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Zoloft withdrawl(withdrawal)
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Zoloft withdrawl(withdrawal)

What are the withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms of coming off of Zoloft?  I'm a 27-year-old female and have been taking 100 mg. daily for chronic depression for a year and a half, and decided not to take it anymore due to the side effects (anxiety, nausea, headaches, dry mouth, light wallet).  

I abruptly stopped taking it 10 days ago and am starting to feel crazy.  I'm lightheaded, dizzy, disoriented, sleepy, irritable, and more emotional than usual.  I'm having difficulty concentrating.  Today I didn't feel "together" enough to drive my car.  My nightmares have worsened in terms of intensity and violence (I have them every time I sleep).  The strangest withdrawl (withdrawal) sympton I've noticed is that I'm losing my taste for cigarettes.

I haven't discussed stopping the Zoloft with my psychiatrist because a) I've been too lazy to make an appointment, and b) she gives me **** for being a daily pot smoker.

What should I do?
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Avatar_n_tn
In discontinuing psychiatric medications, a taper dose is a rule. Your psychiatrist should be able to help you with this. Self discontinuation of medications lke Zoloft may bring about withdrawal symptoms like you mentioned.

Though it may be difficult for you as it may seem, I would suggest taking your Zoloft at the recommended dose and set an appointment with your psychiatrist and ask to be tapered from Zoloft slowly to minimize the recurrence of withdrawal symptoms. You may also consider taking other antidepressants that may not have the same side effects for you.
31 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the same problems when I withdrew from zoloft and went right on paxil the same week. They both have terrible side effects! I was on zoloft for a month, then switched to Paxil (had even worse side effects) After 1 month of being on the Paxil, I couldn't
take it anymore. I too felt like I was going crazy!! I had a dry mouth, more anxiety, lost interest in sex, constipation, increased sweating...you name it!! I have now been off the Paxil for about two weeks. I just started feeling normal again the past few days. I feel great, although the withdrawal symptoms were awful. I will never go on any of these medications again. They were a nightmare!! I will say however that I have a better outlook on life and have instead been changing the way I live. Trying to have a less complicated life ...  Chris

Also, you should have decreased dosage slowly, not gone abrutly off.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the same symptoms. I went from zoloft to paxil. Both of these gave me terrible side effects. I was on the zoloft for a month, then switched straight to paxil. I was on the paxil for a month and felt like I was going crazy. I went off of it two weeks ago. It took me a week to start feeling normal again! I will never go on any of these medications again, they were a nightmare!!  Chris
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Avatar_n_tn
My doctor, if you want to call him a doctor, and is not longer my doctor after this episode I'm getting ready to tell you about.  I have been on zoloft for about a year and half.  He decides to switch me from zoloft to serzone.  I had a 3 day wash out period after stopping the zoloft and before starting the serzone.  I missed a week of work because of the dizziness that would not stop no matter what.  I laid in the bed the entire time, could only sit or stand up for about 10 minutes at a time.  I was so ready to go the emergency room, but I stuck it out and got me an appt with a specialist.  He could not believe that my other doctor and told me to quit zoloft cold turkey.  He put me back on the zoloft and after a long talk to him about what is going on in the brain to cause panic attacks, I feel 100% better.  I returned to work the next day after getting back on my zoloft.

My advice,DO NOT STOP TAKING ZOLOFT COLD TURKEY, GET HELP TO COME OFF THIS STUFF GRADUALLY.  I was to the point where I told my  mother just take me to the hospital and tell them to knock me out until this dizziness go away.  

