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medsurvivor: tapering Risperdal


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I began tapering off Risperdal in early spring of 2008. I was diagnosed/labelled in fall of 1978 by a doctor who must have put himself through med school as a bartender. He had me on a med cocktail. Also, that old line that things will never change, crazy is a genetic condition for which pills are the only relief. Don't ask for a counselor, just take your pills, Honey. I got into a 12 Step movement called GROW in 1984. It was the only game in town where the word HOPE could be heard. I became a volunteer leader (called an organizer) in 1987; GROW is entirely run by ex-mental patients. (That has its pluses and minuses, but GROW was also the only game in town where people clearly got better. I came off first one med, then another; finally I was down to just one med (Stelazine), which I remained on, even though the illness leaked through regularly. I was also still very dopey.


I'd asked my husband, probably in about 1983 or so, to attend all appointments with me. I explained to him that I could make a list of my questions for the doc, and he would answer me, but then I was ushered out of the office...I had no time, with so few braincells at my disposal, to think up and ask the important followup questions. My husband's role was to ask the followup questions, at which he is very good, and very polite. The shrinks would answer HIM, and I could listen. Once the internet was available, my husband became the researcher of meds. Some of the shrinks called him "Dr. John," not altogether approvingly, either.


With his participation and medical advocacy, we began to develop some guidelines for tapering off a med. Here are some:


Taper one drug at a time.


Never, ever agree to take the newest drug on the market. Our guideline was, "Let the drug be on the market at least five years before agreeing to a change." We preferred for the doctor to develop his clinical experience with that drug on somebody besides me.


Reduce the med by the smallest fraction possible, and consider proportionality: If you remove .25 mg the first time and seem to be doing okay, remember that if you reduce by .25 mg with the second reduction, the proportion of change in the dosage is actually much greater than the first reduction. (Maybe somebody who's smarter in math than I can explain this concept better. I have an intuitive sense of its truth, but can't really explain the math.) I can give you an analogy: You walk into the Subway and see a sign over the cookie bin saying, "C'mon, one won't hurt." It is not the case, however, if I order 3 cookies, that I will get 3 times as much "won't hurt."


I'm running out of time. I can't get back to this for several hours. The other big principle I want to get down NOW is this:


Wait until you are completely comfortable and stable at one level, and have been so for at least an entire month, before tapering down further.


Gotta quit now. Will come back to this ASAP.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, medsurvivor!


Your tapering tips are spot-on. I look forward to your contributions to our community.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum, Medsurvivor. Your tips are remarkably similar to what we recommend here, with the exception of waiting five years to try a new med.


Please tell us more about your history and current situation, and when you have time, add a summary of your psychiatric drug use to your signature, like so:


How To Add Your Drug History To Your Signature

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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  • ChessieCat changed the title to medsurvivor: tapering Risperdal

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