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    Old 05-12-2006, 06:02 AM   #31
    sgt207
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by r0cky
    sickofeffexor -- did you experience any increase in anxiety or nausea? I've had a problem with both of those things in the last few days, which hasn't helped the whole dilemma! I really appreciate your encouragement and advice. I thought I was doing something great getting off of these meds, and I was sure that having tapered off correctly I wouldn't experience this stuff.

    Tonight I took 12.5mg ... it may not do anything, but I was desperate for something to make me feel better - at least as far as the nausea and anxiety go.
    When I stopped zoloft in 2003, I came off of a very small dose [about 3 or 4 mg's]. The first symptoms of withdrawal came within 3 days and was dizziness.
    About 3 to 4 weeks after I stopped the nausea started and worsened, so bad that I could not eat anything! The bad nausea lasted about 6 more weeks then started to subside, but then other withdrawal symptoms that I experienced took over. The anxiety was going through the roof and I had profound muscle weakness along with a strange tingling sensation throughout my abdomen and upper legs. My dr then re-started me on a small dose and the symptoms went away within days, hence it was withdrawal and not the return of PTSD. I recently went to another doctor who told me it sounded like I was almost done withdrawing and that the symptoms were in fact my body's response to try to upregulate the receptors. I too read that the withdrawal only should last for several weeks but I think most of the medical community doesn't have a clue.

    I have learned that some people will have extended withdrawal even if they weaned off of a small dosage which also leads me to believe that the medication is stored in the body somewhere which would correlate to a kind of delayed withdrawal. I feel that even though a person stops taking the med, it is not until the reserves stored in the body are used up when the real withdrawal begins because of the sudden depletion at that point.

    Hang in there - if you are having a real hard time ask your doctor about using the liquid form of zoloft to wean down in very small amounts. That's what I am about to do. That way you could go down in 1mg increments from say 5 mg's to less than 1 mg's per day so the body can also begin using stored amounts or cause a shift in the regulators. There has to be a dosage amount that can begin to stablize the body so that a final weaning can be accomplished however I believe it must take a real long time.

    Last edited by sgt207; 05-12-2006 at 06:03 AM.

     
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    Old 05-12-2006, 08:16 AM   #32
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by r0cky
    sickofeffexor - how long did your irritability last? I went to another site and people were telling me that withdrawal occurs within 72 hours if at all ... well, my main problems didn't get really bad until last week. Do you still think it could be withdrawal? I dunno. I'm just tired of it.

    I just feel like I was a better person on the Zoloft - warmer to people, less irritable, more caring, better at showing that I cared, etc. ... and now that I'm off of it, I feel like I'm a worse person, and that maybe this is who I really truly am ... and I don't like that.
    My irritability lasted a very long time -- probably over a year -- although it gradually decreased. I still get more irritated at things than I used to, although that steadily gets better, even now.

    Jennita and Sgt gave you some good information. That withdrawal is going to hit within 72 hours is bull. This has been a very long process for me, and I'm still going through it, but it is totally worth it to be off the meds. There's no way I would go back because I'm not sure I would have the strength or the patience to try to get off again.

    Getting off these meds and getting through withdrawal, post-withdrawal, whatever the healing process is, is not for the weak at heart. But it is worth it.

    It's important to pay attention to how you feel -- and not how some doctor or website tells you how you should be feeling. You know your body better than anyone. It's also important to really baby yourself through this. Get lots of good rest, eat well, avoid sugar and alcohol and caffeine -- because your body is going through enough without adding additional stress to it. You need to be patient with yourself, and treat yourself the way you would treat someone you loved dearly -- because you deserve it.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 12:04 PM   #33
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    Very good advice SOE! Ultimately, we need to take better care of ourselves because nobody can really do it for us.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 12:09 PM   #34
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    You guys have given such great advice, and I really really appreciate that.

    Last night in my desperation to feel better, I took 12.5mg of Zoloft ... within hours I no longer felt nauseous, I didn't feel like I could start crying at any second, and things seemed less bleak. Granted I couldn't sleep as well later, but that was fine and worth it to feel better.

    Today I was doing great as well until the last hour or two, as I think that 12.5mg is starting to wear off and all the things I was feeling are coming back.

    I put a call in to my doctor, who knows if she'll call back or not, but I'm going to mention the liquid form and see if maybe I need to backtrack a bit on this and taper more slowly --- maybe going from 12.5mg to nothing was too much of a drop for me, I don't know.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 12:21 PM   #35
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by r0cky
    You guys have given such great advice, and I really really appreciate that.

    Last night in my desperation to feel better, I took 12.5mg of Zoloft ... within hours I no longer felt nauseous, I didn't feel like I could start crying at any second, and things seemed less bleak. Granted I couldn't sleep as well later, but that was fine and worth it to feel better.

