Horrible Quetiapine Withdrawal

Posted , 21 users are following.

Hi!  Last year I was on 550 mg. of Quetipine and was rapided tapered off by an organization In Alberta, Canada.  At the same time I was also taking Gabapentin, Remeron, Zoplicone and Cortef.  Once they got me down to 200 mg. of Seroquel they had me reduce all the meds at the same time.  After being totally off all meds for three weeks, I ended up on the paych ward where they reinstated me back on 100 mg. of Seroquel and 15 mg. of Remeron.  Over the past year I have been slow tapering the Seroquel and have been going through hell ever since.  The symptoms I am having are:  chronic insomnia (no sleep most days and nights for weeks on end), adrenaline surges when I attempt to either sit or lie down and close my eyes, burning, tingling, numbness, vibrations throughout body and head, burning brain, anxiety/panic attacks, feel like I am going to lose my mind or die at any moment, sensory overload, blurry vision, feeling like head is going to explode and the list goes on.  I am now down to 32 mg. per day of the Seroquel and 15 mg. of the Remeron.  These symptoms are present with me 24/7 and they are getting worse with every drop I make in the Seroquel.  I barely sleep at all and I have lost all interest in life and am wondering if anyone else has these horrendous symptoms while taking and then withdrawing from Seroquel?  Also, I can barely leave my house as everything apprears weird, distorted and unreal.  Is this the drugs and withdrawal that is making me feel this way and will it eventually get better when I get off the drugs?  I am terrified I will stay like this forever.  Please Help Me.

2 likes, 30 replies

30 Replies

  • Posted

    Been taking it for about 8-9 years for sleep. Started at 50mg for while then 100, for couple years. Then 200. I recently got up to 400 and thought this is out of control. I am trying to taper off completly now. If i dont take it i will not sleep at all 100%. Completly awake all night and not even be sleepy the next day. Exhausted but not sleepy. Also if i try and not take it for 2 days i get extremly nautious throbbing headaches, unbelivable pressure in my head and that same burning feeling in my head. For years it was the only thing that worked for me to get me to sleep, now it does nothing feels like i really dont sleep well or deep enough but my body still needs it sucks. I am trying to do CBT to try and learn to sleep again without meds.
  • Posted

    Hi Barbara, I dont know if you have had any helpful advice from anyone, and i have never taken remeron . i have been taking quetiapine now called zaluron for years, I have tried to wean myself off it and have managed a few times,but then I have been forced back on it when I have had a traumatic happening in my life. Like when I I lost my husband to a long drawn out battle with cancer. And again when my beloved grandson was killed in a car accident by a dangerouse driver. if only I had been given councelling and therepy. but no They promised I would get it , but never did. and now I have just been labled Bipolar which I am not, I am still suffering with post traumatic stress. And now quetiapine has ravaged my body, it increases your appetite, and I now have severe Diabetes and am having to take more drugs metformin. and I now have liver damage.and they want me to take more drugs. its a downward spiral for me, And I am now consulting a private councellor who is also a qualified physician to help me to get out of this rat trap before all these toxins kill me. I am seriouse about that as just over a year ago i was rushed into hospital as i slipped into a diebetic coma and had to be ressusicated .and then taken to a sphychiatric hospital where they forced me to take this poison again along with even more stuff, i now have a severe anaphylactic to all the artificial colourings and additives in all medications. i hope this does not worry you even more. Please seek help from a therapist amd professional help from a doctor of probiotic medicine, as I am doing. . may god bless you and give you his healing hand. and his peace in your heart and joy in your heart which is the best meicine of all. Janet x
    • Posted

      Hi Janet,

      don't worry I am off Seroquel. This is good, because it causes massive weight gain. Spironolacton is important for me as it keeps my potassium level in normal range. I actually feel a lot better now thanks to Aldacton. Hope you can wean Seroquel off too one day, as it can be a very nasty drug.


    • Posted

      I have already tried several probiotics. They don't work on me. With a kidney disease one should get the prescribed medication.

  • Posted

    Hi Barbara,

    I'm coming off seroquel. My head was shaking on the pillow stopping me sleeping so I had to.

    Now I'm experiencing a lot of sleep problems seems like I'm not going to sleep again tonight. Didn't sleep yesterday. I've had these problems for a few years but they have increased in severity since reducing the drug.

  • Posted

    Hi Barbra,

    My name is Anna. I'm also tring to get off the Q because I've gained so much weight. I've been taking 200mgs for about 3or 4yrs for insomnia. I really felt great mentally but physically. I couldn't stand my weight. My appetite was out of control. About 2 weeks ago I quit taking the Q. Now I'm going through all the side effects. I have really bad anxiety,can't sleep, I itch all over, I have severe depression & anxiety, among other things. How long does it take to get over these withdrawals?

