Increasing zoloft dosage from 50mg to 100mg (3 things to expect) 

In this blog, we will discuss what to expect when your healthcare provider changes your zoloft dose from 50 to 100mg. Let’s shed some light on the efficacy and side effects associated with 100mg zoloft, as compared to 50mg.

What to expect when your zoloft dose is increased from 50mg to 100mg?

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There are three possible things to expect when shifting from 50mg to 100mg zoloft. These are:

Mood instability 

The first few weeks with your new, increased dose might make your mood a little unstable. You may feel good one day but extremely depressed the next. It’s just your body adapting to the higher dose, as it was used to taking 50mg. 

Antidepressants take 4 to 6 weeks to work. Your new dose might take upto 3 week to settle. Don’t worry! It will be alright. 

Side effects 

We all know, no medicine is pure from side effects. As now your dose has been increased, you might find an increase in your side effects as well. Antidepressants take time to settle in your body. Give it a few weeks and your side effects will begin to subside

Better outcome

Yes! That’s probably what you actually want to hear, but I saved it for last. Your doctor increased your dose because your former dose wasn’t working that well for you.

This one, however, will target your depression more actively. After a week or two, you will start to feel much better as compared to days when you were on the lower dose. 

Note: NEVER change your dose without your doctor’s approval (unless of course, you are a licensed healthcare professional yourself!). ALWAYS consult your healthcare provider to make sure if this is what you need. 

DON’T stop zoloft abruptly, or else you’ll end up opening your doors for withdrawal symptoms. Zoloft increases the availability of serotonin in your brain. 

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a chemical) released by our brain which is responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

If you stop zoloft abruptly, your receptors will end up craving serotonin as they are used to getting excessive serotonin by now. It is best to follow your doctor’s advice before taking things into your own hands.

Doses of zoloft

Zoloft is recommended, as per condition, in the following doses:

Depression:

  • For adults: 

50 mg once a day. Take it as advised by your doctor, either in the morning or at night. Do not exceed 200 mg.

  • For children

Dose is suggested by the doctor according to the condition and body weight.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder:

  • Adults and teenagers

50 mg once a day. Take it as advised by your doctor, either in the morning or at night. Some cases might need dose adjustment. Do not exceed 200 mg.

  • For children 6-12 years old

25 mg once a day, taken as advised by the doctor.

Panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, or social anxiety disorder:

  • For adults

25 mg once a day is considered an initial dose. Take it as advised by your doctor, either in the morning or at night. Some cases might need dose adjustment. Do not exceed 200 mg.

  • For children

Dose is suggested by the doctor according to the condition and body weight.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder:

  • For adults

50 mg per day is considered as an initial treatment. It is taken daily throughout your periods. Your doctor might adjust your dose according to your symptoms. Dose should not be more than 150 mg per day. 

  • For children

Dose is suggested by the doctor according to the condition and body weight.

Important factors to consider before setting an appropriate dose

The dosing of a medicine depends upon several factors. Zoloft is available in various strengths, but which one is best for you? 

The process of setting the dose is not as simple as you think. A lot of factors are considered by your healthcare provider, before recommending you an appropriate dose. These include:

Age

Age is a crucial factor to consider before prescribing a dose. Children and elderly are more susceptible to adverse effects as their bodies are weak and so is their immunity. 

For adults, it is easy to simply prescribe a dose, but for paediatric and geriatric population, a lot of factors are considered first. 

Severity of your condition

It is also an important factor to consider. You are supposed to take the dose which suits your condition and its severity. If you’re mildly depressed, I would not suggest you directly for 100mg zoloft, it would be unethical. 

The severity of your symptoms sets your dose. If you’re highly depressed and you are talking 25 mg, tell me, would it work? Nope! It will not. It doesn’t suit your condition. The amount of zoloft in your body would be too low, low enough to mess you up even more. 

Allergies 

Whenever you go to consult your healthcare provider, it is often asked about your allergies. It is extremely important to inform your doctor about any known allergy you might have.

As you know medicines not only have the active ingredient (Sertraline being zoloft’s active ingredient), but they also have other components, that we call excipients, which help to make the drug palatable. 

