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Zilzilzul: Coming off Zoloft.the misery continues after 4months of stopping.


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Hey this is my first post.i need help really bad.i took Paxil 40mg for a year for anxiety issues.cut it down to 20 mg fr another year.


switched to sertraline 200mg ,on my doc's advice.took it fr 5months.tappered it over three weeksn am off it fr 4 months.


when I stopped ,the hell began.i experienced a lot of physical symptoms typical of ssri withdrawl .n i was suicidal.cut my body .took several sleeping pill ..made two half hearted suicide attempts.


after a month however the physical symptoms disappeared.n mental/psychological symps appeared.extreme anger , crying spells.fears.i m not myself at all. I just shout at everyone.literally.there r days wen things r calmer but most ov the time I m in Pitts.


my social life n relationships are suffering badly really.n yes these symps r not the one fr which I took the meds.that waz uncontrollable anxiety.n I m over that.


Its withdrawl but fr how long will it last???ts been 4months.. The better n calmer days that come , give me hope that may b I m recovering but a day later there's another bout of extreme anger...n I m in row with one ov my family members.


i don experience physical dependence but my mind has probably not adjusted to withdrawl .wat do I do???tke fluxetine ..decided to do so ,but culdn find a 10 mg tablet ,only 20 mg capsules were available .which can't be halved..I just lingered on soo long hoping it will b over but may be I'll have to start again n tapper slowly.


how about taking Prozac 10 mg fr some days n stoping cold turkey.it'll do it's weaning itself.i just hope it works.i don want to go back on meds.


i have waited fr soo long,4months.should i try the

Prozac switch but m scared wat if I get to experience physical symps too after discontinuing.plz ur suggestion would be appreciated.i m suffeRing .i hate myself.i was an extremely polite person n now I've changed completely .at time I want to go out ,socialise n at other times I don even want to c ppl's face , let long talk to em.

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A few days back I went to c a doc who said that imight have a mood disorder.i didn't buy it.n didn't take the meds he gave.these mood swings r coz ov the withdrawl I believe.n yes I've noticed sometimes my moods wings follow a pattern .one day I m normal ,the next day I m extremely irritable n so on.any info regarding this ....?

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  • Administrator

Zilzilzul, thank you for joining us. I moved your introductory topic here to the Introductions section, where you can keep us updated on how you're doing.


It certainly sounds like you have withdrawal symptoms from too-fast tapering of Paxil and then sertraline. Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms usually come in waves.


The bad days followed by better days are typical. This is a sign your nervous system is struggling to get back to normal. Treat it gently. Even though you might be overcome with rage or fear, think "this will pass." Do what you can to calm yourself. When you get agitated and frightened about your condition, it makes the symptoms worse.


We suggest slow meditative breathing to help control symptoms. Read these topics: Psychotherapeutic techniques to cope with withdrawal


A very low dose of Prozac, say 5mg, may help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. You might stay on it for 3 months to let your nervous system stabilize, then slowly taper off it. You can make a solution of Prozac with water yourself -- this will enable you to take a portion of a 20mg capsule. See this topic http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/759-tips-for-tapering-off-prozac-fluoxetine


Doctors almost always diagnose withdrawal symptoms as relapse or emergence of a psychiatric disorder. You were right not to buy that!

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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Thanks soo very much .your reply has helped me .really.god bless u!!but my situation is a lot more complicated right now.i m getting married in 20 days time.i belong to a conservative background.nowadays coz ov the withdrawl, i hate to socialise n ppl r getting to know abtmy moodiness plus my family ESP my mom has suffered tremendously during these 4 months.i just want to put an end to my misery.if my mood doesn't get better I'll have lots ov problem with my in laws.n that will make my life very difficult.plus it's an arranged marriage ,although I m happy with it.but in the beginning ov relationship ,u can't expect ur partner to b soo understanding.atleast not in this part ov the world.n anti depressants r considered a taboo here.neways ...wat I want to know is :will taking 5mg Prozac make me feel normal again....coz right now I wan to feel like my old self even if it is at the cost ov goin back to Zoloft ..really. I know I m sounding impatient.i tried to bear it pateintly but this is it.i can"t give it more time.i don want it to interfere with my married life. right now i care about present not future...plus my own family has suffered.i feel so guilty that my illness gve them hard time too.i have misbehaved,snapped at them ,.yet they were so understanding but other ppl wont accept an attitude like this.soo which will help me recover faser:going back on 50mg /100mg Zoloft or 5mg Prozac.if 5mg Prozac can do the job.i'll go fr it.plus I've read that Zoloft is the safest ssri during pregnancy .in that context .if v plan pregnancy in a month or two should I consider taking 5mg Prozac or Zoloft.i had wanted to come off these med before my wedding but i didn know it will take this long n the withdrawl wud b more horrible than the original disease But now its emergency situation .to save my future life n my marriage i've to get over this irritability n rage n getting into arguements fr no reason.i was such a different n compromising person.neways if switching to prozac will help alleviate most ov my symps i'll go fr it.i'll be very very thankful fr any info,suggestion,help.

