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?

Hi @lisalucier and to be completely honest. I don’t deal with them. They control my life. I have to let them pass. CBT helps relive them a bit, Xanax helps as well, but ultimately I just have to let them work their course. And my apologies I’ve been calling you Lucy instead of Lisa. They are far worse than the mild bipolar affective disorder. It’s just hard when you get them at work and I’m in the middle on a consultant with a person and I just freeze. It’s like all the energy and personality just drains away.

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@wickedbillie

Hi @lisalucier and to be completely honest. I don’t deal with them. They control my life. I have to let them pass. CBT helps relive them a bit, Xanax helps as well, but ultimately I just have to let them work their course. And my apologies I’ve been calling you Lucy instead of Lisa. They are far worse than the mild bipolar affective disorder. It’s just hard when you get them at work and I’m in the middle on a consultant with a person and I just freeze. It’s like all the energy and personality just drains away.

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Hi, @wickedbillie – the panic attacks sound hard. Wondering if in your job when you encounter these attacks when consulting if the person you're speaking to realizes you are having a panic attack?

No worries about my name. Must be a brain trick or something, as people I just meet and introduce myself to as Lisa Lucier then start calling me Lucy all the time.

I don't have a diagnosis for which I need to take an antipsychotic. I have depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I take bupropion (Wellbutrin) and fluoxetine (Prozac). My doctor gave the okay to go off the fluoxetine. I've gone down by half but honestly am wavering there.

Do you have a diagnosis of bipolar 1 or 2? Is the doctor describing the potential panic disorder as a separate diagnosis, or indicating it's linked to bipolar?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @wickedbillie – the panic attacks sound hard. Wondering if in your job when you encounter these attacks when consulting if the person you're speaking to realizes you are having a panic attack?

No worries about my name. Must be a brain trick or something, as people I just meet and introduce myself to as Lisa Lucier then start calling me Lucy all the time.

I don't have a diagnosis for which I need to take an antipsychotic. I have depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I take bupropion (Wellbutrin) and fluoxetine (Prozac). My doctor gave the okay to go off the fluoxetine. I've gone down by half but honestly am wavering there.

Do you have a diagnosis of bipolar 1 or 2? Is the doctor describing the potential panic disorder as a separate diagnosis, or indicating it's linked to bipolar?

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@wickedbillie im sorry you have to deal with panic attacks also. For me it’s not just the attack but that they can initiate depressive episodes, I had a really bad one five months ago after three months of being off effexor and am still recovering… they just throw your body that out of wack. Went back on effexor which is hard, also klonopin which helped a lot w anxiety but made me kind of sad and weepy so I’m weaning off it. Fingers crossed I’m seeing coming out the other side in sight. Personally I don’t see why panic attacks are not classified as seizures. It would remove a lot of the stigma in suffering from them and treating them.

Liked by Ellen, sears

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@jh1

Glad to hear the anxiety is tapering off. I had physical symptoms too, but they passed pretty quickly and my doctor told me they would be out quickly. My evening depressions were actually pointing to a real problem I was having, but the affected thought process was depressive in nature and I was able to cure that by leaving the Seroquel. I wish doctors didn't use Seroquel as a sleep aid as it gives increased appetite which, together with its sedating and emotional blunting qualities, can lead to depression in my opinion. There are lots of other anti-psychotics out there, each with its own flavor. Seroquel is no longer the only option. The problem is that most people don't want to go through a taste buffet of anti-psychotics. I tried 5 different ones in the space of a year, in addition to two different anti-depressants but had time off from work and was able to really analyze how each one made me feel, as well as able to begin to identify when I was being affected by the meds in a negative way. I was also blessed by a good doctor who took everything seriously. My conclusion, after all this, is that the delicate system of the brain is impossible to play with without adverse reactions, but each person has to find one that works best. I can tell you that my current medicine, Latuda, has no side effects at all anymore. I feel so normal that half the time I think I can go off medicine completely, which is a lie. It's from 2010 and is pretty expensive but luckily I live in a place with universal healthcare.

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That's exactly how I felt, like it was fixing one problem but creating a bigger problem (depression). That's why I just wanted off and didn't want to slow down, but I'll wait for the 150mg to level out before I go to 75mg. If I want to get it right I have to be patient. I went through many things before landing on Seroquel. I was so relieved to be sleeping well that it took me a while to notice the depression creeping up on me. I will never go back on it, I would rather go through trial and error all over again than feeling depressed making it impossible to start the day on a positive note. The physical withdrawal is a nightmare too, I woke up sweating but freezing at the same time, no panic as I drifted off to sleep. I don't know which is better or worse. I took an 1/8th (37.5mg) just to see if it would take the edge off. When it did I was so frustrated that I just can't wait to be off it completely. I'm on Wellbutrin and Cymgen for depression/anxiety so I really didn't appreciate feeling depressed all over again. I know sleep is important to keep everything at bay as well, but I am going to remain hopeful that I will still be able to sleep well once completely off Seroquel

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@wickedbillie

Hi @lisalucier and to be completely honest. I don’t deal with them. They control my life. I have to let them pass. CBT helps relive them a bit, Xanax helps as well, but ultimately I just have to let them work their course. And my apologies I’ve been calling you Lucy instead of Lisa. They are far worse than the mild bipolar affective disorder. It’s just hard when you get them at work and I’m in the middle on a consultant with a person and I just freeze. It’s like all the energy and personality just drains away.

