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katlouise: sertraline


katlouise

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Hi there,

 

I am looking for some advice regarding sertraline. After tapering off the drug the first time around I did not encounter any withdrawal symptoms. Then in September 2020 roughly 8 weeks later I experienced a big crash of anxiety and suffered a few panic attacks and my nerves were very sensitive. I then went back on at 25mg and eventually everything calmed down.

Second time around, on advice from a GP i was advised to skip doses to help me taper. I did that once and the next day was hit with massive flu-like withdrawals that lasted about a week and a half.  I then waited about a month and felt stable so began tapering. I tapered a bit slower the second time around and also experienced no withdrawal symptoms at all. 

Fast forward to September (this month) I was down to about 1.56mg and was doing OK and then i processed something in my counselling that was quite a big shock and caused a lot of feelings of fear and grief. I was really sad for a few days and then had a flashback (i have trauma). After the flashback I felt sick to the stomach and lost my appetite.

My symptoms at first were: nausea, no appetite, nerves felt like they were on fire, hot and cold flashes, shakes, trembling, insomnia. After a few days like this i updosed to 3.12mg. After 4 days at this with no improvement to sleep I panicked and upped the dose to 12.5mg.

I have been on this dose for 4 days now and my insomnia is improving (before I could not sleep for a single hour) and now i can manage about 2-3 hours a night. The nausea has also subsided and I am eating again. However on taking the drug I feel massively anxious for hours on end and feel extreme panic and still get hot and cold symptoms.

 

Any advice on next steps greatly appreciated. 

 

 

 

Edited by arbor

2017  - 50mg sertraline 
2020 - sertraline March 35mg April 30 mg 1st May 25mg 29th May 20mg 16th June 12.5mg 23rd June 6.25mg 6th July  0mg 

Sept 2020 - sertraline reinstated 25mg

Nov 2020 - sertraline 12.5mg 

March 2021 - 12mg 28th April 8.75mg 17th May 7.81mg 8th June 6.25mg 22 June 4.68mg 6th July 3.16mg 2nd August 1.56mg

September 2021 - sertraline 15th september 3.16 19th september 12.5 mg 24th sept- 7.1mg 

 

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  • Moderator

Hello @katlouise,

Welcome to SA.

Thank you for listing your signature.  I'm so sorry you've been through such a rough withdrawal.  I truly commiserate.  As you can read here, at least we're not alone.

6 hours ago, katlouise said:

on advice from a GP i was advised to skip doses to help me taper. I did that once and the next day was hit with massive flu-like withdrawals

Unfortunately, skipping doses is likely to have this effect when tapering.  Here are links that address this issue. 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

Considerations About Stability Stop Jumping Around

About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

NEVER SKIP DOSES TO TAPER 

 

This link explains some of the issues around tapers done too quickly:

Cold Turkey and Too Fast Tapers

 

7 hours ago, katlouise said:

on taking the drug I feel massively anxious for hours on end and feel extreme panic and still get hot and cold symptoms.

As you're having to find out, our nervous systems are highly disturbed during withdrawal from psycho-drugs.  I encourage you to take great care to avoid all stress that you can while your system heals.  Perhaps your therapist can work with you to simply calm your thoughts and relax your body.  I recommend holding off on trauma work until you feel well enough--which, because of the shocks of rapid tapering may be a while.  Especially the lack of sleep can take time to even out.  The good news though is that eventually, this and other symptoms will resolve and you will recover.  Being as patient as you can during this trying time is really valuable.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Tips to help sleep

 

These links deal with the tapering process:

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  (The general philosophy of gradual tapering)

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 3 that many of us find helpful are magnesium, omega-3, and melatonin. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 

Magnesium

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Melatonin

 

7 hours ago, katlouise said:

Any advice on next steps greatly appreciated

It's important to stabilize your nervous system right now.  I don't recommend increasing your dose or adding other drugs, but holding a couple more days before reassessing whether the current dose is too high.  At which point you could begin a micro-taper.  After you respond I will share your question with the other moderators who may have preferable suggestions.  I also encourage you to share these and other links with your GP and therapist so they can work with you. 

