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Zoloft (sertraline) is a medication that is widely prescribed for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. It belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Zoloft works by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain which can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of mental health disorders.
Zoloft is antidepressant medication used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It is one of the most prescribed medications for depression and anxiety in the United States.
Sertraline can help improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy level and may help restore your interest in daily living. It may also decrease fear, anxiety, unwanted thoughts, and the number of panic attacks. Additionally, it may reduce the urge to perform repetitive tasks (compulsions such as handwashing, counting, and checking) that interfere with daily living.
Uses and Dosage
Zoloft (Sertraline) is an oral medication that is typically taken once a day. It can be taken either in the morning or the evening and should be swallowed whole without crushing or chewing. It can be taken with or without food. If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible, however, if it is almost time for the next dose, it should be skipped, and the regular dosing schedule should be resumed.
- Depression, PD, OCD, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder): The typical starting dose ranges from 25 mg to 50 mg by mouth daily. The typical maintenance dose ranges from 50 mg to 200 mg daily, depending on your condition.
- For Adults with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), the typical starting dose is 50 mg taken by mouth daily. Your provider might ask you to take this medication daily throughout your menstrual cycle, or to only take it daily starting 2 weeks before your period begins and stopping when your period ends. The maximum daily dose is 100 mg.
- For Children (age 6 years and older) with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) only, the recommended starting dose ranges from 25 mg to 50 mg taken by mouth daily, depending on your age. The typical maintenance dose ranges from 50 mg to 200 mg daily.
Common Side Effects of Sertraline Including:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble sleeping or insomnia
- Upset stomach
Serious Side Effects of Sertraline Including:
- Decreased sex drive
- Dilated pupils
- Easy bruising and bleeding
- Ejaculation delay
- Eye pain
- Muscle cramps or weakness
- Serotonin toxicity
- Unusual weight loss
- Vision changes
Form and Strength
Zoloft and its generic alternative of Sertraline are available in the following forms and strengths.
- 25 mg
- 50 mg
- 100 mg
- 25 mg
- 50 mg
- 100 mg
- Patients taking this drug should use caution when performing activities that require alertness, such as driving or using machinery, and should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.
- Patients taking this drug for depression should be closely monitored for suicidal ideations and warning signs of suicide, such as talking about dying, giving away important belongings, changes in sleeping patterns, changes in behavior, and social withdrawal.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid taking Zoloft due to the potential risk to the fetus or infant.
- Patients taking sertraline (Zoloft) must be aware of potential allergic reactions to the medication, the risk of QT prolongation and serotonin toxicity. Signs of hypersensitivity include difficulty breathing, severe dizziness, skin rashes, hives, and swelling of the face and neck.
- Patients should also be aware of the risk of serotonin toxicity and seek immediate medical attention if they experience palpitations, hallucinations, agitation, and loss of coordination, unexplained fever, or vomiting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does sertraline (Zoloft) take to work?
How long it takes for sertraline (Zoloft) to work might differ depending on your medical condition. If you are being treated for depression, you might notice improvements in your mood 2 weeks after you start taking sertraline (Zoloft). But it can take about 1 to 2 months before you feel its full effects. If you are being treated for anxiety, it can take 6 weeks before you notice an improvement in your symptoms.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What should I avoid while taking Zoloft?
Drinking alcohol while taking Zoloft can increase the risk of side effects and should be avoided. Additionally, you should avoid driving or engaging in any hazardous activities until you know how Zoloft may affect you as it may impair your reactions.
It's important to purchase Zoloft from verified Canadian pharmacy.