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RubyT: sertraline- protracted withdrawal?


RubyT93

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Hello, 

 

I took Sertraline 50mg generic in September 2019 due to mild but regular panic attacks. After 6 days I had to stop taking them due to adverse reaction ( hallucinating, breathlessness, teeth grinding, vertigo etc) i had taken Sertraline in 2018 for around 6 month with no problem but this time around the side effects were too severe. I felt unwell for around 2 weeks after discontinuating and then returned to work. During this time i noticed that my arms became really weak.

 

In mid October 2019 i started to feel very unwell. I couldn't describe exactly what it was but it was unsettling. A few days later i was taken to hospital by ambulance due to a rapid heart beat, the paramedic said it was tachyardia and that i needed to be checked out at the hospital. No reason was found and i was discharged. Over the next few days i was in and out of hospital and told it was the start of shingles or flu (neither of which happened). My forearm muscles were spasming and very painful I developed severe vertigo and when in bed felt like i was free falling and would violently jolt. I went to see my gp who said it was depression which i argued it was not. I also had an episode in my local supermarket where i felt asif i was off my head on drugs- i was very excited and couldn't stop gurning like i was on a high (I've never touched drugs so can only imagine this is what a high felt like) after that i was on a complete low and had to go to sleep. My doctors were baffled but i was convinced it was something to do with the sertraline. I developed an intolerance to caffeine and peanut butter something i have been fine with prior to taking the sertaline.

 

My fatigue and muscle cramps, brain fog, dizziness and inner restlesness continued and after just about making it through christmas my hubby took me back to the gp who diagnosed me with fibromyalgia and gave me a prescription for duloxetine 30mg and referred me to a pain specialist. I had to stop duloxetine after 4 days due to severe back pain and eyelid swelling. I went to see the pain specialist who disagreed with the gp and did not think i have fibro and agreed that i had an adverse reaction and discontinuation to the sertraline.

 

I am still struggling now but no gp believes me, i constantly feel like i am coming down with the flu. I ache from head to toe and sometimes feel like my brain is mushy. I struggle to go to work although i make myself, i now hate going out to the shops etc i cannot handle being around people. I am only 26 and have 2 young children-this has been the worst experience of my life- although the physical symptoms are not as bad the mental ones are extremely hard and it is taking its toll on my life. I have started fish oil so i am hoping that helps. I feel like i am trapped in a 90 year old body.

 

Does anyone have any advice or suggestions that could help? The worst bit looking back is that i could manage my panic attacks i wish i had never visited the gp. 

 

I feel like my nervous system and brain are in a meltdown and i cannot seem to help them.

I also get feeling of a trickle of water in my head this has only started when stopping the duloxetine.

 

Thanks for listening ♡

Edited by manymoretodays
just further spacing for ease of reading, moved to Introductions
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  • manymoretodays changed the title to RubyT: Sertraline- protracted withdrawal?
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, RubyT93.

 

You had an adverse reaction to the Sertraline and also to the Duloxetine.  Doctors know nothing about adverse reactions, and your experiences with your doctor were typical.  The following will give you further understanding of what happened and what you're now experiencing.

 

But I only took it for a Week

 

I think that some of the most unfortunate members we have are the ones who only took the drug for a short time and had an Adverse Reaction. Over the years I’ve seen a good number of members join who have taken their drugs for one day to a week and then stopped.  Yet they are suffering very acute symptoms.  This is an Adverse Reaction, acute symptoms that hit immediately and hard.  Some people’s chemical makeup just isn’t compatible with psych drugs and their body immediately tries to reject them, but in doing so throws itself into chaos.

 

The good news is that their body will sort itself out and they will return to normal.  The bad news is, it’s going to take a long time and there is nothing that will speed up the process.  There are a lot of coping strategies and tools that will help soften the experience, but time is the only thing that will cure it. 

.

That may sound very bleak, but it’s not going to all be pain and suffering.  These people tend to have a more liner recovery. The first several months will be acute.  Then things start to improve is a noticeable manner, with life starting to resume and get back on track.  All the members I have known have made full recoveries.  They then go on to graduate college, attend med school, and start successful careers in a variety of fields.

                                                                                         ------------------------------------

 

The symptoms from an adverse reaction are similar to those of withdrawal, and the symptoms you describe are typical.  Do you have anxiety?  How is your sleep?

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms 

 

It's good you're taking omegas.  We don't recommend a lot of supplements to our members suffering from an adverse reaction or withdrawal, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems.  Omegas are one supplement we do recommend, and magnesium (glycinate is a good form) is another.  Many people find omegas and magnesium to be calming to the nervous system.

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Start at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

We also recommend non-drug coping skills to deal with symptoms.  Look at the links in the following link and see which you think might be helpful to you.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 22: 7.6mg

Taper is 90% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotics, zinc, melatonin .3mg, anti-candida, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Hi Gridley, 

 

Thank you for replying, I really appreciate your response. 

