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oona: Severe Seroquel withdrawal, please help


oona

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Hello, this is my first post, it’s nice not to just float out in space with this very difficult experience.
 

My story is that I had been on 250 mg of Seroquel in combination with Lithium for about 8 years which kept my bipolar II in pretty good control since 2012.
 

I then had a hypomanic episode in November 2019 (after one of the toughest years of my life, finally cutting contact with my abusive family of origin and the related trauma) that lead to my psychiatrist raising my Seroquel from 250 to 350 mg to help me sleep as I was not sleeping for 3 nights (not to control the hypomania itself). It’s an understatement to say that turned out to be a terrible misjudgment as after about 2 weeks on the significantly higher dose, I started to have severe vertigo as an adverse reaction.

 

This same psychiatrist would not believe my adverse reaction/toxicity was due to the sudden jump in Seroquel, so I ended up switching psychiatrists after feeling talked down to and essentially abandoned. The new psychiatrist believed me and is a reasonable, compassionate person. He and I agreed I must come off Seroquel and quickly due to the vertigo toxicity which had me basically immobilized.

 

In 3 days, I came down from 250 mg to 50 mg. The vertigo disappeared but within days after, I started to have insomnia (I am now sleeping with sleep meds), nausea and acid reflux, headaches and now about 6 weeks in to the withdrawal, the headaches are replaced by terrible dizziness and even more severe nausea, reflux has abated with help of meds.
 

It’s really frightening and painful going through this to say the least, especially not knowing when it will improve. I work full time and have a family to take care of and my husband and I are frozen in a state of perpetual anxiety and a deep sense of crisis. 
 

Anyone experienced anything like this with Seroquel/Quetiapine or other atypical antipsychotics? Psychiatrists seem to know next to nothing about this issue. As a side note, I feel unable to raise the Seroquel level due to the severe  vertigo issues I had while on it at the higher dose.


Thanks in advance for pretty much any guidance or rays of hope, this is hell and I feel I’m on my own.

Edited by manymoretodays
name added to title

Current medications: Lithium 475 mg, Seroquel 250 mg, Ativan 0.5 mg am & pm, Ativan 1.0 mg midnight, Ambien 15 mg 9 pm.

April 2012-current: Lithium 475 mg per day.

April 2012-November 2019: Seroquel 250 mg per day.

November 2019: Seroquel raised to 350 mg per day.

December 2019: Severe vertigo due to Seroquel toxicity.

January 2020: Told to cold turkey off Seroquel, vertigo resolves, few days later severe onset of Seroquel W/D.

January 2020: Prescribed 0.5 mg Ativan at 11 am, 0.5 mg Ativan at 5:30 pm, 1.0 mg Ativan at midnight and 15 mg Ambien at 9 pm for dealing with severe Seroquel W/D symptoms.

March 2020: Slowly reinstate Seroquel, feel better though with some residual W/D symptoms, fully reinstated by April 2020.

May 2020: Told to cut Ambien as concern for interdose withdrawal (likely just still in Seroquel W/D, this was erroneous), cut 25% of 15 mg Ambien dose on May 1, 2020.

June 15, 2020: Notice classic Z-drug withdrawal symptoms, reinstate back to full 15 mg dose of Ambien, still suffering W/D.

 

 

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to oona: Severe Seroquel withdrawal, please help
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, oona.  We are a site for tapering off psychiatric medications and helping members cope with withdrawal.  You are not on your own.  You'll find the moderators and members here supportive and compassionate.

 

You are suffering from withdrawal stemming from your fast taper of Seroquel which we understand was necessary.  The symptoms you describe are typical of withdrawal.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

When we take psychiatric 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.  

 

These explain the healing process really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

 

   On 8/30/2011 at 2:28 PM,  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. 

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 (glycinate is a good form) 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.

 

Are you going to stay on the 50mg Seroquel or are you intending to taper?  Whatever you do is fine with us.  If you wish to taper, we can help you with that.

 

What dose lithium are you on?  What sleep medication are you taking and at what dose?

 

There is, unfortunately, no way to predict how long these withdrawal symptoms will last.  We do know you will heal.

