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Pharmacy/Zoloft dosage

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Question
I have panic disorder.  I have tried Buspar and Xanax, and Ativan.  Also have been on beta blockers, but I am so sensitive to the medication and side effects.  I am now on 6.25 mg of Zoloft per day. I started on 25mg but could not take the side effects.  This small amount has stopped the spontaneous panic attacks and taken the edge off of the anxiety.  I have been on it for a month now and I am also using a light box for 1 hour a day.  I know that Zoloft has to build up in your body.  Will this small dose eventually build up to a level that will stop the panic and anxiety?  I know it will take longer probably to hit a good level because of the small dose.

Answer
Hi,

 Zoloft, like any drug, works differently from person to person.  I cannot guarantee that the 6.25mg dose will eventually build up to a level that will stop the panic and anxiety.  It can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to fully experience the dose effects of zoloft regardless of the dose you are taking.  Perhaps you can speak to your physician about other alternatives, such as psychotherapy, change in diet/exercise regime, to enhance the benefits of the zoloft.

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Nanaz Khosrowshahi

Expertise

Being a pharmacist, I can answer questions on medications. This includes how drugs work in the body, drug interactions, drug side effects, warnings and precautions to take when using certain medications, dosage forms and strengths, management of overdosing, storage of medications, drug administration, contraindications, and drug indications. I am able to guide them on lab work that needs to be drawn and monitored while on certain medications. I am able to help patients save money when purchasing medications by directing them to cost-effective therapies. I am able to answer questions on federal laws governing pharmacy practice in the United States. I am unable to answer questions legally as if I am diagnosing the patient's disease or illness. For example, if a patient stated he had upper flank pain, I am unable to say he definitely has a urinary tract infection. However, I am able to direct the patient to the correct next step, which is to call his physician with such a side effect.

Experience

I have been a licensed pharmacist since 2007, holding licenses in CT and MA. I have a PHARM.D from an accelerated pharmacy school program. Currently, I work at the Hebrew Home and Hospital in West Hartford, CT as a pharmacist. I am a well-rounded pharmacist, with experience in long-term care, IV home infusion, retail, hospital, and hospice. I serve as the pharmacy unit coordinator for Mass Dispensing Area #31 in CT, where I am called upon as a volunteer pharmacist in case of public emergencies, such as anthrax threats. I helped run the swine flu vaccine clinic in 2009. I am on the Editorial Advisory Board for Pharmacy Today, a publication of the American Pharmacists Association. My position on the board runs for three years. Every month I make suggestions and offer ideas that would help improve the magazine. I have undergone extra training to administer vaccines to patients, which is training that only a certain percentage of registered pharmacists in the country have.

Organizations
American Pharmacists Association 2007

Education/Credentials
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Worcester, MA- PHARM.D 2007 University of California, Irvine- BA psychology 2001 cum laude

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