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This may have already been addressed...I saw "weaning off Lexapro" down below, but am not sure if the medications are similar.<br><br>
I am currently trying to wean myself off of Zoloft. I started taking it 2.5 years ago after the birth of my second daughter for PPD. It helped so much and I stayed on it for several months. I quit taking it and developed severe mood swings at certain times in my cycle. My family doctor had me start taking it again and it helped. I took 50/mg daily all throughout my last pregnancy and increased the dose to 100/mg after DD's birth due to my history of PPD.<br><br>
I slowly started weaning myself from 100/mg. I shaved off about 25mg for a week, then took 50 for a week, then a few days of 25 then I stopped.<br><br>
Whoa.<br><br>
I was (am) dizzy, mentally unclear, anxious, angry and just generally miserable. It is making me a basket case. I have found myself unusually paranoid about something happening to my girls and thinking that people are thinking negative things about me. Miserable. My sense tells me it is the meds, but I cannot shake these feelings.<br><br>
Is there a way to "gracefully" wean off of this med? I cannot deal with such horrid withdrawal symptoms when I have three young'uns to care for. I need to not only be sane, but a good, calm mama for them.<br><br>
The reason I am trying to get off the this med is because I really want to be "med free".<br><br>
Is it possible I might have to stay on Zoloft? Any advice would be much appreciated.
 

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Have you talked with the prescriber? And how long has it been since you've been off of the med? Is it possible that these are symptoms of depression/anxiety and not withdrawal symptoms? And were you feeling okay with 25mg?<br><br>
Sorry - so many questions! If it's been very recent that you stopped completely I'd go back to 25mg and ask your provider what to do about it, esp if you are seeing a psychiatrist. Review with them the sypmtoms that you had before that caused you to go on the medicine in the first place, because once you're feeling good it's very hard to remember how bad you were feeling before the meds. Does that make sense? One trick a lot of providers use to avoid SSRI withdrawal is to give a dose or two of Prozac - the half life is so long that it leaves the body more slowly than other SSRIs and leads to a more "graceful" detox. HTH!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>perl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7955139"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Have you talked with the prescriber? And how long has it been since you've been off of the med? Is it possible that these are symptoms of depression/anxiety and not withdrawal symptoms? And were you feeling okay with 25mg?<br><br>
Sorry - so many questions! If it's been very recent that you stopped completely I'd go back to 25mg and ask your provider what to do about it, esp if you are seeing a psychiatrist. Review with them the sypmtoms that you had before that caused you to go on the medicine in the first place, because once you're feeling good it's very hard to remember how bad you were feeling before the meds. Does that make sense? One trick a lot of providers use to avoid SSRI withdrawal is to give a dose or two of Prozac - the half life is so long that it leaves the body more slowly than other SSRIs and leads to a more "graceful" detox. HTH!</div>
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Thanks! The original prescriber was my old OB who I no longer see (or wish to see). The family doc that put me back on it is in another state. And yes, the very small doses were OK with me.<br><br>
I was never dx'd with depression or anxiety...Just PPD. I was doing some reading online and found where several people were saying they experienced almost identical withdrawal symptoms. I know I will have an adjustment period, but I am not a paranoid person by nature, so that threw me for a loop.<br><br>
I need to get an appointment I guess...The dose or two of Prozac sounds like a good idea. I have also considered St. John Wort...Maybe that would help with the symptoms.
 

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I dealt with weaning from Zoloft and it was horrible. I did sorta what you did and felt the same way and couldn't deal, so I went back "on".....I stayed at 25mg for a few weeks...then I cut those in 1/2 and took that dose for a few more weeks...then I cut that in 1/2 (yes, they were tiny, lol), and took that for a few weeks...then went off.<br><br>
IMO, you need to go waaaay slower than one week for each "cut". When I tried doing it the way you described, it was brutal when I went from 25 to nothing....I felt awful physically and emotionally, way worse than I felt pre-Zoloft.
 

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Finding a homeopath who is familiar with mental health can really help. I know that the weaning period can be more graceful with added homeopathic help. HTH Also, my friend told me today that Sepia (the homeo. rem.) is also used to for mood swings. If that helps. A naturopath could help with homeopathy and other alternative therapies. Having a back up is a good way to wean from what I have seen my friends go through.
 

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Many psychiatrists recommend weaning much more gradually, staying at the stepped-down dosage for 1-2 weeks before tapering down again. This doesn't necessarily eliminate side effects, but it can lessen them.
 

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This is a timely thread. I am currently on 100 mg and I am ready to start weaning myself off. I have been on meds for about a year, beginning after a very stressful period in my life. I've never really felt depressed, just very, very anxious. My quality of life has improved to the point where I feel that I am ready to handle any remaining underlying issues.<br><br>
I feel like I am gaining weight by the day, so I am really excited to start weaning!<br><br>
Any advice much appreciated.
 

