Advice on Anxiety and tapering Zoloft

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tigerlily6200
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Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/9/2017 8:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I suffer from Postpartum anxiety and on Sunday was given 25mg of Zoloft. Monday my doctor had me increase my dose to 50 mg. I took 50 mg on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. How should I take it to taper off? I know I haven't given it enough time to work but I just do not want to be on a medication. I am scared of all the side effects. My doctor really wanted me to switch to Lexapro and I am unsure of that too. Any advice would be appreciated.

Anxious Scientist
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Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 11/9/2017 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I think you really need to talk to your doctor. Let him know that you don't want to be on medication forever - that you want this to be temporary. Ask him to provide you a plan with estimated timelines.

How long will I be on 50 mg? What is the next step? Will we taper after that? How will we taper?

These are the types of questions you should ask him/her. I don't ever suggest trying to taper off these medications on your own without the consult of a doctor. These are CNS (central nervous system medications) that directly cross the blood-brain barrier to the brain. If you are weary of the side effects of being on the medication, an incorrect taper can give you a whole new world of hell.

I was taken off Zoloft this past year because one stupid psychiatrist thought I didn't need it. I was tapered too fast and I went through really bad withdrawal effects. Granted I had been on 100 mg for about five years (which made it more difficult).

Long story short, speak with your doctor and let him/her known ALL of your concerns. Don't be afraid to question your doctor either.

"I don't agree with that because...or I don't really want to do that...do we have another option?"
Diagnosed With: Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder
Treatment: Lithium Carbonate ER (450 mg), Sertraline (100 mg)

tigerlily6200
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Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/9/2017 8:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your feedback. I did talk to my doctor who prescribed and they were fine with me going cold turkey since it's been less than a week. Needless to say, I don't agree and that's why I am here. I did call my pharmacist who gave me this advice: 3 days of lowering the dose to 25mg, then 3 days of lowering the dose to 12.5.

I definitely want to taper correctly.

Scaredy Cat
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26962
   Posted 11/9/2017 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi TG and welcome,

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma...but glad to hear that you are going with your gut, and seeking help for a taper.

Good work with consulting your pharmacist! I would go with the plan he/she has given you...

...as well as using coping skills to help you through this challenge...and beyond.

See our Resources at the top of the main forum page here for great material to work with right away.

Post with us anytime for support and encouragement.😊

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

tigerlily6200
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/9/2017 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Do you mind me asking - is it usual for people who have been on these medications for less than a week to have withdrawal symptoms? If I follow my pharmacist's recommendations then that puts me at next Tuesday with my final 12.5 dose. I know everyone reacts differently but I would love some feedback.

Anxious Scientist
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 11/9/2017 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Tigerlily,

Good job. No I certainly don't agree with that either! Cold turkey is never a good way to go with these medications.

Listen to your body. It is possible that you could experience some withdrawal symptoms. They probably won't be too intense - but everyone does react differently so we can't say anything for certain.

Go with what your pharmacist said, and if you feel any withdrawal symptoms that are too much to handle, then taper a little slower. Cut the pills down a little more, or give yourself a few more days in between the tapers. Overall, listen to your body and go at the pace that makes you feel best.
Diagnosed With: Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder
Treatment: Lithium Carbonate ER (450 mg), Sertraline (100 mg)

tigerlily6200
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/9/2017 10:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Do you mind me asking what are some of the things to look out for while tapering from this medicine?

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26962
   Posted 11/9/2017 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
TG,

You won't have anything worrisome at the level you were at for that short time...maybe just some discomfort...'off' feelings...maybe some headache or head zaps.

You'll be okay though! Keep us posted and we'll keep you in support!

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Anxious Scientist
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 11/9/2017 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, as SC said above, maybe expect some minor discomforts. Headache and the "off" feelings - maybe a little bit of depersonalization. I wouldn't expect anything that would make you feel really sick.
Diagnosed With: Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder
Treatment: Lithium Carbonate ER (450 mg), Sertraline (100 mg)

tigerlily6200
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/9/2017 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
You guys have been awesome. Thank you so much for your help.

tigerlily6200
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/10/2017 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I have a quick follow up question, my doctor called me today and wanted me to taper by this schedule:

Sunday 25 mg (past dose)
Monday 50 mg (past dose)
Tuesday 50 mg (past dose)
Wednesday 50 mg (past dose)
Thursday 25 mg (past dose)
Friday 25 mg (today)
Saturday 12.5 mg (tomorrow)

She said that this allowed me to decrease in increments and still be off of it by Sunday - which should be my goal.

Any thoughts on this?

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26962
   Posted 11/10/2017 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   
TG,

I think you should do fine with this schedule. It is a new one for me anyway...going back and forth, but makes as much senses as does the skip-a-day method...

...so let us know how it goes!

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

tigerlily6200
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/10/2017 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I've only been on the medicine since Sunday - I just want to make sure I am not tapering too fast.

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26962
   Posted 11/10/2017 4:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I wouldn't think so...but everyone is different.

If you start to feel poorly on Sunday, you could reinstate the 12.5, every other day for another few days and then step off from the last skipped day to nothing...

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

tigerlily6200
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/10/2017 5:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you. So Saturday is my last day at 12.5 but if I feel bad on Sunday do another 12.5, skip Monday, take Tuesday, skip Wednesday - then nothing?

Sorry you have to hand hold me but I have a newborn and I'm not getting alot of sleep smile

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26962
   Posted 11/10/2017 9:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Yep! smile

That's what I had in mind...and I think you will do well with this plan.

If course remember that part of the reason that a discontinuation can be difficult, is that the symptoms of anxiety often return once the medication clears the system.

So be sure to practice your coping skills to help you feel your best.smile

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

tigerlily6200
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/13/2017 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I'd love some feedback. Yesterday was my first day without and today I woke up feeling great. I've had a tiny bit of anxiety but not much. Nothing else to report. When should this drug be completely out of my system?

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26962
   Posted 11/14/2017 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
TG,

It is most likely almost... if not already cleared.

Glad to hear you are feeling better now! May it continue!

Hugs and high fives!

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT
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