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Switch To Zoloft - Withdrawal Symptoms


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#1 pobes15

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 01:27 PM

Hey All,

 

New here and very thankful to come across this community.

 

I was put on Cymbalta a year ago first at 60mg and then bumped up to 90mg for anxiety that I was having starting a new job. I was on Cymbalta for about a year.

 

It did the trick and made me feel better - but I just never felt 100% right on the drug. Almost like I was just masking my anxiety with this drug. I had been on Celexa before and it worked very well for about 4-5 years, and only switched due to the uptick in anxiety I had with the new job.

 

Feeling good on Cymbalta but wanting to come off, I talked to my doctor and she put me on a plan to ween off over several months. I went down from 90mg to 70mg, to 60mg, to 40mg, to 30mg, to 20mg - no issues. When I tried to stop after 20mg, I got brain zaps, dizziness, etc. I started breaking the capsules open and lowering the number of beads I took per day for a few weeks. This worked great and I eventually stopped taking any Cymbalta for about a week. Then, I got hit with severe depression to the point that any little thing would make me want to break down. Once I felt this, I called my doctor for a follow-up and went back on the 20mg for a week just hoping to combat the feelings I was having.

 

Went and saw a different doctor and she recommended that I switch to Zoloft as she felt it would better treat my anxiety and be a better fit for me. I felt really good talking with this doctor and felt really comfortable with her plan. Started taking 12.5mg 4 days ago and stopped Cymbalta completely at her recommendation.

 

Felt a little better each day and had a good Monday at work. Tuesday, today, started off well as I woke up with less anxiety than I have in a week. About 2-2.5 hours into work today, I started to feel very dizzy. Almost like I was going to fall when walking a few blocks. I ended up vomiting a small amount in the bathroom when I got back to work, and felt a little bit better after eating. Not sure if this was me psyching myself out in my head or dizziness from Cymbalta withdrawal - it was right after I drank a cup of coffee.

 

I assume it's probably a bit of each, and I took some CBD oil to help with the anxiety I was feeling. Really now I just feel some dizziness and more of an out-of-it feeling that is making it hard to concentrate on anything.

 

Any recommendations to deal with this or how long I can expect to deal with these withdrawal symptoms? I feel like since I had moderate success weening off Cymbalta with little dizziness 2 weeks ago that going back on it for 5-6 days should help limit the length of my withdrawal symptoms? Maybe I should bump up my Zoloft to 25mg, or should I give 12.5mg more time to work?

 

Thank you for any help or advice you can give. Just trying to push through every day at work and get home and rest at night currently.

 

- Pat


#2 TryinginFL

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 02:46 PM

Welcome Pat!

 

You have come to the right place...unfortunately, I never took Zoloft but I will admit to going cold turkey in Jan of 2014.  You sound as if you have a Dr. who at least knows something about these withdrawals.

 

Finding this forum was the best medicine but I continued a hellish year in withdrawal.

 

We have a very knowledgeable and wonderful member - fishing hat - who I'm sure will be along soon and can give you advice regarding your meds.  I wish you the best and please keep up updated!

 

Liz


#3 pobes15

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 03:07 PM

Thanks, Liz! Sorry to hear about that year but sounds like you are doing better now. I'm hoping to feel that way soon too! Thanks for your positivity!


#4 invalidusername

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 03:58 PM

Hi Pobes and welcome...
 
My goodness, you seem to have stumbled into my territory with first switching from Celexa, onto Cymbalta (UK equivalents at least) and coming off the Cymbalta. As Tryingin has said, I am so glad that you have a doctor that knows the drug in telling you to come off slowly, and well done for getting as far as you have.
 
However, I don't like it when health care providers say "this would be good for you" when it is related to anti-depressants. We don't even know how they work for goodness sake! The doctor may well be right, but do not be afraid of throwing your own hat into the ring. Which pills to take can very much be a lottery. Sure, there are those to definately be avoided (guess anyone... lol), but it is very much unknown. Unlike your arm or leg, your brain is completely unique and will not react anything like the next persons.
 
