Sertraline is one of the best known psychotropic drugs for the treatment of major depression , panic attacks, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive thoughts. It is also known by its trade name, Zoloft and although by itself it does not cure these conditions, it is useful to alleviate and control the flow of negative thoughts and emotions.
Every time a work is published on this type of chemical resources for mental health the controversy arises. Are drugs really necessary to treat these types of conditions? If so, which are the most effective? Should we opt for the second and third generation psychotropic drugs or are we left with the usual formulas?
Curious as it may seem, these same questions are posed by mental health specialists. Thus, if there is something clear is that each patient requires an exclusive and personalized strategy . There will be those who can overcome their depression through psychological therapy. Others, however, will need to supplement it with a pharmacological treatment. Which, of course, can vary in kind and quantity until the desired effect is achieved.
A few years ago the magazine " The Lancet " did an investigation to compare the effectiveness of a large part of the psychotropic drugs that treat depression. In the first positions Zoloft (sertraline) appeared. This selective inhibitor of serotonin reuptake (SSRI) remains today one of the most useful and in turn one of the most prescribed by professionals. Let's see what is its mechanism of action and what the side effects.
What is sertraline? How does it act?
The effect of sertraline is usually noticed between 4 and 8 hours after taking . The person usually experiences relaxation, an improvement in their mood and greater mental control. The reason for this effect is due to its mechanism of action. We are facing a psychotropic drug that inhibits the reuptake of serotonin. In essence, what it does is increase its presence and availability in our body.
Therefore, we speak of a chemical modification of the transmissions in our brain that will directly affect our state of mind. It will also have other physiological correlates, such as the level of activation, or psychological, such as attitude.
In what situations is sertraline useful?
As we have indicated, sertraline is administered mainly in depressive disorders. It will help to control the emotions, thoughts and actions that sometimes accompany these types of health conditions, but it will not cure this type of diseases on its own. You need approaches that complement your action, such as psychological therapy itself.
On the other hand, in addition to being useful in cases of depression, has shown a good effectiveness in the following situations:
Side effects associated with sertralineWe are facing a psychopharmaceutical. As the word indicates is not a normal medication, it is not a paracetamol or an antihistamine. It must be prescribed and prescribed exclusively by a mental health specialist . Also, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, although effective, are far from innocuous. They have side effects and the incidence of these will depend on several factors.
The first is the duration of the treatment. The second, the personal conditions of each patient, since as we already know, not all organisms are the same. There will be those who will not tolerate it, some will notice immediate improvement and there will be those who do not follow the recommendations and administer it badly, when combined with other substances and endanger their own health . We must therefore be very careful and follow the clinical recommendations to the letter.
Let's see what are its main adverse effects.
Considerations about sertraline
An interesting aspect about this drug is that it improves its bioavailability if we take it during meals . Also, it is worth bearing in mind that, on the contrary, in case we are smokers or drinkers, their effectiveness is reduced significantly. This is something that we will have to discuss with our doctor at the moment in which he / she evaluates which pharmacological resource is better for us.
Sertraline is also not recommended in children, adolescents and pregnant women , as well as in patients with kidney or liver problems.
To finish, once again stress the importance of following the indications of the specialists. Psychopharmaceuticals and especially this one that we have just detailed, are still today part of the most common therapeutic strategy to treat depressive disorders. They will help us to feel better in order to be able to work in an adequate psychological therapy.