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Djon: One 50 mg pill of Sertraline has ruined my life

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Was administered Sertraline due to a medium depression (in hindsight probably just because I'm overloaded with work and a newborn baby).

Took the first pill at night and 6 hours later I awoke with a shock and since then I haven't been able to fall asleep without help.

The first 12 days I had no sleep at all. I called my doctor, being more and more frustrated. At first she told me to get some over the counter anti-histamines that did nothing. After that I went to the ER in the weekend and they prescribed some melatonin. Did nothing either. The my doctor prescribed Zopiclone. At this point I hadn't slept in over a week, so I was so messed up that Zopiclone didn't work either. I was by this time a complete crying mess and again called the doctor. This time she gave me Prometazin and told me to take everything at the same time. So that night, I took 7.5 mg Zopiclone, 50 mg Prometazin and 2 mg melatonin. BAM. I slept for 14 hours that night and the following night.

After this I have experimented with how little I need to take. Currently I take 3,75 mg Zopiclone and 25 mg Prometazin and it works for sleeping. I'm tired and dizzy all day though. Sometimes I try not taking anything but I'm awake all night then and a complete depressed mess the day after.


So, currently I'm in week 5 after taking that one damn pill and am just waiting for the tinnitus and lack of sleep to go away so I can go back to just being my good old semi-depressed self. SSRI's are a major no-go for me now! I must somehow be extremely sensitive to it.


I take long walks and listen to specially made sleep sounds/music but nothing works. I simply cannot fall asleep by myself at all. No alcohol or caffeine.


Are the others out there who have had similar experiences with only taking Sertraline for a short time and reacting the same way as I do? It's rather depressing that it's now been more than four weeks without any improvement at all and I'm getting worried for how long I can get Zopiclone and when they will stop working or whether I will get addicted to them. 

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Oh and my doc wants to switch me to mirtazapine as that should help with sleep. I'm just convinced that my brain REALLY doesn't like to be messed with, since one pill could do so much harm, so I have refused it so far. But if sleeping doesn't improve, I really don't know what to do.

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Welcome to SA, djon.


Very sorry you're going through this. Thank you for joining us.


You had an adverse reaction to the sertraline.   As Brassmonkey, one of our moderators, has written, an adverse reaction is acute symptoms that hit immediately and hard. Some people’s chemical makeup just isn’t compatible with psych drugs and their body immediately tries to reject them, but in doing so throws itself into chaos.  All it takes is one dose.  As you said,  your brain really doesn't like to be messed with.  You will heal.  Unfortunately, we can't tell you how long it will take.


You need to be aware that zopiclone causes dependency and should be used only for short-term use, perhaps two weeks.  If you stop it should be tapered rather than cold-turkeyed.  Here is information about tapering zopiclone.

Tips for tapering off Z drugs for sleep (Ambien, Imovane, Sonata, Lunesta, Intermezzo, etc.) 


Many people do well with fish oil and magnesium supplements, seehttp://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/ 

Magnesium might help your sleep, too. Low magnesium is something that doesn't show up in blood tests.


Here are some non-drug techniques that could help with sleep.


ips to help sleep - so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia
Trick and tips to fall asleep faster
This link contains helpful information, including insomnia and also non-drug coping skills.  
Some members have found Melatonin helpful with insomnia.   
It's best to start at a very low dosage, such as .25mg, and gradually increase if needed to the lowest effective dose.  


This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.


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Damn... I am really sorry about your insomnia. I took Sertraline 0.25mg for a month and I also took olanzapine at the same time but for longer and when I quit both I couldn't sleep at all. For me situation is hardly improving (even after reinstating olanzapine) but I am sure you will get better since you only took one pill. 


Insomnia is really tough thing to deal with so you have sympathies from a guy who barely slept since early november.

Stay strong!

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Thanks for your replies. Insomnia really is the worst thing I have ever had to happen to me. True torture. I know Zopiclone use can bring me into a world of new problems, but right now it's the best drug ever invented as it stops my insomnia. I can only hope I can sleep on my own before Zopiclone does something bad to me.

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I used valerian and passiflora for insomnia

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