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snoopybe81 08-17-2003 05:45 PM

Zoloft Withdrawals-Need support
Hello Everyone!

I have been on Zoloft (100mg) since 1997. It helped me get through some really rough times and overcome my fear of college. Last week I was instructed, by my neurologist, to get off cold turkey.

The reason for quitting...It seems, after much suffering, research, and trial and error, Zoloft has been causing my daily, severe, disabling migraines.

Now I am going through the withdrawals. I am glad the migraines are gone, but I am constantly dizzy, which many of you accurately describe as "zaps." I am constantly "sea-sick" and all the other horrific withdrawals. I guess it is a trade off: migraines or zaps.

The only medication that relieves my migraines is Hydrocodone (aka Vicodin), which is fine, but I have my last year of college begins this week and I cannot be on narcotics.

I really do not have a choice other than going cold turkey due to my recent reaction to Zoloft. If there is anyone who has gone cold turkey from 100mg, please let me know how long your withdrawals lasted. For everyone else your thoughts are welcome.

I know I should really wean, but I have no choice. For a little more the past, I have weaned off Zoloft to try other medications. Depression is not really my problem...its anxiety, but I think I have reached a point in my life where I can handle it because I have learned how to put things in God's hands, so I probably will not be starting another medication.

cattys 08-18-2003 04:36 PM

I was weaned off of zoloft and the dizziness was the worst. I can't imagine just cold turkeing it. I wish you the best of luck. Withdraws from zoloft can be hell. If it gets to bad I would call my dr.

elflike 08-19-2003 10:21 AM

Hi, I just recently stumbeled on this web page while doing research on Zolofy. I have been on it for six mo. now. I just increased my dose to 50mg, (yeah i know that's not a lot) After reading the messages on this board about withdrawl, i am terrified to continue taking it or to get off it. I don't have depression, instead it's anxiety and panic attacks. I have tried other meds in the past, but the only meds for just anxiety are all addictive. Which means no long term use. If i keep taking Zolofy, my withdrawl is only going to be worse the longer i am on it, right? There is a good chance i will have to up my doseage the longer i'm taking it also. I don't know what to do. I haven't talked to my doctor yet, but he NEVER warned me about withdrawl. I even asked him if i would possibly become depressed after i stopped taking it, since the med messes with chemicals in my brain, and he said no. I would like anyone's advice who has been through withdrawl. Should i get off it now? Does everyone go through withdrawl, or only some people? I'm just scared and frustrated. I got on Zoloft to help control my anxiety, and now it's giving me anxiety because i am afraid of withdrawl. Any words of advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Courtney

cattys 08-19-2003 04:02 PM

Hi Courtney,

Zoloft really made a difference in my life when I really needed it. Then after 3 years I thought I could go off of it. I weaned my self off and the withdraws went away but my depression and panick attacks came back with a vengence. now I am on effexor, I just started it.

So I came to the conclussion that I personally need that extra med to keep myself from living in the life of panick and anxiety.

If you feel you mentally need it then I would take it. Down the road if you feel you don't need it anymore then you can slowly wean yourself off.

I wish you best of luck whatever you decide.

snoopybe81 08-19-2003 09:55 PM

I know I need the extra help from the medication but Zoloft and Paxil seem to give me migraines.

Have any of you developed migraines or headaches on antidepressants?


bkcorr86 08-20-2003 09:20 PM

Snoopy, I get migraines too, nut never connected them to the zoloft. I have gotten migraines since i was a kid, but they got much worse in my late 20's and are still going strong (I am now 39). I was on many other antidepressants for the last 4 yrs or so, Zoloft for the past year to year and a half. I finally connected the Zoloft and the sever hot flashes I was having and decided to got off. I had to taper off very slowly and still I experienced 2 weeks of really bad withdrawal, and several months of extreme moodiness (anger, hostility and depression). It does seem to be getting better now--I quit it all together on April 23.So 4 months now. My doctor and others I have heard of do not seem to acknowledge the reality of withdrawal from these drugs.Since we all seem to have the same type of symptoms, it is clearly a very real problem. I wonder if the stress on your body of suddenly stopping the drug might not induce more migraines? I hate to say it, but it could happen. I recently stopped taking Vioxx that I had been on for about 3 years, and immediately began having severe migraine after migraine. When I linked the stopping of the drug to the onset of all these headaches, i decided to start it back up just to see--guess what? I haven't had a headache since. I believe stopping the drug triggered a cluster of them. Could you try tapering down the zoloft and see how it affects your migraines? It might be better than the trauma of withdrawal. I tried taking benadryl on the suggestion of someone else on this board and it did seem to help with the sapping some. Also i was taking an anti=emetic for the nausea. Good luck, you are in a sticky situation.
Have you tried other meds for your migraines? The only things that help mine are Fiorinal and Maxalt, though at times, even those don't help and i just have to suffer through. Best of luck to you

elflike 08-21-2003 09:13 AM

Thank you for your reply. I know i need some kind of med to keep myself "normal". After reading lots of postings, I guess the best thing is to continue taking Zoloft. I am however afraid to increase my dosage (if needed.)How long did your withdrawl last when you quit from 100mg? Thanks again for your time.

To snoopyb81, I have not developed migranes from Zoloft. I do suffer from sweats, weight gain, and slight mania. I am taking Zoloft for anxiety not depression, and my Doc says the mania is a result of that. hope that helped.

chargersfan 08-24-2003 07:09 PM

I've been on zoloft twice for postpartum depression - my daughters are 8 and 3. I took it for 3 years the first time and 2 1/2 years this time. 2 weeks ago I decided I didn't want to be on antidepressants anymore as I felt they stopped working, and OD'd on 70 zoloft and 20 xanax. I had been on the xanax for panic attacks and looking back, knew I had been abusing it. After the emergency room experience, my psych now wants me to go on celexa. I want to get through these withdrawals and see how I am without anything. Unfortunately, I have been experiencing anxiety attacks, dizziness, mood changes, sleep deprivation (the zoloft never helped me sleep anyway) and most disturbingly anorexic symptoms. I haven't eaten anything substantial for about a month, and when I do, I feel this incredible urge to vomit. I've lost over 20 lbs in 4 weeks, and have now noticed bruising on my arms and legs, dark under eye circles, my hair is falling out, and my skin is lackluster. My psych gave me klonipin to help me sleep and w/the tremors, but it just makes me feel sicker. Why is it psychological professionals just want to medicate patients and not listen to them? My husband is great, but he's out of town for 2 months training for a new job, so I'm home with the kids, packing, doing yard sales, preparing to sell the house, all while going through withdrawal. I would really appreciate if anyone would like to reply and possibly exchange emails as I've been quite lonely and have nobody to talk to who can relate to what I've been experiencing. I'm going back to the psych next week and he's going to want to drug me again, of which I will refuse. I just want something to help me sleep, and if he is unable to help, I'll just go back on benadryl and unisom 'cocktails'. Anyway, thanks for listening.

[This message has been edited by chargersfan (edited 08-24-2003).]

elflike 08-25-2003 11:48 AM

Hi, What you are going throught sounds like pure hell. I really don't know what to say in terms of advice for your withdrawl. I am on Zoloft and as a result of findng this website, am afraid to go off it. Check out the Zoloft Withdrawl is hell postings. There are a lot of people going through the same thing as you. I know it can be very overwhelming trying to do all these things by yourself, but to be going through withdrawl on top of it is unbelivable. I commend you for you corrage and strength. If you are able to, i would try alternative threapy for you symptoms. I heard that yoga can help, and even just a regular excersize routine. Do some investigation into what non med treatment options there are around you.
Good luck with everyting,

classikjewels 09-04-2003 09:28 PM

and i know what you are going through with kids and all.......i have 3 myself and 6 grandchildren.....and i'm not 43 yet........thats enough to cause anxiety all by it self :)

angelbutt 10-06-2003 07:30 PM

I have just gotton off Zoloft, and i am getting really bad panic attacks, is this normal? im also crying, my doctor told meto stop for a week, and hes starting me on paxil tomorrow. Has anyone tried paxil and are there and bad side effects to it. The reason i got off zoloft is b/c of the sex drive hehe i dont have one, been married for 1 1/2 now and it was driving us both nuts hehe. well anyway please answer back if you can it would help me out alot. thanks


Cldwv 10-07-2003 06:58 AM

I had one really bad panic attack shortly after coming off Zoloft. I also cried a lot - in between lashing out at people and generally horrible to be around.

