Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 5582

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Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms Barbara Cat

Posted by Katia on April 27, 2003, at 17:46:31

In reply to Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms Katia, posted by Barbara Cat on April 27, 2003, at 17:18:51

> Katia,
> Neurontin has received bad press because of a story that made headlines a few months ago about a bipolar kid who killed himself. Even though neurontin was never directly implicated, it scared many doctors. It isn't always effective, but when it works, it works very well. Since you have some on hand and you're having a difficult time withdrawing from Zoloft you might consider giving it a try. You could start slow with 300mg twice a day first week, three times a day second and titrate up to 2-3 tabs three times a day. If it works you'll know it within a few days. If it doesn't, you'll also know. Keep a journal or rate your mood and write it on a calendar since our memories aren't very objective.
>
> Pardon me for being cynical, but is this doctor the same clueless doc you referred to earlier? If so, why would you not question anything he/she has to say?

Hi,
no it wasn't my pdoc, but my therapist. She was just commenting on what she had heard and definitely prefaced it by saying that was not an expert in the field and it was more along the lines that she was wanting me to proceed with caution and question the advice from this board. She was only trying to take care of me - my best interest in mind. I do question things, believe me. it's just that I'm so exhausted with taking the wrong meds and then having to go through terrible w/drawals.
I also don't have enough of it (neurontin) to take up to the levels you recommend. I'm just waiting this out until I can find the right doc.

I can relate to the rage! If anything the rage has certainly allowed me to stand up for myself and voice some much needed things!
thanks.
katia

 

Re: Barbara Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by focus on May 12, 2003, at 20:06:44

In reply to Re: Barbara Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft BarbaraCat, posted by proud mary on January 14, 2003, at 21:43:14

My doctor took me completely off the Zoloft I was taking (100mg. a day) and started me immediately on Lexapro (10mg. a day. It has now been 7 long days since this switch and I can hardly get out of bed in the mornings, I am extremely agitated/angry with my kids and husband over minor things, and I feel like I'm zoning half the time. Your postings make me realize I'm not alone in these various symptoms; I just wonder who else went off zoloft cold turkey and how long did these bad side affects last. My family (and me!) don't want me to stay like this very much longer! Oh, and the reason I switched was to try and reduce the reduced libido side affect of the zoloft. Wellbutrin and Prozac have not worked for me. I would appreciate any feedback/thoughts/suggestions you might have. Thanks! Jan

 

Withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft focus

Posted by Barbara Cat on May 13, 2003, at 0:45:09

In reply to Re: Barbara Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by focus on May 12, 2003, at 20:06:44

It's hell to cold turkey-it off any antidepressant. It's small consolation, but coming off zoloft is a walk in the park compared with effexor, paxil. If I were your doc I'd want to help you through this misery (and your family's). The rage and flare ups and fits of weeping, etc., can be helped very much by a benzo such as clonazepam. It won't do much for your libido during this messy time, but sex is probably the last thing on your mind. You don't need to be on it forever but it would help get you through this raw wired period. About lexapro, I haven't tried it. If it doesn't work for you, you might consider the tricyclics. After being on almost all the newer antidepressants and none of them working for long, I'm now on nortriptyline and lithium and liking it very much. Good luck and keep us posted. - BCat

 

Re: Barbara Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft focus

Posted by katia on May 13, 2003, at 1:47:32

In reply to Re: Barbara Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by focus on May 12, 2003, at 20:06:44

> My doctor took me completely off the Zoloft I was taking (100mg. a day) and started me immediately on Lexapro (10mg. a day. It has now been 7 long days since this switch and I can hardly get out of bed in the mornings, I am extremely agitated/angry with my kids and husband over minor things, and I feel like I'm zoning half the time. Your postings make me realize I'm not alone in these various symptoms; I just wonder who else went off zoloft cold turkey and how long did these bad side affects last. My family (and me!) don't want me to stay like this very much longer! Oh, and the reason I switched was to try and reduce the reduced libido side affect of the zoloft. Wellbutrin and Prozac have not worked for me. I would appreciate any feedback/thoughts/suggestions you might have. Thanks! Jan
Hi Jan,
Actually my experience is/was coming off of Zoloft was harder than Effexor. I just got off of Effexor in Jan.and went thru h***. Went onto Zoloft in the transition. was a zombie for three months then came off of it about 6 weeks ago and have a horrible time!! I'm still, yes still, experiencing those electrical zaps. I'm so tired of it. and I've got terrible mood/rage swings. I can empathise.
katia

