As a coronavirus pandemic and its effects still resonate significantly among many people, the supply of antidepressant drugs, Zoloft, which is commonly known as sertraline, has greatly diminished. The US Food and Drug Administration has placed antidepressants and all its generic forms on its list of deficiencies on Friday.
Furthermore, Bloomberg reports that drug companies blame the lack of ingredients for drugs and the increasing demand for these drugs. When mental health tensions arise due to a number of factors caused by COVID-19, many turn to treatment in the hope that their misery will diminish.
Other drugs related to coronavirus have also recently experienced a lack of supply, such as antimalarials, hydroxychloroquine. Concerns about the fragility of global supply and the capacity of drug manufacturers to respond to surging demand for certain drug therapies have increased due to the COVID-19 crisis.
According to information compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence, Zoloft’s recipe reached a 12% increase year-on-year to 4.9 million in March. So far, this is the highest number of US drugs that have reached prescription, said the calculation. Experts believe that the isolation and anxiety over the uncertainty of the situation caused by coronavirus has increased the demand for mental health services.
In addition, generic drug companies that produce sertraline told the FDA that they could not gather enough active pharmaceutical ingredients, or APIs, to make drugs. Lupine Ltd. said they expected the sertraline to be back in line for several months. Likewise, Accord Healthcare said it assumed scarcity would last for two months.
What is Zoloft?
Zoloft used to treat a series of mental conditions, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. This drug is sold under the generic name sertraline and was first approved in the US in 1991.
It comes in tablet or liquid form. According to National Alliance on Mental IllnessIt can also be used to treat children and adolescents aged six to 17 years.
Doctors usually warn patients who use drugs not to stop taking them, even when patients feel better. The dose of sertraline lost can increase the risk of recurrence of a person’s symptoms.
In addition, stopping sertraline suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include irritability, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, nightmares, and a sensation of stabbing or tingling in the skin.
In a Axios / Ipsos Polling conducted between March 13 and March 16, the results revealed that in 1,092 adults in the US, 78 percent of men and 82 percent of women were either somewhat or very worried about a coronavirus outbreak.
Furthermore, a Gallup poll revealed that about 60 percent of American adults experience daily stress and worry about transmission of the virus. Julie Pike, a clinical psychologist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, told Business Insider that what people feel is understandable.
He explained how anxiety is a natural way to try to protect us by encouraging us to resolve uncertainty and find solutions. To overcome this problem, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidelines for deal with stress during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tips for overcoming anxiety include taking a break from watching, listening to, or reading news about a pandemic, and caring for one’s body. The CDC emphasizes the importance of eating a balanced diet and exercising. Finally, taking the time to relax and connect with family and friends through social media platforms is also important.
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