What would happen if you stop zoloft 25 mg cold turkey?

In this blog, we are going to talk about stopping zoloft cold turkey (abruptly). We will also discuss the dangers of stopping your zoloft abruptly and will learn about the symptoms associated with it. We will also explore the choices we have to ensure safe withdrawal. 

What would happen if you stop zoloft 25 mg cold turkey?

Discontinuation syndrome usually happens when you stop taking 25 mg zoloft cold turkey. If you want to stop taking an antidepressant, the advice is to speak to your doctor, in order to taper the medication slowly. 

Symptoms associated with discontinuation syndrome really mess up your brain. They sometimes irritate you, even more than the side effects your medicine was giving you. 

Side effects of stopping zoloft cold turkey

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

If not cold turkey, then how should you stop using zoloft?

Instead of stopping it cold turkey, consult your healthcare provider. Your doctor gradually decreases the dose over the period of weeks, to ensure safe and effective withdrawal of zoloft and other SSRIs. 

Never stop your meds, especially those which produce addiction and tolerance, without your doctor’s approval, otherwise you will suffer from discontinuation syndrome.

Can you taper 25mg zoloft?

25mg zoloft is pretty low dose itself. Usually it is the last dose prescribed while tapering off zoloft. In most of the cases, tapering is not necessary for 25mg. 

If 25mg zoloft was sufficient enough for you to help get rid of your depression symptoms, you can break it down in half, 12.5mg. This dose is continued for a week or two and then you can stop it. 

How does dose tapering ensure safe withdrawal?

Dose tapering is essential to ensure safe withdrawal of antidepressants. Such meds alter the amounts of excitatory neurotransmitters in your body. 

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.

Tips for Discontinuing Zoloft Comfortably

Following are a few tips that can help you stop zoloft safely:

Follow the taper schedule

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. 


Psychotherapy can be helpful in controlling your depression symptoms. It helps you learn how to identify pessimistic thoughts and turn them into optimistic ones. Such therapy makes you focus on happy thoughts and positivity.

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 rash decision yourself. 

Zoloft withdrawal duration

There’s no single way to tell you about the duration of your withdrawal symptoms. It varies from person to person. The duration of your treatment does have an impact on it. 

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 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.

How to manage withdrawal symptoms

Now, if you have listened to your healthcare provider and have tapered off zoloft in an appropriate manner, you might get lesser withdrawal effects. It doesn’t mean you have to jump from one medication to another, in order to cure your withdrawal symptoms. 

The best thing you can do is, change your diet and lifestyle. This will help you in the long run and might prevent you from getting future depression episodes

Natural ways to boost serotonin levels after stopping zoloft

Following are a few natural ways to boost your serotonin levels naturally:

  • Diet is one of the best ways to boost your serotonin. Eggs, Pineapples, cheese, salmon, nuts and seeds are known for containing a generous amount of tryptophan, an amino acid from which serotonin is synthesised. 
  • Exercise is one of the best ways of increasing ‘happy chemicals’ in our system. Workout for at least half an hour, 3 to 4 times a week.
  • Learn new yoga moves, as yoga is one of the best ways to relax your racing mind.
  • 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. 
  • Studies show that your gut microflora has a great impact on your serotonin levels through the gut-brain axis. Make sure to add fibre and probiotics in your diet. 

When to call your doctor?

Call your doctor if you feel you’re unable to tolerate zoloft well. If you suffer from side effects repeatedly, you should inform your healthcare provider instead of stopping zoloft cold turkey. 

If you think that’s the way to stop these side effects, trust me you’re wrong. You should never stop antidepressants without tapering them down. Your doctor will make a taper schedule which should be followed vigilantly to ensure safe withdrawal. 


Zoloft is one of those medications which are known to cause dependence or addiction. When your body gets used to its presence, it is not safe to withdraw it cold turkey. 

In order to ensure safe withdrawal, it is considered mandatory to taper your dose gradually, over the period of 4 to 5 weeks. 

In this blog, we also discussed what discontinuation syndrome is and how it affects your mental health and learned about 4 ways which boost serotonin levels naturally. 

FAQs: Stopping zoloft 25 mg cold turkey

Do you have to wean off 25mg of Zoloft?

25mg is a pretty low dose to wean off. It’s usually the last dose recommended by your doctor, before stopping zoloft altogether. It’s best to be on the safe side and split your 25mg tablet into two 12.5mg halves. 

Continue it for a week or two and then stop. Always discuss such matters with your healthcare provider first before making any decision. 

What happens if you stop Zoloft cold turkey?

Discontinuation syndrome usually happens when you go from taking a daily dose of zoloft to nothing at all. SSRIs block the serotonin reuptake back to the presynaptic neuron, which results in increased serotonin availability in the synaptic cleft. 

Now, if you take away the med cold turkey, the availability of serotonin reduces. This results in serotonin receptors craving serotonin as they have been receiving it for quite a while now, and you start experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

It’s basically because of the sudden deficiency of serotonin within the synaptic cleft. In order to avoid such a condition, the dose is reduced over a number of weeks and that’ll be dependent on how long you’ve been taking the medication and the severity of your symptoms.

How long does it take for 25mg of sertraline to leave 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 I take 25 mg of Zoloft every other day?

Yes, you can take 25mg of 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.  

Note: Do not start or stop the use of any medication, unless advised by your healthcare provider. 

Is it easy to come off sertraline?

It depends on how long you have been using it and what dose you’re on. Your doctor will set up a taper schedule, in order to ensure safe withdrawal. Stick to the schedule and do not stop it abruptly. 

Does Zoloft build up in your system?

Zoloft does not normally accumulate in the body. If you’re taking any other medication, along with zoloft, which is blocking its metabolic pathway, then it can build up in your system. 


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