Zoloft is the name of sertraline, an antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorders.
Zoloft is in the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They work by controlling the level of serotonin (neurotransmitter) in the brain.
SSRIs are the most prescribed type of antidepressant in the United States today because they are believed to have fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants
Zoloft was originally developed for the US market by Pfizer in 1990.
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It was released under the trademark Lustral and was marketed as a safer alternative with fewer side effects and withdrawal symptoms than competing drugs such as Prozac.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zoloft in 1999.
By 2005, he was reportedly the most popular antidepressant in the US market and the sixth most prescribed prescription drugs, and amounted to about 2.6 billion dollars.
In addition to treating major depressive disorders that affect almost 7 percent of adults in the United States, Zoloft is assigned to those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder.
The general form of Zoloft, sertraline, was approved by the FDA in 2006 and is produced by several pharmaceutical companies.
The proposed legal action for a drug class violation against Zoloft was rejected by a federal judge in California because of limitation issues and other problems.
The California court argues that the drug offers much greater efficacy than the placebo, and argued that Pfizer intentionally does not mention it in the instructions to Zoloft, marking any studies that showed that Zoloft is ineffective.
Having rejected the complaint, the judge left open the possibility that the claim could be reinstated after it was changed.
The Danger of Zoloft
Zoloft is dangerous because of the increased risk of suicide among people taking the drug.
Studies have shown that antidepressants, such as Zoloft, can increase suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents and young people who already have a depressive disorder or other psychiatric problems. However, in people over 24 years of age, there was no increased risk, and a decrease in risk was noted among adults 65 years of age or older. Your doctor will decide if the risks are acceptable and will closely monitor you.
Your family and / or guardian should be notified of side effects so that they can closely monitor possible problems. Zoloft is not approved for general use in children, but can be used if they suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Be sure to visit your doctor regularly during the first 12 weeks when you use Zoloft so that you can monitor the effect of the medication on you. If you feel irritability, anxiety, agitation, aggressiveness, impulsiveness or the remark that you are even more depressed, immediately consult a doctor. Never stop using Zoloft without first talking to your doctor, as this can lead to serious side effects.
If you are conducting a drug screening test, let the lab technician know that you are using Zoloft, as this may affect test results.
There are a number of factors that you should consider before using Zoloft, including whether you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in the last 14 days. Examples of MAOI include furazolidone (furoxone), phenelzine (nardyl), rasagiline (Azilect), isocarboxazide (Marplan), and selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar) and tranylcypromine (Parnate). If you are taking MAOI, stop taking it and wait at least 14 days before taking Zoloft.
Also, let your doctor know if you have seizures or epilepsy, bipolar disorder, a history of drug abuse or suicidal thoughts, liver or kidney disease, or a bleeding disorder or a blood disorder. Once you start using Zoloft, it can take up to four weeks before your symptoms improve. Do not stop using it without talking to your doctor, as this will lead to serious side effects.
Zoloft and weight gain
Like many other antidepressants, the use of Zoloft is associated with weight gain.
Weight gain caused by Zoloft may be associated with fluid retention, lack of exercise, increased appetite, or other factors.
Experts recommend physical activity and eat less caloric foods so as not to gain weight by taking Zoloft or other antidepressants.
Pregnancy and Zoloft
Zoloft can harm a developing fetus.
Talk with your doctor about using Zoloft if you are pregnant or can become pregnant in order to confirm that the benefits of using the drug outweigh the risks.
It is not known whether this medicine will get into your breast milk or if it hurts your child, so do not start Zoloft without telling your doctor that you are breast-feeding.
Never give this drug to anyone under the age of 18 unless the doctor approves it.
Zoloft is approved for the treatment of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) in children, but it can not be given to a child with depression.
Side Effects of Zoloft
Zoloft has some side effects. However, some are serious and require immediate attention.
Common side effects of Zoloft:
If you experience dry mouth, increased sweating, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, and drowsiness, trouble sleeping, or dizziness that persists or worsens, consult a doctor immediately.
Serious side effects of Zoloft:
Zoloft can cause more serious side effects in some patients. These may include:
- Decreased interest in sex
- Reduction of erection
- Muscle cramps / weakness
- Light bruising or bleeding
- Sharp weight loss
Seek help immediately if you notice that your stool is black or bloody, or if your vomit looks like coffee grounds.
