Zoloft and/or Equivalent Sertraline Prescription Information
Zoloft is indicated in various anxiety- and depression-related disorders in both adults and children as follows:
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD),
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD),
Social Anxiety Disorders (SAD),
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).
Additionally, clinical studies of Zoloft have shown significant results in the improvement of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), quality of life, Eating Disorders including Night Eating Syndrome, Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, and Premature Ejaculation.
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Dose, Administration and Dosage Forms:
The recommended dose of sertraline hydrochloride is 25-200 mg once daily. Zoloft is usually started with 25mg to 50mg once daily for the treatment of depression, panic disorder, OCD, PTSD, and SAD. These doses may be titrated at weekly intervals to achieve the maximum desired response. In case of PMDD, Zoloft should be initiated with 50mg to 150mg daily. Zoloft is available in orally administered tablets in 25mg, 50mg and 100mg strengths and in a 20mg/ml oral solution. It can be administered with or without food and should be stored at room temperature (15 to 30 C).
Mechanism of Action:
The active ingredient of Zoloft, sertraline hydrochloride, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which is produced by nerve cells in the brain and released to the synaptic cleft. This serotonin either binds to its receptor in the synaptic cleft or is taken up by the nerve cells by reuptake mechanism. In various depression associated disorders, serotonin levels get suppressed at the synaptic clefts. Sertraline helps improve these suppressed levels of serotonin by selectively blocking the serotonin reuptake mechanism and thus maintaining optimum serotonin levels at the synaptic cleft.
Side-effects and Safety Profile:
Various serious side-effects reported with Zoloft include panic attacks, physical hyperactivity, severe depression, suicidal ideation, self-injury, tremors, hallucinations, seizures, severe muscle rigidity, confused mental state, irregular heartbeat, loss of coordination, suppressed sexual drive, impotency and difficulty having an orgasm, etc.
Moderately-serious side-effects reported with Zoloft include altered mood, behavioral changes, anxiety, irritability, agitation, aggressiveness, sleeping difficulty, sweating, high fever, loss of appetite, concentration and memory issues, fainting, etc.
Non-serious side-effects reported with Zoloft include drowsiness, dizziness, tired feeling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach, constipation, headache, dry mouth, etc.
Warnings and Contraindications:
Short-term studies have shown that Zoloft may increase the risks of suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults.
Zoloft should not be prescribed to those patients who are allergic to sertraline.
Zoloft is contraindicated as a concomitant therapy with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), pimozide, and disulfiram.
Zoloft should be used with precaution in elderly patients and patients with liver impairment.
Zoloft may increase the risk of abnormal bleeding; therefore, it should not be prescribed concomitantly with aspirin, NSAIDs, warfarin, and other anticoagulants as it may enhance this risk.
Zoloft is a pregnancy category C drug which means its effects on pregnant women have not yet been studied; therefore, it should be prescribed to pregnant women only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
It is not known whether sertraline excretes in human milk and therefore should not be prescribed to nursing women. If the need for Zoloft exceeds the potential risks, effects to the nursing infant should be closely monitored.
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