“Patients with autism, ADHD, and schizoaffective disorder may at times benefit from Zoloft,” says Gail Saltz, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the “Personology” podcast from iHeartRadio. Your doctor may simply prescribe you the smaller Zoloft tablets, just in higher amounts. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. It is a searchable database that provides up-to-date information for consumers and healthcare professionals related to current drug shortages. She notes, “Looking at how many products there are right now, it is just fine to hold back and wait.”. Despite it seeming like antidepressants are virtually replaceable with each other or identical chemically, this is untrue. With Zoloft, I just feel safe. No matter the cause, however, it is truly important to contextualize that a shortage does not mean all of the sudden Zoloft is now gone. Go here to subscribe to Prevention and get 12 FREE gifts. The agency stated that stock is limited “due to the impacts caused by COVID-19.”. One thing is for sure: Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other forms of psychological distress have (understandably) increased—and research has confirmed that. Global shortage of ezetimibe/atorvastatin continues with expected supply date extended to end of March, while sertraline is in shortage until May. The stress around the COVID-19 pandemic has more people medicating for depression. Accord Healthcare, which manufactures the SSRI, told The Pharmaceutical Journal on 23 April 2020 that its sertraline products had been out of … We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. Pfizer Inc. said some versions of its name-brand Zoloft, such as 100 milligram tablets in 100-count bottles, were scarce because of higher demand, according to the FDA’s drug-shortage database. Availability and Estimated Shortage Duration Related Information Shortage Reason (per FDASIA) Zoloft 25 mg; Bottle of 30 tablets (NDC 0049-4960-30) Available Other: Zoloft 50 mg; Bottle of 30 tablets (NDC 0049-4900-30) Available Other: Zoloft 50 mg; Blister of 10 tablets (NDC 0049-4900-41) Other brands of sertraline are “generic”. But a shortage doesn’t mean that you absolutely can’t get the medication. These include: Atozet ezetimibe/atorvastatin 10mg/40mg tablet blister pack (From 30 Oct 2017 to 31 March 2018) That’s true even if you have a decent-sized supply on hand. As such, I am interviewed in and speak regularly with the media about all things mental health and my writing has been featured in, among others, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek, Self, InStyle, and the HuffPost. Perhaps this is because of its’ efficacy, safety, tolerability, and low-cost generic form, as Dr. Meltzer-Brody explained. She says it is important to remember that “just because one pharmacy says that, another might have the product.” On the other hand, if you have 2 months left, Dr. Fox thinks you are likely fine to wait and check in with your pharmacy when you are closer to needing a refill. Dr. Fox explains that the best way to think about it is to ask yourself how much medication you have on hand: Do you have 60 tablets or do you have 5 tablets? This makes treatment easier for children, people who are sensitive to side effects, and allows for higher doses for those with OCD. still has brand name medication available and some of the sizes of the bottles and pills are available, too. That said, if you have trouble finding Zoloft near you or the shortage continues to worsen, it’s worth having a conversation with your doctor about other temporary options. Alternative SSRIs citalopram and fluoxetine and branded sertraline- Lustral® are currently available. I teach medical and psychiatry trainees, do research, share my perspectives with colleagues at major academic medical centers and annual meetings, and have had my work published in high-impact medical journals. Even though it feels scary to think about things like drug shortages, especially when you are anxious or depressed and relying on those medications for that anxiety or depression, right now is not the time to panic. For instance, they may recommend that you taper your medication now and try a new one in order to help prevent possible side effects, Dr. Saltz says. A spike in demand for anxiety and depression drugs has led to shortages of some forms of the commonly used antidepressant Zoloft and its generic, sertraline. Zoloft is a brand (trade) name for sertraline. In turn, it’s possible that the demand for certain mental health drugs could have also spiked, says Dr. Alan. Bottom line: It’s important to discuss a clear list of all of your options from a doctor you trust before you decide to make any sort of medication switch. Patients will be taking sertraline as their first anti-depressant or will have already tried at Atozet tablets, used for hypercholesterolaemia, are currently experiencing a shortage. “We know that one size doesn’t fit all for all patients,” Dr. Clark says. Rebecca McEachern, who takes Zoloft for PTSD sung its’ praises for her mental health improvement. According to the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), a lot of companies that make sertraline hydrochloride did not give a reason for the shortage, and technically they don’t have to. It also saves you from having to figure out what to do when you may be in a crisis.” He emphasizes that adding a therapist if you aren’t connected to one, in addition to taking medication, might also be helpful to ease your worries and add an additional buffer of support. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recently added the popular antidepressant Zoloft (Sertraline) to the drug shortage list. http://apps.tga.gov.au/prod/MSI/search/. "There is a certain degree of, for lack of a better word, experimentation, to find the certain drug to treat their anxiety or depression, so you don't want to constantly change this." From the information we have, patients really should be able to fill their prescriptions.” In other words for now, it seems you really can keep calm and continue to take your Zoloft. You may opt-out by. Zoloft has some unique benefits over other choices in a clinical setting. While the reasons for the shortage … The FDA stated that certain supplies of Zoloft are limited “due to the impacts caused by COVID-19,” but it’s unclear what that means. While many antidepressants are safe in pregnancy, imagine saying to a pregnant woman: “we need to change your medication, they are out of it.” Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, perinatal psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor at George Washington University School of Medicine notes, “Pregnant women are already in a vulnerable position right now, preliminary research is showing increased rates of anxiety and depression in this population. Sertraline Hydrochloride Oral Solution: Nov 06, 2020: Sertraline Oral Tablets: Nov 06, 2020: Simethicone Oral Liquid: Nov 24, 2020: Sodium Bicarbonate Injection: ... Drug shortages statistics, and best practices, guidelines and publications related to drug shortages Learn More. If you have 5 left and you need a refill tomorrow, you should call your pharmacy and see what they are doing about Zoloft refills. Another benefit of Zoloft over other medications is it has a large dose range and the pills come in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg tablets (which can also be cut!). However, she notes that finding a new medication that works just as well can involve trial and error and “impact the stability of mood,” resulting in withdrawal, “which feels terrible, physically and emotionally.”, That’s why finding something new isn’t necessarily a perfect solution. 'These temporary shortages do sometimes occur and where possible a suitable alternative will be found. The US Food and Drug Administration is warning of a shortage of a class of drugs used by millions to treat high blood pressure. June 2, 2020 - The supply of antidepressant drugs has dropped during the coronavirus pandemic, and the FDA placed Zoloft and its generic form on its shortage list on Friday. Link the whole card. They said the Pfizer brand should be on the shelves next week. Zoloft, the original brand, is sertraline, but made & sold by Pfizer, the original patent holder. Related ASHP Sites. Still, you shouldn’t ration your medication or take any other drastic steps. Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Professor and Chair at the UNC Department of Psychiatry and the Director of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders said in response, “a shortage of a medication that treats anxiety and depression is very concerning and comes at a particularly bad time due to the general population facing an enormous amount of stress around an unprecedented global pandemic and confronting the horrors of endemic racism that are always present but have been particularly glaring and heartbreaking in recent events.”, Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and is often a first line medication for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD). Notably, Zoloft is the most commonly prescribed antidepressant (and overall psychiatric medication) with over 38 million prescriptions in 2017. She explains, “when people hear about a shortage they think about the empty shelf with zero toilet paper. ​. However, one (Accord) said it was unable to obtain an active ingredient to make the medication “due to effects of COVID-19,” while the company Lupin says that its shortage is due to increased demand and lack of supply of the active ingredient. For women, it has a favorable safety profile in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Whether they will continue to be available in the future, though, is unclear. Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), meaning “it works in the brain by increasing the available concentration of serotonin,” explains Jamie Alan, Pharm.D. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. “A shortage is concerning because many people use Zoloft and have for some time.”. The Food and Drug Administration recently added the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride) to its list of drug shortages. I also believe strongly in educating the public and doing advocacy through the popular press as a core role as a physician. Medicines: Shortages and Supply Issues Supply Issues Update – as of 21st August 2020: The following advice is based on information available that the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Medicines Optimisation Team were aware of at the time of writing. If you’re taking Zoloft, it’s a good idea to call your doctor to discuss your options, even if you’re not out of the medication at the moment, says Crystal Clark, M.D., a psychiatrist at Northwestern Medicine. Period.” Given these many benefits, it is perhaps not surprising that patients might be worried or even scared to read headlines about shortages. It appears the shortage of zoloft has been resolved in Australia as I checked on the TGA website and rang a couple of chemists. There's a Shortage of Antidepressant Zoloft and Its Generic Version amid Coronavirus, FDA Says 05/06/2020 The FDA announced a shortage of the antidepressant Zoloft and its generic version, sertraline, as the coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase … However, a C+D freedom-of-information (FOI) request to the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) revealed that by the end of November there had been 178 medicine shortages officially reported in 2019 – up from 159 in 2018. I write about mental health, the media, and everything in between. She notes that unfortunately often the reasons for shortages “raise more questions than answers and drug companies are under no obligations to provide explanations. sertraline hydrochloride) to its list of drug shortages. This way, you will either ensure you have continued access to your meds or come up with an action plan if the shortage continues, like increasing talk therapy visits and making recommended lifestyle adjustments to keep your symptoms in check. Additionally, generic-drug firms that produce sertraline told the FDA that they weren’t able to get enough active pharmaceutical ingredient, or API, to make the drug. If anyone has any queries or concerns they should speak to their local pharmacist.' I entered psychiatry because of a love of patient stories and regularly think about the narrative, shared, and patient experience. We know from CDC data from 2011-2014 nearly 13 % of people over the age of 12 took an antidepressant in the past month, one-fourth of these people had done so for 10 years or more. PFE Bottle of Zoloft (generic name Sertraline), which was recently added to the FDA drug shortage list. Switching medication during this time adds to their risk of worsened mood or anxiety.” Having to switch due to a shortage could also be bad for the fetus and, if possible, it would would be important to not expose it to another medication. [*]At 15 years was put on 50mg of Zoloft for generalized anxiety and panic disorder. