June 15, 2015

Zoloft vs Prozac

Pills drugs whiteZoloft and Prozac are drugs that fall into the group of anti-depressants. While they work similarly, there are some individual differences that you should take note of. For instance, Prozac comes available as a tablet or liquid, while Zoloft comes as a concentrated solution that needs to be mixed with liquid before consumption. In the following sections, we’ll learn more about how these two anti-depressants differ.


Both Prozac and Zoloft should be taken as prescribed by your doctor. They work best when taken daily, and because of their delayed response time, it may be up to a month before their effects actually start to kick in. Both medicines should also be stored at room temperature, as well as be kept away from heat and moisture.

Tablet Form

Zoloft should be consumed with an ample amount of water, and can be taken with our without food. When taking Prozac, it is imperative that you don’t chew, open, or brake the pill with your teeth upon swallowing. This is because the pill is designed to digest and breakdown slowly in your body. Breaking the pill would force too much of the drug into your system at one time.

Liquid Form

Both Zoloft and Prozac come available in a liquid solution. However, it is important to note that Prozac can be taken as is while Zoloft must be mixed thoroughly into another liquid before digestion. A single dose of Zoloft should be mixed with a minimum of four ounces of water or orange juice. Both drugs should never be taken with alcohol.

Common Side Effects

As with most anti-depressants, both Zoloft and Prozac come with their fair share of side effects. However, few of these are actually life-threatening, and can be avoided if you follow the directions given to you by your doctor or primary physician. Some of the more common side effects include allergic reactions such as skin rashes, swelling in the lips, face, or tongue, and even difficulty breathing.

There are more serious side effects, however, that you should become aware of. These can include radical changes in your mood, panic attacks, anxiety attacks, trouble sleeping, an overwhelming feeling of restlessness, hyperactivity, and even frequent suicidal thoughts. In rarer cases, you may experience an even greater amount of depression accompanied by aggression or hostility.

When Should Medical Assistance Be Sought?

Keep in mind that medical help should be sought after should you experience worsening symptoms including the following:

  • – Seizures or convulsions
  • – Shivering, tremors, or stiffness in the muscles
  • – Problems maintaining coordination or balance
  • – Confusion, sweating, fast heartbeat, or quickly-triggered agitation

Other less serious side effects that you may experience are changes in appetite, difficulty having an orgasm, a decreased sex drive, and occasional nausea accompanied by drowsiness. Sore  throat, headaches, flu symptoms, changes in weight, and red blisters around the mouth have also been seen in both drugs.


Remember that both drugs should be taken in accordance to what was originally prescribed from your doctor. Otherwise, more serious side effects can occur.

August 12, 2010

Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke Linked to Mental Disorders

Smoking has been linked to depression and other mental health conditions, but recently it was found that not only smokers are prone to this, but also those exposed to second hand smoke are also at an increased risk.

The study looked at over 5,600 people who do not smoke, and about 2,600 who do smoke. Using a questionnaire the researchers found out that people who do not smoke, but are exposed to second-hand smoke were 1.5 times as likely to suffer from psychological symptoms as non-smokers who were not exposed to second hand smoke. Although people who actually smoke are 4 times more likely to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital than those who have not smoked or been exposed to second hand smoke, it is astonishing to find that those exposed people are also 3 times as likely to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. It is still unknown whether those who establish mental health problems are more likely to start smoking or if smoking helps cause the mental health problems.

So far it is only known that mental health and smoking are connected, but further research is needed to develop these ideas. Now that these risks have been increased, smoking warnings are becoming increasingly serious. Smoking has been linked to heart disease, lung cancer, cancer of the larynx, cancer of the oral cavity or esophagus, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and most recently, mental conditions. Exposure to second-hand smoke has been linked to causing sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems, severe asthma, slowing lung growth in children, and mental diseases.

July 12, 2010

Depression and Suicide Awareness

The third leading cause of death in the United States is suicide. Depression is the second most common illness. Depression and suicide are related the majority of the time. There are cases where depressed people aren’t suicidal, and suicidal people aren’t depressed. Suicide comes with various warning signs, some of which are severe symptoms of depression.

Neglecting appearance is a sign that the person no longer cares. This may show in untidy hair, clothing that is mix matched, or looks like it’s been worn for days and there will be other noticeable signs.

Loss in interest is another sign. When it seems the person doesn’t care about the usual things this may be a sign of extreme depression.

Talking about suicide is a cry for help. For every suicide there are 30 to 50 attempts. If someone you love is talking about suicide speak with a professional and take a step in the right direction.

If it looks like things are coming to an end. For example, setting up a will, giving away possessions, and visiting people he/she cares about are possibly signs pointing to a potential suicide.

A decrease in school achievement may be noticeable in adolescents and children. In older people a decrease in work performance may be noticeable. There may be a noticeable lack of interest in general, as well as a lack of interest in his/her usual favorite things.

Alcohol and drug use that doesn’t seem to have a specific reason or onset can be a warning of suicide. Other behavioral problems include changes in friendships, sexual promiscuity, changes in eating and sleeping habits, withdrawal from family and former friends, skipping school, and running away from home.

Since 1970 the suicide rate in teens has tripled. With appropriate healthcare and diagnosis of depression and your help getting the victims the appropriate help they cannot find themselves, out of fear, or other reasons, hopefully we can reduce the number of suicides happening.