Subscriptions
  • Join our People's Pharmacy Page on Facebook
  • Follow JoeGraedon on Twitter
  • Follow Us
  • Free email newsletter

Print This Page

Sertraline (SER tra leen)

  • Currently 3.5/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Did this drug work? Average rating: 3.5/5 (235 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!

Overview

Sertraline is available as sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft), an antidepressant, in a tablet form and an oral solution.  Sertraline (Zoloft), like the earlier antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac), works by enhancing the action of a brain chemical called serotonin. It belongs to the class of antidepressant drugs called serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This medication is prescribed to treat major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorders, social anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.   

Although the FDA has not specifically approved its use for other purposes, doctors sometimes prescribe sertraline (Zoloft) to treat generalized anxiety, impulse control, and eating disorders.

People’s Pharmacy Perspective

Since the introduction of fluoxetine (Prozac) in 1987, the serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of antidepressants (citalopram-Celexa, escitalopram-Lexapro, fluoxetine- Prozac, fluvoxamine-Luvox, olanzapine plus fluoxetine-Symbyax, paroxetine-Paxil, sertraline-Zoloft) has been wildly popular with physicians, patients, and insurance companies.  Doctors believe SSRIs generally produce fewer side effects than traditional tricyclic antidepressants, though it is not clear whether there are fewer adverse events or just different ones. These drugs are perceived as less costly and time consuming than talk therapy, though a monthly prescription for a brand name SSRI-type antidepressant can cost more than $100.

The FDA now recognizes suicidal thoughts as a potential complication of virtually all antidepressant therapy for children, adolescents, and young adults (18-24 year olds) during the first few months of treatment and whenever there are dosage changes.  Why one would assume that suicidal thoughts would instantly stop at age 25 is a mystery to us. We think that anyone who is put on this type of antidepressant should be aware of the potential for violent, suicidal thoughts. Family members and friends must also be vigilant for any unusual changes and encourage immediate consultation with the prescriber.

When it comes to effectiveness, antidepressants can be helpful for some people, but trial and error may still be the only way to determine whether a given antidepressant is helpful.  There is no clear evidence that any one drug (including duloxetine-Cymbalta or venlafaxine-Effexor) is better than others.(1) There is also no clear data to demonstrate that these antidepressants are substantially better than placebo more than half the time.(2) More significantly, there is little evidence to show that they affect long-term outcomes or suicide rates.(3)

A recent review demonstrated that the medical literature is incomplete with regard to clinical trials. Favorable trials are published more frequently than trials showing no benefit beyond placebo.  As a result, doctors reading the published studies are likely to get a far more favorable impression of an antidepressant than may be warranted.(4)

For many, a long acting medication like fluoxetine (Prozac) is preferred for avoiding withdrawal symptoms (dizziness, nausea, insomnia, headache, sweating) experienced when stopping or switching from other antidepressants.  We have heard from many people that getting off drugs like venlafaxine-Effexor, paroxetine-Paxil or sertraline-Zoloft can be difficult.

The bottom line is that there are no “best choices” when it comes to antidepressants.  Patients must be open to trial and error when starting, be cautious to taper off antidepressants when ending or switching therapies, and constantly be under knowledgeable medical guidance throughout therapy.

Be certain to consult a physician about your health, especially with regard to any signs or symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.  Information provided is not a substitute for the medical advice or care of a physician or other health care professional.

Special Precautions


There is increased risk of suicidal thoughts in children, adolescents, and young adults with major depressive or other psychiatric disorders especially during the first months of treatment with antidepressants.  Antidepressants are not approved for pediatric patients except for treating obsessive compulsive disorder.

Pregnancy/Breastfeeding:  Consult your prescribing physician and/or obstetrician if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, or will be breastfeeding while taking this medication.

Not recommended:  People who have had an allergic reaction to SSRIs, sertraline (Zoloft), or its components or who are taking the MAOI class of antidepressants (isocarboxazid-Marplan, phenelzine-Nardil, tranylcypromine-Parnate, selegiline-EmSam) or drugs with MAOI activity such as pimozide (Orap) or linezolid (Zyvox).  Potentially fatal interactions could occur between MAOI and SSRI antidepressants so MAOIs must be stopped for 14 days prior to beginning SSRI therapy and vice versa.

 Those who are on disulfiram (Antabuse) should avoid liquid sertraline (Zoloft) due to its alcohol content.

 Another potentially fatal drug interaction could result from taking another SSRI with sertraline. This may lead to serotonin syndrome. Patients taking sertraline should avoid other SSRIs such as escitalopram (Lexapro) or a SNRI antidepressant (duloxetine-Cymbalta, venlafaxine-Effexor, Effexor XR), St. John’s wort, tramadol (Ultram), and migraine medications (sumatriptan-Imitrex, Zolmitriptan-Zomig).  The doctor must be notified immediately if there are sudden changes in cognition (confusion, agitation, headache) accompanied by shivering, sweating, fever, increased heart rate, muscle twitching or tremor.

Carefully monitor:  For people who have bipolar disorder and have had an episode of mania, there is a risk that manic symptoms could be triggered by sertraline (Zoloft).  Anyone with a history of seizures or suicide attempts must also be extremely vigilant. Family members and other caregivers should help monitor people on sertraline for suicidal thoughts, self-destructive behaviors, panic attacks, impulsivity, aggressiveness, or other unusual changes in behavior or symptoms of worsening depression or anxiety especially in the early months of treatment and when the dose is adjusted. The doctor must be notified immediately in such cases.

  People with liver problems may need to start on a reduced dose, as they may eliminate Zoloft less efficiently than otherwise healthy people.  Be certain to inform your doctor of any other conditions you may have as it may affect your dose, whether you should even take this medication, or require you to take special tests during treatment.

Taking the Medication

Sertraline (Zoloft) tablets should be taken with a full glass of water roughly at the same time each day (to help you to remember to take it), with or without food.  

Stopping the Medication

It may take up to 4 weeks or longer before effects are felt.  Do not stop or change doses suddenly without first talking with your doctor.  If sertraline (Zoloft) is abruptly discontinued, withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, agitation, dizziness, electric shock sensations, anxiety, headaches, and increased manic episodes may occur.  Discontinuation is usually handled with a gradual reduction in dose.

Common Side Effects

•    Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea
•    Dry mouth, appetite changes
•    Sexual difficulties, changes in sex drive

Serious Side Effects

Call for emergency help if you have these signs of a potential allergic reaction:
•    Difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, throat, lips, or tongue, skin rash or hives.

-Call your doctor promptly if you have any of these serious side effects:  
•    Seizure (convulsions)
•    Serotonin Syndrome (rare, but potentially fatal condition in which serotonin levels are elevated to toxic levels by the action of a single or a combination of medications):
•    Uncontrolled muscle twitching, tremors, stiffness, or shivering
•    Fast heart rate, unusual sweating, fever
•    Agitation, confusion

There may be other side effects not listed here. Talk to your doctor if your condition worsens and about any side effect that seems unusual or is especially bothersome.

Drug Interactions

I.  DO NOT TAKE WITH sertraline (Zoloft):                                       
The following drugs have additive effects to SSRIs, so may increase the risk for serotonin syndrome, a (rare, but potentially fatal condition in which serotonin levels are elevated to toxic levels by the action of a single or a combination of medications):
•    Migraine medications: sumatriptan (Imitrex), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and others
•    Tramadol (Ultram), Lithium
•    All other antidepressant drug classes:  SNRIs (duloxetine-Cymbalta, venlafaxine-Effexor, Effexor XR), SSRIs (escitalopram-Lexapro, fluoxetine-Prozac, etc.), tricyclics (nortriptyline-Pamelor, protriptyline-Vivactil)
•    MAOI antidepressants; drugs with MAOI like activity: Phenelzine (Nardil), isocarboxazid (Marplan),  tranylcypromine (Parnate),  selegiline (EmSam) and linezolid (Zyvox).  These need to be stopped at least two weeks prior to starting sertraline (Zoloft). If sertraline is taken first, two weeks should elapse before starting on one of these other medicines as potentially fatal side effects could occur.
•    Pimozide (Orap):  increases risk of fatal cardiac complications.
•    Sibutramine (Meridia):  not recommended by manufacturer.  Use only under close medical supervision, particularly for signs of serotonin syndrome, since effects are additive to sertraline (Zoloft).
•    Muscle relaxers and cold, pain, anti-seizure, anti-anxiety and antidepressant medicines that could make you sleepy should also be avoided. 
•    Alcohol: increases drowsiness and dizziness 

II. TAKE with CLOSE MEDICAL MONITORING

•    Propafenone (Rythmol):  Certain SSRIs, including sertraline (Zoloft), may increase the level of this drug, so cardiac function should be carefully monitored.  Or, use an alternate antidepressant, such as citalopram (Celexa).

III. DOSE ADJUSTMENT may be required

•    Clozapine, risperidone, cyclosporine, seizure medications (phenytoin-Dilantin, ethotoin-Peganon), propafenone (Rythmol):  The dose of these drugs may need to be adjusted if they are taken with sertraline (Zoloft).
•    Cyproheptadine:  This antihistamine/allergy medication may block the activity of SSRI antidepressants, so its discontinuation may be advised if antidepressant effects seem blunted or the sertraline (Zoloft) dose may need to be adjusted.
•    Carbamazepine (Tegretol): Decreases effectiveness of sertraline (Zoloft), so sertraline dose may need to be adjusted.
•    Aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac (Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine) warfarin (Coumadin) or other drugs that affect blood clotting:  Drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and these agents have been associated with an increased risk of abnormal bleeding, so the dose of these agents may need to be adjusted.

 Other Interactions
•    St. John’s wort (5):     Avoid taking the herb St. John’s wort with sertraline (Zoloft), since the effects are additive and could lead to serotonin syndrome. Switching between antidepressants and herbal treatment calls for medical guidance (physicians can find a suggested protocol for gradual substitution of St. John's wort in Hyla Cass's book, St. John's Wort: Nature's Blues Buster).
•    Grapefruit Juice (6):  Avoid taking sertraline (Zoloft) with grapefruit juice as this may result in elevated drug levels in the bloodstream.

There may be other herbal and dietary supplement or food interactions not listed here.  We are concerned for instance, about the potential for bleeding with herbs that may affect coagulation (Ginko biloba, etc).  Check with your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other supplements or over the counter medications to make sure you are aware of the risks the combination may carry.

References
1.  Khan, A. and Schwartz, K.  “Study Designs and Outcomes in Antidepressant Clinical
     Trials.”  Essent. Psychopharmacol.  2005;6:221-226.
2.    Moncrieff, J. and Kirsch, I.  “Efficacy of Antidepressants in Adults.”  BMJ  
2005;331:155-159.
3.    Rubinow, D.R. “Treatment Strategies After SSRI Failure—Good News and Bad News.”  N. Engl. J. Med. 2006;354:1305-1307.
4.    Turner, E. H., et al.  “Selective Publication of Antidepressant Trials and Its Influence on Apparent Efficacy.” N. Engl. J. Med. 2008; 358(3):252-260.
5.  Lantz MS, et al. "St. John's wort and antidepressant drug interactions in the elderly." J
    Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol.
1999;12:7-10. PubMed
6.  Lee AJ, et al. "The effects of grapefruit juice on sertraline metabolism: an in vitro and in vivo study." Clin Ther. 1999;21:1890-1899.

Be certain to consult a physician about your health, especially with regard to any signs or symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.  Information provided is not a substitute for the medical advice or care of a physician or other health care professional.

  • Currently 3.5/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Didn't Work ..... Really Worked!
Did this drug work? Average rating: 3.5/5 (235 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!

177 Comments

| Leave a comment

I was taking Zoloft but then I was switched to the generic, and my panic attacks came back, so now I am on lorazepam along with Zoloft. Could the generic drug be the issue? The reason I am asking this is because I read the article about the wellbutrin.

Thank you

When I was premenopausal and going through the change, I was not sleeping well, had anxiety and panic attacks and would cry over anything. I don't remember having hot flashes, just felt hot most of the time and had night sweats.

I finally went to see my doctor and broke down in her office. She put me on Zoloft and told me to come back in two weeks to see how I was doing on it. It worked well for me, a bit of a dry mouth so made sure I drank more water, but I didn't feel drugged, I felt more back to normal, like I had felt years earlier. I had more energy and get up and go. It was like a veil had been lifted from my eyes, the world was brighter and my enthusiasm was back. Before I had felt like I was in a big black hole or was trying to wade through quicksand and it was very hard going.

I was finally able to get a good night's sleep and best of all my doctor said Zoloft was not addictive so I could stop taking it eventually with no withdrawal symptoms.

Medicare wouldn't pay for my zoloft so they put me on the generic. I have complained to my dr that it's not as good; I was so much better on zoloft, but I cannot pay for it sence medicare does not have a copay for it.

Thank you.

I too had trouble with one type of generic Zoloft. After taking Zoloft for years, I switched to a generic that works perfectly. One month, I had to take CVS's generic version, and it was TERRIBLE! I really hope the FDA will step in soon and regulate these drugs.

Zoloft and then setraline has helped me immensely.
When I developed very painful osteoarthritis in the neck area, my doctor suggested I switch to Cymbalta because it is supposed to help with pain and depression, whereas Zoloft is only for depression.

As instructed I switched to Cymbalta. Since my doctor said Zoloft and Cymbalta were basically the same thing, I could stop Zoloft completely and begin Cymbalta right away. I had asked if I should switch gradually.

I was on Cymbalta for three months and I have never felt worse in my life. It did not help with the pain, and I went into a very deep depression wanting to sleep all the time, cry all the time, and having nothing to do with anyone. And, because I felt so awful, I turned to alcohol to lift my spirits, which of course sent me further into depression.

Doctor suggested I stop Cymbalta and go back to Zoloft. Within a matter of a week, I felt almost back to my normal self. I have been using the name Zoloft, but actually it has been setraline most of the time since it came on the market here in the U.S.

In Europe, I had been given setraline instead so when it became available here, I knew I was still in good hands.

It took less than a month on the generic Sertraline for all my physical symptoms to reappear. I had some Zoloft samples, and when I took them, my symptoms went away. I called my doctor for a "no substitution" prescription. I will talk at length with him on my next visit. I also wrote the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch.

