The world's largest pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. is American-based and was ranked 64th on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. corporations by total revenue of $47.644 billion. Pfizer produces and develops a wide range of vaccines and medicines Its products include atorvastatin, pregabalin, fluconazole, and Zoloft. Now let me bring your attention to this company's most famous medicine, Zoloft.
Zoloft Success Story - Beginning
When Pfizer was a much smaller company than it is today, it discovered Zoloft, an antidepressant drug. The discovery was made almost 20 years ago by a team of five hard-working men which includes two organic chemists Reinhard Sarges & Willard M. Welch, a biochemist B.kenneth Koe, animal behavioral scientist Albert Weissman, and the head of Pfizer's central nervous system drug research Charles A. Harbert.
Zoloft's invention began in the early 1970s and was introduced to the public in the year of 1992, and this drug speaks the most about the team's innovation. In 2005, the top most selling antidepressant in the United States of America only was Zoloft with more than 3 billion dollars.
Now, the question arises - how Zoloft works and why it is so popular?
Zoloft – How it Became Popular?
The main component of Zoloft is Sertraline, which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Zoloft is commonly used to treat depression; it is also proven beneficial for the treatment of the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Doctors also prescribe it for the treatment of social anxiety disorder and other phobias. SSRIs are commonly known as the second generation of antidepressants because they are new in the market after Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) and Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).
Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter, which sends electrical impulses from one neuron to another and SSRIs work exactly by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain because serotonin is usually reabsorbed but SSRIs allow the chemical to stay longer in the synaptic gap. This allows serotonin to send additional messages to the receiving neuron, which boosts the mood.
Zoloft – Why it is Popular?
Zoloft's sales boosted and popularity skyrocketed and there are several reasons behind this -
- Viability for clinical depression - Depression is the most common mental illness affecting almost 80 million people worldwide. Zoloft's minor side effects and solid viability makes it the most popularly prescribed antidepressant drug for the treatment of clinical depression.
- Promotion and advertising - Despite there being no scientific proof for this claim, Pfizer has expressed in showcasing campaigns that Zoloft can redress “serotonin imbalance” within the brain.
This had a huge impact on the public related to the popularity of Zoloft. People believed this claim without hesitation and we're more open to the idea of accepting Zoloft.
- Moderately fast-acting - Other antidepressant drugs usually take 8-12 weeks to make a noticeable difference in the patient's health but Zoloft can deliver advancements as early as 1-2 weeks after starting the medication. It can offer appetite/craving, energy, or sleep which are markers that the medicine is working. Side effects such as anhedonia i.e lack of interest in all kinds of activities and discouraged mood can take up to 4-6 weeks.
- Safety- Zoloft is considered viable and secure - when utilized legitimately. It must be taken as it was coordinated by a doctor. In expansion, there are right now no known permanent or neurotoxic side effects related to the long-term use of sertraline.
- Treating other mental disorders - Other than depression, Zoloft can be utilized for the treatment of other mental disorders/illnesses which are predominant worldwide let alone in the United States of America. According to the research conducted by the National mental health association, an estimated 32% of adults experience the symptoms of one mental illness or another. Zoloft can be beneficial for the treatment of the following: a) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- panic attacks
- post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD)
- premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
- Anxiety disorders - generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder ( SAD)
Zoloft & COVID-19
In midst of the covid-19 pandemic, The food and drug administration (FDA) has put Zoloft and its generic ingredient sertraline on a list of drugs currently experiencing a shortage. Research and surveys indicated an increase in anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Experts say that the shortage is linked to the rise of high demand.
Zoloft's been in the market since 1992, It has seen its ups and downs.Final Words
There are cons of using Zoloft but the main question is do the pros outweigh the cons? And the answer is, yes. There are few side effects of this medicine such as nausea, rapid bowel movement, and memory impairment but these side effects fade away after a while. And the coming off on this medicine should be done more gradually and not all of a sudden. That can be harmful to the patient. There is no such thing as a happy/magic pill that can cure depression and other mental illnesses, it's a vicious cycle of your brain and body conspiring against you, and antidepressant drugs like Zoloft turned out to be a lot more effective than any other drug.
Zoloft's success rate is higher than any other antidepressant drug and this also gives people battling mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, etc a hope that they can be cured and they can also return to their previous lives but this time a lot stronger and wiser.