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Caleb94: Serious sertraline problems....new to the forum!


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Caleb94

Hi everyone, I have been following this website for a couple of months. I have been on sertraline for almost 3 years, the highest being 200mg but the majority of the time I have been on 100mg. I started them back in 2018 when I was critically depressed and recovering from opioid and cocaine addiction. I have really bettered my life and decided to start coming off of sertraline about two months ago. Initially, I reduced my dose by 50mg from 100mg not knowing this horrible drug would leave me puking, hot, tingly, lethargic, and with some heart arrhythmia issues. My "psychiatrist" (this women should not even have an MD license in my opinion) has time and time again told me "this shouldn't be happening." She has continued to act like it was not even possible even with recommendations from PCP who at one point told me to tell her she could call and hash it out with her because her tapers are far too fast. In our last session, she raised her voice at me and said "I am making things too complicated" because I decided to taper slower because it was working a bit better. Anyway, in those hellish couple of months, I was able to make it down to about 56mg. This was possible after the introduction to 10mg fluoxetine which helped reduce a lot of the tapering symptoms.....up until two days ago. I have had random "attacks" where I become hot, tingly, dizzy, panicky, and my heart races. I have documented times at the ER with my heart rate at 180 and around 160 a couple of times. Two days ago it hit about 162 out of the blue and then it went away after sitting in the ER for 2 hours. I saw a cardiologist today who told me that he knows heart arrhythmias can occur from reducing these drugs. Anyway, I just wanted to hop on and give everyone a bit of background so I can hopefully find some good support here along with the doctors I have who actually care about what is going on. I really hope to learn from everyone who has had similar experiences with this drug.

7/2018- Started sertraline (200MG), clonidine .1mg

9/2018- Started oxcarbepazine (300 MG)

11/19- Reduced sertraline to 100MG

Early 01/21- Dropped down to 50MG. vomiting, GI issues, anxiety, heart palpitations, rapid heart rate. tingling, lethargy. Reinstated at 100MG

Early 02/21- Put on a 25MG a week taper from 100MG. Initial 25MG drop resulted in same symptoms with less intensity.

3/4/21- Add 10mg Fluoxetine with sertraline taper. Discontinued after 30 days.

3/11/21- Taper at about 6MG (Pill Cutter) a week with 50MG pills. Stopped at  ~56MG.

3/22- Stop Clonidine. reinstated 3/25 because of symptoms same as above. Will cut pills in half and quarter going forward. 

Supplements: CBD Oil, Melatonin, Fish Oil.

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  • Moderator
getofflex

 

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a peer owned and run forum of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  I'm sorry to hear you are having this problems.  That psychiatrist sounds like a real piece of work.  It seems as if she is blaming you for the  withdrawal syndrome.  This is not your fault.  It is the fault of the drugs, and her recommending a too fast taper. No doctor should ever raise their voice to a patient for any reason. It has been the experience of most if not all of us that the only thing psychiatrists know how to do well is prescribe drugs.  When I was tapering too fast off my drugs, my psychiatrist said, when I asked him why I couldn't sleep "I don't know. Just go back on the drug."  

 

How long ago did you cut the Sertraline?  Can you please give us specific information about your drug history?  Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  

 

How to List Drug History in Signature

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.  

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we taper by 10% of the current dose, so that the taper becomes exponentially smaller.

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Also, as we are tapering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

It is a good thing you are seeing a cardiologist to rule out any heart issues. Anxiety can also cause a fast heart rate.  Here is a link with more info about heart behavior during psych drug withdrawal: 

 

Irregular Heart Beats, Tachycardia, etc.

 

Here is a link about anxiety: 

 

Coping with Anxiety

 

 

When we recover, there are times of feeling OK mixed in with times of feeling bad.  This is called windows and waves.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 3 that many of us find helpful are magnesium, omega-3, and melatonin. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 

 

Magnesium

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Melatonin

 

I've given you quite a bit of information here.  Please read through it, and mull it over, and we will take it from there. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and take heart.  We in this forum have been through this, and we understand first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.  Please know that the brain is amazing in it's healing abilities.  It takes time, but healing can and will happen. 

