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Author Topic: Considering stopping Zoloft, could use some advice  (Read 6312 times)

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Offline hateanxiety

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Considering stopping Zoloft, could use some advice
« on: August 13, 2011, 09:39:44 PM »
I have been on 25 mg doses for only 4 days now, I do not like the side effects and really do not believe this medication is the answer.  I know it takes a while to adjust and get the actual benefits of the medicine, but I really feel like taking this won't solve my anxiety.  I can not speak to a doctor before Monday and am curious if I should take half a dose tomorrow, the full 25mg, or none at all.  Will I experience bad withdrawals after only 4 days on such a low dose?  I am also taking Xanax which has helped with the current side effects somewhat and hopefully any withdrawal effects.  Any advice would be appreciated very much.
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Offline gcalex

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Re: Considering stopping Zoloft, could use some advice
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2011, 10:04:26 PM »
Unless the side effects are unbearable, this is not a fair trial.  Many side effects will diminish with time, and after 4 days you can't know if it will help.
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Offline hateanxiety

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Re: Considering stopping Zoloft, could use some advice
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2011, 10:14:13 PM »
I do agree it has not been long enough to feel the effects of the medicine working properly.  However, I was put on this medication after I had some issues with Buspar, I just accepted the Zoloft because the Buspar issues and I feel like I was better off before the Buspar than I am now.  I really do not want to be on any anti depressant medication for a long period of time, especially Zoloft after some reading. 
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Offline gcalex

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Re: Considering stopping Zoloft, could use some advice
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2011, 10:23:46 PM »
Well that's a different story.  I would guess you could just stop after 4 days on a starting dose but maybe to be safe wait till you can speak to your dr.
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Offline hateanxiety

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Re: Considering stopping Zoloft, could use some advice
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2011, 10:52:14 PM »
I appreciate your reply.  I am very torn on what to do.  I wish I would have tried a few days without Buspar to see how I felt without adding Zoloft.  I do not want to get too far in adjusting to the drug and make it more difficult for my body if I end up stopping the medication.  I'm afraid of the withdrawals I may encounter if I continue and the current side effects are not very pleasant either.   
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Offline WiSp

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Re: Considering stopping Zoloft, could use some advice
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2011, 12:08:55 AM »
You will not have a withdrawal after being only 4 days on zoloft. You even don't reach the steady state. You will still have side effects during 4 days but that's all.

You think that this medication is not the answer. I don't know your medication background, what you tried etc. But the help of antidepressants must not be under estimated. In exchange of unpleasant side effects for a while, they can give your life back. Zoloft is known to be the second best potent SSRI on the US market. Its way of action explain why it's especially efficient for anxiety disorders.

You may read bad stories on any of all the meds available. And you can also read success stories for the same meds. The only thing that should break you to go forward, is side effects too hard to handle. I don't know what yours are. But a lot of people stop, hoping to get one with no side effects at all. Immediately when they get one, they refuse to live with it for some weeks. They usually also don't know how these meds can work so good.

I also thought that no med could help me. Because of the severity, the time spent in this condition, and how the whole disorders were looking like an unusual aberration. But I was wrong. Meds are a powerful help. I live again, and I would be probably in a hospital right now without this help. I'm also on zoloft, on the maximum dosage, and for more than a year. I almost don't even notice that I still take it. I've done several zoloft withdrawals in my life, and it was not horrible like you may think. Later I will try to live without it, and do another withdrawal. And this is not a problem. I never stopped to live for a withdrawal, or vomited or being too dizzy to walk, or anything like that. I've also done it correctly, slowly.

The side effects are not pleasant, you are right, but in my case, there was nothing that I could not handle. They also go away after a while. The little discomfort really worth it. Often, after 3 weeks, we think that it's useless because nothing changed for anxiety. And soon, suddenly, when you think it's not working, the things start to change completely. You feel like if your life is going back to normal, and you realize that you would have missed this by stopping too early. This is when you learn to give time to antidepressants to prove their power.

