DEPRESSION
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sertraline vs. zoloft
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by jtl712, Jan 28, 2008
I used to be on zoloft for 4 yrs and felt good...stopped for 6 months and on my 3rd week of sertraline right now not feeling as good the first time around. Is there a difference with the two drugs?
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Member Comments (17)
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by umya, Jan 28, 2008
no difference.  just the name.  i have heard however, that sometimes the same antidepressant used for a second time after a break may be less effective.  this was told to me by a physician though another physician suggested otherwise.
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by aperfectingangel, Jun 11, 2008
My doctor told me that Sertraline and Zoloft both have the same ingredients but the pharmacutical companies can make them differently. I too notice a difference in how I feel taking Zoloft vs. Sertraline. I like Sertraline better though because I don't feel as numbed out and my sex drive is not affected.
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by mal873, Jan 17, 2009
I have been on Zoloft for over 4 years now for depression. Twice in that time-I have been given Sertraline--because it is cheaper. And both times--while I took the Sertraline--I was depressed, couldn't sleep, had anxiety, felt like I was unable to control my constant sadness and feelings of hopelessness.
EVERYONE keeps telling me they are the same drug! Then why do I feel the way I feel right now?
I have been on Sertraline (for the 2nd time---even after I told my  pharmacist that it doesn't work for me) since December 6th. It is now January 17th and I feel as though I am losing my mind! I have tried thinking positively, going to the gym, running, venting to friends, yoga,...but all I want to do is sleep all day---I don't want to get out of bed and I can't function they way I used to! This is how I felt before I started taking Zoloft!
It is not "all in my head!" I know my body--and something isn't right! so---the two drugs are NOT the same!
It affects me differently!
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by LeftCoastChick, Jan 17, 2009
I would suggest talking to a pharmacist, they are experts in that field, and it's really hard to say what the difference in pharmaceutical chemistry. . Have you considered going onto another class of drugs altogether? There are other options out there. Just a thought.
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by bikkie, Feb 11, 2009
I literally was switched over to Sert on February 5th after taking regular Zoloft for about 4 years. I immediately starting getting the "zaps", headaches, dizziness - to the point where I fell down on my face, feelings of hopelessness, hurtful thoughts, erratic behavior, etc.  I don't even want to eat.  All I want to do is cry and stay in bed.  If I can feel this way within only a few days of switching over, I can't even begin to imagine how you feel!!! I am dealing with my pharmacist today and demanding that my medication be switched back before I miss any more work or get myself hurt.
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by likethat, Feb 19, 2009
Here's what I've found out about the difference between the two.  When I first started taking "zoloft", I was actually taking the generic version sertraline.  I felt like it did about as much as any of the other antidepressants have done.  One month, I had my prescription filled at a different pharmacy than I usually use.  Within a few days, I started feeling the electrical zaps, very teary and irritable.....like I'd feel if I missed a couple of days.  I had noticed that the pills were different in shape and color, but I chalked that up to having used a different pharmacy.  After about 2 weeks of this, I decided to investigate and realized that the sertraline I usually took was made by Lupin pharmaceuticals.  The sertraline I was now taking was made by Teva pharmaceuticals.  It took some work, but I was able to find out that the inactive ingredients that pharmaceutical companies use can vary widely and it's likely that I am sensitive or allergic to something in the inactive ingredients from Teva.  I mentioned my problems to my dr. at my next visit and he immediately asked me if the generic that caused the problems was made by Teva.  I told him it was and he told me that he has had many patients that have had problems with medications made by Teva (not just sertraline) because Teva is only required to have an accuracy of 10% each way on the active ingredient.  Meaning that you may get 10% less than your regular dose or 10% MORE than your regular dose.  He suggested I report my reaction to the FDA so they can keep track and hopefully force Teva to stop this practice.  Since then, he has to write "dispense as written" on my prescription so that I only get the name brand Zoloft so I don't have to worry about which pharmacy I use.
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by wschoops, Feb 20, 2009
the "funny" thing about all this, if you can call it that, is that Teva was the company that produced the first generic sertraline in 2006.  I was on it for about six years (first three on brand name - there was no generic yet) then on generic and it stopped working (unrelated situation).  However, as you mentioned above, the only thing consistent between generics is the active ingredients, every generic has a different mix of inactive and binding agents.  If you can afford it, brand name is great, but if not, there are many different companies that make generic sertraline now, so one bad generic doesn't mean all are bad.
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by sam953, Mar 29, 2011
Hi everybody -

This is a topic of particular importance to me because I went through the whole "it's the same" runaround with my pharmacist. In FDA-speak, "the same" means as much as +/- 20% of the effective ingredient. For dosage sensitive drugs like sertraline, this is a BIG difference.

There are two excellent forums with many documented cases:
http://m.topix.com/forum/business/biotech/T7R9P0NFHGN871B8J
http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2008/03/31/sertraline/index.php

In my case, I found an equivalent effect was achievable by upping the dosage from 75mg/day of brand-name to 100mg/day of generic (Greenstone or Teva). Other people, however, never find an equivalent effect, or have a bad reaction to the fillers used in one or the other generic.

Good luck! It's not "all in your head"!

Sam