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Dr. K
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 358
Experience:  15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
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Is Zoloft prescribed (on or off-label) in the United States

Resolved Question:

Is Zoloft prescribed (on or off-label) in the United States for anxiety issues?
If so, are there any SSRI-style disadvantages to using it on an individual under the age of 25?

Sorry, I have yet another here - if it is prescribed for this purpose, why use it instead of a dedicated anti-anxiety drug like many of the benzodiazepine class?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. K replied 5 years ago.

Zoloft is FDA approved for several indications: obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, & social phobia...these are all different types of anxiety disorders. It is also approved for 2 mood disorders: major depression & premenstrual dysphoric disorder.


They are generally well tolerated & safe. The advantages over a benzo are as follows: benzos can be highly addictive. Also, some people develop tolerance to benzos which is a can't just keep increasing the dose. Tolerance to zoloft or other SSRIs can occur, but usually takes a much longer time.


Either way, I think it's important to have a comprehensive treatment plan for the anxiety. In other words, not just relying on medications. It's important to focus on at least 4 other things: psychotherapy, relaxation therapy, nutrition, & exercise.


I always recommend learning some formal relaxation therapy (yoga, tai chi, meditation,etc). All these treatments (and psychotherapy) are proven by studies using sophisticated brain scans to calm down the brain. There are also many good self-help books for anxiety.


I hope this helps. Good luck & take care.

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