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starting Zoloft
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starting Zoloft

I am on my 4th day of Zoloft.  I am jittery and more anxious than usual.  Will this go away?  How long before I can benefit from this drug?
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Hi my name is Rebecca, Im 21. I started zoloft when i was 20. I had the same effects. Very nervous, more than usual. Then i seen an add on the tv for recall of zoloft. It was causing misscarrigaes, and heart problems. After that, it made it seam like my heart was racing and thats the exact opposite i was looking for. There are tons of deppression/anxiety drugs, Try them all if you need to.
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Thank you!  I want to try it a while longer before I stop.  I hope these side effects go away.  I can't handle feeling jittery and anxious like this.

Anyone else have any advice on for me?
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It is very common and very normal to feel the way you do when first starting ANY anti-depressant. Often when we begin a new medication, it CAN make our symptoms a bit worse for awhile. Maybe a week or so, but then those feelings should begin to abate. I know it's difficult to keep taking a drug that is making the symptoms worse rather than better........it's the nature if that particular beast. Your doctor obviously should have explained the way antidepressants work much more thoroughly to you, especially if this is your first time on them.

Zoloft usually reaches steady state in about a week. That is the time it takes to build up in your system to therapeutic levels and you begin to notice some changes for the better. One of the most basic lessons those of us on antidepressants need to learn is patience. These drugs take time to work and they don't work overnight. You also need to know that we are all different in how we react to these meds. One person has no problems, the next has nothing but problems. That is why you absolutely must base the drugs efficacy by YOUR experience, nobody else's.

Your doctor has no doubt started you out on a very low dose and has requested that you come back for a follow up in about 2 weeks to see how you're doing. If you have felt no change in your outlook, he/she will probably up the dosage and see if that works. When I began Zoloft, I started off at 50mg but didn't really notice a change in the way I felt until I was up to 150mg. I had some weird side effects at first, but I stuck it out and I'm very glad I did. Zoloft has been the best antidepressant for me with the fewest side effects and excellent results.

The best thing you can do if you have questions or concerns about how you're feeling while taking any kind of psychotropic med is to call your doctor and discuss it with them. If you can't reach your doctor, you can  call your local pharmacist and they can tell you if what you're feeling is normal.

Once you have adjusted to the medication, you won't have any side effects at all. You will simply feel like your old self again.

There is one catch you must be aware of with these kinds of drugs and that is you must NEVER just stop taking them. Even if you've only been on them for two weeks, keep taking them until you talk with your doctor. This is a rule you can't break.

Oh, and BTW. The above poster took an isolated incident about Zoloft and made it sound like this will happen to everyone who takes it. There is no love lost between me and the big pharmaceutical houses, but if Zoloft WAS causing miscarriages and heart problems, do you really think it would still be on the market among the top 5 most commonly prescribed antidepressants? No, it would not. You can scare the wits out of yourself by reading the insert on your bottle of aspirin. I'm not saying we shouldn't be aware of negative side effects, all drugs have SOME kind of negative side effect, but you and your doctor should discuss if those side effects outweigh the benefits.

I think since you've written to an anxiety forum about this, it might be in your best interest to see your doctor again to help set your mind at ease. It's hard enough to battle depression without the added anxiety of being afraid of your meds.
I wish you the best and a rapid recovery
Peace
Greenlydia    
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Thank you for spending the time to write out a thorough comment!  I am on my 5th day.  I have been very anxious today.  I plan to increase when I hit the 7 day mark, but I hope it doesn't make my anxiety even worse.  I am going to stick with it.  I am ready to feel better!

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Unless your doctor has already told you that you can go ahead and increase the dose after one week, please do NOT up the dose on your own, ever!  

Zoloft is affective for anxiety as well as depression, but it is not a first line med for anxiety. If you are really having difficulty with anxiety while adjusting to the Zoloft, speak with your doctor about going on a short course of a benzodiazapine.
I know that some people really balk at adding yet another psychotropic med to their regime, but it would only be for a short time and if it will help you stick it out with the Zoloft, then it is worth it.

Good for you for sticking it out. See how you feel on day 7, but do not hesitate to increase the dosage if your doctor gives the OK. It really helps to keep a journal of how you're feeling in the beginning. The positive changes can be very subtle, so sitting quietly and really focusing in on how you're feeling each day may surprise you. (Our memories are faulty which is why I always suggest a journal) The process of conrolling or overcoming depression takes time and it's different for all of us. Just try to keep in mind that you did not become depressed in just a few days, sometimes it has taken months and months for the real depression to hit, and it often takes longer to recover, but not always. No negatives here!

Please consider therapy. Whatever is making you depressed and anxious needs to be addressed and dealt with.
I hope you will keep me informed on how you're doing.
Peace
Greenlydia
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I couldn't agree with greenlydia more.  Zoloft is actually THE most prescribed antidepressant for anxiety disorders, and panic disorder, because of its high success rate and ease of tolerance for most people (with the exception of a couple weeks worth of side effects like you describe, for some people).