 

Again, I'm sorry about the pain and discomfort you're going through.   I find the success stories bolstering.  I hope you will too.  

Recovery Success Stories

 

This is your Introduction site where you can ask questions and connect with other members.

I'm glad you've found us. 

Arbor

 

 

 

 

 

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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Hi @arbor, thank you very much for this information.

 

I am finding my current dose of 12.5mg to feel very "activating" as in, some of my withdrawals feel like they are subsiding (i can actually sleep when push comes to shove now) but I am getting other symptoms such as the ramped up anxiety and hot/cold sensations all through the night. 

 

2017  - 50mg sertraline 
2020 - sertraline March 35mg April 30 mg 1st May 25mg 29th May 20mg 16th June 12.5mg 23rd June 6.25mg 6th July  0mg 

Sept 2020 - sertraline reinstated 25mg

Nov 2020 - sertraline 12.5mg 

March 2021 - 12mg 28th April 8.75mg 17th May 7.81mg 8th June 6.25mg 22 June 4.68mg 6th July 3.16mg 2nd August 1.56mg

September 2021 - sertraline 15th september 3.16 19th september 12.5 mg 24th sept- 7.1mg 

 

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  • Moderator

Thank you @katlouise--I'll share your symptoms  with the others.  Take care of yourself.  The sleep sound good, but the other sensations sound typical to the disturbances caused by both being on the drug as well as going off it.  I'll let wiser moderators help you as well.

Arbor💗

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Administrator

Hello, @katlouise

 

11 hours ago, katlouise said:

However on taking the drug I feel massively anxious for hours on end and feel extreme panic and still get hot and cold symptoms.

 

Please explain further. How do you feel before you take 12.5mg sertraline and how do you feel afterward? Are the symptoms worse at any particular times of day? What time o'clock do you take sertraline and when are the symptoms at their worst?

 

Are you taking any other drugs?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi @Altostrata, I feel a regular baseline of anxiety which is a lot more than i felt before this wave started. I was pretty stable anxiety wise before this wave hit me out of the blue.

 

I take the 12.5mg around 8'oclock in the evening, afterwards my anxiety soars and through the night I get more hot and cold sensations, worry, anxiety, fear etc which lasts overnight and through the next morning and dips and settles more into the afternoon and early evening before I take the tablet again. These sensations often keep me awake. My insomnia has improved but the anxiety that seems to ramp up after taking the tablet keeps me awake most of the night. 

 

 

I am not taking any other drugs. 

2017  - 50mg sertraline 
2020 - sertraline March 35mg April 30 mg 1st May 25mg 29th May 20mg 16th June 12.5mg 23rd June 6.25mg 6th July  0mg 

Sept 2020 - sertraline reinstated 25mg

Nov 2020 - sertraline 12.5mg 

March 2021 - 12mg 28th April 8.75mg 17th May 7.81mg 8th June 6.25mg 22 June 4.68mg 6th July 3.16mg 2nd August 1.56mg

September 2021 - sertraline 15th september 3.16 19th september 12.5 mg 24th sept- 7.1mg 

 

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13 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Hello, @katlouise

 

 

Please explain further. How do you feel before you take 12.5mg sertraline and how do you feel afterward? Are the symptoms worse at any particular times of day? What time o'clock do you take sertraline and when are the symptoms at their worst?

 

Are you taking any other drugs?

Before taking: Anxiety, light pain in my forehead. 

Take tablet at 8pm: After taking: (approx an hour to two hours after taking) Very anxious, feel fear, worry, hot and cold sensations, don't feel tired sometimes at night but feel kind of wired even with barely any sleep, feel like I can't hear very well. 

Symptoms are worse after taking sertraline, I am not taking any other drugs. 

