Detoxing from Zoloft (sertraline) involves gradually reducing its dosage, allowing it to leave the body in a healthy fashion to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

Sertraline, sold under the brand name Zoloft, is FDA-approved to treat conditions like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Over time, as your brain becomes used to the drug, you can become physically dependent on it. If you stop taking the drug, you may undergo withdrawal symptoms.

Those taking sertraline should continue their regular prescribed dosage, even if they feel better. Missing doses of sertraline can also run the risk of relapsing into the symptoms being treated in the first place. However, if your doctor recommends discontinuing taking the drug, it’s important to wean off Zoloft mindfully to mitigate any withdrawal symptoms and side effects.

Article at a Glance:

  • Zoloft is a prescription medication to treat depression, anxiety, OCD, panic and other disorders.
  • Withdrawal symptoms of Zoloft include headache, nausea, mood changes, sweating, tremors and seizures.
  • You may be able to avoid Zoloft withdrawal symptoms by gradually tapering off the medication.
  • Talk therapy, exercise and a diet omitting foods that promote jitteriness can help you manage withdrawal symptoms.
  • Zoloft detox treatment programs are helpful when you stop taking this medication.

What Are Common Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms?

Zoloft withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the dosage that was prescribed (e.g. someone taking 25mg per day may have less severe withdrawal symptoms versus someone taking 200mg per day), as well as the length of time an individual has been taking the drug. Among the most common withdrawal symptoms from sertraline include:

  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Mood changes, including low mood, anxiety, irritability and agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Sensory disturbances
  • Tremor
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Ear ringing
  • Seizure

Zoloft Withdrawal Timeline & Symptom Durations

Those who are tapering off may be curious to know how long does Zoloft withdrawal last? Withdrawal symptoms from sertraline can vary in severity and duration based on the time span of use, dosage, individual physiology and the length of time taken to taper off. Gradually tapering off Zoloft under a doctor’s supervision can reduce or avoid the symptoms altogether. Usually, sertraline’s dose is gradually reduced over around four weeks. A sample taper schedule is reducing the dose by 50 mg every 5–7 days to a final dose of 25–50 mg before the drug is stopped.

Managing Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms

A gradual reduction in sertraline dosage will be most effective for managing and controlling withdrawal symptoms. Reducing the sertraline dosage slowly allows your brain to gradually adjust to lower amounts of medication, finally adapting to no medication at all.

Understanding what to expect in terms of symptoms will also help in managing withdrawal. Many symptoms are normal, and knowing what they are will reduce anxiety about those symptoms, making them easier to deal with mentally.

Talk therapy and other non-medication treatments should be continued normally to treat the psychological withdrawal symptoms of sertraline.

Exercise may also be helpful. Exercise is widely known to improve both mental and physical wellness.

Eating a healthy diet may also help. Avoid foods known to increase jitteriness, like caffeine and sweets, and consume healthy, whole foods. Eating a nutrient-rich, well-balanced diet may help with both physiological and psychological issues associated with withdrawal.

Get Help Weaning Off Zoloft

Sertraline and other antidepressants are widely prescribed, which means thousands of people have been or are currently in your shoes. You are not alone in dealing with this withdrawal.

There are many professional treatment programs out there for Zoloft detox. Ask your doctor for support groups in your area. Also, there are many helplines you can call 24 hours a day that are available to help you at a moment’s notice.

Melissa Carmona
Editor – Melissa Carmona
As the content manager at Advanced Recovery Systems, Melissa Carmona puts years of writing and editing experience to work helping people understand substance abuse, addiction and mental health disorders. Read more
Jessica Pyhtila
Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more
Sources

U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Zoloft.” April 14, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2020.

Tanzi, Maria G. “Stopping antidepressants: Clinical considerations.” Pharmacy Today, May 2016. Accessed June 30, 2020.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.