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Avatar universal

Zoloft withdrawal, some odd side effects...

I recently began experiencing some really crazy symptoms and this was within the same week that I went off Zoloft, kind of weaning myself off. I came on here and discovered someone else who had posted exactly what I was going through. I am going to quote it here word for word because I want input, I want to know how long it took Amy F. to feel better:

"What are the withdrawal symptoms of ZOloft? I'm a 27-year old female and have been taking Zoloft for chronic depression for a year and a half and decided not to take it anymore....

"I abruptly stopped 10 days ago and am starting to feel crazy. I'm light-headed, dizzy, disoriented, sleepy, irritable, and more emotional than usual. I'm having difficutly 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 symptom withdrawal I've noticed is that I'm losing my taste for cigarettes."

"....I haven't discussed stopping with my psych... b) she gives me **** for being a daily pot smoker."

This is almost exactly a description of me, except I've only been on it for about six months, I took a week to wean myself off, and I am supposed to start a new presciption for Prozac, but these synptoms are terrible, (it's also starting to affect my breathing) and I wondered if anyone else has experienced this.

Thanks
45 Responses
Avatar universal
For answers to your questions, please refer to a post titled "Withdrawal symptoms from Celexa" by Ann on 4/7/00, with my response dated 4/12/00.
Avatar universal

I know what you mean about your Doc giving you ****. My psychiatrist refuses now to treat me as an out-patient for alcohol withdrawal even though I tried her idea of going into a mental psych ward in-patient facility which was nothing more than a joke. The caretakers did not even know what the DT's are and stood by and laughed and joked while I had two alcohol withdrawal seizures. I have partial seizures from the withdrawal, Jacksonion march type as they call it but more tonic clonic in nature almost partial status I do not completely go unconscious. A sleep study revealed three seizures in a row just last week.

My psych Doc will no longer give me anything that is addictive, and the benzos are the main thing to treat alcohol withdrawal which she admits is life threatening. They also are best for anxiety which she claims I have major depression and a najor anxiety disorder.

I tried Celexa, similar to Zoloft only Zoloft has more side effects and Celexa is the newest of the SSRI's. I had bad withdrawal for about one week after I stopped taking it for having severe diahrea for over one month: a side effect.

The withdrawal was similar to your experience with zoloft only mine also included nausea and vomiting for five days. Could have been part due to Klonopin withdrawal which is what I was taking at the psych ward before I checked myself out after going into seizures and DT's and got no help from the staff there. I felt I was safer withdrawing at home. I can shake down and go delirius there and at least be much more comfortable.

The only thing I am on now is Neurontin for the seizures.
Avatar universal
Jessica, I am experiencing the exact same thing now!  I was just searching the web for answers about how I'm feeling.  I accidentally missed two doses of Zolft and was barely able to get out of bed.   I laid on the couch all day and could barely stay alert to what my 2 year old was doing.  I felt so guilty that I was being a bad mom, but I couldn't physically get myself going.  I started to realize that it might have something to do with the drugs and discovered that I had inadvertantly missed two days worth.  It has been five days now and I still don't feel normal.  I feel out of it, like my body and mind aren't cooperating and I feel nauseau, like I'm constantly feeling car sick.  I also felt like I couldn't breath and thought maybe I was having a panic attack.  My throat feels tight like I'm not getting enough air and my head aches constantly.  The emotions come and go and strange thoughts come to mind.  It has to be zoloft withdrawal.  Funny, there doesn't seem to be any expert information on the subject.  Thanks for sharing so that I don't feel like it's all in my mind.
Avatar universal
Jessica, I am experiencing the exact same thing now!  I was just searching the web for answers about how I'm feeling.  I accidentally missed two doses of Zolft and was barely able to get out of bed.   I laid on the couch all day and could barely stay alert to what my 2 year old was doing.  I felt so guilty that I was being a bad mom, but I couldn't physically get myself going.  I started to realize that it might have something to do with the drugs and discovered that I had inadvertantly missed two days worth.  It has been five days now and I still don't feel normal.  I feel out of it, like my body and mind aren't cooperating and I feel nauseau, like I'm constantly feeling car sick.  I also felt like I couldn't breath and thought maybe I was having a panic attack.  My throat feels tight like I'm not getting enough air and my head aches constantly.  The emotions come and go and strange thoughts come to mind.  It has to be zoloft withdrawal.  Funny, there doesn't seem to be any expert information on the subject.  Thanks for sharing so that I don't feel like it's all in my mind.***@****.
Avatar universal
I have quit taking my 50mg Zoloft.  It has been 8 days and the withdrawal is unbearable for me.  This is the 4th time I have decided to quit and the longest I have been able to suffer the symptoms.  I started the Zoloft for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and depression but want to have a baby and do not want it to affect my child.  My symptoms are: I cannot move my eyes in their sockets without becoming dizzy and hearing sounds. I can turn my head comfortably as long as I keep my eyes still all the time. This effect increases toward evening.  I feel like I have bugs crawling on my legs, I am tired, irritable, angry and disoriented.  When I speak, my words are turned around and I cannot remember much from one day to the next.

