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?

I was on Seroquel for a year and went against my doctors advice about quitting cold turkey because I couldn’t handle the side effects anymore. The withdrawal symptoms subsided within a week. It was not a good drug for me.

Liked by Parus

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@lisalucier

Hello, @sqnomore – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I trust that being a part of this large thread on getting off Quetiapine (Seroquel) will be helpful. If you click VIEW & REPLY, in the email notification, you can scroll back through the past and recent posts. Sounds like @kwilder01 may have the challenge of sleep during a Quetiapine (Seroquel) taper in common with you, and @derryman @jakedduck1 @mxyzptlk and @mrsminniemouse may also have some feedback on dealing with sleep loss from the taper and how to maintain sleep quality.

Are you having trouble falling asleep, @sqnomore, or mainly just awakening much earlier than you'd like?

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I have been on Seroquel almost continually since the late 1990's.
I am trying to get off. My issue has been terrible psychiatric treatment. I am on Medicaid in a rural area. Twice this past year alone I have had to endure "forced" withdrawal due to not being able to contact my psychiatrist when I've had Medicare issues at the pharmacy.
I'm going through withdrawal right now.
I've developed metabolic syndrome, including diabetes. I have no "support" for a taper or even just getting access.i am in s new community, btw. Never had such issues in the past. Im not complaining ingame, but I really need support of some kind to deal with this

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@meinmississippi

Hi! I'm new here and hope that this post is still relevant. I have been on various doses of Seroquel for over ten years. I have bipolar disorder. This drug has caused me to gain 100 pounds over that time. In October of last year I started feeling not so great and was having abdominal pains. My glucose was 225 (I was not diabetic that I knew of, although I was told about a year prior to my health decline that my glucose was "a little elevated.") and my liver enzymes were twice the normal range as well. I was referred to gastroenterology. In December I had an EGD done which showed food still in my stomach after 13 hours of fasting. I then had a gastric emptying test which confirmed gastroparesis. This is a non-curable disease usually brought on by diabetes–which I got diagnosed with in October after my labwork. My glucose levels kept rising even with oral medications, and I was in the ER several times for glucose levels of 450-500. I was put on two types of insulin in March and by then my glucose levels would not come out of the high 200-300 range even with the insulin. My liver enzymes went up to triple the normal range as well. I knew Seroquel could cause both these symptoms. I told my psychiatrist I needed off of this drug. He put me on a taper that I think is too fast. I was on 400mg. He decreased me to 200mg for two weeks and then 100mg for two weeks and then discontinue. One time he took me off cold turkey, and I was awake for 48 hours straight so I got back on it. I also tried stopping it once myself and was up for 72 hours straight. But the funny thing here is that with that 200mg decrease my glucose levels are back in the 100's with one reading at 133. I know that is still high, but I imagine it will normalize once I'm Seroquel free. I haven't had numbers below 200 since I started checking it at home in October. But to think I was put on two insulins and now have an incurable disease all because of Seroquel. I'm also going through some withdrawal with terrible anxiety, feeling like I cant breathe, and having trouble sleeping. I am going to do my taper slower than my doctor has prescribed, as I have some refills of 25mg tabs he prescribed for me to take during the day as needed for anxiety before I asked to be taken off of it. I think he is taking me off way too fast seeing as I've been on it over 10 years. He has no clue about the withdrawal from Seroquel–it is no joke. If I knew then what I know now I'd of never taken this demon drug. I was inching closer and closer each day to going into a diabetic coma. After ten years this drug suddenly turned on me. The weight gain was enough, but the glucose and liver distress is ridiculous and dangerous.

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I've been on it more than 20 yrs, I think.
I am experiencing metabolic syndrome at it's worst, finally, too.

I am not anti medication, but I am serious this time about getting off. I do not have medical or psychiatric support. I can't get calls returned from my psychiatrist's office. I haven't been able to find a counselor in nearly two years. I became permanently disabled three years ago due to lithium toxicity.
Good luck to you.

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@liz67

I've been on it more than 20 yrs, I think.
I am experiencing metabolic syndrome at it's worst, finally, too.

I am not anti medication, but I am serious this time about getting off. I do not have medical or psychiatric support. I can't get calls returned from my psychiatrist's office. I haven't been able to find a counselor in nearly two years. I became permanently disabled three years ago due to lithium toxicity.
Good luck to you.

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Sorry to hear about your difficulties. Whatever the case, you have to treat your diabetes. If you need insulin, take it. Explore the low carb diet because it actually works to reverse diabetes if you cut your carbs enough. I know because I'm on it.

If you stop your meds, you may have a relapse of your disease, whatever it is. It sounds like you need a basis of support before you go any future. Don't withdraw on your own, it could be disastrous.

Hope you can find some face to face help in your community.

