Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PVLady, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Is anyone taking Zoloft? I have a problem with anxiety and OCD. The doctor said it would really help. I am starting on a low dose - 25 mg day.

  2. keke466

    keke466 New Member

    I've been on this for 3 yrs. I take 25mg a day. I'm too scared to stop it. Sometimes I feel like I should increase it because I still have periods of depression. But that's part of this DD and all the stress I go thru. I've not had any problems with it except it making me sleepy till I got used to it.

    Hope it helps you. Keke
  3. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Thanks for the reply. Are you taking it for depression?

    I have anxiety and compulsive behaviors, not fun...

    You have stayed on 25 MG for three years? - my doctor sounded like we would eventually increase to 50 mg,
  4. keke466

    keke466 New Member

    but I know I need to increase it.My Dr is going to start me on elavil so I'll see how that does first. Suppose to help with pain and depression. Keke
  5. stinker56

    stinker56 New Member

    It really helped with my depression and I did feel much better but it about destroyed my marriage. My sex drive disappeard what little I had anyway since I hurt most of the time but that is one of the biggest draw backs to the drug. The doctor changed me to Wellbutrin. It works good too with no side effects but since I am not working now, I can't afford all my meds so that is one that had to go but I really need something. Hope the Zoloft helps you.
  6. jfrustrated

    jfrustrated New Member

    I tried it for a while, but it did not help me and so the doctor changed me to Luvox which really helped.

    I was on Luvox for over 5 years and became physically dependant on it so when I decided to stop it, it was a long, and sometimes unsuccessful process that ended up taking about 18 months. But it helped me over a bad period of time.

    I am now on SAMe and quite happy about it - (an unintentional pun). I would suggest that you check to see if there is the possibility of physical dependence with Zoloft, and that you know all the pluses and minuses.

    I do not know what OCD is but I still have anxiety - which is both totally irrational and really scary. Hope it works for you.

    It will take time to see if it does, up to 6 weeks, so be sure to give it a geniune trial. That is one of the downers of an anti-depressant: it may be weeks before you know if it is going to work for you or not. And you have to endure that time.
  7. CanBrit

    CanBrit Member

    I've been on 50 mg of Zoloft since last year when I was diagnosed with Fibro. I've found it helps extremely well. I'm a much calmer person, less emotional. I'm also have OCD and it's helped that a lot.

    My husband is on 100mg's. I think reduced sex drive, while antidepressants can be a cause, fatigue and pain have a lot to do with it as well. He has severe arthritis in his knees, and add on menopause for me. (Maybe even male menopause for him. Yuk yuk!!)

    I think it's a great drug that's helped us both.



  8. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Pvlady, I have the zoloft and know i need something but afraid to try it..My doc gave me 25 mg and told me to break them in half to start with..I haven't gotten up the nerve as I have had no luck with AD's bad side effects..

    I not only have cfs but the anxiety, depression and agoraphobia is the worst..

    So let me know how you do..I am thinking of trying mine this weekend..

    Good luck and God Bless,
  9. adberens

    adberens New Member

    I was on Zoloft (100 mg) for nearly 10 years. I did not have any side effects. It helped with my depression.

    I have my emorions pretty much under control now and have switch to Cymbalta. It really helps with the pain.

  10. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Believe it or not, I am just on my second day at 25 mg and I feel better already. I am going through the adjustment period where I am tired for several hours, and sometimes a little nausea, but towards the evening I feel so calm - much better.

    Time will tell if I can get past some of my OCD issues. (OCD is Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors). I want to control my life, not follow compulsive behavior.

    I asked my husband to please encourage me not to stop this med. I know I need it, I really do.........

    My anxiety has been terrible the past 5 months. I realize now, I have been an anxious person all my life, but recently it is really bad.

    I will stay on the Zoloft, I want things to get better.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/10/2005]
  11. buddylee

    buddylee New Member

    could it be helping you 2 nd day.
    I took it put me to sleep for like 20 hours a day.
  12. CanBrit

    CanBrit Member

    Like you, I felt better quite quickly. I had slight headaches and dizziness but much calmer. He put me of 50mg right away.

    Hope everything continues on the up and up for you!

  13. cwilson

    cwilson New Member

    My Dad has been on Zoloft for about a month now and it really seems to be helping him. He has had mild depression since his triple by-pass 3 years ago. But most reacently in Aug.'05 he was the evolved in a traffic accident w/ his Dump truck and the other guy jumpped out of his pickup and started beatting the Crap out of the truck. Really Scared my dad. Now it's November my dad has not gotten behind the wheel of a truck since the accident. He will not even ride his Harley. (It's got about 4 inches of dust on it.)
    But the Zoloft seems to help. But, he still won't drive. but he's much better when we take him to the doctor.
    Oh, By the way the guy that attacked my dad never got aressed or nothing.
  14. FibroJo

    FibroJo New Member

    I was on 50 mg of Zoloft and about 3 months ago I went to 100 mg. Helps me tremendously and I do not have any side affects from it. I had alot of anxiety and the zoloft just seemed to level things out for me.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/11/2005]
  15. FibroJo

    FibroJo New Member

  16. pepper

    pepper New Member

    I was on 25 mg, then 50 mg for several years. My anxiety and depression disappeared. I went off it about a year and a half ago because I was worried about it "frying" my brain as Dr. Cheney puts it.

    Now I am thinking of going back on something because I am so anxious and depressed. It helped with the pain too.

    Good luck with it.
  17. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Pepper, Did he say Zoloft frys your brain? I sure hope not. I need this med. I am so inclined not to take meds, but I do notice a difference already.

