Just started Sertraline for recent high anxiety and panic the side effects are awful - help please!

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Hi there im male and 46 and have been prescribed 25mg of Sertraline/zoloft for panic and anxiety that has crippled me in recent months. I'm currently on day 6 and it's really messing with me, can anyone offer some help and advice please?

I take the tablet at 7a, or 8am and by mid morning im a zombie with a really foggy brain, i feel SUPER weird, almost like im doing ecstasy! I'm very restless and a bit 'up' and unable to settle and do anything, i cant watch TV or anything as the feeling is too distracting. I'm also not sleeping and i'm not getting any REM sleep so thats exacerbating the problems i think. I cant do anything, i cant work, i cant hold a proper conversation without it being anxiety inducing for me.

I sort of even out later in the day about 5pm or 6pm and feel more 'normal' and am able to be social and do stuff, otherwise during the day i feel paranoid that i'm being weird and i start getting weird anxious thoughts.

I also have a massive panic attack on day 4 at midnight hen i was sleeping, it obviously work me up and i managed to contain it eventually with beta blockers and breathing. But then weirdly i woke up a bit later and felt great, like i was cured! But then the anxiety came creeping back in.

I feel like the sertraline/zoloft is messing with me really badly, or am i just seeing this through anxiety ridden eyes and i need to give it more time? These past 6 days have seemed like an eternity.

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5 Replies

  • Edited


    I started with Lustral (zoloft) 22days ago, so i am not that far from you, i started 12.5mg for 4 days, then 25mg for 2 weeks, now i am on 50mg.

    I know what you are going through and how hard it is, i was there too, similar side effects, anxiety and so on.

    From my own experience, first week was horrible, by the end of the second week side effects subsided and anxiety became much more manageable, good thing is that you already starting to have a good moments even if they are short, it means sertraline starting to build up in your system. Try to read positive stories here on sertraline forum, they did helped me through this horrible first two weeks and also people in here are very helpful. Just don't give up, i know that everyday feels long now, but after two weeks side effects and all that yo-yo effects start to get little better.

    Here is my daily diary, if you interested to read it:


    Things get better, just stick with it through this starting period. Stay strong.

    • Posted

      Thank you, do you feel it's having a benefit and is working for you? My main issue is with anxiety.

      Also the insomnia is kicking my butt. I wake up at crazy times and cant get back to sleep. Like i wake up after 2 hour and im wide awake. So weird. I also couldn't eat for a long time, but my appetite returned today and that's had a positive effect on me.

    • Edited

      Definitely, i am on them just around 4 weeks and i can see that my anxiety is much more manageable and not that frequent, also during the stressful situations i react more calmly and i do not overthinking like i used to.

      There will be a "bad days" until body/system and correct dosage get adjusted and levelled and then good days will become more frequent and bad days will subside. I know that sleeping is difficult now, but you can ask your doctor if he can prescribe you for this starting process some sleeping pills. They usually do, they know that sertraline at the beginning causing trouble... Also myself, i am on blood pressure meds for over 3 years now, from my own experience i know that beta blockers like propranolol/inderal causing insomnia and is difficult to get to sleep, also they do not suit everyone, i had a anxiety attacks and depressed moods from them, i had propranolol beta blocker short release version and they do calm heart rate, blood pressure and physical symptoms of anxiety, but this version 3 hours later slowly stopped working and then my anxiety kicked in with vengeance, so i am using something else for my blood pressure. Also beta blockers are made mainly for high blood pressure and heart problems, but they do use them for other treatments like tremors or physical symptoms of anxiety. Also if doctor will prescribe to you a sleeping pills or benzos, try to use them only shortly and only when you need, they can become addictive and that's not good. Usually doctors they know about it and they will prescribe them just for a short period of time anyway. That's a good sign that your appetite is getting back. Stay strong, wish you all the best.

    • Posted


      How are you feeling after a few days? Did any of the side effects eased on you are you feeling a little better?

  • Posted

    yes i think more time, it took a good while to fully kick in . i found keep doing things to occupy your mind even tough - going for walk etc. hope u feel better soon

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