I wanted to balance yours feelings, because you seem to only see the bad stuff. This is not an objective view. But I don't know your story. Maybe you tried something else before and with no satisfying results. But each med is a different experience, and you never know how they can help unless you try. It's tricky, it's not fun, but it can work, really. You know, some people tried everything else before to finally try meds. Antidepressants saved lifes and given lifes back, and they continue to do it. They are the second most prescribed drugs after anti-infection meds.
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Offline hateanxiety

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Re: Considering stopping Zoloft, could use some advice
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2011, 01:39:40 AM »
Thank you for the post.  You are exactly right I only see the bad things that are going on.  All of the things going on with this medication are completely foreign to me, I've never been on a medicine that requires weeks to take full effect.   I have been taking xanax for my anxiety for a few years now and up until about 2 weeks ago I had reduced my doses to under 1 mg a day, then I went through a series of panic attacks leading to multiple ER visits and the buspar prescription and an big increase in my xanax doseage.   I lasted one week on buspar before suffering from some bad confusion and more panic attacks as a result, so I was admitted to the hospital and was switched to zoloft.

The biggest problem is the doctor did not really prepare me for what I would encounter during the start up phase of this medicine.  The first two nights I could barely sleep, that could be related to the extreme anxiety and nervousness I was having being inside the hospital.  The things this medicine does to my body just feel wrong.  Not sure how to describe better, but its like electrical pulses at times through my body.  Very weird feeling which just does not seem natural, I have read other people who mention this feeling and refer to them as brain buzzes or something similar.  Other general side effects like increased anxiety, tingling sensations, and somewhat of a trembling feeling have been going on.  I am not physically shaking, but sometimes it just feels like I am.  These side effects are not so bad, a little scary but tolerable. 

The weirdest part and what has me the most concerned is this.  The first day being discharged from the hospital I finally felt like I could sleep and I did sleep most of the day and night, but I kept waking up with my hands being numb like they had fallen asleep or cut off circulation.  I called some pharmacists, did some research online and could not really find much info on this as a side effect.  I did however read from another person that this can be a side effect of depression and anxiety, which I have never experienced before, but scary still.  I have had around 4 blood tests in the past 2 weeks, 3 ekgs with nothing wrong physically reported, so I can only expect it is a result of the medicine or the amount of stress/anxiety I have experienced in the past couple weeks.  I did sleep for a few more hours later in the day keeping my arms down at my sides and did not experience any numbness.  Hopefully that will not return.  I'm kind of just shocked by everything thats being going on as far as side effects of the meds and stress and scared of what could be worse if I continue on the meds.  I have very little knowledge of the severity of the side effects I could experience and what is really dangerous.

I am very thankful for your post and apologize for the length of mine.  Without this forum I would probably already be back at a hospital and I am still unsure what I will do.  I can not reach the doctor who prescribed my zoloft without going back to the ER or my other doctor who prescribes xanax before monday.  Im trying my best to ride this out until then to get some more advice from a doctor, I really do not want to take another trip to inpatient care at the hospital so I am trying to fight to keep myself from a nervous breakdown.  If you happen to read this I would appreciate any further advice or just words of wisdom as they have been very helpful during a time when I can't seem to get much help elsewhere.

Forgot to mention I did notice around the first time I took zoloft that while I still had worries and anxiety, I could dismiss them much easier.  Especially the ones that are irrational that come with panic attacks, still a little concerned going forward because of the buspar issue I had.  It's hard to put it all aside because I just dont feel like I can do anything like go to work, I try to take my mind off by watching TV or reading but I just still have some fears in the back of my mind that wont go away.
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Offline hateanxiety

