Treatment Options For Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder can dominate your life, and often lasts a long time. But there are a number of different treatment approaches that can help you learn to better manage your anxiety and lead a normal life again. Some medications are also effective.
People who have generalized anxiety disorder aren’t afraid of specific things or situations, but of a wide range of things, which is why it is referred to as generalized anxiety. This can take a great emotional toll and also cause a number of physical symptoms such as drowsiness, muscle tension and a racing heartbeat. Being in a state of constant worry is exhausting, but there are different treatments that can help reduce the anxiety down to a tolerable level.
Unlike other kinds of anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorder often first develops in middle-aged people. But anxiety disorders can affect people of all ages.
How Much Do Zoloft And Prozac Cost
Zoloft and Prozac are very similar in price. But there are differences worth noting.
The cash price for sertraline, the generic version of Zoloft, is about $40 for thirty 100 mg tablets , while thirty 20 mg tablets of fluoxetine, the generic version of Prozac, is about $31.
The brand versions of both drugs are much more expensive. But Zoloft is actually cheaper on the brand side. It costs $442 for thirty 100 mg tablets, while thirty 20 mg tablets of Prozac cost about $472.
The generic versions of both drugs are more likely to be covered by insurance plans because they cost less. You can also save on these medications using a GoodRx coupon or filling a 90-day supply instead of a 30-day.
How Common Is Anxiety And Does Zoloft Help
Although Zoloft is considered an antidepressant medication, and was initially marketed to treat patients with depression, it is now FDA-approved to treat people with certain forms of anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are some of the most common mental health conditions in the United States.
According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, roughly 19% of adults have an anxiety disorder. An estimated 7% of children also suffer from excessive anxiety. When we break down those statistics even further, we find:
For many patients, taking an SSRI medication like Zoloft can ease symptoms and improve their mood.
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How Long Did It Take For Zoloft To Work For You
If youve used Zoloft, also known as sertraline, how long did it take for the medication to work? More specifically, how long did it take for you to notice an effect of Zoloft or that you were under the influence of a medication after starting treatment? After initiating treatment, how long did it take for you to derive therapeutic benefit from Zoloft? .
To help others better understand your experience with Zoloft and its onset of action, provide details in your comment such as: your starting dose whether you titrated the dosage upwards and whether you had a history of antidepressant use prior to taking Zoloft. Be sure to also note things like: the specific condition for which you were using Zoloft whether you have any preexisting medical conditions that might influence its effect and/or whether youre using any other substances along with Zoloft.
Consider mentioning the time of day at which you administered Zoloft as well as whether you took it with food versus on an empty stomach. Moreover, if you had to rate your self-awareness on a scale from 1 to 10 what would you rate yourself .
Can Sertraline Interact With Other Medications
Like other SSRIs, sertraline can interact with other medications. The most common interactions with sertraline involve medications that treat depression, such as other antidepressants, as well as medications that can affect your heart rate and cardiovascular function.
According to Drugs.com, sertraline interacts with a total of 1,188 other medications. This list of interactions includes 271 major drugs that have the potential to negatively affect your health and wellbeing.
Sertraline can also interact with some non-pharmaceutical herbal supplements. Common herbal depression treatments like St. John’s Wort are known to interact with sertraline and other SSRI medications, increasing your risk of some side effects.
If you use any prescription medications or herbal supplements, make sure you tell your doctor before considering sertraline.
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Zoloft Side Effects: Can Sertraline Cause Insomnia Nausea Or Pain
Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN
Zoloft belongs to the antidepressant class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . This drug works by accumulating serotonin in neurons synaptic clefts, leading to increased neuronal activity and subsequent improvement in mood. SSRI drugs produce mood elevation and brain stimulatory effects.
SSRI drugs like Zoloft are likely to produce many adverse disorders that can range in severity. These can also include severe sexual problems for both men and women. There is also an increased risk of taking this medicine during pregnancy, as it can cause congenital birth defects and other serious problems in the fetus. Read along further to find out about all Zoloft side effects, including its short-term and long-term disorders.
What Is The Most Effective Antidepressant For Anxiety
There is no single antidepressant thats best for treating anxiety. What works for one person may not work for another. Depression symptoms will completely go away for about 1 out of every 3 people who take SSRIs, but more research still needs to be done on why SSRIs work for some people and not for others. Your healthcare provider is the best person to ask which antidepressant will be most effective for you.
Other SSRI medications can be effective for anxiety such as Prozac or Celexa or Paxil, yet each has some side effectsnotably lowered libido and weight gain, says Uma Naidoo, MD, a psychiatrist at Mass General Hospital in Boston. Benzodiazepines are very effective in the short term while under the care of a doctor, but these are potentially addicting medications and must be used with immense caution and only as a short-term measure, e.g., grief following the death of a family member, says Dr. Naidoo.
