Do zoloft tremors go away? (Things that help)
In this blog, we will answer the question, “Do zoloft tremors go away?”. Our aim is to understand what tremors actually are and how they can affect your everyday life activities.
We will also discuss treatment strategies to get rid of zoloft induced tremors and what lifestyle changes can help you manage zoloft side effects in the long run.
Do zoloft induced tremors go away?
Zoloft induced tremors usually go away after stopping the use of zoloft. It usually depends on your drug dose and the severity of your tremors. If it’s manageable, the treatment is continued and tremors begin to subside within 2 to 3 months.
How does zoloft cause tremors and how do they affect you?
Zoloft inhibits the reuptake of serotonin from the synaptic cleft (space between a neuron and its target cell). So, it increases the availability of serotonin in your brain.
SSRIs can stimulate your nerve receptors which can result in tremors. High amounts of serotonin can make a person go through involuntary movements or tremors, as it is available in large quantities to bind to its receptors throughout the body.
During an episode of tremor, you are subjected to uncontrollable bouts of movement where your voice gets shaky and head starts to nod, without your will.
Tremors may occur when you are at rest. Some tremors occur when you’re in motion or in the middle of a specific kind of movement, which might trigger an episode of tremor. Tremors are not life threatening but are pretty disabling.
Tremors make it difficult or even impossible to perform work and daily life activities. Sometimes, tremors could become a reason for embarrassment when they occur in public places.
Don’t feel embarrassed though! It is an involuntary condition. There is pretty much nothing you can do to stop or delay the episode.
How to make zoloft induced tremors go away?
Tremors are not like other side effects as they are pretty disabling. Your doctor might change your antidepressant or lower the dose if you keep experiencing uncontrollable movements.
If your tremors still persist, there are some medications that can be used in order to stop your tremors, for good.
Beta blockers: Propranolol
Propranolol, a beta blocker, is a medically approved medication to treat tremors. Studies show that propranolol, at times, is the first choice of drug to treat tremors.
Metoprolol also holds some tremor curing properties. The mechanism through which propranolol reduces tremor is still unknown (and a great topic of study).
Studies show that people have actually gained relief from tremors after using propranolol but it still can not provide complete relief. It can be taken once or twice a day, as suggested by your healthcare professional.
Side effects of beta blockers
Beta blockers are known to be intolerable in some people. Side effects may include:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Anxiety or depression
Do not use beta blockers, if:
- You have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It can cause bronchoconstriction.
- You have arrhythmia
- You have kidney disease
- You have liver disease
- You have diabetes
- You are pregnant or a nursing mother
- While you are taking Inderal, your healthcare provider will keep monitoring your heart rate and blood pressure. It is necessary to monitor the effects as beta blockers are antihypertensives and they reduce heart rate.
- You can try long acting Beta-blockers if you tolerate them well.
- In general, propranolol needs a lot of time to reduce tremors.
- There is a chance that the drug will stop producing effects on the current dose and you might need to increase it.
Primidone is an anticonvulsant drug that is also used for the treatment of tremor. Its mechanism of suppressing tremors is unknown as well.
Primidone has good therapeutic effects. It works well to reduce tremors associated with upper extremities. One dose can reduce tremors for up to 24 hours. But like every other drug, it produces side effects as well
Side effects of Mysoline
Primidone may cause:
- Ataxia or walking in small steps
- Hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness)
Serious complications with the drug are rare but it can cause bone marrow problems. If you’re on Primidone, your healthcare provider will check your blood counts (CBC) every 6-12 months to check your levels.
Primidone can interact with phenobarbital, so consult your healthcare provider if you use these two medications together.
Note: Primidone should not be used along with zoloft. This treatment is only an option when you have stopped taking zoloft and have completely washed it out of your system but your tremors still persist.
Experts suggest that gabapentin works well for a short-term treatment of tremors, affecting upper extremities, but it is not known how the drug works. In most cases, it is not used in combination with other drugs.
Side effects are rare but include:
- Walking difficulties or ataxia
- Weight gain
Benzodiazepine may be helpful for those people who did not respond to other treatments. These meds tend to reduce excessive neuronal firing in the brain and control involuntary movements.
Benzodiazepines are often avoided as they can make your depression symptoms worse by slowing down your brain even more.
Side effects of benzodiazepines
Common side effects include:
- Disbalance (it is more common in older adults or people who are extremely weak)
- Improper speech
- muscle fatigue
- memory problems or dementia
- nausea (feeling sick)
- dry mouth
- blurred vision.
Botulinum toxin is also used to treat tremors. It mainly works by muscles which are twitching and causing tremors. This treatment consists of an injection, administered into muscle tissue once.
But it comes with side effects. It causes muscle weakness. If injection is used to treat hand tremors, it can make your fingers weak and numb.
