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Sertraline, Weight Gain, and Alcohol – What you need to know?

Zoloft, under its brand name, sells Sertraline, an anti-depressant that Pfizer manufactures. Sertraline, an anti-depressant, comes in a group of drugs called SSIR (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin present and active in our brain. The working function of Sertraline is almost similar to other anti-depressant drugs, just that the side effects caused by Sertraline may vary.

It is a drug prescribed for major depressive disorder, major obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, panic disorder. It is not prescribed for children unless it is the case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. Hence, one of the major compounds present in the brain helps control anxiety, stress, and happiness. The increase in usage of sertraline or other SSRI drugs is also believed to develop suicidal thoughts in people under the age of 25. Thereby increasing the risk of suicides.

If the level of serotonin in the human brain decreases, it causes anxiety and depression. The serotonin amount can be regulated and increased by using anti-depressant drugs, thereby controlling anxiety and reducing depression. The increase in the amount of serotonin that is caused by medication is believed to decrease arousals. Serotonin is also one of the reasons that cause us Nausea.

Sertraline consumption can cause various side effects such as increased weight gain, higher chances of nausea, diarrhoea, insomnia, ejaculation failure, dry mouth, drowsiness, seizures, tremor, and sexual side effects. The chances of one having diarrhoea is prominent when a higher dose of sertraline is prescribed. Though there is no exact reason as to how and does consumption of sertraline causes weight gain. Another question that arises is whether or not alcohol must be consumed after the usage of Sertraline.

Sertraline can impact weight gain:

There is no such direct evidence that could directly relate the consumption of Sertraline and weight gain. Sertraline, just like other anti-depressants, has been linked with the probable aspects of weight gain. But one of the most potential theories related to this is that the anti-depressants like Sertraline may not directly affect your thyroid, limiting its effect on metabolism, but it can make one feel hungrier.

The more one feels hungrier there would be a change in their appetite. One may feel hungrier and would not be satisfied with the regular portion of food. Hence, it may take bigger portions, increasing the amount of calories intake.

Sertraline, Weight Gain, and Alcohol – What you need to know?

Zoloft, under its brand name, sells Sertraline, an anti-depressant that Pfizer manufactures. Sertraline, an anti-depressant, comes in a group of drugs called SSIR (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin present and active in our brain. The working function of Sertraline is almost similar to other anti-depressant drugs, just that the side effects caused by Sertraline may vary.

It is a drug prescribed for major depressive disorder, major obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, panic disorder. It is not prescribed for children unless it is the case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. Hence, one of the major compounds present in the brain helps control anxiety, stress, and happiness. The increase in usage of sertraline or other SSRI drugs is also believed to develop suicidal thoughts in people under the age of 25. Thereby increasing the risk of suicides.

If the level of serotonin in the human brain decreases, it causes anxiety and depression. The serotonin amount can be regulated and increased by using anti-depressant drugs, thereby controlling anxiety and reducing depression. The increase in the amount of serotonin that is caused by medication is believed to decrease arousals. Serotonin is also one of the reasons that cause us Nausea.

Sertraline consumption can cause various side effects such as increased weight gain, higher chances of nausea, diarrhoea, insomnia, ejaculation failure, dry mouth, drowsiness, seizures, tremor, and sexual side effects. The chances of one having diarrhoea is prominent when a higher dose of sertraline is prescribed. Though there is no exact reason as to how and does consumption of sertraline causes weight gain. Another question that arises is whether or not alcohol must be consumed after the usage of Sertraline.

Sertraline can impact weight gain:

There is no such direct evidence that could directly relate the consumption of Sertraline and weight gain. Sertraline, just like other anti-depressants, has been linked with the probable aspects of weight gain. But one of the most potential theories related to this is that the anti-depressants like Sertraline may not directly affect your thyroid, limiting its effect on metabolism, but it can make one feel hungrier.

The more one feels hungrier there would be a change in their appetite. One may feel hungrier and would not be satisfied with the regular portion of food. Hence, it may take bigger portions, increasing the amount of calories intake.

There is no sudden impact on weight gain observed. It is rather gradual, maybe over six months that too at a rate of 0.1% only, but as we know, even a small change in appetite leads to major impacts over the long term. The weight gain might be helpful if the person suffering from depression or anxiety has lost weight or has reduced their appetite. In this case, the weight gained will be from low to back to normal, thereby indicating a patient's recovery.

