Stopped Lithium & Seroquel "Cold Turkey"
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Q:  Stopped Lithium & Seroquel "Cold Turkey"

I was placed on serequel 400 mg and lithium 300mg a day then i was forced off of them cold turkey without my doctors knowledge or approval. I need to know the dangers that I faced being taken off of these medications.
Dear Mr. D' -- 
As you can imagine, there's not much research on stopping medications. That would be tough to study.  But we have learned, from a variety of indirect sources, that stopping lithium fast seems to be more likely to lead to quick return of symptoms than tapering it (e.g. over several months, not just weeks or days). But that's pretty moot at this point, eh?

There are no clear "dangers" in stopping these medications other than having your symptoms come back, perhaps come back harder than where they were before taking the medications. That's why we generally taper this kind of stuff.  However, at least we can say that by current understanding, there is no "withdrawal", especially no physically dangerous withdrawal but not even the kind that people sometimes get when stopping antidepressants. 

We won't get into how the medications got stopped.  Good luck getting reorganized here. 

Dr. Phelps 

Published May, 2006


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