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SonnyEvans: Trying to quit Zoloft / sertraline


SonnyEvans

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So I started taking Zoloft around 7 years ago after my GP prescribed them after I explained about having low mood, generally discontent with my life. In hindsight these things were not worth the plunge of ADs as I feel theyve made the situation worse overall. 
 

anyway so I took them for about 2-3 years. Its a little foggy on how long it really was as I only journal very sporadically sometimes daily for months sometimes once or twice every couple months. 
i began tapering down As my GP said it would be okay to reduce from 100mg to 50mg over a 2 week period which I did. At this point I didnt notice much of a difference, if anything I felt better after going down to 50mg. I took this to mean that id feel even better it I got off the med, so my GP said that I could just quit cold turkey at that point. His reasoning was because he knew of other patients taking 200mg doses anything less than 50mg isnt a ‘therapeutic dose’ so there shouldnt be a problem

with quitting since my dose was so low. 
 

fast forward 2 months and im starting a new job. Day before the job I get sick and dont think much of it. After 3 days of working it became apparent i was not sick but was having panic attacks and crazy anxiety I had never had prior. I lost the ability to sleep more than 2 hrs a night and woke up every morning puking/dry heaving. This led to me having to quit the job as I was embarrassed by all of this. I then asked my GP to put me with a psychiatrist and he had to put me

on a 12 month waiting list. After finally meeting with him he tried me on Effexor which made me want to hurt myself. I was on that for about 6 months, then we tried Lamactil but I couldnt handle the side effects so we eventually settled back on Sertraline. Now ive been on it again for a few years and cant really afford them anymore as my insurance ran out when I turned 27. I never wanted to be on them so I figured it was a good time to taper. I am down to 25mg a day and thought that was a low enough dose to quit on. But after about 3 weeks of not taking any sertraline im having a resurgence in anxiety. Going to start taking my dose again and work out how I can reduce the dosage. Its just hard as its powder in a capsule. I dont believe these meds helped me Much but not being on them/quitting them incorrectly has caused me alot of issues and has mostly put my life on hold while I deal with this. 
 

thanks if you took the time to read, it was alot. 

2015 began Sertaline(zoloft) 100mg

2018 after tapering to 50mg, quit cold turkey

then experienced first ever anxiety and panic attacks for the rest of 2018

2019 started effexor, was up to 150mg but felt crazy so quit cold turkey

2019 started back on sertraline 100mg

2021 tapered down to 50mg

2022 tapered to 25mg sertraline, tried quitting but started experiencing alot of anxiety and depression. 

Currently reinstating 25mg sertraline to hopefully get rid of all the withdrawal symptoms. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to REAL NAME? Trying to quit Zoloft / sertraline
  • Moderator

Dear S, 

welcome to SA. I am so sorry that you have had such a hard time with these drugs. You are in good hands now and we can help you taper with minimal disruption to your life. This will be a long process but you can do it. 

 

What is happening to you is common. These drugs are most potent at the lowest doses and and so it is natural  that you may not see withdrawal symptoms until you come down quite a lot on your dosage. The second link below shows you why that is the case. 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage? - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

We also find that people who have quit ADs once or more then become sensitive to their reintroduction or the reintroduction of other psychiatric drugs or substances including supplements such as St John's Wort, alcohol, pot, street drugs and even some vitamins. This is likely what happened to you with Effexor and other drugs. 

 

And below is  some information on what you can expect during withdrawal: 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

What is happening in your brain? - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Here are some of the success stories of our members. Note that most people who recover don't come back, so there are fewer success stories than introduction topics but that doesn't mean that people fail to come off of these drugs. 

Success stories: Recovery from psychiatric drug withdrawal - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Since you have stopped taking the drug for 3 weeks, we would recommend that you reinstate at a lower dose than 25mg as your body has made some adaptations in the meantime. I'd suggest that you try 15mg for a few days and see whether it takes care of the symptoms that you have. If you tolerate that dose but don't see enough improvement you can go up further after 3-4 days. 

