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Zoloft: Why is it prescribed? 


Zoloft Overview: 

Why is Zoloft prescribed? 

 zoloft Zoloft is one of the more popular medications prescribed for major depressive disorder, which is a persistently low mood which interferes with everyday living.  Symptoms frequently include loss of interest in your normal activities, disturbed sleep, changes in appetite, constant fidgeting or lethargic movement, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and difficulty thinking and concentrating. Zoloft may also be prescribed for a form of depression which has been referred to as premenstrual dysphoric disorder.  This problem is frequently characterized by depressed mood, anxiety or tension, emotional instability, and anger or irritability in the two weeks prior to menstruation. Other symptoms have been found to include loss of interest in normal activities, difficulty concentrating, lack of energy, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, and feeling out of control.

In the past decade or so, Zoloft has also been found to be effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, which has symptoms that include unwanted thoughts that won't go away and an irresistible urge to keep repeating certain actions, such as hand washing or counting.  Zoloft has also been prescribed for the treatment of panic disorder, and for post-traumatic stress disorder.


Zoloft is an antidepressant from the medication family referred to as selective serotonin uptake inhibitors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter believed to regulate mood. Ordinarily, serotonin is quickly reabsorbed after its release back up into the releasing neuron (nerve cell). Zoloft, and other medications of this class block the process of "reuptake", therefore allowing an increased level of serotonin to be absorbed by the receiving neurons.

Important precautions for the use of Zoloft:

It is recommended that you do not take Zoloft within two weeks of taking any drug classified as an MAO inhibitor.  Marplan, Nardil and Parnate are drugs within this drug category.  When serotonin boosters such as Zoloft are combined with these drugs, serious and sometimes fatal reactions have occurred. Also, Zoloft should be avoided if it causes any allergic type of reaction. 

See Special Precautions about Zoloft

Information from The PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs - Sixth Edition

By Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist 


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