I Thought This Stuff Was Supposed To Help!? (Possibly TMI)

This week, I finally bit the bullet and started taking an anti-depressant, Zoloft, to be precise. So, what’s the problem? I started taking it on Wednesday, and ever since then I’ve nauseous as hell. I called the doctor this morning and I’m down to a half dose, which means I did not throw up today. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m up for another exciting dinner of pop and toast.

This isn’t in the Pit because I don’t have the energy to rant properly, but I had to grumble a bit. Besides, there are a bunch of threads over in GD and other places I’d like to reply to, but right now too much of my brain is focussed on my stomach for me to do a decent job of replying. Besides, I’d planned on visiting an old friend in West Virginia this weekend.

I know, I know. The stuff will do me good in the long run, but the short run leaves a bit to be desired.

Thanks for listening (reading?),

cjhoworth, I had that problem the entire time I was on Zoloft (about 9 weeks). I couldn’t take it anymore; turns out it just wasn’t working for me, physically or emotionally. I switched to Paxil, which I took for a year with no problem.

Talk to your doctor if it doesn’t get better.

Ick. Well, I suppose new medicines do that to you. Either you’ll get used to it, you’re having a bad reaction, or the stuff just plain sucks. But I’m glad you’re on medication. From what I’ve seen, medication is the only thing keeping some of my friends stable.

Guess Zoloft isn’t what the commercials make it seem like. But then again, you’re not an oval drawing of a face who likes to hop over ladybugs either.

Hey, speak for yourself, buddy.

I get that with an MDMA and Ketamine cocktail a lot.

cj, maybe you’re super-sensitive to SSRIs in general, but I don’t think your reaction to Zoloft is a normal, to-be-expected side effect. I’ve known quite a few people go on SSRIs over the years, including myself, and I’ve never heard of such severe nausea as a reaction to starting the medication. Just drawing on personal experience, mind.

I’d suggest getting right off of it, and switching to another in the same class of medications (if you can’t handle any SSRIs, there are other classes as well of course). Often patients switch around until they find the right medication for them.

Also, since you are in the process of possibly finding an SSRI, duty requires me to put in my (personal-opinion) public safety message about Paxil in particular: it’s addictive as hell. It’s an absolute bitch getting off; I’m afraid to try because of the reactions I’ve had when stopping for one day. I’ve heard horror stories.

All IMHO, IANAD, IANAL, etc. Your rights may vary from state to state.

p.s. Hey - I hope you feel better soon. Don’t ever let anybody give you shit about going on antidepressants. They really do help.

Anybody ever find themselves unable to get to sleep at night after starting on Zoloft?

That would be me, White Lightning. I was on Zoloft for about 6 weeks, and I got cold chills, I was really jittery, unable to concentrate, and severely paranoid. Never really got over it, so I quit. My shrink’s next suggestion was a drug that had priapism as a side effect. Priapism being a painful, sustained erection.

I haven’t taken any anti-depressants since.

Thanks, folks. I had good results with Paxil about 9 years ago, and was spared withdrawal symptoms when I went off it. I’m also feeling well enough this morning to consider tea and toast. [sarcasm]Whoo-hoo![/sarcasm] If I’m not back to what passes for normal for me by Monday, I’m going to be having a longer talk with that doctor, though.


Sorry cjhoworth, I meant to wish you the best in my last post, but I forgot. I hope it all works out for you. Good luck this weekend.

Thanks irkenDoom. So, besides the ‘minor’ side effects you describe, did the Zoloft help with whatever condition it was originally prescribed for? Did your doctor recommend a different SSRI (eg. Prozac, Paxil etc.) or try a different approach entirely (priapism… yikes!)?

I’ve had a few days of side-effects when starting SSRIs in the past. Last time, to be honest, nausea and tiredness made a welcome and refreshing change from suicidal self-loathing - so I didn’t actually mind that much. I was expecting a few days of side effects, they went away when expected, so that was OK for me.

Hope your side-effects go away over the weekend, cjhoworth or otherwise you maybe give Paxil another go, since it worked for you before. (I’ve taken Paxil twice myself - once with slight problems coming off (mainly because I didn’t taper down properly), second time no probs at all.)

I don’t think I really noticed if Zoloft helped. I was too bugged out by the side effects. The doctor hadn’t recommended anything else, mostly because I didn’t want to bother with surprise side effects anymore. So I’ll put in a “no” as my official answer.

I was only told I’d suffer from diarrhea and maybe nausea, not chills, anxiety, paranoia, and especially the priapism.

