- Family and Parenting»
The anti-depressant Zoloft
Please not that I am NOT a trained professional, nor do I pretend to be one. I am, however, the mother of a child who suffers with a depressive disorder. Any information given in the article is strictly informational in nature; therefore, should not be considered as a viable substitute for the expertise, knowledge, skill and/or judgment of a healthcare professional.
It's 7:00 a.m. and Michaela stumbles out of her bedroom and into the kitchen to get herself a bowl of cereal and some toast for breakfast, she may or may not add a mug of coffee. She happily sits in front of the television to watch "Leave it to Beaver" as she noshes on her breakfast choices, waiting and listening for the other children in the house to awaken, as well as waiting for time to start her school studies for the day. She has woken up happy and ready to start the day on a good note; she is a normal young teenager.
Something happens between breakfast time and time to start school; a brother has said something to hurt her feelings or her sister and her have started fighting (again) over shoes or boots or what have you. Michaela's mood plummets, and so she starts to mope through her time spent on her studies.
By the time she's got her school assignments completed, her mood has again reached a new high as she dons her shoes and socks and prepares to go outside to ride a bicycle or build a new fort.
Her moods, as many of us have, seem to rise and fall as quickly and as often as the tides of the oceans. Usually she is able to figure out the sources of her mood triggers; she learns to bypass what hurts her and take in more of those things which elevate her esteem and mood. Some of these changes that occur are controlled by her alone; some of the changes need the help of something to stabilize her mood, to fire the neurons properly in her mind. That is where the Zoloft comes in. She has done very well on this medication, and as her taking the Zoloft is mixed with individual and family counseling, she is well on the road to a better knowledge of herself and what makes her "tick".
Zoloft is an anti-depressant used in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. It can also be used for OCD, Panic/Anxiety Disorders, Social Anxiety Disorder or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), or for other treatments as your doctor might deem it necessary. Zoloft has over 37 million prescriptions per year in the United States. As a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Zoloft has a binding affinity (or close relationship with) serotonin.
Have no fear; just because I'm talking about another child in my home, I will not abandon you to figure out all the scientific jargon on your own.
- A serotonin reuptake inhibitor, such as Zoloft, is a type of drug that ads a reuptake inhibitor, or transport blocker, for the neurotransmitters of serotonin by blocking the action of the serotonin transporter. In turn, this leads to increased extracellular concentrations of serotonin, with an added increase in serotonergic neurotransmissions.
- Reuptake inhibitors are transport blockers that inhibit the plasmalemmal transporter-mediated reuptake of a neurotransmitters from the synapse into the pre-synaptic neurons.
- Plasmalemmal transporters are the membranes that separate the interiors of all cells from the outside environment of cells.
- The synapse is the structure that permits a neuron to pass an electrical or chemical signal to a targets neuron.
- The pre-synaptic neurons are specialized junctions through which neurons signal each other, or to non-neuronal cells, such as glands and/or muscles.
- Neurotransmitters are endogenous chemicals (chemicals produced inside the cells of an individual) that transmit signals across the synapse from one neuron (brain cell) to specific targeted neuron.
- A serotonin transporter is a monoamine transporter protein that transports serotonin from the synaptic cleft to the pre-synaptic neuron.
- The protein structures that function as plasma membrane transporters to regular concentrations of extracellular neurotransmitters are called monoamine transporters.
- Extracellular simply means the outside of a cell. If you wanted to concentrate on the inside of a cell, you would use the word intracellular.
- Serotonin is a chemical that can be found in a person's gastrointestinal tract or in cell platelets or in the CNS (Central Nervous System). Serotonin is a contributor to the feelings of well being and happiness within the individual.
- Serotonergic neurotransmissions are those chemicals which function to enhance the effects of serotonin within the body.
All right...well there ya have it in a nutshell. What's that? You still don't get it? Let me use a train traveling along the rail road tracks to give a better understanding...
There is a conductor in the engine of the train. This conductor stays in constant contact with engineers placed at various points along the railroad tracks. These other engineers have the capability to change the directions of the tracks at various joints along the route that the train needs to take. If the train is supposed to go a certain direction, the engineers along the route need to push a button to change the tracks. Then the train can continue along the specified path. If there is no engineer to change the direction of the tracks at various times, the train might derail or lose it's way and end up somewhere where it should not end up.
This is similar to the signals of our brains. We have within our brains the capabilities to send signals to other parts of our brains that send signals then to our bodies. Sometimes, as is the case with Zoloft, we get help to maintain our proper courses and to ensure that all our neuron are "firing" at proper speed and sending the proper signals where they need to go.
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Common and Serious Side Effects
Some common side effects (that may go away during treatment) include; but, are not limited to:
Some serious side effects (those requiring immediate medical attention) include; but, are not limited to:
- stiff muscles