What does Zoloft mean?
Manufactured by drug giant Pfizer, Zoloft has been used by years to treat depression, anxiety, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It is considered a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs), a drug which can naturally increase the levels of serotonin in the brain by blocking certain brain receptors which reabsorb the chemical serotonin. This amplification of serotonin then allows the brain signals to move through nerve cells more efficiently, potentially improving a patient’s sleep, appetite, energy level, and mood.
Zoloft’s popularity sores in the U.S.
Zoloft is very popular and has generated billions of dollars in profits for Pfizer. In fact, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimates that the U.S. has seen a 400% increase in the use of antidepressants. Currently 11% of the U.S. population over the age of twelve is taking some type of antidepressant medication.
Common side-effects of Zoloft
Side-effects for depression can be very serious and can include changes in appetite and sleep patterns, feelings of hopelessness, mental and physical agitation, loss of interest in normal daily activities, feelings of guilt, and difficulty concentrating.
Although the side-effects for depression can be very serious, there are risks taking anti-depressants, including Zoloft. Studies indicate that patients using Zoloft may have a lower risk of suicide, but this risk must be carefully balanced with other risks and discussed with your medical provider prior to use.
Common side-effects of Zoloft can include nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, restlessness, dizziness, increased sweating, weight loss, weight gain, suicidal thoughts, tremors, and drowsiness.
Recent Zoloft warnings
Recent concerns have been raised that Zoloft may increase the risk of suicidal behaviors in children, young adults, and adolescents, specifically young adults under the age of 24.
The FDA has suggested the decision to use Zoloft or any other antidepressants for a young adult should be weighed against this potential risk. Given these concerns, the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) has required Zoloft to include special warnings on its packaging.
After the FDA warnings was issued, however, Pfizer was sued by users of the product claiming that Pfizer failed in their duty to adequately warn users of the risk of using Zoloft.