Zoloft Side Effects And Warnings

Learn Facts About Zoloft, its Side Effects, and Associated Risks

Alternatives to Zoloft

Alternatives to Zoloft

Zoloft is a drug which contains sertraline, a substance prescribed for disorders such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, premenstrual syndrome and anxiety. It is an effective medicine even though it may cause insomnia, lower libido and other nervous system side effects such as tremor, trouble sleeping and irritability[1]. It is more likely to cause diarrhea than other antidepressants, but it cause less drowsiness in patients who take it long-term. If your treatment with Zoloft doesn't work, there are plenty of alternatives for treating your nervous disorders, for example Prozac (fluoxentine), Wellbutrin (bupropion), Celexa (citalopram) or Cymbalta (duloxetine)[2].

Zoloft, Prozac and Celexa are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, so they affect the levels of serotonin in the brain. SSRIs help the brain absorb more serotonin which is a pleasure and happiness inducing chemical substance. Prozac is prescribed for major depressive disorder, bulimia nervosa, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder, while Celexa treats depression and anxiety. Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by a distorted body image which leads to a desire to lose weight by unhealthy methods like self-induced vomiting.

During Prozac treatment you may experience side effects like nausea, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia and decreased appetite. Compared to Prozac, Celexa is less likely to cause side effects like sleepiness and nausea but it should not be prescribed for patients with liver or heart problems because it may affect these organs. If you take a high dose of Celexa of 40 mg or more, you may experience irregular heartbeats. Also, another side effect during citalopram therapy is weight gain[3].

Wellbutrin is not an SSRI, but a NDRI (norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor), which means it can treat depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder[4]. It is also used to help smokers quit and for appetite suppression. Because it contains bupropion just like Zyban, another drug used to quit smoking, these two should not be taken together. This antidepressant is stimulating, so you may experience insomnia the first few days of treatment. Wellbutrin is less likely to cause weight gain and contrary to other antidepressants it can boost your sex drive. Do not use it if you have an eating disorder or you drink alcohol because it has a higher risk of causing seizures.

Cymbalta is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI) antidepressant which is prescribed to treat depression, anxiety and chronic pain. Don't take this drug if you are a heavy drinker or if you have liver or kidney problems because it affects these organs during treatment. Also, Cymbalta is not the right choice for people with high blood pressure because this is one of its side effects.

There are also natural alternatives to antidepressants such as s-adenosyl methionine, saffron, turmeric and arctic root. S-adenosyl methionine (SAM-e) is a natural compound found in every cell of the body and it is prescribed to alleviate depression. Saffron and turmeric are two well known culinary spices with antidepressant properties[5]. They work for mild to moderate depression, while arctic root reduces only the fatigue caused by depression.


  1. The American Society of Health System Pharmacists, Sertraline hydrochloride, April 3rd 2011
  2. Crivineanu M., Nicorescu V., Ed. Printech, Basis of Pharmacology, 2016
  3. Pinel J., Naboulet C., Weiss F., Henkens M., Grouzard V., Medecins Sans Frontieres, Essential Drugs - Practical Guidelines, 2013
  4. Crivineanu M., Nicorescu V., Ed. Printech, Basis of Pharmacology, 2016
  5. Deane Alban, Natural Alternatives to Zoloft, Prozac and Antidepressant Medications, December 21st 2015

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