 

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.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper 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  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


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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Thanks for that very useful reply, Gridley.

 

I intended coming completely off Seroquel using several techniques: had a solution made, bought a microgram scale, cut the pills with pill cutter and exacto knives, etc., but could not get reliable sleep at 43.75 mg (long story how I got to that dose) and withdrawal symptoms were  getting worse so I just recently decided on staying at 50 mg until I’m a bit better.

 

During the height of the steep Seroquel withdrawal, I was prescribed 15 mg Ambien (had gone from my chronic 5 mg to 10 mg and was not working) at bedtime and 1 mg Ativan for breakthrough insomnia in the middle of the night.  There would be essentially complete insomnia otherwise. I also take 0.5 mg Ativan at noon and 0.5 mg Ativan in the evening. I am concerned about the high Ambien dose and definitely intend on microtapering off but am in survival mode now and even one night of poor/no sleep can be critical.  I do wonder about dizziness and Ambien, just FYI.

 

Thanks very much.

Current medications: Lithium 475 mg, Seroquel 250 mg, Ativan 0.5 mg am & pm, Ativan 1.0 mg midnight, Ambien 15 mg 9 pm.

April 2012-current: Lithium 475 mg per day.

April 2012-November 2019: Seroquel 250 mg per day.

November 2019: Seroquel raised to 350 mg per day.

December 2019: Severe vertigo due to Seroquel toxicity.

January 2020: Told to cold turkey off Seroquel, vertigo resolves, few days later severe onset of Seroquel W/D.

January 2020: Prescribed 0.5 mg Ativan at 11 am, 0.5 mg Ativan at 5:30 pm, 1.0 mg Ativan at midnight and 15 mg Ambien at 9 pm for dealing with severe Seroquel W/D symptoms.

March 2020: Slowly reinstate Seroquel, feel better though with some residual W/D symptoms, fully reinstated by April 2020.

May 2020: Told to cut Ambien as concern for interdose withdrawal (likely just still in Seroquel W/D, this was erroneous), cut 25% of 15 mg Ambien dose on May 1, 2020.

June 15, 2020: Notice classic Z-drug withdrawal symptoms, reinstate back to full 15 mg dose of Ambien, still suffering W/D.

 

 

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  • Moderator

It looks like you've got a good handle on the situation.  It's a good idea to hold now.  I understand survival mode.

 

Dizziness is a known side effect of Ambien.

 

You're probably aware that we recommend tapering no more than 10% of current dose every 4 weeks. Your drop to 43.75 was a bit more than that.  

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Once you're feeling better, you may need to taper more slowly.  5% of current dose every 4 weeks is an option.  Other options are explained in the following links:

 

A micro-taper is the gentlest way to come off these drugs. 

 

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

 

The Brassmonkey Slide 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

 

Regarding the Ativan, dependency occurs within 2 to 4 weeks of daily use.  After that, you no longer get the original benefit and are just staving off withdrawal.  (That's my own situation now.)

 

This link is specifically about tapering Seroquel.

 

Tips for tapering off Seroquel (quetiapine)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper 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  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


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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  • 3 weeks later...

Iona, how are you doing? 

Also made a very fast taper on seroquel 

Citalopram (Celexa) 2015- Sept. 26 2019 10 mg 

Citalopram  Sept. 26- 15 Oct 2019  15mg

Citalopram 15 Oct 2019  - 17 nov 2019 12,5 mg

Citalopram  nov 2019 - 28 nov 2019 15 mg 

Citalopram (celexa) 28 nov - 12 dec 2019 20 mg 

switched  to sertraline 12 dec - 30 dec 

Quetapin 75 mg 20 December - 

Sertraline 30 dec -  upp to 100 mg⁹

Sertraline 100 mg 4 weeks serrtraline 50 mg 11 days Sertraline  75 mg since 14 feb

Quetapin  300 mg ER since 11 feb

Ativan 1 mg daily since 23 February - 1 March 

Quetapine ER down from 300 to 150mg March 9

Oxazepam 10 mg  March 11, March 15 

 

Link to post

Hi ciasim,

 

Thanks for asking, I’ve gone slowly back up on the Seroquel the past 2 weeks and am better but with some residual dizziness and nausea.  My plan is to continue to very slowly go up as needed until withdrawal symptoms are manageable.

