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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@jimhd

@heidirahk I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience with Seroquel. I would think that given the side effects you were having, your doctor should have kept you at the lowest dose until you either got adjusted to it, or stopped it. Increasing the dosage certainly was inappropriate, in my opinion. I've had reactions to meds, and the doctor had me stop taking it and changing to something else.

Six weeks is a short time to have taken a medication, along with the fast increase, so I hope that you start feeling better soon without it. Is withdrawal worse than what Seroquel was doing to you?

I took Lyrica for a month or two when I had a serious reaction to it, and I was in the hospital for 3 days. They had me stop taking it immediately.

If you still have serious problems, and your doctor doesn't call by tomorrow, I think you should go to the emergency room. The symptoms you describe shouldn't be ignored. As Jake suggested, it might be a good idea to take someone with you, or better yet, have them drive you to the closest ER.

Better to be over cautious than to delay getting help and having serious problems. In fact I would recommend going to the ER tonight, and not wait another day.

Do this for yourself. It's not a selfish or silly thing to do. When I had the reaction to Lyrica, I'm glad I went to the ER.

Jim

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Jim, I want to thank you for your caring and compassionate words. My side affects on Seroquel were hard, the withdrawal are the same except the insomnia and throwing up in the morning. I do feel like my brain is clearing. Still have tingling, burning and zapping and headaches, but they seem to be less sever. depression not as bad this morning. It is scary what these medication can do to your brain. I tried Zoloft in January, it felt like I was touching my brain to a electric fence. MY husband and I are waiting through the weekend to see if symptoms keep decreasing.
Heidi

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@sears
Yes, I suppose so. I thought (foolishly I guess) that a doctors role was to accept the responsibility of relieving a patient's suffering through diagnosis and treatment. Apparently withdrawal symptoms from medication no longer qualify for their care. I find it incomprehensible how a physician or any member of his/her staff can ignore a patient in need. Realistically, how difficult is it to contact a patient especially within a few days to a week? I believe living in the past was a much better kinder time (pre-digital/computers.)
Just my two cent opinion which sadly isn't even worth that.
Take care,
Jake

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@heidirahk

Hi I'm new to this form. I'm stopping seroquel xr cold turkey. I have only been on it for 6 weeks for depression and Anxiety. Do to a long story, we decided to try seroquel xr. We started slow because my brain is very sensitive. Started at 50mg, side affects, big headaches, buzzing and tingling in the brain. Also nauseous heartburn and no appetite. Thinking is scrambled. 2 weeks went to 100mg. Same side affects I'm
hoping these side affects should go away. I tell my doctor about them, he just looks at me. So we go up to 150mg a week ago Wednesday, by Friday huge headache, buzzing and tingling brain. Some times it feels like my brain is burning in spots that move around. Brain scrambled. Saturday morning my legs and arms are weak, start to feel sick. Same on Sunday, Monday legs and arms really weak. Call Doctor we agree to drop to 50mg. Before I can even drop to 50mg I start throwing up. Took 50mg Monday night. Threw up Tuesday morning. Stopped seroquel. I'm having withdrawal symptoms, throwing up , depression anxiety nauseous , little sleep since Monday night. Lucky I have some left over Trazadone and xanax on hand. I'm wondering if my withdrawal symptoms will lesson quicker since I haven't been on it that long. I've been waiting for my doctor to call me back. I left a note with his nurse on Wednesday to call me.
Thanks Heidirahk

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I agree with the replys you have been given. Some of us were prescribed Seroquel for different reasons. Personally, I was prescribed it specifically for insomnia. The insomnia was brought on by different reasons, I believe I went through a phase of depression which brought on insomnia which brought on anxiety. I think its important to look at the root of the problem.

I also agree that your dose seems high for someone who is sensitive to meds. 25mg is the lowest dose. I was sometimes cutting mine in half.

I do remember the beginning weeks of Seroquel being worse than the rest. Tingling, brain fog, no nausea for me though. I quit cold turkey but again this was for insomnia. It was a challenge. A couple days of not sleeping followed by weeks of slowly getting back to normal. I feel like I'm quite close to "back to normal" but have gone through couple day stretches where I just don't sleep. Or going to sleep feels foreign/un natural.

I agree with the rest that you should really be consulting with your Dr or finding a new one. Hope you are doing well.