I complained to the CVS Pharmacist in Kendallville, Indiana about my Sertraline problems. He told me..."It is not the Sertraline causing the problems!!" I'm thinking....How the heck does he know????
I have been taking Zoloft on and off for 13 years but ever since I have been taking the Sertraline I have noticed problems. I feel like I am on withdrawal a lot of the time when taking it as scheduled. I also have terrible daily headaches. I wish somebody would do something because it seems we are just guinea pigs here. I want my Zoloft back but our insurance won't cover it!! TOTALLY RAW DEAL!! You shouldn't mess with the brain in this way.

I hope this doesn't cause permanent damage and end up being a huge future lawsuit deal.
miranda : (

I had taken zoloft for 5 years and tried switching to the generic brand from CVS. I tried for 3 months and hated it! It was like I had quit taking zoloft all together! I went back to the name brand and was good to go. Insurance doesn't cover it and it's nearly impossible to afford.

My dr. just switched me to cymbalta this week (30 mg) because zoloft seemed to be losing it's effect on my anxiety after 5 years.

Hope I don't have a bad experience like some of you!

I had been taking the brand, Zoloft, for 14 years when generic Zoloft was put on the market. Three weeks later, I felt as if I was not taking Zoloft at all -- all my depression symptoms returned. I am now back on the brand Zoloft partially paid by my insurance company, and feeling fine again. However, I will soon be on Medicare and will be forced to experiment with many different anti-depressants that will replace Zoloft.

I was on Zoloft (not generic) from 1999-2003 then had to stop because of pregnancy. It worked great back then. Recently, I have been battling depression again. I just started taking generic Zoloft (Sertraline) and have severe dizziness, lasting several hours. This is just the second day, so we will see what happens with that. I never experienced those symptoms before. I have to follow up in 6 weeks, however if these symptoms do not cease, I will have to change meds.

I, also, am a long-time user of Zoloft/sertraline - 10+ years - and have been quite pleased as the drug changed my life (for the better). I was OK with taking the generic when it became available - saving money is great - and I hadn't had any problems until the most recent refill I got from the 'mail away' pharmacy associated with our insurance plan (i.e. 3 month supply). The pills were a different color than the other generic sertraline I'd been sent - white vs. blue (which is the color of the brand name in 'my' strength - 50 mg), but I work as a nurse, I know that it's pretty common to see color/shape differences between different manufacturers.

Like others here, after a month or so, I was increasingly on an emotional roller coaster, irritated, weepy, sad, blah, sometimes 'OK', and even wished I could go someplace and just not have to deal with life anymore - but I thought it was a temporary thing - there are times when stress and other 'real life' factors can pop up and overwhelm me (like ANYONE) and I didn't think a lot of it until one day my spouse mentioned that I seemed just like I was 'in the bad old days.' My closest coworkers (who didn't know me then) also commented that maybe needed to see about getting 'something else'.

I already knew about the 'problem' with Wellbutrin XR from your radio show - and I looked up your site and saw there were some reports of sertraline problems (the only thing that has hit the media are the generic 'SSRI's can cause teenage suicide' warnings) and I immediately called my doc and got a 30 day supply of 'real' Zoloft. The effect (like when I went on it the first time) was almost miraculous. Back to 'normal'.

What scares me (and makes me wonder about SSRI's CAUSING suicidal behavior) is that the effects were so subtle that I missed them - like the proverbial frog being boiled to death in a pot of slowly heated water - and that my feelings of wanting to 'escape' were as close as I've ever been to being suicidal.

Filed report with FDA about a month ago - I urge everyone else to do it, too. Like I said - most of the generics I had were just fine - but I'm too afraid to risk it again - so it's $100 for a 3 month supply (vs. $35 for the generic) and (already) one condescending letter from the pharmacy to tell me 'Don't you want to take the generic and save money?'. Thanks, Graedons, for being there for us!

I was on Zoloft 50mg for about 10 years when my husband, "my pharmacist," decided that the generic was cheaper and I should use that instead. I began to notice that my mouth was so dry, I could hardly speak. I was waking up in the middle of the night to drink water. I was also becoming severely depressed.

I thought that maybe the "Zoloft" was no longer working. By the way the generic zoloft came from CVS. I noticed other people on this site saying theirs was from CVS. I then had a serious breakdown, and I entered into a 10-day outpatient program. My psychiatrist there told me that she did not recommend generics for antidepressants because of the different fillers and because pharmacies sometimes use different generic companies at different times. My psych. has tried other SSRI's and SNRI's on me, but they just aren't working. I plan to ask her to put me back on the real Zoloft next time I see her. I don't care what I have to pay!

I take the brand name Zoloft for OCD. About a year ago last summer, CVS switched me to the generic sertraline, and it was horrible! I was taking the medicine right before I went to bed, and I couldn't fall asleep because it gave me an awful burning feeling in my stomach? esophagus?

I don't know what the burning feeling was, but I switched back to the brand name Zoloft and suddenly everything was fine. Jlo, I'm with you--the brand name Zoloft is the way to go, and I don't care what I have to pay.

My husband has been taking Sertraline for about 3 months and just last week changed from the Teva Manufacture to Greenstone and he has had terrible sweats and a worsening of the depression/anxiety. Any word on differences between manufacturing companies? Thanks,

As another has commented; I too have an issue with my doctor switching me from sertraline to cymbalta. He figured we could get two things out of one pill instead of multiples; pain for the back and help for the anxiety and depression. Well....as the story goes with my current situation, right as I write this...

I was fine on sertraline. Cymbalta has now caused me, in a short four week period, to have uncontrolled outbursts at family and coworkers. Each time seems to get worse. Anger wasn't an issue before. On top of that I feel that tourets is starting to creep in on me. Tonight I left work after a complete blow out at a coworker.

Yes, the guy is a complete ignorant bastard but still, I would have never, ever, let go of my anger. I told him and everyone in the office to "f...Off" while customers could hear me and I punched out, went outside in a panic, and freaked out in my vehicle while uncontrollably putting the pedal to the floor from a stand still. The thought of vehicular homicide didn't matter if the guy who triggered me off came out for a smoke, but my fiance calmed me down on the phone as I panicked and pulled away.

This isn't me, I'm going to see about cutting back and begging for the sertraline back. This was not all of the issues either; before the holidays I actually had three unmistakable outbursts at family in my home that included my verbal threat of leaving because I continually thought they were plotting to kill me. The side effects of this cymbalta was making me think they were poisoning me; this sucks and I'm out.

RAR

This is all very interesting. Today I had a check up with a new psychiatrist. My old one has moved to Chicago. For four years I have been taking, first Zoloft and at some point CVS or my insurance company switched me to Sertraline. I did not think any thing about the switch to generic because we are always told there is no difference. My doctor today asked how I thought the Sertraline was working and I said It worked so well at first but something happened and it does not seem to be working as well.

She said the Zoloft was working so well and the switch to Sertraline was probably the cause of the decreased effectiveness. Sertraline is inferior to Zoloft and there are studies to back this up. I went to fill my prescription at CVS with Brand only on the script and the pharmacist asked about it. And had the nerve to say that she was wrong and that her information was incorrect.

I said that I will let you explain that to her on Monday. The pharmacies must make much more money on generic brands. My doctor said that I should expect to adjust to a stronger concentration once I start the same amount of Zoloft and it make a few days to get use to.

I've been on sertraline from CVS from the beginning for a year now, take it every morning with no bad effects. Also have a glass of wine every evening after dinner with no ill effects. I've been cutting out as much sugar and starches as possible also and feel a lot better!

Last night I took my first dose of 50 mg of CVS Sertraline and had an allergic reaction to it. Breathing difficulties itching hives, etc. I obviously discontinued and took Benedryl and a puff of my Proventil. My question is with this reaction and others (elavil--swelling tongue-itching) cymbalta (worsening depression)> What would you suggest I try?

I have felt as if I were losing my mind for the last 6 months or so. I had been on Zoloft for several years and I'm not sure exactly when I began getting the generic sertraline. Finding this website and these comments has just lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders!
All the problems that I had overcome for years have come back. The anxiety, depression, sadness, withdrawing from people closest to me has all taken over my life again. My husband and I just had a huge fight because the entire time I have known him I had been on Zoloft and he is so frustrated with my unhappiness and doesn't understand how I have become so miserable to be around. I don't care what price I will have to pay for the name brand drug, I have already called my doctor to ask for a new prescription. Thanks to everyone out there who has shared their problems!

Just want to add my comment to the chorus. Took Zoloft for 10 years. CVS switched me to Sertaline generic and UGH! Night sweats, felt like I had to take much higher dosage, etc. My pscyhopharm said the night sweats were from the higher dose. Well, I finally put my foot down and am on day 4 back with the Zoloft and what a difference! (I also went back to using Wellbutrin, though, but when I switched to the generic Sertaline, I had been just taking Zoloft, so I know there was some difference.) Hope everyone here spreads the word. This is really dangerous and a disgrace.

When I pulled up this link I nearly feel off my chair. A VERY HAPPY Zoloft user for nearly 8 years, it took me a while to trust the shift to sertraline ~ the effects were different, but I adjusted nicely until this last batch from drugstore.com. For over a month I have been struggling with the same sets of symptoms listed throughout this site, and am returning to Zoloft. Period. Many thanks for being here...

Both my husband and daughter are on Zoloft. Last year my husband (self-employed) became very depressed about 2 months after the generic Zoloft became available. My daughter's psychologist said to NEVER put her on anything but the name brand Zoloft. This psychologist works with extremely troubled kids (she's been a friend of mine for years and sees my daughter because of that friendship) and says that she INSISTS that the name brand Zoloft be used.

She says that over 75% of the kids on the generic do poorly. I then talked with a pharmacist at work (I work in a hospital) who told me that not only is there a major difference between the name brand and the generic but that is differences between the generics. The active ingredient is required to be the same, but the different fillers and binders react differently with the active ingredient.

I asked how Joe Q Public was supposed to know these things and he shrugged his shoulders and said he didn't know. I immediately had my husband call his PCP and request a prescription for the name brand ONLY and within 2 weeks he began feeling like his normal self.

I've been prescribed Zoloft/Sertraline HCl for 5 years now. My experience has been as follows:

1 year @ 100mg Zoloft qd (Sxs stable)
1 year @ 150mg Zoloft qd (Sxs stable after a short, 3-4 wk instability)
5 mos @ 150mg Sertraline HCl from Greenstone qd (Panic attacks & reduced functioning overall)
4-5 mos @ 150mg Zoloft qd + 1mg Risperdal qd (Sxs stabilize)
1 mo @ 150mg Sertraline HCL from Apotex qd (Mild panic sxs)
1 mo - present @ 200mg Sertraline HCL from Apotex qd (Sxs stable)
4.27.9 @ 200mg Sertraline HCL from Camber qd (Sxs mild, insomnia)
4.28.9-4.30.9 @ 250mg Sertraline HCl from Camber qd (Sxs stable, insomnia)
5.1.9 @ 250mg Setraline HCl from Camber qd (1st night of restful sleep).

Qualitatively, Apotex, Inc. managed my symtpoms well compared to Greenstone's version. After contract changes with the pharmacy, Camber's version was the only one available as generic.

I began trying generic's because it was financially difficult to manage Pfizer's cost for Zoloft. The last time I paid for Zoloft it cost approximately $160 US for a monthly supply. My Rx coverage was horrendous ($250 monthy deductible before $30 copay). After establishing efficacy, it seemed like a pay raise when paying for Apotex $30 for 90-day supply.

Recently with the switch to Camber, I had insomnia that has negatively affected my work functioning. I slept for about 10 hours from 4.27-4.30. Last night was the first night sleeping more than a couple-few hours. Hopefully this will continue & I'll continue to monitor in the upcoming weeks.

I have been taking Zoloft for 5 years. At some point in time I was switched to generic Teva sertraline and did fine. I was just forced by CVS to switch to Greenstone's version and am having horrible dizziness. I am going to try the brand Zoloft and see how it goes. I am thankful for this website to know that there are these problems with generic Zoloft. I wish that the public was able to get this information more easily.

I feel so much much better now that I read the comments on this site. I thought I was losing my mind. I was doing great on the TEVA 100 mg Sertraline tablets for years now, but CVS just substituted the Greenstone brand of Sertraline for mine 2 weeks ago. I hate it. I feel anxious, irritable, short-tempered. I have sharp pains in my stomach and feel extremely tense. It's horrible. I just called CVS and they told me they don't carry the TEVA generic any longer. Big mistake. I'm going to call my doctor and see if he can prescribe regular zoloft. Thank you for easing my mind!

Was on Zoloft for 3 months did great...felt good like a normal person...went on sertraline for year or more....felt like crap all the time...dizziness, insomnia, zombie-like, foggy feeling....back on name brand Zoloft for 1 month...symptoms have improved..sleeping better and dizziness has improved...foggy feeling gone. These are NOT physiological symptoms...actual physical symptoms.... Something is NOT right here!!!

I could cry after reading all these responses. I have been taking CVS generic Sertaline for 6 months and it has made such a difference in my life. A couple weeks ago CVS changed suppliers and I feel like I'm taking baby aspirin. Anxiety I haven't had in months and a feeling of despair because I was doing so well. I was afraid to complain to CVS because they would say its the "same" pill and that its all in my head. I am glad to know that others have this reaction and that I am not alone. Hopefully I can get this resolved with CVS or my doctor.

I too had been on Zoloft and switched to generic with no problems until recently. The generic I was getting was made by Lupin Pharma. Turns out they are in India. 10 days after starting a new bottle I could have jumped out of my skin and things were not feeling right. Fortunately I was aware of my bodies "signals" and thought to questions my medicine.

After much wrangling with my prescription insurance I am still taking a generic. However, I was able to have my Dr specify to Dispense As Written (DAW) generic but only from Greenstone LLC. Greenstone is the generic subsidiary of Pfizer Inc. As Pfizer is the maker of the brand name Zoloft I feel this is a generic I can trust!! The only part of this whole thing that bugs me is, as far as I know, no one was concerned enough to make any kind of a report against Lupin's generic.

I did OK on the change from Zoloft 100mg to Sertraline 100mg until the pharmacy began switching generic suppliers. First it was Rite Aid, now CVS, and they both went to the same generic that, in my opinion, is sub-par at best. Both are using Greenstone. I had great success with the TEVA generic. I am surprised to read in the post above that Greenstone is the generic subsidiary of Pfizer. I am so happy that I found this web site. Now I have a direction to proceed to try to feel better once again.

I have been on the generic zoloft from the beginning about five weeks; it was a trial usage for occasional anxiety/panic/stress at work (self employed in tourist town); I take 1/2 a 25mg tablet; I am sleepy all the time; Since I am a morning person this is bad. I had restless leg from first night on this stuff. Even the bars (4) of soap under the sheets is not stopping it; sometimes even my arms twitch.

