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?

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@tgjmstew

Great question. I believe I have all the bases covered. I have a great support group, a therapist weekly, a psychiatrist, an internist, an addictions specialist , and I just went through a 5 week intensive out patient program. I am ready and really, really want to do this. I have never used street drugs, I don’t use alcohol either. I merely followed my docs advice, and have ended up dependent on these. I do take Effexor ER as an anti depressant, and I understand and know I will need this for a long time for my major depression ( this is my 2 Nd one besides two postpartum depressions). I’m praying I can do this. I truly wish I had never started them with the exception of Effexor. Sometimes I wonder if it is causing the sleep problems.

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It sounds like you have a great support system in place. I'm sure its very comforting and reassuring to have people to lean on and help guide you through this. I have found sleep depravation the hardest thing to navigate so far in life. There's just no escaping it. In my younger years when I had life issues I used to love to escape it by sleeping it away. Bedrooms/bed for me have always been a comforting place to escape tough times. I like to think I'm very tolerant to most other things like aches, pains, cuts and bruises. I can usually ignore pain type things. There's also comfort in knowing with an injury that it will heal over time and get better. Insomnia has shown me a whole new level of un-comfortability that you simply can't ignore or "tough it out". You can't work harder to beat it or out muscle it.

Back to getting off Seroquel. For me, understanding that I this is going to cause insomnia for a couple of days was really beneficial. It helped me prepare for it and helped me mentally understand that this is "normal". I feet it was important for me to sleep but not too much, I wanted my body to be tired in the evenings. I started planning for quitting Seroquel about a week before I quit. I had been trying to cut my dose down from 25mg to 12.5 with varying results. Some days I slept, some days I'd be up until 4:00am – 5:00am. So during the week before quitting I took my 25mg pill, slept well and got my body in a comfortable rested state. I stopped Seroquel on a Sunday evening knowing that I would be going into my work schedule meaning up at 6:00am. There is nothing worse than being up and awake at 4am on a Saturday with nothing to do and no where to go. I have a wife and a 10 year old and 12 year old. I can't really do anything or make any noise. Anyway the first Sunday I quit, I had a bunch of TV shows and movies saved to watch incase I was awake all night which I was. I think I ended up going to work around 4:30am for something to do.

The next day I didn't really know what to expect. I hoped I was going to sleep but wasn't sure. I found out around 11:30pm sleep wasn't coming that night when I felt totally wide awake. I didn't want to risk another night of no sleep as I've found the more sleep deprived I get the more stressed my body gets which results in not sleeping. That night I took 12.5mg Seroquel. Being as exhausted as I was I did find some decent sleep. The days after that it only got better. 3-4 hours of broken sleep the next night and slowly got better as the week went on.

The important message hear (for me anyway) is knowing what to expect. Which is what I found extremely beneficial about this forum. I'm not out of the woods yet as there have been some bumps in the road like a couple days ago but I'm still making progress.

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Day 25 update. I think everything went ok. I found myself laying in bed wondering if I was going to sleep again. After I calmed my worries I fell asleep. I did wake up at 5:30am thinking my alarm went off again until I got up and saw that it hadn't. Another early day at work.

All and all a good night I think.

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Last night was a good night for sleep for me. Ill bet maybe 4 hours good sleep? The days are really hard still but pulling through. All kinds of crap just keeps coming back in my mind all day meaningless stuff. Being alone I just say stop, it helps for a bit . My projects are taking forever due to cant stay focused enough to complete things in order right now. The good is things are getting completed over time. Seroquel did keep my mental state good and no doubt about that. Seroquel is not going to be available forever and neither are the ones who prescribed it. For what never reasons. Cant take that chance anymore playing up and down with healthcare. All I can do is keep praying.

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@lickitysplit

I have no experience with Klonapin so I can't comment there. Are you currently trying to stop taking Seroquel? Are you experiencing any withdrawal affects? For me, I was totally unaware of the withdrawal affects of Seroquel. Both the doctor and pharmacist told me it was non habit forming and I would be able to cycle on or off it with no issues. This caused me alot of frustration and confusion as everytime I tried to go off of it I wouldn't sleep for that night. Then of course I'd take it again the next night so I could sleep. I talked to my doctor about every 3 weeks over the course of 4 months. I asked him repeatedly if there was any problems stopping Seroquel. He told me no. At this point I was thinking I had some sort of underlying condition causing the insomnia. I had a bunch of blood work and it all came good.