 

I hope you’re well.

 

Best,

Oona.

Current medications: Lithium 475 mg, Seroquel 250 mg, Ativan 0.5 mg am & pm, Ativan 1.0 mg midnight, Ambien 15 mg 9 pm.

April 2012-current: Lithium 475 mg per day.

April 2012-November 2019: Seroquel 250 mg per day.

November 2019: Seroquel raised to 350 mg per day.

December 2019: Severe vertigo due to Seroquel toxicity.

January 2020: Told to cold turkey off Seroquel, vertigo resolves, few days later severe onset of Seroquel W/D.

January 2020: Prescribed 0.5 mg Ativan at 11 am, 0.5 mg Ativan at 5:30 pm, 1.0 mg Ativan at midnight and 15 mg Ambien at 9 pm for dealing with severe Seroquel W/D symptoms.

March 2020: Slowly reinstate Seroquel, feel better though with some residual W/D symptoms, fully reinstated by April 2020.

May 2020: Told to cut Ambien as concern for interdose withdrawal (likely just still in Seroquel W/D, this was erroneous), cut 25% of 15 mg Ambien dose on May 1, 2020.

June 15, 2020: Notice classic Z-drug withdrawal symptoms, reinstate back to full 15 mg dose of Ambien, still suffering W/D.

 

 

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On 3/15/2020 at 4:11 PM, oona said:

Hi ciasim,

 

Thanks for asking, I’ve gone slowly back up on the Seroquel the past 2 weeks and am better but with some residual dizziness and nausea.  My plan is to continue to very slowly go up as needed until withdrawal symptoms are manageable.

 

I hope you’re well.

 

Best,

Oona.

Thank you - 

I was put on 300 mg seroquel while in withdrawals from celexa and sertraline. I was really unstable at the time. 

Being on 300 mg seroquel made all symptoms worse, so after being on them for 23 days, i halfed the dose to 150 mg. 

Will I be alright? What symptoms do you experience when you have withdrawals from seroquel? Thank you so much 

Citalopram (Celexa) 2015- Sept. 26 2019 10 mg 

Citalopram  Sept. 26- 15 Oct 2019  15mg

Citalopram 15 Oct 2019  - 17 nov 2019 12,5 mg

Citalopram  nov 2019 - 28 nov 2019 15 mg 

Citalopram (celexa) 28 nov - 12 dec 2019 20 mg 

switched  to sertraline 12 dec - 30 dec 

Quetapin 75 mg 20 December - 

Sertraline 30 dec -  upp to 100 mg⁹

Sertraline 100 mg 4 weeks serrtraline 50 mg 11 days Sertraline  75 mg since 14 feb

Quetapin  300 mg ER since 11 feb

Ativan 1 mg daily since 23 February - 1 March 

Quetapine ER down from 300 to 150mg March 9

Oxazepam 10 mg  March 11, March 15 

 

Link to post
4 hours ago, ciasim said:

Thank you - 

I was put on 300 mg seroquel while in withdrawals from celexa and sertraline. I was really unstable at the time. 

Being on 300 mg seroquel made all symptoms worse, so after being on them for 23 days, i halfed the dose to 150 mg. 

Will I be alright? What symptoms do you experience when you have withdrawals from seroquel? Thank you so much 

It’s best for a psychiatrist to manage this rather complex situation, you may have to go back up on the SSRI’s and taper very slowly.  I have mainly dizziness and nausea as my Seroquel withdrawal symptoms, pretty typical.  I did withdraw from an SSRI in 2007 and it was very difficult and took 6 months, but I did it on my own and too fast.  

Unfortunately psychiatrists know next to nothing about withdrawal.  I’ve had to switch providers 3 times in 3 months and finally now have a knowledgeable psychiatrist.  Advocate for yourself and research as much as you can, many of us in withdrawal are sadly on our own.  You will make it though, don’t lose hope.

Current medications: Lithium 475 mg, Seroquel 250 mg, Ativan 0.5 mg am & pm, Ativan 1.0 mg midnight, Ambien 15 mg 9 pm.

