Zoloft is commonly used to treat depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and other conditions. It belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The medication works by balancing serotonin levels in the brain, which often helps with symptoms of depression and similar conditions. Common side effects of Zoloft include dry mouth, insomnia, and nausea.
What Is Zoloft?
Zoloft® (sertraline hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used to treat a number of conditions within the brain.
Who Makes It?
Zoloft is manufactured by Pfizer. Several different manufacturers make a generic version.
Uses for Zoloft
The medication is licensed to treat a number of conditions, including:
- Depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Social anxiety disorder (social phobia).
How Does It Work?
Zoloft is part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. SSRIs act on a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. This is one of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release serotonin. The serotonin enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any serotonin that remains in the gap between cells. This is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. But when the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression and panic disorder. Zoloft helps to block the reuptake of serotonin so that more remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the serotonin a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.