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Seroquel (Quetiapine) Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long Do They Last?

Seroquel (Quetiapine) is a short-acting atypical anitpsychotic drug that is primarily used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In some cases it is also used as an antidepressant augmentation strategy to treat major depression. It is sometimes used to help manage Alzheimer’s disease and is used at low doses for the treatment of insomnia. Despite the fact that this medication has a variety of uses, it should really only be used for its intended purpose – to treat schizophrenia and possibly bipolar disorder.

Many people take it and it works great to help people manage the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. It also helps prevent major mood swings among individuals with bipolar disorder. With that said, not everyone responds well to this drug – in some cases the side effects become unbearable. Additionally, for some individuals this drug doesn’t work well enough to justify continued usage.

Although this is a drug that can be beneficial for some people, the long term effects are not very promising. In many cases, this drug actually worsens intellectual functioning – especially in elderly with dementia. It also tends to elicit a variety of unpleasant side effects for the person taking it including: weight gain, sexual dysfunction, drowsiness, and worsened motor functioning.

Factors that influence Seroquel withdrawal include…

When you withdraw from any medication, there are important factors that will influence your withdrawal. These factors include: time span, dosage, your physiology, and whether you tapered off of the drug or quit cold turkey.

1. Time Span

How long were you taking Seroquel? If you were taking it for an extended period of time (e.g. over a year), you are likely going to have a tougher time coming off of the drug than someone who only took it for a few months. If you were on this drug for many years, it may be extremely difficult to quit.

2. Dosage (150 mg to 800 mg)

What dosage were you taking? In general, it is hypothesized that the higher the dosage you take, the more it alters your brain functioning. If you take a high dose for a long term, it is going to take your brain a much longer time to normalize in regards to neurotransmitter functioning. The drug comes in doses ranging from 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg, and 400 mg.

For treatment of schizophrenia, most people take between 150 mg and 800 mg per day. If you are on the 800 mg dose, it may take longer for you to withdraw. Fortunately the dosing is nice if you need to conduct a gradual taper – you can keep cutting your dose in half.

3. Individual Physiology

A lot of withdrawal symptoms will be influence by your individual physiology. Despite the fact that many people experience the same symptoms when they quit taking this drug, some people don’t experience as many symptoms, while others experience more symptoms. Another thing to consider is whether you have a mental illness like schizophrenia or bipolar. Withdrawal can trigger symptoms or a relapse of symptoms related to the illness for which you were taking it.

4. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

How should you quit taking Seroquel? For most people, it is highly recommended to conduct a gradual taper. If you are on a higher dose and you quit cold turkey, you will likely be unable to function. By conducting a gradual taper (e.g. slowly reducing the dosage over time), you are allowing your body and brain to slowly adjust to changes.

If you have been on the drug for a long period of time, even tapering may be difficult. If you are someone that quit cold turkey and aren’t looking back, prepare yourself for a long recovery period and symptoms that feel as if they are never going to go away. If you haven’t yet quit this medication and want to taper, slowly reduce your dosage every few weeks. It may take months to taper off of your medication, but it will minimize the withdrawal symptoms.

Seroquel Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below are a list of common symptoms that have been reported during Seroquel withdrawal. Keep these symptoms in mind when you come off of the medication so that you know what to expect. Although you may not experience every symptom on the list, it is likely that you will experience something when you quit taking this drug.

  • Agitation: If you feel especially agitated, it’s because you’re brain is no longer receiving the drug. This drug helps many people stay calm and reduces agitation. When a person quits taking it, they may become increasingly agitated and it may last for awhile.
  • Anxiety: In many cases this drug helps people with anxiety. When you stop taking it, your anxiety may skyrocket. Everything you do may provoke nervousness and intense anxiety. Try to realize that it is just from withdrawal and that you will recover.
  • Concentration problems: Although this drug can cause concentration problems while you take it, you may also experience poor concentration when you stop it. Some people call this “brain fog” or foggy thinking – it is due to the fact that your brain is trying to readjust itself.
  • Depression: When withdrawing from this antipsychotic you may spiral into deep depression. Any medication that affects neurotransmitters can result in depression when you withdraw – especially if it had a subtle antidepressant effect when you took it.
  • Dizziness: A common withdrawal symptom from any psychiatric medication is dizziness. This may be extreme when you quit taking Seroquel, but shouldn’t last longer than a few months. For most people, this sensation goes away after a few weeks, but for some, the dizziness persists for a long time. Don’t freak out if the dizziness lasts longer than you anticipated – realize that it is a result of post-acute withdrawal.
  • Fatigue: Feeling excessively lethargic, tired, and fatigued is common when quitting an antipsychotic. Although this medication tends to be sedating while you take it, the withdrawal takes a toll on overall energy levels. When your brain is trying to readjust, you may become extremely tired and feel like sleeping all day.
  • Headaches: It is common to experience headaches when you quit taking Seroquel. The headaches may be minor or may feel like full blown migraines. These will subside eventually, but may last weeks before they go away.
  • Heart rate changes: You may notice that your heart rate becomes excessive when you quit this drug. Some people notice that their heart beats excessively fast when they withdraw. You may also notice heart palpitations – these are caused by both withdrawal and anxiety.
  • Hypersensitivity: A person may become hypersensitive to sights and sounds when they come off of this medication. The person may not realize that it is from drug withdrawal and their neurotransmitters are not functioning properly. Therefore normal sounds may sound excessively loud and normal sights may appear excessively bright.
  • Insomnia: It is common to experience insomnia when you quit this drug. Insomnia is usually caused by anxiety and/or sleep disruptions. Your entire sleep cycle may be thrown off when you quit this drug and you may experience increased anxiety.
  • Irritability: Don’t be surprised if you become increasingly irritable and difficult when you stop this drug. In general the medication tends to calm people down almost to the point of a stupor. If you feel excessively irritable, know that it’s likely a result of withdrawal.
  • Itching: Some people notice when they quit this drug that they become itchy all over. If you are experiencing excessive itchiness when you stop Seroquel, just know that it’s a result of withdrawal. If it becomes too unbearable, you may want to conduct a slower taper.
  • Mood swings: It is common to experience mood swings when you quit this drug – even if you are not bipolar. The mood swings may be more pronounced and uncontrollable if you are bipolar, but even individuals that aren’t will notice that they may feel angry one minute and hopeful the next.
  • Nausea: One of the most common symptoms associated with withdrawal from Seroquel is that of nausea. You may feel nauseated for an extended period of time until your body becomes used to functioning without the drug.
  • Psychosis: It has been discovered that withdrawal from antipsychotics can cause psychosis. In other words, you may experience hallucinations, delusions, etc. when you are coming off of this medication. Most people don’t experience psychosis when they withdraw unless they have pre-existing schizophrenia – but it is still a possibility.
  • Sleep problems: A person may notice major changes in their sleep patterns and length when they quit taking this medication. One minute the person may have bouts of extreme insomnia and the next minute they may feel extremely tired.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Many people take this medication to help with suicidal thoughts and depression. When you quit taking it, you may feel more suicidal than you have ever felt. This is due to the fact that your neurotransmitter levels are out of balance and you are no longer receiving the drug to help.
  • Sweating: A very common symptom is that of profuse sweating when you stop taking Seroquel. This may be prevalent throughout the day and/or may occur while you are sleeping. You may wake up from sleep in a pool of sweat. Just know that this is your body’s response to withdrawing from the drug.
  • Vision changes: Some people experience pain in the eye and visual disturbances as a result of taking this medication. It has been hypothesized that this and other antipsychotics could lead a person to experience blurred vision even when withdrawing. Some even hypothesize potential “eye damage” as a result of taking this medication.
  • Vomiting: Unfortunately you may vomit a lot when you stop taking Seroquel. This can be a result of intense nausea and/or your body’s way of detoxifying itself. If you feel like vomiting, just know that many people experience this during withdrawal.

Note: It is documented that Seroquel stays in your system for around 1.6 days after you stop taking it.  Once the drug is out of your system, it can take a long time for your neurophysiology to recalibrate itself back to homeostatic functioning.

Seroquel Withdrawal Timeline: How long does it take?

The withdrawal process tends to affect everyone differently – therefore there is no predictable timeline for withdrawal. Some people may fully recover from symptoms within a month or two, while others may struggle with symptoms for months after they take their last dose. There is really no telling how long you will experience symptoms, but as a general rule of thumb, I recommend waiting 90 days before expecting any sort of recovery.

If you have been taking a powerful psychiatric antipsychotic drug for an extended period of time, it is going to take your brain and body quite some time before they fully recover back to homeostatic functioning. Your neurotransmitters and receptors have been altered by the long term drug usage, and your brain will need some time to reset its functioning.

In order to ensure the fastest possible recovery, you can make sure that you are eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, staying productive, and getting some exercise throughout the day. Exercise helps stimulate functioning in the brain and rids toxins from the body. If you are getting some exercise (even if its light), it will go a long way towards helping you cope with recovery symptoms and recover quicker.

If you have been on Seroquel and would like to share your experience, feel free to do so in the comments section below. By sharing your experience, it helps other people realize that they are not alone and not going crazy.