I told my doctor the last time I attempted to quit that there are some major issues with Zoloft withdrawal and he was surprised!  He suggested I was experiencing the flu!

Can someone give me some advice on how to alleviate these symptoms?.  My doctor tells me there is no withdrawal - but I know there is.  This was my first shot at anti-depressant and I am having big regrets about ever starting it!
Avatar universal
After having ovarian cancer, and two operations in l987 I immediately experienced hot flashs and depression, my cholosteral shot up to over 8, and I wanted to just quit.  My doctors did not want me to use anything for a while to be sure that if any form of cancer returned it would not be because of any medications I was taking.  For three and a half years I took nothing and suffered terribly.  Finally I asked to get something to stop the hotflashs and depression, didn't know how high the cholosteral was.  I was put on Premerin at .625, now I take 2.5 every day, also I have to take zoloft for the depression, I tried to get off of it but was so withdrawn and misirable I decided to go back on it.  I take 50 ml daily.  I also was put on zocore to bring the cholosteral level down, it did that, and now it is below 4.5. At first I was on 20 ml, but have be on l0 ml for quite a while.  I also have to take 325 ml of asprin daily as I have had eye problems, blurr vision, and sometimes cannot read as letters are missing and I cannot figure out what is right there in front of me.  Doctor (eye) said it was migraines and that the aspirin would help to keep the blood flowing in the vessels in the back of my eyes incase a piece of cholosteral was lodged there.  The eye doctor said this was a very common condition and nothing to really worry aboue (ya). but when I experienced a loss of vision in one eye that that was dangerous unless the vision came right back and whatever was blocking it moved on.  I experience a weakness in my entire body that will last two to three days, and then like a miracle I am back to my old self and ready to go.  I have shortness of breath and cannot do any strenous excercise or anything that takes much exertion.  After reading some of the letters send in I am almost certain that a lot of what I am feeling has to do with the pills I must take everyday just to be able to get up in the morning.   I don't know what the answer is, stop everything and feel like dying, or keep on taking all of these quick cures and hope for the best.  Your damned if you do and damned if you don't.  Unfortunately when we feel bad or hurt we want whatever will make us feel better.   I would love to be able to stop taking  all of the pills I take daily, but know that I have become so dependant on them that it is a way of life.  I am 58 years old and also have disk and knee arthritis, and various other problems, so what do I do, right keep popping the pills and hope for the best.  Good luck to everyone out there who is in the same position and worse, I know your delima and hope that eventually you will find relief from and dependancy from these medications that help, and yet hurt us.  I sign off and hope that your quality of life will improve with knowledge.

