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Tips for tapering off Seroquel (quetiapine)

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CosmicMinds

Reduce by 10% per month to start

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

 

Please read the topic CM.  Regardless of how the drug 'works' at 25 mg, it still needs to be carefully tapered to avoid withdrawal symptoms from arising.

Ok, Yeah i had, sorry i was just curious if it applied to such a low dose when the drug isnt really considered an "anti psychotic". 

 

I dont know if this is factual or not but my doc had told me that the antihistaminic properties of seroquel isnt of much difference above 12.5mg and beyond. Essentially she was saying that at 12.5mg the drug influences up to 80% of those receptors, and above that its just smaller increments. So i would assume for those using seroquel for sleep, tapering  the last 12.5mg may prove the most difficult. 

 

Also, this may be a stupid question but are there interdose issues with seroquel? im taking it every 24 hours and i know the half life is something like 6 hours. I hope its not the case, unlike benzos. 

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Petunia

 

Also, this may be a stupid question but are there interdose issues with seroquel? im taking it every 24 hours and i know the half life is something like 6 hours. I hope its not the case, unlike benzos. 

 

 

Not a stupid question at all :)   Even though a low dose of seroquel is sometimes prescribed for sleep problems, as benzos sometimes are.  They work in a completely different way, on different receptors in the brain.  I've never heard of interdose withdrawal happening with seroquel, but it can cause significant withdrawal problems in some people if not tapered carefully, tapering off a low dose often causes sleep problems.

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Shep

I'm having problems understanding how this website works, but I'm hoping you can help me.

 

I've been on about 30 psych drugs since I was a kid (I'm now 46) and I'm down to my last manic-depression (bipolar type 1) drug.

 

I'm coming off of Seroquel and having a really hard time with insomnia, dp/dr, and memory problems. I also lose track of time.

 

I'm also suffering badly from Klonopin withdrawal (came off in June) and from SSRI cold turkey last year in March.

 

I'm finding that the lower I go, the more sedating the Seroquel is. I've found that 6.25 mg is more sedating than 12.5 mg. I know that Seroquel is more sedating under 100 mg, but it seems unreal that 6.25 mg is more sedating than 12.5 mg.

 

I also have severe dp/dr and seem to fade in and out of my body a lot.

 

I want to go down to 3.125 at some point, but if it keeps getting more and more sedating, I'm not sure how to go about it.

 

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you.

 

Shep

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Petunia

Hi Shep,

For general questions and updates about your situation, its best to post in your own introductions thread.  But if your question is specifically related to issues with tapering  seroquel, then posting here would be better.

 

Usually, when people taper from seroquel, it can cause insomnia, I wonder if anyone else has found it to be more sedating as the dose gets lower.  When do you take it?  Actually I'm a little confused, you say that you are suffering from insomnia, but that the seroquel is sedating.

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Shep

Hi Shep,

For general questions and updates about your situation, its best to post in your own introductions thread.  But if your question is specifically related to issues with tapering  seroquel, then posting here would be better.

 

Usually, when people taper from seroquel, it can cause insomnia, I wonder if anyone else has found it to be more sedating as the dose gets lower.  When do you take it?  Actually I'm a little confused, you say that you are suffering from insomnia, but that the seroquel is sedating.

 

Hello.

 

No, this is not a general question. It's specific to Seroquel. I take it at night.

 

Yes, it's a bit confusing. When I take 12.5 mg of Seroquel, it helps me get to sleep. But then I wake up 1 - 2 hours later and can't go back to sleep. When I take 6.25  mg, I go to sleep but I sleep 4 - 5 hours.

 

Also, I seem to have more memory problems with 6.25 than with 12.5, which seems a bit odd. The higher dose causes less fatigue and cog fog and dp/dr. So i'm afraid of decreasing it.

 

Wondering if anyone else has noticed a similar problem and how they managed.

 

Thank you.

 

Shep

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Altostrata

It sounds to me like 12.5 mg Seroquel causes a paradoxical reaction for you. It causes you to sleep so deeply, your nervous system wakes you up because it senses something going wrong.

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Shep

It sounds to me like 12.5 mg Seroquel causes a paradoxical reaction for you. It causes you to sleep so deeply, your nervous system wakes you up because it senses something going wrong.

