According to the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), a lot of companies that make sertraline hydrochloride did not give a reason for the shortage, and technically they don’t have to. Alternative SSRIs citalopram and fluoxetine and branded sertraline- Lustral® are currently available. “We know that one size doesn’t fit all for all patients,” Dr. Clark says. An agency spokesperson noted that there have been previous shortages of antidepressants, but that Zoloft and generic sertraline have not been in shortage in recent years. You may opt-out by. The generic form of Zoloft is usually well covered by insurance. Pfizer has noted shortages for two of its Zoloft packages, estimating that one would be resolved this month while the timeline for the other is yet to be determined. Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. Dr. Fox says Pfizer With Zoloft, I just feel safe. Dr. Tyler Black, psychiatrist and co-author of the Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs for Children and Adolescents, 4th Edition notes, “Ironically reports about anti-anxiety medication shortages will cause, well, increased worry and distress.” Dr. Loynd adds her concern that since Zoloft is used to treat anxiety disorders, many of the people who rely on the medication are also at high risk to be impaired by anxious thoughts and panic attacks upon hearing news of a potential shortage. Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), meaning “it works in the brain by increasing the available concentration of serotonin,” explains Jamie Alan, Pharm.D. Global shortage of ezetimibe/atorvastatin continues with expected supply date extended to end of March, while sertraline is in shortage until May. While the reasons for the shortage … Atozet tablets, used for hypercholesterolaemia, are currently experiencing a shortage. The Food and Drug Administration is reporting shortages of Zoloft and the generic version of the antidepressant as demand soars and supply chains … The FDA stated that certain supplies of Zoloft are limited “due to the impacts caused by COVID-19,” but it’s unclear what that means. and M.S. If anyone has any queries or concerns they should speak to their local pharmacist.' Cat named zoloft, posing for picture at home, 10 years old. Dr. Fox says, “I would hate for people to read a story and then start rationing their own medicine, or skipping doses, without checking to see if there really is a problem. For women, it has a favorable safety profile in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Zoloft has some unique benefits over other choices in a clinical setting. And sign up for our FREE newsletter here for daily health, nutrition, and fitness advice. Period.” Given these many benefits, it is perhaps not surprising that patients might be worried or even scared to read headlines about shortages. However, one (Accord) said it was unable to obtain an active ingredient to make the medication “due to effects of COVID-19,” while the company Lupin says that its shortage is due to increased demand and lack of supply of the active ingredient. She says it is important to remember that “just because one pharmacy says that, another might have the product.” On the other hand, if you have 2 months left, Dr. Fox thinks you are likely fine to wait and check in with your pharmacy when you are closer to needing a refill. I am particularly interested in physician mental health, college mental health, gender equity, medical education, suicide prevention, and the overlap between popular media, stigma, and psychiatry. At that point, if you find out they are not giving 90 day supplies and you always get 90 days, that might feel scary to you. There is no public list of medicine shortages in the UK, so it is difficult to make accurate comparisons month-by-month. One thing is for sure: Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other forms of psychological distress have (understandably) increased—and research has confirmed that. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. There's a Shortage of Antidepressant Zoloft and Its Generic Version amid Coronavirus, FDA Says 05/06/2020 The FDA announced a shortage of the antidepressant Zoloft and its generic version, sertraline, as the coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase … I entered psychiatry because of a love of patient stories and regularly think about the narrative, shared, and patient experience. Of those, Accord and Lupin both listed “difficulty obtaining an active ingredient in the medication due to COVID-19” as a reason for the shortage. I also believe strongly in educating the public and doing advocacy through the popular press as a core role as a physician. