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    Includes Expert Content
    ceceh42 posted:
    Can Zoloft CAUSE intrusive thoughts?
    susiemargaret responded:
    hello, C --

    what do you mean by "intrusive thoughts"?

    -- susie margaret
    what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
    Thomas L Schwartz, MD responded:
    Interestingly, zoloft is designed to take away suicidal thinking and obsessions and is FDA approved to remove symptoms like these when associated with depression or OCD... Now, every now in then it does work in reverse especially in those under age 25... so if it is making your worse, call your doc and get advice on how to lower off it....
    ceceh42 replied to Thomas L Schwartz, MD's response:
    Thanks Doc!! I'm on 100 mg but still having the intrusive thoughts but not as debilatating as they were before. I tried to lower it to 50 mg on my docs approval but then I started to have withdrawal side effects so I went back up to 100. I want the doc to see if I can go on another SSRI in a different class maybe this will resolve the intrusive thought issue. It's unfortunate becasue I think this drug is working for me except for that aspect of it.
    susiemargaret replied to ceceh42's response:
    hello, C --

    thanks for the definition. i didn't realize that "intrusive thoughts" was actually a term of art -- good info for me to have!

    i hate that the zoloft seems to be working but only with this terrible side effect.

    -- susie margaret
    what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
    vegasbound21 replied to Thomas L Schwartz, MD's response:
    I encountered an episode caused by the generic zoloft i was taking while on vacation with my husband. The whole day i was out of my mind, hallucinating, having suicidal thoughts, belligerent behavior. my husband flushed the remaining pills and now i'm afraid of the side effects of quitting cold turkey...please help
    susiemargaret replied to vegasbound21's response:
    hello, V --

    how awful!

    my suggestion is, first, to call your dr and, second, to go to the ER.

    i'm so sorry this happened.

    -- susie margaret
    what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
    SFGiantsgirl responded:
    I was on it for 6 months I had thoughts of hurting my spouse. It was scary! My moods were still up and down. It did help with my anxiety. I was on 100mg generic

    Soccer_Dude replied to SFGiantsgirl's response:
    I was on Paxil for 2 weeks. I had some uncomfortable side-effects like muscle spasms, chills, etc..But, the worst part was I had some sort of mental disturbance while I was walking out to my car. All of a sudden I was no longer able to process my thoughts about going to the car as if someone push pushing me back. I couldn't see or think beyond a certain point as if I was no longer in control of my thoughts. Very scary. This happened one more time a week later as I was thought processing about going to work or working from home and was feeling anxious about it, and I ended up having one of those mental blocks as if I could no longer move forward with processing my thoughts about going to work. So scary. I took the day off to just crash on the couch and process what was going on. Someone though it was panic related. Not sure. But I never had this experience before going on Paxil.

    I then dropped paxil after two weeks and went on Zoloft. The first couple of days seemed fine, but then I started having some strange side-effects like eye floaters which I never had before, tracers, thought I was hearing things, but the worst side-effect was the increase of anxiety, fear, hopelessness, feeling like something bad was going to happen, I wasn't suicidal, but the fear I felt was like what if....Anyway, this happened a couple of days in a row. The feeling typically went away by the evening, although they still cropped up at times. I was only taking 25mg. I'm over 40 by the way. After talking to my MD, he said not to take it any more. He didn't want me to take another SSRI right now because I already had two bad experiences with two of them. He wants me to see a Psychiritist to get a second opinion. For the past 5 months or so I have been battling with Anxiety, although I believe it was more physical onset (health issues that triggered it, low serotonin, and possibly celiac disiease) but after many doctors and trying this and that, I never got better. Part of the problem was I was put on Xanax for a panic attack that gave me insomnia, and I had a heck of a time for 2.5 months while on it. I'm off now, but I think I still might have some post withdrawal side-effects. Anyway, What was mostly a physical trigger I think became emotional as I stress and worry about everything since i still don't feel better after 5 months. Anyway. Just wanted to share my experience with Zoloft. I'm off all meds at this time although I do have some avitan in case of high anxiety/panic to get me by.
    Soccer_Dude replied to Soccer_Dude's response:
    Now that I'm off Zoloft, I wonder how long it will take for me to feel better and shake these aweful feelings and thoughts that I got while on it? Days, weeks? I was only on it for 1 week. Thanks.
    Anon_1421 responded:
    When I was put on Zoloft I had such terrifying dreams that I became afraid to go to sleep, so then I was dealing with extreme sleep deprivation and depression-not fun! Couldn't get off it fast enough!
    susiemargaret replied to Soccer_Dude's response:
    hello, SD --

    i'm so sorry you're still having what seem to be either side effects or withdrawal symptoms from the zoloft/sertraline. since you were on it for only a week, i'm surprised you are still having them, but how long has it been since you stopped taking it?

    i think you should talk with your dr again; you may need a small dose of prozac/fluoxetine (10 mg) to help you get thru this period.

