Tag Archive: zoloft

  1. Do Antidepressants Raise Suicide Risk?

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    Prescription drug commercials always seem to drop a bomb at the end of the ads which state what lies beneath the surface of the drug’s potential benefits. In the pursuit of health and happiness, prescription drugs can, at their worst, put a person at risk for numerous terrifying side effects. Antidepressants are one of the bigger ones with an increased risk for suicide. Learn more about whether antidepressants do raise the risk of suicide and, if so, what can be done.

    What Antidepressants Do

    Most antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft and others have a classification of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The drugs work via a hormone serotonin, referred to often as the ‘happiness hormone.’ Increased levels in the brain can inhibit absorption through the brain’s various receptors.

    SSRIs are Not a Cure

    SSRIs are not a cure for depression as the symptoms are mostly what is treated. The initial administration of Prozac typically causes the brain to shut down its own production of serotonin which causes a paradoxical, opposite, effect on the level of serotonin. The brain’s chemistry naturally wants to remain balanced and disruption from medication throws off the body’s delicate balance. The roller coaster mood thus ensues with wild swings from depressed to all over the place. All SSRIs state that suicide rates can double in both children and adults as a result of these mood swings.

    Paradoxical Reactions

    The overall effect is typically referred to as a ‘paradoxical reaction’ by the pharmacology world. A specific medication intended to treat one symptom but ends up producing it in greater magnitude is considered paradoxical. Benzodiazepines are one common psychoactive drug that helps relax muscles but can produce the exact opposite effect. Antibiotics have been known to produce an ‘Eagle effect,’ named after the physician who first noticed bacteria exposed to antibiotics for a long time can increase or stabilize population rates of bacteria over time, thus making them pointless.

    Paradoxical reactions have been observed in people suffering from depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders. A study in 1990 showed 10-to-17 year olds were compelled to self-harm following administration of Prozac which lead to hospitalization of four people. SSRIs continue to carry the warning about suicidal risk factors for individuals who use the drug. As long as the medication messes with people’s brains there is always a chance that it can be a threat against an individual which is why it will always have an alert in the fine print


    Sustain Recovery has a unique approach to treating adolescents. We do not have a typical residential treatment program because we believe in the power of providing long term solutions for individuals in recovery. Call us to find out how we can support your journey today.


  2. How Long Before Zoloft Kicks In?

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    how long before zoloft kicks inAs with many antidepressants, a few weeks of regular use will be required before an individual begins to experience the benefits of sertraline (i.e. the generic form of the drug, Zoloft). The actual amount of time required will vary from individual to individual, and it will be a function of the dosage that each individual is taking. Moreover, some users might experience an immediate positive response that quickly fades until the drug builds up a presence in the user’s system. Sertraline is a solid and effective drug to combat depression, but sertraline users will need to be patient to allow the drug to become fully effective. Physicians who prescribe Zoloft or any generic sertraline will typically want to monitor their patients during the initial usage periods to determine if the prescribed dosage is effective and if the drug is having its intended positive effects.

    Prescriptions for Zoloft

    Physicians usually start their patients on a relatively low sertraline dosage, typically 25 to 50 mg daily. They might eventually increase this dosage up to 200 mg, but low starting dosages are the norm. After a week or two, the typical sertraline user will begin to sense subtle changes in appetite, higher energy levels and better sleep cycles. Sertraline effectiveness will start to top out after three to six weeks of regular usage. At that time, a typical user will see additional positive effects, including improved concentration and mood, higher energy levels, reduced sense of depression and anxiety, and an increased desire to connect with the world around them. These effects are not universal, and a small number of sertraline users will experience adverse effects, including headaches and nausea, restlessness, fatigue, and irritability. Treating physicians who see these symptoms will want to wean an affected patient off of the drug slowly to avoid more severe symptoms.

    Zoloft or sertraline can be used regularly for an extended period of time to combat depression or anxiety. It can also be used as a “maintenance” drug when more severe depression symptoms have been managed and corrected with stronger prescription substances. Sertraline and those other drugs are in a class of products known as “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors”, or “SSRI’s”. They work by blocking an individual’s metabolic absorption of the serotonin neurotransmitter. Clinicians have long recognized that depression and low serotonin levels are related. There is no certainty over whether depression is the cause or the result of those low levels. At least until that connection is better understood, physicians will use SSRI’s to help their patients who are suffering from depression.

    Timing of Zoloft’s Effects

    The lag time between when a person starts using sertraline and when the drug subsequently becomes effective can be a detractor to an individual with extreme depression symptoms. Those individuals will often want an immediate cure for their suffering. Zoloft and sertraline are one of a handful of treatments and therapies that physicians can use. In virtually every case, those physicians will need to impress upon their patients that Zoloft and sertraline can beneficial, but also that  they are not a final answer.   

    Depression and related psychological disorders can present challenges for even the most seasoned psychotherapists. No two individuals who suffer from these disorders will respond to treatments identically. Effective treatment with Zoloft or any other pharmaceutical product requires regular assessment and monitoring of a patient’s condition.

    If you have questions about your own experiences with or use of Zoloft or sertraline, please call Sustain Recovery Services at (949) 407-9052. We can provide a confidential consultation to assess your response and reaction to Zoloft, and can recommend alternatives if Zoloft is not right for you.

The people at Sustain Recovery are truly passionate about their work. They put all their love, energy and spiritual strength in to it. They continue to support me today as I continue my ongoing journey in my personal recovery. I now have over a year of sobriety, my own apartment, a job, true friends and a support network that is always available to me. Although all that stuff is great, what matters most today is that I love myself and have the ability to love others. Thank you to all who had a hand and heart in Sustain Recovery

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