Sertraline is a popular SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) class anti-depressant manufactured by Pfizer. It is branded under the names Zoloft in the United States and Lustral in the United Kingdom. In 2007, there were a little less than 30,000,000 active prescriptions for Zoloft alone.
Like all medicines, the use of Sertraline may cause side effects with varying degrees of severity, although it’s common to not experience any at all. Some of the more common side effects are: constipation; tiredness; weight loss; decreased sex drive; loss of appetite; diarrhea; drowsiness; anxiety; dry mouth; sweating; dizziness; nausea; upset stomach; sleeplessness; vomiting and nervousness.
Sertraline also has been documented to cause a variety of more severe side effects. It’s recommended that you immediately seek medical care if you experience any of the following symptoms: Out of the ordinary behavior; chest pain; confusion; loss of bladder control; weakness; lack of concentration; decreased coordination; severe headaches; exaggerated reflexes; fainting; rapid/ irregular heartbeat; seizures; hallucinations; agitation, panic attacks, bloody stool; out of the ordinary mood changes; aggressiveness, irritability, hostility, inflated sense of well being, restlessness; relentless ringing in the ears; persistent, aching erection; blistering, red, swollen, or peeling skin; persistent anxiety or trouble sleeping; suicidal thoughts; tremors; stomach pains; impulsiveness; fever; memory loss; unusual bruising or bleeding; vision changes; increased depression and severe allergic reactions (difficulty breathing; rash; itching; tension/ tightness in the chest; hives; inflammation of the face, lips, mouth or tongue).
Unfortunately, there is an even darker risk associated with Sertraline use. A myriad of studies have concluded that the use of this medication during pregnancy significantly increases the chances of birth defects in the newborn. Multiple complications have been linked to the drug, including heart defects, lung defects, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, abdominal and cranial birth defects, spinal bifida, etc… Fortunately, some of the victims have been able to avoid being buried by the deluge of medical bills by filing a Sertraline lawsuit. Without that monetary compensation, chances are most of them would have to declare bankruptcy and possibly forgo lifesaving treatment.