Zoloft Drug Interactions

by on May 19, 2012

Zoloft is common prescription medication used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and a number of anxiety disorders. It can provide relief to many patients, but if it is taken in combination with the wrong medications, it can cause serious problems for patients.

Major Interactions

  • If Zoloft is taken with other Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Citalopram, Lexapro, and Prozac; monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, St. John’s wort, Abstral, fentanyl and tryptophan, it may cause serotonin syndrome. This over-stimulates the brain’s receptors, causing irritability, altered consciousness, confusion, hallucination and coma. Hyperthermia, tachycardia, tremors, rigidity and neuromuscular abnormalities are also signs of serotonin syndrome.
  • If Zoloft and Diazepam, Antenex or Valium are taken together, it can cause a decrease in the effectiveness of the drug. This can cause severe pain and withdrawal symptoms in patients. The level of medication in the bloodstream should be monitored closely to ensure that the proper amount of medication is being administered to the patient.
  • Emblon and medications containing tamoxifen should not be used in conjunction with Zoloft. If taken with Zoloft, it can decrease the effectiveness of the tamoxifen. This is important because tamoxifen is commonly used to block estrogen, which can help prevent the growth or re-growth of certain types of breast cancer. Patients should consult with their doctor before beginning Emblon while on Zoloft.

Moderate Interactions

  • Cimetidine (Tagamet) is a medication commonly prescribed to treat ulcers and gastoesophegal reflux disease. If Cimetidine and Zoloft are combined, it can increase the longevity of Zoloft in the bloodstream. A patient’s dose of Zoloft will last longer, which may increase side effects. Patients taking Cimetidine and Zoloft should speak with their doctor about changing their dose.
  • Alcohol, and medications containing alcohol, should be avoided while taking Zoloft. When Zoloft and alcohol are mixed, it can increase the side effects of alcohol, including inhibiting mental and motor function. This Zoloft drug interaction can lead to central nervous system depression. If this continues for an extended period of time, a physician should be contacted.
  • Patients taking Zoloft should also avoid furosemide (Lasix), Diaqua-2, and Lo-Aqua. When these medications are mixed with Zoloft, it can cause hyponatremia. This is a condition where the salt level in the body is extremely low, and can cause abnormal mental status, decreased consciousness, hallucinations, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle spasms and possibly coma.
  •  Ambien, Ativan, Neurontin, and Klonopin should all be avoided while taking Zoloft. The risk of central nervous system and respiratory depressant effects are greatly increased if these medications are combined. This can lead to confusion, decreased motor function, difficulty breathing, blurred vision, low oxygen levels and even sudden death. These side effects are greatly increased in elderly and debilitated patients. If a patient is prescribed one of these medications while on Zoloft, they should talk with their doctor to ensure safety.

Zoloft is a medication that can help thousands of patients deal with anxiety, depression or obsessive compulsive disorder. When taken properly, it is safe; however, when mixed with some prescription medication, it can have a very negative effect.