September 19, 2021

Zoloft Side Effects

Zoloft is a drug commonly used to treat depression, anxiety and other psychological conditions. Zoloft, available by prescription only, belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRI’s. These medications treat depression and other psychiatric disorders by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. In successful cases, Zoloft can improve poor mood and other symptoms of depression, such as decreased energy and loss of interest in everyday activities.

Benefits of Zoloft

In the treatment of depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Zoloft can provide many significant benefits. This drug has been show to improve or eliminate the following symptoms:

  • Decreased energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor quality of life
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Risky behaviors associated with depression
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Moodiness, sadness and/or general unhappiness
  • Panic and anxiety
  • Obsessive/compulsive behaviors
  • Irrational fears

Side Effects of Zoloft

As with most medications, Zoloft can cause undesirable side effects. The severity of these side effects differs from person to person, and can sometimes outweigh the benefits of Zoloft in the treatment of depression and other disorders.

A few common side effects of Zoloft include the following:zoloft side effects

  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Changes in appetite
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Insomnia

In rare cases, the following side effects can be experienced in individuals taking Zoloft:

  • Worsened depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Rash or unexplained itching
  • Confusion
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle spasms, twitching or uncontrollable muscle movements
  • Fever
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased energy
  • Nosebleeds
  • Mammary secretion in females

Zoloft in Children, Teens and Young Adults

It’s important to note that in children, teens and young adults, Zoloft, as well as other antidepressants, can lead to a worsening of depressive symptoms. In rare cases, Zoloft has been shown to increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in adolescents and young adults. Due to these risks, close monitoring is recommended for Zoloft patients in this age group.

Zoloft During Pregnancy

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, Zoloft should be taken with caution. Although generally considered safe, the risk of potential birth defects and other adverse reactions varies on an individual basis. If Zoloft is taken throughout pregnancy, newborn infants may experience withdrawal symptoms, such irritability and excessive crying, for a few days after delivery. To prevent withdrawal symptoms in newborns, many doctors begin to decrease the patient’s dosage during the third trimester of pregnancy. Because sudden discontinuation of Zoloft can cause damage to both mother and baby, weaning should be done under the recommendation of a trained medical professional.

Possible Drug Interactions

Using Zoloft in conjunction with other drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, can lead to harmful reactions. For example, taking Zoloft in conjunction with antidepressants called MAOI’s, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors, can cause muscle and joint rigidity, blood pressure fluctuations and hyperthermia. To avoid possible drug interactions, make sure your doctor knows what medications, including OTC drugs and herbal remedies, you are currently taking before beginning Zoloft.

In addition to MAOI’s, the following drugs may interact negatively with Zoloft:

  • Blood thinners
  • Insulin or other drugs used to regulate blood glucose
  • OTC pain relievers
  • Herbal remedies used in the treatment of depression, especially St. John’s wort
  • Medications used to treat migraines
  • Diuretics
  • Alcohol
  • Illicit drugs
  • Anti-anxiety drugs
  • Drugs used to treat insomnia
  • Mood stabilizers

Before prescribing a Zoloft regimen, a doctor will take several factors into consideration. Full medical history, current medications and symptoms should be evaluated in order to determine if Zoloft is right for you.

Zoloft is NOT Recommended for Individuals with Certain Conditions

Due to possible adverse reactions, Zoloft may not be recommended for use in individuals who suffer from the following conditions:zoloft danger

  • Seizure
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Poor circulation
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Blood clotting disorders

If you are currently taking Zoloft and experience any of the aforementioned side effects, contact a doctor immediately. Do not discontinue Zoloft or taper dosage on your own, as this could lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms and other harmful reactions.