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Mjau: Starting to taper Wellbutrin and Sertraline


Mjau

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Hi everybody!

 

In my late teens started Citalopram 20 mg. It helped me. But what I really would have needed then was therapy - which I thankfully receive now, 17 years later.

 

About half a year after starting Citalopram I quit it, quick taper. Endured WD-symptoms. Had to go back to Citalopram maybe a couple of months later because of recurring depression. Doc later change my med to Sertraline 50 mg because of sexual side effects. Of course this didn't help. I resigned to the fact that there was a "chemical imbalance" in my brain.....

 

From then on I've tried tapering several times! Slowest tapering was three months. But still the depression recurred 1-3 months after each tapering attempt. I've experienced mild WD-symptoms with slow tapering.

 

In 2008 I started having restless legs. It eventually became really debilitating. I started taking Sifrol, a dopamine agonist. Which helped but I had some side effects. I changed both meds to Wellbutrin 150 mg 2 yrs ago. Wellbutrin alleviates restless legs - it is in part a dopamine re-uptake inhibitor. Supposed to be antidepressive so I thought I could manage with only one pill. I felt well in 3 months, then became depressed, increased to 300 mg, after 3 months more I had to add Sertraline 25 mg, after another 3 months Sertraline 50 mg. From then on my depression was in remission but I started having memory problems, problems focusing, problems with planning and organizing things. I had palpitations, tremor. Eventually I was totally burned out. This was a year a go and since then I'm on sick leave. 

Lowered Wellbutrin to 150 mg this spring, palpitations almost diminished, still experiencing some tremor. My fatigue worsened - my doc saw this as a worsening of the depression so the Sertraline was increased to 75 mg. 3 months later to 100 mg.

 

And now - I'm still tired, but my mood is better. I feel that my memory problems have worsened a bit. At least they are not better! I'm afraid the cognitive impairments are due to my meds, especially Wellbutrin. I've lowered Sertraline to 87,5 mg a month ago. Wellbutrin to 37,5 mg x 3 4 days a go. Feeling ok!

 

I want to be totally med free - I've wanted that so long and have always had a creepy feeling that the meds are messing up my brain! One doctor told me I have to eat these pills for the rest of my life but I refuse to believe him. I'm planning on tapering much more slowly now. I think my depression recurred so many times because of too quick tapering. The restess legs is a side effect of Sertraline. I guess the the fatigue and the yawning that I've become so accustomed to also are side effects. I often find it difficult to have an opinion, of what to choose, of what to decide. I wasn't like that in my childhood I've been told. I want to find myself again.

 

And I'm so glad I've found this forum because you guys give me hope! :)

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mjau, welcome to SA, you are right that your symptoms are due to side effects of the drugs.  

Most of us here were told we would need them for life, and also told that the depression was returning

when we tried to stop the drugs. That is not true, it is discontinuation syndrome and not the return of depression.

 

You have made some changes to your meds recently and feeling better for it but I would hold where you are for a

few weeks to let your nervous system stabilise before making another cut.  We recommend tapering one drug at a

time to minimise withdrawal, when cutting 2  it would be hard to know which one is causing problems.  We also 

advise tapering 10% of the current dose with 4 weeks minimum between cuts. This takes a long time but side effects 

diminish as the dose is lowered and it reduces the risk of distressing withdrawal symptoms.

 

Here is a link to the topic for tapering wellbutrin.  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/877-tips-for-tapering-off-wellbutrin-sr-xr-xl-buproprion/

 

And sertraline http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/

 

Why we recommand 10% reductions. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

Thank you for putting your history in your signature, it is very helpful. 

 

Read through the topics and have a browse around the forum, you will be amazed at the wealth of information here.

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Thank you MammaP for your advice!

It's still new to me to think all these symptoms are side effects. It feels odd. And in the same time I get a strong feeling that I will do this! Finally I've taken charge over my life!

 

I'm planning on going slowly. And I'm prepared this might take a long time. And probably it won't be a smooth road.

The reason I did the first tapering with Sertraline is that I was on 100 mg for only 1 month. I didn't want to get too accustomed to that dose! But now I will concentrate on tapering Wellbutrin because of the cognitive side effects that emerged after I started this drug 2 yrs ago. On the other hand Sertraline has caused restless legs so there could be a risk I get more of that when Wellbutrin is lowered. In that case I'm planning on halting Wellbutrin taper and starting Sertraline taper. Slowly. Great to know there's a liquid form of Zoloft(=Sertraline).

 

I'm reading Dr Glenmullen book on tapering ADs. There's a checklist to aid in noticing WD-symptoms.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_id=143

I found the link here in the forum and then I bought the book ;)  Maybe it will be of help especially when I don't always remember how I've been doing a couple of days ago... Now I make a chart of it and I hope this will alert me in time if things are going the wrong way. And speaking of it... I forgot to fill the list yesterday..!

