Q. I was told that Zoloft (sertraline) was not addicting but my experience suggests otherwise. I was on this antidepressant for nine years. I wanted to get off because it killed my sex drive.
One day after stopping this drug I experienced unbearable dizziness. I could not walk across a room without holding on to a piece of furniture for stability. I called my daughter but was incoherent.
She discovered that my blood pressure was 190/105 and my heart rate was 165. She rushed me to the ER where they thought I was having a heart attack. The tests came back negative.
I suffered headache, dizziness and nausea for days. My daughter suggested I go back on the Zoloft. Shortly after taking it my symptoms disappeared. I am angry that I was never told this drug is addictive. Getting off this drug can be a nightmare.
A. You are not the first person to report disastrous side effects when stopping drugs such as citalopram (Celexa), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft) and venlafaxine (Effexor). Sudden discontinuation may trigger symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, headache, brain zaps, irritability, insomnia, sweating and pain, numbness or tingling in hands or feet.
To help you better understand withdrawal from antidepressants as well as non-drug approaches to managing mood, we are sending you our Guide to Dealing with Depression.