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by cris on August 8, 2003, at 18:32:06

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Susanm on June 3, 2000, at 17:17:23

After being on Lexapro 6 weeks and feeling sleepy ALL the time, doc put me on Zoloft (mostly trying to deal with PMS anxiety, some mild dep.) After three months of Zoloft and headaches every other day, I took myself off cold turkey. Probably not too smart, but I knew doc would have me on a longterm weaning, and I just decided I wanted to be drug free. Its been 9 days off and the only side effects is the "pins and needles" in the head feeling, usually just when quickly turning my head, getting up or sitting down, etc.. but nothing where I feel it is going to cause me to fall or faint, etc.. My stomach has been fine. Libido returned almost immediately, but was not the reason for wanting to go off. I think I can deal with the head thing as long as it doesn't worsen or any other side effects appear. Good luck to all. I am not sure my reasons for getting on the meds were strong enough to begin with. I really feel like if you are borderline..wanting to deal with PMS or general emotional feelings, try other things first, whether more exercise, better diet, talk therapy... its worth it.

 

Re: a thought of my own

Posted by SF24 on September 8, 2003, at 16:08:48

In reply to Re: a thought of my own Daveman, posted by Cam W. on October 16, 2001, at 0:35:03

The random firing or dyssynchronization of serotonin dependent synapses makes quite a bit of sense. I don't know if any of you have ever taken MDMA, but I would consider the "zaps" to be an unpleasant flip-side of the feel-good tingles that come along with the use of MDMA. What causes this? Extrememely heightened levels of seorotonin in the synaptic cleft. Wouldn't it make sense that discontinuation of an SSRI would have a similar effect on the amount of serotonin released per firing assuming that:
1) One action of SSRI's is to cause the brain to produce more serotonin because of it's lack of avaialability in the reuptake sites;
2) Discontinuing the use of SSRI's would therefore temporarily increase the level of serotonin released when serotonin neurons are stimulated (because the synapses are producing higher-than normal levls of serontonin and they are more rapidly restoring their serotonin levels by reuptake, thus making higher than usual levels of serotonin available for neuronal firing), therefore resulting in "serotonin spikes" which would therefore be responsible for "zaps"

It seems possible that overstimulation of the serotonin terminals on a nerve-by-nerve basis is a possible explanation, or perhaps stimualtion of other-than-intended nerve cells is the culprit. Another thought is that the zaps, at least the unpleasantness of them, are(is) being caused by excess stimulation of the re-uptake sites. MDMA increases levels of serotonin in the cleft, but it also blocks serotonin reuptake. Perhaps pleasant stimulation occurs when the receptors are overstimulated and unpleasant stimulation takes place when the reuptake sites get over stimulated (perhaps causing some type of backfiring?)

I'm not sure if any of that really makes sense; our brains are such incredibly complex systems that explaining how anything manages to happen can be quite a feat (as is evidenced by our lack of clear understanding of the physiological background of psychological disorders, even after decades of research). But it seems to make sense to me, so I figure it's an idea worth posting.

> Dave - I haven't seen any good explanation of the electric zaps, yet. My feeling is, is that most clinicians and researchers either don't believe that they really exist, or feel that they are unrelated to withdrawl. This is similar to the instances when I first heard complaints of delayed weight gain with Paxil. A few years ago, when I would broach the subject with clinicians, they would say that there was no connection. This was when the scientific community believed that just as many people lost weight with Paxil, as gained weight. Now we know (because it has been "proven" scientifically) that some people lose weight in the short term with Paxil, but a majority will gain that weight back (and then some) in the subsequent 3 or 4 months of therapy.
>
> Most psychiatrists have no idea what I am talking about when I mention "brain zaps". That is the problem with Psycho-Babble; we are just too damn current with what medications actually do. Clinically, we are way ahead of the research.
>
> My hypothesis of what is going on with the brain zaps is that during withdrawl, the lack of serotonin in general, is causing random, unsychronized firing of serotonergic neurons. I am not totally sure in which part of the brain or which serotonergic pathway this is occurring, but I would hazard a guess that it is in one of the pathways leading out of the raphe nuclei (possibly enroute to the frontal cortex). I really don't know what is going on, though. It could also be a temporal lobe thing, similar to the feeling people get before an epileptic seizure, or maybe like the prodromal symptoms of a migraine headache.
>
> Every time I think I am getting a grasp on the brain's circuitry, a question like this arises, and I realize that I don't understand the brain, as well as I think I do.
>
> I guess that we have to organize and make more noise within the research community, so that someone takes our observations seriously. Perhaps Dr. Bob could get one of the depression experts to give a presentation so that we could lob our observations at him/her.
>
> As confused as ever - Cam
>
>

