Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 5582

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 350. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

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....

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by dina on May 4, 1999, at 21:06:42

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

when i stopped taking zoloft, i didn't titrate down at all, and got a wide array of withdrawal symptoms. anger, irritability, flushing (like hot flashes), and these weird crying spells, where
i didn't have any particular sadness, maybe like a panic attack, but over nothing. dizziness,
i don't recall having with the zoloft, but was common when i stopped taking serzone, as well
as luvox. i lessened these symptons by titrating slower, or if i had completely stopped the medication, taking a low dose on the days when it was the worst. 5-htp also somewhat helped
to relieve the symptoms...
take care
dina

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Erika on May 28, 1999, at 21:52:29

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by dina on May 4, 1999, at 21:06:42

I have been taking Zoloft since 1/95 at 100 mg./day. I'm trying to conceive so I want to get off Zoloft. I weaned myself down to 50 mg for 3 wks and then stopped on 5/25/99. I have major dizzy spells that feel like pins and needles in my head. No nausea, and sleep has always been irregular for me. How long will this last? My dr. had recommened 25 mg as the next step but I guess I was eager to end it. I had no idea this would happen.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Gina on May 30, 1999, at 13:27:18

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Erika on May 28, 1999, at 21:52:29

I have taken Zoloft for 4 straight years, just 50mgs daily. I was
recently diagnosed Bipolar II URC, started taking Depakote
and weaned off the Zoloft. Withing two days I was
a complete mess, having phenomenally frightening
panic attacks & literally howling with this awful
depression... I don't think I have ever felt quite that bad,
and that's really sayin' somethin'! So forget it,
I'm staying on my Zoloft - I'll stay on it forever if I need to.
I was extremeley achey all over, too...

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by dorothee on January 26, 2000, at 23:17:11

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Gina on May 30, 1999, at 13:27:18

>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!

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by dj on January 27, 2000, at 2:36:03

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

Flu-like &/or hang-over like symptoms? Make if a few pharmocologists had to experience this crappy feeling they would be a bit more sensitive.

I found using Prozac for a week or so helped me ease off, as it doesn't leave your system as suddenly and hence does not have that wrenching effect upon you.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by jc on March 23, 2000, at 15:33:04

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

I thought I'd share my experience here with fellow
sufferers of zoloft withdrawal. I tried to stop
from 50mg and was besieged by pins and needles in
the head and stomach problems. I didn't really
know that I was sick with withdrawal because nobody
told me I would experience anything. I took one zoloft
in the midst of this and after one hour ALL symptoms
were gone. Completely gone!

I tapered down to 25mg and 5 days ago I stopped.
It was fairly bad for a couple of days but I think
I can almost see the light. I can eat meals again
and I'm back at work. Zoloft was a very helpful drug
but, wow, its not easy getting off.

good luck all.


 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by polly on April 4, 2000, at 23:48:52

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by jc on March 23, 2000, at 15:33:04

Wow, someone actually has come off zoloft.
I am suffering with all of the previous postings. I want to get off of this cold turkey
but do not think that I will be able to. It has been 8 days now and the
doc said 11 days to 2 weeks. Since I am unemployed right now would like to
do this now. I am taking st. johns wort with kava kava but have to take
six a day. I think I just talked myself back to taking 25 mg a day for anothre month
then go down from there. I had been taking 50 for the last two months and had slowly
gone down from 150 to 100 to 50.
does anyone kjnow if one can take the st johns wort
and kava kava while trying to withdraw?? thanks


 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Joy on April 5, 2000, at 17:25:25

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by polly on April 4, 2000, at 23:48:52

Good grief! I have taken Zoloft for 6 mo's.,starting with 25mg. and working up to 150mg.
It stopped working..doc. called it "hitting the wall". So he is having me taper off slowly,
150,100,50,and now I am taking 25mg for a week..then I'll stop.

However,since reading all about the withdrawl (which I haven't experienced)..I'm
a little apprehensive..I do believe that after I am through with the 25mg I will go
down to 12.5mg for a week..then after that I'll just "lick 'em"!

Can't be too careful!

Doc. prescribed Celexa..forget it. There are alternatives.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by polly on April 5, 2000, at 19:11:13

In reply to Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft, posted by Joy on April 5, 2000, at 17:25:25

Best laid plans.
I did not make it through day # 9 on my withdrawal. I felt like jumping off a cliff might be a good idea. Fortunately, understanding what was going on and not having a good medical support system behind me; I decided to take 50 mg last night, 50 today and then go back to my dose 25 mg tommorow and stay there for three to six months before going down to 12.5... I called my doc and he agreed and said (thru his nurse) to stop taking the St Johns Wort/Kava Kava while on the Zoloft.

I feel normal today and just a little bit angry at the medical system for not warning us of the side effects of Zoloft withdrawal before putting us on it.
I have to say that it has been excellent for anxiety control. I have to give them that but knowing what I do now, I would rather put my money into a good yoga program and health club membership..

I just want to be drug free.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Merv on April 8, 2000, at 14:50:01

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

> >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.

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by D on April 14, 2000, at 13:33:28

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

Dorothee,
I have have twice successfully come off of Zoloft. I did have withdrawal (especially the first time) but it passed within about two weeks. I told my doctor, but at that point, every health professional that I talked to told me there were no withdrawal symptoms with Zoloft. That was SO crazy. Why taper if there is no withdrawl? How could it not cause withdrawal? Well, of course, now they say that there are withdrawal symptoms. I feel much better (mentally) than before I ever took Zoloft. I know that if I go through a period when I it need again, it's there for me. But the withdrawal symptoms definitely passed for me.
I hope you feel better soon!

D

 

Re: withdrawal symptoms coming off zoloft

Posted by Susanm on June 3, 2000, at 17:17:23

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

> I have been taking 400mg of Zoloft daily for 9 years. 6 weeks ago I quit cold turkey. Like many of the others who have written in, I have been extremely sick from what I assume is withdrawal. Nausea and dizziness similar to seasickness, emotional symptoms such as rapid cycling of extreme moods, etc. I am thinking about taking some to see if the symptoms are eased. Anyone have experience with this? Apparently it isn't uncommon for Doctors to disagree that there are withdrawal symptoms. My doctor doesn't seem to know more that the information on the manufacturer's insert (which isn't much-and nothing on this topic0

 

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.


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