Posted by tonyz on July 4, 2009, at 10:23:21
I've been on Nortriptyline, and Valium for a while, and have recently added Lamictal and Zoloft. Seroquel has been on and off since last November.
I'm not comfortable taking all of these meds. My depression is characterized by very bad insomnia. Recently this seems to be improving.
I've been on Zoloft (50mg) and Lamictal (25mg) for about a week. I started splitting the pills 2 days ago. I figure I can do that for about 3 days and then maybe take 1/4 of each of these for a these for 2 days and then stop.
Seroquel I have been on and off for the past year.
The adjustment has been modified a lot and during the period of May 13 through July 3 - I have averaged 88mg. This is a weird number because I am just taking the average over that time period. I want off the Seroquel, recently since May 27 through July 3, the dosage has been between 125-150mg most of the time. I figure if I drop it by 25mg every 2 days that would be a safe reduction schedule - any opinions? One of my pdocs
had mentioned I could just stop it whenever - but I think this is bad advice. This drug from a psychological standpoint gives me the most anxiety.
What do you guys think of this schedule?
I didn't have any problems ditching the valium last year; this year has been harder for some reason.
I think for me Lithium and Zoloft might be a good prophylactic treatment, but I am not there yet. I've never experienced mania and they say lamictal is better for recurrent depression whereas lithium is better for bipolar. I think I like lithium because it has been around a lot longer and all the effects are known and I'm hoping that a lower dosage of lithium in combination with an an anti-depressant may work for me, but I will discuss with a new pdoc. I am unfortunately a cynic when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry. While I recognize that these drugs can be very helpful sometimes I wonder. There was a study done by Glaxo Smith Kline concerning paxil which indicated that it was no more effective than a placebo. I heard this on a news program recently - so I don't know the details of the study, who was involved, how it was conducted, etc. The last pdoc I saw indicated that my anxiety over the drugs gets in the way of my recovery - perhaps he is correct. But as others have said it is important that we lobby for our own rights and suggest our own alternatives if we have some trepidation over certain drugs whether justified or not.
Nortriptyline has been the mainstay for me in numerous depressions. So I figure once I get off the other stuff I will start tapering that one slowly and get back on the Zoloft and add lithium. I will discuss this part with a pdoc before doing this. But for now my main concern is getting off the Seroquel, Zoloft, Lamictal and Valium. I've been reducing the valium by about 1mg every 3-4 days. So far seems to be working ok. I started with 20mg and bounced around a bit before settling on this. When I get down to 5mg I may have to taper slowly. That is where I was having problems before. I got down to 2.5mg got very little sleep and then crashed.
Under doctor's supervision last year had a similar bout of depression and was on the benzos for a long period of time (4-6months). He recommended droping by 2.5mg per week. I was also on Seroquel and I believe I was droping that by 25mg per week. I was probably on the Seroquel for a longer period of time, but I would have to check.
For others that may be withdrawing from meds, please do not use anything that I've said as a guideline. I am a person that knows very little about these drugs and is just trying to navigate through a tough period of depression. I don't like taking these drugs but have had so many relapses that I believe I don't have an alternative. But I do have a choice in deciding what I think will be best for me.
Others have mentioned the Ashton guide as a method for withdrawing from the benzos and this is from an experienced doctor and is probably a good place to start.
Best of luck to those that are withdrawing, hang in there.