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Strategy No : Systematically Assess Comorbidities
One reason for a patient to have a suboptimal response to therapy is an incomplete diagnosis.1,22 Patients with panic disorder commonly have other comorbidities including mood and anxiety disorders, and substance use.23 Because these disorders may be associated with panic attacks and anticipatory anxiety23 and may require distinct treatments,4 the diagnosis of panic disorder should consistently trigger a systematic search for other anxiety disorders.22 Because the common comorbidities of panic disorder respond differentially to antipanic treatments, knowledge of these comorbidities also helps in treatment selection.
Unfortunately, most commonly used diagnostic and screening tools for mental health disorders in the primary care setting are not sufficiently comprehensive the less familiar Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview ,24 which takes less than 20 minutes to complete, is a more effective screening tool. Finally, it is important to assess the risk of suicide in all patients who have panic disorder.18
Why Zoloft Might Take A Longer Time To Start Working
If Zoloft doesnt work as quick as you were expecting, below are some potential reasons as to why it might take a longer duration to kick in. Possible reasons as to why Zoloft may take a while to fully alleviate your symptoms include: adaptations that require weeks to occur and/or dosage adjustments .
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What Is Sertraline Used For
Sertraline is a versatile medication thats used to treat several conditions. Its most commonly used to treat:
Depression. Sertraline is an antidepressant and is often prescribed as a treatment for major depressive disorder . Studies show that significantly more people affected by depression recover when using sertraline compared to a non-therapeutic placebo.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder . Sertraline is an effective drug for treating OCD. In a 1992 study, researchers found that people with OCD experienced measurable improvements after eight weeks of treatment using sertraline.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder . Sertraline is frequently recommended as a first-line pharmacological treatment for PTSD. A 2016 scientific review found that 65.6% of patients with PTSD experienced improvements after using sertraline.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder . Sertraline is one of several SSRIs used to treat body dysmorphic disorder, a common disorder that causes people to obsessively think negatively about their real or imagined physical flaws.
Social Anxiety Disorder . Studies show that sertraline is an effective treatment for social anxiety disorder. In a 2006 study, researchers found that sertraline performed significantly better than a non-therapeutic placebo in reducing social anxiety symptoms.
Zoloft To Alleviate Anxiety Symptoms
Zoloft can help in alleviating different kinds of anxiety problems, ranging from depression to panic disorder or attacks, phobias, PTSD and OCD . It attacks some of the common anxiety symptoms such as loss of appetite, insomnia, mood disorder and lethargy. Not only does it improve sleep, energy levels, mood and appetite, it also helps in controlling panic attacks by keeping unwanted fears and thoughts at bay. Compulsive behavior resulting from OCD can also be tackled with the use of Zoloft, taken orally as per the dosage prescribed by your physician. The drug is available in both tablet and capsule form, with the latter usually taken after a meal.
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Variables That Influence The Onset Of Zolofts Action
There are likely multiple variables that influence the length of time it takes for Zoloft to start working OR a person to notice Zoloft working. Variables that likely influence time it takes for Zoloft to work include: Zoloft dosage user genetics prior medication use concurrent substance use preexisting medical conditions and/or self-awareness.
A person who is very self-aware and medication-sensitive may notice Zoloft kicking in on the first day of treatment. On the other hand, a person who starts treatment at too low of a dose and/or lacks self-awareness might not notice any effect until 4 to 8 weeks of treatment.
What Is Zoloft How Does It Work
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Zoloft work in your body by preventing the reabsorption of serotonin, and the prevention of this process results in higher levels of serotonin available for use in your brain.
Serotonin is one of many chemicals that have been associated with depression, anxiety, panic, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and these symptoms are thought to be correlated with an imbalance of neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Aside from the treatment of depression and generalized anxiety disorder, Zoloft can also be prescribed for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Like many forms of prescription antidepressant medication, Zoloft can cause some mild side effects, which are often very mild and only temporary.
Common side effects associated with Zoloft include:
- Drowsiness or tiredness
- Sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling asleep
When you begin taking Zoloft, you should make sure to consult your provider if you experience any new or worsening symptoms, such as:
- Changes in your mood or behavior
- New or worsening anxiety and new or worsening panic attacks
- Impulsivity, irritability, aggression, or hyperactivity
- New or worsening depression
- Suicidal thoughts or thoughts about harming yourself
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Strategy No : Use Benzodiazepines If Needed But Use Them Wisely
Benzodiazepines are effective in treating panic disorder5 they are also used to treat generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia, two common comorbidities of panic disorder. In contrast to antidepressants, benzodiazepines relieve anxiety within hours,7 can prevent panic attacks within a few days to a few weeks,5 and are free of troublesome activating effects.7 Nevertheless, benzodiazepine use in treating panic disorder can be complicated by abuse, physiologic and psychologic dependence, and sedative and neurocognitive side effects.7,8
The following strategies address the problems associated with benzodiazepine use:
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking sertraline.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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Lexapro Vs Zoloft Overview
Antidepressant medications are typically grouped by how and which neurotransmitters they primarily affect in order to relieve depression symptoms. As mentioned above, both Lexapro and Zoloft are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , a type of antidepressant medication that also may be used to treat anxiety.