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. That is why it is so important to try to understand drug shortages and explain them clearly to patients. How Many People Die of the Flu Each Year? I am particularly interested in physician mental health, college mental health, gender equity, medical education, suicide prevention, and the overlap between popular media, stigma, and psychiatry. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Why I Insisted on Getting a Mammogram at 35. If they don’t, you will need to call around. Even if it isn’t, it’s generally not very expensive so cost isn’t prohibitive.”. We have seen drug shortages in the past, albeit on a smaller scale. The generic form of Zoloft is usually well covered by insurance. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights, Study Confirms New U.K. Coronavirus Variant Is Substantially More Transmissible, Covid-19’s Impact On Public Health, Healthcare, And The Economy Will Linger In 2021, People Power, Not Powerful People, Can Help End Inequality, Nurses Are Stepping Up To Prevent Suicides Among Their Colleagues, 24% Of Women With ADHD Have Attempted Suicide, Study Finds, Hot Dog Trucks Deliver Covid-19 Vaccines In Bulgaria, What This Reveals, What Covid Has Taught Us About The Dangers Of Strict Attendance Policies, Cigna Completes $6.3B Sale Of Non-Medical Insurance Unit To New York Life, Trump Administration Has Reached Only 7% Of Its 2020 Covid-19 Vaccination Goals. Sertraline is used to treat depression, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder and a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. How it works. He says, “Sometimes knowing that there’s a plan in place for the worst case scenario can be comforting. People typically take Zoloft to help combat symptoms of anxiety and depression, but its uses go beyond that. A spokeswoman for the TGA told news.com.au the shortage was due to a manufacturing problem with Pfizer, the company that makes Zoloft, but that it should be resolved by June 17. But, you should know, that decision is often only for a limited time, while pharmacies try to keep up with demand. in. They don’t have to tell you who makes the raw materials [and] there is so much opacity in the drug supply chain it is often really hard to try understand what is going on.”. and M.S. Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft) has also been in shortage for months. The Food and Drug Administration is reporting shortages of Zoloft and the generic version of the antidepressant as demand soars and supply chains … Your doctor may also know if certain pharmacies in your area have your typical Zoloft prescription in stock. One survey recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 13.6% of American adults reported having symptoms of psychological distress in April, compared to nearly 4% in 2018. Because of this very concept, we even think about starting Zoloft in all women of child-bearing age, including those who might not even be thinking about pregnancy yet, as it makes sense to not have to change to a different medication down the road. She said that a bump in prescriptions is often not enough to disrupt a stable supply chain, especially for outpatient supplies, and it is much more often a manufacturing issue. She said patients concerned they might run out of the medication or about side effects should contact their doctor. in Anthropology), Yale School of Medicine (M.D), and Stanford (adult psychiatry). A spokesperson from the CCG said: 'There appears to be a temporary shortage of Sertraline 100mg to our local wholesalers. Zoloft is a popular option because it’s effective with few side effects, works pretty fast, and is OK for pregnant and breastfeeding women to use, Dr. Alan says. On May 26 and May 29, two types of antidepressants, sertraline hydrochloride tablets and sertraline hydrochloride oral solution, usually sold under the … Joey Lusvardi, psychiatric physician assistant added, “I work with college students so finances are always a concern. The federal agency says some versions of the drug, notably higher-dosage tablets, are in limited supply or out of stock, so they “cannot support monthly demand” for an estimated 60 days. There are intermittent shortages of sertraline 50mg and 100mg with availability changing on a daily basis. Why trust us? Usually you just can’t get exactly what you want.” For example, you might need to get a different strength, or a different sized bottle, but you can still get the same medication. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recently added the popular antidepressant Zoloft (generic name, sertraline) to the drug shortage list. And sign up for our FREE newsletter here for daily health, nutrition, and fitness advice. In popular culture, it may not be as well known as other SSRIs like Prozac or Lexapro, but take a look at the actual numbers. She explained, “my anxiety was so hard to manage on any other medication or the side effects were awful (vomiting, fatigue). While it is easy to draw conclusions about the increasing rates of depression and anxiety in the United States with coronavirus, link that to the subsequent increase in prescribing antidepressants, and then attribute drug shortages to overprescribing or hoarding, Erin R. Fox PharmD, Senior Pharmacy Director, Drug Information & Support Services, at University of Utah Health cautioned against this explanation. Pfizer has noted shortages for two of its Zoloft packages, estimating that one would be resolved this month while the timeline for the other is yet to be determined. Zoloft is also in the top 20 of all medications prescribed. I am an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis having been trained at University of Pennsylvania (B.A. Drug Shortage Bulletins are copyrighted by the Drug Information Service of the University of Utah, provided by ASHP as its exclusive authorized distributor, and used with permission. 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