. Facial spasms start. Dystonia still around. Developed Raynaud's Phenomenon. Updose to 1.2mg 21 Feb. 2020. Back to 1mg 02 March 2020. 0.9mg 08 March. 0.8mg 12 March. 0.7mg 16 March. 0.6mg 24 March. 0.5mg 27 March. 0.4mg 31 March. 0.3mg 11 April 2020. Dystonia still around. 0.2mg 27 April 2020. 0.1mg 02 May 2020. 0.0mg 07 May 2020. 

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pinciukas
5 minutes ago, Gridley said:

 

 

  

This is not good advice, Lastmile, and runs completely counter to everything we have learned here working with thousand of members  Your system needs stability, and the worst thing you can do is keep reinstating higher and higher after some elusive goal of perfect stability. Stability will come in time.  Your central nervous system is not the same CNS as it was when you were previously on your full dose, due to being destabilized by your cold turkey from 12.5mg, and your reaction to full dose will not be the same.  In reinstatement more is not better.  

 

 

If someone is reacting good for higher dose of reinstatement than is good. Not everyone even have same WD symptoms and reacting to reinstatement. There are guidelines and so on but only if you try yourself you will know how reinstatement is working for you. I did reinstatement few times and last time almost 5 mg in total other person did 1 mg and he is feeling bad. So everyone is different.


AD: Seroxat since 2005 20 mg and tapering from March 2018 10% every 4 weeks.

15-11-2019 down to 5.5 mg 

28-12-2019 crashed really bad on 5.5mg 

01-01-2020 updose to 7mg

16-01-2020 Updose to 9 mg

 

Benzos: Bromazepam 1.5 mg daily since 2015

Quit CT Bromazepam 16-01-2020 No withdrawals 

Occasionally 1.5 mg extra

Last extra 1.5 mg 12-01-2020

 

 

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Gridley
33 minutes ago, pinciukas said:

If someone is reacting good for higher dose of reinstatement than is good. Not everyone even have same WD symptoms and reacting to reinstatement. There are guidelines and so on but only if you try yourself you will know how reinstatement is working for you. I did reinstatement few times and last time almost 5 mg in total other person did 1 mg and he is feeling bad. So everyone is different.

 

Lastmile,

 

Our advice is to reinstate at the lowest possible dose and give it some time.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and other strategies have worked on a case-by-case basis, but our experience over many years with many members is what drives our advice. 

 

As I said, you're having a very good response to 1mg and I would give it time.

Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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LastMile

 

I would like to stay on the 1mg but if the anxiety does not subside in future, I assume I may need to go back on the medication at some point?  I'd like to have a plan for how long I should wait.  Does the likelihood that the medication may not be effective anymore increase the longer I wait (similar to waiting too long to reinstate)?

 


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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Gridley
2 minutes ago, LastMile said:

 

I would like to stay on the 1mg but if the anxiety does not subside in future, I assume I may need to go back on the medication at some point?  I'd like to have a plan for how long I should wait.  Does the likelihood that the medication may not be effective anymore increase the longer I wait (similar to waiting too long to reinstate)?

 

 

It can take several weeks or even months for your system to stabilize.

 

Whether you go back on the medication is something we can't advise you on.  We can advise you about tapering and we can advise you about reinstatement to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  Advising you on using drugs to treat non-withdrawal symptoms is outside our purview.

 

I don't know the answer to your question about whether the likelihood the medication will not work increases the longer you wait.  That is a possibility.  It's also a possibility the full dose medication won't work as of right now.  You don't have the same central nervous system that you had before your fast taper/cold turkey.  

 

Instead of drugs, we recommend non-drug techniques to deal with anxiety, whether due to withdrawal or pre-existing anxiety.  These techniques have helped many people.

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes
 

VIDEO:  Peace from Nervous Suffering - Claire Weekes (1 hour) (http://sendvid.com/vgquc1dg)
 

Anxiety Stuff - all kinds of stuff about anxiety attacks and things that help …

 

10 minute Restorative Yoga for Relaxation | Up the wall

 

I've found the last link (legs up the wall yoga pose) to be very helpful.

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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Dave1

Once you’re CNS is unstable, all bets are off as the mods are mentioning.

 

I was able to fully reinstate years ago, a few month after going CT, but now facing a much more precarious and scary situation.

