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Quitting Zoloft cold turkey
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Quitting Zoloft cold turkey

I have been taking Zoloft 50 mg for 4 months. Started because of general worry re possible job change, another new baby, health worry, etc.  Zoloft was prescribed by my PCP.  I have taken it without any problems or negative side effects. I ran out and have not taken any for 4 days while I wait for the mail order pharmacy to send me refill. I have not had any negative side effects from 4 days off, and if anything, I feel really good.

The reason I write is to ask if, since the original plan with the doc was to be on it short term, and I have already made it 4 days without headaches or other problems, are there any foreseeable dangers of stopping it this way versus weaning off it? (We planned to speak about weaning in a few months when the doc returns from maternity leave.) I know that they advise not quitting cold turkey, but based on what I have told you, does it appear dangerous or reckless to do so?

I read about depression, thoughts of suicide, etc., but I have not had any problems. I feel a tiny bit jittery, but I have also had two lattes today. I do not drink alcohol or take any other drugs.

I appreciate your time and thank you in advance for answering my question.
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242532_tn?1269553979
It sounds like you are one of those who can do it cold turkey...its a small minority. The only real hazard you could possibly face is seizures, although that too is unlikely at the dose you talked about.  You should ask your doctor about possibly covering you for that over the next week or two.
22 Comments
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hello there, i just wanted to share my zoloft story with you.  I was taking 200mg at first it was 100 for depression but then in therapy with looking at my behaviors we decided that it was more OCD than depression so we increased it to 200.  after a few weeks i did notice the change in behavior.  i have a obsessive shopping habit.  not just any shopping it has to be on sale.  it had gotten to the point that i would go store to store until they were all closed just to buy things that were on clearance.  whether i needed them or not.  then i would sneak them into the house and put them in closets or bins.  but i was a single parent so there was no need to sneak or hide anything.  i guess i was hiding it from myself.  these are things that i would not need or wear, so would end up giving most of these things away.  needless to say this gets expensive quickly.  anyhow it was under control, then i got remarried and pregnant.  i was worried about such a high dosage and being pregnant.  so i tapered down then i ran out and didn't refill it.  i had no physical side effects at all.  i thought i was home free, then totally unrelated i had a stillborn birth at 21 weeks pregnant.  i opted not to restart the medication,  about 2 weeks later i found my self shopping again, and compulsively snacking on cany and sunflower seeds.  it took me about a week to put the two things together, when i went back to my therapist and told her what i was doing she agreed that i needed to get back on the zoloft and gradually start to taper up.  my doctors agreed, so i am now on 150mg and will probably go up to 200 by next week.  So my advice to you is this::::figure out why you were taking it in the first place and be honest with yourself as to whether you notice a difference in feelings and behavior when you are on it and when you are not.  you don't necessarily need to feel feelings of suicide to go on antidepressants, some times it is just a feeling of constant  worry or anxiety, or hopelessness, decreased motivation, decreased appetite, or increased appetite, trying to fill a void.  the zoloft just takes the edge off so you can focus on what is truly at hand.  thank you-----
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Avatar_n_tn
Its been 7 years on Zoloft. I want to come off it. How can I doo this
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Avatar_n_tn
99Smithsmith: I hope you have managed to come off it cold turkey, if not I would recommend that you come off slowly. I did the same thing and felt fabtastic for a week-(I take 100mg) but after 2 weeks all of the symptoms came back and I was seriously depressed, suffering panic attacks- all of the classic symptoms. It interfered with my life so much that I was off sick once again and decided that it wasn't the right time for me to stop. I do want to stop taking it but when I think of how I used to be, it has changed my life and I NEVER want to be like that again. Let me know how you get on. Could do with some advice!
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Avatar_n_tn
99smith,

I quit effexor and I was fine for three weeks and then bam. A depression that I have never felt in my life. And I was taking it for anxiety. So after effexor I got the added bonus of depression. Now, Im on zoloft, depression is gone, but have another set of problems.

