Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 349381

Shown: posts 1 to 9 of 9. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

WHATS SAFEST WAY TO STOP SERZONE???

Posted by MissAmy on May 21, 2004, at 19:27:29

Hello folks!
I only have a 90 day supply left and I hear that it can take awhile to wean off successfully. Has anyone had success weaning off serzone or have any suggestions? I take 350mg a day and have for 3 1/2 years. I am a little freaked out--this drug REALLY worked for my panic and depression. I am terrified of withdrawal symptoms--I hear they can last awhiIe. I would rather wean off this completely before starting another drug.....if I even try another. What a pain in the butt.
Thanks for your input--I am sure there are a few of us wondering about this out there!!
Amy

 

Re: WHATS SAFEST WAY TO STOP SERZONE???

Posted by HappyGirl on May 21, 2004, at 23:31:59

In reply to WHATS SAFEST WAY TO STOP SERZONE???, posted by MissAmy on May 21, 2004, at 19:27:29

Hi:
There is a generic form of Serzone available and no 'rumour' to take this med. off the market. Then, you should switch to this 'Generic form' of Serzone which is EXACTLY same efficacy. I've been on this med. since the beginning of this year and VERY happy about its change.
If there is/are any other question, ... probably you'd better to call your prescribing pdoc. to get more Serzone or talk about its 'generic' nefadozone soon, because Serzone will be taken off the market starting June 14, 2004.
H.G.

 

What a confusing issue - Serzone.......

Posted by snapper on May 22, 2004, at 0:06:39

In reply to Re: WHATS SAFEST WAY TO STOP SERZONE???, posted by HappyGirl on May 21, 2004, at 23:31:59

If Serzone is being pulled and there will still be an generic equivilant (same chemical) what is the point of yanking the brand name off the market?
Is it to cover some BIG name Pharmacuetical companies butt? ie: Bristol Meyer- Sqibb.
I am not questioning the reason for it being yanked, just the rational that there is still going to be the potential for "possible liver damage" by it still being available as generic- anyone care to elaborate?
Snapper

 

Re: What a confusing issue - Serzone....... snapper

Posted by chemist on May 22, 2004, at 0:29:09

In reply to What a confusing issue - Serzone......., posted by snapper on May 22, 2004, at 0:06:39

> If Serzone is being pulled and there will still be an generic equivilant (same chemical) what is the point of yanking the brand name off the market?
> Is it to cover some BIG name Pharmacuetical companies butt? ie: Bristol Meyer- Sqibb.
> I am not questioning the reason for it being yanked, just the rational that there is still going to be the potential for "possible liver damage" by it still being available as generic- anyone care to elaborate?
> Snapper

hi snapper...the patent for serzone expired on september 16, 2003. BMS holds exclusivity rights but can continue to market the brand name. generic houses can - and will - be flooding the market now. hope this helps, and my previous post to you did not make the board...all the best, chemist

 

Re: What a confusing issue - Serzone.......

Posted by MissAmy on May 22, 2004, at 1:51:52

In reply to Re: What a confusing issue - Serzone....... snapper, posted by chemist on May 22, 2004, at 0:29:09

Yeah--I have been on the generic for over a year (serzone before that for 2 1/2). My doc said they will be taking it off the market as well...maybe not right away but very soon. The companies aren't making enough money off of it and the whole liver thing has people freaked. I figure i might as well start weaning now and get it over with--I will just be postponing the inevitable otherwise. She said it can take a few months to wean off sometimes--that the body develops dependence over time. Should be fun, should be fun. Suggestions are still appreciated. :) have a good one...
Amy

 

Re: What a confusing issue - Serzone.......

Posted by upsndowns on May 22, 2004, at 9:36:09

In reply to Re: What a confusing issue - Serzone......., posted by MissAmy on May 22, 2004, at 1:51:52

Took Serzone for almost 4 years several years ago, had been on between 300 and 400 mg, and took almost 6 months to go off and it was horrendous for a while. Then about a year ago I was convinced to add a tiny bit to my meds because Serzone had been the only AD that worked so now I take it along with Abilify and Concerta and have been doing very well...with only 25mg of Serzone for about the past 6 months. I told the docs when Europe pulled the drug that I didn't want to get back on it, but of course, no one cared or took it seriously and I felt that I needed the adjunct, so I went along. Now I am faced with getting off the stuff again because no matter what they say, trust me, there will not be a generic around for very long. I had been told that liver damage generally shows up at the very beginning of the dose, so anyone who has been on it for any period of time is okay, but that doesn't matter to big pharm....it is all about the money and you all know it. I have no advice for weaning other than go very slowly and sliver the pills when you have to, alternate days, etc and then we all have to find some alternative, which I do not know exists with this effect...hence the reason for its existence in the first place. I feel so betrayed and angry about this. My next pdoc visit next week will be an interesting one, believe me. I have tried Trazadone and cannot take it.

