Lustral (Sertraline) is a type of antidepressant that can also be prescribed for people with panic attacks, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By increasing the level of serotonin in the brain, it can help improve mood, reduce panic attacks and effectively treat OCD. It usually takes four to six weeks for one to feel all the effects. Lustral, which is sold only under prescription, can cause slight side effects such as fatigue, headache, insomnia and dry mouth. However, it has less side effects than the old antidepressants.
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Sertraline is a drug belonging to a group of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). It is often used in the treatment of depression as well as panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Serotonin, a chemical that is produced and released by our brain to provide communication between neurotransmitters, is a substance that affects emotions, mood and behaviors. In cases of depression and anxiety, the amount of serotonin released from the brain decreases. Sertraline has fewer side effects than most antidepressants.
Sertraline is used in adults in the treatment of:
Neurons secrete various chemical substances to stimulate other nerve cells. This leads to the generation of electrical signals that enable many functions controlled by the brain. Serotonin is one of these chemicals. When serotonin is secreted, it stimulates other nerve cells, enters nerve cells and is recycled.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as sertraline, increase the amount of serotonin circulating in the user’s brain. This helps to improve the disorders such as depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. For the full effect of sertraline, it should be used for average of 4-6 weeks. In some individuals, effect can be seen earlier.
Sertraline is also used in the treatment of panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, apart from depression.
Sertraline ensures a high level of serotonin in the brain by preventing the retrieval of secreted serotonin to nerve cells. Thus, a decrease in the symptoms of depression can be felt. Other drugs in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors group, including sertraline, also show a similar effect.
It is effective in the treatment of panic disorder including panic attack, which is accompanied by the fear of closed area, agoraphobia.
It is effective in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The efficacy and safety of the treatment of this disease for up to 2 years have been scientifically demonstrated. It is used in adults and children older than 6 years.
In order to overcome the psychological traumas experienced by individuals due to serious, intimidating and horrifying events, drug therapies should be applied as well as psychotherapy. Sertraline is one of the effective antidepressants used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The general initial dose for sertraline is 50 mg for adults. This dose is gradually increased after a few weeks of use by your physician. The maximum daily dose in patients with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder is 200 mg.
In patients with social disorder and panic attack, the daily starting dose is usually 25 mg. After the first week, the dose is increased to 50 mg. The starting dose of sertraline in children between 6-12 years of age is 25 mg daily, it is increased depending on the situation. The dose with teenagers is similar to the one given to adults.
There is no clear and definite time for the use of sertraline. Your physician will decide on the condition and severity of your illness and the most accurate duration of use depending on whether you have any comorbidity (one or more additional conditions co-occurring with your primary condition). It has been reported that it should be used at least 6 months in various sources for the treatment of depression.
Sertraline may be inconvenient for the following conditions:
Sertraline should be used with the physician’s prescription. Before using the medication, patients with the aforementioned diseases or any other special conditions should always inform their physicians.
Possible drug groups in which sertraline interacts are as follows:
As with many drugs, the combined use of alcohol and sertraline is inconvenient and increases side effects. However, before using any kind of supplements, especially St. John’s wort, the opinion of the physician and pharmacist should be taken. Antidepressants can interact with drugs and nutrients.
The health of the mother and the baby during pregnancy is very important. If you get pregnant while using sertraline, please inform your physician. Pregnancy category of sertraline is C. If the potential benefit of the use of sertraline is greater, the use of the drug may be continued. Only your physician can make this decision.
The drug passes into breast milk. However, this amount was found to be insignificant in scientific studies. Therefore, it can be preferred during breastfeeding period. With the suggestion of your doctor, you can continue to use sertraline during breastfeeding. However, if your baby shows a drowsiness or unusual situation, inform your physician.
The symptoms may worsen in people who use the drug for panic attacks in the first few weeks. However, if the effects of the drug disappear within a few weeks, if you are uncomfortable, talk to your doctor. He/she may choose to continue your treatment with a dose reduction or medication change. Side effects after the use of sertraline are classified as follows:
These side effects are seen in 1 out of 100 people:
These side effects are seen less than 1 in every 100 people. If you observe any of the following side effects, please contact the nearest health facility:
Rarely, some people may be allergic to the active substance of sertraline. When using sertraline:
There are some measures that may be used to lessen the side effects of using sertraline:
Do not use tools and machinery when using sertraline, do not work in jobs that require attention. Although there are risks of various side effects, remember that you are using this drug because the potential benefit is higher than these side effects. Never stop your treatment on your own. When you have any hesitation, please consult your doctor and pharmacist.
References: 1- Sertraline, 2- How does sertraline work?, 3- Sertraline (Lustral)