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Avatar universal

Zoloft Long Term and Return to It

Hello- I took 50mg of Zoloft for about ten years and my sex drive was still great (just a bit of delayed orgasm). I never really considered that I shouldn't take it; I just did it faithfully all that time.  Last summer I decided I might not need it (life was going very well) and tapered off rather quickly.  Within a month I was in the most unreal and debilitating depression of my life. It was a nightmare. I was really on death's doorstep and could barely get out of bed.  Worry and anxiety were rampant. I tried to get back on Zoloft with my doc's advice but even after going up to 100mg it wasn't helping with such a severe depression.  And my sex drive at 100mg was dead (either from the zoloft or the depression or both).  After many drug changes over the last six or seven months, I am finally stable with Remeron 30mg, and still trying to pick up the pieces from the "train wreck" of depression I went through (still have a tough time) via therapy and hard work.  One problem remains from all this that even my pscychiatrist cannot solve-- My sex drive has been practically gone since the beginning of the deep part of the depression last summer.  It was VERY healthy on zoloft all those years.  Now, when I am only on Remeron I have little to no urges and problems with weak erections and awful premature ejaculation.  When the doc augmented the Remeron with Celexa, it helped with the premature ejaculation but killed my desire even more. We are stumped as to how to get my desire back while also getting rid of this premature ejaculation problem.  I am about to suggest going back on 25 mg Zoloft with a bit of Wellbutrin (while staying on Rememeron), although we have been trying to avoid the anxiety from meds like this, and my doctor thinks the zoloft (or any other ssri) will kill my sex drive even more.  He doesn't seem to understand the weak erections and premature ejaculation problems, especially when I tell him I had neither on Zoloft all those years.  Needless to say this has been hell on my relationship, going from a healthy sex drive to having little desire and wondering if I'll ever be normal again.  
Did my sex drive shut down for good after I came off Zoloft after ten years?  How can I get it back, as it doesn't seem to be there whether I am on or off an SSRI?  Is it possible that my mental wiring has been altered to the point that I can't get back to where I was?
18 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I do not believe that you  have injured yourself in terms of brain function from the use of these medications, and I would not spend all my time trying to figure out the right combination of drugs to restart yourself.  Think of it now as a loss of confidence, and talk to your doctor about Viagra to regain your confidence, and then your sex drive will follow....
Avatar universal
That's a really tough predicament to be in. Remeron is known for being an antidepressant that doesn't have many sexual side effects. But everyone reacts differently to these medications. Is is possible that your depression isn't in complete remission? Perhaps you feel "better" but the depression hasn't compeletely lifted? SSRIs are notorious for losing their effectiveness over time. Many people,my husband included, have switched from one to the other. Did you ask the doc about trying a different SSRI and tapering off of the Remeron? My husband stopped Zoloft for several years and is back on and having success with it again. I don't know about it permanently altering your brain chemistry,but it must alter it for a time and there's sure to be after effects that last after discontiueing the drug. I would look at maybe just taking Celexa/Lexapro or another SSRI, Prozac maybe? And maybe tapering off the Remeron? You can always resume it immediately if you start feeling terribly again. Remeron is very fast acting. Remeron has some side effects that people find intolerable,namely fast,significant weight gain. Also, look at Buspar for something to take to alter the delayed orgasms of an SSRI. It has worked for my husband like a charm and it takes only an hour for it to start working. Just some ideas.. good luck.
Avatar universal
