Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 5582

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Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Cam W. on June 3, 2000, at 18:36:27

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Susanm on June 3, 2000, at 17:19:11


Susan - It might be a very good idea to go back on a lower dose of Zoloft for a while. Ask you doc to give you 50mg strength caps (tabs in U.S.?) and try 100mg daily for a couple of days. If this doesn't help, raise the dose to 150mg (you could raise the dose again, but I doubt you will need to). Then, about every 7 days drop the dose by 50mg and, if tolerated, do this until you are taking 50mg daily. Do this for a week, then take 50mg every other day for a week and the try to stop. This should ease your withdrawl symptoms.

Talk this over with your doc. I have seen this method work, especially when withdrawing from higher doses of the shorter acting SRIs.

Hope this helps - Cam

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by JohnL on June 5, 2000, at 3:21:01

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Cam W. on June 3, 2000, at 18:36:27

>
> Susan - It might be a very good idea to go back on a lower dose of Zoloft for a while. Ask you doc to give you 50mg strength caps (tabs in U.S.?) and try 100mg daily for a couple of days. If this doesn't help, raise the dose to 150mg (you could raise the dose again, but I doubt you will need to). Then, about every 7 days drop the dose by 50mg and, if tolerated, do this until you are taking 50mg daily. Do this for a week, then take 50mg every other day for a week and the try to stop. This should ease your withdrawl symptoms.
>
> Talk this over with your doc. I have seen this method work, especially when withdrawing from higher doses of the shorter acting SRIs.
>
> Hope this helps - Cam


Susan,
I agree with Cam completely that it is probably a good idea to get back on the Zoloft and then begin a slower discontinuation strategy. There's no telling how long the withdrawal symptoms you're feeling will last. After 9 years, I would think they will take longer than usual. Normally we can expect 1 to 3 weeks. But I've heard complaints of the withdrawals lasting into months in some cases. So I think it would be a good idea to begin a slower weening process.

Here's a method I've used to both get on a med and ween off of it. It has worked well for me, and maybe it could for you. Let's just assume, for the sake of an example, that you are back on Zoloft at say 100mg. The next day, take 75mg instead (break or cut the pills as needed). Then take 100mg again the next day, and then 75 again the next. And so on, alternating daily like this for about a week or so.

After a week, stabilize at 75mg per day and remain at that level for about 3 or 4 days. Then, begin alternating again. This time, take 75mg, then 50mg, then 75, then 50, and so on...and finally stop and stabilize at 50. The next phase would be alternating between 50mg and 25mg. Then between 25mg and 0. And finally 0.

If you still experience uncomfortable withdrawals after being at 0 for a few days, go ahead and take perhaps a 25mg dose, but then skip the next day or two. Alternate as needed between 0 and 25mg just to smooth the bumps until the storm is over. I think this seesaw alternating method works well. It's kind of like walking down the stairs slowly. And the transition from being at one dose and going to another isn't so dramatic. Much smoother, more subtle.
JohnL

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by F Cardin on August 26, 2000, at 23:02:18

In reply to withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Shelly on May 4, 1999, at 17:37:51

My health insurance was terminated, and I couldn't get samples on time, so I went off cold turkey. I had been taking 200 mg daily for about 2 years. Geez... I got the light saber kind of feeling in my head, aches and pains all over, attacks of weepiness, nausea, diarrhea, etc. Felt like I had a bad case of the flu. The vomiting and diarhhea put me in the hospital with dehydration (not good when you don't have insurance!). Talking to my doctor and therapist didn't do much good.. neither one of them seemed to know there were withdrawal symptoms. I only found out about them when a friend of mine gave me a booklet she got from a mental health professional seminar. Zoloft helped me through a bad time in my life, but d**** if I'm ever going to take them or any other antidepressant again! Doctors need to be totally honest and fully informed as to side effects before and after quitting. If I had known beforehand, I probably would have taken them anyway, but done a better job of going off them. Right now, I would have a hard time accepting any new meds. My doctor knew very little about Zoloft, how do I know he knows anything about any other kind?

