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Mihail: my story


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Hello, I want to tell my story and ask for help or advice - now I really need it. I apologize in advance if the text looks crooked in some places - English is not my native language, and I use a translator.

It all started in mid-September 2019, when I was prescribed sertraline at a dose of 50 mg for OCD and the depressive-anxiety states that I had been experiencing for several years. I took it for three days when I had a severe panic attack, muscle cramps, tremors and sexual problems. Frightened, I decided to stop taking the drug, but just in case, so as not to quit too abruptly, I took another 25 mg on the fourth day (now I understand that it was very naive, and in any case it is CT). On this day, my obsessions worsened, suicidal thoughts and tachycardia appeared. The next day, when I was not taking anything, it all went away, but there was a feeling of emptiness in my head and tension in my muscles, and over the next few days my sexual function deteriorated again. The next week I went to the doctor again and told her everything. She stopped the antidepressant and prescribed Atarax to calm me down, which I took for about two weeks. For the next two months, everything was generally good (except for sexual function, which was not at the same level). However, in the third month, OCD made itself felt again, and it all started against the backdrop of that stress. Panic attacks, extreme anxiety, great difficulty falling asleep, depression — it was terrible. After a while, the situation began to stabilize, waves and windows began. The windows were nice but short, but the waves weren't as bad as the first. Yes, I was often under stress, but I could function normally. By the end of the summer, I could say that I was generally feeling normally, although I still had some problems with feelings, satisfaction, motivation, and sexual function.

But at the beginning of this September, a dermatologist prescribed me five intravenous droppers with dexamethasone (4 mg), calcium gluconate and suprastin for incomprehensible skin rashes that covered my body at the beginning of the year and did not disappear since that time (now I suspect that this is also a consequence of an antidepressant). I was very wary of this but ended up making them. After the first time I had to give up Suprastin, since he plunged me into a semi-vegetable state for the rest of the day. But the remaining four with dexamethasone were done. The first few days, in which the droppers were made, everything was normal, but then there was excitement and restlessness. A few days later, a severe headache began, which did not go away for three days and did not allow me to sleep (on the third night I even had to take Atarax to fall asleep). The next day it passed, but after a few days there was a strong anxiety, fear of loss of control, neuromuscular tension throughout the body, difficulty concentrating and sleeping. The day before yesterday I cried most of the day, and last night the anxiety was so strong that I had a hysterical fit. Again, a terrible state. Was it due to dexamethasone? What to do now? The situation is further complicated by the fact that I fell ill for the fourth day already with fever, cough and runny nose. I need to take an antibiotic, the doctor prescribed clarithromycin, but after reading here about antibiotics and clarithromycin in particular, I don't want to risk it. However, I need to recover from cold, and sitting within four walls is simply unbearable. Are there more safe antibiotics instead of clarithromycin?


Edited by ChessieCat
add spacing

3 days Sertraline 50 mg in September 2019, 1 day 25 mg, then CT

About two weeks Atarax in September - October 2019

About week Phenibut in first half of December 2019

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Mihail: my story
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, Mihail.  I'm sorry you're suffering.


You had an immediate adverse reaction to the Sertraline, which means basically the drug is poison to your system.  You were wise to  stop taking the drug.

This post by Alto Strata, founder of this site, explains what you're experiencing:


"ADMIN NOTE We have a group of people here who have had a fairly immediate severe adverse reaction to SSRIs, often within a few doses. These are people who are so sensitive to serotonergics, they have a severe adverse reaction to an antidepressant after one dose or only a few. This also occurs after single doses of LSD or MDMA -- other serotonergics.


These people who are sensitive to serotonergics then experience symptoms very much like withdrawal syndrome -- autonomic dysfunction -- for years even though they immediately quit the drug.


They experience the drugs as too strong, with symptoms of activation and perhaps desperate and violent thoughts -- the drugs are simply not suited to their neurologies. The cause may be an entirely normal genetic inability to metabolize the drug. Serotonin toxicity is probably the closest medical description, but nobody knows if the adverse effect is due to inhibition of serotonin reuptake or some other downstream effect. This iatrogenic condition is simply not studied.


Discussing this condition with various specialists probably isn't going to yield any remedies other than experiments with other psychotropics, as few doctors know anything about diagnosing psychiatric drug adverse reactions and even fewer know anything about treating them.