Avatar universal
i wuz just wondering if this is a possible side effect:
I'm an 18 year old female taking zoloft for almost a year now and i tried to get off it last month after i had my period.and i wuz off it for a week but then started to feel horrible again like all zombish and dead so i had to get back on it the next week. well here i am a month later and still taking...but i am 5 dayz late on my period this month. and i am usually so regular. i wuz just wondering if that is a possible side effect.somebody pleez help. thanx.
Avatar universal
I am a 45 yr old female who was prescribed Zoloft for PMS two years ago and it has been worked great.  However, earlier this year when I abruptly stopped taking Zoloft, I began having very scary and unusual problems such as electrical shock sensations in my head, diziness, dis-orientation,inability to concentrate, and loose stools among other things. I asked a Dr. about my symptoms, and he was clueless on whether my symptoms could be connected to Zoloft. I was very frightened, because no one seemed to know what was wrong with me.  I was so alarmed that I made an appointment with a neurologist.  Before my appointment with the neurologist, I started taking the Zoloft again and my symptoms disappeared, that's when I realized that I had been suffering from Zoloft withdrawal.  I looked at a number of web sites on ZOloft, and could not find anything about my symptoms occuring as side effects of the drug, or anything about how to stop taking it.  I saw a segment on 20/20 Friday night (8/25/00) about anti-depressant withdrawal, and realized that many  people have suffered from it.  After viewing 20/20, I typed in "Zoloft withdrawal" and found this web site.
Avatar universal
I too experienced almost all the above mentioned withdrawal side effects from Zoloft.  I took my last dose on a Friday the day I began a nine day at home vacation.  I must have spent more time in bed than upright.  I too did not feel comfortable driving.  I had to ask my daughter to drive me or have her run errands.  I was so sick the entire week. The second week I was almost back to my old self. In the above mentioned replies, people did not indicate how long and what dose they were taking.   I was on only 75 mg.a day.  I started nine months ago on 50 mg. and upgraded about four months later.   I took myself off Zoloft because my skin doctor could not explain a head rash that I have had for four months.  His tests did not reveal anything.  Then I introduced the possibility of a side effect to Zoloft.  He said there was a mention in the side effects but it was so rare he did not think the rash was a side effect to Zoloft.  I took myself off of it to see if the rash cleared.  It has been about three weeks and the rash has decreased a lot. I would like to know more about weight gain being on Zoloft and what happens to the gain after the drug  is entirely out of your system.
Avatar universal
I can't believe what I've been reading about other people's withdrawal symptoms from zoloft and other SSRI's.I've been on and off these meds for about 5 years now.Prozac was my first introduction and I was taking it for a complusive disorder and then came to find out that I was able to handle a few of the daily stresses in my life a little better. Besides experiencing a few of the side effects of being a little sleepy to being unable to stay awake long enough to drive 20mins to work, to gaining 25 lbs I thruoght these were the tickets to happiness I've always been looking for in life.I've also been in 12 step programs for over 20 yrs and and have used professional theraipsts over the years.
     The best part is when I wanted to try and do without the meds because I felt that things were going alright for me again. Oh my this is when the dizzyness started along with increased anxiety ,unable to want to get out of bed, severe bouts of uncontrollable crying and various degrees of suicidal throughts.So my doctor would try me on something new and I've been on ,to mention a few Prozac,Zoloft,Paxil,Luvox,Effexor,Serzone and busbar.
      The worst was when I was trying to come off the paxil earlier this year. Reducing my dosage over a period of 4 weeks and I was only on 10mg a day to begin with.I had been on it for only appox 4months when I wanted to get off the SSRI's all together.Previous to this I had been on zoloft for about 3years and found out that the zoloft was not being as effective as it had been in the past. I had never experienced depression and the side effects that I've mentioned above in my life before taking this medication. I throught that I had problems before I started these meds 5 yrs earlier. I was bound and determined to do this with my 12 step programs and with the help of my therispt but had to go back on the zoloft in April again to get rid of these awlful side effects. I believe I am over my orginal condition and would like to get off of these meds but just don't want to take the risk of going thru these withdrawal symptoms again. Also my employer would not torelete me leaving work for another 2 months . I will give my doctor some of this info I 've being reading because when I told him some of the withdraw symptoms he said he had not heard of them before.
Avatar universal
Hello. I am currently taking Zoloft for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. I am on 75 mgs currently, and I started taking Zoloft about six months ago. I haven't noticed any difference in my health except bad things. I had trouble sleeping before, but it has worsened; I am very restless; I am always tired no matter how much sleep I get (which was already a symptom before I started Zoloft); and I am very edgy some days, which isn't like me at all. Seeing that taking Zoloft has not improved my conditions, I am thinking about asking my doctor to take me off of it and try something different, such as acupuncture, which I have researched and many people with my diseases have found it to be helpful. As of right now I am doing research on withdrawal symptoms so I know what to be aware of if and when I do go off this anti depressent. But so far I haven't come across anyone who is taking it for these diseases, only for anxiety disorders and depression and things like that. If there is anyone out there who is taking it for other reasons, please contact me. My e-mail is ***@****    Thank you for your time!
Avatar universal
I am 19 years old and have back pain which won't go away.I was on zoloft for about a year and than I justed stop. I felt happy and content. When I was having some issues about four monthes later, while I was trying to deal with them, I emotionally fell flat on my ***. So, I went back on them. The doctor perscribed me a higher dose and said that I'd have to be on this dose for at least a year. Then I could probably lower my dose. My doc said that if I continue to smoke maryjane I will have to take this **** for the rest of my life and the dose could get increased if I have a relaps. One of the side effects from taking zoloft is muscular inflamation or muscle spasms. My back is always tight,tense and in pain. A comfortable sleep is hard to come by. Zoloft can also cause disruption in sleep. My questoin is why don't we have more info on these side effects and is this medication really worth the money and the side effects.