 

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mjau!

 

Reading over your history, I think there's a very good possibility you can become free of psychiatric meds for the rest of your life, but you're going to have to take this taper very, very slowly, over a period of years. You've been on the meds for a long time and you started at a young age while your brain was still developing, so your brain has shaped itself around the drugs, like a plant growing on a trellis. You need to very gently and slowly remove that trellis bit by tiny bit, and wait while your brain changes and remodels itself, then remove a bit more, then give it more time. This is a slow process. Our bodies have never encountered, during all our billions of years of evolution, anything like these drugs, so our brains don't really have good mechanisms for bouncing back from them. The one thing that seems to actually work is giving them lots of time and taking it very slowly.

 

Also I highly, highly recommend that you get a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and read it. Your English is excellent, but I suspect there's a translation into your first language that you could get if you prefer.

 

Given that you have consistently experienced that post-acute kickback withdrawal (where you do okay coming off the meds but get hit three to nine months out or so, very common) it's all the more important that you not assume that just because you're not having symptoms of withdrawal you are okay to keep cutting. Clearly your body is good at dealing with the immediate withdrawal, but your brain is needing you to take it slower in order to really heal.

 

So the great news (truly it's very good news) is that you can be free of these drugs and enjoy a quality of life you may not even be able to imagine right now. (I am amazed and delighted at what a difference I am experiencing in my life now that I am down to very small doses--it's incredible how much these drugs take away from us, and we don't even realize it because the drugs also take away our ability to perceive what they're doing to us!)

 

The news that you may need more time to absorb is, to be successful you need to take this much more slowly than you would like. Given your history (particularly that you started before your brain was fully developed), I think you need to plan to spread this tapering process out over two or three years, to allow your nervous system time to reorganize, remodel and restructure itself.

 

But believe me: it will be well worth it. If you take your time, you will not be sorry that you did.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Thank you Rhi!!

 

You write about post-acute kickback withdrawal - I was reading about "tardive dysthymia" on another place here on the forum right now, an article by dr David Healy. I guess it's the same thing. There are finally words for it!!!! Until I read dr Healy's article and your reply I hoped this might be the case -the brain is messed up by the meds - not by an inherent flaw. In other kinds of WDs, eg from alcohol, other drugs - there is an acute phase, followed by a period of "normality" and then a chronic phase that begins slowly. So why wouldn't there be a similar mechanism with SSRIs and other psych meds!

 

I've heard so many times from family, from docs that it is the depression returning. "You have to start the meds again" they say. I've resisted and resisted and eventually given in. So. Many. Times. Not anymore!!

 

This post-acute thing has always felt like it is another kind of depression compared to what I experienced years ago. The most prominent feature is fatigue, sluggishness. As if I was surrounded by a bubble. And when I've started the meds again the effect has come quickly, in a couple of days. Which is also a sign of chronic wd.

 

I've read about Anatomy of an Epidemic. Seems interesting! Also considering some of Healy's books. I can recommend "Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime. How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare" by Peter Gøtzsche. It's about the drug industry in general including 2 chapters on psych meds. 

Thanks for commenting on my english! :) I like reading in english. Half a year ago I couldn't concentrate on reading. Not even in my native language. Now I almost eat books ;) Only problem is that I forget a lot of what I've read....But I remember the feelings a book has given me.

 

I see what you say about taking it slowly. It's good that you point out the fact that I started the meds early on when my brain was still developing and that I've been taking them for such a long time. Hopefully these first steps weren't too big - time will show... I will get the liquid Zoloft and change Wellbutrin XR to SR in order to taper more smoothly. And yes, I've realized it might take a couple of years. But that's a whole lot better than staying on the meds for the rest of my life!

 

I'm so grateful for your reply, and MammaP's. The trellis has to be removed very slowly one small step at a time. Thank you for your wise words :)

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You're not alone in getting stuck in that trap of trying to come off meds then getting hit by depression symptoms down the road and being told you have an underlying condition that has come back. I was stuck in that for almost 20 years myself. After working with so many people going through withdrawal, I have seen that it's very common for people to be able to get off the med and get through the initial withdrawal and think they are doing okay, only to be hit again some months out (seems to be anywhere from three to nine months or so).

 

On my current extremely slow taper this has not happened to me yet. I am absolutely delighted with getting back my original personality and zest for life. I still have to deal with withdrawal symptoms and some difficult mornings due to high cortisol, as I am still tapering, but my life is far better now even with the ongoing mild withdrawal than it ever was when I was taking the meds at "therapeutic" levels.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • Administrator

Mjau, I want to welcome your voice to the 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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Thank you Altostrata!

