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Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)


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#1 Altostrata

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 04:18 PM

Aka Lustral, Serlift, Sertawin, Zosert, etc.

Sertraline is an SSRI with a half-life of about 26 hours. It is metabolized mainly by the liver enzyme P450 CYP2B6, plus CYP 2D6 (substrate, inhibitor), CYP 3A4 (substrate, inhibitor), and CYP 2C9 (substrate). It has an active metabolite, norsertraline, with a half-life of 62 to 104 hours, which may extend its effects.

The best method for a very gradual, precise taper would be using Zoloft liquid.

Reduce by 10% per month to start
The 10% rule holds for Zoloft, just like other psychiatric drugs: Reduce by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.)

See Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Use Zoloft liquid concentrate to taper
http://dailymed.nlm....o.cfm?id=52077:

 

Zoloft oral concentrate is available in a multidose 60 mL bottle. Each mL of solution contains sertraline hydrochloride equivalent to 20 mg of sertraline. The solution contains the following inactive ingredients: glycerin, alcohol (12%), menthol, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).

From http://www.nlm.nih.g...ds/a697048.html

 

Sertraline concentrate must be diluted before use. Immediately before taking it, use the provided dropper to remove the amount of concentrate your doctor has told you to take. Mix the concentrate with 4 ounces (1/2 cup [120 milliliters]) of water, ginger ale, lemon or lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice. Do not mix the concentrate with any liquids other than the ones listed. Drink immediately.

Unlike other oral liquid antidepressant preparations, Zoloft liquid should be mixed with water because if it is taken directly from the bottle, it is likely to cause a burning sensation in the mouth.

As it is in a 20mg per mL concentration, this means using an oral syringe to measure out the proper amount. If you wish to take 50mg, you would take 2.5mL from the bottle, drop it in a small glass of water, etc., and drink it all.

 

If you are taking 50mg and wish to reduce by 10% (5mg), you would take 2.25mL (45mg) from the bottle, drop it in a small glass of water, etc., and drink it all.

Personally, I would use water rather than fruit juice or soda so I can see what's left in the glass. I might even drink the mixture, fill the glass again, swirl it a bit, and drink that to make sure to get all the Zoloft out of the glass.

Make your own liquid
Many people make their own Zoloft liquid out of tablets and water. See How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

Cutting up tablets
According to FDA information at http://www.drugs.com...100 mg dosages.

The scoring on the tablets indicates they can be split. Cut them up with a pill cutter, available at any drug store.

Precisely weighing tablet pieces or crushed tablets with an electronic digital scale
You may wish to precisely measure your dosage with an electronic scale that measures milligrams. These are available for under $30 US. See http://survivinganti...-measure-doses/

Have a compounding pharmacy make up capsules of smaller dosages
A compounding pharmacy will accurately weigh small doses and put them into capsules for you. See http://survivinganti..._3001#entry3001


Edited by Altostrata, 28 January 2014 - 10:18 AM.
updated

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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#2 Becca

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:20 PM

"Precisely weighing tablet pieces or crushed tablets with an electronic digital scale You may wish to precisely measure your dosage with an electronic scale that measures milligrams. These are available for under $30 US." Can you tell me where to get a digital scale that measures milligrams? I'm thinking on line-- the local scales I've seen don't measure milligrams. Okay-- I found the link for the gemini 20.

#3 Wakingup

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

Can someone help me figure out what I need to do? I am currently taking 5 mg. zoloft and will make liquid from my tablet. I plan to dissolve the 5 mg. in water. i want to taper to 4.8 mg. I have three syringes. One is one ml., one is 5 ml, one is 10 ml. How much water do I use to dissolve the 5 mg. in? How much do I drinK? Is this the proper way to do this? Or should I use a larger pill and subtract in a different way? I'm nut sure even what question to ask? My brain fog and general difficulty with this type math is making this very difficult for me to figure out on my own. Just need a bit of guidance and it is much appreciated.
June, 1998 zoloft 50 mg. Had entered menopause, was irritable and anxious

Summer 2010, added welbutrin to zoloft, did not work, switched to effexor, did not work.
Sept. 2010 zoloft 75 mg.

11/25/10 50 mg. zoloft 12/30 45
1/19/11 40.5 2/6 36.5 3/7 32.8
3/29 29.5 4/20 25 5/28 22.5
6/16 20.2 7/7 18.2 7/28 16.4
8/18 14.7 9/8 13.0 9/23 12.5
10/10 11.2 11/6 10.6 11/9 11.2
12/7 10.5 1/1/12 10 2/1 9.5
3/1 9 3/23 8.5 4/30 8
5/29 7.5 6/26 7 7/31 6.5
8/22 6 9/15 5.5 10/20 5
12/17 4.8 (switched to homemade liquid)

#4 Altostrata

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:29 PM

There are a number of ways you can do this.

You may notice 10mL is a very little amount of water and may not dissolve the tablet. Try 50mL.

  • Crush the 5mg Zoloft on a piece of wax paper. Carefully pour it into a small container with a lid.
  • Using the 10mL syringe, put 50mL lukewarm water in the container. (Draw the water from a glass.)
  • Put the lid on the container. Shake gently.

    You now have 5mg mixed in 50mL water, or 1mg in 10mL, or .1mg in 1mL.
  • To take 4.8mg, use the 5mL syringe to remove 2mL (containing .2mg). Throw it away. (You will use the 1mL syringe when you need to make smaller decrements.)
  • 48mL (4.8mg) is left in the container. Drink this, add a little water to the empty container, swish it around and drink again to make sure you get all the particles.