April 2012-current: Lithium 475 mg per day.

April 2012-November 2019: Seroquel 250 mg per day.

November 2019: Seroquel raised to 350 mg per day.

December 2019: Severe vertigo due to Seroquel toxicity.

January 2020: Told to cold turkey off Seroquel, vertigo resolves, few days later severe onset of Seroquel W/D.

January 2020: Prescribed 0.5 mg Ativan at 11 am, 0.5 mg Ativan at 5:30 pm, 1.0 mg Ativan at midnight and 15 mg Ambien at 9 pm for dealing with severe Seroquel W/D symptoms.

March 2020: Slowly reinstate Seroquel, feel better though with some residual W/D symptoms, fully reinstated by April 2020.

May 2020: Told to cut Ambien as concern for interdose withdrawal (likely just still in Seroquel W/D, this was erroneous), cut 25% of 15 mg Ambien dose on May 1, 2020.

June 15, 2020: Notice classic Z-drug withdrawal symptoms, reinstate back to full 15 mg dose of Ambien, still suffering W/D.

 

 

Link to post

Thank you, 

 

can I ask, did you experience any anxiety when going down from high dose of Seroquel too low? 

 

Best regards

 

Cecilia 

Citalopram (Celexa) 2015- Sept. 26 2019 10 mg 

Citalopram  Sept. 26- 15 Oct 2019  15mg

Citalopram 15 Oct 2019  - 17 nov 2019 12,5 mg

Citalopram  nov 2019 - 28 nov 2019 15 mg 

Citalopram (celexa) 28 nov - 12 dec 2019 20 mg 

switched  to sertraline 12 dec - 30 dec 

Quetapin 75 mg 20 December - 

Sertraline 30 dec -  upp to 100 mg⁹

Sertraline 100 mg 4 weeks serrtraline 50 mg 11 days Sertraline  75 mg since 14 feb

Quetapin  300 mg ER since 11 feb

Ativan 1 mg daily since 23 February - 1 March 

Quetapine ER down from 300 to 150mg March 9

Oxazepam 10 mg  March 11, March 15 

 

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Hi Cecilia,

 

I did have some anxiety but my dominant symptoms with the abrupt Seroquel withdrawal were insomnia, headaches, dizziness and nausea.

 

Hang in there!

Current medications: Lithium 475 mg, Seroquel 250 mg, Ativan 0.5 mg am & pm, Ativan 1.0 mg midnight, Ambien 15 mg 9 pm.

April 2012-current: Lithium 475 mg per day.

April 2012-November 2019: Seroquel 250 mg per day.

November 2019: Seroquel raised to 350 mg per day.

December 2019: Severe vertigo due to Seroquel toxicity.

January 2020: Told to cold turkey off Seroquel, vertigo resolves, few days later severe onset of Seroquel W/D.

January 2020: Prescribed 0.5 mg Ativan at 11 am, 0.5 mg Ativan at 5:30 pm, 1.0 mg Ativan at midnight and 15 mg Ambien at 9 pm for dealing with severe Seroquel W/D symptoms.

March 2020: Slowly reinstate Seroquel, feel better though with some residual W/D symptoms, fully reinstated by April 2020.

May 2020: Told to cut Ambien as concern for interdose withdrawal (likely just still in Seroquel W/D, this was erroneous), cut 25% of 15 mg Ambien dose on May 1, 2020.

June 15, 2020: Notice classic Z-drug withdrawal symptoms, reinstate back to full 15 mg dose of Ambien, still suffering W/D.

 

 

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Sigh. No idea why the doctor didn't just try to lower you back to 250mg first where you didn't have this side effect. Are you still taking Ambien and how much quetiapine? Also given your history and it seems you have pretty much only just cut off ties from your abusive family, I have to wonder how much is due to quetiapine withdrawal per se and how much is the reduction in dose interacting with your mind to produce these symptoms. I would start therapy ASAP.

