Too many long ongoing withdrawal affects from Sertraline

Posted , 4 users are following.

i started taking sertraline 4 years ago in 2012 and took them for three years, my dosage was 25 mg. per day....well I had too many head pains and eye pain and dr. Sent me for ct scans and I even went to a eye specialist and test came back nothing I said maybe the medicine was doing this, sure enough I stopped taking this drug and now this is one year off and no eye pain or head pain...who knew....but I had such bad withdrawal symptoms up to today.....anxiety and I am becoming a hypercondriacte......I am 12 months off and have proper clarity and feel level headed and because of the anxiety I feel so confused....dr. Said no it's not is in your mind......I need to keep up my strength to see this all the way through without reinstating the drugs....

0 likes, 11 replies

11 Replies

  • Posted

    How long did it take for widrawel symptoms to wear off ? In the process of coming off them . It's horrible. Been on half dose for a month and I feel like a hypercondriact and my anxiety is through the roof just want off x
    • Posted

      Hi Emily, it was 12 months ago I stopped taking the sertraline and had a lot of zapping nausea shakes pretty much what everybody goes through, I felt like I was viewing life in a tunnel and had extreme dizziness, I had to hold onto everything....but it has been since October I have clarity and as long as I see and think straighter I feel ok, just the depression and anxiety need to leave and I feel I will have won.....I cried so many times, was scared and still with the anxiety it scares us......but I am glad that the worst is over....some people say anxiety symptoms are the last to leave.....I tell everybody I meet.....don't ever start depression pills....too scary...
    • Posted

      This scares me and fills me with hope. I have heard it's the worst to come off. As long as I know there's light at the end x
    • Posted

      Hang in there it will get Better ...I am just left with anxiety ...last to improve I I read a lot about it because it has been a living hell
    • Posted

      Cymbalta is way worse to come off! Iv come off both an Lexapro. Cymbalta was way worse! Horrible. Now fixin to start Prozac to see if it helps. I need something. Anxiety an depressed.
    • Posted

      How long have you been off your meds, Zio10?
  • Posted

    Hi Allison, 

    Congratulations on getting to one year off Sert!  YES, it is still possible to have withdrawal this far out!  I am a member of the Surviving Antidepressants forum and the place is loaded with people with stories exactly like yours!  You might want to visit there and have a look around.  There are people there who came off their meds too quickly, following their doctor's taper schedule, and have suffered protracted withdrawal as you have.  There are also people there wanting to come off their meds but looking for guidance and support on how to do so.  The forum and other authorities recommends a 10% per month taper, and that is 10% of the previous dosage so the cut gets smaller and smaller each month.  I'm sure you came off faster than that!

    Because doctors don't believe in protracted withdrawal, they tell their patients they have relapsed when the symptoms last longer than three months or so. Then, the person goes back on the med, or gets put on a new one, or on a cocktail of several to treat all the different withdrawal symptoms, from anxiety, depression and insomnia to physical symptoms like digestive upsets, muscle pains, and the like.  I have had eye trouble on ADs as well, extreme dry eye in one eye.

    Anyway, I am impressed that you made it this far without caving!  Not many do!  

    It is quite common for the first month or two off the drug to actually be quite wonderful, but the honeymoon ends and withdrawal wallops you at about three months.  From what I've read, the 7 or 8 month mark can also be quite crippling.  Was that your case?

    Healing from antidepressants occurs in a windows and waves pattern.  You will feel better, then get hit by a wave, then have a window and think perhaps it is over and then get hit by a wave again.  I read of someone getting hit by another bad wave at 2 years out!  So, hang on!

    What you need to understand is that the withdrawal symptoms are actually your nervous system trying to heal.  The drugs caused an IMBALANCE that your nervous system had to try to correct by physically remodeling, upregulating receptors, down-regulating serotoinin production because there was now too much serotonin in the gap between neurons, etc.  Three years of building the drug's action into the functioning of your nervous system is a significant amount of time.  So, when we come off the drugs rather quickly, the system is once again thrown into chaos, and a lot of remodeling has to be done to function again without the drug.  Someone put it well when they said the drug was like a trellis that a vine had grown on; rip the trellis out and the vine collapses.  And it isn't just the one serotonin system that is affected.  Other neurotransmitters are affected by serotonin levels, as well as hormones, enzymes etc. throughout the body.  The repercussions are far-ranging.  

    So, try to be gentle with yourself, and realize that feeling awful is due to your body trying to heal. 

    An interesting note:  there are people who were put on ADs for pain, not emotional issues, but these people suffer anxiety and depression in withdrawal, so it is NOT a relapse of the original complaint!  Also, the depth these emotions is usually described as being far worse than was ever experienced before or during drugs.  That was the case for  me when I went through 10 months of protracted withdrawal from Effexor but didn't realize what was happening.  At least you know, and awareness is powerful!

    So, hang in there.  You are healing and you will get there, but it won't be linear.  You will have times where you are feeling so incredible, but then another wave will come.  Just hang on to the wonderful times, because they will come for longer periods, and the waves will lessen.

    • Posted

      This has been so interesting to read, fills me with hope. I can't believe doctors hand these out willy nilly. I was 15 when they put me on citalopram, 15! Switched to sertaline a year ago and now trying tout come off them completely. I'm a month in , on my halved dose , week 2 was hell now week 4/5 I have a lot of anxiety and unable to work. Luckily I have an extremely supportive family. But it's still so awful, and people don't belive what you are going through, not even the doctors!

      Thank you for sharing this and will definitely be looking at your forum xx

    • Posted

      Oh Emily, your taper is way to fast and steep!  Never ever make a further cut when still having symptoms, since that means your system has become very destabilized and further cuts will only throw it into more chaos.   

      In order to do a properly slow taper, you will need to take matters into your own hands.  One way is to ask for a liquid version of your med that you can take by oral syringe, and then start the 10% reduction method. Another way is to buy an inexpensive jeweler's milligram scale (they have them on Amazon) and weigh out bits of the tablet to equal the amount you are aiming for.  Keep in mind that a tablet with, say, 10 mg of active ingredient weighs much more than that due to fillers, so you would work taking 10% off of that total weight.  If you are feeling horrible now, you may want to reinstate to your last amount and hold there until you get stable, don't feel any withdrawal symptoms.  Stay there for a month before starting to taper. 

      You've been on the medication how long?  Taking the extra time to do a slow and safe taper won't be adding much more time in the total scheme of things; it is much better to set yourself up for success.

      It is terrible how casually they are putting children on these drugs.  I've read studies where it was shown that antidepressants had zero benefit for children up to 17 years old, just an arbitrary cut-off point.  Did you feel that the meds ever made a difference when you were that young?

    • Posted

      Do you know, I'm not sure, I remember going onto them was awful and started on citalopram at first. I'm 26 now and they put me on sertaline over a year ago because I had my panic attacks back. I went from 100 to 50 and have been on 50 for just over a month . Was going to wait for these side affects to wear off and the start the 10% drop like you said. I see a counsellor once a week add as I said, have an amazing family. So I think this is the best time ( if there is a best time) to come off them. X

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