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Is sleepiness a withdrawal symptom of tapering?


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Every time I taper down further, it seems that I enter into a stupor of round-the-clock sleeping. Fall asleep early, wake up late, nap a lot in the daytime, and still not get refreshed. I read somewhere that this is a side effect of tapering, because the brain requests complete bodily rest to rebuild itself? Is this true?


But above all, anyone else out there with this exact side effect?

2000: Paxil, low dose. 2001: Paxil, quickly tapered off. 2006: Zoloft, 25mg. 2007: Wellbutrin, low dose, discontinued after a week or a month. 2007-2009: Zoloft, increasing dose (up to 75mg). 2009-2011: Zoloft, failed withdrawal attempts (cold-turkey; fast tapering). 2009-2011: Trying out Cymbalta, Celexa, Prozac, Lexapro, Ambien, Ativan, and Xanax. 2012-2015: Zoloft, 100mg to 200mg. 2013: Trazadone for Zoloft-induced insomnia, 25mg to 50mg.  2015: Trileptal, dose?, withdrew; Bupropion, up to 200mg. 2016: Zoloft, 137mg, Bupropion, 150mg, Trazodone, 25mg.

05/21/16: Began Zoloft taper - 10% from 150mg - 137ish mg

06/23/16: Zoloft taper - 125mg

08/03/16: Bupropion XL taper - cut 150mg pill in crude half (mistake)

10/31: Zoloft successfully down to 100mg. Staying on 100mg for 2-3 months to let my brain rest.

11/09: Wellbutrin SR prescribed, 150mg once a day, for withdrawal.

12/11: Wellbutrin SR, twice daily - minus 18ishmg = 112.50mg

09/30/17: Off Wellbutrin SR successfully. Zoloft taper: 90ish mg (shaving it off). Trazodone: still at 50mg.

June 2018: Zoloft: 80ish (shaving off). Trazodone: 6mg. End of 2018: Off Trazodone.

01/20: Zoloft: 70ish?

08/20: Still around 80 or 70. Tapering by only 15 shaves each month.

04/2021: 50mg! 11/2022: 40ish mg

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Is sleepiness a withdrawal symptom of tapering?
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Stormstrong,


I've changed the title from side effect to withdrawal symptom.  A side effect is the unwanted effects you get when taking a drug.  Generally effects that occur after making a reduction are withdrawal symptoms.


In response to your question.  If you have experienced the tiredness for the last few times you have made a reduction and it then starts to lessen the longer you hold then, for you, it is most likely a withdrawal symptom, unless there is something else that coincides each time it happens.


Are you making a reduction once every four weeks?  If yes, then it could possibly be related to your menstrual cycle.  It might be a combination of menstrual cycle and tapering.  Is there something else that is happening at the same time, eg if you work is there something that coincides with your tapering; or if not something work related is there something happening with another member of the family, even something simple like bills being due at about the same time that you taper could add stress and consequently cause you to be more tired.


I understand that it can help to know that somebody else experiences the same thing but in reality it really doesn't matter.  What matters is what happens to you during your taper.


Keeping a personal diary which includes life circumstances might help you to work out what is causing the tiredness.


Something to consider.  If it has only started happening over the last few months it might be related to the covid-19 situation.  It might be that you are more tired than you usually are but that you only notice it after making a reduction because you are on alert for symptoms.  It might be that it is always there but worsens after a reduction, due to covid-19 stress and the additional taper stress.  You might want to stop tapering for a while until life gets back to being more normal.


Just some things to think about.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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