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    Sertraline (Zoloft) Side-Effects 
    #1
    Angry
    Hello,

    I'm currently on sertraline 100mg/day every morning as an anti-depressant, and I feel that I'm getting some serious side effects. See, 2 or so months ago I was put in a psych ward for 8 days, where I was prescribed sertraline. However, when I got out I also had withdrew from my opiate addiction, and for 4 weeks I was having muscle spasms, muscle tightness, jitters, tremors, and jaw jitters. I thought that this was some after-effect of the nerves or something. Anyway, I was also not getting any sleep, and my Doctor decided that it was best for me to take mirtazipine 30mg instead, to treat the depression and insomnia. When I was put on the new drug, however, I had a relapse and I have been using daily since.
    Now I decided as of today to go back to sertraline after mirtazapine's sedative effects synergised with the opiates, making me sleep 16 hours a day. However, now that I took 1 100mg pill today the jitters, shakes, tremors, muscle tensity and so forth have returned. Just this afternoon my jaw was uncontrollably shaking and it felt extremely stiff. I realise now that this must be some side effect, and I'm worried;

    Will this sertraline cause any long-term problems so long as I quit now? I'm worried for my health because these tremors are terrible, and they're almost entirely part of the reason why I went back to drugs, because I thought the post-withdrawals were causing it not the sertraline.

    Thankyou for reading and I would appreciate some answers/information,

    Nozphexezora.
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    #2
    I took zoloft many years ago and I remember I started on 25mg (half of 50mg tablet). First 2 days were okay, then for about a week I had these bizarre episodes of tense feeling around my torso like being tightly wrapped, having hot flushes & jaw tightness and being really nervous, impulsive and have urges to scream... was really unpleasant. Then I upped the dose (by 25mg each week) as per doctor's instructions and was getting crazier and crazier until I reached 100mg and complained to my psychiatrist that I feel really out of control, impulsive & confused. He suggested I increase the dose to 200mg and I should feel better... except all hell broke loose and I went super manic without having the slightest idea what that is (was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder). Within a span of one month I went out for drinks with half the town, spent all the money I had and didn't have, drove everyone around me crazy, talked non stop, don't remember sleeping much, dismantled my entire apartment, didn't show up to work or uni, ran around my front yard in my knickers, no bra and did a whole bunch of other irrational stuff... didn't end well. But that's me... like I said, it turned out I have a biological predisposition to going batshit crazy

    In your case... I'd say the side effects are bad because you started on unusually high dose. So how about you go back to your doctor and ask for advice on what medication and what dose to start. Pulling random old tablets out of your drawer and full on dosing yourself isn't wise. I hope I understood your story right... sounds like you tried zoloft a couple of months ago, then took something else in the mean time which didn't work well for you, now you changed your mind and decided to try with zoloft again on your own.
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    #3
    Bluelighter Niggasbebuggin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nozphexezora View Post
    Hello,

    I'm currently on sertraline 100mg/day every morning as an anti-depressant, and I feel that I'm getting some serious side effects. See, 2 or so months ago I was put in a psych ward for 8 days, where I was prescribed sertraline. However, when I got out I also had withdrew from my opiate addiction, and for 4 weeks I was having muscle spasms, muscle tightness, jitters, tremors, and jaw jitters. I thought that this was some after-effect of the nerves or something. Anyway, I was also not getting any sleep, and my Doctor decided that it was best for me to take mirtazipine 30mg instead, to treat the depression and insomnia. When I was put on the new drug, however, I had a relapse and I have been using daily since.
    Now I decided as of today to go back to sertraline after mirtazapine's sedative effects synergised with the opiates, making me sleep 16 hours a day. However, now that I took 1 100mg pill today the jitters, shakes, tremors, muscle tensity and so forth have returned. Just this afternoon my jaw was uncontrollably shaking and it felt extremely stiff. I realise now that this must be some side effect, and I'm worried;

    Will this sertraline cause any long-term problems so long as I quit now? I'm worried for my health because these tremors are terrible, and they're almost entirely part of the reason why I went back to drugs, because I thought the post-withdrawals were causing it not the sertraline.

    Thankyou for reading and I would appreciate some answers/information,

    Nozphexezora.
    Firstly, I would not just go off and stop your SSRI right away as it's not really probable to do so, and will leave you with much more unwanted side effects in the long run. Talk to your doctor about the side effects that your medication is currently bothering you with and have them taper you off with smaller doses, because trust me SSRI withdrawals are not fun and some even believe that some of the effects from stopping your SSRI's abruptly can be long lasting, i.e., DR/DP, etc.