Definitely try to stick it out if you can.  Zoloft gave me my life back when I was first diagnosed with panic disorder at age 18.  I had side effects similar to yours (I felt like I drank several pots of coffee), but they almost completely subsided in about 2 weeks.  It was definitely worth dealing with those side effects!

Also, if you are not already, get into some therapy.  Therapy, when used concurrently with medication, increases the success rates significantly.

Best of luck to you!
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Thank you both for your advice!  When do you usually up the dose?  Is a week usually too soon?  I felt good last night, but had some anxiety when I woke up.  I have to travel in 3 weeks.  I hope it kicks in fully before then.  Otherwise I might have to put the trip on hold.  Should it be fully kicked in by then?  I know everyone is different.  I am asking what usually happens.  I hope I am like you, Nursegirl, improvement in 2 weeks.  I am going to stick with it!
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Every doctor is different, some will recommend increasing the dose after 2-3 weeks, and some want you to wait the 4-6 weeks it may take some people to start noticing significant improvements.  I can tell you that you may begin to feel better by your trip, but it is pretty unreasonable to think you would be totally back to normal.  These things take time.  Also, if your dosage IS increased, you again have to wait several weeks before the changes are significant to get you feeling better.  This can be a process of a couple months, which is why why emphasize how important patience is.

You may surprise yourself and do just fine on your trip.  Often, the anticipatory anxiety is much worse than the actual event we feared.  It will be a great sense of accomplishment for you to go on your trip, prove to yourself you can do it.  Just some things to think about!
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Hello,

I have been on Lexapro for eight years and the past several months my anxiety has been worse than ever.  I just went to the doctor yesterday and was prescribed 50 mg of Zoloft.  She told me to take half of a pill for the first one to two weeks, depending on how it makes me feel, and then increase to the full tablet at this time if I need it.  She said that too much of the drug can be just as bad as too little, so like other users have said, I'd follow up with your doc.  I really feel for you; I've tried a couple of other antidepressants for anxiety in the past and they've made me feel out of my mind.  I'm terrified to start taking Zoloft, but like you, I'm hoping it works.  Good luck!
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nursegirl6272 - Thank you!  I appreciate your positive words.  I hope to feel better soon.  I find that one hour I feel pretty good, then the next my stomach is in knots from anxiety!

kickanxietysbutt - Good luck!  Keep in mind you will have increase of anxiety, but it starts to level off.  I have had 7 doses & am starting to feel a little bit more relaxed, but am still having some intense anxiety every now & then through the day.  I can't wait until I get the full effect.  I am tired of being anxious.  I want to feel "normal" again.
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Is it normal to have tremors when starting this?  Will they go away?  
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I did for a while....kind of like the coffee shakes?  That's how I would describe it. I had that for about a week, maybe a little less.  You're a week into it, which is great.  You really shouldn't notice side effects getting any worse.  If anything, they should start to improve any day now.  Most people report an improvement by week 2, so you're almost there.  Doing great!

Did your doc prescribe any anti-anxiety medication (like Xanax or Ativan) to use while you adjust to the Zoloft?  
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Thank you, nursegirl6572.  I think I am improving!  I still feel some "knots" in my stomach every now and then, but overall I am pleased with how much better I feel today!  I am a little sleepy today though.  I also feel some shortness of breath every now an then.  I am not sure if that is from the Zoloft or anxiety.  I did not get a script for Xanax.  I took Xanax last year and did not like it.  I was too scared to try it again.  I found that when the Xanax wore off my anxiety was worse than before I took one.  I have been dealing with this anxiety for a while now, so I am happy to FINALLY be doing something about it!  Thank you for your help!  I am thankful people like you are here to help others' out!
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Well, it sounds like you are doing okay without Xanax anyway!  I was just going to tell you that if you DID have it, to take it when you're feeling expecially anxious.

Overall, I think you're doing well, and just imagine, you're already seeing some vague improvements, in another few weeks, you'll be feeling even better!

My pleasure, we're glad to help...I love watching success stories unfold.  We've watched so many people transition from debilitating anxiety to a medication and therapy, to really feeling like themselves again.  That's so rewarding!

You're getting there...keep up the good work and don't forget to update us along the way...we like to see how you're doing!
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nursegirl6572, I need your advice (and anyone else who can help me).  I am having terrible tremors, where my shoulders, head and hands are shaking.  I know this is not anxiety.  This has to be from the medicine.  I have a few questions.  Is this a possible side effect of Zoloft?  If so will it go away?  If I up the dosage would it help?  I am on a low dose.  I feel discouraged.  I have a family gathering to attend today and am so embarrassed by these tremors I just want to cry.  I know my family will wonder what is going on with me.  Please help.  I'd appreciate any advice.
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Hello again.  Yes, the tremors could be (and likely are) a side effect of the Zoloft.  Like I explained, I had what I would explain as the "coffee shakes' for about a week or so when adjusting to Zoloft.  It's not all that uncommon.

I know that a symptom like this is bothersome and annoying, but if you stick it out, I think you'll see that it will start to subside, probably in a few days.  Of course I would recommend telling your doctor about it, because it is good to keep your doc in the loop regarding any side effects.  This kind of side effect is where something like Xanax as needed comes in handy.  It really helps to minimize that kind of effect.  I would ask your doctor about perhaps giving you a few weeks worth of an anxiolytic to use on an "as needed" basis, just until you get over the hump.

