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Author Topic: Taking the plunge and taking the Zoloft  (Read 407 times)

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Offline liza9560

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Taking the plunge and taking the Zoloft
« on: February 03, 2014, 03:00:54 PM »
Hi there, everybody.  I've been dealing with anxiety, panic and depression for about three months now, and I have been hemming and hawing about whether or not to take an SSRI.  Been seeing a therapist, doing acupuncture, taking Chinese herbs, doing yoga, you name it.  I still have really sad, scared, panicky days, though.

I've started taking Zoloft.  I actually took my first dose last Thursday, and then one Friday.  It made me sleepy and gassy, shaky and anxious, chilly and sweaty.  I had a long weekend car ride and trip to take with five other people, so I didn't take it on Saturday.  I felt fine--a little anxiety here and there, but generally happy and good.  I finally took it again last night (Sunday night).  My doc recommended I take 50 mg to start, and after maybe a month to up the dosage if needed.

I got a headache after I took it last night, but three hours after I took it I was able to fall asleep.  I also was able to sleep well, only awakening once.  After about 9 hours of sleep I awoke and felt really shaky and yucky.  I got up and made and ate breakfast, although I had no appetite.  I lay back down and calmed my racing heart and dozed for a few hours.

Today has been pretty freaky. :(  I went to the grocery store in a fog.  My anxiety is kicking HARD.  This is the hardest it's hit me since I started the stuff.  Focusing is tough.  Perhaps my skipping the Saturday dose has something to do with it, but honestly, I'm glad I didn't have to deal with this in the van full of people on the 9 hour ride.

I've read plenty that says things will get better with the Zoloft, so I think I'll persevere.  I decided to take this stuff for a reason; I must keep reminding myself that.  I also have friends that have taken it and successfully weened themselves off of it, with good reviews.  There is hope.  ***** gets so scary sometimes, though!

I've put a call in to my doc and asked if it's ok to go down to 25 mg for now.  I have some klonopins in case I really need to get it together for something, but I want to take those things sparingly.

Any encouraging words would be much appreciated!  Thanks for reading!! :)

Sheesh. :P   
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Offline somaj

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Re: Taking the plunge and taking the Zoloft
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 04:09:37 PM »
I started recently as well. My doctor initially recommended to start at 25mg and go to 50 within the first week. After reading recommendations and discussing further with my gp I switched to 12.5 mg for 2 weeks. It went relatively smoothly . I have just started 25mg this week and it had also been pretty smooth. An increase in anxiety is possible after taking it as is all the things you mentioned. I'm sure they are alot worse for you as you started at a much higher dose. If you really want this to go smoothly just go slow and see how your body reacts. Talk to your gp about starting a smaller dose until you are more used it.
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Offline liza9560

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Re: Taking the plunge and taking the Zoloft
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2014, 04:35:07 PM »
I took 25mg of the Zoloft last night, and today has been much better than yesterday.  My doc even gave me some 50mg tabs so I wouldn't have to quarter the 100mgs.  I won't be paying for these babies for a while, at least.

I feel pretty good right now; it's 3:15 pm.  I take the stuff at 9 pm or so, and usually about 2 hours later, I get a yucky headache, like a pukey headache.  I'm able to sleep fine, but I may awaken after 6 hrs. or so.  I go back to sleep and I get up and make and eat breakfast after 9 hrs. of sleep, and then I'll doze off again.  Still pretty groggy and stoney.  I must say, I feel that I "peak" at 12-14 hrs. after I've taken Zoloft.  My heart races and I am preoccupied and I can't focus.  But thankfully, today has been much smoother than yesterday was.  I'm smiling and happy at the moment! :)

I saw my therapist today and she was very reassuring.  It took me quite a while to decide to take an SSRI; I really didn't want to.  So, the idea of having suffer side effects over weeks' time is not a good one to me.  Yes, I realize that side effects are real and will happen, but my therapist pointed out that this is not something I have to "soldier through."  Side effects should diminish over one or two weeks' time.  I'm taking this to feel better, not to have to go through hell.  The 25mg is doing me much better than the 50mg, so that's cool.  But, I've decided to give the stuff a total of two weeks, and if these side effects (mainly the increased panicky anxiety) haven't abated, I'm going to try something else.  I realize that I may need to check out more than one SSRI before I find my right one.