Ok, I have read soooo many forums about this because I have had terrible withdrawal experiences. I began using Zoloft back in 2006, I decided that I wanted to stop taking it, so I gradually tapered off the drug, only to experience this "brain shiver" sensation and irritability. So of course I began using the Zoloft again. Voila, the symptoms dissapeared!! I once again 4 months later decided it was time to stop, so I tapered down from 50mg to 25mg and then 25mg every other day until finished with med. Well everything seemed to be fime for about 3 WEEKS, then all of a sudden, I started getting those brain shivers/zaps intermittently, then I felt dizziness, then I was feeling like my brain was wrapped in cotton, very foggy and spacy. I then developed headaches. This has been going on now for one month, I feel terrible and even sounds and bright lights irritate me. I spoke to a psychiatrist that I work with and she asked me all these qustions, she then suggested that I see a neurologist. She told me that in no way could I be having symptoms this far after taking Zoloft, especially since I didn't begin experiencing the symptoms until after 3 weeks of discontinuation of the drug. I have scheduled an appointment with a neurologist to see if I have something else going on. I am really nervous and I strongly believe that I am experiencing a really bad side effect from Zoloft. I would appreciate if anyone else came forward that had w/d so long after taking the drug and describe all the symptoms if any that are related to mine. This completely sucks and I am even tempted to go back on the drug just to make all this wacky **** in my head stop. I have NEVER had this experience in my life until after the second time I took Zoloft. The only other medication I am taking is Albuterol and Advair inhalers for my asthma. I am really miserable and not one professional seems to care much less understand what the hell is going on.
Avatar universal
Ok, I have read soooo many forums about this because I have had terrible withdrawal experiences. I began using Zoloft back in 2006, I decided that I wanted to stop taking it, so I gradually tapered off the drug, only to experience this "brain shiver" sensation and irritability. So of course I began using the Zoloft again. Voila, the symptoms dissapeared!! I once again 4 months later decided it was time to stop, so I tapered down from 50mg to 25mg and then 25mg every other day until finished with med. Well everything seemed to be fime for about 3 WEEKS, then all of a sudden, I started getting those brain shivers/zaps intermittently, then I felt dizziness, then I was feeling like my brain was wrapped in cotton, very foggy and spacy. I then developed headaches. This has been going on now for one month, I feel terrible and even sounds and bright lights irritate me. I spoke to a psychiatrist that I work with and she asked me all these qustions, she then suggested that I see a neurologist. She told me that in no way could I be having symptoms this far after taking Zoloft, especially since I didn't begin experiencing the symptoms until after 3 weeks of discontinuation of the drug. I have scheduled an appointment with a neurologist to see if I have something else going on. I am really nervous and I strongly believe that I am experiencing a really bad side effect from Zoloft. I would appreciate if anyone else came forward that had w/d so long after taking the drug and describe all the symptoms if any that are related to mine. This completely sucks and I am even tempted to go back on the drug just to make all this wacky **** in my head stop. I have NEVER had this experience in my life until after the second time I took Zoloft. The only other medication I am taking is Albuterol and Advair inhalers for my asthma. I am really miserable and not one professional seems to care much less understand what the hell is going on.
Avatar universal
Ok, I went ahead and began taking Zoloft 25mg yesterday. I was experiencing such bad symptoms from the w/d of the medication, that I went and got my prescription refilled. Well today I feel back to normal, I am not having the brain shivers, the cloudy feelings, the irritabilty. This was sort of a test I was doing on my own, and I was right. It was the Zoloft w/d that made me experience those symptoms. I want to know if anyone else has tried this and if they feel normal again. If so, we need a class action suit against the drug companies to put out a warning label that has these symptoms included. Now I feel like I will not be able to stop taking this medication because I NEVER want to experience these symptoms ever again. Mind you, I have NEVER had any symptoms like this before I was ever placed on Zoloft.
Avatar universal
I've been reading so many comments also on this forum, and Im of the opinion that these withdrawals that youre having (even several weeks later after stopping) are quite common. Im no expert, but judging from the amount of experiences Ive read about, the side effects will indeed go away eventually. Every person is different, but I noticed many comments suggesting around 2 months from the time you first start weaning off. Although I did also read one that said 6 months - not sure if this is just a rare case though??

In any case, the main thing is weighing out if you need the meds for your particular problems, or if you can survive without them. My suggestion, dont keep taking them if your only reason is that you are afraid of the withdrawls. Oh, and try a new doctor - a second opinion is always a good idea i have found!

Hope this helps...
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