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

Drug Detox , Drug Rehab Josh Chandler | August 12, 2022

Zoloft Withdrawal, Zoloft Withdrawal treatment, Zoloft Withdrawal addiction, How long does it takes Zoloft Withdrawal

How Long Does Zoloft Stay In your System? Zoloft Withdrawal

Zoloft Stays in your system approximately 22 – 35 hours. When you stop taking Zoloft (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. In this article we will explore all you need to know about Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms, Abuse and Addiction Treatment.

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Zoloft Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms

Sertraline, commonly known by its brand name Zoloft, is an SSRI medication used to increase serotonin levels in the brain, thereby helping to regulate mood. It is prescribed for treating depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and PMDD. The medication should be taken as directed by a healthcare provider, and it may interact with various substances, including other medications and alcohol. Side effects can range from mild to serious, and it’s important to consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice and monitoring.

  • 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.

What is Zoloft Prescribed for?

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:

  • 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. The key to understanding how long Zoloft stays in your system lies in its half-life. A half-life is the time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from your body. Zoloft’s half-life is approximately 24 to 26 hours, meaning it takes about a day for half of the dose to be cleared from your system.

Zoloft Withdrawal, How Long Does Zoloft It Stay In Your System, does zoloft stay in your system

Like all medications, sertraline can have side effects. Common side effects include nausea, headaches, sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction. While most side effects are mild and temporary, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider if they persist or worsen. Additionally, sertraline may not be suitable for everyone, and its use requires careful consideration of an individual’s medical history and potential interactions with other medications.

Factors Affecting Zoloft’s Presence in Your System

Several factors can influence how long Zoloft stays in your system, including:

  1. Dosage and Duration: Higher doses and longer durations of use generally mean it will take longer for Zoloft to leave your system.
  2. Metabolism: Individual metabolic rates can affect how quickly Zoloft is processed and eliminated.
  3. Age and Health: Older adults and those with certain health conditions may process Zoloft more slowly.
  4. Liver Function: Since Zoloft is metabolized in the liver, impaired liver function can delay the drug’s elimination.

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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.

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

how long does zoloft stay in your system

Prescription Drug Rehab at Resurgence Behavioral Health 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 drug rehab programs in California 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 in California, 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 is zoloft withdrawal how long does zoloft stay in your systems

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

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Frequently Asked Questions About Zoloft Withdrawal and Treatment

What Is Zoloft and Why Do People Experience Withdrawal?

Zoloft, also known as sertraline, is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) commonly prescribed to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Withdrawal symptoms can occur because the body needs time to adjust to the absence of the medication, which has been regularly influencing the brain’s chemistry.

What Are Common Symptoms of Zoloft Withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, headaches, mood swings, and sensory disturbances, such as tingling or electric shock sensations. Emotional symptoms like anxiety and irritability are also common.

How Long Does Zoloft Withdrawal Last?

The duration of withdrawal varies but typically lasts from a few weeks to a month. Factors influencing this duration include the length of time you’ve been taking Zoloft, your dosage, and your individual physiological response.

Can You Prevent Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms?

While not all withdrawal symptoms can be avoided, gradually tapering off the medication under a doctor’s supervision can significantly reduce their intensity and frequency. It’s crucial not to stop Zoloft abruptly and to follow a doctor-recommended tapering schedule.

When Should You Seek Professional Help for Zoloft Withdrawal?

Professional assistance is advised if you’re considering stopping Zoloft, especially if you’ve been using it for a long time or at a high dose. Healthcare providers can offer a tailored tapering plan and address any withdrawal symptoms that arise, ensuring a safer discontinuation process.

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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Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.


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