    Civilson, I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your dad. I hope the Zoloft helps him, but I would also encourage you to take him for therapy to get past his PTSS. He probably needs more than the meds alone. What a horrible experience!!! I can't believe the person was not arrested.

    Canbrit, thanks, I hope it continues to help me also. I have a feeling it is going to help. I have to take the ups and downs and stay aware of the improvements.

    Buddylee, I think everyone reacts differently to these meds. Yes, I have noticed a difference already. I am wondering what it will be like after 4 weeks. Maybe I will feel completely normal, whatever that is...

    Thank you everyone..
  18. pepper

    pepper New Member

    From what I remember, Dr. Cheney said that people with CFS (FM too?) should not take SSRI's because they fry our brains. I assume that means that they kill the neurons??

    I believe that Mikie has mentioned this many times over the years. I would have stayed on Zoloft if it were not for that info - along with the hope that I would drop some weight but I didn't. I have gained at least 20 lb since I went off the Zoloft completely 1 1/2 yrs ago. Possibly from the increased stress and anxiety.

    I will check on that info and post it here if I find it.


    P.S. I had the same reaction as you - I felt better within a few days of starting Zoloft. The doctor told me it was psychosomatic but I know what I was feeling. There is no mistake when your head is starting to clear! Maybe people who are really low in seratonin feel the effects earlier???

  19. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Editor’s Note: This information is based on tapes of Carol Sieverling’s October 2000 patient visit with Dr. Cheney. He gave permission to share this information, but has not reviewed or edited it.

    Dr. Cheney recently came across some information regarding the dangers of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil, and stimulants like Ritalin and Provigil. During office visits, Dr. Cheney shows patients the book Prozac Backlash: Overcoming the Dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Other Antidepressants by Joseph Glenmullen, M.D., a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School. It includes endorsements from other Ivy League psychiatrists. Cheney calls the implications of this book "staggering."

    When talking with patients, Cheney usually opens the book to a picture of a monkey's brain before and after it received a very potent SSRI. The "before" photo shows a dark background filled with fine white lines and white blobs, healthy neurons. The "after" photo is very dark, only a few white lines and blobs remain. Most of the brain cells had been "fried."

    SSRIs and stimulants work by increasing the firing of neurons. While this often has great benefits in the short term, doctors are now realizing that long term use "fries" brain cells. The body views any neuron that fires excessively over time as damaged, and destroys it.

    SSRIs and stimulants, taken over a period of 10 years or so, can lead to a loss of brain cells, causing neurodegenerative disorders. Many doctors have recently seen a sudden increase in patients with neurological symptoms, and most have been on Prozac, or a similar drug, for about 10 years. Cheney is seeing this in his own practice.

    During office visits, Cheney also shows patients a copy of the May 22, 2000 issue of Newsweek with Michael J. Fox on the cover. It has an excellent article on Parkinson's Disease, a condition that involves a loss of neurons in the area associated with motor control. Parkinson's drugs stimulate the remaining neurons to "perform heroically," firing excessively. However, the article notes that while benefits are seen initially, neurological symptoms get much worse at the three to five-year point. Patients experience wild involuntary movements, etc. These drugs, though helpful in the short term, actually speed up the degenerative process.

    What mechanisms are at work causing neurons to be "fried?" SSRIs are often prescribed for depression, which involves a lack of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger. One neuron releases a burst of it into the intersynaptic cleft, (the gap between neurons). The serotonin is then taken up by special receptors in the adjacent neuron. Thus a message is sent from one neuron to another, with serotonin carrying the message across the gap. Excess serotonin is cleared away before a new message is sent. A "reuptake channel" in one neuron vacuums up the left over serotonin.

    SSRIs are designed to address a lack of serotonin by blocking the reuptake channel from vacuuming up excess serotonin. While this allows more serotonin to connect with the receptors, often too much is left floating in the intersynaptic cleft. The only way the body can get rid of this excess serotonin is to oxidize it. Unfortunately, this turns it into a toxic compound that, over time, kills both the sending and receiving neurons.

    Cheney stated, "What starts out as an attempt to increase serotonin and reduce symptoms ends up with the destruction of the serotonergic system itself. It takes about a decade, more in some, less in others.

    Now when the serotonergic nerves are dead, you start getting these motor neuron problems, which is what we're seeing." Cheney commented, "You know what a lot of doctors (who do not understand CFIDS) are doing? They're saying 'Well, let's just give them an antidepressant'. And they are frying their (patients') brains and they don't even know it. In fact, a CFIDS patient on one of these drugs fries their brain even faster than a non-CFIDS person." (See the article on Klonopin for an explanation.)

    Cheney went on to say, "The other way some people with CFIDS are going is stimulating the brain, using drugs like Ritalin or Provigil. They do the same thing - they fry the brain. They cause neurons to fire at lower stimulus by lowering the firing threshold. All stimulants are dangerous, especially over the long haul. I'm not saying that you might not find them useful in the short-term. But over the long term, the physiology demands that neurons that fire excessively be killed."

    Cheney strongly urges anyone taking antidepressants or stimulants to read Glenmullen's book, which lists safe alternatives to SSRIs.

    © 2002 Carol Sieverling. Reprinted with permission.
  20. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I think I have heard enough. I will skip my Zoloft tomorrow and see what happens. I have only taken it for a few days.

    Perhap I can get the "cognitive" therapy and get better without drugs.

    The last thing I want to do is wind up with permanent brain damage. Thanks everyone for responding...

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