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I have found this site very helpful during the period that I was taking sertraline and felt I should share my experiences of coming off the drug, in the hope that they may be of help to others.
I was diagnosed with depression last year and have been on 200mg of sertraline for approx 10 months. I also had some therapy during this period and recently took the decision (with my doctor's support) to come off the medication. Wary of repeating the experiences some other posters on this site have had I resolved to reduce my dosage gradually over a period of about a month (more gradually than suggested by my doctor).
Each week I reduced the dosage by 50mg a day. So week one I went down to 150mg a day, week 2 100mg a day etc. The first two weeks were fine with no real changes. By the end of week 3 I began to feel a bit light headed, with hot sweats and dry-mouth also returning. As a result I remained on this dose another week instead of stopping altogether in week 4.
I have now been 5 days with no sertraline and have found the experience of quitting surprisingly easy. I still feel a little light-headed now and again, but other side effects I suffered during the full dose (yawning, tiredness, sexual dysfunction) have all but gone, and although I kind of miss the 'wrapped in cotton wool' feeling I am glad to be back to life without medication.
For what its worth I would suggest that gradual reduction of dosage is the most effective way to avoid the worse of the side-effects experienced when coming off sertraline and that the good news (for me anyway) has been the speed at which the side-effects disappeared.
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