Sertraline is a drug which commonlygoes by the brand name of Zoloft. This drug is an antidepressant,being an SSRI or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Therefore,many people who suffer from a wide variety of depression-relatedproblems use this medication in order to stay healthy and overcometheir problems.
If you desire to learn more about thisdrug and the way it functions against depression and some similarbehavioral disorders, read on.
Sertraline is an Antidepressant
Sertraline is mostly used by patientswho suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorders, panic, social anxietyand major depression, regardless of their age. In fact, according toa research done in 2007, this medication is the most frequently usedantidepressant in the US, 29,652,000 of people having prescriptionsfor it.
It is equally effective when itcomes to helping people battle depression as other medications ofthis type, such as tricyclic antidepressants are. However, sertralinehas less prominent side-effects and it, therefore, a more commonlychosen variant.
Sertraline is considered to be moreeffective in treatments of some forms of depression. Yet, as far astreating OCD is concerned, this medications is best to be combinedwith the cognitive behavioral therapy. Additionally, it has not madeany groundbreaking effect when used for the treatment of socialphobia or post-traumatic stress disorder, even though it was labeledas useful for reducing the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoricdisorder.
Some other situations where thismedication may prove to be useful is the treatment of prematureejaculation and prevention of vascular headaches. Nevertheless, thesetwo usages need further clinical trials in order for theireffectiveness to be adequately proven and accepted.
Side-Effects of Sertraline
Even though sertraline has a reducedlevel of side-effects when compared with some other medicationscommonly used for these purposes, it has side-effects nevertheless.Many people who used this drug during their treatments reportednausea, diarrhea, insomnia and some adverse effects affecting theirsexual functioning. Fortunately, the effects on cognition andvigilance are commonly mild.
Furthermore, sertraline is known toappear in fetal blood, potentially leading to the formation of birthdefects. Therefore, pregnant women are not advised to take thismedication. Sertraline may also lead to the appearance of suicidaltendencies, even though these occurrences have been extremely rareand, due to this reason, statistical data was not obtained on thematter, presenting this aspect of sertraline as as controversy.
In order to stay completely safe fromall the potential side-effects of this drug, you are advised to letyour doctor know if you are pregnant or are trying to conceive beforehaving it prescribed. Also, your doctor should know if you arebreastfeeding or if you suffer from any heart, liver or kidneyproblems before he suggests taking this drug for treating some otherillnesses of yours.
Some other factors you need to informyour health practitioner about are your age, especially if you areyounger than 18, your history of suffering from diseases such asglaucoma, epilepsy, diabetes mellitus or any bleeding disorders. Donot fail to mention if you have been exposed to electroconvulsivetherapy or ECT. Also, report presence of depressive illnesses in yourmedical history and mention any present allergies to specificmedications. Finally, let your doctor know if you are taking anyother medications.
Once you are free from all theside-effects stemming from the factors mentioned above, you stillneed to be careful regarding the dosage and some other aspects ofsertraline use. Basically, do not forget to read the informationabout the medication thoroughly before taking it and follow theinstructions of your doctor religiously.
Make sure you swallow the tablets intheir whole form, drinking water during the process, focusing ontaking the same dosage at the specified time of the day. Do notcompensate for a missed dose by taking a double one. Rather, if youforget to take the medication, wait for the next dose and take it asif no mistakes were made.
Rest assured that, in order toexperience the real effects of this medication you might need to waitfor a couple of weeks. Do not stop taking this drug abruptly butconsult with your doctor beforehand and reduce the dosage gradually,avoiding any health problems.
Bear in mind that the sertraline youhad prescribed is yours only. You should not share the medicationwith anyone else. Also, before taking any other medications,especially over-the-counter ones while taking sertraline at the sametime, consult with your doctor since some drug interactions of thistype can be dangerous for you.
Finally, sertraline is known to makeyour skin more sensitive to sun rays. So, while taking it, protectyour skin with sunscreen higher than factor 15 before leaving thehouse.
All in all, sertraline is known to bethe most popular antidepressant medication. However, even though itis considered to be mild in side-effects, these adverse occurrencesare present nevertheless. Thus, be careful with this medication andconsult with your health provider regularly while taking it.