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I started taking 50mg of sertraline today after being very scared of side effects. Anyway, I took it at 8:40am. I have had diaherra and I feel tired and irritable but dont know if it's due to the sertraline or not? I am cutting down on carbs right now too so I dont know if it's that or what? Or if I am just generally tired and irritable.

How long did it take for people to feel side effects.

I have felt like this before when not on them so have no idea and keep wondering what - if any - effects will be and always assessing how I feel.

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    I felt side effects within hours felt sick upset stomach bad head. The next day the sickness kicked in and I did not want to eat. Lost weight. by day 4 I could not take any more so I  decided to come off. Then it took 4 days to get them out of my system. I was taking 25mg.

    They say you do not feel the benefits for about 3 weeks but I could not do it I am trying councelling and I am on propranolol 100mg 

    Best of luck 


    • Posted

      Hi margaret

      i have been on sertraline for approx sixteen months and like you felt sick and lost weight when I first started taking them (50mgs). Think the side effects lasted about two weeks.

      Just wanted to to ask how you are getting on with propranolol ?

      i also have other neuro conditions and migraine so my neurologist has recommended it,  for my other conditions really but may help reduce migraine as well.

      so thinking I could then come off sertraline ? If propranolol also help anxiety stress etc ? Is this the case ?

      many thanks

    • Posted

      I suffer migraine and very dizzy spells as well as anxiety and panic attacks.

      It was hard to start with but did not have anywhere near the side effects I got from setraline.

      I have not had any more migraine or dizzy spells since being on it that is about 2 months.

      has helped with anxiety but still get odd panic attack but have learnt to deal with them through breathing etc.

      I have also just started councelling and make sure I go out for half hour walk every evening.

      Best of luck with what ever you decide to do.

      I think there should be more support groups as talking helps.


  • Posted

    In my experience, side effects vary from person to person. I had headaches and a woozy head but these faded after a day or two. Try not to worry for the first 2 or 3 days, remember that you are vulnerable emotionally and mentally (or you wouldn't be on this stuff) at the moment. It is a good idea to keep a brief, factual daily diary so that you and your GP can spot any patterns etc. Maybe record your mood and any physical symptoms (say at 8am, 12 noon 4pm and 8pm). Try to keep as busy as possible, otherwise you will imagine symptoms that aren't really there (honestly)

    Get out and about, interacting with other people, and don't talk about yourself. I would love to know how you are feeling in 3/4 days.

    Best Wishes

    • Posted

      Thanks! I will update in a few days.

      Did you find it affected your sleep/dreams?

      I am taking mine in the morning... did you take yours then? I have heard some people prefer to take it at night to avoid tiredness.

    • Posted

      If anything I dreamt less than before, but medicines affect people differently. If you feel tired in the day it makes sense to take it in the evening, but after a meal, NOT on an empty stomach and NOT with alcohol - it cancels out the medicine.

      One thing about being anxious / depressed is that you understandably LOOK for signs symptoms etc and experience has taught me that people usually find what they are looking for! Even if it isn't really there. The BEST thing by far is to keep yourself occupied, physically if possible - gardening, cleaning, tidying, doing errands etc and give the meds a chance to work which they will. I found simple meditation helpful with my anxiety. I can send simple info if u like? If despite all this you feel awful, go to your GP. Please don't agonise - remind yourself that in a few weeks time you WILL feel better, things WILL improve.

      Kind Regards.

    • Posted

      Thanks! Been ok today just really tired; I was at a friend's graduation ceremony so out and about and felt ok but all of a sudden remembered I was on sertraline and felt awful. I know what you're saying about trying not to think about it, I need distraction but it's not always there! Yes please send me links to meditation if you have them.

      I am scared of side effects... In particular sleep-related ones. Last night I woke up at 3am and didn't know where I was then dreamt my pet rabbit almost died in a fire and I couldn't be there to help. It was awful and I don't know if it's the meds or my anxiety about the meds, but it was awful. I worry about having bad dreams and then I have them...

    • Posted

      Thanks for the update Jane. I will send you some meditation stuff asap.

      Well done for getting out and about. Try to do this every day.

      I understand how you are feeling. Here are a few things to hang on to. It might help to print/copy them out and display them in asuitable place to reassure you when needed. Maybe by your bed side, if that is where you experience a lot of anxiety.

      1) You are not well. You are bound to feel awful at times, so when you do feel awful, tell yourself "I feel awful because I am not well, not because I am no good, and I WILL feel better in the future - much better.

      2) You seem to be very anxious. Actually the THOUGHT of most things is usually worse than the reality. I believe that dreams can be a way for our subconscious to explore things that MIGHT happen so that we are better able to cope if they do. That's why I think meditation would help, because it is a way of regaining control over those negative thoughts.

      3) Being ill makes you fell very passive and out of control. So ...try to be proactive. Start a fun list of things that you would like to do / see / achieve. It doesn't matter how big or small. i.e. write to a fiend, visit a relative, buy a new suitcase, look for a new job, try a new hobby (dancing?) plant some bulbs..... anything!! Add to the list as often as you like. Try to do at least one thing a day and highlight it in your favourite colour. Your first item might be to buy a highlighter smile


    • Posted

      Hi Chris, thanks for the reply! I am feeling very rubbish today. I had some alcohol yesterday and felt awful today - I know its my own fault and I am not helping myself! Anyway, for me the thought of things are always worse than they are and I wish I could look forward to things more but I am always gripped by a fear of fear, or anxiety about anxiety.

      Keeping myself occupied certainly helps and exercise is helpful. I have just found the idea of changing meds really stressful and it occupies a lot of my thoughts. I wil try to make a list of things to do - I wish I could switch off from the thoughts of taking medication, constantly thinking about the fact I am on something new, it's really really hard for me. 

      I feel very tearful now and I shouldnt as there is nothing to really upset me!

      Are you taking any meds at the moment?


    • Posted

      Currently weaning myslef off Sertraline after 13 years. To be honest it sounds as if you have a lot of anxiety and some counselling might help.

      I went through a dreadful period of the same thing but now can put things into perspective far more.

      What are actually afraid of? What is the worst that could happen?

      Thanks for your honesty re alcohol - I like a pint myself. Best to have a drink after or with a meal not on an empty stomach.

      The tearfulness is a classic symptom of being easily melancholy or sentimental. It will pass.

      Its corny, but a great tip is to do little things for other people. Makes everyone feel good.

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