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@jakedduck1

@sears
Yes, I suppose so. I thought (foolishly I guess) that a doctors role was to accept the responsibility of relieving a patient's suffering through diagnosis and treatment. Apparently withdrawal symptoms from medication no longer qualify for their care. I find it incomprehensible how a physician or any member of his/her staff can ignore a patient in need. Realistically, how difficult is it to contact a patient especially within a few days to a week? I believe living in the past was a much better kinder time (pre-digital/computers.)
Just my two cent opinion which sadly isn't even worth that.
Take care,
Jake

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I live in a very large city. Physchiatrists will dismiss you if you miss an appointment even after calling to reschedule. And just try to question a medication they want to give. Thank God my physchiatrist of 25 years dismissed me because I refused to take Seroquel! My new doc is fabulous. Physchs love dishing out the Seroquel. Worse than any benzo in my opinion.

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@heidirahk

Jim, I want to thank you for your caring and compassionate words. My side affects on Seroquel were hard, the withdrawal are the same except the insomnia and throwing up in the morning. I do feel like my brain is clearing. Still have tingling, burning and zapping and headaches, but they seem to be less sever. depression not as bad this morning. It is scary what these medication can do to your brain. I tried Zoloft in January, it felt like I was touching my brain to a electric fence. MY husband and I are waiting through the weekend to see if symptoms keep decreasing.
Heidi

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@heidirahk Good to hear that problems are decreasing. I've been living with tingling, burning, pins and needles in my feet since 2013. I'm glad that a headache is an extremely rare event for me.

I started taking antidepressants in 2003, but it took more than two years to find one that helped me. Some did nothing, one made me hungry all the time, and I gained ten pounds in the 6 weeks I tried it, and one made me more suicidal than I already was. I've been taking Wellbutrin since 2006, and when I felt myself slipping back into a deeper depression, my psychiatrist added Mirtazapine a few years ago.

Finding the right medication can be a real challenge, and it sometimes means trying several before landing on the right one. I wish I had kept better track of all the meds I've tried to treat the non-stop pain in my feet and now it's moving up above my ankles. I have kept a journal for a long time, and often noted the meds I started or stopped. I looked back to 2004, and started a list. Many of them I don't remember taking. I also wish that I had noted why I started or stopped them. (I do that now.) My memory has never been great, and at 70, it isn't improving, so Evernote on my phone is my external brain, along with the calendar with its notifications.

I haven't been following this conversation, so I don't know, or don't remember, the reason you're trying different medications. It can be very confusing in this digital age where there is more information about more medications for more ailments. We're bombarded with too much information (TMI), as my wife puts it. Take care. I'm pleased to know that you have a husband at your side.

Jim

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Hello,

I am hoping to get some advice here on the difference between withdrawal symptoms and recurrence of the problems that landed me on this drug in the first place.

I was on 300-250 of Seroquel for several years. This was prescribed for psychotic depression and intrusive thoughts OCD. I have had no signs of OCD or psychotic depression for many years and my Psychiatrist has encouraged me to lower my dose of seroquel (I am remaining on Wellbutrin despite the depression not being around for a long while too). Lowering it makes me feel much more awake and I've been told I'm 'glowing' and 'present' by friends and family since decreasing. In the last year I have decreased from 200 to 100. My challenges are coming now that I have decreased to 75. This is obviously a larger decrease percentage-wise so I was expecting some difficulty but this seems to be intense. I am finding that I am forgetting everything, I am very agitated and have had several arguments since lowering (something that I almost never do). I also feel like I have to talk a lot, like I can't shut up and have 'faster/racing' thoughts. I decreased my dose almost 2 weeks ago.

I've read (somewhere- I truly can't remember so not sure how reliable the source) that the increase in the number of dopamine receptors that comes with taking seroquel can take months to stabilize after a decrease (the same as with drug addicts). Does anyone have experience with tapering and remember how they felt? I always feel really weird at first but overall it's better and I haven't felt quite this badly for this long.

I am confused as to weather this is a withdrawal issue or not because these signs are not like my OCD in many ways but they do have similar 'loud' thoughts (as in rather than letting something go in a conversation I become a bit more sassy) and I feel a lot less chill than normal.

Anything you may have to share on your experience of decreasing your dosage is much appreciated.

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@longtermchanges

Hello,

I am hoping to get some advice here on the difference between withdrawal symptoms and recurrence of the problems that landed me on this drug in the first place.