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{ 752 comments… add one }
  • Jessica May 19, 2018, 4:54 pm

    I’ve been taking Seroquel for about 12 years now. I started off at a high dose. I was prescribed it for psychosis/paranoid schizophrenia. Since then my diagnosis has kept changing, no mention of psychosis or anything for several years. My dose had gone up and down.

    At one point I was taking 900 mgs… I slept for about 20 hours a day (not joking) and Every time I went to my Dr she never asked how I felt, only if I was sleeping through the night. It knocked me out, but it made me so very hungry. At some points I would literally crawl to the kitchen for food.

    She just kept raising the dose. Finally my mom went in with me and had a not so nice talk to the Dr saying that my quality of life was diminishing. Over years I’ve gotten down to 100mgs. I’ve gained over 75 pounds in that time. No matter how much I eat during the day, when that Seroquel kicks in I can’t stop eating.

    Now I don’t even eat during the day because I know how much food I will devour at night. At first this medication seemed heaven sent. It’s not. I would never recommend this to anyone, ever! If I go a single night without that 100mgs of Seroquel the withdrawal begins.

    I’m on day 3 without it because of a mixup with my pharmacy… So nauseous, bad headaches that Tylenol wont help and I can’t think straight. Over the time I’ve been taking Seroquel, I have completely dumbed down. I lost interest in everything. No energy EVER.

    Not to mention that no sleeping pills or Xanax for anxiety work anymore. I have gotten a freakishly high tolerance to everything. I just want to stop. I’m done with it. Maybe it was okay at first… But I don’t like the life it has caused. I’m done and I want off. Please help!!!

  • Stephen May 17, 2018, 10:08 am

    I’m really glad I’ve found this comment section as it has helped solidify my decision to stop taking this drug. I’ve been on seroquel for two and a half years at 150mg. I found it really impaired my clarity of thinking, my memory and made me go from a 30 waist to a 36.

    While the drug helped with controlling some of my bipolar symptoms and stabilized my emotional state, the way I felt about my body has been terrible. I’ve only recently come off of the drug and I’m having trouble sleeping primarily. Thankfully I’m not suffering the stomach issues most of you have had.

    But man have the headaches and spontaneous emotional outbursts been bad. And the body aches too. But I know it’s the right decision for me. I am on Lamotrigine and Sertraline as well, and I feel they help me cope with my bipolar disorder pretty good, as well as keep my OCD in check, reducing some of my anxiety.

    I’m just glad I’m not alone in the school of thought that this drug is bad for me. :)

  • SM May 16, 2018, 12:51 am

    Hello. I have been taking seroquel for 7 months and have gained 30 lbs in the last few months. I decided to wean myself off. I haven’t noticed any side effects yet. I am only 5 feet tall and weigh 173 lbs. So I have a lot of extra weight.

    I exercise and I eat healthy, but none of that prevented me from gaining weight as my psychiatrist said it would. I am glad that I am not the only one who has experienced weight gain due to seroquel.

  • Anne Grant May 12, 2018, 6:58 pm

    I’ve been taking Seroquel for at least 12 years. Lately had it at 100 mg for about 8 years. I knew I would withdrawal because if I missed a dose I got rapid heart beat, sweats and no sleep, shaking, nausea. That is just one night!

    Recently forgot a dose so I decided it was time to try again to get off. I tried before and went back on to avoid withdrawal. Been off a week with vomiting, nausea, no solid sleep, headache, dizziness and diarrhea.

    The nausea is ridiculously bad. I’m staying off this time because how could something that has so much power to make you this sick, be good for you?

  • Darcie French May 10, 2018, 9:23 pm

    A message of hope: I quit 50-100 mg per night (took it for eight years, initially at a much higher dose) cold turkey a week ago. Only side effects are difficulty falling asleep, hunger from blood sugar fluctuations (this disappeared by fourth night) and itching when the dose is due.

    I take Rick Simpson oil, I exercise daily, I do not drink alcohol, smoke marijuana or cigarettes (anymore) and I eat an excellent balanced diet that does not include processed foods, sugar or meat. When I started the seroquel, I was so unhealthy because of my diet and lifestyle that I could barely get out of bed.

    I don’t recommend quitting seroquel in that state. I am certain that my overall improved health and lifestyle, plus the Rick Simpson oil has enabled me to quit cold turkey with very minimal side effects. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and bipolar 8 years ago; today I have no symptoms of either.

  • G May 10, 2018, 6:35 am

    Hi there, I am so glad I came across this message board today. I thought I was an anomaly. I have been on seroquel for 11 years moving from between 100mg to 400mg nightly for bipolar 2 disorder. To be fair, there was not much else around 11 years ago that worked for me and it allowed me to finish 2 degrees, raise 4 kids and have a career but I put on 18kilos (about 40pounds) and I was blunted emotionally.

    I found a psychiatrist who put me on Latuda and it has had a much better effect on me. He told me to cut the seroquel. I told him I was worried about it but he thought I could cut down faster than I had been willing to. I was cutting down 25mg per week – we got to 100 and he said to stay on that for 1 week, then 50mg for a week then nothing.

    Sweet Lord! Did I have a terrible time. I should have tapered as I instinctively thought I should. I asked if it was withdrawal but Psychiatrist said it was unusual but possible. I stopped completely 2 months ago. I had to take 3 weeks off work with stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweats and chills and of course rebound insomnia!

    I have always been told to be very careful of not sleeping because it can cause an episode so that has made me anxious. I tried every sedative or natural remedy for sleeping there is. I had stayed on the last 25mg until this week – I couldn’t stand the last of the symptoms and the insomnia worried me. So, I took another week of work this week and stopped taking it over the weekend.

    Minor version of what happened the first time. The nausea stopped today but still had diarrhea. I think I am on the tail end of it but have been feeling so sick with insomnia. I slept ok – 5 hours – last night and the night before. But, the whole point of psychological and physical dependence on a drug is that you end up feeling like you have to take it to stop the terrible side effects or symptoms of not taking it.

    I have felt like an addict. I see the boxes there at 3am and think of taking it just to sleep. I have already lost 5 kilos without doing much but I have been so nauseated I have not really eaten much for the past 2 months.

    After reading this today, I feel less alone and different. I have always been ashamed of having Bipolar but also ashamed of taking Seroquel. I have one less thing to worry about now. Following your helpful comments I am going to focus on what I can eat without feeling so sick and cook healthy food.

    I have found some good information about sleep hygiene and sleep programs to psychologically find a sleep routine that forces the brain into a sleeping pattern. I am also going to start exercising daily again and meditating starting tonight. Thanks for all being so open.

  • Sean May 8, 2018, 12:01 pm

    I was on 50mg of seroquel for about 10 years for PTSD and insomnia. It worked great, saved my life. But now its time for me to try life without seroquel. When I first quit cold turkey my withdrawals were quite severe, including: diarrhea, nausea, no sleep first 4 days followed by not sleeping through the night, itching, dry vomiting, music in my head, and headaches.

    Most symptoms have gone away now after 3 months except for not sleeping through the night. I wake up now at 4am everyday and can’t go back to sleep. I really hope this last symptom goes away soon. All I can say is wow, I had no clue there were drugs anywhere in the world with withdrawal symptoms that could last so long.

  • Alisa May 7, 2018, 5:59 pm

    I am currently trying to slowly come off my Seroquel. I have been taking 400mg daily for years. I had my first night of taking none last night and had the worst sleep and fever. I would love to hear from anyone with any suggestions, similar experiences, or even encouragement. Mental health is no joke.

  • Rossen Lyubomirov May 5, 2018, 10:17 am

    Hello! I am 20 years old, male and I’ve been taking 25mg quetiapine and 75 mg pregabalin for around 7 months. I was prescribed these drugs because when I started university in another city my anxiety, depression and social phobia went through the roof and I couldn’t sleep at all.

    At the time they helped me a lot, but I’ve noticed that they make me dumb, slow, unoriginal, tired, I experienced brain fog and lost my creativity and I don’t need them anymore, since they are only harming me.

    Now I am seeing a neurologist who told me to just stop the quetiapine and after 10 to 15 days to stop the pregabalin – and prescribed me hydroxyzine to help me sleep while stopping the other drugs.

    I want to ask even though I’ve been taking a relatively low dose (compared to some of the people here) and for not too long, will I get the awful withdrawals you guys get?

  • Quinn April 30, 2018, 12:52 am

    Well that explains it… I ran out this friday (took the last pill that night) and haven’t been able to get my refill over the weekend. I’m currently on hour 40 without sleep, even with taking an Oxapax tablet. I can only hope that I can get my prescription ASAP when my psych opens.

  • Michele April 27, 2018, 9:07 am

    I have been taking 150mg of seroquel for the past 19 years. I could not get it approved by my new doctor from my insurance this year. I have been taking 50 mg the past 3 months stretching out what I had left hoping that it would somehow get approved.

    When I ran out last weekend I was kind of glad. I have gained 130 pounds on this drug and my type 2 diabetes is not well controlled even though I exercise regularly and eat a healthy gluten free diet (I am a Celiac).

    I slept well the first few days but day six now and I can not sleep at all tonight. I have noticed everything seems much louder and colors look different and light is hurting my eyes.

    I hope the sleep gets better quickly. I won’t do well without any sleep. I really do want to try to stay off and see if I can lose some weight to improve my overall health. Wish me luck.

