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coming off Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate), just a bit


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I've decided to come down a bit on the Seroquel, ever so gradually. Tonight I will take 275mg, and see if my brain misses the other 25mg tomorrow. PMS is probably not the best time to do this, but I've been feeling amazingly okay so far, on my tiny little dose of Paxil. I'm gonna try to get down to 200mg, and see how I feel on that. I imagine I won't feel too different, as I remember, 200 felt a lot like 300. I'm actually really excited about this... didn't tell the p-doc, though, as I imagine he won't approve. Psh. If I have problems, I'll just go back up to 300.

So, I'm thinking I will take 25mg less every week, until I reach 200mg. Or until I go nuts again.

Anyone have any experience doing this? Should I go slower than 25mg/week?

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Are you on anything else to control mania?

If you can't handle the side effects it would be better to talk to your doc and try and find something else since bp can get worse over time if not properly treated.

300mgs is on the low end of the dose range when it comes to what is used to control mania. A bizarre thing about seroquel is that is that many people find it less sedating at higher doses. If sedation is the problem you're having, decreasing it might make it worse. You might want to ask your doc about taking more.

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Are you on anything else to control mania?

If you can't handle the side effects it would be better to talk to your doc and try and find something else since bp can get worse over time if not properly treated.

300mgs is on the low end of the dose range when it comes to what is used to control mania. A bizarre thing about seroquel is that is that many people find it less sedating at higher doses. If sedation is the problem you're having, decreasing it might make it worse. You might want to ask your doc about taking more.

I've been on Seroquel for seven months, and at this point I don't even fall asleep when I take 300 mg in the evening. I do eventually, but it takes several hours.

I'm not on anything else to control mania... honestly, I want to be a little hypomanic. I miss being passionate about things and getting a lot of work done (usually late at night). I'm a songwriter, but I barely ever write anymore, and I haven't recorded at all since I started Seroquel. It just makes me sleep WAY too much... then I need 2-3 hours to fully wake up... it's taking too much time away from my life.

I should talk to the p-doc about it. I will. But in the meantime, I'm curious to see how it feels on 200. I'm extremely sensitive to meds. I have a bunch of Seroquel and I can always take it if I feel like the mania is getting out of control.

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Why are you decreasing the dose anyway?

If it makes you feel any better, I am on 1200mg/day. I wouldnt recommend changing doses without discussing it with your dr at all.

Several reasons:

The FDA has appoved Seroquel for "short-term" use - I'm not sure what short-term use is, my p-doc was incredibly vague about that. I've been on it since January. I want to take a break, or at least ease up on it.

I feel like I'm on a really short leash - I take it at midnight or around there, and I sleep for 13 hours, then spend the first 3 hours of the "morning" recovering. I haven't been productive, I spend SO much time sleeping, it's ridiculous.

I've learned a lot of new ways of dealing with my moodswings, coping with stress, identifying triggers as they come up. I don't think I'm going to be as vulnerable as I was before I started the stuff.

Mostly, I just want to feel creative and driven, so I can start being productive again. I'm a songwriter and I'm trying to get out of a rut.

I could be making the wrong decision to come off it... but like I said, if I start to go off my rocker, I'll go back up to my previous dose. :)

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You mentioned you take a dose at midnight. Have you tried taking it earlier? Seroquel takes a full 4 hrs to reach maximum plasma concentration. Taking it at 8pm would mean its full effective at midnight. Talk with your dr on this one.

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Heya mad_genious,

What chimpmaster said.

If you're clear of the sedation at 13 hours, try taking it 13 hours before you have to work.

And.

Lookit.

You say yourself that the cognitive stuff works better since starting Seroquel.

If Seroquel is *working* why do you want to *stop* it?

Like -- if medication is keeping your cholesterol down, why would you *stop* it?

--ncc--

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Right, you all make good points.

I don't have plans to stop entirely, just to get down to 200 and assess how I feel.

I agree that the drug helps me tremendously. I just wish they could ~tweak~ it a little, so that you don't sleep for so long.

I could try taking it earlier. It won't mix well with my evening wine, though...

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You're doing exactly what I tried a few weeks ago. Along with Lithium & Lamictal, I've been taking 300mg Seroquel (having taken up to 500mg in the prior year).

I've associated much of my weight gain with Seroquel and getting down to - and stable on - 300mg was a great achievement for me. So after a while I brought it up with my pdoc, about decreasing it a little more, as long as I was willing to up it again and call him if it didn't work.

