Effective Zoloft dosing is contingent upon many factors such as age, physical condition, the condition for which one is taking Zoloft, other medications one may be taking, and others.
What Is Zoloft?
Zoloft is a prescription medication used to treat depression, anxiety, panic attacks, post traumatic stress, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other conditions.
It belongs in the class of drugs called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) which work by interacting with the brain chemicals that contribute to depression and other conditions.
The medication is typically administered once daily, and can be taken in the morning or the evening. It is available in capsule and liquid form. The capsules come in sizes of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg.
The liquid form is available in 20 mg/ml which is diluted with a half a cup (4 ounces) of either water, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice. It must be mixed well prior to use and taken immediately.
Starting Zoloft Dosage
For adults with depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the common starting dose is 50 mg once a day. For Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or Social Anxiety Disorder, a typical starting dose is 25 mg taken once daily. Zoloft is also prescribed for children suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). For children ages 6 to 12, a common starting dose is 25 mg once daily. For children ages 13 to 17, a common starting dose is 50 mg daily.
For most patients, maintenance doses range between 50 mg and 200 mg daily. Depending on the therapeutic results and side effects, your doctor may choose to increase the dosage if symptoms persist or decrease your dose if side effects become too adverse. Changes to Zoloft dosing are typically made in weekly increments.
This medication is not intended to treat depression in children due to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, teens, and young adults who take SSRI antidepressants. Read this important warning about antidepressants and suicide.
Also, studies show an increased risk of birth defects and health problems in babies born to pregnant women taking SSRI antidepressants. For more information, read this important warning about antidepressants and pregnancy.
This medication should not be consumed with alcohol due to a risk of seizures. Also, alcohol is a depressant drug that should not be consumed by those who already suffer from depression. For more information, read this safety alert about antidepressants and alcohol.
You must wait at least 2 weeks before discontinuing an MAOI medication and starting Zoloft. Similarly, wait at least 14 days after stopping ZOLOFT before you begin taking an MAOI. A helpful safety precaution is to inform your doctor of any and all medications you are currently taking or have recently taken before starting any new medication, including Zoloft.
If your Zoloft makes you drowsy, you may be able to take it at bedtime. Conversely, if it causes insomnia, take it in the morning.
You can take this medication with or without food; if it upsets your stomach, try taking it with food. Also, this medication is intended to be taken at the same time every day, which helps maintain the Zoloft levels in your system.
Quitting “cold turkey” or missing a few doses may result in withdrawal symptoms. To avoid this, work with your doctor to safely and gradually reduce your Zoloft dose.
Always take this medication as prescribed under the direct supervision of your doctor. Do not alter your Zoloft dosage or double up doses. Never share your medications with others. As always, direct any questions about Zoloft to your doctor and healthcare providers.