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sertraline,im scared to take it,im terrified of what will happen to my life if i dont.

(67 Posts)
friggFRIGG Fri 02-Sep-11 23:00:57

ive finally been given the correct prescription.
had a terrible doctor who told me all sorts of crap,thanks to you guys i went back,to see a different doctor who was VERY lovely and helpful,she researched breastfeeding and anti depressants/anxiety med's,she called me the next day and said i (well you guys) were correct,sertraline was the way to go.

i went to pick up the prescription today and ive just sat down and read the 'instructions'.
i read the side effects,and i am panicking...
terrifying dreams,insomnia,restlessness, fatigue, dizziness, nausea...

is there anyone who hasn't had these side effects,or who can tell me they're not that bad,or that i'll feel much better so it's worth it?
is there a 'good' time to take them?(evening,morning?food?)

many thanks.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Fri 02-Sep-11 23:12:53

Firstly - well done for persevering with the GP, and I'm so glad you got a good one smile

I was exactly where you are now - exactly. Sat on my bed with the packet in my hand, reading the 'instructions' and thinking 'fucking hell I don't want to do this'.

I picked up my prescription on a Friday, and couldn't bring myself to take them all over the weekend. I had a follow-up with my GP on the Monday, went in and confessed that I hadn't even started the medication. Which she said was quite normal, was v.calm and we made another appointment for a week later.
That evening I started taking them.

I didn't really suffer from any side effects - a slight nausea once or twice in the first 4-5 days of taking them, and then nothing. I did find that they would zonk me out slightly, so I used to take mine last thing before bed and then by the time DS1 woke for a feed I would be fine.

They changed my life, honestly. Within a week I felt different, within 3 weeks I started to feel like myself again. I could think straight, retain information, achieve more than one thing in a day.

In all I took them for a year, I started weaning down after I'd been on them for 9 months.

DS2 is now 5 months, and no signs of PND yet, but I wasn't diagnosed until DS1 was 8 months. If I even think I am heading there again then I would take Sertraline again like a shot, it transformed my life so much.


ThatsNotYours Fri 02-Sep-11 23:17:30

Have you ever read the side effects for ibuprofen, aspirin, panadol, hay fever tablets, cough mixture, and don't forget codeine.... We live in a very litigious society - if ain't listed we could sue.

Give a good try for at least a month. Also, the Net (generally) has the bad side effects comments most commonly profiled (human nature) and not lots on how well AD works for so many people! X smile

LawrieMarlow Fri 02-Sep-11 23:24:04

I took sertraline when pg and then when bf DD and for a while after that.

I did experience sickness for a couple of weeks I think. And whenever I have either increased or decreased dosage of ADs I have had horrible dreams but again only for a couple of weeks. I used to take them in the evening I think as it made the sickness better but you can experiment with when is the right time for you.

After the first couple of weeks I also found that the grey mist which characterised everything started to lift. It took a while but I got better. And two weeks of feeling a bit physically crap was definitely better than the way I was feeling mentally.

EsmeWeatherwax Fri 02-Sep-11 23:26:44

I felt like this the first time I was given ads, and didn't take them. Next time I was prescribed them, it was sertraline, and I didn't even read the info leaflet, just went ahead and took them. I had very few side effects from them, was quite tired for the first few days, think I also got the occasional headache, but nothing major at all. Oh yes, and some teeth clenching! But the positive effects were wonderful, it is just the most amazing thing to feel normal again! I was also breast feeding at the time BTW, and it is now two years on, and dd2 and I are both fine. Sertraline have been a complete lifesaver for me.

friggFRIGG Fri 02-Sep-11 23:27:53


what would i do without MN.

ali,im in tears from your post.i just want my life back,the thought that this little pill could give me that is's taken 3 years to be diagnosed.
and thankyou for your suggestion,i think im going to take it now,before i go up to bed.

thats yes,i read everything,and i dont take them,its part of the anxiety,i wouldnt give DC1 calpol for teething when she was tiny because i researched it too much.but this is something i have to take,and it's really frightening.

thankyou both though you've really helped.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Fri 02-Sep-11 23:30:05


I hope you get a good night's sleep, and let us know how you get on smile

thisisyesterday Fri 02-Sep-11 23:30:26

sertraline was the best AD I ever took. I had about 4 or 5 different ones before it and none of them really did anything much for me.

hope it works for you

friggFRIGG Fri 02-Sep-11 23:32:18

Lawrie your right,i can handle physical stuff if the 'grey mist' will go,i just cant imagine it not being there.IYSWIM.

esme thankyou.its very reassuring to hear you and DD are well,and that it help you too.

friggFRIGG Fri 02-Sep-11 23:33:29

thankyou thisis thats also good to hear.

does anyone think i should take a half dose or is that silly?will i be fine with a full 50mg?

Solo Fri 02-Sep-11 23:34:10

I took Sertraline some 10 years ago for some of the symptoms of ME and I didn't have any side effects whatsoever.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Fri 02-Sep-11 23:34:38

You will be fine.

friggFRIGG Fri 02-Sep-11 23:35:08


thisisyesterday Fri 02-Sep-11 23:36:07

no, don 't mess around with the dosage, take what they've told you to take.

it'll be fine, really.

ThatsNotYours Fri 02-Sep-11 23:52:39

For me, accepting I needed to take a pill for my mental health was 'no way'! But it was the best decision I ever made.

My problem with the med was that somehow by being prescribed pills I had an 'official' problem - give me a herb solution any day 'cos that's just like popping a few vitamins, right!!!? And let's then go over analyse things, possible solutions, the what ifs, the maybe......

