Zoloft review – Will this popular antidepressant really work?

Zoloft Review Summary

Zoloft is a popular antidepressant developed by Pfizer. It is an SSRI, which is commonly used to treat depression. Learn more in our Zoloft review!

Fiyin Ebemidayo

Results
Price
Side effects

Summary

Zoloft is a commonly prescribed antidepressant that works well for a majority of patients once the optimal dose is established. Some people do report side effects, especially in younger patients and it can interact poorly with other medications.

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7 Facts from our Zoloft Review

  1. Location: New York, NY 
  2. Products: Zoloft is the brand name of an antidepressant called Sertraline.
  3. Costs: $140 – $400
  4. Results: A treatment for depression and anxiety 
  5. How it works: Patients need a doctor’s prescription
  6. Recommended dose: 25 to 50 mg
  7. Complementary Products: Nebula Genomics 30x Whole Genome Sequencing DNA Test decodes 100% of your DNA with extremely high accuracy. It is a more reliable DNA test than other tests that provide lesser accuracy by decoding only 0.02% of DNA

Zoloft Introduction

What is Zoloft? Made by Pfizer, Zoloft (generic name: sertraline hydrochloride) is an antidepressant that belongs to a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). What is Zoloft used for? SSRIs affect certain hormones in the brain that may be unbalanced in people suffering from generalized anxiety. Zoloft for anxiety panic disorder, depression, major depressive disorder (MDD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms can also be used. SSRIs are especially focused on the hormone serotonin. You can read more about this drug in the company’s medication guide.

Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that makes the drug, was founded in 1849 by two cousins: Charles Pfizer and Charles F. Erhart.  It is an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation that has grown rapidly over the years to become one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Having a total revenue of $51.75 billion, Pfizer was ranked 64th on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue. Its COVID-19 vaccine was one of the first to be approved in the world.

Pfizer home page
Pfizer home page

What are the side effects of Zoloft? Common side effects include allergic reactions like skin rash or hives, joint pain, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, tongue, lips, or throat, and dry mouth. Other Zoloft side effects, first week, may include mood or behavior changes, panic attack, social anxiety disorder, trouble sleeping (especially when mixing Zoloft and alcohol), agitation, irritability, hostility, restless, aggressive, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depression, or having suicidal thoughts (especially in patients 24 years of age or younger).

Zoloft warning about suicidal thoughts
Antidepressants may increase suicidal thoughts

The drug may also be accompanied by serotonin syndromes, such as hallucinations, agitation, fever, shivering, sweating, fast heart rate, twitching, muscle stiffness, nausea, loss of coordination, vomiting, or diarrhea. Because of these stomach issues, Zoloft weight gain or weight loss may occur. If you experience any of these side effects, do not hesitate to contact your physician. 

You may experience a false positive drug screening test when you take this medication. Thus, you should inform the medical personnel in the laboratory that you are taking it if you need to provide a urine sample for drug screening.

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Zoloft Science

The human mood is influenced by the production and availability of a particular chemical called serotonin. 

Serotonin is the hormone responsible for our mood, a feeling of happiness, and well-being. If the availability of this chemical substance is lowered, an individual may be prone to depression. On the other hand, if the brain has too much serotonin, it may result in excessive nerve cell activity, causing restlessness and unrest. Therefore, for good mental health, you need a consistently balanced supply of serotonin. 

This is where Zoloft comes in. The drug uses the active ingredient sertraline hydrochloride to ensure that serotonin supply is balanced, thus, helping an individual stay calmer, more focused, happier, and emotionally stable.

Zoloft claims
Zoloft claims that may have led to its current popularity

To avoid having unnecessary side effects, you should speak to your doctor before taking antidepressants to know if they’re suitable for you. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have ever had a seizure, liver or kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, or a stroke; bipolar disorder (manic depression); low level of sodium in the body, bleeding problems, or if you take warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven). 

The drug is not suitable for people who are allergic to sertraline. Those who take pimozide and those who recently took an MAO inhibitor or plan to take it soon (especially methylene blue), you shouldn’t take Zoloft. If you must, then count 14 days before or 14 days after taking the MAO inhibitor. 

Strictly adhere to your doctor’s prescription when you take this drug. Follow all directions printed on the label, and avoid taking too much or too small amounts of the prescribed dosage. The medicine should also not be taken lesser or longer than the prescribed time. 

Zoloft Review

The medication is sold as both tablets and oral solutions.

How to Get Zoloft 

You need to be prescribed Zoloft by your medical provider to obtain the medication. You can use either a traditional pharmacy or you can order online through sites such as Amazon pharmacy once you have your prescription.