    • Posted

      Hi Annalily,

      How are you doing with your side effects now? I can’t imagine why anyone would ever prescribe Q for sleep! I have been on 450mg the last two years, and within the last month I started tapering down from 200 to 100 because the weight gain I have also dealt with. I went from being 170 - 225 in 15 months of taking the drug. Since the taper I have managed to lose 25lbs, but also can’t sleep and had the itching spells at night. My Dr. prescribed me ambien for the sleep but says not to take it until I finish the 100mg for a week. I have been taking the 100for the last couple days and feel pretty out of it. Numb, verge of crying, sluggish, yet I still have the night cravings after taking the med.  I’m praying Father God heals each person seeking guidance on this form. Lord I ask you align each persons body with the image you created it to be. I ask that your Holy Spirit even our chemical imbalances and raise our spiritual fruits so that we may live in peace, joy, happiness, and self control. Thank you for your authority in Jesus name, Amen! 

    • Posted


      Hi Anna. I recently came off of Q last week after being on the medication for eight months. I started at 50mgs and went up to 200mgs by the end. I did a short, one-month long, tapering session, but found that I wasn't able to sleep and ended up taking more throughout the night and going back to my original dose. My psychiatrist has told me for months that there aren't "true" withdrawals from Q, but there were times that I ran out early and felt like the world was caving in on me. I knew she was wrong.

      Finally, last week, I took 100mgs one night and flushed the rest down the toilet, because I knew that I would continue to take it as soon as I started to feel all the withdrawal symptoms again. In the last three months, I have come off Lithium, Lamictal, Mirtazapine, and Trazadone with no issues. I still take 0.5mgs Klonopin purely for a physical dependence; it does not alleviate any anxiety and never has. (At one point, I was on 8mgs a day, teaching full-time at a Harlem high school and going to graduate school at an Ivy League university. I was anything BUT calm or sedated.) 

      It was completely foolish of me to flush the medication down the toilet and leave myself with no other options, but I knew that if I had any, I would continue to take it and taper and take it and taper and never want to feel the full effects of withdrawal. I don't know if a taper can prevent your body from experiencing a physical reaction to a drug you've been imbibing for months. I just don't believe that to be true. 

      I went through what felt like the worst physical, mental, and psychological withdrawal symptoms that any person could possibly imagine. From 24 - 72 hours, I was hysterical, sweating, pacing, freaking out, mumbling, crying, scared of the world, could not leave my room, could not sit still, could not do anything. I felt like I was going to have to check myself into a psychiatric facility. I knew that the only solution to my problem was going to be to take more of this drug, and I had made a commitment to not give in this time and to fully experience whatever happened. I could have never imagined how bad it would be. I am 33 years old and have been through a lot of pain and suffering, both physically and mentally, and this period of withdrawals was by far the scariest and most difficult thing that I have ever endured. 

      I was alone in my apartment with no one to help or talk to. I didn't want to call anyone, because there was nothing that they could do to help, and I knew I sounded crazy. I could barely catch my breath. I thought that I would never be normal again.

      The good news is that by the morning of day five of being off, I woke up 90% normal. I didn't even feel depressed. I felt like I did before I started taking the stupid drug. All of my symptoms were gone. I was no longer crazy or in pain. I am taking Melatonin and Tylenol PM for now, because I know those are still better options than the Q. It's the lesser of two evils at this stage in the game. I am sleeping, eating normally, but still a bit fatigued from what I went through. However, I am free of it! I will never take another psychiatric drug again! I made it to the other side and now realize that it was the reason for my problems and discomfort; it caused the withdrawals; I did not have a "more severe rebound Bipolar episode." I don't believe that anymore. It was a physical process that I had to coach myself through, and so far, none of it has come back. I am stable. 

      So - I would share with you that it was about five days of complete chaos and uncertainty for me, and then I was fine and could manage again. It was the worst five days of my life, but I don't think that I could've come off of it any other way. I am still getting that stupid itching at night all over my face and chest, but it's lessening too. 

      If you can mentally prepare yourself to accept a large dose of insanity for a finite amount of time, I'd taper as much as possible and then endure the rough few days. I know that it has instilled a sense of confidence in me that I am not going to be physically dependent upon these chemicals anymore and let them run my life. I don't have to question whether a feeling, emotion, or thought is FROM a drug, a LACK OF the drug, or a disorder that I think I was hastily diagnosed with three years ago during a rough patch in my life. I can authentically go through whatever I need to and not reach to that stupid orange plastic bottle for a sense of solace that never really came. I promise that you'll get through this. Many people have been in your predicament before. You are not alone. You have the capacity to change. Trust your instincts and think logically and know that, like everything else in life, this too shall pass. Good luck!