Avatar universal
I, too, am currently weaning myself off a 6 year Zoloft treatment (200 mgs/day for the last 5 of those year) and am having all those symptoms described above, but super industrial strength.  My doctor wasn't very supportive of me going off either, but he's monitoring the weaning off:  I can only reduce my dose by 25 mg per month.  He says I shouldn't be having any withdrawal symptoms coming off that slowly, but he is wrong wrong wrong.  Whenever I complain about feeling weird or shaky (Zoloft was prescribed initially for panic disorder) he just tells me it's the resurgence of the anxiety and that I should increase my dosage.  He just cannot accept the fact that I want off this stuff.  Six years is a long time to take any drug and after reading "Prozac Backlash" I'm very afraid of long term use.  There aren't enough people who've been on SSRIs for more than five years to do a meaningful study, so we're basically on our own out here.  Would be interested to hear any other experiences of long-term users.
Avatar universal
I to looked to the internet regarding my withdrawl symptoms from Zoloft.  I recently got off of this medication which I took for a year and half for panic attacks.  I was weened off of it under care of my doctor.  It has been very hard.  I also have had alot of dizziness and have noticed my temper isnt that great.  I am thinking of going back on it eventhough I have not had any panic attacks.  It's a wonderful medication for this particular illness but I guess like any anti-depressant there are side effects from withdrawls
Avatar universal
I have been searching for the symptoms of getting off the Zoloft and came to this site. I find it interesting because a lot of it is what I am experiencing right now. I'm exhausted all the time, I couldn't even walk up a flight of 5 steps today, my bf had to carry me up because I just couldn't do it. Yet I cannot get to sleep, and when I do, I sleep hard for hours until it's about 1pm and my father comes in a wakes me up. (I'm almost 20 in case you're wondering about that) Luckily I don't have a job at the moment because I can't handle one right now. No one will hire me knowing that I'm going to be out sick about 3 days out of 5. I am very edgy, the littlest thing sets me off, and I've been crying over everything. I'm very confused all the time, it takes my mind a few minutes to realize what someone is saying to me and then a few more minutes to think of something to respond back with. I have lost my appetite completely, my body hurts, and I keep getting headaches only on my right side. I get shooting pains down my arms and legs, I can't keep my balance nor even walk in a straight line. I am calling my doctor about it tomorrow, seeing I'm not even fully off of the Zoloft yet. I got up to 75 mgs and it wasn't helping (I have chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia), so I'm going off the Zoloft and he wants me to try this other kind of anti depressent called Effexor. Right now I am on 25mgs every other day and if it's this bad, I can't imagine how it will be when I'm off of it completely. If anyone has any info please write me at ***@**** Thank you!
Avatar universal
To Pat: and all who have listed your withdrawl from Zoloft or what ever -
On Zoloft for nearly 3 years, not living just dragging from one day to the next in this fog.  No energy which added to an already current weight problem that I had under control until I became so fatigued from the Zoloft.  Even on the medication dizzie, lack of concentration ability, the electrical shock sensation if I moved my head or stood up.  No personal life missed the first year of my only grandchilds life and the last year of my fathers life.  Its all just a faint memory of bits and pieces ......... nearly destroyed my marriage because I could not connect with anyone.  I talked to my doctor who said to increase my dose that it was depression!!  It was all down hill from there......I don't remember all but I know somewhere in my self I found the strength to slowly lower the dose - the withdrawl was tramatic......spinning, shockie...spaced...disconnected from everything I really don't know how I went through it.. I just kept praying and saying all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me.   I did research on the herb St Johns wart and began taking one pill per day after two full weeks off the Zoloft.  I still had the electrical shock feeling but it became less and less in time.  I started a serious health kick with lots of fresh veggies and fruit water and a general cleansing of my body to try and detoxify my system.  I have been on the St John Wart for about a year and no side effects but a wonderful controled feeling and no depression.  I have been hit with many ups and downs in the past year and have handled them very well and I am proud of my progress.  I feel angary at my doctor and the medical industry that these little pills are protrayed as the fix all feel goodies that they are.  The real truth is they cause more pain and suffering than you had when you went to seek help.  They are making millions off people like us who have a chemical imbalance and perhaps less coping skills or maybe not, just that we were niavie enough to really think there was a pill soulotion.  Its all good advertising and we bought it folks its called marketing!
I feel robbed, cheated and aged by 10 years for what Zoloft put me through.  I hope my struggle and experience may help someone else.  God bless you all. e-mail ***@****
Avatar universal
cscdcdzx
Avatar universal
I am currently withdrawing from Zoloft, and my main effect is an odd perceptual feeling, almost a feeling of being under a strobe light.  I call this a "ping-ing" feeling, and someone above described it as an electrical shock feeling.  And I can't think of words.  And rather severe diarrhea.
Avatar universal
I went off my 50 mg zoloft dosage one week ago, after taking it daily for just under 3 months. My doctor prescribed it to me for bulimia, anxiety, and major depression, all of which diminished while on the drug. Things were going well until I started noticing inexplicabe weight gain, and after reading on the web about people's weight increases while on zoloft I decided to stop before i gained any more. Basically quit cold turkey, without consulting my doctor, and since then i've been experiencing similar withdrawal symptoms. At first I thought it was related to the flu, but it's lasted too long at this point. I feel extremely light-headed, disoriented, unable to focus or concentrate, and increasingly emotional. I also feel that at times it's unsafe for me to be driving. I am surprised b/c i was only on 50mg for less then 3 months and didn't think i would have trouble coming off it. I finally called my doctor who said my symptoms weren't related to the zoloft...hard to believe after reading everyone else's responses! Why don't doctors know about the withdrawal effects of the drugs they're prescribing? I would love to know how long this is going to last and if there's anything i can do to alleviate the dizziness in the mean time!
Avatar universal
I have been on Paxil in the past and have currently stoppped taking Zoloft because I found out recently that I am expecting my second child.  

