Zoloft Withdrawal

zoloftZoloft (Sertraline) is an antidepressant used for depression therapy. With millions of users all over the world, there are many stories of Zoloft effectiveness and also side effects. Since the drug effects are not the same among all the people taking it, some of them want to get off of the drug. Withdrawal of the Zoloft or some other SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) can be a difficult period for a person and it needs some support, either from their doctor, family or friends.

There are a lot of symptoms which can vary from mild to severe ones and can be different from person to person. It can be followed up with dizziness, fatigue, nausea and even suicidal thoughts.

Factors Which May Influence Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms

There are numerous factors which can influence on a person’s tolerance over Zoloft  withdrawal. It can depend on the person’s individual characteristics, time span, dosage, tapering, etc. It is important to know the accompanying symptoms which can make it harder for you to cope with the Zoloft withdrawal.


There are doses from 50 to 200 mg. Depending on the individual, one can have a drug prescription for 50 mg per day and for them it can be easier to get off the drug with some milder symptoms. If you were taking the maximum dosage of 200 mg, it can be hard and expressed through strong symptoms. When going off high doses of medicine, it is important to taper the amount correctly to avoid side effects and to help the body to get adjusted to the condition without the medication.

Time Span

It is important to state the time span for which one was taking the drug. Was it a couple of months, a couple of years or so. The longer the period of taking the medicine, the body gets more accustomed to. So, if you were taking the Zoloft longer than a few months, it will be harder for you to withdraw from it.


The tapering manner of withdrawal is a system which uses gradual reducing of drug dosage to slowly eliminate it from the system which will give the time for the body to get used to the new condition and to stabilize it. Quitting “cold turkey” is an expression which gives the patient heavy symptoms after suddenly quitting the drug use. Your brain can be in a stressful situation when it isn’t under the influence of the drug, for which is adjusted to for quite some time. You can start to feel different also from the lack of serotonin.

Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms

The symptoms may express right after the drug discontinuation, but it can emerge in a greater expression after 1-3 weeks after the drug quitting. This is due to a body clearance from the drug. The “Sertraline” is an active ingredient which stays in the system for approximately 6 days and “desmethylsertraline” for about 2 weeks after drug withdrawal. After this period, the symptoms may worsen due to a complete deficiency of drug ingredients.


Some people have reported anger symptoms which can be mild and strong as you can rage for small things that can annoy you more than usual. You can feel uncomfortable and unable to control yourself to a point where you can’t function properly.


Zoloft is the drug used for depression therapy. When you withdrawal the Zoloft from your system, you can experience depression and anxiety in an extreme manner. This is also worsened with the serotonin deficiency due to decreased reuptake.


It is a common symptom to have when experiencing Zoloft withdrawal. It can last for a couple of weeks and express in your stomach and your body as well where you can feel cold and tremble.

Decreased Appetite

When withdrawing from Zoloft, you can experience decreased appetite. When taking medication, you can have the opposite symptoms such as gaining weight, which can change after you stop using this medication. It can be also a downside due to a depression.


If you stop using this medication, you may feel like you are not yourself or you may feel no emotions and being like a zombie. This can be a process where your body is trying to get used to the new condition with changed chemical ingredients and concentration in the central nervous system.


Since you were taking Zoloft for depression treatment, you may experience a higher degree depression after the drug withdrawal. This is also due to a Serotonin low levels in the system.


When you run out of Serotonin and the brain starts to adjust to the new chemistry balance, you can feel tired, fatigue, it can be hard for you to move and be productive. This is normal and it will pass over time.


Headaches can be present when the brain is trying to cope with new chemical balance and it is left without a specific stimulation. This can be followed up with dizziness symptoms and can last for a couple of weeks.


This symptom can be different from person to person, where someone can have a problem sleeping while others sleep in excessive amount. You may have trouble sleeping when depressed and with anxiety.

Memory Loss

Some people claim that they have lost their memory when withdrawing from Zoloft. This can be also hard for when socializing and trying to get back to their normal life. It will return to its normal state after some time.

Panic Attacks

You may experience anxiety in a greater amount which can progress into panic attacks. This is also due to a chemical imbalance and serotonin low levels. You can try with relaxation and breathing exercises which may help.

Poor Concentration

You can feel the lack of concentration when doing some tasks or school/job work. It can be hard for you to focus and get things done. This is normal and will eventually get back to normal state. You should not panic if you get lower grades or you are unable to concentrate on your work. Although it is hard to cope up with, you should try to understand that this is a short-term condition and it will subside.

Mood Swings

It is a common symptom to feel mood swings when withdrawing from Zoloft or any other SSRI actually. It causes Serotonin imbalance and can lead to depression after which you can feel okay. Try to understand the changes you are going through and don’t get discouraged with these feelings.

Suicidal Thoughts

Some individuals have experienced anxiety and depression to a point where they started having suicidal thoughts. This is important to know that it is not real and it will fade away. It is more likely you will feel a little bit weak with joint and muscle pain, which can be hard to bare, but you will succeed it.

How Long Does The Withdrawal From Zoloft Last?

There is not a specific period which we can claim that is is the proven withdrawal period. It can be shorter or longer, depending on numerous factors, from doses to time span and individual characteristics. It can last from 3 months to a few months. It stays in your body for 11-12 days and its metabolite “desmethylsertraline” for about 30.25 days. After this, it will take a few weeks or months to recover.