Are Brain Zaps Always Part of Withdrawal From Zoloft?
While brain zaps are commonly reported during Zoloft cessation, a proper Zoloft tapering regimen can tend to lessen or even eliminate these reactions entirely. There are ways to support the withdrawal by bolstering the neurochemistry with naturally occurring substances that will tend to combat the deficiency of serotonin and other natural neurotransmitters during the withdrawal, and this can reduce any likelihood of brain zaps during Zoloft withdrawal.
Zoloft Tapering and Pregnancy
Zoloft increases birth defects and stillbirths in animals, according to clinical trials discussed in the FDA drug labeling information.4 It is something of a tragedy that Zoloft is still legal for prescribing to women whether the woman is pregnant or not. However, a woman taking Zoloft who is planning on becoming pregnant may opt for trying to quit Zoloft as a self-directed precaution. before getting pregnant.
WARNING: Both the FDA and the CDC caution against Zoloft use during pregnancy, due to potential birth defects that the drug may cause.6,18,23
Women who are considering starting Zoloft or other SSRI-type medication may not always be informed of the 3-5% increased risk of birth defects compared to placebo according to trials that have been done.1 An infant born to a mother taking Zoloft may suffer profound withdrawals in addition to the risks of various birth defects.17 Again, to avoid these complications and risks, seriously consider Zoloft tapering before one becomes pregnant, both for the future health of the baby and the health of the mother.
Pharmaceutical companies are not required by law to do human clinical trials on SSRI drugs on pregnant women. Some research may have been done on animals but their results may not have been vigorously disseminated to prescribing doctors or the public at large. Women and all parents-to-be would be well-advised to do their own careful research before continuing SSRI medications especially if they are planning a pregnancy.
Please note that NIMH has published findings regarding increased instances of infants with clubfoot born to mothers taking Zoloft, which may be of particular interest to researchers on the subject of women’s health.2,4,6,23
Again, we stress for the sake of an unborn child’s health, women are advised to do their own research to make the best decisions concerning health and pregnancy. Speak to your doctor before getting pregnant if you are taking Zoloft.
Long-Term Zoloft Use and Neuroadaptation
SSRIs like Zoloft (sertraline) are endocrine disruptive as demonstrated in rat studies.14 These effects are thought to explain the sexual dysfunction linked to such medications. The neuroadaptive capabilities of the CNS are geared to attempt to normalize despite the drug-induced flooding of serotonin into the nervous system. Antidepressant patients can develop chronic apathy and worsened depression after long-term use of SSRIs. This is not a mental illness returning; this is the possible effect that serotonergic medications have upon the human body. This antidepressant-induced apathy creates “zombie-like” or deadened feelings. Clinicians sometimes refer to the effect as “SSRI-induced indifference” or “SSRI-induced apathy.” 15 Elderly patients with dementia are particularly susceptible to antidepressant-induced chronic apathy.3
A person may wish to avoid these potential risks and can do so by initiating gradual withdrawal from Zoloft and also by not staying on an antidepressant for very long. A person suffering from this chronic apathy may require some help in the form of encouragement from family members or others who can support their loved one through the process of Zoloft tapering.
Zoloft Adverse Reactions and Side Effects
A person taking antidepressant medication may be subject to various adverse reactions, generally referred to as side effects, despite the fact that these are DIRECTLY INDUCED drug effects that can dominate one’s overall health.
Zoloft Side-effects include:
- Spams of muscles, movement disorder
- Grinding of the teeth
- Racing heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Rash (can be severe enough to warrant emergency/hospital care)
- Sexual dysfunction
And many, many others.
Each person is a distinct and unique expression and therefore can often react to medications in unpredicted or surprising ways. This unpredictability and the severity of certain side effects may present other reasons a person may consider getting off Zoloft to make improvements to health.
Alternative to Meds Inpatient Zoloft Tapering Support
Our Zoloft tapering programs are designed to mitigate or completely eliminate the most difficult of outcomes you may be experiencing, or that you are worried may occur. There are many actions that we deliver to prepare such as lab testing before the medically supervised tapering process actually begins as well as during the process so that your Zoloft taper is the smoothest and most problem-free experience possible.
The extensive use of Zoloft alternatives makes Zoloft tapering much easier to tolerate, including the use of neurotoxin removal, neurotransmitter rehabilitation, environmental medicine, acupuncture, correction of diet including prescribed supplementation, therapeutic massage, nebulized glutathione, yoga, equine-assisted therapy, CBT and other counseling, peer support programs, co-occurring disorders holistic treatment, holistic pain management, Qi Gong, colon hydrotherapy, and many, many other adjunct services and proven strategies for improvements in overall health and well-being.
Contact Alternative to Meds Center
The Alternative to Meds Center programs for stopping Zoloft and other medications seek to prepare a person in several fundamental ways before the process of Zoloft tapering even begins. It can seem a particularly daunting task to withdraw from Zoloft, especially getting off Zoloft or any prescription drug all on your own. We have helped many thousands of clients and we would like to be able to assist you or your loved one as well
Please contact Alternative to Meds Center for more information on our safe and gradual Zoloft tapering program, delivered in a luxurious, warm, and nurturing inpatient setting and always with 24/7 oversight and care.