Q. Can Zoloft and Concerta be stopped in depression patient without side effects?

Answered by
Dr. Ajay Singh
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 31, 2018 and last reviewed on: Oct 12, 2019

Hello doctor,

For the past three years, I have been taking 100 mg of Zoloft and for the past five years, I have been taking 36 mg of Concerta. While taking them, my mood was pretty consistent with only a few times of feeling slightly depressed. But while I took them, I still was overthinking and had stress that consumed my thoughts. But, even when my mood was consistent, I still felt kind of boring. It could be from outside factors like school but I still have excessive thoughts about things outside of school. After taking the medicines for so long and having switched from different medicine before and trying different doses, I thought maybe it is time to cut out the Zoloft altogether. So I went to 50 mg, then down to not taking it at all about a week and a half ago. For the first 10 days I felt pretty much the same but for the past three to four days, I have been very irritable and today especially feel completely numb. Also, today for the first time since stopping Zoloft, I felt the stress and overthinking that I usually felt while taking Zoloft. I have been trying to find the right medicine and amount of medicine for about a total of six years to feel my best. I am not sure if I am just overthinking. Stopping it makes me think that I will be more depressed which makes me actually believe and feel that it is just lack of sleep mixed with female hormones. I really need to find the underlying issue of my feelings and figure out what is best for me. Ideally, I would like to feel my best without medication but the Concerta works well for me. I am not sure if the Concerta plays any role in my mood and stress. I really need guidance. I had Lexapro in the past for the same issue.

Dr. Ajay Singh



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Firstly, regarding Zoloft (Sertraline), it is an antidepressant medicine which increases the level of serotonin in the brain which in turn aids in a normal mood. If such a medication is tapered suddenly or stopped suddenly then rebound symptoms of anxiety and depression occur. So it is advisable that if these medications are to be tapered then it should be done gradually. Also, these medications should not be stopped till the patient has become totally stable and normal. Even upon reaching normalcy these medications are to be taken in a maintenance dosing course before one can plan on tapering or stopping them. It would be advisable that your main complaints are discussed in detail so that a proper medication regimen can be planned.

Now on to regarding the use of Concerta (Methylphenidate), it is basically a psychostimulant which is usually prescribed to children suffering from ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) who have poor attention and concentration span. If it is taken by a non-patient, though it may help in improving concentration and attention. It carries a high risk of addiction. So, it is advisable to stop Concerta.

For more information consult a psychiatrist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychiatrist

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