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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I've been on 200 mg Seroquel at HS, tapered down to 75, sometimes only 50. Then 25 then 12.5. It took me almost a year. After 3 weeks on the lowest dose I could get down to, I stopped taking it. I have rapid thoughts that repeat. I'm a night owl. Tested at a sleep center,etc. Seroquel forces my brain to shut up. UNTIL I went off it. For weeks I had the repeated thoughts and…speaking them out loud. I could stop when around people. But alone, no, I was telling myself to shut up. Awful cycling that I've never had in past. So I had to go back on Seroquel for sleep! The daytime chatter stopped. I'd tried other sleep meds. I'd wake after 2 hours. My medical issues aren't off the charts. Depression, anxiety, (on Xanax low dose, thanks doctor. Now I get to detox off it too!) Doctor did not tell me Seroquel would do this to me. She did tell me after 5 years on Xanax that rules have changed (class med)so no more Xanax. I changed doctors. I want off Seroquel, puts pounds on you, you're blood work will be messed up. It raises your bad and lowers the good. Ups your blood sugar too. Main reason for this post is if you start talking to yourself more than normal, we all do a bit, but really bad cannot stop, it's cus you went off Seroquel. I wasn't manic, or having an OCD episode. I'm now self taught about all this and my new MD will help me get off it. I'm nearly 70. Too old to be dealing with this but, I have to. As we all are trying to do. Thanks for reading.

Liked by Leonard

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@cameo009
I hope you are able to get off this medication if you don’t really need it to control serious mental health issues. There are many sleeping medications with far fewer side effects. One problem is doctors are prescribing powerful medications to elicit a side effect in the case of Seroquel drowsiness. Some medications have bad reputations because of serious side effects and have nicknames, Seroquels is SEROKILL. The Anticonvulsant Topamax is well by its nickname DOPEAMAX. Some doctors even call it that. I’d prefer seizures over that crap.
Just because people get a prescription doesn’t mean they have to accept it or get it filled. If your not familiar with a drug check it out first. You have to take care of yourself, no one else cares as much as you do, or should. Good luck with your taper.
Jake

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@lisalucier

Hi, @lla2019 – how is the taper going so far? Are you experiencing any side effects?

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Update on total withdrawal from Seroquel. It has been three weeks since taking my last seroquel. I tapered down slowly…… dropping the dose by half every 10 days. I have been on the drug from January to March. My highest dose was 500. I had major emotional swings the first two days……. than itching all over including my scalp. Bendryl helped with that. At three weeks I still have muscle fatigue. which is getting better each day. For the first two weeks I could barely walk my muscles felt like I had concrete blocks on them including my arms. I read an article that said patients can be this week up to three weeks from their withdrawal. I seem to be following that path. They diagnosed me with Bipolar I. After doing some research I believe I had a manic episode brought on by an abrupt stoppage of Prozac. I was put on Prozac over 15 years ago for anxiety attacks. It really helped. I thought I didnt; need it any more…….. It sent me into a 10 day manic phase which I had not idea what was happening. I checked in to the hospital and they decided the manic episode was caused by Bipolar I. Even though I had not symptoms prior to the manic episode. Dr kept upping the dose………. he was clearly headed toward 800 mg when I said enough is enough. This is me on No Prozac….. No anti-Psch drugs and it is strange. Its like I have been living in a buffered down perception. AND now……… its me……… I have been even keeled and doing well. So far……..

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I've recently learned that Seroquel causes insulin resistance. Actually all atypicals do that, which is why they increase the risk for diabetes. I've been following a ketogenic diet to reduce my weight without success because insulin resistance inhibits ketosis. So the reason I'm fat is probably because of Seroquel and I will probably stay fat as long as I am on the drug. I'm also at risk of diabetes.

There is an atypical called Latuda (lurasidone) that apparently has less of an effect on weight gain. It causes no insulin resistance although it does have a slight effect on glucose tolerance. In other words, it's less likely you will get diabetes on Latuda.

Has anyone here had experience with the drug?

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Update: 7 Weeks off Seroquel: It has been seven weeks since going off Seroquel. I have experienced extreme muscle fatigue. I have also experienced gastro issues which has been problematic. I had read where 95% of neurotransmitters are in your gut…….so it makes sense this is happening. I have been even keel with my moods which supports my theory that I am not bipolar but had a manic episode brought on my cold turkey stopping of Prozac after 15 years at 800 mg. Not the smartest thing I have ever done. Once in a great whie I will have an itchy feeling which Benedryl helps. Not bad like it was when I first went off.

Liked by Lisa Lucier, Leonard

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@lla2019

Update: 7 Weeks off Seroquel: It has been seven weeks since going off Seroquel. I have experienced extreme muscle fatigue. I have also experienced gastro issues which has been problematic. I had read where 95% of neurotransmitters are in your gut…….so it makes sense this is happening. I have been even keel with my moods which supports my theory that I am not bipolar but had a manic episode brought on my cold turkey stopping of Prozac after 15 years at 800 mg. Not the smartest thing I have ever done. Once in a great whie I will have an itchy feeling which Benedryl helps. Not bad like it was when I first went off.