 

I have a b12 deficiency and have to have injections every 12 weeks but luckily these don't seem to affect me in a negative way. I have also been told that my folate levels are low but I am a little afraid to supplement due to any adverse reactions and my iron levels are also quite low but again I am a little worried about supplementing and then having to re start the healing. My GPs are of no help and offer no advice as they believe nothing is wrong with me. 

 

What is your opinion on vitamin D3, my levels have been low for a while but again I am now afraid of putting things into my body that may have an adverse effect. 

 

My brain is so fuzzy most of the time and I have noticed that I randomly get a stammer that comes and goes ( never had this before). 

 

I recently had an eye test that showed a change of shape to my cornea (i think) and mild vision changes which may need an prescription next time. I had my eyes tested in August last year with no problems. Could this be because of the medication? 

 

It is crazy what this medication can do, I feel like a completely different person- this is a shame because I was happy with who I was before. 

 

Many thanks again for replying,

Ruby 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
1 hour ago, RubyT93 said:

What is your opinion on vitamin D3

 

D3, to me, is a fairly innocuous supplement, and I take it. If you want to try it, start at a low dose to see how it affects you and work up from there.  You're wise to be leery of supplements.  Just be cautious and start low.

 

1 hour ago, RubyT93 said:

 

I recently had an eye test that showed a change of shape to my cornea (i think) and mild vision changes which may need an prescription next time. I had my eyes tested in August last year with no problems. Could this be because of the medication? 

 

Vision problems are a common withdrawal symptom.  Your vision change could be natural or due to WD.  There is almost no way to underestimate how wide-ranging the effect of these drugs might be.  

Vision symptoms: floaters, snow, blurred/dimmed vision ...

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 22: 7.6mg

Taper is 90% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotics, zinc, melatonin .3mg, anti-candida, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 3 months later...

OK so I am now in a wave.. This started Friday which coincides with me having my b12 injection ( I have these every 12 weeks due to pernicious anemia). I also started to take folic acid as my folate levels are quite low and I need my folate levels to be optimal as the b12 uses folate. When I am in a wave I feel like I am ill, almost like I am getting the flu- sinusitis but without the runny nose. My legs feel like jelly and my whole body aches and clicks. I feel like I have had a bit of a stressful weekend and I believe that I have a low tolerance to stress which seems to aggregate the waves. My heart feels like it is beating so fast but my smart watch tells me otherwise which I am thankful for. My tongue tingles and is numb, its such a shame that a tablet that is there to 'help you' can cause so many issues within our bodies. I am definitely a lot better than my original post and I don't seem to freak out at all of these symptoms any more. Some days I can go for 4 mile walks with my kids and then the next I need to stay inside all day. I have learned to just accept that this is a long healing process and in a way I feel more in tune with my body, my anxiety seems to have disappeared which is a nice feeling although I am very aware that it could return at any time. I have since done the cbt therapy over the ohone using the NHS service. I wish I had discovered this before I ever tried sertraline as I feel like it would of been helpful then. Unfortunately I did not find it very helpful but I have my work books incase I ever need them. I almost feel like I am electrified/ wired up almost like some kind of super human sense ( as weird as that sounds). I hope everyone is keeping OK and I do honestly believe that we will get better.. There is light at the end of the tunnel for us all.. Good luck everyone 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
12 minutes ago, RubyT93 said:

am definitely a lot better than my original post and I don't seem to freak out at all of these symptoms any more

That's very good to her, Ruby, and a very encouraging sign of healing.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 22: 7.6mg

Taper is 90% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotics, zinc, melatonin .3mg, anti-candida, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Thanks Gridley, what is your opinion on Vitamin D supplements? 

My levels were really low around a year ago and I had to supplement 4000ui ( safe upper dose) to get it back up. With all the chaos after me taking the sertraline I stopped taking the supplements as I was too scared to take anything, I did have my levels tested and they were lowish normal. I am very achy and my bones seem to click all of the time. I am thinking about taking 1000ui so a smaller dose to see if that helps however I am still extremely wary of supplements and only have my b12 injections because I have to have them. 

 

Thanks for all of your help

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  • Moderator Emeritus
14 minutes ago, RubyT93 said:

Thanks Gridley, what is your opinion on Vitamin D supplements? 

 

I take them.  They can be activating, so if you take them do so in the morning.  Start at a low dose to see how you do and work up higher.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 22: 7.6mg

Taper is 90% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotics, zinc, melatonin .3mg, anti-candida, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi,

 

Just wanted to update/advice needed, 

 

I think I am in the middle of an horrendous wave :( I have been so good for a while with only minor symptoms aching muscles/ weakness down my left side (not actually weak as can still use as normal but feels weak) etc but not too bad and have felt about 80% myself since my last post. 

 

For the past week I have been awful, internal shaking when laying in bed, lump in throat feeling, feeling of water whooshing in head/pains in head, my whole body feels like I have been ran over by a truck, my lower back is really painful, my head feels so busy and my whole body is tense (very tense like my whole body is being squeezed). 