I know you're frustrated...adjusting to these meds certainly can be rough at times, but I would just hate to see you give up when you've come this far, especially because you've already noticed some improvements, which is a good sign indicating that the Zoloft will probably work well for you.

Speak with your doc about what you can do to help make these symptoms more tolerable, and in the meantime, TRY not to worry too much what other people think.  You are probably very self conscious about it.  It may not be as noticeable as you think it is.  You can always just tell people the truth, that you just started a new medication and are having some side effects.  If you don't want to share that with people, tell them you drank too much coffee or something!  I bet people aren't going to be as aware of it as you think.

TRY to hang in there. You are really getting close to the period where things will start turning around..the side effects will start to abate, and the Zoloft will start working.  Call your doc tomorrow to discuss the side effects and ask if you can take something, just until you start feeling better.

Let us know how it's going...try to stay busy and keep your mind occupied.  Distraction is a great way to keep your mind of these things.  The more you sit and think about it, the more you will be overly focused on it.  We're pulling for you!
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Thank you so much!  It was an outdoor gathering.  I was able to walk away when I felt jittery.  I have another question.  Have you ever heard of anyone getting the needed benefit from Zoloft on 12.5 mg or is that too low of a dose to work?  
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It depends on the person, sure people have been on low doses with success.  You'll just have to kind of wait and see how you feel and how it is working for you.
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I'm starting to feel tired.  It's hard to wake up in the morning which is unlike me.  I wonder if I cut down if I would still get the benefit of the drug, but have a bit more energy.  Thank you for your help!
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It may just as easy to change the time of say you take the med.  You are alrerady on a super low dose, I woildn't recommend going much lower, if you want a decent enough therapeutic effect.

Ask your doc if you can take it at a different time of day, tell him you are feeling tired in the morning.
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Thank you.  I already take it at night.  I don't want to be on such a low dose that I don't get a good effect from it.  I'm sure what to do.  I have to get my anxiety under control.  The Zoloft is helping so I don't want to stop taking it.  I appreciate your help.  This forum is the best!  
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I'm NOT sure what to do.  
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Ask your doc, sometimes even if you split the dose up, and take it twice daily, it will minimize that effect.
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How are things going for you?  I have the opposite problem with sleep; I have had insomnia for eight years and that's the largest side effect with this drug.  I wish I could trade you problems!  Have you felt dizzy at all on this drug?  I know all SSRI's say they can cause dizziness, and I take two other drugs that say the same, but have never experienced this effect.  I've been on Zoloft for six days now.  The dizziness didn't start until about day three.  Days two and three I also experienced shortness of breath, but that has gone away now.  I'd love to compare notes.
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nursegirl, I had a little bit of anxiety earlier today.  I know I said I might try a lower dose, but now I am thinking I might go up.  If I do go up with my dosage does that mean I will go through the same start up side effects?

kickanxietysbutt, I am sleeping much better since I started the Zoloft.  I hope you gain the same side effect.  I've felt dizzy a few times, but that has not been my main side effect.  My main side effect is tremors.  I feel much better mentally, although I am still experiencing some anxiety every so often.  My main complaint is I do not like feeling jittery!  It's embarrassing!  I've also had some shortness of breath, but that didn't start until a couple days ago.  How are you doing?  I hope it's working for you.
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I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better mentally!  I'm sure the tremors and feeling jittery will wear off within a month or so.  I know it seems like a long time now, but I went through a couple of months of hell before Lexapro 'cured' me for several years.  The side effects are well worth the benefits, I think, so hang in there!  My shortness of breath has subsided, now I'm just dizzy and really warm all the time.  I don't really feel less anxious yet, but it's only been a week, so I'm hoping I'm not a lost cause just yet.
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I hope the jitters wear off.  Thankfully your shortness of breath went away.  Are you happy with the results so far?  What dose are you taking?
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I haven't noticed a difference in my anxiety yet, but it's only been nine days.  I was prescribed 50 mg, but am taking half of a pill for the first two weeks.  The doctor told me I could increase to the full pill after just a week if I felt like it, but given my low tolerance for drugs, I want to wait at least two weeks.
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I started on 12.5 and went up to 25 mg.  I have been on 25 mg for 7 days.  I have been having anxiety today.  Hope it goes away soon.  I am still having the shakes.  Starting to feel discouraged.  I can tell it's helping but not the extent I had hoped and I can't handle these shakes.   How are you?

