Step 11- Ensuring that a Drug is Relatively ‘Taper-friendly’

many psychiatric drugs

Why this step is important

Tapering off a psychiatric drug as safely as possible often requires altering its original form so that a person can better control the amount being taken and make small-enough reductions in dose to avoid overly disruptive withdrawal symptoms. However, some drug formulations definitely cannot be safely altered, while some potentially work only with certain taper methods or require special handling. Other formulations help optimize the level of control and precision a person has over their taper.

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Getting oriented

Certain forms and formulations of psychiatric drugs cannot safely be broken down in a liquid, crushed, or split, and it is essential that you figure out whether yours is one of them before proceeding with a taper. It’s also important to learn about all the different forms and doses in which your drug is available, so that you can assess which may be most preferable to you during your taper. This step will help you determine whether or not your drug is in a form and formulation that are safe for tapering, and explore possibilities for what you can do if you discover that your drug is definitely not safe for tapering. And note that all of the taper methods currently being used with success in the layperson withdrawal community are reviewed in Step 15 and described in more detail in Steps 16-18. After completing this step and discovering how relatively ‘taper-friendly’ your drug is or is not, you may find it helpful to review the taper methods before making any decisions about possibly switching drug forms or formulations.