    Today I was doing great as well until the last hour or two, as I think that 12.5mg is starting to wear off and all the things I was feeling are coming back.

    I put a call in to my doctor, who knows if she'll call back or not, but I'm going to mention the liquid form and see if maybe I need to backtrack a bit on this and taper more slowly --- maybe going from 12.5mg to nothing was too much of a drop for me, I don't know.
    The mentally challenged doctor? Oh well, good luck there.

    It is obvious that your body still craves Zoloft since it quickly erased all your nausea and low mood. That's what can happen in post-withdrawal syndromes. Yes, things might go better for you if you taper slowly, around 10 mg. cut every two weeks is the standard. Doctors who do believe in tapering still end up tapering people off way too fast.

    You are right, the drop was too much for you. Take it slow and easy, hopefully your doctor will co-operate with a decent tapering schedule. Most will, but I've heard of some who won't(forcing cold turkey or fast withdrawal!) and patients end up pretending to agree take the med as prescribed but secretely taper themselves. I think the docs know a fast or cold turkey will cause the patient to come running back; I don't think many of them encourage a successful withdrawal...

    Visit [url]www.drugawareness.org(pre-approved[/url] by mod1) for some good info.

    Good luck, hope you can have a successful tapering.

    Last edited by Jennita; 05-12-2006 at 12:22 PM.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 12:29 PM   #36
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    Yeah, we'll see if maybe this is one of my doctor's less retarded days. I think after 10 years it's not a huge surprise to me that my body still craves/needs/wants the Zoloft - at least the 12.5mg seems to be an okay-ish dosage and so if I have to start from there it won't be as much of a setback as if I had to start again from 75mg.

    Guess we'll see what the doctor says. It's interesting to me that I can literally feel the stuff hit, and literally feel the stuff wearing off ... when I was on 75mg, I could skip a day (not on purpose, but like if I was really sick and couldn't take it for some reason) without noticing anything.

    I thought I went slow enough - reducing it by around 10% every week (a few websites recommended this) ... but the more I read the more I realize that it does take longer for some people and should be done even slower. If my doctor decides to be retarded today or whenever she calls back (the nurse likes to jump to conclusions about "oh well maybe you have cancer!" which doesn't help a person like me who already worries unnecessarily about health issues), then at least I have four more refills of my 50mg tablets left ... I can always sit and wittle away.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 12:38 PM   #37
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by r0cky
    Yeah, we'll see if maybe this is one of my doctor's less retarded days. I think after 10 years it's not a huge surprise to me that my body still craves/needs/wants the Zoloft - at least the 12.5mg seems to be an okay-ish dosage and so if I have to start from there it won't be as much of a setback as if I had to start again from 75mg.

    Guess we'll see what the doctor says. It's interesting to me that I can literally feel the stuff hit, and literally feel the stuff wearing off ... when I was on 75mg, I could skip a day (not on purpose, but like if I was really sick and couldn't take it for some reason) without noticing anything.

    I thought I went slow enough - reducing it by around 10% every week (a few websites recommended this) ... but the more I read the more I realize that it does take longer for some people and should be done even slower. If my doctor decides to be retarded today or whenever she calls back (the nurse likes to jump to conclusions about "oh well maybe you have cancer!" which doesn't help a person like me who already worries unnecessarily about health issues), then at least I have four more refills of my 50mg tablets left ... I can always sit and wittle away.
    That's a good sign that you feel the 12.5 hit as opposed to the days 75 didn't feel any different. That means you brain already has lost some of it's desenzitation (tolerance) to the drug during the time of dropping down to 12.5. Now it's just a matter of slowly getting down to smaller and smaller doses so the brain will have an easier and longer period to adjust to a lesser dose, and in time, a no dose situation!

    Your'e on the right track, I'm thinking you'll be very successful if you stay on it!

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 01:57 PM   #38
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    up to 2 years for withdrawal effects to abate? is this number from an objective, reliable source?

    I'd think that if it takes a month for the drug to kick in when you initially take it, it should take around that time for things to return to normal when you come off.

    If, say, 12 months after you've been clean off the medication you're feeling heavily depressed, I think it's not correct to attribute that to withdrawal. At least, in the absense of empirical evidence, just from a historical standpoint - it's not unlikely the depression is from, well, the depression. You after all had reasons which led you to take this stuff in the first place.

    Anyway, best of luck with the withdrawal process.

     
    Old 05-12-2006, 08:46 PM   #39
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    Yes, I don't doubt you're going through withdrawal. I just meant, I find it hard to believe it can last for up to 2 years (an ****** long time if you ask me). I live near McLean hospital, I'll ask them about it.

     
    Old 05-13-2006, 03:34 PM   #40
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    I think it's safe to say most people will not still be in recovery for 2 years but that doesn't mean alot of people won't take that long; it's hard to say because the brain is so complicated, such a web, and so many other factors are different in each person, like I mentioned, not as simple as a bone healing from fracture.

