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?

@maclodge

Hi I was put on 800 mg of quetiapine 7 years ago. Over the years I slowly got it down to 150mg. I thought things were going great so I lowered it to 100 then 50mg . I had no side affects…..then bam it's like I've hit a brick wall, feel horrendous, dizzy, depressed, very anxious and agitated 😥. I feel I need to put them back up sadly. But so want off this meds! Anyone else having a nightmare reducing ? Tia

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Miserable substance to get off
The worst !!
Weaning is ridiculous and cold turkey horrid
Glad u got down to 150 from 800 must of been hard… I’m still in antipsychotic withdrawal syndrome myself
Good luck

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@jakedduck1

@mayo337xxx
My recommendation would be to go see your physician and describe all your issues and see what his suggestions are. As long as the lithium is working I’d stick with it. I take it for a month or so to give it a good chance of working although it will probably be effective well before then.
But the question you’re asking “If I don’t take anymore when should I expect freedom”
I think that a question that nobody knows the answer to. How when and why medication works is so individualized if anyone does offer an answer I I’d be willing to guess it would be a guess at best. Personally I wouldn’t wasnt to speculate. Perhaps others will be a long who have gone through the same thing and went through a specific time of withdrawals although that won’t necessarily mean that’s how long it’ll take you to get through it.
Take care of yourself. Best of luck,
Jake

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Thanks jake !!

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@mayo337xxx

U stopped cold turkey ?
How many mg daily ?
I was on 200 daily , titrated to 50 then bottom fell out
Went cold turkey : been awake 97% of the last 3 weeks ; took 50mg 3 days ago got about four hours sleep 2 days ago 50 mg no sleep
Last night nothing ; no sleep
This is worst than opiates and benzodiazepines which are both difficult
I guess the doctor forgot to mention consequences of cessation
I hate this drug …
If I don’t take anymore when should I expect freedom

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Hello @mayo337xxx,

I just now noticed your post about titrating off of Seroquel. I see that you were on 200 mg and then titrated to 50 and then "cold turkey". I'm wondering if you talked to a pharmacist or a doctor about that titration before you started it? It seems to be a very big jump to go from 200 to 50.

It might be a good idea to talk with a pharmacist or your prescribing doctor and find a more gentle titration schedule. You should probably also ask what the period of time you should use for the entire titration process (in your post you do not say how long you were on the 50 mg before going without completely),

I hope you will begin to feel better. Will you talk with a pharmacist or doctor about titration?

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Last night is the first time in years I’ve slept w no drug. Yes I know it was too fast but I’ve tried the slow way. It didn’t work. After being awake for 4 weeks I think I know a lil bit about antipsychotic discontinuation syndrome
Ty for input

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@mayo337xxx

Last night is the first time in years I’ve slept w no drug. Yes I know it was too fast but I’ve tried the slow way. It didn’t work. After being awake for 4 weeks I think I know a lil bit about antipsychotic discontinuation syndrome
Ty for input

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@mayo337xxx
Good morning,
Well nothing like learning something the hard way. You said you tried to slow Way, I’d be curious to know how slowly you stopped it when I suggested slow I didn’t mean just slow I meant SLOOOOOOOOW. It’s true enough different people can stop at different rates but if people are having withdrawl symptoms they need to readjust their definition of what slow is for them.
I’m sorry you had to learn your lesson the hard way I hope you’re much better now and that your ordeal is over with,
Jake

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Thanks for sharing but dr didn’t want me off seroquel and after 5 years I knew it was time
I was on the “ fast path “😂
Anyhoo I suffered for my decision but I’m free
Will never put that crap in my body again
Tried several different ways / no avail
Brutal w/d… learned a lil bit about desperation
You be good

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@mayo337xxx

U stopped cold turkey ?
How many mg daily ?
I was on 200 daily , titrated to 50 then bottom fell out
Went cold turkey : been awake 97% of the last 3 weeks ; took 50mg 3 days ago got about four hours sleep 2 days ago 50 mg no sleep
Last night nothing ; no sleep
This is worst than opiates and benzodiazepines which are both difficult
I guess the doctor forgot to mention consequences of cessation
I hate this drug …
If I don’t take anymore when should I expect freedom

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The doctors NEVER EVER really discuss side effects or how horrible it will be should one decide to taper these physch drugs. And when you ask your told things like “you’d have to take insulin if you were diabetic” blah blah blah. This is why we all need to do our own research. Talk to pharmacists, google, etc. before going on these drugs. Always check what folks have to say on this site.

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@sears

The doctors NEVER EVER really discuss side effects or how horrible it will be should one decide to taper these physch drugs. And when you ask your told things like “you’d have to take insulin if you were diabetic” blah blah blah. This is why we all need to do our own research. Talk to pharmacists, google, etc. before going on these drugs. Always check what folks have to say on this site.

