Zoloft

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Zoloft is a drug that was released by the Pfizer corporation in 1991 which aimed at fighting depression. The FDA approved Zoloft in October of 1997. Zoloft is a member of the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor family, which increases serotonin levels in the synapse by blocking serotonin reuptake into brain cells. Official Zoloft Site
If you or someone you know has had a problem with Zoloft feel free to call the advertising section of FDA at (301) 827-2828. Also fill out the Medwatch form and also call FDA at 1-800-FDA 1088 press 0 or call (301) 443-1240.
Zoloft Feedback and Side Effects

I AM FROM AUSTRALIA, I HAVE BEEN ON ZOLOFT FOR A FEW YEARS NOW. I WAS PUT ON ZOLOFT BECAUSE OF SEVERE HOT FLUSHES, DUE TO EARLY MENOPAUSE BROUGHT ON BY CHEMOTHERAPY. I WAS TOLD THERE HAD BEEN GOOD RESULTS. I HAVE PUT ON A LOT OF WEIGHT, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE A MAINLY LOW FAT DIET. I HAVE BEEN SUFFERING FROM ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, AGITATION AND AGGRESSIVE FEELINGS FOR SOME TIME NOW. AS ZOLOFT IS AN ANTIDEPRESSANT I DID NOT SUSPECT THIS COULD BE THE CAUSE. IT WAS ONLY WHEN I WENT TO A WEBSITE TO TRY AND GET HELP SUICIDAL FEELINGS THAT I DISCOVERED THIS COULD BE THE CAUSE. HOW HARD IS IT TO COME OFF ZOLOFT AND HOW SHOULD I START? I NEED HELP AS I AM AT THE LOWEST I HAVE EVER BEEN.

Posted by: DH at December 29, 2003 1:34 AM

oh my god! where do I start? I started taking Zoloft for post traumatic stress I was dealing with due to the death of my grandmother. I'd started thinking that I was gonna die of a heart attck too(Im 22!!!) I went to my doctor who prescribed Zoloft! I was so happy for a couple of months. I'd been taking it and I felt great in fact, I told people I couldnt stop taking it because I'd go crazy. Well, since then Ive been taking it religiously along with my birth control but...with the holidays and all the excitment I've started forgetting to take them and actually didnt take it for like three days (as far as I could remember) I remembered to take it one day and my heart started beating so weird!!! So weird that I thought "this is it Im having a heart attack" and my mother said "thats the Zoloft" clearly shaken I decided not to take it anymore and its been almost a week since Ive taken it. Ive experienced dizziness, difficulty breathing, that weird heart beat thing (which Ive had once or twice before I even knew what Zoloft was) oh yeah and did I meantion dizziness? Im also sleeping all day and Im not enjoying things as much as I used to. Everything seems to be a chore now, things I didnt love but didnt mind doing...like work...I feel sooo blah and DIZZY!!! I hate this feeling. What do you suggest I do?

PS. I can say I havent experienced any weight gain...yet...:::sigh:::help!

Posted by: silvia at December 30, 2003 9:58 PM

Hello and good day to you.
I have been on Zoloft for about 2 months now.
100mg
and I have noticed that my dreams are quite scary... mostly of an evil nature.
for instance. yesterday was one of the scariest I ever had.

I woke up or thought i woke up, and the room was sorta of spinning a little, and I felt real deep despair like as if the world was ending. so I made a prayer to god to please protect me, I felt as if there was an evil presence in my bedroom, after that prayer I heard a sinister
laughter.... "Ha Ha Ha, we got you now" and my closet doors looked as if they were moving ever so slightly back and fourth I was very freaked out. I eventually got out of bed.
I was terrified.
please give me feed back.

Posted by: MA at January 2, 2004 10:23 AM

I was prescribed Zoloft to try for panic attacks, I was only given a 2 week supply before the holidays. It has been 9 days since I stopped taking it and I have had a full body rash since about the 5th day from the last dose. Could this be a reaction to stopping the medication? Do you know how long after stopping treatment does it take to get the medication completely out of your system? Any info on this would be greatly appreciated....

Posted by: PGH at January 4, 2004 12:34 AM

I have been on Zoloft for about 3 weeks now. I feel great, I suffered from anxiety. Traffic when driving home would set me right off, no I seem to just take it in stride. I donít jump off the handle like I would before.