My doctor wanted me to try this for a while. After reading symptoms, then reading withdrawal symptoms, I realize I am experiencing withdrawal. I am through with the trial; it did not help that much, and the anxiety was situational (playing piano on stage) and work related. I began cutting the 1/2 of 25 mg into half again; oh, yes, one night I skipped the 1/2 of 25 dose and no restless leg at all that night; when I went back to the 1/2 25mg as usual, the restless leg came back; so, I started what would be 1/4 of a 25mg tablet; I now have vertigo and some nausea; some w/d symptoms are horrid but I would rather get off it at a very low dose than what most people take.

Just called TEVA Pharmaceuticals on 6/12/09. They stated their generic brand of sertraline has been discontinued. Great... now I get to go through finding another generic that may or may not work... Greenstone did not work for me.

Kim- do you know which generic you will be switching to? I had the same issues with Greenstone not working and was thrilled to find TEVA only to hear from my pharmacist last week it was discontinued...I believed they switched my script to Lupin...anyone have any experience with this generic?

I too am having problems with the generic Sertraline made by Greenstone. I have been taking the generic by TEVA for almost a year now up until 2 weeks ago when they substituted the Greenstone version. I dread taking the Greenstone pill. I wake up every morning feeling hung-over and I feel anxious all day long. My CVS pharmacist told me that TEVA is notorious for discontinuing medication for no reason. Is there not anything that can be done? It's bad enough to have to take the pills but to now go through switching and shocking my system by starting out with something new....

The generic company Greenstone under Pfizer is bad. My psychiatrist has watched more of his patients crash and burn on it than any brand to generic drug, including me, and it wasn't a small crash. I filed a claim with the FDA, but they pretty much ignored it. The only way they are going to listen is to get bombarded with complaints.

Now Teva and Apotex are no longer making their generics because it's not worth the money for these big companies. My Dr. went on line and filed a claim with the FDA on every patient that came in and it wasn't pretty. Insurance companies are controlling what kind of medications we take and this is becoming a disaster. Something has to be done. Please file a claim on the FDA website. Don't throw your medication out if you have any left. They will want a sample.

SOOO happy to have found this website!! I have been on Zoloft for 15 years and switched to TEVA without incident. When CVS recently switched to Greenstone, I have experienced feelings I haven't had in years.

I will indeed file an FDA complaint as well as with CVS. The pharmacist told me that basically the problem was my hormones or me, not the new drug! (Right buddy - my med isn't working plus I have hormonal issues? He was about to experience the hormonal.)

I encourage everyone to also file complaints with FDA and their pharmacies. If enough of us make noise, maybe something can happen. Meanwhile - I am back to name brand of Zoloft and a $50 co-pay!

I am also a +14 year zoloft person. I was switched a few years ago to the generic also. I do not recall any bad problems at that time as a result of the switch.
Lately, I have had some difficulty in daily conversation pronouncing certain words. This was very few and far between in the beginning, now it seems to happen on a daily basis. The effects of this do not seem to be evident to most people, but I notice them.

I have mentioned this to my shrink and my primary,and both just say that they have not heard of this before. I am also taking Buspar. Has anyone out there had the same experience?

Recently my daughter sent me a SELF magazine (June 2009 issue) with an article about generic medicines. Boy was I surprised when I saw that the generic sertraline was one of the drugs with problems. I too had been on Zoloft for years. I needed to cut costs and switched to the generic version. My 1st prescription was for 3 months. When I opened the bottle I noticed that the pill was so much bigger than the real Zoloft, but took it anyways. It would instantly give me a bad burning stomach ache and tasted horrible.

I started to feel sick all the time and one day I got so sick that I couldn't stand up and was so dizzy I thought I was having a stroke. I was taking 200mg at the time so I worried that maybe the pharmacy had given me the wrong dose. I cut back to 100mg and started to physically feel better. When I refilled after 3 months I noticed that the new pills were small again like Zoloft. I had the pharmacist check to make sure that they had not previously given me the wrong dosage.

They checked and said no but I told them about all the problems I had experienced. Now taking the new generic refill I felt physically better but mentally started to go downhill again. I feel sad, foggy headed, have some suicidal thoughts and withdrawn from others again.

I am switching back to Zoloft and letting the pharmacy know about these problems. I am calling the FDA @ 1-800-FDA-1088 to report this. I think everyone needs to alert them to this problem.

I've been on Zoloft since 2004. When the generic became available, I was switched to that and have been steady with how I feel. Recently, on 06/23/2009 I went to refill my generic of Zoloft at my local CVS. I came home and realized the bottle had a green sticker stating: "This is the same medication you have been getting. Color, size or shape may appear different." I didn't think anything of it and took my meds as usual. I knew I wasn't feeling correct, but didn't think about the correlation to the switch in generic. By Thursday, 07/02/09 I hit rock bottom and was sent home from work because I couldn't stop crying.

I have since gone downhill. Feelings I haven't had in a long time such as anxiety, depression, racing thoughts, crying nonstop, feeling hopeless, have returned. When I compared my prescription that I got on the 23rd to my old prescription bottle I realized the manufacturer has changed. I was now on a generic of Zoloft by Greenstone. I was originally on a generic of Zoloft by Teva which was working great! I had to call out a day from work to go to my doctor to try and figure out what to do. I did research online and found out Teva is no longer making a generic of Zoloft which means I need to switch to a different medication!

Greenstone's generic of Zoloft DOES NOT WORK! I filed a complaint with the FDA online at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/medwatch-online.htm and will be calling Greenstone also to complain! We need to get Greenstone off the market and get Teva back!!!

I am so glad I stumbled upon this site. Thank you for your stories.

My husband has been taking Zoloft for 11 years or so, and doing very well on it.

When the generic became available, our mail order pharmacy switched him over to Sertraline. Things were going along fine until he was switched from the Teva brand to one labeled as NORT. His symptoms of depression have returned and he feels like he did before he started taking antidepressants.

I am now fighting with my insurance company to get them to authorize the return to the brand name Zoloft.

We will be filing a complaint with the FDA.

I have been taking 25mg nightly of generic Zoloft for years for mild anxiety and so I can sleep and not worry all night. It also puts me in a 100% better mood during the day. It had been working great until I started taking a generic by North Star (NStar on the bottle). It took me about a month to figure out that it wasn't working well. I had been going to the lake and wasn't enjoying my wakeboarding, motocross, mountain biking or my normal physical activities- not good.

I was thinking I'd prefer just to stay home versus being outside which is not normal. I was also having issues sleeping at night and was very "short" with my kids. I called my pharmacy (Albertsons Save-On - great service for years!!) and they said all they were buying now was NStar and their hands were tied.

I had to switch to another pharmacy and now just picked up a refill- with Greenstone. Thankfully, I think I have actually had previous success with Greenstone so I am hoping my problems will be solved. The difference in cost between generic and real Zoloft is intolerable. It is $12/90 tabs versus probably $60-70/30 tabs!!

I don't know what I am going to do if the Greenstone doesn't work now. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am glad I figured this out. I was having a lot of dizziness during the day and was about to go to the doctor for it. I basically felt like I wasn't taking anything and had an added bonus of dizziness thrown in!

I am so glad I found this website! My pharmacy switched my Sertraline from TEVA to NorthStar and I have had nothing but problems ever since. I thought I was going insane before I found this website. Can you guys comment on which manufacturer you find works best for you because North Star is not working for me (and others here as I can see). Thanks

Can anyone tell me if Brand name of Zoloft works as well as TEVA generic? I was taking 100mg Teva generic for yrs. The generic of other companies has no effect or makes me worse. I'm willing to pay more for Brand name if it works like the TEVA brand did. I will be doing as many of you are and filing a complaint with the FDA about this issue. Thanks for all your comments about this issue. I knew the generic wasn't working, but didn't know what to do.

Please let me know if you guys have tried the Brand name and if it works as well as the TEVA generic. Thanks so much

I have been on 25 mg Zoloft for 8 years and it works great for me. When the generic version became available several years ago, I tried the generic version in order to save money. I was on the generic of Zoloft made by Teva for several months. The generic did not work at all for me.

All of my anxiety symptoms returned, and I felt lethargic, unmotivated to do anything, and just basically dragging my way through every day. My husband and daughter both noticed the change in me on the generic. I switched back to the brand name Zoloft and all of the negative symptoms went away.

My insurance recently quit covering Zoloft, but after reading all the comments posted on this site about generic Zoloft, and my own experience using the generic version, I'm not going to take a chance on any manufacturer's generic version of Zoloft.

To help me financially, my doctor wrote a prescription for 50 mg Zoloft instead of 25 mg Zoloft. The tablet is scored down the middle, so it is easy to break in half and take 1/2 tablet each day. This method has worked fine for me. The doctor gave me 5 refills per year instead of 11 refills, but I only have to refill the prescription every 2 months.

Yes, Brand name Zoloft works as well, or better, than TEVA's generic version. I have taken Brand name Zoloft for 8 years and it has worked great for me. I took TEVA's generic version of Zoloft for several months when generic Zoloft first came out, but it didn't work nearly as well for me, and I returned to the Brand name version. I felt like the TEVA version only worked about half as well as the Brand name. If you switch to Brand name Zoloft, you might not even need 100 mg. 50 mg may be all you need. You could get the 100 mg and break the tablet in half to see if it is OK, and if not, then take the full 100 mg.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU DECIDE TO CHANGE THE DOSE IN THIS MANNER.

KR, that is great news. Maybe the discontinuing of TEVA happened for a reason in my case. I'm excited about trying the brand name now. I found out I can get the brand name for $60 for a 3 month supply as long as I do mail order.

Thanks so much for the reply. I'll let you know how it works for me. I have to say though I am excited about the possibility of it working even better than TEVA generic.

Thanks again!

Have been on Zoloft/sertraline since 1992. Greenstone brand sertraline worked well for me for a while. Switched to TEVA sertraline and started have break-through anxiety attacks. Went back to Greenstone and it worked better for about a year. I'm now having terrible anxiety and my skin burns and tingles along with unexpected anxiety attacks.

Thanks for the info on filing a claim. Greenstone started having a company in India make their generic products in 2008 and I'm wondering if that is the reason for the change in its effectiveness.

I think it is immoral to change "the recipe" of a drug when you are considering life and death issues. My job requires me to function and I can't function with ill effects of anxiety and depression. Thanks for this site.

Has anyone had experience with Sertraline HCL manufactured by Cobalt?

I have suffered many of the same problems recently while using the generic, & am so relieved to have found this site & this information.

I am covered under Medco & using the 90-day program, & looks like going to brand name Zoloft will be extremely costly.

I haven't seen anyone else mention the Cobalt Mfg so would appreciate any information.

Thanks so much.

I have a question about Zoloft and side effects. Thankfully, I was able to switch to the brand name Zoloft. I just started it these last two days. I've been having some dizzyness at times.

Also whether I was on the TEVA generic or any type of Zoloft it seems to make me bloat, especially in the stomach and face. I've tried other anti-depressants, but none of them seem to work as well for my OCD and depression as Zoloft. I just have the bloating and weight gain though.

Thought about trying Cymbalta, but I don't think that would help at all with the OCD.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thank you

I think you need to give the Zoloft 3 or 4 weeks to see if the dizziness goes away. It may be just an adjustment to taking the brand name. I think I had some dizziness when I first started brand name Zoloft. Even now, after taking it for years, I have occasional dizziness, but not very often. I don't know if it's the Zoloft or something else. I try to take it close to the same time each morning, right before breakfast. I haven't had a problem with bloating and weight gain on Zoloft. If you continue to have dizziness after 3 or 4 weeks, I'd check back with your doctor. Maybe you need your dosage adjusted.

I was shocked when I opened my refill of sertraline from Medco today and the pill was different. Thank goodness I had the old bottle and figured out that Medco (a mail order company) switched from Teva to Cobalt. I think I've always taken generic zoloft, but am curious how I will respond to this.

I steeled myself (first I thought they sent me the wrong thing!!) and took the pill. Susan, hope you're doing well on the Cobalt from our friends at Medco, who are perhaps looking for the cheapest supplier while charging us (at least me) the same fees!

Wendy

Yes yes yes. I was using the generic by Teva and did great on it, Medco switched to the Cobalt version and I hate it. I get weird headaches and night sweats which I was thinking was early onset of perimenopause (I'm 39) but now after reading other comments I think it may be the medication.

I was going to call around and see if I could get the Teva brand but see that it has been discontinued. For me it will cost about 90 a month to get real Zoloft.

My daughter broke out in a rash all over her body. Has anyone had this experience?

Thank goodness for you all, now I know I'm not goofy. Like many of you, my experience in switching to Greenstone has not been good, after Teva, which was fine. Now I'm back to zoloft, but would like to know if anyone has had issues with Northstar, yet another generic. I'm afraid of the headaches, etc. I had with Greenstone, but wouldn't mind saving some money. My Dr. said generics must be 90-95% as effective as brand and that patients should ask for the same generic if it's been working OK. I'm all for saving $, but won't compromise my health for it.

I also took Sertraline made by Teva and had no problems. My last refill, Medco sent me the pills made by Cobalt. All I do is sleep! 9-10 hours at night and a 2 hour nap in the afternoon as I can not keep my eyes open. I was very disappointed to learn that Teva stopped making Sertraline. I will try taking a lower dose or pay big bucks for Zoloft.

Susan, I just started the Sertraline by Cobalt. I take it at night before bed. After about an hour, I woke up with my heart palpitating and feeling flush. I had a feeling of indigestion as well. I believe that this is due to the generic Sertraline from Cobalt.
Has anyone else had this problem? Good luck everyone. Let us know what your experience with Cobalt Mfgr. is.

Please help. Don't know what to do at this point.

Teva brand worked great. So now I'm totally screwed . Other generics don't work, and brand zoloft is not working for me mentally as well, and is also causing more weight gain, dizziness, and extreme drowsiness.

Only other choices for me are Luvox Cr and Paxil.

Paxil I have to work up extremely slow on due to nausea , and still doesn't work as well as TEVA zoloft.

Luvox causes extreme wt. gain, but works a little better for mental part/ocd.

I really don't know what to do at this pt.
Any help is greatly appreciated.

I too recently had Medco send me a new brand of Sertraline from Cobalt. About a month after this switch, I had a crash, which I'm currently in month two of. I only recently realized my crash correlated with the switch in brands. I'm not sure if there is a cause/effect thing going on here, but I'm certainly going to see about getting the real Zoloft or figuring out who made the 'little white pill' I've been taking for many many years until Medco swapped it out on me.