By the way, this is recent.  today was my 2nd day back at work.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am taking Zoloft as prescribed by my doctor for the treatment of heavy emotional problems due to the hormonal unbalance caused by my birth control pills but only seven days a month. It seems that my body can't handle the hormone changes the birth control pills causes. My doctor wants me to go off of the birth control pill because even after switching brands and different kinds and various estrogen levels, my body still doesn't like it. Unfortunately, I can't do that right now and need to find something that works. I was told to take 25mg for seven days a month during my menstral cycle. So far, it has helped and no real bad side affects. I seem to be able to deal with situations much more rationally, the uncontrolable crying has stopped etc. I just started this treatment and after reading some of the responses in this forum, I am concerned that going on and off of Zoloft every month might be worse for me. Does anybody have any experience with Zoloft in this way?
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Avatar_n_tn
I cannot no way no how do birth control pills, it sounds like you can't either, get off of them & find another form of protection, it isn't worth it. My Dr also prescribed zoloft for PMS, ie hormonal treatment, I found it ineffective if I didn't take it all the time so what I did do was to take 25 mg for the majority of the month & 50 prior to my cycle, it did work for about 6 months. Now I am finding it isn't as effective & am contributing heart palpitations to it, I guess I kind of tapered myself off, I was taking a half, then not at all, then a half...kind of testing to see how it effected the palpitations, so I didn't see any major effects when I went off of it.
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Avatar_n_tn
I took zoloft 50mgs a day for two years, stopped on my own had to restart again a year later, took it that time for 1 1/2 years then stopped last august on my own.  I never experienced any withdrawals. My dr. did chastise me the first time for stopping without his knowledge.  Oh well, when you don't have health insurance you do what you gotta do.  The zoloft really did help my panic/anxiety for quite a while, but after a year or so it seemed to stop working.  I"ve heard that is common. When I first took zoloft 6 years ago, the side effects were horrendous, thought I was losing my mind, cried uncontrollably, was a mess, just laid my head in my husband's lap and didn't move for a month till it kicked in.  It really made a difference after the first 6 weeks. Thanks to a panic support group on the net I survived those first few weeks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been taking 50 mg of Zoloft for six months and I want to stop talking it. Can I stop cold turkey?
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Avatar_n_tn
i have been taking zoloft for a month for hormonal changes and anxiety that has heightened with my hormonal changes.  I am only taking 25 mg. , i have felt really good untill this past week, i am not sleeping well, very dizzy,and a little anxious.  I also take levoxyl .5 mg for thyroid disease, and zestril for high blood pressure.  I am 49 years old, a little scared of zoloft after reading some of the responses.  any chance prosac is better than zoloft.
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Avatar_n_tn
Zoloft is the worst experience I have gone through.  My panic attacks were so bad I would sit in a corner and cry.  I have also went from a size one to a size nine in all of two months.  I have not been eating differently and I also work out 3-4 times a week.
If anyone has had any significant weight gain and has some advice or tips let me know!!!
***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
i have panic disorder, and it is so hereditary...my mother, my father, sister, and both grandmothers had it, and that's just the people i know about!  i am the only one who is seeking treatment beyond  alcohol and drugs ( all the above were/are addicted to drugs/alcohol or both.)  i am taking zoloft 50mg and doing really well.  i had a few side effects that were aweful in the beginning, but after about a week they went away...phew!  i do not touch drugs or alcohol!!!!  i've been on the zoloft for about eight months now.  i've been thinking about trying to go off of it, but due to my strong family history i am terrified that the panic will just return.  are there any studies on the effects zoloft has on the body after extended use?  i have also heard about a problem where zoloft sometimes will just stop working...say it ain't so!!!  i don't mind taking the med if it means a normal life, but i am a bit of a naturalist and having a hard time getting use to the idea of taking a med.  also, i can not find a support group in my area; any ideas where to look.  i've already checked hospitals and community boards.
any  input would be  much appreciated

