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So, here’s the scenario: your healthcare provider has just prescribed you sertraline 100mg — a 100mg dose of the generic form of Zoloft®. You’re not sure if this is a lot, a little, just right or a huge red flag for your safety.
What is sertraline 100mg?
You’ve probably already done a little bit of homework on the topic. Maybe you’ve looked up the basics on Zoloft or seen the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data on the safety of this medication. But 100mg seems like a large dose — or does it?
The reality of antidepressant medications is that they can all vary in size of dose, frequency of dosage in patients, side effects and benefits. In the medication world, 10mg of one medication might equal 100mg of another — it’s all very subjective, leading to good reason for caution in patients.
So, what does 100mg sertraline do? How much increased hazard does it bring you over, say, 50mg? The answers to these questions and more are below. Let’s start with the simplest one: what is it?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter used by your brain to regulate your mood. Without it, your moods can see some extremes — those “low lows” that people often talk about in the context of depression.
Generally, SSRIs are thought to work by preventing your brain from reabsorbing excess serotonin. Usually, your brain does this regularly, but the problem is that it can absorb all of your supply of serotonin, which can put you in the position of having nothing to do with the regulation.
100mg sertraline (the generic version of Zoloft) is really just a particular dosage of sertraline for whatever purpose your healthcare provider prescribes it. Remember, sertraline can help people suffering from a variety of mental health issues, including many types of depressive disorder and the following:
Social Anxiety Disorder
Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks
Binge Eating Disorder
That said, there are certain cases in which a 100mg dose of sertraline is more effective or advised than others. Let’s take a look at unique use cases for a large daily dose.
Sertraline 100mg has a few specifically detailed use cases that might apply to someone like you. For instance, in people with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), 100mg as a daily dosage is considered an acceptable maximum dose, if dosing intermittently.
It’s also acceptable to use for the treatment of major depressive disorder as part of a flexible dosing plan.
Clinical studies have actually shown 100mg sertraline to be an effective dose in some treatments of panic disorder, though it does not represent the upper limit except in the case of PMDD.
Side effects of 100mg sertraline may be more pronounced than the common side effects of sertraline at lower doses, but they will still generally include the same specific problems:
Loss of appetite
Your individual experience with this medication and its adverse effects might vary based on your age, gender, weight and how long you’ve been using the medication, so it’s difficult to give you a full portrait of the side effects you might experience.
But serious ones can include eye pain and irregular heartbeat, and that’s not including the risk of an allergic reaction and similar adverse reactions.
That said, it’s fair to assume that a small person taking a large dose will be at a higher risk of side effects than a large person taking a small dose, due to the increased concentration of the medication in comparison with your size.
But a larger dose will always increase your risk for serotonin syndrome, also known as overdose (you can have withdrawal symptoms too, by the way). If you think you’ve overdosed or are at risk of serotonin syndrome, seek medical attention.
And yet, there’s no clear-cut answer on whether you should be taking 100mg sertraline, regardless of age, gender, weight or previous medication exposure.
In fact, the real answer to this question is impossible to give you in these hypothetical terms — only your health care provider can really help provide medical advice here.
Not every medication works the same way.
A 100mg dose of sertraline is hardly comparable to 100mg of another SSRI because levels of sertraline mean something different.
And even though these medications are all arguably similar, it’s still a question of apples and oranges.
That’s before we talk about monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants and other forms of serotonergic drugs and antidepressant drugs for a psychiatric disorder.
So, what do you need: an apple or an orange? How big should your orange be? How many segments of your orange should you eat at a time? Should you switch to orange juice?
These are all questions that matter, but they matter in the aerial view of your whole treatment plan. And that’s something that really requires one-on-one professional support.
If you’re looking for the answers to these questions and are aware that a healthcare provider should be giving them to you, you’re on the right track. But the next step is crucial: getting help.
Maybe you’ve failed to connect with your current provider or found it difficult to talk to them about your mental health needs. Maybe you’re seeing changes that you don’t like and are concerned that your current medication isn’t working.
Whatever the reason you haven’t already brought these concerns to their attention, do something about it.
The right help for you is going to come from someone who is supportive and someone you feel like you can trust.
Our online therapy resources are a great way to find the right therapist for your needs conveniently, so you can find the right fit without having to redo those forms over and over again every time you meet a new therapy professional.
And our mental health resources offer convenient access to people who can answer your questions quickly.
There aren’t a lot of reasons to worry about dosage adjustment when you can just ask the questions you need to ask. So ask them today — we’re here to help.
Kristin Hall is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with decades of experience in clinical practice and leadership.
She has an extensive background in Family Medicine as both a front-line healthcare provider and clinical leader through her work as a primary care provider, retail health clinician and as Principal Investigator with the NIH.
Certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, she brings her expertise in Family Medicine into your home by helping people improve their health and actively participate in their own healthcare.
Kristin is a St. Louis native and earned her master’s degree in Nursing from St. Louis University, and is also a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. You can find Kristin on LinkedIn for more information.
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