When I came off Paxil, it was because I was pregnant with my first child.  I weaned myself off extremely slowly, going down from 30mg to 20mg to 10mg to 5mg and then off.  Two days after I went completely off I experienced the worst vertigo.  I could not change positions or turn my head quickly because I would become very dizzy suddenly.  I missed two days of work and ended up having to crawl around my home, the dizziness was so bad.  

This time around, I am off of Zoloft and am experiencing similar dizziness but not to the severe extent that I did with Paxil.  It is crazy that doctors do not conduct more studies on possible withdrawal patients go through.  If anyone out there is taking themselves off their medication without a docs guidance, be careful and go very slowly.  Quitting cold turkey can leave you begging for help.  If SSRIs do not cause withdrawal symptoms as doctors claim, then why do they always stress weaning off the drugs?  

Also each time I have taken a SSRI (Paxil and Zoloft), I have gained weight both times.  My doctor thinks there is no connection, but it seems way too coincidental.  My mother, sister, and brother have also taken SSRIs and each has gained weight as well.  Coincidence, I think not!
Avatar universal
I've been weaning off zoloft for about two weeks now and I am experiencing some scary symptoms. The reason I've given up zoloft is because I was waking up in the middle of the night feeling really anxious. I thought it might be a reaction from the zoloft. The first week I would wake up extremly nausea and fluish. I had diarhea, dizziness, and a feeling of disorientation. It has now been two and half week and I'm still experiencing these symptoms. From reading all of these replys it has lead me to belive that I am having side effects from zoloft.



Avatar universal
I just want to say that I too have gone through the withdrawl symptoms of Zoloft.  When I am on Zoloft I am completely great I have no side affects as far as I can tell.  
I could not get my prescription for 4 days once, they were the days from hell.  I could not stand up or turn my head without getting dizzy. I felt like I had the flu. I had to call out of work, I thought I was going to lose my job. The worst thing is that my doctor had no idea what I was talking about, I couldn't even get a doctor's excuse. I just hate having a drug in control of me, I don't know if I will ever be able to go off Zoloft.
Avatar universal
Anyone wishing to learn the truth about one of the initial FDA studies that approved Zoloft should read this posting. I was in one of those studies and comlained loudly that the long term side effects were horrible. If your severe side effects last anything less than 3 years, you are very, very lucky. Pharmaceutical companies are interested in publishing the truth, only a profit. If you have had serious side effects after trying to withdraw from Zoloft, please contact me:

   ***@****

I will be happy to help you sue Pfizer. If you are considering taking Zoloft, DON'T.

    -don
Avatar universal
I'm on vacation with my brother and forgot my zoloft at home. It's been four days and I have five more days to go. I am so sick I don't know what to do. I was wondering if there was anything I could take to hold off the withdrawl symptoms until I can get home on monday. :-(
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