This is a 1:10 dilution. You may find it convenient to make other dilution ratios. You'll have to adjust the math accordingly.

Zoloft also comes in a liquid form with prescription from the pharmacy.
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#5 Wakingup

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:35 PM

Alto, This is exactly what I need. Can't thank you enough, God bless. xx
June, 1998 zoloft 50 mg. Had entered menopause, was irritable and anxious

Summer 2010, added welbutrin to zoloft, did not work, switched to effexor, did not work.
Sept. 2010 zoloft 75 mg.

11/25/10 50 mg. zoloft 12/30 45
1/19/11 40.5 2/6 36.5 3/7 32.8
3/29 29.5 4/20 25 5/28 22.5
6/16 20.2 7/7 18.2 7/28 16.4
8/18 14.7 9/8 13.0 9/23 12.5
10/10 11.2 11/6 10.6 11/9 11.2
12/7 10.5 1/1/12 10 2/1 9.5
3/1 9 3/23 8.5 4/30 8
5/29 7.5 6/26 7 7/31 6.5
8/22 6 9/15 5.5 10/20 5
12/17 4.8 (switched to homemade liquid)

#6 Dale

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 06:38 AM

Has anybody done a DIY liquid Zoloft here? I need some advice and guidance from somebody that has the experience of what Im fixin to do.
I've been on 100 mg of Zoloft for 8 years since 05. I started on 50 mg and the doctor bumped me up cause it wasn't working I guess. Six months into taking it I asked if I could get off. He said to wait a year then try. So, after a year I tapered in 25 mg increments and took 12.5 for my final taper dose, and really was doing fine until I finished. I got dizzy bad and got sad and the doctor said I had a relapse and to get back on it. So not knowing to gradually get back on I took 100 mg.
That sent me for a weird loop. I almost lost complete hope but finally stabled out. I guess that's my short version of my story.

#7 Altostrata

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 10:12 AM

Dale, have you seen these tips?
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#8 Dale

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:55 PM

Yes, I've read it but I wanted to chat directly with someone that's doing the Zoloft taper. You know, kinda like support. ;)
I've been on 100 mg of Zoloft for 8 years since 05. I started on 50 mg and the doctor bumped me up cause it wasn't working I guess. Six months into taking it I asked if I could get off. He said to wait a year then try. So, after a year I tapered in 25 mg increments and took 12.5 for my final taper dose, and really was doing fine until I finished. I got dizzy bad and got sad and the doctor said I had a relapse and to get back on it. So not knowing to gradually get back on I took 100 mg.
That sent me for a weird loop. I almost lost complete hope but finally stabled out. I guess that's my short version of my story.

#9 Dale

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:56 PM

Whats funny is I've read all these tips and there awesome. Knowing that Zoloft comes in liquid, I feel like I'm bothering my doctor if I ask for a prescription for it. I see a doctor at whats called a mental clinic and I've just got my 100mgs filled so He might make me wait but I dont know. Im feeling confident the more I read on how to make my liquid. Thanks to this site. :)
I've been on 100 mg of Zoloft for 8 years since 05. I started on 50 mg and the doctor bumped me up cause it wasn't working I guess. Six months into taking it I asked if I could get off. He said to wait a year then try. So, after a year I tapered in 25 mg increments and took 12.5 for my final taper dose, and really was doing fine until I finished. I got dizzy bad and got sad and the doctor said I had a relapse and to get back on it. So not knowing to gradually get back on I took 100 mg.
That sent me for a weird loop. I almost lost complete hope but finally stabled out. I guess that's my short version of my story.

#10 Altostrata

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 09:28 AM

You're welcome, Dale. You're not bothering your doctor to get a prescription for the liquid. Writing prescriptions is his or her job.
This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#11 Altostrata

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 04:29 PM

Gizmo123, I moved your post to start your Introductions topic http://survivinganti...l-and-klonopin/

 

It got lost here. Please let's discuss in your Intro topic.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#12 SunshininDay

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 11:38 PM

Can you please give me advice for tapering off 200mg of Zoloft?  If I follow the 10% regimen, calculating at each new dose, it would be 3 years before I even got down to 5mg.


Jun 01- Paxil 30mg, Xanax PRN
Dec 02- Prozac 20mg*, Ativan PRN (* cross tapered)
Jan 03- Paxil CR 30mg*, raised to 50mg in Apr 03
Oct 03- Zoloft 200mg*
Oct 05- Wellbutrin XL 300mg*
Oct 06- Effexor XR 150mg*
Nov 12- After extreme fx, Lexapro 20mg*, Ativan PRN
Jan 13- Effexor XR 150mg* after unbearable fx, Klonopin .5mg daily
Mar 13- Raise to Effexor XR 225mg, extreme fx worsen, hospitalized inpatient 2 days, Klonopin .75mg daily
May 13- Enter partial program, raise to Effexor XR 300mg, extreme fx worsen, RI 225mg, cross taper to 200mg Zoloft
Aug 13- Exit partial program, Begin 4-month Klonopin taper, finish taper Nov 13. Extreme fx subside in Feb
NOW- Stabilizing at 200mg Zoloft, slowly improving, dissociation, mental fog, adhd, anxiety

#13 Altostrata

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 02:25 PM

That would be correct at 10% decreases every month.

 

You may be able to go a little faster with 10% decreases every 3 weeks or 2 weeks until you get about half-way down, then most people need to go slower.

 

Get ready for a long project. This is why a lot of people here have a lot of anger towards psychiatry.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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