Zoloft is a prescription medication that is used to treat a variety of mental disorders, including major depressive disorder.
Depression primarily causes consistent feelings of sadness. It negatively impacts how a person feels, thinks, and acts and causes a loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed. In many instances, it can lead to physical and emotional problems that affect an individual’s work performance and home life.
Major depressive disorder affects over 16 million American adults in the United States, and it is the leading cause of disability for people 15 to 44 years old.  Because of the debilitating nature of this illness, appropriate treatment is essential to improve the quality of your life. Zoloft is proven to be an effective medicine for depression. Read the following review to see if Zoloft may be right for you.
1) What is Zoloft?
Zoloft belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a substance involved with mood regulation and can make an individual feel happier and calmer. Zoloft may be used in adults and children as young as six years old; however, it is only indicated to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder in children.
In addition to treating depression, Zoloft is also prescribed for panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Because of its versatility and effectiveness, Zoloft is one of the most prescribed drugs on the market. In 2019 it was the 12th most prescribed drug, which was a two-point increase from the previous year. 
2) What Are Zoloft Ingredients?
The active ingredient found in Zoloft is sertraline. This is the substance that produces its therapeutic effects. Inactive ingredients used to make the tablet include:
- Dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate
- D & C Yellow #10 aluminum lake (25 mg tablet)
- FD & C Blue #1 aluminum lake (25 mg tablet)
- FD & C Red #40 aluminum lake (25 mg tablet)
- FD &C Blue #2 aluminum lake (50 mg tablet)
- Hydroxypropyl cellulose
- Magnesium stearate
- Microcrystalline cellulose
- Polyethylene glycol
- Polysorbate 80
- Sodium starch glycolate
- Synthetic yellow iron oxide (100 mg tablet)
- Titanium dioxide
Zoloft is also available as a liquid solution for children or for people who have trouble swallowing pills. The inactive ingredients found in the liquid are:
- Alcohol (12%)
- Butylated hydroxytoluene
3) Does Zoloft Work?
Zoloft has demonstrated its effectiveness as a first-line agent antidepressant in numerous studies. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology showed a 50% decreased score in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale  which signifies that Zoloft was very successful in improving depression symptoms.
When compared to other antidepressants, Zoloft ranks well for the treatment of major depressive disorder. A study conducted in 2018 compared 21 antidepressants and found that Zoloft was among several of the antidepressants associated with fewer people stopping the medication.  This is important because many individuals stop their antidepressant therapy as a result of adverse events and intolerability.
It is important to note that medicines used to treat major depressive disorder take time to work. Sometimes, people stop taking the medication because they don’t feel better right away. Zoloft, similar to other antidepressants, takes at least 1 to 2 weeks to begin showing signs of improvement and may take up to 8 weeks to see significant progress.
4) Zoloft Benefits & Results
Depression has a huge impact on a person’s overall health, daily activities, and daily functioning. Avoiding proper treatment can result in poor emotional and physical well-being. Zoloft can provide many benefits to someone suffering from depression including:
- Ability to experience happiness
- Resuming interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Improved sleep
- Better work performance
- Enhanced memory
- Restored energy
- Ability to maintain a healthier lifestyle
- Stronger relationships with family
- Improved social life
5) Side Effects of Using Zoloft
Common side effects associated with Zoloft include the following:
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
- Weight changes
- Decreased sex drive and/or inability to achieve orgasm
More serious side effects include:
- Abnormal bleeding or bruising
- Increased heart rate
- Severe muscle stiffness
- Difficulty breathing
If an individual experiences any of these side effects, the medication should be stopped and the prescriber should be notified.
6) Zoloft Warnings and Precautions
As part of the SSRIs, Zoloft may cause serotonin syndrome, which is a rare but serious reaction that causes high fever, confusion, tremor, seizures, unconsciousness, and death. This may occur from high doses and/or combining this drug with other medications that also increase serotonin.
Zoloft can increase the risk of bleeding, so caution should be used when taking this medicine with other drugs, like aspirin, ibuprofen, and warfarin, which can thin the blood. This medication also interacts with other drugs, such as certain migraine medications, tramadol, pimozide, and Zyvox.
The FDA has issued a black box warning for SSRIs like Zoloft that may, in some cases, worsen depression. This is characterized by suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
7) Zoloft Price
Because Zoloft is a prescription medication, the cost will depend on your insurance coverage. Most insurances cover this drug and the price will be your copayment. If the drug is not covered or you do not have insurance, the pharmacy has discounts and coupons available that will lower the cost.
8) Directions For Taking Zoloft
The dosage of Zoloft depends on a variety of factors including, age, weight, gender and which disease is being treated. The dose for depression and OCD for an adult ranges between 50 mg to 200 mg per day given orally once daily.
For panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder the dose is generally initiated at 25 mg once daily. It may be increased after one week to 50 mg. The maximum daily dose is 200 mg.
9) Our Final Take On Zoloft
Zoloft received an overall rating of 7.2 out of 10 on drugs.com. The lower-rated reviews were a result of unwanted adverse effects from the medicine. On GoodRx.com, 59% of users said Zoloft was “worth it”. Again, the biggest complaint among those who said it wasn’t worth it was because of its side effects.
Our take is that Zoloft may be a great way to improve depressive symptoms, which can interfere with daily functioning and overall quality of life. However, this decision should always be made in direct consultation with your doctor to determine if Zoloft is the right medication for you.