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Author Topic: Anyone on Zoloft?  (Read 5307 times)

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Offline RobbyR

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Anyone on Zoloft?
« on: December 20, 2012, 05:40:00 PM »
I just saw my GP and she prescribed me Zoloft for anxiety. I told her I was having trouble falling asleep at night, and this was increasing my anxiety. So she said she wanted to give me a low-dose med to help control my anxiety while also potentially helping my sleep. She also said I could take Melatonin as needed when I asked her about it. I've never taken an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant so I'm pretty treatment naive there. Anyone on here taken zoloft? I am not seriously depressed, nor do I have uncontrollable mood swings, just minor to moderate anxiety and trouble falling asleep. I'm sort of scared to start taking the zoloft, but I know I do need something to help calm me down and especially help me fall asleep better. I'd appreciate some insight/experience if anyone cares to share, about the zoloft. Thanks! xo
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline mecch

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 03:36:38 AM »
My therapist prescribed zoloft when I went through a nasty event and my anxiety went through the roof.  It was VERY helpful.  About six months later I stopped taking it.  A couple of months later I got HIV and took it again, and again it was very helpful. 

Don't be afraid. Just take it and see if you find it helpful. They say it can take awhile to work but mine kicked in very quickly. 

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline RobbyR

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 05:26:14 PM »
Sounds like you had a good experience with it mecch..I'm glad it's not a benzo because I want to avoid that class. I haven't taken the zoloft yet. Hopefully I'll get enough courage to at some point. I do need some help with anxiety but I also need help falling asleep. Hopefully the zoloft will help in those areas. So you didn't have any side effects with it?
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline mecch

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 07:46:35 PM »
I don't know what it does for falling asleep. I have different pills for that - i think they are called zolderm.
Yeah you probably are wondering about sexual dysfunction.  I had a buddy who couldn't come on Zoloft. No way no how.  I noticed maybe some delayed orgasms - taking a long time to come.
I got the prescription to deal with anxiety. I thought it worked well. And then when i didn't need it, it wasn't much to cut off. 
I also have lorazepam for anxiety but I maybe take it once a month if even that.

I think if its for depression someone can stay on it indefinitely.  I think with anxiety its good to try different things and certainly modifying thinking and behavior to cope with anxious making situations.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2012, 12:47:35 AM »
Zoloft didn't work for me.  Plus, it gave me bad facial muscle twitches and gave me a bad metallic taste.  And, it took me forever to have an orgasm.  I hated that, but my partners enjoyed it, because I could go an hour, instead of five mins.  After stopping it, it took months, before the sexual side-effects went away.

But, remember that depression meds work differently on different people.  You may not have any side-effects.  Prozac worked well for me, but I know people who hated it, saying it caused the side-effects I had with Zoloft.  I was on Zoloft around age 17.  I may take it today and have no problems. 

All the best and let us know how it goes. 

Offline mecch

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2012, 12:13:38 PM »
What Ted said is so true - lots of meds like these effect people quite differently so all you can do is try and see if one works for you.  Usually you can find at least one.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline RobbyR

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2012, 06:13:34 PM »
Honestly guys I really don't think I'll start the Zoloft. I mean, it's the simple pleasures in life, and if something messes up your ability to cum, then who needs that. I think I'll just try and keep my anxiety in check until I see my doc again next month and just ask if I can try something with fewer side effects, maybe Ativan, Paxil, or Prozac in a low dose. Most of the time my anxiety is in check and I think I can manage until then without Zoloft fucking my plumbing up. Don't need that! Kinda surprised she would prescribe me something like that and not even tell me about what the potential side effects would be. I mean if I was female, it wouldn't matter as much, but being a man, I don't want to risk losing my ability to get horny and cum. After all, I'm only 30 lol. So yeah, I think I'll just skip the zoloft for now and ask for something else next time around.
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline mecch

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 07:06:14 PM »
Robby that is disappointing.  Have you ever tried SSRI's? 
All your anxieties slip off your shoulders and your back. Its like a big relief.  You can't know you would get sex problems.  I think most people would agree with me that the mind kick of the drugs was worth the delayed orgasms. Which were interesting anyway. The point is to not freak out about things and SSRIs do that for most people. 
I think you should be more adventurous and try the zoloft for a couple of months. If you don't like you don't have to continue.  And you will probably have already got some anxiety relief.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline RobbyR

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 07:16:40 PM »
Robby that is disappointing.  Have you ever tried SSRI's? 
All your anxieties slip off your shoulders and your back. Its like a big relief.  You can't know you would get sex problems.  I think most people would agree with me that the mind kick of the drugs was worth the delayed orgasms. Which were interesting anyway. The point is to not freak out about things and SSRIs do that for most people. 
I think you should be more adventurous and try the zoloft for a couple of months. If you don't like you don't have to continue.  And you will probably have already got some anxiety relief.

Mecch, I guess I have anxiety about anxiety pills LOL. Guess I just sorta pride myself on my sexual prowress, as it were, and just a bit scared that the zoloft might permanently alter my ability to perform. I have taken ativan before, and it worked wonders for me, although I didn't take it very long, because it was only given to me after a hospital visit for a panic attack following a near-drug overdose (3 years clean and sober now yay!) and once I took about a week's worth of it, I felt good enough to discontinue it. I had some withdrawal, but nothing I couldn't handle. And the ativan did wonders for my sleep at night too! I don't think I have ever tried an SSRI before..I am toying with the idea of cutting my 50 mg pill in half or a quarter, and seeing if that small dose does anything for my anxiety without causing negative side effetcs. One thing I have heard, is that zoloft tends to boost the seratonin in the brain, which makes it more of one of the "uppers" of the SSRI's, which concerns me a bit because I already am a high strung person. I may bite the bullet and at least try the zoloft, I know I can stop it at any time. But still on the fence about it. I guess what I am a bit concerned about is that I am not a depressed person, just anxious. I think there's a difference. But I guess it can't hurt to try. Dunno if I will yet though.
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline mecch

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2012, 07:59:50 PM »
If you try it, stick to one dosage for quite some time. I would start with the dosage the doc recommends.  Just stay in touch with doc and report good or bad effects, and for advise on downing dosages.

I wouldn't go too deeply into SSRI "support" or "user" sites on the web - i can't imagine where you heard about permanent sexual dysfunction from a couple of months trial of an SSRI. Except on sites filled with iffy horror stories from worst case scenarios.

You need to sort out your ability to manage "better living through chemistry" because what you said about 1 week of Ativan is telling:  "I took about a week's worth of it, I felt good enough to discontinue it."

People take and value ssri because it cuts anxiety or lifts depression - it sort of levels things out you feel more chill and you function more easily and better too.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012, 12:34:25 AM »
I hope what I said about sexual side-effects didn't influence your decision.  Have you done research that says Zoloft is worst than others?  I have no idea whether it has a higher sexual effect than others.  As I said, many do great on Zoloft with little or no side-effects.  It is hard to describe ones experience with a drug, without it sounding like something everyone should avoid.  It may agree with you perfectly. 

With depression meds, it may be best for us not to bad mouth a med, since it does not necessarily mean it will happen to others.  I stayed on it too long, after the side-effects did not go away.  Now, I would know to make a change to something else.   

If you don't go with Zoloft, please don't put off trying something else, if you and your doc feel it would benefit you. 

Offline mikeyb39

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2012, 12:51:12 AM »
Robby, i can only describe what it did for me.  I've tried a few SSRI Zoloft being one of them for about 2 months and i felt comatose most of the time, i believe i was taking too high of a dose.  The sexual side effect i had on zoloft, is i just didnt have any sexual thoughts.  plain and simple.

