Avatar universal

seroquel withdrawl

Hey Everyone! I have been on Seroquel for ten years now and feel that it is time to get off. I have had to go cold turkey before and hated it. I went through sweats, vomiting, diarrhea, twitches, NO SLEEP, cant eat, anxiety, fight with everyone and many other things. Those are just the most annoying. I was off it for six months before and maybe got a total of two hundred hours of sleep. I was in jail and they cut me cold turkey. Does anyone have any idea of what can help me thru this or any suggestions of anything. The reason I need to go off of it now is it is a fatal combination with my dilantin. (seizure medication) The doctor cant see me until the end of February, either doctor that is, and she told me to slowly take myself off. I went from 700mg down to 600mg and I already cant sleep and am going thru the other symptoms as well. Any ideas you all??? I'll take anything you can think of!
19 Responses
Avatar universal
Have you talked to a pharmacist about this? I have looked up through reliable online sources and I don't see an indication stated. Many folks here are on anti-seizure meds that are used as mood stabilizers. I'm on Lamactil, and that is one of them. I would call to ease your mind just in case. You should be able to talk with your psych. doctor over the phone as well, even your regular doctor. Let us know how it goes. You said they cut you cold turkey, but you are being weaned off. Are you on or off your med(s) at the moment?
403156 tn?1290150018
Unfortunately, I do not think there is an easy way to do this. I went through it this summer and was miserable. I was on the drug for 2.5 years. I tried getting off of Seroquel in 2007 but became so ill and unstable that I was unable to get off completely. When I did it this summer, I thought it would be easier, but I was wrong. I cut down by 50mg every week. My doctor told me there is no such thing as Seroquel withdrawals, that it isn't addicting. Maybe not psychologically addicting, wanting to take it, but rather physically. My body could not function without it. Like you said, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, absolutely no sleep, etc. Xanax did help tremendously, but I did not use it all the time because it can be extremely addictive. I assume the 2 doctors you are referring to are your neurologist, and psychiatrist?? What about going to your GP if you have one? He might be able to give you something to calm your nerves a little and a temporary drug to help you sleep. Keep checking your psychiatrist's office for cancelations.

Nothing really worked for me, I hope others have some suggestions. Exercise and warm tea helped relax me a little bit.

You are not alone in this. There are lots of websites and blogs about Seroquel withdrawals.

Hang in there, it does get better. Good luck!
574118 tn?1305135284
i agree with Jen i never heard about seroquel withdrawal. i am on 50mg then cut it to 25 then went back to 50 many times. Perhaps the insomnia is psychological so you can sedate yourself using tranquilizers e.g. benzodiazepine, etc...anything you get off it is frustrating even coca cola i know my father if he drinks coca cola for a week continuously then he finds great difficulty in stopping
403156 tn?1290150018
I didn't say that seroquel withdrawals do not exist, I believe they do because I went through it for 2 months. Doctors do not believe it, partly because of the information the drug companies put out. Doctors tend to believe everything the drug companies say. However, I did read an article published by the maker of Seroquel acknowledging withdrawal symptoms. If word comes out that Seroquel is physically addicting and causes horrible withdrawals, people probably wouldn't be eager to take it and sales of the drug could drop. Seroquel is huge right now, this website is covered in ads for Seroquel. As far as the insomnia, I took Seroquel before bed because of how sedating it was for me. After 2.5 years, my body didn't know any other way to sleep.

Someone on a blog wrote that Seroquel withdrawals were worse than heroin withdrawals... I have never done drugs like that so I wouldn't know, but that person apparently has.

Everyone experiences things differently, so there are probably people out there that never went through it or to a lesser degree.
574118 tn?1305135284
Hi Jen

since you brought this info of seroquel withdrawal so could you plz kindly investigate it more because i consider it my salvation pill. Perhaps monkeyc is right all AP should be abandonned and resort to AC. You said also in your case after 2.5 years your body is accustomed heavily on it
Avatar universal
I think anything you take consistently can have negative affects when removing it from your system. I haven't seen a heck of a lot of info regarding Seroqual withdrawals, but like any psychotropic drug, you should be eased off it. Stopping coffee after years of daily use will give you a wicked headache, to some unbearable. I had to use ativan to get off Cymbalta this last summer, and even then I still had some nasty days. On the other hand, I pretty much got off a high dose of Lithium in 5 days, due to other health issues, so I think withdrawals are really individualist, no two people are alike.
Avatar universal
403156 tn?1290150018
I do not want this to scare you into discontinuing the drug. It helped me tremendously and if I didn't develop problems because of it, I would still be on it.

