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SophieD: Tapering off sertraline?


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Hi.  I've been on antidepressents most of the last 18 years.  The last four years have been constant on sertraline.  I was at one point on 175mg a day.  Not knowing anything about this group, or about antidepressant withdrawal, but knowing that previously when i had tried to come off them, I always seemed to be ok for a few months, then would hit a new low, which got lower each time!!  So I kind of came up with a plan of my own to slowly taper off.  I dropped by 25 mg every month or so.  I got down to 25mg a day, then started taking 25 mg on alternate days.  This was over about a year, so took my time.  Then, due to my terrible memory, and covid, and other things, I forgot to get my prescription.  I ended up about 2 weeks not taking any at all, and day by day my mood and emotions became blacker and blacker until I honestly felt like I wanted to go out and kill somebody.  I was being horrible to my dogs (who are my world), and just in a vile mood all day long.  I restarted sertraline, went straight back on to 25 mg a day, and literally within a couple of days I had stabilised again.  It gave me a big fright, that reaction, and made me want to come off them even more.  That was last year.  Over the winter I got very depressed during the lockdown, and went back up to 50mg a day.  I'm now back on 25mg a day, and have found this group.  Reading the stuff about the withdrawal symptoms rings so many bells for me over the last 18 years.


It's so hard to untangle it all though?  I've been diagnosed as a high functioning autistic person, with comorbid anxiety and depression.  I am also 52, and when I started menopause at 48 had horrendous symptoms and insomnia from that, so have also been on HRT for 3 years now.  So its so hard to know what symptom is from what ailment????


Anyway, how do you go about reducing the dosage in such small amounts?  I have a telephone appt booked with my gp next friday, to ask to have my prescription changed to 25 mg tablets.  My current tablets are 50mg, and I just cut them in half.  But if I get 25mg tabs, and cut them in half, to 12.5mg daily, that will be too much of a drop?  How to I reduce doseage by 10% a month?  


Many thanks for any help.

Edited by Gridley
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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, SophieD.


To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


Dropping from 25mg Sertraline to 12.5mg would be very much too much a drop, putting you at risk of some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.  So cutting pills in half is not a good option for you.  


As you know, we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


This link is specifically about tapering Sertraline including how to get the non-standard doses you'll need for a 10% taper.


Tips for tapering off sertraline (Zoloft)


On 5/13/2021 at 4:02 AM, SophieD said:

How to I reduce doseage by 10% a month?  


As you'll see from the link above, there are several methods to get your tapering doses.  The easiest method is getting prescription liquid Sertraline, but from what I've read this can be difficult with the NHS but is worth a try with your doctor.   Another method described is making your own liquid.  Another is getting your doses compounded, though this can be expensive and you may again run into problems with the NHS.  Finally, you can reduce by weighing doses using a Gemini-20 digital scale, available on Amazon.  Once you've chosen a method, we can help you step-by-step.  


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




Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. Get supplements that are single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).


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






Edited by Gridley

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 to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium  

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, 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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  • Gridley changed the title to SophieD: Tapering off sertraline?
  • 7 months later...

So, this is my history, I think.  Brain fog and memory are terrible, so best I can do.


Started citalopram.  Can't remember the dose 2005 or 2006.  Took for about a year I think.  Stopped suddenly, no WDS that I can remember.  


Got very depressed again, started on fluoxetine 2007 or 8.  Again, can't remember dose.  Took on and off for a couple of years, would feel better, stop, then get depressed again after a few months.  GP told me eventually I was someone who would always need to be on antidepressants.


GP changed me to sertraline in approx Jan 2020.  Started on 50mg, but went up and up to 175mg per day.


I have been lowering the dose myself over the last 2 or 3 years.  Went quite quickly down to 50mg, (month at a time reduction of 25mg I think), but then stayed on 50mg for a year or so.  Then I did 50mg one day, 25 mg the next for a couple of months, then 25 mg for a couple of months, then

18.25 mg for one month

12.5 mg for one month

6.25 mg for one month

6.25mg alternate days for one month

6.25mg every three days for the last month.


Took what was supposed to be my last dose yesterday.  


My symptoms, for so long now, have been depression, worsening anxiety, insomnia, aches/pains, brain fog, poor memory, anhedonia, repetitive thinking/looping thoughts tunes in my head/ brain crashes (that's what I call them, my GP thought I was crazy and said he'd never heard of it, and extreme tiredness and low energy.  Much of this I put down to menopause.


But about 2 weeks ago, I stopped sleeping.  I mean, I just can't get to sleep, stay asleep, go back to sleep if I do drop off, the slightest sound wakes me.  Last night I think I may have got about 20 mins sleep the whole night.


I don't know why it has suddenly got this bad?  Looking through some stuff on here, could this be withdrawal?


Given my history, should I start taking say 6.25 mg every day again, and then try tapering even slower down, or is it too late for that?  


Any help, please.  I am literally sobbing with tiredness, and I have to go back to work in 2 days.


Thank you



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Hi @SophieD

I merged your new introduction topic with your previous introduction topic. How were you feeling when you were taking 6.25mg every day?


It sounds like you should not have quit when you did. It is also important to take the same dose every day. Taking different doses/skipping doses triggers withdrawal symptoms.


What is withdrawal syndrome?

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist


Please create a drug signature following these instructions:

How to List Drug History in Signature

These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I have learned, not medical advice.


Drug history

2002-2019 Citalopram/Escitalopram, Lamictal
2019 April Escitalopram, quit at 10mg (withdrawal), Oct Escitalopram 10mg reinstated, quit after a few days (adverse reaction)

2019 Oct Lamictal cut from 200mg to 100mg
2019 Dec Lithium 83x2 mg

2020 Aug-Nov Lamictal tapered to 50 mg

2020 Nov 24 Lithium taper started, 30 Jan off Lithium

2021 15. March-31. May Lamictal tapered to 32.5 mg (holding)

2022 10. Jan started taking 25mg+5mg+2mg+0.5 liquid, 22. Jan went back to taking 25mg+5mg+half 5mg

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