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Changing antidepressants

sputniksputnik Posts: 81 Budding Regular
edited November 2023 in Health & Wellbeing

I've been looking into changing my medication, which I've been on for about 7-8 years now (Sertraline) as I think it doesn't do a whole lot for me, and has a blunting effect on me emotionally (I know sometimes antidepressants can do that anyway, but apparently Sertraline tends to do that for more people than a lot of other ones do). The GP prescribed Duloxetine, and said I'd need to go down to 50% of my dose of Sertraline for a week and then go onto a low dose of Duloxetine - I'm due to start the latter tomorrow, and I'm scared :frown: I've been on Sertraline so long and the one time I increased it significantly, I went through a terrible period of feeling the worst I've ever felt (I don't know how much of that was actually due to the Sertraline though, there were definitely lots of other reasons for it and I think the increase was just the last straw perhaps), so I'm fearful of anything like that happening again. Ideally my mum (who I live with currently) would be around for the first few days but she stays at her boyfriend's place at weekends and Wednesday nights, and she works some days - however I know she would come home if I really needed her to. Trying to keep in mind that the circumstances are very different from what they were last year when I got really bad, but it's worrying me and I don't know whether to postpone the change... But I don't think there's really any point in postponing.

EDIT: when I say tomorrow, I mean today as midnight has just happened :lol:
I know you fought hard as hell

but let this sink in

you do not have to fight by yourself

~ lyrics from Willow by The Little Unsaid


  • lunarcat522lunarcat522 Posts: 322 The Mix Regular
    @sputnik It's completely understandable if you're worried about changing the medication, as there's a lot of uncertainty involved. It might help if you talk to someone you can trust about it just to let them know, for if you experience any initial side effects due to the change, so you have someone that can support you - maybe your mum? It's frustrating but sometimes it just takes a while to find the medication that works for you, as everyone is different and may experience different effects, but there's lots of different types of medications out there, so hopefully there's one that suits you. I personally know a few people that also struggle with the blunted/numbing effects of sertraline, which is completely understandable. It's something that works quite well for me as I find my emotions to be very overbearing, but it's about what feels right for you, and it's great that you've managed to identify that the current type of medication isn't working the way you'd like, as now you can begin to see what others might.

    I completely get how worrying it is going on a new medication, but I can definitely say that the doctors tend to be very vigilant surrounding symptoms - they definitely wouldn't keep you on something that is truly a detriment to your mental health, if you flag it then they should bring you off it as soon as possible, and then if you want, you can try something else.

    If it helps, the doctors often do a review after around the first 2 weeks generally after going on new medications, particularly ones relating to mental health, so you could request a consultation to review how things are going, and ask any questions if you feel necessary.

    I get your apprehension and wanting to postpone, but if the sertraline isn't benefitting you, I don't see much point of continuing with that prescription, but it's completely your decision. In my experience, the doctors have spent a lot of time answering my concerns around starting medications, and waited until I was comfortable for them to start a prescription, but it depends on your circumstances.

    If you do decide to start it, just remember to try and be as consistent as possible when taking it at the start i.e. at around the same time everyday, as it helps mediate any side effects as much as possible. Once you've been on a medication for a while you can be a bit more flexible - I tend to take my current one within a 2 hour range, but it just helps to keep it the same at the start. It's also possible to ask about any prescriptions to help with side effects, for example, I tend to experience nausea, but as it's occasional I usually request the occasional prescription for some tablets that help keep it under control.

    The YoungMinds website is quite a good resource if you want to research the medication further:



    I hope it goes okay! I know it's scary but it's great you've managed to open up and take the first step <3
  • sputniksputnik Posts: 81 Budding Regular
    Hey @lunarcat522 , thankyou so much for your reply, really appreciate it!

    That's all really good to know, especially about taking medication as close to the same time as possible each day, had not known that and it makes a lot of sense! Will make sure to take it at the same time every day (I'm usually pretty remiss with that kind of thing). My mum came with me to the doctor's appointment and she's actually on Duloxetine herself at the moment, so she's in the picture which is good. Bit worried about 'what if I suddenly feel really bad while she's out of the house' but will just have to see. I think the GP mentioned a review after a few weeks, so will find out about that. Feeling a bit more confident about it today :+1:

    Cheers for the resources! Will check them out :blush:
    I know you fought hard as hell

    but let this sink in

    you do not have to fight by yourself

    ~ lyrics from Willow by The Little Unsaid
  • Millie2787Millie2787 Community Champion Posts: 5,141 Part of The Furniture
    edited November 2023
    I’m on duloxetine currently and actually out of all the antidepressants I’ve been on , I’ve found this one worked the best. It had a shorter time to reach peak affect aswell so your not stuck with side effects for atleast 6 weeks.

    I’ve really not had any side effects from it other than in the beginning I noticed I was abit more sweaty than usual but that tapered off after 3 ish weeks.

    It’s one where they can move you off the starting dose after 2 weeks , so I began on the starting dose and then moved up to the standard dose after the initial first few weeks. I always take mine at night just because that’s when I take all my other meds so I remember to take it then.

    I’ve tapered off meds before as I had to do that when I came off my mirtazapine and I found it alright actually. It’s just so your body doesn’t have the shock of suddenly coming off a medication after being on it for awhile
    Post edited by Gemma on
    Sometimes all you need is one person to believe in you , for you to begin to believe in yourself.
  • GemmaGemma Community Manager Posts: 453 Listening Ear
    edited November 2023
    Hey @sputnik, just dropping in here to echo some of the great resources @lunarcat522 shared from Young Minds in terms of getting support with your medication.

    Also agree with what's been shared above in terms of remaining in contact with your GP and asking any questions that are on your mind at a review. They are always best placed to address your concerns and chat things through with regards to your medication and side effects.

    Great that you have your mum in the loop @sputnik and that you're feeling a bit better about things :).

    @Millie2787 - glad to hear you've had a good experience with it, it sounds like taking meds at night has helped to keep a more consistent routine. We've just edited out the dosages from your post to keep in line with guidelines <3
  • sputniksputnik Posts: 81 Budding Regular
    Hey @Millie2787 , thanks so much it's good to hear from someone who's had a good experience with it :smile: So far I haven't noticed any side effects so that's good. I find it easier to remember to take things at night too, as long as they don't keep me awake that is!

    Thanks @Gemma , much appreciated! :blush: Will be seeing the GP soon to review :+y:
    I know you fought hard as hell

    but let this sink in

    you do not have to fight by yourself

    ~ lyrics from Willow by The Little Unsaid
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