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 all,

I thought members in this thread talking about getting off of quetiapine (Seroquel) might be interested to know that Mayo Clinic Connect has opened up a brand new group dedicated to COVID-19, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/covid-19/. The hope is to help members connect and cope during these unprecedented times.

Please follow the COVID-19 group by clicking on +Follow, look at the discussions there and participate. You are also welcome to start a new discussion on any COVID-19-related topic you'd like to discuss.

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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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I went back on a low dose of seroquel, roughly 50mg. It worked well. But I kept having to increase it until last night when it stopped working. Today I think I took about 150mg but it's not working. I fear I'll have to go through withdrawals again, I'm asking my parents for support. I can not go through it again alone. The first time was horrible.

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@chrisjc

I went back on a low dose of seroquel, roughly 50mg. It worked well. But I kept having to increase it until last night when it stopped working. Today I think I took about 150mg but it's not working. I fear I'll have to go through withdrawals again, I'm asking my parents for support. I can not go through it again alone. The first time was horrible.

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What does your do doctor say about this?

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@chrisjc

I went back on a low dose of seroquel, roughly 50mg. It worked well. But I kept having to increase it until last night when it stopped working. Today I think I took about 150mg but it's not working. I fear I'll have to go through withdrawals again, I'm asking my parents for support. I can not go through it again alone. The first time was horrible.

Jump to this post

Hi, @chrisjc – sounds like a good idea to ask your parents for support in trying to taper off quetiapine (Seroquel). I know from my personal experience it's helped me to tell my husband, especially, when I've tapered off or gone on a medication where I think there's any chance my reactions/behavior might change. He's then been able to understand me better and also let me know if anything seems amiss.

I did have trouble when tapering off citalopram (Celexa) years ago and had to ask my husband to take me to urgent care. It's not easy going on and off many antidepressants or antianxiety medications.

Have you had the chance to talk to your parents yet? If so, what did they say?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @chrisjc – sounds like a good idea to ask your parents for support in trying to taper off quetiapine (Seroquel). I know from my personal experience it's helped me to tell my husband, especially, when I've tapered off or gone on a medication where I think there's any chance my reactions/behavior might change. He's then been able to understand me better and also let me know if anything seems amiss.

I did have trouble when tapering off citalopram (Celexa) years ago and had to ask my husband to take me to urgent care. It's not easy going on and off many antidepressants or antianxiety medications.

Have you had the chance to talk to your parents yet? If so, what did they say?

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I've been staying with them for a week now, I wasn't able to take care of myself.

I went off the Seroquel again a week ago and for a day or so it was fine. Then a lot of withdrawal came on. Primary ones being nausea, anxiety, crying, weakness/fatigue. Minor ones are/were palpitations, tingling in my fingers, itching, nasal congestion, hot/cold flashes, tired eyes and strange vision.

Nausea is the worst, it keeps me from eating anything normal and ramps my anxiety into the red. A few nights ago it progressed to dry vomiting at night. First night was mild, only two spells. Second was worse and last night was debilitating, spent all night throwing up an empty stomach. No more than three hours of sleep. A couple of nights ago I had a severe headache that put me down, but the next one was a milder headache.

There is some good news: The restless leg syndrome is gone, head acne is very mild (was bad for years). Falling asleep is not difficult, I was able to sleep 5 hours until the recent vomiting kept me up. Otherwise was able to crash at about 7pm. Three days ago I felt completely normal for half the day, then had a headache and that messed everything up. And yesterday for about 4-5 hours I felt healthy and had an enormous appetite, ate my first real meal. My stomach has been growling for the last few days.

My parents have been supportive, gave me a room to sleep in and companionship. There's one cat I get along with, my little brother, and the neighborhood is nice enough to walk in the park for exercise. There's very few people there due to the recent health scare.

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@chrisjc

I've been staying with them for a week now, I wasn't able to take care of myself.

