Jump to content

CindyLouWho : Trying to win the war in the wean off Sertraline, help?


CindyLouWho

Recommended Posts

I recently started my wean-war with Sertraline. I have been on 100mg for over 12 years now for anxiety. I haven't had an anxiety attack or bout of panic in over 5 years. I spoke to my doctor in the past about weaning and he was never a proponent of the idea. He would say that since I was a single mom, my son depended on me to be "healthy and stable."

 

So I stayed on it. However, this past February, I went to my doctor's office for a physical/check-up and wanted to discuss my weaning options and how to go about getting off of the drug. I have been dating someone for about 3 years now and I don't need to be "the strong parent" all the time and have someone I can depend on to help should I ever need it -- and like I said, I haven't had an attack in over 5 years.

 

Anyway, my usual doctor was unavailable when I went for the check-up and saw another doctor. She said that weaning would be a good idea since I no longer felt I needed the drug. She told me that I should take half the 100mg pill for a week and then the next week take half of the pill every other day for a week. After that and depending on how I felt, I could go a half every third day or just stop because it would be such a low dosage at that point. (Yes, her words exactly.)

 

My last pill was in March. I have noticed daily nausea, vertigo-like symptoms, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, brain zaps, headaches, earaches, and head pressure. It has been non-stop, daily pain. Seeing the moderator's posts recommending a 10% decrease, I am upset with the doctor. I know it's not her fault that I'm having bad withdrawal symptoms and it was my choice to get off the drug, but it might have been a lot easier on me had she told me the proper way to wean.

 

I'm still obviously suffering from awful, daily withdrawal symptoms. It is affecting my work and home life. I have been toying with the idea of going back on it to avoid this hell I've been living. I read the posts about reintroducing the meds but I have 100mg pills that would be difficult to cut up to a semi-precise 1mg or 5mg. Has anyone else been through this and decided reintroducing it would help? If so, what was the outcome? Did it help?

 

I know everyone is different but I would just like some suggestions. I feel lost and, yes, frustrated. Does anyone know how long withdrawal symptoms typically last from long-term Sertraline use? I'm honestly scared. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Sertraline - 100mg for over 12 years for anxiety/panic disorder.

Haven't had an anxiety attack or bout of panic in over 5 years.

Last Sertraline pill in March of 2015.

Bad daily withdrawal symptoms... waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Link to comment

Hi CindyLouWho! 

 

Great name!  I'm new here too but I wanted to say hello and let you know that you are in the right place.  There are moderators with a ton of knowledge who can help you.  

 

Someone will be along to give you some advice.  In the meantime, there is a thread under the "Tapering" forum specifically for Sertraline/Zoloft.  I would start there with some reading.  You can search for the thread by entering "Tips for tapering off Zoloft" in the search box at the upper right hand side of the screen after selecting the Tapering forum.  I hope that makes sense.

 

Welcome to the SA community!  You are in good company here.

 

Ona

Celexa 20 mg from 4/28/11 to 9/28/11 - RESULT - Didn't help enough.  Was moved to a new medication.  Med prescribed by PCP with diag of GAD and AD.

Zoloft 50 mg from 9/29/11 to 10/17/11 - RESULT - Symptoms getting worse not better.  Moved to a new medication

Prozac 20 mg from 10/18/11 to 11/1/11 - RESULT - It made me homocidal.  That was new to me!  So fun!  :-(

Effexor 75 mg to 150 mg  from 11/2/11 to 6/9/12 - RESULT - Requested increase in dose as a work situation triggered PTSD and severe depression

Zoloft 25 mg to 150 mg from 7/9/12 to 11/6/12

Zoloft 200 mg from 11/7/12 to 5/13/13 - RESULT - Medication not working.  Was graduated off this too quickly by an emergency PNP who diagnosed me as BP

BUSPAR 30 mg from 1/4/13 to 5/13/13 - RESULT - one 10 mg tab 3x/day - RESULT - Severe hot flashes, lethargy, unable to function

Lamictal 50 mg 4/17/13 to 5/13/13 - RESULT - new PNP told me Lamictal could kill me and that we needed to transition me off immediately.  Tried again for three days in March 2015.  Had severe chest pains on day 2 so quit taking.

Dropped all meds after going to yet another psychiatrist who gave me yet another diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and wanted to change meds again.

