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Sertraline buddies - support for anybody taking Sertraline

(1000 Posts)
buttonortwo Thu 13-Feb-14 14:48:29

I eventually went to docs yesterday, been really suffering with depression. Is it possible the medication can result in side effects straight away? I'm feeling sick and no appetite today, however feeling better, clearer... I'm on 50 mg the lowest dose.. Anyone else share their experience please?

TheJourney22 Sun 03-Aug-14 12:52:59

I tried St J Wort, it didn't really help. But like all AD related, it's go to be given a few months to really start seeing any benefits. Maybe worth a go smile

I still get down days on Sertraline, but just "cope" better if that makes sense.

Bad moods are awful especially when contending with someone else!!!! confused

TheJourney22 Sun 03-Aug-14 12:56:21

Hi all

Sorry don't want to be a moaner! I have really benefited from sertraline (nearly 3mths in) 100mg a day. For PND, Anxiety & Birth Trauma.

However, last few days I've been in stinking foul mood. Stressed. Anxious & down right foul!! Will it pass??

Thankfully, I'm single so no one has to put up with me other than my 8 Month old!! But recently I've been counting the hours down to bedtime again ....

Am I going through my own normal "phase?"

Chuffchuff Sun 10-Aug-14 20:10:40

Hi journey - how are you feeling now? Better I hope smile

I've been on sertraline for four months (50mg) and I've been feeling loads better, but the last couple of weeks I've been feeling a bit anxious again - which makes me worry that the meds aren't working anymore, which makes me feel more anxious still sad. I really don't want to up my dose because of side effects, so I'm really hoping this us just a blip too.

NanaNina Mon 11-Aug-14 00:02:58

I think the thing is with depression and anxiety it has "ups and downs" and it isn't that the meds aren't working, it's just the nature of the beast if you like. I've been told this by my psychiatrist and my CPN and it is certainly true for me. I get frequent fluctuations but that's because I'm old (70) and like anything else, it's worse when you're an older person. I'm on Sertraline 150mg and likely to be on 200mg very soon. I'm changing over meds and it has been really difficult.

I'm sure these are blips that you are describing and will go away of their own accord. I know it's anxiety provoking when you start feeling low again but of course that makes the whole thing worse as you say ChuffChuff It's best if you can tell yourself that it is a blip and will pass and that it's quite a common thing in depression that a lot of people don't seem to realise.

Angloamerican Mon 11-Aug-14 01:59:07

Hi, room for a little one?

I'm on day 4. Prescribed 50mg but advised to take 25 for 4 days to build up slowly. Slightly woozy and not much appetite, but other than that ok - until this morning when I had my worst anxious episode in weeks. I have a 3 month old so I've been reluctant to start the meds, but I know I need to. Currently nursing, so this is a short one!

twiglet59 Mon 11-Aug-14 09:03:29

Hi everyone
I haven't posted for a while. I was interested to hear what TheJourney22 and ChuffChuff were saying about their anxiety coming back. I have been on Setraline for about 4 months now. It took about two months for things to settle down and when it did for about a month a felt great. Anxiety felt as it had almost gone for most of the time, but has started coming back again. It felt almost as if my body had got used to the dosage. I really don't want to increase it as I am on 100mg. I also forgot to take Saturday and night and last night so have taken it this morning. Just wondered what time of day you take it and does anyone else take it for social anxiety. That's what I take it for!

Chuffchuff Mon 11-Aug-14 10:21:09

Hi again everyone smile

Twiglet your experience sounds so similar to mine; I started in April, although I am on 50mg for GAD (generalised anxiety disorder). After the first few weeks of ups and downs I really started to feel a lot better, but over the last couple of weeks, as I said, its as if they've stopped working as well (not completely, but like the anxiety is 'breaking through') and I'm struggling to keep the anxiety under control at times sad. But like you, I don't want to increase the dosage unless I really have to - the start up symptoms were pretty grim and I still have some of them, which I really wouldn't want to make any worse. I take mine in the morning after breakfast - if I don't take them when I've eaten they can make me feel a bit queasy. They also make me very slightly dopey, which is what I need so it's good to have the benefit of that during the day grin

I'm trying really hard to put time aside for exercise and mindfulness practice to see if that helps get me through this 'blip'.

