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Is it OK to break Zoloft pills in half?


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#1 Starry Night

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 03:15 AM

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I am currently taking 50 mg of Zoloft a day. I take it at night...it seems to make me drowsy. Actually, when I first started taking it, I was having a horrible time falling asleep. Then I started being able to sleep after I started taking it. Now I'm sleeping way too much. I'm kind of sick right now, so that's not helping, but this has been going on for a couple of weeks. (And I've only been on Zoloft for maybe 2 1/2 months?)I'd like to try halving my dosage of Zoloft and see if that helps with the excessive sleepiness. My primary doc, who prescribed it, is away for a somewhat extended vacation and won't be back for a little while. I saw a nurse practitioner today for my sore throat, and asked her about cutting back the Zoloft, and she said but you're on the lowest dose... <sigh> So, to get to the point, my Levbid say not to break or crush the pills, I am assuming because they are for extended release. Since the Zoloft is only one a day, I want to make sure I won't be releasing too much at once if I break my 50mg pills in half. Has anyone broken them in half under a dr's direction? Or know if it's ok to do so?I know, I should talk with my dr. before messing with this stuff, but she is not there and the nurse practitioner didn't seem to take me seriously regarding the Zoloft. I would like to try taking 25mg a day for a short time and see if that helps me not be so tired...especially when I'm tired because I'm sick now! If it doesn't help, I'll go back up, if it does, I'll keep taking 25mg and tell my dr. the next time I see her. I can't stand being this tired...you don't get much done when you're sleeping/resting massive amounts each day.


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#2 LUCIA

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 03:41 AM

I am famous for cutting my pills in 1/2 or 1/4 because some times you only need a little bit of the medication. I have taken zoloft but I didn't feel it was working for me. I don't think it is a strong medication. If you are sleepy all the time, it could be that zoloft is not working for you. You need to tell your doctor about the sleepy feeling. The nurse practioner has to play it safe and not give you advice because she is not a doctor and could get in serious trouble with your doctor. It could be that you need to increase the amount of Zoloft but I would advise you to speak to the doctor that was left behind to take your doctor's place while she is on vacation. If you feel that 1/2 zoloft can make you feel better give it a try. It will not hurt you at all medically. It is your life and you are responsible for your health in the long run. Doctors are willing to try whatever medication works for you best. I am really impressed by you because you are really giving Zoloft a chance to work for you. Most people would just give up Zoloft and not tell the doctor. Follow your intuition, keep a journal on your symtoms, and tell your doctor when she gets back what is going on with you. Good Luck.

#3 Munchkin

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 03:48 AM

My depression had gotten worse and it didn't feel like my Zoloft was working anymore, so my shrink has me now taking 75 mg am ( that is breaking a 50 mg pill in half as per his instructions ) and 50 mg pm.I can't say that it has improved my depression to increase the dose. It doesn't do anything for my IBS-D.My doc gave me a schedule to taper off the Zoloft and start Serzone, but I'm not in the best of moods to try that now. I've got a very busy month and the thought of playing around with a new drug seems too much to do now. I don't need one more thing!I've taken Zoloft for years....maybe 6-8. It worked well for depression for years. It just seems like it has lost it's effectiveness for me. Are you taking it for depression or for IBS?I couldn't take Paxil, but my daughter is successfully taking 20mg a day since she had to discontinue Lotronex. It works pretty well for her IBS-D and she's a much happier and easier to get along with 21 year old now. It's weird how these SSRIs work. Paxil for me was an IBS nightmare, but works for her. Go figure.By the way, my script says 75 mgs am and I know my pharmacist well enough that if breaking the tab in half was bad for me, he would have said something about it by now.Good luck.------------------MunchkinIBS-D

#4 drewstone

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 04:01 AM

Done it for years! Also, 50mgs is NOT the lowest dose you can take; it's the lowest dose it comes in. Big difference!!! I took 25mgs of Zoloft (cut in half) for a couple of years; now I split my Effexor caps into thirds. Works fine and MANY people I know find the minimum doses "prescribed" way too much. 15 mgs to 35 mgs is real common - surprise, surprise. Just do what works for you. If you are still getting too sleepy try cutting back. (I also take "holidays" every so often to keep it 'effective' plus to 'renew' a little). Best of Luck; Drew