Northstar was the worst for me. Funny thing, the other night I ran out of Greenstone and took one dose of Northstar until I got my prescription refilled. Guess what? Dizzy, dizzy, dizzy the next morning and I almost felt like I had the flu or something. By 2 or 3 PM I was feeling better. I got my Greenstone refilled and no problems. I have had no issues with Greenstone which is a blessing.

gh- I had to switch pharmacies. My old pharmacy only carried Northstar which was HORRIBLE for me. I switched to CVS after specifically asking them what brand they carried. A lot of pharmacies now have really killer deals even with no insurance. CVS charges $20 and Albertson's charges $20. Then you get a 90 days supply for $12 and $9.99 at Albertson's. Real Zoloft will cost me $60/70 per month and that is with insurance.

Need help!!!!!! I used TEVA zoloft for the past 12 yrs. Since they quit making the TEVA brand I've tried the greenstone brand that was a disaster.
So next I tried the brand name Zoloft.

Problem with brand name is that makes me very, very sleepy. I mean just taking like 25 mg. I divided the 100mg into fourths. Also, just as generic TEVA did the brand name seems to make me swell in stomach and face even more than TEVA brand did.

Presently , I've gone back to TEVA 25 mg since I had about a month supply left. Once that runs out though I don't know what to try.

Paxil makes me too nauseated and doesn't help as much mentally. Prozac makes me spaced out. Luvox is the only other SSRI I've tried that comes close to Zoloft, but like Zoloft I seemed to gain wt/bloat. Even worse with Luvox.

Anyone have any ideas? Seems my only choice is to use brand name Zoloft, or go on Luvox.

Any other suggestions? So ticked they quit making the TEVA brand. Did cause swelling and bloating/wt gain, but the mental help it gave me was worth it. I need to be on at least 50mg of Zoloft due to OCD.

Any help would certainly be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Gary

The only bothersome side effect is hot flashes. Zoloft branded costs 50c for 50mg 10 tabs in India. What's the cost there?

I am also on Medco insurance and a couple of months ago they sent me a little white pill of Sertraline, made by Cobolt, instead of my old trusted Teva brand. The Cobolt isn't working much at all. I had 3 Teva pills left and I am on them now, but tomorrow is my last one. Geez.

I have not tried real Zoloft but my doc is going to give me a small script for it to see how I do. I'm quite nervous about trying to find another Sertraline/Zoloft that works for me!

I was taking the Teva brand and Medco switched me to the Cobalt brand. I have been having constant headaches and lots of dizziness. I am going to try another generic by Northstar. If that doesn't work, I will have to pay the high price for Zoloft because the Zoloft has definitely made my life better!

I'm so glad I found this site! I have been taking Sertraline for about a year (the larger blue pill) and it has been working great. I was out of town and went to CVS to get a presdcription filled. Have been taking it for 3 weeks and today I feel like I am going through withdrawl. After reading everyone elses experiences I am pretty sure it's the Greenstone brand. I have my old prescription coming in the mail and also got another prescription for real zoloft called in. Going to give that a shot and see if my symptoms go away. I have been having constant dizziness (brain zaps), fever, upset stomach. I'll repost when I try the new prescription.

Just wanted to share some good news. I had previously been on TEVA brand. As most of you know they no longer make TEVA. Anyway, I tried the Greenstone brand and it didn't work well at all. Actually made me worse. Then I tried brand name of Zoloft and that made me extremely sleepy in even small doses, plus it didn't seem to work well. Finally, tried a friends Zoloft that she got from Wal-Mart. The manufacturer starts with an I.

I will give total name as soon as my script is filled. Works better than any brand of Zoloft I've ever been on. Including TEVA. Wanted to share this info. I know many of you are like me and have been searching and panicking trying to find a replacement for the discontinued TEVA brand. I'm so thankful I found something that works. It's been a rough couple of months trying to find the right one.

G

I sat down to see if there was anything I could find about similar problems and side effects of this new generic I was sent by Medco (mfg: Cobalt) and I feel like I hit the jackpot in stumbling onto this site!! My story is the exact same one as the rest of you having found the pills in my last refill looked different than I'd been taking and, having been suspicious for a while now that I've been experiencing a kind of withdrawal, my fears have been confirmed. Has Medco offered any option besides buying the Zoloft without any coverage? Does CVS offer a different generic than Cobalt? Any advice is much appreciated. (Of course, I so appreciate just finding your voices!)

Each chain of pharmacies buys there own brand of drugs. CVS and Osco (Chicagoland) carry the brand Greenstone. Some other pharmacy chains might carry the brand Northstar, another generic manufacturer for Zoloft. Medco sells the generic made by Colbalt. Even though the main ingredient might be the same, the fillers are different which can effect the way the drug effects you.

If you call the pharmacist at your drug store they will tell you which brand they sell. It is trial and error. You can transfer your prescription to a different pharmacy if you don't like the generic brand you get. The Colbalt brand made me very sleepy. I switched to the Greenstone brand and have had no problems.

I read everyone's comments with an increasing sense of doom!

One thing I didn't see, though, and am wondering about is whether anyone experienced changes in weight as between generics or between brand-name Zoloft and a generic? I was put on brand-name Zoloft about six years ago and responded well. My biggest problem was that even the lowest dose made me super-jumpy and made me feel really revved up. And at 25-50mg, I lost weight on Zoloft.

This fall, I started seeing a new psychiatrist and asked to be put back on Zoloft for OCD symptoms, and he started me at 50mg to increase to 100mg. The pharmacy gave me the Camber generic, and I honestly felt no different on it than off. What's more, I gained a disturbing amount of weight during the few weeks I tried the generic. It could be just coincidence, but I doubt it. I can swear that something changed with my metabolism, which is usually pretty fast and seemed to become sluggish.

Today, I filled my sertraline prescription at Rite Aid, which gave me Greenstone. I was initially hopeful that it would work just as Zoloft did for me since it is the generic arm of Pfizer, but all the posts on this site have made me wary. Can anyone comment on weight changes on Greenstone sertraline? Is it conceivable that this could be a side effect of the generics or is it all in my head? Thanks!

I'm really happy to report my update. After finding this site and verifying that my generic had been changed from TEVA to Cobalt by Medco, I went to CVS (where I used to get my scripts filled before being forced into the mail order program by Medco) and got an emergency 3 day supply of the Greenstone sertraline. It took a couple of days but my disturbing physical symptoms have subsided.

I got a new script from my doctor for a month supply of the Greenstone from CVS. If it works, Medco can get the Greenstone generic if specified by my doctor. At least, this is what I was told by a Medco pharmacist. According to her, there are a number of generics that are available through Medco: Greenstone, Ivac, Roxane and Cobalt.

Hello, Ive been taking ZOLOFT since day one. 7 years ago I started on the name brand. Although I felt 10 times better with it than without it... I never felt 100%. Then I switched to generic and still never felt 100%. Then one day I got switched to TEVA'S generic (by accident) and I was on top of the world for a couple of years. I never felt better in my life. It was amazing. TEVA recently discontinued it.

You can't find it anywhere and I'm devastated. I wish they would at least tell me why they pulled it. I went to GREENSTONE'S generic and it doesn't compare. TEVA is one of the top ten pharm cos in the world. They are Israeli and they specialize in generics. I wish they didn't discontinue it. Now I'm taking LEXAPRO... and it too doesn't compare. My point is that diff meds and diff generics work differently with everyone. You have to give them a chance to get into your system... give them time to get in and work.

Sometimes it's like starting all over again... that's why when you switch, for the first couple of weeks, you'll have all your symptoms back again... until the drug gets into your system and starts to work. Yes TEVA'S was hands down (after about 2 weeks) the best. Good luck everyone.

Hi all,
For those interested, there is another web board with 1000+ comments more-or-less aligning with what has been said here, @
http://m.topix.com/forum/business/biotech/T7R9P0NFHGN871B8J

I've posted there, but I'll add my story here, too.

My wife, like many of you, switched to generic because of pricing changes from her insurance. Once on the Greenstone generic she immediately began having problems. After switching back to the brand she recovered.

However, the story doesn't end there. Finances forced us to go back to the generic, and she found that she could get an equivalent effect by taking 1/3 higher dosage (100mg generic as opposed to 75mg brand). She has had success on this basis with both Greenstone and Teva.

Subsequent research has revealed that FDA standards mandate only that the generics have between 75% and 125% of the same active ingredients, a pretty wide margin for a dosage-sensitive drug like sertraliine!

Good luck everybody!

I just got switched to the Cobalt brand and I am scared to take it. I feel MEDCO should have contacted me and discussed the situation with me, letting me know what my options were. I really don't want to get depressed again.

Hi. I have been taking Zoloft for about 8 years now. And I have no idea if I have ever taken NSTAR brand before. But I had been taking Greenstone for almost a year and it worked for me. I take it for anxiety. I have formed my mothers OCD as well. And I am almost refusing to take the NSTAR brand.

I do not want any unusual side effects. And I am scared to take it. :'( The pharmacist told me it was the same thing. But me being OCD I have to have the same EXACT pill that I have been taking for such a long time. Could someone please help me out? I have been without it for two days now. And I am going into a mental break down writing this.

Heidi-
I know it's scary and completely unfair that we're all getting jerked around, but I think it's unwise to go off your medication.

Most people who have a bad reaction fall into one of two camps: allergic reactions or dosage problems. If it's an allergy, you should know very soon- symptoms include hives and nausea. A dosage problem would take longer to diagnose, but may be workable once you make the adjustment.

Call your doctor for a new script, but please in the meantime at least try the northstar.... I get scared thinking about people going off their medication!

Sam

Heidi, you can call around to different pharmacies to see if they carry the Greenstone. I know my local CVS carries it and I have now had my doctor specify the Greenstone brand from Medco mail order (DAW - Dispense As Written. With a little footwork, you should be able to get the Greenstone brand since you know it works for you.

I, too have been a victim of the Teva discontinuation travesty. I had 3 great years on Teva sertraline and then, poof, it was discontinued. I tried Lupin, Greenstone and Mylan. All were terrible. Every anxiety symptom I had in the past came back with a vengeance. So, the shrink said, try the brand name. I was on 12.5 daily on Teva. Tried the same with Zoloft, and after 4 weeks, no success.

He then said double up to 25 mg. Zombie land. I am at my wits end and now it looks like I'll have to switch to a different med altogether. What was so different about Teva???? Does anyone know? I empathize with everyone and could use some support myself. Glad I found you all.

Vicki,
I'm right there with ya. The Teva Zoloft brand has always been my go to med when i really got down. I've also tried the brand name. Not near as good. Been taking 25 mg of it and don't feel much difference at all.

The Teva brand always worked so well. Did cause bloating, but just about all the antidepressants cause me wt gain and bloating. Teva brand of zoloft worked the best for depression by far.

I've tried the CVS brand, The Wal Mart brand, and as I said the brand name.

CVS generic was terrible. Didn't work at all

Wal Mart brand worked a lot like Teva brand, but caused major bloating and wt gain. Also, when you first start taking it get ready to not remember stuff for a few days. Seriously. You might want to try the WalMart brand. Reminds me a lot of the TEva brand except the wt gain and bloating is much worse for me.

I'm so afraid rt now about what to do. I've relied on TEva zoloft since 1997 off and on. Sometimes got off it due to bloating, but othe than that it worked great.

We need to really write in to TEva to try and get them to start making it again. I'm really at a loss as what to do. It's very scary to say the least.

I already called TEVA , but get the same lady every time and she doesn't want to transfer me above her head. Says for me to write in. I'm calling tomorrow and asking for people above her anyway.

Too many of us relied on TEVA, and they should take that into consideration about how many people they are effecting.

Gary

Viki-
I preface this by saying that these are only ideas and not *real* knowledge- for that, sadly, we must wait for people with labs, etc. to do the testing.

However, my wife had problems with the switch to Greenstone- our experience that the effective dosage is perhaps 75% of the brand name. She was able to get a good effect by adjusting her dosage- from 75mg/day to 100mg/day.

In your situation, however, because it's difficult to prepare dosages *between* 12.5 and 25mg, the 25% difference may be hard to make up. See what I'm saying? It seems possible to me that your responses are symptoms of over- and under-dosing.

Have you tried any of the "ineffective" brands (Lupin, Greenstone, Mylan) at the 25mg level? I know it goes against the grain to go back to a medication that didn't work, but perhaps, if it was a dosage issue, these brands might be a suitable replacement at a different dosage?

Sorry to hear about your plight,
Good luck,
Sam

I guess the bottom line is everyone is different and some generics work for others and others do not.

Greenstone has worked very well for me. NStar was a disaster and name brand Zoloft worked well. I was getting complaints from wife and kids about being extremely "short" on NStar and I was getting dizzy during the day. I finally started putting two and two together and went to a different pharmacy and got Greenstone= problem solved. Felt back to normal the next day. Too bad it took me 60+ days to figure out all generics aren't created equal (despite what the pharmacist said). Many pharmacists think you are crazy when you claim a generic isn't working.

Keep an open mind if something doesn't work. The next generic may be the cat's meow for your body! Don't lose hope. Everything will work out.

I have been taking generic zoloft from Walgreens for many years with no problems. Recently due to finances, I switched to the Walmart generic. I've been weepy and irritable for the few months I've been taken it. It finally dawned on me that MAYBE all generics are not the same! I am going back to Walgreens tomorrow!

I have Medco as my mail order pharmacy and was recently switched from a TEVA product to Cobalt. I did fine with the TEVA product but this one is not working at all. I finally made the connection with the new med and started doing research. So thankful for this site and relieved that it may be the generic and I am not losing my mind. Don't know what to do now as the brand name drug is so expensive.

About ten years ago my physician put me on an anti depressant. I had 'electric zings from my head to every part of my body. When put on Zoloft, I didn't have this problem, however, I had a new one. When I started to break down on this drug I got the same 'electric zinging' only worse, to the point that my entire body would jerk from the jolts. I can not seem to get off this drug because of this. I would like to know why this happens and what part of the body is it affecting to do this.

I too have been on Zoloft for years (brand name) worked well. The last batch from Medco (generic) has caused a downward spiral. Actually all of the generics did not work as well as the brand name. I have a call in to my Dr. to prescribe brand name and will just have to bite the bullet with the costs of it. I don't want to go to work anymore and that will cause more money problems for me, so the cost of the name brand is worth it.

