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Latuda Tapering

This entry was posted in Antipsychotic on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on August 4, 2021 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Latuda tapering may be an option to consider if an ongoing prescription of Latuda is not helping the way you hoped it would.

Are you afraid of possibly needing to stay on this antipsychotic drug indefinitely? If you’re ready to begin tapering, we have the supportive, holistic methods and the compassion to help.

Do Your Symptoms
Require Latuda?

successful latuda tapering
At Alternative to Meds Center, we have provided help with antipsychotic tapering and designing alternative treatment plans for our clients. We invite you to review our published evidence accumulated over 15 years of service. Our clients’ success stems primarily from using non-toxic treatment protocols to help reduce or eliminate psychiatric medications while improving symptomatically using non-drug-based therapies and treatments. If medical or other factors were never discovered or treated, we can help the person now to find true healing and relief that drugs could not provide.

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Reasons Latuda is Prescribed

While Latuda (or lurasidone) is classified as an antipsychotic medication used in the treatment of schizophrenia or psychosis, it is also prescribed for depression or other symptoms associated with bipolar disorders.22

As an adult, you may have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder, or perhaps a mix of symptoms, and possibly you were first prescribed antidepressant medication. However, it is possible that the outcome was less than satisfactory. Possibly the prescribing physician switched you to or added antipsychotic or even multiple medications to your regimen. Over time, drug effects can intensify and become hard to tolerate, and long-term drug use can introduce new symptoms that are also hard to deal with. At the same time, initial symptoms can begin to re-surface despite the prescription. (See below for more information on this common phenomenon.) If any of this seems familiar, a Latuda tapering program may be the first step in regaining natural mental health.

This is especially true if treatment is done in a compassionate and well-staffed setting that seeks to discover and comprehensively treat underlying root causes for mental symptoms like depression or schizophrenia rather than masking them with more and more drugs. The longer one stays on heavy drugs, as can often happen in treating schizophrenia, for example with antipsychotic medications, the more likely health issues tend to worsen and the efficacy of the drug tends to decrease.1,3

Cautions for Latuda (lurasidone) Tapering

The most important factor in successful lurasidone tapering is to take a slow and measured approach. A person who has presented schizophrenic, psychotic, or major depressive symptoms prior to taking Latuda may likely already be in something of a fractured or at least fragile condition. Care must be taken not to burden a person unduly when in such a condition. Alternative to Meds Center takes a compassionate and gentle approach to help clients maneuver through their program to ensure it is as comfortable and safe as possible.

Guidelines for Latuda Tapering

The following points are given as points to discuss with your prescribing physician, and should not be attempted without careful ongoing medical support and management.

  • latuda tapering guidelinesDo not begin tapering Latuda when you are unstable.6,7
  • Consider contracting for safety with a trusted person prior to beginning antipsychotic taper.8
  • If inpatient care is not available to you, gather support from clinical, familial, or other close acquaintances — a majority of successful withdrawal candidates cite this as a helpful support for decision-negotiation or other aspects of the withdrawal experience.25
  • Do not try tapering on your own. Seek competent medical help to see you through.1,9
  • Avoid caffeine drinks or other stimulant products.10,11
  • Eliminate recreational use of marijuana or other substances.12
  • Keep blood sugar levels evened out with small protein-based meals over the day.13,21
  • Regular exercise at a tolerable intensity can be beneficial.14,15
  • If you are taking multiple medications, be sure to fully inform your prescriber of all that you are taking at present, even if unprescribed or prescribed from a different practitioner.16,17
  • Discuss with your prescriber having the lowest strength pills available to accurately configure the gradually reducing dosages as the taper progresses. Latuda comes in 20mg,40mg,60mg,80mg & 120mg — a combination of these will help in doing the math. Cutting the pills may be needed, which your prescriber can also assist with when necessary.
  • The intensity of withdrawals can help determine what is or is not a tolerable percentage to decrease, and allowing enough time for these reactions to subside before making a further cut is recommended. Do not go faster than can be tolerated.1,24
  • Familiarize yourself with expected withdrawal phenomena that may occur. Studies show that self-education is of major assistance in medication withdrawals.1,18,19,20,22,24
  • Antipsychotic tapering is a slow process. For example, it may take one month or more for every year of medication use, for a tolerable wean down.1
  • Discuss with your physician whether bridge medications may be useful, as well as cross-over tapering where intolerable side effects may need resolving to continue the taper.1
  • Try and avoid environmental stimulation such as loud repetitive music, stressful situations, reading material, or other media that may inflate feelings of extreme emotional response.20

Notes on Developing Latuda Tolerance

The longer one takes an atypical antipsychotic medication the more intense the side effects may have become. Also, the less efficacious the medication tends to become. That can lead to original symptoms intensifying, which the drug is no longer able to dampen or suppress. This predicament is called tolerance which may gradually occur especially where the antipsychotic drug has been taken for a long time.2

Purging Neurotoxins Helps Latuda Tapering

After tolerance has developed, aggressively reducing the dosage will likely add fuel to the fire. The recommended method is to soften the withdrawals as much as possible using slow and careful micro-adjustments. However, prior to beginning Latuda tapering, the client can be tested for the presence of toxic accumulations such as heavy metals, chemical residues, or other neurotoxic accumulations. These can be gently purged from the system using methods of cleansing like sauna, colonic hydrotherapy, and other protocols. Neurotoxin removal typically results in improved appetite, better sleep, increased energy, calmer, a brightened mood, and other positive and stabilizing changes. These changes can help to establish an optimum point at which to begin the taper process.

