In the United States, around 37 million Americans take antidepressants and the most popular category of antidepressants is SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). Zoloft is an SSRI antidepressant medication that’s prescribed for people who suffer from depression or anxiety.
Zoloft is a brand name of a drug known as sertraline hydrochloride. It works by boosting the serotonin in your brain which is also called the feel-good hormone. Some of the benefits of Zoloft include improvement in sleep, mood, appetite, and energy.
if your doctor has prescribed you Zoloft, maybe you are wondering how long it will take before you see any improvement. Will Zoloft take effect immediately? How do you know if this is the right medication for you?
In this blog, we will cover answers to these common questions. Hopefully, this can help you better understand how long it takes for Zoloft to work.
When will you start feeling the effects of Zoloft?
The length of time it takes for Zoloft to work varies from person to person, but in general, people start feeling better in at least six weeks on average. For some people, it may take as soon as one to two weeks to start feeling some of the benefits of Zoloft but it could be much longer for others.
The reason for this is that Zoloft was not designed to be a fast-acting drug like Xanax where you can feel the effects within an hour. You will have to religiously take the Zoloft during the prescribed period for it to start working.
If you are used to immediate effects like what Xanax delivers, it can be frustrating when you don’t immediately feel the effects of an antidepressant. You might feel impatient that the drug is not working or having an effect. It’s important, however, to give it time and not stop taking your medication even if you don’t notice any improvement after a week or two.
If Zoloft doesn’t seem to be working after six weeks, talk with your doctor about other options that could work better for you. If your doctor recommends continuing with Zoloft, follow your doctor’s advice.
Why Aren’t My Antidepressants Working?
There are different reasons why antidepressants like Zoloft may not be working for you. Remember that everyone reacts differently to medications. Just because someone has successfully overcome depression by taking Zoloft does not mean it will automatically work the same way for you.
For some people, they feel the effects at the beginning but after 6 months, they start feeling that Zoloft is not working for them any longer. There are also some who feel that Zoloft has not worked for them at all from the start. Why does this happen?
Some factors that could influence the efficacy of antidepressants include the following:
- Taking other drugs or substances – The effectiveness of an antidepressant can be altered when it is taken with illicit drugs or alcohol.
- Interactions with other medicines – If you are taking other prescription medications, this could also affect the efficacy of Zoloft.
- Undergoing physical changes – Changes in your body such as pregnancy could also be a reason why antidepressants have stopped working.
- Going through new stressors – Finding yourself dealing with a stressful situation can also affect the way your antidepressant drug works.
What To Do If Zoloft Is Not Working Anymore?
If you find that Zoloft is not working for you anymore, it is important to take note of the following advice to avoid serious consequences such as drug overdose or harmful side effects.
- Speak to your doctor – Tell your doctor what you are feeling and discuss other options that may work for you. If your doctor recommends switching your meds to another one, make sure to have a frank discussion about the pros and cons of the new drug as stronger drugs may have higher risks for addiction.
- Do not self-medicate – It is not uncommon for people taking antidepressants or other drugs to think that they can just increase their dose and everything will be back to normal. Some even combine their existing prescription drug with other meds without proper medical advice to get the effect they want. Doing this, however, can be very dangerous. Always consult with your doctor first before veering away from your prescription.
- Try out non-drug treatment or therapies – A holistic approach to treating your depression could be the key to feeling better again. Consider going to therapy, joining support groups, starting meditation or yoga, and practicing self-care activities to help improve your mental health.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.