I also have been on Zoloft for long time. Take 200mg a day....
I was then switched to Sertraline (Greenstone) no problems....Then Medco changed the mfg. and I started getting dizzy and having tremors. I found a store that carried the Greenstone Mfg. and everything is fine now. Now they have switched my Wellbutrin XL (300mg) to Bupropion XL--Fine. Mfg. is same as Wellbutrin. Now the same place I get my Sertraline from changed MFG. on this one and same thing is happening.

Now I need to find a place who carries the original MFG. By the time I'm done I will be using several different drugstores. It's not even the insurance co. It's the Pharmacies for me.......STOP playing with our lives. The people who really need the meds are the one's suffering and not just financially. There ought to be a law......

Can anyone explain to me why my insurance will pay for 90 100mg Wellbutrin a month. 1 three times a day. But won't pay for 30 300mg once a day???? It's a bad thing to miss doses which happens when you have to take 3 times a day vs. 1 time a day. DUH....

I have been taking generic Zoloft mfg by Cobolt for a long time with good effect. Then I got a refill of my meds and after a week or so, I found I was more depressed and jumpy. After 3 weeks of feeling pretty bad, I checked my meds and found out that my last refill from Medco was manufactured by Lupin.

Please Help!!!!!!!!

I relied on TEVA Zoloft since 1997 whenever i was under extreme stress. My a couple of years also took it on regular basis. Problem as many of you know is that TEVA quit making Zoloft as of July 2009. This has cause major, major problems for me. Teva zoloft wasn't exactly without side effects, but it worked great for the mental deal. Did cause face and stomach bloating and increased appetite which i didn't like. However it was my go to med when I encountered extreme stress.

Now, I'm in the worse shape in my life. My Dad is about to die of Leukemia. The job I had for 11 yrs I had to resign from due to a variety of health issues. I had a botched sinus surgery in 2004 that has caused sleep issues and anxiety issues. After two trip to Ohio, and a reconstructive surgery this past month to rebuild my septum that is better. However I've had 11 or so surgeries in the past 3 yrs. 5 meniscus tears, two shoulder ops, neck fusion, sinus surgery, colon and stomach problems. So physically I'm beat up and have relied on physical type jobs my whole life. Let's add in two bulging discs in my back. So presently at a job for half the pay and hurting financially.

I've tried the brand name Zoloft, Lupin , Greenstone, Cobalt, and one by Invagen (wal mart brand).

The only one that worked similar to TEVA is the Invagen brand, but that caused excessive bloating and wt gain. Tremendous wt gain.

Brand name Zoloft helped some, but also cause bloating and wt gain. Didn't help as much as Invagen or TEVA brand.

Currently, I'm on 15 mg of Paxil, but still so depressed and all I can't get stuff done. I've also tried CElexa, Efexxor, Prozac, Pristiq, Luvox, ect. Nothing replaces the TEVA zoloft.

I figure my only options are to stick with the Paxil and keep going up on the dose, or go back to the brand name Zoloft and just deal with the bloating and wt gain. Not as bad as the INvagen brand. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I can't hardly function like this.

Thank you, Gary

Hi STL mom- thanks for sharing your story and adding your two cents to our collective knowledge base!

I would like to disagree with you on one point, however- the differences between generics and brand, and between generics of different manufacturers, are not all "in our minds."

Certainly, everyone who has struggled with psychiatric illness knows how complex the brain is, our tremendous capacity to shut out things we can't fix and shift our focus to those things we can- and that this shifting can seem like we are "creating our own symptoms."

For many of us, even realizing that our psychiatric conditions were real and could be helped by medication at all was a gradual one, drawn out over many years of blaming ourselves for our problems and trying to "choose to be stronger."

For this reason, we have reacted strongly to doctors and pharmacists telling us that "these are the same pills" and that if we are experiencing any difference it is "in our minds." Some of us have despaired, thinking that one of the things that made life possible is lost or no longer works; many of us have lashed out in anger as we became educated about the differences between different preparations of the "chemically" equivalent medicines.

Fact is, the FDA guidelines are exceedingly loose in terms of dosage- and Sertraline is a highly dosage-sensitive medication- not to mention all issues attendant to different "inactive" filler ingredients.

Thank you for coming to this forum and sharing your experience and wisdom, and I wish you the very best luck on your journey- but please don't tell us it's "all in our minds."

Hi Judy,
Here-here. Medco switched me from Cobalt to Lupin-manufactured Setraline HCL. What a crash and burn. After some intense telephone wrestling, (I don't think they liked dealing with me on the Cobalt stuff!) and upon my insurance co. insistence, Medco agreed to send me the Cobalt again. Thank goodness for overnight mail (they paid!).

I too had the trouble with the burning esophagus when taking the Lupin brand.

Yes... brand named Zoloft worked great. I've been on generic Setraline HCL for years with no problem until Lupin came into my life.

Thanks to everyone for the postings. They've helped me to see the light through the fog of the last week.
GG

Dear STL Mom,
Thanks for sharing your experience... and your experience apparently is different from the other posters. Yes, there are times to be strong, to suck it up, to martial on. However, most of the folks who are posting to this site are on this med because of a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Before I started Zoloft (generic was not available) I tried the no-refined sugar, wheat, etc. I exercised 2 hours per day, and tried to "buck-up." It didn't work. I went to therapy and was told that I was well adjusted and after 5 weeks was told that it wasn't how I was looking at things, that the issue was a chemical imbalance. Sure enough, the Zoloft worked.

I had taken the Zoloft, then generics for years-- different generics with no problem. However, when my pharmacy changed manufacturers this last time, the result was miserable. My side effects (when I later researched them) were those listed as those typical with abrupt discontinuance. I hadn't dc'ed it, I simply took another manufacturer's product.

We keep being told generics are the same (equivalent) as the brand name and other generics. I would have agreed with this -- up until recently. I can no longer support that position.

I'm sorry Sam. I think I may have not explained my comment about 'it is all in our minds' very well. I totally agree with the realities that you have described. The fact of the matter is that some people suffering may feel like a generic is inferior to a brand. Because we think that we may be getting something at lesser quality. Millions of people take a generic and are just fine. Some of us are forced to take a generic over a brand for insurance reasons. I was simply trying to offer peace of mind.

Hi STL mom- thanks for clarifying, and sorry if I came off like I was jumping down your throat. I agree, in fact, that generics can work- in my case, a simple dosage adjustment was ultimately enough. But I was slowed down and put through weeks of misery and fright because the pharmacists were telling me that there was no possibility it was the change to generics that was responsible for the different in effect.

Ultimately, moving from 75mg/day of Zoloft to 100mg/day of generic was a workable solution- and, as you say, financially important given the price of staying on brand name.

There are people who need encouragement to "shop around" for generics, or to try a different dosage; it's just hard, sometimes, to choose our words carefully so we don't disparage people's experiences.

Thanks again for participating in this conversation- as you can see from the comments, it is an important forum for people seeking to understand their situation.

No hard feelings,
Sam

P.S. I think I posted this here before, but there is another longer thread for those who are interested @ http://www.topix.com/forum/business/biotech/T7R9P0NFHGN871B8J

WOW. Thank you fro all these comments. I had a very successful first 9 months on Sertraline made by Camber.

I truly am a skeptic, and very rational and believed there would be no difference in efficacy when my pharmacy switched me to Greenstone. It was a HORRIBLE month before I realized that the switch might have caused it. I actually got so down, so low energy, and so emotional - I was truly SCARED. What a nightmare. Can I have these pills evaluated? Something doesn't seem quite right about Greenstone brand.

My boyfriend is taking Sertraline. Some days he is fine, then somedays he has no patience with anyone. I hesitate to ask if he has taken a pill as he can get very defensive. How fast does the pill effects wear off and is not working? Do you have to take it the same time every day to make it effective? Want to be a good friend and let him be aware of his emotional changes.

Mylan brand was good for me.

Greenstone brand was bad for me.

I look back ironically: I accepted anxiety and depression as my "norm," until I finally took Zoloft: and optimism and hope gradually returned. Even so, this very anxiety prompted me to fixate on "the least effective dose"--to avoid any side-effects like agitation--so, lo and behold, it didn't really work that well for the first two years.

Finally, at 75-100 mg. it worked well (and has for several years). I too felt the Greenstone was not quite as strong, but this is very subjective and uncertain. Ultimately, depression is an emotional response to loss, hurt,and self-criticism (rather than, as Freud noted, directing the anger properly outward at those who indeed have hurt and damaged us). Renewed faith in one's self is also strengthened by the transcendent meaning about life we can experience through great truths (Buddha, Gandhi, etc.) and great art (say, Beethoven, Tolstoy, etc.)

My health-care requires that I use medco for my prescriptions. They recently switched my Zoloft generic to Greenstone and it has been horrible. After suffering this switch for a couple of months now, which includes anxiety, extreme irritability, and head shivers/brain freezes, I have asked that my doctor prescribe me the band name. My father-in-law was switched to Greenstone it as well and noticed the difference. He was smart and got prescribed the brand name as soon as he noticed something wasn't right

This isn't the first time my generic was changed. I don't remember my previous generic, but as soon as I went on it, withdraw systems kicked in and my dose had to be increased 25mg.

Clearly there needs to be more regulation of generics because the system isn't working.

My daughter has been on the Greenstone Sertraline for over a year and was doing great. We recently sent her prescriptions through our mail order and we received the Lupin Sertraline. Within a week of starting the new generic, her panic attacks are worse than ever. She couldn't function and go to school.

We talked to her psychiatrist about the coincidence of medication change and her worsened anxiety and she agreed that we should switch back to the Greenstone. After reading all the comments, I would consider refilling your RX with the Brand Zoloft if you can afford it. Switching to different manufacturers is too dicey.
Anna

Thank you all. Today I looked at my bottle of Sertraline. I have been taking this new refill for about 2 weeks and I am back to where I was 10 years ago. The holiday season can be depressing, but right now it is very depressing for me. When I received this refill, the pills were a different color and smaller. They are from LUPIN. I will be calling my physician in the morning.

I have just recently had the switch done on me by CVS. I went from North Star liquid to Greenstone. Within a week I almost had a panic attack, but luckily the xanax was handy. I also had insomnia and shortness of breath. These symptoms are like the start up of a new SSRI.

I got on the phone and called every pharmacy in my area to find North Star and Target had it. I called my NP, which is also a good friend, and he wrote the script up for Northstar only. I thankfully have xanax handy until I go pick it up in the morning. Of, course I had to wait a extra day to avoid paying full price. Of course I am a very medicine sensitive person, so any little change throws me for a loop. Love this website! I am glad I am not the only one with switching issues.

Has anyone had a problem with being switched and causing jitters, anxiety and nervousness?

So thankful to find this online site!

After reading the posts above, I am thinking now... This may be why I haven't felt 100% for so long, i.e the fillers or inactive ingredients in my generic Zoloft RX which I've used for years.

Over the years, I too have had pharmacies switch to different companies selling the generic Z. But before now, I never really gave it much thought, always believing generics were pretty much the same.

I was taking Walmart's "horse pill" sized generic, which honestly was a crap shoot for me. Some months the refill worked great, other months...nada After researching it a bit online, I discovered that their manufacturer overseas, had some problems. Walmart then assured me they had addressed it and all further refills were fine.

I decided to switch to Rite Aid b/c they have an Rx assist card which lessens the cost for me. I was getting the original looking Pfizer brand of Zoloft.

However, my most recent refill of Zoloft is by Camber Pharma, and obviously not the same pill as I was taking before. And the bottle has the sticker saying "this is same meds you have been getting, color, size or shape may appear differently."

Maybe it should also include: note: Take at your own risk? It might work great, but then again....

I'm going to return to the store tomorrow and ask for the brand Z again, or find another pharmacy that can deliver upon my request.

Thanks again for all the info and testimonials. These generic manufacturers really should be accountable to their customers' concerns.

Thank you!

Hey, I have had withdrawal symptoms (tired, weepy, anxious) from switching from Greenstone to Camber, so I am requesting the pharmacy to order mine from Greenstone, llc. I don't see how its legal for the meds to be different.

I've been on Zoloft, then CVS' generic Sertraline since 2002 for OCD. Does anyone else have a problem with very explicit and disturbing dreams? Also, I've recently begun having some trouble with recall - I'm 40, used to have no trouble remembering facts/figures/names, but some days, now, it feels like I've got mud for brains. Anyone else have this problem?

I too have had problems with pharmacies switching generic brands of sertraline. I was on for about two years taking greenstone the last refill I picked up was from camber. I started taking it for a few days and noticed my panic attacks were slowly starting to come back. I thought that was very odd, looking at the bottle it said this is the same medication you have been getting, color size or shape may appear different.

I knew that was the problem then. I called around and found a pharmacy that carries the greenstone. I will be switching to a different pharmacy. If its not broke why try and fix it?

Greenstone makes Zoloft, so the generic you are getting is the exact same thing as Zoloft. It should work the same. My psychiatrist specifically put me on this brand. I am on the Greenstone generic and I didn't notice any difference like I did with the other makers of sertraline.

I have been taking brand name Zoloft for approximately 10 years because of perimenopausal hormone fluctuation resulting in low levels of serotonin. This Past January, I was told by CVS that Z is no longer covered on the tier and I would have to take sertraline instead which would be the same.

Well, my nervousness and anxiety as well as hot flashes have returned threefold!! I would be willing to pay a portion of the $300/month cost but not entire amount. Any suggestions?

I took Zoloft for years and years and then the same thing happened to me and I had to go to a generic, which didn't work at all. Finally I went back to my psychiatrist and he gives me a specific prescription for Greenstone sertraline. Greenstone is the pharmaceutical manufacturer of Zoloft and the ingredients are identical. With a prescription written like this, the pharmacy has to purchase the sertraline from Greenstone and no other manufacturer. This way, you don't end up with who knows what from who knows who. You can even ask the pharmacist to make sure the sertraline is from Greenstone. Hope this helps - it sure helped me!

I switched from 150 mg Zoloft to generic (Greenstone) sertraline about a year ago because of the cost of the brand. I did well for awhile but then went into a decline and eventually was almost as ill as before I began Zoloft. When I refilled my Rx a few weeks ago, I noticed that the pharmacy gave me the Camber sertraline. The results are amazing.

I feel better than I have in years, even on the brand Zoloft. I am going to ask the doctor to specify that I get the Camber sertraline with every refill. Apparently, what works well for some of us doesn't for others, but the Camber generic works amazingly well for me.