I went off the Seroquel again a week ago and for a day or so it was fine. Then a lot of withdrawal came on. Primary ones being nausea, anxiety, crying, weakness/fatigue. Minor ones are/were palpitations, tingling in my fingers, itching, nasal congestion, hot/cold flashes, tired eyes and strange vision.

Nausea is the worst, it keeps me from eating anything normal and ramps my anxiety into the red. A few nights ago it progressed to dry vomiting at night. First night was mild, only two spells. Second was worse and last night was debilitating, spent all night throwing up an empty stomach. No more than three hours of sleep. A couple of nights ago I had a severe headache that put me down, but the next one was a milder headache.

There is some good news: The restless leg syndrome is gone, head acne is very mild (was bad for years). Falling asleep is not difficult, I was able to sleep 5 hours until the recent vomiting kept me up. Otherwise was able to crash at about 7pm. Three days ago I felt completely normal for half the day, then had a headache and that messed everything up. And yesterday for about 4-5 hours I felt healthy and had an enormous appetite, ate my first real meal. My stomach has been growling for the last few days.

My parents have been supportive, gave me a room to sleep in and companionship. There's one cat I get along with, my little brother, and the neighborhood is nice enough to walk in the park for exercise. There's very few people there due to the recent health scare.

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@lisalucier @chrisjc Not trying to tell you what to do, but I come from an extended family of people with mood disorders, many who are self-medicating with alcohol (one who literally drank himself to death). My own son was on and off with his meds and then stopped taking them altogether. He has been an alcoholic for many years. He started drinking about age 18 and he is now 35 and living on the streets. I have not seen him in over a year and a half and have no idea where he is so please understand when I stress that your Seroquel situation REALLY concerns me. I have been on and off various psych drugs for 30 years and I know it can be a hellish experience.

What about the doc who prescribed this for you, has he been of no help? I have gone off and on Seroquel, various doses, sometimes tapering, sometimes just going off, depending on the dose. I don't like the med because of my weight and Diabetes. My doctor has ALWAYS given me another medication to take in addition to the drug I am tapering off of to ease the withdrawal symptoms and then sometimes switched me to another drug or just did not replace it. Just curious if you are going off of this drug on your own because you don't like it or if you are working with or have consulted a physician who is competent to deal with mood disorder meds. I know many of these medications have terrible side effects and some definitely are addictive and all should be tapered off, but have you considered that you need to talk to a doc about an alternate medication? Please don't play with this type of med on your own. It can be very dangerous! I am fortunate in that for the past many years, I have had a PC Doc who is well versed in mood disorders and medications as he is a sufferer and also had a daughter who ended her own life. He is much more accessible than psychiatrists sometimes are. Finding a PC doc willing to treat mental health is rare though. Please be cautious and keep us up to date on your progress.

I'm so glad that your family is in this with you! My family has saved my life many times when I was unable to function.

Liked by Ellen

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@lisalucier

Hi, @chrisjc – sounds like a good idea to ask your parents for support in trying to taper off quetiapine (Seroquel). I know from my personal experience it's helped me to tell my husband, especially, when I've tapered off or gone on a medication where I think there's any chance my reactions/behavior might change. He's then been able to understand me better and also let me know if anything seems amiss.

I did have trouble when tapering off citalopram (Celexa) years ago and had to ask my husband to take me to urgent care. It's not easy going on and off many antidepressants or antianxiety medications.

Have you had the chance to talk to your parents yet? If so, what did they say?

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@lisalucier May I ask, did you receive competent and acceptable treatment from the urgent care or did they just give you some anti-anxiety meds and refer you to your primary or a psychiatrist. I only ask because over my 35 years of dealing with Bipolar Disorder, Severe Depression, ADHD, anxiety, etc. I have found that the ER is the absolute worst place to go. It freaks them out. They usually have no clue how to deal with the situation and often put you in a locked room for hours until they decide. I don't know about your location, but Arizona has terrible public mental health resources. I have taken my son to the ER many times when he was having symptoms only to be surrounded by security guards and have someone from the psych ward come out and tell us they have no beds and give him a lecture like he was a child assuming his issues were due to substance abuse. I'm sure insurance was an issue also in the way the treated him.