#5 Starry Night

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 04:16 AM

Thanks for the replies! I'm amazed that I got two so fast, but I figured there'd definitely be someone on this board that would know!I had a heck of a time getting used to the Zoloft, so I'm hesitant to stop it and try something else. Well, I guess it could have been worse, but I got intermittant bouts of moderate to severe nausea, and some other weird symptoms. I wasn't sure how much I needed it, but I was so desperate with not being able to fall asleep, and the IBS... I'm on it because I saw a new primary care dr. and she thought I might have some underlying anxiety issues with the insomnia, IBS, and some other things. I agreed to give the Zoloft a try, and it's possible that the insomnia abating was partially due to other things, but I started being able to sleep, and my IBS-D symptoms improved a little, so I didn't want to mess with it.I am very frustrated with feeling tired and spacey a lot, and I think taking a lower dosage might help. The other day I forgot to take my nighttime dosage, and so I took the next day's a little earlier, and around the time that one was probably wearing off, maybe 26 hours later, I felt the most awake I'd felt in at least a week! So I'm thinking the Z. could be part of this.P.S. The nurse practitioner was who the dr's cooperative had me see since my dr. was gone. I don't know if I might have been able to get into someone else if I had been willing to wait longer, but since I had a sore throat and swollen glands I wanted to get that checked out. (Strep was negative, waiting for results of mono test and CBC tomorrow.)

#6 skinnyballerina

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 08:16 AM

I used to take zoloft, had a horrible allergic reaction to it. However, I now take 150 mg of effexor per day. This is my wonder drug. However, be careful about breaking them in half. Some medications, especially if it is a capsule, do not work if you break them apart. Consult your physician about that, or your pharmacist. GOod luck to you! Once you find the right antidepressant, your life literally changes!

#7 JenS

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 11:24 AM

yep, any pills that has a distinct "line" in the middle can be broken in half. I have broken Zoloft in the past.

#8 AD

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 11:53 AM

Due to my low weight, my doctor always starts me on low doses. I KNOW Zoloft comes in 25 mg. tablets. They are in the samples, and I have had some prescribed before. They are small and green. I ONLY cut pills in half with a pill cutter. They are at most pharmacies and work great. It slices small pills in two. I take 150 mg. Zoloft and sometimes take 1 1/2 100 mg. tablets if I don't have any 25s or 50s.I also take Xanax, which is at a SUPER low dose since I do it regularly. I take half of a 0.25-mg. tablet before bed. During super stressful nights or events, I may take a whole. There have been nights I have actually forgotten the Xanax and had no problems, so I am glad I'm not addicted. It usually helps me though.Back to the main question, the best bet is to get a pill cutter. They are cheap and easy.

#9 Marrin

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 01:29 PM

According to the Zoloft commercial on TV, they come in 25 mgs

#10 JenS

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Posted 24 May 2001 - 04:12 PM

They do come in 25, 50, and 100. My insurance would only cover 100, so when I started at 50mg, I was given 100mg and told to take a half pill a day.

#11 Guest_xoxox_*

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 12:58 AM

I took Zoloft (50 mg a day) for almost 2 years. I quit because it gave me a slight hand tremor and I was always tired. I tried to go to 25 mg, under my doctor's supervision, but for me, dropping it that much wasn't good. I developed flu symptoms--headache, nasty muscle aches, dizziness, ringing ears. So my doctor had me taper much more slowly. this meant that I had to use a pill cutter to cut the tablets into smaller pieces. I used the 25 mg ones, and cut them into halves, then fourths, then later eighths. I stayed on each dose for about two weeks, then reduced it by half. Finally I took the eighths every other day for two weeks, then off completely. Tapering off slowly waas the trick for me. I tell you this because some people can't reduce Zoloft by half without getting nasty withdrawal symptoms. Just thought you should know. Good luck with this. I know how that tiredness feels.





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