 

I'm unsure as to what has brought this on, is this normal? I am still able to function and it temporarily eases (still there but not as bad) whilst I am busy but as soon as I get a minute to my self my symptoms get 100 times worse! :(

 

It is that time of the month and I wondered if that could of started it off but it hasn't every other month? I am being made redundant due to Covid whilst trying to find a new job- I received an email Thursday saying that I have an interview for an NHS job which I was very excited about and i'm not sure if the stress and excitement of it all has messed up my CNS or whether my CNS couldn't handle it? I also had a bit of a sore throat last week/feeling like I was coming down with something which hasn't really come out but whether I have some kind of virus/bug and this has set it off. I know that you might not know the answer but it is living hell at the minute! I have taken on a 2nd job to save incase I do not have another permanent job at the end redundancy, this is in a local supermarket and is quite physical so I don't know if it is that that has started it off. 

 

I haven't felt this bad for months, I am forcing myself to do my daily stuff but it is hard! I am not taking any medications or supplements so it can't be that, the only thing I have changed is my toothpaste and am now using Corsodyl and I wondered if there was anything in that, that would set this off again?

 

Does anyone have any advice?

 

Thank you

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I also do not feel anxious and to me the lockdown has been a godsend as I prefer being at home in my little bubble as much as possible with my hubby and kids. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to RubyT: sertraline- protracted withdrawal?

Hi Ruby,

Period, redundancy, upcoming interview, coming down with a bug, extra physical exertion in new job.....any of these could have triggered a wave.

You've had a pretty intense time and that can affect a sensitised nervous system.

 

What do you do for relaxation? If it were me, I'd pay attention to diet ie eat healthily, keep a regular bedtime schedule, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and ride it out. Do you meditate or do restorative yoga, or listen to relaxations on youtube? These are also really helpful for calming an over excited nervous system.

 

Have you eaten lots of sugar recently and/or had extra caffeine? These also trigger symptoms for lots of us. And alcohol is a no no if you want a calm nervous system, whilst in WD.

Hope this passes for you soon, try and take it as easy as you possibly can.

January 2008 to April 2015 Citalopram 20mg to 5mg, reducing in 50 per cent leaps. Jumped off at 5mg

March 2016 used MDMA triggered setback

April 2016 Citalopram 10mg October 2016 cut to 5mg, May 2017 cut to 2.5mg

May 2018 used MDMA triggered setback

June 2018 Citalopram 2.5mg up to 10mg, then back to 5mg

July/ August 2018 7.5mg, then 10mg

June 2019 updosed to 20mg Citalopram

August 2019 cold switch to Venlafaxine 75mg XR

Supplements; 1100mg fish oil daily; also 100mg Magnesium Glycinate. Tried Vagifem 10mcg from mid May 2021 to mid June 2021; caused depression, so stopped.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/12/2020 at 5:34 AM, RubyT93 said:Just wanted to update/advice needed, 

 

I think I am in the middle of an horrendous wave :( I have been so good for a while with only minor symptoms aching muscles/ weakness down my left side (not actually weak as can still use as normal but feels weak) etc but not too bad and have felt about 80% myself since my last post. 

 

For the past week I have been awful, internal shaking when laying in bed, lump in throat feeling, feeling of water whooshing in head/pains in head, my whole body feels like I have been ran over by a truck, my lower back is really painful, my head feels so busy and my whole body is tense (very tense like my whole body is being squeezed). 

 

I'm unsure as to what has brought this on, is this normal? I am still able to function and it temporarily eases (still there but not as bad) whilst I am busy but as soon as I get a minute to my self my symptoms get 100 times worse! :(

I hope things have gotten better for you since this post! I also just entered an intense wave and haven’t felt this bad since spring when this all started for me. For the last ten days or so, I’ve been feeling like all my bones are rotting, really painful muscle spasms, twitching up and down my body, extreme lower back pain that is the worst when I wake up in the morning and makes it difficult to take those first few steps, horrible hot flashes (haven’t hardly had these at all since quitting Sertraline and I’m only mid-30s!) and itching all over. The other weird thing I’ve been getting is this feeling like something wet dripped on my skin, but when I go to brush it off, it’s completely dry. It’s really weird and I was starting to get better and I have no idea what set this off! Maybe the weather getting colder? I’m so disappointed because I was seeing the light in the tunnel and then things blew up again. I can’t chalk this up to stress since this is my favorite time of year and things aren’t any more difficult at work than normal. I do have two young kids so I guess that’s always a possible source of stress, but they were still young a month ago and I wasn’t having this hard of a time! Let me know if things have gotten better for you. Wishing you luck!

400mg SAM-e from ~Feb 10, 2018 to somewhere around July, 2018
25 mg Sertraline from January 2020 to mid April 2020

Cold turkey mid April 2020

Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May 2020 for next three weeks then cold turkey again.

Currently on no meds or supplements.

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