Cymbalta 30 mg to 60 mg to 20 mg from 12/27/13 to 2/24/15 then stopped taking altogether until 3/23 when reinstated 10 beads.

Ativan .5 to 1 mg as needed since 2011 (at least).  Not a daily med.  Used mostly during periods of detox from antidepressants.  Stopped taking in March 2015 due to fear of dependency and risk of causing further depression.

Link to comment

I just realized you found that forum thread as well.  Good for you!  I was too incoherent to do that when I first got here.  

Celexa 20 mg from 4/28/11 to 9/28/11 - RESULT - Didn't help enough.  Was moved to a new medication.  Med prescribed by PCP with diag of GAD and AD.

Zoloft 50 mg from 9/29/11 to 10/17/11 - RESULT - Symptoms getting worse not better.  Moved to a new medication

Prozac 20 mg from 10/18/11 to 11/1/11 - RESULT - It made me homocidal.  That was new to me!  So fun!  :-(

Effexor 75 mg to 150 mg  from 11/2/11 to 6/9/12 - RESULT - Requested increase in dose as a work situation triggered PTSD and severe depression

Zoloft 25 mg to 150 mg from 7/9/12 to 11/6/12

Zoloft 200 mg from 11/7/12 to 5/13/13 - RESULT - Medication not working.  Was graduated off this too quickly by an emergency PNP who diagnosed me as BP

BUSPAR 30 mg from 1/4/13 to 5/13/13 - RESULT - one 10 mg tab 3x/day - RESULT - Severe hot flashes, lethargy, unable to function

Lamictal 50 mg 4/17/13 to 5/13/13 - RESULT - new PNP told me Lamictal could kill me and that we needed to transition me off immediately.  Tried again for three days in March 2015.  Had severe chest pains on day 2 so quit taking.

Dropped all meds after going to yet another psychiatrist who gave me yet another diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and wanted to change meds again.

Cymbalta 30 mg to 60 mg to 20 mg from 12/27/13 to 2/24/15 then stopped taking altogether until 3/23 when reinstated 10 beads.

Ativan .5 to 1 mg as needed since 2011 (at least).  Not a daily med.  Used mostly during periods of detox from antidepressants.  Stopped taking in March 2015 due to fear of dependency and risk of causing further depression.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi CindlyLouWho,

 

I have hidden the post you made in the tapering section.   Its best to discuss your individual situation here and to ask general tapering questions in that forum.   This intro thread is where you will get support, be able to detail and discuss what's happening for you etc.   You can come back here to post updates.  We each have one intro thread here for that purpose.

 

You can make your tablets into a liquid and then measure out smaller doses from there.   That would be how you would reinstate a low dose and taper at the slower rate of 10%.

 

Here is a thread on how to make a liquid  - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/

 

I dont want to overwhelm you with info.   Have a read through that thread and then come back here to ask questions.

 

Welcome to SA

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, CLW.

 

Yes, people often find reinstating at a very low dose can help withdrawal symptoms. You would then stabilize for some time and taper off very, very gradually.

 

You may want to start with 1mg and see how you do. This topic explains how to titrate sertraline specifically: Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

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.

Link to comment
  • Mentor

Hello and welcome. Everyone is different..... all I can write about is my experience.     I have reintroduced Sertraline (Zoloft), now on day 10 I think......  but I was off the stuff for 6 months or so.  I was also on 100mg .

You havent been off long.  

You have been on the drug a long time.  My advice?  Reinstate asap, at 50mg..........stick to your dose for a few months, then do the taper over three years.  Or quit your job, and be prepared for the worst for three years.  

ie         Dont end up like me, I am a damn mess.

I have 100mg, long pills with a score in the middle, I am splitting those.  I also have a script for 50mg pills, just havent been able to get out of the house to collect them.....

Those I will take, and eventually cut those in the middle also.   A Pill splitter is very inexpensive.

 

In a few months, you will have read all the stuff on this site, and worked out how to do your 10% taper.

 

Best of luck, and hugs    

Ang

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

Link to comment
  • Mentor

And you were put on it for anxiety?  How do you feel now?  It will get worse, believe me..... please, reinstate 50mg... and do a long, long slow taper.

 

Hugs x

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

CLW, please do not leap to 50mg as a reinstatement. It might be too much for you. I would try at most 5mg or 10mg to start.

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.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy