Quick medication (sertraline) question!

Merry Wednesday all! Just want to start by saying I hope you’ve all had an absolutely crackin’ (that’s British slang for “good” ;L) Christmas so far! Mine’s been absolutely top-notch! Been feeling mentally so much better the past few days despite the on-going assault from the 700 unidentified diseases that my brain seems to think I have 😉 I really do feel like I’m getting my good old “who gives a $h1t” attitude back which is making it all significantly easier to deal with!

Anywho, I have a quick question regarding meds. I have “run out” of Sertraline and can’t get to my doctor ‘til Friday! I do however have a couple of backup options and don’t know which to go for.

1: My Mother is also on sertraline (although currently weaning off 😄) 100mg. I only take 25mg per day (50mg tablets split in half). I’m pretty sure her tablets are a different brand as they look different (although we don’t know for sure) and they’re also obviously larger. I was just wondering if I’d be okay to cut one into quarters and take those while I want for mine? Is there any risk that I could fudge the dosage up due to size difference, or could there be a different ingredient etc. that could have adverse effects?

2: I found one of my 50mg tablets on the shelf in my room, which has been left out of the packet for a while (a maximum of 2 months as it’s from my 2nd packet). It’s in the little blister pack thing, but the foil is broken. I think I must have opened it, got distracted and forgot, and then opened another one or something :L Would that be safe to take despite being left in the open, or do they have to be kept sealed?

Sorry I know this seems completely ridiculous but I’m not particularly clued up on meds, and can’t contact any professionals to ask them! Wouldn’t want to do anything that could potentially make things worse.

Cheers in advance 😎 x

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  • Decided to take the left-open one. Mother reckons it’ll be fine. I’ve told her if I die/ explode/ turn into potato etc., she owes me a decent (like, at least £10) bottle of wine ;)

  • Hi Cherry_mvff I'm glad Christmas was a good one for you. Maybe because you are feeling better mentally.. Good for you..

    As for the Sertraline, I would recommend you call the pharmacy and get a "bridge" prescription

    which is just enough to cover you for the next few days until you see your doctor. You're wise in not

    wanting to stop because you ran out.. If they can't do that, ask them about cutting your mom's 100mg pill in quarters. Not all pills can be cut into if they are time released. The pharmacist will know. If it's okay, I suggest a sharp pill cutter or razor blade to get the closest cut possible.

    But please check with the pharmacist or even the doctor's office if he's in. Continue feeling good. Wishing you a Happy New Year! May 2018 be the best ever for you. :)

  • Hi Agora 😊 Thankyou very much and cheers for the advice! Hope you’re having a good one too!

    I don’t know if you saw the comment I posted (just before your’s), but I decided to just take the one that was left open! My mum is sure it’ll be fine as it’s been kept in a dry place out of sunlight. Her tablets are slow release so I figured they might not work as intended.

    My next packet is waiting for me at the surgery, which I can pick up in two days, so I’ve got the other half of the spare pill to take tomorrow. I took the out-of-the-packet one about an hour ago at my usual time and I feel “fine”, so I’m guessing there’s no issues! Can pills even go “off” if they’re left out anyway?

    Thanks for the new year wishes! I’m kicking it off with a diet that my step-mother has planned out for me (she’s into the whole nutrition thing) and I start my CBT mid-January! Going to speak to my doctor about some kind of exercise plan or maybe even physiotherapy as well to help with my back etc. Fingers crossed it’s all uphill from here 😎x

  • Sounds like 2018 will be off to a great start. Uphill all the way! :)

    As for your mom's slow released pills, those should not be cut.

    The one you took (out of the packet) was better than not taking anything.

    But please check with the doctor or pharmacy about cutting into your mom's

    time released pills. Not advised. Want you to be safe. x

  • I have now been off of Sertraline for nearly a year after 12 years of taking it! I completely understand the terrible withdrawal symptoms (which is one of the reasons I stopped taking it).

    Taking the left open one shouldn't harm you but I'd check with your pharmacist if you alter your intake in any other way. This stuff can be really tricky.

    I wish you the best!

    p.s. about the wine, I know I'm lame but drinking while on Sertraline is dangerous. I did it while I was on the medication a few times and, after doing more research, stopped. Just be careful. :)

    Let me know if you have any other questions! :)

  • Hey Sarah_brarian thanks for your reply and sorry I’m late getting back! Hope you’re doing okay off of the meds! I’m going to give them another few months while I go through therapy etc. and then come off (hopefully before summer). Maybe they’ve made a slight difference so far (albeit barely perceivable...) but I think the cons outweigh the pros. I’m constantly paranoid about eating/ drinking (didn’t touch a drop of alcohol for about 12 weeks)/ taking ANYTHING incase there’s a reaction etc. which if anything is adding to my daily anxiety!

    I’m actually glad you mentioned alcohol though, as I’ve been given about 20 opinions on booze + sertraline so far and they’ve ALL been different! What dangers/ risks are you aware of? My Mum’s doctor said you’ll be completely fine to drink (apart from the usual anxiety the next day). She’s been on it for 2 years, 100mg perday, drinks once per week with friends and has never had issues. Mine said I can drink but don’t over-do it as I may feel sick/ dizzy/ drunker than usual (which was definitely the case the 1st couple of times!). My friend’s therapist told her to try and avoid having more than one per week as they can stop the medication working properly. And then I’ve also had people be like “OMG DON’T TOUCH IT YOU’LL SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST AND DIE” 😂 Would love to hear your opinion on the matter! x

    And Agora1 don’t worry, I’ve spoken to the pharmacy at my surgery today and they’ve assured me that my Mum’s pills will be fine! I thought they were slow release, but she’s been off of those for about a year, so that’s my fault for not asking ;L I’ve cut then very carefully with a razor to as-close-to a quarter as I can get 😊 x

  • Ha! While I doubt spontaneous combustion is a side effect, I'm not a doctor so who knows! ;)

    As for drinking on Sertraline, I've read that it can give you a stronger feeling of dizziness, lethargy, nausea and just typical (almost hangover) symptoms. Obviously, these symptoms being made worse are dangerous for several reasons. Another thing I've heard is that mixing any prescription and alcohol gives extra work to our livers. Yet another thing is the effectiveness of the drug is hampered which is why, after a night of drinking, you may feel like you've had a Redbull or something.

    The main reason for all of this is that Sertraline alters your brain. So does alcohol. Therefore, mixing the two is just generally not recommended. I've read a ton of posts where people say, "I drink all the time while on my meds and it doesn't feel any different" Just because some people react a certain way to alcohol or medication doesn't mean it's good for our bodies. That's the long of the short of it. :) Again, I am not a doctor but something about mixing two sedatives just doesn't sound like a good idea.

    If you're really concerned I recommend talking to your doctor. Telling them how much Sertraline you take and how much you (honestly) drink. No fibbing allowed. ;) They'd be able to give you a better idea of the risks.

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