Jenn asked in HealthMental Health · 1 decade ago

my 17 year old has been taking 50mg of zoloft for several years does it loose it's effectiveness?

we have tried many different medications and combination of medicine and nothing seems to help. she rarely seems happy and finds school a horrible place to me socially.


my daughter has had a rough life and has had to deal with extreme emotional (anxiety disorder) since she was about 6 years old that was first treated by couseling which she refused(wouldn't talk) to participate in. medication was a last resort in helping her and it has made it so my child with a 140 i.q. could remain in a regular classroom. i do understand how difficult it is to be a teenagers because i live it with it. so if anyone has a magical wand or has some honest suggestions please share them with me. i have tried almost everything i can think of to help her and i am willing to hear all suggestions.

13 Answers

  • J G
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    One thing i have found from my own experience, and through talking to people is that late teens/early adult hood is a hard time to treat mental illness. The brain is going through many transitions at that time to fully move from child brain function to adult brain fuction. That is part of the reason so many psych meds are labeled that the risk for causeing suicidal ideation in children/young adults is far greater.... it is because of how the brain is changing. But what i have found is the brain can change so much that a med that worked great, even 6 months later may not work at all. Once get to mid/late 20s it is far easier for a single med to help for a longer period of time.....though still may not be the case for some people.

    OK, for everyone being critical of having a 17 year old on medication: Anti depressants are NOT a magic happy pill. The do not make someone falsely happy or numb or high or drug someone up unless they are not working correctly. It is one thing when parents go and try to push kids on pills as an instant fix without trying other means, but sometimes, medication IS needed. I know i have bipolar which made my teen years absolute hell. I started having suicidal ideation when i was 12.....started making plans to kill myself by 14. It wasn't because i was sad, didn't cope well, or just "typical teen stuff" brain just did not function right. I didn't know what it felt like to not have my mind either racing to where i couldnt think straight or being so depressed i wanted to die until i was diagnosed and put on meds after I tried to kill myself. And it was not just a "cry for attention"....i flat out wanted to be dead. Does a child have to try to kill themselfs before a parent can say "maybe medicine is worth a try?". Yes these meds should be used very carefully in teens and young adults because there is higher risk of increased suicidal thoughts and attempts, or violent behavior.....and should be changed immedieatly if that pops up....but doesn't mean that is always the case, or will happen at all

  • marla
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Well the poor girl is going through one of the hardest stages of life. I would be depressed too.

    Do you really think happy pills as a teen is not a drug problem? Just so you know how kids feel anymore, there is no point in trying to get illegal drugs when you can get **** like Zoloft from your doctor for describing the symptoms of puberty and PMS. And whats worse, the Doctor will give them to you. They see you for what, 15min? How can that be enough time to determine the problem?

    So what do you do? Regulate her diet, talk to her, tell her she is pretty, buy her stuff that makes her cool, remind her that you love her 5 times a day.... What made you sad at 17? Well it's messing with her too. Of course she is lonely, she is 17, it is like a requirement. And of course she hates the way she looks, not to long ago she was a "princess" now she has the beginning of a woman's body and that takes some getting used to. And high school is the worst place to be. The teachers are not aloud to regulate the students anymore when they step out of line. As a result you have all the cruelty of high schoolers without any regulation. And we are all told that we should not let words hurt us, but they do. We are told that they are only words and that we need to be stronger, yet when people say things in a mean way that mirror your insecurities it is hard to believe anything good about yourself.

    Have her research Cyber School. It maybe the change she needs to get through this. And tell her she is not alone. The school thought I needed drugs when I was there too. I refused them and found alternate ways of getting my diploma. It was hard, but a lot better then letting them tell me I was crazy because I did not fit in. She will find her place, and it will be cool to her, fun to her, and good enough for her. That is all anyone can ask for:)

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Don't ever take the sleeping pills route!!

    1. They will damage your liver big time and you can get into serious health problems.

    2. You will get hooked up on them and you won't be able to have a normal life any more if you don't take your pills everyday.

    The sleeping pills industry is damaging our health by capitalizing on our ignorance, and by distracting people from effective and natural ways to deal with this problem. I had been taking prescription sleep medications [Ambien] for over 5 years. It stopped working and I simply took more. Still did not work. Nights were very difficult - medication put me to sleep but I would wake up after 2–3 hours with a strong sympathetic response (fast pulse, pounding heartbeat, wide awake alert). It was a very difficult cycle to break. I was really in bad shape due to lack of sleep.

