How long does an SSRI take for relief?

Hello everyone,
It’s been a while since I posted but I’ve had some changes and I need some advice. I was on Cymbalta for about 5 weeks and while it did help with the dizziness the side effects become unbearable. I was having heart palpitations, insane anxiety, unreal appetite increase (I gained 7 lbs in one month!) and a slew of other symptoms. So I had to get off it. I decided to give an SSRI a try. I chose Zoloft bc it’s one that my Neuro suggested. I’ve been on it for about 2 weeks now and I’m completely miserable. Vertigo is back to where it was at the beginning, headaches are about the same etc. I am absolutely determined to stick it out on this drug. I’ve read that so many have had relief on an SSRI and I’m just curious how long until you started to feel better? I really think I’m feeling worse than ever right now but I plan on giving the Zoloft 3 months. I’ve had relief from Nori and Cymbatla so I think that serotonin is a factor for me. I really wish I could have stayed on either of the two drugs but Nori gave me such debilitating headaches and Cymbalta made me a disaster.

Any advice???

Did you try effexor?
Was it dose related? Could you have any relief on a low dose of cymbalta? Like 10mg ? (dump half capsule)?
Did you try amitriptyline ?
You can add it to zoloft if you have a more modern thinking doctor. Keeping both doses low.

Hey Kelley,
I did get down to about 15mg’s of Cymbalta, I dumped half a 30mg capsule and still had super high pulse and racing heart. I have BP issues so my GP was the one that encouraged me to get off the Cymbalta.
I’d really like to add Ami, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I’m sure my Dr. will add it but she’ll want to wait until I’ve been on Zoloft for 6 weeks first. Does Ami cause the headaches Nori causes I wonder? Other than the headaches I tolerated Nori at 30mg’s fine and it did make a difference with the vertigo. I’ve also thought about Effexor but I’m terrified of that drug. Never say never…

Thank you so much for your reply!

Ami is more sedating than Nori…hits more serotonin than norephinephrine…so you would have to try it and see. My doctor prescribed it alongside of Cymbalta because the Cymbalta is more stimulating in the beginning and the ami can help calm/sleep…That is how I got on the Cymbalta I think, although I still struggled in the beginning.
The Zoloft not making your headaches worse? I had daily headaches when I started Ami and within 5 days they were gone…never came back either…I believe I was sero deficient and since being on sero meds, no more headaches.

Hi Elisha,
When I started my first SSRI (generic Celexa) it took a good 6-8 weeks to feel relief from the dizziness, and that wasn’t 6-8 weeks at the full therapeutic dose. I slowly tapered up to the therapeutic dose over 4 weeks so it was another 2-3 weeks before the dizziness completely went away.

I don’t think that it will take you three months to feel relief. I was told 6-8 weeks, and that is what worked for me. Although I did also have postpartum depression/anxiety at the same time, and that lifted as well.

Good luck!

Thank you Anne and Kelley!

Kelley, headaches were bad at first but seem to be slowing down, I haven’t had one in three days now which is a big deal for me. Vertigo is still really bad, I believe I’m serotonin deficient as well which is why I’m so adamant to stick it out on this drug.

If you already have blood pressure issues, have you tried any of the beta blockers? I am not sure which med for me is helping more with the headaches or dizziness, but my combo seems to be doing something. I am on nadolol and ami. Would seem appropriate for you to atleast add in a beta blocker to help with BP as well, hopefully getting rid of the headaches and/or dizziness too.

I am on Celexa, I ramped up slowly. I had only side effects for the first couple weeks, then I felt my first relief around the 3-4 week mark, then I felt major relief by the second month, then I hit a plateau, and finally got nearly full relief by 4 months.

That said, one sore spot remains – night time. That is the hardest time, I still feel dizzy and the only thing that helps is something to make me sleep.

Hey elisha,
Did you ever get your thyroid levels tested?
I am on Zoloft because it is the one thing I can take while
nursing but I will say it has taken time to get the right dosage. I just read an interesting book about serotonin and migraine. I would definitely give it some time. It took months to start working for me. Im not in tip top shape but definitely better.

Hi. It took about 8 weeks for me. I am on Effexor (generic) and am very med. sensitive. I’m thankful I tried it because I was hesitant as well. Hope you find relief:)


Thank you for the replies everyone!

Hask-thyroid levels have been checked, twice. They are fine. I’ve read a lot about serotonin and migraine as well which is why I’m really going to stick this out! Great to hear you are feeling a bit better! What dosage of Z are you taking?