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Katelide95: Sertraline withdrawal hell


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Posted (edited)

Hello, 

Currently in the waves and windows period of withdrawal. Sertraline withdrawal is without a doubt the worst thing I’ve ever gone through in my life. 
Had been going relatively well until I hit 50mg in March 2024. Got severe withdrawal symptoms (headaches, nausea, dizziness, brain fog, flu like symptoms, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, anxiety and agitation). Dr told me to ride it out and not reinstate, took 3 weeks to even slightly stabilise - still ongoing. 
 

After that Dr told me it wouldn’t be withdrawal but must be something else and didn’t believe SSRI withdrawn could last more than a week!
Took weeks to find a Dr who believed me.
I have since had windows and waves pattern. So will have a couple of weeks feeling ok, then suddenly feel awful again. Currently in a new wave and feeling like this will never end and I’ll never fully be free of Sertraline. 

Finally have been given liquid Sertraline to taper next dose at 10% but waiting until windows and waves subside before dropping again. 

 

I probably reduced too quickly, but Dr was very unsupportive and actually told me I was being too over cautious with 25mg drops every month. 
 

So desperate to be free of this drug that has taken over my life :(

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

April 2023 - 200mg Sertraline 
May 2023 - 175mg 
June 2023 - 150mg (got withdrawal so reinstated back to 175mg)
August 2023 - 150mg 
September 2023 - 125mg 
November 2023 - 100mg 
December 2023 - 87.5mg
January 2024 - 75mg 
February 2024 - 62.5mg 
March 2024 - 50mg - severe withdrawal 

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  • Emonda changed the title to Katelide95: Sertraline withdrawal hell
  • Administrator

Welcome @Katelide95

 

On 5/18/2024 at 8:32 PM, Katelide95 said:

Currently in the waves and windows period of withdrawal. Sertraline withdrawal is without a doubt the worst thing I’ve ever gone through in my life. 

 

Yeah, it's not nice, is it!

 

On 5/18/2024 at 8:32 PM, Katelide95 said:

I probably reduced too quickly,

 

Yes, way too fast. Why taper by 10% of my dosage? The reductions should get smaller and smaller each month, for example: 10mg, 9mg, 8.1mg, 7.3mg etc. Importantly, if you develop unpleasant side effects from tapering, halt the taper, give yourself time to settle, and once stable, taper more slowly and by smaller amounts moving forward.

 

On 5/18/2024 at 8:32 PM, Katelide95 said:

Got severe withdrawal symptoms (headaches, nausea, dizziness, brain fog, flu like symptoms, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, anxiety and agitation).

 

These sound quite typical: Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

On 5/18/2024 at 8:32 PM, Katelide95 said:

Took weeks to find a Dr who believed me.

 

That's great that you've found a supportive doctor.

 

On 5/18/2024 at 8:32 PM, Katelide95 said:

I have since had windows and waves pattern. So will have a couple of weeks feeling ok, then suddenly feel awful again. Currently in a new wave and feeling like this will never end and I’ll never fully be free of Sertraline. 

 

That is a typical pattern: Windows and waves pattern of stabilization

 

I'd be holding the dose for many months to give your body time to stabilise. I dropped too quickly at the start of my journey, then up-dosed slightly to the last dose I felt ok and stayed there for ~6 months. Stability came with time and patience.

 

On 5/18/2024 at 8:32 PM, Katelide95 said:

Finally have been given liquid Sertraline to taper next dose at 10% but waiting until windows and waves subside before dropping again.

 

Have you already swapped to the liquid? This can be destabilising. Have a read of the 4th post down by Gridley: Transitioning from pills to liquid

 

A few other helpful links for your to read:

 

Emotional Spirals

 

Non-drug coping strategies

 

Melatonin for sleep

 

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


Magnesium

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Avoid alcohol. 

 

Don't change the manufacturer of your AD.

 

This is your own Introduction topic.  Each member has only ONE Introduction topic.  Your own Introduction topic is the best place to ask questions and the place to journal your progress.  This keeps your history in one place and means you do not have to repeat your story. 

 

Once again, welcome to S.A.

 

Emonda

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg, 23 May 1.80mg, 30 May 1.76mg, 8 Jun 1.72mg, 13 Jun 1.66mg, 3 Jul 1.62mg, 10 Jul 1.58mg, 17 Jul 1.54mg

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@Katelide95 Hi Kate! And welcome. Seems like we have similar stories. Same drug as well. Same symptoms also.. I’m currently in a wave with heavy anxiety, only a few hours of sleep and no appetite. I’m 7 weeks in after tapering way too fast from 150 mg. Thankfully found SA back in March before CT and trying another drug. Had some decent days but those bad waves always come right back. Currently trying to stabilize at 87.5. It’s been rough to say the least. 
 

Anyway, how are you feeling today? 

Zoloft 25 mg (Jan 2016)

50 mg (Feb 2016)

Off Zoloft for second pregnancy (2019)
Back to Zoloft 75 mg (Sept 2019)

Down to 25 mg for third pregnancy (2020) 50-> 75 mg ->100 mg (Jan 2023)

Felt good for long while so reduced to 75 (Nov 2023). Back up to 100 after some symptoms of anxiety (Dec 2023)

125 (Dec 2023) didn’t help so->150 (Feb 2024) Horrible reaction (almost psychosis) 
Doc suggested lowering Z and adding buspar. Started 2.5 mg 3x per day same day at going down to 125 mg Z.  then to 100 a week later. 
Found SA, stopped the madness.
(April 2024)87.5 mg Z and holding 

(May 22) Natural Calm: 200 mg per day in water

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