I would check out Kelly brogan md’s book “a mind of your own” which has helped. Nutrition, breath work and detox for anxiety reduction. 


2012-2019 Nardil/phenelzine (maoi) - 45MG

2019 Xanax - 1.5MG

(I went cold turkey off both in August 2019)

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LastMile

I was doing well with my tapering but at the end of May my anxiety symptoms came back and have intensified since then.  I'm now on 0.9mg of Zoloft and have been exercising extensively, doing yoga, and reduced coffee. I've read and am reading Claire Weekes books with great interest as they describe my issues of the past 50 years exactly -- sensitized nerves. My "fatigued nerves" are now back with me all the time and every so often my emotions/reactions are dreadful.  I've been practicing Dr. Weekes strategies (e.g. floating) but no luck so far.  Trying to determine how much longer I should stay the course or if I should increase my Zoloft to 2mg?  Any other suggestions?


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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LastMile

Bumping up my previous post and rephrasing the question:  My anxiety has been back for over 3 months, 24/7 -- does this sound like a side-effect of withdrawal that should eventually subside?  If so, how much longer might this last?


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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Hanna72

Hi @LastMile

Sorry to hear about your anxiety. I know it’s the worst, speaking from my own experience.

19 minutes ago, LastMile said:

My anxiety has been back for over 3 months, 24/7 -- does this sound like a side-effect of withdrawal that should eventually subside? 

Yes it’s a classic wd symptom. How ever I believe it will subside over time, but unfortunately there is no time line, which can be so frustrating.  
Have you tried meditation and practicing mindful breathing? For me it helps a lot. If I can not focus on that, I use music to snap myself out of the thoughts that lead to my anxiety. Also guided meditation can help you, you can find a lot of videos on YouTube channel. 
I also find a lot of comfort in listening to spiritual teachers like for example Eckhart Tolle. 
I also want to congratulate you on your accomplishment with the tapering, 0.9 Zoloft that’s amazing, well done!
All the best to you.

 

Edited by Hanna72


2000/ 20mg Paxil  for panic attacks. Many attempts to quit through out the years, without any success.

2019- January started tapering 20 mg Paxil. 
2019-October 10 mg Paxil , getting ready for a bridge with 20mg Prozac Took about 1 month during switch.

At one point my withdrawals were so bad I went up to 40 mg Prozac, but went quickly back down to 20 mg and very soon after that 10 mg Prozac.

Off  Paxil 2019/ November started tapering 10mg Prozac 2019/December 8 mg Prozac 

2020/January 4 mg Prozac 

2020/15/3 .09 mg jumped off

2020 March 16 off Prozac  Quetipine 25 mg used 1 time in 15 months, oxezapam 15 mg used 5 times 

Suppliments: Magnesium, omega 3 fish oil ( epa&dha) D and C vitamin 

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time” Leo Tolstoy 

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arbor

Dear LastMile--It's so awful-beyond-words that you're having to experience this.  I wish I could offer you more than just sympathy as I go through w/d from Zoloft/(and then Prozac) myself.  I'm still choosing to believe that my symptoms will eventually improve.  Some I'm better at living with, and others may have lost a small bit of their intensity.  I wish this was more than just a crumb of hope at 22 months.  Let me know if there is more I can share with you.

All my best, Arbor


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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LastMile

Hanna72 and arbor,  thank you for your responses.  I do need to try meditation and mindful breathing.  

 

I guess I'm just surprised how suddenly the anxiety came back and hit me so hard especially since I was down to 0.7 mg and doing well.

 

I guess I will try to stay at my current dosage and hopefully feel some improvement soon.  


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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Erell

Hello Lastmile

 

I'm sorry to read that you're struggling with anxiety.

 

If I understand well, you reinstated in February then began your taper in March, right ?

 

You may have started tapering too soon after reinstatement. We usually advise to wait some months before starting a taper again. 

 

- How did your symptoms evolve in the last three months ? 

 

- Have you drank alcohol in the last months ?

 

- Do you take other drugs ?

 

 

Hang in there : you are close to your goal.

 

Take care  ☀️

 

 

Edited by Erell

2006 : 20mg Paroxetine + Bromazepam(no specific dose) 

2008 : cold turkey of both

2010 : 20mg Deroxat + Bromazepam

2013: Switch from Bromazepam To Prazepam (long half-life)

2014-June2017 : Prazepam taper, 3% drops. 

