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Avatar universal

Anyone Switch from Effexor to Zoloft?

Hi,
Been taking effexor for 2 and half years and it worked good for me for the most part. But this past year do to insurance changes went a few times without having any for days. Saw a Dr and got prescribed zoloft. This first week I'm supposed to take half a 50mg of zoloft and take my one 75mg of effexor every second day.Then next week stop taking effexor completely and take one 50mg of zoloft once daily.

I've heard from people that coming off effexor is hard. Was wondering if anyone has any advice or experiences them self switching from effexor to zoloft?

Yesterday night when I was trying to go to sleep I had like a terror panic attack and scared me and took me a little bit to calm down and get over it.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
I've never taken Effexor -- I started out as primarily an anxiety sufferer and Effexor is a stimulating antidepressant so no psychiatrist has ever suggested this class of drugs for me -- but I don't understand anything about your post.  Effexor is now generic and very inexpensive, so I'm not sure how this affects insurance any -- insurance companies don't much care for brand name drugs but they love generics so I'm very confused by this.  Zoloft is also an old drug with a generic, but it works differently than Effexor -- in fact, all these drugs work differently.  Given the experience with Effexor -- along with Paxil it's the most difficult to stop taking -- and given it's working well for you, why would you stop taking it?  Even without insurance it doesn't cost very much.  You also say you saw a doctor, you don't say psychiatrist.  Regular docs do not respect these meds because they don't work with them on a regular basis the way psychiatrists do.  This is way too short a withdrawal schedule from Effexor if you want to minimize the chances of withdrawal.  Your doctor apparently believes the Zoloft will somehow make withdrawal off Effexor go away, and it might, but it also might not.  It would be safer to taper off the Effexor as slowly as you needed to so you avoid more problems than you already have.  When you've done that, you can try the Zoloft.  But if I were on a medication and it was working and I had no intention to stop taking medication and try something else. I'd stay on what I know works.  Again, this makes no sense to me.  More details?
2 Comments
I realize I didn't write out enough as I was panic while posting this.
My anxiety and depression started to comeback a little here and there throughout this year for first half and wasn't too bad at the same time I had times where I wasn't able to get meds because my Medicaid wasn't accepted by many doctors so i didnt have any one to fill my prescpitions and my insurance didn't cover my full dose. So then I was stuck taking a smaller dose for many months. Then past couple months anxiety and depression become a lot worse. So I went to a psychiatrist after having to wait forever to find one and got zoloft.
I mean effexor had helped me a lot with anxiety and depression but also had lots of bad side effects
Not important as much to me but more to my partner, my sex drive is but dead for a young 24 year old which is bad, my hair is weak and so much is gone because of that med, trouble losing weight, feel cold often. So that's why I wanted to change meds.
Okay, this makes more sense.  Know that Zoloft might have the same sexual side effects, but it might not.  Only trying it will tell.  So, you want to change because you don't like the drug.  That moves you into the avoiding withdrawal stage, and that means a slow taper off this drug.  Effexor is very hard for most people to stop taking, so doing it safely is important.  But as Mom and I have said, your statement about insurance does not make sense -- both of these drugs are generic now and both are old, though Zoloft is a lot older, so all insurance plans cover them.  They are cheap even without insurance.  So that part of it I think you need to study a bit more, someone is possibly giving you a run-around.
973741 tn?1342342773
I agree.  I don't fully understand why they want to change your medication when it has worked well.  Shouldn't be a major cost difference regardless of insurance with both being generic.  If you do switch, you should follow your doctor's advice and call them with any concerns or issues you have.  But I am one to not rock the boat unless you have to (such as the initial drug not working as well).  If you had to see a new doctor and this is just their preferential drug of choice, might be worth a conversation that it isn't worth interrupting your treatment, risking side effects during the change or going on a drug that doesn't work as well for you, etc. Let us know what is going on!  
Avatar universal
Update, it's been slightly over a month later. Anxiety and panic attacks haven't happened since I posted last. Depression has been down a little. But these past couple days I don't know if it's because I got over a cold or thinking to much. But I feel weird in the head. Like I can't think straight. Mind feels slow, forgetful, spaced out, like a bit of a strain feeling like I'm going brain dead. When I wake up feels like I was knocked out and takes a while to feel actually awake.
Got results back from MRI, sleeping test doctors said normal.

