Why Does Zoloft Cause Weight Gain?

What is Zoloft, and How does it Work? Which Drugs react with Zoloft? Why does it cause Weight Gain?
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Medicines are for relieving some health issues, but a few of them have short and long-term side effects on patients. One such medicine is Zoloft, which is popular among young people, especially women. Today, you will learn more about why does Zoloft cause weight gain and Zoloft weight gain statistics.

1. What is Zoloft?

Zoloft is the brand name under which Sertraline is sold. This medicine is prescribed as an anti-depressant. It belongs to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) class. Its efficiency is the same as other anti-depressants, and the only difference is based on the side effects. (See Is the L484 a Vicodin?)

2. What is the Purpose of Zoloft?

According to experts, Sertraline effects have the ability to re-balance the chemicals in the brain, resulting in disorders. This medicine is approved and is not available without a proper prescription. It is effective for social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and generalized anxiety disorder. Sertraline, a generic version of Zoloft is little effective for post-traumatic stress disorder. But it helps to reduce the suffering during premenstrual dysphoric disorder and is used as a sub-therapeutic for further treating this situation. (Also read Are Nootropics Safe?)

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3. When and How to take Zoloft?

Understanding why does Zoloft cause weight gain is important, but before that let’s go through the dosage. 

  • Zoloft is to be taken once daily, either in the morning or evening, depending upon the patient’s will. It can be taken with meals, after, or before meals. If the patient needs to change the timing, it is better to consult the doctor.
  • Zoloft is known to cause the least or nil drowsiness effect on patients. But if a patient feels drowsy, it is better to have it before bedtime. Why does Zoloft cause weight gain is not only related to when and how a person consumes it. 
  • It is advised not to suddenly stop taking Zoloft because it results in withdrawal symptoms which may affect the patient’s day-to-day activity and mental health. The physician will tell when and how to stop consuming the medicine more stably.
  • If a patient uses Zoloft oral concentrate, it should be mixed with water, lemonade, orange juice, ginger ale, etc. The solution should be consumed immediately after mixing it.
  • The Zoloft oral concentrate dropper dispenser contains latex. If a patient is allergic to latex, then it is better to use the spoon instead. (Also read How to Get Rid of Bad Breath? 25 Home Remedies to Keep it Away)

4. Why does Zoloft cause Weight Gain in the body?

Your body produces certain fluids and hormonal liquids, which are essential for proper functioning and its development. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) or Zoloft accumulating in the body affects the functioning of these fluids and block them from performing their job. These fluids and other liquids are not excreted from the body the way they should be, which results in fluid retention in the body.

So why does Zoloft cause weight gain? The primary reason is the body cannot get rid of the fluids which are supposed to be released from the kidneys and liver. It accumulates in different layers of the tissues. Along with these fluids, extra glucose, lactose, and fats are also stored in the body. According to many reports, people who have been on six months of Sertraline therapy for depression showed a non-significant weight gain. (Also read 9 Diseases Caused by Obesity)

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5. What are the Zoloft Weight Gain Statistics?

  • People on this medication for over six months have shown signs of weight gain of 0.1% of the person’s weight. According to experts, 25% using anti-depressant drugs result in an average weight gain of about 4.53 kilograms (10 pounds).
  • The treatment with Sertraline for Obsessive-Compulsive disorder (OCD) for a period of 30 months leads to an average weight gain of 1.5% that sums up to 1 kilogram. In recent surveys, it has been discovered that the average weight gain percentage has risen to 2.5%.
  • And in some categories of the Sertraline group, almost 4.5% of consumers showed more weight gain, which was a 7% increase in their initial weight.
  • The weight gain is mostly observed among the female patients of the Sertraline. (See Factors Affecting Weight & Health)

6. What are the other Side Effects?

  • Apart from Zoloft causing weight gain, there are some allergic reactions like hives or rashes. It can be followed by swelling on the face, lip, throat, or tongue.
  • One major side effect is serotonin syndrome. It has symptoms like hallucinations, fever, vomiting, fast heart rate, shivering, twitching, diarrhea, loss of coordination, shivering, or nausea.
  • It is believed that Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) prevent the re-absorption of serotonin by the nerves. This results in more accumulation of serotonin concentration within the spaces between two nerves viz nerve synapse.
  • Zoloft also has effects like mood swings, behavioral changes, and trouble sleeping. A child’s growth is also affected.
  • Some other common symptoms include sexual problems, sweating, tremors or indigestion, etc. (See How to Heal Yourself Emotionally?)
  • Change in vision or any irritation in eyes like redness, swelling, or pain are also some of the common symptoms.
  • The patient may have low blood sodium that leads to seizures, headaches, weakness, feeling uneasy, etc.

The patient may also feel irritated, restless, and hyperactive. To the extreme, they may have suicidal thoughts. It is advised to consult a doctor if these symptoms persist or there is an overdose. (Also read Woes of the Bored and Lonely Mind)

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7. When should you Avoid taking Zoloft?

Apart from you wondering, why does Zoloft cause weight gain, it may show serious symptoms if a person is taking strong medications for certain allergies, asthma, HIV, high blood pressure, cancer, or mental illness.

  • Since Sertraline contains alcohol, it contradicts with disulfiram. It is a drug used in reducing alcohol addiction. So, if you are on disulfiram, you should avoid Zoloft.
  • People usually take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine, etc.) or the antipsychotic pimozide. Keep a 14 days gap between these two drugs to avoid dangerous drug interaction.
  • If you are undergoing treatment for liver impairments, you should be cautiously given Sertraline. Your body takes a longer time to eliminate Sertraline, and the exposure of the drug on them is three times more than normal. (Also read 14 Disastrous Health Effects of Smoking)

8. Which Drug Reacts with Zoloft?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are medicines consumed for reducing temperature, inflation, and pain. But if you take Zoloft along with the NSAIDs group, you may experience bruising and bleeding with common injuries. Some other medicines are ibuprofen, Advil, aspirin, naproxen, Motrin, and Aleve. So you must consult and inform the physician about the prevailing health issues and ongoing medications. (See Am I Passive Aggressive?)

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