 

Zaps - a thought of my own SF24

Posted by BarbaraCat on September 8, 2003, at 23:49:06

In reply to Re: a thought of my own, posted by SF24 on September 8, 2003, at 16:08:48

Your ideas are very intriguing. I've often wondered about those delicious tingles from drugs that target different neurochemicals. The scalp/spine tingles from amphetamines, the whole body pulsing tingles from MDMA, the rapturous shivers of psychedelics, the rapid wiry rush from that first cup o' coffee, the lovely afterglow of sex that is so like the warm whole body pulse from MDMA, etc. What causes them? They all have the same 'pleasure/reward' dopamine similarity, but the targeted receptor sites are so varied. Or are they?

I've also wondered about the sadly neglected down-line electrical potential, the cAMP second messenger system that communicates with the neuronal nucleus and then sends it's electrical impulse down the axon to the terminal, which, from there, is chemically ferried across the synaptic cleft. Those zaps seem so electrical and this axonal communication/firing/ionic gates flux all depend upon electrical potential (calcium/sodium ion exchange).

There's so much speculation and research being put into the terminal and synaptic cleft theories, and not enough into the down-line second messenger system. Electric-feeling zaps = electricity in my mind. There must be a disruption in the electrical system because those zaps are so undeniably electrical in nature to those who have experienced them. I believe we're overlooking a huge part of the whole neuronal symphony by looking at the, what, only 3 major neuropeptides we've come to recognize as the alpha and omega of psychiatric medicine? But all those billions of potential research dollars are better spent on defending us against the terrorists, eh?

Or maybe it's a temporary homeostatic seeking neural re-routing to the temporal lobe strategy which could cause the vertigo/dizziness usually associated with inner ear (temporal lobe territory) problems?

OR how about this? As serotonin decreases, dopamine increases. Those tingles are all remarkably dopamine-like. 'Pleasure/reward' system = dopamine. Many of those 'tingle' substances spoken of above are dopamine releasers which usually incite craving for more of the tingly buzz. Only this dopamine surge, usually so pleasant, doesn't feel much like pleasure. So, anything thoughts? So many possibilities, so little time. Maybe in 100 years we'll have this thing wired. - BarbaraCat

 

I'll just call you DrSpockCat from now on BarbaraCat

Posted by KimberlyDi on September 9, 2003, at 8:23:31

In reply to Zaps - a thought of my own SF24, posted by BarbaraCat on September 8, 2003, at 23:49:06

<one eyebrow raised>

you guys and gals are amazing with all the research you've done.

good work.

KDi in Texas

 

Re: I'll just call you DrSpockCat from now on KimberlyDi

Posted by BarbaraCat on September 10, 2003, at 2:12:10

In reply to I'll just call you DrSpockCat from now on BarbaraCat, posted by KimberlyDi on September 9, 2003, at 8:23:31

Would that be the baby Dr. Spock or the 'live long and prosper' Mr. Spock? Thanks for the atta girl. All this exploration is fun but also necessary. It's becoming clear that we mood disordered folks have to become our own researchers and doctors and we have to stick together to help each other find the answers. Our collective personal commitments to find the answers so we can GET WELL is far more powerful and effective than research funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Maybe we'll have one of those Hundreth Monkey phenomenons right here on this board. Know what I mean?


> <one eyebrow raised>
>
> you guys and gals are amazing with all the research you've done.
>
> good work.
>
> KDi in Texas

 

Live Long and Prosper, of course BarbaraCat

Posted by KimberlyDi on September 10, 2003, at 7:33:35

In reply to Re: I'll just call you DrSpockCat from now on KimberlyDi, posted by BarbaraCat on September 10, 2003, at 2:12:10

100 Monkeys could pound out Shakespeare eventually. My ADD/ADHD brain wonders "Who taught the monkeys to type?"

Before, when going to a pdoc, I went quietly and didn't participate. Now, I go fully informed, to the best of my knowledge, and suggest medication based upon my research and symptoms.