nursegirl, is this still normal for the length of time I have been on it?  I have been on it a little over 2 weeks.
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Yep....you are at the point were you will start noticing the side effects diminishing....and you will start to notice the medication working.  Just TRY to hang in there.  I'm going to try to find a lengthy post of a girl who had a lot of anxiety about the medication...you will see how she triumphed and started feeling better.  I think it will be an inspiration for you. You are just getting into the nitty gritty...gotta hang in there so you get to the other side!
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I meant to tell you, you still are going to have days where your anxiety is higher than you would like.  Most likely that is just your anxiety, not necessarily the med.  People start attributing everything to the medication, and it's easy to forget we started with anxiety, so it's normal to have some bad days...doesn't mean it has anything to do with the Zoloft.
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OK...this is a VERY long thread, but it's well worth the read.  You'll see the entire process that turkee23 went through, from the uncertainty about taking Zoloft....to her experience along the way.  You can see how she had good days and bad days...eventually she sort of just slid off the radar here, which is a good thing...it means she's in a much better place.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Anxiety/anyone-take-zoloft-for-anxiety/show/1557194#post_7684641


YOU can do it!!!  You're very early into it, but like I said, the turning point is coming soon for you...just stay busy busy busy!  The busier you stay, the less you will be overthinking the symptoms, the med, etc.

I have faith in you...you've come this far...keep pushing ahead!
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I'm sorry to hear that the side effects haven't worn off yet.  I keep trying to remind myself that when I tried Paxil and Effexor, and finally Lexapro, I went through absolute hell for about six weeks.  However, Lexapro was great for me for the next eight years.  So, try to keep that in mind right now (and I'll try to heed my own advice as well).  

I've noticed no improvement in my anxiety, if anything, I feel worse.  I'm to the point where I feel like I have to quit my job.  I'm not sleeping, I'm constantly tense, etc.  I am pretty positive that the toxicity of my job (a boss who drinks at work, getting sworn at by customers constantly, working 55-60 hour weeks, etc.) is what triggered my anxiety.  Question for all of you...has anyone ever left a job because of anxiety?  If so, what did you tell potential employers when interviewing for jobs?  I know it's not smart to quit a job before having another lined up, but right now, I feel like I just can't take it anymore.  And which is worse...not having a job for a while, or snapping because of your current one, making you even more ill?  I'd love anybody's advice.  I really think if I took a month off, re-grouped, caught up on sleep, etc. I may feel better.  I haven't had a day off in nearly a year and at this point, I've been so stressed that one week off wouldn't even make a dent in my anxiety.  
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Thank you nursegirl!  I read her post.  It appears she went through a lot of start up side effects.  I didn't read where she ever got past the tremors.  She complained about them for a long time.  I hope these go away.  I can tell it is helping me mentally.  I am not near as emotional.  I am still having anxiety.  I didn't even want to head to the grocery store last night.  It was that bad.  But my main side effect are the tremors.  On Friday I will be on Zoloft for 3 weeks.  I have been on 25 mg for 8 days.  

kickanxietysbutt, if you can afford it I think it would be good for you to take some time off.  I don't know what you could tell a future employer.  If it will be a financial strain and you are mentally able to work then I would probably stay until you find a different job.
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I know I am driving this forum crazy but I need advice.  I don't know if I should lower my dose to 12.5 or if this is still my body getting used to the 25 mg.  Like I said before I have been on 25 mg for 8 days.  I love how I am not crying nonstop and feel better emotionally but I can't handle these shakes.
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Does it matter if you take generic?  Does it make a difference?
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Generic shouldn't make a difference.  My advice would be to leave the dose alone...you're getting there, you should turn the corner soon!!

As for turkee, there were other threads, a lot of her "side effect" symptoms ended up being anxiety itself for the most part, she was VERY worried about taking a med.  She got past it too. She posted not too long ago, she's doing well.
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Thank you.  You are a God send to this forum.  I am trying to stick with it.  I can tell a big difference in my mood.  I still feel some anxiety but I am not crying all of the time.  I hope to stick with it.  I can't handle the tremors.  My whole body jerks.  I hate it.  I hope this goes away.  Tomorrow will be 3 weeks on it.  A weeks and a half on 25 mg.  I am not sure if this is still a start up side effect or if this is a side effect of the med.  
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I agree with nursegirl; you'v already come this far, don't turn back.  When I first was put on SSRI's, the first six weeks were a living hell.  I would literally pace back and forth, vomit a lot, and couldn't think about anything but my anxiety.  I felt similar to what a drug addict probably feels like when going through withdrawals.  It was horrible, but it did get better.  I'd try to stick it out if you can.  I know you can do it!
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Thank you!  It's hard.  I need this medicine but not sure how to cope with these shakes.  My shoulders shake, my arms, my hands, head.  It is embarrassing.  I don't want to go anywhere in the chance I will see someone I know.  This is miserable.  I feel discouraged.  It has helped me in the way of my sadness and somewhat with my anxiety but I can't believe I have these tremors.  I REALLY hope they go away.  If not I am not sure what I should do.   How are you doing?
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Well, of course you know it's too early to make any determination, but what you need to focus on is the fact that you're already seeing some improvements, that's fantastic!  That is telling you that you are going to benefit from the Zoloft!  

The "shakes" are a fairly common side effect, like I said, I have had it before as well.  Felt like I drank WAY too much coffee.  Everyone is different, but typically, the side effects will start to let up after a couple weeks.  Since you bumped up the dose a week and a half ago, you should really be close to noticing an improvement in those side effects.  I always tell people, just like the medication can take 4-6 weeks to work, and about 2 weeks for the abatement of side efffects, the same is true with a dosage increase.  You have to kind of start the counter over again.  In your case, the positive changes you've seen will just continue to improve, the side effects may need a little more time because of the dosage increase.

