Zoloft belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI's and these are antidepressant medications. The generic name for Zoloft is sertraline. Besides depression, this drug can be used to treat anxiety, panic, and obsessive compulsive disorders that can occur when there is an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. It is believed that when there is a deficiency of serotonin produced by the body then depression, anxiety, and other chemical disorders are likely to occur.
When starting Zoloft the full effects of the drug may not be felt for up to four weeks. It is important to take the prescribed dose at approximately the same time every day and it can be taken with or without food. If for some reason you decide to discontinue Zoloft do not stop abruptly as this can cause unpleasant side effects. Your ideal dose may take a couple of tries to nail down and Zoloft comes in different strengths- 20 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg tablets, as well as a 20 mg/ml oral suspension. The maximum dosage is 200 mg.
Side effects that can occur are drowsiness, especially when you first start Zoloft, nausea, stomach pain, constipation, and dry mouth. Decreased sex drive is also a side effect that can occur. Serious side effects are rare but if they do occur it is important to contact your physician immediately. These can include rigid muscles, high fever, uneven heartbeat, seizures, and fainting. For a full list of side effects it is important to fully read the information that will come with your prescription. It is also important to be aware that if you take blood thinners, NSAID's, or naproxen, there is a possibility of bruising easily and bleeding more than normal if you cut yourself. Make sure that your physician is aware of other medicines and supplements that you take as some of them can interact negatively with Zoloft. Sometimes suicidal thoughts can occur when first taking an antidepressant especially in people under 24 years old. It is important to see a physician regularly during the first three months of treatment.
Taken as prescribed, Zoloft is an effective and safe drug for treating certain conditions relating to depression and anxiety. If you are struggling with these problems, consult your physician to see if this may be an option.
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