    • Alisa May 7, 2018, 2:22 pm

      I am also trying to stop taking seroquel and feel awful. I have been weaning off it but still feeling some awful reactions. I too have gained a lot of weight on this medication and am praying that I can get through this!!

  • Laurie April 26, 2018, 7:35 pm

    I am so happy to find this comment section, although there are so many I couldn’t read them all. I have been on Seroquel for about 4 years now for a severe case of insomnia and diagnosed as bipolar 1. I started on 100mg and then it was increased to 300mg over the course of the years.

    I recently started having side effects which included severe stiffness in my joints. I knew it was the Seroquel but did not have any cogentin left and no access to my psychiatrist any longer. I have been weaning myself and now am back on 100mg. I am not sleeping that great. Maybe 5-6 hours total.

    What I wanted to ask is if anyone else has experienced body aches and pains while weaning. I feel like I have fibromyalgia my body hurts all over. Even when I take 800mg. Ibuprofen it does not help. What can I do? I feel desperate.

    Even my shoulder blades hurt. If anyone has experienced anything like this please let me know and how did you deal with it. Thanks.

    • Susan Childs May 6, 2018, 11:09 am

      After experiencing aches and pains also stiffening in hip joints, have reduced down from 50mg to 25mg for 5 days and then halved the 25mg. I am now very depressed and don’t know what to do!

  • Joey April 26, 2018, 7:46 am

    Thanks everyone for the shared comments. I’ve taken between 25mg on and off, sometimes down to 12.5mg, sometimes a week or so clean, for about 8 years now. Originally prescribed for bipolar type symptoms and long-term insomnia.

    I find it makes me foggy, sometimes nauseous, not mentally alert, confused thoughts, incoherent speech sometimes. I’d like to come clean off this drug for good but every time I try the anxiety and the sleep issues lead me to take it again.

  • Rick April 18, 2018, 7:06 pm

    I’ve been on Seroquel, benzos and antidepressants for PTSD and depression. I was prescribed Seroquel for sleep about 6 years ago. Gained a lot of weight and I’m prediabetic. Ironically I hike 20 to 30 miles a week vigorously in the Colorado mountains. I also eat very clean no fast food and only drink water and coffee.

    Yet I look at the scale and the needle doesn’t move. I was fortunate to come across a psychiatrist that was also certified in functional medicine. Functional medicine treats the source of medical issues not the symptoms. Turns out Seroquel is the cause of my weight problem and pre diabetes.

    It’s a very nasty drug and Astra Zeneca has been sued for huge claims for not disclosing the awful side effects of this drug. I told my doc I wanted off of Seroquel asap. She said first pick up a supplement called Inositol. This stuff knocked me on my ass as far as sleep goes…

    I still hadn’t cut my seroquel yet saw her 2 weeks later and told her about the drowsiness and sleepiness she said – “good, now let’s cut the seroquel.” I went from 100 to 75mgs and had every symptom of a bad flu. BUT what I did not have was anxiety, increased depression and most importantly sleep issues.

    Do yourself a favor see a MD or psychiatrist CERTIFIED in functional medicine. I’ve had many blood tests, urine and saliva I feel like a lab rat. But I’ve found out a lot about my body. Despite plenty of sunlight and a multivitamin my body does not produce nearly enough Vitamin D which leads to… depression.

    Getting back to the inositol. I take about 8 teaspoons of inositol a day mixed with water per my MD’s instructions. Take into consideration I’m 6’3 and 260 lbs so my dose would probably be to much for most. As far as I can tell Inositol is a non essential B-vitamin that helps with the production of neurotransmitters. Good luck all!

  • sarah April 13, 2018, 10:36 am

    Hey guys, I’ve started coming off seroquel (been on it 14 years). I went down from 400mg to 350mg a few days ago. My mood has dropped a bit and I’m getting stomach cramps, headaches, and diarrhea. Is this normal for dropping 50mg?

    • Gayle Hood April 30, 2018, 4:07 am

      Hi Sarah, You are not alone with regard to withdrawal from Seroquel. I’ve done a lot of reading about this withdrawal situation. What I got from my readings online is to taper off very slowly.

      I sure can relate to what you’re going through. Hang in there… we will be better soon. My shrink told me to drop 50mg per week because Seroquel is non addictive… if that’s the case why are we both going through withdrawal?

      Doctors don’t have a clue. I’m trying to get away from Western medications and head towards healthy foods.

  • Mara April 7, 2018, 6:44 pm

    Taking Seroquel for bipolar disorder. I’ve been taking Seroquel for a few years now & at different doses. At 500 mg, I slept right through the apartment’s fire alarm! I’ve gained 50 lbs without increasing food intake. My shrink is taking me off the Seroquel as it was also causing QT prolongation (heart rhythm abnormal) & she is switching me to Latuda.

    The most distressing withdrawal side effect has been nervousness with shaking hands. At first, my shrink tried lowering the Seroquel over one month, but insomnia returned. I also take melatonin & tryptophan to help with sleep. I told my shrink that I’d have to lower the Seroquel a lot slower, so have been lowering the 250 mg day by 25 mg every two weeks.

    The shaking stopped, but I still feel nervous & at now at 25 mg per day, I’m getting headaches & aren’t sleeping as well. Now my shrink is prescribing the Seroquel PRN (as necessary) where I can increase the dose if the insomnia returns. My shrink said the Seroquel must have caused my high blood sugar levels as it is a known side effect.

    Also I’m not focussing & concentrating as well when reading or when watching a movie. The withdrawal process has induced several months of watery diarrhea. Because Seroquel is a central nervous system depressant or a major tranquilizer, I expected to have some really serious side effects, but a very slow withdrawal is the key.

    I do not like having to take a potentially dangerous toxic anti-psychotic however, the Seroquel did seem to prevent mania these past few years. A few years ago, I went off 300 mg Seroquel cold turkey & suffered acute mania with psychosis. I had never experienced psychosis prior to that. So I wouldn’t try going off the Seroquel cold turkey or too fast!!!

    I have cataracts which the Seroquel could have caused or contributed to. It’s documented where Seroquel could affect the lenses of the eyes. Also, I read where grapefruits or juice shouldn’t be taken with Seroquel as it can increase the blood levels, so I recommend reading up on that.

    It’s also not supposed to be eaten with Latuda, which my shrink didn’t mention. So far, I don’t have tardive dyskinesia (tremors) but that could be the anti-psychotics masking that.

  • Brad Estabrooks April 7, 2018, 3:50 pm

    Been on quetiapine, 800mg for sometime between 1-2 years. I used to be good in school, but noticed when I started university that I was completely stupid. This drug may help with many things, but when I stop taking it everything is so clear. I have been off, cold turkey, for about a week.

    Let me tell you, what a fresh hell this is. The drug is SO EXPENSIVE, so I decided to stop taking it. I know quitting cold turkey ANYTHING is hard and ill advised, but I’ve battled depression and horrible anxiety for years, so what’s a little more pain.

    My stomach feels like its trying to come out of my body, sleep is pointless with the pain and the constant vibrating (what I assume is nerves). I wake up feeling worse than if I hadn’t slept at all. I have exams coming up, what a time to be alive.

    I guess my main point is, if something makes you feel THIS horrible once you stop taking it, imagine what its doing to your body WHEN you are taking it. One day at a time. I want to rip my eyes out and have someone put me in a damn coma for a month or so.

    Got a doctor’s appointment on the 11th, he is going to rip me apart for not taking it. But I need the clear head for studying for exams. Not like I’ve been studying with the amount of pain I’m constantly in, but hey, maybe I’ll get hit by a car or something.

    • seroquel_sucks April 17, 2018, 1:12 pm

      I totally relate to how you’re feeling. I just quit cold turkey a few days ago and haven’t been able to really sleep too well since. I was put on 200mg and took it for about 6 weeks before things started going sideways. Now I guess I can look forward to being in a living hell for the next few months. Anyway, how are you doing now?

      • Brad Estabrooks May 1, 2018, 3:56 am

        Feeling better actually. It took about a week and a half for the stomach pain to subside. I went to my sister’s place and played with her dog, my furry niece, and haven’t had any pain since. The insomnia is fun though, and the uncontrollable emotions were great. (I cried watching epic battle scenes in Lord of the Rings for the soul purpose of crying, so that was unique).

        The anger was also fun, I’m still on a *don’t be stupid around me or I’ll destroy you* phase, BUT I managed to pass my classes with decent marks, all improved after exams so the withdrawals are worth it. Sleeping is stupid now, so that’s fun. I guess it’s just going to take a solid month or so to beat this.

        My parents are beyond proud (being heavy smokers) that I managed to quit cold turkey, seeing as I’m kind of a little bitch and complain about everything. Ha, fight me now nerds. It definitely weakened me though, I got sick really easily so add destroyed immune system to the symptoms.

    • Becca O'Dell April 23, 2018, 3:40 am

      I have been off of seroquel for 6 days now and I feel absolutely awful. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I feel like puking every time I do anything. I was on the drug for 4 years for bipolar and insomnia. I’ve gained 45 pounds and my memory is basically gone. The only emotions I feel are anger and depression.