Feeling that your anxiety is being masked is often a reaction. Remember that anti-depressants were only bought to the market originally for a maximum of 6-9 months to give people a breather and to cope while whatever circumstances took their toll. They have got a bit out of hand since and unfortunately, people end up taking them for the rest of their lives. I'm not saying there is anything wrong here, life today has got a lot tougher, but to mask was always their initial purpose.
 
Anyway, I would put good money on you having some lingering Cymbalta withdrawal by what you have said. When I stopped Celexa, it was a few weeks before symptoms really hit back, and from what you will read on the forum, Cymbalta is no exception. But watch your coffee intake!! This won't help!!
 
CBD oil will space you out for sure, just make sure you don't have to do anything or drive anywhere for a good 5 hours. Have you had much experience of it?
 
The bottom line to your issue would be resolved by going back onto 20mg while on the Zoloft (don't increase this yet) and give yourself plenty of time to come off. The last of the Cymbalta will be the worst. Don't think "its just another 10mg, like I did 80 to 70..." it is not! Think in percentages. Sure 20 to 10 is just "another" 10mg but it is a whopping 50% drop compared to 12.5% when dropping 80 to 70. Hope that makes sense :)
 
I'm sure our site "celeb", as Tryingin has mentioned, will be along soon with more support, but for now, good to see you here seeking the right advice.

#5 fishinghat

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 05:59 PM

Hi Pat

 

Well the vomiting and any stomach issues are to be expected with starting Zoloft. They usually last 3 to 5 days before subsiding. Of course Cymbalta withdrawal can make it worse. When the Zoloft stomach issues hit there is usually a little dizziness.

 

If I read this right you are completely off the Cymbalta right now and taking 12.5 mg Zoloft. Is that right?

 

25 mg of Zoloft is considered the minimum therapeutic dose but some don't need that much to feel better. It does take 4 weeks for Zoloft to fully kick in and if I read your post right you haven't been on it that long.

 

Over all I would say you are doing well.


#6 juli

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 06:01 PM

Hi there!

Since you have only been on Zoloft for 4 days I would give it some more time for it to kick in.  It's usually around 2 weeks.  In an ideal world you would have gone up on the Zoloft while going down on the rest of your Cymbalta.  I am sure that you will be feeling better soon.   What dose does your doctor plan to get you to?

Juli


#7 pobes15

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 06:33 PM

Thanks for your help everyone.

 

Fishinghat - that is comforting to hear about the Zoloft. You read that correctly - sorry, I know my whole situation was a little drawn out but want to give all the facts. So yes, currently off Cymbalta and only on 12.5mg of Zoloft. Below is a quick timeline of my Cymbalta intake up until now:

 

  1. Put on Cymbalta a year ago. First 60mg, then bumped to 90mg
  2. Weened off of Cymbalta over several months, mostly successfully. Broke pills apart and removed a few more beads each day until I wasn't taking any. Felt OK for about a week (no brain zaps, dizziness, nausea), and then felt severe depression and anxiety.
  3. Went back on 20mg of Cymbalta for 6 days due to symptoms and booked a Doctor's Appointment.
  4. Doctor switched me from Cymbalta to 12.5mg of Zoloft.

My doctor instructed me to take the 12.5mg of Zoloft for a week or two, and if I didn't much of a change, take the full 25mg. If I still didn't feel anything after that, then to come back and see her.

 

Would you recommend I just stay off the Cymbalta and stick with the Zoloft for now and give it a week or two before re-evaluating?

 

Juli - Thanks for the tips on Zoloft! She said to try out 12.5mg, and if I didn't feel an effect after 1-2 weeks, bump up to 25mg. Then if I needed more to go back and see her.

 

Invalidusername - Glad to know someone else is/has been in the same boat. My doctor was actually super helpful and understood what I was going through, I guess I should specify she was more optimistic that Zoloft would help me, but did state what you said about how everyone reacts to every drug differently. 

 

I have little experience on CBD. I have read up on it lately and put in some research to see what could help with my anxiety, especially while switching prescription drugs. I currently take what people suggest is a smaller dosage of 20-25mg. It is a psychoactive oil meant to be taken in the day and doesn't make me drowsy at all. I took it twice today - once in the morning and once when feeling nauseous. It has seemed to help so far, but wears off rather quickly.

