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MadRiver7: Zoloft Withdrawal


madriver7

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Hello everyone. I have been on Sertraline for over 7 years now, pretty much the whole time at 200mg. In 2015 I tried to come off of it and my Dr had me reduce by 50mg a week. I was hit with pretty severe withdrawals and I honestly do not even remember much from summer 2015 to about 2016. Now I am again trying to come off of 200mg Sertraline.

 

In October 2020 I went down to 175mg for 2 weeks and then went down to 150mg after that. I stayed on 150 until January as I was worried about the withdrawals from last time. I had a fairly bad panic attack right around the start of the new year which triggered some weird symptoms in my head. I went down to 125mg for about a week starting January 14th.  The feeling in my head got much worse and I couldn't sleep so I went back up to 150 mg on around the 17th of January and I have been there since.

 

My main symptoms are a feeling of pressure in my head around the top. Usually there is no pain, just a deeply uncomfortable feeling. It is accompanied by a good amount of anxiety because of it. I have noticed in the past week or so that When I move my head I feel a sort of cracking or popping feeling. I think it  is probably because I am so tense in my upper body. I am starting to get worried that this will soon begin to affect my work as I am having difficulty focusing because of it. I have been exercising consistently since this summer and I have found in the past 2 weeks it has not really brought me much relief from the symptoms as it did before. I think I might try and take it easier and just focus on yoga.

 

Symptoms

  • Head pressure/weird feeling
  • Aches in arms and upper body
  • Increased anxiety, mainly due to the symptoms

 

Thanks for reading, it felt nice to type it out honestly.

2013-Present Sertraline 200mg

2019-Present Wellbutrin 100mg

 

Sertraline Taper

End of October 2020- 175mg 2 weeks - Mid November 2020 to mid January 2021 150mg - Few days in January (13-17ish) 125mg

Currently on 150mg trying to stabilize.

 

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  • Administrator

Hi, Madriver.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

Quote

 

2013-Present Sertraline 200mg

2019-Present Wellbutrin 100mg

 

 

I notice from your signature you have Wellbutrin listed as a "present" drug. Since you didn't mention it in your post, I just want to double check if you're still taking it, as there is a major drug interaction between these drugs (see this report - Drug interaction report).

 

Head pressure is a very common withdrawal symptom. Please see:

 

Migraine, headache, neck ache / pain and head pressure

 

Some people experience headaches and for others, it's an overwhelming sense of pressure. I hope knowing it's a common withdrawal symptoms helps with the anxiety.

 

On 2/3/2021 at 12:53 PM, madriver7 said:

I think I might try and take it easier and just focus on yoga.

 

This is an excellent idea. You may enjoy the Beyond Meds site. It's written by a psychiatric drug survivor and has a lot of holistic information:

 

Beyond Meds - Yoga archives

 

Here is some information on tapering sertraline:

 

Tips for tapering off sertraline (Zoloft)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

You may want to hold at 150 mg fo quite awhile to see if you can stabilize. 

 

Please let us know if you are also taking Wellbutrin. As we gather more information, we can help you set up a game plan for your taper. 

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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3 hours ago, Shep said:

I notice from your signature you have Wellbutrin listed as a "present" drug. Since you didn't mention it in your post, I just want to double check if you're still taking it, as there is a major drug interaction between these drugs (see this report - Drug interaction report).

Hi. Thanks for the response. I am still currently on the 100mg of Wellbutrin. I was worried about what the effects might be of staying on the Wellbutrin but tapering both at once also seemed daunting.

2013-Present Sertraline 200mg

2019-Present Wellbutrin 100mg

 

Sertraline Taper

End of October 2020- 175mg 2 weeks - Mid November 2020 to mid January 2021 150mg - Few days in January (13-17ish) 125mg

Currently on 150mg trying to stabilize.

 

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  • Administrator
On 2/6/2021 at 10:47 AM, madriver7 said:

Hi. Thanks for the response. I am still currently on the 100mg of Wellbutrin. I was worried about what the effects might be of staying on the Wellbutrin but tapering both at once also seemed daunting.

 

What time(s) of the day are you taking your drugs? Please list the time(s) of the day, the drug name, and the dose.

 

Are you taking any other drugs or any supplements? If so, please also list them. 

 

The reason I'm asking is because (1) there may be a way of separating the drugs out to reduce the risk of that adverse drug interaction and (2) to see if one of the antidepressants is more activating than the other one.  Since some people find Wellbutrin to be more activating than most antidepressants, you may want to come off that drug before the sertraline in order to preserve sleep. 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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50 minutes ago, Shep said:

What time(s) of the day are you taking your drugs? Please list the time(s) of the day, the drug name, and the dose.

