Using Zoloft for Anxiety? What You Should Know

Anxiety is normal in daily life. However, when it becomes intense, it leads to complications. Excessive fear and worries may lead to emotional, mental, and physical health issues. Anxiety leads to an imbalance of serotonin level in the brain, which affects sleep, mood, sexual drive, memory, and behavior. Sertraline is a popular drug composition known to tackle anxiety effectively. It helps in balancing serotonin chemicals in the brain.

zoloft for anxiety

What is Zoloft?

Zoloft is a common Sertraline based drug that is used to alleviate anxiety and restore serotonin levels in the brain. It is a prescription drug that treats disorders, anxiety, depression, and other mental problems. The drug is manufactured by Pfizer and approved by the food and administration department. This drug has proven to be the only medication for long-term treatment related to mental health.

Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which cures the premenstrual dysphoric disorder, phobias, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

When a patient suffers from generalized anxiety disorder, they may experience persistent and unrealistic fear that are disabling. At this stage, the patient becomes exhausted physically and emotionally. Doctors treat such patients with sertraline based drugs to bring the anxiety under control.

Use of Zoloft for Anxiety Treatment

Zoloft is a prescription drug approved to alleviate different types of anxiety disorders. Anxiety is an unwanted disorder that is characterized by a nerve disorder, worry, overreaction, mood swings, unwanted thoughts, feelings of guilt and unpleasant fear. Sertraline is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor in the form of Zoloft that is given to maintain a high level of serotonin in the brain. It elevates the mood and controls the anxiety. It is used for various anxiety treatments as below:

  • Pain disorder
  • Social phobia such as sweating, dry mouth, blushing or extreme disorder
  • Specific phobia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder such as fear in daily events
  • Terror
  • Panic attacks
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Lethargy

Studies reveal that men and women suffer from various panic attacks due to anxiety. Zoloft is found to reduce the urge to perform repetitive tasks that interfere in the daily life. It balances the natural substances in the brain and keeps the patient calm. If the medicine is given for premenstrual problems, the doctor may direct you to take the medicine every day of the month or two weeks before the periods to control anxiety disorders.

How to Take Zoloft for Anxiety Treatment?

Zoloft is available in liquid, tablet and capsule form. Liquid Zoloft must be diluted with any of these for consumption:

  • Lemon soda
  • Water
  • Gingerale
  • Orange juice
  • Lemonade

The prescribed medicine must be mixed with half cup of any of the above liquid immediately at the time of consumption. The other forms of Zoloft are taken as prescribed with or without food.

It is important to take Zoloft at the same time of the day. In case you skip a dosage, you must take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time of the next dose, you must skip the first one and take the next dose. The medicine must be consumed strictly as prescribed. The medicine is prescribed depending on the severity of anxiety and other health problems.

It is important that if you’re taking Zoloft for anxiety treatment, you must not stop taking it if you are feeling well. The conditions may worsen altogether if you stop taking it without prior consultation with the physician. You may suffer signs of mood swings, tiredness, sleep changes, headaches, and feelings of electric shocks, weakness, and muscle pains.

Prescribed Dosage of Zoloft for Anxiety Treatment

According to the doctors, the typical Zoloft dosage starts from 25mg. The dosage may increase up to 50mg after the first week of medication. Patients suffering from panic attacks, posttraumatic disorders, social anxiety disorder begin with 25mg of Zoloft. However, in cases of severe depressive disorder, the drug can exceed up to 200mg.

Children of 6 years to 12 years are recommended to take 25 mg. Teenagers aging from 13 to 17 yrs are advised to take up to 50 mg of Zoloft. Patients suffering from premenstrual syndrome and severe attacks are prescribed dosage depending on the severity of the ailment. The physician may increase or reduce the dosage as per requirements.

How Long Does Zoloft Take to Start Working?

Zoloft takes around two to six weeks to show positive symptoms in the body. In order to completely eliminate the anxiety issues, you must take the dose at the same time of the day as prescribed by the doctor. In case you skip a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, don’t overdose the medicine.

