Sertraline hydrochloride, which can be bought in the market under trade names like Zoloft and Lustral, is an antidepressant medication that is classified as part of the cluster of drugs with the collective name of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. The medication is used to combat a number of mental irregularities such as anxiety disorders as well as a few other health conditions. Below is a few more tidbits of information on sertraline.
Mechanism of Action
As part of the group of drugs called SSRIs, sertraline prevents the reuptake of serotonin, a chemical in the brain, and increases its level in the brain. Serotonin, which is also called 5-HT, is a neurotransmitter that is believed to be partly responsible for the regulation of a person’s mood. Because it increases the brain levels of serotonin, sertraline is useful in the management of certain mental disorders that are somewhat caused by the release and transmission of inadequate levels of the substance.
Sertraline is primarily used to treat conditions that are believed to be partly due to insufficient brain levels of serotonin. It is part of the management of certain mental disorders such as major depressive disorder, which is characterized by repeated episodes of all-encompassing low spirits, poor self-esteem, and the inability to derive pleasure from normally pleasurable things. Sertraline is also beneficial for adults who are suffering from recurrent and intrusive thoughts that may give rise to feelings of anxiety, fear, and worry which require them to engage in repetitive tasks or behaviors to alleviate these feelings (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Other uses of sertraline include treatment for adults who develop a cluster of symptoms resulting from an extremely traumatic situation (post-traumatic stress disorder), those who undergo recurrent and intense panic attacks (panic disorder), and those who are irrationally fearful of being in social situations (social anxiety disorder).
Sertraline is available in tablet forms (25mg, 50mg, and 100mg) as well as in solution form (20mg/ml). The recommended dosage is dependent on the type of disorder being treated and the doctor’s orders, and one should always follow his instructions to the letter. Severely depressed and obsessive-compulsive patients are usually started on an initial dose of 50mg once a day, which may be raised by 50mg increments after a week’s interval until the maximum daily dose of 200mg is reached. Those suffering from PTSD and panic disorder are prescribed an initial dosage of 25mg per day. This daily dosage may be increased weekly until it reaches 200mg, which is the highest dose.
It is also important to remember that one shouldn’t expect an instant improvement in symptoms as sertraline’s benefits may take time to develop, usually over a period of one month. Patients who are on sertraline should continue to take the medication as instructed.
No one can really anticipate what side effects may develop in a person so if you experience any intense change or abnormality, you should report it to your doctor immediately. Here are some of the side effects to watch out for: nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, diarrhea, constipation, gas, indigestion, abdominal pain, agitation, nervousness, insomnia, sleepiness, vision problems, headache, fatigue, anxiety, tremor, and a lot more. Some patients on sertraline may also exhibit emotional or mental symptoms like hallucinations, rapid shifts of mood, aggressiveness, memory loss, and paranoia.
There are certain precautions that must be heeded when taking sertraline. To ensure you get the best possible treatment, you should always consult your physician. He or she is the best person to determine whether sertraline will be good for you or not.