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@Ila2019
Hi
“manic episode brought on my cold turkey stopping of Prozac after 15 years at 800 mg.”
I believe you meant to say 80mg not 800.
Congratulations on getting off Seroquil. Although it can be helpful in certain patients, in my opinion (which doesn’t matter) it is over prescribed.
Did you stop the Seroquil slowly?
Jake

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I have been off Seroquel since April 21st. While my mind is clear I am experiencing some serious depression. I am also experiencing heaviness in my legs when I walk. It has gotten to the point where I am not able to walk very far………even grocery shopping without stopping or cutting it short. I am debating as to ask my dr to put me back on Prozac which I was on for 17 years. I went off Prozac cold turkey…… and it caused a manic episode which put me in the hospital. The dr (who I have no faith in) diagnosed me off that manic attack as being bipolar even though I have never shown any signs of Bipolar. I did research on it and the data out there supports his diagnosis………… One manic attack is all it takes when taking an antidepressant…… the data indicates that if you have a manic attack while being on or going off an antidepressant indications are that you are bipolar. There has been very little study about going from a Prozac withdrawal into a full manic episode as a result of the withdrawal. The studies have stated there is not enough research on this to base an conclusion on. I believe that is what happened to me. But now………..here I am……. with this depression hanging over me……not being able to shake it. Some days it is worse than others. I am going to my family doctor on Tuesday………. I do not think the answer is going back on another drug. I want to get through this by myself…….. I stopped going to my psy dr because I truly felt he did not have my best interest. I hesitate to go to another dr because every drug that is out there has side effects that I don't want to be exposed to. Prozac worked for me…….but it was as if I had cotton around my emotions and brain….. I never felt anything……or dealt with it……… It allowed me to not become overwhelmed with the events at the time. I do not know what to do. If I ask my family dr to put me back on Prozac I believe she will. Do I really want to go down that path again.

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Hi, I’m also new here and was brought to this thread by my own search about Seroquel and the withdrawal process. I was on Seroquel for about 5 years for bipolar disorder. Like most people, I started off on 100mg, was increased to 200mg, before finally getting on my dosage of 300mg. Unfortunately, my husband started working for a new company in July 2019 and with it our insurance at the time expired. Our new insurance wouldn’t kick in until September 1st so I took my last dose of Seroquel on July 29th. I know that it is not wise to stop taking this medication abruptly, but I had no choice. Seroquel is very pricey without insurance. Thankfully I haven’t had any manic or depressive episodes. It’s now been almost 60 days since I stopped taking the medication, but I’m still suffering with daily nausea. How long is this supposed to last?

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@kwilder01

Does anyone have any ideas of ways to deal with the withdrawal symptoms of Seroquel holistically to help with the nausea and other side effects of difficulty sleeping and anxiety? I really don't want my son going on any more prescribed meds. He has no quality of life because of vomiting for the last 3 days due to discontinuing Seroquel.

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@kwilder01 I hope your son has been over the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. I know your post is from April, but have you tried melatonin to help with the sleeping difficulties? It seems to help me a little. I’ve no idea as to the nausea as I’m dealing with the same issues

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@malloryrene

Hi, I’m also new here and was brought to this thread by my own search about Seroquel and the withdrawal process. I was on Seroquel for about 5 years for bipolar disorder. Like most people, I started off on 100mg, was increased to 200mg, before finally getting on my dosage of 300mg. Unfortunately, my husband started working for a new company in July 2019 and with it our insurance at the time expired. Our new insurance wouldn’t kick in until September 1st so I took my last dose of Seroquel on July 29th. I know that it is not wise to stop taking this medication abruptly, but I had no choice. Seroquel is very pricey without insurance. Thankfully I haven’t had any manic or depressive episodes. It’s now been almost 60 days since I stopped taking the medication, but I’m still suffering with daily nausea. How long is this supposed to last?

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Hi, @malloryrene – that is sure a hard place to be to not have insurance to cover an expensive medication for a bit and feel forced to quit. Good to hear you have not had any manic or depressive episodes, but the nausea daily sounds difficult to deal with.

Wanted to suggest you might check out this thread on bipolar https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/bi-polar-issues

I also wanted to invite members in this thread like @lla2019 @jakedduck1 @brucerwilson @cameo009 @sqnomore @kwilder01 to return to this discussion to offer any insights they have on how long the nausea resulting from stopping the quetiapine (Seroquel) may last.

Is your nausea constant, malloryrene, or does it come and go throughout the day?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @malloryrene – that is sure a hard place to be to not have insurance to cover an expensive medication for a bit and feel forced to quit. Good to hear you have not had any manic or depressive episodes, but the nausea daily sounds difficult to deal with.

Wanted to suggest you might check out this thread on bipolar https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/bi-polar-issues

I also wanted to invite members in this thread like @lla2019 @jakedduck1 @brucerwilson @cameo009 @sqnomore @kwilder01 to return to this discussion to offer any insights they have on how long the nausea resulting from stopping the quetiapine (Seroquel) may last.

Is your nausea constant, malloryrene, or does it come and go throughout the day?

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@lisalucier the nausea comes and goes throughout the day. When I wake up in the morning the nausea is immediately there. I don’t actually vomit, but I do gag as if I will vomit any minute.

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