 

Are you taking any other drugs or any supplements? If so, please also list them.

I take sertraline 150mg and Bupropion 100mg every morning around 8-9am.  I also take Claritin every morning for allergies as well as Dymista when needed.

 

I also started taking 1000mg of fish oil after lunch and that has been 3 days so far.

2013-Present Sertraline 200mg

2019-Present Wellbutrin 100mg

 

Sertraline Taper

End of October 2020- 175mg 2 weeks - Mid November 2020 to mid January 2021 150mg - Few days in January (13-17ish) 125mg

Currently on 150mg trying to stabilize.

 

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  • Administrator
2 hours ago, madriver7 said:

I take sertraline 150mg and Bupropion 100mg every morning around 8-9am. 

 

Why did you start taking Wellbutrin in 2019 when you were already on a high dose of Sertraline? Also, can you tell which drug is more energizing? 

 

The reason I'm asking is because you'll want to taper the drug that is the most energizing first in order to preserve sleep. 

 

How is your sleep? 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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16 hours ago, Shep said:

Why did you start taking Wellbutrin in 2019 when you were already on a high dose of Sertraline? Also, can you tell which drug is more energizing? 

I started taking it because I noted my mood and emotions always felt flat, like never really felt anything. So I guess the solution was the Wellbutrin. I can't tell which is more energizing as I always take them at the same time of the day. I can try breaking them up and see what I notice.

 

My sleep is generally ok. I usually sleep through the night. I often do not wake up feeling well rested though and since this recent wave of withdrawal has started I often feel that weird feeling in my head when I wake up and almost a feeling of something like adrenaline.

 

Thanks for listening

2013-Present Sertraline 200mg

2019-Present Wellbutrin 100mg

 

Sertraline Taper

End of October 2020- 175mg 2 weeks - Mid November 2020 to mid January 2021 150mg - Few days in January (13-17ish) 125mg

Currently on 150mg trying to stabilize.

 

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  • Administrator
23 hours ago, madriver7 said:

My sleep is generally ok. I usually sleep through the night. I often do not wake up feeling well rested though and since this recent wave of withdrawal has started I often feel that weird feeling in my head when I wake up and almost a feeling of something like adrenaline.

 

This is excellent, Madriver. To be able to sleep through the night is a blessing. Some of the bad morning feelings are likely cortisol related. If you haven't already read this thread, please check it out:

 

Early-morning waking - managing the morning cortisol spike

 

You may want to sleep with a sleep mask in order to prevent early morning light from causing problems such as triggering cortisol. Also, getting up and eating first thing - high protein, low sugar - can help with any morning low blood sugar caused by not eating since the previous day. Just a couple of tips to get you up and going in the morning feeling better. 

 

23 hours ago, madriver7 said:

I can't tell which is more energizing as I always take them at the same time of the day. I can try breaking them up and see what I notice.

 

Yes, please move one of them one hour today and another hour tomorrow  for a total of 2 hours apart. We recommend only moving a drug one hour a day as a gentler way to move drugs so your nervous system can slowly adapt to the change. 

 

Moving them will solve two problems: (1) you may be able to tell if one is more stimulating than the other and (2) you'll be less likely to experience the adverse drug interaction by having them separated by at least 2 hours.  You'll want to keep them separated by at least two hours because of the drug interaction. 

 

Please let us know how you do as you make this change. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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6 hours ago, Shep said:

Please let us know how you do as you make this change

Thanks so much for your help. My head has been feeling a bit better for the past few days. I will probably stay on 150 for a few more weeks until I try to go down slower again.

2013-Present Sertraline 200mg

2019-Present Wellbutrin 100mg

 

Sertraline Taper

End of October 2020- 175mg 2 weeks - Mid November 2020 to mid January 2021 150mg - Few days in January (13-17ish) 125mg

Currently on 150mg trying to stabilize.

 

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A quick update. This morning I woke up feeling a weird rushing sort of cold or warm feeling in the top of my head. I took the zoloft at around 10am. Took the Welbutrin at around 11 and I have had a bad headache since. Like a stabbing pain on top of my head and occasionally behind my left eye.  Its pretty miserable lol

2013-Present Sertraline 200mg

2019-Present Wellbutrin 100mg

 

Sertraline Taper

End of October 2020- 175mg 2 weeks - Mid November 2020 to mid January 2021 150mg - Few days in January (13-17ish) 125mg

Currently on 150mg trying to stabilize.

