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TreeLover: Sertraline taper (concurrent benzo taper)


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Hello, I'm new here.

I have been run through the psychiatry mill for the past 22 years. 

I'm currently 44 and have been on SSRIs since I was 21. I have been tapering sertraline very slowly the past 3 years. 

Max dose was 100mg, I'm down to about 10mg.

Wondering how low I should go?


I am tapering clonazepam concurrently. That is some kind of fresh hell. 

Details in my signature, but long story short - I had a health crisis starting in about 2015. My balance went south, it felt like I was stepping on a trampoline randomly while walking. Dizziness, brain zaps, massive anxiety, TMJ pain, drumming in my ears, overwhelm, exhaustion. This lead to chronic fatigue symptoms, weight loss, SIBO, reactivated EBV. 

6 years ago I was regularly running and doing triathlons, now I am so out of shape I get sore from basic life activities (walking). 


I have done lots of work to repair my gut with a FM nutritionist, I eat well, and have brought in small amounts of exercise. 

I think I'm on the upswing from this nightmare, but I am curious how low to go on sertraline before jumping off. 


When I drop my dose I get zappy, sore muscles, fatigue, rage (!!), and sweaty. 

Last drop was 1/4 of a 25mg tablet.



Edited by Gridley

SSRIs since 1999

Prozac (attempted taper after 2 years) reinstated, --> Lexapro + Wellbutrin

[off and on benzos for panic (that started after SSRIs oddly)]

postpartum depression x 2 - Lexapro, then fluvoxamine AND lexapro, off fluvoxamine.

back to Lexapro and Wellbutrin, Buspar off and on, clonazepam daily since 2013 (!!)

changed back to Prozac because had constant brain zaps, then Zoloft trying to figure out why anxiety so bad (benzo tolerance)

2015 health crisis - balance issues, panic, chronic fatigue, SIBO, EBV, chronic pain. Went to rheum, infectious disease, neurology, ENT, dentist for TMJ, physical therapy, vestibular PT, osteopathy, functional medicine, lyme docs. I think it was all benzos. 


tapering Zoloft over past 3 years (currently ~10mg)

tapering clonaz over past 3 years (currently 0.09mg q12h)


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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, TreeLover.  Thank you for completing your signature.  How are you doing?  What are your symptoms since yo've been tapering?


We recommend tapering only one drug at a time.  Otherwise, if problems arise you won't know the cause.  We recommend tapering activating drugs, such as SSRI's like Zoloft, first, leaving sedating drugs such as benzos like Clonazepam in place to help with sleep to be tapered later.  So our recommendation would be to hold on the benzo taper and continue tapering Zoloft.


We recommend tapering no faster than 10% of your current dose every 4 weeks.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


This link is specifically about tapering Zoloft, including how to get the small, non-standard doses needed for a 10% taper.

Tips for tapering off sertraline (Zoloft)

Liquid Zoloft is an easy accurate way to taper this drug.  Please read the link above about the different methods of gsapering Zoloft.  If you choose to taper with a liquid, you'll need to do a crossover from tablet to liquid, and we can give you instructions on how to do this.


You asked how low you should go with the Zoloft taper.  We recommend going down to the low0.00's before jumping to zero.  For example, I tapered to 0.025mg before stopping Lexapro.


Regarding exercise, it is very typical for members who were very athletic before withdrawal now find it necessary to modify their exercise programs to something much milder.  


Here is some information on withdrawal and the healing process.





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.




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 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 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 Nov. 21, 2023 1.12mg

Taper is 94% 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 TreeLover: Sertraline taper (concurrent benzo taper)

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