Is zoloft a beta blocker? (A Comparative Blog)

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This blog post will answer the question, “Is zoloft a beta blocker?”. Many people often find it difficult to differentiate between medications. Antidepressants are often mistaken for other drugs. This blog will help you understand the difference between zoloft and beta blockers. 

Is zoloft a beta blocker

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No, zoloft is not a beta blocker. It is an antidepressant, sertraline, which belongs to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin from the synaptic cleft by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT). 

This results in increased availability of serotonin in your brain, which is a neurotransmitter (a chemical) released by our brain and is responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

Zoloft improves mood, makes sleep quality better, increases appetite, boosts energy levels, reduces the frequency of panic attacks, tones down the psychological premenstrual symptoms and much more.

What are the uses of zoloft? 

Zoloft is used for the treatment of several health conditions. These include:

Mild to moderate depression

Depression is a state of mind which is concerned with disturbing thoughts, especially about one’s self. It is associated with symptoms like hopelessness, tearfulness and emptiness. 

Zoloft can increase the amount of excitatory neurotransmitters to counteract such depressive symptoms. 

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Zoloft is used to treat symptoms of OCD. It is a condition characterised by troublesome thoughts that won’t go away, no matter what you do, and a weird urge to do things over and over again. 

Panic attacks

Overtime, zoloft has proven to be a suitable treatment option for treating panic attacks. They are sudden, uncontrollable attacks of fear and worry. A patient might unwillingly exaggerate a certain condition and gets frightened, often to the point where he gets attacked by seizures. 

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Zoloft can be used in high doses to counteract the symptoms of PTSD. It is concerned with extreme psychological symptoms that develop after a disturbing incident, such as death of a loved one or a horrific accident. 

Social anxiety disorder

Zoloft has proven to be effective in the treatment of social anxiety disorder or social phobia. It is a condition in which the patient fears facing crowds or social gatherings, and doesn’t really know how to react among people. 

Is zoloft a beta blocker? (A Comparative Blog)

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Zoloft is also used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including symptoms like mood swings, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness. 

Off-label uses of zoloft 

Zoloft is also used off-label to help relieve the symptoms associated with following health conditions:

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

Zoloft is used to help relieve the symptoms of GAD. It is a state of mind in which the person worries about every little thing, whether it’s related to health, wealth, friends, relationships, family, education etc. It’s a constant state of anxiousness

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 

Zoloft is often used to treat the symptoms of IBS. This treatment is most commonly used in people who have IBS associated anxiety and depression. Zoloft can alter the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain and gut. This effect was found to be helpful in patients with IBS.

Diabetic neuropathy 

Zoloft can also be used to relieve the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. This condition arises normally after prolonged mismanagement of diabetes.

What are beta blockers? 

Beta blockers or beta-adrenergic blockers are drugs which block beta receptors present in the heart and lungs and inhibit the effects of adrenaline, also known as epinephrine. These meds also dilate blood vessels and decrease the workload of the heart. 

These agents are commonly found in the treatment regimen of patients with coronary artery diseases and congestive heart failure. The examples of beta blockers include:

  • Propranolol (Inderal) 
  • Atenolol (Tenormin) 
  • Esmolol (Brevibloc) 
  • Sotalol (Betapace) 
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor) 
  • Acebutolol (Sectral) 
  • Bisoprolol (Monocor) 
  • Nadolol (Corgard) 

Uses of beta blockers 

Beta blockers are used to help relieve the symptoms associated with the following health conditions:

Cardiovascular diseases

Beta blockers are well known for their benefits in patients suffering from different cardiovascular diseases including:

  • High blood pressure 
  • Angina pectoris
  • Management of congestive heart failure 
  • Arrhythmia or irregular heart beat
  • Myocardial infarction 
  • Tachycardia 
  • Coronary artery diseases 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an ocular disease which is associated with increased intraocular pressure. If left untreated, it may cause blindness. Beta blockers are given in the form of eye drops to help release some pressure by causing vasodilation. 

Migraine

Beta blockers can be used as a first line of treatment regimen to help relieve the painful symptoms of migraine. Various studies have revealed the beneficial effects of propranolol in treating migraine. Metoprolol can also be used. 

Anxiety 

Beta blockers can be used to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety by blocking stress hormones, but this is considered an off-label use and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yet. Researchers are still weighing its pros and cons to be officially used as an anxiolytic. 

