Zoloft is a well-known brand name for sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to treat a range of mood disorders related to depression. Zoloft is available by physician prescription only.
The main active ingredient in Zoloft, sertraline, belongs to a group of antidepressants called SSRIs. Psychiatric conditions relating to mood like depression, which SSRIs are mostly prescribed for, are largely understood to be caused by the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry signals between brain cells, and some of these directly affect mood. Reuptake inhibitors prevent neurotransmitters from being absorbed by brain cells, thus changing the chemical balance in the brain, which seems to bolster mood. SSRIs like sertraline directly affect the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a big contributor to elevating mood.
Zoloft is one of the commonly prescribed SSRIs to treat various subtypes of depression, including major depressive disorder, atypical depression and postpartum depression. Zoloft is also used to treat a number of related psychiatric conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and social anxiety disorder (social phobia).
Zoloft is available as 25 mg, 50 mg or 100 mg tablets, or 60 mL oral concentration.
Inactive ingredients in Zoloft include dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate and titanium dioxide.
Dosage of Zoloft will vary as per physician recommendation, age, severity of the condition and response to the treatment.
Zoloft should be taken exactly as prescribed for the drug to be effective. Do not take more or less than the prescribed dosage as it can result in unintended consequences.
Zoloft can be taken with or without food. It’s highly recommended that the drug is taken the same time each day.
Zoloft tablets should be swallowed whole. Zoloft oral concentration should be diluted with water before use. Dilute the prescribed dosage correctly.
Precautions and Warnings
Patients who are allergic to sertraline or any of the inactive ingredients in Zoloft should avoid taking the medication.
Antidepressants such as Zoloft may exacerbate already existing suicidal thoughts in adults, teenagers or children suffering from depression. Zoloft may increase the risk of suicide in such individuals when the medication is first taken or the dosage is changed. Therefore, depressive patients taking Zoloft should be carefully monitored.
Do not take Zoloft if pregnant or breastfeeding without consulting a physician regarding safety versus risk first.
Zoloft may interact adversely with some medications. Disclose all prescription and over-the-counter medications being taken to the healthcare provider prescribing Zoloft for safety advice.
Zoloft and sertraline could potentially cause one or more of the following side effects:
Loss of appetite
Indigestion or diarrhea
Changes in menstrual blood flow
Side effects are not limited to the above.
Immediately consult a physician if side effects continue to persist or worsen over time.