Sudafed and zoloft (A Complete Guide)

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Page last updated: 19/09/2022

Sudafed and zoloft (A Complete Guide)

In this blog post, we will discuss the interaction between sudafed and zoloft. It is common to catch a cold every now and then, so here we are going to talk about the use of sudafed by a person who’s already taking an antidepressant to keep his/her depression at bay. 

This blog post will also cover a few basic home remedies that can be used by people with depression to provide relief from cold without messing with their antidepressants. 

Sudafed Vs Zoloft: Is there any interaction?

It is generally considered safe to use sudafed and zoloft but a few interactions are also reported. It is suspected that your antidepressant might cause your body to process sudafed more slowly. 

In addition, both medications can increase the level of serotonin. So, the concomitant use of zoloft and sudafed may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome which is associated with symptoms like:

  • Excessive sweating 
  • Restlessness and fatigue
  • Headache, which often feels like your head is pounding
  • Changes in blood pressure and/or temperature
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bradycardia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle twitching and muscle pain
  • Shivering and goosebumps

In severe cases, serotonin syndrome can be life-threatening.  Contact your healthcare provider if you suffer from any of the following symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Seizures
  • Uneven heartbeat
  • Passing out

Let’s talk about sudafed

Sudafed, which is a brand name for Pseudoephedrine, works as a decongestant. It causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels) and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. 

Sudafed can be used to unblock a stuffy nose. It can also help provide some relief in pain or pressure of sinuses, usually caused by common cold or flu. It can also be used in breathing difficulty associated with allergies, bronchitis etc.

Precautions 

  • Make sure you inform your doctor or pharmacist if you’re allergic to the active ingredient of sudafed. 
  • You may also be allergic to some inactive ingredients or excipients, which are added to make a drug palatable.
  • It is not safe to be used in children under 6 years of age.
  • If the formulation is long-acting, it is not advised to be given to children younger than 12 years of age.
  • If you have any confusion regarding the use of sudafed, feel free to ask your healthcare provider.
  • Sudafed can cause serious side effects if not used properly or if it is misused deliberately.  
  • Carefully follow dosage instructions and do not deviate from them.
  • Do not use sudafed to induce sleep in your child. 
Sudafed and zoloft (A Complete Guide)

Side effects of sudafed 

Common side effects include:

  • nausea , vomiting and severe gastrointestinal disturbance
  • headaches
  • Decreased salivation resulting in dry mouth
  • Anxiousness
  • Restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Shakiness 
  • Insomnia 

Tell your doctor straight away if you experience the following side effects:

  • Arrhythmia or strong, hard cardiac muscle contractions which don’t go back to normal.
  • Sudden high fever
  • Redness of skin
  • Small blisters filled with pus

How to cope with side effects 

If you’re feeling low or sick, avoid taking sudafed on an empty stomach. Take it with food or after your meal. Meanwhile, avoid spicy food and drink plenty of water. 

Sudafed might give you a headache. Make sure you stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and nutritious fluids. Avoid drinking alcohol as it might make your headache even worse. If it doesn’t go away, ask your healthcare provider for a suitable painkiller. 

Sudafed can cause dry mouth by decreasing salivation. Try chewing a gum, it helps keep your mouth moist by saliva secretion. Make sure you opt for sugar-free gums to avoid spiking your insulin levels. If it causes confusion, nervousness or shakiness, stop the use of sudafed and consult your healthcare provider. 

Sudafed might make it difficult for you to fall asleep. In such conditions, make sure you do not use your smartphone or watch TV. Lie down in a peaceful environment. Do not overeat or drink caffeine before going to bed. 

Let’s talk about zoloft

Zoloft belongs to the family of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, abbreviated as SSRIs.

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. 

Zoloft is widely used in the treatment of mild to severe depression. It is known to reduce anxiety in people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It is also used to tone down the intensity and frequency of panic attacks. 

It is also approved to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), relieving symptoms such as avoidance and intrusion. It is known to reduce the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. 

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

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

Why drug interactions should always be considered

Drug interactions should be an important consideration before taking two or more medicines together. Yes, drugs in combination are often used to achieve better therapeutic response but this is not the case with every interaction. 

