How can I support my girlfriend who has to come off Seroquel?

Posted by hsteven83 @hsteven83, Sat, Aug 1 3:45am

My girlfriend has borderline personality disorder and agoraphobia. Anxiety makes it hard to sleep. She’s been taking 200mg Seroquel for a couple years now and has stopped seeing her new doctor because of a rushed appointment and reluctance to renew her prescription. The doctor suggested therapy, but she’s been told twice now that she needs a specialist that we can’t afford or find in our area. She has only a couple days left of Seroquel and will be experiencing withdrawal without medical supervision, which for her will mean insomnia, mood swings, depression, outbursts, and suicidal thoughts. I need to help her to manage the withdrawal symptoms without another medication.

@hsteven83, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. As you know, discontinuing Seroquel (quetiapine) suddenly is not recommended. It is generally advised to discontinue gradually.

Here is another discussion where you can learn more about the experiences of other members.
– Getting off of Seroquel https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/seroquel-withdrawal/

@anniegk @jh1 @jimhd @chrisjc and others members may have some thoughts and experience to share with about what you can expect and how you can help manage your girlfriend's withdrawal.

HSteven, is it possible to contact the doctor or your girlfriend's pharmacist to get an "emergency" prescription so that you have enough to slowly taper?

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You really need to help your girlfriend find a new doctor ASAP. Go to the ER, whatever you need to do. This is a very hard drug to get off if. Don’t even consider cold turkey.

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@sears

You really need to help your girlfriend find a new doctor ASAP. Go to the ER, whatever you need to do. This is a very hard drug to get off if. Don’t even consider cold turkey.

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There's no way I can get her to go to the ER in the middle of a pandemic. Anxiety's too high. Even if I could get her another Dr immediately, which would still have to wait until Monday, it would be at least a couple weeks before I could get her an appointment. The one doctor she saw before that she really liked doesn't take Medicaid, so I would have to cancel which would take almost another week.

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@hsteven83 Is there a behavioral health facility or crisis hotline you can call for help?

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@hsteven83

There's no way I can get her to go to the ER in the middle of a pandemic. Anxiety's too high. Even if I could get her another Dr immediately, which would still have to wait until Monday, it would be at least a couple weeks before I could get her an appointment. The one doctor she saw before that she really liked doesn't take Medicaid, so I would have to cancel which would take almost another week.

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@hsteven83 you may consider calling the pharmacist who filled the last prescription. They may be able to provide pills to bridge the time until she can see a professional.

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The only behavioral health facility I know of here bent the rules to allow an appointment without going through new patient procedures. She was trying to get a recent PTSD diagnosis for medical marijuana, but couldn't bring herself to go. It took a month to get the appointment. My appointment was on Thursday, and I got my diagnosis, but it takes 2 weeks to process the application. I know I'm not supposed to share, but in an emergency like this…. Anyway, I decided to continue therapy, but my next appointment is over a month away. They can't do anything quicker than that. She would also have to see a therapist first, then schedule an appointment with a psychologist. Idk about a crisis hotline, but I can look into it tonight.

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@colleenyoung

@hsteven83, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. As you know, discontinuing Seroquel (quetiapine) suddenly is not recommended. It is generally advised to discontinue gradually.

Here is another discussion where you can learn more about the experiences of other members.
– Getting off of Seroquel https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/seroquel-withdrawal/

@anniegk @jh1 @jimhd @chrisjc and others members may have some thoughts and experience to share with about what you can expect and how you can help manage your girlfriend's withdrawal.

HSteven, is it possible to contact the doctor or your girlfriend's pharmacist to get an "emergency" prescription so that you have enough to slowly taper?

Jump to this post

Walmart pharmacy won't do anything without a doctor's approval, and her doctor is new and lacks understanding of mental health issues. Her last appointment, she didn't even refill her prescription. I had to call and she did, but she was insistent that she schedules an appointment in a month, and my girlfriend didn't make it to that one, because she feels like the doctor doesn't care. I'm gonna call on Monday and explain to her nurse that she just needs one more perscription to ween herself off, but I'm not hopeful.

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Idk if another pharmacy would help having never served her before, but I can make some calls and see what happens.

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@hsteven83

There's no way I can get her to go to the ER in the middle of a pandemic. Anxiety's too high. Even if I could get her another Dr immediately, which would still have to wait until Monday, it would be at least a couple weeks before I could get her an appointment. The one doctor she saw before that she really liked doesn't take Medicaid, so I would have to cancel which would take almost another week.

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Yes you can get her into the ER. If she starts having horrible withdrawals it would be imperative. They’ll be able to help until you get her doctor thing figured out. You can’t let her go cold turkey!

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Based on what you said, she stopped seeing the doctor on her own accord? It sounds like she’s angry with the doctor because he suggested therapy and/or a specialist? She needs to manage her anger and paranoia somehow and taper off slowly if that’s what you want to do. There will be insomnia but it’s manageable with mindfulness and a good attitude, as well as human support. It doesn’t sound to me like she has the right mindset to do a seroquel taper right now. The taper is very slow and takes about 3 weeks for 200 mg. I’d recommend trying to keep her on the meds until you can find a qualified psychiatrist. If she needs to stop cold turkey, good luck with that and she won’t die or anything but it won’t be easy.

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It was a former therapist and a doctor that she really liked who told her she needs a specialist. She's angry, because she had to fight the anxiety and agoraphobia to see a doctor who rushed the appointment and gave the impression that she doesn't care. All she needs is for the prescription she's been taking for years to be renewed, and the stress of keeping appointments, the embarrassment of missing appointments, and the hopelessness of seeing a therapist who can do nothing for her is too much to bear. There's only two things she has found to help: Seroquel and weed, and I haven't been coming through with the green.

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I did actually get her to agree to a therapy appointment this morning, but it will only help if they can get her a psychiatrist today, because her medication runs out tonight. She took half a dose two days in a row to make that happen, and it's been a really rough weekend.

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Sympathies. Anxiety is difficult but I really don’t think that seroquel and marijuana are good treatments (I am not a doctor). They are both temporary and addictive. The panic she is experiencing from potentially not having access to seroquel or marijuana is actually the problem, and not the withdrawal effects from seroquel, of which insomnia is probably the worst side effect for many. I don’t understand why a doctor would use seroquel to treat anxiety since it’s an atypical antipsychotic. If she were psychotic, weed should be the last thing she should be touching in my opinion. But like I said, the main withdrawal of seroquel is insomnia and it won’t kill her. To me, her main problem is that she’s convinced herself that she needs chemicals to function. While this may be true at the moment, it’s probably not viable in the long run unless he condition is chronic. It sounds to me like a change of attitude through therapy would be good as well.

Liked by sears

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@hsteven83

I did actually get her to agree to a therapy appointment this morning, but it will only help if they can get her a psychiatrist today, because her medication runs out tonight. She took half a dose two days in a row to make that happen, and it's been a really rough weekend.

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If she doesn’t see a doctor today she needs to go to the ER. You can’t let her start withdrawal. That would be inhumane.

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I know many doctors and facilities are doing telehealth appointments because of Covid-19 and most take insurance. They may provide payment options as well. There are also many providers that do 24/7 appointments. It's a great option for those with high anxiety during this time.

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