If Botox is used to treat throat tremors, it can make swallowing food difficult for you. Make sure you weigh all the pros and cons before choosing this treatment option.
Other medications to look out for
Not just antidepressants, other medications are also known to cause tremors. Here is the list of drugs which possibly induce tremors:
- Antiarrhythmic drugs
- Dilantin and valproic acid
- Corticosteroids (like prednisone).
- Immunosuppressants: cyclosporine and tacrolimus
Make sure you don’t use any one of these along with zoloft. Medications, when they are used together, should be monitored carefully.
Studies suggest hundreds and thousands of people experience drug interactions caused by using multiple sensitive drugs together. It not only worsens the side effects, but could also change the nature of your drugs’ active compounds.
Make sure you discuss all the medications you’re supposed to take with your healthcare provider first, before actually taking them. Some medicines need a dose adjustment before they could be used together.
Some underlying medical conditions that cause tremors
Tremor could be a side effect of some underlying conditions
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Brain injury followed by trauma
- Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
Some other known causes include:
- Overactive thyroid gland
- Alcohol abuse or withdrawal
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Kidney or liver failure
- Anxiety or panic attacks.
Lifestyle changes that might help
Following lifestyle changes might help:
Avoid caffeine as it can increase your tremors.
Some people notice that their tremors improve slightly after they drink alcohol, but the effect is temporary and definitely not a good solution. Tremors tend to get worse once the effects of alcohol go away. This leads to alcoholism, which is considered a disease in itself. Be aware!
Learn to relax.
Stress and anxiety tend to make tremors worse, and being relaxed may improve tremors. Although there is literally no way to remove stress from your life, it’s best to deal with it in a positive manner. Don’t take things to your head. Find a stress relieving activity that helps you to relax.
Adopt a better lifestyle
Making lifestyle changes works well with everything. If you are experiencing tremors of upper extremities, try to relax them. Engage in relaxing physical activities, like yoga. It helps to relax your muscles as well.
Zoloft is associated with a lot of side effects, one of which is tremors. Tremors are normally considered different from other side effects, as they are pretty disabling. They can interfere in normal day life activities, causing irritability.
In usual practice, too many tremors can result in discontinuation of treatment with zoloft. Some other antidepressant is usually prescribed after your tremors go away.
If your tremors do not stop, even after discontinuing the culprit medicine, your doctor prescribes a medication to set those tremors in place.
FAQs: Do zoloft tremors go away
Are tremors common with Zoloft?
Yes, tremors are included in common side effects of zoloft, but the intensity varies. If your tremors are really intense, you should contact your healthcare provider to make sure you stay safe.
Can sertraline make you shaky?
Yes, sertraline (Zoloft) can make you shaky. Other common side effects include:
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling angry or agitated
- Weight gain
- Inability to digest food
- Loss of libido
- Sweating/Night sweats
- Tremors or shaking
- Decreased sex drive
- Inability to ejaculate
How do you stop Zoloft tremors?
Zoloft induced tremors can usually result in discontinuation of treatment. Your antidepressant might not suit you and you need to switch to a different one. Always consult your healthcare provider before you start or stop any medication.
Why do SSRIs cause tremors?
SSRIs can stimulate your nerve receptors which can result in tremors. High amounts of serotonin can make a person go through involuntary movements, as it is available in large quantities to bind to its receptors throughout the body.
Do the side effects of Zoloft go away?
Side effects of zoloft usually begin to fade away in 2 to 3 weeks, as your body takes time to adapt to the use of medication.
How long until Zoloft leaves your system?
The half-life of sertraline (zoloft) is 24 hours, which means that it usually takes a day for the drug’s concentration to reduce to half of the original amount. In another 24 hours, the drug’s concentration is further reduced to half of the remaining amount.
- National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke – Tremor Fact Sheet https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Tremor-Fact-Sheet
- Morgan JC, Kurek JA, Davis JL, Sethi KD – Insights into Pathophysiology from Medication-induced Tremor https://tremorjournal.org/article/10.5334/tohm.374/
- Caterina Palleria, Antonello Di Paolo, Chiara Giofrè, Chiara Caglioti, Giacomo Leuzzi, Antonio Siniscalchi, Giovambattista De Sarro, and Luca Gallelli – Pharmacokinetic drug-drug interaction and their implication in clinical management https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3897029/
- Siddharth Dixit, Shahbaj A Khan, and Sudip Azad – A Case of SSRI Induced Irreversible Parkinsonism https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378786/
- Drug Treatments for Essential Tremor https://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/guide/essential-tremor-drug#:~:text=Aid%20for%20Seizures-,Beta%2DBlockers%20for%20Essential%20Tremor,Lopressor