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babybiscuit

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April 2nd, 2013

Hi - I'm Cassie. I'm 25 years old, living in Western New York with my husband Bryan. I've been on Antidepressants since late 2005, and I feel like I'm in enough of a stable place in my life right now to try tapering off the drug. My husband and I would like to start a family in the next couple of years, and I don't want to be taking ANYTHING while I'm pregnant. I also have religious reasons for wanting to taper. I'm planning to follow Dr. Glenmullen's 5-step tapering program, and am wondering if any of you can recommend nutritional supplements to take (I've started taking 400 IU of Vitamin E and NatureMade's full strength mini Super Omega-3 softgels). I'm really glad this community exists... It's good to know I have somewhere to go to ask questions and get support.

I apologize ahead of time for the vagueness of my information - I honestly don't remember dates and dosages!

 

* Began antidepressants with Paxil in November 2005

* Somewhere along the way switched to 100 mg Zoloft

* Tried Luvox for a short time

* Went back to Zoloft, added Welbutrin

* Increased from 100mg to 200mg of Zoloft, and eventually 300mg

* Stopped Welbutrin

* Currently taking 200mg Zoloft

* First reduction: down to 175mg on April 4th

* Second reduction: down to 150mg on April 25th

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Cassie, and welcome!

 

You've come to the right place.

 

I haven't heard of the 5-step tapering program, but I'm sure somebody more knowledgeable will chime in with their thoughts.

 

We recommend a taper of no more than 10% per month. From your history I see you have dropped 50mg in one go - that is quite a lot! If I were you I would drop no more than 20mg if that is your first drop.

 

 

Regarding supplements - omega 3s are a great place to start. Personally I don't take any supplements while I'm in withdrawal, because they have the opposite effect. Some people can become hypersensitive to supplements when they are tapering. I'm one of those people, you may not be though. Magnesium is another supplement that seems to help a lot of people.

 

 

In the meantime here is a link to our recommendations for the tapering process:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/

 

 

I wish you all the best:)

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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hi Cassie, welcome & God Bless....He will help you through this process, but having this forum to come to & get feedback from so many who have either been there or are doing it is so beneficial.

 

you didnt say what you are on these meds for...anxiety, depression?

 

I am in the process of reinstating because I came off way to fast...slow & steady will win this race.

 

dont be to eager to rush the taper, it will just set you back.

 

please let us know what we can do to help

2006-2012 50mgs zoloft
skipped doses every other day for a year and started having anxiety again in March 2012
back on at 50mgs Dec 2013
started taper from benzos April 2014 per Heather Ashton method (c/o from kpin to diazepam)
March 2015 started 1.25mg lorazepam
Tapered off Zoloft in May off in 4 weeks...5 weeks later crashing AGAIN. Dr wanted to start Gabapentin tried it 7 days
Symptoms :burning eyes, anxiety, pounding heart, dizzy, strange head feeling, internal shaking, Overall UNWELL
Taking lorazepam 1.25mg daily

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Welcome! Expect this to be a great growing process! I too urge you towards a slow, educated taper. Unlike most of us, you're doing your research up front instead of after you're already in trouble. I really believe the withdrawal process is very helpful in learning how to live without meds, otherwise life sometimes rushes in faster than we can learn to deal with it. Wishing you the best!

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome, Cassie, and thanks so much for putting your drug history in your signature. That helps the rest of us keep your background in mind when giving suggestions.

 

I'm not familiar with Dr. Glenmullen's tapering program, although I've certainly seen his name many times. Could you tell us more about that? 50 mg. is a really big drop, so if you begin experiencing any withdrawal symptoms I hope you'll feel free to updose back to at least 180 mg. Antidepressants make changes in the structure of the brain, so the idea is not to get off of them as fast as possible, but to support the brain while it heals and grows back to normal. That's why the long, slow taper.

 

In any event, I'm glad you found us right at the beginning of your journey. I've found getting off these drugs to be quite an experience in personal growth, and this forum has been a wonderful source of support and friendship.

