SSRI antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are a type of drug used to treat moderate to severe depression and other mental health disorders. SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the United States, where antidepressant use has steadily expanded since the release of the first SSRI, Prozac (fluoxetine), in the 1980’s. The popularity of SSRIs can be attributed to their effectiveness and a relatively low incidence of side effects.
Prozac first hit the U.S. market in 1987 and soon became the most popular antidepressant. This prompted other drug companies to design their own versions of SSRIs, including Zoloft SSRI antidepressant, released by Pfizer in 1991. Today, a number of other SSRI antidepressants are available, including:
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Wellbutrin (bupropion)
There are differences between SSRIs, and one may be better suited to treat the symptoms of individual patients than another. Generally speaking, however, SSRIs work by affecting levels of serotonin, a type of neurotransmitter that influences mood. By preventing a patient’s serotonin from being absorbed by receptors in the brain, an SSRI can help elevate mood, although the exact way in which this helps combat depression is unknown.
Zoloft SSRI and other drugs in this category of antidepressant were developed through a process known as “rational drug design,” whereby knowledge of a particular area of the body leads to the creation of compounds that specifically affect that area in the desired way. Previous antidepressants (and other drugs) were designed through a trial and error process. This partially explains why SSRI antidepressants are safer.
SSRI antidepressants side effects do exist, however. While many of them are minor, such as nausea, headache, diarrhea, reduced sexual desire, and drowsiness, others are severe. One of the most serious has to do with SSRI antidepressants and pregnancy. Not all SSRIs are associated with birth defects, but some, including Paxil and Zoloft, are. If you’re taking an SSRI and plan on becoming pregnant, be sure to speak with your doctor first.
There is an increased risk of suicidal ideation and actions from SSRI antidepressants, and the FDA requires that every type of SSRI carries a “black box warning” that conveys this risk. You should also tell your doctor about any other medicine that you are taking, as SSRIs can produce dangerous reactions when taken simultaneously with other medications.
Sometimes, however, your best attempts at caution are not enough. Pharmaceutical makers may try to conceal the dangers of their drugs to avoid hurting sales, and in the process hurt innocent consumers instead. When this happens, people may take legal action in order to have their losses recouped.
If you were injured by Zoloft antidepressant or any other type of antidepressant, you may be entitled to compensation. To receive a free case review, contact the Rottenstein Law Group, a firm with more than 25 years of collective experience helping innocent consumers take on large corporations like Pfizer. To get started, fill out this form or call 1 (877) 471-8940.