Zoloft Study: Mystery in Leeds

February, 26, 2012 | 8 Comments


  1. Be interesting to see if the UK government intervene here – I doubt it though. Any interference by our government would see a backlash from Pharma. The threat of losing the UK’s biggest pharmaceutical company [GSK] overseas is enough to keep them from speaking out.

    Any idea what the Leeds study was called? They are usually given names as I understand it – would the woman have known that Zoloft was the experimental drug or would it have been ‘Drug A’ Vs placebo?

    I wonder if any of the women went on to have families and if their children were born healthy – be great if they did come forward.

  2. It is my own personal conclusion based on my own use of sertraline for OCD that this particular SSRI may *cause* depression. I did not have depression concomitant with my OCD. Sertraline does help with OCD, but it is also a “flattening” drug and makes me want to do nothing but sleep. In essence, this is what I call an organic depression. I believe that anxiety disorders and depression are not the same thing and are rooted in different chemistries. I would like to opine that suicidality on these drugs is in fact due to increased bioavailable serotonin (what the drug is intended to do), but that depression itself is possibly do to HIGH baseline serotonin within the CNS, not low. I’ve noticed that going off of these drugs does lead to rebound anxiety but also an increase in energy and drive.

    • I have also used Saint John’s Wort for anxiety (mostly social anxiety) but decided to taper off after 3 months of daily usage because of reduced interest in life/drive, sleepiness, elimination of emotions (including towards my closest family members), and radical personality changes.
      I am slowly getting back to my normal, old self (it’s taking time), but I would also opine that had I stayed longer on SSRIs I might have well become suicidal.

  3. If the people in the study were having such dramatic effects in less than a week then they were obviously not cycling up gradually on the Zoloft. There is normally no noticeable effects within the first 2 weeks of cycling up in small steps. (For example, I noticed increased skin itching after 3 weeks but nothing else.)

    In addition, my personal experience is that minor side effects subside after a few months of taking Zoloft. They return when my generic brand is switched, only to subside again.

    Zoloft has really held me together. I think it’s a blessing for those who are compatible with it. I have been prescribed many other medications over the years but consistently come back to this one. I never feel like it’s doing anything. My life is just OK when I’m on it. I am more “level headed” when bad things happen.

    • You are lucky and probably unusual. For most takers of Zoloft, there are marked effects within days, sometimes hours of starting. DH

    • I have had the same experience with Zoloft. Unlike anything I tried in the past, I was surprised that it helped both my depression & anxiety, including compulsive behaviors. It immediately improved my ability to deal with stressful situations. It is a lifesaver for some of us. My doctor said she has been taking it for over 15 yrs & feels the same way.

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