Zoloft weight changes are a real concern for anyone taking Zoloft. Depending on how an individual responds to the medication, side effects may include weight loss or weight gain.
What Is Zoloft?
Sertraline (Zoloft) is a prescription medication used to treat depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), PMS, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other conditions.
It is a member of a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) that work by interacting with the chemicals in the brain that contribute to depression and other mental illness symptoms.
The research indicates that patients taking this medication lose one to two pounds on average when first beginning a round of Zoloft. However, compared to adults, children taking Zoloft are more likely to experience dramatic weight loss.
For example, 7 percent of children on Zoloft experience weight loss greater than 7 percent of their body weight. In adolescents, approximately 2 percent experience weight loss greater than 7 percent of their body weight.
However, after six to nine months most children and adolescents tend to regain the weight they initially lose. As a precaution, children and adolescents taking Zoloft should monitor their weight regularly.
Although less common than weight loss, studies indicate that up to 1% of those taking Zoloft may experience weight gain. If you experience weight gain while taking Zoloft, there is hope.
Research indicates that diet and exercise help relieve the symptoms of depression and, as an additional benefit, will also combat any weight gain. As a result, try eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
If you eat meat, eat the lean variety. Remember, foods have a dramatic impact on our moods. For proof, consider how you feel after eating a greasy meal versus after eating energy-giving foods.
Also, limit or eliminate your alcohol intake because alcohol is a depressant and should be avoided by those already suffering from depression. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes every day because exercise has been proven to improve mood.
It is important for you and your doctor to monitor your weight while taking Zoloft in order to track any weight changes.
If you experience any weight changes while taking Zoloft, report it to your prescribing doctor. If the weight loss is too extreme, your doctor may adjust your dosage or switch to a different medication.