Zoloft
DESCRIPTION

Zoloft is a medication used to treat individuals suffering from depression. The drug is also referred to as Sertraline.

How it works

Zoloft is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). Research has found that depression can occur due to low levels of serotonin in the brain. This imbalance can cause disturbances in mood, sleep, appetite and energy level. Zoloft works by preventing this reuptake of serotonin. This way, the level of serotonin in the brain is balanced in the right amount.

Uses

Zoloft is mainly used to treat depression. However, it can also be used to treat other mental illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Dosage

Zoloft is usually taken once a day, by mouth, either in the morning or evening. This medication can be consumed with or without food. If you are taking this medication in capsule form, then it is best to take it with food. However, if you are taking this medication for premenstrual problems, your dosage may vary.

The dosage will be determined by a physician according to your condition and response to the treatment. The physician might prescribe you a low dosage at the beginning and increase it gradually in order to reduce the risk of side effects.

In order to benefit from this medication, you need to take it as regularly as possible. If you accidently miss or skip a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Taking the medication at the same time every day will help you remember.

It is essential for you to take Zoloft even if you feel well. Do not discontinue the treatment without consulting a physician. Certain conditions can become worse when the treatment is stopped abruptly.

Side effects

Zoloft can lead to uncertain unpleasant side effects during the course of the treatment. These include:

Nausea
Dizziness
Dry mouth
Increase sweating
Upset stomach
Loss of appetite
Dizziness
Diarrhea

These are some common side effects of Zoloft. There is a possibility for you to experience certain serious side effects such as the following too.

Muscle weakness
Decreased interest in sex
Easy bleeding
Vision changes
Unusual weight loss

If you experience any of the above, you must contact a health care provider immediately. Such side effects can affect your health seriously.

Precautions

The following precautionary methods must be followed through the course of the treatment for your own safety.

Before consuming Zoloft, check whether you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
Inform your physician about your medical history – especially about problems such as liver disease, seizure disorder and thyroid disease.
Do not drive or operate machinery after taking a dose of Zoloft. This medication can make you dizzy and drowsy.
Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages.
Be careful with the dosage when giving this medication to older adults as they are more susceptible towards side effects such as loss of coordination.
Be careful about the dosage when giving Zoloft to children since they are vulnerable towards side effects such as weight loss.

Self-care

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, only take this medication when it is absolute necessary.

Zoloft can be passed on to an infant via breast milk. Therefore, it is best to avoid this medication when nursing your baby.

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