Is Zoloft (Sertraline) Addictive? — Talkspace


Printed on: 03 Apr 2023

Is Zoloft Addictive

Zoloft (sertraline) is an antidepressant medicine within the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of medication. It’s used to deal with melancholy, anxiousness issues, and different psychological well being situations. Zoloft will increase serotonin ranges within the mind to enhance temper and regulate feelings. 

A typical query earlier than beginning this — or any — antidepressant is usually: is Zoloft addictive? When taken as prescribed, Zoloft is not thought-about addictive. In reality, analysis reveals it’s tolerated effectively by most individuals who take it. It doesn’t produce a euphoric excessive or trigger cravings, like substances abused for leisure functions do. That mentioned, Zoloft habit can nonetheless be a priority for many individuals, because it is attainable to change into bodily dependent on this medicine over time. 

What’s the distinction between being addicted and being depending on a prescription drug? Maintain studying to be taught extra — we’ll clarify why sertraline isn’t addictive and discover all the things it is advisable learn about this SSRI.  

Zoloft Dependency vs Dependancy

Being dependent, versus Zoloft habit, means you’ve developed a tolerance for a substance. This implies you may want extra frequent doses or increased dosages than initially prescribed to realize the identical impact. It doesn’t essentially point out drug habit has occurred, although. 

Dependency will be managed by cautious monitoring by a health care provider. Against this, drug habit includes compulsive use regardless of detrimental penalties, together with psychological misery and impaired functioning socially and/or occupationally. 

“Zoloft dependence is often connected to extra of a psychological dependence reasonably than an addictive scope, which ends up in damaging repercussions from compulsive overuse.”

– Talkspace therapist Elizabeth Keohan, LCSW-C, LICSW, LCSW

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How Lengthy Ought to I Keep on Zoloft?

First, you will need to know how lengthy it takes for Zoloft to work. The size of time anybody ought to keep on Zoloft will depend on particular person wants and circumstances and your physician’s advice. It’s essential to first give it time to see if it improves your melancholy signs or anxiousness signs. By no means discontinue utilizing Zoloft or any SSRI abruptly, as there’s a excessive potential for withdrawal signs.

What Occurs if You Cease Taking Zoloft?

If you happen to cease taking Zoloft, you’ll be able to expertise withdrawal signs beginning inside 24 hours after stopping remedy and lasting as much as 2 – 4 weeks, relying upon elements like period and dosage earlier than cessation. Really fizzling out of an SSRI steadily and beneath medical supervision is at all times really useful.  

Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome

Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, also referred to as antidepressant withdrawal, is a set of bodily and psychological signs that may happen when somebody stops taking an antidepressant medicine. It generally happens in individuals who’ve taken antidepressants for at the least 4 weeks or longer. Signs embrace: 

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Complications
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Flu-like aches & pains
  • Vivid goals 

The best way to keep away from Zoloft withdrawal signs

A part of answering the query is Zoloft addictive means understanding the dangers related to stopping this medicine abruptly or too shortly. The next may also help you keep away from Zoloft withdrawal signs:

  • Taper off slowly: It’s essential to not make sudden adjustments in dosage as this might trigger critical Zoloft unwanted effects. Your physician will cut back your dose steadily over time. The method may take a number of weeks or months, relying on how lengthy you took Zoloft and what dose you had been on.
  • Take with meals: Taking the medicine with meals helps your physique soak up the energetic substances correctly. This may also help cut back any potential unwanted effects or withdrawal signs when you cease taking it in a while down the road.
  • Monitor signs intently: Monitor any adjustments in temper or conduct whereas taking Zoloft and after discontinuing use. This manner, you’ll be able to catch withdrawal indicators earlier than they change into extreme. Some frequent signs embrace insomnia/bother sleeping, irritability, complications, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, issue concentrating, and elevated anxiousness/panic assaults. If signs seem, contact your physician instantly.

“As with all medicines, compliance and sustaining common medicine consultations are the very best methods to keep away from detrimental unwanted effects even whereas titrating down. Proceed a wholesome self-care routine, together with vitamin and sleep, to extra clearly discover adjustments or detrimental withdrawal signs.”

– Talkspace therapist Elizabeth Keohan, LCSW-C, LICSW, LCSW

Decide If Zoloft Is Proper for You with Talkspace Psychiatry

Understanding the potential dangers related to taking this or any psychiatrist-prescribed medicine is essential. Is Zoloft addictive? Although true habit isn’t a priority, when you’re taking Zoloft as a part of your remedy applications, dependency is one thing to think about. On-line psychiatry with Talkspace may also help you identify if Zoloft is the proper prescription drug for you and your situation.

If you happen to or a beloved one is questioning if sertraline is addictive, you don’t have to fret alone with out solutions. Talkspace gives personalised care to help your journey and provide the instruments essential to steer a more healthy, extra fulfilling life. Don’t wait any longer – take management of your future right this moment.

Sources:

  1. Lydiard RB, Perera P, Batzar E, Clary CM. From the bench to the Trench. The Major Care Companion to The Journal of Scientific Psychiatry. 1999;01(05):154-162. doi:10.4088/pcc.v01n0504. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181082/. Accessed December 17, 2022.
  2. Gabriel M, Sharma V. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. Canadian Medical Affiliation Journal. 2017;189(21). doi:10.1503/cmaj.160991. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449237/. Accessed December 18, 2022.

Talkspace articles are written by skilled psychological health-wellness contributors; they’re grounded in scientific analysis and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our workforce of medical specialists (therapists and psychiatrists of varied specialties) to make sure content material is correct and on par with present business requirements.

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