 

I wonder if I need to cut down the dose lower? 

 

 

2017  - 50mg sertraline 
2020 - sertraline March 35mg April 30 mg 1st May 25mg 29th May 20mg 16th June 12.5mg 23rd June 6.25mg 6th July  0mg 

Sept 2020 - sertraline reinstated 25mg

Nov 2020 - sertraline 12.5mg 

March 2021 - 12mg 28th April 8.75mg 17th May 7.81mg 8th June 6.25mg 22 June 4.68mg 6th July 3.16mg 2nd August 1.56mg

September 2021 - sertraline 15th september 3.16 19th september 12.5 mg 24th sept- 7.1mg 

 

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  • Administrator

It sounds like 12.5mg is too much for you, and you probably should take sertaline in the morning rather than the evening.

 

If I were you, I'd reduce immediately to 7.5mg, continue to take in the evening until your symptoms settle out.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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@Altostrata

 

Thank you,  I will take 7.5mg tonight and see how I get on. 

2017  - 50mg sertraline 
2020 - sertraline March 35mg April 30 mg 1st May 25mg 29th May 20mg 16th June 12.5mg 23rd June 6.25mg 6th July  0mg 

Sept 2020 - sertraline reinstated 25mg

Nov 2020 - sertraline 12.5mg 

March 2021 - 12mg 28th April 8.75mg 17th May 7.81mg 8th June 6.25mg 22 June 4.68mg 6th July 3.16mg 2nd August 1.56mg

September 2021 - sertraline 15th september 3.16 19th september 12.5 mg 24th sept- 7.1mg 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, i have been taking 7. 1 mg since the 24th September and have seen improvements. Insomnia gone, nausea gone, appetite back, anxiety calmed down (but still there more than from before my crash in September). I even went through about a week and a half of having a massive appetite where I was eating far too much. This eased off as of late. However, I continue to have a very stressful situation dealing with family (i have trauma from my family) and I go to regular counselling for support and she is great.

 

In the last session I got really upset about my family situation and then had 2 panic attacks. They were quite intense. I never got panic attacks before taking ADs. (One of the first ones I ever had was when I came off them the first time, and also when I went on them originally) I calmed down quickly and was OK, bit tired and sad on coming home. I had a nap and took some ibruprofen for the headache from the crying. 

 

Since coming home (its the next morning now) I am feeling that familiar skin burning sensation, a bit shaky, and a bit of nausea. I slept fine last night but have started waking up early and being flooded with anxiety in the mornings. Do you think this is just a window caused by stress? Any advice appreciated. 

 

 

2017  - 50mg sertraline 
2020 - sertraline March 35mg April 30 mg 1st May 25mg 29th May 20mg 16th June 12.5mg 23rd June 6.25mg 6th July  0mg 

Sept 2020 - sertraline reinstated 25mg

Nov 2020 - sertraline 12.5mg 

March 2021 - 12mg 28th April 8.75mg 17th May 7.81mg 8th June 6.25mg 22 June 4.68mg 6th July 3.16mg 2nd August 1.56mg

September 2021 - sertraline 15th september 3.16 19th september 12.5 mg 24th sept- 7.1mg 

 

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Since my crash and updose:

 

New symptom I have been getting is fatigue. Feeling very sluggish and tired through the day. 

 

I am feeling a weird chemical-like anxiety too. Before ADs I would feel a wave of anxiety in my stomach but I never felt this on ADs and I don't feel it now either: it's like the drugs just numb that sensation. But the anxiety I get now feels like my body is burning with heat and then I can feel freezing cold. 

 

I have also been getting depersonalisation since the updoses after my crash. This is pretty much an every day thing. I got DP bad when I first ever went on Sertraline but never got it whilst on the drug until my crash and updose. 

