Sharing My Taper Schedule

To mark the recent two year anniversary of completing my taper off of the (S)SRI Celexa, I decided to share my taper schedule. I thought long and hard about whether or not doing this would be a good idea, and ultimately I decided that it might be helpful for someone. It’s very important for you who are reading this to understand that I share it purely as my own lived example, and I do not intend it as a roadmap for anyone else! I believe that the more we inform ourselves in both general terms and from the lived experience of others, the better positioned we are to find our own unique way forward. What worked for me may not work for you. What works for you may not work for anyone else in the same way. Do your own research, think critically, consult with your support system, and trust your own inner wisdom about what is right for you.

When I was actually tapering, I didn’t track all of my dates and dose reductions in a spreadsheet or chart. Instead I marked everything in a calendar app on my phone. It was only recently that I decided I wanted to go back and consolidate everything, and add info about each amount/percentage reduced, into what you will see below. If you are just embarking on your journey (or even if you’re mid-journey), it might be helpful to consider using a spreadsheet or chart if you think you might ever want to go back and revisit when you did what. It was certainly informative for me to see it all in one place even two years later!

I began my taper in May of 2015, but I didn’t start tracking my dose reductions at all until two years in. What you will see starts when I found the online layperson withdrawal community and began to learn about safer tapering practices. Prior to what is below, I managed to reduce down from 40mg… messily and too fast, with massive 50% cuts and subsequent updosing before attempting again, because I hadn’t a clue what I was doing at the time. These big reductions coupled with up-and-down dosing really did a number on my nervous system and for the rest of my taper and beyond was healing from that damage. It was in March of 2017 that I attempted to go from 10mg to 5mg (yet again), and in desperate agony found a Facebook support group where I was first  informed about the existence of liquid drug preparations and truly slow tapering strategies. I went back up from 5mg to 8mg in March of 2017. I would have reduced by about 10% from 8mg to 7.2mg, and again by about 10% from 7.2mg to 6.3mg, which is where the spreadsheet picks up in July of 2017.

You will also see that the majority of my taper was not in fact hyperbolic, even though hyperbolic tapering is the gold standard among the layperson withdrawal community at the time of this writing (and it is backed up by peer-reviewed published research). For most of what is documented, I was reducing my dose by a tiny fixed amount–0.04mg–each time. The reason for this is because my itty bitty 1ml oral syringes didn’t have units of measurement smaller than 0.02ml, equivalent to 0.04mg of my drug. When I began this weekly(ish) micro-taper, 0.04mg was about 1% of my current dose. As my dose got lower I couldn’t really reduce by a smaller amount unless I were to dilute my drug liquid or start working with a compounding pharmacy. I didn’t want to have to do either of these things unless it was necessary, so I decided to stick with the fixed 0.04mg each time and only adapt if it became clear that I needed to–which it never did. My body tolerated this 0.04mg reduction strategy very much better than anything else that I tried and I was successfully able to reach 0mg this way!

Hopefully it will be clear from looking at the chart that while I had a general schedule in mind, I did my best to listen to my body and hold my taper when I felt that I needed to. THIS is the takeaway, friends: let YOUR body be your guide. It will tell you what you need to know to navigate your way through, if you are listening.

