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Daughter New To Zoloft - Becoming Zombie-Like


lisamarie3

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Finally got her an appt for oct 6th. She really needs to come off the zoloft, Im going to try and get in touch with her neurologist to let him know and find out how he wants her to wean off. She's only been on since August, 50mg, so not a long time. Do you think there will be withdrawal symptoms after taking for such a short time? Thinking start weaning her off now and by time the appt comes she might be ready to try something new (or if shes really lucky nothing at all). 

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I'm glad you got an appointment that's not too far in the future.

 

50mg is a small dose so it shouldn't be too hard to come off of it. I have decreased in increments of 50mg at a time while on higher doses without any problems, but there is a chance that she could experience some side effects such as insomnia and anxiety (which she is experiencing anyway). I am not a doctor so I am not supposed to give dosing advice. With that said, I think if you break a 50mg in half and have her take that until she sees her doctor, it would be a step in the right direction. I wouldn't have her come off the med completely because I am not sure if she should do 12.5mg or whether 25mg is low enough to "jump" (i.e. stop all together).

 

Good luck with the reduction (if you decide to do it) and let us know how the appointment goes!

 

-Deb

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Thank you! I called the neurologist today and he is on vacation so now I have nobody to ask how to get her off of it. I think i will cut in half like you said and see how it goes. Again, shes only been on for slightly over a month. And youre right, she has insomnia and anxiety anyway. Well, insomnia at night but during the day she feels like she can sleep. Today she was saying her eyes were foggy and seeing stars.  

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Aw, poor girl. Well, hopefully getting her off Zoloft will help. Does she have a primary doctor? You could try to get a prescription for hydroxyzine to help with sleep and night time anxiety before you go to the psychiatrist. I think that would help her, but there I go again giving medical advice!

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This is pure hell for my daughter. Never would i have imagined being on something for only 5 weeks would cause this much damage. The nausea is unbearable, the headaches, brain zaps, sleeplessness, night sweats, heavy head. You name it, she has it. How long does it take for these w/d symptoms to go away? She's at 25 mg now. Thanks ;(

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I was thinking about you and your daughter this morning when I clicked my bookmark to come to this forum. I'm sorry to hear she is even worse now. :( There is no real answer for how long the w/d symptoms will take to go away. My guess is perhaps another month, but I am not a doctor. Since you have four more days to go before seeing the psychiatrist, here are my suggestions:

 

1) You could go to an urgent care clinic and ask for something to help her. You could ask for the hydroxyzine but that will just remove anxiety and make her sleepy. It won't help with the other symptoms. You could also ask for ondansetron which is a nausea med, but it is super expensive. I'm not a doctor, so going to the clinic and asking for their advice would probably be better than mine. :)

 

2) You could increase her dosage to somewhere between 50mg and 25mg and see if that helps. Usually when tapering, if someone is having really harsh reactions to the change, you go back up a bit and take baby steps back down.

 

3) You could buy something OTC like Benedryl to knock her out at night. Benedryl works essentially the same way the hydroxyzine does, but without the anti-anxiety properties. Of course this wouldn't help with any of her symptoms.

 

I hope she feels better soon! Keep us posted.

 

-Deb

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Wondering if the psych dr would suggest something other than an SSRI.  She wont take the benadryl (she doesnt like taking anything, im surprised shes stuck with the zoloft so long), probably has to hear it directly from a doctor that she can.  Shes really having a hard time with this. 

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Zoloft is a fairly old drug by today's standards and although it is still one of the best, it has more side effects than some of the newer drugs. It could be he would recommend a newer SSRI or perhaps choose some other class of drug completely. I'll be interested to hear what he suggests, if you don't mind giving us an update after the appointment.

 

If I had to bet, I think he'll recommend Buspar. Just a guess, though. :)

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Ok so she has GAD and some social anxiety. Depression numbers are much higher than anxiety right now, the dr is putting her on lexapro 10mg to start.  She can take melatonin to help her sleep and can certainly take motrin or something for the nausea if she needs it. The Dr was actually quite surprised I told her the pharmacist said she couldnt take anything - so she's been suffering needlessly this whole time. At the point where I dont know who to listen to anymore. So down to 12.5 mg of zoloft tonight and the lexapro tomorrow.  Any thoughts on this med? Thanks! :)

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Thanks for the update!

