Do Zoloft Blood Levels Slowly Fall Each Year?
Zoloft or sertraline is a famous anti-depressant that you might have seen on TV. I appreciate their depression education commercials since some people still do not realize major depression is a real biological and neurological disease. It has a death rate of 15% and that does not include the increased heart attach rate caused by major depression and blood chemical changes.
One problem I have noticed in getting very large numbers of Zoloft blood levels each year is that they drift downward markedly.
Why does this matter?
First, it means that you may have a successful treatment and over 6-12 months notice you are back to "your old self again." You lose hope since you are taking the medicine as prescribed. You might feel that "this is as good as it gets with the medicine."
The only acceptable end point with depression is full remission and full treatment. Period.
If you and your doctor are committed to using Zoloft you need to be open to dose increases and to have some way to catch small signs of depression returning. Are you going out less? Are you having more boredom? Are you eating more? Are you more sensitive? Are you thinking a bit slower?
Personally, I use many different fast tiny depression scales that allow people to track their improvement and to make sure at later dates they are not slipping 20% back to depression.
Also, if you are committed to Zoloft you should consider getting a Zoloft or sertraline blood level at least once a year. Your physician can research which way it should be tested that fits your lab.
You Do Not Need Depression to Float Back.
My Deepest Wish For Your Enduring Happiness!
James L. Schaller, MD, MAR