Restarting zoloft (Is it a good idea?)

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Page last updated: 16/05/2022

Restarting zoloft (Is it a good idea?)

In this blog post, we are going to talk about restarting zoloft, which is an antidepressant. We will cover what one should expect when starting the treatment again and what circumstances lead to the discontinuation of zoloft in the first place. 

Is restarting zoloft a good idea? 

Restarting zoloft is a good option for the treatment of recurring depression or anxiety disorder. Several studies indicate that stopping your antidepressant can result in relapse of depression symptoms, which requires to be treated again. 

However, it is not advised to start using zoloft again without your doctor’s approval. Depression and anxiety are nerve-racking conditions which can occur again and again. 

Many people spend years on zoloft, but it is recommended to taper it down when your depression and anxiety symptoms are gone. It is not advised to continue using it after you have achieved your therapeutic goal because such meds are associated with a lot of side effects. 

Experts believe that people show good response once the antidepressant has been flushed out of their system, but a majority of people suffer from a relapse of their mental health illness and start sinking in this whole mess again. 

This condition is expected to be treated by using the antidepressant again. For such individuals, zoloft or any other antidepressant which might suit them, become a part of their normal life. 

What circumstances lead to the discontinuation of zoloft? 

Zoloft is an antidepressant which is used to treat multiple illnesses including mild to severe episodes of depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). 

It can also be used off-label for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. This medication is discontinued due to a number of reasons. These include:

Maximum therapeutic outcome has been achieved 

Your doctor may start tapering you off zoloft if your depression symptoms have subsided completely. This antidepressant works differently in different individuals. 

Some people have reported complete relief from side effects associated with different mental illnesses which are treated by zoloft. When this relief persists, it is advised to slowly start tapering the dose in order to make your brain independent of medications again. 

Restarting zoloft (Is it a good idea?)

Zoloft intolerance

Zoloft is not for everyone. Some people can not seem to tolerate this antidepressant, no matter how properly they take it. Several surveys have revealed that some people start exhibiting the signs of allergic reactions soon after taking their first ever dose. 

These reactions include redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. This response to zoloft requires immediate discontinuation. 

Some side effects start to show up within a few weeks. These include insomnia, tremors, jaw clenching, mental fog, Parkinson’s-like symptoms etc. They can also result in discontinuation of treatment as these symptoms disturb you as long as you keep taking zoloft. 

The rest of the common side effects including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, acid reflux, loss of libido etc can be managed and they usually begin to fade away once your body adjusts to the medication. 

The medication fails to provide adequate relief 

As discussed earlier, zoloft acts differently in different individuals. Experts have revealed that some people get no benefits from zoloft. Even if their side effects begin to go away, they still don’t see as much difference in their condition as they should. 

This indicates that zoloft is indeed not a good choice of antidepressant for everyone. It is absolutely useless to continue using a med that shows no results, whatsoever. Make sure you monitor the effects of your zoloft and report back to your healthcare provider.

To clear zoloft out

Studies suggest that after continuous use of zoloft, there often comes a time where the side effects of medicine get mixed up with the symptoms of depression and it becomes difficult for your healthcare provider to monitor your progress. 

In order to evaluate the remaining symptoms of your chronic depression or anxiety, your doctor may clear zoloft out of your system gradually to check how you’re responding without medication and to determine what kind of symptoms are left to be treated. 

Abrupt withdrawal 

Some people stop using zoloft abruptly just because they can’t stand the side effects. 

It is not recommended to stop using your antidepressant cold turkey or you’ll end up opening your doors for disturbing withdrawal symptoms. Instead of stopping it abruptly, consult your healthcare provider. 

Your doctor gradually decreases the dose over the period of a few weeks, to ensure safe and effective withdrawal of zoloft and other SSRIs. 

Sudden withdrawal causes deficiency and your receptors end up craving the excess amount of serotonin. So, if you abruptly stop taking it, your receptors which are dependent on it will start to have a major impact of serotonin deficiency.

This is exactly why dose tapering is considered extremely important with antidepressants. It is a safe and effective method to withdraw SSRIs. Your healthcare provider simply just reduces the dose of your antidepressant. 

It enables you to start taking medicine in lesser quantities without completely depriving your receptors of serotonin. Half of the dose keeps

decreasing gradually over the period of 7 to 8 days. 

