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Guides to tapering off psychiatric medications

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Lilu

If skipping doses by following a tapering schedule of taking medication every other day, then every two days, then every three days... is not written in any of the guides given to doctors, WHY ARE THEY ALL STILL DOING IT?   Given where I live, I had access to the top psychiatrists in both Rutgers and Princeton University.  The Rutgers psychiatrist told me to skip doses, defending his method with "that's exactly how we taper Heroin!"  And the Princeton psychiatrist told me to just quit cold turkey after being on Effexor/Pristiq for SEVEN years!  When I mentioned bridging to Prozac she had never heard of it, thought it was ridiculous, and got angry at me for even suggesting that quitting cold turkey was dangeous, saying, "lots of my patients do it."   These are not some shrinks in private practice, these are doctors who are heading entire inpatient and outpatient units at major research universities.  How is it that they do not know?!!  

 

(Ugh, I'm so mad, because they same thing is happening to my cousin who is under the care of Neurologists at a prominent hospital in Philadelphia, and they are having him skip doses and rapidly withdraw from 3 psychotropic drugs at once, following brain surgery.  For 5 years he's been on an antidepressant, a mood stabilizer, and an opioid for severe migraines that were caused by a pituitary tumor than no one detected.  Arrggghhh! And he's one of those types that religiously does what doctors tell him.)

 

I just don't know why most psychiatrists and neurologists still instruct patients to taper their medications by skipping doses.  Would a doctor ever tell you to lose weight by only eating every other day?  Everyone knows that this would make your body go into alarm mode, thinking that there's a famine going on, and it would only start holding on to it's fat stores. You know what else it does? It starts feeding on it's own muscle tissue, and breaking it down for energy.  And the less muscle you have, the less fat your burn.  It's completely counterproductive.

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