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Avatar universal

sertraline vs. zoloft

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?
37 Responses
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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!
Avatar universal
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.
Avatar universal
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.
770293 tn?1235049112
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.
649598 tn?1239120815
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.
Avatar universal
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:

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"!

Avatar universal
I ran out of my Zoloft about 3 weeks ago.  My doctor sent me sertraline until I could get my Zoloft.  My friends and family have been asking me for days what is wrong.  I tell them nothing, but know I dont feel right.  I feel very suicidal and can not think straight.  I was wondering if it was because of the difference in the two drugs.  Now that I have read what everyone has said here, I realize I am not crazy.  Thanks
Avatar universal
Mal, I have just had the same experience. I have been on Zoloft now for over 10 years. My pharmacist substituted 2 repeats for the genereic Setrona. With  the first repeat of Setrona issued I began having frequent episodes of depression. At the time I thought it may have been due to circumstances in my life, so I decided to persevere with a second repeat of Setrona. I spent the next 4 weeks of hell battling severe depression with every minute of every filled with feelings of anguish and despair to the point on several occassions actually going through the motions and preparations of comitting suicide but backing away at the final moments. I had not felt that way in a very long time. Prior to finishing my 2nd repeat of Setrona I went back to the Pharmacist and directed that they fill my 3rd repeat with Zoloft. I took the Zoloft the following morning at my usual time. Approx 12 hours later I was back to my usual self. No feelings of anguish or despair and I was feeling content, even happy for the first time in 8 weeks. Consequently I REFUSE to believe that the generic brands produce "the same" results as Zoloft. I'm no Chemist, but I do know how the Generic brand affected me and I never want to go through that experience again. Whether it's something in the manufacturing process or quality control that makes the difference, I do not know. But I do know that a comprehensive study should be conducted on the effects of Zoloft versus generic brands and the effects of taking Zoloft long term then switching to a generic brand. Lives could be lost and probably already have due to an incorrect assumption amongst chemists that Zoloft and it's generic are "the same"
Avatar universal
I am feeling the same way!!!! Has anyone responded to you with helpful advise and needs.
Thank you
Avatar universal
This thread is. Very old. The last comment before yours was in January.  
Avatar universal
I started taking sertraline and I felt fine but they switched me  to 25mg sertraline and 50mg of Zoloft I'm getting really bad headaches now and I cannot stand because of it what do I do
480448 tn?1426952138
You've posted on a very old thread.  You will get more replies if you start your own thread.  Your post is a bit confusing, what is your total dose, and are you taking the generic (sertraline) or the brand Zoloft?
Avatar universal
I feel just like u described. I think it's the generic that is making us feel worst than before starting the treatment...:( the one I take  is made by Lupin Pharma in India from CVS..and I just started in 25mg a day five days ago :(( I will stop it today... I can feel like this anymore! :((
Avatar universal
I can't!...:((
Avatar universal
Im on setraline since april, i also feel worse than the initial depression,  i now have anxiety,  headaches.  Ill try zoloft
Avatar universal
From my research, most sertraline (generic for Zoloft) are not made in the US. This means that the standards and some of the ingredients are not the same, and there is virtually no oversight. There is "Northstar sertraline," which was previously available at Target; "Camber sertraline," available at Target and CVS; "Greenstone sertraline," available at Walgreens, and "Teva sertraline," which is made in Israel--I'm not sure where that is available. I don't know where the others are made, but very likely abroad. A number of people who have written on this subject have complained of significant differences between Zoloft and the various generic sertralines, usually saying that the generics are less potent (which has been my own experience), and at least one person, regarding the "Greenstone sertraline," that it is more potent.  In any case, it is not true that sertraline is just Zoloft under another name. Far from it.
Avatar universal
the generics although have the same ingredients - most do - if you google the both of them what difference do you see? Could it be that ones a capsule and ones a tablet? and they would release the medication at a different rate while they were "breaking down" in your system!!! I found that based on the packaging of the generic meds and how its released or delivered into your system depending on the obvious factors, metabolism, weight, health etc, is the difference on how you respond to the med, could just be a slight difference or a noticeable difference, keep that in mind, next time time your doctor wants to keep you on a med your sure is not right for you, keep track of your progress, alot of insurance companies now have to fill your prescription with the generics so if your doctor wants you on a particular med, and you see a pattern with the generic bring it up to him, and get him to request the "real thing" I've been ok with the generic but not always. so good luck and i hope this help someone that may have not have known.
Avatar universal
I am in Australia, and recently there has been a supply problem from Pfizer to Chemists.  I have in the past been given a generic brand of Sertraline instead of Zoloft, and it didn't take long for me to find out that taking a generic brand was not for me.  The generic brand didn't seem to be effective for me at all, and I definitely felt terrible.  Since then I have insisted on Zoloft and would not accept a generic brand which would have cost less.   However, last week I was told that many other people have tried Chemists all around the city where I live, and that there are no remaining stocks of Zoloft anywhere.  Where to from here I don't know.  Apparently Pfizer are unable to supply Zoloft until the end of 2015.  I just wonder what is the real reason behind this.  
Notformeatall, I live in the UK and we too are having major problems with Zoloft/Lustral, but apparently things should start moving next week.  It's a serious worry for me!
Hi there - I'm going slightly loopy  here & do suspect it is the generic substitution. I live in Australia, too, and we've had a real battle getting "real" Zoloft here for the past six months or so. I find that "Apo" (I think that's it) works fine for me but "Sandoz" and the generic version given out by Terry White Chemist both send me over the edge. Is it because the tablets are not as potent, or is it because they have something in them that I react to? I don't know what it is, but it is a very clear, definite effect. Zoloft and Apo = fine; others = feeling bonkers very quickly.
Avatar universal
Mate, I just read your post and have no clue if you will ever read this but I just want to tell u that u r not alone! I, 2, feel like im losing my mind....hanging in such a thin ice....but hanging may be the solution mate...maybe we will get better. i wish u the best brother
Avatar universal
Hello, I am in the same situation, I too am in Australia and have not been able to get any Zoloft only the generic brand, it is only after 3 months I have worked out why I am feeling at my worst, I have been on Zoloft for 20 years and I know that the doctors and chemists say that the generic brand is the same but they are not.  I have just emailed Pfizer to see when we can get Zoloft back in Australia. I wish us all the best :)
Absolutely 100% understand - I had exact same problem with generic Zoloft/Lustral (am in UK)  Sourcing Zoloft is a problem ... why is this?!
Avatar universal
I have only just this moment read your post.  I hope Pfizer will reply with a positive answer to your email.  This issue is extremely important for many people.  I can't imagine why Australia can't get supplies when Zoloft is still readily available in other countries.   It is mystifying.  Hopefully Zoloft will be available again very soon.  Best Wishes to you.
Avatar universal
I am so glad I took the time to look into this today, I am now in my third week of taking Sertraline as an alternate to Zoloft as none was available (Im from Sydney Australia) and each day that goes by I have been feeling worse and worse. Depressed, no motivation, anxious and also a really bad twitchy eye!?
Thank you all for your comments, its really helped me to understand why I might feel the way I do... Off to find some Zoloft!
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