      My eyes hurt, I’m beyond itchy, Every time I try going to bed I wake up within a few hours, body trembling, and pain in every joint. The nausea is to the point where I don’t know if it’d be better to eat or starve myself. I’m on ambien to help me sleep and that’s pointless because it doesn’t work.

      Hopelessness and regret are all I’m feeling right now and i wish I knew more before I began taking this medication or any medication for that matter. I’d rather have mood swings and crippling anxiety than ever allow my body to go through this again.

  • Kelli April 6, 2018, 9:37 pm

    I have been on Seroquel for 4 years for insomnia. At one point my Dr had me on 200mg a night. I had trouble performing my job & was in a fog for the first couple hours every day. I decided to cut myself when I realized my weight gain coincided with me starting the medication.

    I cut to 100mg without many side effects, so about 6 months later I cut to 50mg a night. Well, I got robbed of my pocketbook on vacation 2 weeks ago with my meds in the bag! (Long story) But I figured O.K. let’s do this. Quit altogether… Ughh. I am barely sleeping; when I do, I have these crazy vivid dreams.

    Flu like symptoms e.g. runny nose chills & sweating. My God I am so emotional & having irrational thoughts & my anxiety is high. I’m crying over things I normally wouldn’t be. I was crying reading some others comments because it’s so relatable.

    These withdrawals are now my motivation to stick with it. Ive found exercise & yoga to be very helpful, especially to tire me out & bring my anxiety down. I’m now planning on cutting another medication once I’m settled more because this is no way to live.

  • Flyn Vandenbeurgh April 1, 2018, 12:12 am

    Hi to whoever reads this, I really do hope it gives you all strength, courage and the focus you need to carry on. I am coming off cold turkey from seroquel. I had taken it many years ago so I was ready for the horrendous withdrawals but new, there was no other option then this, I HAD to do it.

    Symptoms: Flu like symptoms, itchy skin, eye vision blurred, nausea, vomiting, irrational emotions, anxiety, etc. So what I’ve done is tried to either ease some, or prevent the side effects. And also knowing there really isn’t enough research on coming of such drug, I was my only option, and how better to try and prevent it than myself/us, who actually experience it?

    I mean if they had enough research it would be from us who are dealing it. So here’s what I put in place.

    -Maxalon for nausea and vomiting
    -Panadol every 4 hours
    -Phenergon for nausea and to relax
    -Travacalm to help sleep

    I installed an app called 10% happier, for anxiety, and it really is an amazing app. Irish soap bars under my sheets to help at night and for restless legs. I don’t know why, but also when anxiety gets really bad, I take my ass outside and go for a walk and count my steps.

    When I couldn’t sleep I would not think about how I’m not sleeping, I would get up and do something. During the day when I was irritable, I went to a park and fed the birds and tried to be mindful of everything I saw, and I couldn’t believe how many beautiful things I saw, that I never did before.

    For me, all these things have helped. But the main thing, the one thing that is needed is the confidence and focus within yourself. God it was so hard, but it got easier, it can be done!

    I send love, light, strength and courage to you all. I believe in you. Believe in yourself. Do not let this take control of your life, take it back, demand it back! God bless. Flyn ❤️

    • Elizabeth April 5, 2018, 2:08 am

      Thanks so much Flyn… I really appreciate this.

    • seroquel_sucks April 17, 2018, 2:10 pm

      How much were you taking, and for how long?

  • Brooke March 25, 2018, 7:50 pm

    I started taking Seroquel when I was in 10th grade (So 2010, 2011) I started taking it for my sleeping problems, at first everything was ok, it got me to sleep. But then I noticed I was gaining weight, I just thought it was me not eating healthy.

    But the day I ran out and my mother couldn’t full it because we had no money was the day I noticed something’s not right. I couldn’t sleep and my stomach hurt so much I didn’t want to eat anything, I cried because I was so tired, but I couldn’t sleep because my stomach hurt so much. Now after 8/9 years I’ve had enough; while I love life and I love who I am I am not confident with my body.

    I didn’t know that Seroquel (even the generic brand) had a side effect of weight gain. It may take a while, but I don’t care. I don’t want to live like this anymore. Next time I’m visiting my doctor, I’m asking if we can slowly wean me off of this stupid drug for good.

    In life you are supposed to be confident in your personality and your body, not one or the other. Nor should you be tied down because of one drug.

  • Tessa Sisson March 23, 2018, 3:04 pm

    I suffered from chronic insomnia for over 15 years where absolutely nothing helped for more than 3 nights at a time. I tried every drug, natural remedies, hypnotism, yoga, exercise – nothing. It seems to run in my family, strangely enough. I was deeply depressed and life became not worth living.

    At one point I would not have minded if I got hit by an express train. I would have drunk arsenic just for the unconsciousness. My doctor finally tried Seroquel, and at last I slept and life improved. 15 years later I tried to come off the drug and was swept back into chronic insomnia, plus the horrors of withdrawal.

    Knowing there is still nothing out there as a long term sleep aid, I am reluctantly going back to Seroquel. I still have some life left and I’d rather enjoy it through guaranteed nightly sleep than the agony of none.

    • Mary March 24, 2018, 2:13 am

      Your sleep WILL come back naturally! It will take many months. I take natural valerian and melatonin at night, but not every night now. I finally have fallen asleep on my own, after 6 months of withdrawals.

      When I first came off Seroquel , I could not sleep for 2 months at all. Just hang in there. Use over the counter sleep aides, “Nighty night” and “sleepy time” teas. Hang in there for several months. Don’t go back! Not worth risking to go back on the drug.

      • Sandra May 15, 2018, 7:31 pm

        Hi Mary, In regards to your post, I have been off Seroquel for 4-1/2 months now and am still having issues with sleep, anxiety, hypersensitivity, tummy troubles etc. I was on it for eight years, low dose (25mg) – when I decided to get off of it my doctor said it would not be hard at all since I was taking such a low dose and I could taper if I wanted but she didn’t even think it necessary.

        I tapered anyway. Once I got down to not taking it at all, the first two weeks I felt relatively fine, then, I couldn’t sleep. Then a few weeks went by and I was sleeping again and felt somewhat normal. Another couple of weeks went by and back to no sleep and feeling anxiety ridden, paranoid and unable to cry for some reason.

        This is where I have now stayed – I have also started having acid reflux issues and terrible joint pain on and off (not sure if it is related to seroquel or not). I see you said it took about six months for you to finally be able to sleep normally so that indicates to me that withdrawal symptoms can last a very long time!

        I do wonder if I will ever feel “normal” again. I mentioned to my doctor and you know what she said? Well, if you aren’t feeling well since you stopped the Seroquel than just go back on it! She was ready to write a script!

        This is all very frustrating! At this point since your post was in March, are you feeling even better and more normal?? I won’t go back on it but boy I am tired of all this.

        • Mary May 17, 2018, 8:10 pm

          Hi Sandra, it’s been nearly 8 months since I weaned myself off. Lost 48 pounds (I did change my diet too over the past 12 months, so cannot attribute total weight loss solely to getting off Seroquel).

          I still need over-the-counter sleep aids to get to sleep. Every single frickin night, no matter how exhausted I am, I have to take something to get even 5 to 7 hours sleep. Sometimes I wake up and need more sleep aides 4 or 5 hours into the night so that I can get a normal 8 hours.

          I even have a very physical job that should knock me out as soon as I hit the pillow, but no way. It’s very annoying. Aside from this, I have lost the vivid nightmares. Healthy appetite. All else seems normal.

  • Mohammed March 22, 2018, 8:23 pm

    I thank God and everyone here for your inputs. Because of you I decided to stop taking this stupid drug cold turkey which I’ve been taking now for 3 months for my bipolar. It gave me nothing but a good night sleep.

    It masks the bipolar but at the cost of intellectual abilities. I felt slow all the time as if I were high on a cheap illegal drug. This is my 1st week without my 300 mg Seroquel, the first 3 nights were tough.

    I couldn’t get any sleep. Nausea, itching, irritability, etc. – but as time went by the withdrawal symptoms started to disappear slowly.

    • Mary March 24, 2018, 1:35 am

      Whatever you do do NOT quit cold turkey!!!!! Please read all the comments and wean yourself off slowly – VERY SLOWLY. Otherwise it can be very bad with terrible side effects.

    • Nick Gardiner March 28, 2018, 5:23 pm

      Mohammed – I am basically in the exact same position you were – only I haven’t eaten regular meals for a while. I’ve tried going off twice without succeeding, mainly because it’s hard to have enough energy to do much of anything.

      It is a terrifying thought – but I would rather go through a more difficult withdrawal in the short term than a long and still fairly difficult withdrawal in the long term. How are you feeling now? Have you been able to get back to sleep?

  • Karen Lowery March 20, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Thanks for all the info. I ran out of my Seroquel last week and couldn’t refill for five days. The withdrawal symptoms were brutal. Since then I’ve decided to stop after seeing my Dr. next month. Currently I’m on 800 mg. I’m not looking forward to the next several months.

    • Dee March 21, 2018, 5:34 am

      The withdrawal symptoms are brutal and please be careful with stopping cold turkey. It’s better to wean off and to have your doctor monitor decreases at small doses over a length of time (been there with stopping all at once and it gets worse over time!).