Hi rs-

Have you tried adjusting your dosage? It doesn't work for everybody (some people just have a bad reaction to the generic, period), but my wife had a good resolution to similar experience of the medication not working after switching to the Greenstone generic.

She switched to taking the 100mg pills from the 75mg ones, and found that she could get an equivalent effect. It's obviously a bit scary to tinker with a medication that is important to your well-being, and it can take up to 2 weeks to really know if it's working - but if it's an economic necessity it may be workable.

Good luck,
Sam

Sharon,
I haven't had luck with anything since TEVA quit making Zoloft. Teva Zoloft worked well for me for so many years. Even the brand name doesn't work as well for me as the TEVA. Really put me in a bad spot right now cause recently lost my Dad, having financial problems, and health problems. On overload. I need to be on something. I was thinking about trying the Camber brand you're talking about.

The TEVA zoloft worked really well, but I did have to fight the problem of wt gain and bloating especially in face and stomach, but the anxiety relief I got from it was worth it.

Did you ever take the TEVA brand and did it work for you? Does the Camber brand seem to cause you bloating and wt gain?? Lastly and most important, where can I get this CAmber Zoloft from. What stores carry it???

Thanks, Gary

Gary, I did take the TEVA brand once, and it seemed to do fine, but MEDCO stopped getting it from them and replaced it with one that I actually had an allergic reaction to. Because MEDCO switches generic brands so frequently, I opted to get my meds from our local RiteAide pharmacy, one month at a time.

They just switched from Greenstone to Camber for generic sertraline, and the pharmacist advised me that it will be their generic brand indefinitely, so I know I can get it there. You might check with the RiteAide in your area and see if they carry the Camber brand; if not, they might be able to get it for you.

I do have bloating and weight gain, but I have had that since beginning Zoloft, so I don't think any particular generic brand is at fault - I think it's just a side-effect of sertraline in any form. But I'll take "fat and happy" over slim and depressed any day!

I actually got a lot better when I accepted the fact that life is sometimes just HARD - it's part of the normal cycle of things - and we just have to feel the pain and let it run its course. But those of us who suffer with clinical depression can have a more difficult time "bouncing back" than those who don't, so I pray that you will be able to find a medication that will help you through these difficult days. May God bless you with His presence and give you peace, my friend.

Sharon M.

Sharon, Thanks for the reply about the Camber Zoloft. I will contact RiteAide and see what they can do. I don't think there is a RiteAide pharmacy in my area. I'll certainly check though. Does anyone know another pharmacy that carries the Camber brand??? I've got to get on something soon. Between the chronic pain with my neck that will need surgery soon, my Dad's passing, and reduced pay with my job I'm under more stress than ever in my life and currently not taking any antidepressant. Not a good combination. Afraid I'm going to end up having a heart attack, or being put in a place if i don't get on something. All just too much.

Also, has anyone that had success with TEVA Zoloft had any success with other meds such as Paxil, and if so what brand???

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm certainly on the ropes rt now.

Thank you , Gary

I can't believe I found this website. I thought I was losing my mind and here you all are with the same experiences! TEVA'S generic zoloft was absolutely hands down the one that worked best for me. To this day I haven't found one that works well enough. I tried different generics and different meds and NOTHING compares.

The brand name didn't even come close. I lost my job after they pulled it off the market! My fiance and I were evicted, I couldn't function. It's been years and I'm still ill. There should be a law that protects patients... in other words they shouldn't be allowed to pull it off the market unless it's harming people. If money is the issue... then the gov should subsidize them to keep it on the market... especially if the gov gave them the ok to PUT it on the market in the FIRST place!!

My pharmacy just switched from Greenstone Sertraline to Camber Sertraline and I've been having an allergic reaction (hives, rash, itching). Anyone else experience this? What in the inactive ingredients could cause this besides artificial dyes? I've looked for a listing of the inactive ingredients and cannot find a listing - on the Camber website they only list what is NOT in the inactive ingredients.

Hi E.W.-

Allergic reactions are quite common ( http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2008/03/31/sertraline/index.php#comment-35047 , http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2008/03/31/sertraline/index.php#comment-13165 ). Also check out this forum for more cases: http://m.topix.com/forum/business/biotech/T7R9P0NFHGN871B8J

At this ( http://www.drugsdepot.com/catalog.php?ref=drugsdepot&dt=88815&pd=1997174&or=3660793 ) site, it lists the inactive ingredients for Camber as:
dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, D & C Yellow #10 aluminum lake (in 25 mg tablet), FD & C Blue #1 aluminum lake (in 25 mg tablet), FD & C Red #40 aluminum lake (in 25 mg tablet), FD & C Blue #2 aluminum lake (in 50 mg tablet), hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, sodium starch glycolate, synthetic yellow iron oxide (in 100 mg tablet), and titanium dioxide

There is also a very good list of all generic brands with all fillers at labeldataplus.com ( http://bit.ly/hGBRpg ) which gives a very similar list:
dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, hydroxypropyl cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, opadry green (titanium dioxide, hypromellose 3cP, hypromellose 6cP, Macrogol/Peg 400, Polysorbate 80, D&C Yellow # 10 Aluminum Lake, and FD&C Blue # 2/Indigo Carmine Aluminum Lake for 25mg tablet), opadry light blue (hypromellose 3cP, hypromellose 6cP, titanium dioxide, Macrogol/Peg 400, FD&C Blue # 2/Indigo Carmine Aluminum Lake and Polysorbate 80 for 50 mg tablet), opadry yellow (hypromellose 3cP, hypromellose 6cP, titanium dioxide, Macrogol/Peg 400, Polysorbate 80, Iron Oxide Yellow, Iron oxide Red for 100mg tablet) and sodium starch glycolate

Hope that helps!

Good luck,
Sam

Are thee any contraindications on oral care when taking Zoloft (the generic brand)? I have a funny taste in my mouth and have used many mouth rinses and am concerned for what the drug is doing to my teeth, gums or roots. Thanks for any help
A

Hi. I'm brand new. My daughter has just been prescribed zoloft. We went to Walgreen's and they suggested the generic (Greenstone is on the bottle) and I said sure, less expensive. We'll see. I just got on this site this morning because it's been three days at just half a pill, 25mg and she seems to think it's making a difference already? - but is having a hard time going to sleep at night.

Maybe it's placebo affect... I don't care, she seems more balanced. NOW all of a sudden I'm freaking out after reading all the comments! OK - my question. She's having trouble sleeping. NEVER been a problem before. Could it be from this pill? We meet w/ the therapist Tues and I want to journal every symptom, etc to give her.

Three days is pretty quick to be seeing results, but certainly not impossible.

Sleeplessness is definitely a possible side effect of antidepressants.

Hopefully, your doctor has made you aware of the possibility that if your daughter is bipolar she may have a bad reaction to antidepressants (or a bad reaction to antidepressants alone).

If this is the case, zoloft could tip her into mania, so you should monitor her carefully, because bipolars who take antidepressants are at an increased risk of suicide. If she is showing other signs of mania - being very "up," talking fast, having rushing thoughts or intrusive ideas, engaging in risky behavior (like driving fast), irritability - be sure to take note and discuss with your doctor.

I'm not trying to freak you out, but finding the right medication can be tricky. God bless you for protecting your daughter and taking proactive steps to help her!

Good luck,
Sam

My doctor suggests taking sertraline in the mornings, because it does tend to have an energizing effect on some people. Personally, it makes me sleepy, so I take it at night. Best advice I could give you is to try taking it in the mornings if she's having trouble going to sleep at night.

I'm sure you have read all the scary stuff about Zoloft/Sertraline and are worried to death, as we moms all tend to be, but I can assure you that I have been taking Zoloft and then Sertraline for 20 years at a very high dose, and I have had no adverse effects from it. It probably saved my life, and it has certainly given me a quality of life I never would have enjoyed otherwise.

I began taking it at age 43 and am now 63 and don't intend to ever stop it. Your daughter may have a better chance of going off of it after awhile, though, since she is beginning treatment at an early age. The longer you wait to begin treating depression, the more likely it is to recur if you stop meds.

Just watch your daughter closely until she's been on this medication for awhile. There is a suicide risk associated with it in young people, and that's the thing you want to talk with her about and keep communication open so she can tell you if she starts having that kind of thoughts.

I'll say a prayer for your daughter, and let her know she can come on this site and ask questions and get encouragement from other people with the same kind of struggles. She is fortunate to have a mom who is taking such good care of her! God Bless you both!

I am so thankful to have discovered this site! I had been taking Zoloft for over 10 years and in the last 6 months was switched to generic sertraline when a new prescription was required by CVS Mail Pharmacy and generic was approved. I have gradually become more emotional (crying over nothing), self-critical, irritable, etc. Living with those changes seemed acceptable UNTIL one Sunday, about a month ago, I had tremors or seizures that lasted 15-20 minutes and was taken to the ER.

There, several less severe events of the same symptoms occurred. After being monitored, having an EKG, Cat Scan, etc., I was told that I must have had an anxiety attack and was given Lorazepam (I understand) through an IV. Upon release, I was given a prescription to fill for Lorazepam and advised to contact my primary physician on Monday.

My primary physician (who had prescribed my original medication for depression) reviewed the reports, talked to me and my husband regarding the symptoms I had experienced and since all of the test results were in the normal range, he referred me to a neurologist, after advising he did not believe I had an anxiety attack. Upon seeing the neurologist, more tests were ordered to rule out something serious that may have been overlooked.

I have now had two EEG's, EKG, Cat Scan, blood work and who knows what else... amounting to thousands of dollars. The only results that came back, other than "normal" was that I have Tachycardis (heart rate over 100). He recommended an increased dosage of the Sertraline, and my primary physician concurred and it was done.

When I received the prescription in the mail and read the possible side-effects include seizures, tremors and increased heart rate I was (and still am) livid!!! What do I do now?

I've been taking 50 mg sertraline (Mylan brand) for major depression for 8 months, starting with 25 mg and increasing gradually. It worked immediately for me, and it's almost a miracle. Recently my pharmacy changed generic brands to Lupin. The old sadness & depression and inability to deal with the normal stresses of life started to creep back (it's only been about 5 days). I found another pharmacy that could refill my prescription with Mylan brand. This is too important to me to take any chances!!!

I had my Dr. write my scripts specifically with generic makers name on it, it is way too important to take chances I agree.

Hello,
Ever since TEVA quite making Zoloft its been a nightmare trying to find something to replace it. Tried about everything.

The brand name Zoloft aggravates my stomach, doesn't work as well, and causes me to gain weight in face and stomach more than TEVA brand ever did. At least TEVA brand worked so well mentally it was worth the tradeoff.

I tried Wal Mart brand Zoloft. Worked like TEVA mentally, but made me gain tons of wt in just 2 months time.

Tried Greenstone brand and that didn't work for anything.

Tried Paxil and that makes me more anxious.

So does anymore have any advice on what I could try? So pissed off at TEVA. I relied on that drug for over 10 yrs. Helped me through my worst times. Now at my lowest pt with health issues, financial issues, etc I don't have it.

Should also mention I recently was diagnosed with lymphatic colitis which is somewhat similar to celiac disease. Zoloft along with other antidepressants were listed as a possible cause.

Also want to mention never take a Benzo like Klonopin or Xanax for any length of time. I found out it is tremendously hard to get off of. Tried getting off of it twice now, but caused too many problems. Only on 1mg at nt. Anyway, any help about an antidepressant would be much appreciated. already tried, prozac, lexapro, eflexor, pristiq, ect. What form of Zoloft works most like the old TEVA did???????? thank you

I was on lexapro in my early 20s. It worked well but killed my sex drive. Job/life changes and my insurance didn't cover lexapro, so I was put on citalopram. It never really helped but it kept me stable and I would notice a change if I missed a dose but still had feelings of sadness and depression.

Now I'm on generic zoloft (sertraline 50mg) and because my new insurance doesn't cover Lexapro since may of this year. At first, it was great, but now the usual side effects have begun.

I see a lot of people here sort of experimenting with dosages and medicines. I would never dare to do such a thing and I think that such things should be handled by professionals.

I have taken the Mylan and Greenstone. Then I was given the medication from Lupin which comes from India. I took a nosedive and felt as I did years ago. I found another pharmacy that was able to refill with Greenstone. I was right back to being happy again. Don't hesitate to talk to your doctor if you need to increase the amount.

Hi Maria-
I think almost everybody here is working with healthcare professionals as they attempt to find a medication that works for them. For the most part, medications such as Zoloft and generic sertraline are not available without a doctor's script.

However, many of us have also been given incorrect information by the healthcare pros we trusted, when they told us that generic sertraline is "identical" to brand Zoloft. Our painful experiences have revealed to us that generics differ in dosage and effectiveness. When we brought this forward to the professionals we rely on, some received support, others were told our problems were "all in our heads."

So, although I agree that healthcare professionals are an important resource, we have discovered that often leaving it to professionals is not enough, and that if we want to be healthy, WE must step up and take an active and informed role in our treatment.

Regards,
Sam

I am one of the lucky ones who has a psychiatrist who told me right off that the generics are NOT the same as the brand name. He is very knowledgeable about the fillers, etc., and also told me that Greenstone was the original manufacturer of Zoloft, so I request Greenstone all the time on my prescriptions. I have had no problems with Greenstone at all, but did with the other generics before I brought it up to my psychiatrist. He is not a fan of generic medication.

I have been reading all of the comments on here about generic Zoloft and I'm a little concerned now. After going to the pharmacy today to get my refill, I noticed that the manufacturer on my old bottle is Greenstone and the new bottle is Northstar. I am going to take the new ones next week to see what happens, if anything, from switching. I just got done looking up the inactive ingredients in each, they are mostly the same, but there are a few differences. (like 2) Here's a link if anyone is interested in seeing what they are.

This one is for Northstar http://www.drugs.com/imprints/a-1-7-14515.html And this one is for Greenstone http://www.drugs.com/imprints/g-4900-50-mg-13166.html Hopefully it won't be a bad experience for me, as I'm just starting back on them and still have some of the initial side effects. Has anyone here ever switched from Greenstone to Northstar? If so, what was your experience?

Heather, I would recommend finding a pharmacy with Greenstone you can call around, it took about two weeks after taking generics for me to be able to tell the difference between manufacturers. Two differences can make a difference. I noticed that Walgreens has greenstone.