DateDose (milligrams)Amount Reduced (milligrams)Percentage of Previous Dose
July 15, 20176.3
November 24, 20175.80.57.94%
December 29, 20175.60.23.45%
January 26, 20185.40.23.57%
March 2, 20185.20.23.70%
March 30, 201850.23.85%
April 27, 20184.80.24.00%
June 1, 20184.60.24.17%
June 29, 20184.40.24.35%
August 3, 20184.360.040.91%
August 10, 20184.320.040.92%
August 17, 20184.280.040.93%
August 24, 20184.240.040.93%
August 31, 20184.20.040.94%
September 7, 20184.160.040.95%
September 14, 20184.120.040.96%
September 21, 20184.080.040.97%
September 28, 20184.040.040.98%
October 5, 201840.040.99%
October 12, 20183.960.041.00%
October 19, 20183.920.041.01%
October 26, 20183.880.041.02%
November 2, 20183.840.041.03%
November 9, 20183.80.041.04%
November 16, 20183.760.041.05%
November 23, 20183.720.041.06%
November 30, 20183.680.041.08%
December 7, 20183.640.041.09%
December 14, 20183.60.041.10%
December 21, 20183.560.041.11%
December 28, 20183.520.041.12%
January 4, 20193.480.041.14%
January 11, 20193.440.041.15%
January 18, 20193.40.041.16%
February 8, 20193.360.041.18%
February 15, 20193.320.041.19%
February 22, 20193.280.041.20%
March 1, 20193.240.041.22%
March 8, 20193.20.041.23%
March 15, 20193.160.041.25%
March 22, 20193.120.041.27%
March 29, 20193.080.041.28%
April 5, 20193.040.041.30%
April 12, 201930.041.32%
April 26, 20192.960.041.33%
May 3, 20192.920.041.35%
May 10, 20192.880.041.37%
May 17, 20192.840.041.39%
May 24, 20192.80.041.41%
June 7, 20192.760.041.43%
June 14, 20192.720.041.45%
June 21, 20192.680.041.47%
June 28, 20192.640.041.49%
July 5, 20192.60.041.52%
July 12, 20192.560.041.54%
July 19, 20192.520.041.56%
July 26, 20192.480.041.59%
August 2, 20192.440.041.61%
August 9, 20192.40.041.64%
August 16, 20192.360.041.67%
August 23, 20192.320.041.69%
August 30, 20192.280.041.72%
September 6, 20192.240.041.75%
September 13, 20192.20.041.79%
September 27, 20192.160.041.82%
October 4, 20192.120.041.85%
October 11, 20192.080.041.89%
October 18, 20192.040.041.92%
October 25, 201920.041.96%
November 1, 20191.960.042.00%
November 8, 20191.920.042.04%
November 15, 20191.880.042.08%
November 22, 20191.840.042.13%
November 29, 20191.80.042.17%
December 6, 20191.760.042.22%
December 13, 20191.720.042.27%
December 20, 20191.680.042.33%
December 27, 20191.640.042.38%
January 3, 20201.60.042.44%
January 10, 20201.560.042.50%
January 17, 20201.520.042.56%
January 24, 20201.480.042.63%
January 31, 20201.440.042.70%
February 7, 20201.40.042.78%
February 14, 20201.360.042.86%
February 21, 20201.320.042.94%
March 6, 20201.280.043.03%
March 13, 20201.240.043.13%
March 20, 20201.20.043.23%
March 27, 20201.160.043.33%
April 3, 20201.120.043.45%
April 10, 20201.080.043.57%
April 17, 20201.040.043.70%
April 24, 202010.043.85%
May 1, 20200.960.044.00%
May 8, 20200.920.044.17%
May 15, 20200.880.044.35%
May 22, 20200.840.044.55%
May 29, 20200.80.044.76%
June 5, 20200.760.045.00%
June 12, 20200.720.045.26%
June 19, 20200.680.045.56%
June 26, 20200.640.045.88%
July 3, 20200.60.046.25%
July 10, 20200.560.046.67%
July 17, 20200.520.047.14%
July 24, 20200.480.047.69%
July 31, 20200.440.048.33%
August 7, 20200.40.049.09%
August 14, 20200.360.0410.00%
August 21, 20200.320.0411.11%
August 28, 20200.280.0412.50%
September 4, 20200.240.0414.29%
September 11, 20200.20.0416.67%
September 18, 20200.160.0420.00%
October 2, 20200.120.0425.00%
October 16, 20200.080.0433.33%
October 30, 20200.040.0450.00%
November 13, 202000.04100.00%

Disclaimer: Everything shared here is intended for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. My taper schedule is not your taper schedule! Always do your own research, consult with your own trusted support people, and listen to your inner wisdom when deciding what’s right for you. You know yourself, your body, your needs, and your own way forward better than anyone else ever can.     

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