I confronted this question last September, when I had breakfast with one of psychiatry's leading scholars and administrators. He was complaining about the influence of pharmaceutical houses on physicians. Why, he asked, did doctors prescribe the newer antipsychotics, like Abilify and Zyprexa, when studies showed that older and much cheaper drugs, like Trilafon and Haldol, were just as effective? I told my colleague that I shared his concern about the influence of drug companies, but I thought that clinicians had a tough choice. The side effects of the medications were so different that the new and old medications were finally not identical. All right, the colleague said, but what about antidepressants? Almost all those medications are available as generics, but at a disproportionate rate, doctors prescribe the one antidepressant that still has patent protection, Lexapro. cipro prescription The study - conducted in nonhuman primates with brain structures and functions similar to those of humans - found that the antidepressant sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) marketed as Zoloft, significantly increased the volume of one brain region in depressed subjects but decreased the volume of two brain areas in non-depressed subjects. "These observations are important for human health because Zoloft is widely prescribed for a number of disorders other than depression," said Carol A. D., professor of pathology-comparative medicine at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study, published in the current online issue of the journal Neuropharmacology. In the study, 41 middle-aged female monkeys were fed a diet formulated to replicate that consumed by many Americans for 18 months, during which time depressive behavior in the animals was recorded. Female monkeys were chosen for this study because depression is nearly twice as common in women as men and the use of antidepressants is most common in women ages 40 to 59. After the 18-month pre-study phase, the monkeys were divided into two groups balanced for body weight, body mass index and depressive behavior. For the next 18 months, 21 monkeys received sertraline in daily doses comparable to those taken by humans while a group of 20 received a placebo. This treatment regimen is analogous to a human taking an antidepressant for approximately five years. Levitra vs sildenafil Amoxicillin toxicity Zoloft, as all other SSRIs, can cause a wide variety of side effects, including. How dangerous is mixing alcohol with Zoloft. Is it bad to stop taking Zoloft? zoloft withdrawal Find a comprehensive guide to possible side effects including common and rare side effects when taking Zoloft Sertraline Hcl for healthcare professionals and consumers. Sertraline is an antidepressant in the SSRI class. It's used for depression, anxiety, panic disorder, OCD, and a number of other conditions. The one where a sad little blob rolled around on screen with a rain cloud hovering over its head? That commercial first debuted back in 2001, and since then Zoloft, or Sertraline hydrochloride, has become one of the top psychiatric drugs used by American adults, according to one recent study. “Zoloft is one of the first-line antidepressant medications prescribed for both depression and anxiety, meaning it’s one of the most likely to work,” says Alison Hermann, M. D., a clinical psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Zoloft is part of a class of drugs called SSRIs, or selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors. “Their main effect has to do with changing the signaling of one of the main neurotransmitters in the brain, serotonin, which modulates mood,” explains James Murrough, M. D., the director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. But, the bigger issue is that antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs are prescribed and managed dangerously---the commonplace and habitual mismanagement of psychotropics escalates the danger and damages of antidepressants beyond the levels of responsible use. Zoloft, as all other SSRIs, can cause a wide variety of side effects, including physical and mental disorders, withdrawal lasting many years, and death. It can cause permanent dysfunction, birth defects, stunted growth, and other incurable or untreatable side effects, and furthermore increases the suicidality of patients more than placebo. Not everyone responds to brain-altering medications in the same manner, which means the side effects and other damages which can result are not predictable and the idea of "safety" or "decreasing the danger" have to focus more on using these kinds of drugs more tactically and with superior qualities of monitoring, side effect reporting, and post-therapy care. As it stands right now, drugs like Zoloft can pose a lifetime problem for patients who take it even for a short duration. Not only are the immediate and long term risks meaningfully substantial, the withdrawal and post-discontinuation side effects can trap patients in a system that insists on misdiagnosing, mistreating, and overmedicating them. While not every doctor and facility participates in the status quo for that outcome, it is an incredibly common experience for patients who have taken antidepressants---whether they took them for psychological conditions or physical ones. 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