Sertraline – The Most Prescribed Anti-depressant Drug in the US

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs, a certain class of drugs that have earned high recognition due to their effectivity and safety, has been the most frequent content of prescriptions issued to treat problems of depression and various forms of disorders.

SSRIs increase the performance of serotonin or neurotransmitters, the chemical that enables the nerves within the brain to communicate with one another. Neurotransmitters are produced, released and re-absorbed by the brain; SSRI drugs are developed to prevent the brain from re-absorbing neurotransmitters, allowing more of them to stimulate the nerves of the brain to enable changes and improvement in the mood state of the patient.

Besides treating depression, SSRI drugs have also been used to treat major depressive disorders, panic disorders, anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorders, eating disorders, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain.

One of the drugs in the SSRI class is the generic drug called Sertraline (the brand name of which is Zoloft). In 2011, exactly 20 years after the medicine was introduced by Pfizer and approved for distribution in 1991, Sertraline became the number two most prescribed medicine to treat depression, with more than 37million prescriptions. Furthermore, a comprehensive study involving Sertraline and 11 other anti-depressants gave results that Sertraline is one of the most effective and accepted medicines in treating unipolar major depressions in adults.

The many SSRIs have known side effects, including muscle rigidity, confusion, high fever, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, dizziness, nervousness, insomnia, nausea, skin rash, headache, diarrhea, loss of appetite, abnormal ejaculation, loss of coordination and shallow breathing. Males, who use the drug, sometimes experience prolonged erection that lasts for four hours or more. Experiencing any of these symptoms would be an indication that you will have to inform and talk to your doctor about the possibility of either stopping or still continuing with the intake of this medication.

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