Zoloft (Generic Name - Sertraline)
Zoloft is an antidepressant medication from a class of drugs that is known
as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Zoloft affects chemicals
in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression, panic or anxiety,
obsessive or compulsive symptoms, or other psychiatric symptoms. Like other
medications in this class of drugs (e.g. Paxil & Prozac), Zoloft relieves
symptoms of depression, without the sometimes harmful side effects that many
people experience with some older tricyclic antidepressants and "MAO inhibitors".
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Who should not take Zoloft?
- Do not take Zoloft if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor such
as Marplan or Parnat during the last two weeks. Serious and sometimes fatal
reactions may occur if Zoloft is used at the same time with any of these medicines
- Do not take Zoloft if you are taking pimozide (Orap). Again, a dangerous
reaction could occur
- If you have liver disease, kidney disease, suffer from seizures, suffer
from mania or have suicidal thoughts, be sure to let a doctor know about this
before you take Zoloft
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, although its not known whether taking
Zoloft at that time would be harmful to the baby, to be safe you should not
Is Zoloft sometimes prescribed for other conditions?
Zoloft is typically prescribed for major depressive disorder, as outline in
the first paragraph above. However, it is sometimes prescribed for other conditions:
- It can be used for a type of depression called premenstrual dysphoric disorder
(PMDD). This specific recurring problem is marked by a depressed mood, anxiety
or tension, emotional instability, and anger or irritability in the two weeks
- Zoloft is also used in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder
Typical Zoloft Dosage - For depressive or obsessive compulsive disorder
The usual starting dose is 50 milligrams (mg) taken once a day, either in the
evening or morning. A doctor may increase your dosage depending on your own
personal factors, but the maximum dose should be 200 mg in a day
Typical Zoloft Dosage - For Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Doses may be prescribed throughout the menstrual cycle or limited to the two
weeks preceding menstruation. The starting dose is usually 50 mg per day. If
this proves insufficient, the doctor may increase the dosage in 50 mg steps
at the start of each new menstrual cycle (up to a maximum of 100 mg per day
in the two week regimen or 150 mg per day in the full-cycle regimen). During
the first three days of the two week plan, doses are always limited to 50 mg.
Typical Zoloft Dosage - Panic Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
How should Zoloft be taken?
During the first week, the typical dose is 25 mg per day. Thereafter, the dosage
increases to 50 mg per day. Depending on your response, a doctor may continue
to increase the dosage up to a maximum of 200 mg a day.
Take it exactly as directed by a doctor, and at the same time each day. It may
be taken with or without food. Never cease taking Zoloft without first speaking
to a doctor. There may be unpleasant side effects if you suddenly stop taking