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I'm sorry to hear how bad your panic attacks can still get. Can I ask what you do when it happens? I know i had to be taught tools to get me out of my head, out of panic mode, and bring me back to try and calm down. Even so, it's exhausting, but it's a lot less exhausting if you can catch it before it escalates too far.

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@njp1013

Rehab centers love scaring people to attract patients and collect insurance money and probably use fake personas on some forums to do it. Read about ‘the florida shuffle’.

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We have a physician’s assistant in the family who echos your words, Billie. See a reputable doc who is affiliated with a well known local hospital.

Liked by njp1013

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I am finding this book helpful:
The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge
(Brain Fitness Program featured on PBS)

Also: SELF TALK by Aston Sanderson
We often get stuck, replay the negative: Practice self love!

Liked by lb512020

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@lisalucier i think they do know when I am having one, which is great. I was diagnosed with type 2 bipolar. Was on lithium for 10 years and they took me off due to my kidneys. I have hyper manic moment and depression. But the depression is the worst part. Most people love my hyper manic moods. The panic attacks mostly happen at night, but mostly they are controllable. I have ended up in ER a couple of times but that was when I first started getting them but now I know it’s not a heart attack. But hay things could be worse for me. I have to look on the bright side

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@wickedbillie

@lisalucier i think they do know when I am having one, which is great. I was diagnosed with type 2 bipolar. Was on lithium for 10 years and they took me off due to my kidneys. I have hyper manic moment and depression. But the depression is the worst part. Most people love my hyper manic moods. The panic attacks mostly happen at night, but mostly they are controllable. I have ended up in ER a couple of times but that was when I first started getting them but now I know it’s not a heart attack. But hay things could be worse for me. I have to look on the bright side

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@wickedbillie – thanks for the background on your diagnosis with bipolar 2 and your lithium treatment. Have your kidneys improved since you quit taking it?

Do you take a medication that helps prevent panic attacks?

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@highserotonin30

This is a low dose. I've been on it for a few months. Is it safe to quit taking it cold turkey? It's for insomnia and depression. I take it alongside 30 mg Lexapro and 100 mg trazodone.

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Did you ever successfully get off the meds? I’m struggling and I’ve been on 50mg for 2 weeks and I didn’t take it last night is it ok you think?

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@tness360

Hello everyone I am new around here!
I am a 20 y/o male and when I was 7 years old I was put on Quetiapine. I believe it was for anxiety or something but I do not remember much of my childhood. Anyways fast forward to now and I have been taking Quetiapine for 13 years and I don't even know why I am taking it. I am currently taking Quetiapine 50mg ER once a day at 5:30-7pm each day. My doctor tried to ween me off last year around this time by cutting my down to 25mg daily for 2 weeks followed by 25mg every other day for 4 days, after that I went cold turkey. The withdrawal was okay at first but eventually I think I had a panic attack or something and was put back on it. Anyways, my question is how can I got off this drug I've been on for 13 years? Im worried about the effects on my liver and other cognitive effects such as it being incredibly difficult to wake up

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Hi the good news is you are only 20 years old. So take your time and never go cold turkey. You'll need to change to the regular seroquel. (Don't know what the dosage equivalent is – maybe your psychiatrist does.) Then you can begin with a small decrease in dose (very small) – reach stabilization, park awhile – then small cut in dose again – reach stabilization, park awhile – (you get the picture) until you're off. Listen to your body, if it's uncomfortable, you're going too fast. Nobody knows your body like you do (no doctor, no one.) Eat whole foods, exercise, and enjoy being 20. Best of Luck : )

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Hello, new here. I've been coming off seroquel for a couple of weeks now. Was able to taper 50mg at a time (starting from 300mg) with no side effects but after I got off completely, that's when the problems started. James, thanks for all of your feedback.

I've noticed something among other members that's also affecting me: I'll sleep one night and feel ok for most of the next day, then not be able to sleep the next night and lie awake with riddling anxiety. I used to have itchiness, but that went away about four days ago. Also cried a lot but that seems to have subsided. A few nights ago, I would close my eyes and have a terrible panic attack then be jolted awake and feel terrified.

I tried to use ativan to help the withdrawals for a few nights but it only worked once. I tried klonopin, 0.5mg during the last night I slept. I dont know if it helped. Also worth mentioning is that I tapered from 1.3mg of klonopin since last july and have been clean for just over a month, I did it at 0.05mg per 2 weeks, as the ashton manual says. I dont want to go back on the klonopin for fear of becoming dependent again.