I also took Effexor and it was even worse, no sexual thoughts at all, then when i finally forced myself to masterbate i had what they call anorgasmia.  I had an orgasm, but with no feeling.  i cut these off as well.

the only anti depressive i've taken that had the least side-effect is Wellbutrin, i've stopped and started it, but my doctor wants me to follow thru for more weeks to see if it makes me feel better and/or more energetic
11/02/2010  cd4-251, vl-591000
12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
06/10/2012  cd4-614, vl-UD
12/14/2012  cd4-764, vl-UD
09/01/2013  cd4-785, vl-UD
03/06/2014. cd4- 1078, VL-UD
09/05/2014  cd4-850 , VL-UD

Offline RobbyR

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2012, 05:09:27 PM »
Thanks for all the helpful responses so far guys! My doc prescribed the zoloft in 50 mg for me but suggested I cut it in half to 25 and try that once a day for awhile. Again, I suffer more from anxiety than depression, I actually don't consider myself clinically or majorly depressed at all. However, being 30, my sexual prowress is important to me. I sure as hell don't want to risk fucking up my ability to orgasm or cum, as blatant as that sounds. I mean, that would actually make me depressed! Sure, I need something for my anxiety, but I don't need something to mess my plumbing up in the process. Sheesh, looks like medicine would have more to offer us! For now I don't think I'll be taking the zoloft, I'm scared to take it because I don't want to turn into a zombie or ruin my sex life. So I guess I'll hold out until I see my doc again and maybe ask for something with less sexual side effects. Maybe Ativan would be a better option, or low-dose Paxil? I definately need something for my anxiety but not at the expense of my plumbing. All the research on zoloft I've done says that it is well-known to make ejaculation very difficult, or impossible. Who needs that? Not me! I'll pass! Shame there aren't better anti-anxiety options out there for men.
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline poz1970

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 12:18:05 AM »
My experience with zoloft was that it caused major stomach issues, admittedly I was on an extremely high dosage.

J
"The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to  heterosexuals. That doesn`t mean that God doesn`t love heterosexuals. It`s just that they need more supervision." -- Lynn Lavne

Offline RobbyR

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2013, 05:23:33 PM »
Thanks for all the comments guys, I just don't know what to do. I am having major anxiety and depressive thoughts, which are becoming slightly out of hand for me at times. They just feel like they are sweeping over me like a tide. I have the zoloft my doc prescribed me, and I'm supposed to see her late this month for a follow up. I feel sort of stupid that I haven't taken one yet, due to my anxiety about the side effects. But I'm scared they'll ruin my sexual functions, as trivial as that might sound, but this is based on a lot of research I've seen about guys saying zoloft killed their sex drives. I'm also a bit scared that zoloft will cause me to lose weight, and I'm already slim, so I don't need that! So I dunno what to do. I can't really live with this anxiety though. I was hoping to tough it out without any medications, but if this keeps up, I don't know if that is realistic. I really want to avoid Benzos, or anything that's going to hype me up. I just want something to help me function better without these sad thoughts and not kill my sex drive and sleep. I've heard good things about Remeron, or Trazodone, but when I mentioned Trazodone, my doc seemed reluctant about it because it is a tranquilizer. But it's still an anti-depressant right? So i don't get it? What about Paxil or Prozac. From my research, the one that seems to preserve sleep while not disrupting sexual functions is Remeron, maybe it is the slim guy's anti-depressant, I dunno..Just wondering if I should say fuck it and try the zoloft for a couple weeks.
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline mecch

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2013, 07:22:10 PM »
Are you seeing a therapist or is it a General Practitioner or your HIV doc who is prescribing the anti-depressant.

You are caught in a destructive catch-22 - so anxious - so you need an anti-anxiety treatment, and once one is offered to you, too anxious to try it.  :-\

Its a pity you have extrapolated from SOME peoples' bad experiences to think you will have the same, with zoloft.  The reason zoloft is so popular is that it works!! and People can deal with the side effects, OR THEY DON'T GET SIDE EFFECTS.

Stop suffering and take a step forward.  If you get side effects, discuss the next step at that time with your doc.  If you don't get anxiety relief, you won't stay on it anyway. 

