Zoloft Side Effects and Benefits
What are the Zoloft side effects and benefits?
Zoloft ( Sertraline) is an antidepressant medication which has also been
found to be effective for obsessive compulsive disorder and panic disorder.
Zoloft is primarily prescribed for young adults, adults and geriatric patients.
Its use with children below the age of 18 years of age has never really been
established. It is a member of a group of medicines referred to as SSRIís, which
stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. SSRIís are known to
stimulate an increased
prominence of the neurotransmitter, serotonin in the
brain, reducing depressive and anxiety-related symptoms. Zoloft and the other
SSRIís are believed to be more effective and to have fewer side effects then the
older tricyclic antidepressants, such as nortriptyline and amitriptyline.
How is it taken?
As with all medications, Zoloft should be taken exactly as your doctor has
instructed.. Usual starting doses are 50 mg per day for depression and obsessive
compulsive disorder. When being taken for panic disorder, frequently it is began
at 25 mg per day. Dosages are frequently increased to as much as 200 mg per day.
It is usually recommended that you continue your medicine for at least four
weeks in order to feel the full effects. If you miss a dose, try to resume your
prescribed routine as soon as possible. Never double up on the dosage to catch
Zoloft side Effects:
The most common Zoloft side effects include gastrointestinal complaints,
including nausea, diarrhea/loose stools and dyspepsia; male sexual dysfunction
(primarily ejaculatory delay); insomnia and somnolence; tremor; increased
sweating and dry mouth; and dizziness. While Zoloft is not usually known to have
an effect on an individualís normal activities, some have reported feeling
sleepy or drowsy. When feeling these side effects, it is not recommended to
drive or operate machinery. Always notify your physician when noticing these
side effects, so adjustments can be made in the dosing or alternates may be
considered. Alcoholic drinks should always be avoided while taking Zoloft. Some
special concerns have been noted in recent lawsuits being filed on the
behalf of individuals taking and withdrawing from Zoloft, as well as with some
of the other SSRIís, and should never be purchased and/or taken without a valid
prescription and the supervision of a licensed physician.
Zoloft has a half-life of about one day which means that for every day that
passes without taking the medicine, the medication level in the blood falls by
approximately 50 %. After one day the blood level is reduced to 50 % of the
original level, after two days it is at 25 %, after three days to 12.5 percent
and so on. If Zoloft is discontinued too rapidly, withdrawal symptoms may
develop. Among the most common withdrawal symptoms that have been reported are
nausea, tremors, lightheadedness, muscle pains, weakness, insomnia, and anxiety.
While the majority of people discontinuing Zoloft have none of these symptoms,
some have reported one or more. The symptoms usually last approximately one to
two weeks but have been known to gradually decrease over a period of time long
as one month. It is absolutely imperative that Zoloft be discontinued under the
supervision of a licensed physician.
By Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph. D Candidate
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