Zoloft Study: Mystery in Leeds

February, 26, 2012 | 10 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.

  4. Zoloft has singled handedly destroyed my life. The withdrawal has caused severe irreparable damage to my body and mind. During the withdrawal, a lot of doctors try and blame your “condition” as opposed to the actual withdrawal. Withdrawal doesn’t even get real until one month clean when the metabolites finally leave the system.

    Some people think the drug is helping without realizing how out of their mind they are. It doesn’t help anxiety it alters your mind and makes you a completely different person. Therefore, you simply no longer care.

    The highest does I ever took is 50 mg. I can only imagine how out of my mind I would be on the high doses everyone else is forced to take. Withdrawal includes hallucinations, seizures, blindness, low or high blood pressure, pseudo cushings, colitis, severe panic and depressio etc. If you order the new drug info directly from Pfizer they will admit this. Generics won’t tell you this.

    People who go around and claim ssris are safer than benzodiazepines are severely misinformed. The damage from ssris is worse and withdrawal is no different only longer lasting with ssris. Common sense says, “If you have to take a drug daily for it to work, there is no possible way you won’t withdrawal from it.”

    Psych meds are Neuro toxins and powerful ones at that. Serotonin resides not only in your brain, but your heart and gut. It is playing with fire. Zoloft was given to me when I was 16 years old when they had commercials about how it “isn’t addictive.” What’s worse is people take these years indefinitely when they FDA approval says one should only take them between 6 and 18 months.

    I would do anything to go back in time to refuse that trash. I haven’t been able to leave my house in over 2 years since I went through the trauma of Zoloft withdrawal. I would do anything to get my life back, but I know this drug has caused so much damage that I will never be who I was before starting the drug.

    If you want to know how serious akathisa is, look on YouTube. There is a man who has had it over 4 years with no cure. What the doctor won’t say even if they recognize it, is that it could likely be permanent. Same thing with the sexual dysfunction ssris cause.

    I urge everyone who is currently able to function and has not been exposed to psych drugs to seek therapy. Once you turn down the psych med road you will never be the same again. When the drugs damage you, you will be hard pressed to find any doctor who will admit what is actually happening. I wish someone had warned me.

    And unless you are a violent schizophrenic who is in an unstoppable state of psychosis, there is ZERO reason ever to be given an antipsychotic. And even then they aren’t meant to be taken long term. Any doctor who gives out drugs like seroquel for things like anxiety and depression in the absence of psychosis deserves prison imo.

  5. Was just watching this free psychiatry webinar for GP trainees April 2020

    “Sertraline if chronic health problem (lower risk of drug interaction)” Sertraline inhibits CYP450 2D6 and CYP450 3A4 so ‘lower risk of drug interaction’… really ?


    So a whole new batch of GP’s will be causing more suicide and horror shows.

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