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by AW on August 27, 2000, at 21:57:43

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by dorothee on January 26, 2000, at 23:17:11

Zoloft is too easily prescribed. Coming off is a harder task. I have started quitting again today. Wish me luck.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft AW

Posted by onlooker on August 31, 2000, at 15:30:47

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by AW on August 27, 2000, at 21:57:43

> Zoloft is too easily prescribed. Coming off is a harder task. I have started quitting again today. Wish me luck.

Luck, extreme caution, and self-awareness is what you need here. Please remember that thought processes are chemical processes. Don't feel angry at yourself for requiring an adjunct chemical in order to balance that neurological "chemistry". Listen to your loved ones; they are the first to notice if your thoughts, responses, emotions, and attitudes require an adjustment.

If you're fighting with everyone, and beginning to feel that "negativity" again, please FORGIVE yourself for requiring medication. Do not withdraw suddenly. Taper as S-L-O-W-L-Y as you possibly can. Remember that the brain chemicals control the entire being--Mood, emotion, thoughts, and physical processes, too. Any sudden change in brain chemistry can affect EVERY aspect of your entire being.

There are many people who require lifelong medications. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Stay comfortably attuned to your body's responses. You should not feel ill. If you begin to experience physical or emotional distress--then you're tapering too quickly. Please accept yourself and forgive yourself if you need to remain on meds.

I consider it to be a sort of "chemical imbalance" of the brain chemicals; and I believe it is. I am grateful that there are ways to adjust this imbalance. An imbalance of the brain chemistry will result in an imbalance of your entire life. So, please forgive yourself if your brain chemistry is a little different than average. There are ways to counteract this. The appropriate dosage of the appropriate meds will bring about a noticable physical AND emotional wellness.

Go S-L-O-W-L-Y, and STOP tapering if you have to. You will know, pay attention to your body.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by AW on August 31, 2000, at 23:54:49

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft AW, posted by onlooker on August 31, 2000, at 15:30:47

I couldn't agree with you more. I have tried the following medications over the years: Prozac, Serzone, Cipramal, Aurorix, and Zoloft. Zoloft is the best but my doctor and I feel it is time to try and go without them for awhile. My program for coming off them spans 13 weeks so it is quite a slow process. Having experienced depression for most of my life, I have found ZOloft to be the most truly effective. However, I have come to learn that long term use of such a pill can do permanent damage to brain wiring.
I believe I have some form of bioligical depression - and there are certainly examples of this in family members BUT I feel it is important to face problems rather than use a pill to block them out. Depression - yes I know only too well that it can prevent us from functioning on a day to day basis but often depression is the result of unresolved problems.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft AW

Posted by onlooker on September 1, 2000, at 7:15:16

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by AW on August 31, 2000, at 23:54:49

> I couldn't agree with you more. I have tried the following medications over the years: Prozac, Serzone, Cipramal, Aurorix, and Zoloft. Zoloft is the best but my doctor and I feel it is time to try and go without them for awhile. My program for coming off them spans 13 weeks so it is quite a slow process. Having experienced depression for most of my life, I have found ZOloft to be the most truly effective. However, I have come to learn that long term use of such a pill can do permanent damage to brain wiring.
> I believe I have some form of bioligical depression - and there are certainly examples of this in family members BUT I feel it is important to face problems rather than use a pill to block them out. Depression - yes I know only too well that it can prevent us from functioning on a day to day basis but often depression is the result of unresolved problems.


I'm so very happy to hear that you have reached that realization. I have always felt that learning to deal with pain, frustration, or any negative emotion is something that must occur in life. I think that alcoholizism and illegal drug dependence is initiated by a lack of ability to deal with these negative emotions.

You sound like you are well on the way to achieving the inner strength to tap within yourself for emotional sustenance. Congratulations, and good luck in your continuous efforts to maintain emotional wellness.

