Quitting Zoloft

Posted by 9ar @9ar, May 17, 2020

Hello, I’ve been taking between 25 and 50 milligrams Zoloft for about 14 years for anxiety. It helps but I’ve become increasingly worried about the long term effects. I have quit cold turkey and tried tapering off several times and I always return within a couple of weeks because of the withdrawal symptoms.. dizziness, crying, fogginess, and agitation mostly. The agitation is the worst part. I find myself so irritable I can’t bear it. And then I feel horrible for having been short with my husband or family. But I struggle with if I need medication and worry about the long term side effects. I wonder if it has changed who I am. I’d like to be off it. My doctor has also prescribed .25 mg Xanax which I rarely use. It gives me comfort just to know it’s there if I need it. Any advice or insight for stopping Zoloft? And thoughts on if taking Zoloft for this long changes your personality and who you are? Thank you!

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Excellent advice about all . Wish you the best. Had the genetic testing and the rx suggested did not work. Mine was to show what rx best suited.
Wondering what type of genetic testing you had that showed “ not in your head”and what rx most sensitive to. Why did it suggest Zolof? Yet getting off of it?
Thank you!

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Please allow me to give a little background and clarify. I was put on Zoloft in April 2020z. By June 2020, the heart palpitations were so severe I had trouble having a conservative and sleeping. To help with the palpitations I was put on Propranolol. Thus began the medical professionals giving me a long list of why the palpitations were happening. Some things they tried blame was caffeine, alcohol, over the counter medications, illegal drugs, unresolved emotional issues. Before I started taking the Zoloft, I did not consume caffeine, alcohol, illegal drugs, took over the counter medications sparingly. I openly admit my father was an alcoholic and all the problems that caused. When I discredited all their excuses, I was told that I was experiencing the nacibo effect. That means I was not really expecting the severe side effects, I was just saying I was because the withdrawal effect are listed in the literature. And that everything was “all in my head” and I needed considerable psychological help. Meaning more drugs. I refused and kept digging for information and tapering the Zoloft.
In April 2021, I discovered the genetic testing for drug sensitivity. I gave the information to my doctor and she agreed to refer me for testing. In August 2021, I got the results that provided my genetic in the reason for my problem with Zoloft. The report lists I am a rapid metabolizer of the drug. The report does not use the phrase “not in my head.” My medical professionals started using that phrase when I was able to discredit all their other excuses. Sadly my medical professionals did not understand what is happening with my body being a rapid metabolizer. They kept telling me it was all in my head and kept pushing me to switch around medications. I kept refusing.
I kept digging for information and the natural healing practioner took me as a client. (I started with the natural healing practitioner in December 2022). Our combined efforts discovered the information in my first post of this thread. And I had print outs from medical publications to prove everything. Once I politely and respectfully presented the information to my medical professionals, they finally agreed that the problem is indeed genetic. And finally stopped saying everything was all in my head. I now have their support. They admit they have learned from my research. My pharmacist is especially interested.
Please remember, this is my experience. I am sharing my experience to help other find their way off Zoloft and hopefully other medications.
I tell people to use my information as a starting point. Do their own research to match their own situation.
I hope this clarifies everything. Please continue to ask me questions for further clarification.


For me, I can taper only 0.4mg at a time. In case you are wondering how I can taper that small amount, my Zoloft is in a liquid form. Since August 2023, my dosage has gone from 5.2mg down to 3.2 mg. I notice a change in my heart rate and breathing during each taper. Nothing severe. I can manage them easily. The change lasts about 14 days. Then I wait another 14 days or so, then start another taper. I look at it this day, a taper will distrupt the distruption. The heart and body are not going to be happy. The smaller the taper, the less distruption, the easier on the heart and body.
Other things I take into consideration...my heart palpitation medication Propranolol. Once I start a taper, that medication will work to keep the heart at a normal rhythm. That adjustment will not happen overnight. For me, takes about 14 days. Next is something most people do not even think about, atmospheric pressure, the barometer reading. Yes, I am serious! The atmospheric pressure places pressure on the body. (Most people do not notice this, unless the pressure is extemely high or low.) That pressure has an effect on our heart rate and our breathing. (Please start making notes about the barometer pressure and how you are feeling.)
Here is my prespective....the heart is trying to beat at its own pace. The Zoloft, changes that pace. Any heart palpitation medication will also try to regulate that pace. Then the atmospheric pressure will also try to regulate that pace. Eventually, the heart figures it out. Then we start taking away the Zoloft.
The body is not happy. By tapering slowly, I am limiting the severity of the taper.
Something else I found out , again the medical professionals will not agree or deny my claim. Medications go everywhere in the body. Not just to where the drug is intended. Zoloft has a half life of approximately 24 hours. That means the 3.2mg dose I take today, 1.6mg of the medication will still be in my system 24 hours later at my next dose. According to medical professionals, drugs need 5 of these half lifes to leave your system. What I have discovered, is that does not account for the Zoloft that is stored in all the other cells in the body. Particularily fat cells. Over time, the Zoloft stored in the other cells, works out of the cells, thus continuing the taper for a period of time. Also making the taper move severe.
I have lost 29 pounds. My tapers no longer continue on for 30 days.
Please talk to your doctor about switching to a liquid Zoloft. Please also talk with your pharmacist. (My pharmacist is a very helpful!) If you do make the switch, please give your body time to adjust. Then ask the pharmicst to show you how to taper the smallest about possible. (For reference, my tapers are 0.4mg.)
If you have not already, please have the genetic testing completed. For me, having the proof that my genetic makeup is a major cause of my problems, gives me evidence that the problem is not all in my head. Additionally I found out in the genetic testing report, that I am sensitive to 70 other drugs. My medical professionals and I will be able to make better choices of medications for me in the future.
Hope this helps!
Please keep us informed of your progress.
Please reach out to me with additional questions.

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I took the genetic testing and went with their first choice and the rx had horrible side effects. Had to get off it.
I am glad it worked for you .

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