Read Also: Zoloft and Alcohol – A Dangerous Cocktail

Side-Effects of Zoloft Use

Zoloft is considered as a well-treated and safe medicine. However, you may suffer some side effects when using Zoloft:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Bruising and bleeding
  • Decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Ejaculation problem
  • Weakness or muscle cramp
  • Tremors
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fever
  • Hallucination
  • Imbalance
  • Agitation
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Blurred vision
  • Twitching muscles
  • Possible slow growth rate in kids
  • Urinary incontinence

You might face allergic reaction like itching, redness, swelling, dizziness, and numbness or skin rashes along with trouble breathing. Taking Zoloft while you are pregnant may affect newborn babies with Neonatal Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension syndrome. This is potentially a long-term issue and is life-threatening.

It is important to avoid driving or operate dangerous machinery unless you are sure that you are not affected by any side effects of Zoloft.

Additionally, if you find any of the symptoms mentioned below, you must contact the health care as soon as possible:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Irritability
  • Worsening cases of depression and anxiety
  • An extreme increase in activity or becoming a maniac
  • Acting on dangerous impulses
  • Being violent or extremely angry
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Unusual changes in mood.

If you find any of these symptoms, you must immediately contact your health professional.

Interactions of Zoloft

Zoloft interaction with drugs may increase the serotonin level and lead to serious conditions. You must inform your doctor if you are taking any of these drugs:

  • pimozide
  • MAO inhibitors such as linezolid, isocarboxazid, rasagiline, selegiline, procarbazine
  • Antiplatelet drugs that include ibuprofen, clopidogrel, warfarin
  • A cough and cold medicines like aspirin
  • Marijuana
  • Alcohol
  • Antihistamines
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Drugs for sleep anxiety
  • Nonsteroidal or anti-inflammatory medicines for fever, anemia, arthritis.

Zoloft also interferes in some medical tests, leading to false results. Thus, you must inform the laboratory staff before undertaking any tests.

Precautions That Need to be Taken

Before taking Zoloft, it is important that you inform the doctor about any allergies or medical history. You must also inform about the following:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disorders
  • Thyroid disease
  • Family health history
  • Seizures
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Hypertension
  • Salt imbalance
  • If you’re taking herbal products
  • Taking any non-prescription drugs

You should not stop taking Zoloft without consulting the doctor. The medicine must be taken strictly according to doctor’s prescription, and in case of side effects, you must immediately visit a doctor. Stopping the medicine immediately may lead to bleeding problems, insomnia, lethargy, and headaches. Alongside, elderly people above 60 years and kids must take Zoloft under medical supervision only. The weight and height of children must be considered before prescribing Zoloft. They must be constantly monitored for any side effects or changes in the body.

Who Should Not Take Zoloft?

Zoloft should not be prescribed to people suffering from:

  • Diabetes, severe heart disease, kidney disorders, seizure disorders and liver diseases
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Pregnant or planning pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding mothers
  • Allergic to sertraline
  • Under alcohol medicine abuse

Zoloft for Treatment of Anxiousness in Children

Recent studies have revealed that Zoloft is quite effective in treating anxiety disorders among children. Children suffering from social phobias, generalized anxiety, and separation anxiety can be treated with substantial dosage and psychotherapy. To treat anxiousness in children, the dosage is started low that tend to go higher if needed. Generally, kids aging 6 to 12 years are given 25 mg at the beginning. The number of pills may increase weekly up to the eighth week. Effectively, the dosage may reach 146 mg daily in case of severe anxiety.

However, it was also detected that children can be cured with lower drug dosage followed by an effective psychotherapy treatment.

After undertaking various researches at the National Institute of Mental Health, it was zeroed that Zoloft is one of the safest and most effective drug to cure comprehensive disorders among children. The symptoms of anxiety almost disappear, thus comforting the parents as well.

According to the researchers, it was found that children who worried during the start of the treatment where 99% at ease after the completion of the therapy and medication. The therapy followed by Zoloft medication not only cures anxiousness among children but also brings positive attitude among them.

Also Read: Serious Zoloft (Sertraline) Side Effects

Conclusion

Zoloft is a safe medicine that cures anxiety if taken wisely. The dosage must be taken as advised by the physician and utmost care must be taken for patients suffering from the major depressive disorder. An overdose of Zoloft may necessitate emergency treatment. Children and the elderly people must take Zoloft under medical supervision followed by psychotherapy. Doubling the dose or missing the same will affect the treatment process. Zoloft dosage differs from person to person. Thus, it is important to be transparent with your doctor about any pre-treatment or medication.


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