I tried Paxil a few years ago and stopped very quickly because it gave me horrible headaches.

[This message has been edited by Cldwv (edited 10-07-2003).]

angelbutt 10-08-2003 03:19 PM

Thanks for replying, now i know im just not going crazy, im on paxil now so im praying that will work, and give me sdome piece of mind. just wanted to know if paxil is ok, and if anyone has had any bad side effects.

3kidsb2nt 10-22-2003 08:32 PM


I am currently weaning off Zoloft and going on Effexor.

Does anyone know any side effect for Effexor?

nomorezoloft 01-30-2004 09:18 AM

Re: Zoloft Withdrawals-Need support
Okay. I feel silly. I can't figure out how in the world to start a new thread. I'll piggyback on yours since I think you might be able to relate.


I started taking Zoloft about 10 years ago to help with PMS. Yes. A full decade. I believe it truly helped me for a long time. Recently, though, I began feeling "dead" and began feeling terrible about the sexual side effects of Zoloft. I had a hysterectomy about two years ago and decided it was time for me to be "well." Obviously, PMS is no longer an issue. I weaned myself off as advised by a doctor and have been Zoloft free for about a month now. I am taking Wellbutrin SR, without much relief from it. Maybe it takes the edge off ... hard to tell, there are so many edges.

At first, I felt GREAT! Colors seemed brighter, I could finally experience sex again, I could actually feel emotions (even the ones that I didn't necessarily want to feel). I did experience the zaps and jolts, etc. After about three weeks, I began to get ANGRY. I am so VERY ANGRY at everything.

I am seeing a therapist and she said, last week, "You are spilling out all over the place. Maybe you should take the Zoloft. So what if you have to take medication for the rest of your life?"

Easy for her to say. I live in fear that if for some reason the medication were not available to me, my life would end in a sudden suicide.

I have decided to stick this out. My husband has called me "crazy." Once he was counting Zoloft out to me in a parking lot of a pharmacy and saying, "You are so pathetic." I had been out for a few days and didn't have the money to buy more. He finally did buy more for me and assured me that I am worthless for needing it so desperately.

So, again, I have decided to stick this out. I am on the edge of divorce. I can't be civil to my children. My therapist thinks I am over the edge. (She met me a few days before I stopped taking Zoloft and has seen me steadily decline.)

The question that I keep asking myself is ... which came first, the Zoloft or the depression? Should I take Zoloft because I am truly depressed? Or should I take it because withdrawls are making me crazy? Are withdrawls making me crazy? Or am I just that way naturally.

I scream and yell and rant and rave and hate and ***** and moan and whine and complain and lash out at people in McDonalds drive through for forgetting to include a straw in my order.

I thought I was a good, intelligent, kind, loving, creative and nice person.

Which is really the ME? Which is really the ZOLOFT? How will I ever be able to tell? I don't like the raving maniac. Is that really me?

If you have successfully quit Zoloft for an extended period of time and have experienced the same uncontrollable rage, would you please, please please write to me and tell me it's alright to go on --- that there IS an end to this tunnel (if there is, of course).

My gut tells me that for 18 years I have taken medication for the convenience and comfort of everyone else. My gut tells me that if I can hold my marriage together and try to help my family understand, that in a few months, I will get better.

I guess the question is, "Will I?"

I made appointments with two different divorce attorneys this week. I cancelled both of them with the hope that I can help my husband understand what's going on without judging me. So far he is clueless (a police officer) and can only deal with the situation with force and threats. I can forgive him for not understanding and guess maybe I would react the same way if someone were continually attacking me. I've decided to hold off on divorce until I have tried to ride this out for a couple of months (assuming we all live).

Anyone want or need support like I do during withdrawl? Anyone else planning to tough it out for awhile no matter what? I'm interested in hearing from you.

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