After spending a week or two, the med is on its lowest possible dose and now it is considered safe for you to stop using it. Discontinuation symptoms relate to physical and emotional health. You might suffer from: 

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting 
  • Nausea
  • Headaches 
  • Excess sweating/night sweats
  • Disturbed sleep, insomnia, nightmares
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • You might feel something called brain zaps, which feels like a shock firing in your brain 
  • Heightened anxiety and nervousness
  • Mood swings

What should you expect when restarting zoloft? 

When your healthcare provider recommends you to start using zoloft, don’t think that it will provide immediate relief from your systems. Just because you used to take it, it doesn’t mean the drug will start working readily. 

It will still take a few weeks to kick in, just like it did the first time. Make sure you give your body enough time to adjust to the medication and it is strongly prohibited to stop using abruptly. 

If you accidentally miss a dose and you’re way past the usual time at which you take your med, do not take it. It will cause you to overdose when you take your next dose, which is not too far away. It’s better to skip the missed dose and take the next one. 

If you remember your missed dose earlier, it’s safe for you to take it. In case of overdose, immediately go to the hospital. Make sure you properly guide them about how much drug you have taken and when. 

There’s a chance that you will again suffer from side effects but hang in there. These side effects will begin to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. 

Restarting zoloft should only be an option when you gained benefits from it prior to stopping it. If the reason behind your discontinuation was zoloft intolerance, it should not be restarted as it will again cause intolerability and will do you no good. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we have discussed if it’s a good idea to restart your zoloft. Restarting zoloft is a good option for the treatment of your recurring depression or anxiety disorder. 

Several studies indicate that stopping antidepressant can result in relapse of depression symptoms, which requires to be treated again. Zoloft is an antidepressant which is used to treat multiple illnesses. 

The drug is discontinued if it fails to provide adequate therapeutic response or if the desired outcome has already been achieved. Side effects are also one of the most common reasons associated with zoloft withdrawal. 

Make sure you don’t stop your antidepressant abruptly. or you’ll end up opening your doors for disturbing withdrawal symptoms. Instead of stopping it abruptly, consult your healthcare provider. 

Your doctor gradually decreases the dose over the period of a few weeks, to ensure safe and effective withdrawal of zoloft and other SSRIs.

FAQs: restarting zoloft

Can I start my Zoloft again?

You can start using zoloft again, if you can tolerate it well and you did not experience disturbing side effects when you were treated with zoloft the first time. 

Several studies indicate that stopping antidepressant can result in relapse of depression symptoms, which requires to be treated again. However, it is not advised to start using zoloft again without your doctor’s approval.

What happens if you stop taking Zoloft then start again?

It depends on how you stop taking zoloft. Abrupt withdrawal leads to disturbing withdrawal symptoms including chills, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, headaches, excess sweating/night sweats, insomnia, dizziness, brain zaps, mood swings, anxiety or depression relapse etc. This condition can lead to restarting the treatment again in order to get relief from these withdrawal symptoms. 

Can Zoloft be taken intermittently?

Zoloft can be taken intermittently only when it is used for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). In case of mental health illnesses, it should be taken daily and right on time in order to achieve the maximum therapeutic outcomes. 

Does your brain go back to normal after antidepressants?

Your brain does go back to normal after you stop using antidepressants, but it takes time and this time taken depends on the duration of your antidepressant therapy. It could take up to 10 months to go back to your normal serotonin levels, after long-term antidepressant therapy.

What happens if you miss 2 days of Zoloft?

If you miss your zoloft, you will experience effects similar to those of withdrawal syndrome. These include chills, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, headaches, excess sweating/night sweats, insomnia, dizziness, brain zaps, mood swings, anxiety or depression relapse etc.

Can Zoloft change your personality?

Zoloft can fix your personality if your depression has ruined it in one way or another. Some people become agitated when they suffer from depression. They isolate themselves and stop hanging out with their friends and family. 

Some studies suggest that depressed people start having anger issues when they’re forced to do something they don’t want to, like attending certain social or family events. 

Zoloft, an antidepressant, fixes these depression symptoms. Over time, people start feeling better and start engaging in normal activities which seemed nerve-racking during the episodes of depression. This is how zoloft affects your personality. 

References 

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