Getting off of Seroquel

Posted by anniegk @anniegk, Jun 8, 2018

I have been on 300 mgs. Seroquel ER for over a year for augmenting my antidepressant which is 45 mgs. Of Mirtazapine. I decided to try and get off of the Seroquel. I was on 300mgs ER (extended release). I titrated down to 250 mg ER for 2 months without too many problems.than i titrated down to 200mgs ER just 5 days ago. My plan is to try to titrate off using ER tablets. My thinking is that perhaps the drug will remove its self from my system more gradually. I have had some nausea and a couple of episodes of diarrhea. I also have a very irregular heart beat and was started on 60 mgs of Propranolol ER (extended release) 4 weeks ago. It seems to be helping my heartbeat. I have wondered if the nausea and light headness is from the Propranolol, a Beta Blocker, or the dose reduction of the Seroquel. I also wonder if the way iam titrating the Seroquel is safe. My doctor says it will only take a couple of weeks…I think that is too fast of a taper after being on a drug for over a year. What do you think?

@ellensf

Hi, I have some questions for you. Could you give me more details. "I've been on 200 mg Seroquel at HS, tapered down to 75, sometimes only 50. Then 25 then 12.5. It took me almost a year"

How long were you on each dose ? You did mention being on 12.5 for 3 weeks. When you went from 200 to 75 did you make that jump all at once ? Or did you have interim doses ? Sounds like after that you only went down by a little ? 75 to 50, 50 to 25, 25 to 12.5. How long were you on each dose ? I take Seroquel for anxiety. I have found that when I take extended release at night it controls my anxiety the next day without feeling tired. I often have to take Ativan in addition to fall asleep.

When I went from Seroquel 400 XR to Seroquel 350 XR and 25 regular I needed a lot more sleep. That is the weird thing that I am trying to figure out.

However I did develop a similar repeated thought problem that you did. However I have had this problem in the past. Doctors have said it was repetitive thinking — some say that it is a type of OCD and some don't. I only do it when I'm alone. I don't say it out loud. I just pace around my apartment — usually for an hour or more.

Since OCD is an anxiety disorder, for me I guess reducing seroquel has increased my anxiety.

Again even stranger — reducing dose increases my sleep, but ups my anxiety.

There is another wrinkle however. To lessen how tired I am (even after 12 hours of sleep) I often take Provigil. It sometimes makes me hyper — perhaps it is also making me more anxious.

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It turns out that I have anemia. I have gotten the same type of sleeping 12+ hours independent of Seroquel. It appears that it was just coincidence that the 2nd day of my decreasing sequel I felt so tired.

Liked by Lisa Lucier, Leonard

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@katyripp1967

I have no idea. I want to get off the 200 mgs I've been on for over a year and have no idea how to start😥

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Can you not ask your doctor?

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@ellensf

It turns out that I have anemia. I have gotten the same type of sleeping 12+ hours independent of Seroquel. It appears that it was just coincidence that the 2nd day of my decreasing sequel I felt so tired.

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Glad you are getting some answers, @ellensf. What type of anemia do you have?

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@lisalucier

Glad you are getting some answers, @ellensf. What type of anemia do you have?

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I have iron deficiency anemia. Unfortunately after 2 months of eating iron containing foods my numbers just went up slightly. They think I may have some kind of internal bleeding.

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I’m currently taking Quetiapine (also known as Seroquel) 100mg each night. I have depression and anxiety but it’s supposed to help me sleep.

I just had an appointment with a psychiatrist referred by my doctor. He seems pushy and I don’t like or trust him. He wants me to quit Quetiapine.

I want to stop taking it because I think the recent dosage increase has caused suicidal thoughts. Should I just go cold turkey? Can Quetiapine make me more suicidal? Will quitting make me more suicidal?

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@kanaazpereira

Hello @highserotonin30,

Welcome to Connect. I moved your message and combined it with this existing discussion as I thought it would be beneficial for you to meet others and read about their experiences while weaning off Seroquel.
If you click on VIEW & REPLY in your email notification, you will see the whole discussion and can join in, meet, and participate with other members talking about their or their loved ones' experiences.

When you withdraw from any medication, there are important factors that will influence your withdrawal. it is highly recommended to do a gradual taper with the help of a physician to allow your body and brain to slowly adjust to changes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/quetiapine-oral-route/description/drg-20066912

I’m tagging @derryman @whereveryougothereyouare @majic @ronlin1948 @jancer2017 @ginak523 who’ve also shared their experiences about Seroquel in these discussion:
– Seroquel for anxiety, social anxiety & PTSD https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/seroquel-for-anxiety-ptsd/
– anything about being on SEROQUEL? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/seraquel/

May I ask if you could share your reasons for wanting to quit, @highserotonin30?

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Does anyone know anything about liquid Seroquel. Is it easier to taper off. Also are there any medications to offset the insomnia with Seroquel tablets.

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@deb4444

Does anyone know anything about liquid Seroquel. Is it easier to taper off. Also are there any medications to offset the insomnia with Seroquel tablets.