Here is info straight from the drug company:
They mention that withdrawals may happen with sudden discontinuation, but from my own experience, they occurred even when I was slowly tapering down and lasted 2 weeks after I was completely off.

Here is stuff from a blog:

I am unable to find the link to the document from astrazeneca. It was hard for me to find before and I can't remember where it was. Who knows, maybe they took it down.

I think it comes down to how long and how much. I was on a fairly high dose. At one point I was taking 600mg but stayed on 400mg for over a year. It was coming down from 400mg that became so difficult. I have been off of it for several months and sleeping is still a problem - I take trazodone now to help with that.

Everyone reacts differently - I do not think that everyone goes through severe withdrawals.
585414 tn?1288941302
As for the company website that's factual information. However, anything you read that says "Seroquel withdrawal is worse than heroin withdrawal". That's misinformation. It isn't. Seroquel is not addictive, at all in any way for starters. Of course I never did illegal drugs but I did withdraw from Klonopin too fast and got a full body withdrawal symptom but I did it the wrong way and benzodiazepenes can be addictive but if I had done it the right way it wouldn't have happenened. Okay now back to Seroquel. If a person goes off Seroquel and they need an antipsychotic, after a while the psychosis will return. If its treating mood stabilization same thing. That's not "addiction". That's the symptoms returning. That would be like saying if you went off insulin, your blood sugar level would get dangerously high. Of ocurse it would because the symptoms of diabetes would return.
  Basically you need a replacement mood stabilizer and yes as that one post suggested if Lamictal is considered a choice then that should be a possibility and treats seizures as well as mood disorders although of course different anti-convulsants treat different forms of seizures but Dilantin is an old line anti-convulsant with many side effects and no mood stabilization effects but you should speak to your doctor directly and post in the "ask a doctor forum" under neurology as well to get a cogent answer. I am surprised your psychiatrist didn't suggest a replacement mood stabilizer though. Please ask him why not as the mood swings/rapid cycling/mania will return.
574118 tn?1305135284
is there any way you can get a degree in medicine. i see you are more learned at least than my pdoc. in engineering - my profession - it doesn't matter whether you have a degree or not and you pass a certain qualifying exam for some posts then if you succeed you get the job. i don't know about medicine, sure you'll have to complement your information by studying forensic, immunology, biochemistry, pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, etc... but sure the information you provide is always good. i regret myself of not graduating in psychiatry i.e. taking medicine as my career at least i could have helped myself
585414 tn?1288941302
  Thanks but if you read through what it takes to be a doctor (and I have people in the family who are doctors and remember when they went through residency, internship and the whole process) and then further psychiatric training its way more complex. Its a whole process that qualifies in a certain expertise. As for your psychiatrist, we all share the same opinion so let's not revisit that. I am homebound from my physical disability but I do volunteer doing non profit advocacy and have recieved unofficial train as a peer counselor for people with psychiatric disabilities. But that's enough about me.
  As for yourself, further your studies and career as far as you can. And as for your treatment, find out more about it so you can better understand it and be better helped. That's what I did. And those links posted are good resources to start with.
659397 tn?1279413967
I found seroquel (quetiapine) really helpful to me for bipolar but I stopped taking it when I found out I was pregnant, just stopped it altogether, and although I was told by my psychiatrist that there shouldn't have been any withdrawals I would totally disagree. I was unable to sleep, felt both sick and generally awful for about 3-4 days after stopping, I think it would be best to gradually reduce obviously, but maybe try and get something to help with sleep till you can find something that works with the seizure medication, maybe there is another seizure medication that would allow you to continue with seroquel. Good luck anyway, the side effects and withdrawal do go away, I managed to sleep through the night about a week after I stopped altogether. Hope you do ok...
644988 tn?1236364548
I've been on seroquel for 18m, recently found I "needed" an extra dose in the late afternoon to "iron out" some daily irritability that seemed to relate to a dip in levels/doses.
Two things.
I told my p.nurse that either quetiapine or alcohol seemed to work equally well for me at this point in the day ; her response was that it would be easier to get me off quetiapine than alcohol in the long run.
Secondly, I tried a reciprocal reduction in bedtime dose and that triggered a run of ghastly nightmares...the timing makes me convinced that this is a withdrawal effect.
574118 tn?1305135284
thank you Ally and dippy.
strange you are using quietapine as a tranquilizer because it can replace alcohol for you. the nightmares you are having is exactly like me but i don't consider this withdrawal symptoms rather a reverse to hypomania since by increasing the dose it fades away
thanks ezz
Avatar universal
Hey tyger, i'm similar seroquel and anti-epileptic.  Dilantin is **** in my experience, and it reduces the effect of the seroquel, maybe that's why your dose is so high, what 600?  I'm on 400.  Anyway, i hated dilantin when i needed an anti epileptic, gave me jitters and dry mouth and whatever, i can't remember for sure.  I'm on Tegretol (carbamazepine) which is one of the better anti-epileptics for me (tonic clonic/grand mal), but can cause (largely unreported) bursts of anger.  Dunno, but it's otherwise clean and without other sideys.
I do understand the Seroquel come down too, like with sleep and just anxiety, cause it so shuts you down.  Not really withdrawl, but if you wanna stay awake all night, just don't take it huh?
The other anti-epileptic i know is epilum (sodium valproate) which is also very commonly (ab) used as a mood stabilizer.  If being obese stabilizes your mood, then it tends to do that.  Don't like this one either, like i say, i'm happier with Tegretol and it's stable.  Just not sure about the anger thing, but it's supposed to be rare.  And it doesn't mess with the Seroquel in my experience.  
Avatar universal
It's a good reason to get off seroquel because it has been proven that it can lead to diebetic and weight gain issues.. I too am trying to come off it, because I HAVE gained excessive weight without any reason other then attributed to this medicine.  It works great for my anxiety, but I have to try an alternative.  I read from someone that they are taking effexor and busprone ( which I have been on the busprone);  I wish you the best in you search with your physciatrist.
Avatar universal