Dx: complex PTSD

Discontinuation/taper history: sertraline, trazodone, prazosin, mirtazapine, diazepam

Took 200mg quetiapine for 0.5 years and 150mg for 1.5 years until 01/2020. Now microtapering daily at an overall rate of 12.5mg/month.

Link to post

Thanks for your note.

 

The issue is that I experienced severe vertigo as an adverse reaction after 2 weeks on 350 mg (up from baseline dose of 250 mg) of this drug in 11/2019, so the idea was to stop the vertigo by coming off the agent rapidly with some fear that going back on it might cause problems again.  Admittedly, my psychiatrist at that time literally did not believe antipsychotic withdrawal exists.  I am currently slowly going back up on the Seroquel dosage after switching psychiatrists and feeling incrementally better but still with significant residual nausea and dizziness (currently at 162.5 mg).  I am on 2 mg Ativan per day in divided doses.


And yes, thanks for mentioning the significance of therapy.  I’ve been in therapy for many years and even more intensely in the past year after going “no contact” with my abusive family of origin.

 

I appreciate the support here, thank you.

Current medications: Lithium 475 mg, Seroquel 250 mg, Ativan 0.5 mg am & pm, Ativan 1.0 mg midnight, Ambien 15 mg 9 pm.

April 2012-current: Lithium 475 mg per day.

April 2012-November 2019: Seroquel 250 mg per day.

November 2019: Seroquel raised to 350 mg per day.

December 2019: Severe vertigo due to Seroquel toxicity.

January 2020: Told to cold turkey off Seroquel, vertigo resolves, few days later severe onset of Seroquel W/D.

January 2020: Prescribed 0.5 mg Ativan at 11 am, 0.5 mg Ativan at 5:30 pm, 1.0 mg Ativan at midnight and 15 mg Ambien at 9 pm for dealing with severe Seroquel W/D symptoms.

March 2020: Slowly reinstate Seroquel, feel better though with some residual W/D symptoms, fully reinstated by April 2020.

May 2020: Told to cut Ambien as concern for interdose withdrawal (likely just still in Seroquel W/D, this was erroneous), cut 25% of 15 mg Ambien dose on May 1, 2020.

June 15, 2020: Notice classic Z-drug withdrawal symptoms, reinstate back to full 15 mg dose of Ambien, still suffering W/D.

 

 

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On 3/29/2020 at 7:59 PM, oona said:

Thanks for your note.

 

The issue is that I experienced severe vertigo as an adverse reaction after 2 weeks on 350 mg (up from baseline dose of 250 mg) of this drug in 11/2019, so the idea was to stop the vertigo by coming off the agent rapidly with some fear that going back on it might cause problems again.  Admittedly, my psychiatrist at that time literally did not believe antipsychotic withdrawal exists.  I am currently slowly going back up on the Seroquel dosage after switching psychiatrists and feeling incrementally better but still with significant residual nausea and dizziness (currently at 162.5 mg).  I am on 2 mg Ativan per day in divided doses.


And yes, thanks for mentioning the significance of therapy.  I’ve been in therapy for many years and even more intensely in the past year after going “no contact” with my abusive family of origin.

 

I appreciate the support here, thank you.

 

4mg Ativan a day is a fairly high amount. When you quit you will likely find that it was masking a lot of the quetiapine withdrawal symptoms even if you aren't dependent on the Ativan. If you do get dependent on the Ativan then you may not be able to tell where any symptom you have is coming from. I'm not going to say there aren't any problems worth getting a benzo dependence to fix but this is something you and your psychiatrist need to actively be talking about. The other consideration is that diazepam is much easier to taper than lorazepam.

Dx: complex PTSD

Discontinuation/taper history: sertraline, trazodone, prazosin, mirtazapine, diazepam

Took 200mg quetiapine for 0.5 years and 150mg for 1.5 years until 01/2020. Now microtapering daily at an overall rate of 12.5mg/month.

Link to post

I take 2 mg total of Ativan a day, not 4 mg.

 

Thanks for your input.

Current medications: Lithium 475 mg, Seroquel 250 mg, Ativan 0.5 mg am & pm, Ativan 1.0 mg midnight, Ambien 15 mg 9 pm.

April 2012-current: Lithium 475 mg per day.