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I’m sorry I don’t have answers to your questions. Just wondering if you take Seroquel first thing in the morning when you arise? Have you discussed this dose with your prescribing doctor recently? Liquid may be easier to taper in the fact that you can see the small gradations in the medicine cup, and really move slowly and gradually? Wishing you the best, and a Happy new year.

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@mia001

I’m currently taking Quetiapine (also known as Seroquel) 100mg each night. I have depression and anxiety but it’s supposed to help me sleep.

I just had an appointment with a psychiatrist referred by my doctor. He seems pushy and I don’t like or trust him. He wants me to quit Quetiapine.

I want to stop taking it because I think the recent dosage increase has caused suicidal thoughts. Should I just go cold turkey? Can Quetiapine make me more suicidal? Will quitting make me more suicidal?

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@mia001
Most importantly DO NOT stop cold turkey. As far as suicidal idealizations are concerned it’s very individualized, I doubt anyone can answer that question. I don’t believe even a physician can accurately answer how it will affect you. Although generally if Seroquel is going to cause this problem it normally happens in the beginning of treatment, at least that’s what my friends psychiatrist said.
I take seizure medication and in the past have taken 30 pills a day of five different Anticonvulsants which are notorious for suicide idealizations. I never had that effect in the 52 years I’ve taken them.
Seroquel is an Antipsychotic not a sleeping medicine. The risks of using Seroquel as a low dose sleep medication is not recommended by the manufacturer or experts. It can cause various side effects including,
Increased systolic & diastolic blood pressure
Increased body mass index
weight
fasting blood glucose increase
Decrease total cholesterol
My friend has Seroquel induced Diabetes
I can understand you taking Seroquel if Antidepressants aren’t controlling your depression but it should not be used as a first line medication to induce sleep.
REMEMBER, REDUCE SLOWLY!!!
Best of luck,
Jake

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I've been on seroquel for depression and anxiety since about 2010. Started with 500 mg, gradually my doctor dropped it to 6.25 mg for sleep ( have to bite the 25 mg tabs into 4). I also take two 5mg sublinox to sleep. Three nights ago, I quit the 6.25 seroquel and trying 1 mg clonazepam with the sublinox. Last night was hard getting to sleep, but once asleep I seem to be ok. Has anyone gone this route?
PS: I tried just the sublinox about 4 mths ago and went thru 3 nights of hell.

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@carolxi

I've been on seroquel for depression and anxiety since about 2010. Started with 500 mg, gradually my doctor dropped it to 6.25 mg for sleep ( have to bite the 25 mg tabs into 4). I also take two 5mg sublinox to sleep. Three nights ago, I quit the 6.25 seroquel and trying 1 mg clonazepam with the sublinox. Last night was hard getting to sleep, but once asleep I seem to be ok. Has anyone gone this route?
PS: I tried just the sublinox about 4 mths ago and went thru 3 nights of hell.

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@carolxi– You can get little pill cutters at the pharmacy if you wish.
Best wishes Ainsleigh

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Dear all, thank you for this thread. I have been taking Seroquel since 2004 for Paranoid Schizophrenia and was up to 750 mg daily. I can confirm that when upping the dose, it does cause racing heartbeat. Usually this passes after a week on that dose. Also, it gave me depressive thoughts a half hour after taking it, when the drug hit my nervous system. I have successfully stopped taking Seroquel by gradually reducing the dose together with my doctor. He simultaneously prescribed Geodon which was much better but caused vertigo and a fear of my train of thought stopping, plus periodic exhaustion. I have now switched to Lurasidone (Latuda) which is an amazing medicine. It does not cause the brain fog and suppressed creativity of Seroquel, the nausea of Risperidone, the anxiety and sight distortion of Abilify, or the aforementioned (although mild) side effects of Geodon. It also doesn't cause the weight gain of Olanzapine. I have tried all of these medicines and Latuda is by far the best for me.

Now to my question. Last night was my first night off of both Seroquel and Geodon which had aided my sleep and I slept for about 15 minutes total. I wasn't anxious, train of thought was fine, and mood was great. I read a bit, had some nice reflections, and lay still for most of the night. However this insomnia was quite comprehensive and debilitating. I realize that I may not be able to sleep without Seroquel and Geodon at this point as the Latuda, being for me a miracle drug, does not cause any sleepiness. How long can I expect the insomnia to last? I do not want to be forced to take the Geodon to sleep but I may have to in order to prevent a psychotic break due to sleeplessness. I have called my doctor today and not heard back but I do want to connect with others who have similar experiences and can share them. I am very grateful for your insights.

