Any info on Zoloft?

Fred Webb fwebb at
Mon Oct 19 13:58:50 EST 1992

In article <9210091520.AA01710 at> GHRIGG01 at ULKYVM.LOUISVILLE.EDU ("Garrett H. Riggs") writes:
>A friend of mine has a daughter who has seen a psychiatrist for some
>mild depression.  He prescribed a trial run of Zoloft, which according
>to him is a relatively new anti-depressant medication.  I cannot
>find a reference in the 1992 PDR.  Does anyone know anything about
>this drug (site/mechanism of action, possible side effects, etc.)?
>Especially important: the patient is diabetic.  Any possible complications?


   I am a fourth-year pharmacy student at Mass. College of Pharmacy in Boston,
currently stealing time on my father's machine. (By the way, the next paragraph
is what I'm sure of, the rest is my humble opinion.)

   Zoloft(sertraline) is a selective serotonin (5HT) reuptake inhibitor, 
similar to the infamous Prozac. In English, that means it prevents the
neurotransmitter serotonin from being sucked back into the nerve terminus so
it can be used again. Serotonin builds up in the synapse, and stimulates the
post- synaptic cell more. According to the biogenic amine theory of depression,
this increase should reverse depression.

   I don't have a really appropriate drug reference at this time, so my
knowledge of interactions, etc. is sketchy. The information I do have is from
Foye's "Principles of Medicinal Chemistry". There shouldn't be a problem with
the diabetes, and the side effects should be less than imipramine, as a
previous post suggested. But don't quote me on that.

   I don't like PDR, personally. If you want truly impartial drug information
that is a heck of a lot more comprehensible, try Goodman and Gilman's "A
Pharmacological Basis For Therapeutics", or AHFS, a hospital pharmacy text.

   This drug sounds like a decent course to me, although being new, it is both
relatively untested (ie compared to imipramine) and expensive as heck. Remember
that it will take at least 10 to 14 days to have an effect.

   And, in closing, definitely tell your friend to ask his pharmacist. And if 
he or she is uncooperative, report them to their supervisor, and find a 
pharmacist who will help you. As a profession, we are trying to become the 
source for drug information, and expect no less than that from your local RPh.

                    I hope I was of use,

                                Michael F. Webb

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