 

And Rhi, it's wonderful to hear your condition is improving and that it is possible to get off the meds even after 20 years! This definetly strengthens my belief that I'm on the right track :)

 

Two days ago I switched Wellbutrin XR to SR. My jitteriness increased a little when I started tapering. I feel a bit calmer now since starting SR.

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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Hi again!

An update: now it's two weeks since I started tapering Wellbutrin, 1 week since I switched from Wellbutrin XL to SR (which I take 75 mg in the morning and 37.5 in the late afternoon. And it's 1.5 months since I lowered Sertraline 100 mg to 87.5 mg. Also started taking a magnesium supplement a few days ago.

 

Things are going fine! I'm not as tired as I used to be although my energy levels are not back to normal. Experiencing some vague body zaps. My mood is mostly ok but every once in a while I feel low, find it hard to motivate myself, get stuck with eg surfing the internet. These symptoms used to be much worse though.

 

I'm planning on reducing Wellbutrin in to weeks to 56.25 + 37.5. That would be a quicker taper than recommended but I don't know how to cut the pill in a more convinient size. The immediate release version is not available in my country and I guess it's not possible to do a liquid version of the SR pill?

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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  • Administrator

Please see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/877-tips-for-tapering-off-wellbutrin-sr-xr-xl-buproprion/ When you cut up Wellbutrin SR, it becomes regular Wellbutrin.

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

Please consider a more temperate rate of tapering. I have seen so many people rush it at first because they were feeling okay, but then after a few months it really comes back to bite them. Often they end up reinstating to higher doses and undo all the work of their taper. 

 

Please consider what I'm saying about the wisdom of a very slow taper, given your history of long use. Take your time. Hold where you are for a couple of months, while you learn how to make a liquid and gather your supplies. This will give your brain and nervous system time to catch up with the significant cuts you have already made, and if you feel well throughout that time and have no worsening, you will know that it's safe to begin to taper again.

 

I know we are all impatient to get off these drugs. I certainly am. But I have seen so many, many people crash and burn. I advise you to take it more cautiously at this point. Please don't be another of those "well we told them but they didn't listen and look what happened" stories. I hate being right about that.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Altostrata: I've checked the bupropion thread. As I understand you can only make a liquid version of the immediate release pills. Unfortunately I can't get these where I live. I know the XL pills turn into immediate release when you cut them but they still have their coating. Do you know if this is a problem when making the liquid? Or could I use XL to make liquid?

And I also understood the SR version keeps it's slow release mechanism when cutting it? Is the SR suitable for the liquid?

 

Rhi: thank you for your concern! It definetly seems you know what you are talking about!

 

One thing I'm concerned about is my memory problems and cognitive difficulties that I feel increased after my Sertraline dose was escalated this spring. And they began after I was put on Wellbutrin 2 yrs ago in the first place. It feels really awful to be on these drugs now that I know they are harmful to my brain! I'm afraid the symptoms will worsen the longer I keep taking the drugs. On the other hand - who knows what neuronal damage may be caused by a severe withdrawal?

 

Do you still think I should wait a couple of months before continuing the taper - regarding my cognitive symptoms? It feels a little better since I started tapering Wellbutrin.

I'm on a sick leave because of a major breakdown that happened last year. Now I think the meds have played a big role in why I was having this burn out although there are other contributing factors. I'm slowly improving but the road back to normal is long, and it's been bumpy so far.

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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  • Administrator

My mistake, SR retains the time-release when cut. Not sure what happens to XL when you try to dissolve them. You could try this and see what happens. It could be the coating merely dissolves. If the mixture becomes gummy from the coating, you won't be able to use it. Let us know what happens.

 

You could try weighing fragments with a digital scale, see Using a digital scale to measure doses

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...

Lately I've hade som akathisia and worsening of restless legs - even restless body (!) and I believe it's because of Sertraline. Feels like I want to run around and shout and scream although I can sit still. Like there's a bomb inside me waiting to explode. Mostly during the day, fortunately. A little when I go to bed, usually stretching and walking up and down the stairs a couple of times alleviates the symptoms. It's funny, because now that I write this I feel kind of numb and distant about it. As if it doesn't matter. When the symptoms are at their worst it's really bothersome though. Maybe it's the numbing effect of the meds that make me feel so distant about myself. 

 

Because of the restlessness I've decided to halt the Wellbutrin taper for a while and today I instead made a very small decrement in my Sertraline dosage from 87,5 mg to 82. I take one 50 mg pill + 1/2 a 50 mg pill + 1/8 a 50 mg pill equaling about 82 mg using a pill cutter.

 

I'm planning on getting the liquid Sertraline. But one of my bad habits (or should I say symptoms) is procrastinating...

 

Also I highly, highly recommend that you get a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and read it. 

 

I've read Anatomy of an Epidemic. I understand why you recommend it. I guess many on the forum can relate to it's contents, as I could. It was terrific! And scary. I really can't understand the big pharma business philosophy. How can they sleep at night?!

