Starting Zoloft(Sertraline): What to Expect and What to Avoid
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It is crucial to know how to start taking Zoloft properly because of the complicated steps involved in taking it. When starting Zoloft, there are certain precautions to follow to make sure the medication works well. There are also several habits and medications to avoid before and during medication.
Table of Contents
- What to Know Before Taking Sertraline?
- How to Take Zoloft?
- Can Zoloft be Snorted?
- What is the Best Time to Take Zoloft?
- How to Store Sertraline?
- What are the Other Zoloft Precautions?
- How Long does it Take for Zoloft to Start Working?
Zoloft High-Risk Groups
Before starting Zoloft, it is essential to talk to a doctor or a health professional first. This step can make sertraline usage safer for a patient. It is inappropriate for some specific groups of patients to take Zoloft. Taking more pills than required may lead to sertraline overdose condition.
These group of patients includes:
Taking Zoloft as a patient above the age of 65 could have some severe consequences. The study by the US National Center for Biotechnology information found out that bone fracture or exhaustion may occur as a result in older people starting Zoloft (Sertraline).
Taking sertraline during pregnancy can be dangerous. It may cause lung problems or complications in newborn babies. If a patient becomes pregnant, it is advised to let a doctor know immediately. She should not stop or start taking sertraline during pregnancy without a doctor’s advice.
Antidepressants can be dangerous to young people the first time they start taking it. They can have serious thoughts about suicide, so family members should be on alert when they are taking sertraline. Also, sertraline affects sexual life of the patients. Treatment progress or any of the symptoms mentioned should be checked at a regular visit to a medical practitioner.
Do not give sertraline to children younger than 18 years old without first consulting a medical doctor. According to the FDA study, sertraline is suitable for treating children with OCD but not for depressed children.
People Taking Other Medications
Some medicines can disrupt the intake of sertraline leading to dangerous serious conditions. Patients should inform a doctor if they are taking any other medications before taking sertraline.
People with Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Patients with severe medical conditions should avoid sertraline. It is important to tell a doctor about any medical history of illnesses that might prevent patients from starting Zoloft. These illnesses include:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Kidney diseases
- Liver problem
- High blood pressure
- Seizures etc.
How to Start Taking Sertraline Medication
The best way of taking this medication is by following Zoloft instructions on the prescription label. Also, a doctor can sometimes change a patient’s prescription or dose depending on the assessment of their medical condition. When prescribed, it is vital for the patient to follow the prescription keenly without taking in larger or smaller quantity. Also taking it for longer than recommended could lead to sertraline weight gain.
A patient can take Zoloft medicine with or without eating, but it is also advised to take it at the same time each day. When taking the oral suspension, use the dropper provided to measure the required dosage and mix it in a ½ cup of water, lemon soda, lemonade, ginger ale or orange juice. Stir very well before drinking. Do not mix until the patient is ready to drink the mixture even if it looks hazy. Make sure the entire dose is taken by adding little-recommended liquid in the same glass, shake gently then drink immediately.
Zoloft and Grapefruit
Avoid mixing Zoloft with any other liquid than mentioned above, especially grapefruit juice. Grapefruit slows down the ability of the gut to process Zoloft, so there is a possibility of increasing sertraline in the blood. Don’t eat grapefruit while taking sertraline medicine either. This could lead to Zoloft nausea, increased heart rate, headache, and sleepiness.
What Is Zoloft Starting Dose?
Zoloft prescription varies for people with different disorders. It is advised to follow a doctor’s prescription or the directions on the label. If a patient misses the required dose of Zoloft or forgot to take it, it is advised to take sertraline as soon as possible. If it’s near the next dose, the missed dose can be skipped then continue at next dose regularly to avoid double dosing.
Can One Snort Zoloft?
It is possible to snort Zoloft, but it won’t be as effective as taking it orally. Such consumption also not recommended by FDA experts. Snorting a drug gives it quick access to the brain and may lead to Zoloft high, but with occasionally deadly consequences.
Snorting Zoloft has not been deeply studied by experts, but reports from people proved this to be very dangerous.
The side effects associated with snorting Zoloft often include irritability in the nasal cavity, bruises in the nostrils, pains that last for about an hour or more, infections in the nasal cavity, seizures, symptoms of serotonin syndrome, etc.
When to Take Zoloft
Most people are confused about the best time to take Zoloft. Zoloft can be taken once a day either in the morning or in the evening. When taking Zoloft, it is essential to keep a constant schedule. Take Zoloft at the same time of each day to ensure that one has the proper amount in bloodstream. For example, it can be taken immediately after brushing teeth every morning. To ensure more accurate timing, a patient can set a daily alarm to remember when to take Zoloft.
Best Time of the Day to Take Zoloft
Everyone reacts differently with different side effects when taking antidepressants. However, experts advice that SSRI drugs like Zoloft should be taken in the morning. The reason being that this class of antidepressants can cause disruption in sleep and can make people feel more energized especially when starting the medication.
Storing Zoloft is very important to avoid reactions or expiration. Store Zoloft in a closed container at room temperature. Avoid heat, direct sunlight or any form of moisture.
What Else to Avoid
When starting the treatment plan, it is highly recommended to avoid mixing alcohol with Zoloft. A patient should inquire from a doctor before taking painkillers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug for arthritis, fever, swelling, etc.
Other drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib, diclofenac, meloxicam, etc. Using these drugs with Zoloft may cause patients to bruise or bleed easily. When taking certain medications, it can interfere with sertraline. Patients should also inquire from a medical doctor before taking sleeping pills, medicines for anxiety, muscle relaxer or drugs for seizures.
Also, don’t mix sertraline and medical cannabis as well as with other over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Patients should inform their doctors about all current medicines or medications that was started or stopped.
How Long to Wait Before One Sees Results
When a person is starting Zoloft, it may take about four weeks before a patient can start seeing results. They should keep using the medicine as prescribed by the doctor and should report if they don’t see any sign of improvement. Patients should also report any symptoms they experience to a doctor when on medication.
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