What we have observed is that people who had this immediate severe adverse reaction to SSRIs have post-discontinuation symptoms very much like withdrawal symptoms, which indicate nervous system destabilization. Like people with withdrawal syndrome, people suffering this iatrogenic condition may experience The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization and may have become hypersensitive to other psychotropic drugs and even supplements and foods.


Recovery follows the same arc as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS): Halting, frustratingly slow, and very gradual; measured over many months. You will need to be patient and learn self-soothing techniques to allow your nervous system to settle down and to heal.


Definition of Adverse Reaction to a Medication or Drug - Verywell Health


Sep 24, 2018 - An adverse reaction is an unwanted or unexpected negative reaction to a medication or treatment that is used in an approved manner."
Though the causes are different, the symptoms of an adverse reaction are very similar to withdrawal symptoms.
As the post above states, the waves and windows pattern you're experiencing is normal.
Regarding the skin problem, it is certainly possible that they are a result of the adverse reaction.  Skin rashes are a typical adverse reaction/withdrawal symptom.  Your system is very sensitized, and the skin medicines prescribed could certainly have caused symptoms.to flare up.  
As to the antibiotic, could you have the doctor test to see if the infection is viral or bacterial?  If it is viral, antibiotics will not help and you would accomplish nothing by taking it.  If you do need to take an antibiotic, the class of antibiotics to definitely avoid are fluoroquinolone antibiotics.  
Quinolones (fluoroquinolones) are a class of antibiotics that are currently one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics in the world, given out in hundreds, if not thousands, of prescriptions daily. They are very powerful medications prescribed to treat a wide variety of infections but were never meant to be used as a first line of defense against routine infections, which is how they are often prescribed today. Like all antibiotics, quinolones, have the ability to cause side effects. However, what differentiates this class of antibiotics from others is that quinolones can cause severe adverse reactions that can disable the healthiest of individuals creating long lasting injuries.
The generic names of quinolones end in "-floxin"

Quinolone antibiotic medications include:

  • Ciprofloxacin (Ciloxan Ophthalmic and Cipro)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin and QUIXIN Ophthalmic)
  • Lomefloxacin (Maxaquin)
  • Moxifloxacin (Avelox)
  • Norfloxacin (Chibroxin Ophthalmic and Noroxin Oral)
  • Ofloxacin (Floxin and Ocuflox Ophthalmic)
  • Sparfloxacin (Zagam)
  • Trovafloxacin (Trovan)
  • Gatifloxacin (Tequin)
  • Gemifloxacin (Factive)
  • Cinoxacin (Cinobac)
  • Nalidixic acid (NegGram) 

The names may be different in Russia.  Before you take an antibiotic, you should Google the drug to make sure it's not a fluoroquinolone.


We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 


Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 


Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 


Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.


You will need to take good care of yourself while you heal from the adverse reaction.  Some things we recommend are avoiding caffeine, alcohol and sugar.

Gentle exercise is generally better than strenuous, which can be too stimulating.  A gentle walk in nature is good.  We also recommend non-drug coping skills to deal with symptoms.  Take a 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 May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  


Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, 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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Thank you very much for your answer! I think I will not take antibiotics for now.

3 days Sertraline 50 mg in September 2019, 1 day 25 mg, then CT

About two weeks Atarax in September - October 2019

About week Phenibut in first half of December 2019

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  • 1 year later...

Question about Accutane


Good afternoon! I have been suffering from the consequences of taking Zoloft for 2.5 years (the main symptoms are anxiety, anhedonia, PSSD). Now my girlfriend has started taking Accutane for acne. I heard that Accutane can cause effects in men similar to SSRIs. In connection with this, I have a question that may seem strange, but for me it is very important. Can this drug be passed through saliva or other bodily fluids? Can we now kiss, hug, eat and drink from the same dish? I really freaked out about this. I understand that this may be stupid, but I can’t get rid of these thoughts without hearing at least some arguments about this. Thanks in advance, Mihail.


Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title before merging with intro topic

3 days Sertraline 50 mg in September 2019, 1 day 25 mg, then CT

About two weeks Atarax in September - October 2019

About week Phenibut in first half of December 2019

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I doubt very much that Accutane can be transferred via saliva.  I've done some searching on the internet and was not able to find anything.  I searched specifically for Accutane Isotretinoin and saliva and also can drugs be passed on via oral mouth saliva contact kissing.


You might feel that it is stupid to ask this question but it is better than continuing to worry about it and getting stressed about it.


Edited by ChessieCat


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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