Side Effects After the Discontinuation of Sertraline

Written by k.t. parker
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Sertraline is better known as Zoloft. Zoloft is prescribed for treating depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. You shouldn't stop taking Zoloft without the advice of a physician, due to the potential for side effects.

Side Effects

Zoloft withdrawal can cause diarrhoea, anxiety, nightmares, dizziness and fatigue.


Stopping sertraline can cause paresthesias, a prickling, tightening sensation in the skin. Some people describe paresthesias as a "zapping" sensation in the scalp and/or brain.


Zoloft has a half-life of one day, so the levels of sertraline remaining in the body drop by half approximately every 24 hours.

REM Behavior Disorder

R.E.M. Behaviour Disorder is a potentially serious side effect some people suffer during Zoloft withdrawal. R.E.M. Behaviour Disorder causes the eyes to move too quickly, which simulates R.E.M. sleep while awake and can cause hallucinations.

Time Frame

The typical time frame for Zoloft withdrawal lasts about two weeks, but some people experience withdrawal symptoms for weeks, or even months, after stopping sertraline.

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