 

Hi. Thank you for your response.

 

Can a medication turn paradoxal after you've been on it for years?  Do other people have similar problems coming off of Seroquel?

 

Thank you.

 

Shep

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Altostrata

Yes, your nervous system changes over time.

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Shep

Yes, your nervous system changes over time.

 

Hi.  I plan on holding until the spring and then tapering off completely, but if I'm paradoxal now, would it be best to stabilize at 6.25 mg as opposed to 12.5 mg?

 

Sorry if I sound incredibly dense, but I'm so close to being medication free after 30 years, I'm really trying not to mess up.

 

Thank you.

 

Shep

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ang

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ang

I'm having problems understanding how this website works, but I'm hoping you can help me.

 

I've been on about 30 psych drugs since I was a kid (I'm now 46) and I'm down to my last manic-depression (bipolar type 1) drug.

 

I'm coming off of Seroquel and having a really hard time with insomnia, dp/dr, and memory problems. I also lose track of time.

 

I'm also suffering badly from Klonopin withdrawal (came off in June) and from SSRI cold turkey last year in March.

 

I'm finding that the lower I go, the more sedating the Seroquel is. I've found that 6.25 mg is more sedating than 12.5 mg. I know that Seroquel is more sedating under 100 mg, but it seems unreal that 6.25 mg is more sedating than 12.5 mg.

 

I also have severe dp/dr and seem to fade in and out of my body a lot.

 

I want to go down to 3.125 at some point, but if it keeps getting more and more sedating, I'm not sure how to go about it.

 

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you.

 

Shep

Well done shep!  Sending you a hug.

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ang

During clinical trials, seizures occurred in 0.5% (20/3490) of patients treated with quetiapine fumarate compared to 0.2% (2/954) on placebo   (That was only one of a lot of other things).  Has woken me up from my drug induced brain coma.  Isn't that one in 200 had seizures??  

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ang

 

It sounds to me like 12.5 mg Seroquel causes a paradoxical reaction for you. It causes you to sleep so deeply, your nervous system wakes you up because it senses something going wrong.

 

Hi. Thank you for your response.

 

Can a medication turn paradoxal after you've been on it for years?  Do other people have similar problems coming off of Seroquel?

 

Thank you.

 

Shep

 

I am having more problems than I thought, now all the other drugs are out of my system seroquol is having a confusing effect on me.  Had to go to 50mg, to sleep, but wake up with a sort of rebounding anxiety.  25 mg was no good, woke up after 4 hours with panic attack.  Will try and stabilize on the 50mg.  Today I can actually get out of the house.  A good day.

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Shep

 

 

It sounds to me like 12.5 mg Seroquel causes a paradoxical reaction for you. It causes you to sleep so deeply, your nervous system wakes you up because it senses something going wrong.

 

Hi. Thank you for your response.

 

Can a medication turn paradoxal after you've been on it for years?  Do other people have similar problems coming off of Seroquel?

 

Thank you.

 

Shep

 

I am having more problems than I thought, now all the other drugs are out of my system seroquol is having a confusing effect on me.  Had to go to 50mg, to sleep, but wake up with a sort of rebounding anxiety.  25 mg was no good, woke up after 4 hours with panic attack.  Will try and stabilize on the 50mg.  Today I can actually get out of the house.  A good day.

 

 

Hi, ang.

 

How long were you on Seroquel? Are you having a hard time coming off?

 

I've been on it for about 6 years, but I've taken other antipsychotics for about 30 years. I'm finding Seroquel to be the hardest one to come off but I think it's because I'm using it to sleep. 

 

I'm glad you're having a good day. 

 

 

 

Shep

 

 

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Altostrata

Zuca, I moved your post to start your topic in the Introductions forum.

 

 

Yes, your nervous system changes over time.

 

Hi.  I plan on holding until the spring and then tapering off completely, but if I'm paradoxal now, would it be best to stabilize at 6.25 mg as opposed to 12.5 mg?

 

Sorry if I sound incredibly dense, but I'm so close to being medication free after 30 years, I'm really trying not to mess up.

 

Thank you.

 

Shep

 

 

There are a lot of points between 12.5mg and 6.25mg. How about decreasing 10% to 11.25mg? A lower dose may not cause the paradoxical reaction, and you're one step closer to tapering off. (This type of detailed discussion about your dosing belongs in your Intro topic.)

