When you are prescribed Zoloft as part of a medical treatment program for social anxiety disorders or chronic depression, the prescribing medical professional will typically decrease the dosage gradually over time in order to reduce the possibilities for Zoloft (sertraline) withdrawal. The tendency for those of us who take these forms of antidepressants is to stop taking them abruptly once we begin to feel better.
Types of Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms
This action can affect our progress negatively by incurring some rather uncomfortable Zoloft withdrawal symptoms. It is not uncommon for those who instantly quit ingesting this mood stabilizing drug to begin feeling sick or fatigued. We may mistakenly feel as if we have a mild form of the flu or a stomach virus.
The shock to the body's system from the rapid decline of the drug's consumption can cause the Zoloft withdrawal. In more severe cases, some patients have been known to have very disturbing thoughts of despair, sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness. This sets the treatment program back considerably. At times, the medical physician may recommend another round of Zoloft treatment, which only elongates the process of ending the social anxiety altogether.
Zoloft Withdrawal Can Happen to Anyone
Zoloft withdrawal symptoms can occur in all patients, even in those who have gradually decreased their Zoloft dosage over time. The symptoms are generally less severe when the patient follows the recommendations of the prescribing physician, decreasing the dosage over time. But even then, feelings of dizziness, joint pain, and trembling hands and fingers can be a natural result.
Sometimes the brain just needs a bit of time to catch up to the changes within our body that the consumption of Zoloft creates. The serotonin levels in the brain are increased when on Zoloft, and when we are taken off of this medication, the brain may struggle for a bit to maintain the same serotonin production levels, thus leading to these mild, though usually temporary, Zoloft withdrawal symptoms.
How Long Does Zoloft Withdrawal Last?
When these Zoloft withdrawal symptoms occur, the patient should immediately communicate them to the prescribing medical physician. In many cases, no new treatment will be required because this is a very common occurrence as we wean ourselves off of this medication.
Zoloft withdrawal can last for 7 to 14 days in most cases, but it is not uncommon for these symptoms to last for up to 1 month. Depending on the types of Zoloft withdrawal symptoms and their severity, the doctor might determine a new course of action.