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Gabedd: 50mg Sertraline, really want to get off this


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Hello Everyone, sorry for the long and sporadic post. mid December last year, not long after my 20th birthday I had started on a low dosage of Prozac for anxiety and panic attacks most likely as a response to burnout from recent difficult life events, namely of which being my mother with whom I am very close receiving a cancer diagnosis. I stayed on Prozac for approximately 2 weeks before going CT at the end of December due to negative side effects. As a result I experienced discontinuation symptoms such as increased anxiety, panic attacks, dp/dr, nausea/vomiting, insomnia, vertigo, head pressure and such unsual pressure and flushing sensations in my head that I suffered a major panic attack and had thought that I was going to somehow die, resulting in me calling an ambulance.

 

I continued to suffer the effects through January and to the start of February, despite not experiencing most of them prior to the medication, but despite this things seemed to be slowly getting better. Unfortunately due to my anxiety being at an all time high from my recent adverse reaction I would become very agoraphobic, health anxious and would almost vomit from stress whenever I would go out for groceries and such. 

 

At the time I was very uninformed regarding discontinuation and withdrawal effects, so with the recent onset of my health anxiety, it basically overshadowed the fact that my body was slowly recovering and I was convinced I needed to try another antidepressant to sort out the side effects of my CT, looking back I really regret this decision because if I had just waited a couple more months for my body to heal instead of jumping right back on medication 1 month off, I might not have to deal with the possibility of another set of WD effects due to my seeming sensitivity to meds.

 

Anyway this year I decided to go back to my GP and landed myself on 50mg Zoloft daily, I started on the 19th of February and first couple of weeks were very rough with crying spells, increased anxiety, anhedonia, no motivation, depression, suicidal ideation, intrusive thoughts, blurry and unfocused wavy vision, increased heartrate, physical numbness, hot flushes/heat sensitivity and overall zombie-like feeling. I had almost considered going CT again, but my friend has really benefitted from Sertraline and I didn't want a repeat of what had happened so I decided to continue. My anxiety did seem to have benifited and I even had a few weeks where I had begun to feel good again. despite this most of the initial side effects mentiomed have either persisted or resurfaced. I feel like I'm completely numb, I don't even want to hang out with mates, play video games, watch youtube, TV or even listen to music. It feels like my personality and hobbies are being ripped away from me, and the fact that I'm constantly in a dreamlike haze of derealization I never had prior just really makes me feel hopeless. Some of the side effects seem to fluctuate, a big one being my emotions. I would consider myself a pretty empathetic person, but I've just been so apathetic and irritable on this, I basically felt nothing once my mother finally got to ring the bell at the hospital that marked the end of her treatment. It's like I'm on autopilot and in the passenger seat of my own body.

 

The sudden heavy depression, uncontrollable crying spells, complete lack of motivation for anything other than being in bed and intrusive thoughts of suicide are really scary considering I have never once wanted to harm myself in any way even at my lowest. My memory, internal monologue, visualising things in my head and my overall cognitive functioning has also gotten really bad to the point I can barely remember the last couple of months or even what I did yesterday. The recent sexual side effects have popped up also. It's like the initial side effects have somehow come back.

 

4 months on and I really want to taper off this medication, it just isn't worth it with how bad it makes me feel. I've been to my GP but I don't trust his suggestion for how quickly he wants me to taper. I have considered swapping to the liquid version of Sertraline for a slow 10% taper for which I'm pretty sure you can get in Australia but I honestly just feel lost and don't know where to start, I've also tried to see what other people have done in the forums but because of the brain fog I'm experiencing on this, it makes it really hard to follow instructions without a direct guide. 

 

I would really appreciate any advice/guidance for tapering off this. Thank you.

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

Mid December 2023 - Late December 2023. Prozac 50mg

 

19th February 2024 - Current. Zoloft 50mg

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  • Emonda changed the title to Gabedd: 50mg Sertraline, really want to get off this
  • Administrator

Welcome @Gabedd

 

Above, you describe typical WD symptoms and side effects of ADs.

 

1 hour ago, Gabedd said:

4 months on and I really want to taper off this medication

 

Generally, it's best to feel stable before tapering, as you don't want to start a marathon with a broken leg. Tapering can be tough...starting it when you are already fragile is harder still.

 

1 hour ago, Gabedd said:

I've been to my GP but I don't trust his suggestion for how quickly he wants me to taper.

 

When you are ready to taper, slow is the way to go: 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.

 

Keep this on hand to reflect on: Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

1 hour ago, Gabedd said:

I have considered swapping to the liquid version of Sertraline for a slow 10% taper for which I'm pretty sure you can get in Australia

 

I could be wrong, however I believe the only liquid AD available in AUS is Lexapro (Escitalopram).

 

Some info on tapering Sertraline is in the following link:

 

 

Some more general links:

Windows and waves pattern of stabilization

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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Thank you very much for the reply @Emonda

 

So I'm dealing with both sides and WD? You said I should wait until I'm relatively stable before I taper, but the side effects of being on Zoloft are just awful. Feel like I don't have much of a life at the moment, especially since I was doing pretty well a week ago.

 

Should I just wait until I feel better before tapering?

 

Questions are probably stupid and redundant, but I'm just really shaken up, I feel like the longer I'm on Zoloft the more intense the side effects get.

Mid December 2023 - Late December 2023. Prozac 50mg

 

19th February 2024 - Current. Zoloft 50mg

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Hello @Gabedd and welcome to SA. I'm new too :)

I'm really sorry for what you are experiencing but I'm sure you will find lot of information and support in this forum.

I'd like also to tell you something: It is good you found this forum and you are extremely lucky you realized very soon how bad for our healt ADs are. Look at me, I've spent the past 15 years on antidepressants and for sure it will be very hard for me to come off the drugs. I hope this is a positive message. I wish you good luck!

Male, born in 1985.

Began Sereupin (Paroxetine, Paxil) 20mg in 2009, quickly reduced and maintained at 10mg. Been on it on and off (mostly on it, 2 or maximum 3 years off) for the past 15 years.

Tapering path (using liquid suspension form named Dropaxin):
10/06/2024 - 9mg

08/07/2024 - 8mg

Other supplements:

Myo-Inositol powder form, 10/15gr per day.

Introduction post: PSunshine85: Time to open up for life

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  • Administrator
18 hours ago, Gabedd said:

Feel like I don't have much of a life at the moment, especially since I was doing pretty well a week ago.

 

These drugs are powerful, and they impact us all in various ways.

 

If you were doing well one week ago, perhaps you are in a wave?

 

18 hours ago, Gabedd said:

 

Should I just wait until I feel better before tapering?

 

It's your call. I just know that tapering has its challenges. I listen to my body and adjust accordingly. I wouldn't start/continue tapering if I was feeling off.

 

18 hours ago, Gabedd said:

Questions are probably stupid and redundant, but I'm just really shaken up

 

Not stupid at all! It's completely understandable to be shaken up. This is not a nice experience/process.

 

If you were having a severe adverse reaction, that might lead to a different approach, but it doesn't sound like that.

 

Sometimes, time and patience are your friends on this journey.

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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