2018 to August 2019 : Paroxetine 20mg taper (3% every 15 days).

- 22nd August updosed To 10mg (was at 8.4mg) because of a big wave. 

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paroxetine. 

 

April 2020-August 2020 : Paxil to Prozac bridge. Details https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/21457-erell-struggling-with-paroxetine/?do=findComment&comment=499847

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil/ evening primrose oil 

 

Current medication :

7mg Fluoxetine + toothpick Paroxetine (since 20 Aug 2020)

1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

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LastMile

Hi Erell, 

Yes, I reinstated to 1 mg in February and then began tapering in March.  During the tapering I was doing well did not have any side effects.  Then, suddenly anxiety started at the end of May when I was down to 0.7 mg.  I gradually increased to 0.9 mg which is where I'm at now.

 

-- Over the past 3 months,  the anxiety has been with me constantly, and seems to have gotten progressively more intense.

 

-- I've had maybe 3-4 drinks total over the past 3 months but haven't had one in the past few weeks.

 

-- I don't take any other drugs or supplements.

 

Thank you for any advice. 🙂

 

 

 

 


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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Erell

Hello Lastmile,

 

I know it might hard to believe, but alcohol can have a huge impact on our CNS.

I would avoid alcohol.

 

It seems that during this WD journey we need to treat our CNS like a baby ☺

 

On 9/17/2020 at 6:57 PM, LastMile said:

of May when I was down to 0.7 mg.  I gradually increased to 0.9 mg 

Since when are you holding at 0.9mg ?

(Can you please include the date in your signature ?)

 

Your body went through a lot in one year, and you start a taper quickly after reinstatement. 

Your CNS might need time to do his repair work/adjustments and stabilise.

 

How do you feel about a long hold ( several months ) ?

 

Have you tried Magnesium ?

 

If you try it, start with a low dose to see how it affects you.

 

Take care ☀️


2006 : 20mg Paroxetine + Bromazepam(no specific dose) 

2008 : cold turkey of both

2010 : 20mg Deroxat + Bromazepam

2013: Switch from Bromazepam To Prazepam (long half-life)

2014-June2017 : Prazepam taper, 3% drops. 

2018 to August 2019 : Paroxetine 20mg taper (3% every 15 days).

- 22nd August updosed To 10mg (was at 8.4mg) because of a big wave. 

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paroxetine. 

 

April 2020-August 2020 : Paxil to Prozac bridge. Details https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/21457-erell-struggling-with-paroxetine/?do=findComment&comment=499847

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil/ evening primrose oil 

 

Current medication :

7mg Fluoxetine + toothpick Paroxetine (since 20 Aug 2020)

1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

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LastMile

Erell, 

I've been holding at 0.9 mg for 3-months.  You suggested a long hold (several months). If my symptoms stay the same, do I increase to 1 mg and how much longer should I wait?  One of the most frustrating parts of all this is not knowing whether the anxiety is truly a withdrawal symptom or if I'm just back to my old anxious self.  I'm trying to believe it's withdrawal so I can stay the course but it gets tougher each day.

 

I'm not planning on ANY alcohol going forward.  Additionally, I'm in process of gradually switching over to decaf coffee.

 

I was taking magnesium but my regular doc discouraged it so I stopped.  I may try it again and see if I notice any improvement.

 

Again, thanks for your help.


2013-2019: Zoloft 200mg (300mg early-on) for GENERAL ANXIETY

  • Tapered off in 2019: (Sept: 150mg )> (Oct: 100mg) > (Nov: 50mg) > (Dec: 25mg) > (Dec/Jan 2020: 12.5mg) > (early-Jan 2020: 0mg). 
  • SIDE EFFECTS began a few days after being med-free:  Jan: tired/lightheaded for 3 weeks,  Feb 4:  sleep disturbances (nightmare-like), Feb 10: waking up each night, unable to get back to sleep.
  • REINSTATED on Feb 12:  1mg zoloft.  Began monthly taper after anxiety subsided: 0.9 (March) > 0.8 (Apr) > 0.7 (May), 
  • ANXIETY returned in May: 
  • TAPERED UP:  0.8 mg (June 1) > 0.9 mg (June 15) 
  • HOLDING at 0.9 mg

 

on/off:  fish oil, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium

 

 

 

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