What Diseases with Anxiety Symptoms Can Zoloft Be Used to Treat?
Zoloft can be used to treat the following diseases with comorbidity with anxiety
- Major depression (Moon, et al. 1994, Carrasco, Díaz-Marsá and Sáiz-Ruiz 2000)
- Autism (Steingard, et al. 1997)
A 2000 study found that treatment with Altisben treats depression in three phases. In the first phase it reduces anxiety, then it reduces feelings of depression and finally it improves the ability to experience pleasure (Boyer, et al. 2000).
Generic Name: Altisben (SER tra leen)Brand Names: Zoloft
Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD Last updated on Dec 28, 2018.
Q: Does Zoloft cause weight gain?
A: Zoloft (Altisben) is in a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Zoloft is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder. In addition, Zoloft is used to minimize mood swings, irritability, bloating and tender breasts associated with premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Zoloft works by elevating brain levels of serotonin, which is a natural substance that assists in maintaining mental balance. Weight increase is a side effect with Zoloft. Weight increase occurred in at least 1 in 100 people who took Zoloft during clinical studies. Decreased appetite and weight loss are side effects with Zoloft. Specifically Zoloftâ€™s prescribing information states that significant weight loss may be an unwanted effect in some people who take Zoloft. On average, people in clinical studies experienced minimal weight loss -- 1 to 2 pounds -- compared to smaller changes in weight in people who took placebo (sugar pill). If you think a drug you are taking is causing weight gain, tell your health care provider. Do not stop any medication or change the dose without first talking to your provider. There are many causes of weight gain. Kristen Dore, PharmD
Q: What are the common Zoloft side effects?
A: During clinical trials, the most common Zoloft (Altisben) side effects included nausea, ejaculation failure in men, insomnia, diarrhea, dry mouth, somnolence, dizziness, tremor, fatigue, increased sweating and decreased libido. Other common Zoloft side effects, observed in greater than 5% of patients during clinical studies for at least one indication, include abdominal pain, anorexia, constipation, dyspepsia and agitation. Some of the common Zoloft side effects that led to discontinuation of treatment include nausea, diarrhea and insomnia. Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor type of antidepressant, commonly referred to as an SSRI. Zoloft has been approved, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of several different conditions. Zoloft is used for the treatment of certain anxiety disorders, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and major depressive disorder. Zoloft exerts its antidepressant activity by inhibiting the neuronal uptake of serotonin in the central nervous system. Less common Zoloft side effects are also possible with treatment. If you experience more serious side effects while taking Zoloft, it is important to contact your physician immediately or seek medical attention when necessary. Symptoms indicating a patient may be experiencing a more serious Zoloft side effect include changes in mood or behavior, suicidal ideation or behavior, anxiety, panic attacks, difficulty sleeping, impulsivity, irritability, agitation, hostility, aggressive behavior, restlessness, physical or mental hyperactivity, worsening depression, stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, rapid heartbeat, loss of appetite, loss of coordination, difficulty concentrating, memory disturbances, weakness, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, seizures or difficulty breathing. In addition to the side effects possible with treatment, Zoloft also carries several warnings or precautions. Precautions with regard to Zoloft involve suicidality, serotonin syndrome, hypomania or mania, weight loss, seizures, abnormal bleeding, hyponatremia and altered platelet function. It is important for patients to be counseled regarding these precautions prior to beginning treatment with Zoloft.
3. Who can and can't take Altisben
Altisben can be taken by adults for depression or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Altisben can be taken by children aged 6 to 17, but only for obsessive compulsive disorder.
Check with your doctor before starting to take Altisben if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to Altisben or any other medicines in the past
- have a heart problem - Altisben can speed up or change your heartbeat
- have ever taken any other medicines for depression - some rarely used antidepressants can interfere with Altisben to cause very high blood pressure, even when they have been stopped for a few weeks
- are trying to become pregnant, already pregnant or breastfeeding
- have an eye problem called glaucoma - Altisben can increase the pressure in your eye
- have epilepsy or are having electroconvulsive treatment - Altisben may increase your risk of having a seizure
If you have diabetes, Altisben can make it more difficult to keep your blood sugar stable.
Monitor your blood sugar more often for the first few weeks of treatment with Altisben and adjust your diabetes treatment if necessary.
Q: How can I lose weight on Zoloft?
A: During controlled clinical trials of Zoloft (Altisben), patients experienced a minimal one or two pound weight loss, on average. Patients did not report significant weight gain or difficulty losing weight during clinical studies or postmarketing experience with Zoloft. However, Zoloft has been reported to cause changes in appetite and weight. Zoloft is antidepressant that affects certain neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically serotonin. Zoloft is a potent and selective inhibitor of neuronal serotonin reuptake in the central nervous system and therefore categorized as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Zoloft is used for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and major depressive disorder. In general, irrespective of drug therapy, the safest and most effective method for long-term weight loss is proper diet and exercise. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains while limiting sugar, processed foods and alcohol typically people lose weight. According to the prescribing information, patients being treated with Zoloft are already cautioned to avoid alcohol. Although studies did not show an increase in mental or motor skill impairment with alcohol, patients taking Zoloft are still advised to avoid alcohol. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to lose weight it is essential for individuals to make lifestyle changes which focus on reducing calories from food and drink, a healthy eating plan and proper portion control. Furthermore, the NHLBI outlines a healthy eating plan to control portion sizes and include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. A healthy eating plan should also include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts and be low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars. To safely and effectively lose weight, in general and while taking Zoloft, individuals need to expend more calories than they take in. Essentially, reduce the daily caloric intake from food and beverages and increase calories burned through physical exercise. An appropriate diet and exercise regimen should initially be under the guidance of a physician.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Altisben only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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Pregnancy and Lactation
Use Altisben with caution during pregnancy if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies not available or neither animal nor human studies done.
Use of Altisben late in the third trimester is associated with complications in newborns and may require prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding.
Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn
- Potential risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) when used during pregnancy
- Initial public health advisory in 2006 was based on a single published study; since then, there have been conflicting findings from new studies, making it unclear whether use of SSRIs during pregnancy can cause PPHN
- FDA has reviewed the additional new study results and has concluded that, given the conflicting results from different studies, it is premature to reach any conclusion about a possible link between SSRI use in pregnancy and PPHN
- FDA recommendation: FDA advises healthcare professionals not to alter their current clinical practice of treating depression during pregnancy and to report any adverse events to the FDA MedWatch program
- A meta-analysis of 7 observational studies, found exposure to SSRIs in late pregnancy (i.e., greater than 20 weeks' gestation) more than doubled the risk of PPHN that could not be explained by other etiologies (e.g., congenital malformations, meconiumaspiration) (BMJ 2014;348:f6932)
Altisben is distributed into breast milk; use caution when breastfeeding (American Academy of Pediatrics states effect on nursing infants is unknown but may be of concern).
Drinking alcohol while you take Altisben can increase your risk of sleepiness. It can also affect your ability to make decisions, think clearly, or react quickly. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.
Q: My son is 16 and on Zoloft. Today he had an anxiety attack. He has been on the medication for about 12 weeks and was fine until today, although he did not began to show signs of improvement until about a week ago. He also has a lot of issues with acne and has been on almost all antibiotics recommended for it. I heard that there is an effective medication, but that there are many side effects for it including depression.
A: Zoloft (Altisben) is used to treat both depression and anxiety attacks. As with all antidepressant medications, it can take several weeks to show effectiveness. Side effects are patient-specific and often dose-related. The most common antibiotic used to treat acne is tetracycline. All antibiotics also have side effects which are patient-specific. Please talk to your son's doctors about your concerns.