3rd week off of quetiapine - the insomnia is driving me crazy.

Posted , 7 users are following.

I was prescribed 50 mg of Seroquel nightly for insomnia back in May. When I took it as prescribed that night, I was out for 10 hours straight. My husband says he got our dog on the bed and I didn't even react. I don't like sleeping with our 140 lbs Great Dane, so I usually tell him to get off the bed. Anyway, I had to go to work the next morning, and it was a nightmare. My speech was slurring, my hands were violently shaking, and I couldn't remember my co-workers names. On top of that, I was so drowsy, I became agitated about driving myself back home in that state. The drowsiness went away around 4 pm and at that point I was a crying mess, because I was so scared of the side effects. I contacted my doctor right away and she told me to cut the tablet in half and take it an hour earlier the following night, which I did and experienced a full blown insomnia where I maybe slept 2 hours in total. Since then, I had been taking 12.5mg - 25 mg on a nightly basis to help me sleep due to my anxiety issues. And for the first month or so, it did help. The drowsiness never went away, although it wasn't as acute. After about a month, things gradually went downhill. By the end of my " treatment" I had nights when I slept maybe 1 hour. After taking it, I would experience restless arms and legs, constant need to be moving, muscle twitching every 2 minutes and that was at 12.00am in the morning. I would stay up all night, and then have to go to work feeling like I want to crawl out of my skin. After coming to work, intense anxiety would overcome me and last a couple hours. I would start experiencing panic attacks, too. So I decided to stop Seroquel, as it was making my insomnia way worse than it was before. I am on my third week off of it and have the following withdrawal symptoms: insomnia, intense muscle pain, headaches, diahrrea, irritability, and restlessness, depression. Paradoxically, my mind is clear and I have less anxiety. My question is: has anybody here successfully withdrawn from Seroquel, and if so how long did it take for this annoying insomnia to go away? I am also seeing a clinical psychologist, specifically for insomnia and anxiety. And she told me that the withdrawal symptoms shouldn't last more than 2 weeks. I can deal with any symptom, but the stupid insomnia. It's killing me to stare at the ceiling each night and be exhausted next morning. If anyone finds it helpful, here is my withdrawal timeline:

Day 1: 4 hours of sleep, headaches, chills, hot flashes, diahrrea.

Day 2: 8 hours of sleep on benadryl, anxiety.

Day 3: benadryl stopped working, 2 hours of sleep, diahrrea.

Day 4: 7 hours of broken sleep, anxiety.

Day 5: 7 hours of broken sleep, intense depression, suicidal thoughts.

Day 6: 7 hour of broken sleep , anxiety, headaches.

Day 7: 3 hours of sleep, diahrrea.

Day 8: 7 hrs of sleep, depression, anxiety, muscle pain.

Day 9: 4 hours of sleep, diahrrea.

Days 10, 11, 12, 13,14: 7 hrs of light broken sleep and I don't complain, headaches.

Day 15: 4 hours of sleep, diahrrea, depression, muscle pain.

Day 16: 7 hours of somewhat solid sleep, muscle pain.

Day 17 ( today): 3 hours of sleep, diahrrea, depression, restless legs, headache.

Thank you for reading my long post. I will try to update it soon on how my recovery is going.

2 likes, 9 replies

9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi mariia07820

    We note from a recent post which you have made to our forum that you may be experiencing thoughts around self-harm. If we have misinterpreted your comments then we apologies for contacting you directly. But if you are having such thoughts then please note that you are not alone in this, and there are people out there that can help.

    If you are having these suicidal thoughts then we strongly recommend you speak to someone who may be able to help. The Samaritans offer a safe space where you can talk openly about what you are going through. They can help you explore your options, understand your problems better, or just be there to listen.

    Their contact details are on our patient information leaflet here: https://patient.info/health/dealing-with-suicidal-thoughts, which also offers lots of other advice on how you can access the help you may need.

    If you are having such thoughts then please do reach out to the team at the Samaritans (or the other people detailed in our leaflet) who will understand what you're going through and will be able to help.

    Kindest regards


  • Posted

    I was took off quetiapine last year and put on a different antipsychotic so never had withdrawal symptoms maybe this is what's needed for u I'm prescribed for bi polar but medication never worked and was in hospital for 6 weeks to wean me off abilify and back on quetiapine (seroquel) but like you if I miss even just one night I can't sleep and in morning after having little sleep feel as if been up all night and feel dreadful I'm on 500mg of it 350mg at night and 150mg my advice would be too ask to get put on something else too help with withdrawal symptoms 

    • Posted

      Tracey, thank you so much for your support!

      I was put on Seroquel mainly for sleep (I'm not bipolar), after Lunesta, Temazepam, Xanax, and Trazadone stopped working. I contacted my gp and asked her to give me something to cope with this annoying Seroquel withdrawal insomnia and her response was that currently there's no medication to help with that. Well, thank's a lot for telling me this after the fact.

      Seroquel used to help me sleep at a low dose, but not anymore, and I don't want to keep bumping up the medication. So, I decided to get off of it. Honestly, I feel I am better off without it. But I am glad it works for you!

    • Posted

      I took diazepam for withdrawal when I stopped quetiapine, it definitely helped.
  • Posted

    I have recently withdrawn from Seroquel having taken it for 4 years or so. The insomnia was horrendous at first alongside other unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, I persisted and it's not totally resolved now 3 months after being totally off the drug but is very much better.

    • Posted

      KRMe, thank you for your input. It's really valuable for me, because I am trying to figure out how long I will be dealing with the insomnia. There are good nights and bad nights for me right now. I am glad you are off of this not so pleasant drug. Good job and thank you for your support!

  • Posted

    HI Mariia

    I just read your post and posted mine.  I only took Q for 3 days but found that my heart rate went up.  Do you think this is possible side effect so soon.  I have heard terrible things about this drug and I am happy I came off it. I hope they can find another med for my anxiety and insomnia. Hope you are doing ok.


    • Posted

      Hi Jo,

      I'm not a doctor, but increased heart rate could very well be a side effect of quetiapine. I know someone whose ankles got swollen after a couple of days of taking it. It's a scary drug that I haven't touched since I got off of it.I still struggle with insomnia. Hopefully, it gets better for you.


      PS. I found that Mirtazapine works very well for my anxiety. And it keeps me motivated after sleepless nights. It's supposed to help with sleep, so maybe give it a shot?

  • Edited

    I'm so glad I have found this thread !! I have been taking Seroquel 100mg twice a day for about 18 months now. i feel constantly drugged and sleep most of the time. My weight has also BALLOONED !! I have been weaning slowly off it for 6 months now. Started with half a tablet twice a day for 5 months, then a quarter twice a day, then just 25mg at night for 2 weeks then a week ago I just STOPPED. Within 2 days I had severe abdominal pain, headaches, crying and dark thoughts. I feel much better in the head now but the severe abdominal pain and diarrhea just won't stop !!! I've had strange shivers, nausea. Even though I take 1 x stillnox XR 12.5mg at bedtime, I have hardly slept. The abdominal pain is like being in labour. All I can say is I am glad to be getting off this awful drug !! How long did it take you for all these awful withdrawal symptoms to stop? I was on it as a mood stabiliser after a very bad traumatic event. I also have pins and needles in the fingers and hands. I hope this doesn't last much longer 😦 thanks in advance, Lisa.

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