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willbefree: tapering off Zoloft


willbefree

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Hi, 

I have been on Zoloft now for 8 years. I started tapering off from 200mg a year and a half ago and I am now down to 62.5mg. I had not had strong withdrawal symptoms until this last month, when things started getting stressful at work. I need help dealing with my symptoms and figuring out what to do. Do I go back up in dose and taper slower? I want to get off this medication so badly, but I can't afford to loose control and have debilitating withdrawal symptoms. I have a young child, a husband and a full time job. How long do the symptoms last? And do they go away on their own and then I can taper further? How does this work?

Thank you ūüôŹ

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to willbefree: tapering off Zoloft
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Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  You have come to the right place.  Before I can advise you, I need some more information. 

 

Can you please give us specific information in your signature about your drug history for all drugs and supplements 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 vertical list (no symptoms), only specific dates, include the day (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day), drug names, 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 Your Drug History in Your Signature

 

Here is some important information about how these drugs actually work.  This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications, and why it's so important to taper slowly and carefully, and be very cautious about changing our doses: 

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

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 reduction becomes exponentially smaller.

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Zoloft

 

Here is a link with checklists of common WD symptoms: 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen Withdrawal Symptom Checklists

 

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Stability is really important when we are tapering off psych meds.  Please read the link about stability:

 

Keep It Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

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

 

Finally, going back on a small dose of your drug, or increasing your dose, which we call reinstatement, is best done very carefully.  This is temporary, and after stabilizing you would then taper gradually off of this.  There is some risk involved, and we need more specifics about your drug history before we can suggest a good dose at which to updose.  Here is some information about reinstatement.  

 

About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms

 

It may be that a small updose will help you.  I'll need more information as requested above before I can suggest an updose amount.  Yes, stress can definitely exacerbate withdrawal symptoms of a fragile nervous system that is tapering off a psych drug.  I'll make a suggestion when I hear back from you with your detailed drug and taper history. 

Please do not private message me or tag me.

 

***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 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: 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, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, 3 PM, before bed

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

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi @willbefreeyou are not alone!

 

I’m also a married working ft mom coming off sertraline.

 

It’s not easy!! I recently stayed at a level in my reduction for months until I felt stability & peace to reduce.

 

In my experience the worst reduction symptoms are for the first few days following a reductIon & last for 3-4 weeks.   Being kind to myself, and having fun help me along the way.

 

Zoloft 50 mg since 2019.   

2023. January 33.75 mg  February 32.5 mg March 30.0 mg April 27.5 mg 

2022. January 50mg February 45 mg March 40.5 April-November 37.5  December 33.75 mg

 

Prior to discontinuation:  20 years of a variety of antidepressants & anti-anxiety meds from months to  years at a time (fluoxetine, nefazodone, venlafaxine, clonazepam, hydroxyzine).  I was unknowingly experiencing discontinuation and was frequently diagnosed with anxiety/exacerbations of previous illness as opposed to discontinuation. 

 

Supplements: Fish oil, Vitamin D3, magnesium,  B complex

 

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