It's a day-by-day thing, now isn't it? We are always learning.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Laura Jane on September 3, 2000, at 10:56:07

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Cam W. on June 3, 2000, at 18:36:27

Yes. Withdrawal from Zoloft. I was on Zoloft for about 8 months, taking 150 mg by the end. It worked beautifully, don't get me wrong. But the weight gain was a surprise and a disappointment, though at the time I didn't care. The main side effect I experienced was what I call "rushes," which were unpleasant. I went from 150 mg to 100 to 50 and then stopped, but my doc suggested 25 mg for another week or so when I complained of the rushes. It was amazing how quickly my irritability shot up again when I started taking less Zoloft. I started crying in the bathroom again at work, and my doc suggested Prozac, which I'm on now. Can't wait to withdraw from that! Laura

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by AW on September 3, 2000, at 19:04:17

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Laura Jane on September 3, 2000, at 10:56:07

This is Week 4 of coming off ZOloft slowly.
Today I take 25 mg, tomorrow 50mg, then 25mg again etc. Next week it is all 25mg.
today I feel ok so far on 25 mg.
I cant wait to be zoloft-free. My sister who has suffered from depression for years but has never been on AD's has just stared using St. John's Wort which I have tried before AD's. It is useless. I feel sorry for my sister as not only is she depressed, but she has a crap marriage. We went away together on the weekend and I thought that my problems were nothing compared to hers. All the Zoloft does is make me not think about my problems as much. As I said before, I want to confront my problems not hide behind them. I am also looking forward to having my libido back - yipee !

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by JanB on September 18, 2000, at 13:57:23

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Merv on April 8, 2000, at 14:50:01

> > >Has anyone come off Zoloft successfully? How long did it take before you felt "normal" again? And did you feel any better once the withdrawal symptoms went away?
> >
> > Please help...I'm experiencing terrible symptoms after stopping the drug, and I need to know there's a light at the end of the tunnel!
>
> I came off Zoloft successfully, once I learned what it's like to stop cold turkey! The Dr. prescribed a one-month supply. The day after it was gone, I began to experience "waves." It felt like a wave of energy passed through my head, from right to left, lasting about a second, and kind of scrambling my neural pathways. No kidding, it was like a momentary short circuit, where the power goes out and back on, real fast. By the time I got to the Dr. the next day, they were hitting me every 30 seconds or so, and I thought I'd go crazy. He wrote me a presecription for five more months worth, and I immediately got it filled and popped one (50mg). It didn't take long for the symptoms to go away, but I used the last month's supply to wean myself off it. At first, I alternated 50mg/day with 25mg/day, for two weeks, I think. Then, a week of just 25/day, then 25/day followed by none the next day, back to 25. When i ran out, I had only one minor side affect for a while.

I can totally relate to the power surges! Yuck!! It feels like an electrical zap all over my body. I have been cold turkey for a week and just got off the phone requesting a refill. I've always loved my zoloft and it has improved my life in leaps and bounds. After 5 years I thought maybe I would try without it. If I decide to go off zoloft again I will take all of this wonderful advice about lowering my dose as I go. Thanks again for validating this wierd feeling I'm having.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Tom Goode on September 27, 2000, at 9:21:51

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by JanB on September 18, 2000, at 13:57:23

I am very upset about the withdrawal effects of Zoloft. I have been using Zoloft for 2 years to treat depression. I started at 50mg/ day, and after 3 months, My dr. and I decided that I had recovered from my problems, and I was ready to come off the drug. Within a week, I started to get the dizziness, and "surges" inside my head. I went back on the drug, eventually going up to 100mg/day.

