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Thread: Zoloft withdrawal

  1. #1

    Default Zoloft withdrawal

    After being on various dosages of Zoloft for about 9 years (yes, I said "years"), I decided to carefully wean myself from this med. Some background: my trusted doctor prescribed a "beginning" regimen, settling at 50 mg. I felt no better. A jump to 100 mg was the proverbial night to day switch, and I stayed with this level for 5 years. My doctor moved on and other MDs suggested inching the dosage upward; at 250 mg per day I was essentially useless - and depressed. Research frightened me away from suggested augmentation Rxs; though one internist suggested I might need to stay on this med "forever", I found increased doses less and less effective and decided on a fourth try at stopping Zoloft. After stepping down dosages for 12 weeks, I was done with it, and feeling OK. Jittery and somewhat weepy, but OK and feeling positive about coping mechanisms that weren't drugs. But at 7 days post-med, I'm crippled with furious nausea, unable to keep even water in my stomach. Violent throwing up came on suddenly, and I can't stop the crying jags. Stepping down the dosages has been unpleasant but manageable until now. I do NOT want to resume this, nor any other, med of its sort. Has anyone experienced similar withdrawal symptoms? What has your experience been re duration of severe reactions? is there anything I can do to ease the withdrawal? Please don't suggest I consult my MD; she suggested increasing Zoloft and adding Cymbalta or Abilify. I declined and set upon this course. I haven't changed my resolve, but I'm really, really disabled by nausea and crying, and none of my previously effective coping techniques are worth a darn. Your comments are welcomed.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Barque's Avatar
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    Red face

    Try just taking a tiny chip of a tablet to ease you over the rough spots. That's what I'd try.

    Doctors are no help what so ever easing anyone through withdrawl. Just don't turn to alcohol out of desperation, it will only make matters worse.

    I know when I went through withdrawl from a similar drug I was doing a lot of crying too and had this awful sensatiion like I was falling. It was very scary. I was on it for about 2 years and decided to get off it myself too.
    Last edited by Barque; 11-14-2011 at 08:22 PM.

  3. #3

    Default thanks for your reply

    I assume and hope that you've been able to stay away from further drug treatments.

    No, no alcohol abuse for me. Been in that darkness and pulled myself out years ago on my own.

    Today is day 8 for Zoloft withdrawal, and I've begun with water. We'll see. Fortunately, the family is away on a hobby holiday, so I can afford self-absorption and rest. I haven't experienced the falling sensation; just aggravating tinnitus and despairing thoughts, no energy or even care for any interests or getting out. And the crying jags.

    With the advantage of hindsight, I wish I'd had sense enough to hold steady at various stepped down dosages until light headedness eased, then proceed to the next reduction, rather than giving myself a time table. I should have gone much more slowly between, say, 75 and 50 mg., 50 and 25, 25mg and 10, and so forth.

    I've decided to ride this out and not return to any med; it'd be too easy to get back on the drug to ease symptoms, then ease more symptoms, etc.

    I wonder if profound sadness and weakness are mine from now on? Not much to offer my family.

    Thanks again, and good luck to you.

  4. #4

    Default

    Oh YES... I, and other family members have been through withdrawals from several of these meds. Cymbalta and Paxil were the absolute worst, for me.

    Tips for easing withdrawal:
    Temporary, and sparing use of a benzodiazapine to help ease you through the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.
    Use Amino Acids such as Genesa's Total Amino Solution or TrueHope's AminoPowerPlus
    Go down so slowly you are shaving off tiny parts of pills or just a granule or two of capsules.
    Wait 3 days to a week before each new lowering so you have a chance to get back some emotional strength to face the next round.
    or, when you are close to the end, use the benzodiazapine and amino acids and go faster to just get if over with.

    Since you are not returning to any med, you might consider just focusing on health. Here is something about recovery and being recoverED.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member Barque's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    I am currently weaning myself from Metroplol, a bp med that is really making me sick. I am on day 4. It'll take me another week at least. BUT if I get into bp crisis I may have to take some more than I want to. But I have this constant nausea that is crippling. My life has just come to a sandstill. I never feel good or well. I have to lose some weight and stop smoking AGAIN. I started smoking again after stopping for about 8 months BECAUSE of the nausea. Having a cig alleviates the nausea for a while. I am just stuck in an awful, tortuous loop here. :ambivalence:

    Doctors are no help they just tell me to take MORE.