      I was taking 300mg and am down to 37.50mg after almost a year, but it’s worth it. Please have a plan of action when you need help and don’t be afraid to admit when you need it.

  • Yvon March 16, 2018, 5:29 pm

    I used to be on 200 mgs. twice a day for bipolar disorder. I immediately gained 30 lbs., and after 2-3 years, and because of my age (59), I clearly began to experience a slowness / numbness, and read up on this drug. No wonder my mind is going quickly.

    I eliminated the morning dosage (I used to hit people in the back bumper for no apparent reason but for sleepiness, and I am now off the night dosage (which was done gradually). I simply cannot sleep.

    My main concerns are the meaningless tunes that play over and over uncontrollably in my head 24 hours a day. It’s been 2 days of this, and I’m concerned that I may go mad. Anyone experienced this nasty “song” side effect all night (and sometimes all day)?

    • Dee March 21, 2018, 5:28 am

      I have experienced the weight gain and sleepiness being on this. As I’m tapering off I’ve lost weight, lack of sleep and the repetitive songs. I have had to listen to other songs to get a song out of my head, had to turn the volume up to drown out anything else and to concentrate on what I’m hearing.

      At night I’ve learned to take melatonin to help me relax and to wind down. Also helps to focus on my breathing slow, saying relax in each exhale to fall asleep. Hope some of this helps and to know you’re not the only one feeling this way. It sure helps me!

    • John May 3, 2018, 11:38 am

      Hi Yvon, Yep I get the repetitive tunes. Since starting to taper off they are increasing in persistence. I have mild bipolar 2. I’m not too concerned as this was a part of daily life before seroquel. Good luck!

  • Angela Fluppen March 14, 2018, 4:09 am

    Hi, I am updating. I am four months and one week in tapering. The first month was physical things almost like you have the flu, for me after that it was all about the severe itching, nausea and headaches. I had racing heart beat so bad they did a cardio work up, my heart rate was 140 and up in a resting state for about a month but that has completely gone now.

    I felt like death for a solid 90 days. My doctor and I are conducting a slower taper because I am completely covered in a rash and still itching. Benadryl at night and Allegra during the day is finally helping but for weeks it didn’t even dent it. I used ice packs constantly for awhile.

    Mentally I had about one bad week of feeling strange. I hallucinated some and felt like my head was shrinking (I kid you not). I also felt like I have been plastered to my couch for so long but I am finally getting some energy back. So far I haven’t had insomnia but am still on 50 mgs.

    I just want everyone to know that it will get better. For me it has been slow and brutal at times. God bless!

    • Dee March 21, 2018, 5:44 am

      You’re doing great!!! I understand the things you were going through as I had them too when I first tapered off. The hallucinations are horrible and the shrinking head is weird, I even felt like my brain was being tweaked with!

      Having the numbing and lack of energy cloud being lifted and seeing an end to being on this med is motivation to keep going knowing I’ll be better without it! God bless!!

  • Lynne March 13, 2018, 9:11 am

    Hi. I’ve completely stopped seroquel about 3 weeks ago. Starting yesterday I was feeling nauseous and dizzy and had a “come and go” headache. I was starting to go crazy already thinking I might have some serious illness (might be anxiety that’s kicking up again). Do you think this is part of withdrawal symptoms? But why did I just feel it now? Your reply will be very much appreciated. Thanks.

    • Miilani March 14, 2018, 6:00 am

      I take Seroquel for chronic insomnia. I’ve been taken between 100 to 200 mg for about 15 years. The withdrawals are terrible. If I miss a day, I have symptoms of rapid heart beat, nausea, itching, and so much more. If you went three weeks without any withdrawals, that’s a good thing. Try to hang in there or have your doctor prescribe you something mild to help you with the withdrawals like Wellbutrin.

      • Lisa A March 21, 2018, 9:16 pm

        Try and hang in there. I tapered off seroquel over 4 months reducing by 25 mg at a time – starting with 200 mg once a dosage. Once completely off I didn’t sleep more than 3 hours of interrupted sleep for 2 months.

        Just couldn’t function on that little sleep and didn’t seem to be getting better with time so I had to go back on my original dose of 200mg to get back to 6 hours of sleep a night (not ideal but better than 3) and going to taper off it again over a much longer period with a psychiatrist supervising the process.

        My brain is definitely addicted to this drug. Can’t sleep without it. If you can bear the side effects of the withdrawal go for it, but know from my experience that it can take a really long time for your body to adjust to the absence of the drug.

        Wish I had never taken this drug. Hope all goes better for you than me.

    • Anne March 27, 2018, 9:44 am

      I am having the same problem. Been completely off seroquel 25 mg for about a month. Now sleep problems getting worse. I think it will take 90 days to straighten out. I should have never been on this drug to begin with as I only needed sleep and a bit depressed. I took it for 9 years. Takes time to return to normalcy.

      • Kristine March 27, 2018, 2:19 pm

        I have been totally off the Seroquel for almost 6 and 1/2 months. I still struggle with major sleep issues. I was put on it for insomnia only, from start to finish, weaning off for 8 months of that time from 200mg a night, for 1 year.

        I have tried all the OTC stuff and internet offerings, all the gimmicks, all the tricks… lavender Epsom baths, sleep lotion, oil diffuser with special sleep oils, ear plugs, eye mask, special music tones CDs, room humidifier, fan for white noise, different foods and snacks, no caffeine, all the herbs… and the list goes on.

        I still have nights of no sleep (last night), nights of cat naps only, nights finally where I can get a couple of hours stretches, and actually only a couple 5 to 6 hrs sleep nights. The rebound insomnia was the worst. I do take 5 to 10 mg of Melatonin every night, not sure if it’s only a placebo though cause sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t.

        Guessing since I was put on this poison for insomnia, now that I’m off and 27 lbs heavier, I’m right back to where I started… except now I’m fat – not just sleepy and cranky.

      • Kris April 15, 2018, 6:50 am

        How did you taper off? Cut your pill in half? That’s what I’m doing. And now I’m down to a quarter of the pill.

  • Angel C March 13, 2018, 3:23 am

    I’m just coming up on 2 months off after nearly 8 years of 300 mg a day. I want my body and brain back! First time I tried to quit cold and was so nauseous! I tapered down till I ran out this time and had little to no withdrawal. This sex drive killing, penis shriveling poison helped my sleep and focus at work for awhile, but as the years went on it became a new monster. Does anyone know if your sex drive ever comes back? Asking for a friend!

  • Scott March 6, 2018, 12:17 pm

    Hey, I’m Scott. I was put, 6 years ago on 100mg fast release Quetiapine, within a year my super awesome bod was compromised, due to fatigue and apparently according to my GP – the drug itself. I’ve tapered and blah, and found no success. So time to man up.

    I’ve cut them completely off and am willing to take the insomnia, fudge it. Commitment is key. And I want my brain back. Day 3 now. And I am not going back. No sleep, irritable, migraines, and unbalanced moods – it sucks. The key is to keep reminding yourself that the withdrawal is responsible for the moods and keep reminding.

    Knowing that is true keeps a person from succumbing to the symptoms that are affecting your outlook. Keep on truckin’.

    • Hollie March 7, 2018, 11:59 pm

      Good job! I’m like a week and a half into stopping cold turkey as well. It’s tough! But yeah, I try to keep reminding myself it’s the withdrawal that’s causing anxiety, etc. Good to know other people are having a similar experience!

      • Scott March 9, 2018, 11:24 am

        Thanks for the reply Hollie, Still going strong just wondering, knowing everyone is different, I get that. But do you have a personal timeframe on any physical side effects improvement? E.g. sleep, or even heart rate? Any information is helpful. Thanks again for responding.

        • Maddie March 16, 2018, 9:27 pm

          I’ve been reducing for few months now and came completely off 3 days ago and I’ve found it so tough! The anxiety/nervousness/mood/emotion/no sleep are the main issues. I’ve never cried too much. I just wanted to say thanks for the reminder to remind myself that it’s the withdrawal causing this! How’re you getting on now? I hope it’s going as okay as it can. :)

          • Scott March 25, 2018, 12:20 pm

            It’s now been 3 weeks since I stopped taking all medication, yes as you said the first three days were unbearable, after that there’s around a week of sleep deprivation, from there it has for me been a steady improvement day by day.

            Just as recent as the last few days I’ve had a persistent headache, and semi-second blackouts (couldn’t find a better word for it, but not as dramatic as it sounds).

            Anyhow, the worst is over, plenty of sleep, and rest, try to eat fruits and don’t rush anything. We’re taking it day by day and after 10 days from what I’ve felt, it only gets better. :) Chin up!

    • Beau March 17, 2018, 9:53 am

      How’s it going Scott? I have tried what you’re trying and it was just too difficult for me, panic attacks in the middle of the night, I had to get up and do jumping jacks just to keep myself from going crazy, until I caved in and had to take some just to ward off the insanity.

      Sarah Quill is a funny drug, I gave a 25 mg pill to my sister a couple of days before her wedding because she was having trouble sleeping – she wasn’t able to get out of bed the next day until almost 4 PM. My dad tried it one night – it was hilarious. I caught him at 3 o’clock in the morning cooking scrambled eggs, he said he was starving.