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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I did a Wellbutrin taper last year. I don't think there is any hope in dissolving or doing anything with the 300mg tablet. I tried once and you really can't tell what is what and the shell doesn't break down at all. And it is really hard to break open. I have no data on the SR tablet, but my guess from when I was cutting it would be that if you crushed it, you could get it to break up. But that is just my "feeling", I didn't do it.

 

I hope dropping a little sertraline helps! Have you tried an Epsom salt bath for the restless legs? I make it pretty strong, 4 cups (whatever that is in Europe) to a tub of water.

 

Hope you feel better soon!

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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Thanks for your reply Meimei!

 

In what kind of decrements did you taper Wellbutrin and how often? 

 

As I understand Epsom salt largely consists of Magnesium. I've tried a Magnesium supplement, it's some kind of liquid mixture with fruit juices. Right then I didn't have much restless legs. I took it during two weeks to see if my sluggishness would improve, it didn't. Maybe I should give it a try now! Thanks for the advice! I've got some left in the bottle.

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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I tapered very chaotically :). I came off an antipsychotic and was pretty crazy. Alto suggested it might be from the Wellbutrin, and all I could get from my doctor was 200 mg, so I went straight from 300 to 200. That actually went well, but I would drop, go through withdrawal symptoms, then get over-activated and have to drop, back and forth until I got to about 50mg. It was my hardest drug so far. But I think it was because it is similar to Cymbalta that I had a bad reaction to. A taper doesn't have to be pretty to work :)

 

Magnesium is a big part of whatever action Epsom salts have, but some people think part of it is the sulfate pulling stress hormones. I don't know if that is true, but I'll take any placebo effect I can get :).

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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Your Wellbutrin taper must have been really tough! Glad that it still worked out! :)

 

Having a warm bath is always nice! ;) Whatever the action is as long as it's working and not hurting in any other way.

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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Akathisia has now improved, which is great. I've managed to cut down on coffee and that helps. 

 

I've been away for 3 days and accidentally I didn't bring enough meds with me. I took about 62 mg Sertraline and 75 mg Wellbutrin per day during those 3 days.

I've upped my Sertraline dose back to 82 mg but I've forgotten to take the additional 37,5 mg of Wellbutrin in the afternoons, it has now been 5 days with a lower dose of Wellbutrin.

 

Do you think I should go to the original Wellbutrin dose of 75 + 37,5 mg or should I continue with 75 mg? As I wrote, I've felt better as the akathisia has become milder, my energy level has also increased some! I recently (about a week ago) tapered Sertraline from 87,5 mg to 82 mg so there's been some changes in my meds....

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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  • Administrator

Give your current dosing one more day, if it seems okay, I would stay with it.

 

Perhaps you were having adverse effects from the Wellbutrin.

 

Please try to keep very consistent in your dosing or things could get very, very confusing as you taper.

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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Thanks for your advice, Alto. Today has been a pretty good day with only a little akathisia and I'll continue with 75 mg Wellbutrin. 

I've been taking the whole dose in the morning. Do you think I should continue with that? I'm taking Wellbutrin SR - would it be better to take half the dose in the morning and half the dose in the afternoon?

 

I hope this will not lead to depression again! If I'm starting to feel worse - should I reinstate to the earlier dose, stabilize and from there on taper more slowly?

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

Link to comment

Hi Mjau,

I am tapering off the same two drugs as you and I had an experience recently of accidentally cutting my wellbutrin dosein half for a couple of weeks and got really bad akathisia. I did some research on it and it seems to me that lower dopamine is the main culprit in the akathisia. Since wellbutrin is a dopamine agonist then cutting is like taking a dopamine antagonist.

 

I also had the same experiences of trying to come off in the past only to go back on over and over. I fully expect this taper to last at least two years, possibly three or even more. I would love to be free of the meds sooner but its not worth the risk of retraumatizing my system. Slow and steady wins the race! Good luck!

<p>On Zoloft (sertraline) since 1995, Wellbutrin added in 1999. MOST RECENT TAPER HISTORY:APRIL 20, 2014: 50Z, 300W // APRIL 21, 2014: 43.75Z, 300W, 2X20 mins FW on 4 // JUNE 19, 2014: 37.5Z, 300W, Discontinued FW // AUG 20, 2014: 31.25Z, 300W // SEP 24, 2014: Accidentally decreased W to 150mg and had suicidal ideation and crying spells (didn't realize I had done this until Oct 9) // SEP 27, 2014: 34Z, 150W // OCT 9, 2014: 34Z, 225W // OCT 25, 2014: 31.25Z, 225W // NOV 22, 2014: 31.25Z, 187.5W // DEC 28, 2014: 28.12Z, 187.5W // JAN 31, 2015: 28.12Z, 168.75W // MAR 02, 2015: 25Z, 168.75W // MAR 30, 2015: 25Z, 150W HALFWAY DOWN ON BOTH!! // April 6 added Fisher Wallace setting 4X20 mins at bedtime for insomnia // April 29 discontinued FW // MAY 7, 2015: 22.5Z, 150W // JUN 10, 2015: 22.5Z, 131.25W // JUL 15, 2015: 20.25Z, 131.25W // AUG 13, 2015: 20.25Z, 112.5W // SEP 10, 2015: 18Z, 112.5W // OCT 13, 2015: 18Z, 93.7W // JAN 23, 2015: REINSTATED TO 20Z, 75W - HOLDING UNTIL MAY DUE TO POSSIBLE SAD

