Social Anxiety Support Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I've been on 100mg of Zoloft daily one month tomorrow. I thought I'd start feeling nasty effects right away but honestly I have to say the start of treatment went relatively smoothly (leaving aside the sexual side effects and wierd dreams/night sweats and some other minor complaints).

It's really only in the last two weeks that I've been experiencing significantly uncomfortable symptoms:

A tremor - not every day but it's so noticeable that people have been asking me about it, some days have been terrible, others less so.

Terrible stomach cramps - last week I spent two days in bed bent double from painful cramps. Even buscopan had minimal effect. Took almost a week for them to disappear completely. They felt like they were muscular and my abdomen was pretty hard to the touch for a a while, almost like I was squeezing the muscles.

Increased need to urinate - it feels like something is pushing on my bladder and sometimes I have to go to the bathroom every five minutes. Often, I have difficulty expelling the urine even though the urge to urinate is so strong.

Sudden changes in mood - most days I'm feeling relatively ok. Not happy or good but just level. I could even describe it as numbness. Some days, however, like yesterday, I wake up in hell and am so depressed I have difficulty even eating. I spent all day in bed yesterday with the blinds drawn because I had lost the will to be upright :-/

Agitation - Even though I insist with my therapist that it is very very different from my anxiety, she tries to deny it exists and blames it on my situation. There are days when I feel so agitated that I can't stop moving around the house and I feel like climbing the walls and my head feels like it is going to burst because I'm so agitated. Usually, the tremor accompanies these episodes.

Extreme forgetfulness - I'm already a pretty forgetful person, but it's borderline ridiculous at this stage. An example is when I was making lunch the other day, I put some garlic in a pan with oil and went to do something in another room while it heated up, and only realised it was there when the garlic had become charcoal and the oil was splattered all over the kitchen. Going into rooms to do something and really not being able to remember why. Putting salt in my coffee instead of sugar. I could go on...

Is it normal for these symptoms to surface at this stage of treatment?

Do they disappear or improve?

Starting to doubt the efficacy of these pills right now!!

(I started treatment with 25mg on 18th march, up to 50mg on the 21st, started 100mg on the 28th.)

Davey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The symptoms often disappear--they did for me anyway.
I really hope so. The negatives are starting to overtake the positives. At the beginning I was feeling more confident and able to cope but it's been a bit of a downward spiral for the last few weeks and I feel like I'm back at the starting line all over again, just with crappy symptoms in tow :-/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,943 Posts
For me, it's usually the first few days that I experience some of those side effects including heavy sweating just doing light activities. They disappear after a few days, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
For me, it's usually the first few days that I experience some of those side effects including heavy sweating just doing light activities. They disappear after a few days, though.
So do you think it's normal that these symptoms are lasting so long and have appeared so far into treatment?
 

·
Ravishingly Low
Joined
·
68 Posts
I gave up on Zoloft after about 2 months. The side effects were HORRENDOUS. Tremors and night terrors / panic attacks were the most prevalent.

Maybe give your doc a ring about what you are feeling. Hang in there.
 

·
You can do this!
Joined
·
4,464 Posts
Some of those symptoms could have other causes. It's worth taking a look at other causes. One stands out:

Agitation - Even though I insist with my therapist that it is very very different from my anxiety, she tries to deny it exists and blames it on my situation. There are days when I feel so agitated that I can't stop moving around the house and I feel like climbing the walls and my head feels like it is going to burst because I'm so agitated. Usually, the tremor accompanies these episodes.
Have you felt this way before taking Zoloft or is it a new sensation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some of those symptoms could have other causes. It's worth taking a look at other causes. One stands out:

Have you felt this way before taking Zoloft or is it a new sensation?
Luckily, panic attacks have not surfaced. I told my doctor about the agitation and she just outright denied that the agitation could be caused by the sertraline, even if it is listed as an uncommon side effect on a site I found on the internet.
But then, this is also the doctor that didn't want me to take the generic form of sertraline (which costs 8 euro less here in sicily, as opposed to 18 euro for zoloft) because, and I quote: "I'd rather not because the quality of the ingredients is not as good as zoloft" - which my pharmacis partner told me is ridiculous since all drugs must pass exacting qualitt controls in the EU and i doubt my partner would let me take it if he thought it were true.

My situation is pretty bad at the moment, but before starting zoloft treatment, I have never experienced this kind of agitation before, with one exception: I could liken it to a light but bad ecstasy trip, from what I remember from my party animal days. It's so hard to put in words but it is like an uncomfortable, stressful restlessness, both physical and mental. It's distressing and can last quite a while. The tremor usually accompanies it but not always.

Thank you for all your replies,
Davey
 

·
You can do this!
Joined
·
4,464 Posts
It miiiiight be ssri-induced akathisia. You could try benadryl to see if it helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It miiiiight be ssri-induced akathisia. You could try benadryl to see if it helps.
Thank you for your suggestion. I am going to give it enough time to really see whether it's worth it or not.

