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Flaytinhain: Been on Zoloft for about a month for the first time in my life, now about to quit (and my doctor told me to go cold turkey)


Flaytinhain

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I know everyone has a different experience and no one can tell me for sure, but what do you think, how likely am I to experience distracting withdrawal in my situation? I've been on Zoloft for 5 weeks now. The first two weeks I was taking 25mg a day and after that have been on 50mg a day. It's been a smooth ride for me. I had some pretty unbearable anxiety and tingling sensations during my first week, but the rest of it has been absolutely without side effects. I kind of have not felt any difference at all, but I think I may have been more calm than usually. It's just that I developed a rash on my legs over the last few days and my doctor said it looked like it could be a reaction to this drug, and told me to quit it cold turkey. She said I would have no need to lower the dose before quitting because my dose is so low already (and she thinks it's unsafe to keep taking it).

The thing is that I will start a new job on next Monday (and will be working for 3 weeks). I really care about that job and wouldn't want to ruin the experience for myself. It will also be in another town where I know absolutely no one, so I will be pretty alone if anything goes wrong. That's why I'm wondering, is a few weeks of 50mg likely to cause withdrawal? I just want to be able to mentally prepare in case there's weird sensations coming in. I was put on Zoloft for anxiety in the first place, so I am sensitive to anxiety and get easily frightened.

Funnily though, this morning I noticed my rash being way better than yesterday, even before skipping any doses. I can barely see it. But I still did as my doctor recommended and have not taken my dose today.

Taking an SSRI was just a test and it sounded my doctor thinks we're over this test now, rule it out as not anything super helpful for me and will move on to something else later this year. So I think it makes sense to quit sooner than later, even though I'm a bit bummed because I was feeling so good and healthy during this whole time. The original plan was to use it for a couple of months more.

2021

2nd of May Zoloft 25mg ->

16th of May Zoloft 50mg -> 9th of June (stopped)

No history with any other medication. Not using supplements.

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Flaytinhain.  Thank you for completing your drug signature.

 

You will have to decide what to do.  So that you can make an informed decision, a person is at risk of withdrawal symptoms after one month on an antidepressant, and you're at five weeks.  Some people are able to stop antidepressants cold turkey without significant problems, especially after a short period of usage,  and some are not and experience withdrawal symptoms varying in difficulty from mild to severe and in duration from brief to lengthy.  There's no really accurate data regarding percentages as to how many experience withdrawal.  I've seen numbers such as "from 20% to 80%" (you can see how meaningless this number is) to something around 50/50%.  

 

There's no way to know into which category you'll fall.  So the decision will have to be yours.  50mg is not a low dosage; it's the standard initial recommended dose.  

 

We recommend a harm reduction approach for anyone at risk of withdrawal.  This entails tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  This will necessarily mean you would be tapering for longer than you've been on the drug.  This is not uncommon on this site.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

The link is specifically about tapering Zoloft, including how to get the small nonstandard doses needed for a 10% taper.  If prescription liquid is available in Finland, this is a convenient and accurate way to taper.  If you taper with a prescription liquid, you'll need to do a crossover from tablet to liquid, and we can give you information about this if needed.  Other methods of tapering are also described in the link.

 

Tips for tapering off sertraline (Zoloft)

 

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. Get supplements that are single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can complete your drug signature, 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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of June 15: 10.5mgai.  Taper is  44% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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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Thank you for replying! And thanks for explaining everything I need to know in such a clear way. This seems like a great site indeed. I was very confused when starting this medication in the first place, because I felt like my doctor did not give me any proper information about what taking it really means. It was scary to just leave with the steps to how to start taking it but with no mention of what would it really do to me, how long would I have to take it, how to quit it etc. I wish I had found this forum to give me some facts right away.

 

I read about the 10% thing while waiting for my post to be approved and it makes sense to me. I understand it would be the most sensible thing to do. I think I am going to take the risk and not taper at all, however. I'm now on my day two of no dose and haven't felt anything change. I'm just pretty tired. The rash is completely gone, no matter if it was a drug rash or just something else. Since sertraline has a pretty short half life, I would imagine I should notice symptoms pretty soon after stopping if I was going to get them? 

I'll update what happens to me. :d We'll see if I'm going to regret this. 

 

If it's not off topic for this forum, I wonder what's your take on the safety of ADHD drugs? Or where to find information on it? My doctor diagnosed me with that, but also wondered if my issues functioning could be caused by nervousness and some type of OCD. That's why she wanted to see how I react to antidepressants first. And since it seemed like they did not make me any less "stuck" despite possibly making me calmer, she says that we could consider ADHD medication next. But once again I would want to know what I would be getting into. I do not think any medication is necessary for me, but I am very frustrated in my current situation and receiving any kind of help feels tempting. I would not like to use any drugs super long term but if they could help me pinpoint where my issues lie, that would be great.

2021

2nd of May Zoloft 25mg ->

16th of May Zoloft 50mg -> 9th of June (stopped)

No history with any other medication. Not using supplements.

Link to post
  • Moderator

@Flaytinhain

 

ADHD drugs, such as Adderall, are extremely addictive and are not something you can dip into and out of.  Here's a link about Addrerall.  We would strongly recommend against it.  Again, like any of these psychiatric drugs, ADHD drugs are not something you can experiment with and "see how it goes."  Doctors know nothing about withdrawal or safe tapering.  If they did we could close up this site.  They are very good at putting people on these drugs and haven't any idea how to get them off them.  

Tips for tapering off Adderall - Tapering - Surviving ...

You can also Google SurvivingAntidepressants.org ADHD to read more.  Here's one link:

The Man Who "Discovered" ADHD calls it "fictitious" - Events, actions ...

The book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker is recommended reading on this site.  There's a large section on "ADHD."  He found that, across the board in all classes of diagnosed "mental illnesses," including ADHD, people long-term did much better off the drugs than on them.

 

 

Here's a video book trailer by the author, Robert Whitaker:

 

 

 

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of June 15: 10.5mgai.  Taper is  44% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post

Okay, thank you very much. Adderall itself is actually illegal in Finland, which sounds to be a good thing based on this, but I suppose other meds are similar. I had heard a personal experience where somebody learned new habits while on ADHD drugs, then was able to quit and hold on to that more convenient way of doing things while sober later on. That's what made me hopeful, but yes, I'll be cautious. I also have always agreed that it makes more sense to let the brain deal with things in it's own way.

 

Wow, it's kinda crazy that this book you linked appears to mention the Open Dialogue approach. I actually live in Tornio, Western Lapland, the very city this method was developed in and they indeed practice it in here. Because I'm not psychotic or in any other acute crisis, I haven't got to see the full method in practice, but I'm happy to be treated in a place that holds a good reputation like this. I'm hoping I will be offered some less medication focused support later on, since that is told to be their speciality.

 

Edit: I just want to add that I do like it in here. I had a very positive experience with mental health care in my previous town, but one difference in here is that they have this 24/7 open phone line you can call and talk with a nurse. Anytime, about any issue, and no matter are you their patient or not. They will address your topic right away, answer questions and direct your forward if needed. That's definitely nice. Like when I had my bad anxiety attacks during my first week of Zoloft and pretty much thought I was going to die, it was great to be able to call them in middle of the night and talk about it. There's also never only one person treating one patient, but a full team of multiple people, and preferably the patient is never alone with one person only (nor does the staff change). And all opinions and ideas are discussed in front of the patient.

2021

2nd of May Zoloft 25mg ->

16th of May Zoloft 50mg -> 9th of June (stopped)

No history with any other medication. Not using supplements.

Link to post

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