It wasn't until I found this forum and reading other peoples experiences getting off Seroquel that I started understanding that coming off of Seroquel can cause (in my case does) cause insomnia. I tried to describe my experience the best I could to help others in my position understand that what they are feeling could very well be common. I think I started writing about 3 – 4 pages ago in this thread.

If you are trying to get off Seroquel and are finding that your not sleeping now this is also what I experienced (others as well). @rew4946 is also coming off long term Seroquel.

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Doctors flat out lie about these meds. They have very limited resources as to what they can prescribe as benzodiazepine and sleep meds have fallen out of favor.

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I am on day 26 100% prescription/drug free after being on 300mg Seroquel for the past 8 or so years. Seroquel did work well for me back in the day until I started seeing health issues from the use of it. ( un-reversible health issues) I have been on about every medication known over 30 years. I started cutting pills in half six months ago and continued cutting doses every few months. My sleep had already gone to around two hours per night. It is 4 am and I slept good for a few hours but wide awake once again. This drug will have effects for many months and maybe years after you stop long term usage. My medical coverage has come and gone to many times leaving me with no medications ( I was told I could never stop taking Seroquel by many doctors) to many times to keep playing games with prescription drugs. If you use Seroquel for sleep your problems have just started with this dangerous drug. Everyday I am dealing with mania, mind running in circles, confusion and other crazy problems since I stopped using it. Each morning i get up, have a list of things top do, Clean house, work in yard, wash car, paint and anything that keeps my mind and body busy. Great example: installing a garage door, This took several weeks of trial and error. Then the garage door opener, week and a half. Very proud I was able to complete and is perfect. I normally would finish a project like this in a few days or less. I do fine as long as I am doing something even though I wonder in and out of the project but I am completing the projects. I cant let my mind sit idle or it starts to run in circles. Many people will disagree with the way I am stopping this Seroquel or drug therapy. I have been to so many doctors, clinics etc. over the past 30 years with nothing but drugs and more drugs. Also high blood pressure and body fat is going away now so I am sticking with the plan that is working so far.. Before Seroquel I never had any of these issues I have now. Stay busy and avoid many of these issues and avoid being around others until your mental state is better. Seroquel will make you sleep but in the long run it will be a dirt nap. Take it one day at a time.

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@rew4946

I am on day 26 100% prescription/drug free after being on 300mg Seroquel for the past 8 or so years. Seroquel did work well for me back in the day until I started seeing health issues from the use of it. ( un-reversible health issues) I have been on about every medication known over 30 years. I started cutting pills in half six months ago and continued cutting doses every few months. My sleep had already gone to around two hours per night. It is 4 am and I slept good for a few hours but wide awake once again. This drug will have effects for many months and maybe years after you stop long term usage. My medical coverage has come and gone to many times leaving me with no medications ( I was told I could never stop taking Seroquel by many doctors) to many times to keep playing games with prescription drugs. If you use Seroquel for sleep your problems have just started with this dangerous drug. Everyday I am dealing with mania, mind running in circles, confusion and other crazy problems since I stopped using it. Each morning i get up, have a list of things top do, Clean house, work in yard, wash car, paint and anything that keeps my mind and body busy. Great example: installing a garage door, This took several weeks of trial and error. Then the garage door opener, week and a half. Very proud I was able to complete and is perfect. I normally would finish a project like this in a few days or less. I do fine as long as I am doing something even though I wonder in and out of the project but I am completing the projects. I cant let my mind sit idle or it starts to run in circles. Many people will disagree with the way I am stopping this Seroquel or drug therapy. I have been to so many doctors, clinics etc. over the past 30 years with nothing but drugs and more drugs. Also high blood pressure and body fat is going away now so I am sticking with the plan that is working so far.. Before Seroquel I never had any of these issues I have now. Stay busy and avoid many of these issues and avoid being around others until your mental state is better. Seroquel will make you sleep but in the long run it will be a dirt nap. Take it one day at a time.

