Bad reaction to Sertraline. Anyone else?

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Hey, I'm new here. 

A little history about me: I have been suffering from panic attacks & depression. I was prescribed Mirtazapine which was doing an awesome job and helping me sleep which I desperately needed. However, after two years the mirtazapine stopped working? Because I ended up getting worse with my anxiety and pretty much became a hermit inside my house, never leaving to go outside. I lost my job because of poor performance (I was having panic attacks at work when it got really busy & customers started complaining since I wasn't focused). 

I went back to my GP and told asked her if I could just come off the medication completely, but she wanted to try something new and prescribed me with Sertraline, she did tell me that I have to take them for two weeks for them to work, but I really do not want to become dependent on medication. I am on a waiting list for lifelink (therapy) which is taking forever, so I decided just to give the Sertraline a shot. I read about it before taking it and someone suggested halving the 50MG pills so that your body can get used to the side effects. I did this for three days, the first two days I felt nothing and then the third day I had a HUGE panic attack like never before and I was in my house so it freaked me out. 

I have never experienced a panic attack like that before, and embarrassingly I thought I was dying. I tried to contact 111 (NHS to ask about the meds) but my phone said that I dialied the wrong number. I started getting dizzy, shaking, feeling sick and sweating. I ended up calling 999 and the paramedics came out to check me. I felt stupid for calling 999 after talking with the paramedics but they were really nice about it, checked my blood pressure, my pulse, my heart rate. He said my pulse was a little fast but when I started talking to him it went down and everything was "on point" as he said. After talking to them for a bit they told me they could take me to the hospital and get advice from the Doctor about the medication, so I went there and got my blood pressure, heart rate and blood checked again. The woman told me to guess my heart rate and I said it feels like 100 and something, but it was at 88. At that very moment I felt ridiculous and apologized to the paramedics and the nurse for wasting their time, but they were awesome about it. The Doctor advised me to keep taking the medication and how it was just the side effects but it's my body and I certainly do not want to go through this just to be dependent on medication and then experience it all over again when I have to come off it. So, I decided to call my GP in the morning. Had zero sleep that night, was still shaking, dizzy, had diarrhea, my legs were twitching, I couldn't sit still and kept going back and forth to the livingroom and my bedroom upstairs, I was sweating, anxious and had a headache as well. In the morning I ended up vomiting and I called my GP right away. 

My GP advised me to stop taking them immediately because everyone is different and some people have mild side effects whereas others will have severe side effects which is me. She said she would prescribe me another medication (oh joy) but I asked her just to give me something right now for to calm me down so I could sleep and she agreed and when the side effects wear off I will call back and decide what to do next. She prescribed me Buspirone 5mg and I looked up the side effects because I do NOT want to feel worse than I already do, and the side effects were dizziness (which I already had) and blurred vision etc. So I decided not to take them and just see how I feel throughout the day, but told myself to get outside and to NOT go back home no matter how I feel. I did, and I had some horrible moments where I thought I was going to faint, but I stuck it out and focused on my breathing (which was what the paramedics said) and I told myself to relax. If I'm going to faint, it's okay, it won't hurt me and it's just my body taking a rest. I did not faint, though and while I was outside I stopped shaking, thankfully. It's been over 30 hours since I took the medication and I still feel dizzy and anxious but I do not feel nauseous anymore or like I can't sit still. 

I know everyone is different and responds differently to medication but this was the worst medication I've been on and I did not enjoy it whatsoever, definitely not worth the side effects. I'm actually getting excited about the side effects wearing off, seriously was convinced I was dying while on them. 

Has anyone else experienced a bad reaction to them like this? I'm hoping I can get to sleep tonight and the side effects will be completely gone tomorrow. 

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi. Oh you poor thing....you were very unlucky having such a bad reaction to sertraline.....I have been on it for years ( 200 mgs )

    And have had no side effects whatsoever....

    Please don't give up though....ask your doctor to try you on something else.....there are many different ones...

    I truly wish you good luck, I I sincerely hope that you Feel better soon....big hugs to YOU....Deirdre xxxx

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  • Posted

    I was take the same pill and gave me side effects first time I took it and never took the pill again I rather feel the symptoms and I'm on no medication know I don't think I need them cuz for a year straight I been taking the bad symptoms of anxiety
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  • Posted

    Hello I was on sertraline and when I first started it I felt so ill I had to take a strong sleeping tablet to send me sleep I seriously felt like I was losing the plot......heart rate was out of control shaking feeling sick sweating and panic attacks like I'd never had this went on for a few weeks untill it eased I would say at about week six I started to feel better and more so gradually after that it actually was a really good medication when I'd got used to I wish you all the best 💐
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  • Posted

    The important thing is to talk about this with your doctor. I went through several different medications before I found one that worked for me and didn't leave me feeling like hell. I take Buspirone 10mg three times a day and I would be lost without it.
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  • Posted

    It can often take several tries attempting to find the right medication for you. Buspirone did not work for me, and caused me anxiety and inability to sleep. What worked finally was zoloft, which after a few years caused tremendous edema in my legs.
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    • Posted

      I switched to another in the Zoloft family and had no trouble after this. It was temporary for me as I transitioned through many changes. After 3 yes I no longer needed these type of medications.
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  • Posted

    Hey guys, thanks for your responses. 

    I'm feeling much better today, even got sleep last night. I'm still a little off but not as badly as before. The side effects from Sertraline has made me have a change of heart on medications for depression and anxiety. I think therapy is the best option, although I know medications can help people and everyone is different. But for me, I know I will never take medication again unless it's necessary. I need to stop running and trying to hide when I have panic attacks because my anxiety is taking over my life and I refuse to let it anymore. I forced myself outside today and I am taking baby steps, forcing myself into situations where I know I will have an attack because I want to beat it instead of running from it. However, when I got outside and was LOOKING for the attack to come on, it never did. So now I know when I go out and have one I can just continue to do what I'm doing and tell myself it's uncomfortable but nothing is going to put me in danger. 

    How are you guys doing? 

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    • Posted

      Hi I stopped sertraline after 8 days because of extreme side effects. I've been lucky and had CBT which has been great. I hate taking medication so like you have decided to try and deal with my anxiety through CBT and its working. I've gone 2 weeks without a panic attack or worrying about my health ( I have health anxiety). My tip would be to keep yourself busy so your brain is kept occupied. Get a hobby or be around other people if you can to distract you

      Good luck

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  • Posted

    prozac did this to me
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  • Posted

    just had exact same thing happen to me on sertraline thought i was dying my husband had to ring 111 only been on them 4 days after coming off another as they were not working . doc rang and have to drink loads of water to flush them out typical that its a bank holiday but will ring up on monday to go on another one as they are ooen he said ?but these were evil with me still shaking and dizzy but my emotions are all over and i am getting a terrified spooky feeling and i have my lamp on as frightened anybody else had these frightening emotions thanks in advance .

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