 

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  • Administrator

Madriver, how are you doing now? Do you still experience headaches or has that resolved? Can you tell which drug is more stimulating or causes more symptoms? 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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10 hours ago, Shep said:

Madriver, how are you doing now? Do you still experience headaches or has that resolved? Can you tell which drug is more stimulating or causes more symptoms? 

I have been doing a bit better for sure. My headaches have stopped since the last post. I still experience the head pressure and other strange feelings but it is much less frequent. I think the Wellbutrin is causing more symptoms. I did a week of taking it two hours later and I could definitely notice it was making things a bit worse. Will probably start tapering that in a week if I still feel solid. Thanks for checking in!

2013-Present Sertraline 200mg

2019-Present Wellbutrin 100mg

 

Sertraline Taper

End of October 2020- 175mg 2 weeks - Mid November 2020 to mid January 2021 150mg - Few days in January (13-17ish) 125mg

Currently on 150mg trying to stabilize.

 

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  • Administrator

Glad you're doing better. 

 

Tapering the Wellbutrin first makes sense. Here is some information:


Tips for tapering off buproprion (Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL)

 


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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  • Mentor

Hi @madriver7. Just to let you know that I got what I described as head pressure/tension headaches when on Zoloft. It's one of the reasons (along with tinnitus and feeling emotionally numb) that I came off it. Since coming off I continue to get head pressure, stabbing headaches and popping and the location of the sensations has gradually moved around from the top to the front to the side of my head. My doctor said it was caused by anxiety and he's wrong. Just to let you know your symptoms are not unique and I believe reflect changes/healing/correction in the brain.

50 mg Sertraline Nov 2016 to Dec 2016

100 mg Sertraline Jan - March 2017

50 mg Sertraline April - June 2017

25 mg Sertraline July 2017 - Sept 2018

12.5 mg Sertraline Oct 2018

0 mg Nov 1 2018

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Thank you @DaBro it is comforting to hear that. I have been telling myself that it is just my brain hearing but it is definitely difficult. I hope you are able to continue recovering.

2013-Present Sertraline 200mg

2019-Present Wellbutrin 100mg

 

Sertraline Taper

End of October 2020- 175mg 2 weeks - Mid November 2020 to mid January 2021 150mg - Few days in January (13-17ish) 125mg

Currently on 150mg trying to stabilize.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bad day for my head. Feeling that weird pressure or burning sensation on the top left of my head for most of the day. Anxiety feels higher than it has in a while too. I started a 10% cut of the 100mg of Wellbutrin on 2/20. Have been feeling ok generally until today. Really sick of this and it's just the beginning!

2013-Present Sertraline 200mg

2019-Present Wellbutrin 100mg

 

Sertraline Taper

End of October 2020- 175mg 2 weeks - Mid November 2020 to mid January 2021 150mg - Few days in January (13-17ish) 125mg

Currently on 150mg trying to stabilize.

 

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  • Administrator

@madriver7You may want to go with the Brassmonkey Slide. You can still do 10% a month, but by doing it weekly at 2.5%, it's less abrupt. Please see:

 

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Zoloft withdrawal had a delayed reaction and was hard to figure out when the wave would hit  after a taper. I would try to understand this first as you adjust your medication.

Your symptoms will increase or possibly change to a new symptom or a new variety of symptoms. For me it was usually about two weeks after the cut.everyone is different always remember that.you have to know and trust yourself with each reduction 

March-2017-Dec-2017 ativanCT /reinstated ativan 1mg tapered 2 months/June 2017-April 2018 zyprexa 10mg switched to seroquel 200-300mg in april 2018/dec-2017-present zoloft 100mg/ quit seroquel 200-300mg cold turkey May 6 2018 reinstated seroquel 100mg around May 25 2018 since then tapered to 50mg zoloft and 50 mg of seroquel presently other medications Testosterone cypionate 2oomg every 4 days

UPDATE -August 20 2018--october 20 2018 tapered off Testosterone/Nov 7 2018 --Dec 20 2018 Lamictal micro dose 2.50mg 1 1/2 weeks then reduced to 1.25 then fast tapered as it became paridoxial.nausea- racing thoughts- agitation and insomnia.

August 28 2018 to Present Cannabis indica micro dose PM bedtime only.

Presently Seroquel 37.5 mg bedtime /Zoloft 47mg morning

May 2018-Present Multivitamin/ Bcomplex/Vit C 1000MG/B12 1000MCG/Fish oils 2grams/

Jan 2019-Trace mineral liquid low dose

Update dec 2019 -29mg of zoloft tapering/Seroquel 37.5 holding/1 or 2  ativan 1mg a month as needed if that.

Black seed oil-caprylic acid-/b complex/b12/multi/D/E/melatonin

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