Antidepressants and Alcohol

Antidepressants' Interactions and Side Effects

The drug Sertraline is used to treat anxiety disorders, depression, and other problems with mental health.

The mechanism of the drug action is that a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor slows down the reabsorption of chemical serotonin in the human’s brain. Serotonin plays a role in regulating mood and anxiety.

Sertraline is available in liquid form and in the form of tablets. If you take this drug in the form of tablets, then you should know that the tablets should not be crushed or chewed, the whole tablet must be swallowed.

The drug in a liquid form before the intake should be mixed with water, lemonade, orange juice or other substance. The prescribed dosage of the medicine is mixed with half a glass of the liquid. This must be done before taking the medicine. You should not make a liquid medicine in advance long before it should be taken.

Usually the drug is taken once a day, regardless of the meal. If you missed the drug intake, then take it as soon as you remember about it, but if the time for the next intake is coming up, then you should skip the missed dose and take the medication according to the plan.

As long as your doctor instructs, even if you begin to feel better, it is important to continue taking the drug. If you suddenly stop taking it, then you may begin to experience the symptoms, such as nausea, withdrawal symptoms, tremor, weakness, muscle ache, anxiety and insomnia. The doctor will gradually reduce your drug dosage to avoid bad symptoms when you stop taking Sertraline.

Dosage

Usually, the dosage of the drug Sertraline starts from 25 mg, then after a week it is increased to 50 mg. For the patients, who don’t respond to lower doses, a weekly dose is increased to a maximum dose of 200 mg.

Sertraline should be used with caution if you have the following conditions: breastfeeding; abnormal liver or kidney function, a history of heart diseases, diabetes, or convulsions; bipolar disorder; allergy to Sertraline; pregnancy; the use of drugs against alcoholism.

Side Effects

If you experience any unusual conditions, allergic reactions or side effects after taking the drug, then you should immediately contact your doctor. The use of the drug Sertraline may cause the appearance of the following side effects: drowsiness, sweating, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, diarrhea, loss of appetite and insomnia.

You should be attentive to more serious side effects when you first take Sertraline or when you increase the dosage of the drug. They may include: suicidal thoughts and behavior, tremor, nervousness, severe abdominal pain, cramps, persistent vomiting or nausea, changes in urine or stool, or yellowing of the skin or eyes. Driving a car or any vehicle, while taking Sertraline, is not recommended.

Overdose

The likelihood of overdosing, which could lead to death, is low. The common symptoms of an overdose with Sertraline are: rapid or slow heartbeat, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and coma.

You should tell your doctor everything about your symptoms, as well as the medications you take during the period of treatment with Sertraline, because in combination with certain medications there is a risk of developing serotonin syndrome. This is a potentially fatal condition, characterized with the following symptoms: confusion, excitement, sweating, abnormal reflexes, hallucinations and muscle spasms.

The medication Sertraline should be taken with a great caution, following all the doctor’s recommendations.