Some drugs are highly incompatible with one another. They often cancel out each other’s effects or antagonise them. Some drugs are so incompatible that they end up changing the entire chemical composition of one another. 

Some interfere with metabolism or bioavailability (the rate and extent at which the active drug moiety enters systemic circulation/blood). This can lead to drug accumulation in different parts of the body. 

It is always advised to inform your healthcare provider of any medicine you take before getting a new prescription. Your doctor will make sure not to prescribe any such drug which might interfere with those you are already taking. 

Home remedies to relieve cold for people taking zoloft 

Stay Warm and Rested

Stay warm and get some rest when a cold hits you. Do not engage in activities and try to store your energy so that you could have a better immune response against your cold. Cover your chest with a blanket and keep yourself warm. 

Gargle with salt water 

Gargling with salt water helps big time. It is one of the most common methods to soothe a sore throat. You can add a teaspoon of salt in 8 to 9 ounces of warm water to gargle. 

You can also use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey or honey and apple cider vinegar. Both honey and apple cider vinegar have healing properties. 

Drink Hot Liquids. 

Hot liquids can help melt down nasal blockage and can help soothe your throat. Make a cup of hot herbal tea or you can simply drink warm honey-water. 

As it’s difficult to swallow solid foods, you can opt for chicken or vegetable soup.

Take a warm bath 

Warm baths or hot showers can really help you relax. Sit down in your bathtub or a chair and have a relaxing shower. 

Eat Infection-Fighting Foods 

Following are some good foods to eat when you’re battling a cold or flu:

  • Foods rich in vitamin C like orange juice. 
  • Blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties and can also lower down your fever. 
  • Peppers can help break mucus and can open sinuses.
  • Mustard can also help dissolve mucus present in your airways.
  • Onions contain phytochemicals which can help your body fight against bronchitis. 
  • Black and green tea contain catechin, a phytochemical which help in providing relief from cold and flu
  • Echinacea, a native American herb, which contains flavonoids. They can boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. 
  • Probiotics are the good bacteria which can also strengthen your immune system to fight against common cold and flu. 

Use vaporub

Vaporub can reduce cold symptoms. You can apply it by rubbing on your chest before you go to sleep. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we discussed the concomitant use of zoloft and sudafed. It is often considered safe but they do interact with each other in one way or another. 

They both can increase the serotonin level, hence their concomitant use increases the risk of serotonin syndrome, a condition associated with too much serotonin in the body. Zoloft can also cause your body to process sudafed more slowly. 

Always contact your healthcare provider before using two or more medications together. If you catch a common cold or fever, or you suffer from some kind of infection that ends up causing fever, consult your doctor before opting for self-medication. 

FAQs: sudafed and zoloft

Can you take Zoloft and Sudafed together? 

Using zoloft and sudafed together is considered safe but as they both increase the amounts of serotonin in your body, their concomitant use might increase your risk of getting serotonin syndrome. 

What should you not mix with Zoloft?

Zoloft should not be used with the following medication:

  • Any irreversible monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Concomitant treatment is highly contraindicated due to the risk of serotonin syndrome. 
  • Pimozide. Combining these medications may result in life-threatening arrhythmia.
  • Any central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. Concomitant use can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome and can result in extreme addiction.
  • Tryptophan, St. John’s wort, meperidine, tramadol, cimetidine etc are contraindicated with zoloft
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), warfarin or other anticoagulants. Concomitant use may increase the risk of bleeding. 

Can you take antihistamines while on antidepressants?

It’s best to avoid using antidepressants with antihistamines, especially when your antidepressants make you dizzy, sleepy or tired because these side effects will become much more intense with the use of antihistamines. 

Can I drink caffeine with Zoloft?

It’s okay to drink caffeine with zoloft but the real question is, “How much?”. People who tend to take large amounts of caffeine are more likely to suffer from zoloft-caffeine interaction. 

What is the best time to take Zoloft morning or night?

The best time to take zoloft depends heavily on your symptoms. If zoloft makes you tired, drowsy or causes nausea, it’s better to take it at night. If it causes insomnia, loss of libido or urinary problems, it is advised to take it in the morning. 

Can you take Gaviscon with sertraline?

Yes, you can. There are no interactions found between zoloft and gaviscon. 

References