Well, I decided to stop taking it. I really don't think it was gonna work for me at all this time. I had such severe s/e from it. I was dizzy for a week straight to the point I felt like I was going to pass out, severe stomach trouble, no appetite at all, migraine headache, and it made me have HORRIBLE panic attacks. Never had these start up s/e when I took it the first 3 times. I guess I'm just gonna stick with my Xanax. Good luck to all of you who are taking it already, or just starting up. :)

I too am glad that I found this website, not happy that everyone is having to deal with this, but happy that I am not alone. I have recently discovered that Greenstone has two different versions of a generic zoloft out. I have been taking the one that looks almost identical to the brand and it has been working wonderfully for me. I had been filling it at CVS. I recently went to refill it and came home to realize the pill was different, a little larger with different imprints on it.

There was no sticker even indicating that they had changed it. Well, I took it and honestly I immediately noticed a difference the very first day. I had heart palpitations, nausea, and after a couple of weeks of trying to stay with it, I had a day where I had several panic attacks all in a row, it was awful.

I haven't had one in forever, as the other version I had been taking was working like a dream. I finally called my Dr. and just got the brand name because I was afraid I would end up with something bad again. It costs 130.00 after coupons and insurance! I called around and found that Walgreens has the generic that I had been getting originally, which as I said, is also made by Greenstone. I am back on it, and I find it to be even more helpful than the brand, not to mention it only costs 13.00!!

I am praying that Walgreens doesn't end up switching to that horrible other version Greenstone makes. The pharmacist there told me that they have had that version for a long time and had no plans to change it. I don't know why Greenstone would make two versions of the same thing. The bad one must be cheaper to make. I am going to tell my pharm. again to please not switch! I am thinking this is probably the reason why several people said Greenstone was awful and others said they had great success with it. They were like night and day, and honestly the one should be called a different drug, because it was clearly NOT the same thing.

I have had this experience with other generics too. It is so upsetting to have to worry whether or not your medicine is going to work and do what it is supposed to do. It is definitely not right or fair to us. I wish everyone luck in finding something that helps you and works well to get you back on the good path you are meant to be on!! Even just one day of feeling bad, because of bad medicine, is too much. We deserve better than that! Way better.

Lucy, is the good one your taking the yellow oblong shape? I had no idea there were two, I thought I was safe getting my Dr. to say on script "greenstone" because I had problems with camden.

Hey Mary, The good generic by Greenstone that I have had great success with is yellow and oval. It looks almost identical to the brand. The one that was totally different and awful was also yellow but a bigger oval and had different imprints on it. I think it had #'s on both side and more of them than the good generic. I can't remember what they were on the bad one. I hope this helps! Good luck. You should be able to find the good one. Take care

Here is my long story.
I was on Teva for 10 years 100mg and did great. Went off for a year and had some life problems and Dr prescribed Camber sertraline back in May. Within a week I got a sharp pain on my scalp. I kept upping the dosage 25mg per week. Around 100mg I was getting pins and needles in face and arms. Plus the sharp scalp pains like someone drilling into my skull.

I figured it was my anxiety, but mentally I was feeling great except for dealing with this. So since I thought it was anxiety my counselor decided I should bump up to 150mg. That's when my face started burning around my eyes, sometimes down into my cheeks. Mostly on the left side but sometimes on the right. Also when I would stand I felt tingling on the crown of my head. This burning would be worse under stress, some days not too bad but never gone. It also seems to peak around 3-7 in the evening. I take my Zoloft at 7 am. I stayed on 150mg with these symptoms for 2.5 months thinking it was anxiety symptoms.

I emailed my sister and she said it sounded like side effects. I am now on day 15 of tapering off. Currently 100mg now for 9 days. Going down to 75mg for 14 days etc... I really haven't seen much improvement in two weeks. Pharmacist says its probably the meds and not the amount of dosage. That these might continue until I am completely off.

Anyone else have a similar experience. Does this sound like meds or my anxiety? I have never had these type of symptoms before I was taking this.

I did have a friend that broke out in rashes from using an ssri, it probably is a different chemical camden uses, I did not like Camden.

My CVS pharmacist laughed at me when I recently inquired why the tablet was a different shape than before. She replied they're all the same. Maybe for her.... but NOT TRUE. CVS recently switched manufacturers and the generic zoloft (sertraline) is now supplied from InvaGen or something, whereas before it was from Greenstone. The Invagen version was horrible the first day, but I gave it a go for 1 month. Nightmares every night, couldn't sleep, became lethargic, lazy, didn't care about anything.

So when I asked to switch back to the previous manufacturer, she basically said I'd have to go to another pharmacy because they used a different supplier now. They couldn't even get the name brand ZOLOFT, even if I paid full price, w/o any copay.

AMAZING. I've been researching where these pills are made, with no luck. Most everything is made in China or India.

Did you try walgreens, they have greenstone generic zoloft, it really does make a difference, some pharmacist are clueless but a psychologist would tell you a few changes will make a difference. They only have to make the generic 80 percent of the real thing.

OK, so I'm back on sertraline, doc wants me to try it out again because it worked so well for me before. I have to tell you that there is DEFINITELY a difference in the manufacturers in my opinion. I tried to go back on it in August. The first time I got it the manufacturer was Greenstone, I had MAJOR side effects from it (increased panic attacks, severe dizziness, migraine headaches, stomach issues, felt like I wanted to crawl out of my own skin, etc.) I even started at 12.5.

After 2 weeks of pure hell I stopped taking it. This time around however, I got the script filled and the manufacturer is Northstar. And guess what... I have hardly ANY side effects. I even started at a higher dosage (25), I was expecting to get even worse side effects (if they could even get any worse than that) this time from starting out on a higher dose, and I am totally shocked! I have taken it for 2 days now and the only thing I seem to feel is a little bit of lightheadedness, a slight headache, and some shakes.

I felt good enough yesterday that it didn't even feel like I had to take my xanax, but I did anyway because I have to wean myself off of them. So, I really do think that these fillers they put into the generics make a TON of difference in how a person reacts. Just thought I'd add my input on the subject. Hope this help some of you. God Bless!

That's weird because greenstone is what does work for me, but Camden did not. I guess everyone reacts differently.

Same here - tried others but had to have Greenstone.

I echo others' comments about Northstar. When I took the TEVA version of sertraline, I responded well. With the Northstar version, I have heartburn and other unpleasant reactions. I wish the quality control with generics was better.

Hi. I am taking 75 sertraline and was trying to gradually up it to 100.

Got severe panic and anxiety the first of November. I felt like I was going to drop my baby and my family wasn't going to be taken care of. I felt like I was going to pass out. I was shaking and had the pins and needles feeling in my arms and hands and neck. My baby was 3 weeks old. I knew this was the beginning of Postpartum depression and anxiety.

My brother in law called in some xanax for me and that seemed to help the panic. The next day I went to my OB and she prescribed 100 sertraline. I took it and that night I had diarrhea and severe anxiety still and could not sleep still. I lost my appetite completely and continued having loose bowelsas well as attacks of panic and anxiety for several weeks.

I could hardly take care of myself at all. I was so weak, thirsty, severe head aches formed, pressure behind my eyes, felt very dizzy, throat felt very tight, palpitations in my throat, hard heart palpitations, high blood pressure, burning sensations on my neck and arms and fingers. My toes were always freezing cold. I would go back and forth between sweaty and freezing cold. I just wanted to sleep all the time or scream and cry and hold my parents or husbands hand. When it would get dark I would start panicking and wanted to die. I felt so guilty for the burden I was to my Mom cause she was feeding my baby at night and taking care of him a lot during the day. I was still breast feeding for the first few weeks of all of this. I fought hard to keep my milk supply up and continue feeding my baby breast milk because I truly enjoyed it!

One night I all of a sudden really was scared that I might hurt myself. I told my husband to not let me do anything to myself. I said I didn't want to be in this world anymore. That there was no comfort here. I was terrified. I took a xanax but immediately started throwing up from the anxiety I think. My mom said be careful who I told I wanted to die because they would commit me to the psych ward. And she would rather help me at home. One day I knew something was physically wrong- why was I soo dizzy, why did my eyes and head hurt soo bad, why was I soo weak. My mom took me to an insta care and the doctor recommended going down to 50 sertraline and that I would start feeling better in a few days. I did start feeling a bit better physically. But one night I tried feeding the baby all night on my own. Before bed I started panicking. I asked my dad to come sleep by me and help me feed the baby with a bottle and hold my hand through the torture of panic. He talked me through my fears but he would fall asleep and I wouldn't. My mind was racing and created a horrible wakeful nightmare. It was all I could do to not call 911.

In the morning when my Mom was going to work I told her it was the worst night of my life and I needed someone to stay home with me. She gave me a xanax. My Dad ended up staying home from work. (I was living with my mom and dad and my husband would visit on the weekends so my older two girls could continue going to school and he could go to work and my in-laws were taking care of things at my house). That morning I felt extreme shame and guilt and a lack of hope. I felt like I wanted it all to end. I was scared of what it would do to my family if I killed myself. I knew I wouldn't be with them in heaven if i killed myself and I was scared my husband would kill him self if I did. I talked to some counselors and one told me to check myself into the hospital. I made my Dad take me to the ER. They asked me questions and committed me to the psych ward. My mom was furious and scared for me! I couldn't eat all day in the ER and went into shock when they committed me. I was sooo disoriented, slow speech, confused, in and out of coherence.

My mom told me to remember my family loved me and to get better quick and come home. Everyone was praying so hard for me. once at the hospital I was very slow to answer questions. They had to repeat themselves so I could answer. I lied about being suicidal, but I couldn't lie about all the physical symptoms because I was so out of it. I got some good sleep on some drug that starts with a T. The next day I tried to act fine. No one could tell what a horrible headache I had and how I was anxious and shaky and dizzy. But the second day when I tried to force feed myself I threw up every where. I got to leave the next day and didn't have any more suicidal thoughts. I truly was feeling better. I even made friends and tried to help some of the patients there. I felt like myself again, but more laid back. I was laughing about everything. I knew life had to be different from now on. I had to be a laugher and never take things so seriously again. So I had only one or two more anxious minutes and ever since have felt pretty good.

I tried to always get really good sleep and exercise, eat healthy and take my 50 sertraline from Walgreens, Greenstone version. I started upping it to 75 a week ago and then I started taking it in the evening again and have noticed I'm a little more sleepy and less motivated. A little more burning neck and hands feeling and lump in the throat again. Should I just get over the last bit of anxiety and stay with the 50 in the evening?

I have noticed it is harder to come to orgasm when making love with my husband in the evening and wondered if it will get better since I started taking it at night again. I guess we have to be happy with things when they are just ok right? I am so happy to have my health back and be able to take care of my family again!!! But I really want to be careful cause I am sure I am still fragile emotionally right now. My baby is two months old and my husband has chronic ocd with depression and anxiety. Some things react with his sertraline at times and he has super bad days some times- very infrequent. My husband started feeling better and that helped the most. I have always felt like the strong one, but I cant be that right now. We both have to take care of ourselves right now. Doing well, but what do you think of my story?

This is EXACTLY what I went through. There is no shame in wanting to go to the ER and being admitted to the psychiatric ward. You did the right thing in order to help yourself. The professionals in this horrible disease are there to help you and people need to see psychiatric problems as the actual medical illnesses that they are.

If you had hypertension, you would take any medicine to get the blood pressure down or suffer the consequences of a stroke or heart attack; same with diabetes and a number of other illnesses. You would take care of yourself. It seems that when it comes to mental illness, people shy away from the very experts that are the only ones who can REALLY help them.

I, too, first went to my general practitioner who prescribed Xanax and Zoloft. It helped at first but my dosing just wasn't right. I finally "bit the bullet" and went to a psychiatrist who put me on the correct doses of Zoloft and eventually (10 years later) switched me to the Greenstone sertraline which was "okay" at 50 mg but I eventually bumped it up to 100 mg. The thing that helped me the most, even more than drugs, was talk therapy and biofeedback. Biofeedback was so helpful in controlling my symptoms I can't even begin to tell you. If you haven't done it, try it.

It took a long time but eventually I was able to get back to a normal life. I will never be off of my medication but I am now able to recognize panic when it hits, know it's not going to kill me, and I can control the symptoms. All I can say is thank God for the psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and biofeedback expert who helped me get my life back. God bless them.

.........and one more thing to add, once I stopped lying about how I felt and was brutally honest with my doctors, that is when I started feeling better and getting the help I needed. You cannot help anyone else, including the others in therapy or your husband when you need the help yourself. People often tend to ignore their own feelings or put them on a back burner and try to help someone else with mental illnesses or issues, but all that does is stall the therapy you need and the anxiety will never leave.

I lavished all of my attention on my parents and my young children but in the end, I almost lost my own life to panic disorder. I could no longer eat, sleep, think, etc., and my chest hurt so bad I thought I would die. I cried all the time. It was when I hit that "bottom" that everyone talks about that I finally quit lying about how awful I felt and all of the symptoms. My family had no clue how horrible I was feeling because I hid it so well - with what? Laughter and "not taking things so seriously." I thought the same way as you.

If you are still having panic attacks, even 1 or 2, laughter will not help, taking things less seriously will not help - you cannot help yourself, you need professional help. I thought being a good Christian and praying would cure me, but God put those doctors on the earth for a reason, and I believe one of those reasons was for me to learn to swallow my pride and get the help I so desperately needed. I know if I hadn't gone in when I did, I would not be alive today.

Also, if you think it takes a lot of money for the therapy, or if you have no insurance, think about it this way. Therapy without insurance might be subsidized by the government. Therapy with insurance is almost all paid for, at least the first 8 visits are for sure, and then you have just the copay. That's how my insurance worked, except at first we didn't have insurance. Therapy costs around $3000.00 - seems like a lot of money, until my therapist put it this way - a funeral costs around $7,000.00 and causes a lot of grief, not to mention taking a mother away from her child. Is your life worth $3,000.00? You can't put a price on your health - go get some help.

Okay, I need some help. I relied on TEVA Zoloft for years to get me through very stressful times. Now I'm at the most stressful pt in my entire life and no TEVA Zoloft to help. I've tried the Brand Name zoloft, and all kinds of generics. Nothing works like the TEVA zoloft. Yes it cause bloating of stomach and face, and wt gain, but mentally it worked great. Did cause me not so have much emotion, but I understand you have to give up some things to get others.

Thinking of trying small does of Prozac 10mg at this pt. I don't know what to do.

I've also tried Paxil, Efexor, Luvox, Lexapro, ect.

The Brand Name Zoloft totally tears up my stomach and doesn't work near as good as TEVA. I could take 25-50mg of Teva a day and be fine.

Just at whits end and so ticked that TEVA just cut off it's customers. I don't know what was in it that made it work so well, but something the others are missing for sure. Any help appreciated.

