Depression is a serious medical condition that can affect anyone. It affects approximately 34 million adults in the United States; nearly twice as many women as men are affected. Depression can make people feel sad, or down, as well as feel a lack of energy, change in appetite, feelings of restlessness, inability to concentrate, or have thoughts of suicide or death. Symptoms can vary from person to person, but if they last for longer than two weeks and interfere with an individual's life, it may be clinical depression.
It is believed that depression is linked with an imbalance of the chemical serotonin in the brain. Depression may be treated by interpersonal therapy, antidepressant medicines, or a combination of both treatments. The medication Zoloft, which is sertarline HCI, is used to treat depression.
Zoloft belongs to the group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and is commonly used as an antidepressant. It is mainly used to treat depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but can also be used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Zoloft has proven to be an effective treatment for depression in many people; however, as with any medication, there are side effects and risks associated with it. One serious risk associated with the medication is that children, adolescents, and young adults who take antidepressants may be at an increased risk of having suicidal thoughts and/or behavior during the first few months of treatment. Zoloft has only been approved for children and adolescents if they have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). If children or adolescents are prescribed Zoloft, it is important that they are monitored closely for signs of suicidal thoughts or worsening depression.
Other side effects associated with Zoloft include dry mouth, insomnia, diarrhea, nausea, drowsiness, and sexual side effects. In studies, it was found that the side effects experienced in conjunction with the use of Zoloft did not tend to bother people enough to stop taking the medication. The side effects of the medication can arise if an individual stops taking Zoloft abruptly.
Women who take Zoloft at 20 weeks or later into a pregnancy risk their babies being born with a serious condition called persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). While PPHN can show up in infants born to mothers who did not take a selective serotonin inhibitor like Zoloft, the risk is higher for mothers who did. With this condition, babies have an abnormal blood flow through their heart and lungs and do not get enough oxygen. PPHN can make babies very sick and can potentially be fatal.
Another serious side effect that has been associated with the use of Zoloft is the development of serotonin syndrome. This syndrome, which causes changes in how your brain, muscles and digestive system work as a result of high levels of serotonin in the body, is life-threatening. This syndrome can occur if a medication like Zoloft is taken along with medication that is used to treat migraine headaches, called triptans. Symptoms of this syndrome include a fast heart beat, restlessness, diarrhea, hallucinations, increased body temperature, vomiting, quick changes in blood pressure, loss of coordination, and coma. It is important to inform your physician if you are taking migraine medication and Zoloft together.
It is important to understand the risks of any medication you take. Speak with your health care professional before beginning any treatment to learn if it is right for you.
In the event that you or a loved on experienced a serious side effect that was attributed to Zoloft, it is recommended that you speak with an attorney. An attorney who is knowledgeable about pharmaceuticals and the laws surrounding them will be able to guide you through the legal process and determine whether or not you can make a claim. Suffering a serious injury can be devastating and expensive. A lawyer can help you seek compensation for medical bills, as well as the pain and suffering you and your family endured.