 

Re: WHATS SAFEST WAY TO STOP SERZONE???

Posted by hawaiistaci on May 22, 2004, at 22:30:12

In reply to Re: WHATS SAFEST WAY TO STOP SERZONE???, posted by HappyGirl on May 21, 2004, at 23:31:59

Hi. I was on 600mg of Serzone for 6 months and went off it in two weeks. It was working on my depression but the side effects were brutal for me - extreme forgetfulness beyond the point of anything I could deal with. Anyway, I decided to go off it before I starting something else and cut back 100mg every other day. I decided that it was better to get off it than go slowly and my dr said it would be safe. The side effects were irritability and crying fits. Although, perhaps instead of a side effect, this was just me without meds. Good luck.

 

Re: WHATS SAFEST WAY TO STOP SERZONE???

Posted by upsndowns on May 24, 2004, at 16:50:39

In reply to Re: WHATS SAFEST WAY TO STOP SERZONE???, posted by hawaiistaci on May 22, 2004, at 22:30:12

Saw my pdoc today who is a psychopharmacologist and he seemed to feel that the generic is going to be around for a long time, it is only going to be the named Serzone that will go away and told me not to worry and to keep things as they are. But I am seeing him again in two weeks and am going to see where things sit at that time. I take a minuscule dose, so I am going to take his word for it, but if I were up there on the dose, I would be getting very worried because I would bet he doesn't prescribe it for very many of his patients. For the depressed side of my BPII, it has been the only AD ever to work and its effect is very subtle for me at this point in my treatment.

 

Re: WHATS SAFEST WAY TO STOP SERZONE??? MissAmy

Posted by Tony P on May 25, 2004, at 10:32:07

In reply to WHATS SAFEST WAY TO STOP SERZONE???, posted by MissAmy on May 21, 2004, at 19:27:29

> Hello folks!
> I only have a 90 day supply left and I hear that it can take awhile to wean off successfully. Has anyone had success weaning off serzone or have any suggestions? I take 350mg a day and have for 3 1/2 years. I am a little freaked out--this drug REALLY worked for my panic and depression. I am terrified of withdrawal symptoms--I hear they can last awhiIe. I would rather wean off this completely before starting another drug.....if I even try another. What a pain in the butt.
> Thanks for your input--I am sure there are a few of us wondering about this out there!!
> Amy

While some people seem to have long-term withdrawal problems with Serzone/Nefazodone, I was able to wean quite quickly after several years of use - perhaps partly because I overlapped the withdrawal with starting Lamictal, which can have anti-anxiety properties. I did have an unexpected anxiety attack a couple of days after taking my very last dose, going from 100 mg/day Serzone to none. Doesn't quite make sense that the Serzone would have caused it, as it has a short half-life -- much less than 1 day -- I would have expected problems much earlier. At the time I put it down to ramping the Lamictal up from 50 to 100 mg/day, which was about the same time I stopped the Serzone. I guess I'll never know now which it was.

My schedule for weaning was:

Starting from 400-500 mg a day,

1 day at 400 mg/day
7 days at 300 mg
6 days at 200 mg
3 days at 100 mg
- then 0.

My schedule was mostly dictated by how many tablets I had left - they caught both me and my doctor flat-footed with the withdrawal, it was very sudden and complete in Canada. If I had to do it again and had enough tabs I would stay at least a week at each level, maybe even go another week at 50 mg/day. With 90 days' worth, you can easily do it slower, say drop 50 mg. each week - that would take you six weeks from 350 and only use about 21 days of your supply, if my math is correct. It's so individual that you can only set up a tentative schedule and see how you do - whatever schedule you start with, plan to keep some in reserve in case you're one of the ones who needs to go slower.

My sched. did work out OK for me, but my MD put me on 4 mg/day clonazepam after the anxiety attack (whatever caused it). I am still on 3 mg/day clonazepam (with Lamictal now 300 mg/day), as my doctor is -- quite reasonably -- reluctant to quickly change something that's working.

So if you hit a rough patch, do talk to your doc; clonazepam or valium is used a lot & is very helpful for weaning from many A/Ds, as I read here. Try to get your doctor to prescribe a sufficient dose that works for you right away -- some will want to start with the minimum dose and work up slowly, which is reasonable for some conditions, but when it comes to withdrawal symptoms that's just imposing unnecessary suffering IMHO. 4 mg clonazepam a day sounds like a lot to some MD's, but it has been just enough for me, with a fairly high anxiety level to begin with. And it's about as safe as any med ever is; some people take up to 20/mg a day for seizures!

Best of luck,

Tony P


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