thanx
holly






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Avatar_n_tn
Zoloft sucks!
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Avatar_n_tn
I HAVE BEEN ON ZOLOFT FOR A YR THE EFFECTS OF 50MG. DON  ;T DO ANYTHING FOR MY PANIC  NOW NOT TO MENTION ALL THE SIDE AFFECTS I HAVE HAD ON THIS MESS DR. WANTS TO UP DOSE TO 75MG. I TOLD HIM NO WAY NEXT WENT IT DOES NOT IT WOULD BE 100MG. WNAT TO GET OFF IT BUT HE WILL NOT TELL ME HOW TO TAPER THEY SAY THAT IT IS NOT HABIT FORMING BUT I BELIEVE THEY ARE LYING.
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Avatar_n_tn
no one has the right to complain about the side effects of coming off of zoloft if it was not by permission of their physician.  I advise everyone who wants to get off of the drug to first speak to their doctor and if the doctor will take you off the drug, they will surely give you a method of tapering off.  ZOLOFT IS HABIT FORMING, if not their would not be such serious withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms.  Be careful and think before you do something.
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Avatar_n_tn
I came off Zoloft and I am having terrible side effects.   I did it the correct  way and came off very slowly.  I was orginally on 50mgs .  My DR gave me a new presciption for a smaller does which I took for two weeks.  Then I had to take half of that dose for another two weeks.  Then I took a half of a pill for 10 days.  It took over a month to wean off of it yet I am still having withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms.  I am so moody and irritable.  I cry often and I am so dizzy.  I also have these strange tingling sensations in my fingers and tongue.  has anyone experienced this?  I just want to feel normal....
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Avatar_n_tn
So sorry you are having a difficult time.  I too am on a tapering dose of Zoloft  50 to 25 for a month and now to 12.5 for another month.  I am nauseated, dizzy, exhausted, sweaty and mainly sorry I ever took zoloft.  Have to believe that the end is nearing.  This withdrawal stuff is not for sissies.  My best wishes,  courage!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I see you both said you had strange tingling sensations.  Can you be more specific? Do these tingling sensations feel like your skin is crawling? I am also going off of Zoloft.  I did have good luck with it but am tapering off of it to see how I do (I have been on it for a couple years. I was on Lexapro but changed to Zoloft). My doctor had me reduce the dose, then do it again; and then after taking a half pill for a while I have gone off it completely.  As far as side effects I have had the crying spells, anxiety, and skin crawling. I am not sure if the skin crawling is due to this or my allergies. I thought i'd see if you were having the same symptoms. At least then I might be able to figure this out before I lose my mind.  My skin (over my whole body) has been crawling for days now.  I don't think I can take this a whole lot longer.
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Avatar_n_tn
I COMPLETELY understand....I have been on Zoloft for about 2 yrs now, and tapered off (with the instructions of my physician who told me to go cold turkey) about a year ago....and had to go back on it a year later, seems my panic and anxiety was WORSE than before I went on it.  I then restarted it, had been on it almost another year, and my NEW Dr. told me to reduce from 50 MG a day, to 25 a day for 2 weeks then stop completely......Due to the negative response my body had last time, I took it a step further and did 3/4 a pill for a week, half pill for a week, and 1/4 pill for a week....My last pill was about 3 days ago, and I am absolutely miserable.

I am emotional, from crying to angry, hating the world to loving every person I see, night sweats (I had those constantly anyways when I was on it)  vivid dreams...and am just hoping it all subsides soon...and hoping and praying I don't have to go back on it....

The biggest withdrawal I have is super weird...I have a sensation come over my body like a jolt kinda thing....and as it comes over my body, I have a loud sound in my ears/head like a car whizzing by me super close with that loud "whhoooo" sound like a race car that's going super fast or something...It's super strange...I had it the last time also when I tapered off, but at least this time it's not as often or as loud/annoying when it happens....

