Some antidepressants are effective in the treatment of the disorder for which they are prescribed, but they rarely spare you of side effects. Many Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs cause a retinue of serious side effects and withdrawal symptoms in patients. It is not that these drugs are not efficient as cures, it is just that it is difficult for you to nullify the impact of their side effects during or post treatment. This is what happens with Zoloft, a popular antidepressant. Used extensively in the treatment of depression and other related ailments, Zoloft is highly effective, but for its side effects.
Zoloft in depression therapy: Zoloft is a SSRI antidepressant that is used in the clinical treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD and obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD. A wonder drug for depression, Zoloft works by controlling the serotonin levels in the brain. By inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin or neurotransmitters by the nerve cells, it creates a high level of these chemicals in the brain. Believed to create mood changes and happy sensations, serotonin relieves the patient from depression for a period of time.
Zoloft side effects: As mentioned earlier, no user of Zoloft can escape its retinue of side effects. All SSRIs cause serious side effects owing to which the FDA has added a black box warning in the drugs’ label information. Some of the possible side effects of Zoloft:
1. Suicidal tendencies: Zoloft carries a black box warning of inducing suicidal tendencies in children and adults under the age of 24. The increased risk of suicide is within the first few months of the therapy, passing which patients may not experience such risks. It is advised that patients be monitored properly during the therapy for any aggressiveness, aloofness, strange or unusual behavior.
2. Sedative quality: Zoloft, like all SSRIs, has a sedative quality about it. The drug can induce sleep and drowsiness in individuals, making one lightheaded and dazed during the treatment. It can even cause blurriness and vision problems in patients. This is why patients are warned not to operate heavy machinery or do work that require high mental alertness while on the drug.
3. Headaches: Headaches are a common side effect of Zoloft. They are often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Some patients report diarrhea and stomach upset as other common side effects.
4. Lack of sex drive: This is a side effect with all SSRIs. They reduce an individual’s drive for sex, resulting in decrease satisfaction in sexual relationship between partners. Some patients find it difficult to thoroughly enjoy a sexual intercourse, experiencing a painful erection or problems in getting an orgasm.
5. Sunburns: Zoloft makes one sensitive to sunlight. So, you can end up with a lot of sunburns if you are a Zoloft user. Use proper sun protection, avoid sunlamps, tanning beds and use sunscreen lotions or cream to protect yourself.
6. Serotonin syndrome: A set of symptoms appear when the serotonin levels in the body are severely disrupted. A medical emergency which should be treated immediately, serotonin syndrome includes sweating, increased heart rate, rise in body temperature, elevated blood pressures, vomiting, diarrhea, agitation and restlessness. Some affected people get tremors and muscle rigidity.
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