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Ssri tremors and wash out period.


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Earlier this year I had my first ever panic attack. After a few more I decided to start Lexapro. I was only on it for four days when I started to have vibrations in my eyes, forehead, head and hands. I immediately went off of it. Started Zoloft about 8 days later. I had a rough start to Zoloft. But thought that I was just waiting for it to kick in. After about two weeks went from 50mg to 100mg but struggled even more so I went back down. All this time. I had what I was describing as tremors which by beginning of March were across my chest as well. Mostly when I was sleeping. Waking me up 2-5x per night. I was told over and over that it was my anxiety causing the tremors and I was waking from panic. I started waking in the mornings with my hands shaking uncontrollably as well. By the end of March I felt like I had icy hot thru my arms, pins and needles and just couldn’t take it. My psychiatrist agreed finally that the Zoloft was at a minimum making something worse. If there was a side effect from Zoloft I had it. I’ve now been off Zoloft for 4.5 weeks. And I’m still experiencing these tremors. Especially at night. I’m currently on Gabapentin at night to hopefully help at a minimum help me sleep but I still get the internal vibrations and tremors around 5am. My neurologist told me that for the amount of time it would take for it to enter my system. I need to assume that it will take to leave. Now that I’m almost to week five of being off Zoloft I’m having a hard time believing that these tremors could still be from that. I know Zoloft made it worse but I’m now worried that it might be long covid. Has anyone had this long of a wash out period or lingering side effect after only a short time on an ssri. 

im also worreid that there won’t be a different anti depressant or anxiety med I can take!!

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Hi @bvg415

So sorry you are suffering so badly. We are a site for going off of antidepressants and do not support people through starting new drugs or changing their drugs or picking the right drug or cocktail. 



There are many people like you who have severe adverse drug reactions from the drug that do not necessarily abate quickly once you stop the drug. But they do heal slowly over months and years. I would suggest that in the meantime you do not start any new drugs or use other psychoactive substances including alcohol/high doses of vitamin B or D as these tend to make the destabilization of your nervous system worse and can set your healing back. 




If you decide to go back on other SSRIs you will likely have the same reaction. We would recommend that you work with your psychiatrist in that case. If you decide to learn more about withdrawal and ADRs and participate on this site pls complete your drug signature as is shown below. 



I hope you get better soon, 





"Nothing so small as a moment is insurmountable, and moments are all that we have. You have survived every trial and tribulation that life has thrown at you up until this very instant. When future troubles come—and they will come—a version of you will be born into that moment that can conquer them, too." - Kevin Koenig 


I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information and recommendations provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 


In the next few weeks I do not have a lot of capacity to respond to questions. If you need a quick answer pls tag or ask other moderators who may want to be tagged. 


Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week (off by 4/14/19- no tapering)

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785, 8/18/22 - 0.59, 12/15/2022 - 0.48, 2/15/22 - 0.43, 25/07/23 - 0.25 (mistake), 6/08/23 - 0.33mg


Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

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