    Good luck with your recovery.
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    #4
    Bluelighter mareseatoats's Avatar
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    Capsule
    Quote Originally Posted by KitCat View Post
    I took zoloft many years ago and I remember I started on 25mg (half of 50mg tablet). First 2 days were okay, then for about a week I had these bizarre episodes of tense feeling around my torso like being tightly wrapped, having hot flushes & jaw tightness and being really nervous, impulsive and have urges to scream... was really unpleasant. Then I upped the dose (by 25mg each week) as per doctor's instructions and was getting crazier and crazier until I reached 100mg and complained to my psychiatrist that I feel really out of control, impulsive & confused. He suggested I increase the dose to 200mg and I should feel better... except all hell broke loose and I went super manic without having the slightest idea what that is (was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder). Within a span of one month I went out for drinks with half the town, spent all the money I had and didn't have, drove everyone around me crazy, talked non stop, don't remember sleeping much, dismantled my entire apartment, didn't show up to work or uni, ran around my front yard in my knickers, no bra and did a whole bunch of other irrational stuff... didn't end well. But that's me... like I said, it turned out I have a biological predisposition to going batshit crazy

    In your case... I'd say the side effects are bad because you started on unusually high dose. So how about you go back to your doctor and ask for advice on what medication and what dose to start. Pulling random old tablets out of your drawer and full on dosing yourself isn't wise. I hope I understood your story right... sounds like you tried zoloft a couple of months ago, then took something else in the mean time which didn't work well for you, now you changed your mind and decided to try with zoloft again on your own.
    Interesting KitCat--I started on 25-also felt very confused and jittery/urges to scream or throw/break something; doc thinks I should up dose to 50, problems continue for another couple of weeks. When you tell the Doctor that you don't understand nor like how Zoloft is making you feel, their first idea is that you need to take even more. When In reality, Zoloft does take awhile to get used to, and any dose we are started at, pretty much makes ya wanna run around a front yard with no bra on. It makes anxiety worse before it gets better.

    When I still complained I felt crazy on fifty, He told me to up it to 100. What? Ya right. Just kept taking 50 like I had been, and finally felt leveled out between 2-3 weeks.

    Zoloft; just another weird junk-drug.
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    #5
    Hi guys, thank you for the replies - they were all very helpful

    Quote Originally Posted by KitCat;11584074

    [B
    In your case... I'd say the side effects are bad because you started on unusually high dose. So how about you go back to your doctor and ask for advice on what medication and what dose to start.[/B] Pulling random old tablets out of your drawer and full on dosing yourself isn't wise. I hope I understood your story right... sounds like you tried zoloft a couple of months ago, then took something else in the mean time which didn't work well for you, now you changed your mind and decided to try with zoloft again on your own.
    No, I was prescribed 100mg sertraline when I was sent to a psych ward for trying to neck myself like a few months ago. I went through withdrawal in the ward for 8 days from poppy seed tea abuse, and was clean for 4 weeks while still taking the sertraline. I actually complained to my GP about the really bad tremors I was getting but he just thought I was trying to cheat him for valium (which I was given in the ward), and he prescribed me propranolol instead. After about 4 or 5 weeks I was getting sick of these tremors, thinking that they were some severe after effect from being on opiates for a year 1/2 or so, and I decided to take codeine. I had a relapse, and at the time of my relapse I complained to the doctor about sleeplessness - so he prescribed me 30mg mirtazipine. Unfortunately, with no sertraline, and opiates in my system, the mirtazipine knocked me out every day for 13-16 hours. It was ridiculous. The doctor didn't give a refill for the mirtazipine, and frankly, after seeing the letter he wrote to a psychiatrist claiming that I was abusing valium prescribed to me, I didn't feel like visiting him again. However, I did have the sertraline, and I thought with the seeds I was taking there would be no tremors. Boy was I wrong. After just one dose, I couldn't fall asleep and my arms and legs hurt like hell from muscle tension. I stopped taking out of shock. If it weren't for the sertraline I probably wouldn't have fucking relapsed.

    Anyway, it's all good now. As of yesterday I'm on a suboxone plan (currently 8mg a day), and I'm just not taking any anti-depressants until I see my psychiatrist again in a few weeks.

    EDIT: I just wanted to add that I wasn't on the sertraline for long, and I was on the mirtazipine for even less of a time than the former. I didn't feel any withdrawal effects at all, although I felt a crash in emotions as soon as I was switched to mirtazipine.

    After reading some of the common ssri withdrawal symptoms, I noticed that after taking mirtazipine for a few days I was getting electric pulses every minute or so. It didn't really bother me, as it went away after a few days, but it wasn't until now that I thought that was a withdrawal symptom. Odd. I didn't think these SSRIs were so dangerous; why was I precribed the crap without any information of what it was beforehand? The doctor in the ward just said I was going to be put on 100mg sertraline, and the GP never even mentioned side effects.
    Last edited by Nozphexezora; 28-05-2013 at 03:17.
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    #6
    Bluelighter
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    Hi Noz

    I also take 100mg sertraline, but I find it very useful. Well, at least it's useful in that it provides a safety net which keeps from starting off on one of my downward spirals. I am interested in mirtazapine also. I'm not a doctor. I just read up a lot (medical journals, and confer with friends in the medical field.