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Congratulations on your strength and perseverance! I only took it for a few months at much lower dosage. I realize now what a mess I avoided!
Thank you for your story and keep healing.

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@rew4946

I am on day 26 100% prescription/drug free after being on 300mg Seroquel for the past 8 or so years. Seroquel did work well for me back in the day until I started seeing health issues from the use of it. ( un-reversible health issues) I have been on about every medication known over 30 years. I started cutting pills in half six months ago and continued cutting doses every few months. My sleep had already gone to around two hours per night. It is 4 am and I slept good for a few hours but wide awake once again. This drug will have effects for many months and maybe years after you stop long term usage. My medical coverage has come and gone to many times leaving me with no medications ( I was told I could never stop taking Seroquel by many doctors) to many times to keep playing games with prescription drugs. If you use Seroquel for sleep your problems have just started with this dangerous drug. Everyday I am dealing with mania, mind running in circles, confusion and other crazy problems since I stopped using it. Each morning i get up, have a list of things top do, Clean house, work in yard, wash car, paint and anything that keeps my mind and body busy. Great example: installing a garage door, This took several weeks of trial and error. Then the garage door opener, week and a half. Very proud I was able to complete and is perfect. I normally would finish a project like this in a few days or less. I do fine as long as I am doing something even though I wonder in and out of the project but I am completing the projects. I cant let my mind sit idle or it starts to run in circles. Many people will disagree with the way I am stopping this Seroquel or drug therapy. I have been to so many doctors, clinics etc. over the past 30 years with nothing but drugs and more drugs. Also high blood pressure and body fat is going away now so I am sticking with the plan that is working so far.. Before Seroquel I never had any of these issues I have now. Stay busy and avoid many of these issues and avoid being around others until your mental state is better. Seroquel will make you sleep but in the long run it will be a dirt nap. Take it one day at a time.

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Congratulations on coming off Seroquel. May l ask what is the un-reversible health issues you now have as l am slowing coming off the drug. Thank you.

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@mizmaui444

I've been on 100 mg for 4 years. Although it has worked well as a mood-stabilizer and kept me off drugs and alcohol, I hated the morning brain fog. I tried to taper off too quickly and had horrible side effects – deep depression, head-aches, total loss of energy and of course insomnia. I am now back up to 50 mg after going from 100 to 50 to 25 to zero in a week. I feel I have to go much slower this time. I'll prob do 50 / 25 every other night for a month, then 25 every night for a month, then 25 / zero every night for another month so we are talking very very slow. It was no problem going from 100 to 50 at all. That's why I guess I kept going so rapidly. There's something that happens when you get to those lower doses like it's almost more intense of an effect. I hope that helps! A

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How did this work for you?

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@sharon1962

Congratulations on coming off Seroquel. May l ask what is the un-reversible health issues you now have as l am slowing coming off the drug. Thank you.

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Sad so many health issues are happening now, Diabetic, eye sight no longer adjusted by glasses but ok sometimes, not other times., hearing is becoming a new issue, Loss of teeth from grinding teeth over the years really bad. Real sleep about two hours at most over for around four years now. unbelievable energy with eyes open as far as a golf ball all the time. Never sleepy even at bed time until Seroquel taken. Maybe I would fall asleep. It has been around one year since I started reducing my dose from 300mg to around 30mg, One month now off this stuff completely with severe brain fog and mind is running wild off and on, I never had these kind of problems before Seroquel. Anyway the toxic experiment is over for me right now with no medications. It is one tough road but medications were surly not the solution to my problems way back. I guess medication was a good way to fog up parts of the brain rather than working with a counselor or phycologist to solve the problem instead. All I can do now is try to find things to keep busy mentally. I am taking one day at a time, One thing for sure, I can move around hundreds of pounds of equipment or materials and never even get tired or worn out, Unbelievable energy and strength surprises me. I am only 160 pounds now. I lost around 30 pounds. I see why I was told so many times I can never stop taking Seroquel. Go to AstraZeneca website and read the four of five pages of dangers of this medication, This should be a must read and not someone telling interpretation of some parts of it. Take care all.

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So sorry about what these doctors have done to us.

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