50% dose reduction too quick? Experiencing withdrawal, advice needed.

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi there, I was wondering if anyone could help me. I've been on Sertraline for 1 and a half years now, and for the most part they've been very effective at treating my anxiety & panic disorder, OCD and most of my depression symptoms. I started on 50mg every day for 6 months from last June, but to make it through the winter months when my SAD is usually rife, I requested to stay on them for another 6 months. After wanting to see how I felt without them, I then started my taper with 50mg every 2 days for 6 weeks, 50mg twice a week for 6 weeks and then 50mg once a week for a month. The taper was successful, and I didn't experience many side effects or withdrawal symptoms, other than a few mood swings and sleep problems. I could even cry again! Which I know that sounds silly, but was such a relief, after often feeling neutral, apathetic or numb whilst taking this medication. But it was only until I halved my dose to 25mg to take twice a week for a month and then once a week for a month (my last dose I took this Monday, I'm told I can stop now completely) that I've experienced some unpleasant symptoms. The past few days I've been panicking a lot, I've felt sick, had prominent headaches, felt depersonalized, it feels like I'm having a relapse. I have a feeling this dosage reduction has been too fast and too much, as some of these symptoms go away after I take the tablet again.

I've read into a lot of discussions and promising success stories regarding the 10% taper method, but none seem to talk about how many times you should take the reduced dose a week, or what to do if you aren't able to acquire a liquid form of the medication. 

Am I simply overthinking this? Will these symptoms disappear over time? Should I go back to my original dose and taper much slower? If anyone can share any information or personal experience with regards to this topic, I would very much appreciate it, as this is quite a scary position to be in, especially when doctors can't or don't want to offer you any extra help/coping methods for whatever reason. Thank you so much in advance. smile 

0 likes, 4 replies

4 Replies

  • Posted

    Been on Sertraline for about 5 weeks now, decided to tamper off and get it completely out of my system, from 125MG dropped to 100MG for a week, 100MG to 75MG for another week, 75MG to 50MG this week... No side effects as of now, As you know everybody is different, react different and I only been only on it for 5 weeks not almost 2 years, that would make a difference, ask your doctor, next week I'll be doing 25MG. Good luck

    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your help Keith, hope everything goes well. cheesygrin^ And apologies for the late reply.
  • Posted

    A similar thing happened to me and I’ve heard other people say the same. For some reason doctors seem to be completely oblivios to these effects of withdrawal. I tapered off 50mg over 3 months and although found my stress levels rose a bit, overall I was fine until I stopped completely for 2 weeks. At this point I started having panic attacks and have had to go back on the medication and I’m still trying to stabilise. I think withdrawal takes a lot longer than doctors realise for most people. If I try to withdraw again I’m going to do it over a longer period and probably stay at 25mg for a while. Could you go back on a smaller dose if you find the symptoms lessen? Then try again if you can stabilise on that? I’ve been on Sertraline for 12 years so obviously it’s a bit different for me, so you might be able to push through this phase, but I couldn’t. Hope you find some answers. X
    • Posted

      Hi there Sarah, thank you so much for your reply. I think based on how I'm feeling I'll give it another 2 weeks and see how I feel, if it worsens or stays the same, I'll more than likely book an appointment with my doctor and see what he can recommend for me. It's frustrating that doctors just expect you to be ok with these inevitable side-effects that it seems can ultimately be reduced or prevented entirely just by tapering very slowly. I hope everything works out for you, good luck. And apologies for the late reply. smile x

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