However I cannot sleep. Is this normal?

Does Zoloft correct the problem, or do I have to take it to get the same results?

Also, I have trouble reaching and orgasm. Also not sure if this is related or not, but I feel a numbing sensation on the end of my penis all the time. Part of my likes the first part of the side effect because it helped my premature ejaculation problem, it really helped it. However the numbing feeling bothers me. Is this doing damage? Will my premature ejaculation likely return?

Posted by: DL at January 8, 2004 11:12 AM

I have been on zoloft for almost 2 weeks. I had a little nausia the first week, and a slight headache the first week. But the worst thing is the insomnia. I cannot sleep at all. And reading these things I am not sure if I want to stay on this. My Dr. said the worst thing is I would have vivid dreams. My dreams seem more real, WHEN I CAN SLEEP!

Posted by: RM at January 9, 2004 2:59 AM

i took zoloft for depression and anxiety for about a year... gained about 20 pounds, suffered from insomnia and vivid dreams and nightmares, lost all sexual drive. i stopped crying and having mood swings while on zoloft, but i had no feelings, it was like i was emotion free, i didnt feel like i was that alive.

Posted by: noe at January 11, 2004 4:03 AM

I have taken Zoloft, low dosage for 8 months. I have gained a small amount of weight and tend to be alot more sedentory and a lot less anxious than before the treatment. The weight gain is noticable but I am a slight person and people think I look normal now. I feel fat and bloated and often just sit around alot now. Something I have never done before. Are these symptoms and behaviour some of the symptoms or just part of the disease?

Posted by: MG at January 19, 2004 6:02 AM

I have been taking Paxil for about three years now for generalized anxiety disorder, with the calming effects seeming to have faded. I started Zoloft and seemed to be feeling pretty good again, but the severe headaces, back ache, and fatigue are not worth it. I, too, suffered weird dreams and today I felt fluish. After laying down for a nap because I thought I had the flu, I got up and had a sudden nose bleed ( haven't had one of those since I was a kid). I've only been on the Zoloft for less than a week, but it's not for me.

Posted by: viki at January 26, 2004 11:34 PM

I took Zoloft for quite awhile a few years ago, and it didn't do much for me... except make me tired, contribute to my already chronic migraine disorder and generally make me feel like crap. It did nothing for the depression or anxiety.

Posted by: Steffi at January 28, 2004 7:28 AM

I don't know whether my symptoms are caused by Zoloft - it's just that they're getting progressively worse, and I'm investigating all possibilities.

(I've been on Zoloft for about 4 years now, after suffering a miscarriage, which I couldn't cope with. I found that it improved my state of mind in general. I felt better than I had in years. I must have been mildly depressed for about 10 years prior, without realising it. On Zoloft I'm not down in the dumps anymore, and I like that.)

My main problem is the sweating; morning, noon and night, winter and summer. I'm in a constant state of "hot flush". At 34 I feel like a menopausal 50-year old. I'm always hot to the point where I find it difficult to function. I can't blame it on the summer heat, because there are much larger, more inactive and older people than me, who don't suffer like I do.

When I started taking Zoloft, there was an initial period when I actually lost weight. Over the last 3 years or so, I've been steadily gaining weight, especially in my face. (Which is strange, because I sweat like a marathon runner.) I can't even look at myself anymore, I've become so flabby.

Sure, I could go to gym and exercise vigorously, but that's another symptom: absolutely no energy. Zero. Zip. I'm out of breath after walking from my bedroom to the bathroom. Not just out of breath; it feels like someone's sitting on my chest! While many people complain of insomnia while on SSRI's, I experience the opposite: I could sleep all day. (Which is why I don't know whether Zoloft is really the cause.) I am SO tired, every day, all the time. I take diet pills just to make it through the day and to stay awake at work (whilst not losing any weight, mind you.)

There are so many things I'd like to do after work and on weekends - hobbies, outings and such - but mostly I just don't have the energy. I end up sleeping (in front of a fan) for most of the weekend. I feel like life is passing me by and I'm too tired to do anything but watch it go.