I was on 300-250 of Seroquel for several years. This was prescribed for psychotic depression and intrusive thoughts OCD. I have had no signs of OCD or psychotic depression for many years and my Psychiatrist has encouraged me to lower my dose of seroquel (I am remaining on Wellbutrin despite the depression not being around for a long while too). Lowering it makes me feel much more awake and I've been told I'm 'glowing' and 'present' by friends and family since decreasing. In the last year I have decreased from 200 to 100. My challenges are coming now that I have decreased to 75. This is obviously a larger decrease percentage-wise so I was expecting some difficulty but this seems to be intense. I am finding that I am forgetting everything, I am very agitated and have had several arguments since lowering (something that I almost never do). I also feel like I have to talk a lot, like I can't shut up and have 'faster/racing' thoughts. I decreased my dose almost 2 weeks ago.

I've read (somewhere- I truly can't remember so not sure how reliable the source) that the increase in the number of dopamine receptors that comes with taking seroquel can take months to stabilize after a decrease (the same as with drug addicts). Does anyone have experience with tapering and remember how they felt? I always feel really weird at first but overall it's better and I haven't felt quite this badly for this long.

I am confused as to weather this is a withdrawal issue or not because these signs are not like my OCD in many ways but they do have similar 'loud' thoughts (as in rather than letting something go in a conversation I become a bit more sassy) and I feel a lot less chill than normal.

Anything you may have to share on your experience of decreasing your dosage is much appreciated.

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@longtermchanges Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

It does sound like you are having major behavior changes and this can impact your life negatively.

You said that you decreased your dose 2 weeks ago. Have you consulted with your provider regarding these new withdraw symptoms? Maybe 100 is the dose you should stay at, maybe it will take awhile for your body to stabilize with the decrease, maybe your provider can prescribe you a medication that can lessen your withdraw symptoms, etc.

Members like @jimhd @heidirahk @lickitysplit @rew4946 @sears have discussed this topic in the past and may be able to offer support. May I ask if you have scrolled through to see the past posts?

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@erikas

@longtermchanges Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

It does sound like you are having major behavior changes and this can impact your life negatively.

You said that you decreased your dose 2 weeks ago. Have you consulted with your provider regarding these new withdraw symptoms? Maybe 100 is the dose you should stay at, maybe it will take awhile for your body to stabilize with the decrease, maybe your provider can prescribe you a medication that can lessen your withdraw symptoms, etc.

Members like @jimhd @heidirahk @lickitysplit @rew4946 @sears have discussed this topic in the past and may be able to offer support. May I ask if you have scrolled through to see the past posts?

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Thank you. I have scrolled their comments. Although some have mentioned that they experienced withdrawal symptoms, I am looking for a thorough description of what withdrawal symptoms were like for them. Less about physical aches (as I am luckily not experiencing those) and more about how they felt

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@longtermchanges

Thank you. I have scrolled their comments. Although some have mentioned that they experienced withdrawal symptoms, I am looking for a thorough description of what withdrawal symptoms were like for them. Less about physical aches (as I am luckily not experiencing those) and more about how they felt

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As @erikas. said, I've commented in the past, because I tried to cut back on my Clonazepam, from 1mg to .75mg. Clonazepam is a benzodiazepine that I have taken for anxiety for 16 years. I soon went back to 1mg after a week, because I couldn't sleep. I wasn't tapering long enough to have noticed other side effects. My pcp wants me to stop taking it because I also take an opioid painkiller, but I really don't want to stop taking something that's doing what it's supposed to.

Whenever I want information about such things, I do a Google search. Maybe you've done that. I tend to be OCD about researching my meds and my ailments.

How long were you at 100? Is it your idea to stop taking it, or is a doctor wanting you to? I've read from others here that it can take a year or more to taper in micro doses. If it's a pill that you can cut, perhaps you could lower it by just 10 at a time. Many people have found that they have to stay at each dosage level for a long time, as in 1-3 months. If you felt as good as you described, you might talk with your doctor about staying at 100.

I also take Wellbutrin, since 2005, and a few years ago I was feeling more depressed consistently, and my psychiatrist added Mirtazapine. I recently started Cymbalta for neuropathy pain. It hasn't reduced the pain, but I have so much more energy, and have been more productive than I've been for years.

I'm sorry you're feeling so bad. I hope that you will soon be "glowing and present", however it works out.

Jim

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@mrsminniemouse

Thanks for the comments. We emailed the psychiatrist who had prescribed the drug. She advised halving tablet for one month. Then taking quarter of a tablet for a month. Only on 25mg so the dose was quite small I guess. Been on half dose for 5 nights and no problems so far.
Sending strength to you all. X

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Did you cut a 50mg in half? I am having the hardest time falling asleep with out 50mg of Seroquel. When I cut the pill in half to 25mg I can not fall asleep and I have Bi-Polar 1 and I’m afraid of getting manic. Thank You

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