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@sears
Your right!!
Manufacturers research how to start & increase drugs but could care less how we get off. Maybe they don’t ever intend for us to get off.
I have been on phenobarbital for 52 years. I may be able to go off the drug on my own but I don’t think it’s worth the risk. I would definitely use a compounding pharmacy.
Jake

@mayo337xxx
I love your reply to @sears
That one word says it all
Jake

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@mcshibe

A new update:
Starting about 3-4 weeks ago, I've been skipping on the med altogether.
It's not that I successfully got off Seroquel, but simply 12.5mg felt no different than nothing at all.
Now off Seroquel (and any meds in general), I've got back to suffering anxiety and insomnia like prior to when I was put on medication.
I don't know if I'll have to second guess this decision but the reason I'm so reluctant to do so is that now I'm more aware of the problems in my life and of the urgency of a fix.
I mean that in the last years I've been accepting my situation through a good dose of denial, because I was too young and being given bad advice by my family.
Perhaps I'm at a stage where I'm demonizing meds and I shouldn't, but I can't help but think that meds have made me acceptant of a situation that should have been dealt with promptly rather than disregarded.

As for withdrawal symptoms, I don't have anything significant to report. My dose, 25mg, was pretty low to begin with. I don't even feel a noticeable change in libido.
Like I mentioned, now I'm having troubles falling asleep, and the amount of sleep I get at night is reduced to 4-5 hours, but this is just a problem I was struggling with before being on meds (also what made me look for meds back then).

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Hi back. A new update:
Since last time, I haven't really ever resorted to the medication despite still suffering insomnia.
In the last two weeks or so though, to my big surprise, I've shown some positive signs of improvement. I've been able to quite consistently fall asleep at about 3 am and to wake up at 9 am. I know it's not a perfect schedule but it may be due to me wanting to hang with friends till late rather than to restlessness.
I usually feel well rested and I haven't even being suffering nightmares for a while.
Something I've noticed is that, off Seroquel, before trying to fall asleep the first time or two, I would suddenly turn vigil and anxious, as if scared to fall asleep for some reason. I remember this happening quite often even when on Seroquel and for a while after quitting it. I would often get an involuntary and sudden movement of my leg even.
In the last days, though, I've had these "scares" reduce in intensity, and quickly allowing me to calm down and fall asleep right after.
Another very pleasurable thing was feeling drowsy, although this seems not be consistent. (I haven't felt drowsiness in the last 5-6 years except when induced by Seroquel).
I've been recently assigned a psychologist but I doubt this is a reason for my improvement as I've only had 4 appointments with them, and understandably, it's mostly been me introducing myself and my situation. In fact if I were really feeling better, I'd be less anxious, worried and depressed during the day than in the last months or years, but I'm not noticing any difference in this regard.
So really I don't know how my sleep could have improved. Perhaps my body is just getting off Seroquel but I'll leave the guessing up to who's more competent. (Like I have already said, I started suffering insomnia way before taking meds and I've always suspected that off meds I'd come back to a state of restlessness).
I can't help but hope that this is not just a lucky streak of good nights.
Also, since this is a result of me taking drastic decisions and cutting bonds, or redefining them in fairer ways, I'm also feeling a bit more entitled to make my own decisions, and as a consequence perhaps even be more positive about myself.
With this I'm not inviting everybody to question medical authority or family. In fact I'm still on fairly good terms with my psychiatrist (but not with my family). Mine is just personal experience and is pretty meaningless without enough people reporting being in a similar situation.

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Hi @mcshibe. I can't help but hear your confidence in your response. I am sure there were several factor that have contributed to your improved sleep, however, I wonder how much might be you making choices and feeling in better control of your life resulting in less stress and better sleep. Have you thought about this at all? How have your recent choices made you feel (consciously)?

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@amandajro

Hi @mcshibe. I can't help but hear your confidence in your response. I am sure there were several factor that have contributed to your improved sleep, however, I wonder how much might be you making choices and feeling in better control of your life resulting in less stress and better sleep. Have you thought about this at all? How have your recent choices made you feel (consciously)?

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Hi @amandajro.
It's difficult for me to pinpoint a cause, because I don't see any meaningful one.
It is true that I feel more confident about my decision to cut some bonds but I'm far from peace of mind, as these people weren't the main cause that I feel depressed and anxious for.
In fact I'm not feeling any less depressed or anxious than in the past. It seems that only my sleep has improved.
In any case, I'll think about it more in these days, perhaps talk to my therapist, and if I happen to have a clearer picture, I'll share it in my next update.

Something I forgot to write in my previous comment is that I've even been able to take naps during the day lately. I even seem to naturally wake up after one hour or two, without the need to set off an alarm. The last time I was able to take naps successfully was about 7 years ago, right before I'd quickly fall into depression.

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