Thursday, October 19, 2017

seroquel taper question

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  skybluesight 3 years, 9 months ago.

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    my 20 year old daughter started seroquel xr once hospitalized for what i think is a combination of clarithromycin induced acute onset psychosis as follows:

    august 23 @ 100mg + 1mg Ativan
    august 24 @ 200mg + 1mg Ativan + 1mg risperidone
    august 25 @ 300mg + 1mg Ativan + 1mg risperidone
    august 26 @ 400mg + 1mg risperidone

    from then on, 400mg seroquel xr and 1mg risperidone until she was discharged sept 1st. Her dr dropped the risperidone and she hasn’t needed the Ativan.

    By Sept 1st ( 10 days after starting treatment ) she was herself again and discharged. There is no family history suggesting any predisposition nor did she use street drugs and we had just returned from a month long trip, she was in good spirits. Nothing to indicate what was to come, other than the use of the antibiotic: 500mg of clarithromycin 3x a day

    We have our 1st appointment with the hospital’s first episode group tomorrow and i desperately wish to start her tapering. If we had regular tablets, I think we would have started already.

    My questions:

    given the short time frame of use, will withdrawal be as bad as I’ve read?

    will we need to follow the 10% reduction plan or can go down by more?

    she is already feeling badly, pain in her chest as if punched, pain breathing so takes shallow breaths, pain in left eye, pain on left side of her body, bloated, headache, feeling like ‘she’s there but not there”, skin feels tight, dry, itchy, frustrated without understanding why, short tempered etc… this is not her normal self.

    We don’t have a diagnosis / prognosis and noone was willing to speculate on the antibiomania / psychotic side effects of clarithromycin.

    Thank you in advance for any feedback and I do understand that this is not medical advice!



    ALL antibiotics cause me to break out in hives so badly that my face and neck welt and morph (hilarious but terrifying). There’s something quite not right about antibiotics as far as I’m concerned.

    You said “skin feels tight, dry, itchy”. Itchy makes me think of kidneys and dehydration / improper hydration.

    and there’s this from clarithromycin’s wiki page: “In more serious cases, it has been known to cause jaundice, cirrhosis, and kidney problems, including renal failure.”

    and you said “short tempered” which makes me think of allergic reaction and inflammation.

    From personal experience, when I have emotional / mood “flare ups” … well, after a while I discovered that diphenhydramine (antihistamine, benadryl) was like a miracle. Maybe your daughter might like to give it a try. I’m not sure what exactly the diphenhydramine was alleviating but it sure did work and I nearly instantly felt fine. I use it VERY seldom (less than three times per month).

    As for withdrawal from psych drugs – I cannot offer anything. I went off of them immediately, no tapering. But there are plenty of people who can and likely will respond to you.

    Good Luck, Take Good Care



    The way I tapered from medications like Ativan and Seroquel was to start using it ONLY in the SMALLEST dose that would work for sleep because the withdrawal was causing me to have relentless insomnia when I tried to quit to fast. At first I tapered the day dose of the Benzo just like Ativan I was taking.

    I was chewing the bits I broke off the Seroquel XR tablets at night to make them instant release taking only about 25 mg of the 200mg tablet to get to sleep. I continued to use like 10mg for sleep for a long time cause I found it works better than the “PM” drugs in CVS.



    It is life threatening content. Better you take her to a rehabilitation center and take good
    doctor reviews for this. Take good care of her.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  amita8.


    Thank you for the responses.

    Psychiatrist saw her for 15 min and tapered by -100mg. A week later, another 15 mins visit and she brought her up to 350mg. Have lost faith in her.

    Today was massaging daughters neck and what seems like muscles running on the sides of the back of her neck, feel stiff and rigid. She commented that it felt painful in that area. Any ideas? Side effect?



    Sorry you are and your daughter are in this situation.

    A good site to look up drug effects which is pretty comprehensive is Rx List. It can be quite scary reading though, so be forewarned. I hope things work out for your daughter, it sounds like she has been through a lot.

    Best wishes,




    My son, 23 years old at the time, was hospitalized voluntarily for a suicide attempt after a nasty break up with his girlfriend and while experiencing run in with the judicial/corrections system. They immediately labeled him with bi-polar and started him on 700 mg of seroquel daily. He gained exactly one pound of body weight for every day he was in the hospital (thirty days). I refilled the prescription for him ($700 for a month supply–what a racket!!)

    At the time, I was OK with him being on the anti psychotic medication because, by his own admission he could finally get regular sleep after weeks of anxiety and being wired from fight or flight nervous conditions. In other words, it played a role in his recovery by stablizing him. The psychiatrists didn’t gave hime the freeway on ramp to a lifetime of drug dependency and learned helplessness; he could have applied for and received SSi benefits but his compass stayed on course for a better future.

    Secretly, I was terrified because of the damage that anti psychotics including Zyprexa and Risperdal had on my daughter during a psychotic break a few years ago. They made her much worse, and not only that, when she tried to go cold turkey off the meds, they blamed her withdrawal symptoms on her ‘original’ illness and used her lack of compliance to justify committing her again and again. Now she is on a depot injection, forcibly injected with harmful anti=psychotics monthly even though she is not a danger to herself or others.

    Back to seroquel withdrawal, unbenownst to anyone in our family, my son stopped taking the seqoquel after taking a high dose daily for about seven weeks. He claims not to have experienced any negative side effects and was able to continue to sleep normally at night, eat regularly, start a regular work out routine, and face the music of his life.

