Getting to Know Zoloft

Zoloft, generally known as Sertraline Hydrochloride is an antidepressant that belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drug category. Positive outcome are almost always paired up with negative one but users will try to avoid the latter. Effectivity of the drug depends mainly on the patient taking it. Intake of other drugs and alcohol while taking Zoloft can affect the drug’s effectiveness.

Zoloft is an FDA-approved drug for treating Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post Stress Traumatic Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder for adults. An approval on managing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, not with depression, in children and adolescents ages 6-17 years old was also given by FDA on the drug.

Other underlying situations can affect the drug’s effectiveness, hence, it is suggested that patient consult their health care provider before using Zoloft. Some of them are having a bipolar disorder or family history of the disease, an unstable heart disease, diabetes, seizures, suicidal thoughts, liver disease, any food and drug allergies, pregnancy or breastfeeding a child. Disclosing this information is essential in making sure that positive effects will be at its optimum and negative effects are a minimum.

Suicidal thoughts are common during the first few months of treatment therefore; regular check up must be done. Patients are advised to consult their health care provider if symptoms are not improving and if other symptoms develop. Zoloft intake during pregnancy is said to be the cause of congenital malformations in infants exposed to the drug. It is best that pregnant woman or woman planning to have a child talk to their doctor regarding the drug.

While on Zoloft, drinking alcohol is not recommended for it can increase some of the side effects of the drug. In addition, activities requiring mental alertness should be avoided since Zoloft can impair one’s thinking and reactions. It is also advised that Zoloft and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) not be taken concurrently. In the instance that the patient must take these drugs, each drug must be taken at least 14 days or 2 weeks apart. Combination of these two drugs can lead to serious and sometimes fatal reactions.

Taking the prescribed medication can bring both good and bad effects. Positive or negative effects, this depend mainly on the patient’s compliance to the regimen. Impaired mental alertness, suicidal thoughts and other Zoloft birth defects are just some of the probable result. Patients must be aware always.

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