Information on antidepressant drug Zoloft

Aug 28 10:07 2009 Argiro Mike Print This Article

Zoloft is the trade name of Sertraline hydrochloride group of drugs and is used as an antidepressant. It belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. The drug was first brought to the US market by Pfizer in 1991. Since then it has been a hugely popular antidepressant and till 2007 it was the most prescribed antidepressant in the US. The total number of prescriptions for the drug was close to 30 million for the year. Zoloft is mainly used in the treatment of depression in adults as well as obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder in both children and adults.

The Side Effects
There are a few side effects of Zoloft that one needs to be aware of. While some of these are quite common and not that serious,Guest Posting a few are rare and can be serious if not dealt with quickly. If you are under the medication and if you are experiencing any of the side effects over a period of time, then it is best to consult your physician. It is wise to seek a specialist’s opinion as early as possible. For the more common side effects however, your physician would most likely make you aware of them and will tell you to wait and watch, because most of them tend to go away over a period of time.
Zoloft is contraindicated in patients who are already taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors or the antipsychotic pimozide. For elderly patients who have issues of liver impairment, Zoloft must be prescribed under extreme caution. This is so because Zoloft slows the rate of elimination of sertraline in these patients.
Common Side Effects
There are a few common side effects of Zoloft which have been reported by a large section of patients who have been prescribed the drug. These side effects include nausea (in 25% of patients), insomnia (in 21% of patients), diarrhea (in 20% of patients), ejaculation failure (in 14% of patients), dry mouth (in 14% of patients), somnolence (in 13% of patients), dizziness (in 12% of patients), tremor (in 8% of patients) and decreased libido (in 6% of patients). Some of these side effects have even resulted in the discontinuation or interruption of the treatment using the drug. The most common of these side effects are nausea, insomnia and diarrhea.
Clinical studies have also suggested that akathisia is another adverse effect of the drug Zoloft. A patient suffering from the state of akathisia will exhibit restlessness which is an expression of the inner tension. It has been noted that such symptoms are exhibited after the patient is administered the first dosage of the drug or after the dosage has been increased. The symptoms disappear a few days after the drug is discontinued or the dosage is reduced.
Major Side Effects
One of the major side effects of Zoloft is on babies in the womb, whose mothers are prescribed the drug. This is especially true in cases where the mother has been exposed to the drug during the first trimester of pregnancy. The birth defects that are most likely to be found in babies of mothers under the treatment of the drug include omphalocele, anal atresia and limb reduction defects and septal defects.
As with other drugs of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class, Zoloft can cause sexual side effects and these would include arousal disorder and problems in achieving orgasm and ejaculation.
Also, like many other antidepressants, Zoloft can increase the rate of suicidal tendency, especially among children and adolescents. Hence, the prescription of such drugs to this age group of patients must be made with extreme care and caution.

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Argiro Mike
Argiro Mike

We are here not to promote any of our products or suggest alternatives to the drugs we discuss here. In fact we do believe that most of these drugs are extremely beneficial and have significant roles in medical science. However, as popular and effective as they may be, there are certain risks that are associated with these drugs and we believe it is our duty to highlight such issues in the most unbiased and objective way possible. We want you to have the knowledge so that you can make an informed choice.

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