      • Scott March 25, 2018, 12:39 pm

        Beau, When I first came of the drug, I scoured the internet looking for information around the withdrawal, I found it incredibly sparse, but the pieces I did find were scary, and worrying, with almost everyone telling you to taper off. While this wasn’t what I did, I can understand that it’s the sensible thing to do and the safest.

        But to speak bluntly, though the first three days are extremely uncomfortable. If you can be in a safe spot with a trusted one, a sofa, and a quilt, or hell even on your own – it’s horrible. But you can make it through. Even now I have my moments of frustration when I open my drawer and see the drug and think how easy it would be to just pop a pill, everything is simpler.

        But while doped up on this drug, all we are getting is a diluted version of life. It’s getting easier and easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to stay motivated. You have to stay strong.

        • Beau March 25, 2018, 8:50 pm

          I would not want to give a false notion about “the first three days” because I never suffered like that. I weaned off so gradually. The first 3.5 months were absolute hell as to sleep deprivation though. I experienced night terrors too.

  • Beau March 3, 2018, 7:09 am

    Hi everybody, my name is Beau, this message is somewhat directed at Christina. I’ve been taking Seroquel for about 10 years now, my doctor had me on Seroquel at 450 mg a night. The reason he put me on Seroquel was for minor, I mean minor bipolar and minor depression. Yeah it helped me sleep, but the side effects were tremendous.

    When I started taking the drug I was 6’ 2”, 200 lbs – I am now almost 300 pounds. I saw the weight gain about four years ago and have tried to stop on numerous occasions. I have tapered down to 25 mg on some nights and 50 mg on others. The problem that I run into is when I try to cut down all the way I have night terrors.

    The best way I can describe this is not being able to sleep, then my anxiety starts building, and building, and building, and building until I can’t take it anymore. Eventually I cave in and have to take Seroquel. I think I’m safe to say that this drug has ruined my life.

    Coming on this message board I was hoping to find a way out, but all I’ve read is: taper down, try meditating, try trazodone. All of this info is very discouraging and a bunch of bulls**t. I don’t know about you, but I will keep searching, especially because the same doctors that got us on this drug should have a drug that could get us off this drug. My hopes aren’t high but they’re all I have.

    • Nicola March 15, 2018, 9:28 pm

      I’m in the same boat. Been on it for 13 years. Let me know if you find anything that helps!

    • Mark March 17, 2018, 12:25 pm

      My friend Brad, a psychiatrist, tells me that exercise is the key to recovery. I’m down from 200 to 50 mg of seroquel at night. The fatigue is terrible but the workouts do help. Hang in there.

    • Dee March 21, 2018, 6:10 am

      One thing I’ve learned over and over is that you can’t go up and down on the dosage, especially from day to day. It will mess with you because it’s not consistent. Slowly taper down. I know you said that sounds discouraging, but it’s better then the night terrors, lack of sleep, and anxiety.

      I told my doctor I’m getting off this drug and I will without being put on any other kind of prescribed “sleep aid”, anti-anxiety like Xanax, klonopin, etc. They’re all as addictive as Seroquel. I’ve gone from 300mg to 37.50mg! And still going. Yes it been 6-9 months, but there is an end! Don’t let this drug continue to ruin your life! You can overcome it!

      • Heatheraq Egan April 19, 2018, 2:37 am

        How did you taper off? I have been on 200 mg for 15 years. The side effects are killing me. I have gained 100 pounds am obese and I’m still anxious. I was put on it for depression and sleep. How did you do this?

    • Mary March 24, 2018, 1:45 am

      I have beat it for the most part now – it took 6 months of night terrors, terrible insomnia, and more. I have lost (a wonderful) 40 lbs too now! I still need sleep aids currently, but natural sleep comes easier week by week. Don’t go back and forth taking Seroquel! Wean off slowly, and stay off.

      One thing is though… it and Paxil did help my moods. I am off everything now… and I do have my old depressions and anxieties. So, know there is a cost to taking them, and a cost to taking oneself off too.

    • Bernie April 3, 2018, 2:16 am

      Hey Beau, I understand your pain but know this there is hope and solutions! For me, some of the side effects was of course insomnia and that awful the more tired you get the more anxious you get until it feels like you’re going insane. AND The itchiness. And like clockwork every night around 7pm I would get this adrenaline rush. HORRIBLE.

      Day after day. And then feeling hungover and fatigued day after day. I’ve been on this crap for 6 years. I’m off 300xr for bedtime plus 50mgs PRN during the day. I’m still on 60mgs cymbalta in the morning and 10 mgs of zopiclone at night for sleep. It is a process. Lol. But here’s what I’ve done.

      1) GAPS diet – stands for Gut and Psychology syndrome. Created by a neurosurgeon Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride but she is also has her degree in nutritional health. Her son HAD autism but is now fully recovered but her nutritional protocol works for mental illness as well. So when you watch don’t get discouraged if what you hear is mostly about autism. The same techniques apply. I CANNOT STRESS THE DIET ENOUGH.

      2) I’ve taken an adrenal supplement, ORTHO ADAPT. You can get it at a health food store. it’s used to help manage fatigue and stress. Take 2 capsules in the morning and at lunch. This does not work over night, I’ve taken it for two years. I went off for a month and noticed my symptoms got worse.

      3) Multi B Vitamin – chewable gets into your system faster. Morning and lunch.

      4) Niacin – NO FLUSH which is vitamin B3, 1000mgs twice a day. You want the NO FLUSH because niacin can give a bit of a burning sensation if you don’t have the NO FLUSH. Hope this helps. God Bless.

      To be clear I’m not a doctor. Just years of research and asking a lot of questions. These are the supplements I have taken that have helped me. I am not prescribing anything to you.

    • Agnes April 7, 2018, 9:23 pm

      So glad I found this message board today. I’ve been on this drug since about 2004 for strictly insomnia. At a dosage of 150 XR nightly. I’ve tried the tapering off method several times with not much success. My weight has ballooned over the years and now with obesity, I also have type 2 diabetes, among my other ailments, joint issues from the weight gain.

      Constant exhaustion and a lack of normal mental clarity. No energy to do anything so no exercise, no restful sleep, etc. I stopped this drug, and a few others, about a month ago. The itching had been brutal but I thought it was part of seasonal allergies and took Benadryl which helped also to wind down a bit.

      Need to get more for the itching as I’ve run out. I had days and days of being wired but tired and awake for 24 hours straight, slept 2 or 3 hours, just to start the cycle, the next 24 hours for the first two weeks.

      I thought I was going blind the other day. Have had migraine headaches for days, nausea for days. Down about 15 pounds since going cold turkey. But despite the insomnia, anxiety, itching, crying jags. I feel I am doing the right thing for my body and mind finally, in stopping this mind numbing drug.

      At first, I thought my symptoms were being caused by some other bigger medical issue, but reading so many similar comments about the withdrawal symptoms has given me hope to continue the withdrawal despite all the nasty withdrawal symptoms.

      Your collective experiences has calmed my anxieties about what else might be wrong with me. It’s going to take an hour by hour effort to live with this, but I’m hoping to succeed and come out better for sticking with this plan. I want my brain functioning back, good or bad.

      There have been days and days of tears not just over losses but happy things as well. It’s part of being alive, sensitivity and feeling again. There are hopeful moments and deep moments of yawning despair.

      But not craving sugar and sweets, losing weight, eating only when necessary to take other medications seems strange, but I’m ready for the change. Thank you for renewing my strength not to give in to a lower dosage but try to stick it out.

  • Jessica February 26, 2018, 6:44 pm

    I’ve been taking antipsychotics for bipolar for 3 years. I’ve been on every single one my doctor could name off, but none helped the depression. The first one I was on was Seroquel, and it made me gain 65 pounds in 2 months. I discontinued it and immediately went to something else.

    My new doctor put me on a very low dose of Seroquel about 4 months ago for anxiety and sleep. Then he started increasing it because I stopped my other bipolar stuff due to it not working. I thought because I was on 100mg, I wouldn’t gain the weight. I gained 32 pounds in one month AND I had depression constantly still.

    So I started coming off of it. He told me I was fine to just stop taking it and I’d have no problems. I’m one week into being without it and I have severe itching all over my body. My skin is welting up the second I touch it. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something until I found this. I’ve dug pits into my skin because the itching is SO BAD.

    For a few days I felt better than I had in years, tons of energy as opposed to being lethargic, happy, and not miserable. Now I’m tired all day until I have to sleep, then I wake up and can’t sleep at all, I’m itchy, and I’m nauseous all the time. I’m not happy at all that my doctor told me to just stop taking it.

  • Beau February 22, 2018, 11:07 am

    I too took “only” 25 mg Seroquel for over 20 years. I slowly weaned myself off of that. The vivid terrorizing dreams lasted around two weeks, but the grueling insomnia lasted 5 months! It was so difficult to work or have any life.

    It’s now 6 months, and I can occasionally fall asleep without resorting to a handful of valerian and melatonin pills. I just allow myself to fall asleep when I need to (sometimes at 6:30 pm after work!). I wind up sleeping maybe 5 hours now, but sometimes, it’s less, and I get up to take the sleep aids.