April 2012-November 2019: Seroquel 250 mg per day.

November 2019: Seroquel raised to 350 mg per day.

December 2019: Severe vertigo due to Seroquel toxicity.

January 2020: Told to cold turkey off Seroquel, vertigo resolves, few days later severe onset of Seroquel W/D.

January 2020: Prescribed 0.5 mg Ativan at 11 am, 0.5 mg Ativan at 5:30 pm, 1.0 mg Ativan at midnight and 15 mg Ambien at 9 pm for dealing with severe Seroquel W/D symptoms.

March 2020: Slowly reinstate Seroquel, feel better though with some residual W/D symptoms, fully reinstated by April 2020.

May 2020: Told to cut Ambien as concern for interdose withdrawal (likely just still in Seroquel W/D, this was erroneous), cut 25% of 15 mg Ambien dose on May 1, 2020.

June 15, 2020: Notice classic Z-drug withdrawal symptoms, reinstate back to full 15 mg dose of Ambien, still suffering W/D.

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Tinnitus as part of Seroquel/atypical antypsychotic withdrawal?

 

Hello all,

I am several months into Seroquel withdrawal recovery (I was tapered off 250 mg way too rapidly back in January 2020 and have actually retritrated back up to my original dose but still suffering withdrawal this many months out) and although some other withdrawal symptoms (i.e. headaches, nausea and dizziness) are improving, have had worsening ringing in the ears/tinnitus and hyperacusis/sound sensitivity for the last 2 weeks.  Any of you had experience with this as part of Seroquel/atypical antipsychotic withdrawal and if so, how long did it last and what helped improve it for you?  This is quite distressing as I cannot really sleep with it and it feels like a setback.

 

I just want to know this has hopefully happened to others and there is a light at the end of the tunnel...

 

Any feedback is appreciated!  

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

Current medications: Lithium 475 mg, Seroquel 250 mg, Ativan 0.5 mg am & pm, Ativan 1.0 mg midnight, Ambien 15 mg 9 pm.

April 2012-current: Lithium 475 mg per day.

April 2012-November 2019: Seroquel 250 mg per day.

November 2019: Seroquel raised to 350 mg per day.

December 2019: Severe vertigo due to Seroquel toxicity.

January 2020: Told to cold turkey off Seroquel, vertigo resolves, few days later severe onset of Seroquel W/D.

January 2020: Prescribed 0.5 mg Ativan at 11 am, 0.5 mg Ativan at 5:30 pm, 1.0 mg Ativan at midnight and 15 mg Ambien at 9 pm for dealing with severe Seroquel W/D symptoms.

March 2020: Slowly reinstate Seroquel, feel better though with some residual W/D symptoms, fully reinstated by April 2020.

May 2020: Told to cut Ambien as concern for interdose withdrawal (likely just still in Seroquel W/D, this was erroneous), cut 25% of 15 mg Ambien dose on May 1, 2020.

June 15, 2020: Notice classic Z-drug withdrawal symptoms, reinstate back to full 15 mg dose of Ambien, still suffering W/D.

 

 

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tinnitus-what-does-all-that-noise-mean

 

 

 

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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 Oct 2015 

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  • 7 months later...

Hello all,

 

I’m Oona and somewhat new here.  Thank you for this truly amazing forum.  Also thank you to Frogie who has been immensely helpful to me today already.  I was guided by Alto to post in this section to get more feedback.  I am tired of feeling sick for so long and very afraid of what is happening to me.  I’m an MD myself but have found little support in the mental health provider community (including several supposed "benzo savvy" providers I've turned to for any clue recently) who seem to have little to no grasp of psychiatric medication withdrawal.  Please kindly refrain from potentially triggering, anxiety-inducing comments even if well intended, I’m looking purely for positive support and rays of hope to help me keep going, hope that I’m going to be ok.

