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sarabeth: when to taper


sarabeth

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I've been on Zoloft for 11 years. 50mg was my highest dose. I was on that for several years and then started taking it every other day, I'm not sure why, nor do I remember if I had any bad reactions or W/D symptoms. 7 years ago I started experiencing chronic fatigue and brain fog. None of the four of the doctors I went to had any answers as to what was causing it. From 2019-2020 I was in a pretty good place emotionally and mentally and realized that the zoloft had dampened my ability to really enjoy anything and wanted to come off of it. My dr agreed when I saw him in January this year. Well, this spring I also thought the time was right to buy my first house. Considering my savings and location, I thought it would be a little stressful but totally possible and was excited about it. Same with the zoloft- I thought I'd have a few rough weeks and then start to enjoy life again. It was the worst possible collision of circumstances. The housing market was so out of control where I'm at this year that it has pushed both owning AND renting far beyond my salary and in a year or two I won't be able to afford a safe place to live, period. The anxiety of that realization is beyond anything I've ever dealt with (including my dad's suicide). I am now desperate to get off zoloft to see if that clears up the fatigue and brain fog so I can get a second job so I can afford a place to live. However, I'm holding at 10mg of zoloft and the anxiety is eating me alive and I am in mental agony. That and some worsening brain fog are mostly my only bad W/D symptoms.  some Headaches, A little dizziness, a little tingling/itching in my feet and hands. Sleep has been mostly normal, for which I am so grateful. The odd thing is, I had a window that lasted a couple of days where my sleep was worse but my anxiety was soooooo much better. With tapering, do people hold at a taper until symptoms improve (which could be months), or until the symptoms stabilize and don't seem to be getting any worse? I'm also meeting my dr tomorrow to get a liquid zoloft prescription. I've tried cutting my pills but can't get precise measurements. I ordered a mg scale which turned out to be total crap and inaccurate. Has anyone switched from tablet to liquid zoloft? I don't want to make my own liquid from tablets. With my chronic fatigue, brain fog, and anxiety and stress levels, it would be an absolute nightmare to try to diy this. My friends are super supportive, I eat healthy and have for years. I do work full time and am holding on to that job by my fingernails. I've no relatives who could bail me out. Can anyone give me hope about the brain fog clearing? I haven't encountered many posts about WHY people decide to come of ADs and put themselves through this hell. I really need to hope that I will be better when this is all over and not worse. Someone else asked for the same thing, and I know when people are doing ok tapering and have a successful taper they usually quit posting, but when so many of these topics are about nightmare and worst-case scenarios, it's hard to keep going. I just don't know what else could be causing the chronic fatigue and brain fog besides taking zoloft for so long.   TLDR; any advice about switching from tablet to liquid zoloft? and when do you decide to do the next taper down?

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  • getofflex changed the title to sarabeth: when to taper
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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.  You have come to the right place.

 

On 8/9/2021 at 2:46 PM, sarabeth said:

started taking it every other day, I'm not sure why,

How long ago was this?  Did you resume taking it every day afterwards? This can cause the withdrawal symptoms you are describing.  Did it roughly coincide with when you started having brain fog and chronic fatigue 6 years ago? 

 

Can you please give us specific information about your drug history for all drugs you are on and have been on, especially for the past 18-24 months?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs in a concise list (no symptoms), only drug names, specific dates (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day) and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.  Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  

 

How to List Drug History in Signature

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.  This explains why it is important to taper off very slowly and cautiously.

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

 Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?


Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we generally taper by 10% of the current dose no more than once every 4 weeks, so that the taper becomes exponentially smaller.  These next links will answer your questions about liquid Zoloft.  

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Zoloft

 

To do a cross taper, 

 

week 1) take 3/4 tablet, 1/4 liquid

week 2) take 1/2 tablet, 1/2 liquid

week 3) take 1/4 tablet, 3/4 liquid

week 4) all liquid 

 

Brain fog is an extremely common WD symptom, and yes, it does clear up, in time, as long as we take good care of ourselves, and don't rush our taper or jump around on drugs and/or supplements.  

 

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. This is extremely important. 

 

Considerations About Stability Stop Jumping Around

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

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 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. 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

 

Here are 2 links that can help you decide when to reduce your dose:  

 

Stability

 

WD Normal

 

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. 

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, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone nightly, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

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

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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  • Moderator
On 8/9/2021 at 2:46 PM, sarabeth said:

I really need to hope that I will be better when this is all over and not worse. Someone else asked for the same thing, and I know when people are doing ok tapering and have a successful taper they usually quit posting, but when so many of these topics are about nightmare and worst-case scenarios, it's hard to keep going

Try reading some of the success stories.  Many on here have gone on to recover and have happy and normal lives.  

 

Success Stories

***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, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone nightly, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

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

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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