Tips for proper self-withdrawal from medication(s)

Gianna, a reader of this site, has a great and informative blog, Bipolar Blast. In a recent post, she gives some tips for proper psych drug withdrawal. This is particularly helpful for those dealing with severe antidepressant withdrawal effects. For me, Effexor comes to mind. I also think about "Honey’s" experience with Zoloft. Not only does Gianna emphasize diet and nutrition as an important part of the process, but she also delves into proper titration. (Many people think that the diet and nutrition thing is obvious, but many people overlook that important piece of recovery.)

I understand that many people – especially in the psych world – think Peter Breggin’s a wack job, but he can have some good points. Gianna refers to Breggin’s 10% rule:

"Breggin suggests what has come to be known the 10% rule. Any given drug should not be reduced anymore than 10% at a time. Once a taper is complete the next taper should not exceed 10% of the new dose. Therefore, the milligram, then fraction of milligram amount decreases with each new taper. I’ve found that I have to sometimes go in even smaller amounts. As low as 5% and sometimes people go as small as 2.5%–for people on benzodiazepines it is not unusual to go in even smaller amounts. Cutting pills is not always enough. Sometimes liquid titration is necessary. This may involve dissolving the smallest dose pill in water, club soda or even alcohol, which can then be diluted with water, then using a syringe to cut down milliliters at a time. Medications also sometimes come in liquid form and can be gotten by prescription. It should be noted that some medications should not be dissolved. Especially time released medications. This would be extremely dangerous."

Gianna clearly knows what she’s talking about. Head on over to her site to read the rest of the post.

3 Comments

  1. March 20, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    This is great because I have used one medication for depression which had unpleasant side effects.

  2. Stephany said,

    March 20, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    This is such an important post. The too quick removal of 3 psych meds in 3 short months was the reason my daughter entered a year long psych hosp nightmare.
    Once IN the hospital my pleas for allowing her to continue the ‘med wash’ fell on deaf psych ears. The doc proceeded to trial 11 meds in 13 weeks on her.
    Re: nutrition. Yes, this is when a person takes a trip to the juice bar, or uses a home-juicer. Apple/carrot/parsley/beet. All raw. Drink up, it tastes better than it sounds, and gives good nutrition, quickly.

  3. March 27, 2007 at 12:28 am

    “Once IN the hospital my pleas for allowing her to continue the ‘med wash’ fell on deaf psych ears. The doc proceeded to trial 11 meds in 13 weeks on her.”
    Now THAT is some crazy BS. That shouldn’t be allowed.


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