Side effects on Zoloft/SSRIs where previously there were none?
February 25, 2016 2:13 PM   Subscribe

I've been treated with Zoloft (50mg) twice before for clinical depression. Never had the side-effects I'm experiencing now. Looking for anecdotal advice on whether this has happened to anyone else out there, with Zoloft or any other SSRI (acknowledging that YANMD).

I've been through two previous bouts of depression, a really major one about 3 years ago and a smaller one 18 months ago. Both times I was put on Zoloft 50mg. Both times I had an almost instant +ve reaction to the drug (increased mood, lifting of depression etc) with no real obvious side effects. Both times I was about two months into the depressive episode and in bad shape.

This time I caught it really early and started on 50mg Zoloft. It's been a week and I've had the most excruciating symptoms: heightened anxiety, debilitating thought, no appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, hot flushes. I'm confused why this time around I have these issues -- I'd welcome any experience people have had with similar situations
posted by gadha to Grab Bag (7 answers total)
My first thought is, maybe since your symptoms are not as bad as before, the dose is too high? Definitely talk to your doctor.
posted by zennie at 3:01 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was on Prozac for OCD issues and switched to Zoloft. It caused very similar symptoms in me to your own experience. I quite taking it and switched back to Prozac permanently.

I can't tell you *why* it reacted badly with my body, but I can confirm that it definitely did.
posted by tacodave at 3:11 PM on February 25, 2016

This is not a scientific answer but sometimes antidepressants just don't work like they have in the past. It sucks but it happens.

It may be that the dose is high, that the depression isn't as bad this time, or there may be no discernible reason. Talk to your doctor. There are plenty of other medications to try.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 3:18 PM on February 25, 2016

I had this issue with zoloft last year. Had been on and off of it a few times since childhood, no issues, but the last run took the life right out of me. For me it turned out that the zoloft was making my gastro problems much much worse, as zoloft can irritate intestinal lining. While I was on it I had figured it was in my head/would go away.

If you are having abdominal pain, it's probably time to try a different ssri, or at least scale back your dose of zoloft. You could have stomach issues, or any other physical issue that the zoloft is making worse(and don't discount the impact that physical problems can have on your anxiety/mood). But there are plenty of other drugs that are much less likely to cause stomach pain/nausea, your doc should be able to figure out some better options for you.

From what I've gathered from asking my doctor when this happened to me, it's not really that surprising. Our bodies change, and we react differently to things at different points in our life. You might even be able to try zoloft again in the future and have good results. But for now the best thing you could do is work with your doc to find a solution for this time period.
posted by InkDrinker at 3:24 PM on February 25, 2016

Are you on the generic this time? Generics and brand name for many antidepressants (including Zoloft) have different effects on people sometimes. Definitely mention this to the prescribing doc and have them double check and switch back to whatever you were taking before if that's the case.

If it is the same, sometimes it just happens that people react differently at different times, and you can speak with your doctor about trying something else.
posted by ananci at 4:15 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

You might try a much lower dose and dose up very slowly, using a pill cutter. Start at like 6ish mg for a couple days. Then 12 for a couple days. Etc. Work up to 50, and you may avoid some side effects.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:28 AM on February 26, 2016

It is totally a thing that happens. I've been on and off Zoloft (or one of a number of generics) throughout the last 14 years. Only this last time I started up again, from day one I was completely unable to sleep. It was not pleasant.

Went back to the doctor, now I've got more pills to take, but at least I can sleep.

There are lots of other options out there now, don't be afraid to talk with your doctor about some of them if Zoloft is just no longer working out for you.
posted by sharp pointy objects at 10:50 AM on February 26, 2016

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