 

I haven't personally been on Lexapro but I know a lot of people on the forums who have positive things to say. There is a site I rely on called drugs.com. It has user reviews by drug and even breaks the ratings down into subcategories for people who reviewed it for anxiety, depression, etc. If you are interested in reading people's experiences with it, you should be able to find the pages by Googling "lexapro user reviews." I would post a link but that isn't allowed on this particular forum.  :)

 

I would listen to the doctor over the pharmacist in your case. A lot of pharmacists are extremely concerned about getting sued, so they err on the side of caution. With that said, the pharmacist typically knows drug interactions better than the prescribing doctor. I have had my pharmacy argue with my psychiatrist over some of his choices for me, and he always wins the fight because he is the one prescribing (so I guess the blame would be on him if something went wrong).

 

For example, my doc has me on 2 meds which should not be taken together. The pharmacy warned me not to take them concurrently, but my doctor told me not to listen to the pharmacist when I brought it up to him. It turns out the pharmacy was/is right... I had terrible interactive symptoms between the two drugs when I took them together (insomnia, racing heartbeat, tremor, anxiety) and it took me about a month to figure out when to take each during the day so they wouldn't interfere with each other. Sorry for the tangent but it's a good example of when I had to listen to my doctor even though he was wrong. :)

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Thank you,  yes, Ive been to drugs.com, its great to check for conflicts in meds and otc stuff.  I really would like her to go back to the naturopath and try SamE. Ive been reading really good things about it. I'd rather have her try that next then jump in to another SSRI. This one really kicked her butt and shes not the same kid anymore, in such a short time. Its scary really. Feeling helpless.  The dr today did say some of the same things ive been saying over the years (be yourself, dont worry what anyone thinks of you, its their problem if they dont like you not yours, dreaming up scenarios and worrying about them isnt reality (something to that effect)...) so Im hoping it sinks in that hey, maybe mom does know things! Nah I hear that doesnt happen until mid-20's? Haha

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Wow, I have never heard of SamE before. I just looked it up and here is an excerpt I threw together from an article on the internet. Sorry if it sounds choppy, I just took the sentences that were relevant. If you want to read the whole article, highlight one of the sentences and put it into Google. It will come back with a link from estronaut.com.

 

"The higher the percentage of SAMe that is present in a person's blood, the less likely they are to be depressed. SAMe is involved in the formation of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, both known to combat depression. Folate and Vitamin B12 are vitamins farther upstream in the neuro-chemical pathway. They can create SAMe and may be the true key to treating depression through diet. The supplement folate has a much stronger and more associations with depression and mental disorders. There are even studies tying folate deficiency treatment to the lifting of depression, increasing serotonin levels, and the effectiveness of drugs like Prozac."

 

So I guess it wouldn't hurt to try SAMe, or you could try a Vitamin B Complex (folate is B9) and see how that works.

 

As a side note: Some people claim taking B vitamins in pill form isn't the best way to cross the blood/brain barrier, and recommend either getting a shot in the butt or taking a sublingual tablet (under your tongue). I have not tried either of these methods but I figured I would share.

 

-Deb

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not sure how long it lasts... I'm sorry I don't have better information for you. Has anything else helped her in the meantime? Some people claim Omega 3s can really help with withdrawal. Does her psychiatrist have any insights? Take care.

 

-Deb

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She's taking omega-3's and vit b complex.  Shes also started taking mega doses of inositol and upping her protein as advised by the naturopath. We are done with the meds. This is no way to live. Long lasting side effects after stopping and side effects since day 1 of starting to take it. No thanks. She has agreed to go natural and see if that helps. She's missing out on too many things as it is, hasnt even driven a car in over a month. 

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Some people have horrible reactions to meds, and I guess she is one of them. I'm glad she is taking the Vitamin B Complex and all of the other good stuff. Hopefully she will feel better soon.

 

If she ever needs something to help her sleep, get the stinky, gross Valerian Root (capsules)... it will definitely knock her out!

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A friend of ours was telling us she was on 200mg for about a year and went off cold turkey - no side effects at all. Its crazy how meds effect everyone differently, my daughter was 50 mg for maybe 6 weeks and shes in hell with it right now.

 

She's taking 6mg of melatonin and that is helping her sleep thankfully.  Her Dr also ordered a slew of tests to see what she's lacking, to get a better idea of what she needs to take. Will all take time.

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Hi lisamarie3, I found SAM-e really helpful, along with the active forms of folate and B12 (I think they're called methylfolate and methylcobalamin). In the end, I needed more help than they could offer, but they definitely helped. Hope your daughter finds some relief! 

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Thank you. Her Dr is doing a whole panel of tests to see what she needs specifically, and then she'll know what to have her take to help her. For now it is the inositol until the tests come back, along with the B Complex and Omega3 for the brain zaps - which are really bad. Every time she moves her eyes. I still cant get over that she is going thru this after only 6 weeks on a prescription. Just shows you what this stuff will do to a persons brain functions.

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