Why are so many people on Zoloft?
What is Zoloft?
Zoloft is the brand name for the chemical compound sertraline hydrochloride. Sertraline increases the amounts of serotonin in the brain and affects the central nervous system. Although Zoloft only came onto the market when it was introduced by Pfizer in 1991, its sales and popularity took off. We hope to give you some reasons here.
5 reasons so many people take Zoloft
Pfizer has made claims in marketing campaigns that Zoloft can correct “serotonin imbalance” in the brain and thereby depression, even though there is no scientific evidence for this theory. The following copywriting may lead people to buy Zoloft under the belief that extra serotonin in the brain relieves depression:
“While the cause is unknown, depression may be related to an imbalance of natural chemicals between nerve cells in the brain. Prescription Zoloft works to correct this imbalance. You just shouldn’t have to feel this way anymore.”
2. Efficacy for clinical depression
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, clinical depression is a common medical illness affecting 5-8 percent of the adult population a year. Given its relatively minor side effects but reliable efficacy, Zoloft is the most prescribed antidepressant out there.
Additionally, there are no known neurotoxic or permanent side effects associated with long term use of sertraline. Zoloft is considered a safe and effective medication when used as directed.
4. Relatively fast acting
How long do you have to take Zoloft? After taking Zoloft for 1-2 weeks, some people notice improvements in sleep, energy, or appetite. These signs are important indicators that the medication works, because it make take a total of 4-6 weeks to help symptoms such as a depressed mood or lack of interest in activities.
5. Treating other mental health disorders
Zoloft is also used to treat a number of other mental disorders. And the numbers are high. In a Mental Healthy Survey prepared for the National Mental Health Association, it is estimated that nearly a third (32%) of adult Americans experience symptoms related to mental health disorders Although Zoloft was originally (and mainly) marketed for depression, the drug can also be used to treat a number of different mental health conditions. These include:
- depression / major depressive disorder
- obsessive compulsive disorder
- panic disorder
- post traumatic stress disorder
- premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Zoloft and FDA warnings
Zoloft does not work for everyone, though. The FDA has issued warnings about increased risk of suicidality (thoughts or actions of suicide), serotonin syndrome and persistent pulmonary hypertension for particular risk groups taking Zoloft. And Zoloft should not be taken with some medications (monoamine oxidase inhibitors).
If you’re interested in learning more about Zoloft, see the related articles below, or type the word “zoloft” into the search bar. Or, leave your questions and comments. We try to answer all questions promptly and directly.
Reference sources: NAMI [dot] org, Modern Medicine, FDA review of Zoloft
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