TELL YOUR FRIENDS TO NEVER TAKE ZOLOFT!
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Avatar_n_tn
I was on 50-75 mgs of zoloft for about 2.5 years. I went of it 6 days ago after lowering my dose to 25 mgs.  So far the largest symptoms is the light headed dizziness. Im a bit emotional, crying easily.  Does anyone have any idea how long I should expect these symptoms? How will I know if my being emotional is a discontinuation symptom or depressiveness?
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Avatar_n_tn
I was on Zoloft for about 6 years, took 50mgs for four years then started breaking the tablets in half in an effort to wean myself off over the past two years.  Finally decided to go cold turkey about a month ago.  Emotions have been crazy, nerves on edge, cannot concentrate,  vivid dreams, and yes the dizziness!  I am going to stick it out-just tired of not feeling "Normal" on the Zoloft. Maybe I will eventually even back out! Good to know there are others out there with withdrawal symptoms on a "non habit-forming" drug or so we are told.....
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Avatar_n_tn
i have been on Zoloft for about five months for anxiety..my doctor recommended me to taking 25 mgs because im younger and there could be some serious side effects...about a week ago i stopped taking it cold turkey because i was experiencing serious insomnia..i even tried taking over the counter sleeping pills called melatonin which did not help at all and i started to get fed up with it..now i feel like im going crazy..sleeping is no better..anxiety is comming back..dizziness..weakness..confusion..and a hard time remembering things...i just dont feel like my normal self anymore..does anybody know anything about stopping all this..should i just start taking the zoloft again or is that not a good idea??? any answers will be great!!
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Avatar_n_tn
PLEASE HELP!
I have been taking zoloft since may of this year and now it is september..i have been taking 75 mg a day..im ready to get off zoloft..it doesnt help me and i want to start a more natural way of helping my depression...i wont quit cold turkey because i know it could give me bad withdrawls..but i was wondering if anybody had to wean off zoloft and how did you do it?? is there a way to do it without getting withdrawls????
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Avatar_n_tn
I started taking Zoloft in 2000 i recently quit after weening myself off. I was taking 150mg daily. I must say the meds really helped me. Everyone is different. Depression is not an exact science. Doctors have to experiment with patients to find what works the best with minimal side effects. I got lucky with the Zoloft. I recently when through some major changes in my life ie. Divorce, retired from 22 yrs in the Army and I feel great. My girlfriend is wonderful compared to my X. I felt I no longer needed the meds, so I slowly started cutting back. About a week ago I stopped taking them cold turkey. I still feel happy. I only have one serious withdrawal that really bugs the **** out of me. Constantly throughout the day, I feel like I'm getting these jolts of electrical shocks throughout the body. This is the same feeling I got when I missed my pills for a couple of days. Only then they would go away when I started taking them again. I'm trying to tough it out though. Hopefully they will eventually go away. All I can say is I know how you all feel and I wish you the best. If your meds are not working, document the effects, pros and cons and present this to your doctor. This will help your doc find the right cocktail for you. Most importantly, find a doctor that is very well educated in mental behavior and chemical inbalances. This is a must. There are too many doctors out there that should not practice in this area of health. It could be dangerous. Please find a doctor that knows what they are doing. Lastly, research yourself. There is a vast amount of info on the internet and in the library.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am going through a very similar experience to jennaluv and I strongly agree with lpeeler summary of the best practice, it has been reassuring to find someone who has been taking in the 3 figures of mg's!  In my experience my doctor over the past 4 months has ratcheted me up from 50mg to 200mg, at 200mg I finally noticed a positive natural effect and was my 'old self' for a few weeks then the affect wore off.... so the cons are the doc is happy to go as high as 300mg but my inbuilt alarm system (and my liver (i look dreadful, am piling on weight and have a constant strong desire to drink heavily and no desire for sex) so i am diy tapering off and have speant 4 weeks going down to 100mg in 25mg blocks. This has been fine until I reached 100mg this week at which point my symptoms are at least as bad as before I started taking it (low self esteem / insecurity) so i worry about takign the next step down€ and am tempted to creep back up again! I spent 20 yars refusing to go down the medical solution route, I am pleased I have now tried otherwise I would have always wondered, but with an addictive personality like mine I am better off not starting to take sometings in the first place and anti-depressants is certainly one of those for me. Good luck all and keep :-) life's too short otherwise.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have spent the past week thinking I have some kind of brain damage. Or maybe that I'm nuts. I have found out that I am going thru HORRIBLE, HORRENDOUS withdrawals from missing my 150 mg "fix" for the past week. I couldn't afford the meds, and certainly could not afford to see the doctor who would prescribe me the meds. I told myself this week, just deal with it. Nothin doin. I'm a girl who's pissed and i want to know who's with me.

