Zoloft belongs to a class of antidepressant drugs known as SSRIs, i.e., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Basically, Zoloft influences various chemicals in the brain that are imbalanced, which hopefully alter symptoms relating to depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic, and anxiety.
In most cases, Zoloft is utilized in the treatment of the aforementioned symptoms, in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder and premenstrual disorder. Zoloft is also utilized for additional purposes—none of which will be discussed in this guide.
Important Information About Zoloft
Individuals should refrain from taking pimozide and monamine oxidase inhibitors, specifically Marplan (isocarboxazid), Nardil (phenelzine), Azilect (rasagiline), Eldepryl, and Parnate (tranylcypromine) while taking Zoloft; in fact, the individual has to wait fourteen days after taking the aforementioned drugs before taking Zoloft. Furthermore, after stopping Zoloft, the user must wait fourteen days before taking MAOIs.
In some individuals, Zoloft may bring on thoughts of suicide when first beginning the antidepressant, specifically those younger than 24 years of age. Zoloft has become FDA-approved for children that exhibit signs of OCD and not approved among children with signs of depression. A doctor needs to monitor the patient within the first three months of treatment.
It is vital to notify a doctor if the following symptoms begin to worsen: thoughts of suicide and hurting oneself, mood and behavior changes, problems sleeping, impulsiveness, hostility, restlessness, hyperactivity, etc. Newborn babies can deal with life threatening lung conditions if their mothers have taken Zoloft during pregnancy. Moreover, a possible relapse into depression is likely if the medication is stopped abruptly during pregnancy. If an individual is planning a pregnancy, or becomes pregnant while taking Zoloft, speak with a physician before terminating the medication.
Before Taking Zoloft
It is important not to take Zoloft if the individual is already on pimozide or any MAO inhibitors, as severe, serious or fatal reactions may occur when these drugs are taken in conjunction. Once again, an individual has to wait fourteen days after taking Zoloft before taking any MAOI drug.
Before beginning Zoloft treatment, the individual should alert his or her physician if any of the following conditions are present:
• Kidney or liver disease
• Epilepsy or seizures
• Bipolar disorder
• A history of suicidal thinking or drug abuse
If any of these conditions are present in the user, an adjustment of dosage can help with the proper administration of Zoloft.
In some cases, thoughts of suicide are typical when first taking antidepressants, especially those under the age of 24. If the symptoms worsen over time, alerting a physician to help in these matters is essential. Furthermore, caregivers and family members may want to pay close attention to changes in the individual’s moods or symptoms. A physician may want to conduct regular checkups during the first three months of treatment.
According to FDA pregnancy category C, SSRI antidepressants have been known to potentially cause life-threatening lung issues in newborns whose mothers have taken Zoloft during pregnancy. But an individual may experience depression when stopping the medication while pregnant. It is vital to not stop taking Zoloft during pregnancy without at first speaking to a physician. There is still certainty as to whether or not sertraline enters into the mother’s breast milk and can harm a baby that is nursing. Once again, it is important to alert the doctor before beginning this medication, if the individual is breast-feeding her baby.
When Taking Zoloft
A user should follow exact directions from the prescription. The drug should not be taken longer than advocated by a doctor. Specifically, follow the recommended dosage, not too little or too much. However, the physician may wish to change the dosage in order to produce the best results. Zoloft should be taken with water, with or without food, and taken at the same time everyday.
If the user is taking the oral liquid form, it has to be attenuated before taking it. The medicine dropper should be used to ensure the proper amount—not a standard tablespoon. The dose should be combined with 4 ounces of water, soda, lemonade, orange juice, or ginger ale; all other liquids should be avoided. Stir the concoction and consume immediately; add more liquid to the glass to make sure the entire dose is taken.
In Case of Missed Dosage
Upon remembering, take the missed dose, but if it is close to the next scheduled dose—skip it—and take the next one. Do not, however, take more medicine to make up for the forgotten dose.
In Case of an Overdose
Symptoms of an overdose may include any of the following: drowsiness, dizziness, agitation, fast heartbeat, coma, seizures, tremors, and nausea. Alert emergency medical support if the individual has taken too much.
Things to Avoid While Taking Zoloft
Avoid alcohol; if the individual is taking disulfiram products, he or she should avoid liquid Zoloft. Moreover, avoid driving, and alert a physician if allergy medication, narcotics, or sleeping pills are also being taken in conjunction with Zoloft, as drowsiness may increase.