Another possible aspect is that the group of SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) anti-depressant drugs could block the effect of hormones that control the sodium and fluids in our body. Hence causing the fluid to retent in our body. 

Though with the minor chances of weight gain, sertraline has no major effects on one's body composition.

Avoid weight gain while taking Sertraline.

Following precautions can be taken as a step to avoid unnecessary weight gain due to the consumption of Sertraline or any other anti-depressant drug from the group of SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) drugs:

- Keep a check on your weight before you start consuming sertraline. A proper weight report would help one easily track down the changes rather than weight gain or weight loss in some cases. Also, for accurate results, keep a check of your weight before eating and after eating and going to the bathroom. This would help track any minor changes that might have possibly occurred from the drug usage.

- Keep your old habits and diet structure in-tight. As discussed, sertraline might make one feel hungrier and unsatisfied with the portion consumed. But if we try to keep up with our old eating habits, the portions, timings of food, and food choices. It might help us to keep a check on our weight. Maintain your old patterns and eating habits. As even a slight change in our diet or eating habits has a long-term effect on our weight gain.

- Stay healthy and keep yourself active. If you exercise on a routine basis now, you should try and maintain the same routine after consuming drugs (unless it is not advised to exercise by your doctor). It would help keep a check on weight gain and is also closely associated with reducing depression and anxiety. You can even start exercising if not already with approval from the doctor. It would be best if you started slowly to avoid any other major issues.

- Keep your doctor updated about the changes. If there is an observable increase or a drastic weight change, gained or lost, after using Sertraline or any other SSRI drugs, the best practice would be to inform your doctor. Your doctor might help you keep a check on your weight by changing your diet plans or suggesting some exercise to perform to keep you active or even changing the structure of the dosage of sertraline. 
 
In the case of weight loss, a proper and better diet plan would be implemented. Again, you must try keeping up with your old eating habits and consuming the same portions that you used to consume before the medication of sertraline had started.

- In any case, if you find losing your weight which is generally not the pattern observed. But if so, you can consult your doctor as there might be some minor changes in your appetite due to the consumption of sertraline. Try maintaining the eating habits and consume the same portion or more portion than what you used to consume before the medication and consumption of sertraline had started.

Though there is no surety with sertraline being associated directly with weight gain, following the above tips and tricks would surely help one keep a check on their weight.

Sertraline  and Alcohol

One might be consuming alcohol occasionally at some party or during dinner or any other case, and that is normal. But if you are consuming an anti-depressant like sertraline, SSRI drug (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) group. It would be best if you had second thoughts now before opening up the next bottle.

Sertraline, just like other SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), is used to treat depression, anxiety, post-trauma stress disorder, and various other conditions. It works by increasing the amount of serotonin that is actively present in our brain.

The manufacturer of Sertraline also suggests not to consume alcohol after the usage of sertraline as it is shown that alcohol potentially increases the amount of serotonin in our body, which would worsen the side effects caused by sertraline.

The increased amount of serotonin in our body causes a decrease in arousal and also causing nausea. Also, Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft, suggests that the mixture of sertraline and alcohol can cause drowsiness.

Certain questions that arise in mind while barring the consumption of alcohol and sertraline together are should one skip the next dose of sertraline to consume and enjoy alcohol? The answer would be a big NO. 

Generally, sertraline is an anti-depressant drug prescribed to treat one with post-traumatic disorder, anxiety, stress, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

In either of the scenarios, the dosage of the drug must not be altered without a doctor's consultation. As every drug prescribed has its dosage periods and side effects, altering drugs' prescribed usage without consultation with a doctor may cause serious issues. 
Also, some mild discontinuation syndrome symptoms are observed in patients if the drug consumption is stopped abruptly. Some of the mild discontinuation syndrome symptoms include nausea, fatigue, headaches, anxiety, irritability, etc.

It would be better if one chooses to skip the alcoholic beverages rather than skipping the drug dose if you are suffering from depression or anxiety and being prescribed sertraline for the same. Not to forget that alcohol has both depressant effects and stimulant effects, which may worsen the state, triggering more depression and anxiety. 

It is recommended to avoid consuming both alcohol and sertraline together. It makes one feel drowsier than before and might also cause nausea.

Hopefully, the above points solve and clear the doubts related to the consumption of alcohol and sertraline together. And remember it is NOT recommended to consume alcohol and sertraline as it might add up to the side effects caused by consumption of sertraline or other SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors).

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