 

Thanks again to everyone! You guys are awesome. Today was a really hard day, but I'm just trying to get through work each day so I can relax at home, and hearing what you guys have to say is easing my anxiety and really helping  :)


#8 fishinghat

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 08:16 AM

You have only been on the Zoloft 12.5 mg for a day or two so I would wait a little longer. The deciding factor is really how bad you feel and how desperate you are to feel better. If you can hold on fine but if things are too bad just go on up to 25 mg. Once you stabilize on the Zoloft for a couple months then you can always slowly cut back on the dosage you find out how much you can get by with b ut that is down the road.


#9 pobes15

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 09:07 AM

Got it. Feeling not so bad this morning after taking some CBD oil. Hoping this keeps up!


#10 pobes15

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 02:44 PM

Does anyone have any recommendations for how to deal with the dizziness/out-of-it feeling? Anxiety and any depression stemming from that has been under control the last 2 days. Nausea has been stable too.

 

Not sure if the dizziness is something that will fade with time and I should just stick it out, or if there's anything I can do to help it.


#11 invalidusername

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 03:23 PM

Dizzyness is something that is most prevalent at the moment for me. Most common complaint from AD withdrawl according to recent study in the UK - 72% reported it coming off.

 

Regards aiding it, many suggest Omega 3 fishy oil. I cannot comment as I am a vegetarian, but others have seen some good success from a daily dose. 


#12 juli

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 03:31 PM

Time and patience my friend.  It will get better.  I felt much better when my anxiety could handle a cup of black tea in the morning.


#13 pobes15

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 05:45 PM

Ended up picking up some Fish Oil on the way home from work today. 300mg soft gel capsules. Any recommendations on how much to take? I looked around a bit but seems like everyone takes a different amount (and way more than 300mg daily). I took one capsule right away and felt a pretty quick help with a headache/dizziness - might be placebo but I'll take it!

 

Yes Juli - patience is key! I've definitely done better with patience over the last couple of days. Certainly helps looking at everything with a calmer, wider perception and knowing that things will get better.


#14 invalidusername

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 06:02 PM

"I looked around a bit but seems like everyone takes a different amount"

 

I think you have answered your own question there. Much like any other dietary supplement, it get proportioned according to a number of other factors - age, weight, metabolism, diet.. yada yada.

 

Much like my CBD oil. The wife needs 8 drops (@15%), but I only need 4 drops, and I am 6'4" and weight far more! 


#15 fishinghat

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 06:18 PM

Pobes

 

Most take 2000 to 3000 mf of a high epa and dha omega 3. That is the most efficient for anxiety, etc.

 

Also many have success with meclizine for the dizziness.


#16 pobes15

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 06:28 PM

IUN - Yeah that makes sense. The girl I talked to when I bought CBD said she only needs 3-4 drops, but I've learned that I need 10+ of the oil that I got to feel an effect.

 

fishinghat - Thanks for your input. Currently have the 300mg fish oils for omega 3 but may play around with it and up my dosage based on how I feel. I'll look into the meclizine!


#17 invalidusername

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 07:03 PM

Why can't fish be vegetables.... :(


#18 fishinghat

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 08:19 AM

You are right IUN. Vegan omega 3 supplements suck. I could only find one brand that contains significant amounts of epa and dha. It does say it is from marine algae but refuses to release the full list of ingredients. That make me suspicious.


#19 gail

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 08:33 AM

"I looked around a bit but seems like everyone takes a different amount"
 
I think you have answered your own question there. Much like any other dietary supplement, it get proportioned according to a number of other factors - age, weight, metabolism, diet.. yada yada.
 
Much like my CBD oil. The wife needs 8 drops (@15%), but I only need 4 drops, and I am 6'4" and weight far more! 


Can you tell me what CBD does for you? And your wife? In what area does it help? My daughter has been nagging me about this for months. Thank you so much!

#20 invalidusername

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 02:26 PM

Fishinghat - yes, I wouldn't trust something that isn't entirely open about it full list of ingredients either... Shame as I could really have done with something today. I will update my thread in a moment.