Early in my journey, when my insurance stopped covering psych drugs leaving me in very bad shape, I was referred to our local mental health agency, SAMHC. They were absolutely unhelpful. The receptionist kept trying to ask me without coming out and saying it if I was suicidal. About 15 minutes into the discussion, I screamed out "NO, I'M NOT GOING TO KILL MYSELF. I JUST NEED HELP!" I have never been ushered into a private room so quickly in my life. Guess what the man I talked to told me? Go to such and such emergency room and they will take care of you at our expense. I went to the ER, waited 6 hours to see a doctor who didn't really understand why I was there, spent 10 minutes with me, prescribed me Xanax (which only increased my depression), and sent me on my way. Shortly thereafter, I received a bill for $500 and SAMHC was nowhere to be found. Needless to say, I was not happy and I will never again go to the ER or Urgent Care when I am suffering in this way. Maybe hospitals and Urgent Cares in other states do a better job, but here it is a terrible, insulting and unhelpful. I hate to be so negative about this. I am normally much better at keeping a balanced perspective, but I feel very strongly about this based upon several experiences. FWIW, I have also had doctors tell me ER is a bad idea for mental health issues. Thus, I am very interested to hear about your experience.

Liked by sundance6, Ellen

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Why are doctors so quick to prescribe Seroquel and Effexor? From what I read on here these are horrible meds. It seem these two drugs in particular make everyone miserable. And they say Benzos are bad!

Liked by ILoveDoodie

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@sears

Why are doctors so quick to prescribe Seroquel and Effexor? From what I read on here these are horrible meds. It seem these two drugs in particular make everyone miserable. And they say Benzos are bad!

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I had a psychiatrist that was working together with my PC doc put me on Effexor, and that was the end of the co-treatment situation. My doc didn't want me on Effexor because of other meds I take and because of my risk for high blood pressure. The psych took me off of Seroquel because of my diabetes and the increased appetite side effects. 😂 It's a difficult path to walk, I know.

Liked by sears

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@ilovedoodie

I had a psychiatrist that was working together with my PC doc put me on Effexor, and that was the end of the co-treatment situation. My doc didn't want me on Effexor because of other meds I take and because of my risk for high blood pressure. The psych took me off of Seroquel because of my diabetes and the increased appetite side effects. 😂 It's a difficult path to walk, I know.

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Be happy for whatever reason you weren’t able to take these poisons.

Liked by ILoveDoodie

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@ilovedoodie

@lisalucier May I ask, did you receive competent and acceptable treatment from the urgent care or did they just give you some anti-anxiety meds and refer you to your primary or a psychiatrist. I only ask because over my 35 years of dealing with Bipolar Disorder, Severe Depression, ADHD, anxiety, etc. I have found that the ER is the absolute worst place to go. It freaks them out. They usually have no clue how to deal with the situation and often put you in a locked room for hours until they decide. I don't know about your location, but Arizona has terrible public mental health resources. I have taken my son to the ER many times when he was having symptoms only to be surrounded by security guards and have someone from the psych ward come out and tell us they have no beds and give him a lecture like he was a child assuming his issues were due to substance abuse. I'm sure insurance was an issue also in the way the treated him.

Early in my journey, when my insurance stopped covering psych drugs leaving me in very bad shape, I was referred to our local mental health agency, SAMHC. They were absolutely unhelpful. The receptionist kept trying to ask me without coming out and saying it if I was suicidal. About 15 minutes into the discussion, I screamed out "NO, I'M NOT GOING TO KILL MYSELF. I JUST NEED HELP!" I have never been ushered into a private room so quickly in my life. Guess what the man I talked to told me? Go to such and such emergency room and they will take care of you at our expense. I went to the ER, waited 6 hours to see a doctor who didn't really understand why I was there, spent 10 minutes with me, prescribed me Xanax (which only increased my depression), and sent me on my way. Shortly thereafter, I received a bill for $500 and SAMHC was nowhere to be found. Needless to say, I was not happy and I will never again go to the ER or Urgent Care when I am suffering in this way. Maybe hospitals and Urgent Cares in other states do a better job, but here it is a terrible, insulting and unhelpful. I hate to be so negative about this. I am normally much better at keeping a balanced perspective, but I feel very strongly about this based upon several experiences. FWIW, I have also had doctors tell me ER is a bad idea for mental health issues. Thus, I am very interested to hear about your experience.

