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To just stop taking my antidepressants?

(31 Posts)
HermioneDanger Mon 16-Feb-15 19:46:49

I appreciate I probably am being unreasonable but really can't keep taking them any more.

I'm on 100mg sertraline and they really aren't making any difference to my MH. I'm still as anxious and my eating disorder behaviours are getting worse. The apathy I'm feeling is new and beyond frustrating. I have days where I don't even get out of bed, and I've never been like this before.

On top of this the side effects are driving me potty. Among other things I'm not sleeping through the night and am having terrific night sweats, so spend half my night waking up in a clammy bed. I also need to wee all the time, day and night.

So AIBU to just stop taking them? Surely being off them can't be worse than being the sleepless, listless zombie I am at the moment?

onepieceoflollipop Mon 16-Feb-15 19:49:43

Your GP or psychiatrist will be able to advise you, I am a mental health professional and would advise speaking to the prescribing doctor. No one can make you take them, if you wish to stop it is likely they will advise decreasing first ( perhaps down to 50mg, before gradually tailing off).
a sudden stop may cause a sudden deterioration in your mood.

TattyDevine Mon 16-Feb-15 19:50:36

I've been on this drug, it helped me when I needed it, and I weaned off it when I thought I could do without it, which was fine.

I would advise you see your GP and tell him/her that you want to go off it, so they can tell you how (usually a reducing dose so you don't feel even worse whilst coming off it) and discuss your side-effects with them. Just in case they are something else, or not typical of the drug. I didn't have these side effects with this drug and from memory (which could be wrong) I didn't think night sweats or excessive weeing were some of them, though they may be.

See your GP, do it properly and double check those side effects.

onepieceoflollipop Mon 16-Feb-15 19:52:51

I came back to add that your other health problems/symptoms may not be related to the sertraline, even more reason to discuss with the prescribing doctor.

Branleuse Mon 16-Feb-15 19:54:03

if the side effects are that bad, then its probably not the best one for you.

I had to stop citalopram after about 2 weeks as i just could not live like that, but when i went on venlafaxine, it just made me very tired for a couple of days but i noticed it getting easier and easier

Im sure some of them dont stop the depression, but youre so overjoyed when the side effects lift, you think youre better

Imi22sleeping Mon 16-Feb-15 19:54:20

How long have you been taking them they made my head ache for the first few days

Minisoksmakehardwork Mon 16-Feb-15 19:55:24

I tried sertraline, it didn't work for me so I switched to a different one. It's much, much better for me.

I'd see your gp and ask if there's something else you can try. You will probably have to reduce down to nothing before changing, but it can't be any worse than you're feeling now.

Grokette Mon 16-Feb-15 20:00:59

Sertraline is not the most fun to come off of, so seeing a professional is something you'd want to do. Obviously you shouldn't stop meds on your own ever, but there are some ADs which are a particular bitch to come off of, like venlafaxine.

whothehellknows Mon 16-Feb-15 20:04:15

Yep, definitely go see the GP. 100mg isn't the highest dose (so it may not be enough to control your MH symptoms), but if you're having side effects then it's definitely worth thinking about changing instead of increasing.

But it's key to speak to the GP to make sure your symptoms aren't caused by something else and to talk about what might be the best prescription for you. Sometimes you have to try a couple before you find the best one.

HermioneDanger Mon 16-Feb-15 20:14:45

I know it's unreasonable but I just want to sleep through! And not wake up feeling like I've wet the bed because I've been sweating so much. I'm fairly convinced that they are drug related problems - I didn't suffer before I started the pills and they are listed on the extensive side effects list. And don't get me started on the lack of libido - poor DH.

I've been on them for 7 months, starting at 50mg and then having the dosage increased about 3 months ago. I feel that the GP isn't doing anything other than medicating me - she's very nice but it feels like I'm being put under the pharmaceutical cosh and that there is no want to help me get better (I'm being unfair but I was made to feel a nuisance when I went in to say I was still feeling very anxious).

TattyDevine Mon 16-Feb-15 20:24:22

It does sound like you could try a different one or perhaps try CBT if they offer it (some people think its great, others not so much, others it would be great but need more sessions rather than just an NHS taster)

I was up to 150mg when I was at my worst, but I found they sort of took away my desire to do anything, they sort of made me feel meh, so I wouldn't feel the lows so much but didn't get any highs or the drive and determination that comes with feeling higher, or get the high pushing yourself to do something may give you if that makes sense.

Now I'm off them I feel my zest for doing stuff has returned a bit, and the depression hasn't, mainly because I got through that stage (mine was caused by a lengthy illness and as time passed and I got over that and my body healed and I felt physically better the depression eventually lifted though it took some time).

Different for everyone - defo go to the doc. It probably is the drug but they might do some bloods to rule out something else, can't hurt. (apart from the "sharp scratch"! lol)

AntiHop Mon 16-Feb-15 20:27:18

Please don't stop taking your medication without discussing it with your doctor. I would suggest asking for a referral to a specialist mental health team.

Quitelikely Mon 16-Feb-15 20:32:05

If agree they aren't working if after seven months you are still feeling as you do.

