Brands Names: Zoloft
Price Range: $0.37 – $0.68
Dosage: 100mg / 50mg / 25mg
Zoloft is a third-generation antidepressant that is widely used in medical practice. This drug prevents the re-uptake of serotonin, and therefore increases its concentration and effectiveness. Zoloft mainly acts on the central nervous system.
Composition and form of release
Zoloft is produced in the form of white oblong tablets with engraving on one side and dosage concentration on the other.
One tablet contains 0.05 or 0.1 g of sertraline. Non-active ingredients include starch, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide, polysorbate, macrogol, and calcium dihydrogen phosphate.
The active substance of Zoloft is sertraline, which demonstrates a pronounced antidepressant effect. Sertraline prevents the inverse capture of serotonin by neurons, increasing the amount of serotonin. Thus, sertraline eliminates depressive conditions caused by a serotonin deficiency. The effect of sertraline is to treat mood disorders, sadness, anxiety, phobias, fears, as well as increase appetite associated with these conditions. Zoloft has a slight analgesic and sedative effect.
Because Zoloft does not have adrenergic and dopaminergic effects, it is well tolerated by elderly patients. With prolonged treatment at the correct dosage, Zoloft does not cause addiction or influence weight gain.
When Zoloft is taken with meals, it increases drug absorption by approximately 25%, increases the speed of action, and the achievement of maximum concentration. Zoloft begins to take action 4-5 hours after taking the pill. There is no difference in digestibility of Zoloft in adolescents compared with elderly individuals.
Indications for use
Zoloft is prescribed for treating depression of various origins, which includes anxiety-depressive states, insomnia, phobias, panic disorder, and/or obsessive-compulsive neurosis. Use of Zoloft is intended to treat and prevent posttraumatic psychiatric and sensory disorders associated with a pronounced social phobia.
Zoloft is typically taken orally once a day. Administration of Zoloft is not food dependent, but when this medication is taken with meals, the effects are quicker. The initial dosage for obsessive-compulsive neurosis and depression is minimal, requiring not more than a tablet. In cases of panic disorders or social phobia, the dosage should be half a tablet. Increase in Zoloft dosage should occur one week after beginning this medication with normal tolerability levels.
If the necessary therapeutic effect is not achieved, Zoloft dosage can be increased, but not more often than once per week. The maximum daily Zoloft dosage should not exceed 0.2 g per day. The immediate therapeutic effects of Zoloft can be achieved during the first week of treatment. A full evaluation of the effectiveness of therapy is possible during the first month of treatment.
To maintain patient condition following treatment, Zoloft is initially prescribed in minimum effective dosages. Dosages can be adjusted once per week depending on the effectiveness of the drug.
Zoloft shows proven effectiveness in treating obsessive-compulsive neurosis in children from 6-17 years of age. Treatment begins with a minimal dosage, and this can be increased once per week after the start of the treatment.
Therapeutic efficacy of the drug in the treatment of depressive states and anxiety in adolescents is similar to treatment in adults. However, it is important to note that adolescents and children have a lower body weight than adult patients, particularly if the prescribed dosage is more than 0.05 g per day.
When treating elderly patients with Zoloft, dosage adjustment is not required. In patients with liver dysfunction, Zoloft should be used with caution and in small doses. If kidney dysfunction is present, dose adjustments are also not required, but the creatinine clearance in these cases must be checked periodically.
Zoloft should not be prescribed when there is an intolerance to sertraline. Zoloft should not be prescribed for children less than six years of age. Zoloft is also contraindicated in patients undergoing therapy with drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase.
Zoloft should be used with caution in cases involving organic lesions of the brain, mental retardation, epileptic seizures, insufficiency of hepatic and renal function, and anorexia.
There were no full-fledged studies about the effect of Zoloft in pregnancy and fetal status, which is why this medication is prescribed only when the doctor makes a decision based on risk-benefit associated with sertraline treatment.
Zoloft penetrates into breast milk. Therefore, during lactation, Zoloft is not prescribed in order to prevent harmful effects to the fetus.
There may be side effects when taking Zoloft such as flatulence, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other potential side effects associated with Zoloft are pain in the intestines and stomach as well as unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth. In rare cases, pancreatitis may develop. Onset of arrhythmia, tachycardia, hypertension and muscle cramps, and arthralgia may occur with the use of Zoloft.
The central nervous system can demonstrate an abnormal response to Zoloft resulting in gnashing of teeth at night as well as involuntary contractions of muscles. Among other potential side effects, this may include nightmarish dreams, psychosis, states of euphoria, mania, anxiety, and/or insomnia.
Other side effects that may occur when taking Zoloft include urination obstruction, decreased libido, delay in ejaculation, or problems with the menstrual cycle. Abnormal endocrine system function, hypothyroidism, liver failure, jaundice, drug-induced hepatitis, and hyperprolactinemia may also occur when taking Zoloft.
With a sharp reduction in Zoloft dose, in rare cases, there is a risk of developing drug withdrawal. Zoloft cancellation syndrome is manifested by depressiveness, auditory and visual hallucinations, aggressive behavior, and insomnia possibly involving psychosis and anxiety.
Symptoms and treatment of an overdose
Even with the administration of high dosages, overdoses associated with Zoloft are very rare. However, concurrent consumption of Zoloft and alcohol can lead to severe intoxication, coma, and/or death. Zoloft should not be prescribed simultaneously with other drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase. Zoloft should not be started until two weeks have passed since stopping treatment with the monoamine oxidase group of drugs.
During treatment with Zoloft, it is necessary to constantly monitor patients for possible development of neuroleptic syndrome. Zoloft and alcohol are categorically incompatible since they can cause a sudden change in vital function.
During Zoloft treatment in patients taking other drugs demonstrating anti-aggregation action, this may cause dizziness and impaired consciousness, and vehicle operation should not occur.