Making a Gentle Transition is Key

There are many other adjunctive protocols offered that can concurrently ease and soften the taper process significantly. At Alternative to Meds Center, we help our clients with supportive therapies all the way along, such as therapeutic massage, Reiki, mineral baths, IV + NAD therapy, holistic sleep aids, digestive and nutritional aids that promote a healthy microbiome, a strategically structured clean diet, nebulized glutathione, craniosacral massage, personal counseling, Life Coaching, trainer-led exercise and yoga classes, equine therapy, Qi Gong, and many more therapeutic options.

Importance of Diet When Coming Off Latuda

holistic latuda taperingNutritional evaluation, testing, and corrective diet and supplementation are begun early in the program so that situations such as deficiencies or out-of-balance minerals and other bio-factors can begin to be repaired without delay. Meals are prepared within the framework of a delicious, nutrient-dense, and mostly organic diet, using unprocessed foods without chemicals, additives, or preservatives. The elimination of stimulants such as caffeine or sugars and neurotoxic artificial sweeteners, flavor enhancers, etc., can also benefit greatly.

A person coming off antipsychotic medication needs exacting protocols to begin to normalize and repair the neurochemistry that will allow symptoms to abate in a natural and healing way. Through targeted nutritional supplementation and other protocols, this is one of the prime goals that we help our clients achieve in a welcoming, compassionate, and safe environment. Educational components delivered to the client are informative and applicable for self-care and can boost self-confidence greatly as they are given important tools and an understanding of building and maintaining healthy neurochemistry and other aspects of wellness that they can apply while in the program and continue to benefit from for the rest of their life. Knowledge can be a truly valuable asset for recovery.

Achieving Natural Mental Health is Possible

Research has shown the challenges when schizophrenia patients have continued taking antipsychotic medications long-term.23 Published studies strongly suggest that patients do less well on continuous medication over decades of treatment than unmedicated patients. Studies by Harrow and also Corell et al both published in the 2018 Journal of World Psychiatry demonstrate additional evidence of better all-around functioning and recovery on unmedicated persons over more than a decade of follow-ups.4,5

Each person is a wonderfully complex and unique life expression. It is not possible for one cookie-cutter solution to sufficiently answer complex mental health and medical conditions. Our aim is to provide the least harmful treatment, coupled with the most helpful strategies to aid a person’s quest to build a meaningful and satisfying life. We aim also to provide enough education about staying well so that clients are sufficiently equipped to gain a confident foothold on their pathway toward holistic self-care, elimination of symptoms, so they can experience the relief that natural (drug-free) mental health can provide.

Find Out More

We invite you to call and speak to any of our knowledgeable and caring staff who will be happy to explain more about the protocols we use and any questions you may have about the program, how long to expect in treatment, insurance coverage, or any other questions you may have. Find out how the inpatient Latuda tapering program offered may be the answer you or your loved one has been looking for at Alternative to Meds Center.


1. Keks N, Schwartz D, Hope J. Stopping and switching antipsychotic drugsAust Prescr. 2019;42(5):152-157. doi:10.18773/austprescr.2019.052 [cited 2021 July 8]

2. Li M “Antipsychotic-induced sensitization and tolerance: Behavioural characteristics, developmental impacts, and neurobiological mechanisms” Journal of Pharmacology, US National Library of Medicine [INTERNET] 2016 Jul 1 [cited 2021 July 8]

3. Davis JM, Matalon L, Watanabe MD, Blake L, Metalon L [corrected to Matalon L]. “Depot antipsychotic drugs. Place in therapy.” Drugs. 1994 May;47(5):741-73. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199447050-00004. Erratum in: Drugs 1994 Oct;48(4):616. PMID: 7520856. [cited 2021 July 8]

4. Harrow M, Jobe T, ” Long-term antipsychotic treatmentof schizophrenia – does it help or hurt over a 20-year period?” Journal of World Psychiatry 2018 Jun, PMID 29856562 [cited 2021 July 8]

5. Correll et al., “What is the risk-benefit ratio of long-term antipsychotic treatment in people with schizophrenia?” Journal or World Psychiatry 2018 May [cited 2021 July 8]

6. Samaha AN, Seeman P, Stewart J, Rajabi H, Kapur S. “Breakthrough” dopamine supersensitivity during ongoing antipsychotic treatment leads to treatment failure over time. J Neurosci. 2007;27(11):2979-2986. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5416-06.2007. [cited 2021 July 8]

7. Moncrieff J, Gupta S, Horowitz MA. Barriers to stopping neuroleptic (antipsychotic) treatment in people with schizophrenia, psychosis or bipolar disorder. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2020;10:2045125320937910. Published 2020 Jul 6. doi:10.1177/2045125320937910. [cited 2021 July 8]

8. WALKER, TOM. “ULYSSES CONTRACTS IN MEDICINE.” Law and Philosophy, vol. 31, no. 1, 2012, pp. 77–98. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41348267. Accessed 8 July 2021.

