Sertraline, marketing by Pfizer under the product name Zoloft, is an antidepressive drug; as such it makes claim to reduce (to quote Pfizer) “serotonin imbalance,” a leading cause of depression, through chemical adjustment.
The FDA has a somewhat different take on the drug, as does PLoS Medicine, the medical journal that runs studies of drug claims.
According to the latter, which is peer-reviewed, no scientific evidence exists to support the theory of such an imbalance, which may account for the ups and downs Zoloft has experienced(in some cases literally) both with its patients and the medical and legal professions.
Sertraline side effects believe a great deal of the efficacy claimed for the product; in addition, the drug is currently being investigated by the FDA in a “watchdog” rated study (this rating was applied due to studies of the aforementioned side effects recorded in 2006 in the New England Journal of Medicine).
What are the possible Sertraline Side Effects?
Sertraline side effects, inducing as they do the “potentially life-threatening Serotonin Syndrome” (FDA website), should probably be viewed with some alarm.
They include, besides the SS, the risk of pulmonary hypertension in the nursing infant of a mother who may be taking the drug to assist in her post-partum anxieties. The baby, it was discovered, may be getting traces of the chemical in the mother’s milk if the mother feeds less than 12 hours after ingesting the pharmaceutical.
Nursing mothers are therefore caught in a Scylla and Charybdis of medical usage vs. natal care, since further side effects, many quite severe, are experienced by patients attempting a swift cessation of Sertraline-based medications.
Most people have heard of the cravings that denial of a drug does to a human frame, and Sertraline/Zoloft is no different, as the patient may experience cramps, sweats, nausea, joint pain, edema (swelling) of the lungs and facial muscles, bleeding and bruising, rashes and skin flaking.
Most problematic of all these withdrawal symptoms is heart palpitations. The heart is responding to the “shutting-down” of some electrical impulses that the Sertraline previously managed and maintained, and it can defibrillate or become arrhythmic. Fainting and dizzy spells are common, and there have been rare fatal cases of heart failure. While these are not direct Sertraline side effects previously mentioned, they are, so to speak, the anti-Sertraline side effects, resulting from withdrawal.
A doctor’s cessation program is essential for a patient, particularly a young mother with a newborn, trying to abandon the use of the drug. While Sertraline/Zoloft is not physically addicting, the psychological dependence upon it can create the legion of aforementioned side effects.
Consult your medical professional for more information about Sertraline/Zoloft side effects and withdrawal symptoms; we urge an immediate consultation for patients wishing to cease use of the drug.