I think the pdoc prefers my involvement.

> Would that be the baby Dr. Spock or the 'live long and prosper' Mr. Spock? Thanks for the atta girl. All this exploration is fun but also necessary. It's becoming clear that we mood disordered folks have to become our own researchers and doctors and we have to stick together to help each other find the answers. Our collective personal commitments to find the answers so we can GET WELL is far more powerful and effective than research funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Maybe we'll have one of those Hundreth Monkey phenomenons right here on this board. Know what I mean?
>
>
> > <one eyebrow raised>
> >
> > you guys and gals are amazing with all the research you've done.
> >
> > good work.
> >
> > KDi in Texas
>
>

 

How Monkeys came to type KimberlyDi

Posted by BarbaraCat on September 12, 2003, at 15:14:58

In reply to Live Long and Prosper, of course BarbaraCat, posted by KimberlyDi on September 10, 2003, at 7:33:35

> 100 Monkeys could pound out Shakespeare eventually. My ADD/ADHD brain wonders "Who taught the monkeys to type?"
>
**The latest theory is that one day a FedEx box washed ashore an island beach containing one 'Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing' program originally meant for overnight delivery from Amazon.com. Tom Hanks was out cold on the beach but another box washed up on shore as well - this one containing a manual typewriter.

Tom tried to teach the monkeys how to type since there wasn't much else to do, but it was difficult to convey a concept of such complexity to them and neither he nor the monkeys knew sign language.

Mavis Beacon did not help either, unfortunately, because the typewriter was manual and did not have a CD drive or even a monitor. So Tom eventually gave up because his hunger pangs were becoming insistant and learning how to spear crustaceons took precedence (little known fact - Tom did go on to type the first draft for Castaway on that typewriter using coco-palm papyrus!).

Being resourceful monkeys who DID NOT GIVE UP and were committed to doing their part for evolution, they looked at the pictures in the Mavis Beacon Users Manual and this was enough for those of superior simian minds to make the eye-hand coordination connection.

At night, when Tom was asleep in the cave, they took to teaching each other to peck and then finally got up to speeds of 45 wpm on that typewriter. Just try that on your old Olivetti at home! It wasn't a coincidence that the Maker saw fit to give them brute strength and opposable thumbs.

Eventually Tom rigged together his makeshift raft and was ready to leave the island with his hapless friend, 'Wilson'. He made the difficult decision to leave the typewriter behind. It was rather cumbersome, although it would have passed the time while on that long ocean voyage.

You can imagine the monkeys' delight at now having the typewriter to themselves as they set about recreating one of the Bard's classics before moving on to their own opus. However, it must be said that the learning curve was steep. Discouraged with the verrrrrryyyyy slow progress of 'King Lear', one monkey while on typing shift thought it would be an amusing diversion to see if sweet potatoes, their staple foodstuff, could float - much like the raft that was observed carrying away Tom Hanks and Wilson.

Thinking to impress the other monkeys with the spiffy look of the first of the 'Tater Flotilla, as he called it, he washed and spit-shined it. Needless to say, the other 99 monkeys were indeed impressed to see this 'Tater Flotilla coming 'round the spit and sought to outdo each other with the creativity and cleanliness of their nautical spuds.

Monkeys communicate through 'hive' mentality, known in higher primates as ESP so it's not surprising that their enterprise was conveyed to other islands. The rest is history. Unfortunately, Shakespeare was abandoned - for now.

Psychologists are still speculating on the motives behind Tom's inexplicable choice of befriending a basketball rather than the company of the infinitely more interesting monkeys. Perhaps he thought they were a delusion, made up by his fevered brain. Perhaps they were.

So, you're ADD/ADHD,eh? How has that been for you and has anything helped? I tried that route recently thinking my manic disorganization was ADD, but Ritalin made me feel AWFUL, even though I enjoyed meth. - Ciao, BarbaraCat

 

Redirect: How Monkeys came to type

Posted by Dr. Bob on September 13, 2003, at 15:56:52

In reply to How Monkeys came to type KimberlyDi, posted by BarbaraCat on September 12, 2003, at 15:14:58

> > 100 Monkeys could pound out Shakespeare eventually. My ADD/ADHD brain wonders "Who taught the monkeys to type?"
> >
> **The latest theory is that one day a FedEx box washed ashore an island beach containing one 'Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing' program originally meant for overnight delivery from Amazon.com...

