I had a question if someone has experience in dosing. I have started taking zoloft just about a month ago. I had started on wellbutrin about a month and a half ago and my doctor added zoloft since I was still having anxiety. He started me at 50mg and upped me to 75mg about two weeks ago. I am still having what I would call breakthrough anxiety from time to time and am wondering if other members have had this happen and if it goes away. I didn't know if there was another 2-4 week wait for symptoms to subside when dosages are increased. I had my family doctor recommend taking 100mg of zoloft but my psychiatrist said he would rather go to 75mg. I have taken most of the ssri's in the past (prozac, paxil, wellbutrin, and cymbalta) and they have all worked pretty well and have had typical startup symptoms. I go off the ssri's after a few years since I feel better... then somehow my serotonin level gets out of wack again and I am right back where I started. Don't think I will go off of them this time since it is so difficult and debilitating to get back on them with the insomnia and fatigue that go along with start up.
I get some "breakthrough" anxiety with Zoloft?
Question posted by dad of 4 on 5 Jan 2010
Last updated on 1 February 2011 by sweetie pie
Hi dad of 4! I worked as a psychiatric nurse for 16 years and Zoloft was prescribed for Depression usually. Zanax, Ativan, Paxil and Clonidine were some of the most prescribed drugs for Anxiety. I have been on Zoloft for a long time now. The doctor started me at 50 mg and now I am on 200 mg. I do not remember getting breakthrough anxiety but when I tried to stop my Zoloft once. I became a wreck! Never again. It has been 6 years since I retired and I am sure there are many new drugs for Anxiety now. I have read comments from a few members who experienced some side effects on Zoloft for a week or two. I have got to say that I am much calmer than I was previous to Zoloft and things just do not bother me as much anymore. ( Some of this is also probably related to aging.) Zoloft has worked for me but it took increasing the dose to feel the full effect of the drug. I hope this helps you in some way. If not, just remember you have us for support! I wish you the best! Sweetie Pie
I have been on Zoloft 100 mg going on 7 years now and I still get breakthrough anxiety at times. Unfortunately, whenever you "up" the dosage you are taking, it will still take approximately 2 weeks for the upped dose to reach its full potency in your system. I am 48 years old, and have been experiencing perimenopause for the past 7 years (hence the prescribed Zoloft). I woke up this morning and suddenly had severe anxiety that took me a couple of hours of meditation to get under control. I couldn't even get ready or leave for work because I get light headed and dizzy when it occurs. I'm afraid to drive when I am feeling that way. I was finally able to allow myself to self-calm enough that I was able to get ready and drive to work. This does not happen often, and sometimes it can be a matter of my hormones being really out of whack. Unfortunately as a woman, these are things that we must deal with.
Not all women experience perimenopause with these problems or difficulties (they are the lucky ones), but alot of us do. I've read many self help books, researched online, and talked to alot of people of how to deal with the anxiety (it used to be debilitating for me). The best thing I can offer is anxiety will not hurt you (attacks); you must kind of detach yourself from it, view it while meditating, and allow it to run its course. It will eventually go away. Just do deep breathing exercises, envision something that calms you, and let your body relax. Sometimes it will only take 10 minutes, and other times it might take an hour or two. But, panic attacks and anxiety attacks will not harm you, even though you feel like you are dieing. Just know that you are not alone in your suffering, and asking God (or whomever you believe in) to lift the anxiety from you, it will help. God Bless All who suffer! You are in my prayers. And yes, stay on the Zoloft or whatever works for you. I work for a Clinical Psychologist and asked him when you know it is time to come off meds. He asked me "does it work for you?" and I said yes. He said then take it. So, there you go!
I'm suffering from panic disorder, and have lived with anxiety for a long time. As far as I know, the anxiety never goes away completely as stressors reactivate it: death or illness of a family member or pet, financial worries, car troubles, etc.
I also take 3 clonazepam daily to try to keep the panic disorder under control (mine is debilitating and disabling), but things can still make the anxiety attacks break through the medication "shield".
To help reduce the number of breakthroughs, I do Yoga, walking (very slow pace: 1 mile an hour), eat healthy (went back to vegetarianism), meditate, and have been practicing Buddhism (emphasis on practice) for several years.
Still, there are times when the panic attacks break through. One of our cats died this week -- unexpectedly, from a viciously malignant cancer -- and we were on death watch for 15 days. During that time, I couldn't sleep, eat, was obsessively counting the other cats to make sure they were all here, the dog (we have one), and my husband (also 1) to make sure all were where they were supposed to be. I had constant anxiety which broke out into panic attacks whenever I left the house, afraid she would die when I wasn't home after I'd promised her I'd be by her side when she died.
So, despite meds, anxiety and panic attacks can still break through, even with a supportive spouse who reminds you to breathe deeply and that the grocery is not going to collapse around you leaving your cat to die at home alone, with all my exercising, meditation, buddhism practice, healthy eating, therapy, etc.
My goal is to have them break through LESS often, which has been working. When I was first diagnosed with panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, I was having up to seven or eight panic attacks a day. I was down to about five a month until our cat took ill. Then, under that stress and grief, the attacks ramped back up to about four or five a day. Now that she's died, the panic attacks are down to about 1-2 a day, but the anxiety is constant. I assume that they also will calm down with the passage of time. I am still practicing all my other "skills" as my therapists called them and taking my meds.
Try adding some other relaxation methods along with your meds to see if they'll help reduce or eliminate those anxiety breakthroughs for you.
it will take some time to see any effect..you know i have alot of anxiety also and i telll you what really helped me is elavil,its a good drug helps you sleeep good and i feel more relaxed during the day
see the bad things aboutssri is they say they replinish your seretonin ok,i willgive them that but it doesnt replenish and keep them replenished..once you start anti depressants you probably need to stay on them forever trust i have been on everyone you can think of and when i come off i really go down hill,and they say they are not habit forming..maybe not phscally but mentally what do u think..just stay onthem
as said before give it 2 more weeks then new med or dose change. but has it been the zoloft or the wellbutrin causing more anxiety? (also are you doing psychotherapy?) wellbutrin tends to act more like a stimulent (which is why its good for depression but may cause anxiety to worsen<-from a psychiatrist and neuroscience teacher) have you asked the psychiatrist to put you back on one of the meds that had worked in the past? and if its "breakthrough anxiety" a benzo would be recomended in my opinion. (also, iv never heard of anxiety being vegitative or experianced that personally.)
I would wait only another week and if you are having breakthrough vegetative, anxiety symptoms, I would approach the physician about increasing the dose of the Zoloft which can actually be maximized to 200mg. Another possiblity maybe that the dose of the Wellbutrin may not be hight enough and the form of the Wellbutrin. The new 24 hour form, formally named, Alpenzin, which we are observing helping many people due to the methodically, measured release as covers 24 hours. Am seeing some persons use this with low doses of Zoloft, Celexa, or even Lexaporo for extreme, vegetating and immobilizing anxiety and depressive symptoms. Good Luck!
The maximum dose of Zoloft you can take is approximately 200mg. Yes the anxiety could go away after a few weeks. I would wait a few weeks and see how you feel. If you still have anxiety I would ask your doctor about increasing the dose once more or maybe even considering another anti-anxiety drug such as a benzodiazepine. Hope this helps and good luck too you.
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