Other symptoms include: intermittent dizziness and nausea; not actual headaches, but the feeling that there is a tight, heavy cap pulled over your skull; severe menstrual pain, especially in lower back; very heavy menstrual bleeding; difficulty defacating during periods [terrible cramps] and tenderness of the lower abdomen even between periods. Also, loss of concentration - the feeling that I'm not quite awake; and I struggle to think straight.

A previous GP told me that all of the above was due to "stress" and was quite willing to prescribe stronger anti-depressants. I told that quack to get lost. I'm not "stressed-out", I normally thrive under pressure. BUT feeling the way I do, and missing out on so many things is actually causing me to feel despondent and irritated and at my wits' end.

In the last 2 weeks, I've also noticed pain in my joints, as well as intermittent muscle aches. (Although this could just be due to physical inactivity.)

I show no adverse psychological side-effects however. My mental state is just ducky. I'm confident, have a great sense of humour, and friends and colleagues tend to speak to me about their relationships and personal issues. Everyone says I'm a good listener and I give sensible advice.

So what is causing me to feel so [physically] crappy all the time? At this point I would sell my soul [or my mother] for some help and answers. PLEASE ? ANYONE?

Posted by: TO at January 28, 2004 2:49 PM

I have been taking Zoloft (25mg) for a month now for anxiety and panic. I did still have a panic attack on it... is that normal? I have been told it has calmed me a bit, but the insomnia was terrible, but is getting better. I have crazy thoughts also. I want to get off of this, but am worried what will happen when I do. I have been getting headaches also. Can you take Tylenol or an aspirin with this? I feel as though all in all it may have helped me, but I still do not want to be on it. I do not feel like myself. I miss me.

Posted by: Amy at February 3, 2004 5:16 AM

To MA: about the scary dreams of an evil nature... I don't think that really has anything to do with any meds. In the psych books, it's called "night terrors" and it's suppossed to be a normal occurence especially when you're under a lot of stress... I used to get those all the time and it's very scary... I never heard voices but there'd definately be a feeling of an evil presence and I'd often times see looming shadows--and felt I was going to die... Personally, as someone who believes in God, I think it's more than just a "night terror" and consider it more of a spiritual struggle or battle within me that's coming out in my dreams... I don't know if you're religious but when that happens to me, I pray to God and it kind of ends after that... Whenever it happens, just try to relax and say a prayer--I promise it'll get better. Good luck.

[Moderator note: I have noticed high levels of serotonin caused me to have aweful dreams in the past. If your serotonin level goes way too high all the random transmissions create more mental activity. Some of this is not good, at least some of it was not good for me.]

Posted by: Reply to MA at February 3, 2004 10:46 PM

My wife has left me & I eventually due to unbearable stress & sadness got pain in heart and there was also some kind of voice as the blood was running in my heart,s vessel with great speed.Now if I ever come across any stressed situation I got pain in my heart & I feel that I may die due to heart attack.Please tell me what is this,am I aheart patient.

Posted by: babur khan at July 29, 2006 1:33 PM

I've been on zoloft over a year. i have actually not gained weight but lost weight from it. my friends say i look sick now. I also have had problems sleeping. i have nightmares all the time, or just cant sleep at all. i also feel it gives me no emotion at all. like i am a zombie. Plus side my panic attacks have stopped.

Posted by: at September 14, 2006 10:51 AM

my sister has been on zoloft for depression & other simptomes. she just told me that she has been seeing my dead aunt who happened to commit suicide, i personaly think that zoloft does cause suididal thoughts. when you are depressed and have panic attacks i believe that it hightens the panic attacks in some people, whitch causes them to have suididal thoughts, although my sister was very depressed and at times wouldnt get out of bed she has never thought of commiting suicide, thank god she had enough sinse to call me on the phone to talk about her seeing my aunt and about the thoughts she was having. she has also been going in to rage fits. locking herself in the bed room with thing pressed up against the door just to keep the bad things away from her. she doesnt sleep as well as she did and when she does she out like a light. i also agree that doctors should be more carefull about what the presribe to there patents.