    Perhaps it depends on the level of downregulation or damage, and also the type of drug. I have heard of people who have had a protracted recovery suddenly one day it's just all gone! Others have a slow, steady recovery.

    Also, we all have different wiring so perhaps we react to drugs and recover from them at differnet levels.

    Here's something interesting to ponder: if drug recovery is supposed to be only for a short time, why is it some former LSD users would report flashbacks 10 years after never touching the stuff? 10 years? That's a very long time to experience a drug effect.

    And then some don't. But, If LSD can still cause things 10 years later, who's to say other drugs that are psychoactive won't either? Sure, LSD is more powerful but larger doses of AD's can be very powerful as well as far as downregulation/brain damage.

    Since they have no feasible way to measure any of our receptors and neurotransmitters in our living brains right now, they can only guess as to any damages and how long it takes to recover from those damages. They no doubt just favor looking at the "fast" healers and thus use them as the ultimate guide for their own presumptions. If you look around the net, there are very large groups of people who weren't fast healers, so they are larger in number than we think but still largely ignored.

    It makes sense, after all, to have drugs you manufacture and prescribe to look more appealing to yourself and the patient. It's a form of denial which works for the profession and drug co's but not always works for the patients who do experience more difficulties.

    Certainly it can be considered that even "safe" and legal psychoactive substances might cause enough damage to prolong recovery time beyond what we would normally expect.

     
    Old 05-17-2006, 09:38 PM   #41
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    Okay, Jennita and everyone, it's safe to say my doctor had a retarded day.

    Well, I went to the doctor appointment today and told her about my desire to taper off the Zoloft and how I went about doing it. She said decreasing 12.5mg per week was fine and definitely slow enough. When I told her how I felt after four weeks off of it completely, she said it meant I needed to be back on it, and that for some people, "depression is like hypertension - it's always there and requires medication for most if not all of life". I told her I didn't want that - I told her I wanted to get off of these drugs.

    Her response was "yeah, some day you might want to have a baby, and then you might want to get off of it, but for now, you need it" ... I said "but I was doing so well during the stages where I was decreasing the dosage" and her response was "yes, well, four weeks off of the Zoloft is enough time for you to be feeling better if you were going to". I told her that I had read several things suggesting that it takes longer than that for many people -- she disagreed, and said it shouldn't, and that if it does, that is not withdrawal but the original problem resurfacing and pointing to the necessity for continued antidepressant meds.

    So she told me to get back to 50mg (remember, I had started at 75mg) ... I said no, absolutely not. So she said fine, then get back to 25 instead of 12.5 ... so I said okay, but that I was disappointed because even at this 12.5mg I'm feeling fatigued all the time like I just want to sleep (like I did when I was on 75mg).

    So her answer? She handed me a bag of samples and told me to ditch the Zoloft and start taking half of a Lexapro every day.

    I told her that I thought Lexapro was supposed to be even more difficult to get off of, and she denied this, saying it was exactly the same as Zoloft and the other SSRIs.

    :-\

    Now I don't know what to do. I don't want to start the Lexapro because I've read even worse horror stories about trying to get off of it ... and at the same time, part of me wonders if maybe Lexapro would work better for me than Zoloft ... but gosh, I don't want to try it and get hooked on it and then have to go through all of this again to an even worse extent.

     
    Old 05-17-2006, 10:10 PM   #42
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    rocky, it sounds like you have a lot of common sense and, from your experience, you seem to know much more than your doctor does. She is absolutely wrong when she says that you should be fine after 4 weeks of being off Zoloft. Most people who have trouble withdrawing, have trouble for much longer. I swear, somebody could write a book called, "Doctors Say the Darndest Things". There would be no shortage of material. What they don't know for sure, they still pronounce as though it's common truth. Even when I was in the throes of Paxil withdrawal and called my doctor, he denied that what I was feeling was related to Paxil at all. He said that there was no withdrawal problem! He didn't have one word of advice for me to get through it. Another doctor gave my poor sister Effexor when she was still in the hospital recovering from her Paxil induced stroke! When I confronted him about the fact that Paxil had caused her stroke and that Effexor's side effect of "severe hypertension" made it dangerous for her to take, he said "Oh, we give that stuff out like candy"! He said that in front of a team of nurses at one of my sister's evaluation meedtings!

    My point is - your doctor sounds ignorant of most things related to your problem. Use your common sense. If you had a hard time with Zoloft, there's a good chance that you'll have similar problems with Lexapro. Of course, you might not, but it'll be too late once you're on it. This class of drug has hurt countless people. Do a search on natural help for depression. There's so much you can do. Good luck.