Be careful, you might want to consider tapering off slowly.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just stopped Zoloft completely 2 weeks ago after taking for almost 2 months. I didn't have any problems. I stopped taking Effexor before that and it was horrible. I had been taking it about 2 months also. After I stopped, I kept getting these shocking feelings in my head.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello everyone. I'm all to happy to have found this website. Im a physically fit 43 yr. old female who has been taking 100mg of zoloft for...11 years <gasp>. I was opposed to "pill taking" and always tried the natural approach first. I will admit it did help during a very tough time in my life. Initially, I experienced a small weight loss. In the past few years, minimal weight gain. More importantly, I have decided it's time to get off of it since I been have working hard on myself... therapy, self-help books, regular exercise, etc. After reading all these entries, I'd be lying if I didn't admit I find the task ahead quite daunting. It's been two weeks and I'm currently taking 25mg every other day. I wanted to go cold turkey. I was aware that there would be some withdrawal, but HELLO? There are times that my husband <along with myself> looks at me as if I've lost my mind and replaced my being with an angry, snippy,insomniac. The totally displaced, short fused anger I often feel is insane. Yay. I think to myself, perhaps if I jog 53 miles instead of 3, I'd be too exhausted to be angry?  And to add insult to injury, I feel like I could eat everything and the kitchen sink as of late. To help me out, my Doctor has prescribed ambien, 10 mg. From the fire into the frying pan.  Any comments/thoughts would be welcome.  Thanks for letting me share/vent... ramble.

Oh, and I do agree, quality fish oil capsules daily <omega 3s> can be a bit helpful.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi! I am also attempting to quit Zoloft after 9 years of 150 mg daily. I tapered gradually with no problem until about 25 mg when I started having annoying symptoms: nausea and inexplicable rage. So after a couple days of 12.5 I decided to bite the bullet and quit completely, getting all the withdrawal symptoms over with at once.
  That was almost two weeks ago. The first week I felt really sick with periodic mood plunges into depression and then back to normal. The nausea has gotten gradually better, but the depression has gotten worse and more frequent. I'm really just hoping to hang on for at least a month, in the hopes that the depression is another withdrawal "event" and that my brain will stabilize itself. If the depression continues, I'm planning to approach my doctor about something like Wellbutrin. I would prefer not to use Zoloft again. I've been getting a lot of "well if it's working, why quit?" response from the people around me, which kind of makes me question going off Zoloft in the first place, but I don't want to just assume that what I'm feeling now indicates that I need to be on medication...I want to give my brain a chance to be "normal" and I think that's a totally reasonable goal.
  Anyway, good luck Louzwife...you're not alone...if anybody has experienced a relapse of depression after going off medication and has rebounded from it without medication, I would love to hear some encouragement!!! thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so happy I found this sight!!!! I also have quit COLD turkey, I have been on Zoloft 100mg for three years. The reason I quit was not by choice...I lost my job and lost my health insurance too, so I can't not afford to buy out my meds, my side effect has been extremely bad headaches to the point I can't see straight. Has anyone else have this side effect? If so, how long before it goes away?  I'm not sure if I would have quit if I did not have a choice.  Please let me know.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you Andrea... one quick question, have you noticed a change in your appetite at all? (do you sleep well?) Okay, that was 2 questions.  Well wishes to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Louzwife...my appetite has actually decreased somewhat. Or, more accurately, food is making me feel "fuller" and I don't want to eat as frequently. So if nothing else maybe I'll lose weight, har. And my sleep is fine, waking up is harder than usual though. Interestingly, I found that most of the explosive, misplaced fury went away almost as soon as I completely stopped the medicine (so it partly validated my reason for not continuing to taper, but then this depression thing came along).
  
Pilljunkie, for a long time I didn't have insurance and I went to a local low-income health clinic, and they would give me samples, about an 8 week dose for $35. It wasn't Park Avenue but it got the job done for a year or two between insurance..:)
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Avatar_n_tn
I was put on zoloft about 9 months ago.  Before that I was put on celexa and then zoloft for about 6 months.  I had started a new job and just lots of changes in my life.  I decided to go off cold turkey and had dizzy spells, nausea, and bouts of depression.  I managed to stay off it for a few years had a baby and it seems like my mental stability has never been the same.  So my ob/gyn put me back on it "temporarily" just to get me over the hump.  I did not have post pardom depression or whatever that is called.  I just felt weepy, sad, like I was drowning in all I had to do everyday, and I got angry very easily!  I just kind of felt out of control.  Like my life was going by with me looking in at it.  I'm more in control now of my life.  I never had any OCD symptoms, or any feelings like real anxiety or anything.  I recently wanted to get off the med. mainly because I may want to get pregnant in the near future and I don't want to be on any meds. with my pregnancy.  I just also wanted to get off of it because it bothers me to know I am dependent on it.  Last summer we went on vacation and I forgot my meds. at home. Of course we were in the middle of no where.  After about 4 days of no zoloft I was crazy.  I had violent rages and a very short temper.  My family could hardly even look at me with out it pissing me off.  Which I hated.  I figured if I need to take the zoloft to keep me calm and in line then maybe I should just get over it and take it.  Of course, my husband drove 1 hour to pick up the Rx that my ob/gyn called in  for me.  I had to just sleep the rest of the day and slowly come back to civilation the next day.  But, back to the OCD.  I have recently noticed that I have more things that I obsess over that have to be done a certain way and especially in a certain order.  I have had feelings of suicide in the past, but would truly never consider it now because of my daughter who is my reason for living.  I wouldn't want her to grow-up thinking I was selfish and took her mommy away from her.  As a parent I want her to think of me as a self-less mommy.  I also wanted to touch on the side effect of the lack of labido now that I am on the med.  I do feel more friendly, but not friendly enough to get freaky!  I wish someone would come up with the wonder drug with increased libido, anti-whatever, and appetite surpressent.  Also does anyone have problems with acne when taking zoloft.  Because recently I have had lots more breakouts. I am also having major problems of memory loss.  Some short term and some long term.  Am I just getting old or is my parental responsibilities getting the best of me? Sorry for the oral diarrhea!  Thank you for you time and would appreciate any info. you people may have!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I just had a quick question. I'm currently on 100 mg of zoloft a day. I've forgotten to take my pills for the past 4 days and this morning I woke up with a tremendous headache and extremely dizzy. When I got out of class, I went home and took my meds. But now I'm just extremely anxious and emotional. Is this a normal withdrawal symptom. If so, how long does it normally last after I take my meds for these withdrawal symptoms to reside?