Interesting theory, but since it doesn't involve the monkeys taking medication :-) I'd like to redirect follow-ups to it, and other theories, too, to Psycho-Social-Babble, thanks.

Bob

 

Redirect: How Monkeys came to type

Posted by Dr. Bob on September 14, 2003, at 8:55:58

In reply to Redirect: How Monkeys came to type, posted by Dr. Bob on September 13, 2003, at 15:56:52

> I'd like to redirect follow-ups to it ... to Psycho-Social-Babble

Here's a link:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/social/20030913/msgs/259876.html

Bob

 

Monkeys, oh my. ADD/ADHD question only BarbaraCat

Posted by KimberlyDi on September 15, 2003, at 8:13:17

In reply to How Monkeys came to type KimberlyDi, posted by BarbaraCat on September 12, 2003, at 15:14:58

>So, you're ADD/ADHD,eh? How has that been for you and has anything helped? I tried that route recently thinking my manic disorganization was ADD, but Ritalin made me feel AWFUL, even though I enjoyed meth. - Ciao, BarbaraCat
>
I've only been prescribed Strattera so far, for about a week or so. I seem to be less overwhelmed by details at work. More focused. Researching more on ADD/ADHD has been the most interesting part. Reading a paragraph and realizing "that's me!" gives me hope that I'll recover. I've been frustrated my entire adult worklife.

Back to monkeys... you have quite the imagination. :)

KDi in Texas

 

Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms

Posted by rickg on September 16, 2003, at 20:05:21

In reply to zoloft withdrawal symptoms, posted by Osama on April 20, 2003, at 10:56:19

I am a 44 year old male. I have been on 50 mg. of Zoloft for 12 years. I was put on the drug for panic attacks which began shortly after I was electrocuted. I was put on this drug after several others failed to stop the panic attacks. It does work!
I have tried in the past to get off of the zoloft and when I was experiencing many of the symptoms described in previous postings I was told by my doctors that I was experiencing panic attacks again and needed to stay on the zoloft. It was strange that these symptoms were nothing like the panic attacks I had been experiencing previously.
I once again decided to try to go off the zoloft about a month ago. For one week I took 50 mg. one day and 25mg. the next. The next week I took 25 mg. all the time. The following week I took a 25 mg. one day and nothing the next. That is when I really began to notice the symptoms kicking in again. The "energy rush" or "shooting sensation" going across my head is by far the most troubling and intense. I also feel very edgy and less tolerant of others. Dizziness is another concern. I have not experienced the stomach problems be it nausea or diarrhea. Getting to sleep at night has been a problem.
Once again when I tried talking to my doctor about these symptoms he was quick to point out that there are no known side effects with zoloft and that I was experiencing "panic attacks". Once again, this is nothing like what my panic attacks were like.
Tonight, I went up to speak to a pharmacist and she reassured me that many people experience "symptoms" when they come off of Zoloft and other similar drugs. No one seems to understand what you are talking about when you try to describe the "energy rush" or shooting sensation" across your head. They look at you like you are from another planet. Maybe they should try this stuff for a while and then try to get off of it to see what we are talking about! It was refreshing to hear someone from the medical field affirm that there are withdrawal symptoms associated with this product. This was a first. It was at this point I looked things up on the internet and found this site.
I have seen many people mention suing the company who produces this drug. I for one would like to find out how to go about doing this. We have been misled and lied to. We have been used as guinea pigs. While the Zoloft has done its job of controlling my panic attacks, getting off of it is quite another story. I would recommend to anyone who has been prescribed this drug for the first time to seriously consider your alternatives. It is HELL getting off this stuff! Please post if you know of any pending lawsuits or know what the process would be to initiate one. Also if anyone has found anything to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms I would love to hear about them.
Thanks!
RickG

 

Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms

Posted by wendie on September 17, 2003, at 1:22:08

In reply to Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms, posted by rickg on September 16, 2003, at 20:05:21