 

In brief, I am was told to come down on my Ambien dose (15 mg) too fast last May by my psychiatrist leading me to cut down by 25% at once.  I was already barely coming out of severe Seroquel withdrawal at this time with a highly unstable central nervous system to further complicate the picture.  I then reinstated to full dose of Ambien after 5-6 weeks of onset of W/D symptoms (mainly significant tinnitus/hyperacusis), and am currently 7.5 months into my reinstatement with definite improvement of some symptoms (auditory symptoms, heart palpitations, headaches and some others improved) but still going through waves of other W/D symptoms (mainly dizziness, nausea).   Of note, I have always been extremely sensitive to psyche meds, whether if dose lowered or raised.

 

I am looking for affirmation that what I’m going through falls within normal range of benzo healing even though I’m 7.5 months into full reinstatement and still experiencing rather severe symptoms in waves (while some other symptoms have improved as I mentioned).  I have read about folks who updosed or reinstated after too abrupt a taper or cold turkey and had to wait 12-18+ months for relief.  I have also read that an abrupt, precipitous cut such as what I did can for all the world look and act like a cold turkey cessation and am thinking that is what’s going on here.  Do I just keep holding at this dose till symptoms abate riding out these waves (that seems to be the collective wisdom and honestly, what I feel most comfortable doing)?  My plan is to stabilize my system as best as possible and then proceed with an exceedingly slow taper of Ativan and Ambien at a later time when that is achieved.  I normally work full time as a physician and am also the mother of two children.  Luckily my husband has taken on most tasks right now and work is very slow due to COVID otherwise we could not manage.  It’s very frightening where I am right now (and I'm a childhood trauma survivor and know fear), I just need to see some light in the darkness from others who've been through this or seen this to help keep me going.

 

Here’s more information about me…

 

Medication history:

 

12/2019-  Told to increase long-standing dose of Seroquel from 250 mg to 350 mg by psychiatrist.  Stable long-standing dose on 475 mg Lithium not touched.

1/2020-  Develop severe toxicity to Seroquel dose increase, told to then cold turkey off Seroquel by another psychiatrist then leading to severe Seroquel withdrawal.

Begin 0.5 mg Ativan at 11 am, 0.5 mg Ativan at 5:30 pm, 1 mg Ativan at midnight and 15 mg Ambien at 9 pm for help with severe Seroquel withdrawal symptoms including massive insomnia.

3/2020-  Slowly increase Seroquel back to baseline dose of 250 mg guided by third psychiatrist and feel better.

5/2020-  Told to cut Ambien dose by 33% by same third psychiatrist as he felt I may be experiencing interdose withdrawal (in retrospect erroneous).  I then cut Ambien dose by 25% on 5/1/20.

6/2020 to present-  Hyperacusis and tinnitus start, I reinstate to full Ambien dose by 6/15/20.

 

Since Ambien reinstatement on 6/15/20:

 

6/15-8/15-  Wave of withdrawal symptoms dominated by tinnitus/hyperacusis

8/15-10/12-  Wave of withdrawal symptoms dominated by headache, dizziness, nausea, palpitations 

10/13-11/5-  Mainly tinnitus/hyperacusis with some days better with all symptoms

11/6 to present-  Sudden onset of wave of more severe nausea and dizziness than the previous 8/15 wave, wave within wave pattern with interspersed 8-10 day alternating periods where mildly better and then worse.

 

Thank you in advance,

Oona.

Current medications: Lithium 475 mg, Seroquel 250 mg, Ativan 0.5 mg am & pm, Ativan 1.0 mg midnight, Ambien 15 mg 9 pm.

April 2012-current: Lithium 475 mg per day.

April 2012-November 2019: Seroquel 250 mg per day.

November 2019: Seroquel raised to 350 mg per day.

December 2019: Severe vertigo due to Seroquel toxicity.

January 2020: Told to cold turkey off Seroquel, vertigo resolves, few days later severe onset of Seroquel W/D.

January 2020: Prescribed 0.5 mg Ativan at 11 am, 0.5 mg Ativan at 5:30 pm, 1.0 mg Ativan at midnight and 15 mg Ambien at 9 pm for dealing with severe Seroquel W/D symptoms.

March 2020: Slowly reinstate Seroquel, feel better though with some residual W/D symptoms, fully reinstated by April 2020.

May 2020: Told to cut Ambien as concern for interdose withdrawal (likely just still in Seroquel W/D, this was erroneous), cut 25% of 15 mg Ambien dose on May 1, 2020.

