I Worry About the Long-Term Effects of Medication

The theme of my mental health this year has been about making changes. One area is in the medication that I am currently taking. One that has been on my mind of late is Seroquel. What are the longterm effects on my overall health and even lifespan? Is it possible to completely get off this medication?

The Effects of Seroquel on my Life

This nothing new, as I have thought about this many times. Seroquel has and always been a part of daily life since 2007. In 2018, I got off of antidepressants altogether, and it was life-changing. Seroquel is so different because it is vital to keeping my manic side in check. I have had psychotic episodes in my past–it is why I was prescribed an antipsychotic right away. It also is helpful with sleep, another reason I take this medication. With the recent success with my CPAP machine, and helping me conquer my sleep apnea. I wonder if I can begin the process of phasing this dangerous medication entirely from my life. 

It is a worry on both sides. Lithium is supposed to me my mood stabilizer, and I’m not too fond of the effects of Seroquel. Feeling like a zombie in the morning. Not being able to get up for two hours when in reality, I wake up at seven, but get up at nine. The fact that it shuts down my whole body completely. Then there is the obvious, what has taken high doses of this drug done to my body or my lifespan. I know it has affected my teeth, something that they never told me about, but it is now something I have to deal with every day.

Next week I meet with my psychiatrist with a purpose in mind. Finding ways to lower my Seroquel to lower doses in hopes that I can still get sleep, but be able to function better. It will be a trial and error thing because I have been down this road before. In 2016, I was down from 600 mg to 200mg. Then sleep began to be an issue again I saw my dosage skyrocket to 600 then back down to 400mg, where I am currently at today.

It will always be a battle, but for the first time in my life, I can see a world where I deal with my mental illness of Bipolar One without medication. Then comes the next phase. Ending my addiction with benzodiazepines, that is a blog post for another time. I will say I met someone in the last six months, and he has gone through the process of removing Benzos from their life completely. It was not easy, but he proved to me it is possible. Stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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39 Replies to “I Worry About the Long-Term Effects of Medication”

  1. My boyfriend was just put on this drug; thank you for sharing your experience. I worry with the side effects he will stop taking it on his own without the help of a psych.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s a drug that can be impossible to get off of, usually it’s just a lowering the dosage, but it can be done from what I read. I am going to be writing a lot about it in the coming weeks.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I will definitely keep a look out for your perspective. Unfortunately for him, he still needs the help of an anti-psychotic so it would be a matter of changing doses. I do wish you the best of luck and hope you can manage without medication.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Take adjusting your meds as very serious

    A friend
    With bi polar disorder had her doc change her meds

    It cost her life

    Take what you need to function

    It is always a battle between benefits and side effects

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am literally studying this drug right now for an exam next week. It’s a mood stabilizer but works better for managing agitation than for managing anxiety alone. However, with anti-anxiety meds, there are other concerns around addiction, and MD’s will often prescribe Seroquel as a first choice drug (mainly for agitation and panic episodes). I still question the integrity of all meds, as I am someone who refuses to take them.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I can tell you that it is very common to percribe seroquel as the first drug of choice, it was in my case because in 2007, with my diagnosis that included psychosis it was necessary. They perscribe Seroquel for many things but it is first an antipsychotic. One of the things that sucks is how it controls your body. For me it is two hours of feeling like a zombie before I start to refocus. I would say if it is a low dosage, say 25mg it can be effective but at hight doses its a highly controlling drug. I am not a medical expert but I have been on this medication since 2007, so I know the pitfalls. Research is good goint into an appointment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I worry about the long-term effects of all the mental health drugs I have taken and continue to take. I have actually quit taking seroquel recently and am going through a bit of withdrawl right now, but hoping to come out the other side ok.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is good to hear. My doctor is telling me that I am taking it for life but I refuse to accept that because what if it is taking years off my life? It was great at first but the oversleeping, the not sleeping and the high doses seem like it is counterproductive in my book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, the oversleeping was definitely a symptom of mine. I would sleep 12 hours most days on it. I never took high doses, so I think that makes it a bit easier to get off of. I haven’t had too much trouble getting to sleep without it, but staying asleep can be troublesome.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am hoping now that I have a CPAP machine and my sleep apnea is under control that I will be able to sleep without Seroquel. That is the plan. Or at least a lower dosage.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great discussion

    Doctors do not tell you everything, we must inquire. Once we are put on certain meds, the plan is to be on them the rest of our lives.

    Antidepressants are one of them. A prescribing psychiatrist finally found an antidepressant that did not have bad side effects.

    The problem was he upped the dose to four times the normal dose. I hated being on it and weened myself off of it.

    Some of these meds change mind chemistry, so I have to be on a low dose.

    I threw away my opioids and used my own endorphins and cbd products.

    I recommend only adding one drug at a time. That way you can see the side effects.

    Side effects are different for each of us and then we take multiple pills so side effects are complex

    Take what you need and get off the meds you can

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is my hope. To get off the meds in a slow process that is effective. It has become a point where the efficacy is not as good as it once was with everything I am on right now.