    • Posted

      Anne.  I really needed to hear this. This is the place im at now.  I understand i have a Bipolar disorder, manic depression, adhd. Which I deal with everyday off meds. I have to push myself to be happy and find distractions like projects to keep me going.  Its better than relying on drugs I know that are not good in my opinon people... for my system.  I want to be healthy.  3 years ago I also was staying at the psch ward for 4 months under observation and drug treatment trials to see if they could somehow regulate my mood behaviours and depression.  It all was too much, when my husband said i was a walking zombie.  My mother was a drug addict our whole life, so I have always had a hate for pill popping or unnecessary taking of even an aspirin.  If i could deal with it, i tried to plow through it.  I came to realize i actually needed help and accepted the fact to take these pills to feel happy again.  My life still can seem very dark at times.  

      Ive started doing projects part time in my own tempo when i have time so that really has brought me a creative outlet and JOY? JOY!  again. Great to say i now have times i feel happy. So, after tapering myself off all these different SSRI's, and Mood stabilizers like thorazine and lithium, i was left staying on the Quetipine because everything was giving me anxiety.  I can have bad thoughts and I get worried or nervous.  Stupid thoughts like... Im afraid I wont sleep tonight.... can spark an anxiety train in my head. I do it to myself i know this. Its very psychological.  So after tapering the Q from 200 to 25 for the last year i would say ive been on 25mg but can take up to 4 pills of 100 per day.. ive been prescribed, i felt that they are a crutch having them around.  Well, unbeknownst to my dumb self, i ran out of pills the other day and i thought well... this is my chance to confront this evil.  I feel it is a trap for me, because if i dont take the seroquel, or the Qutiapine, i felt anxiety about if i didnt take it, and if i did take it i felt guilt of putting more chemicals into my body i didnt want.  I took the plunge.  The first night i went into my kitchen as usual to reach for the pills and switched the pills for Melatonin. only so i didnt feel my brain would miss having a pill. But i would have taken anything like an aspirin, i just didnt think of it.  Well idk if it was the anxiety of not taking the Q pill or it was the Melatonin, i know i slept 3 hrs and was a wreck all yesterday. I tried taking Melatonin once before and felt it kept me awake!

      Last night i hope is the start to a new life for me, after a weight gain of 45 pounds probably, we have had a long stretch of sunshine and it is summer vacation here for the kids.  I promised my son i would bike ride with him everyday.  We have been riding every other day and so far so good, even though i got really fat! being on Qutiapine, it makes you want to be sedentary!  So my status today, 2nd day i did not take my Q pill last night and i did not take a Melatonin pill because i thought it was keeping me really awake, i slept 7 hrs! What the heck right?  I do feel tired today but im not being hard on myself and so what if i push the bike ride to tomarrow, no one is going to die!  Im tired of being so hard on myself.  Also i want to say my husband has been completely unsupportive during this process so i have been very alone in this fight.  I told him to be aware i would be having some hard days because i was going off Q for good the other day and he freaked out a bit LOL.  He said well... youve been so good for so long on it why do you want to go off it. He didnt even know what Q does. I said what are you talking about.  Look at how fat i am. Look how groggy I am in the mornings!  He said well you go to bed so late so thats why your so tired in the mornings.  Im like your a complete idiot and a jerk for not even asking what the side effects of the pills could be, he just doesnt want his normal to change.  Anyways yes our lives when married  huh.  The pills affect not only us but our relationships.  Well cheers to a new week and i hope some weight loss LOL.

    • Posted

      I didn't plan on checking back into this site and making any comments. I was in a limbo-mental-health space and needed to write and get everything out of my system, but it was more of a self-serving cathartic experience: I wanted to get a new viewpoint out there about coming off Q, so that any fellow sufferers could identify with my story and know the broad spectrum of "coming off medication." There is no umbrella experience to it. We are each going to understand, fell, experience, and handle physical and mental withdrawal from medication.

      However, I did not think anyone would reply to my story, and so it was awesome to find that someone had responded. I know that reading these discussion forms helps me, even if I don't agree or follow the advice of others; it's a nice gauge as to where I am at in recovery from mental health medications.

      It is officially day 23 off of all medications. (Except, 0.5mg Klonopin, which will take a few more months. Benzos are the worst! I know this from experience, because I would take them "as needed," which felt like every second of the day, and run out early without even really caring. Then, without fail. I would wake up in the middle of the night freaking out after the third day of being off! I felt so "off," scared, confused, and out of touch with reality. Benzos are the devil! I should be off of them by October, and that will be such a proud time.