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm glad you have been feeling better Mjau. It should be fine to take the wellbutrin SR in the morning as it is 

released slowly through the day. Hope you are still ok and the akathisia has stayed away. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Hi Mjau

Thankyou for including that checklist from the Glenmullen book in an earlier post.

Im busy printing of  several copies as it'll be very useful as I begin my tapering! Im pretty poor when it comes to keeping records and ticking boxes will be far easier.

Simon

. Been on some kind of meds since 1982,mainly on and off things like imipramine.,2000 on75mg venlafaxine til it bottomed out, then 150, also no good. about 7 years. Almost ct from it and put on cocktail of  Cit, Mirt and Lithium. Remained there for 7 years.

Tapered Citalopram in June2014 and was off in 6 weeks. Mood slumped about 6 weeks later. Found this site sept 5th and got some idea why this happens.18th Sept stopped lorezepam and due to misunderstanding with GP was without it for 36 hours which caused a crisis.

from 19thsept 18mg diazepam to replace lorezepam(possible addiction) 24th sept 12 mg diaz per day. 29th sept 10mg diaz per day and tapering at 1-2mg per week. At 5mg will slow down taper. At same time increase of mirtazapine to 45mg per day.

Taking fish oil and magnesium as suggested on this site.

Also have menieres syndrome, a cause of vertigo, vomiting and partial loss of hearing, also very occasional drop attacks.

As of 8th October on; Mirtazapine 45mg, Citalopram 20mg Lithium 500mg Diazepam 6mg (tapering by 2mg per week) Fish oil and magnesium

As of 25th October Mirt 45mg, Citalopram20mg Lithium 700mg Diazepam12mg

As of 12th November Mirt 37.5 Cit.20mg Lithium 700mg Diazepam 8mg (to taper after 14 days by 10%)

As of 17th November Mirt 35mg Cit 18mg Lithium 600mg Diazepam 8mg (to taper after 14 days by 10%)

As of 25th November MIrt 35mg Cit 18mg Lithium 600mg Diazepam 7mg

As of 1st December MIrt 35 Cit 18mg Lithium 600mg         Diazepam 6mg  (been stable for the last 2 weeks)

GP intervention 19 December now on 150 Ven, 37.5 Mirt, 600 Lithium  Diazepam 7mg

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Solang, hi! Sorry didn't notice your post until now. 

The theory about lower dopamine levels causing akathisia makes sense! I've had restless legs (which resembles akathisia although only in the leg) on and off since -08. My restless legs symptoms subsided when I started taking a dopamin agonist. So now with lower dopamine caused by a decrement in Wellbutrin I have "restless body". In addition, akathisia for me is also a feeling of jitteriness, sometimes agitation, and an urge to run around shouting (I do manage not to follow these impulses, luckily...). Ever since I was put on Wellbutrin I've had a tic that consists of short shivering every now and then. This shivering has increased since I got akathisia. Now the akathisia is milder than since the first time I posted about it but still annoying when it kicks in.  I've settled on Wellbutrin 93-94 mg and will stay there for a while. And I've found a compounding pharmacy - I hope they can make Wellbutrin XR pills!

 

One new experience I'm very happy about is that I sometimes have moments of connectedness with my feelings in a way that I haven't had for many many years! A feeling that now finally I'm taking control over my life and what I'm doing is absolutely right :) In between these moments I can be very off, sluggish and the feeling is like a bleak memory that I only know of in a logical sense. That was certainly the case earlier today. After exercising I felt much better. I do recommend exercising! 

 

Interesting Solang to hear that we are on the same combination of meds! And I was also put on Wellbutrin to counteract side effects of Zoloft! But that made things much worse...

I will also proceed slowly with my taper. The akathisia experience is definitely a warning sign. I thought it was possible to taper Wellbutrin more quickly but better to be on the safe side.

 

MammaP, Thank you for the advice! I will definitely try taking the whole dose in the morning as I sometimes forget to take the afternoon dose or take it very late. 

 

Simon, you are welcome! I agree, it's much easier with a check list.

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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  • Administrator

I would be cautious about the dopamine theory, and trying to adjust dopamine levels.