As their name implies, SSRIs affect the levels of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin helps to keep your mood balanced and plays a role in feelings of contentment, optimism, and satisfaction, as well as your overall sense of well-being. SSRIs increase the serotonin levels in your brain by preventing serotonin from being reabsorbed into the neurons and thus inactivated.
When looking at Lexapro vs Zoloft, both are SSRI medications, but that does not mean they are exactly the same. Looking more closely at each of these medications can help you determine which medication might be a better choice for your treatment plan.
How Long Do I Need To Take Them
There really isnt any recommendation for how long to take Prozac or Zoloft. Some people take them for a few months, while others may be on them for years. You and your provider can determine when to stop taking them.
When you are ready to discontinue them, your provider can gradually decrease your dose to help avoid withdrawal symptoms.
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When Does Zoloft Start Working For Anxiety
Zoloft doesnt work immediately, so dont stop taking Zoloft if your symptoms dont improve right away. It takes two to six weeks to start reducing anxiety symptoms. Some people may feel a reduction in their anxiety symptoms within the first week of taking Zoloft, but this shouldnt be expected for everyone.
Zoloft Vs Lexapro For Depression
Lexapro and Zoloft are similarly effective in terms of treating major depressive disorder . One study found that people on Lexapro and people on Zoloft reported similar levels of improvements in their depression symptoms. It also found that very few people discontinued treatment due to negative side effects .
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Precautions To Be Followed
Its important to be careful about when, how much and how often you take Zoloft as an anxiety relieving medication. The drug has many side effects, prompting doctors to generally start with a small dose and increase it gradually. Taking the medicine at the same time every day helps enhance the effect of Zoloft. You need to consult your doctor not just before starting with this medication but also for increasing or decreasing the dosage.
Dont stop the medication without checking with your doctor even if you feel relieved of your anxiety symptoms. Like most anti-anxiety medications, this is also best phased out gradually, under the guidance of your doctor. Stopping it abruptly can worsen the condition in some cases, besides causing other side effects such as sleep problems, headache, lethargy and mood swings. Abrupt cessation of the medicine can also trigger an electric shock like sensation.
You also need to be careful about possible allergies with the use of Zoloft. Check out the ingredients on the label before using the drug and, if needed, also check with your doctor after apprising him of your medical history. Zoloft may cause problems if taken with thyroid, liver, vision or bleeding problems. Alcohol consumption and driving may not be safe to undertake while using Zoloft, so do consult your doctor on the same.
How Long Does It Take For Zoloft To Treat Anxiety
Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that works by blocking how your bodys nerve receptors typically reabsorb, or reuptake, serotonin.
Although SSRIs begin to work immediately, it takes a while for your body to get used to its new, rebalanced neurochemistry. Your brain needs time to build the new receptors that can absorb the increased serotonin in your body.
Until it can do so, you may have boosted your neurotransmitters, but have no way to take full advantage of them.
Some patients report feeling better after their first few weeks on Zoloft, but on average it takes 6-8 weeks on the medication to experience significant improvement.
If you have been taking Zoloft as directed for two months or more and have not experienced a change in your mood or other symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider.
They may need to adjust your dosage or change your medication for you to feel better.
Never stop taking Zoloft suddenly without your doctors express permission.
Abruptly changing your dosage can cause an adverse reaction called discontinuation, or withdrawal syndrome.
Symptoms include anxiety, irritability, agitation, muscle tremors, dizziness, hallucinations, insomnia, headache, fatigue, nausea, excessive sweating, and seizures.
These symptoms should generally improve after taking a dose of the medication.
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So Which One Should I Take
Both Zoloft and Prozac work well to treat panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but you may be prescribed Zoloft if you are dealing with social anxiety disorder or PTSD because Prozac is not approved to treat these conditions.
Both have mild side effects. Zoloft does, however, have a higher risk of diarrhea and sexual problems, while Prozac has a higher risk of headaches.
When it comes to price, generic Prozac is cheaper than generic Zoloft, but brand-name Zoloft is cheaper than brand-name Prozac. The generic versions of both drugs are much more affordable than the brands.
Have a discussion with your provider about which medication may be the right one for you.