Recently I have decided that I am ready to go off the drug permanantly. After consulting my DR., we agreed that it was probably best to go to 50mg, then 25mg, then 25mg every other day. That was 3 months ago. I have been following the regimen, and I have been experiencing the dizziness and "surging" non-stop to a greater or lesser degree for the past 2 months. It has also gotten worse than that... I am now having so much trouble sleeping that I am afraid it may be harming my carreer. I cannot get to sleep before 4AM, even though I am exhausted, and I have to be up at 7AM each morning to go to work. I cannot sleep because I have "micro-tremors" in my legs as I am trying to sleep.

Needless to say, this is a hellish experience. Is there any way for Canadians to file complaints with the drug manufacturer?

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft Tom Goode

Posted by AW on September 27, 2000, at 19:18:44

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Tom Goode on September 27, 2000, at 9:21:51

This is week 6 for me coming off ZOloft. At present I am alternating - 25 mg one day, nothing the next. On those days without zoloft I feel more negative about things but that's because I have been getting slight headaches - so I take a full strength panadol to resolve that. Sleep has been strange but not too bad. Name one person in this world that sleeps like a log with all the stuff we have to cope with these days anyway?
I think the plan my doctor gave me is ok so far. I drew it up based on her notes, then took it back to her to edit, and she made several changes. At least I feel she really cared enough to do this, as she knew how important it was for me to get it right.
please note that you are bound to feel strange coming off this drug even if you taper slowly. Long term use of Zoloft is bound to have an affect on your entire body. The drug should not to treat as candy.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by SW on October 5, 2000, at 20:07:54

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by D on April 14, 2000, at 13:33:28

I am so gald I am not the only one having probelms getting off Zolfot. I have been on it for 7 years ever since my mom died. If I knew then what I know now I would have never, never used Zoloft. I have tried 5 times to get off this drug. I would rather be addicted to something like cocaine, at least doctors would believe me when I tell them I have withdrawl. This is my 6 attempt and I am on day 8. I pray to God that this time I will do it. I want to be Zolfot free so bad I can't tell you. I went to the doctor yesturday to try and get help, but once again I was told there is no withdrawl from Zoloft. My doctor even had the nerve to tell me I should not be doing this off and on to my body. I feel like I need to take a month off work so I can do this, but I am unable to. I get so dizzy I get scared to drive to and from work. I WOULD LIKE TO PUT EVERY DOCTOR THAT HAS EVER TOLD ME ZOLFOT HAS NO WITHDRAWL EFFECT ON IT AND THEN MAKE THEM STOP AND SEE WHAT THEY SAY. PLEASE WISH ME LUCK & SEND YOUR PRAYERS. Does anyone know if we can sue the durg company for not informing us this was an addicting drug???

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by coral on October 8, 2000, at 6:48:58

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by SW on October 5, 2000, at 20:07:54

Zoloft saved my life. After suffering a severe clinical depression for three and a half years, more meds than I could list, my life was still agony. Finally, Zoloft in conjunction with therapy, broke through the depression and I was able to heal. It took a year of meds and therapy. I had only one minor side effect going off Zoloft - I felt a "crackling" in my brain like someone was crumbling up saran wrap! 150 was the normal dosage, I dropped to 100 daily for a month, dropped to 50 daily for a month, 25 daily for a month. Six years later, depression hit again and I'm back on Zoloft and just went from 100 to 50 because the depression has been eliminated. I also use therapy to heal. So, for me, it's using Zoloft to deal with the chemical imbalances and therapy to deal with the underlying psychological causes of the depression. I so sympathize with all of you who have had such severe withdrawal symptoms. Have you considered a mild tranq. to help deal with the symptoms?

