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rosie1123: mental health anxiety and tapering


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I am currently 6 months post partum and started on Zoloft 50mg about 5 weeks ago for mental health anxiety (potentially OCD). I was terrified of developing post partum psychosis and depression. Constantly self monitoring symptoms and researching mental health conditions online.


After 3 months of not taking medication that was prescribed to me by my family doctor due to anxiety about the medication, I decided to start with medication to hopefully be more present with my husband and baby. 


The first 2 weeks on the medication were awful. I felt extremely anxious, couldn't sleep/eat, lost weight, knot in stomach, increase in depressive thoughts, night sweats and racing thoughts. I even picked up on more OCD like symptoms such as continuous songs stuck in my head. After about 3 - 4 weeks, side effects improved a bit but the anxiety has stayed. 


Now 5 weeks into the medication, my mental health anxiety is still very much present. Especially my anxiety around developing mania (my grandma was bipolar).

I want to taper off the medication as it is not improving my anxiety (if anything making it worse), and I want to prevent intense withdrawal symptoms if I stay on it for a long time. Unfortunately any advice doctors have given me is an increase in dosage.


Is someone able to give me advice on tapering after 5 weeks of usage of Zoloft 50mg? Should I proceed with a similar tapering plan over a long period of time despite only having taken the medication for 5 weeks?


Thanks so much

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to rosie1123: mental health anxiety and tapering
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  I'm sorry to hear that you are having problems with Zoloft.  It sounds as though it doesn't agree with your system, and you are having an adverse reaction to it.  It's really good you came here prior to starting your taper. We can help you with that.  Please be really careful listening to your doctor's advice on how to taper - 99% of the time, they recommend a taper that is way too fast, and this can make one very sick for a long time.  After we have been on psych drugs for 4 weeks, our brains have adjusted to them and become dependent on them, and require a very gradual, slow taper.  


Can you please give us specific information in your signature about your drug history for all drugs you are on and have been on, especially for the past 18-24 months?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs in a concise vertical list (no symptoms), only drug names, specific dates (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day) and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.  Use this format:


Drug name: date, dose, date, dose, date, dose…

Drug name: date, dose, date, dose, date, dose…



Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  


How to List Drug History in Signature


Here is some important information about how these drugs actually work.  This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications if we go off too quickly, and why it's so important to taper slowly and carefully, and be very cautious about changing our doses: 


How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain



If you follow our protocol on how to taper, it will take a long time, but you should experience minimal to no withdrawal symptoms.  Tapering is best done very slowly, and we generally taper by 10% of the current dose no more than once every 4 weeks, so that the reduction becomes exponentially smaller.


 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  


Since you have only been on the drugs 5 weeks, you may be able to do reductions more frequently than every 4 weeks, but start out by only reducing every 4 weeks for the first couple of reductions.  The link above will explain how to determine this.  


Tips for Tapering Zoloft



Stability is really important when we are tapering off psych meds.  Please read the link about stability:


Keep It Simple, Slow, and Stable



We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Omega 3 Fish Oil


Please let us know how it goes.  Good luck! 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  


***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.


Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg


Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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  • 1 month later...

Topic title:  Liquid Compounded Sertraline




To taper more slowly I got a compounded version of liquid sertraline from my pharmacy. The lady at the pharmacy was very nice but she took 2 weeks to be able to make a stable version of the compound and seemed hesitant to release it to me.

I was on 25 mg tablets after having been on 50 mg for 12 weeks. I tried liquid sertraline for the first time last night but am feeling nauseous and really nervous the compound isn’t stable. I’m worried I’d be taking too much due to the Zoloft not being distributed equally in the compound.


It’s a liquid Zoloft Hydrochloride  compound 


Any tips? I’m in Canada and they only have capsules which can’t be cut.





Edited by ChessieCat
added Intro topic title before merging with intro topic
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  • Administrator

Hello, @rosie1123


Please respond to @getofflex's post above. Follow these instructions Please summarize your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.


On 9/23/2022 at 8:36 AM, rosie1123 said:

I was on 25 mg tablets after having been on 50 mg for 12 weeks.


When did you reduce from 50mg to 25mg sertraline? How many milligrams of sertraline are you taking in the liquid form?

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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