HEALTH CABINET

A comprehensive list of prescription and over the counter medications.

PROZAC & ZOLOFT

Prozac and Zoloft are part of a group of medications that people commonly refer to as antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI's. Prozac first came to the market in 1987 and because of its overwhelming popularity drug manufactures began to manufacture other similar drugs, which is how Zoloft came to market.

Newer drugs such as Zoloft tend to be safer for patients and have fewer side effects than older antidepressants. Other patients prefer newer antidepressants because they report they feel more like themselves rather than feeling medicated and hazy.

Prozac & Zoloft Warnings and Precautions

It is important for patients to understand that antidepressants can increase the risk of having suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Patients should let their doctor or pharmacist know if they have a personal or family history of psychiatric disorder, suicide attempts, kidney, liver or thyroid disease.

Elderly patients are much more susceptible to the side effects to of antidepressants, particularly the dizziness. Most doctors advise caution in having children take antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft because they are often more likely to suffer from the side effects of antidepressants with the most common being loss of appetite, weight loss and it is important to monitor the weight and growth of children taking Zoloft and Prozac.

Women who are pregnant should not take Prozac and Zoloft as the medications can have a negative impact on the infant upon birth. Babies whose mothers take antidepressants in the last three months of pregnancy can cause the newborn infant to suffer withdrawal symptoms.

Prozac & Zoloft Uses

Prozac and Zoloft are medications that doctors commonly prescribe to treat patients with severe depression. Prozac and Zoloft also treat panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorders, social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder and severe premenstrual syndrome.

Prozac and Zoloft can improve a patient's mood, sleep, appetite, level of energy and help people reengage in their daily life. Studies prove that Prozac and Zoloft work to decrease the feelings of fear, anxiety, and unwanted thoughts and reduce the number of panic attacks.

Prozac & Zoloft Side Effects

Side effects of antidepressants can vary depending on the type of antidepressant the patient is taking. Common side effects of most antidepressants include insomnia, drowsiness and fatigue. Some patients also report issues such as nausea, diarrhea and skin rash. Some patients also report a degree of sexual dysfunction that can range from a complete loss of interest in sex to being unable to achieve an orgasm.

Weight gain, changes in blood pressure and irregular heartbeat, some constipation and blurry vision are also potential side effects of antidepressants. In addition to the above side effects some patients notice an increase in agitation, restlessness and anxiety. Most side effects are mild, but there are severe side effects. Patients may need to adjust their dosage of their antidepressants to minimize the side effects as much as possible. Finding the most effective dose of medication with the least amount of side effects can take some trial and error.

Prozac & Zoloft Interactions

There are several medications that can cause negative reactions in patients if patients take the medications while they are taking with Prozac or Zoloft. Not all interactions are life threatening, but patients should discuss all the medications they are taking with their doctor or pharmacist, particularly if they are taking MAOI's, Wellbutrin, antihistamines, diabetes medications, high blood pressure medication and other psychiatric drugs.

Prozac & Zoloft Overdose

Symptoms of antidepressant overdoes usually develop in about two hours after taking the medication. Symptoms of overdose include rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, urinary retention, confusion and headache. Other common side effects of antidepressant overdose include irregular heartbeat, hallucination, high blood pressure, coma, seizures, and flushed face and dilated pupils.


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