 

I am having more problems than I thought, now all the other drugs are out of my system seroquol is having a confusing effect on me.  Had to go to 50mg, to sleep, but wake up with a sort of rebounding anxiety.  25 mg was no good, woke up after 4 hours with panic attack.  Will try and stabilize on the 50mg.  Today I can actually get out of the house.  A good day.

 

 

ang, it sounds like you, too, are having a paradoxical reaction to 50mg Seroquel and 25mg Seroquel. Please take this up in your Intro topic.

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Altostrata

ang, I moved your personal discussion to your Intro topic so this topic doesn't go off-track.

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robina

i am on seroquel too. and was on 100mg and cut down to 50mg. i did it luckily at the begining of getting the tablets and cut down by a whole tablet at a time. i was already withdrawing of zyprexia so wouldnt notice the difference as the withdrawels were horrendous. however i'v been stuck on 50mg for months and decided to cut down by a quarter of a tablet per day. i did this for 25day. and went into withdrawel. the pharmacist told me the the seroqel are covered by an enteric coating and by cutting that the tablet was disolving in my upper stomach and i wasnt getting the correct dose.and thats is seemingly why i went into withdrawl. i also had terrible pains in my face and lips. they were burning and felt as if on fire. so i am now on the liquid. i am getting stable agaiin and taking 2.5ml of liquid twice per day as this is equal to 50mg in tablet form. then when i feel stabel again i will stat to cut down to 2ml in the morning and 2.5ml at night for a month and if this goes well i will cut down again. hope this helps. robina.x

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mammaP

Hi Robina, thank you for sharing your experience with us, perhaps you would like to start a topin in introductions 

so we can get to know you?  When you start to taper again we recommend tapering 10% of the current dose

every 4 weeks to avoid withdrawal symptoms. I am glad that you are able to get the liquid as it makes tapering

much easier. 

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RubyTuesday

REQUEST

hi. I am having the devil of a time relocating a page about how to use a digital scale to cut up TABLETS that I saw on here a few seconds ago. i don't know but just maybe the lamictal & seroquel have impaired my brain. would it be possible to put all the info about the techno side of dose reduction on one page? how to use a scale, etc? I am ready to taper off but my pills are too small to cut up any smaller than quarters.

THANK YOU

Ruby

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Satch

Robina. Were you cutting the ir pills. I just truce and got the same thing. Thought it was tardive dyskinesia. Are you in the uk where you got the liquid or was it compounded.

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Cheeky

Hi everyone,

I want to start to reduce my Seraquel , Ive been taking it for 6 months and would like your advice on weather it's okay to drop more then 10% considering I've only been on it for a short time. I was going to reduce the Seraquel to 25mg and then start with my Paxil tappering.

Your advice is appreciated, thanks

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Songbird

Hi everyone,

I want to start to reduce my Seraquel , Ive been taking it for 6 months and would like your advice on weather it's okay to drop more then 10% considering I've only been on it for a short time. I was going to reduce the Seraquel to 25mg and then start with my Paxil tappering.

Your advice is appreciated, thanks

 

Hi Cheeky, I was on Seroquel for a few months back in 2008 and was able to taper off it quite quickly.  I was on 200mg for sleep (unfortunately lower doses did not work for me initially) and switched to the 25mg pills as my dose got lower.  I would cut off about an eighth of one pill, wait a few days until my sleep stabilised, then make another cut.  I think the key is to listen to your body, and adjust your taper accordingly.  I would recommend tapering off the Seroquel completely before beginning your Paxil taper, for two reasons - one, you have not been on it for long, so it will be easier to get off now than when you've been on longer - and two, it is a really nasty drug - don't stay on it longer than you have to.  Seroquel gave me muscle twitches in the legs that lasted for over a year after I was off it.

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Cheeky

Thanks songbird I will give a go and see what happens , when will I know, in a couple of days ?

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Songbird

I noticed a reduction in sleep quality immediately, which improved again after a few days.  The drop was small enough that I could still sleep, it just wasn't such good quality of sleep.  You will need to observe and find your own pattern.  Getting off a drug after only a few months is different to getting off after a long term of use, so the timings and drops needed will vary between individuals. 

