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Ollie911: How can I calculate a Zoloft taper?


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OK so I was prescribed Zoloft 15 years ago for work-related stress/anxiety and "panic attack" chest pain (and tightness in my chest; had a cardiac stress echo that showed my heart was 100% healthy). Also have hypertension and have been taking 50 mg beta blocker [atenolol] and 25 mg of a thiazide diuretic for about same length of time. Long story short, most recent physical revealed severe hyponatremia (fasting blood sodium level 125). BP that day was 118/70. Doctor insisted I stop the diuretic and redraw blood in 3 weeks. Did so, and four days before the redraw, BP was 168/99! So they doubled the beta blocker to 100 mg that made me feel "doped" and dropped resting heart-rate to 42! [from 57-62!]. BP only dropped to 134/92. I insisted it was the Zoloft, doctor urged me not to go off it; NON-fasting blood sodium four days later 124! Doctor wanted to hospitalize me; we had a falling out; I re-started the diuretic and after just 24 hours felt 100% turnaround in how I felt and 2 days later BP down to 122/84, so it's helping.


BOTTOM LINE: Zoloft and thiazide diuretics have shown to cause severe hyponatremia and while I have been asymptomatic with that diagnosis, it can't be good for me. My work environment is HUGELY improved over 15 years, I never feel anxious or "panicky" about anything, and I only feel "depressed" in winter due to "Seasonal Affective Disorder" and can now access artificial sunlight. I WANT OFF THE ZOLOFT!


How do I begin a taper? I take half a 50 mg tablet, or 25 mg each morning, and a full 50 mg tab at night. I'm 58, female, postmenopausal for at least 5 years, 5-feet 5-inches tall, weight 216 pounds; get at least 30 minutes moderate cardio exercise a minimum of three times a week and have been eating a healthier (lower "bad" carbs, high-protein, more fruits and greens) diet for some time now. And as I said, I have been on 75 mg Zoloft for 15 years. Does the 10% rule still apply? I am set up with a new doctor but I don't have the appointment for another 3 weeks. Should I start now, or discuss it with the new MD? (I pulled the attached from the drugbank website; can't believe my original doctor didn't KNOW this!)


Thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions!


Screenshot 2019-05-23 at 18.27.20.png

Edited by Ollie911
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Ollie911: How can I calculate a Zoloft taper?
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Hi Ollie and welcome to SA,


I'm really pleased that you have found SA before you started tapering.


2 hours ago, Ollie911 said:

I have been on 75 mg Zoloft for 15 years. Does the 10% rule still apply?


The 10% reduction is a harm reduction method.  Some people may be able to go faster, some need to go slower.  We don't know which category people fit into.  The important thing is to listen to you body and symptoms.  It is better to hold for longer than to reduce too soon.  If you become unwell or experience additional stressors, good or bad (eg travel/holiday, work/relationship or other issues etc), it is better to hold until things settle down.  Some members find that the lower their dose gets the slower they need to go.  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves


Please note that the 10% is calculated on the current dose, not the original dose.  See the graph in this post:



Before you begin tapering what you need to know

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms


Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)





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