 

Magnesium glycinate can work well for restless legs. Please see the magnesium topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/ .

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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Hi Mjau, reading your story I find myself relating quite a bit. I was also put on antidepressants while I was in my teens, and now am trying to taper off of Zoloft and Wellbutrin after having been on them for over half of my lifetime.

 

Rhi's metaphor of the plant seemed like a good one:

You've been on the meds for a long time and you started at a young age while your brain was still developing, so your brain has shaped itself around the drugs, like a plant growing on a trellis. You need to very gently and slowly remove that trellis bit by tiny bit, and wait while your brain changes and remodels itself, then remove a bit more, then give it more time.

 

Your thread has helped me understand a little bit about what I've been experiencing. I think that ever since I dropped my Wellbutrin XL from 300 to 150 I've been having a very mild case of "restless legs" which I had never experienced before. It really isn't a problem because it's so mild, but it's there. I hadn't previously connected it with that adjustment, but from what you've said I think it makes sense. Since sertraline can cause restless legs I feel like that partly validates my current strategy of tapering sertraline while holding Wellbutrin.

 

You said:

One new experience I'm very happy about is that I sometimes have moments of connectedness with my feelings in a way that I haven't had for many many years! A feeling that now finally I'm taking control over my life and what I'm doing is absolutely right :) In between these moments I can be very off, sluggish and the feeling is like a bleak memory that I only know of in a logical sense. That was certainly the case earlier today. After exercising I felt much better. I do recommend exercising!

 

Yes, I have these moments, too, and it's great. I'll actually "get emotional" (feel strongly moved by things, start crying, etc.) now instead of being so numb all the time. It feels like I'm slowly regaining my humanity after having been turned to stone for many years.

 

I have found that exercise is an amazing "antidepressant" whose side effects are positive rather than negative.

 

I want to be totally med free - I've wanted that so long and have always had a creepy feeling that the meds are messing up my brain! One doctor told me I have to eat these pills for the rest of my life but I refuse to believe him. I'm planning on tapering much more slowly now. I think my depression recurred so many times because of too quick tapering. The restess legs is a side effect of Sertraline. I guess the the fatigue and the yawning that I've become so accustomed to also are side effects. I often find it difficult to have an opinion, of what to choose, of what to decide. I wasn't like that in my childhood I've been told. I want to find myself again.

 

I also have had the suspicion for the last five years or so that the drugs are slowly wrecking my brain. Sometimes I have such trouble thinking clearly, and I realize it is a new feeling that I didn't used to have. I feel downright stupid sometimes, my brain gets so foggy. Hopefully that will go away once the drugs are gone.

 

Anyway, since our journeys thus far have many similarities and we are now at similar points at tapering the same drugs I wanted to reach out and connect. I hope things are going well for you.

KEY: Drug @CurrentDoseMaxDose (time span). Details.
Prozac @4040 (2020-present). Replaced 50mg Zoloft with 10, then 20, then 40mg Prozac starting Sep 2020. I was not doing well at 25mg Zoloft, 150mg Wellbutrin XL. So, to try something new, I switched to Prozac. I am definitely more stable on this dose. Nevertheless, issues with insomnia, and worries about bone strength, make me wish to try a taper again sometime.

Zoloft @0250 (1998-2020). 250mg most of the time. Starting Spring of 2009, tapered by 25mg steps down to 25mg/day by Oct 2010. Emotional crisis prompted return to 200mg by end of 2010. Reduced to 150mg in Sep 2012. Dropped to 125mg 1 April 2013. Dropped to 100mg around 1 June 2013. Dropped to 90mg 5 Dec 2014. @80mg 5 Jan 2015. @70mg 5 Feb 2015. @60mg 5 Mar 2015. @50mg 5 Apr 2015. @45mg 7 Sep 2015. @40mg 5 Oct 2015. @35mg 1 Nov 2015. @30mg 1 Dec 2015. @25mg 29 Dec 2015. @50mg Nov or Dec 2019. Transitioned to Prozac Sep 2020.
Wellbutrin XL @150300 (2004-2020). Started at 150mg, quickly ramped up to 300mg. Dropped to 150mg in summer of 2010. Emotional crisis prompted return to 300mg by end of 2010. Dropped to 150mg 9 Apr 2014. Tried going back to 300 1 Apr 2020; feared it was harming my memory and so cold-turkeyed off 1 May 2020.
Klonopin @01 (1998-2005).
Paxil (1997-1998).

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Thank you Brain for writing in my thread! I read your post 3 days ago. I was in a bad mood and reading your kind words gave me positive energy! And just knowing there are other people going through the same things, having similar thoughts, experiences, symptoms makes you feel less lonely.... And knowing that things ARE getting better is comforting! 

 

 

 It feels like I'm slowly regaining my humanity after having been turned to stone for many years.