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Altostrata

We recommend a 10% decrease per month for anyone taking a drug for more than a month. You might be able to go faster -- you'll have to negotiate that with your own nervous system.

 

If you want to go faster with 10% drops, we suggest intervals of no less than 2 weeks, as withdrawal symptoms have a way of sneaking up on you.

 

If you wish to try smaller decreases more frequently, that might work -- see Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

 

You will still need to do this systematically, so you can get a sense of what you can tolerate, as Songbird did.

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Marco

I been on a 1000 mg of Deprakine(Depakote)and 400mg of Seroquel.

I tapered Deprakine successfully by dry cutting to 500mg. Started with Seroquel liquid titration 1mg a day. 120days and 120mg was away smoothly- then whole family got stomach flu and I got to put it back up, after a week tried to take 20mg away and hold but WD was bad and I had to put it back again.

 

Could you please send me a spreed sheet of the best form of tapering?

Is 10% easier than even smaler reductions, something like 5ml per 2 weeks?

Is there recomended amout of time I shoul wait before trying again?

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RubyTuesday

Do you think this 10% rule applies to 25mg of seroquel too?

From my knowledge, at a dose so low it works as an antihistamine as opposed to anti psychotic properties

I tapered faster than 10% from 37.5 mg Seroquel to 12.5. it was rough, very rough.I do NOT recommend it.

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primrose

 

Do you think this 10% rule applies to 25mg of seroquel too?

From my knowledge, at a dose so low it works as an antihistamine as opposed to anti psychotic properties

I tapered faster than 10% from 37.5 mg Seroquel to 12.5. it was rough, very rough.I do NOT recommend it.

 

Hi RubyTuesday

 

What was your starting dose?

How long did you take to taper?

 

My starting dose was 200mg, but I had to come down to 100mg in one go, because my feet and ankles swelled so badly with water retention that i found it difficult to walk.

I hadn't been on 200mg long, so the jump was easy, but i tapered the rest over a good few months, and jumped off at a quarter of a 25mg pill. It didn't feel rough physically, but I think I had a one-off psychotic episode, because, shortly afterwards, I was convinced I owed over £20,000 in taxes as I had not submitted my paperwork for a long time. I got really paranoid and made my self ill over it.

When I eventually did submit my paperwork, I owed something like £20.

My seroquel dose was not an anti-psychotic dose, so I am not sure if this episode was down to the pills. Not even sure if it was psychosis, but psychotic delusion is the only way I can explain being convinced i owed thousands when I didnt.

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RubyTuesday

top dose of Seroquel was 50 mg on an as-needed basis. prescribed for insomnia. (it was really AD wd, undiagnosed.) 2 tabs, 25 mg each. never took less than 25 mg Seroquel every night since Fall 2011. am now taking half that since September 2014. started cutting tabs in quarters, so was essentially reducing by either 1/8th or 1/4 of the dose. had severe depersonalization hitting me like a whack on the head out of nowhere, anxiety, the shakes, lights going on and off, mostly off, etc. Whenever I taper off the remaining 1/2 of a 25 mg tab, I plan to reduce by 5% of the dose at a time. right now working on reducing Lamictal.

hit AD wd, menopause, and mom dying all at once, as well as empty nest syndrome. just didn't understand the WD issue. still have severe morning anxiety and bouts of crying, but over all I feel much better, more clear in the head, am back in school and heading for renewed career plans.

lots of love and hugs to you!!!

Ruby

Edited by Altostrata
deleted table that was unreadable

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RubyTuesday

oops, my table did not copy, I will have to re-do this later.

short version: cut low dose of Seroquel in quarters, making it 1/8 or 1/4 of the dose, over a period of about a year.

back at ya later today..

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Altostrata

Ruby, you may wish to insert your table as a graphic.

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RubyTuesday

ok, no idea how to do that. my son the tech guy has class tonight.

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ang

How is everyone going with their seroquol tapers?  I am finding mine hard to reduce..............

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BipolarNoMo

Hi Ang, I have just started tapering off of my Seroquel.  I was on 50mg for 7 or 8 years, and cut the pill in half a month ago.  I updosed to 47mg two days ago because the anxiety/panic was unmanageable at my job.  We will get through this!  We just need to go really slowly...

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