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Tigereyes

How To Increase Zoloft Safely?

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Posted

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My p-doc has been wonderful for me, in that he does not overmedicate me. However, I've come to realize that I am very undermedicated. I am also very sensitive to medication.

I've been on 50mg zoloft for about a year. It's been a good SSRI for me. That being said, my depression is still there and I even feel like it has gotten worse. I need to increase it on my own, as I search for a new p-doc. I also thought about the idea of just going to my primary care doc to ask for an increase, but I wanted to hear from you all how you increased your zoloft dosage.

Additionally, I would like to know how you all communicate with your pdocs about how you're feeling. It's so difficult for me to do the talking. If I don't directly get asked, "How is your energy level?" or "Have you had suicidal thoughts lately?", I won't say it outright. This has been a very frustrating part of my recovery.

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Posted

Hi Tigereyes,

I wouldn't increase the Zoloft until you asked your doctor. Will your p-doc not give you an increase? You can go to your local priimary care Dr. and ask for an increase. I dealt with my primary care physician the entire time, and went from 50 to 100, which seems to be the only way to go since there isn't a 75 mg. that I know of.

As for talking to the pdoc, you shouldn't have to do all the talking, although many assume that is what you want to do and why you are there. I'd actually tell this Dr. (if he or she hasn't already figured it out) that you really would like him to ask the questions and you'll respond accordingly, but that you have difficulty initiating the conversation.

Good luck and let us know how the increase goes.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

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Posted (edited)

MaddieLouise,

Thank you so much for your advice. So you wouldn't recommend I split the 50mg tablet, to try to take 75mg?

It's not that my p-doc wouldn't give me an increase...I actually haven't asked him. However, he knows I'm sensitive to meds. And he's extremely conservative about meds., which I actually respect a lot, but right now I think it's doing me more harm than good.

My p-doc always seems to remind me not to count so much on the meds., even though I've been in therapy for the entire 5 or so years I've been seeing him. He also at one point suggested I just try fish oil, and no meds., when I couldn't take all the changing of meds and their side effects, to find one that worked for me. The fish oil did nothing for me, although I continue to use it (it's been about a year).

It's very ironic, actually. I hate being on meds of any kind, but I think in this case, I really do need them.

Thank you, too, for your advice that I should have figured out already...to tell my p-doc that I need him to initiate those kinds of questions. It's so hard for me to ask for what I need.

Is there anything I need to look out for as far as side effects from increasing the zoloft?

Many thanks.

TE

Edited by Tigereyes

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Posted

Actually, I would ask your Doctor about slowly increasing it since you can cut these in half. I do think that a slow increase vs. going all the way to 100 is a better idea. I slowly increase doses if I need to. As for side effects, did you have any initially? If you were light-headed, agitated, had lack of appetite, dry mouth, insomnia or slept a lot, then you might expect those to recur, but not likely to the extent they did when you first started taking the medications.

I can understand that maybe you feel intimidated by your P-Doc, although you've been with him a long time. I can tell you that fish oil and and of itself is great for heart health, but I've never heard that it will alone alleveiate depression.

Let us know how it goes!

MaddieLouise

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Posted

Thanks, MaddieLouise.

I don't recall my initial side effects being too bad.

My pdoc is a nice man--not intimidated by him. I just find it really hard to communicate with anyone about my depression and anxiety.

I'll let you know how it goes! I will split my 50mgs for now.

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Posted

Hi MaddieLouise,

Well my pdoc is on vacation, and I made an appt with my primary care's associate for tomorrow. I did decide to increase the zoloft to 100mg, which is so not like me...but that just says a lot in that I'm tired of being so lethargic, unmotivated, etc.

I've had some bouts of nausea and crankiness, and woke up with a huge headache today, but it's been worth it. I already am feeling more "with it". My concentration and memory is coming back and I feel a little more energetic.

Now the problem is, what exactly do I say to my primary care associate tomorrow about why I'm asking her to increase my meds instead of my pdoc? And if she says no, how do I explain to my pdoc that yes I know I just saw you, but I wasn't open enough with you about how bad my depression is.

I have a funny feeling he doesn't want to increase my meds because 1)I'm sensitive to meds., 2)It's just not his thing; he's sort of anti-meds., and 3)he's concerned about my O'Ding. My suicide attempt was a long time ago (1998) and I love my husband way too much to ever consider suicide again. How do I communicate all this?

This is all so freaking ironic, actually. I hate being on meds of any kind. Yet here I am, worrying that I won't be able to get an increase... Too funny.

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Posted

Say what you have said here, any good doctor will help and give you the increase, I would tend to think they already know you would not have told them everything, I will keep my fingers crossed for you

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Posted (edited)

I would tell the primary care MD how difficult it is to get your psychiatrist to up your meds., because he is really conservative, but you feel this is for the best. If you have to go back to him, (because the liklihood of primary care doc. overriding a psychiatrist's recommendation is likely pretty slim), then ask the psychiatrist if you may take this leap because you are already starting to feel bounds better (experimenting at 75 I assume). If he won't do it, and you feel it's helping, it may be time for a new psychiastrist. Maybe he'll see your reasoning since you've seen him for so long. Let us know!

Edited by MaddieLouise

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Posted (edited)

Thanks again for your replies! I saw my primary care doctor today, and she was completely understanding of my situation. I told her how my pdoc was on vacation, his office does not fax in prescriptions or renewals to the insurance companies, etc. I told her how I also have difficulty telling him how I'm feeling. I also told her I've been on 50mg zoloft for a year, and feel although it's the right medication for me (finally!!) that it's not enough.

She suggested that I write up some kind of "depression/anxiety" checklist to keep track of how I'm feeling. What a great idea! Are there any checklists like this on this forum?

She also agreed that since I have found the antidepressant that works for me, she's fine with my seeing her for refills, etc. She also said as my life changes, there may be times I can decrease it, or have to increase it. However, she does think 100mg will be the correct dose for me, especially since I'm already feeling an improvement after just 6 days.

She said she would've have suggested I jump from 50mg to 100mg. She would have taken me to 75mg.

I'm sure my pdoc will be okay with the increase...I'll let him know if I do see him again in October.

Now I just have to cross my fingers that the zoloft will not ever poop out on me...

Edited by Tigereyes

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Posted

Hi Tigereyes,

I'm so glad it all worked out and that your regular MD was so helpful.

I don't think we have a "checklist" of any sort. I'd personally just keep a journal of how you feel each day.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

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Posted

Hi Tigereyes

You can download mood charts. Check the pinned topics in the Bipolar Room, there is one with mood charts in there.

Trace

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Posted

Perfect! Thanks! :-)

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