But that being typed, I am optimistic.  :)  I feel ok.  Just tool a couple ibuprofen for this headache.  Gonna nap.  Food helps, lots of water helps, too.  Take care, everybody!
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Offline bababel

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Re: Taking the plunge and taking the Zoloft
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 10:37:40 PM »
liza, if the side effects haven't gone away in two weeks, please don't give up on the zoloft. It took me about 3 or 4 weeks to be totally side effect-free and I am so glad I stuck with it. The first two weeks I had an increase in anxiety which totally sucked. The rest of the time I had a pukey stomach and had no appetite. I almost gave up on it but I'm so glad I didn't. It can make a real difference.

I hope it works out for you! Best of luck!
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Offline johnathonm

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Re: Taking the plunge and taking the Zoloft
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2014, 02:09:11 PM »
Liza,

I took Zoloft at 200 mg for several years. The drug can really help anxiety but it takes a few weeks to get to full effect.  Did your doctor titrate you or did you just start at a high dose?
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Offline liza9560

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Re: Taking the plunge and taking the Zoloft
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2014, 05:10:56 PM »
My doc started me out at 50mg.  He is my GP, and the most compassionate person I've seen so far as I'm trying to figure out my depression/anxiety.  I saw a psychiatrist by whom I was very unimpressed; she didn't seem to care very much and didn't show much compassion.  She wanted to prescribe me Lexapro, and this was when I was very adamantly not wanting to take an SSRI.  After some research and talking to friends, I decided to try Zoloft, and my GP had some samples.

I realize that proper shrinks will know more about SSRIs than most GPs.  I have kept in touch with my GP, though, and he okayed the 25mg dose for me.  He hasn't suggested any titrating along the lines of going up after 7-10 days, as I've seen a lot of people in this forum are doing/have done.  He suggested going up to 50mg after a month if the 25mg aren't working for me.

My big concern is that I am a performer, and I have to sing onstage while I'm going through this mess.  I have no desire to pop a half a klonopin every time I get onstage, either, but if I have to, I'll do that.  I may just go slow with this Zoloft so I can maintain during my performances.  I'll ultimately get to a therapeutic dose and level off.

Also, I'll probably find another shrink that I feel better about; one who can guide me through this SSRI biz more astutely.
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Offline insights

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Re: Taking the plunge and taking the Zoloft
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2014, 06:42:13 PM »
My big concern is that I am a performer, and I have to sing onstage while I'm going through this mess.  I have no desire to pop a half a klonopin every time I get onstage, either

You could try a combination of a beta-blocker and hydroxyzine instead sometimes. Beta-blockers are often prescribed for performance anxiety. They don't have a direct effect on anxiety, but by blocking beta-2 adrenergic receptors they prevent most of the adrenaline fueled flight-or-flight symptoms. Hydroxyzine is a prescription antihistamine with anti anxiety properties. It isn't as powerful as the benzodiazepines, but may be strong enough.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline liza9560

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Re: Taking the plunge and taking the Zoloft
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2014, 06:35:01 PM »
I'm on Zoloft day 6 ***** 25mg, day 10 total, and I pretty much have no side effects at this point.  I take mine around 9 pm, and 12 hours later, at 9 in the morning, is when I may feel a bit of blah-ness.  I haven't been lately tho.  I don't even get the dull, pukey headache I used to get 2-3 hours after I swallow the Zoloft.  I get a headache around 5 or 6 in the afternoon, tho.  Hmm. 

I want to get to 50mg ultimately, but I am so apprehensive about the increased panic that may occur with the increased dosage.  I'm a performer with gigs coming down the pike. :P  I don't wanna have to take klonopins or beta blockers (or anything) to sing. Double :P :P
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Offline insights

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Re: Taking the plunge and taking the Zoloft
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2014, 06:52:56 PM »
I want to get to 50mg ultimately, but I am so apprehensive about the increased panic that may occur with the increased dosage.

If you've had few side-effects at 25mg then there is a good chance you won't experience anything worse when you go up to 50mg.

Quote
I'm a performer with gigs coming down the pike.   I don't wanna have to take klonopins or beta blockers (or anything) to sing.

None of us want to take meds, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Would you have the same concerns if you had to take Klonopin for epilepsy? It was developed as an anti seizure med, not anxiety, but it works well for both conditions because they share similar deficits in benzodiazepine-GABA binding sites.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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