 

You nailed it! It feels exactly the same for me :)

 

There's a picture I like very much that also describes the same thing. I found it on Laura Delano's website http://recoveringfrompsychiatry.com/

Metamorphosis. A pill that becomes a butterfly. Beautiful! I can recommend her writing as well!

 

I saw my doctor a couple of weeks ago. I tried to discuss tapering with him. He actually laughed when I was telling him of my tapering regime. He had never heard of tapering that slow. It might be indicated for psychological reasons he said. But there's no medical evidence to do it like that he said. Last time I saw him I wasn't feeling very well and he gave me the advice to continue with a high dose of Sertraline. But luckily I didn't do that. Now he saw that I was doing much much better - but obviously didn't make the connection between my condition and the fact that I'm tapering. Oh. Dear....  

 

The longer I'm on this journey of becoming med free the more I realize how bad the medication is. All these side effects definitely overweigh any benefits. The meds made me feel better once. But I think that effect maybe lasted three months. Slowly, slowly, without noticing it what so ever, all kinds of side-effects appeared. You become accustomed to them, you think the side effects are a part of you. Now, finally, there are cracks in the cocoon.

 

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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  • Administrator

Perhaps some day you'll be able to diplomatically educate your doctor!

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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Yes, I want to educate him about it :) There is probably a greater chance he will listen if I am diplomatic. I think there has even been done a scientific study about slow tapering, maybe I should show him it!

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

Link to comment

I think there has even been done a scientific study about slow tapering, maybe I should show him it!

Can you point us to the study you have in mind?

KEY: Drug @CurrentDoseMaxDose (time span). Details.
Prozac @4040 (2020-present). Replaced 50mg Zoloft with 10, then 20, then 40mg Prozac starting Sep 2020. I was not doing well at 25mg Zoloft, 150mg Wellbutrin XL. So, to try something new, I switched to Prozac. I am definitely more stable on this dose. Nevertheless, issues with insomnia, and worries about bone strength, make me wish to try a taper again sometime.

Zoloft @0250 (1998-2020). 250mg most of the time. Starting Spring of 2009, tapered by 25mg steps down to 25mg/day by Oct 2010. Emotional crisis prompted return to 200mg by end of 2010. Reduced to 150mg in Sep 2012. Dropped to 125mg 1 April 2013. Dropped to 100mg around 1 June 2013. Dropped to 90mg 5 Dec 2014. @80mg 5 Jan 2015. @70mg 5 Feb 2015. @60mg 5 Mar 2015. @50mg 5 Apr 2015. @45mg 7 Sep 2015. @40mg 5 Oct 2015. @35mg 1 Nov 2015. @30mg 1 Dec 2015. @25mg 29 Dec 2015. @50mg Nov or Dec 2019. Transitioned to Prozac Sep 2020.
Wellbutrin XL @150300 (2004-2020). Started at 150mg, quickly ramped up to 300mg. Dropped to 150mg in summer of 2010. Emotional crisis prompted return to 300mg by end of 2010. Dropped to 150mg 9 Apr 2014. Tried going back to 300 1 Apr 2020; feared it was harming my memory and so cold-turkeyed off 1 May 2020.
Klonopin @01 (1998-2005).
Paxil (1997-1998).

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Think I've hit a wave.... Experiencing fatigue, anhedonia. The wave isn't constant though, during the same day I can feel very inspired about things, an hour later I have to push myself hard to do anything. I'm not really depressed, just tired, more foggy, forgetful, clumsy, distracted. It was such a relief that I yesterday evening managed and enjoyed doing some crafts. Today it's been both up and down. 

Is this a wave?

 

Can I taper although I'm in a wave? I'm on 80 mg Sertraline and today I took 75 mg.

 

Brain, I tried to search for the study, but didn't find it. I think I saw a link to it on this site. And I think it was Canadian. I'll do a new search when I'm less foggy.....

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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  • Administrator

Mjau, how are you feeling today?

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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Think I've hit a wave.... Experiencing fatigue, anhedonia. The wave isn't constant though, during the same day I can feel very inspired about things, an hour later I have to push myself hard to do anything. I'm not really depressed, just tired, more foggy, forgetful, clumsy, distracted. It was such a relief that I yesterday evening managed and enjoyed doing some crafts. Today it's been both up and down. 

Is this a wave?

 

Can I taper although I'm in a wave? I'm on 80 mg Sertraline and today I took 75 mg.

 

Brain, I tried to search for the study, but didn't find it. I think I saw a link to it on this site. And I think it was Canadian. I'll do a new search when I'm less foggy.....

 

I'm not sure what qualifies as a "wave", but I definitely relate to the symptoms you're describing. I feel like that's how I felt when I decreased my Wellbutrin dose in April. Since it looks like you've actually dropped your Wellbutrin dosage by more than one third since September it wouldn't surprise me if that's the reason you're feeling this way.

