So optimistic about Zoloft...but let down again!

  1. Those of you who have "toyed" around with antidepressants will understand, I am sure.

    I recently started on Zoloft due to some debilitating symptoms of depression triggered by my father's death. A relapse, actually.. I had been taking Lamictal....which was working GREAT..with NO side effects (can't say enough good things about Lamictal by the way)...until my Dad died. Anyhow, my doc put me on Zoloft, 50mg.

    I have taken SSRI before (lets see, lexapro, effex, cymb, prozac) and every time I get this overwhelming fatigue feeling. I don't know if my body hates serotonin or what. Circulating serotonin is EVIL! I'd rather be anxious, thank you.. I can't wake up in the morning, want to nap in the afternoon...and if I do lay down...can stay asleep for HOURS. Basically, I am always feeling like I just woke up and want to go back to sleep, never refreshed. I NEVER took naps before! It really sucks. I was really hoping it was going to give me the oomph to start working out again (Lamictal was working great before for that) but it hasn't. All it has done is make me more apathetic and I feel worse physically. I guess I am less emotional but I don't think the trade off will be worth it since my sex life has gone to hell too.

    Already I feel like I am gaining weight. You MUST if all you want to do is sleep!!!

    I think I am going to stay on Lamictal but I think I need to look to exercise now to help me out of this. Even if the Zoloft helps me, I couldn't bear to be tired and fat. Being fit and being active is too important to me. I think if I can get that back, I can get a better mood! It is just getting over that hump that is so hard when you are dealing with depression!

    I am thinking of tapering now, since today will only be 2 weeks taking it. I know the dc can be very unpleasant and if this drug is going to do this to me I don't think I want to be on it.

    Please commiserate with me.... I'd love to hear feedback, especially if you are on Zoloft, too.
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    About Curious1alwys, BSN, RN

    Joined: May '04; Posts: 1,242; Likes: 288

    14 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    I am so sorry that you haven't found the right med for you. In order for this thread to be successful, we must remain general, as we can't provide medical advice at All Nurses.
  4. by   casi
    I went through what I titled "the medication game" through most of my teenage years. It's frustrating and difficult to find the right medication and dose that works for you. Once you go through the weeks/months/years it takes to find those meds it feels like you're a whole new person.

    Don't give up right away. Remember it takes awhile for those meds to acctually start working. Also remeber what might be someone elses wonder drug can be a comeplete dud for you. Before you make any changes to your meds talk to your doctor about your concerns.
  5. by   mel1977
    have you tried taking the Zoloft at HS? I know my doc had me take it then bc of the potential to make me drowsy. You should call your doc and see if that is an option. Also, studies show people who LACK sleep are the ones prone to obesity and weight gain versus those who get enough sleep. That is just from what I have been reading lately. Some health Mag, not sure which one. I am on Zoloft for anxiety and love it, but that is just me. We all react differently to meds. Maybe give the nighttime dose a try and see if that makes a difference.
    I hope something works out for you.
    Mel
    Oh, Casi makes a good point. It takes up to two weeks for these meds to even start making a difference-you may even have to up the dose. I started on 50 and am now at 75 which is working much better for me. But again, you'll find something. Good Luck to you
    Last edit by mel1977 on Aug 31, '06
  6. by   tencat
    Sweetie....you've only been on it two weeks. Give it another couple of weeks. It takes 4-6 weeks for noticeable improvements. Sorry about your dad's death. When my mom died I was thrown into horrible depression, too. Zoloft really saved my hide! I know it's not for everyone, but give it some time to work. Force yourself out to exercise, even if it's for fifteen minutes at a time. Hang in there. It does get better in time.
  7. by   Curious1alwys
    Thank you everyone!

    Tencat....yes, I know these meds take time to work. I am trying to remember that and stay the course.:wink2: I don't want to be one of those noncompliants, lol. And you are right. FORCE myself out there! Yes! (I think I can....I think I can....I think I can... ) I am going to try my best.

    Thanks for sharing your personal experiences. That is what I was looking for as well. I love this forum!
  8. by   MIA-RN1
    I take 50mg zoloft qday and I have to take it at bedtime because it often makes me drowsy---especially the first month or so. It did take a little longer than 2 weeks for the side effects to go away and the major one was this weird gorked-zombie feeling. Obviously, talk to your doctor since medically its something to take up at the doc office and not here but also remember that if you stop taking it suddenly you will have side effects from that as well.
  9. by   sunnyjohn
    It took about four weeks for it to kick in for me and the doc had me on a really high dose (or so I was told)

    Eventually she cut it back some. The sleepiness went away, my appetite was cut way back and I lost weight. Zoloft saved my life. I was so clear headed and the depression lifted.

