Zoloft is an antidepressant medication used to raise the mood in depressive disorders. Vitamin B actually refers to an entire family of related vitamins, which are essential for many activities in the body, including maintenance of the nervous system. Although there are no specific recommendations about taking Zoloft and vitamin B together, many people feel this is helpful. However, talk to your health professional about all medications and supplements that you may be taking.
Zoloft is the brand name for the antidepressant medication sertraline and is also available as a generic. It is a member of the serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) group of antidepressants, which work to raise levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the mood centers of the brain. Raising serotonin levels can help reduce depression in some people with chronic depressive disorder, but may take several weeks to begin working.
The most common side effect of Zoloft is stomach upset and nausea, which usually go away after taking it for a few weeks. Others may have anxiety and nervousness or headache, which are usually mild and may also go away as you become used to the medicine. More severe side effects may include suicidal thoughts or actions and increased risk for seizures, especially if you have bipolar disorder or a history of seizures. Zoloft can also cause allergic reactions such as rash, swelling of the mouth or tongue and difficulty breathing. You should report any suicidal thoughts, seizures or allergic reactions to a medical professional immediately, as they may be life threatening.
About Vitamin B
The vitamin B family includes vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12. Folic acid is also often included in this family. B vitamins are needed for maintenance of the nervous system, eyes, hair, liver, mouth and muscle tone. They are also important for brain functioning and energy production. B vitamins are important in times of stress and help with enzyme activity in many areas of the body. According to Lois Balch, author of "The Prescription for Nutritional Healing," B vitamin deficiency has caused symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease, and B vitamins are often deficient in the American diet.
Vitamin B and Depression
A 2004 article published in "Psychology Today" suggests that a deficiency of vitamin B, especially vitamin B12 and folic acid, may increase the risk of depression. The article also suggests that taking B vitamins may increase the effectiveness of the treatment for depression, including medications such as Zoloft. The Mayo Clinic also suggests that other B vitamins, such as vitamin B6, may be helpful. Taking a balanced B-complex vitamin, which includes the entire family of B vitamins, may help with treatment of depression. Ask your mental health professional about B vitamin therapy and all of your medications before making a change in your regimen.