 

I also struggle to feel love and empathy but these are not new symptoms since the crash and updose. Just horrible symptoms of these drugs. :(

2017  - 50mg sertraline 
2020 - sertraline March 35mg April 30 mg 1st May 25mg 29th May 20mg 16th June 12.5mg 23rd June 6.25mg 6th July  0mg 

Sept 2020 - sertraline reinstated 25mg

Nov 2020 - sertraline 12.5mg 

March 2021 - 12mg 28th April 8.75mg 17th May 7.81mg 8th June 6.25mg 22 June 4.68mg 6th July 3.16mg 2nd August 1.56mg

September 2021 - sertraline 15th september 3.16 19th september 12.5 mg 24th sept- 7.1mg 

 

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I am feeling so lost today. 

The emotional blunting is horrific; I don't feel human. :(

2017  - 50mg sertraline 
2020 - sertraline March 35mg April 30 mg 1st May 25mg 29th May 20mg 16th June 12.5mg 23rd June 6.25mg 6th July  0mg 

Sept 2020 - sertraline reinstated 25mg

Nov 2020 - sertraline 12.5mg 

March 2021 - 12mg 28th April 8.75mg 17th May 7.81mg 8th June 6.25mg 22 June 4.68mg 6th July 3.16mg 2nd August 1.56mg

September 2021 - sertraline 15th september 3.16 19th september 12.5 mg 24th sept- 7.1mg 

 

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9 hours ago, katlouise said:

I am feeling so lost today. 

The emotional blunting is horrific; I don't feel human. :(

I am sorry u feel so bad, hang in there till u stabilize on ur current dose. I know first hand what a nasty poison sertraline is…… praying for relief for both of us

Aug. 16-17, 2020, cipralex: went CRAZY! Recovered in 24hrs

Aug.28,2020; 3.5 weeks 25mg sertraline/4.5 weeks taper

Oct. 25: Last dose (4mg)

Symptoms while on zoloft

DPDR/out of my body/soul despair/feeling dead; tinnitus/no appetite; fear, anxiety/panics

4 months OFF: soul despair, anxiety/fear, brain disconnection/ DPDR, brain feels swollen-numb/crazy/bedridden barely functioning, tinnitus, eye lid twitches; face spasms. Feeling slightly better after 10pm.

- sleep & appetite are fine

9 months OFF: hell, no windows, same symptoms as above  (only eye and face twitches have stopped) plus intense arm/shoulder pain and visual issues. Tinnitus replaced by head buzzing. 

10 months-1 year: all above plus Insomnia (out of nowhere), depression, no peace of mind (mental Akathisia); 2.5mg melatonin

14months off: sleep resumed. All rest symptoms remain. Bedridden vegetable all day. DP is relentless. 

1.5 years off: still severely disabled, not much changed except some improvement in vision.

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18 hours ago, JesusSavemefromWD said:

I am sorry u feel so bad, hang in there till u stabilize on ur current dose. I know first hand what a nasty poison sertraline is…… praying for relief for both of us

Thanks for your thoughts. 

 

I have been trying to keep busy today. I downloaded an audiobook fo listen to while I walk the dog for the woman I work with. My DP on walks is horrendous, and my anxiety and obsessions about who i am/not knowing who i am/the future are always so bad when i have time to think or when i am trying to relax. 

Relaxation is very hard with this DP i find. 

 

I keep obsessing about who I am now i am on a higher dose again, and what I was like before ever taking ADs, and how I will be one day when I am off them. I suppose this is really common. 

 

I hope you are doing good today @JesusSavemefromWD 

 

2017  - 50mg sertraline 
2020 - sertraline March 35mg April 30 mg 1st May 25mg 29th May 20mg 16th June 12.5mg 23rd June 6.25mg 6th July  0mg 

Sept 2020 - sertraline reinstated 25mg

Nov 2020 - sertraline 12.5mg 

March 2021 - 12mg 28th April 8.75mg 17th May 7.81mg 8th June 6.25mg 22 June 4.68mg 6th July 3.16mg 2nd August 1.56mg

September 2021 - sertraline 15th september 3.16 19th september 12.5 mg 24th sept- 7.1mg 

 

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3 minutes ago, katlouise said:

Thanks for your thoughts. 