Sometimes Zoloft leads to a very serious disease called serotonin syndrome, which requires emergency care. The risk of developing serotonin syndrome is higher if you also take other medicines that increase the serotonin content in your body. Symptoms range from rapid heart rate, hallucinations, loss of coordination and severe dizziness to muscle twitching, unexplained fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and unusual arousal or anxiety. Other rare problems include painful or prolonged erections (priapism) for four or more hours.
If this happens, you should immediately consult a doctor, or you may have permanent problems.
Serious allergic reactions are also rare, but if this occurs, call an ambulance immediately. Symptoms may include rash, itching, or swelling, especially of the face, tongue or throat, as well as severe dizziness and shortness of breath.
Inhibitors of monoamine oxidase (MAOI) are among the many drugs that can affect the work of Zoloft.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also cause bruising or bleeding.
This is why it is important to tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs:
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Narosin, Napraplan, Treximet)
- Aspirin, celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Indomethacin (indocin)
- Meloxicam (Mobic)
- Diclofenac (Artrotek, Kambia, Kataflam, Voltaren, FlectorPatch, Pennsylvania, Solarese)
Do not forget to mention other medications that you can regularly take from allergies, sedatives, pain medications, sleeping pills and other medications.
Zoloft increases the feeling of fatigue.
It is important that you provide a complete list of prescription and OTC drugs that you use, including vitamins and plant products.
There is a long list of medicines that your doctor should know about, including:
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Digitoxin (Crystodigin)
- Fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Ionsys, Lazanda, Onsolis)
- Tramadol (Ultram, Ultram ER, Ultracet)
- 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
- Valproat (Depakon, Depakene)
- Linezolid (Zyvox)
- Lithium (litobed, escalite)
Tell your doctor if you are taking medication for a headache, migraines such as nararetriptan (Amerge), risatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet) or zolmitriptan (Zomig), almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax) and frovatriptan ( Frova), St. John’s wort is also on the list, as are anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) and a cure for asystole, such as flecainide (Tambocor) and propafenone (Rhythmol).
Even other antidepressants can interact with Zoloft. Tell your doctor if you are:
- Venlafaxine (Effexor)
- Amitriptyline (Elavil)
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
- Nortriptyline (Pamlor)
- Citalopram (Celexa)
- Milnacipran (Savella)
- Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
- Venlafaxine (Effexor)
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
- Imipramine (Tofranil)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
Regardless of the medicines listed, there may be others that can cause a popping effect, so provide a complete list when you contact your doctor.
Alcohol and Zoloft
Avoid alcohol by taking Zoloft, as drinking alcohol can increase some of Zoloft’s side effects. Do not use the Zoloft liquid form if you are taking disbalances (Antabuse), because it can contain alcohol, which can cause you a serious reaction.
If possible, avoid driving or doing anything that requires you to be focused, as Zoloft can damage your thoughts and reactions.
Dosage of Zoloft
Your dosage will be different depending on what condition you are treating, and your age.
- Major depressive disorder / obsessive-compulsive disorder: take 50 mg once daily
- Panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder: start with a single dose of 25 mg per day. After you use the drug for one week, the dose should be increased to 50 mg per day.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: Take 50 mg per day daily, either during the menstrual cycle, or during the last phase of the menstrual cycle, based on your doctor’s recommendation.
Children and adolescents:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: start with 25 mg once a day in children aged 6 to 12 years; between 13 and 17 starts with 50 mg per day.
Depending on its effect, your doctor can adjust the dosage. Never do it yourself. You can take the medicine with or without food in the morning or evening. Try to take it at the same time, every day, so that you will not forget. If you use a liquid form, you must dilute it before taking it. You can mix it with four ounces of water, ginger ale, lemon / lime, lemonade or orange juice.
Do not use anything other than the listed liquids, and be sure to drink the entire dose.
When you’re done, fill the glass with water and drink it to make sure you get the whole medicine.
Signs of an overdose may include tremors, vomiting, severe drowsiness and a fast heart rate.
If you have these symptoms and you think you have taken Zoloft too much, call a toxicology center or emergency medical service.
If you forget to take Zoloft, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it’s time for the next dose. Never take an additional Zoloft to make up the missed dose.