Sounds like you need a therapist if that is possible, and you need to trust outside opinion on your mental health, some professional WHO YOU TRUST, and start trying out some recommended solutions even if you are anxious about doing so.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 07:23:52 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2013, 07:57:05 PM »
Robby, when you go on one of these drugs and they cause sexual issues you can just switch to something else. The sexual issues don't stay present once you go off the medication at least in my past experience.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline RobbyR

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2013, 07:58:14 PM »
Mecch, my general practicioner prescribed the zoloft for me. Basically what happened was I was in a period of severe lack of sleep, which prompted me to see my social worker at the HIV clinic where I am a patient. I told her of my problems sleeping, and she made an appointment for me with my GP, who seemed to think zoloft would be worth trying. I guess it's par for the course nowadays, but my gp (while she is really nice) always seems hurried and rushed and I feel like I can't quite articulate what I am going through. My problem is partly trust. I don't trust someone I can talk to about these issues, and I felt like my so-called social worker was a bit judgmental and eager to push me onto meds instead of hear my concerns. She was nice enough I suppose, but the day I went in and told her of my severe anxiety, which was a BIG step for me to do, I felt she was examining me more like a lab rat than a person. She just didn't really seem to make me feel like I did the right thing by telling someone about it. Maybe social workers just don't get anxiety, I don't know. Maybe that's just not their thing. I can't stand when people act like they are snooty or turn their noses up when you're going through something as awful as anxiety..I am not sure if the clinic I go to has a mental health specialist, but if so, I guess I could ask to see her. The social worker wanted me to try a wellness class for relaxation, which could be good I suppose, but I feel I need to settle my thoughts down before I do anything like that. And I don't have anxiety all the time, just at times. But at any rate, I've had the zoloft for two weeks and have been too anxious to try it yet. It is a catch 22! Im anxious, but part of me thinks if I just change my lifestyle or make myself think better, I won't need meds, while the other part of me thinks I should try the meds. I feel I don't have anyone to talk to about the anxiety or the medication. The social worker is okay but she just seemed a bit uppity, and turned off when I attempted to articulate my feelings. I'm not the type to open up to others very well. So I hope I can get this settled, I'm leaning towards trying the meds, but like Miss Philicia said once about zoloft, if it ruins your sexual desire, won't that only make your upset feelings worse?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 08:00:24 PM by RobbyR »
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline mecch

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2013, 08:19:46 PM »
My dear you really are having rolling thoughts.  Its a pity you didn't feel good with the social worker, or with the GP. On the other hand, perhaps their recommendations are not efforts to warehouse you or shut you up and get rid of you.  If you can get some continuing mental health attention, that will be great. But it does not mean that trying right now, an SSRI, is a bad idea. Is a good idea. (And your equipment is NOT going to permanently break. And you may very well have no sexual effects.  The point of the drug is that MENTAL HEALTH is ESSENTIAL)

Both the social worker and the doctor are not steering you wrong.  They are offering a possible helping hand in the SSRI. 

You are not seeing things clearly if you think there are things to adjust in your life BEFORE trying ot cut down this anxiety.  A fallacy.  You start trying ways to cut anxiety NOW.  Try the relaxtion class. Try to get in to see a therapist.  And goodlord try the SSRI already. And stick with it for several weeks at least.  Get a notebook and write down how its going - the good and bad.  Share it with social worker, doc, any potential therapist, or on here in the forum. 

You're a bit frozen in the headlights.  Time to move.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline RobbyR

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2013, 08:47:28 PM »
Mecch I'm about to say fuck it and just try the zoloft. If it worked for the late great Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes guess it could potentially work for me lol. I am going to try to see an actual psychiatrist at some point too.  Or I could just have a vodka haha. And if my equipment goes limp, eh, there are other ways of having fun right  ;) Seriously though, I agree that I have to take the initiative and do something. I am going to beat this I know it! On another note, I really hope that some major research gets done at some point, (if it is not already) on the possible relationship between hiv medication and depression/anxiety, because I do suspect a linkage.
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline mecch

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2013, 09:22:20 PM »
In the long run, you probably don't want to be on Atripla.  Another combo might also help with some of the mind issues.
But really, if possible, the ideal would be to have a prescribing mental health professional follow you along for quite awhile to find relief from the anxiety.

