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Had OCD and panic attack disorder. Taking zoloft and feeling weakness in left side. Should I try a new medicine?

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Practicing since : 2007
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hi, i took zoloft for approximately 12 years now. I started on 50mg and within a month I was take 100mg. I had the best 8 years of my life! when I was a kid I had OCD which turned into pure O as an adult. Also I had panic attack disorder. Zoloft 100mg gave me my life back it was amazing. Then in 2010 we had six deaths of loved ones in a row including my father's suicide. Bam I began to have panic attacks that were worst then ever especially due to my dad's death. The doctor upped my zoloft to 150mg and I slowly began to feel better where I was able to work and earn two master degrees. This summer I began to get weakness on the left side and I need to have my brain stem lesions checked again to make sure I diid not have a stroke or a tumor. I got so scared during the 2 week testing process that my anxiety came back with a revenge. I was unable to go to work for almost two weeks. I found out that I do not have a tumor and did not have a stroke just have some non specific lesions that need to be watched. My doctor took me to go up to 200mg of zoloft or to try celexa. He also added that zoloft might work with an increased dose and that he believed It was normal to experience panic during this time of a non diagnosis. What should I do. Is being on Zoloft for 12 years too long? Is it time to switch? If I up the dose should it work? Should I give up on zoloft and try a new med?
Posted Mon, 25 Nov 2013 in Anxiety and Stress
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 9 days later
Brief Answer: Zoloft is a good drug and you should continue Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for choosing health care magic for posting your query. I have gone through your question in detail and I can understand what you are going through. Only a few people have such a good response for their OCD and that you should consider yourself as lucky. Its very natural and common that during the times of stress there is an exacerbation of anxiety disorder and that requires add on medications. Now coming to your speciric question.... Its ok to be on 12 yrs zoloft therapy. Panic disorders and OCDs do require such long therapy. I have know people to be on zoloft for more than 30 yrs. Regarding rising the dose, at 200mg zoloft is still within the FDA approved dose range and you are not out of it. Zoloft can still be risen above 200mg as it is one of the very safe antidepressants. Coking to the option of switching vs increasing the dose, it would be advisable to.increase the dose as of now. If there is inadequate response at 200 mg then ypu should consider an option of switching the drug. There are plenty of option while considering switching like celexa, escitalopram, paroxetine, venlafaxine etc. One thing i would oike to suggest here is along with increasing the dose you should also add up cognitive behavioural therapy for your OCD and panic. It focusses on changing your thinking pattern. It works well with antidepressant. Hope I am able to answer your concerns. If you have any further query, I would be glad to help you. If not, you may close the discussion and if possible you may rate the answer for me, so that I get a good feedback. In future if you wish to contact me directly, you can use the below mentioned link: Wish you good health, Kind regards Dr. Srikanth Reddy M.D.
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