 

Here's some info on fish oil and magnesium, two supplements that seem to help just about everyone:

 

Fish Oil, King of Supplements

 

Magnesium

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Administrator

Dr. Glenmullen knows tapering, though his recommended schedule is too fast for my taste. However, he urges continual monitoring of symptoms and updosing if they occur.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I may be really stupid for asking this, but can someone help me with my tapering schedule? I was originally planning to go from 200 -> 150 -> 100 -> 50 -> 25 -> 0, but I'm hearing from everyone that that's too fast... I chose that particular schedule because that's the specific tapering schedule that Dr. Glenmullen recommended in his book specifically for Zoloft. If I decide to do the 10% down each month, I know that this month I'll be taking 180mg, because 10% of 200 is 20. My question is, next month when it's time to reduce again, do I do 10% of 180, or take it down another 20mg and reduce to 160mg? If someone could just get me started with a schedule for the next few months I'd really appreciate it.....

I apologize ahead of time for the vagueness of my information - I honestly don't remember dates and dosages!

 

* Began antidepressants with Paxil in November 2005

* Somewhere along the way switched to 100 mg Zoloft

* Tried Luvox for a short time

* Went back to Zoloft, added Welbutrin

* Increased from 100mg to 200mg of Zoloft, and eventually 300mg

* Stopped Welbutrin

* Currently taking 200mg Zoloft

* First reduction: down to 175mg on April 4th

* Second reduction: down to 150mg on April 25th

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  • Administrator

Your next decrement would be 10% of 180mg:

 

180mg reduce to 162mg

162mg reduce to 146mg

146mg reduce to 131mg

 

and so on....

 

If you're doing well with 10% reductions per month for 2 months, you might want to reduce every 3 weeks for a couple of cycles, then every 2 weeks -- but no faster than that. And if you get withdrawal symptoms, slow down!

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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How can I take a 162mg dose when I have 100mg tablets? The only thing I can imagine doing is getting Zoloft liquid, which I hear is astronomically expensive...

I apologize ahead of time for the vagueness of my information - I honestly don't remember dates and dosages!

 

* Began antidepressants with Paxil in November 2005

* Somewhere along the way switched to 100 mg Zoloft

* Tried Luvox for a short time

* Went back to Zoloft, added Welbutrin

* Increased from 100mg to 200mg of Zoloft, and eventually 300mg

* Stopped Welbutrin

* Currently taking 200mg Zoloft

* First reduction: down to 175mg on April 4th

* Second reduction: down to 150mg on April 25th

Link to comment
  • Administrator

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just checking in to let everyone know that I'm down to 150mg... the only withdrawal symptom I've had is a depression for a couple of days, but I'm feeling better. I'm a little confused, to be honest.. I expected this to be really hard. I'm still toward the beginning of the taper, though, so maybe that will change...

I apologize ahead of time for the vagueness of my information - I honestly don't remember dates and dosages!

 

* Began antidepressants with Paxil in November 2005

* Somewhere along the way switched to 100 mg Zoloft

* Tried Luvox for a short time

* Went back to Zoloft, added Welbutrin

* Increased from 100mg to 200mg of Zoloft, and eventually 300mg

* Stopped Welbutrin

* Currently taking 200mg Zoloft

* First reduction: down to 175mg on April 4th

* Second reduction: down to 150mg on April 25th

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

You're going too quickly and since you're already having withdrawal symptoms, i.e. depression, it would be best if you just stay where you are for a few weeks until you're certain that you're stabilized.

 

The early part of tapering usually goes quite well. When I halved my 10 mg. dose of Lexapro, I was fine. Below that, going down by half again and then taking the 2.5 mg. every other day, withdrawal became very painful and eventually disabling for several months.

 

Please understand that getting the drug out of your system as fast as possible is not going to make you feel better. In fact the opposite is more likely to occur. Antidepressants make changes in the structure of your brain and nervous system that remain for months after the drug is stopped abruptly. Then your brain has to struggle to get back to normal without any help from the chemicals upon which it was depending. This is like yanking a crutch away from someone with a broken leg. BOOM! Down she goes!

 

Do yourself and your brain a favor and take it slow and easy. That is the very best and easiest way to get off of antidepressants.

 

In case you're still having a problem getting liquid Zoloft, here are instructions for making your own:

 

How To Make A Liquid From Tablets Or Capsules

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I agree with Jemima, babybiscuit.

 

Withdrawal symptoms have a nasty way of sneaking up on you.

 

Like you, I had very few symptoms earlier on. This lulled me into a false sense of security and once I got down to 11mg the withdrawal symptoms hit me like a tonne of bricks.

 

2.5 months later I'm still paying the price.

 

Don't make the same mistake I did.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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