Don't know who else to talk or what to do to since doctors and psychiatrist think I'm fine. :(
1 Comments
What's your drug status?  Did you stop the Effexor?  Are you now on the Zoloft?  I only ask because what you're describing could be anything, but it's also a symptom of withdrawal.
Avatar universal
Been off effexor since October 7th,
On zoloft 50mg since same day.
5 Comments
Again, sounds like Effexor withdrawal, but no way to know now.  That's a very very hard med for your brain to recover from.  We an only hope that as you go up on the Zoloft it will work out in time.  The fact it sounds like withdrawal doesn't mean it is, but it sure sounds like it.
Maybe it is. My dose of zoloft increased 3 days ago to 75mg.
Today I woke up 2 hours later than I usually do but that's because I went to bed late. I felt so weird and Confused. I think this pill must wear off a lot faster than effexor does.
Not that I know of.  Both leave the body fairly quickly.  If it is withdrawal, taking another drug doesn't actually treat that, especially one in another class.  Every drug works a bit differently from every other drug even in the same class or they wouldn't be able to get a patent.  But here's hoping you're one of the ones it does work for.  I believe you're on a low dose of Zoloft, so that might be it, but again, if there's no physiological cause and it's not a side effect of the Zoloft I can only say it sounds a whole lot like Effexor withdrawal, which would indicate either you didn't taper off slowly enough for you or you're one of the unlucky ones who have a hard time getting over this drug.  I've never gotten over stopping Paxil, the other incredibly difficult drug to stop taking.  But there's no way for me to know -- many people have no problems at all stopping these drugs and switch from drug to drug easily.  It's just a possibility.  
You know, not sure if this is all antidepressant meds but, zoloft make me feel drowsy, yawn, and tired. I was told that zoloft will give me more energy. I work full time as cap2/shelf stocker for past month and have to be constantly moving, lifting and pulling things. As soon as I start work im yawning.
By 6 to 7 hours I'm already exhausted and tired. When I was on effexor I was able to work full time as a cashier without being tired. Also, I suffer from gerds.
Take 40mg of protonix which worked for me before switching to zoloft. Once I started higher dose of 100mg of zoloft I have gerds acting up, upset stomach, and not feeling like eating. I mean depression has been getting better slowly but maybe I should try something else?
First, GERD is a digestive disorder, which doctors and meds don't treat very well.  Dietary changes work better, as do natural remedies.  This isn't true for everything, but it is for digestive problems, as the meds for it tend to suppress stomach acid but you'll just produce more and more because you need it to digest protein and minerals.  But that's another story.  I don't know who told you Zoloft would give you energy -- ssris can be stimulating for some but for most other than Prozac they are sedating.  Most antidepressants are sedating at least until you get used to them.  I managed health foods stores, and when I started any antidepressant that actually helped my anxiety it always sedated me.  Once I got going I was fine, but it was hard to get going.  Effexor, on the other hand, while is sedating for some, targets norepinephrine as well as serotonin, which is what Zoloft targets, and norepinephrine is basically part of adrenaline.  That's why it's more stimulating.  It's not at all surprising that Zoloft would be sedating, but this might go away or you might find ways of dealing with it, such as meditating in the afternoon for an energy boost and taking very nutrient rich supplements such as spirulina that can help with energy.  Exercising regularly can also help with getting used to the sedation.  If you want an ssri that is known to be more stimulating for most people, that would be Prozac, not Zoloft, but there's no guarantee, just as there was no guarantee the Effexor wouldn't cause you sedation.  We're all different.
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