Can you stop taking 50mg of Sertraline cold turkey?

This article will discuss stopping 50mg of Sertraline cold turkey. We will discuss the potential dangers of doing so and what you should do if you wish to stop taking Sertraline. 

Can you stop taking 50mg of Sertraline cold turkey?

No, you should never stop taking 50mg of Sertraline or any dose of it suddenly without consulting your doctor. Sertraline is an antidepressant that gradually makes changes in your brain by affecting serotonin levels (1). 

Just like your body takes time to adjust to the antidepressant when you first start taking it, it also needs time to wean it off. Stopping Sertraline abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms, which can vary depending on how long you’ve been taking the medication (2). 

The longer the treatment duration, the more your body becomes dependent on it. So, always consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your Sertraline dosage. Your doctor can help with dose tapering to ensure safe and smooth withdrawal. 

This is important to make sure that you stay safe from rebound depression (2). Sertraline does take time to work, but it may begin to lose efficacy with time. In such cases, drug discontinuation and switching to a different antidepressant is important to prevent your depression from getting worse. 

What are the potential risks of stopping Sertraline cold turkey?

The potential risks associated with stopping Sertraline cold turkey include (3):

  • Digestive: You might experience nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, or a reduced appetite.
  • Sleep disturbances: Sleep problems can include nightmares, unusual dreams, very vivid dreams, or difficulty falling asleep (insomnia).
  • Balance: Some individuals may feel dizzy or lightheaded, making it challenging to walk comfortably.
  • Overall discomfort: It might feel somewhat like having the flu, with symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, weakness, and persistent fatigue.
  • Unusual sensations: Some describe sensations like “brain zaps” (similar to an electrical shock or shiver in the brain), tingling or pins and needles, ringing in the ears, odd tastes, or heightened sensitivity to sound.
  • Mood changes: Your emotional state may be affected, leading to anxiety, agitation, feelings of panic, thoughts of self-harm, depression, irritability, anger, episodes of high energy and impulsivity (mania), or frequent mood swings.
  • Motor control: Changes in motor control could result in trembling, muscle tension, restless legs, an unsteady walk, or difficulties in controlling speech and chewing movements.
  • Heat sensitivity: You might notice excessive sweating, flushing, or an intolerance to high temperatures.

These symptoms can vary from person to person and can depend on different factors, like the dosage of Sertraline, the overall duration of treatment, the reason for drug discontinuation, and overall health status.

What is the best way to come off Sertraline?

When it comes to discontinuing Sertraline, it’s essential to do it gradually through a process called dose tapering (4). If you’re on a 50 mg dose, your doctor will typically recommend reducing it slowly (5). 

If you’ve not been on the medication for an extended period, you might directly switch to 25 mg and observe how your body responds. However, for some individuals, even a 50% reduction can be too abrupt, and they may need an even slower tapering process (5). 

The key here is to closely follow your doctor’s advice and tapering schedule. Tapering helps your body adapt to the decreasing doses of Sertraline, preventing withdrawal symptoms and ensuring a smoother transition.


In this article, we have discussed stopping 50 mg of Sertraline cold turkey. We have discussed the potential harms associated with abrupt antidepressant discontinuation and the proper way to wean off these meds to ensure your safety.

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Singh HK, Saadabadi A. Sertraline. 2023 Feb 13. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31613469. Available from:


Henssler J, Heinz A, Brandt L, Bschor T. Antidepressant Withdrawal and Rebound Phenomena. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2019 May 17;116(20):355-361. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2019.0355. PMID: 31288917; PMCID: PMC6637660.


Fava GA, Gatti A, Belaise C, Guidi J, Offidani E. Withdrawal symptoms after selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor discontinuation: a systematic review. Psychother Psychosom. 2015;84(2):72-81. doi:10.1159/000370338.


Horowitz MA, Taylor D. Tapering of SSRI treatment to mitigate withdrawal symptoms. Lancet Psychiatry. 2019 Jun;6(6):538-546. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30032-X. Epub 2019 Mar 5. PMID: 30850328.


Sørensen A, Juhl Jørgensen K, Munkholm K. Clinical practice guideline recommendations on tapering and discontinuing antidepressants for depression: a systematic review. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2022 Feb 11;12:20451253211067656. doi: 10.1177/20451253211067656. PMID: 35173954; PMCID: PMC8841913.

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