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Re: Considering stopping Zoloft, could use some advice
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2011, 02:07:00 AM »
Another thing I forgot to mention that was a concern was when I took my last dose the dizziness was pretty extreme. I felt like I was near fainting in the shower, the severity of the dizziness went away with some food and time after I had taken the meds.  I'm really considering taking a little less, possibly 1/2 or 3/4 of a 25 mg pill when its time for my next dose and see how I feel.  The first couple days the dizziness wasn't that bad at all.
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Offline ekoworld

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Re: Considering stopping Zoloft, could use some advice
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2011, 06:49:07 AM »
Hi I want to let you know I have been where you are,and not to long ago. First i want to say that Buspar is not an SSRI like zoloft is,it is a whole different medication. Secondly if you are taking xanax do you take it as needed or are you on a steady dose? when i started zoloft i was able to start at 25mg,but thats me,I have med phobia also,but it was when I reached 50mgs i had my problems and the ones you are describing ,some of the symptoms you are experiencing are not from the zoloft it is heightening your anxiety,which I have been told is a good sign,meaning it will probably work for your anxiety in the long run.I have to up my dosage very slowly,i did 25mg for 2 weeks,then i took a 25mg plus half a 25mg for 2 weeks,then went to 50mg as i said this is where i got my symptoms,scary yes ,they drove me wild,first 9 days were hardest,and I was taking ativan 1mg 3 x's a day,it lessened my anxiety but did not take care of all of it and have had many doctors say the benzos may just not take it all away. If you feel your better off starting slow than do so tell your doc you want to start at half of a 25mg,do it for 2 weeks if you feel good than go up,if not hold for another week I held at 50mg for 3 weeks,than took 50mg plus half of a 25mg and was okay,in my opinon it is much better to work with an SSri or an SNRI ,versus taking the benzos in your case the xanax if you have been taking it for awhile than the zoloft may help you even better so you wont have to take the xanax,or ask your doctor to prescribe a longer acting benzo such as ativan or klonopin to get you over this hump, I would give the zoloft a fair shot I to wanted to stop,but with the help of the forum here and a specific person I stuck it out ,its been i think almost 10 weeks now and i am only up to 75mg,on tues i will go up to 87.5mg that will be a 50mg breaking a 50mg and breaking a 25mg,my goal is to reach 100mgs,it has helped me my depression is gone and i am now tapering off the benzo which will be slow also,i was on zoloft before from 2003-feb 2010 i didnt taper it I just stopped taking it and i was fine i had been on it for PMDD and i had no problems going on it but it was being used for something different but I also dont recommend doing that as my circumstances were different than,and that was me not you,now i do take it for anxiety,and i do therapy which is also a very crucial part in all this i dont know what you have been reading but it is a good idea not to do that,you are not those other people, but having good communication with your doc is good,let them know how you feel and what you think might be best for you,they work for you,so express yourself,tell them what you want to try even if it means going slower,and/or switching benzos,advocate for yourself and be good at it. give it a fair shot i think you might be impressed with the results, you dont have to be on zoloft forever some doctors let ya do 6 months or 1 year some people need it longer,it just depends,I dont know what else i can say about zoloft and how its helped me this far but if you can hang in there i would,keep us updated on what you decide.
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“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength”

Offline hateanxiety

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Re: Considering stopping Zoloft, could use some advice
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2011, 03:10:58 PM »
Hi, thanks for your response. Unfortunately I woke up with repeated panic attacks and some weird spasms in my neck so I went to the ER and they just told me to stop taking the zoloft.  I think I have developed quite a med phobia myself since I have had these bad experiences in the past couple weeks.  I am on a steady dose of xanax right now and have been for quite a while.  Hopefully it will help with any lingering side effects or withdrawal symptoms.  Its been about 28 hours since I took zoloft and the excess anxiety I had been feeling while on it seems to have gone away, hopefully it stays away and I get no worse effects over the next couple days.  It was only 4 days taking 25 mg...but I imagine it will still be in my body for a few days.  Im not sure exactly how it works, just hoping for the best now.
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