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mistaman, is this a migraine, sinusitis or sertraline withdrawal


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hi, still suffering some 2 months off sertraline but is it withdrawal???


I had gone on sertraline for 3months due to suffering severe health anxiety 


initial dose of 50mg was quickly increased to 150mg which i found gave some side effects including headaches, pressure in head etc, i ended up coming down with the flu and had a stonking headache, as such i didnt dare take my sert dosage for fear of making the headache worse. after a week of being ill i got better and decided to take 50mg from then on due to not wanting to get the headaches back, i still had a bit of headache so decided to come off completely and stopped on jan 7th just gone, initially was fine just very tired and struggled with memory when trying complex conversation etc.

then at week 3-4 was very frustrated aggressive and short aswell as emotional

physical symtoms included head aches and brain zaps in middle of head.


anyway ive had a headache on right temple and forehead which i had got mildly from time to time but is now quite persistant at week 8 off sert, The headache is happening quite frequent sometimes 2-3 days on the trot, sensitive forehead when touched/rubbed near sinus and temple area fairly mild in nature but enough to annoy and worry me. been much less anxious than at week 3-4 of withdrawal tho and had thought i was clear of anything at week 6ish.


is this still sertraline withdrawal?, GP diagnosed Tension headache and said not in list of side effects from sert but anxiety/stress induced




i started some 5htp at weeks 5-6  35-40mg twice daily 10am and 6pm 


I only found out about tapering at week6 of my withdrawal but do i go back on an ssri now and slowly taper after getting thru week 3+4 where i felt like a vegetable?

4-6 weeks at 50mg                                                                     took sertraline(zoloft) for 3 months due to suffering health anxiety 

4-6 weeks dose 150mg                              

8 days at  0mg          Due to illness FLU- included stonking headache 

2weeks at 50mg    

stopped sertraline 7th Jan /15



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  • Administrator

Welcome, mistaman.


We have many people here who developed headaches as a withdrawal symptom. However, it sounds like yours started as an adverse reaction while you were taking Zoloft. 


Do you have any other symptoms now other than the headaches?


It's not a good idea to take serotonergics, such as triptans for headache, while taking an antidepressant. They can interact badly.


Has the 5-HTP reduced any of your symptoms? If not, it may be adding to them. It also requires tapering, you might be able to go off relatively quickly, at 25% every 4 days.


Are you taking any other drugs? Please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html and post the results in this topic.

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi, thankyou for the reply.

I had stopped the 5htp for two days(weekend just gone)as I thought it may be giving the headaches, this resulted in quite a few old symptoms, (chest pain rapid heartbeat anxious )resurfacing and a bad headache on day 3 so reinstated the 5htp on that day.


Im not taking anything else prescription wise, I do drink chammomile tea on an evening which has some benzo like effects, it certainly helps the anxiety and use lavendar oil sprinkled on hankerchief a few days a week or less But only since quitting sertraline.

4-6 weeks at 50mg                                                                     took sertraline(zoloft) for 3 months due to suffering health anxiety 

4-6 weeks dose 150mg                              

8 days at  0mg          Due to illness FLU- included stonking headache 

2weeks at 50mg    

stopped sertraline 7th Jan /15



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome mistaman,

I'm sorry to hear you've been having a lot of headaches since starting on sertraline.  Since you stopped taking the sertraline have the headaches got any better, or stayed the same.  Are you getting them every day now?


Its good that you've found some natural ways to help you relax.  Something else many people find helpful is magnesium.  See:   Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the advice, I am going to get some magnesium. The ache had subsided a bit since I went back on the 5htp at 50mg a day but I have reduced that slowly to about 12.5mg twice a day.i stopped the lavender oil b4 bed. Currently Still feeling sensitive forhead/temple which is setting off my health anxiety

4-6 weeks at 50mg                                                                     took sertraline(zoloft) for 3 months due to suffering health anxiety 

4-6 weeks dose 150mg                              

8 days at  0mg          Due to illness FLU- included stonking headache 

2weeks at 50mg    

stopped sertraline 7th Jan /15



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi  mistaman ,    I had that skin sensitivity too for a while.  Sometimes it felt like a touch of sunburn on my face.

It's part of the withdrawal package and I'm sure you don't need to be worried about it.   It will go away soon enough.


Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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