Misty Marie
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh, I also forgot one thing.... Is it normal for these withdrawal symptoms to occur roughly 4 days after stopping the meds or does it really depend on the person?
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm not a doctor, but I spend 3-5 hours a day at work researching stuff like this. I believe using 5-HTP makes withdrawing from SSRIs much easier... just be careful not to over-do it because 5-HTP will increase serotonin levels making SSRIs more potent (and possibly leading to Serotonin Syndrome). As you start taking less Paxil, take more 5-HTP.

My girlfriend and her mother were on Zoloft (sertraline). I talked my g/f into getting off the drug with the help of 5-HTP (mother is too stubborn though)... Girlfriend took 50mg/day of 5-HTP the first week then 100mg the next few weeks... for the past 4 months she has been taking one 50mg pill a day with dinner. She still had some withdrawal symptoms (like dizziness, aches, etc), but she said it was nowhere near the withdrawel symptoms she had when she tried to wean off of zoloft last summer without the 5-HTP.

Ask your doctor about 5-HTP... just keep in mind that doctors are not trained to sell natural remedies. Most online sites describing 5-HTP say the same thing... "more studies are needed"... but I'm convinced it works. A month supply of 5-HTP can be found in a health store for $10-$25... worth a shot, yeah?

Do your RESEARCH:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paroxetine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5-htp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serotonin_syndrome

and there are many other success stories on the net... I have also heard that 5-HTP is actually prescribed in Europe by doctors, but have not verified this (do a web search of "5-HTP is prescribed in Europe"). 5-HTP could also help you lose those extra pounds the Paxil put on.

Remember to be careful when using 5-HTP with SSRIs! And if you know anyone considering anti-depressants, refer them to 5-HTP first. Some people have reported to be allergic to 5-HTP, and they say serotonin(5-htp) decreases libido, but I can't imagine the g/f being any more interested in sex than she already is! Of course she never took more than 100mg/day :)

DO ANY DOCTORS HERE HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH 5-HTP?



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Whats up everyone.  I'm new to this site.  I found it through my searches online about quitting zoloft.  I've been taking 150 mg of zoloft for about 6 years now for OCD.  I've tried getting off of it twice.  First time I weaned myself all the way off.  Then I started a new job, got stressed, and felt I should get back on.  So I did.  Once I got comfortable with my situation I tried again.  That time I noticed I got very anxious.  In turn I went back to the meds.  Now I'm ready to give it another shot.  I realized that my anxiety was a result of "whats gonna happen now that I'm off zoloft?  Its been apart of my life so long."  Personally I'm tired of the meds.  I'm tired of going to the pharmacy to pick up the meds every month.  I'm tired of telling doctors that I'm on it.  I always feel like they are thinking I'm some kind of basketcase, when in reality I'm not.  I'm starting to think that being on antidepressants is more of an addiction like ciggarette smoking.  The mind is not very sesseptable to change so when you mess with a drug that messes with your mood (like antidepressants)  You'll run into problems.  I think the fact that we're all here shows that we all want off this drug.  Its time to bite the bullet.  I've learned alot about zoloft and OCD and I can help.  If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