    After years of struggling I was able to cure my insomnia naturally and pretty fast. I followed the Sleep Tracks sleep optimization program, here is their official web -site if you want to take a look:

    Ohhh..and Good Luck!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Zoloft is NOT for people under 18. That's probably why I am so screwed up now with Borderline PD. I would not recommend SSRI's for a teen but I am not a DR. FYI I took 100 mgs of Zoloft (started with 50) for 4 years & it DID eventually "poop out" meaning it just stopped working. Unfortunately NOTHING else has worked for me you name it: Prozac, Paxil, Cymbalta, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Celexa, Serzone, Wellbutrin & even BC pills (oce suggested for depression) gave me horrible side effects or just didn't work for me.

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  • 4 years ago

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    6 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Be a parent and stop pushing drugs on you kid Help her with her problems. If she has been on zoloft for years its just a band aid the problem is not going to just go away get to the root and help her thought it I know easier said than done. but a life time of drugs isn't really helping her is it.

  • Julie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The zoloft does not loose its effectiveness, but many times the patients condition will change and they require a different medication. You may want to check with the doctor again and see if she can get a new evaluation and perhaps have her meds changed again.

    It seems that most treatments for depression are kind of hit or miss with patients being given several different kinds before the right combination is found.

    Good luck to her and to you.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Zoloft is one of the worst performed of the antidepressants. See If you were to go back to the prescriber, you would most likely just be switched on to something else. Previous answers follow: See: I suggest that you view about depression, then page b. Check out & and wean off, in accordance with and begin the core treatments immediately, and the herbal remedies, or OTHER supplements, like SAM-e, 5HTP, or L-phenylalanine, when below 50% weaning dosage. St. John's wort has anxiolytic, as well as antidepressant properties, so consider taking a recommended brand, along with a low dosage of 5HTP, and employing the core treatments shown for depression, and a relaxation method, and/or the EFT. Check out:

    At least, give the above a trial period of 3 - 6 months, after weaning off, to see if they are sufficient. If not, (which is unlikely) medications will still be available, but maintain the core treatments as complementary ones, because they treat the cause, rather than mask symptoms. There are various kinds, and levels of depression, with at least 7 different causes. Different treatments may apply. Doctors and psychiatrists rely too much these days on medications, and are overly influenced by the sales reps of the drug companies, who profile them psychologically, and study their prescribing record, then offer rewards, freebies, courses, payments to lecture, etc. View: and The situation in the USA (where psychiatrists, and doctors are targeted by sales reps from the large pharmaceutical companies, and given freebies, and/or offered incentives/rewards to prescribe - see SEARCH BAR , about how drug company money has corrupted psychiatry, & ) differs considerably from that in Australia, where it has not yet progressed so far.

    The feedback that I have received here is that antidepressants work, if they do, by blunting the emotions. Many users describe it as "zombification", or emotional deadness. They produce side effects in around 25% - 30% of cases, and they can sometimes (rarely) include the possibility of permanent inorgasmia, (inability to achieve orgasm) or even the permanent loss of the ability for a male to achieve an erection, which is something they don't advertise. Although they may limit the lows, they also limit the excitement, and joys of life. That effect is far less pronounced with St. John's wort, and may be unnoticeable. Antidepressants have demonstrated increased rates of suicide, homicide, and aberrant behaviour, especially in people under the age of around 24 - 25. Note the warnings on the label/insert, or at The wort carries no such risks, and side effects are rarer, generally much milder, and never permanent., so why take an unnecessary risk? I suggest that such people immediately adopt the core treatments shown, and consider using the herbal remedies, or OTHER supplements. If antidepressants are offered, say "thank you very much" and pocket the prescription, but don't fill it until giving the natural & alternative treatments a trial period of at least 3, and preferably 6 months. Antidepressants will still be available, if required, (unlikely) but it's best to avoid the risks, and side effects. It is known that there is a relationship between melatonin, which is produced by the brain during sleep, and the neurotransmitter, serotonin, which has been shown to be low in people suffering from depression. Although pre-teens need around the same sleep time as adults, teens may need up to 9.5 hrs. The thing is, many teens are naturally predisposed to, or habitually prefer to stay up late, and get up late, but societal, and school demands are such as to often preclude this. Some schools are changing their timetables to accomodate this, but they are, so far, few, and far between. Get bright light on awakening, preferably for 2 hrs, but at least 30 mns, to reset your circadian rhythm. It's also a good idea to get bright light again in the evening, so you cover a daily span of 14 hrs; say 7 - 7.30 AM and 7.30 - 9 PM, then reduce light levels to simulate approaching darkness, in preparation for sleep. Depression impairs cognitive functioning, and can cause insomnia, which is addressed on pages 1, and o; depression; see pages 3, and b, at

    Source(s): I advise against the use of antidepressants for those less than around 24 -25, due to their increased risk of suicide, homicide, or aberrant behaviour. I suggest that you use the many teen resources at
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