Anglo welcome to the thread smile - and congratulations on your baby! Well done for starting the meds - and try not to worry about the anxiety episode; as you probably know that is common when you start on ADs. I felt quite sick and woozy for the first week, and also had one really nasty panic episode, then the side effects started to fade, so you are nearly through the worst of it! I don't feel sick or woozy anymore, but I have really bizarre and vivid dreams, and (sorry if TMI) sex is a bit 'hit and miss' (although with a three month old that's probably the last thing you'd be worrying about grin).

Nana thanks for the reassurance smile. My problems are anxiety rather than depression, although I think the anxiety has gone on so long it had started to drag me down into feeling depressed too. But yes as you say, I do need to keep telling myself that this will pass...

Pandora37 Mon 11-Aug-14 11:11:54

Twiglet I take mine in the evening with my dinner as I find I get very tired a couple of hours after taking it. I need to take it on a full stomach as I have learnt (nausea and diarrhoea otherwise) and I don't often eat breakfast.

I've been taking it for 3 weeks and I still feel like crap. I know they take at least a month to work though so I'm trying to be patient. I'm supposed to see my GP for a 2 week review but I haven't been yet, haven't got the energy. I know I'm going to have to at some point this week as I've only got a week's tablets left. Maybe I'll try and summon up the energy tomorrow....

Angloamerican Mon 11-Aug-14 12:54:30

Yes, sex is the least of my problems! My anxiety is out of control and is attached to a specific work problem (I am self-employed so no "formal" support at work, although I am trying to utilize other people in my work community for assistance.) I just feel so alone in this. My husband is sympathetic but doesn't really "get it". I feel like I'm circling a drain and there's no-one there to stop me falling through it.

And I'm full of regret about professional choices I made a few years ago - which have led my to my current professional place and thus te cause of my panic - and I ruminate about my mistakes. I am stuck on this broken record of "why did you do that?", "if you had made a different decision you wouldn't be in this mess." So my anxiety feels as though it's self-inflicted in many ways. I'm consumed by self-loathing and regret.

Chuffchuff Mon 11-Aug-14 19:32:16

anglo that sounds rough sad

I know the meds won't change circumstances, but when they kick in they will help you to stop going over and over it in your mind - I know first hand that obsessive thinking is a big symptom with depression / anxiety...

Deelozza Thu 14-Aug-14 13:32:50

Twiglet Chuff Journey This is so interesting to me as I too have been on Sertraline since Mid May (actually since mid April but started on 25mg for one month which GP said would not count as not a therapuetic dose). Around 6 weeks in, had a month of feeling really great and just in the last few weeks have also felt some breakthrough anxiety and so have been concerned that I would regress. Have been so pleased with my progress, still struggling a little bit but on the whole I am a different person and a lot more like me!

Don't want to increase but would be willing to if it meant I felt totally well again - I spoke to my GP who didn't seem concerned and even suggested that at my next appt (at end of Sept) we discuss me coming off but I worry that if I have remnants of anx or dp and come off then there is a bigger chance I will relapse which is a major fear of mine.

So hard to know what to do - am I well enough to consider soming off in a few months but letting my fears of relapse cause breakthrough anxiety or am I right to think that while I have even small feelings of anx or dp that coming off the meds would mean definate relapse confused

Deelozza Thu 14-Aug-14 13:44:01

Oh and should have mentioned that I am currently on 50mg (Lustral brand)!

Have no real lasting SE's - all the yucky ones passed quite quickly but have noticed over last few weeks increased tiredness - sleep very well at night, but then wave of tiredness hits me around 1pm-3pm. Take my tablet in the morning, usually around 9am x

trolleycoin Thu 14-Aug-14 21:37:21

Can I join in? Been on Sertraline for 8 months now. (50mg). First 2 weeks was bleurgh but i stuck with it. Luckily it was over the Christmas period otherwise I don't think I would have stuck it as I mostly spent it in bed.