I went off zoloft gradually over the past two months after 10 years on the stuff. I must say in the beginning it saved my life, but over the past year or so, I began to slip into this sort of zombie existance where I was totally exhausted all the time and had no energy. I got through my days by sheer force of will and managed to keep doing what absolutely had to be done, but nothing more. Finally my physician's assistant - nobody gets to have a real doctor these days - told me that this might be Zoloft and that people often had this reaction after many years on the drug. Mind you this was after I had been complaining of these symptoms to her for about six months, and before her to my former P.A., who had kept upping my dosage of zoloft to cure them!
My current PA then recommended I take Prozac instead -- and here I am trying to wean myself from Zoloft, because I really believe that with menopause I have left a lot of the causes of my anxiety/depression behind. so instead she told me to continue the gradual cutback of zoloft, PLUS she prescribed 100 mg of Wellbutrin. She said that eventually I could get off the Zoloft, but said nothing of side effects. Well, I didn't like the idea of taking two drugs instead of one when my goal was to get off everything - so I decided to go from 50 mg of Zoloft to 25, and then from that to 25 every other day and then stop. So about 3 weeks ago I took my last dose of zoloft, while continuing the Welbutrin. Everything was fine for two weeks, and then the withdrawal set in. I didn't think at first that it was the zoloft because I had felt so good for the previous two weeks, so I suspected the Welbutrin. But after talking with some folks in the know, and reading websites like this one, I realize that it's the zoloft.
For the past five days, I have been getting worse and worse. Extreme and constant nausea now, headache that is heading toward a full blown migraine and constant dizziness. And intermittent weeping for no reason, plus a general all over achy feeling. And I can't concentrate on anything. I don't want to go back on zoloft at all, but if these symptoms are going to continue for much longer, I don't know whether I can take it. Lord, the medical profession needs to make everyone aware of this withdrawal stuff and treat it as a separate illness worthy of special attention. I am so angry - I will not go back to this PA or anyone else in this group practice. And the next doctor I see is going to get a piece of my mind on the first visit. That is if I survive this withdrawal without going completely over the edge.

 

Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms

Posted by cubic_me on September 17, 2003, at 12:41:04

In reply to Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms, posted by rickg on September 16, 2003, at 20:05:21

I came off Zoloft a few months ago because it wasn't working for me. I'd been on 100mg for about 3 months. I felt dizzy, sick, got head rushes and head shocks and could hardly walk without holding onto something sometimes. I was getting pins and needles in my fingers all the time too. I said this to my pdoc and he didnt really believe me, even though i had to hold onto the door frame to get myself through the door of his office. He said the normal period for taking someone off Zoloft was 2 weeks but he had tried to take me off it in 3 days. I went back on my normal dose for a few days and my symptoms disappeared.

Then I had to wean myself off the Zoloft. I took progressively smaller bites out of each pill every day. I still got pretty bad withdrawal but without the doc knowing I overlapped Zoloft with the Efexor they put me onto afterwards. That helped abit.

However I'm now getting the same symptoms with Efexor, however they even occur when I'm a few houurs late taking a pill. I can see its going to be hell getting off Efexor.

If you've had trouble with withdrawal in the past, I'd recomend thinking very hard before you try anything else, and only take meds when you are prepared for whatever problems they might bring.

_me

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by sarah1980 on September 21, 2003, at 4:31:44

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

Size of dosage and duration of treatment may well have an effect on how the withdrawal places itself out, if ther is withdrawal in the first place. When I go off of zoloft it takes a month to be fully free of problems. I get these strange dizzy flashes and muscle aches. When I sleep I can have dreams in which I wake up into another dream and then wake up thinking I am really awake and so on and so on. At a certain point it just becomes annoying and i just start telling myself that I am dreaming and have to work on waking.
One really scary thing that happened one or two times is that I woke up but couldn't move... my body was still asleep. It was really horrifying. I also hallucinated that I could hear heavy breathing and someone holding down my arms. I finally began to really think that I had been drugged and someone was trying to molest/rape/atttack me (something which did actually happen once, making it all the more freaky). With all my mental energy I worked to try to scream but couldn't. Then I focused on just being able to open my eyes and turn my head to get a glimpse of the person since it seemed I couldn't fight him off. After minutes I was finally able to and when I did I turned to look at the wall and saw a spider which slowly walked up the wall and then disappeared. Weird.
But I have also had times where it was relatively mild. I think effects are fairly variable. How fast you stop probably has some effect, although zoloft has a very long half-life (this is the reason it is still in your system until a month later).
But, still, I am not sure that I would be alive today were it not for zoloft. Most peole that don't use SSRIs think that the side effects or withdrawal are serious enough to not try the medicines. No withdrawal symptom I have ever had from zoloft makes me wish I had never taken it or would stop me from taking it now.

