How to wean off zoloft 100mg (5 Tips to ensure safe withdrawal)

In this blog, we are going to discuss the best possible way to wean off 100 mg zoloft. We are also going to learn ways to avoid getting withdrawal syndrome. In order to wean off from 100mg zoloft, you need to have a proper taper schedule. Stay with us to learn what that is.  

How to wean off 100 mg zoloft?

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When tapering off 100mg zoloft, the dose is reduced to 50mg, for a period of 7 to 9 days. A few days are required by your body to adjust to a 50mg dose. 

When your body gets stable at 50mg, then your dose is further lowered down to 25mg, for a week or two. Again, this time period is necessary to make your body comfortable with the reduced dose, as it was used to taking 100mg. 

25mg is the lowest dose when it comes to tapering off zoloft. When your med is finally stopped, you might experience withdrawal symptoms but much less intensely, as compared to those highly disturbing symptoms which occur after abrupt withdrawal. 

What happens if you stop taking zoloft abruptly?

Abrupt withdrawal of zoloft leads to withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome. When you start taking antidepressant, it increases the amount of serotonin in your body. 

Over time, your body gets used to this increased amount of serotonin. When you suddenly stop using it, it creates an unannounced serotonin deficiency, to which your body reacts in a negative way. You may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • 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 

Importance of dose tapering

Dose tapering is an important technique for the withdrawal of antidepressants, in a safe and effective manner. Antidepressants are known to produce dependence. 

As we know, SSRIs increase the availability 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 why dose tapering is important. 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.

How long do these withdrawal symptoms last?

Different factors affect the duration of your withdrawal symptoms. One of these factors include the half-life of the drug. Drugs with longer half lives produce withdrawal symptoms for a longer period of time. Half life of zoloft is 24-28 hours. 

Most people experience the first symptoms of withdrawal within one to three days after their last dose. Even if you taper off, you may still experience some symptoms. 

During days four to five, the symptoms may become more intense, depending on the dose you were on and the duration of your therapy. Some people experience dizziness, nausea, shakiness and fever. 

Your symptoms will gradually start to fade away in a week or two. It, too, depends on how your body reacts to this withdrawal. 

It is extremely important to follow your taper schedule vigilantly. It may take longer than you think it should, but it’s important to go slowly, so your brain has enough time to adjust the doses. 

Within a few weeks, it will be safe to stop using your med. Don’t mess up your taper schedule, if you wish to prevent discontinuation syndrome

How to manage withdrawal symptoms

Even when you carefully taper down your medication, you may still experience some withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms must be much less pronounced, thanks to dose tapering. 

These symptoms usually begin to fade away on their own within a few weeks. It varies from person to person. Some people recover pretty quickly after stopping zoloft, while some struggle a little. 

If your withdrawal symptoms are manageable, it’s best to wait for them to go away. If they really disturb you, your doctor may prescribe some medication or recommend some over-the-counter drugs to help relieve those symptoms. 

Lifestyle changes that might make your journey a little easier  

It usually takes afew weeks for your body to function without antidepressants. There are a few lifestyle changes that can boost up your serotonin levels naturally and really help you in managing your withdrawal symptoms. 

Give your body time to adapt

Your body needs time to get used to the absence of medication. SSRIs are known to produce addiction and your body actually craves it. This effect is found much more intense in people who have been taking SSRIs for a long time. Withdrawal symptoms begin to subside in 3 to 4 weeks. 

Diet

Diet is a crucial part of your lifestyle. It has the potential to make your life better or worse. Diet is one of the best ways to boost your serotonin. Here is the list of foods that are high in serotonin

  • Eggs
  • Pineapples
  • Cheese
  • Salmon
  • Nuts and seeds

Wholesome and nutritious food also helps you keep strong and healthy. It can help boost your immune system. 

Exercise

Exercise is a beneficial addition to your lifestyle. It helps you in so many ways. Make sure you workout at least 3 to 4 times a week. Exercise is known for releasing happy chemicals in your brain. 

It not only makes you feel good, but also spikes your energy levels.  Enjoy going for long walks. Learn new yoga moves, as yoga is one of the best ways to relax your racing mind.

Exposure to sunlight

Research shows a close relationship between sunlight and serotonin levels in your body. Go for a walk in the morning or afternoon to boost your serotonin and to enhance your sleep quality. 

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water. Water clears out toxins from your body. Try making a detox water by adding your favourite fruits in it. You can add lemon, cucumber, kiwi, oranges, berries, ginger etc, to make drinking water less boring. 

This will not only add taste, but also makes your water nutritious and full of antioxidants. 

Psychotherapy sessions, 2-3 times a week

Psychotherapy can be useful for people battling with negative emotions. Such therapy can take all the negative energy in you and convert it into positive thoughts which are beneficial to guide you out of your depression and hopelessness. 

Some therapies can also give you a platform to talk about your depression symptoms, if they ever come back. You can also try group therapy sessions which can help you learn about other people battling with depression or antidepressant withdrawal symptoms.

Listen to your healthcare professional

Talk to your mental healthcare professional about whether or not it’s a good time for you to discontinue your medication. Do not go against your doctor’s recommendation. 

You might feel like leaving your meds once you start feeling better but sometimes, it’s just your brain playing tricks on you. As soon as you’re tricked to stop it, it all comes rushing back. It is crucial for you to listen to your healthcare provider before making any decision yourself. 

Conclusion

In this blog, we discussed important ways to wean off 100 mg zoloft. We also talked about the importance of dose tapering and how you should never stop your antidepressant abruptly. We also discussed some lifestyle changes that might help make your journey a little easier. 

Zoloft, an antidepressant, should not be stopped abruptly. You should always consult your healthcare provider if you wish to stop zoloft. Do not stop or start any medication, especially antidepressants, on your own. 

Your doctor prepares a taper schedule for you, in order to ensure safe withdrawal while minimising withdrawal symptoms in best possible ways. Make sure you follow your taper schedule vigilantly and avoid non-adherence. 

FAQs: How to wean off zoloft 100mg

How do I get off of 100mg of sertraline?

Your healthcare professional usually reduces the dose and tapers it to 50 mg every 5 to 7 days to a final dose of 25mg before the drug is stopped. Make sure you follow the taper schedule properly. 

What happens if I stop taking Zoloft 100mg?

Following are the symptoms associated with zoloft withdrawal:

  • 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
  • Sudden changes in mood

How long does it take to get 100 mg of Zoloft out of 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 the original amount. In another 24 hours, the drug’s concentration is further reduced to half of the remaining amount. 

Can you take Zoloft every other day?

Yes, you can take zoloft every other day, if your doctor has prescribed it. Antidepressants are meant to be taken daily, usually once. Such meds usually take 3 to 4 weeks to work. So make sure you take your antidepressant on time.  

How do I discontinue Zoloft?

You can discontinue zoloft by gradually decreasing its dose. Once your body is stable at the lowest possible dose, you stop taking it. It usually takes a few weeks to go back to your normal mental state. 

Better lifestyle changes can help you manage your withdrawal symptoms like exercise, nutritious diet, hydration etc.

Is 100mg of Zoloft a lot?

100mg is not the highest dose of zoloft, but is higher than the most common effective dose, that is 50mg. Your doctor decides your dose on the basis of severity of your side effects and how well you tolerate it.

References

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