These are the kinds of side effects that an "as needed" presciption of an anti-anxiety med can really be useful.  I took Ativan "as needed" during the adjustment phase and it made a big difference.  You still could ask your doc for a short-term supply of an anxiolytic.  You said you didn't like the Xanax, was it just too much?  Too strong? You could always try a smaller dose, or try Ativan.  Xanax tends to be a lot stronger and more "intense" for lack of a better word, than Ativan.  Something to think about.  It really may make this process more tolerable for you.

I KNOW it's so hard to hang in there.  Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.  But, really, you are doing great!  Just keep doing what you're doing! And, of course, keep us updated, I like to keep close tabs on people going through this, and like "turkee's" story, it's neat to watch the progress unfold.  You'll be able to go back and read this one day (soon), and be like "Wow!  I remember those days!  I'm glad I stuck it out"
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Thanks!  I've been thinking all day that I am going to go down to 12.5, but after reading your post it brough some motivation to stick it out.  I NEED this medicine!  I just can't handle these tremors.  I plan to wait it out, at least until I hit the 2 week mark on 25 mg on Monday.  I HOPE it improves.  You have no idea how much you are helping me!  THANK YOU!!!  I am worried wondering if this is a mania effect.  I can see a difference in my mood though, but these tremors aren't letting up.  ?  What do you think?  I am sure I am driving you crazy.  lol.  Sorry.  Thank you again for your help.  I hope I can read this post one day soon and think "I'm glad I stuck it out... look at me now"  :)
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I forgot.  You asked about Xanax.  When I took it I noticed that when it wore off that I felt like I needed more, my anxiety was worse than before I took the pill.  I didn't take it with an  SSRI so I am sure that would make a difference.
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AND ... lol... it made me sooo sleepy.  It was very sedating.
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If you took a smaller dose of the Xanax just here and there, I think you'd be surprised at how well it works (as your doc first of course).  Also, you could ask your doc about something like Ativan instead.  It's not quite as sedating.  

The "shakes" sound like a side effect to me.  I had the same thing.  You're so close to seeing some changes.  Even if it is another week or two...I know that seems like a lifetime, but it really isn't.
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Advice12 - Xanax used to make me fall asleep within five minutes of taking it.  I weighed about 125 pounds and was prescribed .25 mg.  Now, I weigh 210 pounds and take .50 mg and it never makes me very tired.  Maybe you could see about having the dose adjusted, or try taking half a pill.  Xanax is the only thing that has ever helped me when I'm really anxious.  To me, it's a miracle drug.  When I was on Lexapro for eight years and when it was doing it's job, I used less than two prescriptions that entire time. It may be enough to get you over the hurdle right now.  As for being embarrassed about the shakes, I would much rather not have anxiety, but that's just my opinion.  If it's still happening in a month I'd consider maybe changing drugs, but at this point, if you can handle it, I'd try to stick it out since you're seeing improvements with your anxiety.  

As for me, I feel worse on the Zoloft than I did off of it.  It's been almost two weeks and I'm terribly dizzy.  I have been running a fever for a month (my doc attributes that to not sleeping) and haven't felt the greatest so I'm not sure if it's because of the Zoloft, if there's something else going on with me, or if it's my anxiety.  

Nursegirl6572 - being that I was on Lexapro for eight years, and now on Zoloft, do you think I should be experiencing the dizziness?  I haven't noticed any improvement in my anxiety and my therapist said I should by now and that the only symptoms I should have from Zoloft should be physical.  She didn't think I should really be experiencing side effects since I was on Lexapro for so long.  I e-mailed my doc tonight, but haven't heard back yet.  
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I was a lot skinner last year, so maybe that's why I was so sensitive to it.  I am still having the shakes... not sure how much longer I can put up with this!  I need the medicine, but this is annoying.  If I have to pick one or the other to deal with, I would pick shakes, but I can't stand my body shaking like this.  I feel depressed about it, but can't cry because the med is working.  LOL.  It has helped a lot with my mood, now if only I could ditch these shakes.  I'd be one happy girl.

I am not so sure that your dizziness isn't from switching meds.  I wonder if the Lexapro was stronger than the Zoloft and you feel a withdrawal.  That is only a guess.  Do you plan to wait a while longer to see if it goes away?
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PLEASE, before you think about lowering your dose, or calling it quits with the Zoloft, at least have a discussion with your doc about trying an anti-anxiety med to help with the shakes.  He may recommend a lower dose of the Xanax, if you still have it, or perhaps Ativan.  You would only take it here and there.  You may need it like twice a day for a few weeks.  I think it will make a world of difference, allow you to tolerate the side effects a bit better while still giving the Zoloft a chance.

The reason I'm so insistant is because you ARE seeing positive improvements, which means it has already started working for you.  If you were complaining about some rare, random side effect I have never heard of, I wouldn't be so adamant about it, but several of us have shared that we experienced the same thing.  It's a pretty common side effect, and you're not far enough along to see a big improvement in the side effects.  You just increased your dose too, which, like I said, will extend the period of time for the side effects a bit.