However since then I've been a different person. DH has noticed, DM and I feel it too. But I have noticed a strange side effect and wondered if anyone else has this?

Around the end of my period, since I've been on sertraline, I feel headachey and nausea getting worse throughout the day, till it turns into a full blown migraine and throwing up. Happened again this month. I'm not taking anything else, so I wondered if it was hormone levels or something that interact and make it more or less effective. Also having some breakthrough anxiety this week which is scary, not having felt like this for so long.

Chuffchuff Thu 14-Aug-14 22:09:21

Hi deelozza & trolleycoin smile

Deelozza I'm surprised your GP is talking about you coming off sertraline so soon - I thought the general consensus was that you should ideally take them for six months for the effects to last - but obviously I'm not a doctor!

As I said before, I've been getting some 'breakthrough' anxiety symptoms too and really don't want to increase my dose. But I definitely wouldn't be thinking about reducing them yet, and won't until I've been feeling consistently better for a prolonged period (not sure how long that would be tbh).

trolley I've not experienced anything like that, and tbh I've not heard of anybody else having hat problem with the meds either. Have you spoken to your GP? I have suffered with migraines in the past so you have my sympathy flowers

MouseandChops1 Fri 15-Aug-14 15:30:29

Hi, haven't been online in 2 weeks. Was away and trying to enjoy myself for the sake of my husband and children.
Wondering if it's normal to have felt relatively okish over the past week or so but horrible again yesterday and today. Nearly 3 weeks into sertraline. Feeling really anxious and low for the past / days sad((

Pandora37 Fri 15-Aug-14 21:15:26

Went to see my GP today for a review and he's upped my dose to 100mg as I said I don't feel any different. I've been taking it for not quite 4 weeks, don't know if that seems a bit soon to be upping the dose? I was in and out very quickly, I get the impression he's not the kind of person who likes to chat which is fine for me as I'm getting talking support elsewhere (which I said to him, may be why he shoved me out quickly). I'm feeling a bit anxious about upping the dose after the diarrhoea I had but he seems to think it won't come back....fingers crossed. It can't hurt to try, I've barely been able to get out of bed the past week so I'm thinking 50mg probably wasn't going to do much anyway.

I don't know if it's normal or not Mouse but I've felt horribly anxious today and very low recently. Maybe see how you go over the next week or so and if it continues see your GP again?

Chuffchuff Sat 16-Aug-14 10:02:54

mouse in my experience it is completely normal to be very up and down at the start - for the first couple of months I would have a few days of feeling great and think they were working, then would feel really anxious again for a few days. Three weeks is still really early days - hang in there smile

pandora I agree that it seems really early to up your dose. In your position I would be thinking about changing to another doctor who will actually take the time to listen to me though. I know you say you have other people to talk to, but unless your GP takes the time to find out how you are really feeling, how can he properly assess your needs?

Imliketotallyummm Sat 16-Aug-14 11:08:42

Sorry I haven't posted much recently, I finally have some time off work. Just spent a few days visiting in laws in Wales and tomorrow am flying to Berlin to visit edd for five days. Am so nervous, I hate flying, but keeping it together for ydd's sake, as she will be flying for the first time. Dh staying at home looking after the pets, so it's just us 2, I am scared stiff - coping with flying AND navigating through a strange airport I've never been to before and having dd with me!

Otherwise I'm doing ok I think. Hope everyone else feels a bit better soon.

Pandora37 Sat 16-Aug-14 12:22:50

Thanks Chuffchuff that's what I thought as well but I didn't think to question it at the time. My old GP has retired so I don't know any of the doctors now, I just went with the first person who had an appointment available. Oh well, I'll try the higher dose and see how I get on with it.

Have fun in Berlin Imlike!

