Zoloft – Best Way to Take Control over Your Mental Health
Zoloft (sertraline) belongs to the category of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and is commonly referred to as an antidepressant. It modifies the structure of the brain that is often disharmonious in patients suffering from depression, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive conditions and anxiety among other mental health issues. It is, therefore, used to manage a range of mental disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder and premenstrual disorder in women. However, Zoloft may be used for other purposes not listed previously.
How to Take Zoloft
When it comes to using Zoloft for managing mental health issues, the directions of the doctor need to be followed with precision. Even though your physician may modify the dosage from time to time, it is not advisable to take more or less of this drug than it was prescribed to you. It is also not recommended to take this drug for longer periods of time. Keep in mind the following aspects when taking Zoloft:
- Take Zoloft either with food or without a meal. Try to follow the same regimen when taking this drug. Avoid using it at different times during the day. Instead, make equal intervals between the doses;
- If you are using a concentrate for oral use, it is necessary to dilute it before administering. Make sure you measure the right dosage using a medical dropper attached to the package. Mix in half a cup of water and add an acidic drink such as ginger ale, lemon soda, orange juice or lemonade. Do not dilute this medication with other drinks. Combine the mixture and drink it immediately after it is ready. In order to guarantee that you take a full dose, add some more water to the glass and drink it after the rest of the medication dilutes;
- It might require not less than a month before you start feeling better. Do not stop the treatment if your condition does not get better after a while. Follow the directions of your doctor regarding the duration of the treatment. Avoid stopping the treatment all of a sudden, because this may cause undesirable withdrawal signs. Ask your physician for instructions as for how to decrease the dose and stop the medical treatment gradually;
- Zoloft sometimes causes modified drug screening results. If you are about to undergo drug screening, make the medical personnel aware of the fact that you are taking Zoloft;
- If you have missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember about it. However, you may skip the dose if it is about time for your subsequent planned dose. At the same time, do not take more of this medication to compensate for the skipped dose. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect overdose.
Possible Side Effects
Seek immediate medical help in case you experience the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction. This may include skin reactions, problems with breathing, swollen body parts, and other conditions. In case your current health state gets worse after taking Zoloft, tell your doctor about any symptoms you might be facing. These include the following issues:
- Behavior changes;
- Feeling impulsive;
- Irritation and aggression;
- Increased feeling of depression;
- Suicidal thoughts, etc.
These are all dangerous signs, which might indicate the ineffectiveness of treatment with this medication. Besides, it is advisable to seek medical attention at once if you suffer the following conditions after taking Zoloft:
- Impaired vision;
- Lowered levels of sodium in one’s body, which might lead to cognitive troubles, increased weakness as well as feeling unsteady and confused among other symptoms;
- Manic states revealed in increased levels of energy, readiness to take risks, increased irritability or inclination towards being increasingly talkative.
As for the most common side effects, the intake of Zoloft may lead to the development of the following conditions:
- Feeling anxious or extremely agitated;
- Feeling drowsy and tired without a reason;
- Decreased sexual activity or difficulty having ejaculation;
- Feeling feverish and shaky, etc.
This is not a full list of side effects, but the above-mentioned conditions are quite common for patients taking Zoloft, especially if they are taking it for a prolonged duration of time.
In some instances, the intake of Zoloft may lead to the development of serotonin syndrome, revealed in hallucinations, feeling agitated, feeling feverish, increased heartbeat, inability to coordinate one’s movements, etc. Seek immediate medical attention in case you have such symptoms as they may lead to irreversible health consequences.
Do not drink alcohol while taking Zoloft, because this may result in unwanted interaction between the substances. Some young people experience suicidal thoughts after the first intake of this antidepressant. Be aware of possible mood swings and other associated conditions and report any new signs or worsening of your health state to your healthcare provider.
In case you are taking other drugs for other medical purposes, the interaction between Zoloft and a range of medications may cause unusual sleepiness or worsen the effect of this drug. Ask your medical advisor before administering sleeping pills, muscle relaxing drugs as well as medications that are used for the treatment of anxiety and depression among other mental health issues.
Certain other medications may cause interaction between the drugs, including medications available on prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well as certain herbs. Tell your healthcare provider if you are currently taking any of these medications and stop using them for the period of treatment with Zoloft if it is possible.
Do not use Zoloft if you are using pimozide or if you are currently undergoing treatment with methylene blue injections in order to prevent unwanted health outcomes. Use Zoloft two weeks after you have taken MAO inhibitors, because the concurrent intake of these drugs may cause undesirable adverse reactions.