    <that was my standard disclaimer before I say this...>

    I was under the impression that mirtazapine could be (and is in the USA) taken concurrently with sertraline, as they do not operate in the same way and do not clash with each other. I've been considering asking my doctor if I could try mirtazapine while keeping my sertraline, because I actually like it (the sertraline).

    Again, I'm not a doctor, but from what I've read and heard second hand, mirtazapine frequently causes RLS and involuntary limb movements especially in the early stages. So that, combined with going on and off sertraline rapidly, AND still dealing with the post acute re-adjustment of being on a broad-spectrum opiate (PST) for a length of time.... well, they all add up to tremors and general physical oddities.

    Your system is having to adjust and readjust so quickly from all this stuff that it's no wonder you're having some of these symptoms. It's a real shame that the doctor wouldn't give you a one-off script for diazepam because it would have made things a little more comfortable and given you some proper time to see if either of the anti-depressants were going to help in the long term. ADs are, in my experience, most unomfortable in the first two to four weeks, and then the good effects start to show up while the annoying side effects tone down or just go away.

    Anyway, hope the suboxone works out for you. Sounds like a good choice for the moment; deals with the ongoing opiate WDs, has in itself an anti-depressant action, and is hopefully making you just feel all-round a bit more comfortable.

    Good luck adn take care
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    #7
    Zoloft made me manic, episodes actually that lasted for the few days I went on it and its pretty common to do so and it isn't bipolar, some peopel react to it that way whether initially or long lasting I guess is downt o the individual. It also gave me wierd GI feelings. It's a pretty stimulating SSRI
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    #8
    I was on sertraline for about a year, I was started on with 100 mg per night. I didn't really notice much, the effects on me were basically long term, by that i mean I could see the change in myself after about 6 months. I've successfully gotten free of it, I stepped my dosage down to about 50 mg, then 25 mg, then lesser until one day I was brave enough to get rid of it completely, I've never seen back!
    The side effects are pretty bad, The jolts that go down the spine when you stop the medication abruptly is something that would scare the neurons in my brain. I'm not sure how it helped me, as I recall me having really bad experiences with it and alcohol, a tremendous decline in taste, increase in appetite (probably due to no taste?), anger - which would build up until it burst out on someone someday and that was not me, it basically just stored up all the emotions, and these would erupt with no warning.

    I hope the medication helps you with your troubles, just be safe!
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    #9
    Bluelighter Venrak's Avatar
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    When I first started sertraline at 100, and when I moved to 150, then 200mg I was experiencing virtigo as an acute effect of taking the drug. It was obviously sertonergic in action, and was generally unpleasant, but that went away with subsequent dosing and sometimes minor reduction and then titration of dose.
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    #10
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    Everything you've mentioned are very common symptoms of using SSRI drugs. I've also copied my post from another thread highlighting some of the long-term adverse effects of SSRI drugs.

    •Why do I dream so intensely/vividly and remember each one every single morning as if I live two separate realities?
    Dream recall is very weak during REM sleep. SSRI drugs suppress REM sleep to good proportions, so one could infer that it's not your dreams that are overly intense, it's your recollection of them that is.

    •Why does Paxil cause such horrible withdrawals and why after quitting has my anxiety intensified tenfold for months until I am back to the drug? What exactly happens to my serotonin receptors(?) and why does it take so long to heal?
    The genesis of SSRI withdrawal is unknown. It's hypothesized that it's due to serotonergic dysregulation. The severity of SSRI withdrawal is in correlation with different SSRI pharmacokinetics, specifically the different half-lives. This is a strong indicator of a causal relationship.


    •Why has this drug done such wonders for me in the beginning of usage and made me the happiest most outgoing person, yet now, even if dosages are increased I remain depressed and unmotivated. It seems no amount of dosage increase could break the tolerance. Why this tolerance? --->
    Tolerance, receptor desensitization, and a cap after reaching a certain plateau are all hypothesized to play a part in the rapid decline of a clinical benefit in SSRI drugs.

    •Are there any known permanent effects on brain chemistry from long term SSRI usage? What about physical health(; may I die when I'm 40)?
    The brain damage issue is a myth, the heart issue of delayed QT intervals or arrhythmias only occurs in high dosages and in select case reports. The most predominant symptom of long term use is sexual dysfunction. SSRI drugs have displayed that they are possibly teratogenic substances. For the majority of people though, they tend to be relatively safe drugs.

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