Honestly, the idea of taking a pill to help with effects of another pill makes me uneasy. It could easily become one for the tremor, something else for the stomach cramps, another for the sexual dysfunction etc.... It took me a long time just to agree to take the ssri and xanax. Adding more could be costly and i don't know if i'd feel okay with it.

So the agitation is NOT a comme problem? Should I be worried? It isn't constant and comes in episodes.

Thank you all,
Davey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
I've been on Zoloft a couple of times and have had none of these symptoms.

These actually seem like symptoms of alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal. Do you drink at all?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've been on Zoloft a couple of times and have had none of these symptoms.

These actually seem like symptoms of alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal. Do you drink at all?
No, I drink in moderation, and here in Sicily even more so, a beer now and again, before treatment a small glass of home brew wine with dinner but not even every day. and since beginning treatment I have been careful to reduce my consumption to a small glass of beer or wine once or twice during the week (for example at dinner with friends or for a special occassion)

Plus, with my state of mind at the moment, drinking to excess has a pretty negative effect on me.

So, no one has ever experienced this type of agitation? The doc said the tremor is common enough but when i told her about the agitation (and i was having an episode when i had my last session) she just fobbed it off on the stress of my situation and told me I could just take 2 xanax and wait for it to pass...

Taking more pills just doesn't seem like the answer to me
 

·
You can do this!
Joined
·
4,464 Posts
So the agitation is NOT a comme problem?
Startup agitation is very common with Zoloft (usually lasting a week or two). Agitation emerging later in treatment, would be less common, as far as I know. (I could be wrong.)

I agree with you, no reason to take a medication to deal with another medication, unless you really had to. It is possible that you might need to go back down to 50 mg.

The benadryl (diphenhydramine) idea is just a temporary possibility in case it gets very bad and you need relief before coming up with a long term plan. (Benzos could help too)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Startup agitation is very common with Zoloft (usually lasting a week or two). Agitation emerging later in treatment, would be less common, as far as I know. (I could be wrong.)

I agree with you, no reason to take a medication to deal with another medication, unless you really had to. It is possible that you might need to go back down to 50 mg.

The benadryl (diphenhydramine) idea is just a temporary possibility in case it gets very bad and you need relief before coming up with a long term plan. (Benzos could help too)
I take xanax alongside the sertraline to help me sleep, and as necessary for moments when I need an extra bit of help... but I try to limit my consumption of the benzo, only taking it during the day if I have an anxiety-causing situation coming up...

I'm willing to hang in there for another while to give it time to stabilise. It's been a month at 100mg, I read somewhere that it could take up to 12 weeks for it to stabilise properly so I'm going to flag the date on the calendar and if the negatives don't improve and the positive effects aren't constant and worth it then I will have to start thinking of an alternative...

I've been using the xanax for the episodes of agitation and honestly I'm glad I have it for now because it does take the edge off. It's just that the idea of using pills in general makes me uneasy. But if they work, then I'm at the stage where I'm willing to try ssri's.

Hopefully things will start to even out. Has anyone reading this had success with zoloft? Did your symptoms start to ease after a while? Is it even worth it?

Thank you all,
Davey
 

·
Going to war
Joined
·
3,928 Posts
How do you know it not the rebound from the Xanax?

The SSRI in contribution to any kind of rebound from any depressant medication would produce unpleasant side effects after all you are selectively blocking the reuptake of one neurotransmitter the rebound would cause an increase in the net.

You could try something longer acting like Ativan preferably or Valium would be the smoothest.

The best bet would be to eliminate all depressants and stimulants for now until you can figure out what is causing this.

From my experience SSRI are real finicky medication that interact with everything even a cheese burger would cause an interaction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How do you know it not the rebound from the Xanax?

The SSRI in contribution to any kind of rebound from any depressant medication would produce unpleasant side effects after all you are selectively blocking the reuptake of one neurotransmitter the rebound would cause an increase in the net.
I'm afraid I didn't understand what you mean here... Could you explain it again?

So you think it could be withdrawals from lack of xanax? I had thought of that, but then I have days where I'm at home, and don't take xanax, and don't experience the agitation. If it were a symptom provoked by withdrawals, wouldn't I experience them every day?

Some days I take up to 3, but it's once or twice a week. Can xanax dependence occur so quickly and with such a variable daily dosage?

I would love to be able to just give them both up and go without, but with my situation so bad, pretty much no support network and therapy that only started a month ago with a therapist who seems to be just chatting instead of doing the CBT I'm forking out 70 euro a pop for, I'm pretty much at exhaustion point. At least the zoloft may stabilise and bring me some needed relief.

Besides the negatives I've been talking about, improvements are happening too, not constantly, but I've had moments of 'hey, I don't feel so bad'. That's good, right?
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top