I have Epstein-Barr and Fibromyalgia, and my doctor put me on Zoloft at a low dosage to help with pain and migraines.
Long story short, I am on my third doctor who is a DO. He is in practice with my former doctor (also a DO). I never had a problem with depression until going on the Zoloft.
I was going monthly to the doctor, and each month I weighed in at 10-15 lbs heavier and was more depressed - and he repeatedly increased the Zoloft dosage - up to 250 mg!!!!! From what I am reading now, 200 is max dose. I reached the point I was a zombie, more or less - and was getting suicidal.
Thank GOD I had the initiative to research Zoloft on the internet! About 2 months ago I started weaning myself off of it - and now am Zoloft free. I haven't taken a Zoloft in a week...
I can deal with the nausea and flu-like symptoms, but the "jolts" - electrical charges in my head, jaws, neck, and spine - and vertigo-feeling are hell!!!!! It is horrible! My lips feel numb, sort of like I have gotten novacaine shots.
Has anyone gone through this? How long does the withdrawal process last? I am a single mom with a 3 year old and it is just horrible right now.
I have been on antidepressants on and (mostly) off. I took zoloft for about 8 months, and can't remember any benefits from it. I stopped taking it cold turkey. From there, I went to serzone, and again, didn't notice any significant benefits. I do remember getting what you call the "jolts" while on serzone. I mentioned this to the dr. and she said she had'nt heard of that symptom before! They got to be bothersome, so I stopped taking it. But back to zoloft, there seems to be lots pf people that were on it, and experienced some terrible side effects, including severe depression.
The next paragraph is from what's eventually going to be a class action lawsuit against the makers of zoloft:
"Recently, researchers discovered that some SSRIs like Zoloft may actually cause patients' depression and other emotional problems. One study performed at the Department of Psychosocial Medicine in Bangor, North Wales, found that Zoloft alleviated depression in one third of the study's participants, did nothing in another third, and actually caused emotional deterioration in another third. In addition, two otherwise healthy people in the study became extremely suicidal after taking Zoloft for just two weeks."
I don't take anything for depression now, although there are times when I think I should.
Hope you feel better soon...
Thank you so much for replying! My doctor also claims to have no knowledge of the "jolts" - hmmm, wonder what's up with that.
I didn't mention in my earlier post the reason I was going off the Zoloft - and it is for exactly what your reference was about the study. I got sooooo depressed and my doctor continued to increase the dosage...which made the depression worsen. I reached a point where I was suicidal - all I could do was sleep and I was just "here", existing.
I lost my house and my child and I had to move in with my parents - and am now starting over...well, as soon as I can get through the withdrawals.
I would appreciate any information you can add about the class action suit you mentioned :-) - it's time pharmaceutical companies are made to own up to their obligations.
Truthfully, I don't know much about it, other than seeing some commercials on t.v. about it. Serzone is on that list, along with vioxx and a few other major drugs. Try entering what you're looking for in a good search engine, like google. For instance, I entered "zoloft lawsuit".
Good luck, and get well.
Hi Paddy , I can definitely relate . Im a 26 old Dad of a 2 yr old . I started Zoloft 50mg about a year ago . After 6 months I didnt feel anything had changed , so my Dr. upped dosage to 100mg . Since taking the 100mg I feel so much worse ! i am more depressed now than ever . I stopped taking it about 2 weeks ago and have been walking around like im drunk or dizzy . When you say jolts , I feel the same i think . I can be sitting here and all of a sudden my eyes twitch . I havent sought any help since not taking it but its definitely getting worse and harder to deal with everyday things , including my 2 yr old .
I take 200mg of Zoloft. It seems to help my depression but I sleep all the time. And I mean all the time. I'm 22 and I don't work, go to school, have friends, I just sleep. I would like to wean of it but am a bit nervous as the last time I stopped it I ended up on the locked unit of a mental institution for 3 weeks. I'd highly suggest weaning off anything you don't want to take any longer. I stopped taking Prozac cold turkey and withdrawled.
What a releif to find this message board. Here I've sat all day trying to do research on Zoloft withdrawal, there really isn't much information out there. I've been on Zoloft for five years and, as with most everyone it seems, my doctor keeps inching my dosage up and up. I maxed out at 200 mg in September. I'm not quite sure what made me decide to get off but I think I'm just tired of being a slave to the stuff. Anyway, I did the tapering off as suggested, 150 mg for a week, 100 for a week, 50 for a week, 25 for a week and now nothing. I've been totally off for 5 days and I would totally agree that it's been total hell. Have you tried to explain the symptoms to people and they just look at you like you're crazy? I'm totally experiencing the jolts and stuff. Everyone keeps telling me to just go back on, but I'm refusing to do so. I figure if I can just hold off long enough they've got to go away. I just wanted to thank you for your post, it's nice to know that there's other people out there experiencing the same thing. If anyone out there has any idea how long this will last I would love to hear from you.
