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Zoloft (Sertraline)

Understanding Zoloft

Zoloft or Sertraline is a type of anti-depressant drug under the classification known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. It affects the chemicals in the brain that can be unbalanced and may bring depression, panic attack, nervousness and obsessive - compulsive behavior.

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Zoloft is also used for the treatment and management of depression, obsessive - compulsive behavior, panic attack, PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It can also be used for other reasons not indicated in this medication list.

Essential facts on Zoloft

Zoloft must not be taken if you are also taking pimozide or if you are under methylene blue injection treatment. It must not be used if you are also taking MAO inhibitor for the last fourteen days or so, there is a risk when MAO inhibitors interact with Zoloft. MAO inhibitors include linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline & tranylcypromine.

There are some who have thought of committing suicide whenever they are taking anti-depressant drugs. You need to inform your doctor if you have a feeling of hurting someone or yourself. You shouldn’t miss daily checkups with your doctor while you are taking Zoloft. The doctor must know if there are sudden changes in your mood or other symptoms that you are experiencing.

You need to inform your doctor if your case gets worse or if there are signs that your doctor doesn’t know yet like sudden change in your mood, panic attack, insomnia, impulsive, hostile, restless behavior, depression and suicidal tendencies. Zoloft must not be given to anyone below 18 years of age and without the recommendation of the doctor.

Though Zoloft is approved for kids with obsessive compulsive behavior, it is not approved for kids with depression.

Before taking Zoloft

You must not use Zoloft if you have an allergy with sertraline or if you are also taking pimozide or if you are being given methylene blue injection. It must not be used if you have taken or if you are taking MAO inhibitor in the past fourteen days or so. It may result in a fatal drug interaction along the way. After you have stopped taking Zoloft, you have to wait for fourteen days or so before you start taking MAOL.

You need to know if Zoloft is safe for you and to know that, your doctor must gave you a prescription first before you start taking Zoloft.

You need to inform your doctor if you have suffered from liver, kidney ailment, seizures, bleeding, blood clot disorder, manic depression, history or drug abuse, suicidal tendencies, and previous cases of alcohol and drug abuse.

Some of the young individuals taking Zoloft have thoughts about committing suicides whenever they are taking anti-depressant pills. You need to see your doctor regularly while you are taking Zoloft. The family and other caregivers must be observant to sudden changes of mood and other signs of side effects while taking Zoloft.

FDA pregnancy category C was given to Zoloft. When you start taking Zoloft while you are pregnant it might lead to serious lung problem and complications in the baby after delivery. On the other hand you may suffer from a setback if you will stop taking Zoloft right away without lowering the dose for a sometime.

You need to inform your doctor if you will be pregnant while taking Zoloft.

You should not stop or start taking Zoloft without informing your doctor and without his/her advice. Even if it is not yet confirmed if Sertraline - the main ingredient in Zoloft - will be passed on the breast milk or if it can be harmful to the baby, you need to inform your doctor if you are breast feeding the baby.

Zoloft must not be given to someone younger than 18 years old without prescription. Though it was approved by the FDA for kids with OCD, it is not yet approved in kids for the treatment of depression.

The proper way to take Zoloft

Zoloft must be taken according to the prescription of the doctor. You need to follow his/her instructions on the prescription. The doctor might change the dose all the time just to make sure that you will get well in time. Zoloft must not be taken in bigger and smaller doses or it must not be taken over a long period of time unless required by the doctor.

Zoloft can be taken with or without food and you need to take the pill at the same time every day to make sure that it will be very effective for you.

Zoloft’s liquid form must be diluted in water before you take it. Make sure that you have the right dose by measuring the fluid with the medicine using a dropper provided in the package.

Zoloft must be mixed with 4oz. of water, ginger ale, lemon or lime or orange juice. It must not be mixed with other forms of liquid to dilute the Zoloft. You can mix the mixture and then drink it all the way, but be sure you have taken the entire dose, you can still add some more water to the glass and then swirl it moderately and then drink the remaining mixture.

While you are taking Zoloft, it can make you have a failed drug test result, but if you will give the urine sample for the screening, you have to tell the laboratory representative that you are under Zoloft medication.

Zolofts effectiveness might be seen just after a month, but you need to keep using it as instructed by your doctor. Let him/her know if your signs do not improve after a month. Zoloft must be taken religiously or else you will suffer from an unwanted withdrawal signs. It will be best to ask your doctor how you can withdraw without suffering from those unwanted signs.

Zoloft must be kept in a room away from direct heat and moisture; it should be kept in a room temperature as well where kids and pets cannot find it.

In case of a Zoloft missed dose

If in case you have missed a dose, you can take the Zoloft as soon as you remember. Skipping a dose is fine if it is just about time for the next dose. You are not required to double the dose just because you have missed one.

What to avoid while taking Zoloft?

You need to ask your doctor if you are taking other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pill or NSAID for pains, fever, swelling and arthritis as well like aspirin, Advil, naproxen, diclofenac, meloxicam and others. The use of NSAIDs with Zoloft might lead to bleeding and bruising.

You are not advised to take alcoholic drinks while you are taking Zoloft. Their effects might not be good for you. You shouldn’t take the liquid form of Zoloft while you are also taking Antabuse. The liquid Zoloft might have alcohol content and it might lead to bad reaction with disulfiram. The medicine might lead you to impairment and it may affect your thinking and reactions. You need to be very careful when driving or if there is anything that requires you to be alert.

The adverse effects of Zoloft

If you see that there are hives, you are having difficulty to breath or your face is swollen, you need to seek immediate medical attention, because these are all signs of Zoloft side effects. You need to call your doctor if the signs get worst or you suddenly feel worried and suffer from panic attacks, insomnia, hostile behavior, restlessness, depression and suicidal tendencies.

You need to call the attention of your doctor if your muscles are stiff, you have high fever, confused, feels like passing out, agitating, hallucinating, you have tremors, you are vomiting, losing appetite, losing coordination, hardness to concentrate, having upset stomach, constipation, drying of the mouth impotency and hardness to achieve orgasm.

The initial dose for Zoloft treatment among adults is 50mg. once a day, but the dose may be increased gradually to around 200mg. once daily for the treatment of depression and obsessive compulsive behavior. The affectivity of Zoloft for more than 3 months hasn’t been checked during experiments.

Drug interaction with Zoloft

When you take Zoloft along with other pills, you may feel sleepy and your breathing might slow down. You have to call your doctor before you take Zoloft with sleeping pills, narcotic pain pills, muscle relaxants and other forms of medicines meant for anxiety and seizures. You have to tell your doctor if you are using other medicines like antidepressant pills, hypertensive treatment pills, pills for cough and migraine, because they may all interfere with the effects of Zoloft.

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