PLEASE talk to your doctor.  Tell him the advice you've gotten here, see if he agrees, but also tell him the side effects are becoming hard to bear for you. Your doc will give you guidance on how to proceed.  I'm just HUGE on exhausting ALL possibilities with one med before starting over with another.  You've made it this far, I would hate to see you have to start this process over with a new med.  Say you did, and had the exact same side effects?  You'd have to endure everything all over again.  Sure, you may tolerate something else better, but like I said, you're already this far along....discuss this with your doc.  And, whatever you do, don't make any changes yourself.  Lert us know what the doc says..I'm pulling for you...I pray the side effects start to ease up so you don't have to be conflicted about what to do.

Hugs!
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I do plan on sticking with the Zoloft, for at least another three weeks.  I just upped my dose to 50 mg two days ago, and I think I'm feeling more side effects (sweating more, nauseaus), so I'm hoping that it's the drug that is causing the dizziness also and that with time, these effects will subside.  I'm going to make an appointment with the doctor to see about this fever I've had for a month, as well as the dizziness, and if all is well, then I know it's just the drugs and hopefully I'll stop being so anxious about the way my head feels.  I think I'm actually feeling less anxious from whatever the cause of my anxiety was, but the side effects are causing me anxiety. My neighbor gave me a hug last night and she told me my body was so tense and she could feel me shaking.  I don't notice it myself, but obviously it must be a common side effect.  I hope that it wears off for you soon!!
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I wanted to check in.  I am not getting relief from the shakes.  I feel miserable.  I have had some anxiety today too.  I want to feel better and not shake like this.  I can't handle it.  I want to live a normal life.  I am tired of having severe anxiety.  I do feel better, especially with my depression, but no where near as well as I had hoped to be at this point. I want my anxiety and shakes to go away.  I don't see how this could be a start up side effect any longer.  I started 25 mg two weeks ago and have been on the med 4 weeks this Friday.  I appreciate you two helping me through this.  I hope you are doing better, kickanxietysbutt.
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I'm getting to the point you are.  I started Zoloft 17 days ago, and started the 50 mg tablet four days ago.  I do feel like maybe it's finally helping to make me feel a little less anxious, but the dizziness and headaches are terrible.  I also haven't noticed much of a difference when it comes to aiding my agoraphobia.  I just quit my job today and can't stand feeling so miserable anymore either.  Ugh...a couple more weeks for us??
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I feel for you guysm, I know how awful it is to feel this way, and it really stinks that sometimes, we have to feel worse in order to feel better.  Advice12, I'm headed not to reply to your PM, please read it when you get a chance.

Hugs to both of you!
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I am glad you are seeing a difference.  That is a good step.  Just think how you will feel 17 more days from now!  Now that you are not working you can take it easy while you let the medicine do its job. One day at a time.  I hope the headaches & dizziness get better.
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I went back on 12.5 mg a couple nights ago.  My anxiety has picked up some.  I know I need more thatn 12.5 but my body can't tolerate it.  I am thinking about trying out a different medicine.  I am not sure if every SSRI would have this effect on me or not.  
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It's very hard to distinguish between what is actual anxiety, and what may be side effects.  How's the tremors?