 

Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms

Posted by nicholas on September 28, 2003, at 5:04:57

In reply to Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms, posted by rickg on September 16, 2003, at 20:05:21

I'm glad I've come across this forum. I have been taking Zoloft now for the past four years and am considering getting off it.
I am a 41 yr old male. A doctor prescribed Zoloft for me as I was stressing out so much with life in general,(you know...work, teenage daughters and their rebellions, a bowel cancer operation, a very difficult childhood, etc). This resulted in constant fretting, stressing, depressions & fighting with my wife. Unfortunately it also resulted in me being physically abusive as well. I knew I really, really needed help.
That help came in the form of a Zoloft pill. Within a week the change was dramatic. From borderline beast to passive, loveable and easy going Dad.
Yes, I've lost most of my sex drive, for which I do feel bad about at times for my wife,[and me :-( ]but we both feel it's worth it as the postives seem to outweigh the negatives.
When I first started Zoloft, I got symptoms of nauseousness which lasted about 10 days. I started on 50mgs per day and dosed myself up to 150mgs per day as there were times I felt it wasn't as effective as when I first started. The higher dosage made me subconsciously grind my teeth(even in my sleep, the wife says)spontaneous weeping eyes, chills and if I was to forget to take my dose, the ever familiar chant of "head rushes" (like a dull head bang inside lasting 1-2 seconds occuring erratically & regularly, seemingly whirling in my head)and dizziness.
This made me nervous in relation to what was Zoloft actually doing to my brain, so I decided to start to "wean" myself back. I went back 100 mgs per day and then to 50 mgs per day all over a 6 mths period. Though a lesser dosage caused me to "lose the plot" sometimes, it actually helped me to "manage" reality a little better rather than being in some kind of chemical stupification all the time.
The trouble is, recently I tried to actually go off Zoloft but as I'm reading...it ain't easy!!. Any attempt to go below 50mgs per day, even staggering it on and off, resulted in even more of the aforementioned symptoms & more intense in some cases.
After a while, I put it into the "too hard basket" and resigned myself to being on 50mgs of Zoloft for evermore.
Recently, I've got to a stage where I feel the 50mg isn't REALLY doing anything or helping me but just keeping me to a level of dependance due to the fact it's very difficult to go back to zero.
What a money spinner for Phizer eh??
Yet by reading through the various threads I have found new hope to "give it another go". I believe there is a lot to benefit from this:
1. More sex drive. (BTW- this is not necessarily in order!!)
2. Actually see if there is an emotional difference between 50mg and zero.(Has the worst past?)
3.Peace of mind knowing there is one less drug you are putting in your body as Zoloft hasn't REALLY stood the "test of time" to be unequivocally SAFE.
4. Money saved.
The way I figure it is, worse case scenario, if this 50mg IS really holding me together and I fall apart after going off it....I go back on. Simple. But I'll never, never know if I never,never give it a go.
Zoloft is a good antidepressant and the like. The drug did ease the torment I was experiencing at a dark time in my life for which I am grateful.
But is the price a lifetime of indirect dependancy and contributions to Phizers coffers?

Hope not.

Anyhow, thanks to all who has shared their experiences in this forum. It's been a BIG help to read your situations and has helped me feel I'm not alone in all this.
And like one alluded to, 'Doctors..half of them don't have a clue what it's like or how to help unless they've maybe taken Zoloft themselves, the other half are happy to fill out the prescriptions and get that free holiday compliments of the phamaceutical giants.