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by julielynne on October 13, 2000, at 12:28:26

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by coral on October 8, 2000, at 6:48:58

Ok, so maybe I'm not going crazy! I had been on Zoloft for years, and my dose had been doubled 2
years ago. About 2 weeks ago I went to my doc complaining about weight gain. She said that the
Zoloft can cause weight gain, so she switched me to Wellbutrin. She never suggested weaning off
Zoloft. Now I feel queasy, nauseated, and just plain yucky! To complicate matters, I was sick for
a few days and had a sinus infection, so I thought maybe that was causing these problems. Or maybe it
was a side effect of Wellbutrin. But after reading these messages and a note from the Neurology and
Neurosurgery Forum, I'm pretty sure it's Zoloft withdrawal! I do have some Xanax which I use for
REALLY bad days, so I think I'll use a little of that to help me through this period.
Oh, one good note, in the 2 weeks since I stopped Zoloft, I lost 6 pounds! (Of course being so queasy
could have helped)
Good luck to everyone!

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by IB on October 13, 2000, at 18:25:33

In reply to withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Shelly on May 4, 1999, at 17:37:51

> I have just gradually taken myself off of zoloft. I know I should have done this through my doctor, but well that's another story I won't get into.
> My question for anyone who can help is has anyone had side effects from withdrawal from this drug? I am experiencing dizziness, chills and I am extremely aggravated most of the time. Any

info. would be helpful....

I have recently stopped taking zoloft and i came
online to see if anyone else has experienced
dizziness or nausea as a result of withdrawal.My symptoms are mild but it's reassuring to know that
they are common. However, I'm really sorry to see a lot of people suffering so much in attempts to
be free of zoloft. I 'weaned' myself of zoloft over a six month period(at least). My original dose was 50mg. I began by alternating50mg one
day/37.5mg the next and so on for a while.Then
I did 50mgone day/25mg the next and so on.
Eventually, i was on 12.5mg a day...then every
other day..thenevery few days 'til I stopped
completely. I had great health care professionals
who supported my desire to try to get off zoloft
and to do it SLOWLY. It's a big change in body
chemistry so it's best done gradually and kindly
to yourself especially if you've used it for a while. Also, think about other ways of keeping your serotonin levels up ( exercise,foods,
breathing techniques etc ) as you come off zoloft.
I hope this might be helpful to someone..........
Best Wishes...

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by AlS on November 21, 2000, at 9:56:21

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by IB on October 13, 2000, at 18:25:33

A few summers ago I went on a 9-day canoeing trip to Quebec. I'd been taking Zoloft (50 mg daily) for a few years at that point. At the beginning of the trip, my medications got wet and were not usable. For most of the rest of the trip, I had symptoms similar to what I've been reading about here---dizziness, and a crackling in my head. It was not fun (for me or my canoeing partners!) to have these symptoms on a wilderness trip! Since then, I've been sure to make several stashes of my medications--generally I'll give one to my wife to carry.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Alexl on April 14, 2001, at 20:06:02

In reply to withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Shelly on May 4, 1999, at 17:37:51

Just looking for verification from someone else.

I was on Zoloft for a little over a month 12.5mg for a week and then up to 50mg. I had headaches, night sweats, sorethroat, jaw pain, general tired, muscle aches, joint aches too. All this was on the way up.

I more or less quit cold turkey. I took 12.5 for about 2 days. Skipped a day then took 12.5. (enormous headache)

For about the last 3 weeks or so I have still had muscle aches and joint aches. It slowly seems to be gettin better. My Dr. said it may last a month to 2 months. Does this sound about right?

I just want to be sure of it.

Thanks

Alex

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Lance on April 17, 2001, at 23:50:20

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Alexl on April 14, 2001, at 20:06:02

At the age of 50 started on Zoloft to help deal with depression and obsessive-compulsive behavior. It helped immensely but (6 yrs. later),I now am seeking 'natural' alternatives. I tried ST.John's Wart last year and it was a disaster so after a month I had to get back to the Zoloft. This year I have been tapering for a month and experiencing the light-headedness, power surges and flu-like feelings. But I am also trying to switch to SAMe at the same time. So far, there is no definitive indication of how effective this will. If I have to back to the Zoloft. We'll see. Has anyone tried to use SAMe for depression?!