I'm so glad to have found you all! I just quit Zoloft cold turkey after several years and have been feeling the strangest tremors! I was just recently fired after five years of loyal service which caused my insurance to expire. Without the job or the insurance, now seemed like a good time to come off of my "happy pill". But I can't take these dang vibrations that seem to be rampaging through my body!!! How long will this last!!! Help!
hi everyone! I want to say thank you for the words of encouragement I received here - it has been a very long road, and FINALLY I have passed the withdrawals! I finally feel like my "old" self again - and it feels wonderful!
A friend of mine made the comment to me last week that it was nice to see me smile - something I hadn't done in about a year!
As bad as the withdrawals were, I would go through them again just to be back to normal...and that says a lot. There were days I didn't think I would make it; but my determination was so strong.
When I would lie down, just blinking my eyes would send a jolt through my head - so I started taking benadryl - and that really helped a lot, so you may want to try that.
Please, just keep determined to kick it and keep telling yourself that it will pass! There isn't a magic number of days, but it will pass, I promise you!
Thank god there are posts like that last one to reassure me that the withdrawal *will* pass! Its so great to hear other people talk about the really weird things like numb lips that my friends just sort of nod and look confused when I complain about! I stopped the Zoloft 3 weeks ago, and I had tapered off my 50mg increments for weeks, so i have been surprised and concerned about the duration of severity of the withdrawal. Recently my biggest problem has been the vertigo and the accompanying "seasickness"-- I've been sleeping as much as possible (on purpose)just to get through these days and hope one day to wake up on the other side of these symptoms! I have found that drinking lots of water and taking a B-complex vitamin every morning seem to have helped slightly. And for those of you experiencing unintentional fatigue, an extreme dose of vitamin C (in the 6000 mg range, over the course of a day) can have very surprising effects on energy level.
That said, I just wanted to mention that as opposed to all the posts from people that have apparantly had really negative experiences with Zoloft, during the time I was on it it was exactly what I needed. I have stopped after 8 years only because I feel like I have finally acclimated to the point where it is not effective anymore. But I did not have the terrible problems other people have mentioned and it would not be an exaggeration to say that Zoloft probably saved my life. So if there are folks reading these posts as they research possible courses of treatment, please keep in mind that people's experiences on these drugs (which frankly, science still knows frighteningly little about) are all vastly different. For myself and some other people I know Zoloft was the perfect alternative to the unacceptable side effects of Paxil, Prozac, and others.
Now, back to sleep for me... =p
hello! I have been on zoloft for seven years and am now on 300mg. a day which is the largest dose they will prescribe. They said they could do higher but the drowsiness would take over and good the drug would do. I started out on 50mg. and they just kept upping it. I have tried to go off of it and my doctor has tried to ween me off of it and put me on something else and I can't take it. I feel like I want to beat the crap our of anyone that looks at me wrong. Or yell at one of my family members for no reason. Then afterward I would be extremely depressed. So I am still on it and I take it at night before I go to bed. Take Care hope you get the relief you need!
I have to say that I am really happy to have found this site. In my case, zoloft was what I needed to help me with postpartum depression and some hormonal mood swings including anxiety. Now that I'm feeling MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better, I tapered off the zoloft for three weeks and then stopped. Since then, I have been experiencing the "ZAPS" that I read others have experienced. Of course finding a physician that is even willing to try to understand what I'm explaining is difficult. Two have already tried to relate the zaps and dizziness to anxiety. I know the difference. I'm hoping that the zaps will go away soon. I'm encouraged by others saying that they will stop. I think I'll give the benadryl a try also. I know benadryl helps people with inner ear dizziness so maybe it will halp with the zaps too.
Ok, looks like I needed to capitalize the F and the S in my username.....Anyway, thank you all for your postings on Zoloft. I learned more here than from my own Dr. I'd especially like to thank SueBri for outlining the protocol for weaning off. I took Zoloft for about 10 months after a tragedy in my life, and my highest dosage was 100 mg/day. I've been weaning off for about 2 weeks now and I'm down to 12.5 mg/day so I need to slow down my "weaning" a lot. I think I will stay here for about 2-3 more weeks. I am terribly grumpy and I "go off" a lot. Now I know that this is probably a symptom of withdrawl. Zoloft did save my life at the time I started taking it but while on it I had no energy and I gained 25 lbs. My Dr. says that has nothing to do with the "Z" but since I've been weaning off I've lost 5 lbs. without dieting. I'm not looking forward to the "zaps" but now I will know what they are if I get them. Thank you all for taking the time to post your stories here. Take care and the best of luck to all of you!
So nice to have found this site. WEaning off myself, no zaps yet..
Will expect them though... ;-)
Here are the natural remedies I will be sure to put more time aside for when I come off the Zoloft:
Lots of chamomile tea
Lots of stretching/yoga/exercise
LoOOOoong walks with my dogs. Grooming them and the cats as well.
Lots of reading.
Open communication with my family
Lots of tight hugs from the fiance.
and hey.... lots of sex too... ;-) Can't hurt right?
"Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."