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sleepymom

sleepymom Help getting off Trazodone

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sleepymom

Hello!

 

I am a "sleepymom" of a nursing 16 month old.  I started having insomnia issues about four months ago which was a huge shock because all of my life I've been an excellent sleeper.  At that time, though, we were in the middle of buying a house, and both myself and my son got terribly sick, and then came the big move to the new house, so it's no wonder I had a lot going through my head.  When I couldn't sleep for several days, I saw a new doctor who ordered a blood panel to see if anything was wrong.  The tests came back normal.  Apparently, there is no organic reason as to why I can't sleep.  At first he gave me Ambien which I only took for about four days before I realized it was highly addictive and didn't want to continue down that road.  Then he prescribed Trazodone, 25 mg at night.  I haven't been on it very long, less than a month (I've only taken it for 25 days).  At first it worked, but now it's a hit or miss thing, and I don't want to be on this anymore.  The only reason I am even on it is because I'm breastfeeding, and all the regular OTC sleep aids are a no-go while nursing.  Trazodone appears to be safe via LactMed.  Anyway, I don't want to be on this anymore.  It gives me awful diarrhea which throws off my body, and between not sleeping and nursing, I don't want to worry about a medicine messing me up long term.  So here's my question.  Do I really need to taper off this medicine since I've only been on it for such a short time?  I've asked a couple of pharmacists and they said it was okay to stop cold turkey.  Should I?  Anyone have advice for me?  Thanks! 

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sleepymom

After doing the math, I only have 8.333333 mg of Trazodone left in my system when I go to take my 10 pm dose.  I would think I wouldn't have to really wean off of it, but I'm not sure.  I'd like to start taking OTC sleep aids instead of an antidepressant used for insomnia, but I don't want any interactions between the Trazodone and anything else.

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Petunia

Hi sleepymom,

Welcome to the forum.  I'm sorry to hear that you have been having trouble sleeping, with a baby and everything you have been through lately, its not surprising, stress can often upset our sleep cycle.

 

Trazodone is an antidepressant and needs to be tapered in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

 

Reduce trazodone by 10% per month to start
The 10% rule holds for trazodone, just like other antidepressants: Reduce by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.)

See Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Here are our tips for how to taper off trazodone:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2883-tips-for-tapering-off-trazodone-desyrel/

 

Because you have been on it less than a month, you may be able to taper faster, I will try and get you some more help with this.

 

This link contains some tips which may help with sleep problems in a more natural way:

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

scroll down to the sleep section.

 

I’m glad you found us, we’re here to support you.

 

Petu.

 

 


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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sleepymom

Thank you so much for the warm welcome and the info!  If I start tapering by 10% each month, it'll be over a year before I get off this stuff when I've only been on it for less than a month.  I guess that doesn't make sense to me.  Plus, how do you attain a 10% dosage of a 25 mg pill?  I'm thinking maybe I can just cut the 25 mg pill in half and start with that as I don't think doing a 10% reduction is feasible. 

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Rhiannon

The 10% is our "usual wisdom" but I agree, in your case a faster taper might be appropriate. How about trying a 25% cut or 50% cut and seeing how that goes for you? I'm concerned 50% might be too much, but we mostly work with people who have a lot more past history on psych meds than you do (am I correct that this is your first experience with neurotransmitter-tweaking drugs?) The more med history and the more times coming off meds in the past, the harder it is with later attempts. We usually get the hard cases here. If you've never taken and quit an AD or benzo before, you may do just fine with a faster taper. 

 

You can expect to have some worsened insomnia after cutting. Just hang in there and see if you can ride it out. Sleep problems with a baby and a move are very, very normal. With both of my babies I was just a very light sleeper for the first couple of years, hormones I guess. It passes and you will definitely get through it and be fine. 

 

I guess my official advice would be, try a 25% cut for a few days and see how you feel, and if you feel just fine, go to half a pill for a week or so and see how that goes. Do double-check the Trazodone thread and make sure it's cut-able, I don't know all the different meds and I know some of them you can't cut, but I think Trazodone is okay.


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 

 

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

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sleepymom

Thank you, Rhi!  As I start to talk to more and more moms of toddlers, I am finding that bouts of insomnia are pretty common although the circumstances surrounding when mine started probably just amped up the issue.  Many years ago back in 2001, I was on Welbutrin for about a year, I believe.  I remember deciding I didn't need it anymore, and tapered it off by 50% for a week or so and then was done with it.  I had a few stomach issues, but other than that I was fine.  Of course now I'm a bit older and don't know how doing that much of a reduction will affect me.  The Trazodone is strange for me.  When it works and I get a stellar night of sleep, I end up with one of those annoying "ice pick" headaches throughout the day, but I'm rested.  When it doesn't work, and I'm a zombie, I don't have that headache, but I'm really off all day long and have minor dizziness that I attribute more to the lack of sleep than to the Trazodone.  Honestly, if I wasn't breastfeeding, I would have never started on the Trazodone.  I would have done OTC sleep aids because they've worked for me in the past and I have been able to easily stop them.  I do believe the Trazodone is a pill I can cut because I have 50 mg pills that are scored and I cut in half to 25 mg.  I can always cut the 25 mg in half and then those in half again???  I'll see what I can do.  Thanks again!!  Knowing that I'm "normal" in the sleep department and will get through it does my mind wonders :)

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Altostrata

Welcome, sleepymom.

 

Please do read the trazodone tapering topic, it contains some information that might explain your adverse reaction to it the next day.

 

As I understand it, sleep deprivation is common among parents with small children. This used to be common wisdom. If I were you, I wouldn't use any kind of drug to sleep. Rather, try supplements like magnesium http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/ and others in our Symptoms and Self-Care forum http://tinyurl.com/3hq949z
 


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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sleepymom

LOL, Altostrata!  Yes, sleep dep is a common problem for new parents; however I was experiencing true insomnia for days on end.  I was so beyond desperate to sleep that I agreed to take a prescription med.  I needed to break the cycle of not sleeping because I wasn't able to care for my son the next day.  It was awful. 

 

You know, I just realized that I start to feel a little more "off" towards the evening time right before my next dose.  I guess my body is used to it :/  I can't take magnesium right now as that does have a moderate interaction with Trazodone, at least according to drugs.com/interactions.

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Altostrata

Please read http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2883-tips-for-tapering-off-trazodone-desyrel/ (third request).

 

Trazodone has a metabolite that is activating. This could cause you problems during the day.


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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Petunia

How are you doing Sleepymom?  Please let us know what you decide to do about stopping the trazodone.  After some discussion, the consensus here is that a 25% cut would be a safe place to start and then if you felt ok after a week, then you could cut another 25%.  Please stay in touch and let us know how you are going.


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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