Zoloft, a brand-name of the generic sertraline, is an antidepressant that belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Zoloft is used to treat depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and anxiety disorders. An adverse side effect of Zoloft is iron deficiency anemia.
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Zoloft and Iron Deficiency Anemia
Red blood cells transport oxygen-rich blood to tissues and body organs such as the brain and heart. Iron is a mineral needed by the bone marrow for red blood cells production, and it is a constituent of many important enzymes. Iron can only be obtained from foods and supplements. Long-term use of Zoloft may affect the absorption of iron from iron-rich foods or iron supplements, leading to iron deficiency anemia.
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Patients with iron deficiency experience symptoms of anemia because of reduced transport of oxygen to tissues. Decreased levels of oxygenated blood in the whole body leads to symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, headache, pale skin, coldness in the hands and feet, shortness of breath, brittle nails, blue color on the lips and whites of the eyes, sore tongue and unusual food cravings, according to PubMed Health.
Iron Deficiency Anemia Treatment
Patients with iron deficiency anemia are treated using iron-rich foods and iron supplements. Examples of iron-rich foods include organ meats such as beef liver and kidneys, beef and other red meat, beans, lentils and green leafy vegetables. Patients are advised to increase their intake of vitamin C-containing foods, because they help the body absorb more iron from iron-rich foods. Examples of vitamin C-rich foods includes oranges, kiwi fruits, pineapples, broccolli and kale.
Zoloft is available as a tablet or liquid and is usually taken by mouth once a day. Zoloft in liquid form should be diluted with water, orange juice, ginger ale, lemonade, lemon juice or lime soda before administration. Patients are usually started on a lower dose, and the dose is increased gradually. Patients should avoid taking Zoloft at the same time as iron supplements to prevent problems with iron absorption.