     
    Old 05-18-2006, 08:31 AM   #43
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by r0cky
    ...When I told her how I felt after four weeks off of it completely, she said it meant I needed to be back on it, and that for some people, "depression is like hypertension - it's always there and requires medication for most if not all of life". I told her I didn't want that - I told her I wanted to get off of these drugs.

    Her response was "yeah, some day you might want to have a baby, and then you might want to get off of it, but for now, you need it" ... I said "but I was doing so well during the stages where I was decreasing the dosage" and her response was "yes, well, four weeks off of the Zoloft is enough time for you to be feeling better if you were going to".
    I had doctors telling me the same thing. 4 weeks may not be enough time for you to be over withdrawal -- or discontinuation syndrome -- or whatever you want to call it. It doesn't mean that you need to stay on the drug for life. I had doctors telling me that.

    But I can tell you now, 19 months later, that I feel better and better all the time -- and they were just plain wrong about my needing to be on meds for life.

    Try to follow your gut because you know your body better than anyone else can.

     
    Old 05-18-2006, 10:34 AM   #44
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    Re: bye bye Zoloft

    Don't start Lexapro!!!!!!Listen to these people, they know the score. I also know. When 5 months off Ativan(a different class than SSRi's and infamous for more prolonged withdrawal) I had to go to a new doctor for bronchitis.

    I mentioned at that point I only slept 14 hrs. a week because of benzo withdrawal. She claimed at 5 months I had recovered enough for it to be the drug and no way would my sleep improve beyond that point because it had been too long in her opinion! She was ready with more Ativan or if I chose a sedating AD like Evail. I graciously declined but I must admit I wondered if she was right, it was scary....I was worried and not well at the time.....but I stuck it out since I already knew what tolerance was like. Well, she wasn't right as now I sleep alot more.

    We can't take the doctors' word as gospel since they really don't know all the abilities of the receptor system in each person nor how profoundly psychoactive substances really effect a person's brain. They like to assume other causes for drug-induced problems.

     
    Old 06-12-2006, 09:04 AM   #45
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    Wink Zoloft be gone!

    I just wanted to let you all know it IS possible to get off of Zoloft or any other medication.
    I was previously on Effexor XR 150 Mgs and I had a doctor tell me to take 3 days yup just 3 days to wean off and I would be fine..I should of known better but I took his advice because well he is the doctor right?! Well I ended up in the ER three times was suicidal and had severe panic/anxiety disorder. So bad that a different doctor informed me if I did not take something I would collapse..this was because I had basically not slept in over a week…(this is the short story)

    Well I ended up on Zoloft unwillingly..also not needed..so I took this for about a year or so and then decided I would go off..not I was up to 200 mgs because I had such an effect coming off the effexor my body had gone into some crazy withdrawals that it had not adjusted and well the anxiety disorder was too much for me..so at 200 mgs I stayed!
    Around 11/2005 I decided I would under my own supervision this time start to lower my meds 25mgs at a time as I felt I could..sometimes this was every couple weeks sometimes this was every month…
    I did not however play around during the holidays (meaning xmas) and when I moved in February other then that I stayed on schedule…I got down to about 100mgs and stated feeling pretty crappy every day meaning dizzy/body jolts but not unbearable just enough that I knew I was not lowering the med any time soon..
    I finally decided after 2 months I was lowering to 75 mgs and the same thing happened..so I decided to find myself another psychiatrist and find out what the deal was…I did not fancy this guy because well for one he thought I had already been his patient..good lord!
    Anyway I told him what I was doing and he said I was most likely at a plateau..ahhh hahhh! Then he told me to start by taking the 75 the next day then skipping a day..take 75 the day after skip 2 days and so on for about two weeks (I can give you my schedule if it helps because I am sure I am not explaining this correctly)..then drop down to 50mgs but not to go back to one day off and one day on..just when I got to 50 mgs to keep going so if I was already skipping 4 days to keep skipping and proceed to skip 5 days…then I decided next time the dose would not be another 50 it would be my last 25! And here I am ..last week was my last dose 25 Mgs…holy crap!
    His little regimen seemed to work and really fast BUT I will say not without withdrawals…nothing unexpected because I was going through them already but they were the same ones I was just prolonging my agony over all those months damn me! So this only took me about 3 weeks instead of what I would of done over a few more months!
    I cannot say what will happen in the coming weeks but I will say I do have xanax as a back up which I did use a few times to alter the side effects of withdrawals..I have had NO panic/anxiety but I do still feel off balance and dizzy and those fabulous body jolts…I assume this is because the medication is STILL in my body and has not completely washed out…
    My appetite is gone as well..(not a bad thing)
    Now will someone tell the guy in the cube behind me to STOP chomping on his chips…good grief! I have named him "the chomper" and with good reason!
    Good Luck to all of you and have faith!
    Ps…let's all stick our foot up those pharm's asses!

     
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