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I have had a love/hate relationship with Zoloft for YEARS now, so please understand this question as genuine and non-judging.<br><br>
Why do you want to stop taking it?<br><br>
I have judged myself that I "ought to be better by now" or just didn't want any "chemicals" in my system (or the baby's through breastfeeding). Logically those are not good reasons.
 

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As yes, the love hate relationship with Zoloft.<br><br>
First of all, most people don't want to be on psych meds, including me. I try to live a life eating organic foods & minimizing the toxins that I expose myself to at home & in general. So taking "meds" is a tough decision for the naturally minded person, but it's one that I feel I've had to come to terms with. Lexapro is a different drug entirely so I wouldn't base any decision regarding weaning based on that info.<br><br>
I've battled with depression & anxiety for many many years & have gone off meds several times (with bad results) b/c I didn't want to be on them. I tried to go off completely while I was trying to get PG & again bad results. I struggled with tremendous guilt over taking meds while PG & have mostly come to terms with it. I still want to see my baby & make sure he is developing properly. Of course I could have been off all meds & then would have wondered how my depression was affecting my baby.<br><br>
I've been taking Zoloft for my entire PG & just tapered down in preparation for birth & to reduce the concentration in my colostrum. I'm now on 50 mgs from 100mgs & have been getting vertigo/dizziness & a lot of pervasive negative thoughts (a sure sign of depression for me). Maybe I should have tapered down my 25 mg increments? Even though Zoloft is filtered pretty well by the body & is considered the "safest" of the SSRIs, I decided to taper down anyway upon the recommendation of my MW.<br><br>
It can be a really hard to decision to stay on meds, but after many years of battling depression I have come to my own conclusion that I need some type of medication to help with my depression. It's no good for you to be depressed & it's no good for your family. If meds bother you, try to find some alternative ways (acupuncture, exercise, etc) of dealing with your depression & see if they help. You may reach the conclusion that meds are the way to go.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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I have bipolar II and have a ton of experience with various meds. In my experience with SSRI's, it is helpful to taper very slowly to avoid withdrawal side effects. I would get down to the absolute lowest dose possible and then take it every other day for a couple of weeks. It's worked for me and definitely worth trying if you are discontinuing the meds.
 

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<b>Katiemare</b>, I wanted to stop taking Zoloft because I believe it treated only my symptoms and not the root cause of my problem. I've been working on the underlying issues and believe that I no longer need Zoloft. I used it as a short term aid, always with the intention that I would not stay on it for very long. I was on Zoloft for about 8 months, and Celexa for about 5 months prior to that.<br><br><br>
Now for my question. I've been weaning off my 100mg dosage. I spent a week at 75mg, a week at 50mg, and a week at 25mg. I haven't taken any since Friday. Emotionally I feel fine- no anxiety or depression, etc. Physically I feel ok but not great - dizzy and sluggish. Sometimes it feels almost like I'm drunk, other times it feels like a head cold. I know this is pretty normal... I'm just wondering how much longer the physical side effects will last. They aren't terrible but they're not great either. I've been taking it easy so far and I've been fine. But I'm going on vacation soon, and I don't want to feel like this during vacation.<br><br>
Maybe I should wean off more slowly, but emotionally I feel really good, it's just the pesky "head cold" feeling that's bothersome.
 

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I went off it too quickly and experienced the same symptoms. I went back on and tried again and successfully weaned with no issues whatsoever. Give yourself more time to wean. You have to let you brain adjust to the changes.<br><br>
That said, I was under the care of a classical homeopath during my second attempt to go off Zoloft and that might be why PPD did not return, nor did it return again after the birth of a subsequent child. Since you mentioned your depression/anxiety used to flare up during certain times in your cycle (like mine used to), I definitely recommend seeing a homeopath. You don't have to be on medication for the rest of your life. I've been there and I know I'm not there anymore because of the homeopathy.
 

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Thanks, <b>Kindermama</b>. That makes so much sense.<br><br>
Yesterday I took ~12.5mg. Hardly anything, but I do feel better today. I am going to rely on those tiny doses for the next week, and then I'll see how I feel if I stop taking them for a few days.
 

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If you are going to wean off SSRI's, make sure to exercise every day as vigorously as you can stand. (Obviously, work up to it gradually.) This helps the withdrawal symptoms and can prevent the depression from returning altogether.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lolar2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8363239"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If you are going to wean off SSRI's, make sure to exercise every day as vigorously as you can stand. (Obviously, work up to it gradually.) This helps the withdrawal symptoms and can prevent the depression from returning altogether.</div>
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I'd say exercise MAY prevent recurrence. It does not do so for everyone. That said, exercise certainly doesn't hurt.
 
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