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Zoloft Side Effects and Benefits

 

What are the Zoloft side effects and benefits?

Front Image - zoloft (SERTRALINE HYDROCHLORIDE)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 up.

 

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 Withdrawal?

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

Front Image - zoloft (SERTRALINE HYDROCHLORIDE)See additional pictures of Zoloft dosages

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