 

Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms nicholas

Posted by katia on September 28, 2003, at 13:36:45

In reply to Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms, posted by nicholas on September 28, 2003, at 5:04:57

Hi Welcome to psychobabble!
Do you still have a regular psychiatrist (pdoc)? I would definitely talk to her/him about the fact that you're going off first. Whether they provide support or not, it's an important first step.
I was only on Zoloft three months and it did nothing for me except made me a zombie AND I still had to endure the w/drawal right after enduring a similar w/d on Effexor. It's hard but doable. Those zappy electrical feelings and the dizziness feeling of going down an elevator sideways does end. Give it two weeks - one for the worst of it. Try even taking 1/2 of 50mg and then 1/2 of that and then 1/2 of that..... until it feels like you can let go totally.
the main thing is, it does go away with time and no one around you who hasn't gone thru' it won't have a clue what you're trying to describe and you'll feel even more frustrated due to lack of empathy. it's trully hellish, but it ends soon.
good luck with your stopping it. It may not be so bad if you taper and taper little by little.
Katia

 

Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms wendie

Posted by lucasj on September 28, 2003, at 19:43:20

In reply to Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms, posted by wendie on September 17, 2003, at 1:22:08

Hey Windie, today is 9/28/2033. How are you feeling now?

I am trying to decide if I want to try coming off Zoloft after several years.

John

 

Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms lucasj

Posted by Dragonfli on September 28, 2003, at 23:06:12

In reply to Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms wendie, posted by lucasj on September 28, 2003, at 19:43:20

> Hey Windie, today is 9/28/2033. How are you feeling now?
>
> I am trying to decide if I want to try coming off Zoloft after several years.
>
> John

Hello, my name is Dragonfli (nic name) and I am having tremors, and twitching of my right eye. My Dr. sent me for an MRI that came back negative and still doesn't believe it is the Zoloft even after the drugest said she would bet money the problem is with the 100mg a day I am taking. I have only been on it about three months... what do you reccommend as to how to get it across to the doctor this needs to be looked at as a cause of the tremors and twitches? Help.

 

Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms Dragonfli

Posted by BarbaraCat on September 29, 2003, at 0:39:16

In reply to Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms lucasj, posted by Dragonfli on September 28, 2003, at 23:06:12

Hi Dragonfli,
What you're experiencing is a fairly common side effect of SSRI's called akathisia, also referred to as 'extra-pyrimidal side effects'. It happens with most SSRI's, Zoloft being the one reported most. Akathisia causes teeth grining, muscle twitching, inner restlessness, tremors, tics, mouth and tongue movements, restless leg syndrome. As serotonin increases, dopamine decreases causing involuntary movements which don't go away on their own but increase as your med dosage increases. Some other meds help to minimize it, propanolol being one. I'm surprised your doc isn't aware of this.

I was on 200mg zoloft for years and ground my teeth down badly, felt clenched inside, had twitches in my muscles that felt like little zings fired off now and then. It was annoying at best. They went away when I discontinued SSRI's.

Do a google search on akathisia+SSRI and you'll come up with loads of hits. Here's one from the horse's mouth:

http://www.zoloft-side-effects-lawyer.com/akathesia.htm

Take care, BarbaraCat

 

Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms

Posted by lucasj on September 29, 2003, at 8:57:55

In reply to Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms lucasj, posted by Dragonfli on September 28, 2003, at 23:06:12

> > Hey Windie, today is 9/28/2033. How are you feeling now?
> >
> > I am trying to decide if I want to try coming off Zoloft after several years.
> >
> > John
>
> Hello, my name is Dragonfli (nic name) and I am having tremors, and twitching of my right eye. My Dr. sent me for an MRI that came back negative and still doesn't believe it is the Zoloft even after the drugest said she would bet money the problem is with the 100mg a day I am taking. I have only been on it about three months... what do you reccommend as to how to get it across to the doctor this needs to be looked at as a cause of the tremors and twitches? Help.

Dragonfli,

Sorry, but I really don't have any good suggestions.

 

Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms

Posted by wendie on September 29, 2003, at 17:50:15

In reply to Re: zoloft withdrawal symptoms wendie, posted by lucasj on September 28, 2003, at 19:43:20

> Hey Windie, today is 9/28/2033. How are you feeling now?
>
> I am trying to decide if I want to try coming off Zoloft after several years.
>
> John

I'm fine,but I'm also taking 50 mg of zoloft every night and 150 mg of Wellbutrin every morning. Come hell or high water, I am going to get off zoloftby the end of the year and then start on the Wellbutrin and then I am never going to take any of this stuff again. I am taking the "taper off very very gradually" approach, timing things so I will have the week after Christmas to go through the worst of the withdrawal which seems to start about two weeks after you stop all together. All I can say is that if you go off, be prepared to feel bad. And if you can, get somebody to encourage and support you through it. My weeklong bout with withdrawal was so awful that I couldn't keep it up, and i am not a person who gives up easily!


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