Jump to this post

I guess I was very Lucky! When I was diagnosed with all of the above 25 years ago, my PC got me connected with the right mental doctor. Together they worked out a drug regiment for me that we all monitored together! Insurance covered it all. Yes there were some very Hard Times, but with their help and that of a friend I made it through it all. Over the years we have chaged drugs a couple times, if a new drug had less side effects, but I guess with age and research I have learned to understand our illness better!
This last year and a half I came down with Lyme Disease! If you want to through the "Wrench" into the pile, that was it.
I was give so many different drugs to help cure my symptoms it was scary! But as I said because of age and research and past experience I was able to ID when I was going over an edge or things were not correct!
It's my feeling that we are the only ones that can understand our body!
We need to understand what our bodies/mind is telling us.
You'd be surprised the number of doctors I fired right to their face! This coming from a 73 year old who was always taught never to doubt your doctor!
As you said Please stay away from ER and UC. The only time I will go to either now is when they wheel me in unconsious!
Best of Luck and my thoughts and prayers are with you!
Sundance (RB)

Liked by ILoveDoodie

REPLY
@sundance6

I guess I was very Lucky! When I was diagnosed with all of the above 25 years ago, my PC got me connected with the right mental doctor. Together they worked out a drug regiment for me that we all monitored together! Insurance covered it all. Yes there were some very Hard Times, but with their help and that of a friend I made it through it all. Over the years we have chaged drugs a couple times, if a new drug had less side effects, but I guess with age and research I have learned to understand our illness better!
This last year and a half I came down with Lyme Disease! If you want to through the "Wrench" into the pile, that was it.
I was give so many different drugs to help cure my symptoms it was scary! But as I said because of age and research and past experience I was able to ID when I was going over an edge or things were not correct!
It's my feeling that we are the only ones that can understand our body!
We need to understand what our bodies/mind is telling us.
You'd be surprised the number of doctors I fired right to their face! This coming from a 73 year old who was always taught never to doubt your doctor!
As you said Please stay away from ER and UC. The only time I will go to either now is when they wheel me in unconsious!
Best of Luck and my thoughts and prayers are with you!
Sundance (RB)

Jump to this post

I have now been dealing with these issues for over 30 years, and I also feel I finally believe I have a handle on it. I know I will make it through the night even if I'm freaking out. When I first started taking mood disorder meds tricyclic anti-depressants were the only option. I almost lost my mind taking Imipramine, and Desyrel made me so depressed and sleepy. With so many new drugs now available, I have by trial and error found a combination that is not perfect but keeps me a functional human being without major swings. I don't think there is a perfect situation when so many brain chemicals out of whack, but I am functioning well now for the most part rather than closing my drapes and sleeping for days on end or becoming so anxious I was unable to sleep at night. I take it all in stride, but I have a difficult time watching young people or those who are just starting out struggling. So many people play with these dangerous meds on their own, and that's so dangerous. I know from experience!!!! Also, let's face it, as of now, trial and error and symptom descriptions are the only way to diagnose and medicate these conditions. Yes, I have confronted ER docs and nurses as well as clueless docs, especially when it comes to my loved ones or other vulnerable people.

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@sears

Be happy for whatever reason you weren’t able to take these poisons.