    -- susie margaret
    what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
    Soccer_Dude replied to susiemargaret's response:

    Well I did go see a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and she only meet with me for about 30 minutes and presribed me Lamotrigine a anti-seizure med. Supposidely it can also be used as a mood stabilizer I guess. She said that some people can't tollerate a SSRI. She said Lamotrigine would help calm my brain and also had effects on Serotonin although they don't know how it works. She said it had a low side-effect profile, although I learned later that you have to monitor your liver, and there could be an issue with a serious or deadly rash. I only tried it one night because the next day I felt really low. I've been off Zoloft for about 3 weeks now maybe.... I started taking a St. Johns Wort fomula. I was on it for about 2 weeks, then one day I started feeling really ill, and didn't know what was causing it. I was also taking Maca root powder at the same time. I stopped taking Maca, but then a few days later, I started having the fear, depression, hopelessness, type feelings I had when I was on Zoloft. And also now instrusive thoughts. I was feeling okay earlier today, but then it all of a sudden hit me again. Seems like a chemical/hormonal thing going on. I've had many tests but nothing had really turned up yet. Not sure what is going on in my brain. I decided to go off St. John Wort, although I think it was helping with my anxiety. Oh well. I just want to be clear of everything that messes with my brain at this time. I see an actual psychiatrist next week. We'll see what he thinks of this mess and what he might suggest. I'm affraid of another SSRI, but I don't know what else to do. I'm working with another ND in CA, who's having me do some more indepth testing on hormones, brain chemistry, etc... I hope something turns up so I can get this fixed!

    Does Prozac help with Anxiety? How does it compare to Zoloft, Paxil, or Lexapro? I thought about trying Lexapro if the doc says it was okay.

    susiemargaret replied to Soccer_Dude's response:
    hello, S --

    i'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you.

    lamotrigine/lamictal (see PS1) is an anti-seizure med, but it also works as a mood stabilizer. i have taken it for years and had no trouble. however, i have to admit that seeing "severe rash" listed as a common side effect is rather daunting (PS2). on the other hand, a rash is charactered as a "rare" but serious possible allergic reaction under the "warnings" tab and on the first page under the "side effects" tab. i don't know what to think about all of these inconsistencies, but perhaps it doesn't matter since you stopped taking it!

    it seems strange to me, as i said in an earlier post, that after only a week on sertraline/zoloft (PS3) you are still having side effects or withdrawal symptoms after three weeks. perhaps someone else will chime in with their own experience in this regard, and you should definitely ask the psychiatrist about this when you see him.

    were you taking the sertraline and the st. john's wort (PS4) simultaneously? that was not a good idea because of the potential of that combination to cause your serotonin levels to be too high, with accompanying unpleasant effects. if the psychiatrist prescribes an antidepressant, do not take st. john's wort along with it (PS5).

    i think that dropping the maca root (PS6) was a good idea, altho i could not find any info on its possible interactions with st. john's wort except on a few commercial websites, which warned against taking the two supplements together.

    fluoxetine/prozac (PS7) can be used to treat anxiety and panic attacks. you might want to ask about it and other possible anti-anxiety meds in the anxiety/panic community, .

    to get to your one actual Q (!), i don't know how to compare fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine/paxil (PS8), and escitalopram/lexapro (PS9). all four are SSRIs, and all four can be used to treat anxiety. talk with the psychiatrist about this.

    i know this has been a long walk for a short beer, so to speak, but i hope i've given you some info that can be a starting point for your apptmt with the psychiatrist. i also hope you will be feeling better soon; please keep us posted.

    -- susie margaret

    PS1 -- webMD info on lamotrigine/lamictal is at - ORAL.aspx?drugid=4582&drugname=lamotrigine Oral&source=2 .

    PS2 -- this warning is on the second page of the "side effects" section. to get to that page, click on the blue "does lamotrigine have any side effects?" at the bottom of the first page under the "side effects" tab.

    PS3 -- webMD info on sertraline/zoloft is at - ORAL.aspx?drugid=1&drugname=sertraline Oral&source=2 .

    PS4 -- webMD info on st. john's wort is at JOHN'S WORT.aspx?activeIngredientId=329&activeIngredientName=ST. JOHN'S WORT&source=2 .

    PS5 -- info on taking antidepressants and st. john's wort simultaneously is under the "side effects" tab of the discussion of st. john's wort (see PS4) and the "major interaction/do not take this combination" section under the "precautions" tab of that discussion.

    PS6 -- webMD info on maca root is at . you may also want to take a look at PS1 in a response i wrote to an earlier inquiry on maca, .

    PS7 -- webMD info on fluoxetine/prozac is at - ORAL.aspx?drugid=1774&drugname=fluoxetine Oral&source=2 .

    PS8 -- webMD info on paroxetine/paxil is at - ORAL.aspx?drugid=6969&drugname=paroxetine HCl Oral&source=2 .

    PS9 -- webMD info on escitalopram/lexapro is at Oral.aspx?drugid=63989&drugname=escitalopram Oral&source=2 .
    what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.

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