    Keep the faith thrashej. Something will eventually do the trick.
  10. by   LanaBanana
    Yes, I have also played "the medication game", trying every antidepressant out there until Cymbalta finally came along. It can be frustrating because before dropping a med, you might need a combination of meds which would synergistically help the depression. I hope you're seeing a psychiatrist for your meds and not your primary doc because psychiatrists are usually more willing to try the combos. My best combo was Wellbutrin, Lamictal, and Cymbalta. We were finally able to drop the Wellbutrin and then the Lamictal.
    What I really wanted to encourage you to do (if you're not already) is to try counseling. Since this got worse when you lost your dad, there may be some things you need to work out. A lot of people say they have tried counseling before but it didn't help. Maybe they weren't with the right therapist. It takes finding someone with the right personality that you can "click" with to make a good therapeutic relationship.
    I'm sorry you lost your dad and that you have to go through this. Keep working on it!!!!!!
  11. by   jubilee09
    Im sorry to hear of your trouble, and know what it feels like to try different meds and find nothing seems to be working. I have tried Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac and a couple of others. My symptoms were more anxiety than depression. It snowballed into having panic attacks and was getting really bad. My doctor refuses to prescribe any sort of tranq's like Xanax, valium, ect. because of my history with alcohol abuse. Anyhow, the only thing that has worked for me is Effexor. I know some people absolutley hate this drug because it is hard to come off of, but for me it has been a life saver. The panic attacks have stopped, I've had a major decrease in my overall level of anxiety and no weight gain. No fatigue either (except for the first 2 weeks taking it).
    Recently, I did try to cut my doseage with my ulimate goal of being to discontinue it but after reducing my doseage, my husband said he could tell the difference and to pls go back on my regular dose. I dont like the idea of taking a med all my life but for now, this works for me. I wish you the best and pls try not to get too discouraged, everyone is different and sometimes it just takes a while to find the right med to help.

    Good luck,
    Stacey
  12. by   twinpumpkin
    I have been taking Zoloft for almost 6 years now and recently started considering changing to something else. Zoloft was the first and only antidepressant that I've tried and it did wonders for me for a while. I have gained weight while taking it, though. It wasn't until recently (in nursing school) that I learned that it can cause weight gain. What a shocker! That, and a few other reasons, I am thinking about switching to another antidepressant, maybe one that targets other neurotransmitters besides serotonin (maybe Cymbalta?).

    Is it possible to become tolerant of one antidepressant and need to switch?

    I just wanted to let you know that I understand where you are coming from.

    I am glad that Zoloft seems to be working for you...it was a wonder drug for me.

    :wink2: Twinpumpkin
  13. by   mercyteapot
    Have you tried Wellbutrin? It works on dopamine, so maybe you wouldn't feel so fatigued all the time. Couldn't hurt to ask your doc about it, if you haven't already.
  14. by   December716
    Wellbutrin has been my wonder drug (that and Lithium, I ended up with a bad rash while on Lamictal and had to stop it). After years and years after doctors forcing SSRI's and SNRI's on me, finally a hospitalization and Serotonin Syndrome lead to me being on Wellbutrin. I'm so glad. I hated every single SSRI I was put on (I was tired and sluggish and had zero sex drive), and despised the SNRI's worse (Cymbalta is the one that made me so sick I ended up hospitalized). This isn't to say I don't think SSRI's have a place. My husband is on Zoloft and does great! But in my case I was getting incredibly frustrated being put on SSRI after SSRI when I was always plagued by intolerable symptoms.

    Anyway, being on Wellbutrin is like night and day compared to the other antidepressants 's I've been on (Celexa, Prozac, Paxil, Cymbalta, Remeron). My Lithium generally made me tired, but when I combined it with Wellbutrin, I have the energy and motivation that I lost for years. I'm like a completely different person. If you would have stepped in to my house six months ago, you would have seen a complete disaster. I was always too tired, worn out, and generally had no motivation to do anything. Now it's spotless, I attend my classes regularly, and I feel really good in life. I advise you to stick with it, but if you're not happy with the results, keep pushing for better. I didn't believe I'd ever feel good in life for a very long time, but with persistance you can find the right meds. No one on here can say for sure what that is, though. So much of these things is trial and error, unfortunately.

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