Posted by: tara stone at September 14, 2006 10:26 PM

hi
ive been on zolft (50mg) for about 6 weeks now, after switching from fluoxetine, which increased my anxiety and made me very twitchy and restless. the initial 2/3 weeks of zoloft was great, i felt like i was in top of the world, but since then i feel like im sinking further and further down. i have been diagnosed with clinical depression and post traumatic stress. i am also in pyschotehrapy as well as taking zoloft.

i have always suffered from headaches, but in the last month i have had the most severe headaches that i have ever experienced, and there has been about 3 days in the same period that i have been headache free. so my psychiatrist has referred me to a neurologist. but i wondered if anybody else also experienced this.

i have suffered from insomnia since i was in my teens, though it was in waves, and since starting the fluoxetine i found that i had trouble sleeping and it was affecting me quite seriously. there is only so much functioning a person can achieve when they havent slept for 6 days in a row. so my psychiatrist prescribed me with immovane (7.5mg)which helped initially but now i feel like i am not sleeping properly because of the dreams i am having.

i used to get vivid dreams a couple of times a year, now i am getting them every night and all night. i wake up 6 or 7 times remembering the exact details of my dreams. but now they are beginning to scare me. not in the sense that they are scary but because my dreams are more and more becoming to resemble my waking life. lastnight my psychiatrist phoned me, which she has done on occassion before. family will knock on my bedroom door and i will sit up in bed and tell them to come in, only then to realise that it had been a dream. i am finding that in the morning i am struggling to wake up and i am in a state of confusion in the morning. trying to figure out what really did happen and what was just in my dreams is becoming quite difficult. i have heard other people suffering from vivid dreams but does anyone experience them to the degree that i do?

i would bee very interested to hear from anyone who has or is experiencing the same thing and have you found anything that has helped.

thanx

kerry
mcdevitt_k@hotmail.com

Posted by: kerry at October 10, 2006 9:54 AM

how should i be feeling after i stopped taking the zoloft? i have been off approximately 3 weeks and i feel ok except i have no energy and i sleep very restless with weird dreams. i should also tell you that i take ambien.

Posted by: daisy weston at August 11, 2008 10:17 PM

I started taking zoloft 8 months ago for depression, anxiety, and a slight OCD problem. The first few months were amazing. I no longer felt the depression and anxiety and seemed to have gotten over my slight OCD. About 4 months into it, I began having incredibly disturbing nightmares every night. For example, one dream I had, my grandmother was possessed by the devil and tortured and killed my grandfather in front of me. When I woke up I had a cold sweat, uneven breathing, and I was too scared and upset to go see my grandparents for almost 2 weeks when I normally see them 2-3 times a week. These dreams leave me a bit disoriented the next morning too. I've considered quitting zoloft because of this but I refuse to deal with the depression and anxiety I felt before zoloft. I've talked to my doctor about changing medicines or something to help but zoloft was my only option since I'm only 17. I'm just not sure where to go from here? Any advice would be great. Thanks. :)

Posted by: Amber at January 1, 2009 3:07 AM

Ive been on zoloft for about 7-8 weeks now. at first i liked it. my anxiety attacks disappeared but my depression never really disappeared. im not the same old me. im a very anti pill type person but i figured i would give zoloft a shot. i heard it was a good antidepressant drug. i have some weird thoughts once and a while. it also makes me feel tired and not want to get off the couch. im just about to stop takin it and try not to rely on the drug and fight it myself and see how it goes. im just worried that if i stop takin it if i will get worse. if anybody has any feed back i would appreciate it. thanks, rob

Posted by: robby at March 10, 2009 10:55 PM

I was having severe panic attacks which would wake me in the middle of the night, intense fear of the future, and suicidal thoughts. Finally I went on zoloft and after 3 weeks the difference is wonderful. I can sleep through the night, the panic attacks have stopped, I'm not afraid all the time, and I actually feel happy. I'm not sure if I'm gaining weight or not, but since I feel so much better, a little weight gain would be worth it.

Posted by: Jel at June 2, 2009 4:13 PM

I have been on Zoloft for 8 weeks now and been having migranes - doc says to hang in there for more time, but I have scary dreams too and that is when I sleep. As for the depression - it has no effect. Why do all the side effects seem to be what the symptoms are??