[sideshow bob]::shudder::[/sideshow bob]

I’m not seeing a psychiatrist anymore, due to lack of coverage, and that it never really helped in the first place. And I’m not as miserable as I used to be (no suicidal thoughts or anything). But sometimes I think I may benefit from Paxil or something, especially in the fall/winter months.

So, White Lightning, I’m curious. How did Zoloft treat you (hope I’m not being too presumptuous)?

And cj, here’s hoping you don’t go through the same junk I did. That reeeally sucked.

I didn’t mean to be disingenuous, irkenDoom, so I’m sorry if I misled you, but I’m not the one taking Zoloft. A very close friend of mine started it last week to help her deal with an anxiety disorder and panic attacks, but she found that it was keeping her up at night, which was a none-too-welcome side effect when combined with her anxiety keeping her from sleeping and the resultant anxiety about sleeping (which keeps her from sleeping, etc.).

She started taking it early in the day instead of in the evenings, and that seemed to help a bit, but she still can’t sleep. She says that even when she feels calm (ie. not panicky), she just can’t sleep no matter how tired or sleepy she feels. She’s also been much more jittery than before starting the medication, and has had difficulty spending time alone. I just don’t know what to think – her GP (the one who prescribed it, along with Xanax for emergencies) insists that there should be no side effects and that the problems should clear up right away. The difference between that prognosis and her description of her experience is so vast that I’m not sure what to think.

My best friend tried Zoloft a few years ago with many of the complications several others mentioned above. She switched to Paxil after a week and it did her a world of good, and with no complications.

Have another word with your GP if you’re still feeling puny on Monday.

Wishing you better soon and take care of yourself. Hope you graduate past toast this weekend :slight_smile:

Feel free to email me if you need to rant or chat. I know you’ve been through a lot lately, and it may help to get it off your chest.

Peace to you cj.


Warning: regarding Paxil

I have known several people (myself included) who have heard voices while taking Paxil. Bad voices that say to do bad things. Be forewarned, and be careful.

As for Zoloft, it kept me awake to the point that I had to take sleeping pills. That’s right, give the depressed girl sleeping pills with refills. Zoloft is also what Phil Hartman’s wife was taking when she killed them both. And cocaine.

Just be on the lookout for strange feelings when you change medications.

Good luck with the side effects. Hope they go away soon.

–B. Pants
guinea pig

Paxil made me very nauseated and dizzy the first couple of weeks I took it. Afterward, it sort of leveled out, but Paxil only suppressed the anxiety/suicidal urges, and did nothing for the actual depression. I had no energy and stayed in bed all day.

I started Celexa this summer and it works so much better.

My mom is on Zoloft; however she gets on and off it erratically, making her that much harder to deal with, so I don’t know if she’s an accurate representation of those who take that SSRI.

I was on Paxil for about 2 1/2 months, but went off because of the sweating. It’s not a lot of fun sweating 24/7, especially when it’s 42 degrees.

I had no withdrawl problems/symptoms, and I didn’t taper off, just topped cold.

I’ve used Prozac for about a year back in 1995. Felt the affects of the medication within twelve hours. Astounding depression “blocker” (although it did have a rather obvious affect on the libido). After a year, I quit with no withdrawl problems.

Three years ago, started taking Wellbutrin [sic], about 30-40 minutes after taking, started feeling like someone had placed electrodes insided my head and would fire them off everytime I moved my eyeballs. It was hell driving to work (especially when I had 227 curves on my way to Bristol, TN). I eventually dumped the stuff down the toilet.

Two and half years ago, I started taking Celexa for a rebout of depression; again felt the effects overnight. But what made it more of a blessing was the anxiety it helped reduced, Prozac didn’t come close to resolving that aspect of my psychie [sic]

Downside: Tried tapering off, anxiety shoots up and I get those blasted white charges everytime I move my eyes. So getting off of the stuff is going to be difficult should I decide to stop; its benefits sitll outweigh the disadvantages.

My dad was put on Zoloft a few years ago–only temporarily, thank goodness–and you can add him to the list of people who couldn’t sleep because of it. Or, when he was able to sleep, he had nightmares. The rest of the time during his waking hours he was just nutty. He wasn’t nauseated, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had been.

I suppose I will have to be the Zoloft advocate.

I have been on Zoloft for almost 10 years :eek: and have never suffered from any side effects. My daughter, however, did experience some of the sleeplessness and nausea and was switched to Paxil before deciding not to take anything.

As to the question of “does it help”, I and my SO can see an HUGE difference. He can always tell when I have missed a few days dosage as I turn into a bitter, introverted, non-motivated bitch.:smiley: