Zoloft is the most popular brand name of the prescription antidepressant drug sertraline manufactured by Pfizer. It first appeared in European markets in 1990, then in American markets in 1991 and in Australian markets in 1994. In South America, Zoloft is called Zolof, Altruline or Sertranex. They all have the same ingredients, only different brand names.
Unlike some other antidepressants, there has been a legal generic sertraline available since 2006. Buying generic sertraline is often less expensive than buying a brand name like Zoloft.
What Is Zoloft Used For?
Zoloft is approved for use in several mental disorders such as major depression, many anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and women with severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder, where women become extremely depressed right before they menstruate. Zoloft is only approved for use in adults. In America, the Food and Drug Administration recommends that a patient needs to be at least 24 before taking sertraline.
Zoloft is also prescribed by doctors for other conditions not approved by the manufacturer. This is because SSRIs like sertraline help balance brain chemistry. One theory by the Mayo Clinic is that the chemicals to help balance emotions can also help lower pain. It has been used successfully to help treat some chronic painful conditions like migraines, fibromylagia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome and for eating disorders like anorexia. The patient does not need to have a mental disorder to be prescribed sertraline.
What Side Effects Should I Watch Out For?
Patients usually know within two weeks whether they are allergic or have dangerous side effects from Zoloft, but always contact your doctor if any strange side effects develop. These symptoms include:
- · becoming suicidal
- · experiencing both nausea and diarrhea for more than a couple of days
- · sleepwalking
- · dizziness
- · suddenly becoming even more nervous than usual.
Some men have reported that they get priapism, an erection that will not go away and poses a serious health risk, according to Pfizer. Serious side effects that require hospitalization include:
- · hallucinations
- · seizures
- · blurred vision
- · sudden bleeding.
About SSRI Antidepressants
There are three types of antidepressant drugs. Zoloft is a member of the newest type called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. The two older types of antidepressants, tricyclics and monomine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) often produced severe side effects such as constant drowsiness. SSRIs usually give off fewer side effects, but this does not happen for everyone. Everyone reacts to an SSRI like Zoloft in different ways.
SSRIs like Zoloft effect people in different ways, even to members in the same family. For example, a mother may be able to take Zoloft but her adult child with the same exact medical problems may become suicidal. Never share your Zoloft because of this danger. Please consult a doctor before taking any medication. This article should not be used in the place of legal counsel or a medical professional’s diagnosis.
- · National Institutes of Health. “Sertraline.”
- · Crazy Meds. “Zoloft.”