Zoloft is one of the most commonly prescribed medications, with over 38 million people in the U.S. taking it annually to treat depression, anxiety, and other related disorders.1 Though popular, the drug does come with risks you should know about, including undesirable side effects. With the COVID-19 pandemic ushering in shortages of the drug due to increased demand, many may be wondering what a good substitute for Zoloft is.2 We’ll take a look at how the drug works to ease anxiety, common side effects of taking the drug, and non-prescription alternative medications that are available.
What Is Zoloft?
Sertraline, sold under the brand name Zoloft, is a prescription drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI. It is similar to other medications like Lexapro and Prozac and is prescribed to treat depression, anxiety (including social anxiety disorder), obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
How Zoloft Works to Ease Depression & Anxiety
Like other SSRIs, Zoloft works by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin into neurons in the brain, making more of the chemical available. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that transmits electrical signals between brain nerve cells and acts as a mood stabilizer. Making more serotonin available in the brain is thought to boost mood, though it does come with known side effects that may be undesirable to some users.
What are the most common side effects of Zoloft?3
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Weight changes
- Changes in sex drive or ability
Zoloft also has several contraindications and should not be taken by those taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or the antipsychotic pimozide.4 For pediatric and young adult patients, Zoloft may lead to increased anxiety or suicidal ideation, which should be monitored.
The Brillia Story
While most SSRIs like Zoloft consist of synthetic chemicals, Brillia takes a different approach to reducing anxiety as a homeopathic medication. Using antibodies to the brain-specific S100B protein, Brillia is a safe and targeted medication that reduces anxiety, irritability, and restlessness without causing harmful side effects or impacting other systems in the body. Brillia also relies on a holistic approach known as the 5 Pillars, which consists of proper nutrition, adequate sleep, controlled screen time, and mindfulness practices as a comprehensive plan to reducing stress and anxiety. By combining multiple efforts, users taking Brillia are building a toolbox of self-regulation skills to use for years to come.
How Brillia Works to Ease Anxiety Symptoms
To understand how Brillia works to ease anxiety symptoms, it’s important to understand what happens in the body when you become anxious. Studies indicate that anxiety and depression stem from an imbalance of the S100B protein.5 When we are faced with an anxiety-producing trigger, this protein wreaks havoc, binding to a target in the brain to provoke an avalanche of undesirable symptoms like nervousness, hyperactivity, irritability, and low mood. The antibodies in Brillia reduce these symptoms by attaching to the S100B protein and preventing it from binding to this target. This process is so specific that it will not dampen the system with harsh side effects or negatively interact with other medications or supplements. Once Brillia builds up in the system and the activity of the S100B protein is regulated, these symptoms are consequently reduced. These results are bolstered by the healthy lifestyle changes highlighted in the 5 Pillars, users become less anxious and more focused.
How Brillia Compares to Zoloft
Available without an official diagnosis or prescription, Brillia can be safely taken by children as young as five as well as adults. Zoloft is only available by prescription and in the case of children, it is only approved to treat obsessive compulsive disorder for those over age six; Zoloft has not been established to treat any other condition in children and adolescents under age 18.6 Unlike SSRIs, which may lead to dependence, Brillia is not habit-forming and it will not make you drowsy, lethargic, or depressed.7 It does not affect weight either, a common side effect of SSRIs. Should you decide you’d like to stop Brillia for any reason or take a break, there is no need to taper off to avoid harmful side effects because there are none associated with “coming off” Brillia. Because there are no contraindications with other supplements or medications, you don’t have to worry about dangerous interactions.
Though Zoloft is approved by the FDA to treat anxiety, Brillia goes through a different process for FDA review. Before being sold to the public, homeopathic drugs like Brillia are required to provide substantive documentation with clinical trials and studies of the product claims, adhere to FDA standards and regulations, and submit to a registration process detailing active ingredients and inactive ingredients. Brillia meets all such requirements.
No harmful side effects.
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While studies on Zoloft have linked the drug to adverse effects and risks such as excess bleeding, serotonin syndrome, and birth defects when used by pregnant women, numerous studies indicate that Brillia is deemed completely safe without harmful adverse effects.8
Brillia vs. Zoloft Dosage
Zoloft is commonly prescribed at 25-50 mg to start for adults and doctors must determine correct dosage for children over age six.9 Doctors may also adjust this dosage and increase it for effectiveness. It is not recommended to stop taking Zoloft suddenly as sudden cessation may lead to withdrawal symptoms such as increased irritability, nausea, feeling dizzy, vomiting, nightmares, headache, and/or paresthesias (prickling, tingling sensation on the skin).10
For Brillia, dosing is based on the severity of the symptoms: moderate or severe. It takes about two to three weeks for the medication to build up in the system and achieve desired effects in reducing anxiety.
How to Add Brillia to Your Regimen
Brillia has no contraindications with other medicines or remedies you may be taking, so you can add it to your regimen without worry. Brillia is also an option for those who are looking for an effective alternative to pharmaceutical products because of all the negative side effects that pharmaceuticals have. Ideally, you can switch to taking Brillia in the place of pharmaceuticals once Brillia has built up in your system. However, if your doctor has prescribed medications that you are considering stopping, we recommend that you discuss this with your doctor to make sure if and how you do this is safe and appropriate for your individual case.
We do have some who are using Brillia instead of increasing their dosage of the medications they are taking. There is no harm in doing this, but it does not alleviate the side effects from being on prescription pharmaceuticals.
We would like to add that Brillia is a gentle and cumulative product. Some notice a difference after the first two to three weeks of starting Brillia and for others it can take longer. We recommend using Brillia alongside your current prescription medications for at least three to four weeks to allow it to build up in the system, and then, under the care of your physician, see if you can stop using the prescription medication and allow Brillia to provide that support, if that is something that you would like to explore. This is why we ask that you be consistent and patient, and give it the full three months to see results. It is advisable to start Brillia ahead of the time (at least three to four weeks) if and when you plan on stopping the use of the prescription medications.
Learn more about how Brillia works.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a certificate in Narrative Therapy. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and VICE.
References: 1https://www.statista.com/statistics/781658/sertraline-hydrochloride-prescriptions-number-in-the-us/ https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/antidepressant-zoloft-generic-version-short-supply-fda-says-n1223356, 2https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a697048.html, 3https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.com/en-us/zoloft/contradictions, 4https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/sertraline-oral-route/proper-use/drg-20065940, 5https://www.additudemag.com/medication/zoloft/, 6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547689/, 7https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S1121189X00006254, 8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547689/, 9https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/sertraline-oral-route/proper-use/drg-20065940, 10https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Sertraline-(Zoloft)
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