June 15, 2020: Notice classic Z-drug withdrawal symptoms, reinstate back to full 15 mg dose of Ambien, still suffering W/D.

 

 

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  • Altostrata changed the title to oona Botched Z-drug taper now suffering prolonged withdrawal
  • Administrator
Altostrata

Welcome, oona.

 

You're still taking Seroquel? What were your symptoms when you had an adverse reaction to it before?

 

Are you taking Ativan? What is your daily drug schedule, with dosages for all drugs?

 

You made several big drug changes in March-June. What we've seen is if you have gone on and off drugs or had adverse reactions to drugs, your nervous system can be sensitized and take a long time to stabilize.

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.

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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Thanks @Altostrata, I created my medication signature as you suggested.  You're correct that there were a lot of medication changes between November of 2019 and June 2020 as the drug record clearly reflects.  I would love to hear any further thoughts and just get some hope and encouragement that I'll be ok.  This feels like hell right now.  Appreciate it.

Current medications: Lithium 475 mg, Seroquel 250 mg, Ativan 0.5 mg am & pm, Ativan 1.0 mg midnight, Ambien 15 mg 9 pm.

April 2012-current: Lithium 475 mg per day.

April 2012-November 2019: Seroquel 250 mg per day.

November 2019: Seroquel raised to 350 mg per day.

December 2019: Severe vertigo due to Seroquel toxicity.

January 2020: Told to cold turkey off Seroquel, vertigo resolves, few days later severe onset of Seroquel W/D.

January 2020: Prescribed 0.5 mg Ativan at 11 am, 0.5 mg Ativan at 5:30 pm, 1.0 mg Ativan at midnight and 15 mg Ambien at 9 pm for dealing with severe Seroquel W/D symptoms.

March 2020: Slowly reinstate Seroquel, feel better though with some residual W/D symptoms, fully reinstated by April 2020.

May 2020: Told to cut Ambien as concern for interdose withdrawal (likely just still in Seroquel W/D, this was erroneous), cut 25% of 15 mg Ambien dose on May 1, 2020.

June 15, 2020: Notice classic Z-drug withdrawal symptoms, reinstate back to full 15 mg dose of Ambien, still suffering W/D.

 

 

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  • Administrator
Quote

Current medications: Lithium 475 mg, Seroquel 250 mg, Ativan 0.5 mg am & pm, Ativan 1.0 mg midnight, Ambien 15 mg 9 pm.

 

Thanks for updating your signature, Oona.

 

I received your PMs, but am requesting you continue posting here in your introduction thread. We really need to see your symptoms within the context of when you take each of your drugs. 

 

Please start a drug and symptoms journal. Please include all drugs and supplements and the number of hours you're sleeping at night. 

 

After a few days of a daily journal, we can help you set up a game plan for coming off these drugs. 

 

Please see below for how to post your daily journal. Please post your journal here in your introduction thread. 

 

On 9/27/2016 at 2:49 PM, Altostrata said:

In the course of discussion in your Introductions forum topic, you may be asked to keep notes on paper of your daily symptom pattern, including when you take your drugs, their dosages, and any symptoms. We ask this because there may be something we can do to reduce the symptoms.

 

What we need to see for every single day over several days is what symptoms you get before and after you take your drugs. If you're not taking any drugs and have withdrawal symptoms, we still need to see your symptom pattern throughout the day:

 

The time of day, dosage, and severity of symptoms are essential information. Include

 

- Time and dosage for all drugs taken throughout the day, psychiatric and non-psychiatric.

- Following each dose, note any symptoms. If you are having a reaction to the drug, it may take hours for a symptom to show up -- that's why we ask you to keep notes all day long.

- If you're not taking any drugs, your symptoms throughout the day.

- Your sleep pattern. Since so many drugs disturb sleep, if you find you're waking in the middle of the night, it could be from a drug you took earlier in the evening. If you're not taking any drugs, there may be ways you can improve your sleep.

And so forth. A diary, in chronological order, looking something like this:
 

Example:


DATE:

 

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

 

Edited by Shep
added addition info

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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