dtherave
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with the things you said and feel the same way! I just got a new medical dr. and she is going to try and switch me to welbutrin. So we are overlapping them to help with side affects. Good luck with quitting! Maybe you could just start to cut back or something instead of "cold turkey". To the other girl I wish I could understand what you were saying it sounded like you really know your stuff! Thanks!
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Avatar_n_tn
I HAVE BEEN ON AND OFF ZOLOFT FOR 5 YEARS, 50MG A DAY. I RECENTLY QUIT FOR THE 3RD TIME 3 WEEKS AGO. I WAS INTIALLY TAKING ZOLOFT FOR PANIC ATTACKS. ANYWAY I GRADUALLY TAPERED OFF FROM 50MG TO 25MG TO 10MG OVER A MONTHS TIME, WITHOUT THE ADVICE OF MY DOCTOR BECAUSE EVERY DOCTOR I HAD THINKS I SHOULD STAY ON IT FOREVER, WHICH I THINK IS A RIDICULOUS OPTION. MY DOCTORS HAVE GIVEN ME NO REAL ADVICE, SO IM LEFT TO DECIDE ON MY OWN. I HAVENT HAD THE SAME WITHDRAWL (withdrawal) I HAD PREVIOUSLY,BUT I DOHAVE WITHDRAWL (withdrawal). IVE BEEN CONSISTENTLY ANGRY AND SLIGHTLY DEPRESSED. I MISS THE COMFORT ZOLOFT GAVE ME. BUT I FEEL LIKE A SLAVE TO IT. I SOMETIMES THINK IT WOULD BE EASIER IF I JUST STAYED ON IT...BUT NO DOCTORS CAN TRULY TELL ME IF LONG TERM USE OF ZOLOFT IS BAD OR GOOD...ANY ADVICE OR COMMENTS..THANX:)
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Avatar_n_tn
******URGENT*******

I have been searching and communicating in online chat forums of all sorts on this subject.  I read so many desperate postings about people who have suffered and continue to suffer because of their meds.  

There are SERIOUS side effects that people need to be aware BEFORE they get on these meds.  That does not include being given an explanation in their medication box that consists of a 4-font.   And one should not need a PhD to read this information. (I was getting my Ph.D. in a social science the first time I was prescribed these things.  When I asked my doctor some technical scientific information about the meds, he didn
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Avatar_n_tn
My doctor put me on Zoloft two days ago. Then I decided to look up info on the net. She said there were no serious side effects, nor was it addictive. Perhaps she should read these posts! Already I have had that spacey feeling - like something is just not right. It was as if my brain "jerked". It scared me. I would rather deal with depression.
I want to thank the person who recommended researching. I have decided to stop taking the Zoloft immediately and talk to my doctor on Monday to start taking 5-HTP. At least give that a chance to work. And do a lot of praying.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was on lexapro for about 1 month with the side effect of headaches. Doctor just switched me to zoloft and want to know if i should even start it. I think i will because i think i need it. hope it works better than lexapro?
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Avatar_n_tn
if any 1 want subitex email me i have 1000s to sell ***@****
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello, I have been on 100mg of Zoloft for the past 5 years due to some inevitable life traumas.I have tried quitting twice before and one time went w/o meds for 10 days while on vacation. All of these times were almost unbearable and I could have hurt someone due to my anger, fury and confused state of mind. Needless to say it was AWFUL. About 2 months ago I started going to the gym on a regular basis and at about 2 weeks of constant exercise I quit zoloft cold turkey. I did not expect to survive the ordeal for more than a few days, but instead I felt fine. I still continue to exercise regularly(4X a week). Exercise is now a huge part of my like! I feel great and I'm starting to look good again. The inches are just coming off. I have this amazing energy and I am amazed to have gained my sex desire back. At 42, I had no idea sex could be good again. One problem!! My husband is concerned about me. He sees a few glitches in me. I say glitches cause I know I, I'm not 100% back to normal. Like today, I asked him the same question 3 x and didn't realize that I did it. He became very angry at me and said that" did I realize that I asked him the same question 3X and he answered it twice." I was so hurt by this as he made me feel like I was crazy. I don't understand why he is insistent on me getting back on meds?? I feel like zoloft controls me and I don't want to be controlled by it. I recently asked him for a divorce(we have been having marital issues) and again he blames it on my being off Zoloft. I disagree, totally! I am now aware that I must move on and he will not accept this.The pro's overweigh the cons. Please tell me, help me! Does anyone out there think my asking a question 3x a reason to get back on zoloft? So, I do a few crazy things here and there.. But who doesn't. I forget, but who doesn't. I feel like he should be on zoloft, not men he won't even take tylenol. Someone please respond and help me not loose my mind. Thanks!
  
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