    I am hopeful it all will return to normal, but it’s taking so long! Just grateful that now I can get SOME sleep at all. I still have some nights when there is very little sleep, but other nights I can have an all night rest. I just cannot plan it- which is why I go to bed whenever I get home.

  • Christian February 19, 2018, 7:37 pm

    I have been on and off antipsychotics since 2009. The antipsychotics I have taken include Olanzapine, Quetiapine and a mix of others given at the various ‘hospitals’. I found Olanzapine worse than Quetiapine. I have been taking a very low dose of Quetiapine (25mg daily) for around 2 and a half years.

    I’ve now been completely discharged and around a year ago I was informed that I am well enough to stop taking these tablets. I have tried 4 times to stop this ‘tiny’ dose and have not gone longer than a week as my early warning signs are back each time. I work full time, I drive, I have a decent house and a loving girlfriend.

    I have found that this medication has destroyed my sleep – While taking it I have extremely vivid dreams but I am ‘asleep’ – When I stop taking it I don’t sleep. I am laying down my eyes are closed but a pin drop would have me out of bed. Since taking antipsychotics I have not had true sleep.

    Without any form of sleep anxiety and paranoia is elevated with me and I can feel that episode creeping up on me and getting sectioned again would only be around the corner. I’m planning to start a family and We just want these tablets out of my life. You may read this and think 25mg is tiny and is such a minute dose that you could just stop but it’s not the case with me.

    I have previously been on 20mg of Olanzapine and 1000mg of Sodium valproate together daily but this Quetiapine is impossible :( Feel completely reliant on it. It’s not just the sleep but the sleep is the biggest impact… any help..? My GP isn’t offering much… 25mg isn’t large enough to phase out slowly…

    • Rosemary February 21, 2018, 4:42 am

      Christian, I understand that 25 mg to most does not seem like much but, it can be to some. Can you consult with your doctor to see if you can cut them in half and taper down to 12.5 mg rather than trying to just stop the 25 mg? Just a suggestion as that is how the started my mother on her anti-psych meds was with a half tablet of a 25 mg.

      I am now demanding that they take a slow approach and taper her off as they are giving her nightmares and flashbacks of traumatic childhood experiences. Plus since she is elderly they are increasing the symptoms they were suppose to reduce. Good luck to you.

    • Dee March 21, 2018, 5:59 am

      I agree with Rosemary- you should be able to cut the 25mg in 1/2. I’m taking 12.5’s to taper off.

    • Kris March 22, 2018, 3:05 am

      Yes, you can cut the 25 mg in half to 12.5…then the 12.5 in half!!! I did it. I was on 200mg a night for insomnia. I tapered over 9 months to get off…it’s hard, but you can do it!! I have been off completely for 6 mos now and still have trouble sleeping.

      To me this has been the worst part… the rebound insomnia! Hoping soon that this will go too! I see on here so many people doing 25 and 50mg cuts at a time and every week or so… go slower… you will have less withdrawal side effects and then the ones you do have are easier to deal with. Good luck everyone!!!

    • Mary Anne March 24, 2018, 2:20 am

      Christian, Try cutting that 25 mg tablet down over several weeks time. You can break the tiny tablets with a pill splitter. I would split mine at least in quarters. Sometimes more. Spread the weaning period over a month or so.

    • Louise Wilman April 17, 2018, 9:31 am

      Christian, I was on Quetiapine for just over two years. Started on 50mg-100mg at night for sleep and the odd extra 25mg tab during the afternoon if I needed it for anxiety. I have been Quetiapine free for four weeks now. I slowly tapered down.

      Once I got to 25mg a night, I was on that for about three months, then I cut them in half and took 12.5mg a night for about a month… (I had bad side effects at this reduction).

      Then I cut that in half so I had about 6mg a night for another month, and then I went off totally. I have been having huge headaches and it’s hard to get sleep, but nothing unmanageable. 😊

  • Raquel February 16, 2018, 1:57 am

    Hi there… I have been on seroquel for over 7 years. My psychiatrist started me with 25 mills. But he knew very quickly when I was manic I really needed to be sedated. So he put me on 600 mills of it. About 2 years ago they cut my dose in half. I didn’t really notice anything. Since then i have had a few visits to the psych ward and stays in the hospital.

    My seroquel has been moved up and down a lot. There are times when I may not be able to take my meds at night… The withdrawal symptoms are horrendous. I am not able to sleep that night. I’m a basket case the next day with a severe headache and a sick stomach all day until I take my meds and go to sleep.

    Yesterday I saw a different psychiatrist as mine is away…. And I told him I wanted off of the seroquel. So he took me down 100 mills for 6 weeks. And then I see him again. He also prescribed me trazodone for sleep. I woke up today tired as ever. Did the stuff I needed to do and then had to lie down. I laid down for six hours.

    My sleep was so disrupted I felt like I was awake the whole time. When I woke up I felt like absolute crap. Sleepy… nauseous… achy… yucky… Emotional… irritable… I am to hear about a new job tomorrow and this is not the time for my body to have withdrawal symptoms. I really hope that they don’t last. My family and I need this job. Thank you for listening to my story.

    • Christina February 20, 2018, 1:11 pm

      Hello, I would suggest, given the current life situation and with you needing this job, don’t put yourself through withdrawal symptoms right now. They only get worse as you taper down. Can you wait to do your tapering during down times maybe? That is always an option. One step at a time. Timing will be everything. And with the support of your Dr, I’m sure he will help you with side effects also. I wish you the very best. Good luck with your job. I hope you got it!!!

  • Angela February 2, 2018, 5:24 pm

    I am almost 90 days in tapering down. The vomiting and body aches have gone but I am still itching so bad I have sores all over me. I am having to use ice packs at night especially. I remember when my doctor put me on this I was plastered to my couch for a long time unable to function. I am experiencing the same thing coming off of it.

    I am still on 50 mg and once I get stable again I will finish the taper. I had to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours because my heart rate was double or more than it should be. They found a leaky valve. I am really struggling with deep depression this last week. It is very deep and I know it is from the withdrawal so I just keep telling myself this will all get better.

    I haven’t left my home much and I don’t know how anyone can do this that has a job or small kids. This drug is demonic in my opinion. Nothing on earth will make me ever take anything less or this again! Good luck everyone.

    • Darlene MacDonald February 18, 2018, 12:06 pm

      I totally empathize with you. I went from 600 mg down to zero in 2 weeks (not very smart of me lol). At first my head seemed clearer, less foggy so I decided to stay off it. Then came no sleep, followed by only between 2 – 3 hours of sleep for about 4 weeks and the last two days 5 hours. The most brutal symptoms are the headache and nausea.

      I have two daughters ages are 13 and 17 living with me and a 27 year old daughter and 6 month old granddaughter. I have been helping them as well and I don’t know how I am doing it. Thank goodness I am stubborn lol. I was getting discouraged and it helped so much that you shared your experience. Thank you!

  • Caroline February 2, 2018, 4:45 am

    I have been on 400mg for about 9 months for bipolar 2. I have been tapering off for a while now. Initially I was reducing about 50mg every 1-2 weeks (until I got down to 200mg). For the last couple of weeks I have been reducing 25mg every few days. I have been experiencing some nausea, but nothing unbearable.

    I am on Lamictal, so haven’t had bit problems with mood. I am now down to 25mg, and am having some trouble sleeping. Again, nothing unbearable. I am wondering now, once I am off it altogether (taking the leap within the next week), how long is it likely to take to be out of my system altogether?

    I am cautious that even once I am off it, there might be a risk of side effects while my body finishes adjusting. It would be great to know whether or not this is likely (I know that nothing is ever completely risk free). Thank you :)

    • Michaela February 23, 2018, 8:43 pm

      I would like to know this as well. I have been on 300mg of seroquel for almost 9 years and I’m trying to taper off. I also have lamictal so my mood has not changed much, but my sleep is TERRIBLE!! I wake up all the time, sometimes in a pool of sweat, sometimes not, I fall asleep just fine but am awake within hours, and I’m tired ALL day.

      I’ve been going down about 50mg each week for the last month, but by 200 my sleep was already wonky. I’m now at 150 but scared to go more because of all the additional side effects I’m hearing about, and fear of not sleeping at all. I’m very relieved to hear it’s a side effect and not a manic episode (I was taking it for depression, but got nervous when my anxiety increased and sleep decreased).

      At least now I know I’m not completely crazy, but not sleeping is killing me. I get bored and anxious easily and every time I wake up, I freak out and get scared that somethings wrong (because I’m not sleeping, not because of the increased general anxiety, though I’m sure that’s not helping).

      But I’m already on other prozac and lamictal and I know the long term side effects of seroquel so I’d rather start coming off now (9 years is a LONG time already). Sorry, that was a long post meant to say, I’m sorry you’e going through this too, but I’m glad I’m not going completely crazy and I really hope I can figure the sleep thing out without having to add, yet ANOTHER medication. :( Everyone’s support is appreciated.