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2013, 08:27:52 AM »

The social worker wanted me to try a wellness class for relaxation, which could be good I suppose, but I feel I need to settle my thoughts down before I do anything like that.


What? That's like saying you want to drive a car before you learn how to drive a car.

Relaxation classes are designed to give you the tools you need in order to stop your anxious, racing thoughts. Waiting for your thoughts to settle down before you learn how to settle your thoughts down... it makes no sense.

Go to the classes.

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline RobbyR

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2013, 07:20:07 PM »
I'll consider going to the relaxation classes, but if it conflicts with work, I won't be able to. Many people don't get how debilitating anxiety can be. It can consume you at times. I'm basically not depressed at all, just anxious. I am going to try and see an actual psychiatrist at some point to talk about these issues. I consider myself a strong person, and I know I can beat this somehow. In the meantime, I'm trying 25 mg of zoloft to see how it works. So far, don't feel anything but dizziness and a bit jittery. Time will tell I suppose.
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline mecch

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2013, 08:41:01 PM »
Thats good news you are willing to give it shot. 
Did the doc say to start at 25 and then increase to 50mg after a week.  I think thats common. 
Please try to stick with it for a few weeks and I'll be looking here too to see what you have to say about it. Good luck, really. 

And have you ever had any help on addressing the anxiety?  There are CBT techniques if you have a therapist to help. And even things someone can do himself like physical exercise and breathing exercises, visualisations, etc.


I cycled through all kinds of different techniques to deal with anxiety and as I have reported, I did find the Zoloft very very helpful.  Then when I didn't need it anymore, I said thanks and goodbye.

Same thing with benzos. I thought they were great. And then after awhile, I rarely felt the need for one. 

Pyschoatives might give you some calm to work on the anxiety from other routes, as well.

As Ann pointed out, you have repeated a few times this idea that you need to get something together before you can start cutting the anxiety but actually, your life is now, and you can try different techniques now, thats the whole point, to cut the anxiety now.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2013, 08:18:57 AM »

Many people don't get how debilitating anxiety can be. It can consume you at times.


Well, we're not "many people". I doubt that there's anyone who posts here who hasn't had debilitating anxiety at one point or another since diagnosis so yeah, we get it. We get it in spades.

Like Mecch mentioned, get this sorted now rather than waiting for ~insert excuse here~. Just do it! You'll thank yourself in the long run.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline decayingsinner

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2013, 12:01:46 PM »
I have been taking zoloft for many years without side affects.  It took many different medications before I found one that worked for me and didn't have nasty side affects.

Offline RobbyR

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Re: Anyone on Zoloft?
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2013, 06:05:27 PM »
Hey guys & gals, pretty amazed at how many people have contributed to this thread I started way back in December, thanks for the input! As for Zoloft, I gave it a try for a few months and it helped my anxiety at times but it also began to make me feel very jittery and I actually had some bad panic attacks while on it, more so than even before I started taking it. I am a severe claustrophobic, and also have some social anxiety, and it did not seem to help those trigger situations very much. I started out on 50mg, and that was my dose the whole time I was on it. I did get bad insomnia at times, and I already suffered from insomnia, so that sucked.

At any rate, I stuck it out, but after talking with my doctor again, we decided to try Paroxetine (Paxil) to replace the Zoloft. I will be starting it next week 37.5 mg will be my dose. Doc told me Paxil is less activating than Zoloft and may help reduce my jitters and is more sedating. That has been one of my complaints on the zoloft I know everyone's different but it does seem to make me feel like I can't relax my brain at times.

So I am looking forward to starting the Paxil! I also am on a beta blocker as needed for major trigger situations like for crowds or before presentations, and the beta blocker really helps a lot!
Started Atripla August, 2010.

 


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