      I am still not sleeping 100% normally. I would usually take Q super early in the evening, because I just wanted the day to be over, and Q worked every time. Within an hour, I'd be passed out until morning. I wouldn't oversleep or feel groggy in the morning. It just shut down all those "illogical" thoughts that raced through my head the minute I lied down. I had to deal with thoughts about the "worst case" scenarios about my existence every single night. I have very scary and sad nightmares. I never feel fully asleep; I am halfway there, but it's never complete solace from my thoughts, feelings, emotions, ridiculousness. All of that is with me now, and so that's that. I made the decision to go off of drugs, so to win that battle, I have to fully acquiesce to the pain that I previously numbed. As of three weeks of feeling rather depressed, anxious, and insomniac, I am still happy with my decision. I would never go back.

      I will say that you have to give yourself grace to recover after taking longterm psych meds; the aftermath is brutal and difficult. Do not beat yourself up. Don't give in. Don't let your emotional mind take over when in reality, it is mostly physical. Keep asking yourself, "What is the worst that could happen?" I don't ever sleep again. Okay. I get murdered. Whatever. I puke. I can do that. I don't feel great. I have never felt great. That's life - that's the life I've been given, and that's okay. I repeat the phrase: "I am safe, and I am grateful," for at least an hour, in my head, every single night when I lie down. That's my life. I have to accept it and stop trying to run from my irrational thoughts and expectations. I have to take out all variables and move forward.

      Like I said, there is hope and light on the other side of the tunnel. Wait everything out, strip yourself empty, forgive yourself, let every emotion and thought come, and then dismiss it. It has been the biggest relief to not have to debate whether to take reach for that prescription bottle to alleviate my anxiety and depression; the option no longer exists, and so far, I am alive and doing well. I can live this life with the suffering that exists for everyone, and I can fight tit. I have that strength. 

      Good luck to everyone, and please reach out to this message if you're going through a rough time with any psychiatric medicines. (i've been on all of them.) I can only speak to my experience, but I know how helpful and encouraging it  can be to realize that you are not alone. I counsel my friends all the time and appreciate vulnerable, flawed, scared people who are willing to admit the struggles they face. 

      I will persevere! I have to. What is the other option? Death? No way. I will feel the most discomfort humanly possible and still stick around through it all. I refuse to give up or pretend. I will always be a work in progress, questioning the world around me and finding a path that works for me. We are all different, but people should know what medication does and what other people are doing with similar feelings. It's comforting. It's authentic. It's real life. And, for once in my life, I am fighting for that reality and choosing the path less taken with utter hesitation, uncertainty, and hope. I think that's all we can really ask from this world. 

    • Posted


      I am currently on 100 mg of Quietapine that I take before bedtime. My therapist and I have discussed getting off of this medication altogether. The last time that I got off a medication was about 30 years ago. At the time, I was taking Imipramine 50 mg. I went cold turkey and suffered from little sleep and great agitation for over 11 days. After that I was okay, but I was only getting 4-6 hours after that.


    • Posted

      Hi Sam, I was prescribed Q for insomnia 5 year's ago along with 2 25mg of the sleeping pill Halcion. I started off at 50mg and gradually went up to 200mg of Q. If I had done some research on this drug I would have never started taking it. I decided a couple months ago to tapper off both the Q and the Halcion. I was sleeping an average of 11 hour's a night and woke up everyday so groggy. I'm down to 50mg of Q and just 1 Halcion instead of the 2. So far this has worked for me. I now sleep an average of 7 hour's a night and wake up feeling ok. My intention is to be completely off of both of the drug's in the next month but after reading all the withdrawal symptoms of Q I'm concerned that I too will not be able to sleep right again. I can only hope for the best and see what happens.

  • Posted

    Yes I was 600 mg of Seroquel and my doctor found it funny I guess to just take me off of it completely without tapering me down or anything which threw me into a manic state I don't know if I'm coming or going it's awful I have been on Seroquel for a good 15 years you just shouldn't do that to somebody you know so hang in there I'm going Doctor shopping come Monday this is got to stop I have read all y'all statements and none of y'all just got took off completely off that high of a milligram is she trying to kill me or what reply if you want

  • Posted

    yes I've been on Seroquel for a good 15 years was taking 800 mg then I went down to 600 and then she completely took me off of the Seroquel all together it completely no taper me off or anyting she just told me if I couldn't handle it go to emergency room I am bipolar manic depressive person of course something like this through me into a manic state so now I don't know whether I'm coming or going my speech is messed up of course so is my head I'm not sleeping good I'm losing weight things are not good if there's anybody out there that could help me please reply and Barber hang in there we all got to stick together to make it through this?

  • Posted

    high im going through exactly same experience i lost my whole life as i could cope id like to know did i get better i bought Seroquel today i cant stand the days months no sleep but reading about it going back on might be a worse idea please hlep

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