 

Gail/Sid - I am using some 15% CBD pure (mixed with olive oil). I shopped very carefully on eBay to find some that was made by a couple down West Country somewhere. They had good reviews before eBay put a stop to the sales of CBD (or trying to Police it). I find it to be a very efficient relaxant - very similar to the effects of Valium. It totally relaxes my muscles to begin with after about 30 minutes, and then after about an hour, there are some mild effects of decreasing anxiety. The wife says it helps well with her anxiety, but she doesn't feel so floppy and she can carry on as normal, whereas I am flat out on the bed! I take it sublingually, but the wife drinks it as she can't stand the taste - but you can get flavored oil if that is a problem.

 

There is some speculation about its effects for depression. Going by what is said, one needs to take CBD once or twice a day for a minimum of 7-10 days before anything depression-wise is noticeable. Others have said they can feel it right away, but I would put this down to placebo. I might be wrong.

 

If you wanted to try it, I would do your homework to find some good stuff over the pond there, but whether you go 2.5%, 5%, 10% or 15% is up to you. You can even get 25%+ but it is expensive. But it all equates so two drops of 5% would be one drop of 10%, but I went with minimum 15% as it tends to be a lot purer. I started with 2 drops, and worked my way up to 4 which seems to work with me. And I much prefer it to anything that comes in a blister pack with my name slapped all over it. I have got a real aversion to pills now... funny that... :)


#21 pobes15

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 11:06 AM

Having a bit rougher of a day today. Rough night's sleep, feel very out of it. I'm not sure if this is dizziness or from anxiety, but it almost feels like I'm in a dream state and I could pass out (even though I'm not going to). Does anybody else experience this feeling?

 

Only on day 9 of switching to Zoloft.


#22 invalidusername

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 11:40 AM

Feeling EXACTLY the same today. Although I am quite sure it is the withdrawal and recent drop catching up, stuff just doesn't seem like it is there. Little head fog, but yes, dizzy. Comes and goes.

 

Very difficult to tell just how much the withdrawal is affecting you, and I go on how intrusive my thoughts are. For example, for the last two hours of work, I have been fine in my head, but the anxiety is there - I know it is. Like an annoying fly buzzing around reminding me. This is for sure the withdrawal having a go.

 

Hang in there and keep in touch.


#23 fishinghat

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 11:54 AM

Oh yea, I remember that stage. It was mostly in the early part of the withdrawal.

#24 pobes15

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 12:44 PM

IUN - Yup, kind of the same of me. I actually feel calm overall, but I am aware that the anxiety is there. Definitely the fog type feeling.

 

Fishinghat - How long did your withdrawal last if I may ask? And any tips on how to deal with this sensation?

 

When I feel like this, that is mostly when I feel depression setting in. Like how am I going to get through all of this, let alone get through the work day.


#25 juli

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 01:06 PM

Hang in there it will get better.  I know it doesn't seem that way now but it will.  Getting out for a walk always helped me.


#26 fishinghat

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 01:29 PM

I would say the brain fog and dizziness lasted me less than a month. I started taking omega 3 and it helped as well. Others have good luck with meclizine for the dizziness too.

#27 pobes15

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 02:36 PM

I'll look into the meclizine. Currently taking 600mg of fish oil per day to help with omega 3


#28 fishinghat

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 02:58 PM

Medical research shows 2000 to 3000 mg per day and be absolutely sure it is high in epa and dha as the ala form has no effect on the dizziness, brain fog or anxiety.

#29 pobes15

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 03:05 PM

For Fish Oil I assume?


#30 invalidusername

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Posted 15 October 2018 - 03:52 PM

Well done for getting thru your day Pobes. I find that anxiety feeds depression when it hits a threshold. It of course makes you annoyed, irritable, frustrated - so why wouldn't that, in turn, get us down. It sucks.

 

Shortly after I wrote to you, I was driving to my next client and a wave of depression just hit me in the stomach. I was looking at a beautiful sunset and thinking to myself "God is such a good artist" and WHAM! Where the **** did that come from? That is the withdrawal. Your brain re-routing, re-calibrating and going through the motions of being starved of what it has been used to.





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