 About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

This link will help you figure out how to get the right dosage now and especially when you start tapering eventually. It is very important to take your dose every day at the same time. Please don't taper by skipping days.

Tips for tapering Zoloft (sertraline) - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Also, please can you create a drug signature? It helps us help you faster as we can quickly glance at your history when your thread becomes many pages long. How to List Drug History in Signature - Introductions and updates - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Hope you start feeling better soon, 

OMW

Edited by Onmyway

I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. You can use the information provided in whatever way you want and all decisions on your treatment are yours. 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months, trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax - 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/27/19 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!), 10/8/21 - 0.9, 10/18/21 - 0.875, 12/31/21 - 0.85, 1/7/22 - 0.825, 1/14/22 - 0.8, 1/22/22 - 0.785

 

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to SonnyEvans: Trying to quit Zoloft / sertraline
  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

How would you describe feeling ‘stable’

 

Hey all, ive been on here for about 2 weeks. I reinstated 25mg sertraline after quitting for 2 months and began experiencing what I considered to be withdrawal symptoms (increase in anxiety, irritability, suicidal ideation). 


i believe I am doing better now as I am not having crippling anxiety but I have alot of self doubt and I am sleeping way too much. If i dont get 11-12 hrs of sleep I feel super tired but if I do sleep 12 hrs I feel groggy and like ive wasted the whole day. 

 

just wondering what you guys consider ‘stable’? Will it be when I can sleep 8 hours and feel okay? Or when the self doubt goes away? Its hard to tell where my personality starts and where the symptoms end. 


thanks. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added Intro topic title before merging with intro topic

2015 began Sertaline(zoloft) 100mg

2018 after tapering to 50mg, quit cold turkey

then experienced first ever anxiety and panic attacks for the rest of 2018

2019 started effexor, was up to 150mg but felt crazy so quit cold turkey

2019 started back on sertraline 100mg

2021 tapered down to 50mg

2022 tapered to 25mg sertraline, tried quitting but started experiencing alot of anxiety and depression. 

Currently reinstating 25mg sertraline to hopefully get rid of all the withdrawal symptoms. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

See:

 

Stability

 

WDnormal

 

And Brassmonkey talks more about it here:

 

tao-of-the-brassmonkey

 

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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Thanks Chessie. Theres alot of really great information here.
Putting into words alot of the processes that doctors dont talk about. Do they not know? Or is the research just too uncertain for them to share the findings? 

The approach of this site really suits me— I am naturally an overthinker so I love to absorb as much information about whats going on as possible. Explaining it in terms such as the nervous system needing to adapt makes so much more sense to me. Doctors sort of just beat around the bush and give the most basic explanations about how these meds work on our bodies. 
 

i really hope I can get back to feeling like a person— its been so long I dont really think its possible but reading the stuff here gives me hope. Thanks. 

2015 began Sertaline(zoloft) 100mg

2018 after tapering to 50mg, quit cold turkey

then experienced first ever anxiety and panic attacks for the rest of 2018

2019 started effexor, was up to 150mg but felt crazy so quit cold turkey

2019 started back on sertraline 100mg

2021 tapered down to 50mg

2022 tapered to 25mg sertraline, tried quitting but started experiencing alot of anxiety and depression. 

Currently reinstating 25mg sertraline to hopefully get rid of all the withdrawal symptoms. 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

One thing to understand is that we also need to learn non drug skills for coping with life in general.  It is normal for anybody, even people who have never been on a psychiatric drug, to have periods where their mood is lower, or when there are additional stressors in their life that they need to get through.

 

I have found that many of the skills I have learned whilst going through withdrawal and tapering are very useful now.

 

54 minutes ago, SonnyEvans said:

i really hope I can get back to feeling like a person— its been so long I dont really think its possible but reading the stuff here gives me hope.

 

Check out success-stories-recovery-from-psychiatric-drug-withdrawal

 

We have several members who had been on drug cocktails for many years and have managed to get off them and recover.  Even if you do not read through their topics, just have a look at the drug signatures for these 2 members:

 

GiaK

Shep

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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