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wildflowerchild: tapering Zoloft


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hi everyone. first time posting here and very glad to have found this website. i have been dealing with anxiety & depression my whole life and have been taking Zoloft for 10 years now. at my worst, i was taking 200mg a day. for a while, i was stable on 150mg a day. now, i am sick of being on medication and feel like it's doing more harm than good.


i decreased my dose to 125mg and have been pretty much fine on that for a little over a month now. i still experience slight withdrawal symptoms here and there but nothing major - a slight headache here and there, moodiness, anxiety (obviously), slight change in appetite. i'm going very slow as to try my best to avoid withdrawal symptoms as much as i can. i'm not sure when i will take it down to 100mg but i still have a ways to go.


i saw a psychiatrist 10 years ago who originally prescribed the zoloft and only saw her for about a year after that. i did not like her very much and didn't want my mom to waste any more money on those visits. thankfully i have been mostly stable on my own except for a couple of bad episodes.

yes, i am doing this without a doctor's supervision which i know most would not recommend. my goal is to be off medication completely so i would rather not switch to something different. my fear is that i will just exhaust different medications and then have nothing left to take when instead i could learn coping skills to conquer this on my own.

i am eager to get to know you all and share my story. i would love to hear your experiences with tapering and success stories!

Sertraline (Zoloft) for over 10 years.

Anywhere from 50mg-200mg at my worst.

Stable at 150mg for a few years.

Tapering off starting May 10th from 150mg to 125mg.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to wildflowerchild: tapering Zoloft
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Wildflowerchild, welcome to SA. I am so happy that you have found us now, when you are starting out with tapering, most of us ended up here AFTER tapering too fast because we didn't have a clue, and many cold turkeyed which is never a good idea.  Many of us also followed doctors instructions and had several failed attempts. Before you make any further cuts you need to be fully stabilised to how you were before starting to taper. Cutting too soon will catch up eventually as your brain has to work hard to catch up.  


Here at SA we recommend tapering np more than 10% of the CURRENT dose, with at least 4 weeks between cuts.  This is sneaking away the drug so slowly that the brain can adjust between drops. If there are any withdrawal symptoms that are more than just a little discomfort the drop has been too big, and the nest one should be smaller. You will soon get the hang of it and learn to listen to your body. Many people find the Brassmonkey sliding taper easier, and this is the one  I would personally recommend. This means very tiny drops but more often followed by a hold for a few weeks.  When you have got to a dose that is difficult to get by cutting tablets you can make a liquid from them to make up the dose.  It sounds daunting but is really easy when you get the hang of it and instructions are in the tapering forum.  I will get some links for you to read, so that you are fully prepared for a successful taper. Don't be put off by the length of time a taper takes, the important thing is to get off and STAY OFF. Going too fast results in withdrawal and going back on, stabilising over several months or years before starting all over again. It is better to start slow and go down so gradually your body doesn't notice. 


Preparing to taper



How to make a liquid



Tapering zoloft



Brassmonkey's sliding taper



**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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  • 6 months later...

My first post here was talking about lowering my dose of sertraline from 150mg to 125mg. That was on May 10th, 2018. I was doing fine until about August, when I noticed my anxiety getting worse. I stuck it out, even through a period of getting full on panic attacks, until this month. Last Wednesday 12/19 I brought my dose back up to 150mg. I decided that I didn't want to be miserable every day just for the sake of taking less medication. One day I hope to be off of them but that day is not today. 


Even through this bad period, I was able to go to work every day and do most of my normal day to day activities. This is a major improvement from any time I've dealt with bad anxiety before! However, I want to go back to feeling my version of "normal" and I feel like after 7 months of trying a lower dose, it's time to go back to what has worked best for me in the past.


I've been more on edge, more scared to just leave the house, more closed off to family, friends and my boyfriend, etc. and it's not good for anyone. Part of me feels like I'm giving up on lowering my dose, but a bigger part of me realizes that I am missing out on life.


It's been so long since I've made a change in my dose that I don't remember having any side effects when increasing my dose. Has anyone been through this same thing? I know it's only been 5 days and I'm not expecting to feel better this soon, but I can feel my depressive thoughts coming back pretty strong and my anxiety is not improving... yet. 


I would love to hear your experiences of how long it took you to feel better after increasing your dose and if you also have any tips/encouragement. Thanks :)

Sertraline (Zoloft) for over 10 years.

Anywhere from 50mg-200mg at my worst.

Stable at 150mg for a few years.

Tapering off starting May 10th from 150mg to 125mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi wildflowerchild,


I've moved your new topic and joined it to your Intro topic, which is the place to ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.


It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full level in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  If you had posted before increasing we may have suggested a small updose, instead of going back to the previous dose.  This is because your brain will have made some adaptation to the lower dose since you have been on it.


1 hour ago, wildflowerchild said:

I was doing fine until about August, when I noticed my anxiety getting worse.


  • Did you get sick prior to this?
  • Were there any life stressors?  eg moving, change of job or promotion, marital issues, losing a friend, relative or pet, caring for a sick person, involved in an accident or life threatening situation
  • Did you do any travel?
  • Have you started taking any new supplements or started eating anything new or changed your diet?
  • Have you been experiencing insomnia?

If yes to any of these questions, then it may be the cause of the increased withdrawal symptoms.  Even good stress can cause this.  This is not unusual.  Some members find that exercising can increase their symptoms.  Or overdoing things on the days they feel good.


Please keep daily symptom notes over the next 3-4 days and post them here in your topic so that the mods can assess your situation.  This is an example of what is needed:


6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Administrator

Hello, wfc. Please be sure to read


On 6/21/2018 at 9:01 AM, mammaP said:


We recommend dosage reductions of only 10% per month. Your decrease was 16.67%. This was too much for you.


Since your nervous system has gotten an upset, if I were you, I'd let it settle down for some weeks or months before trying a smaller reduction, perhaps only 5% at a time.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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