View Full Version : Coming off of Sertraline (SOS!!)

09-01-09, 19:45
Hi All,

Bit of a long story and an SOS in some ways, but here goes.

My wife has been on Anti-Depressants since the age of 12 (now 24) and after being well for some time (about 2 years since last minor depressive episode) and due to lack of libido has decided to come off of her tablets.

She has been on pretty much all of the main brands at some point over her 12 years using them but has recently been prescribed Sertraline 200mg for the past 2 years or so.

We have worked from 200 down to 150, 100 and finally 50mg a day and she has been on 50mg/day now for about the past 3 months with no adverse changes in mood/side effects etc.

As of last friday (2nd Jan) she stopped taking the pills, fully aware that there were going to be side effects and it might be a little bumpy upon the way.

She lasted all weekend, with little or no symptoms other than a bit emotional for no reason, and made it at work until Wednesday when she only just managed to drive home due to the major dizzyness.

Dizzyness, confusion, nausea and weird back aching (not sure if the back is related) all took it's toll and she ended up taking yesterday and today off of work.

She is currently in bed as at the moment experiencing 'electric shock' sensations around her eyes, has pretty bad dizzyness when looking at things, a 'fuzzy' head/brain sensation and is unable to concentrate properly.

What I am asking/hoping for is if I could have some advice on this?

After reading these forums and other places on the web, we both have a fair idea that these symptoms are 'normal' (albeit evil in every sense) but have no real idea if she has reached the worst of them?

We have been to see the doctor today as she thought she was dying (and just wanted to make sure she wasn't!) and he said that we shouldn't have stopped suddenly, but tapered off over a 4-6 week period.

Has anyone else been in a similar predicament? Or can anyone else offer some advice?

The quandry that we have at the moment is that how much more is there to go (after a week of dealing with symptoms and getting the pills out of her system) against how well/easy is it to taper them off altogether?

If anyone can offer anything it will be gratefully received.


Adam (on behalf of Natasha)

11-01-09, 23:07
Hi Adam

Firstly, I have to say you sound like an amazing husband - I wish there were more like you around!

Ok. I have been on and off of Sertraline a couple of times and had the same sort of side effects with stopping. The last time I came off it I did it really, really slowly - going down to half a 50mg a day, then half every other day, then half every 3 days - and it certainly helped with the side effects. The only good thing with your wife stopping quicker is that the effects, though worse, should ease sooner. I don't know if she'll feel up to this, but try to encourage her to do something active/energetic. I found going for a brisk hike on the hills really helped!

I've found that the next stage (after where Natasha is now) tends to involve feeling like you're waking up from a very deep sleep. Things will start to feel more real, colours will be brighter and the whole world will appear sharper in image. It's actually quite a good sensation in a wierd way!

It WILL get easier, and very soon. You might even find that Natasha becomes a bit 'manic' - sort of hyperactive and 'up' - for a while, I know I do. My brain starts running at full speed and I feel like I've had too much sugar or something...

Oh, I completely sympathise wih the electric shocks - they are not nice at all. Probably the worst part, actually.

Good luck, and take care of you both. I hope I've helped a bit?