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Sleep Problems With Zoloft


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#1 anxiouslydepressed

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 10:07 AM

Hi,

I've been on 150mg Zoloft for a month now, after increasing the dose very slowly -- started Zoloft almost 4 months ago, which is the first time I'm taking an AD. I'm taking Zoloft for depression and anxiety, with the former being the more dominant part according to my pdoc and therapist.

I had quite extreme side effects in the early going (which is the reason for the slow increase in dose), among else I had increased anxiety, with panic attacks and suicidal thoughts, which I have never experienced before.

I have higher energies recently and much more vital, so cautiously optimistic. It's likely the Zoloft working, though I've done a lot of other changes in my life as well, including decreasing dramatically the levels of stress. Hard to tell.

The main problems persisting are much increased anxiety, agitation, irritability, restlessness. I'm all wound up. All these are worse then ever in my life. It might be that it just comes with the increased energy and that I have to learn to pace myself with these new energies, but all these feel so unnatural. The worst is that my sleep is terrible, likely as a result of all these. I'm so tired and fall asleep almost immediately, but then wake up constantly during the night, have wakeful dreams, and early morning wakefulness. I had similar sleep problems before the Zoloft, but my sleep was already better at lower dosages of Zoloft, so that's my suspicion. It's also worse now than ever. I have been taking Lorazepam (Benzo) at bedtime, but it seems to not help so much anymore and I plan to wean off it.

Anybody had similar experiences? Do you think it's the Zoloft? Should I stick out with it for a while longer? Or reduce the dosage (I did not stay on any dose for more than a week to see whether it really works)? Or look into adding another drug, or changing drugs altogether? Yes, I am consulting my pdoc and therapist on all these questions, but would love to hear whatever advice the great, supportive community that you've got going here has to offer.

#2 Tim 52

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 12:20 PM

hi anxiouslydepressed:

I'm sorry you are having a challenge with the inceased agitation and restlessness. Starting a medicine and getting the right dosage, and waiting for one's system to adjust is one of the most difficult times.

If I'm tracking you right it sounds like you've been on the Zoloft for about a month. If that is the case, it is not unusual to still have some of the increased agitation that is a fairly typical start up effect. If you were 4 months into it and having these symptoms it would probably be time to consult with your doc about a change.

I'd try to give it a little more time. It takes some of us awhile to adjust to the med.

For sure, keep in contact with your doctor. And as hard as it is, I'd try to give it a few more weeks.

I know it is difficult. Keep checking in to let us know how it is going.

Does this feedback help?

Tim

goldenvelope1jr.gifInformation supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor. 


#3 Radclyffe Hall

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 12:38 PM

I came off Zoloft in Dec 2010 and had been on it for a year. It worked extremely well for anxiety and depression for me, and I had no side effects when I started taking it.

However, I have always, all my life, suffered from insomnia, and Zoloft made it even worse. I hardly ever slept. I wasn't tired during the day, though.

The reason I went off it was extreme weight gain and loss of libido. But some people don't experience that. It always amazes me how different all of us are.

Try it for another few weeks (if you tolerate the side effects) and then perhaps try something else? It helped me for anxiety very quickly.

#4 BetterOff

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 02:13 PM

Hello, just thought I would chime in that I am a big believer in it takes a full two months to really smooth out on an AD. Week four it just about right to start seeing *some* light through the clouds so to speak, but I too feel if you remain with the Zoloft that you will find weeks 5,6,7,8 will each get better and better for you. The initial side effects of having your brain stimulated to produce more happy hormones are always troublesome for those starting an AD, some of us (like me) are old pros at realizing this is just something that has to be tolerated. Do contact your doctor though, perhaps he can provide a mild sleeping aide for you to make sure you get a good nights sleep, my pdoc did. He prescribed both a mild sleeping aid and of course an anti-anxiety medication as often the two worse side effects are insomnia and anxiety, you have to remember that these are effects of your brain being stimulated to produce more of the happy hormones.
Best to consult with your doctor of course as he is the final professional authority.
Good Luck and best wishes.
fyi... sometimes it even takes longer than two months for a med to kick in fully... the longer you can stick it out the better.
Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#5 Sheepwoman

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 04:15 PM

I'm glad you are also consulting with your pdoc as they know best about meds. We can only share our experiences with you.

I took Zoloft (150mg) for about 5 years. I don't have anxiety, but it does have some anti-anxiety qualities. It is stimulating as most ADs can be. It's best when taken in the morning. If I became severely stressed, the Zoloft wasn't of much help but therapy was.

I also have horrible sleep patterns like you. I don't think Zoloft had much effect on my sleep. I take an anti-psychotic and a TCA that keep me asleep all night. I used to take Restoril which also knocked me out for 8 solid hours.

Be sure to ask or tell your pdoc about your inability to sleep through the night. It maybe more related to any stress you may have in your life. I know the mildest stress I have will always affect my sleep-meds or no meds.
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#6 anxiouslydepressed

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 01:59 PM

Thank you very much Tim, Radclyffe Hall, BetterOff, & Sheepwoman for the kind words and helpful replies. Following is a quick update on the week since I last posted.

First, to clarify, I've been taking Zoloft for 4 months now, but have been increasing dose very gradually (12.5mg per week). As a result, I've been on 150mg for 5 weeks now. I'm taking it in the morning.

After further consultation with my psychiatrist, I am sticking with the 150mg Zoloft. She says that the anti-anxiety benefit of Zoloft does not quite work for many people, and that it seems that I benefit somewhat from its antidepressant quality. She also prescribed Trazodone for bedtime, in addition to the Lorazepam I've been taking at bedtime for 3 months.

From the Trazodone, I can hope to get a sedative effect for sleep, as well as the longer-term benefit as an AD. I took it for a couple of nights now, starting with 25mg, and I have already slept a bit better. I still wake up multiple times, but it feels like I sleep deeper and more relaxed in-between. I will try 50mg tonight (anybody has experience with Trazodone and its dosages?). New side effects I experience due to the Trazodone are grogginess, mainly in the morning, and a dry mouth. Should be able to live with these if it helps any :) ...

Finally, I'm contemplating just how much I should be back to my life (work, social activities, family stuff etc.) through all this. I have been returning to things very gradually and am about half way there. The anxiety doesn't help and it feels like the stress from these might contribute to my insomnia.

#7 Radclyffe Hall

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:27 PM

I am on Trazodone now, as an anti-depressant. A fairly low dosage (200mg) helps me feel better (combined with Lamictal). The first few days are usually very difficult - one feels sleepy and groggy, but it really does pass.

#8 anxiouslydepressed

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 02:30 PM

Thank you very much Radclyffe! How long did it take for the antidepressant effect of Trazodone to settle in for you?

BTW first few days on Trazodone, I have been having a pretty weird experience this past week or so.

The first 5 days after starting Trazodone were relatively very good: High energy, good mood, vital, motivated, fun. The best stretch of days I have had in a long while. I was still very tired, but it didn't really bother me; I was still agitated, but not in a very anxious kind of way, if that makes any sense. I experienced only what I understand are the usual side effects of Trazodone: grogginess (only in the morning) and dry mouth.

Then it all turned on me and the last 4 days have been amongst the worst, both with regards to depression symptoms and with regards to anxiety. Whether due to the Trazodone or just being tired, it feels like the morning grogginess continued through the day now. It might also be that my allergies start kicking in. And I'm also starting to think again about the possibility I'm slightly bipolar. It's so confusing and makes my hypochondriac.

I'm taking only 50mg Trazodone (at bedtime). I'm also while still taking everything I used to: 150mg Zoloft and 0.75mg Lorazepam.

As for sleeping, the Trazodone knocks me down. I still wake up a few times throughout the night as before, but it feels like I sleep somewhat deeper, more restful.

Yep, as you said Radclyffe, it really is amazing how differently people respond to drugs. Still, it's incredible how helpful it is at the same time to learn about the response of others.

Apologies for the long post, but I am very confused. Will also call my pdoc in a few days.

Thanks!

#9 feelingcrazy

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 05:21 PM

:computer:I am on 50mg of zoloft. I have all of the symptoms that you had mentioned including NO SLEEP which actually sucks big time because I have to take care of my 4 year old very active child. I have been taking Zoloft for about 4 months now and a couple of the major things are that I have little or no sleep and anxiety attacks about everything, i never use to have a kind of attacks. :taz: My anxiety got so bad one day that my husband gave me one of his Hydromorphone pill(8mg) that immediatly took away my anxiety. The docter also prescribed me some xanax but that make me way too tired during the day that i end up drifting off to sleep in the middle of the day while watching my son but i noticed that the Zoloft also does that. :coophelp: I find myself wanting to take my husbands medication to relieve the anxiety. My mother and husband want me to stop taking the Zoloft they think i should do the herbal method (ganja) because my mom says my body is just sensitive to medications. Can anyone help me?:help:



#10 anxiouslydepressed

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:35 PM

Hi feelingcrazy, and welcome. Sounds like indeed we share some of the same effects (as well as life circumstances). The only help I can offer right now is to keep you posted as I find my way through this, and I'll be grateful if you do the same.

Xanas is supposedly not very different (both are benzodiazepines) than the Trazodone I'm trying now for sleep etc.

A few questions if I may, does the Zoloft help you with anything? depressive symptoms? Do you take it in the morning? Did you take the Xanax at bedtime?

Hang in there!

#11 feelingcrazy

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 07:20 AM

Thank you for responding. The zoloft helps with some of the depression but i often find myself doing chores around the house and suddenly bad thoughts of self harm will pop into my head. I will ignore them and go about my day. I take the Zoloft in the morning. I have told my docter of all the symptoms i have experienced but i just get ignored....I was the one who had to tell him that i suffer from seasonal depression disorder and my mother thinks that also suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome from events that happened in my childhood.

#12 anxiouslydepressed

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 07:39 AM

Hi feeling crazy, glad to hear that the Zoloft at least helps with your depression.

If you are seeing a general physician, you might like to consider seeing a psychiatrist, even just for a couple of times. From other posts on these forums, it sounds like general physicians usually have their drugs of choice that they will prescribe for a given set of symptoms and that's it. Psychiatrists are often better at tweaking your medication, including switching/adding another medication. It's not like my psychiatrist has all the answers, but I feel that in general I am moving forward thanks (among other things) to her.

Excuse an error in my last post: I meant that the Lorazepam I'm taking is a benzodiazepines, not the Trazodone. Lorazepam was helpful for sleeping and for day-time anxiety for a couple of months, but I think it is no longer very effective.

#13 anxiouslydepressed

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 01:45 PM

An update of my struggle to find the right combination of drugs, in case anybody is still following it

So, when I added 50mg Trazodone to the mix, I had 5 excellent days. Since then, for the last week and some, I have been amongst the worst I've ever been - depression, anxiety, groggy, weird SEs, all quite bad.

My pdoc agrees that all these side effects are due to the Trazodone. It presumably took the 5 days to accumulate in my system before the side effects really kicked in. I now moved down to alternating between 25mg and 50mg Trazodone at bedtime. I give it a week to see if the SEs subside, otherwise I try something different for sleep. Does that make any sense?

There are also potentially good news. I was surprised to learn from my pdoc that while already taking and AD (Zoloft in my case), the effect of a second drug can kick in much faster. She believes I experienced some positive AD effect of the Trazodone during the initial 5 days. Did anybody experience AD impact within less than a day? If that's the case, it's likely that I have an issue with serotonin receptor 5-HT1A, which part of the effect of the Trazodone is being a partial agonist to that receptor. Hence, I'm starting to take Bupirone since it is an agonist for the same receptor. Started yesterday with 5mg twice a day and plan to build up the dosage.

How are you doing feelingcrazy? How is everybody else? I hope all of you are enjoying the beautiful weather (in the US).

#14 LuCan

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 10:38 AM

My 14-year-old daughter has been on 50mg of sertraline for two weeks for a major depression. The nausea wore off after about one week at this dosage level (she was at 25mg for a week before that) but she's not getting to sleep till 3, then is sleeping very late. We tried an all-nighter to get back on track but it didn't work; she still couldn't fall asleep before 3. How long does it typically take for a sleep cycle to even out on sertraline? In other ways, it seems to be helping more than previous medications had. She has a check-in with her physician next week but I'm hoping to hear from people who know from experience.

Background: She was diagnosed with depression by a family physician a year and a half ago and had anxiety added to that diagnosis by her psychiatrist last fall. After half a year of talk therapy, she spiralled down in the fall into a more severe depression and anxiety. Fluoxetine (which worked for my own depression in the past, but not for my mother, who takes sertraline) left her suicidal and cutting, so she was taken off of that and put on mirtazipine. Mirtazipine let her sleep and she was less severely anxious, but after 8 weeks she showed no other improvements on it, so she's been switched to sertraline - 25mg for a week and now 50mg for two weeks. She stopped speaking in therapy several weeks ago; we're hoping she'll start again at some point. She has not been in school more than a half-day a week since December, and has kept just one of her two extracurricular activities, one with a very orderly atmosphere where she does not feel anxious. On the sertraline, she has been less withdrawn and has gone out with a friend one day.

#15 anxiouslydepressed

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:32 AM

Hi LuCan,

I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's struggle. She is very lucky to have your support and dedication. I wish you both all the best.

As you may realize, the effects of SSRIs can vary greatly between people, especially I think with regards to the side effects. I think I am a pretty bad example regarding sleeping with Zoloft (no pan intended). You might like to read through many of the posts in this great forum. It seems that for most people the vast majority of side effects, including sleep, stop after about 4 weeks on a given dose, in parallel to the full effect of the drug starts kicking in. But again, this is very individual. For a few (myself included), some of the full, longer-term effect of the Zoloft seems to be increased anxiety. In such cases, if the Zoloft helps with the depression, it is usually recommended to had another drug, but another possibility is trying to switch drugs again.

She should follow her pshychiatrist's advice. It seems though that you should try riding it out for a few more weeks before making any decision. I would emphasize again that my little knowledge is only from personal experience and from reading about this recently and talking to a couple of psychiatrists.

#16 sleepingblondie

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 01:01 PM

I take 50 mg and now I am nervous I will have the same side effects u do if I increase. Do you really think this effects sleep? Maybe this is why I cannot sleep

Hi,

I've been on 150mg Zoloft for a month now, after increasing the dose very slowly -- started Zoloft almost 4 months ago, which is the first time I'm taking an AD. I'm taking Zoloft for depression and anxiety, with the former being the more dominant part according to my pdoc and therapist.

I had quite extreme side effects in the early going (which is the reason for the slow increase in dose), among else I had increased anxiety, with panic attacks and suicidal thoughts, which I have never experienced before.

I have higher energies recently and much more vital, so cautiously optimistic. It's likely the Zoloft working, though I've done a lot of other changes in my life as well, including decreasing dramatically the levels of stress. Hard to tell.

The main problems persisting are much increased anxiety, agitation, irritability, restlessness. I'm all wound up. All these are worse then ever in my life. It might be that it just comes with the increased energy and that I have to learn to pace myself with these new energies, but all these feel so unnatural. The worst is that my sleep is terrible, likely as a result of all these. I'm so tired and fall asleep almost immediately, but then wake up constantly during the night, have wakeful dreams, and early morning wakefulness. I had similar sleep problems before the Zoloft, but my sleep was already better at lower dosages of Zoloft, so that's my suspicion. It's also worse now than ever. I have been taking Lorazepam (Benzo) at bedtime, but it seems to not help so much anymore and I plan to wean off it.

Anybody had similar experiences? Do you think it's the Zoloft? Should I stick out with it for a while longer? Or reduce the dosage (I did not stay on any dose for more than a week to see whether it really works)? Or look into adding another drug, or changing drugs altogether? Yes, I am consulting my pdoc and therapist on all these questions, but would love to hear whatever advice the great, supportive community that you've got going here has to offer.



#17 anxiouslydepressed

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 07:33 AM

Don't worry Sleepingblondie, we are all so very different in our these drugs affect us. Zoloft (is it Zoloft you are taking?) is reported as not so rarely leading to insomnia, but for most cases this side effect subsides over first few weeks after starting or after a dose increasing. One thing that I wished I've started earlier is taking Lorezapam while building up the dosage. Did you suffer from any sleep problems before?

#18 anxiouslydepressed

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 05:57 PM

After a second week of pretty bad Trazodone SEs, we decided to clean my system of it. Last night I took my last one after weaning of for a week. See how it goes insomnia-wise. I will keep on taking 0.75mg Lorazepam, which does very little after months of use, and do not want to add another drug into the mix just yet. My hope for all the anxiety, irritability, insomnia, which are all still very much there, lies now on Buspar. I've started with it 10 days ago, and am increasing gradually (currently 10mg). Any advice about the Buspar and/or stopping the Trazodone?

#19 lindahurt

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 06:52 PM

Its interesting how meds effect us differently. I really depend on Trazadone to help me sleep and improve my mood along with the other meds I take. But I like the sedative effect that Trazadone has. If it not working for you then its best to try something else. I hope your new meds work better for you.

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#20 Dakoda

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 07:23 PM

I have been taking 50mg of Zoloft for 5 days now. The first 3 days I was sleeping all day, it was taking me longer than normal to get to sleep at night, but I was totally wrecked during the day. I also had horrible headcahes. Day 4, and I finally woke up wthout a headache, after I took the tablet at night.. I had a full day, finally was able to go to work, but had the worst nights sleep, and now I am feeling so damm tired again. Mentally I am feeling better, but because of some events I have coming up in the next few weeks, I feel I need to continue so I can get thru them, but I dont know what is worse, sleeping all the time, or not sleeping at all.

Edited by Dakoda, 01 March 2012 - 07:24 PM.





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