Around the same time I cut the seroquel, I was also tapering paxil. I've been on the paxil, same dose, for over a week now and believe it to be stabilized.

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@jakehun

Hi All looking for advice,

On the 6th of Jan2020 i was prescribed 25mg seroquel for very mild insomnia. I took this dose for the next month and it worked a charm.

Now come 6th of Feb2020 i stopped seroquel due to lapse of my prescription, the next few days my sleep started to worsen from 6hours for two days then no sleep at all on the 9th.

I went back to my doctor about this the next day, he gave me no instructions or warnings and just prescribed the same dose of seroquel and 15mg of mirtazapine as i requested.

My sleep timeline then follows:

10th: tried to sleep with no medication whatsoever i caved at 2am and took 7.5mg of mirtazapine and was able to sleep.

11th: I slept surprisingly well for 8 hours with no medication.

12th: Slept for a maximum of 1 hour

I really do no want to be on sleep drugs anymore. But should i try and start retaking seroquel then taper off to ease the withdrawals or is it too late for that?

Im quite frighten that i have permanently ruined myself by taking seroquel after doing research on it.

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This is the same thing I'm going through. I'll sleep good one night then none at all the next. This has been happening for almost a week now. How are you coming along?

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@chrisjc

Hello, new here. I've been coming off seroquel for a couple of weeks now. Was able to taper 50mg at a time (starting from 300mg) with no side effects but after I got off completely, that's when the problems started. James, thanks for all of your feedback.

I've noticed something among other members that's also affecting me: I'll sleep one night and feel ok for most of the next day, then not be able to sleep the next night and lie awake with riddling anxiety. I used to have itchiness, but that went away about four days ago. Also cried a lot but that seems to have subsided. A few nights ago, I would close my eyes and have a terrible panic attack then be jolted awake and feel terrified.

I tried to use ativan to help the withdrawals for a few nights but it only worked once. I tried klonopin, 0.5mg during the last night I slept. I dont know if it helped. Also worth mentioning is that I tapered from 1.3mg of klonopin since last july and have been clean for just over a month, I did it at 0.05mg per 2 weeks, as the ashton manual says. I dont want to go back on the klonopin for fear of becoming dependent again.

Around the same time I cut the seroquel, I was also tapering paxil. I've been on the paxil, same dose, for over a week now and believe it to be stabilized.

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Hi, Chris and welcome. I alternated nights like you because I think after a sleepless night the body needs sleep so badly that it finally does. What worked for me was just persisting through it. I used melatonin and a bunch of other stuff to try to ease off it but eventually I just had to suffer a few nights and get it out of my system. I had the same experience as you. Everything up to the final 25 mg was fine but the last 25 mg caused the insomnia.My doctor suggested that I go back on 25 mg Seroquel to ease the insomnia and also suggested Ambien which I said no to. The insomnia eventually passes as you learn to sleep again. Basically, you "just" have to train the body to sleep. You've been so used to having it happen automatically that you've forgotten how to do it. So good habits, same bedtime, no phone blah blah. Calm mind, remind yourself that it will pass and you will sleep soon. Postpone everything you can to later and get this out of the way first. Good luck!

Liked by chrisjc

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@jh1

Hi, Chris and welcome. I alternated nights like you because I think after a sleepless night the body needs sleep so badly that it finally does. What worked for me was just persisting through it. I used melatonin and a bunch of other stuff to try to ease off it but eventually I just had to suffer a few nights and get it out of my system. I had the same experience as you. Everything up to the final 25 mg was fine but the last 25 mg caused the insomnia.My doctor suggested that I go back on 25 mg Seroquel to ease the insomnia and also suggested Ambien which I said no to. The insomnia eventually passes as you learn to sleep again. Basically, you "just" have to train the body to sleep. You've been so used to having it happen automatically that you've forgotten how to do it. So good habits, same bedtime, no phone blah blah. Calm mind, remind yourself that it will pass and you will sleep soon. Postpone everything you can to later and get this out of the way first. Good luck!

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James!! I have read every one of your messages, many times. Your feedback has been very appreciated. You had the same experience too? That's amazing. I didn't feel any withdrawals until days after my last dose of 50mg (I was using seroquel xr). I dont want to use benzos either. The anxiety and panic has been so scary for the last two weeks.

I went through my browser history to piece together a small diary from the past few days (I will keeping it updated from now on):

"On 3/10: Went to sleep at around 9pm, woke up at 7am. Felt fine until about 5pm, then it all went downhill. Anxiety and stomach issues. Benzo use that night, dont remember that night but likely ativan 1mg. I remember crying a lot that day.

On 3/12: Went to sleep at round 7pm, woke up at 6am. Benzo use was 0.5 clonazepam Felt fine until about 7-9pm, then anxiety and stomach issues persisted"

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