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Tapering Antidepressants

Some ideas to discuss with your doctor from a survivor of AD withdrawal.

"Tapering antidepressants is much the same as tapering benzos.

Dr. Peter Breggin recommends cutting approximately 10% of your dose every 6-8 weeks.  This is “approximate” because there is no set tapering amount or speed that fits everyone.  Rather, the 10% rule is a place to start and a person should be prepared to adjust their taper as needed with the help of their doctor.

The trick comes in getting cuts as close to 10% as possible. You and your doctor may need to do one of the following

-         check on the smallest sized pills available and get your doctor to prescribe those

-         check if the AD comes in a liquid form e.g. Zoloft. A liquid form makes it very easy to make 10% cuts as you simply use a dropper to remove 10% every 6 - 8 weeks

-         check with your pharmacist to see if water titration is an option with your AD. If the pill comes in an enteric coated form then it is NOT OK to use water titration - you will have to take it, as is, and go to next smallest prescribed dose if you cannot do anything else

-         if your AD comes in a capsule then you can check with your pharmacist and doctor to see if it is OK to break open the capsules, take out about 10% and refill into gel caps purchased from the pharmacy

-         ask a compounding pharmacist to make up smaller doses for you

Some doctors suggest switching to Prozac for tapering. The rationale is that Prozac is a long-acting drug and therefore, lends itself to a ‘smoother’ taper

The time to do your AD taper may be 2-3 months after your benzo taper is done.  Do not rush this, as you need to let the dust settle a bit before subjecting your brain to another taper.  Since you will be in benzo withdrawal already, you may need to go much, much slower and make much smaller cuts than you did with your benzo taper.  Just do not get in a hurry and you will be fine."

 

Disclaimer:  The information contained in this website was not compiled by a doctor or anyone with medical training. The advice contained herein should not be substituted for the advice of a physician who is well-informed in the subject matter discussed. Before making any decisions about your health or treatment you should always confer with your physician and it is always assumed that you will do so.

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Last updated 22 July 2015