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Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long Does Zoloft It Stay In Your System?

Drug Detox , Drug Rehab Alexa Iocco | August 12, 2022

Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms Zoloft withdrawal treatment

What is Zoloft and How Long Does Zoloft Stay in Your System?

Sertraline (Zoloft) is a prescription medication called an SSRI, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that affects the serotonin levels in the brain. This medication is prescribed for people suffering from mental illnesses including:

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  • Anxiety disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

This medication is given to treat depression and anxiety issues because it can improve mood and energy levels while also reducing fear and panic. Alongside many other antidepressants, the FDA has placed a black box warning on this medication as it may lead to some individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Learn how long does zoloft stay in your system.

Zoloft Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms zoloft withdrawal treatment how long does zoloft stay in your system

How Long Does Zoloft Take To Work?

Because sertraline is an SSRI antidepressant, it works by preventing the reabsorption of serotonin, which increases the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin that is available in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that affects mental health conditions by altering mood and emotion. When a person reduces or stops taking this medication, serotonin levels drop, and the brain and body chemistry becomes unbalanced and needs time to adjust to these new levels, producing antidepressant withdrawal symptoms during this adjustment period.

Zoloft Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms

Some common symptoms you can expect if you experience withdrawal while stopping antidepressants may include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Nausea/diarrhea/vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Mood changes and irritability
  • Depression
  • Tinnitus
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Memory problems
  • “Brain zaps”
  • Hypersensitivity to sound

Understanding how long Zoloft will stay in your system and withdrawal (sertraline withdrawal) and discontinuation syndrome, it is best to seek professional medical advice before quitting your prescription medications.

How Long Does Zoloft Stay In your System?

Zoloft (Sertraline) has a short half-life, of approximately 22 – 35 hours. When you stop taking Sertraline, its effects leave your system quickly, causing the serotonin levels in your brain to drop (antidepressant discontinuation syndrome), and the body to react adversely, producing withdrawal symptoms.

Although the symptoms of Zoloft withdrawal antidepressant discontinuation last for one to three weeks on average, some people may experience them for months after quitting. The sertraline (Zoloft) withdrawal symptoms timeline may be affected by your unique metabolism and other individual factors, with withdrawal effects being more common in people who have been taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for years.

As for the question of “how long does Zoloft stay in your system,” it’s important to understand that Zoloft’s duration in the system is influenced by its short half-life. While the drug itself may leave your system relatively quickly, the effects and withdrawal symptoms can persist beyond the drug’s presence. Coming off antidepressants does not need to be a traumatic experience, and with proper medical guidance, mental health care, and a safe tapering schedule with dosage gradually reduced, withdrawal effects can be navigated safely and effectively.

Prescription Drug Rehab at Resurgence for Zoloft Withdrawal

If you or a loved one is taking antidepressant medication like Zoloft and Xanax to treat major depressive disorders (MDD) or other mental health issues and want to stop safely or need help quitting another prescription medication (including prescription opioids), a dual diagnosis program may be required. At the Resurgence treatment centers, our dual diagnosis treatment and rehab programs will guide you through any withdrawal and detox symptoms you may have safely through a medical detox plan, moving you into a customized rehabilitation program that will best suit your needs. Alongside effective and evidence-based substance abuse treatment, you will receive treatment for co-occurring disorders like mental health issues including bipolar disorder, anxiety, major depression, eating disorder, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD.

We offer the full continuum of care, from detox to residential (inpatient) rehab to outpatient rehab programs including a partial hospitalization program and an intensive outpatient alcohol rehab program. Addiction treatment plans at Resurgence Behavioral Health include individual therapy, group therapy, educational programs, physical health and nutritional counseling, life skills coaching, and relapse prevention programs. Through behavioral therapy and other treatments, you will learn new healthy coping skills that will last you a lifetime.  

Whether you need treatment for alcohol abuse, or drug abuse, or are trying to safely taper off a prescription medication like Sertraline (Zoloft), our team can help you achieve your goals, stay safe and comfortable, and move forward successfully in life.

How Long Does It Take for Zoloft Withdrawal to Kick In?

It usually takes about two to six weeks for Zoloft Withdrawal to kick in. Like most antidepressants, sertraline can cause side effects. After a week or two, these Zoloft side effects may occur:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Change in weight
  • Decreased appetite

Some more serious but less common symptoms of sertraline include:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Bruising or abnormal bleeding
  • Loss of coordination
  • Memory loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash
  • Hives
how long does zoloft stay in your system

It is also possible to overdose on Zoloft. When you take a larger dose than prescribed, take it more often than directed, or mix it with other substances like medications or alcohol, you risk intoxicating the body. This often occurs in people who take this drug in search of a Zoloft high. However, abusing this drug can not only increase your risk of serious side effects like hallucinations and seizures, but it also increases your risk of serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome occurs when there’s a build-up of serotonin in the body. This is most common in people who take other medications with their SSRIs, such as other antidepressants, certain pain or headache medications, and St. John’s wort supplement.

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