Zoloft Withdrawal Page
Common Zoloft withdrawal symptoms include
One study compared Zoloft with Paxil and Prozac to see which had the worst withdrawal symptoms. 242 patients whose depression was in remission were selected for the research. Unknowingly, they all had their antidepressant switched with a placebo, to see how they reacted.
Ten percent of the patients were unable to complete the study. No reason was given by the researchers.
Here are the results from the others:
Paxil had the worst withdrawal symptoms, followed by Zoloft, and Prozac had the fewest. During the 5–8 day period when Zoloft was replaced by placebo, the most frequent symptoms (reported by more than a quarter of patients) were -
- emotional lability, (extreme emotional displays)
- bad dreams,
- and anger.
Around a third experienced mood worsening to the level generally associated with a major depressive episode. In other words, you have a one in three chance of becoming severely depressed if you abruptly stop taking Zoloft.
And as for those other Zoloft withdrawal symptoms, it’s easy to imagine they were understated in the study. When you read the abstract, in fact, you would almost think the researchers were talking about lab rats rather than thinking, feeling, human beings. But when you’re the one going through these Zoloft withdrawal symptoms, however, they can be excruciating.
Read other user’s accounts of Zoloft withdrawal, and learn effective strategies for dealing with painful symptoms.
Many people have good experiences while taking Zoloft, and are able to discontinue without any Zoloft withdrawal symptoms.
For others, however,… well, here are some direct, unedited quotes from Zoloft withdrawal sufferers:
“since stopping I’ve had insomnia, night sweats, irritability, extreme tiredness, mental confusion and “fuzziness”, and joint pain. And it seems to be getting worse instead of better.”
“I have dizzy spells that only last for one-two seconds”
“I abruptly stopped taking it 10 days ago and am starting to feel crazy. I’m lightheaded, dizzy, disoriented, sleepy, irritable, and more emotional than usual. I’m having difficulty concentrating. Today I didn’t feel “together” enough to drive my car. My nightmares have worsened in terms of intensity and violence (I have them every time I sleep). The strangest withdrawl sympton I’ve noticed is that I’m losing my taste for cigarettes. it’s also starting to affect my breathing”
“feeling very dizzy and sick to my stomache with some of the other symptoms of Paxil withdrawl.”
“I was weeping and angry for foolish reasons, my heart was beating in strange ways, particularly if I turned my head from side to side. I felt like how I’ve felt before I was about to come down with the flu.”
“the zaps are very common and can last months.”
“by the seventh day off the drug, I was barely able to function. The zaps were constant. My teeth were shuddering, my teeth vibrating and clenched. My vision was altered and with each zap I would see a flash and hear a “bzt” sound. The shocks would knock me over, they were so intense. Not only that, but emotionally my personality was altered. I was terribly depressed, wanting to do nothing but lay in bed and cry. While driving, (which was extremely dangerous and by the sixth day I had to stop completley) I fantasized about driving off a bridge and making all this go away. I was blowing up at people with little provocation. I was irrational and muddy-thinking. I called my doctor and he suggested I get back on Zoloft at 50 mg a day to determine if what I was experiencing was just “anxiety” as he suspected or was in fact due to Zoloft withdrawal. Within two hours, I was substantially better. After 12 hours, I was 100 percent back to normal.”
Zoloft has a half-life of about one day. This means half of the drug would be metabolized in one day. The next day, half of the remaining drug would be gone. Therefore, in two days one-fourth of the original drug amount would still remain in your system.
This is considered a short half-life, and often creates problems.
Stopping Zoloft too rapidly can lead to the development of many possible withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, tremors, lightheadedness, muscle pains, weakness, insomnia, and anxiety. These symptoms can last for a month or more.
One particularly unpleasant withdrawal symptom is REM Behavior Disorder. With REM Behavior Disorder, moving your eyes too quickly can cause REM dream spill-over.
When this happens, you experience dream-like sequences – you’re awake, but you have hallucinations like you’re dreaming.
‘REM’ refers to rapid eye movement, which occurs during deep sleep. The rejuvenating effects of REM have yet to be discovered by science, although the lack of it is well known.
Among the many problems is the high likelihood of violence, and the fears of going insane, from those who suffer from REM Behavior Disorder.
It’s not a pretty picture.
For help dealing with these and other withdrawal symptoms from Zoloft, go to this page on antidepressant withdrawal solutions.
In addition to learning about Zoloft withdrawal symptoms, it’s also important to understand the underlying causes that would lead you to such a painful place.
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