      Like

      1. Called toxicity

        I have chronic pain from a rollover wreck

        The first year cam fusions and rfn’s using a radial frequency to kill the nerves in the right side of my neck

        So opioids were on the menu

        My chronic pain group of 15 most of my peers were in 20 to 40 pills a day plus a morphine pump

        You can not chase a chronic condition with a pill

        A short term opioid lasts 45 minute tops

        After a few
        Months the dose that was helping needs a boost

        Pain killers can add pain after long term use

        I threw my opioids away and hiked uphill then found a form of cannabis

        This has been 15 years now

        I would be dead or hurting if I was on opioids at the level I needed for 15 years

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cannabis is amazing I will give you that, I have not used that in years, but I am beginning to lean that way in the future.

        Like

      3. They have products now that are much cleaner even edibles

        Side benefits of cannabis
        Chronic pain patients has incredible nausea

        Being able to eat and relax are rare but cannabis gives u an appetite

        I had to sign a form with my doctor

        I had to do opioids or cannabis

        Opioids lost

        The cleaner products have few side effects and many benefits if not abused

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have been entertaining the same thought process for a while now. I’ve been on and off meds for OCD since I was 12. Now that I’m almost 30 and am attempting to live a more holistic lifestyle I very much worry about the lasting effects medicine has on my body and brain. I’m hoping for a positive experience on your end and would like to hear more of the process as it continues!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I will be doing updates Marla on my process over the next few months. I am hoping for a positive experience as well. It was amazing getting off antidepressants so here is to hopefully better mental health.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I felt this… I have anxiety too and I was terrified of taking medications. Afraid that I’ll get addicted to them or they might not help! But now I’m better with out any medications!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is where I want to be, without the constant reminder the control these medications have on my day. My whole world revolves around the taking of medication, and I am over it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s okay! One step at a time… the first step to solving a problem is to accept you have one 👏 hopefully everything willl work out!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I myself am doing the non medication route since then the medication can be still held as a last resort since there must be ways around it without meds is my stubbornness in it all.

    It’s taking me 5 years of studying and expressing just to find all my triggers and depressors plus motivators but now today I at least have more solid methods of approach in mind.

    Really it all depends on what you desire to do in life also.

    Where I am more of a hermit my methods may not work for someone who needs more physical interaction, which we all need but I find the “virtuality” is excellent in between where as others desire more of the real thing.

    The point is I tried many other medications and I did not like how they made me feel hence why I resorted to things like marijuana and alcohol instead.

    Which lasted for a few years until suddenly the mental health sinkhole began returning leading me into seeking alternate methods through social media and others which help more without the negative side effects that any drug or alcohol brings to the table.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I am also on Seroquel, and has been for the past few years. It is relatively a high dosage though for me 800 mg, and I definitely feel the effects, I also hope to one day be able to lower the dosage to maybe 300mg or 400mg.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. 800 mg is so high! Can I ask how a typical day is like. On 600 I am practically a zombie. I can for the most part function at 400 mg. I hope that you find a way to lower your dosage too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually I have seroquel before dinner everyday, so it would only affect me 3 to 4 hours after during the evening, and I would feel drowsy and be unable to concentrate. I also experience missed periods and weight gain. I do hope that one day the doctor would lower my dosage, but as of now they are hoping to maintain the dosage so as to prevent episodes from reoccurring again.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. My fiance is on that as well and we have successfully transitioned him to Effexor and Amplify. I hear you on the long term effects on your health. He was too lethargic during the day on it. I myself follow a holistic health plan by focusing on what I eat and the supplements I take I have been able to completely transition of psychiatric medications totally. I believe in taking medications for acute and crisis situations and for a time and I support medication completely. I don’t intend to offend anyone it’s just that I myself have done my own research on what the root cause is of so many mental health disorders and conditions. There is a way to heal. I wish you nothing but success in your journey my friend!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I too have had success switching to Effexor. My therapist is working with me on reducing the dosage as we work through coping strategies. Maybe someday I too will transition off.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is my hope got you my friend. It’s no easy road but it can be done. We have been together for almost 7 years. It takes awareness and diligence to be your own best advocate😊

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I don’t know the answers to this issue but I can say that medication only seemed to make my situation worse. I gave it up about 20 years ago. Now that won’t work for everyone; I have to emphasize that. But what I did instead – and have never changed since – is managed my illness through life changes, spirituality, absolute self-care (which is mostly about who is and is not allowed access to my life), paying attention to what helps me/hurts me and adjusting accordingly, and creating home surroundings that nurture me. I made my well-being my life project. It may not be for everyone but perhaps these are things people can work on even while on medications.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No. I just decided I couldn’t take all the try-this-ones anymore. It was slow. I had to change the ways I lived. But for me, it seems the changed that took me a long time to implement became permanent.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Appreciate your insight into this difficult question. I too wonder about the long term side effects of medications, yet there is a down side to reducing the dosage or stopping it all together. It is quite the dilemma.

    Liked by 3 people

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