I went down from 300mg to 250mg for a week & a half, felt fine though slightly 'touchy'. Then I went down to 200mg, lasted on that for about 4 days, then couldn't stand how I had started feeling - irritable, restless, paranoid, tearful - so cranked it back up to 300mg and felt better within a few days.

Like V.Elvis mentioned & my pdoc says, 300mg is generally the lowest effective dose for Bipolar treatment.

I was aware of that, but felt ready & able to test it for myself. It didn't work, but I'm still positive about it. My dose is now perfectly fine tuned!!

And now, off I go to the gym!

;) Good luck! I think 25mg & a week at a time is slow enough.

I hope it works for you, but stay humble too & if you recognise changes in your mood, don't hesitate to up your dose again. A major mood swing is not what you want to achieve.

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Thanks Pinkybee.

I'm still on 275. I did feel moody the first day, now I feel fine (although I've increased my Paxil, so who knows?)

I'm gonna decrease another 25mg next week. 200mg is my goal, because i remember I felt okay at that dose.

We shall see...

I have a theory about the weight gain, by the way. I'm a normal-weight person who works out regularly, but I don't feel as motivated to do stomach crunches if I'm "hung over" from Seroquel. In other words, it encourages me to be sedentary moreso than I used to be without it. It supresses mania, and, well, you burn a lot more calories when you're manic than when you're sleeping or sitting around trying to wake up...

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I just called the hospital to see what they do when you check in. It sounds awful. They take your clothes and belongings away. Maybe I should leave town. Maybe on Sunday after work. Tie a weight to my foot and jump off a bridge. I don't want to live life on meds and I barely want to live at all. My grandmother is about to die, so it would be easier on my mom griefwise if I just knocked off when grandma does.

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I'm not sure what hospital you called but here they let you wear your own clothes (t-shirts and elastic style pants without draw strings) and you can wear shoes without shoelaces in them. I'm not sure what they do for men and shaving - girls just don't get to shave their legs. They keep your personal items in a basket and give them to you when it's time to shower, etc.

Don't get me wrong - dd hated it. They won't let you sleep a lot and pretty much force you to do group stuff that she hated. You are mixed in with every kind of problem and I doubt it's any fun. ON THE OTHER HAND, it was what got dd's situation under control last year. They can get you off/on medications MUCH QUICKER in the hospital where you are being watched for side effects, etc.

They want my dd to do go into the hospital again - ugh, they want to take her off everything and start fresh. She doesn't want to do it either. But today she said these "people" are everywhere and even following her and she is "tired of it". Believe me, that is not the norm for her hallucinations. They are taking her off 2 meds this week (very quickly for home titration) and amping up her Seroquel (typical - you can do that very quickly) and we'll see what happens.

I'm sorry things aren't going well for you - truly I am BUT remember that there is going to be a better time for you. Maybe now is the time to get this under control, under medical observation, kwim?

Also, as a mom, I don't think it would be easier on your mom if you decide to commit suicide. My dd went through a period of feeling this way and I told her the truth, and I'm going to speak for your mom, too, I would always wonder what I could have done different, kwim? Could I have been more of a support? Could I have interceded sooner? Was I too passive? There are a hundred questions to be asked. Honestly, and I mean it, for everyone on this board you will find they will tell you that things DO get better.

Take care....

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I just called the hospital to see what they do when you check in. It sounds awful. They take your clothes and belongings away. Maybe I should leave town. Maybe on Sunday after work. Tie a weight to my foot and jump off a bridge. I don't want to live life on meds and I barely want to live at all. My grandmother is about to die, so it would be easier on my mom griefwise if I just knocked off when grandma does.
MG- I see from your personal profile that you logged in today. Which means that you didn't proceed with what you proposed here. I'm so glad you didn't. Yes, it is shit when you haven't found the right combination of meds and it doesn't seem like it's ever going to get better. But there *will* come a time when you are better. You may have to live with donkey-dong side effects, but life will seem vaguely worth living again. And then less vaguely. From the pit of despair it's hard to see this.

If you are feeling close to the brink it is just for right now; please please please talk to someone about it. One of the hardest things is the monumental task of trying to hold everything together yourself in isolation. And going to the hospital is a fine option. There are a number of people that I've talked to that have found it to be almost a comforting experience. You get a repreive from the isolated struggle, and actually pass it to the experts to deal with. You don't have the same freedoms as living at home, but you also don't have the same strain.

Also, maybe you should put off tapering the Seroquel until you've been stable for a goodly while?

Take good care,

~cache-monkey

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