Another med may be helpful and easier to tolerate, it's hard to tell.  You know my take...I think you should give it another week or two, before making any changes.
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The tremors are a little better.  I have been on 12.5 for several nights now.  I can tell I need the higher dose but can't handle the severe tremors.  I am feeling very frustrated.  
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Advice12, what if you take the 12.5 for another week or so, and then increase again?  Today was the first day (day 20) since being on Zoloft that I didn't have a pounding headache!  I've been on an SSRI for over eight years and it's taken me this long for side effects to start subsiding from the Zoloft, so maybe it will just take another couple weeks for you.  
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Thank you!  I plan to try out the 25 mg again soon, maybe next week.  I have noticed that my tremors are better since I lowered the dose.  If I go back up to 25 mg and cannot stop the shakes then I am going back to the doctor for a different med.  I HAVE to take something.  I can't live with anxiety and depression like this.  I am happy to see that your headache went away, good news!  What mg are you on?  I forgot.
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That's great that the tremors are better.  Maybe your body just needs more time to adjust.  I had a very difficult time when I first went on SSRI's...it took three drugs and about six weeks before I finally started to feel better.  I started on 25 mg three weeks ago, and last week bumped up to 50 mg.
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12.5 mg is doing nothing for my anxiety.  I can't physically handle anything higher & I still have a slight tremor.  I think I am going to ask my doctor about switching to something else.   I am glad you are seeing some improvements!  Are you still dizzy?
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I am not sure how well the drug is working for me either.  I am still dizzy, which is causing me anxiety, but I also went from working, driving, doing errands, etc., to basically being agoraphobic in a matter of a few weeks.  I basically stay in bed all day, with the exception of maybe a few hours, so I'm sure that's not helping with the dizziness, but when I'm up and around I feel like I need to lie back down.  Sometimes I wonder if coming of the drugs all together would benefit me.  
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Do you think the change of medicine was for the best?  Maybe you should go back on your previous medicine?  Being agoraphobis is horrible.  My anxiety is causing me to not want to do anything but stay home.  I hate it!
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Today is the best day I've had in a few weeks, BUT, I forced myself to get out of bed, stay out of bed, and be more active.  I don't think the Lexapro was working anymore, or I'd not have gotten to the point I am now, so I don't think that switching was a bad thing, minus the dizziness.  I wonder how much of it is in my head, though, because I'm constantly thinking about it.  I saw your other post and that you're thinking about switching drugs.  Good luck!  I hope that you have better luck with the Celexa.  
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Happy that you are feeling some relief!  =)
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I had the shakes for about 2 weeks on 50 mg and they finally went away.
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I had to stop it.  They never went away.  I started Lexapro.  
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I am doing the same.  They're weaning me off and putting me back on the Lexapro.  I've been on it for two months now, but in the past several days the shaking has gone to my whole body and I can't use my hands to do certain things.  
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I've been on Lexapro for 4 weeks.  I feel much better, as far as side effects.  I hope you have the same success this time around with Lexapro.  
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Glad to hear you are having less side effects!  That's what I really liked about the drug....that and it's the only one I've had any success with so far.  I'm hoping that the couple months I've been off of it will be enough for it to hopefully start working again.  I hope a month from now, neither of us will be on this site anymore.  :)  
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Just stumbled upon this discussion and it's pretty relevent to me right now.  I took Zoloft for 20 years and it was great.  I do recall some jitters, etc. at first but eventually it kicked in after about 8 weeks and at a dose of 200 mg.  I tapered back to 100 mg for the last 3 years and have been fine but I made the big mistake of tapering right off because I hadn't had a bit of anxiety or depression for years.  I was OK for about 3 months then the roof fell in on me and I was depressed again after a long illness.  My doc (who I have since left) put me on Lexapro (we call it Cipralex in Canada) and he thought it would be a better, newer drug.  Well, I hung in there through some awful days but it brought me back almost to normal but I haven't slept well on it and have felt anxious.  My psychaitrist finally made the decision with me to go back to Zoloft.  Duh!  He said it would be a "seamless" transition but it's been anything but.  I've been experiencing the tremors and nervousness and when he put me up to 200 mg I was crawling out of my skin.  I've cut back to 150 mg and the nervousness seems to be slowly getting a little better each day but it is still quite debilitating.  All I can say is that I plan on sticking it out with Zoloft as it worked so well for me in the past for depression and anxiety.  It just ***** having to go through a couple of weeks of hell for the nervousness to settle down.  He said I could take beta blockers to stop the trembling but it wouln't do much for the feeling of anxiety.  
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I'm on a beta blocker already and the shaking was getting worse instead of better.  I'm the opposite of you...now I'm back on the Lexapro.  I hope you feel better again soon!
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My name is manda I am 29 years old.  I have suffered with anxiety for 5 years and I am sick to death of it, I can't drink alcohol, socialise, exercise, have fun or be normal, I fear I'm going to die, I have a lot of these  up wanting thoughts, and I also have a fear of taking tablets and I have tried therapy and that doesn't work, so what can I do.  The more these thought carry on the more worried I'm going to get in the future. Will I ever be free of anxiety.
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hi manda,
     you sure can be free of anxiety! you know, many patients take adderall (adderrall) with their zoloft, with good results. there are many depression and anxiety forums on the internet. the important thing is to keep telling your doctor how you feel, and after trying that for a while, if you feel your particular doctor is not working for you, try another, and if he doesn't work out for you, then try yet another, then another. there are a lot of fish in the sea. the sea is vast.
     Important to keep telling the doctor how you feel and your thoughts or ideas. The squeaky wheel always gets the grease. i wish you good luck with it and please never lose hope.
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took my first half tab of Zoloft today and I feel sooo sick.. Nausea, dizzy, feel weak.. Admittedly I had these symptoms before I started, but it has made them worse...help? what should I do?
