Prescribed Sertraline but worried about side effects?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hello, I've recently been prescribed Sertraline for depression after a bad break-up, but I'm really worried about all the side effects. I'm a PhD student and in the last few months of writing up - the side effects sound like they might stop me from being able to concentrate (and I can't concentrate much just now anyway!). Has anyone had any experience of lack of concentration? Going to the gym is the only thing that makes me feel normal right now, and I am worried that taking these might impact on that. Does anyone have any experience of that? Any comments much appreicated! 

1 like, 12 replies

12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Anna, I am not going to say the first 4-5 weeks were easy but I will say I lookback now very happy I went on meds. As for concentration I don't think they made me any worse than how I was feeling anyway so still say it's worth it. My main side effects were increased anxiety/agitation but depression was eased pretty quickly.
    • Posted

      Thanks Natalie. I've got beta blockers too, that I guess I could take if I get too anxious. Right I can't concentrate on anything, and as soon as I try to work I just burst into tears - so I guess anything is better than this! Was there anything that helped decrease your anxiety when you were starting them? 
    • Posted

      Yep the oxazepam which I think is a beta blocker. I took them for about 3-4 weeks then didn't need again 😀
  • Posted

    Hi Anna, I will be honest, when I started Sertraline I suffered from sickness, loss of appetite, no energy, weight loss and restlessness. I've tried reading books or magazines and going out somewhere but I've not been able to focus or concentrate of the distraction. I'm still struggling now and I've been on the medication since September 2014, if you are worried write things down that you worry about, try your best to focus on your work, but whatever you do don't force yourself and make you feel worse. I honestly hope this helps you.

    Take care. Ellie x

    • Posted

      Thanks Ellie, that's really helpful to know. It's the anxiety that worries me the most, as I had that before with Citalopram and it was really horrible! Made me feel worse. What dosage are you on? I hope it starts to work better for you! x 
    • Posted

      I hope you get better. I'm being moved up to 150mg after my incident yesterday which was stated as a previous discussion. I start my new dose at the weekend if my doctor receives my psychiatric letter. What dosage of Sertraline are you on and are you taking anything else? x
  • Posted

    It's a bit of a trade-off, I needed to get over the depression so I could get back TO my studies (I'm on a PhD too), so there was a phase where I was happy to just be feeling better and more in control of my emotions. After about 7 months at 100mg I talked to my doctor about going back down to 50 because I was having some trouble focussing, even struggling for the right word sometimes (I've seen it described on other forums as 'the stupids').  But in the long run I would say that any 'lost' progress on my work from being fuzzyheaded was quickly made up for when I began to wean off the meds (I'm down to 25mg now) and I am happy I made the decision to take the Sertraline. It supposedly has a much shorter half-life than the other SSRIs which is why I settled on this one. No regrets.
    • Posted

      Thanks! That's good to hear. I think the main thing for me is that I need something to steady my emotions as they are a bit erratic. I don't feel down all the time, but when I do, I can't do any work. I'm hoping that it helps with this - I think I already suffer from 'the stupids'! How long did it take for you to start working? 
  • Posted

    Also I was given betablockers to try for anxiety but I found they made me really sluggish and dozy!  Went on to natural remedies instead smile
    • Posted

      They definitely make me a bit slugglish - and also a bit spaced out! 
  • Posted

    Hi everyone, feeling very strange today, anxious and wierd, I take 100mg sertraline at night, 75 levothyroxine in morning.

    sweats really bad at night, basal temp between 34/35, this buzzing in my ears is driving me bonkers, my ears feel full and I have had a headache for about 2 months that started before the medication.

    i have suffered for years with the hormones  with no help from anywhere, now I have reached menopause started bad 3 years ago tried lots of hrt nothing I just got worse really angry on them, so came off them, sept last year I became very ill collasped on bathroom floor eyes darting could not get up whole room spinning it was awful and frightening, called ambulance what a waste of time, I was sort of okish before that.

    cut a long story short I ended up with a very bad infection think it was caused by the coil ended up in and out of hospital could not find anything, apart from fibroids and a small cyst between my kidneys, I never ate for 11 weeks and lost over two stone, I had body spasms were all my muscles and joints it was like having a fit, the hospital said it was meno or neurological I am still none the wiser.

    i don't know what the side effects for me are because I am still 

    it has left me very nervous and withdrawn anxious panic, I seem to have 35 of the meno symptoms and more I keep getting yellow bruises everywhere, I can't believe how awful I feel, I keep asking for a hystectomy the answer no, it may take all my problems away, 

    Side effects are different for everyone mine is sweating at night and a very dry mouth I think worsening of anxiety and panic. 

    Good luck and positive mental attitude. 


  • Posted

    I found that afer I physically adjusted to the 100mg, which took about 4 weeks to be honest, I had 'the stupids' for a few months, but I kept plugging away at my research anyway - and just made a point of using *a lot* of extra footnotes and reviewing comments/notes to self in the text when I couldn't find the right word or phrase that was up to 'academic' standards. It was a work-around but now that I'm weaning myself off the Sertraline it's like riding a bicycle, sort of. As I go back over my work from that period I can edit it and improve it pretty easily as I get more and more focussed. Also I dug out a bunch of my writing from 'before' and have been reading it to give myself a boost of confidence. It's frustrating but not impossible to deal with; and I didn't want to be on the meds forever so for me anyway it was just a temporary situation until my depression lifted. 

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