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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  • getofflex changed the title to Caleb94: Serious sertraline problems....new to the forum!
Caleb94

Thank you. I updated my signature and have picked up fish oil so far!

7/2018- Started sertraline (200MG), clonidine .1mg

9/2018- Started oxcarbepazine (300 MG)

11/19- Reduced sertraline to 100MG

Early 01/21- Dropped down to 50MG. vomiting, GI issues, anxiety, heart palpitations, rapid heart rate. tingling, lethargy. Reinstated at 100MG

Early 02/21- Put on a 25MG a week taper from 100MG. Initial 25MG drop resulted in same symptoms with less intensity.

3/4/21- Add 10mg Fluoxetine with sertraline taper. Discontinued after 30 days.

3/11/21- Taper at about 6MG (Pill Cutter) a week with 50MG pills. Stopped at  ~56MG.

3/22- Stop Clonidine. reinstated 3/25 because of symptoms same as above. Will cut pills in half and quarter going forward. 

Supplements: CBD Oil, Melatonin, Fish Oil.

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  • Moderator
getofflex

Thank you @Caleb94.  Can you please shorten this signature to include just the drugs, the dosages, and the dates?  A list format is easiest to read.  Please leave the symptoms and other circumstantial info out of the drug signature and put that into the body of your post.  When there are so many drugs and drug changes it is hard to follow.  Thank you.  

 

I hope the fish oil helps.  

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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Caleb94

@getofflex Thank you. I updated it as requested. Some of the dates I do not have for certain but I hope that looks a little bit better than it did before.

7/2018- Started sertraline (200MG), clonidine .1mg

9/2018- Started oxcarbepazine (300 MG)

11/19- Reduced sertraline to 100MG

Early 01/21- Dropped down to 50MG. vomiting, GI issues, anxiety, heart palpitations, rapid heart rate. tingling, lethargy. Reinstated at 100MG

Early 02/21- Put on a 25MG a week taper from 100MG. Initial 25MG drop resulted in same symptoms with less intensity.

3/4/21- Add 10mg Fluoxetine with sertraline taper. Discontinued after 30 days.

3/11/21- Taper at about 6MG (Pill Cutter) a week with 50MG pills. Stopped at  ~56MG.

3/22- Stop Clonidine. reinstated 3/25 because of symptoms same as above. Will cut pills in half and quarter going forward. 

Supplements: CBD Oil, Melatonin, Fish Oil.

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  • Moderator
getofflex
Posted (edited)

It looks as though you were doing fast tapering and reinstating of the Sertraline, then added fluoxetine for 30 days then quit cold turkey, then tapered sertraline some more, then quit Clonidine cold turkey, then reinstated.  I think I know what the problem is. You have probably been making too many changes to too many drugs too fast.  We suggest that people taper off one drug at a time, and do so very gradually.  If you have read the links I gave in a prior post, you will see that these drugs make changes to our nervous systems, and it takes a long time for the nervous system to readjust to it's predrug state.  It is not like taking an over the counter pain med, where once you stop the drug it's out of your system and that's it.  

 

If you were tapering the sertraline by 6 mg per week with a 50 mg pills, how did you end up at 56 mg? Is this a typo?  

 

Here are some links where other members share their experience of cold turkey and fast taper: 

 

Cold Turkey Fast Taper Community

 

I will confer with the other moderators, and one of us will suggest a course of action.  For right now my suggestion is not to make any changes to your drugs.  What are your symptoms the past several days?  

Edited by getofflex

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10 

Trazodone.  used 50 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Xanax. used 0.5 mg once every 4-7 days for sleep, stopped

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, multivitamin, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 3 mg, calcium

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