I would respectably but strongly disagree with you.  Seroquel withdrawal can be hell.  I have been on 400 mg Seroquel XR for about 4 years.  Yesterday I took a dose of the generic version (I was hoping to save on the cost) and immediately, began to feel WITHDRAWAL!! I went back to the XR formulary and immediately, the WITHDRAWAL went away.  Many withdrawal symptoms like SEVERE anxiety and muscle spasms, insomnia, aggitation like you can't believe, feeling like I am in free fall, etc. were completely new.  I never had anything even remotely like these symptoms as part of my "disorder".  Seroquel is a dangerous and very addicting drug.  It hits the D2 receptors in the neurons (hence the term neuroleptic) causing, over time, adaptations by the brain to form more receptors.  Messing with the dose after taking it for awhile exposes the receptors making the neuron hypersensative to dopamine. This can be deadly.  

They give this dangerous med out for everything from insomnia to "mood stabilization" whatever that means.  This is a serious drug that should only be prescribed for a short term for PSYCHOSIS.  Tardive psychosis (much worse symptoms than before the drug was started) is a terrifying prospect just to get a few hours of sleep.  This drug should be banned!  I definitely and respectfully disagree.  I am going through hell trying to get off of this horrific drug.

Avatar universal
;I've  been on Seroquel for 5 months for postpartum depression. I just found out I'm pregnant and Im about four weeks along. I didnt take the Seroquel last night and it was horrible. Should I have cut myself off slowly? Would that be safer for my unborn child?
Avatar universal
ive been taking 50-150mg of seroquel and 200mg of trazodone each night an hour before bed, i always eat a light snack with the medication partly because seroquel increases my appetite and also food helps dissolve the medication and activates it quicker than when i dont eat food. I find that sometimes my body adjusts to the 150mg of seroquel and it doesnt have the effect it used to, so when that happens I will up my trazodone to 250 and lower my seroquel to 100... some days if I am feeling particularly sleepy I will only take 50mg of seroquel without the trazodone. It really depends on how I feel that day, and by changing around my prescription I consistently feel the effects of the medication and I have not had any problems with the meds or sleep for over 2 years. Without these meds I would not get restful sleep and insomnia and bipolar have been something ive dealt with my entire adult life. As far as withdrawals go... I havent felt any withdrawals, but I also havent gone more than 2 days without the meds, so i cant say for sure.
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