    I would have preferred that he seek talk therapy; several licensed, professional therapists offered to treat him pro bono, so $$ wasn’t the issue, although he claimed it was, but he refused to seek any kind of treatment whatsoever; Instead, he evaluated and accepted teh unfortunate circumstances in his life, began to work on himself, and owned up to some poor decisions he had been making in the years leading up to his break down, including recreational drug use. He did go to some court ordered addiction treatment and that seemed to innoculate him against further drug use. I just couldn’t figure out why the government says ‘just say no’ to drugs on one hand, while allowing psychiatry to give out pills like candy to anyone based on a fifteen minute ‘interview’ This is junk science and junk medicine. Just a plain racket.
    Fast forward a few years, after years of nail biting hell, we are very proud of our son for his courage in putting his life back on track without harmful anti psychotic medications. He had the good sense to seek good old practical medicine like nature, exercise, good diet, friends, weekly worship at a non homophobic, peace loving, justice seeking church, volunteer work at a homeless shelter, etc.

    There is definitely hope for your daughter to wean off her anti psychotics. Don’t expect to get any support from your local NAMI chapter. They will reinforce your fear of failure (Keep your children on their meds! FEAR FEAR FEAR is their mantra) and what your daughter doesn’t need is your fear right now. She needs you to be confident and courageous, calm, and tolerant.

    If she says or does bizarre things while withdrawing from her meds, be calm and let her have her privacy. If she talks to or hears ‘voices’ ask her if you can respond directly to the same voices. Sometimes you can have a ‘polyconversation.’ Sometimes the voices are humorous and loving. If there are angry voices, those are the ones that need the most compassion. She can work things out in her own good time! Don’t be paranoid, watch her constantly, give her some space. Let her mutter, walk in circles, stay in bed all day, laugh outloud, shout to herself, talk to ‘pretend’ people, whatever. Don’t worry. Given time, she can work it out. The brain is elastic and early childhood trauma, labeling, forced medication, and other dehumanizing effects of being isolated in a locked psychiatric facility with dozens of other people in crisis, can all be experiences that she can heal from. Maybe learn from and become stronger.

    Don’t worry. I’ve been where you are many, many times with my daughter and it gets less scary. Don’t give up faith, even if she relapses and ends up in the hospital. Our daughter has relapsed and cycled in and out of hospitals but we are not giving up the faith that she will regain her right to choose her own future, not become some docile, dumbed down sheep.

    Trust your daughter to be resiliant and find a way to right any imbalances that she is experiencing without being labeled and medicated. Be there to comfort her and listen when she is scared; don’t take it personally if she rejects you or can’t stand the sight of you. Develop a thick skin but be ready to cradle her when she needs a good cry. It’s a roller coaster but lest you think you can’t handle it, remember that what she is experiencing may be ten times worse, and you need to be strong to protect her from psychiatric harm and abuse.

    Create a santuary–don’t let anyone call her names and talk to her as if she is a dummy or as if there is something permanently wrong with her. The broken brain theory is a crock of bullsh*t Of course, something is wrong! She lives in the US with the worst mental health outcomes of any nation in the world and we are practically a police state for heavens sake. People can get arrested for hiccuping and the media is creating lies about people like our daughters, sensationalizing cases of extreme violence as if that is the norm when people are ‘psychotic’; our neighbors run for their guns, trigger ready with phone in hand to call 911 if someone so much as steps near their rose garden.

    Work on establishing good relations with your neighbors; bring them banana bread and pass out Robert Whitaker’s book. Envision a happy future for her and you will enjoy a long and happy relationship with your daughter and maybe one day attend her wedding or have grandkids. Recovery rocks! just believe in your daughter not the shrinks who are making $$$$ of your daughter’s suffering.



    Psychiatry has no program for “tapering off” – it is a one way drug alley. Also most psychiatrist have zero understand of emotional functioning that is why they facilitate cure. So best to get your daughter off the drugs concurrent with getting some alternative social intervention.
    Fake psychotherapy aka “Talk terabyte” is in the drug paradigm (id they assist mental unwellness and help the patients stay on drugs) it woudl be useful to find a genuine psychotherapist that simply says they are practicing psychotherapy. Psychotherapist don’t just “talk” they deal in changing emotional functions and to do that they need to encourage and deal with negative emotions. Test the psychotherapist – if they say they help the patient avoid negative emotions then dump them.

    As well using psychiatry’s word “recovery” is unproductive, destructive as it is a paradigm of unwellness – it’s not good for your daughter to go back to anything she was before because nothing is resolved – it’s best to assist her to change or reconstruct herself.

    By Sept 1st ( 10 days after starting treatment ) she was herself again

    The self is a very deep thing – I think you are probably missing something and you probably need an emotional expert to find out what is going wrong. If she was on seroquel she was basically lobotomized so that is not a very good “self”. It’s a subtle thing sometimes as if the person has lost their soul – you’ll probably notice it eventually. Anti-psychotics all work the same way – they stop the symptoms (which are not the cause of the problems) by killing the person at the root and leaving a shell.




    You are bang on.

    By being herself again, I meant she wasn’t hearing / seeing things. Since I wrote that post, I have understood how seroquel numbs people.

    I’ve had to fight hard to find someone who would taper her. We found someone who has mental issues herself and I’m not sure if she realized that the prescription she gave us allowed us to taper on our own.

    Of course this was done carefully while she was getting different types of therapy just to be on the safe side.

    She is now on 50mg and by next week should be at 25. I hope sleep will not be disturbed after we drop the 25.

    She told me today that she is not the same. Harder is the word she used. This experience has highlighted the shortcomings of some people in her life and the disappointment has hardened her. At least this is how I am interpreting her words.

    Thank you for your feedback. It’s very hard to know what to do or whom to speak with and groups like this have been a god send.

    May 2014 being everyone what is best for them!




    You can read my story and ask me any question, if it might help. I have the advantage of being completely on both sides of this condition.

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