Depression is a mental condition that impacts your moods, sleep cycles as well as appetite levels. Chronic spells of depression can significantly diminish your productivity levels. If left untreated, it may develop into a serious mental condition. Drugs belonging to a genre of meds called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) are widely used for these conditions. Sertraline is a member of this class of drugs. What are the precautions associated with the intake of this SSRI drug? It is important to know more about this.

Depressed people often report having a low level of energy, coupled with limited or no interest in daily activities. Apart from depression, there are a few other mental conditions such as psychosis, social anxieties or phobias. Medications are administered to strike a fine balance of brain chemicals known as serotonin. These SSRI drugs can help regulate your sleep, improve energy levels by boosting appetite and also by allaying various unfounded fears. Sertraline is a widely used drug belonging to this category. In general, this drug eliminates needless thoughts as well as anxieties from your mind.

People under chronic spells of depression may want to repeat doing the same tasks time and again; these tasks may include mundane activities like washing their hands repeatedly, checking things again and again. The right level of serotonin (a brain chemical) is a prerequisite to stay calm and live without unwanted thoughts or dreams. Sertraline works to restore the needful balance of this brain chemical.

Intake of sertraline

It is important to read all the instructions listed on the pack prior to taking sertraline. It is usually taken through the oral route. The typical mode of intake is as a single dose within a 24-hour timeline. It can be taken either before or after a meal. The med is available in dosage forms ranging from 25 milligrams (mg) up to 200 mg. It is not a safe practice to crush the tablet or chew the ingredients. This drug is also available as a suspended form (i.e., syrup); this form must be taken with the use of the dropper or spoon provided along with the pack. Using a spoon or a ladle from your kitchen can lead to inaccurate dosage strengths.

It is a safe practice to keep taking this med even if the symptoms cease to show up. It is essential to continue taking the drug till your treating doctor tells you to stop the medication plan. An abrupt stop of the dosages may cause a few discomforts; these may include mood shifts, migraines, weariness as well as changes in sleep cycles. In order to avoid such adverse reactions, it is important to reduce the dosages in a gradual manner.

Precautions to be observed before taking sertraline

It is important to tell your treating doctor about prior mental illnesses, if any; this becomes essential to share such details before starting your medication plan. Those with a clinical track record or a history of bipolar disorders and manic spells must keep their physician aware of such conditions. It is a key thing to share needful details about pre-existing ailments such as epileptic seizures, angle-closure kind of glaucoma as well as hepatic disorders like cirrhosis or hepatitis.

Users who already have erratic heartbeats or a prolonged QT cycle may need to exert added caution prior to taking this med. If you are observing signs such as acute levels of dizziness, passing out or faster heartbeats, your caregiving team must be made aware of such symptoms. Intake of sertraline may enhance the risk of prolonged QT – especially among people who have had prior episodes of cardiac arrests as well as those living with a slowed down rate of heartbeats, etc. Intake of water pills or diuretics may also add to the risk factors. These meds are known to reduce the level of magnesium and potassium in your blood. A sudden drop in these minerals may show up in the form of excessive sweating, vomiting, nausea and other abdominal conditions. In general, it is a safe practice to share more details about such ailments with your treating doctor and / or pharmacist.

It is unsafe to take alcohol while consuming sertraline. Combination of this drug with alcoholic drinks may cause severe levels of dizziness or drowsiness. It is highly recommended to stay away from driving or to refrain from working with heavy machines. As an extended precaution, you are advised to keep away from sporting activities such as cycling or swimming. Those who have a regular habit of taking alcohol must talk to their doctor about such habits. It is important to bring down the quantum of alcohol intake or better still, completely stop taking alcohol all through your medication plan. Those living with diabetes or substance abuse may have to take more precautions on this front.

As sertraline may adversely interact with anesthetic drugs, those opting for a surgery may need to be more careful. Your surgeon or dentist may tell you to stop taking this med for at least 2 weeks prior to the date of your surgery or dental intervention. In general, elders are more sensitive to this drug; those aged above 55 years are more likely to witness prolonged spells of QT, internal bleeding or bruising. If elders are taking water pills or diuretic meds, they are more vulnerable to imbalance of salts and minerals. Hence, if this drug is offered to aged people, all needful precautions are to be followed to minimize the aforesaid risks.

In sum, sertraline is a commonly used drug to reduce unnecessary thoughts, fears as well as anxieties. This drug helps to restore a fine balance of a brain chemical called serotonin. Owing to this, sertraline is categorized under a genre of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibiting meds. People – especially, elderly users – who have erratic heartbeats or an extended QT cycle, will need to take added precautions before starting to consume this drug. It is not safe to consume alcohol while you are taking doses of sertraline. Combination of an alcoholic drink can cause acute levels of drowsiness or can make you very dizzy. It is equally important to report any unusual signs such as sweating or convulsions soon after starting your treatment plan. Above all, talk to your caregiving team on a regular basis to keep them updated of the various changes you are likely to encounter soon after starting to take sertraline.

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