meg
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Avatar_n_tn
After reading everyone's stories, I no longer feel like a leper. I have been so damn dizzy for the past week that I can't function unless I'm lying down. I have turned to alcohol to help me...not good for me. If I have to go thru another week of this like my pharmacist said I might, I'll go nuts.

Please, advice, anyone. I'm fuckin MISERABLE.

meg
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Avatar_n_tn

I'm sorry to say that I have no good news, other than I am
real pissed too, and I'm with you. I'm coming off of 5 yr. of 200mg cold and it's the 39th day with no change at all. I still have most all of the symptoms, plus a few more. Lack of employment soon to be one I'm sure if I don't get better.
I might rather spend my money on a lawyer than a doctor, if I don't lose my jobs. What chaps my *** is when you spell check it tries to make tfoloz capitalized, unbelievable.
I hate this for everyone.
I hope to have better news in few days and I will continue to share.   ....................................music54
         pray for me and i'll pray for you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been on zoloft for going on 12 years and I was on 200 mg a day for the past couple of years.  I went through a 6 week gradual taper down exactly as my doctor instructed and I'm in my first week off completely.  The dizziness, weakness and what I like to call "ear flashes" are pretty intense and hitting me at bad times (like while I'm driving on the interstate).  I hope that the dosage I was on the the length of time I was on it doesn't mean that it will be the withdrawal from hell.  At least I'm not ready to kill anybody (yet :-)
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290055_tn?1191299481
I too am going through the same thing as everyone else here.  I was up to 200 mg daily but have been most comfortable taking 100 mg daily.  If I dip below that amount at all for more than 2 days, I experience the same withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms. Now I'm trying to come off all together due to my side effects are worse than my original issues.  

So, from reading this forum, I see that this is a serious issue with this drug.  Everyone who trys to come off seems to be having the same withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms.  My question is: how long will this go on?   And if you taper off slowly and still have the symptoms, why not go cold turkey and suck it up and get it out of your system.  

I realize many of you going through the same thing are probably asking the same questions as I am.  Maybe we should poll.....    how long has everyone been having the withdrawl (withdrawal) issues so far?

Can anyone help????
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290055_tn?1191299481
I have went cold turkey from 100mg daily for 4 days now.

Withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms got bad at day 2 and have become worse each day.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm frightened to hear all of this; i just started Zoloft about 2 months ago, currently I am on 50mg in the morning 25mg at night. I found that when i took it all at once i was experiencing many symptoms, so far splitting it has helped. But I am also on Kloptapns too, which they are hoping to taper me off of, while increasing the Zoloft yet again to 100mg, which they want to keep me on for a year. The whole reason for the zoloft is because I had an anxiety attack while on Pretasone (for poison ivy) so now i am on what seems to be worse meds, than that which started this whole thing. It just sucks, one day i was fine, the next i had an anxiety attack... here it is 3 months later and I still have anxiety. I just want to be normal again? If these withdrawals are as bad as you say they are, do you suggest talking to my doctor now to get off of it, or to continue for a year, then taper off? Please Help!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been taking zoloft 200 mg for a year and started tapering off three weeks ago.  I have not had any emotional problems at all but I feel like I have cobwebs in my head constantly and I also experience the "jolts" that others have described.  I'm going to stick it out and take a more natural approach to calming my anxiety.  Bach's rescue pastilles from Whole Foods help tremendously.
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