Tremors

Beta blockers, especially propranolol (Inderal) is used to treat tremors. It is medically approved to treat tremors. Studies show that propranolol, at times, is the first choice of drug to treat tremors. 

Metoprolol also holds some tremor curing properties. The mechanism through which propranolol reduces tremor is still unknown (and a great topic of study). 

Studies show that people have actually gained relief from tremors after using propranolol but it still can not provide complete relief. It can be taken once or twice a day, as suggested by your healthcare professional. 

Ensure the proper use of medicines 

The proper use of medications is crucial. Make sure you have properly understood the name and timing at which you’re supposed to take your med and little instructions that come along with them. Read the following tips to ensure the proper use of medicines:

  • Make sure you read the leaflet or guide that comes with your med. 
  • Take it as recommended by your doctor. 
  • Do not deviate from the prescribed dose. It is not advised to take more or less than that. 
  • Do not suggest medications, unless you are a healthcare professional yourself. Do not share medications. You might think your conditions match but oftentimes they don’t. It’s actually pretty dangerous.
  • If you fail to understand how to use the drug properly or have any other question, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • In case of overdose, immediately reach out to the hospital. Make sure you properly guide them about how much drug you have taken and when.
  • If you experience unusual side effects, immediately contact your healthcare provider
  • Ask your doctor if you’re pregnant, trying to conceive or if you’re a breastfeeding mother. 

Precautions for beta blockers 

In case of beta blockers, they should be used cautiously if you’re using them for non-cardiovascular diseases because they can dangerously lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Your healthcare provider might keep you on a low dose and monitor your heart rate from time to time. 

If you’re a diabetic patient, use beta blockers with caution as you may not be able to detect low blood glucose level as beta blockers keep your heart rate slow. 

However, these meds are completely contraindicated to be used by patients who suffer from chronic breathing illnesses, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. 

Beta blockers should also not be used during pregnancy as it may cause fetal side effects. 

Precautions for Zoloft 

Zoloft tends to induce suicidal behavior in users younger than 24 years of age. If you have someone who shows suicidal behavior or you see hopelessness in them, make sure you keep an eye on them and get medical attention as soon as you can. 

Do not stop zoloft abruptly. If it’s time for you to stop zoloft, your doctor will simply make a taper schedule for you, which should be followed vigilantly if you wish to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. 

Conclusion 

This blog answered the question, “Is zoloft a beta blocker?”. We helped you understand the difference between the two drugs. Zoloft is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of psychological disorders. 

Beta-blockers, on the other hand, are antihypertensive medications which are also used to manage the symptoms in congestive heart failure and coronary artery diseases. 

Both of these meds are prescription medications and should not be used without your doctor’s approval. Take exactly as your doctor has prescribed it. 

Do not take more or less than that. Both meds come with precautions and should be used cautiously as they both are associated with side effects. By the end of this blog, I’m sure you will be able to tell the difference between the use of zoloft and beta blockers

FAQs: is zoloft a beta blocker 

What type of drug is Zoloft classified as?

Zoloft is an antidepressant, sertraline, which belongs to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin from the synaptic cleft (space between a neuron and its target cell) by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT). 

This results in increased availability of serotonin in your brain, which is a neurotransmitter (a chemical) released by our brain and is responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

What antidepressants are beta blockers?

Antidepressants and beta blockers are two separate classes of medications and are used for entirely different health conditions. 

Antidepressants, as the name indicates, treat depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, panic disorder etc, and Beta-blockers are used to treat high blood pressure in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases, migraine, glaucoma, angina, and tremors. 

Are SSRIs beta blockers?

No, SSRIs are antidepressants. 

What drug has beta blockers?

The examples of beta blockers include:

  • Propranolol (Inderal) 
  • Atenolol (Tenormin) 
  • Esmolol (Brevibloc) 
  • Sotalol (Betapace) 
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor) 
  • Acebutolol (Sectral) 
  • Bisoprolol (Monocor) 
  • Nadolol (Corgard) 

Does Zoloft slow heart rate?

Yes, zoloft can slow down your heart rate, but this side effect is not so common. Some people suffer from zoloft induced heart palpitations in which they complain of unusually fast heartbeats. It indicates that zoloft affects heart rate differently in different individuals. 

What are the most common side effects of zoloft? 

Common side effects of Zoloft include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling angry or agitated
  • Weight gain
  • Inability to digest food
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of libido
  • Sweating/Night sweats
  • Tremors or shaking
  • 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

References 

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