My experience of coming off sertraline

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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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  • Posted

    thanks for this post. its nice to hear a positive story about coming off sertraline. i'm about to do the same thing..... going slowly! how are you now?
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    • Posted

      Hi, just curious to how things went for you? I've come down from 150 to 75. I felt better on 100 than I did 150 but 10 days after lowering to 75 I'm feeling anxious and jittery. Not all the time but on and off and I'm wondering whether I should go back to 100 or stock it out...x

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  • Posted

    I was on sertraline for 7 years and been ever so gradually tapering off over the last 6 months, to recently taking one 50mg tablet every 7 days.

    I am still getting electric shocks and light-headness (2 weeks now since I took the last tablet)

    My question is has anyone ever know this and will the electric jolts stop eventually or is it some permanent side-effect due to being on sertraline too long?

    I am considering taking the supplement 5HTP which is reported to do same thing as sertraline.

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    • Posted

      How's it been going? I have been on zilift for over 18 yrs. I really want to get off them.

      I'm just so afraid of relapse but now I'm willing to try harder. Doctor wants me to.

      But as soon as I get the electric shocks and light headed, I usually panic.

      :-(

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    • Posted

      Hi. I just saw your post and felt compelled to sign up and respond. I was on Zoloft 200mgs for 10+ years and have recently titrated off it completely. With the help of my dr and a (friend) nutritionist, I slowly slowly slowly reduced my dosage over the past 9 months. Slow is the key word. So for 2-3mos I reduced to 150mgs and stayed there for awhile. Then I reduced to 125/100/50!very slowly, eventually leveling off at 50 and staying there for a couple of months. Initially I was so scared to try to wean off because of side effects, irritability, depression, agitation, etc... For the past 2 weeks I have been taking ZERO Zoloft and I feel pretty good and I think I've done it! Some people go much faster/more aggressively but I knew better, and having taken it for so long (and for good reasons) I wanted to proceed with the utmost caution. The nutritional supplements I am taking I think helped me profoundly with reducing and other health benefits as well (more energy, digestion, general well-being)---

      High potency (100 billion strain probiotics), vitamin D, essential omega oils/fats, liquid vitamin B12, daily 15-20 exercise (outsidebif pisdible), 5-10 mins of "meditation" and positive self-talk... If I can do it, you can do it. Hope this helps

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    • Posted

      So thankful to find this thread too - I have been on 200mg for 7 years and 150 for about 6 before that I think . I'm going to try and sloooowwwwlllyyy taper - and with supplements and exercise and meditation- I'm sure I can do it . Reading all of these comments - the brain sucking - light headed - headaches - sweats - nausea - shocks ---- is all part of it. I'm going for it - and revisit my old self without 200 mg of Zoloft a day - and with a lot more experience and coping strategies ..... God help me ---- I will live through this .... And I'm not a religious person ---- but might start to be if I get through this.

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    • Posted

      Helo!

      How are you doing today with no meds? I'm weaning myself off so I can get my weight under control and most important my sex drive ha ha any advice ?

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    • Posted

      I have been on Sertraline 200 mg for at least 5 years and other antidepressants before that. I have gradually been coming off them. After 1 week reducing down50 mg each week. I have been off them now for over a week. My problem is feeling dizzy and having terrible nightmares. I haven't had any electric shocks but I am worried about the other side effects. Does anyone else have these effects. 

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    • Posted

      Hi 

      How have you found 5HTP

      I have been on sertraline 100mg for nearly 5 years. I was ok for the first 4 weeks but then old symptoms come back like racing mind, anxiety and agitation. I have tried 5HTP for a day or 2 but can't say they helped much. How's your experience of 5HTP

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    • Posted

      Oh yes!! I'been decreasing my Sertraline amount over last few weeks and have now stopped taking it. At first it helped with my general anxiety disorder but after a while the side effects just numbed me, 200mg was too much for me! Electric shock as you described, it's like sudden jolts isn't it? When trying to meditate the jolts seem to happen more often aswell!

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    • Posted

      Only been on sertraline for 8 weeks, 25 mg.  last two weeks I reduced it in half.  Now today feel really funny.  Do you think I should go back up to 25 mg?  Do you think I would have side effects?  
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    • Posted

      Hi Carole , I have just started to reduce my tablets from 50mg to 25mg I'm feeling very anxious 😩 but I felt anxious any way , and that's why the doc wants me to come off of sertaline think it's stoped working . But if I was you I would stick with it because you have only been on it a short time and on a small amount . Good luck.

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    • Posted

      I've been on Zoloft, well the generic of, for 4 years now. I was taking 50mg a day to try and help the GAD. I took a few other medications for anxiety as well. Over the past year, I have stopped the other meds and added some supplements and amino acids and medical marijuana. I kept taking the Zoloft until four weeks ago. I weaned myself off and took my last pill a week ago.

      The first couple of days was no big deal. theeeeeen.......wowie ! I'm ok, I think but man, do I have those "electric shocks" and vertigo like symptoms. I mostly get the "electric shocks" at night or first thing in the am. The rest of the day is vertigo and sweats.

      I am having some pretty bad day and night sweats that I thought were pre-menopause but now I'm not sure if it is or maybe a combo.

      Yes, will this go away ?

      Love this forum because no one else in my life gets it. Unless you've been through it, you're almost looked at like a hypochondriac or something. Nooooo, it's that I have to figure out what this is so I can address it properly without causing anxiety or panic and end up in the same damn place !

      Ok, I'm done.

      I really would like some feedback on this.

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    • Posted

      "the brain sucking-light headed-headaches-sweats-nausea-shocks---is all part of it. I'm going for it-"

      I love it ! Yep, sucks but won't kill us, right ?

      Good luck. I'm not religious either so I will send good vibes your way and positive energy. 😃

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    • Posted

      hello ladies,

      well i'm now exactly 12 months since coming off setraline and i'll tell you the first 6 months were tough - a few times i thought maybe im not ready to come off them but i persevered and after approx 6 months things started to return to normal.

      I think hormones have a huge part in the way i have felt over the last few years but im drug free so thats a bonus.

      Good luck and dont be hard in yourself when having bad days - they get less and less.

      xx

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    • Posted

      Hi you just have to go for it, I was on setraline 100mg for to many years. I realized one day that I wanted to be me again. I cut down slowly then when I was on 25mg I took that for a week then stopped. It's been nearly 2 weeks without them and I am so happy and have energy again, it is wonderful to feel alive. I do have a dizzy feeling on and off but I can so deal with that. Go for it you will be amazed and so proud of yourself. I wish you well just stay strong. X

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    • Posted

      Good afternoon,

      I realize that your post is 5 years ago but what do you mean by electric shocks?

      I stopped taking Sertraline for 2 weeks now and and since Monday, I have had a weird feeling of little electric shocks in my head. I am asking you now how long did those shocks last? Thank you

      Report Reply

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