What is Zoloft

Zoloft is a common drug for depression and anxiety. It also helps in fighting panic disorder. It is available in the form of drugs and oral concentrates. It is the brand name for sertraline hydrochloride. It is also known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) mainly used as anti-depressant.

Its chemical formula is (1S,4S)-4-(3,4dichlorophenyl)- N-methyl-1,2,3,4 – tetrahydronaphthalene-1-amine.It is the most prescribe antidepressant in US meant for curing social anxiety disorders of both adults and children.

Common inactive ingredients of this drug in tablet form include- calcium phosphate dihydrate, magnesium stearate, and polysorbate 80, polyethylene glycol; to name a few. It is available in oral concentrate also in 60 mL bottle. Each mL is equivalent to 20 mg of sertraline. Glycerin, alcohol and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are commonly used inactive ingredients required to prepare oral concentration along with main component sertraline hydrochloride. Oral concentrations are advised to be diluted before consumption.

Zoloft works on CNS of the human body. It inhibits the absorption of serotonin in human platelets. It does not inhibit reuptake of dopamine and nor epinephrine. That is why it is known as selective inhibitor.

Zoloft has been found to be very effective in treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Both are prevalent in women. Women victim of rape cases or stressful conditions like violent divorce or domestic violence responded well to this drug. This disease has different effects on patients belonging to different age groups. People below 25 years of age have shown more suicidal tendency than the older ones. Thus, this drug needs to be taken only under strict medical supervision coupled with psychiatric help to come out of emotional stress disorder.

Drugs like selegiline, tranylcypromine, furazolidone and some other antidepressants interact with Zoloft. Thus simultaneous use of these drugs may result into serious side effects. There should be a gap of at least 3 weeks between these drugs and Zoloft. Use of Zoloft should be avoided if there is medical history of renal or hepatic dysfunction, manic depression, drug abuse or suicidal thoughts. It should also be told to the doctor in advance about the occurrence of seizures and epileptic attacks in the past. Bleeding and clotting irregularities should also be taken care of in advance to start the use of Zoloft.

Zoloft may aggravate the feeling of anxiety and tendency of hurting the self or suicidal tendencies. Doctor needs to take the patient in full confidence and regular screening of behavioral changes is advisable after initiating the treatment with Zoloft. This drug should be used only when the need of its effects outdoes the side effects for which it is condemned. The drug is meant to pacify the social anxiety disorder among children too. Patients’ positive response to the treatment involving this drug has made it a popular bad stress reliever.

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