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by SalArmy4me on April 18, 2001, at 15:22:40

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Lance on April 17, 2001, at 23:50:20

Read the Los Angeles Times front section today for the announcement of the ultimate study which proves that St. John's Wort has no efficacy in treating depression.

> At the age of 50 started on Zoloft to help deal with depression and obsessive-compulsive behavior. It helped immensely but (6 yrs. later),I now am seeking 'natural' alternatives. I tried ST.John's Wart last year and it was a disaster so after a month I had to get back to the Zoloft. This year I have been tapering for a month and experiencing the light-headedness, power surges and flu-like feelings. But I am also trying to switch to SAMe at the same time. So far, there is no definitive indication of how effective this will. If I have to back to the Zoloft. We'll see. Has anyone tried to use SAMe for depression?!

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Smiley on April 19, 2001, at 18:30:34

In reply to withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Shelly on May 4, 1999, at 17:37:51

I went off Zoloft (150 mg, wt. 92 1bs.) without weaning myself off it due to lack of funds for my prescription co-pay. I experienced severe headaches, and excrutiating pain. I also experienced flu-like symptoms. The headaches made going to work intolerable, light intolerable, and noises and sounds intolerable. I would advise anyone thinking of going off Zoloft to wean themselves off it slowly and do so only with their Dr.'s prior permission. My family doctor was unaware of the side effects of Zoloft and gave me a nerve pill instead, he said my headaches were due to stress, and I thought I had the flu.
I wish I would have been warned about the severe headaches ahead of time (withdrawal) and did not realize it myself until I started looking up withdrawal effects from Zoloft. Seems their were others like me out there, and I thought I was going crazy, so did my family doctor, I guess. That headache pain was real. It made me scared to try another ad. But I didn't like being depressed and went to Celexa (only made me feel worse depressed), now my psych doc has me on Remeron. Good Luck to you!

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Brenna on May 15, 2001, at 7:10:49

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Smiley on April 19, 2001, at 18:30:34

I'm so happy Zoloft withdrawal is finally being acknowledged.......I withdrew 2 years ago from Zoloft and saw 5 doctors who all thought I had something like a brain tumor....They ordered cat scans, blood tests etc The whole time I was telling them I was sure it was the zoloft withdrawal but NONE of them believed me or agreed.

I am now about to go off it again. I am on 50mg daily and I would like to know if I will get withdrawal symptoms when I reduce to 25mg? How long would anyone suggest I stay on 25mg before going off totally? I'm sooo scared of the withdrawal symptoms because they are so severe and I can't function and look after my kids when I am so sick.

Thanks for posting all your stories, I don't feel so alone anymore!

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Linda C on June 18, 2001, at 20:10:36

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Brenna on May 15, 2001, at 7:10:49