Posted by: Ann Heizer at February 15, 2010 3:13 PM

Hi, I'm 18 years old and Have been taking Zoloft for over a year now. I suffer from Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks after a very stressful near death experience with over the counter cough medication. It's been really good except for the fact that when I do any movement, for example if I get up and run around or walk really fast and sit back down I have to catch my breath as if I was running a marathon. It doesn't matter how far the distance it still makes me gasp for air. Also at night when I try to lay down and sleep I have to catch my breath before I sleep. One night I was staying at a friends house and they told me that I breath very intensely when I'm asleep. Are these side affects bad? I mean it's annoying but i can cope with it. I'm scared to be put on another medication.

Posted by: Chris Thomas at September 13, 2010 1:33 AM

i have been on zoloft for about 6 months now for anxiety/depression. The first few days were weird but after that i started feeling great. Before i would hardly see the light of day. I would sit in my house and drink all night and then go to sleep for a few hours, cause i couldnt sleep, and then play video games and then start drinking. Thats all i did for a year. But like i said after a little while of being on the meds i felt wonderful. I had motivation, i was sleeping, and i quit drinking. The panic attacks were gone but dont get me wrong i still thought about them all the time which really isnt gonna help them go away cause it really is all in your head. i find that if i keep myself busy or actively involved in stuff i dont think about them. Sleeping has been tough but i kinda blame that on myself. My dreams are pretty intense but i dont get too bothered by them. I actually find them kinda cool cause maybe one day they could give me an idea to write a story. The best thing to do while on zoloft to control the side affects is to just figure out ways to keep them off your mind. Most of the mental side affects are in your head and your just making them up. Heck the reason were on zoloft is cause were all making ourselves feel the way we feel.

Posted by: Trent at September 19, 2010 8:23 PM

my husband was taking 50 mg zoloft then was ill and stopped for 2 weeks, then started taking it again,
now he sleeps all the time day and night, the doctor
said discontinue completely. that was one and 1/2 wks ago he is still sleeping, so a brain scan has been ordered.I still feel it was the side effects of the zoloft.

Posted by: holland at August 25, 2011 10:51 AM

Zoloft was a grab bag of diarrhea tight jaw and sleepless nights for a couple of weeks. I stuck with it anyway. 50mg daily. 4 months in now and I am less emotional- in a good way. I used to hate Zoloft, but between excersize, prayer and meditation, plenty of water, and rest... Things I had a hard time doing before... I am almost completely "normal" the dog and cats actually like me! I am way better with my kids.
I had disabling levels of anxiety attacks since my late teens.. In my early 40s now, after 10 years of Xanax daily. First I would like to suggest Xanax made things worse. Coming off it was hell. Zoloft helps me get over any bumps like a shock absorber. Not spacey, not euphoric, just smoother, sharper, more rational. I can get absorbed in whatever I am doing, focus clearly on the details and follow through on things now.
I drink coffee, do what I need to do, absorb real life, and i have no more anxiety attacks. Everyone is different though. This is just how it has played out so far for me. Good luck.

Posted by: Scotty at September 18, 2011 9:34 AM

I have bee on zoloft for years 50-100 I try,to d/c them by tapering dose. I feel I stop too quickly. This last time i stopped had those demonic like dreams chest pain etc but I did however feel like I was becoming myself again Do umthink I stopped too quickly. Was within. 2-3 weeks.

Posted by: Diane at December 28, 2011 11:38 PM

I have bee on zoloft for years 50-100 I try,to d/c them by tapering dose. I feel I stop too quickly. This last time i stopped had those demonic like dreams chest pain etc but I did however feel like I was becoming myself again Do umthink I stopped too quickly. Was within. 2-3 weeks.

Posted by: Diane at December 28, 2011 11:40 PM

I take 50 mil Zoloft for severe anxiety disorder. I was feeling as though the Zoloft was increasing my anxiety. I quit taking it for a couple.days. To begin with I had only been on it for 2 months.

The first.couple of days I quit I felt like my normal self. However, the following.days my mood slumped. I felt low, sad, and moody. I decided to start taking it.again. I haven't told my doctor about it.

Posted by: Molly at October 10, 2012 10:08 AM

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Demystifying Depression is a great article which helped me understand some of the ways depression was affecting me.

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Here is my friend Heather's Health Bee, which is about recovering from depression and other related illnesses.