9. Cooper RE, Hanratty É, Morant N, Moncrieff J (2019) Mental health professionals’ views and experiences of antipsychotic reduction and discontinuation. PLoS ONE 14(6): e0218711. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218711 [cited 2021 July 8]

10. Hedges DW, Woon FL, Hoopes SP. Caffeine-induced psychosis. CNS Spectr. 2009 Mar;14(3):127-9. doi: 10.1017/s1092852900020101. PMID: 19407709. [cited 2021 July 8]

11. Wang HR, Woo YS, Bahk WM. Caffeine-induced psychiatric manifestations: a review. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2015 Jul;30(4):179-82. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0000000000000076. PMID: 25856116. [cited 2021 July 8]

12. NIDA. 2020, May 28. Is there a link between marijuana use and psychiatric disorders? [cited 2021 July 8]

13. Sahoo S, Mehra A, Grover S. Acute Hyperglycemia Associated with Psychotic Symptoms in a Patient with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Case Report. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2016;13(11-12):25-27. Published 2016 Dec 1. [cited 2021 July 8]

14. Herbert C, Meixner F, Wiebking C, Gilg V. Regular Physical Activity, Short-Term Exercise, Mental Health, and Well-Being Among University Students: The Results of an Online and a Laboratory Study. Front Psychol. 2020;11:509. Published 2020 May 26. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00509 [cited 2021 July 8]

15. Segura-Aguilar J., Paris I. (2014) Mechanisms of Dopamine Oxidation and Parkinson’s Disease. In: Kostrzewa R. (eds) Handbook of Neurotoxicity. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5836-4_16 [cited 2021 July 8]

16. Kennedy WK, Jann MW, Kutscher EC. Clinically significant drug interactions with atypical antipsychotics. CNS Drugs. 2013 Dec;27(12):1021-48. doi: 10.1007/s40263-013-0114-6. PMID: 24170642.[cited 2021 July 8]

17. Sproule BA, Naranjo CA, Brenmer KE, Hassan PC. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and CNS drug interactions. A critical review of the evidence. Clin Pharmacokinet. 1997 Dec;33(6):454-71. doi: 10.2165/00003088-199733060-00004. PMID: 9435993. [cited 2021 July 8]

18. Gardos G, Cole JO, Tarsy D. Withdrawal syndromes associated with antipsychotic drugs. Am J Psychiatry. 1978 Nov;135(11):1321-4. doi: 10.1176/ajp.135.11.1321. PMID: 30287.[cited 2021 July 8]

19. Tranter R, Healy D. Neuroleptic discontinuation syndromes. J Psychopharmacol. 1998;12(4):401-6. doi: 10.1177/026988119801200412. PMID: 10065916. [cited 2021 July 8]

20. Fink EB. Unexpected and prolonged akinesia: a case report. J Clin Psychiatry. 1978 Nov;39(11):817-8. PMID: 31353. [cited 2021 July 8]

21. Hormone Health Network Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia EDITOR(S): Prof. Margaret Eckert-Norton, PHD, FNP-BC, CDE, Ramon Martinez, M.D., Susan Kirk, M.D. LAST UPDATED: July 2020. [cited 2021 July 8]

22. FDA label LATUDA (lurasidone hydrochloride) Approved 2010 Revised 2013 [cited 2021 July 8]

23. Barnes SS, Badre N. Is the Evidence Strong Enough to Warrant Long-Term Antipsychotic Use in Compulsory Outpatient Treatment? Psychiatr Serv. 2016 Jul 1;67(7):784-6. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201500408. Epub 2016 Mar 15. PMID: 26975525. [cited July 8]

24. Ostrow L, Jessell L, Hurd M, Darrow SM, Cohen D. Discontinuing Psychiatric Medications: A Survey of Long-Term Users. Psychiatr Serv. 2017 Dec 1;68(12):1232-1238. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201700070. Epub 2017 Jul 17. PMID: 28712356. [cited 2021 July 8]

25. Salomon C, Hamilton B. “All roads lead to medication?” Qualitative responses from an Australian first-person survey of antipsychotic discontinuation. Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2013 Sep;36(3):160-5. doi: 10.1037/prj0000001. Epub 2013 Jul 1. PMID: 23815172. [cited 2021 July 8]


Originally Published Dec 16, 2019 by Lyle Murphy


This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Latuda Tapering
Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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