Terrified of Taking Setraline

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hello. My GP has prescribed me Setraline for my anxiety (I currently only take Diazepam as and when needed). I'm well aware that SSRI's are highly likely to cause diarrhoea and nausea as a side effect, and I explained to my GP that I'd be wary of taking them, as diarrhoea is something that triggers my anxiety and I also have a fear of being/feeling sick. He just said to "see how you get on" and told me that he's only prescribed them to me because they're the cheapest tablet for the NHS.

I know that SSRI's can also make anxiety worse for the first few weeks, which is going to be doubly worse if I'm having to deal with an upset stomach too. I explained to a different Doctor (as my GP is on annual leave) that I'm too scared to take them because I couldn't deal with the side effects, and that I'm already ill a lot because of my anxiety so I don't want to make it worse. She just told me to try them. 

I know I'm never going to know unless I try but I don't want to risk making everything worse for weeks or months because I honestly couldn't cope. Apparently Setraline is the most likely SSRI to cause diarrhea and is the least recommended for anxiety so I have no idea why my GP would prescribe it to me, just to save the NHS a few £?

He won't prescribe me beta blockers because I had asthma as a child (which I've now outgrown), even though I think they'd be a lot better for me as they're not addictive (I'm worried about taking tablets that are addictive like the Diazepam and SSRI's) and will help with the physical symptoms which is what bothers me the most.

I feel like I'm at a loose end and my GP has just given me the cheapest, easiest option without taking into consideration my individual needs. I don't know what to do, because if I tell my GP that I want a different tablet he'll just tell me to at least try the Setraline. Ideas please?

0 likes, 29 replies

29 Replies

  • Posted

    Not that it helps your situation but I definitely had nausea and just generally felt like garbage for a good 2 weeks. This seems common for anyone going on these. I wish I had advice for dealing with your stubborn GP but other than finding a new one I dunno what to suggest.
    • Posted

      Did the side effects go away after the 2 weeks? And has it helped with anxiety (if that's what you're taking them for of course)?

    • Posted

      Mostly. The lack of appetite hung around for a good month or so. Nausea some days but mostly just no appetite.
    • Posted

      Sorry hit submit by accident. Honestly I just started feeling back to normal about a week ago. I started at 50mg 1st Sat of the year and upped to 100 on Feb 20th. I feel like all the annoying side effects were worth it to get back here.
  • Posted

    Hi Charlotte.

    I am 5 weeks in. 1 on 25mg 2 weeks on 50mg and 2 weeks on 100mg. I did not get diarrhea until I I increased to 100mg.

    I was terrified of changing NY meds was previously on citalopram.

    I'm not sure where you found the information that sertraline is the least effective for anxiety but I have read a lot of success stories that keep me peservering.

    I now take immodium and diazepam when required.

    If your really unhappy perhaps could you wait until your normal gp is back? Stay strong but this site is great for helping you through. X

    • Posted

      Hi Sharon,

      I've only been prescribed 50mg so maybe it won't affect me as much? I'm already taking Imodium every other day because of my anxiety making me ill sad I just don't see how Setraline will make me better if the side effects are things that I have an intense fear of. What a vicious cycle!

      Are you taking it for anxiety? Has it helped? x

    • Posted

      Yes I take them for anxiety. The side effects that I've had include lack of appetite, problems sleeping and since the 100mg the diarrhoea and slight increase in anxiety but not major.

      Im guessing as only been on the high dose I just need to give it time to settle. I spoke to GP and pharmacist today and all the above are normal side effects. It was the same years ago when I started on citalopram but that made me well for 7 years. I take the diazepam when I get anxious but in 5 weeks haven't needed them that often.

      It is scary and a long road but I'm willing to try for a few weeks if it means getting my life back xx

    • Posted

      They are only possible side effects and it doesn't mean that you will get them.  Sertraline is widely prescribed (but didn't know they were the cheapest) and I didn't get any diarrhoea until I increased to 159 mg. 

      Every drug has possible side effects even aspirin.  Does that mean you would't take any ever?  I think you should try sertraline and see what happens.  Again every ad can make you feel worse for a while until they get fully into your system in around 6 weeks.  x

    • Posted

      I know they're only possible side effects but they seem to be very common. Yes I'm wary about the side effects of everything I take, even aspirin, even paracetamol. I only take tablets if I know how they'll affect me. x

    • Posted

      Ok that's up to you of course.  I am surprised that your fear of minor side effects is greater than your anxiety?  Maybe you don't need it after all.  x

  • Posted

    Hello Charlotte

    I am tapering from 150mg now down up 40mg. I am really suffering. Fortunately I did not have a bad stomach but the meds did nothing for my anxiety. The side effects are awful. I am now taking a little bit of Valium to help me through the withdrawal. 

    My advice is don’t start this med and look for other ways to manage your anxiety. A little bit of Valium would help. Drs seem to have no ideas about dealing with side effects or withdrawal!

    • Posted

      Hi Lynn.

      Yes the withdrawal is something I'm panicking about too! Sorry to hear that you're not feeling great. 

      I'm trying to manage my anxiety whilst I wait for CBT by doing little things like practicing mindfulness, cutting out caffiene and making sure I get out the house every day. The valium does help but obviously that's not something I want to get addicted to either.

      Fingers crossed I won't have to take the setraline but as I was relying on it as a last resort I was hoping it wouldn't cause so much distress! 

      Get well soon x

    • Posted


      , I be been taking Zoloft for the past 2.5 weeks for GAD , the last 2 days have been amazing, things are starting to fall back into place. I'm only on 50mg but the side affects have cleared for today and things are looking a whole lot brighter ! smile Surround yourself with positiveness, and get as much sleep as you can ! Sleep it important ! Remember that

      It doest get better and it's totally treatable but will take time !

  • Posted

    Zoloft is definitely prescribed for anxiety, and depression. Where I live I'm in the United States, I'm not sure where you are, it is the one of the best tolerated drugs by women age 40 to 55. Every drug works differently for everyone. I was on Lexapro for 4 months and was a walking zombie..... that being said, my anxiety got so bad that about a year and 9 months ago I stopped driving by myself or at all. I also have a great dear of being ill, as I have a lot of medical issues. This drug has changed my life please give it a try

    • Posted

      Ah but what about 22 year old woman? Haha. I'm fairly convinced that I have IBS too so this whole situation is just like a vicious cycle. I really want to give it a try but I really, really don't want tummy issues.

    • Posted

      Often ibs is a symptom of anxiety, and by controlling anxiety you control ibs xx
    • Posted

      hi charlotte, im in the exact same position as you, with ibs, toilet problems and anxiety but have decided to give the tablets a go, as kerry said the two are probably linked? First day really bad stomach but will keep you updated and let you know how it goes! i have also done stool samples for gp so hopefully results will come back clear and i can make a plan to move forward. i really think its worth trying the tablets but for me my life was so affected this is a last option!

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