Pros: For me, works well with very little side effects
Cons: Cannot drink alcohol while on this medication
I have been affected by depression, wild mood swings, and obsessive compulsive disorder tendencies for over 20 years. I have tried numerous medications over the years, but the best results have been from Sertraline HCL, which is a generic form of Zoloft. I have been on Sertraline for a year now and it has literally changed my life.
Sertraline is used to treat a number of things, but is mostly prescribed for depression, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorders, post-traumatic stress, social phobias, and severe PMS. Sertraline is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and helps by balancing naturally occurring chemicals in the brain.
I go through stages in my life when I get depressed. I have found that I can usually control it by avoiding alcohol, eating well, and getting plenty of exercise. I am pretty anti-medication, and I prefer to do things naturally. However, I have always had obsessive compulsive behaviors such as needing to check if I turned off the curling iron before I left the house, despite knowing that I had already turned it off. It was the same with the stove, the front door lock, etc. I also have extreme perfectionism tendencies. I prefer to call this tendency doing things well but it drove my husband and others crazy. And to make life even more dramatic, I also have horrible PMS which only got worse after the birth of our daughter and when I hit my 40s.
As I said, I am pretty against taking medication, especially having had negative experiences with other anti depressants. The turning point for me was when I got very angry with my young daughter and yelled at her over a silly incident. I had never even raised my voice to my daughter, so for me to snap and yell at her over something so little, was terrifying to both of us. I went to my doctor, who I have known for a long time, and she suggested Zoloft. I actually started crying over the thought of taking medication, but that just reinforced to me that I needed help. With my insurance, I opted for the generic, Sertraline.
I started with a 50 mg. tablet once a day. The only side effect I had was being very tired about a half hour or so after taking it. This was not a big deal since I took the medication at night. While I felt better with this medication, I still was having problems with obsessive compulsive behaviors and moodiness after about a month. My doctor upped my prescription to 100 mg. After about a month on the higher dosage, I was feeling great. My depression was gone as well as my obsessive compulsive behaviors. I still had PMS, but the symptoms were greatly reduced and I felt able to control my emotions. Before Sertraline, my husband and I always had a fight the week before my period. For the first time in years, we went months without having an argument.
With previous anti-depressants, I had problems with dizziness and a decreased interest in sex. With Sertraline, the only side effect I had was being tired. However, after a few months, I noticed that it was no longer making me feel exhausted at night. It is advised not to consume alcoholic beverages while on this medication. I am not a heavy drinker, but I like a beer once in a while. However, on Sertraline, I am not able to drink any alcohol. If I do, I feel the effects more quickly and dramatically (even one beer) and I feel very nauseated and wiped out. I didnt suffer from any of these, but other possible side effects from this medication are: nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, loss of appetite, increased sweating, drowsiness, diarrhea, upset stomach, and trouble sleeping.
Sertraline is a small oval shaped pill. It is easy to swallow, but needs to be taken with water. I have always been able to dry swallow pills, but I can not with Sertraline. When I dont take it with water, I have had the pill dissolve at the bottom of my throat and cause immense discomfort.
There are lots of listed precautions while taking Sertraline such as combining it with other medications or using when planning on becoming pregnant. I am not going to get into all of them and simply say talk to your doctor.
I wish I had tried this medication sooner. Sertraline has helped me be myself again. I find that I am happier, have more energy, and more patience. My depression and obsessive compulsive behaviors are gone while my PMS symptoms have greatly been reduced. On this medication, I feel like a better person, wife, and mom. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, obsessive compulsive behaviors, or mood swings, I highly recommend talking to your doctor about Sertraline. If you have private questions about Sertraline, please feel free to email me at the address on my profile page.
Thanks for reading.