 

I have been trying to keep busy today. I downloaded an audiobook fo listen to while I walk the dog for the woman I work with. My DP on walks is horrendous, and my anxiety and obsessions about who i am/not knowing who i am/the future are always so bad when i have time to think or when i am trying to relax. 

Relaxation is very hard with this DP i find. 

 

I keep obsessing about who I am now i am on a higher dose again, and what I was like before ever taking ADs, and how I will be one day when I am off them. I suppose this is really common. 

 

I hope you are doing good today @JesusSavemefromWD 

 

I havent had a good or decent day since I put the first Zoloft pill in my mouth and it only got worst after I quit. The DP is so bad for me that keeps me mostly bedridden/housebound. If I try to do smg the DP feels more intense and scares me worst so I run back in bed. Do u find ur DP got worst after u quit? Did reinstating help u at all?  I am sorry u are suffering, I hope time will help us both. 

Aug. 16-17, 2020, cipralex: went CRAZY! Recovered in 24hrs

Aug.28,2020; 3.5 weeks 25mg sertraline/4.5 weeks taper

Oct. 25: Last dose (4mg)

Symptoms while on zoloft

DPDR/out of my body/soul despair/feeling dead; tinnitus/no appetite; fear, anxiety/panics

4 months OFF: soul despair, anxiety/fear, brain disconnection/ DPDR, brain feels swollen-numb/crazy/bedridden barely functioning, tinnitus, eye lid twitches; face spasms. Feeling slightly better after 10pm.

- sleep & appetite are fine

9 months OFF: hell, no windows, same symptoms as above  (only eye and face twitches have stopped) plus intense arm/shoulder pain and visual issues. Tinnitus replaced by head buzzing. 

10 months-1 year: all above plus Insomnia (out of nowhere), depression, no peace of mind (mental Akathisia); 2.5mg melatonin

14months off: sleep resumed. All rest symptoms remain. Bedridden vegetable all day. DP is relentless. 

1.5 years off: still severely disabled, not much changed except some improvement in vision.

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6 minutes ago, JesusSavemefromWD said:

I havent had a good or decent day since I put the first Zoloft pill in my mouth and it only got worst after I quit. The DP is so bad for me that keeps me mostly bedridden/housebound. If I try to do smg the DP feels more intense and scares me worst so I run back in bed. Do u find ur DP got worst after u quit? Did reinstating help u at all?  I am sorry u are suffering, I hope time will help us both. 

I got DP when I first started them, then while I was on them I didn't. Then when I crashed at like 1mg of drug I think I got it a little bit but the main problems stopping me functioning were physical (crippling insomnia, sickness/nausea, nerves on fire). That acute withdrawal was bad so I barely remember half of the symptoms now.

 

Now I'm back on 7mg or so and getting DP. So I'm not even fully sure this DP is a withdrawal symptom for me or just from the updose. But I'm noticing it a lot more now. Maybe it's because those horrific physical symptoms have eased that I am more aware of the DP now. Will keep track of how it goes. I am keeping daily notes of all symptoms. 

 

It's confusing. 

 

I am so sorry your DP is so bad. You are in my thoughts. I hope time will help us both too x

2017  - 50mg sertraline 
2020 - sertraline March 35mg April 30 mg 1st May 25mg 29th May 20mg 16th June 12.5mg 23rd June 6.25mg 6th July  0mg 

Sept 2020 - sertraline reinstated 25mg

Nov 2020 - sertraline 12.5mg 

March 2021 - 12mg 28th April 8.75mg 17th May 7.81mg 8th June 6.25mg 22 June 4.68mg 6th July 3.16mg 2nd August 1.56mg

September 2021 - sertraline 15th september 3.16 19th september 12.5 mg 24th sept- 7.1mg 

 

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