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May b I can think of tappering the drug ,some other time in my life when circumstances are more favourable! Although all this misery will go waste...

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Switching from Paxil to Zoloft was easy n prob free fr me.can I switch from Prozac to Zoloft in case I conceive.n wat is the equivalent dose of Zoloft fr Prozac 5mg.i guess.12.5mg.right???

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  • Administrator

Z, nobody can guarantee that anything you try will relieve your withdrawal symptoms.


You might try going back on a low dose of Zoloft instead of Prozac. Like Prozac, this may or may not work to relieve your symptoms. I suggested Prozac because it's easier to taper and I suspect part of your problem has to do with the Paxil you were taking before being switched to Zoloft. But that's just my guess, I don't know for sure and I'm not a doctor.


I am quite, quite sure that Zoloft is not any safer than Prozac for pregnancy, see http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antidepressants/DN00007


The potential risks of these antidepressants during pregnancy varies. Early studies suggested a risk of limb malformation with tricyclic antidepressants, but the risk hasn't been confirmed by more-recent studies. Some research associates use of citalopram, fluoxetine and sertraline with a rare but serious newborn lung problem (persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, or PPHN) when taken during the last half of pregnancy, as well as heart defects affecting the septum — the wall of tissue that separates the left side of the heart from the right side of the heart. Other rare birth defects have been suggested as a possible risk in some studies, but not others. Still, the overall risks remain extremely low.

Which is to say, they're all dangerous for pregnancy in similar ways. Probably not enough data has been gathered yet to determine if any is safe.


Furthermore, about Zoloft, see http://www.drugs.com/pregnancy/sertraline.html


A case of suspected neonatal withdrawal symptoms, secondary to maternal use of sertraline throughout pregnancy has been reported. The neonate developed symptoms of agitation, restlessness, poor feeding, constant crying, insomnia and an enhanced startle reaction. The results of a cohort study indicate that 30% of neonates who had prolonged exposure to SSRIs in utero experience symptoms, in a dose- response manner, of a neonatal abstinence syndrome (e.g., tremor, gastrointestinal or sleep disturbances, hypertonicity, high- pitched cry) after birth. The authors suggest that infants exposed to SSRIs should be closely monitored for a minimum of 48 hours after birth. The effect of sertraline on labor and delivery in humans is unknown.


Sertraline has been assigned to pregnancy category C by the FDA. Animal studies have failed to reveal evidence of teratogenicity, but have revealed decreased pup survival related to in utero sertraline exposure in doses up to 4 times the maximum human recommended dose. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Neonates exposed to sertraline late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. Complications can arise immediately upon delivery. Reported clinical findings have included respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, hypoglycemia, hypotonia, hypertonia, hyperreflexia, tremor, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying. These symptoms are consistent with either a direct toxic effect of SSRIs, a drug discontinuation syndrome, or possible serotonin syndrome. Infants exposed to SSRIs in late pregnancy may have an increased risk for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). This condition has been associated with substantial neonatal morbidity and mortality. It has not been determined if all SSRIs pose a similar level of PPHN risk. Sertraline is only recommended for use during pregnancy when benefit outweighs risk.

Newborn withdrawal syndrome is very, very common.


If I were you, I'd postpone pregnancy until you are off antidepressants altogether and feeling well. Pregnancy and new motherhood is stressful, too.


I'm sorry I can't tell you something that will solve your problem in 20 days. Perhaps you should consider postponing the wedding.

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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Thanks soo very much.i m just scared n panicking coz ov the circumstances.i'll try the Prozac switch.i m being impatient I know. But anyone in my place aid be.newayz thanks n I'll try the Prozac switch.i've nothing to loose.do it fr 3months.n then taper.

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I have been off celexa for nearly five months and am also miserable. Whatever you decide to do, there is a lot of info on here to help you and even if you cant stay off the drugs now, there is always another time. Many people do not realize how these drugs can bring us to our knees. Stopping them can be debilitating for some and just remember that you are not alone and that we are here to support you. Hopefully we all can heal together from these drugs.

Various SSRIs/SNRIs 7- 1/2 years

Went Cold Turkey from Celexa 2011, Stayed Off

Psych Drug Free and Loving Life (over 6 years and counting)


How I Stay Well: Diet, exercise, meditation, supplements, etc

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Zil, four months is a very short time for withdrawal. It is not surprising that you are still feeling so bad.


I understand your concerns. Your life is very full and very stressful right now. What you say, about going back on meds for now and then tapering later when things are less stressful, does make sense to me.


If you feel you need to stay on the Prozac for more than three months to get stable, please give yourself permission to do that. Then taper very slowly!!!


Do you have access to birth control? Can you postpone having a baby?


Because, of course, that changes everything.


If we are pregnant we have to make difficult choices and sometimes suffer through withdrawal in spite of everything. Any drug that alters the way the brain works is bad for a developing fetus who is growing its brain for the first time. And they all cross over in the mother's milk too.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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