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ephemeral24: tapering off 100 mg Zoloft after 3 years


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Hello all, 

I'm currently on month 2 of my tapering off of Zoloft 100 mg. I've been on this dose for about three years now and knew it was time to make a change and regain control of my life. It's crazy how these kinds of drugs can trick you into believing everything is fine when really they just numb you. I've decreased my dose 10% every two weeks starting in August of 2020 (based on my original dose), so currently I am taking 60 mg daily. I'm now realizing I should have been tapering based on the hyperbolic model (decreasing 10% based on the previous dose), and I'm extremely grateful (and lucky) that I've had no withdrawal symptoms yet considering how fast I've been going. This last week, however, I've had really bad dizziness every day and it's like my vision, thinking, and concentration have all been fuzzy. My computer screen is shaking as I'm writing this. I believe this is my first withdrawal symptom, and I'm taking it as a sign that I need to slow down my tapering. 


I need to add that in January of 2020, I became very ill with persistent symptoms of a sore throat, chronic fatigue, and headaches. I got the antibody test for COVID in June and it was negative, so I really don't think that was the cause. But I am still battling this illness today after 10 months now, and all the doctors I've seen can't seem to figure out what it is. They've suspected a mold or heavy metal toxicity, chronic EBV, Lyme disease, candida overgrowth, parasites, or some combination of these. I've seen improvement in my symptoms during the last couple of months, but I know I still have a long way to go in my healing from this illness. The fact that I'm still battling this sickness is important because some of the symptoms I've had from it (fatigue, headaches, dizziness) overlap with the well-known withdrawal symptoms from SSRIs. Because of this, it may have been foolish of me to begin this tapering process while I was still fighting my chronic illness. But I couldn't wait anymore, it was time. 


In terms of lifestyle, I think I am doing everything right (I've had to adopt an extremely healthy lifestyle to give myself a fighting chance against this mysterious chronic illness). For example, now that I have enough energy, I'm doing light exercise (yoga, walks, stretching) five days a week. I completely eliminated alcohol, caffeine, and all sugars from my diet. I've basically been on a paleo diet for 6 months now. I also get plenty of sleep, water, and meditation. 


Here is a list of the current vitamins I am taking (I've been taking these to fight my chronic illness):

      Vitamin C (high dose)

      Vitamin B complex with riboflavin

      Omega 3 fish oil

      Vitamin D (high dose)



      Charcoal and other binders 


Since I've began experiencing some uncomfortable dizziness, should I slow down in my tapering process? Should I wait until the dizziness completely goes away before I lower my dose again? I read a book on how to safely discontinue psychiatric medications and it gave a general rule that for every year you've been on the drug, you should spend at least one month tapering off of it. I think this is a safer approach than what most doctors recommend, but everything I've read on this website says you should go much, much slower. Even if this tapering process takes a very long time, my only hope is to avoid awful iatrogenic effects. Thank you and good luck to everyone fighting this battle!

Edited by Gridley

Zoloft (Sertraline) 100 mg- began July of 2017

    Taper: August 15 2020 90 mg, August 29 2020 80 mg, September 12 2020 70 mg, September 26 2020 60 mg 


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  • ChessieCat changed the title to ephemeral24: tapering off 100 mg Zoloft after 3 years
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, ephemeral24.


To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


As you know, you're tapering much faster than we recommend, which is no faster than 10% of current dose every four weeks. 


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Keeping in mind that it is not uncommon for withdrawal symptoms to be delayed, I would hold for at least a month until the dizziness, vision issues and concentration issues (and and other symptoms that may--we hope not-- crop up in the meantime) resolve themselves.  At that point, you could begin a 10%/4 week/current dose taper.  Using this taper model, you will reduce by half of your current dose every six months.  


Another taper model that we recommend is the Brassmonkey slide taper, which consists of four weekly 2 1/2% tapers of current dose followed by a 2-week hold.  With the approach, you will reduce by half your current dose every nine months.  It's a bit gentler than the 10% taper.   I've used this method for my Lexapro taper.


The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering


The one month taper time for every year on the drug is much faster than we'd recommend.  I've been on Lexapro for 16 years, and I can say that a 16 month taper for me would have been disastrous.


How are you calculating your taper?  This link is specifically about tapering Zoloft, including how to get the nonstandard doses needed for a taper, including weighing with a scale.  Zoloft comes in a liquid, and you may want to consider this method.


Tips for tapering off sertraline (Zoloft)


I know you're working to deal with other health issues with several supplements, but I wanted to comment on some of them.  Taking activated charcoal with medications can decrease how much medicine your body absorbs, which could reduce your Zoloft dosage; antidepressants are listed among the drugs most affected by activated charcoal.  B vitamins can be overstimulating in withdrawal, as can high dose vitamin D.  I took phosphatidylcholine early in my taper to deal with cortisol mornings and remember reading (sorry, I can't find the source) that it shouldn't be taken for longer than (I think) six months.  Of course, it's up to you what supplements to take, but I wanted you to be aware of these issues.


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







Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium  

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Hi Ephemeral,

I too am coming off of 3 years on various SSRIs but mostly Zoloft. Is there any chance that Zoloft is causing some of your chronic illness symptoms? It made me extremely tired which is why I ultimately decided to go off of it. Something else I want to mention is that last year was I was extremely stressed, and it caused me to be constantly sick. I had sore throats and a fever. Reminded me of your situation. 

Since I have come off Zoloft, I have been nauseous and have had trouble regulating my temperature often having either chills or hot flashes. It has gotten better through the course of my withdrawal which has now been around four months, but they are still quite pervasive. So it sounds like to me you may already be experiencing withdrawl symptoms, so start tapering slower so that your body can adjust to the new lower dose that you are at. Good luck and some thing I have to keep reminding myself which may help you as well, is that we are all in this together!

2017- Zoloft 150 mg

Spring 2018- Paxil 20mg

Fall 2018-  Tandospirone 60mg

Fall 2019 - Zoloft 150mg 

February 2020- Came off Zoloft 150mg in 3.5 weeks

April 2020- Back on Zoloft 10mg for 1 month

May 2020- On Paxil 5mg to help with withdrawals for 20 days

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  • Moderator

Hi kajayjay,

We'd like you to start an Introduction Topic of your own too.

Just go here:  Introductions

Press the green Start New Topic button at the top right.

And then write a bit about your own story.


Thank you.

L, P, H, and G,

moderator manymoretodays

Edited by manymoretodays

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now, and.... 2023 April- I will try again soon for another good break.


Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing


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