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I just started taking zoloft as well. This is my second night and I can't sleep at all. I fell asleep the first night for like four hours and then when the medication wore off during the day I took a nap for an hour, but now I'm back to not sleeping. My doctor told me to take it at night. I feel sleepy but I just can't sleep. I feel jittery and a fluttering in my stomach. Does anyone have any advice?
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I've been on Zoloft for almost 7 years. You really need to keep taking it. There's always side effects from meds unfortunately. But Zoloft does work! Just give it time. I was put on clonazepeam along with Zoloft just till the Zoloft hit my system the first couple of weeks.
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Did you get dry mouth like a lump in your heart sometimes or heart racing because I have the heart racing kinda freaked me out but it was only my first day of taking the medicine so I called a psychiatrist since my doctor for whatever reason doesn't know the symptoms to Zoloft the psychiatrist rep. said if I want I can take half of the pill and work up on more I guess in time  
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When I 1st started taking Zoloft i was taking it in the am with my coffee.  it made me gittery and sweaty - took me about 3 weeks to realize that I shouldn't take it with coffee :-) since then I've been feeling way better- i wait an hr or so before my coffee and only need the xanax .25 to .5 once or twice a week - wondering if anyone else has had the same experience?
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    I have been on sertraline (Zoloft) for about 3 1/2 weeks now. I noticed I was just a little depressed before I even thought about starting any kind of medication because I've had anxiety issues in the past and that was about 5 years ago and I was on nortriptyline which cured my anxiety problems. I really wasn't depressed at the time I just had really bad panic attacks all the time.
    In the months leading up to my decision to start Zoloft I noticed that I was a little depressed, but nothing major but I wasn't motivated at all. I went to the doctor and she prescribed me Celexa, and that only lasted 2 days because my anxiety spiked sky high the moment I started taking them. I called her back and she prescribed me Zoloft and she wanted me to start off small 25mg daily for the first 7 days, and then increase it 25mg every 7 days after that till I reach 100 mg daily. I'm currently at 75 mg but I start 100mg tonight. I've noticed that I'm more calm and not as jittery anymore when I first started it and I'm starting to have good days but my depression is really high right now.
    I take a Xanax here and there now just because when I'm depressed I get scared so it kind of calms me. For the second week I took Xanax regularly because my anxiety was all sorts of wacked out. Now it's too the point to where its like I'm having a really good day and I'm full of energy and happiness and then I get tired and all of a sudden I become really depressed and anti-social to the point that it hurts and I have a heavy feeling on myself. I was told it takes 3 to 4 weeks to start seeing results, which I believe, but to be honest I'm getting impatient now because I'm tired of having these really depressing feelings and thoughts go through my head all the time. I was just curious if anyone else has experienced this and can tell me its worth the wait because it's just all part of it. I'm being as patient as I can but it really ***** as many of you know.
Side effects I experienced:
Insomnia (still can't sleep a full night since starting it, but I do manage to get about 4 hours of good sleep here and there), depression, nausea, headaches, nervousness, cold sweats, hot flashes, dizziness, anit-social
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Thank you for your positive insight!  New to zoloft, trying to stick out the side effects of feeling dizzy and tired, nervousness...hope things taper off and get better.  
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I have had anxiety and depression for 4 years. I was put on Paxil 4 years ago and I became a walking zombie. I was then put on Cymbalta and suffered for 6 months with awful side affects before finally coming off all meds (the Cymbalta and Paxil withdrawals were worse than the anxiety). After battling on and off anxiety for 2 more years without meds it finally led into Depression. Although I had been scared off all meds I decided to give Zoloft a try since I was ruin my family and work life without it. I am on day 6 and notice a marked improvement already. I keep reading that it takes 14 days to truly kick in and if this is the case, I can't wait because that means I will be back and better than before. So far so good!!!
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I am on my 5ht night of taking zoloft. can zoloft cause your heart to feel like its pounding and cause palpitations? i went to the ER and my EKG came back fine. but im still freaking out.
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From my experience, the anxiety of starting a new med can make you feel like your heart is pounding. It is the anxiety, and this has happened to me more times than I would like to admit. I rush to the ER, and they tell me I'm fine. The reason is, I'm fine, and if the EKG is normal, you are too. You just have to remind yourself that it is the anxiety trying to take over, but you are okay. Anxiety can't hurt you, it can just make you feel like it will. I'm on my third week of Zoloft, and I took it for about ten years before weaning myself off of it. Deja Vu. Now I have to get it back into my system. It is trying, but worth it. You will feel much better with every day that you stick with it.
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New to this forum  started Zoloft 3 days ago, feeling extremely anxious.  Had been placed on Remeron starting with 7.5 mg last October, incrementally increased to 30 mg by Mid March, worked for about 2 to 3 weeks each time, then anxiety was back.  Finally upped to 45 mg, with a severe panic reaction 1 hour after I took it.  I finally refused to continue on it, I had felt for a while my body could not tolerate this medication. MD prescribed Zoloft 25 mg to start, increase to 50 mg after 7 days.  I realize SSRis take a while to work, but it is tough while one waits.  I happened into this forum while searching for other people's experience with this.  Can use all the reassurance I can get.  People not having experienced anxiety cannot comprehend how awful it feels.
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Welcome!

It would be great if you could start your own new thread, rather than tacking your post on to someone else's.  You can do that by clicking on this link:

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/new_with_new_subject?forum_id=71

You can just copy/paste this post into the body of the new thread.  I'll keep my eye out for your thread, we'll be glad to try to help you and give you the support you need!
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Hi. Can you tell me how long it took you to get to 150mg of zoloft?  I have been on Zoloft for over eight weeks now.  My doc has me going up so very slowly, 25 first four weeks 50 the next four weeks.  Just went up to 62.5 four days ago. Anxiety is diminishing very slowly, but still bad enough.  Take clonopin to help. Just want to start feeling better and I think a higher dose is needed, but how soon can I start going up again?
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This thread is old and inactive, you would get more replies by starting your own thread...you can copy/paste this post right into the body of the new thread.  Click here to open a new thread:

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/new_with_new_subject?forum_id=71
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