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@jameshoward
Hello James,
Antipsychotics were never intended to be used to induce sleep and experts don’t recommend them for that purpose.
I suffered from insomnia and usually didn’t sleep for 2-3 days at a time but have gone for 5 days & nights.
I tried a couple types of sleeping pills but they didn’t work so I threw them out. So then I tried to reset my sleep clock (circadian clock) and to learn better sleep habits. I use to go to bed at 2, 3 or 4am which was especially imprudent since lack, or poor quality sleep is a major trigger of seizures, my nemesis. Stanford University Sleep Center recommended going to bed 15 minutes earlier every few days to a week so every Monday I did that till I was in bed by 10.
Here are some changes I made to improve my sleep but of course it’s different strokes for different folks.
1️⃣ Get plenty of natural light (when possible)
2️⃣ Open the drapes in the morning or go for a walk
3️⃣ Turn off or dim lights at night
4️⃣ Turn off TV, phone, computer etc
5️⃣Relax before bed. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
6️⃣ Get plenty of exercise during the day or go for a walk in the evening (I'm not too successful here)
7️⃣ Preferably avoid naps
8️⃣ Sleep in a cool room without any noise if possible.
9️⃣ Eat a healthy diet at regular times but not close to bedtime. Drink plenty of water during the day. No caffeinated drinks a few hours before bed.
🔟 A comfortable bed is essential
Changing your sleep habits are possible but it takes patience and determination.
Of course your particular sleep issues will be a factor.
Have you seen a sleep specialist?
Take care and good luck,
Jake

PS,
There has recently been a couple of new Insomnia drugs released. Sorry, I forgot their names.

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@jh1

Dear all, thank you for this thread. I have been taking Seroquel since 2004 for Paranoid Schizophrenia and was up to 750 mg daily. I can confirm that when upping the dose, it does cause racing heartbeat. Usually this passes after a week on that dose. Also, it gave me depressive thoughts a half hour after taking it, when the drug hit my nervous system. I have successfully stopped taking Seroquel by gradually reducing the dose together with my doctor. He simultaneously prescribed Geodon which was much better but caused vertigo and a fear of my train of thought stopping, plus periodic exhaustion. I have now switched to Lurasidone (Latuda) which is an amazing medicine. It does not cause the brain fog and suppressed creativity of Seroquel, the nausea of Risperidone, the anxiety and sight distortion of Abilify, or the aforementioned (although mild) side effects of Geodon. It also doesn't cause the weight gain of Olanzapine. I have tried all of these medicines and Latuda is by far the best for me.

Now to my question. Last night was my first night off of both Seroquel and Geodon which had aided my sleep and I slept for about 15 minutes total. I wasn't anxious, train of thought was fine, and mood was great. I read a bit, had some nice reflections, and lay still for most of the night. However this insomnia was quite comprehensive and debilitating. I realize that I may not be able to sleep without Seroquel and Geodon at this point as the Latuda, being for me a miracle drug, does not cause any sleepiness. How long can I expect the insomnia to last? I do not want to be forced to take the Geodon to sleep but I may have to in order to prevent a psychotic break due to sleeplessness. I have called my doctor today and not heard back but I do want to connect with others who have similar experiences and can share them. I am very grateful for your insights.

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Hi, @jameshoward – I wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Having insomnia as you describe sounds very difficult as you are tapering off quetiapine (Seroquel).

Since you mentioned you have a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, I thought you might also be interested in this discussion on that condition https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/daughter-with-unmedicated-schzophrenia. The members there may be particularly interested in your treatment journey and what has worked well for you.

Did you hear back from your doctor today? If so, what did he say about the sleeplessness with stopping the quetiapine (Seroquel) and ziprasidone (Geodon)?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @jameshoward – I wanted to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Having insomnia as you describe sounds very difficult as you are tapering off quetiapine (Seroquel).

Since you mentioned you have a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, I thought you might also be interested in this discussion on that condition https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/daughter-with-unmedicated-schzophrenia. The members there may be particularly interested in your treatment journey and what has worked well for you.

Did you hear back from your doctor today? If so, what did he say about the sleeplessness with stopping the quetiapine (Seroquel) and ziprasidone (Geodon)?

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Thank you, Lisa. I did indeed get a callback from my psychiatrist who indeed informed me that I could take quetiapine 25 mg to sleep. I however had destroyed my current supply so we decided that I would take Geodon 40 mg to sleep and continue with the Latuda as an anti-psychotic. I will talk to him more on Monday but I believe that the solution for me will be 37 mg of Geodon to maintain my current psychiatric state, and 40 mg of Geodon to allow me to sleep successfully. I will have him confirm this. I will not be able to be free from sleep aid at this point as missing entire nights of sleep would affect me mentally as it has in the past. It is unfortunate that I do have this Seroquel addiction but I am grateful for the help it has provided me all these years. I will also check out that thread right now. Thank you again for the welcome.

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@ainsleigh

@carolxi– You can get little pill cutters at the pharmacy if you wish.
Best wishes Ainsleigh

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Hi Ainsleigh, thank you for the advice but my ai. Was/is to quit seroquel altogether. I guess I quit around end of Dec by my post. I'm good! I take 1 mg clonazepam + 10 mg sublinox when I go to bed. My sleep is fine ~7.5 hrs. I did get very itchy. I took one 24 hr non-dorowsy antihistamine and I was fine until this morning, so about 2 days.

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