Sertraline: Proficient Antidepressant

Depression is a state of illness that affects not only a person’s mental health but also his behavior. It affects the life of a person by increasing the thoughts of hopelessness and sadness. Depression is referred to as a condition of persistent sadness and loss of interest in routine activities even in those activities too which you were pleased to do. Depression is considered as the main cause of disability. It is an ongoing problem and it takes time(several weeks, months even year) to be treated.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression:

Signs and symptoms of depression are different in everyone. Some common symptoms are given as follows:

  • Poor Concentration 
  • Feeling of worthlessness 
  • Thoughts of harming yourself 
  • Lost of interest 
  • Persistent sadness 
  • Feeling of emptiness, hopelessness 
  • Irritability, frustration even over small matters
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Decreased energy, Fatigue
  • Anxiety 
  • Appetite changes 

Causes Of Depression:

Depression as a complex disorder does not have any exact causes to be known. Some main causes of depression that can be:

  • Conflict 
  • Age
  • Abuse
  • Use of certain medications
  • Genes
  • Gender 
  • Death or loss
  • Serious illness
  • Major events , even they can be good events too like a new job, graduation, marriage etc.
  • Substance Misuse 
  • Personal issues

Treatment of depression:

For treatment of Depression, Antidepressants considered as vital medication. They are used in the treatment of many conditions related to depression like major depression disorders, chronic panic attacks, OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). In this class of antidepressants one of them is (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and Sertraline is a SSRI. Sertraline is used in the treatment of numerous conditions like depression, OCD, panic disorders and Postmenopausal Dysphoric Syndrome. It increases the level of Serotonin in the brain so improves the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also improves your mood, energy level, sleep,  appetite, and ameliorates your interesting daily activities. Zoloft is a prescription medicine but its lower-cost generic(Sertraline) is also available.

Sertraline brand name:

Sertraline’s brand name is Zoloft. This drug is also available as low-cost generic.

Sertraline Uses:

It is used to treat 

  • Depression.
  • Major Depressive Disorder.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD).
  • Panic Disorder.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder(SAD).
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD).
  • severe form of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder(PMDD).

Fluoxetine: Proficient Antidepressant 

Fluoxetine as an antidepressant, also belongs to SSRIs. It is used to treat multiple disorders related to depression. It improves your mood, energy level and your appetite too. 

Brands of Fluoxetine:

  • PROzac
  • Rapiflux
  • Sarafem
  • Selfemra

Sertraline Dosage:

Sertraline Dosage varies for different conditions.

  • Sertraline Dosage for Major Depressive Disorder:

Tablets: 

Initial dose: 50 mg PO qDay 

This dose may be increased by 25 mg at weekly intervals but its dose should not exceed 200 mg qDay.

Capsules:

The available doses of Sertraline Capsules are 150 mg or 200 mg. But capsules do not used as Initial therapy. Treatment with capsules may initiate in patients receiving 100 mg or 125 mg of another Sertraline HCl for at least one week.

Recommended Doses for Capsules are 150 mg or 200 mg PO qDay. This dose should not exceed 200 mg qDay. 

  • Sertraline Dosage for Panic Disorder:

For treatment of Panic Disorder only tablets are used.

Initial dose: 25 mg PO qDay

This dose may be increased by 25 mg at weekly intervals but its dose should not exceed 200 mg qDay.

  • Sertraline Dosage for Social Anxiety Disorder(SAD):

For treatment of Panic Disorder only tablets are used.

Initial dose: 25 mg PO qDay

This dose may be increased by 25 mg at weekly intervals but its dose should not exceed 200 mg qDay.

  • Sertraline Dosage for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD):

Tablets:

Initial dose:

50 mg PO qDay

This dose may be increased by 25 mg at weekly intervals but its dose should not exceed 200 mg qDay.

Capsules:

The available doses of Sertraline Capsules are 150 mg or 200 mg. But capsules do not used as Initial therapy. Treatment with capsules may initiate in patients receiving 100 mg or 125 mg of another Sertraline HCl for at least one week.

Recommended Doses for Capsules are 150 mg or 200 mg PO qDay. This dose should not exceed 200 mg qDay. 

  • Sertraline Dosage for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder:

For treatment of PMDD only tablets are used.

Initial dose: 50 mg per day continued therapy(every day throughout the menstrual cycle)

This dose may be increased if necessary, by 50 mg per menstrual cycle to up to 150 mg per day.

 Intermittent therapy:

Initial dose

50 mg per day( used only during luteal phase of menstrual cycle). 

This intermittent therapy is repeated with each new cycle.

Maximum dose:

100 mg per day during next cycle. 

For subsequent cycles: 

During first 3 days 50 mg per day followed by 100 mg per day for remaining days of menstrual cycle. 

Sertraline Interactions:

Some drugs that may interact with this drug are: 

  • Pimozide
  • Antiplatelet drugs such as
  • Clopidogrel
  • NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen, 
  • Blood thinners such as warfarin/dabigatran)
  • Linezolid or IV Methylene Blue 
  • Lithium 
  • Cimetidine 
  • Triptans like Sumatriptan
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

There are many other drugs which shows 

Sertraline Interactions, in this article some of them are explained.

Sertraline Warnings:

Zoloft may cause some serious adverse effects if patient experiences any unusual condition or side effect, he/she should immediately contact his/her concerned doctor or pharmacist. If the patient is taking other medicines he/she should tell the doctor before taking Zoloft.

  • Serotonin Syndrome:

The interactions with other medications can increase the level of Serotonin extremely high which can lead to Serotonin Syndrome that is life threatening.

  • Suicidal thoughts:

This medicine raises the risk of Suicidal thoughts or behaviour. So while taking this medicine during first few months of treatment or when the dose changes, if patient experiences any unusual behaviour he/she should tell the doctor as soon as possible.

  • Higher bleeding risk:

If patient is taking NSAIDS with Sertraline, it increases the high bleeding risk.

  • Abnormal heart rhythm:

Zoloft can affect your heart and can cause abnormal heart rate, so if a person experiences this condition, he/she should immediately consult he doctor.

  • Mania:

If any patient of bipolar syndrome is treated with only one antidepressant, it can cause Manic episodes to that patient.

  • Withdrawal:

If the patient suddenly leaves the use of citalopram it causes withdrawal symptoms of depression.

  • Sertraline can be used in pregnancy.
  • Zoloft has been considered as a preferred drug to be used during breastfeeding.

Sertraline Side Effects:

Zoloft has some side effects too. Some Sertraline Side Effects are given below:

  • Serotonin Syndrome 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Suicidal thoughts 
  • Insomnia 
  • Nausea 
  • Diahorrea 
  • Dry Mouth
  • Irregular Heartbeat 
  • Increased sweating 
  • Decreased sexual drive

Sertraline Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • It causes less drowsiness than other SSRIs.
  • It is best SSRIs to be used in pregnancy.

Cons:

  • It can cause Diahorrea more likely in comparison to other SSRIs.
  • It takes time max 12 weeks to show maximum effectiveness.

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