Zoloft on Amazon
Zoloft on Amazon

How to take Zoloft

The exact dose of the medication will be determined by your doctor. A Zoloft dosage of 25 or 50 mg is generally recommended for adults with various mental health disorders and children 6-12 years old with OCD. The dose may be gradually increased up to 200 mg if the initial dose is not effective. 

Dosing is different for patients with premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Zoloft tablets can be taken with or without food. The oral solution must be correctly diluted with water, ginger ale, lemon/lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice immediately before taking. Use the oral dropper to determine the correct amount of Zoloft concentrate. It is normal for the solution to look cloudy or hazy after mixing. 

How long does it take Zoloft to work? Patients may see the therapeutic effect of the drug after 1 or 2 weeks, although it usually takes between 4 to 6 weeks before you feel the full effect. This is because it takes about a week for enough of the prescription to build up in your system.

Patients should not stop taking Zoloft before speaking with their doctor. Generally, the medication needs to be stopped gradually to avoid serious Zoloft withdrawal symptoms including increased anxiety, irritability, high or low mood, feeling restless or changes in sleep habits, headache, sweating, nausea, dizziness, electric shock-like sensations, shaking, and confusion.

Zoloft Cost Review

You can purchase either Zoloft oral concentrate (that is mixed with water, ginger ale, lemon/lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice to take) or the Zoloft oral tablet, depending on your doctor’s prescription. 

The oral concentrate comes in 20 mg/mL, and it sells for $273.70 for 60 milliliters.

Zoloft prices
Zoloft prices

The oral tablets come in three strengths for different treatment plans:

  • 25 mg oral tablet: $139 – $393.84 for 30 tablets
  • 50 mg oral tablet: $139.01 for 30 tablets
  • 100 mg oral tablet: $393.84 for 30 tablets

You can also order 60 and 100 tablet quantities. The price per unit is about the same for each quantity.  

If eligible, patients may participate in the Zoloft Savings Offer Program, which saves users up to $150 in prescription costs. Generally, it does not apply to individuals who have part or all of their prescriptions covered by insurance.

Zoloft Privacy Reviews

The link to the privacy policy can be seen on Pfizer’s webpage. The policy was recently updated and effective November 19th, 2020.

Some of the ways Pfizer may use your information include connecting you with a required and suitable third-party, validating your ability to access certain products, services, and news, improving their products and services, and protecting patients and consumers.

The company may also share your information within their family of companies, including Pfizer Inc. and its subsidiary companies. They may also share your information in case of a business transfer. Pfizer ensures that customers’ information is protected and the security section under their privacy policy.

Other Zoloft Reviews

The medication has over 1000 customer reviews on WebMD.com. One of the customers who started Zoloft on the site reports, “Had headache when I started at 50 mg, cut back to 25 mg for a week, then returned to 50 mg…no more headache. Not only is my depression gone, I feel less anxious. I wake up and go to bed feeling thankful for a good life.” 

On Drugs.com, it has over 1,500 user reviews. It has an average rating of 7.2 out of 10 on the site. 63% of those users who reviewed Zoloft reported a positive effect, while 18% reported bad reviews, mainly due to dosage difficulty and side effects.

Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex (updated 2 Feb 2021), Cerner Multum™ (updated 3 Feb 2021), ASHP (updated 29 Jan 2021) and others.

Zoloft in the News

The medication Ranks Among the Most Commonly Prescribed Drugs in Australia

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It is an effective SSRI antidepressant.
  • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
  • It is easy to swallow
  • One of the best choice of antidepressants for pregnant women

Cons

  • Most patient report cases of diarrhea after taking it compared to other antidepressants 
  • It has drug interactions and may increase risk of bleeding when combined with other medications

Zoloft vs other antidepressants

Brand nameZoloft (sertraline)LexaproProzacWellbutrinCelexa
Generic drug namesertralineescitalopramfluoxetinebupropioncitalopram
Formoral tablet, oral solutionoral tablet, oral solutionoral tablet, oral capsule, delayed-release oral capsule, oral solutionoral tabletoral tablet, oral solution
Who can take itpeople 12 years and olderpeople 18 years and older18 years and older18 years and older18 years and older
Recommended dosage (actual dosage determined by your doctor)10 mg per day25-50 mg per day20 – 60 mg per day200 mg per day10 – 40 mg per day
Lexapro vs Zoloft, Prozac vs Lexapro, Wellbutrin vs Zoloft, and Celexa vs Zoloft

Nebula Genomics

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You may be interested in a different SSRI called Lexapro or you could check out DNA tests that specifically focus on mental illnesses to guide treatment options including Genomind and Genesight

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Did you like our Zoloft review? You can read more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.