I was prescribed Zoloft for stress and PMS two years ago. I was taking 100MG/day. It
was wonderful the first year. I felt like I was crazy not to have sought medical help
sooner. I did gain about 20 lbs. and lobido issues but the benefits seemed worth it. After a
year, my doctor wanted to try taking me off it to see if I could do without it. She had me
cut my dose from 100 to 50 MG/day. I tried this for a month. I became a witch to live
with and I hated myself because I felt so out of control. I was worse than I had ever been
prior to starting the Zoloft. She put me back up to 100MG/day and my moods stabilized
again. However, I started gaining weight like I had when I was first put on it, no matter
how hard I tried to lose it. I finally asked to have my thyroid checked after about 8 months
of consistent weight gain. I was convinced that it couldn't be the Zoloft and had to be
something else. When my thyroid & glucose tests came back normal, the doctor said she
felt the weight gain was a side effect of the Zoloft. I decided to get off the Zoloft because
I was not happy with all the weight I had gained, a total of 50 lbs. over 22 months. I did
not want to go off fast like the doctor had started to do before, so I decided to titrate
myself down slowly. I went from 100 to 75MG/day for 2 weeks, then to 50MG/day for 3
weeks, then to 25MG/day for 2 weeks and then nothing. I thought this would be slow
enough. I felt good psychologically. However, during the 2nd week of 25MG/day, I
started experiencing dizzy spells. I thought it was from the extreme heat we had been
having. The 3rd day with no Zoloft, I got a sudden migraine. I had not had one of those in
years. Again, I blamed the heat. I had no idea that Zoloft withdrawal could be the culprit. I
have now been off Zoloft completely for 7 days and I have been having severe dizzy
spells, tingling up and down my arms and waves of fatigue. I went to the ER today
because I was concerned they may be heart related symptoms. They did blood work and
all was normal. The doctor there told me that I could be experiencing Zoloft withdrawal
symptoms and that I should follow-up with my regular doctor. I told the ER doctor that I
had titrated slowly done over 7 weeks and was surprised that I would have withdrawal.
She said many people have these symptoms and sometimes find it helpful to go every
other day and then every third day before going down to no medication. Since I've been
off the Zoloft for 7 days now, I hate the thought of taking any of it again. I'm afraid it will
just put me that much further behind in overcoming the withdrawal symptoms. Does
anyone have experience with this? If I take a little now, will I just be back at square one?
How long do these symptoms last? I plan on calling my prescribing doctor tomorrow to
let her know what's going on. I had done this weaning on my own, although I know she
would have supported my going off since it was me who had originally requested staying
on the medication. I thought my weaning was better than what she would have advised me
to do based on passed experience. Any thoughts?

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by julielynne on June 19, 2001, at 9:34:21

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Linda C on June 18, 2001, at 20:10:36

Linda, if you can deal with the withdrawal symptoms, you may want to stay Zoloft-free. The withdrawal
will go away -- I can't say how long it will take though. In my earlier post (10/13/00) I mentioned
how I was taking Xanax to get me through the Zoloft withdrawal. Xanax is also an anti-depressant but it
works immediately; however, it is highly addictive. I've been on it for years though and only take it
when absolutely necessary (usually during PMS). When I went off Zoloft, my doc switched me to Wellbutrin
which has been working well. AND I've lost the weight I gained on Zoloft! Wellbutrin is sometimes
prescribed to people as a weight-loss med. Depression/anxiety runs in my mother's family, so I will probably
be on something forever!
My 7-year-old son recently went through something that upset him badly and he was obsessing over it,
crying every night, and having anxiety attacks. (For anyone who has had these attacks, imagine watching
your child experience it! It sent me to the bottle of Xanax for myself!) His pediatrician was concerned
and put him on something called Busporine, an anti-anxiety drug that works differently from other
benzodiazepines and is non-addictive. He's been on it for less than a week and is doing much better.
She only wants him on it for two weeks. I think she said it is a fairly new drug. I mention this because
I can't deal with the way I felt without being on something, and if you're the same, you may want to
look at other options.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by dana on June 20, 2001, at 19:43:35

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by julielynne on June 19, 2001, at 9:34:21

Linda, I went off Zoloft COLD TURKEY ..! ughh!! what a big mistake. I had been down to 25mgs so thought it was low enough to just be able to stop...........

My dizziness in the first week was so severe.....I had to go to the Emergency Doctor at the Hospital..... I freaked out.......luckily he was a DRUG Addiction Specialist, and immediately recognised it as WITHDRAWAL.......he prescribed XANAX....but because I was just so relieved to know that I wasn't dying.....I haven't filled in the prescription.

I have had severe bouts of CRYING for what seemed no reason...and still am after SEVEN WEEKS.....because I was withdrawing from a highly effective drug that was in my system for two years.

The dizziness this week has pretty much gone now.....it's been SEVEN WEEKS......... and I have been lead to believe it can in some cases takes weeks and weeks to finally get it out of your system. Everyone's different so it's hard to say exactly how long it takes......could be six months ....who really knows...!

So hang in there...........oh by the way.......my appetite is now that of a 'normal' person... I have started losing weight ....so there is a good side to it all !!.....

Dana


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