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I am still taking a tiny dose of Seroquel (50mg) at night to help me sleep because of anxiety and aches and pains that keep me awake, but this will be a discussion at my next appointment on Monday. I hope the doc is prepared. For some people, I believe it is a good and maybe the only option, but I would never as a doc choose it as the first line of defense without experimenting with the zillions of other drugs now available.

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@sundance6

I guess I was very Lucky! When I was diagnosed with all of the above 25 years ago, my PC got me connected with the right mental doctor. Together they worked out a drug regiment for me that we all monitored together! Insurance covered it all. Yes there were some very Hard Times, but with their help and that of a friend I made it through it all. Over the years we have chaged drugs a couple times, if a new drug had less side effects, but I guess with age and research I have learned to understand our illness better!
This last year and a half I came down with Lyme Disease! If you want to through the "Wrench" into the pile, that was it.
I was give so many different drugs to help cure my symptoms it was scary! But as I said because of age and research and past experience I was able to ID when I was going over an edge or things were not correct!
It's my feeling that we are the only ones that can understand our body!
We need to understand what our bodies/mind is telling us.
You'd be surprised the number of doctors I fired right to their face! This coming from a 73 year old who was always taught never to doubt your doctor!
As you said Please stay away from ER and UC. The only time I will go to either now is when they wheel me in unconsious!
Best of Luck and my thoughts and prayers are with you!
Sundance (RB)

Jump to this post

One more thing, some doctors and other health professionals do need to be confronted. They need a wakeup call to remind them that they are in the business of healing and helping. I should not say this, but I confronted a Mayo ER doc when I was in Phoenix. I have chronic pain and anxiety, so when I went in with a sharp pain in my back on the right side, the nurse looked at my history and blew me off. The doc came in and said, well, nurse so and so tells me that there is no need for any labwork as this seems just to be an extension of your chronic pain. I said to him, "Are you in the habit of accepting the nurse's judgement as final and not bothering to examine patients yourself." You should have seen his face. He then reiterated that she was very knowledgable and that he trusted her opinion, but he did then examine me himself. Turned out I had Shingles. Shingles often start on the right side of the back and are very, very painful. So I got some drug and pain pills and went on my merry way.🙄

This is not to condemn Mayo or any of the other docs and therapists I worked with who were very helpful and professional, but who knows what notes are now in my record from that encounter. It's both good and bad when a doc has access to your entire medical record by clicking a button. Sometimes it is helpful, but other times it removes their ability to be objective when assessing a patient.

Liked by sundance6, swift

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@chrisjc

I've been staying with them for a week now, I wasn't able to take care of myself.

I went off the Seroquel again a week ago and for a day or so it was fine. Then a lot of withdrawal came on. Primary ones being nausea, anxiety, crying, weakness/fatigue. Minor ones are/were palpitations, tingling in my fingers, itching, nasal congestion, hot/cold flashes, tired eyes and strange vision.

Nausea is the worst, it keeps me from eating anything normal and ramps my anxiety into the red. A few nights ago it progressed to dry vomiting at night. First night was mild, only two spells. Second was worse and last night was debilitating, spent all night throwing up an empty stomach. No more than three hours of sleep. A couple of nights ago I had a severe headache that put me down, but the next one was a milder headache.

There is some good news: The restless leg syndrome is gone, head acne is very mild (was bad for years). Falling asleep is not difficult, I was able to sleep 5 hours until the recent vomiting kept me up. Otherwise was able to crash at about 7pm. Three days ago I felt completely normal for half the day, then had a headache and that messed everything up. And yesterday for about 4-5 hours I felt healthy and had an enormous appetite, ate my first real meal. My stomach has been growling for the last few days.

My parents have been supportive, gave me a room to sleep in and companionship. There's one cat I get along with, my little brother, and the neighborhood is nice enough to walk in the park for exercise. There's very few people there due to the recent health scare.

Jump to this post

P.S. My son was also on Seroquel for quite some time, but he played with it and kept cutting his tablets in half and not being consistent. I don't blame the Seroquel, but his actions contributed to his further downfall.

Liked by swift

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