 

Some of it could also just be the adventure of learning to face the world with less antidepressant numbing. With less drugs in your system I think your highs will tend to be higher, but sometimes the lows can be a little lower. But whereas most people have over time developed means of coping with such feelings (friends, hobbies, music, religion, exercise, blogging, whatever) those of us whose brains have been frozen by antidepressants for so much of our lives may have some learning to do. We might have to experiment with new coping skills that we never developed since the drugs were partly regulating our moods for us. I think of it as part of the long, slow process of transforming into a person who can be completely functional without antidepressants.

 

If I were in your situation I think I would hold at least another month before resuming the taper. I imagine tapers are most likely to be sustainable when the rate of the taper does not exceed the ability of your mental, biological, and emotional self to adapt. If you start to see signs of being emotionally out-of-balance in yourself that may be indicate that you need to give your brain more time to rewire itself and adjust to the decreased levels of medication. But obviously you know your situation best and can come to your own conclusions about it.

KEY: Drug @CurrentDoseMaxDose (time span). Details.
Prozac @4040 (2020-present). Replaced 50mg Zoloft with 10, then 20, then 40mg Prozac starting Sep 2020. I was not doing well at 25mg Zoloft, 150mg Wellbutrin XL. So, to try something new, I switched to Prozac. I am definitely more stable on this dose. Nevertheless, issues with insomnia, and worries about bone strength, make me wish to try a taper again sometime.

Zoloft @0250 (1998-2020). 250mg most of the time. Starting Spring of 2009, tapered by 25mg steps down to 25mg/day by Oct 2010. Emotional crisis prompted return to 200mg by end of 2010. Reduced to 150mg in Sep 2012. Dropped to 125mg 1 April 2013. Dropped to 100mg around 1 June 2013. Dropped to 90mg 5 Dec 2014. @80mg 5 Jan 2015. @70mg 5 Feb 2015. @60mg 5 Mar 2015. @50mg 5 Apr 2015. @45mg 7 Sep 2015. @40mg 5 Oct 2015. @35mg 1 Nov 2015. @30mg 1 Dec 2015. @25mg 29 Dec 2015. @50mg Nov or Dec 2019. Transitioned to Prozac Sep 2020.
Wellbutrin XL @150300 (2004-2020). Started at 150mg, quickly ramped up to 300mg. Dropped to 150mg in summer of 2010. Emotional crisis prompted return to 300mg by end of 2010. Dropped to 150mg 9 Apr 2014. Tried going back to 300 1 Apr 2020; feared it was harming my memory and so cold-turkeyed off 1 May 2020.
Klonopin @01 (1998-2005).
Paxil (1997-1998).

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Hi again! Feeling better :) The last four days have been pretty fine - it's so strange how my condition can switch from one day to another! Today a bit more foggy and tired but better than when I wrote the last post.

 

I've continued to take Sertraline 75 mg since dec 31st. That is a 6% reduction from 80 mg.

 

The nights on the other hand haven't been as fine - the other night I had horrible restless legs and akathisia. That night I had been sitting in front of the computer maybe two hours before going to bed and during the day I had some coffee which might have aggravated my symptoms. But it's hard to tell - there are times when I can drink coffee and not have restless legs, it's quite unpredictable. Usually I don't have as much symptoms when I refrain from coffee, so there's obviously some connection.

Las night was better. I've had no coffee the last two days!

 

Brain, you're probably right about reducing Wellbutrin and tiredness. I've decided to stay on my Wellbutrin dose for another month at least. 

But there's more to it. A bit more than a year ago I had a total break down. I was totally exhausted. The only thing I could do for two weeks was to sit in my chair and stare out through the window at the falling autumn leaves. I tried to walk but my heart started pounding really fast. I slept a lot. Never been so tired in my life before. My doctor said it was a depression. The strange thing is that I wasn't feeling depressed. I was totally worn out. Both physically and mentally. The downward spiral started when I was put on Wellbutrin two years prior to the break down. Memory loss and other cognitive symptoms. I think the main reason for my burn out was the meds although there are other contributing factors.

Now my overall condition has improved a lot. My recovery has been very slow. But in October there was kind of a leap forward in my recovery process - thanks to reduced dosages I think! I'm still on sick leave but now I go to work 2-3 days a week, maybe two hours at time. But I'm experiencing ups and downs. If I engage in too much activities I will be more tired. Lately I have been able to increase my activities though. So it isn't easy to know if tiredness comes from doing too much or from the withdrawal. I guess the most important thing is to surf the wave whatever it's cause is! Listen to ones body and heart. Not easy but I'm trying.

 

I've noticed that the fogginess often appears half an hour after taking my meds in the morning. Connection? My new routine is to exercise after breakfast - it makes the fog lift at least a bit!

 

Have to say it again - thank you for your support!

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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