  6. #6
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    Default

    doctor's seem to all come from the same mold eh? I was on Zoloft for 2-3 yrs. stopped it cold turkey after the dosage was doubled. it's been years now & I use B12 to help with depression.

    wishing you luck! after 9 yrs you can't expect this to go quickly afterall. hang in there!

  7. #7

    Default I appreciate time taken to reply

    Your words are helpful. Today was better; I know the battle goes up and down, over and over for the rest of my life. I shouldn't look for worries, but wonder how I will handle the next, inevitable bottom hit.

    I will investigate the aminos suggestion; have some benzo meds, but am reluctant to use right now.

    Good thoughts to all.

  8. #8

    Default

    Hello All, I'm the mid Nov. poster who'd been having severe withdrawal symptoms after being on Zoloft for 9 years. I would like to think I'm on "the other side" now, but symptoms lasted for a month after that last post. It was a dreadful experience, but only reinforced my desire to stop the med. I've resisted the urge to return, and have kept alcohol use to very, very low levels. After 3 sober years, on my own, I do NOT want to return to either drug. Daily coping is terribly trying, worsened by my 72 year old husband's behavior: rage over the least unimportant life detail, irrational ranting, blame for anything, tantrums... I'm so full of sorrow and sadness. Don't suggest I leave his abusive behavior; this is my home; I have a kind, caring, sober attitude, no family, nowhere to go. I've been through one divorce, and at 62 I have no intention of living on half yet again when I'm a good person who's made incredible improvements with life and have a desire to keep trying. What a thankless struggle. I've finally left the useless doctor with no listening skills and bad English, so I'm hopeful in that department. A little effort by my husband would go a long way. Meanwhile, it's daily thinking, thinking, thinking, being alert and unwilling to engage in any sort of antagonistic behavior. Not exactly what I had in mind.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Community Member houghchrst's Avatar
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    Default

    I am confused by so many that quit their medications to return to a life of constant misery. I have done the whole time to quit the meds withdrawal and recovery many times only to learn as time goes by that I cannot cope without them. Well I could cope but life would be even more miserable for me and for my family for however long I managed to stay just ahead of my depression. My life is bad enough with them.

    Now I can see if you find relief in supplements, diet or other ways to cope but people who are diagnosed with mental illness have chemical imbalances in the brain and the whole point of the medication is to try to create some balance. If your lucky it would be temporary, caused by stress or food allergy or illness and can be treated and thereby in a sense cured. If not then it is something that will stay with you for life.

    If you get your medications from your primary care doctor then you can expect very little knowledge to come with that because they are not truly qualified to prescribe them. Yes they are in the medical profession and can whip out their pen and pad any time they want but their knowledge is limited when it comes to brain chemistry and mental illness. A good doctor would recommend you see a psych.

    You may spend years looking for the right doctor, the right diagnosis, the right medication and if you don't give different meds a chance you are denying yourself and others your best self.

    9 years is a long time to be on the same psych med. I am highly med sensitive so I usually only get about 1-2 years with any psych meds that I have been able to take then they tend to poop out on me which terrifies me because I am running out of options and am considering ECT. Also I am thinking that being on a med for a long period of time could possibly leave some kind of permanent damage. I once asked my psych if trying so many meds back to back could do damage to brain chemistry and the neural pathways and she wouldn't look at me and kind of smiled and said not that they know so far. Basically that was a strong possible yes without saying anything lol.

    I wish I could be off of my meds but know that I and many others need them.

    I really hope that you are successful in being able to stay off of the meds and that manage to stay out of the holes.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Montyjack,glad you came back with an update. this is a hard time of year for withdrawal I'd think. good luck with all your issues! I'm also 62 & have lived with my now 73yr old housemate about 14 yrs.he's become almost impossible to be around this year. so I feel your frustration!

    you might join us on the emotional support forum,we have a wonderful bunch of caring people there.

    Chris,I understand what you are saying also. sometimes people don't have options about healthcare (no insurance for instance).

    I didn't even have a doc get me on Zoloft,it was a PA,she wanted to increase my dosage to 200mg. when I complained the pills didn't seem to be working anymore. and it was another example of "statistic's", she told me everyone increased to 200 or more! well I'm not everyone,and I knew I didn't fit the mold of it taking 2 weeks to help either,I called it my "happy" pill cause within 24 hrs I was smiling & cheerful for the first time in ages.

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