Imliketotallyummm Sat 16-Aug-14 12:58:12

thanks smile

MouseandChops1 Sat 16-Aug-14 14:11:21

Thanks chuffchuff, hopefully things will improve soon.

pandora, not sure about upping dose so soon. My GP said it can take 4-6 weeks for it to get into your system, maybe have a chat with another Gp in the practice. Monday. It's so difficult because you want results straight away, the waiting game to see if you feel 'Normal' every morning you wake up is torturous.

Have an amazing trip away imlike. Berlin is lovely. Have some rescue remedy in your bag for the flight.

Anyone have any suggestions for which therapy is good for anxiety. CBT, psychotherapy etc. need to start looking at other ways to help myself.
I spend so much time thinking about what triggered this. Keep racking my brain as it's got to be something. It's exhausting.....

Pandora37 Sun 17-Aug-14 21:24:21

MouseandChops I've got a very busy week ahead so I don't think I'm going to have a chance to speak to anyone else. I'm just going to give the 100mg a shot and see how it goes, if I get any nasty side effects I can always ask to reduce back down to 50mg can't I.

CBT seems to be the therapy of choice these days. I've never had 'proper' CBT but I reckon it might be good for anxiety.

fluffybunnies246 Sun 17-Aug-14 21:33:04

hello this thread is nearly full but can I squeeze in? pandora hope you feel better soon. Hi nananina sorry to hear the changeover has been hard.

I'm doing ok on Sertraline...been on it for 4 years and now on 200mg following a major bleurgh patch. GP says she'll see me in 6 months now that I'm stable. Of course, it has it's side effects...some have disappeared (the libido thing took years girlies but it came back!) However, some haven't. The night sweats (yuk) and the overwhelming tiredness during the day. I find driving difficult as I cannot keep my eyes open. Trouble is....I've got a new job...which I'm very pleased about. Has anyone got any tiredness tips so that I can avoid embarrassing myself by falling asleep at my desk? Or whilst driving to clients? It doesn't seem to matter how early I go to bed or how long I sleep; I still get that afternoon tiredness where I really need a nap. I think the night sweats has something to do with it. I can sleep with just vest n pants and no sheets and still sweat (yuk). I've filled in an occupational health questionnaire and I know they are going to come back to me due to time off sick etc. I was vaguely considering 'reasonable adjustment' under the disability discrimination act...being that I need to have 15 minute period of shut eye around lunch time somewhere! But there is only about 2% of me wants to mention this, as I am embarrassed and feel that if I did 'something else' I would be less sleepy. Any ideas on what this 'something else' might be? If anyone knows anything that has worked, please let me in on the secret!

fluffybunnies246 Sun 17-Aug-14 21:36:27

mouseandchops I went on a CBT course which was quite good...the whole thing being that you don't have to look into why you are like this- just concentrate on dealing with the present. I personally found mindfulness meditation really good for anxiety.

Chuffchuff Mon 18-Aug-14 11:09:01

Hi fluffybunnies - welome to the thread - you've reminded me actually - we'll have to start thread no. 2 soon smile

I don't really have any tips re the tiredness issue I'm afraid - tbh for me the slight tiredness I feel is just what I need as I take sertraline for anxiety, so it's a welcome relief from feeling wired all the time! Have you tried experimenting with the time of day you take them? I take mine in the morning and I do then experience the slightly floaty tired feeling during the day, but I've heard of others taking them at night so they can sleep through most of the 'tired' bit.

I agree re CBT being good - I've not had any formal CBT but have tried a free online course (moodgym) and that was good. And yes the basic idea is that you stop worrying and analysing why you are feeling the way you do, but just accept it and carry on regardless. Sounds almost too simple to help, but it really does. Once I tried just 'accepting' however I felt and stopped fixating on making it go away, it definitely helped. The same for mindfulness meditation. I bought the book that comes with a cd of guided meditations to practice (finding peace in a frantic world, I think it's called). One of them is a three minutes 'breathing space' meditation that you can do anywhere easily as it's so short, and that really helps me if I'm getting stressed.

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