You know, I have looked back at my scripts and I am pretty sure that one I got was NOT Greenstone, It said Greenstone and Camber or some other brand name on it, I am thinking that was their way of telling me that they had changed from Greenstone. So there must not be two versions of Greenstone as I had thought.

There was no sticker telling me that there had been a change, so I had no reason to think anything was different from before, until I saw the actual pill. Anyway, since that experience I have switched from C.V.S. and get the Greenstone filled at Walgreens. So I hope I didn't make anyone worry about getting the "bad" version of Greenstone.

The way people talk about the Teva version, I wish they still had it. But, I have had good success with Greenstone. I think it is a good one. I wish everyone much luck and peace! Hopefully, something even better than anything so far will come out soon! It will work amazingly and be super cheap, like $2.00 for a month supply. It will be so cheap and so good, because the drug companies just want people to be healthy and happy! That is my input! :) Happy New Year to everyone and I hope you find something that works wonders for you soon.

Hello,

I was so happy to find this website this morning. A few years ago I took what turns out to have been Greenstone generic Zoloft for a year and a half. It worked wonderfully to help me through a period where I had just exhausted myself. This past November I wanted to try it again to help through a rough patch, and I got 50 mg of the Greenstone version through Walgreens. Then Anthem Blue Cross and Walgreens discontinued their service contract in December 2011(at one time Athem was a good company, they have deteriorated significantly - both my doctor and now my pharmacy have discontinued service with them).

I transferred my prescription to CVS, and I assumed I would receive the same quality of a generic. Wrong! Almost immediately I could tell there was a difference, and this morning I did an online search for Lupin Pharmacy. Their generic does not work for me at all, and even makes me feel worse than before. It also makes me jumpy and interrupts my sleep pattern. I called Greenstone, confirmed they only make one version of the 50 mg generic (which is blue), and learned I can request Greenstone from any pharmacy as my generic.

CVS has ordered this from their distributor, and I will be able to pick-up my prescription tomorrow. And all this, thanks to the above information provided by contributors on this site!!! Thank you so much! It is too bad they don't make Teva anymore from what I've read on this site. To all, I would avoid the Lupin Pharmacy product.

I am beyond happy about this website. I have been taking zoloft for over 15 years for depression, but mostly anxiety.

Our insurance changed this year and the pharmacist gave the a different type of zoloft. I have been having the craziest of times... wringing my hands again, over-reacting, thinking of car accidents, and I have been incredibly dizzy...it just came to me, that perhaps zoloft is no longer working, but now I believe it is the generic brand which is no longer working.

What a relief. I shall go to my pharmacist tomorrow and talk with them.

I am on sertraline 100mg and on citalopram 10mg and I would love to hear from some people about their side effects if using both..

I take two ssri's also because they are indicated for different things. I take sertraline 100mg and paxil 20mg. It's what works, been on them ten years and always get a hassle at pharmacies. I see a Dr. regularly. The main concern would be ssri syndrome.

I too was taking sertraline for 10 mths and for the first time in my life my insides felt calm and comfortable. I've developed pain in my thigh muscles and doctors haven't figured out why yet so my psychiatrist started me on Cymbalta (I had a free coupon). Now after two weeks I feel tense. My stomach is in a knot and it hasn't helped my pain much so I want to go back to sertraline. I left a message for my doctor yesterday but haven't heard back yet. Can I just start taking setraline again? The prescription info' says to wait five days before taking something else.

I take 300 mgs of Zoloft per day. I'm wondering if there are certain organs in the body that could be hurt from taking such a large dose?

I think your Doctor prescribing it should know.

My mother was prescribed sertraline 100mg. She took it for 5 days then died. She was 69 years old with no known heart disease or high blood pressure. We are still awaiting the detailed toxicology report. Right now the coroners report states "accidental". This happened in May.

Zoloft can be really helpful (18 years on it!). However, it does kill emotional life and sex drive at certain doses. Tried going off twice, and too much anxiety/fear, etc, so went back on. But when I went off last time and back on (maybe 5 years ago) when I went back I was more or less aware of where to stop the dosage so that I wouldn't be numbed emot. or sexually. That dose is 50 mg for me. I remember going back on it, as it was kicking in, I was crying, and thanking God for the med! I have to have something, but I don't need super high does. Would they help me 'function' better, etc. Probably most likely. But I need my emotions, libido, etc. to feel human. I love that part of life too!

So all in all in, Zoloft has been very good for me. However, right now, August 2012, I read about some research that they are not connecting it to bone loss! I am 66 and have bone loss. So now I am going to go off it. Also had began to get more depressed, but did not want to up Zoloft for reasons stated. Am starting on Cymbalta, very low doses, except I feel 'weird' on it also, spacey, and I know that can lower libido also, but as get lower on the Zoloft, my sex drive is coming back. That part feels good, to feel alive and human! I'm not sure about the Cymbalta, I feel spacey, etc. Time will tell. But overall, my experience with Zoloft was very positive, at low doses it did what I needed. Thank you.

Does anyone else get severe nausea (as in, I throw up every time I take my medicine) from the Camden generic of Zoloft? I am so frustrated!!!

I am so sorry! I threw up for two weeks, but prob from the panic attacks. I am on a different generic (greenstone) everyone seems to like.

yes. I had severe effects from Camber sertraline. It put me into full ssri withdrawal.

Northstar

by "camden" do you mean Camber brand of Zoloft?

After reading these posts I now believe I know what happened when I was switched to Camber brand Zoloft after many years on Northstar. I went into full SSRI withdrawal. When taking the camber brand results in nausea --it's a symptom of withdrawal from SSRIs. Finally there is awareness of ssri dependence and severe withdrawal, contrary to the manufacturers insistence that there is no dependence cased by SSRIs. That's a big fat lie.

In 2004 there was a large settlement awarding those who suffered from Paxil withdrawal. But it was one of the many big pharma closed door settlements that received little publicity. Paxil Plaintiffs got big cash settlements in return for verdict of no drug company liability. Those million dollar secret settlements are a tiny cost of doing business for big pharma. I have tried many times to withdraw from zoloft but the harrowing withdrawal effects have been too disabling. So I know well the withdrawal effects and I am certain that taking the Camber brand of zoloft after many years on a different generic is why I went into withdrawal.

As we know, many generic drug maker facilities around the world have been shut down due to shoddy conditions. Whether the Camber brand has the active ingredient or not, the fillers or the way its suspended in the pill caused me great harm. I also believe that after one has been on a particular generic of sertraline for a long time that the dependency created is a dependency to the particular action of the specific generic one takes and that is why people can't just switch generics without devastating results.

The managers of FDA are former pharmaceutical company employees. It is indeed the fox guarding the hen house.

do you mean Camber?

Zoloft is a terrific help to me. I have suffered with anxiety since childhood with ebbs and flows. I finally got on an antidepressant in my forties. However, being a person who is desirous of no medications, if at all possible, I got off. I made the disastrous mistake of getting a family practice doctor to prescribe an antidepressant during one of the flows when I was experiencing acute anxiety. When I found no relief, I got off too quickly and asked for a different seratonin uptake inhibitor.

The doctor complied with that and also gave me a prescription for my lack of sleep. When nothing worked to relieve my anxiety and I lacked sleep and I could not get in to see a psychiatrist for weeks and I was reeling from getting on and off of prozac and lexapro, I took an overdose in desperation. Long story short, it was not God's timing for the end of my days. With hospitalization, support from loved ones, therapy, exercise and submission to a good and wise psychiatrist, I am very healthy and blessed.

I tell all this story in order to urge others to not take treat medications with any lack of respect. Submission to a doctor who has mental health expertise is important. I am only on 50 mg. of Zolofft and was on multiple times stronger meds at my worst point. It was a slow uphill climb from that low point but there is help available and I rejoice that it was there for me. I do not care to wean off and really only will if my doctor advises me that way.

Hello,

Has anyone noticed any changes to the efficacy of the Greenstone Sertraline general 50mg?

Thank you very much!

Hi, LT -

Just to be perfectly clear, you're talking about a declining efficacy of the Greenstone generic, not a switch *to* Greenstone generic, right?

Hi Sam,

Yes, a decline in the quality/efficacy of the Greenstone generic. I feel like the quality has deteriorated, it's effects are almost like those I experienced using the Lupin pharmacy product. I feel better when I DON'T take the pills!! : )

The generics seems to vary quite a bit. The original insert said SSRIs do not create dependency and there is no withdrawal effect. This of course was not true. Given the nightmare of w/d from Paxil, et. al. -- the total inadequacy of manufacture or FDA warning about this devastating aspect of these drugs,it may be prudent to question everything that the manufacturers have ever said about this class of drugs.

It may be that not only is a huge dependency created, but that the dependency is to the particulars of a brand, and that this is the reason for differences in efficacy.
Also, SSRIs have a well known "poop out" effect--meaning they all decline in effectiveness over time.

> Generics

It could be the case. I mean, I've been taking 100mg of sertraline twice daily for the past two or three years. However, last Thursday (03/07/2013) I switched from Greenstone to Northstar. I know that, partly from imagination, the Northstar sertraline does not seem to be as effective as the Greenstone version. I've been feeling dazed, nausea, hypomanic, aggressive, dizzy, and anxious.

See, here is the funny thing about generics: the active ingredient needs to be FDA approved. Inactive ingredients (polymers, dyes, starches, etc.) are not subject to regulation. In addition, some of these generic medications are made in places that lack proper heating/air conditioning. Like with foods, excessive heat and/or cold may damage the medication, making it less effective. For example, the pharmaceutical powerhouse GlaxoSmithKline has a manufacturing plant in India (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmaceutical_industry_in_India). I doubt that any sensitive product could make the journey from India to America (I'm just assuming you live here; please forgive me if I am incorrect) unscathed.

So here's my solution: Find out what company manufactured your sertraline. Once you do that, see if your pharmacy can special order it. I don't know what pharmacy you obtain your medication from, but I suspect that they would be able to acquire it. The only problem with this is insurance. You'd have to check, but I would think that your insurance provider wouldn't fully cover it. Still though, it's worth a shot.

Anyway, I hope this helps you out! Stay strong!

Thank you all for your comments and thoughts. This website has been such a comfort this past year to learn of other people's experiences w/zoloft/zoloft generics. I'd like to share my experience and see if anyone might know Zoloft (I use the Greenstone generic) works over time, as well as when one weans oneself off of it.

I took 50 mg of Zoloft for about seven months, and after the first couple of weeks felt much better. Then I dropped to 25 mg for about a month. After something had happened in my life, I increased again to 50 mg thinking I might need the higher dosage. The funny thing is though, I started to feel worse. In January of this year (after taking Zoloft for about 11 months), I was feeling very bad, and very tired. It was as though Greenstone (the manufacturer of my generic) had changed the formulation or labs that makes their drugs.

Anyway, after contacting Pfizer with the simple question to see if they had changed anything in their formulation and not getting a response from them, I dropped from 50 mg to 25 mg and IMMEDIATELY started feeling better. About a month after that, still feeling a little tired, I dropped to 25 mg every other day. Again I started feeling better. It's as though at this point the less Zoloft I take the better I feel.

I'm now down to 25 mg ever three days. Interestingly, it's the morning after taking the zoloft (I take it at night), that I feel the worst! Does anyone know why this would be? Do your neurotransmitters get full and then the drug has an opposite effect, ie, no longer makes you feel better, but actually makes you feel worse?

Thank you in advance for any thoughts you might have. Best wishes to everyone and Happy Easter!

In December I transitioned beautifully from Effexor XR to Northstar sertraline from Target. I continued to take Northstar sertraline in January. When I switched my rx from Target to CVS in February they gave me the Camber sertraline, after a week I started feeling more depressed, my p-doc doubled the dose and that kept me from sinking farther but did not have the same wonderful effects as the Northstar sertraline at the lower dose (huge reduction in anxiety and depression). In March I switched back to Northstar sertraline from Target. It's time to refill now, in April, and Target has also switched to Camber! So has Walmart. So I am frantically trying to find Northstar or another sertraline that is also effective for me.

I agree too. I switched to generic Lupin for Zoloft. I started to feel badly. I would not recommend to anyone using generic medicine in mental health!

I don't mind taking generics, I can't afford the brand names, but their efficacy varies so widely it's frustrating. I've been on the Walgreen's Greenstone sertraline for a few weeks now and I am feeling better. Camber made me dizzy, gave me tremors and only worked at about 50% efficacy compared to the dosing of other generics on depression & anxiety. Hopefully I will be able to get the Greenstone one for years to come.

After having been on Sertraline in the past (with little side effects but no real mood improvement), I wanted to try the drug again. This time around (three months ago), Walgreens gave me the Northstar generic. It was horrible! I asked myself, how could two generics of the same drug be so different? The answer is simple: they can be and they often are! That is, judging from personal experience. Due to the side effects, I was forced to quit the med. Thereafter, I gave generic Effexor and Prozac a try with no real success. I am going back on Sertraline but will never take Northstar or Teva (bad experiences also), again.

People forget that many of these generics are manufactured in countries like Israel (Teva) or India where the FDA does not have the same type of influence as it does in the U.S. Although the FDA claims to inspect these international facilities regularly, there is clearly something to all of the claims regarding generic drug problems versus their brand name counterparts, particularly regarding anti-depressants. I assume there are many generics that work as well as brand drugs, but not so with most anti-depressants for some reason. On a side note, I recently received a $4 co-pay card for brand Zoloft in the mail and will go that route if I have to. In the end, it's worth it.

This is the first time I've taken antidepressant medications and my Dr. prescribed Asentra/Sertraline for me but when I took the first pill I had a burning feeling in my stomach, esophagus and throat plus having problems in balance. I lost my appetite and it's like my stomach is inflamed. Now, after about 15 hours I still feel my stomach is enlarged and then although I get hungry but I can not finish my normal meal.

I'm having the same exact problems with my new prescription. Its the greenstone generic. How long before the stomach pain went away???????? I stopped taking it immediately as the pain was VERY bad. Have you tried Zoloft?? I used zoloft in the past and had NO problems of any kind with it. and now this???

Brand name Zoloft works but Greenstone sertraline did not work AND caused problems. Zoloft costs a great deal more than the generic but I have to take the brand name.

Leave a comment

Share your comments or questions with the People's Pharmacy online community. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from other visitors to this web site should not be considered a substitute for appropriate medical attention. Concerns about medications should be discussed with a health professional. Do not stop any medication without first checking with your physician.

Check this box to be notified by email when follow-up comments are posted.