So there might be a chance that you are allergic to one of those excipients or the active ingredient itself. In case of allergy, medicines react differently. 

You might experience getting rashes all over your body or might find it hard to breathe. So, always look out for unusual side effects and immediately inform your healthcare provider if your medicine does not suit you. 

Medical conditions that might need dose adjustment

It is very important to consider pre-existing health conditions that you might have. Following health conditions are sensitive to the use of zoloft:

Bipolar disorder

Taking zoloft might trigger mania in people with bipolar disorder. If you have this condition, talk to your doctor before using this med. 

Kidney problems

If your kidney function is compromised you may not be able to clear this drug out. When the drug is not properly eliminated, it starts getting accumulated in the blood which, in simple words, means more side effects.

Seizures

The use of this drug increases your risk of having seizures. Consult your healthcare provider to make sure if the use of zoloft is safe for you in this condition or not.

Glaucoma

Zoloft may trigger a glaucoma attack. Talk to your healthcare provider before using zoloft if you have this condition. 

Liver problems 

If your liver function is compromised, your body might not metabolise this drug effectively. This increases the level zoloft in your body and causes more side effects

Proper use 

The proper use of zoloft is crucial. Non-adherence is something that ruins your entire treatment goal. You MUST take your medication on time and as directed by your healthcare provider. 

Non-adherence, in case of antidepressants, makes your journey even more difficult. You are only supposed to take as recommended, not less or more than that. Both can result in exacerbating your condition. 

The medication comes with a guide, a leaflet. Follow instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any query. 

Zoloft is available in tablet form as well as in oral liquid form:

Tablets:

Tablets can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. It’s best to eat something before taking it, in order to avoid acid reflux. Make sure you take it as directed by your healthcare provider. 

Oral solution:

Oral solution comes with a measuring device. Measure the amount accurately. You can dilute it in water. If water is too bland for you, you can mix it in some lemonade, ginger ale or lemon soda, to mask the taste better.

When to call your doctor?

After your doctor increases your dose, make sure you monitor your symptoms closely. If you find it hard to tolerate the 100mg dose, report back to your doctor. You will experience some side effects initially or you might feel like your existing side effects have become more pronounced. 

It usually takes up to 4 to 6 weeks for the side effects to subside, but if you suffer from unusual effects, make sure you immediately inform your healthcare provider.

Conclusion 

Zoloft is an antidepressant. It is used to treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Social anxiety disorder, etc. 

In this blog, we discussed what to expect when you shift from 50mg to 100mg zoloft. You may suffer from mood swings, irritability or anxiety but it is all temporary. A few weeks in and your body will adapt to the new dose. 

Further we discussed how you shouldn’t stop zoloft abruptly and how non-adherence can ruin your treatment goal. 

FAQs : Increasing zoloft dosage from 50 to 100

Increasing zoloft doses from 50 to 100mg side effects? 

Common side effects of Zoloft include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling anxious or agitated
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impotence
  • Inability to ejaculate

Zoloft, sometimes, causes serious side effects. Consult your healthcare provider as soon as you can if these symptoms occur:

  • Seizure/convulsions
  • Eye pain with vision problems
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Memory problems/Dementia 
  • Severe weakness and inability to move

How long does an increased dose of Zoloft take to work? 

It typically takes 2 to 3 weeks for your new dose to kick in. You might experience side effects and irritability, but it’s all temporary. Your symptoms will subside shortly

What is a typical dose of sertraline? 

Depression:

  • For adults: 

50 mg once a day. Take it as advised by your doctor, either in the morning or at night. Do not exceed 200 mg.

  • For children

Dose is suggested by the doctor according to the condition and body weight.

What is considered a high dose of Zoloft?

150-200mg is considered a high dose of sertraline. You only need them if your depression is resistant to lower doses. Do not switch doses without your doctor’s approval. Oftentimes, it is recommended to change the medicine instead of increasing the dose. 

Best time of day to take Zoloft for anxiety?

Your doctor recommends zoloft either in the morning or evening. If the med is making you drowsy, it is recommended to take it at bedtime to avoid being sleepy during the day. 

References 

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