    • Indigo February 25, 2018, 7:06 am

      Hi Caroline, my name is Indigo. I am on 450 mg and if I’m really tired I take 600mg. I have had enough of the stuff. I will do my own little write up here but I am going to try start at 400mg and reduce 50mg a week. Oh and I have been on it for 3 years. I have responded to you as to maybe a pal idea might work by checking in with each other as we seem to be on about same amount. Hope you are into that and are ok with throwing ideas around. INDIGO

      • Caroline March 1, 2018, 11:23 pm

        Hi Indigo, I am happy to chat. I think that in my original post I was down to 25mg. That was when it got tough. I stopped for a week, but that was too sudden. I brought it down to 12.5 for a week or so, and now am on 6mg. The last couple of drops have been really painful. I have begun to suspect that the medication (and therefore any changes to those meds) mucks with gut bacteria.

        This is because I had loads of food intolerances years back, and a lot of what I have been experiencing is similar. There is also increasing evidence concerning the gut and mental health – most of the serotonin on your body (I have heard up to 80%) is in your gut! So, I am trying some dietary adjustments.

        Every day I am eating good quality yoghurt that is high in probiotics, lots of fibre (which is high in prebiotics – helps make a cozy home for the good bacteria), and trying to drink lots of water. All that seems to be helping somewhat. Of course though, dietary adjustments can take a while to have full effect. I figure though, it is healthy stuff, so can’t hurt.

      • Mary March 24, 2018, 1:52 am

        Cutting back 50 mg per week is way too fast. Go more slowly. Trust me when I say that. I was on 25 mg of Seroquel, daily for 28 years! It took four weeks for me to end, and I still had extreme withdrawals lasting four months, with several more months of sleeplessness. GO SLOW.

  • Mary Anne February 1, 2018, 2:38 pm

    5 months after quitting a 14 year daily low 25mg dose of Seroquel, I still have insomnia. In order to sleep, I take a nightly dose of the following: 5 450mg of valerian, 20 mg of melatonin, and 3 Benadryl pills. This does not always work for the entire night either!

    I have had some success also with “Nighty Night tea”, but then I wake up in the middle of the night due to having to pee. I have experimented with many ways to fall and stay asleep. Please read up on taking herbal remedies for sleep, because you can overdose on the “natural” stuff too.

  • Lisa January 31, 2018, 6:17 pm

    OMG – I wish I had never been prescribed this drug. Was on 200 mg for sleep for 15 years. Have weaned down to nothing over a couple of months. Have had six weeks on miserable insomnia since getting down to 100 mg level.

    Going to my doctor tomorrow to see what can be done as I am getting almost no sleep at this point even though I have been off the drug completely for 5 weeks. Considering going back on the drug at some level and redoing my withdrawal over a longer period of time but don’t really want to do that.

    However I just can’t function on 2 to 4 hours of sleep a night that includes waking up every hour or two during that time. My best wishes to all of you going thru the withdrawal process like me.

    Had been helpful to know others are going through the same tough battle to quit like me. Hope we all get off this drug safely and finally and never take it again.

  • Denise Shepherd January 29, 2018, 5:32 pm

    My doctor put me on this med to induce sleep since I was having difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. She did not inform me of the side effects or dangers of taking this drug. My business suffered since I was not capable of keeping up with it.

    Not knowing what was going on, my doctor, put me on more medications when complaining about the side effects, my understanding was that it would help with sleep patterns. I feel very betrayed by my doctor. I am now going to attempt to wean off at a slow pace.

    I have heard others that ended up in the hospital in doing so. My flight for fight is very high, my fear and frustration is great. My eyes are messed up along with my blood pressure which has never caused me a problem before, more meds, more bad side effects. My relationships with my family are totally ruined because I would run away at the slightest comment from them.

    Right now I am very angry from being fooled by my doctor. None of my family will speak to me. I am alone. This challenge is another blip in the road of life. So here I go…

    • Christina February 20, 2018, 1:23 pm

      Hello, Make sure you’re tapering slowly. Very slowly. Over a period of time, I’m talking years for some people. I was one of them. It took me 2 years to get off 300mgs. I also felt betrayed by my Dr. But honestly, they’re only doing what they think is best to treat our symptom we tell them, at the time.

      The best thing you can do, and I did, was meditate. Love yourself fully. Be patient with yourself and the withdraw process. Also, manage your fight and flight responds using a method like CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy) or DBT (Dialectical behavioral therapy). Or just Mindfulness techniques. Or a combination of all. Drink TONS of water to flush it.

      And please do it under your Dr’s supervision. The last thing you want is a hospitalization and more meds added due to a temporary crisis situation you’re experiencing from the withdraw. So what saying is, keep your Dr in the loop. If you feel he doesn’t support you, be patient and seek another Dr who will help you. This whole process requires patience. For yourself, for the Dr’s and for the withdrawal process. I hope this helps.

  • Nick January 25, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Seroquel at 100mg made it difficult to think and process information. I found that Xanax helps with the withdrawal symptoms. No doctor ever warned me about the extreme side effects that come from discontinuing the medication. The withdrawal is severely painful and disturbing. Life is better without meds!

  • Midoriana January 18, 2018, 9:11 am

    I took my last Seroquel (300mg) on Sunday. I actually wasn’t planning on doing this, but we had a snow storm and the.clinic has been closed since last Friday. It is now Thursday and I really haven’t experienced any withdrawals (been taking Seroquel since spring of 2015 for Bipolar one). The article said it takes 1.6 days for the drug to get out of your system, so I assume that I should have some effect at this point.

    The only difference is that I want to sleep all the time, and not in a depression or fatigued type of way, but more in a way that the dreams are so vivid that I prefer to experience them over actual consciousness. Has anyone experienced anything similar, or know when I will be hit with withdrawals?

    • Mary January 19, 2018, 3:32 am

      Those “vivid dreams” you describe are often mentioned in this thread (and others) about Seroquel as initial withdrawal symptoms. I endured horrible dreams for a couple weeks. You might have slight symptoms as you took the drug for less then 2 years. I took it for 20 plus years, and have endured several months of insomnia.

      If you do not take the drug, you might get more withdrawal symptoms. Read this thread even though it’s very long. Never stop psyche meds cold turkey! Even with gradual weaning off, there can be unpleasant withdrawal!

  • Stevenson January 16, 2018, 7:13 pm

    I’ve taken a 600mg dosage of Seroquel for three years. I titrated 100mg a week. In retrospect it was too quick of a discontinuation. I should’ve been more prudent and allow a longer length of time to wait for its removal of my dependency. Side effects include a smorgasbord of itself; from insomnia, acute and chronic anxiety, fickle emotional responses, weight loss, and numerous others.

    There doesn’t seem to be a solution for restful sleep. However, to quickly attain normal sleep do not put yourself in stress inducing situations. Allow your body and mind to heal and not be perturbed.

    It was a long endured and difficult experience. With such a high dosage, and the short period I gave my self to come off it, I’d say withdrawals last me around a total of twelve months till beginning to subside.

    I suggest anyone going through this to not go cold turkey, and to give yourself 2-3 years to come off it completely. From all the research I’ve done, the ones who successfully discontinue this medication and have had no withdrawal symptoms are the ones to give themselves an extensive titration period.

    Anyone questions please comment, I am willing to share and give feedback.

    • Phil March 14, 2018, 4:09 pm

      I have been on this drug since 2011. Basically, I began at 100 mg. Then the Dr. brought me up to 150 mg. I went down to 100 mg. as the sedation effect was too much. I was coerced by a PA into getting on 200 mg. and went up to 300 mg. I gained 40 pounds. Finally they took me cold turkey off of it and switched me to lamictal.

      I then got pancreatitis. That was enough for me. I went nonfat and veggie and tamed the pancreatitis. Then I lowered my dose to 200 mg. THEY TOLD ME QUETIAPINE WASN’T ADDICTING AND I COULD JUST QUIT IT ANY TIME. SORRY, SUZIE Q IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN HEROIN. I tried to taper at a rate of 25 mg per month. I got impatient and reduced too fast (about two weeks each reduction) down to 150 mg.

      Now I have withdrawal symptoms even though I ran like hell back from 150 mg to 175 mg. and back up to 200 mg. The withdrawals got pretty bad at 150 mg. Nausea, increased heart rate, insomnia, lethargy, anxiety, sweaty palms… still I am having them and it’s been about three days since I got back to 200 mg. The whole problem is that they purposely designed this drug to string you out for $$$.

      I am now doing supplements and trying to get withdrawal free before I taper down AT A CRAWL… 6.25 mg per month. It’s almost a three year plan. But I’m 61 and sure want off this poison! What gets me SICK IS THE HOLISTIC REHABS that know how to get you tapered off and healthy etc. only take PRIVATE INSURANCE and mine doesn’t count. What a totally screwed up system.

      The drug companies, the doctors, and the whole “for profit” system gets me sick. The only way to get off it without the amplified horrors of withdrawal is at a rate of reduction of 6.25 mg. per month. Even then you will have withdrawals, but they will be far less than those going by the 10% per month or 10% per week plans out there.

      They are horses**t. You jump into this rabbit hole, but you have to literally slowly climb out. Very slowly. With supplements: Amino Acids, Omega 3s, CBD Oil, etc. Vegan food… I will try to get stable at 200 mg. I may have to go up to 225 mg as my sleep has been disrupted.

      Vivid horrible dreams recently. Once I am at the stable level, the tapering will begin, but at a crawl. Literally a small scrape off of a pill per month. Very small. God bless and good luck!

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