May be I'm very lucky, but I haven't ever had any really dehabilitating day to day side effects from longterm AD use. But, I recon I am not unique here.

X smile

ovumahead Thu 08-Sep-11 13:50:38

Hi there, I've read your thread with interest, after just coming home from the docs today with a prescription for ADs (escitalopram) - feel SO nervous about taking them because of the side effects, and reading about withdrawals on the internet. Plus i'm a bit of a hypochondriac so am always monitoring myself for symptoms of bloody anything!!! I think I'm going to start taking mine tonight, and see how I go. I'm not pregnant or breastfeeding. I think I probably should have started taking these meds years ago - have been feeling depressed on and off for a long while now. Enough is enough! Fingers crossed these meds help us both - would love to compare notes if you're up for it!!!

EightToSixer Thu 08-Sep-11 14:03:02

I have nothing to help you with sorry OP, just wanted you to know there are others of us in your boat too.
I was prescribed Sertraline last week but didn't take it because didn't want to be sleepy over DDs birthday. Last month I was prescribed citrolopram but had horrendous side effects on it, no sleep, restless LEDs al night, no hunger at all etc. I took it for 6 days then was told by another GP not to take it while I had hospital treatment for anaemia.
Lovely female GP has suggested I take Sertraline and I was going to start thus week. I'm nervous about side effects after my reaction to citalopram, but I know I need something. My head is so foggy, I can't make a decision, grey mist etc.
I wondered what the best time of day to take Sertraline is? Early morning, or before bed?

ledkr Thu 08-Sep-11 14:09:49

Hi op,I always feel a bit shocked when i read the possible side effects of any meds,its always so extreme.I used to be a nurse btw.
I have been on prozac for about 2 months now for pnd and feel lots better for it.I did feel sick,tired and am still a bit sweaty but it all goes off after a bit,you are well equipt having read the leaflet to be alert for symptoms and consult your gp straight away.Best of luck,im coping much better now.

Magnumwhite Thu 08-Sep-11 14:12:00

Everyone is different in which ad suits them but I took Sertraline, had minimal side effects (maybe still feeling of disorientation for a few days and slight nausea coming off) but this completely insignificant for me compared with the improvement in my quality of life very quickly. Know 2 other people for whom this is also the case.
I think GPs like Sertraline esp for folk with anxiety +/- depression and also because it seems to get working quickly.
I took it in the morning with food - if on an empty stomach i'd feel a bit queasy.
Took me ages to get over fear/pride issues about going on ads. Would go on them in a flash again if symptoms reappeared.

friggFRIGG Thu 08-Sep-11 16:15:04

hi everyone,ive been taking them at night,i tend to feel a bit weird for a little while,queasy and a little disorientated,sometimes say if i try to read its a bit wobbly,but by the morning im fine.
im not feeling any improvement TBH but its very early days.

thankyou all for your kind words,it really,really helps.

friggFRIGG Thu 08-Sep-11 16:28:38

actually,scrap that,thats crap,i HAVE been feeling better.
today ive put washing out,put another load on.
made lunch for the DC.
washed up.
walked DD to nursery (1hr round trip)
started on dinner.

this is (embarrassingly) roughly what i would have achieved in 2-3 days a week or two ago.(i would just have gone out immediately and had lunch in town,or done very little and stayed at home.)

and the day isnt over yet,i feel more able,when i look around the house at the things i need to do,instead of despairing,and doing nothing,i START.

my DD and i are clashing less.

some of this is down to DD starting nursery this week.some of it isnt.

EightToSixer Thu 08-Sep-11 20:48:52

Friggfrigg, that sounds encouraging. Well done on what you've accomplished. I hope this is the start of appositive change for you.

Magnumwhite - it is the fear pride thing that is holding me back too. I wanted to try and manage without ADs but even though my anaemia is improving and therefore some of my symptoms are gradually subsiding, the foggy head, inability to make a decision etc continue and I should try now to see if they help. I don't think badly of other people who take them at all so why would I see it is a problem to take them myself? If I need surgery I don't see it as a weekness to have anaesthetic, so I need to think the same about taking ADs.

EightToSixer Wed 14-Sep-11 09:51:31

For anyone still following this thread, I have two more questions about Sertraline.

The info leaflet says it may affect driving, bu you won't know until you take it. Did it affect your driving? Can you still drive? I can't start taking it if it means I can't drive as I rely on my car every day.

Also, I read that you can't drink while on Sertraline. Is that drink anything at all? I'm not much of a drinker at all, many months I don't drink at all, but I'm not sure whether I'd b happy to toast a wedding without a sip of chqmpagne, or a glass of something at Christmas etc.

friggFRIGG Wed 14-Sep-11 13:33:36

well,i havent experienced ANY symptoms that would make it harder to drive,nor did the dr mention it,so it must be rare.
also, i have had two glasses of wine (separate occasions) as i wasnt told i couldnt drink,and felt no different than any other time ive had a glass of wine.

i was a little nauseous for the 1st week,but since then ive had nothing at all,feeling a bit better,sort of able to function better,less angry,and less anxious.
but i think im going to go back to the dr's as im still not 100%, to see if i can wangle some CBT,i was on the list originally but was taken off!

EightToSixer Wed 14-Sep-11 14:24:11

Thanks frigg. Good to know you're coping so well on it. Good luck with getting CBT, it's such a productive form of counselling, I'm sure it will be really helpful for you.

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