Word of caution, you might think stopping them immediately would be fine as your symptoms are so bad but trust me they can get a whole lot worse.

There are different ways to do it.

Taking 50g a day or taking 50g one day and not the next.

Or if you suddenly stop them and can't cope with the effects you can take one again.

The best option would be to get some different meds of the dr and he can talk to you about the changeover.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Mon 16-Feb-15 20:39:20

What time do you take the tablets.

I would go back to the person who is seeing you for you MH as it could be the wrong medication for you. A really good idea which was suggested to me is that write down what you want to say to the doctor.
If like me my mind goes into over drive and I can not communicate what I am feeling.

I'm on 150mg of sertraline and 7.5mg of a sleeping tablet called zimovane.

I was advised by my gp that it's best to take AD in the morning.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Mon 16-Feb-15 20:44:02

Also there are side effects that coming off AD may cause such as:-

vivid dreams
electric shocks / head zaps
stomach upsets
flu-like symptoms
suicidal thoughts

KentExpecting Mon 16-Feb-15 21:11:04

I struggled with sertraline too, quite a few years ago. It made me too tired - like you said, the apathy drove me nuts. However, you really can't just come off the stuff, the side effects from withdrawal will be really awful.

So have a good chat with your GP and insist on a change of medication. Citalopram might be an option, or Escitalopram. Similar kind of drug to Sertraline, but a different chemical, so your body may tolerate it better.

Best of luck!

Bakeoffcake Mon 16-Feb-15 21:17:28

Please don't just stop taking them. Everything you read will advice not to do this. You could end up feeling much worse than you do now.

Phone the GP tomorrow and say you need an urgent appointment, so you get to see someone tomorrow.

SorchaN Mon 16-Feb-15 21:23:41

Sometimes people need to try a few antidepressants before they find the one that works. I was prescribed fluoxetine (Prozac) first but couldn't tolerate the side effects, so the GP gave me venlafaxine instead and that worked quite well for me.

I don't think any doctor would recommend just stopping an antidepressant, and they can have some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Like the other posters I'd recommend you ask your doctor for a different medication, and for a referral for counselling or therapy as well.

I hope you find a solution that works for you.

aurorablues Mon 16-Feb-15 21:28:37

Did you get prescribed these a GP or by a Psychiatrist?

Either way, it's best to discuss these things with the presriber of these meds and look at coming off these slowly and also the possibility of putting you on another AD that would be more suited to you, if you feel that might be required.

Stopping these types of medications is not advised, they can cause some discontinuation effects. So gradually reducing them is advised to limit these effects.

Also (in Laymans terms) stopping AD's can cause rebound depression. SSRI's ramp up your serotonin, stopping them can cause the serotonin to drop rapidly when the medication is fully out of your system. This serotonin drop can have a dramatic affect on your mood.

So again, gradually reducing them is key.

CluckingBelle Mon 16-Feb-15 21:31:36

I came off sertraline in December. It was awful. I nearly stayed on them forever just so I didn't have to go through withdrawal. I kept going light headed and got the shakes,, it lasted about a fortnight, and I came off them really gradually.

I definitely couldn't just stop them I'd be so Ill.

trappedinsuburbia Mon 16-Feb-15 21:40:45

I just stopped taking them, was only on 50mg though, the sideceffects were horrendous i was like a walking zombie.
Doesnt it say in the leaflet they can exacerbate eating disorders? I may be wrong, you should check.

stormtreader Tue 17-Feb-15 12:06:45

I got bad night sweats on them as well, as well as muscle twitching, generally feeling meh about everything and sudden phases of ALL THE ANXIETY AT ONCE for a few minutes. That said, I absolutely needed them while I was going through councilling and Sertraline did work for me.

Its best to taper off very gradually, theres a lot of guides on the internet for it. I went with reducing the dosage by half every month and didnt get any side effects beyond a few episodes of dizzyness, I was only on 25mg to start with though.

I know a few people who are on ADs, most of them had to try a few different ones under GP supervision until they found the right one for them - dont think that because this one isnt helping then none of them will, they can be quite different, give them a chance smile

shumway Tue 17-Feb-15 12:12:10

I get a weird feeling like my brain being zapped when I miss a couple of doses of my sertraline.

IceBeing Tue 17-Feb-15 13:22:25

I have just finished coming off setraline. If you do stop it, you need to go slowly!

Take about a month to do it at the minimum.

For what its worth they didn't do anything positive for me either.

And I totally second the brain zap thing. That is pretty horrible - but through the worst of it now!

leedy Tue 17-Feb-15 13:30:01

I got on fine with sertraline myself but agree that you need to taper off them sloooooowly - think I took two months to come off and didn't have too many unpleasant symptoms apart from the odd zap. Definitely don't just stop taking them, a friend of mine stopped taking ADs suddenly and it made him very unwell.

Agree with everyone else that you need to check with your doctor that the symptoms aren't a result of something else and possibly come up with a plan for coming off and/or changing to a different medication. (and in the meantime, definitely take them in the morning if they're affecting your sleep, I found sertraline quite "speedy" and couldn't take it at night)

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