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Joey Lusvardi, psychiatric physician assistant added, “I work with college students so finances are always a concern. How Many People Die of the Flu Each Year? It is regularly used in pregnant and postpartum patients for that reason. Sertraline is used to treat depression, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder and a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. Zoloft is a popular option because it’s effective with few side effects, works pretty fast, and is OK for pregnant and breastfeeding women to use, Dr. Alan says. Medicines: Shortages and Supply Issues Supply Issues Update – as of 21st August 2020: The following advice is based on information available that the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Medicines Optimisation Team were aware of at the time of writing. She said that a bump in prescriptions is often not enough to disrupt a stable supply chain, especially for outpatient supplies, and it is much more often a manufacturing issue. "There is a certain degree of, for lack of a better word, experimentation, to find the certain drug to treat their anxiety or depression, so you don't want to constantly change this." Support from readers like you helps us do our best work. ​. PFE Direct Link The FDA announced a shortage of the antidepressant Zoloft and its generic version, sertraline, as the coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in reports of depression and anxiety … On May 26 and May 29, two types of antidepressants, sertraline hydrochloride tablets and sertraline hydrochloride oral solution, usually sold under the … It appears the shortage of zoloft has been resolved in Australia as I checked on the TGA website and rang a couple of chemists. Bottom line: It’s important to discuss a clear list of all of your options from a doctor you trust before you decide to make any sort of medication switch. Drug Shortage Bulletins are copyrighted by the Drug Information Service of the University of Utah, provided by ASHP as its exclusive authorized distributor, and used with permission. She notes that unfortunately often the reasons for shortages “raise more questions than answers and drug companies are under no obligations to provide explanations. Usually you just can’t get exactly what you want.” For example, you might need to get a different strength, or a different sized bottle, but you can still get the same medication. Notably, Zoloft is the most commonly prescribed antidepressant (and overall psychiatric medication) with over 38 million prescriptions in 2017. “Patients with autism, ADHD, and schizoaffective disorder may at times benefit from Zoloft,” says Gail Saltz, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the “Personology” podcast from iHeartRadio. Chrissy Teigen Revealed She’s 4 Weeks Sober, Demi Embraces Her Stretch Marks With Glitter Paint, Kaitlyn Bristowe Opens Up About COVID-19 Symptoms. [*]At 15 years was put on 50mg of Zoloft for generalized anxiety and panic disorder. She said patients concerned they might run out of the medication or about side effects should contact their doctor. For instance, they may recommend that you taper your medication now and try a new one in order to help prevent possible side effects, Dr. Saltz says. In other words, you can still get 100 mg total of Zoloft, you might just need to take 2, 50 mg tablets a day for a while. This way, you will either ensure you have continued access to your meds or come up with an action plan if the shortage continues, like increasing talk therapy visits and making recommended lifestyle adjustments to keep your symptoms in check. Buprisone is regarded as one of … Accord Healthcare, which manufactures the SSRI, told The Pharmaceutical Journal on 23 April 2020 that its sertraline products had been out of … It is a searchable database that provides up-to-date information for consumers and healthcare professionals related to current drug shortages. June 2, 2020 - The supply of antidepressant drugs has dropped during the coronavirus pandemic, and the FDA placed Zoloft and its generic form on its shortage list on Friday. Why trust us? The Food and Drug Administration recently added the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride) to its list of drug shortages. We have seen drug shortages in the past, albeit on a smaller scale. Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Professor and Chair at the UNC Department of Psychiatry and the Director of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders said in response, “a shortage of a medication that treats anxiety and depression is very concerning and comes at a particularly bad time due to the general population facing an enormous amount of stress around an unprecedented global pandemic and confronting the horrors of endemic racism that are always present but have been particularly glaring and heartbreaking in recent events.”, Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and is often a first line medication for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD). Once medications become generic, the branded medication (Zoloft, in this case), no longer takes up a lot of the market supply and there are multiple other suppliers making the medication. Sertraline Hydrochloride Oral Solution: Nov 06, 2020: Sertraline Oral Tablets: Nov 06, 2020: Simethicone Oral Liquid: Nov 24, 2020: Sodium Bicarbonate Injection: ... Drug shortages statistics, and best practices, guidelines and publications related to drug shortages Learn More. If they don’t, you will need to call around. It also saves you from having to figure out what to do when you may be in a crisis.” He emphasizes that adding a therapist if you aren’t connected to one, in addition to taking medication, might also be helpful to ease your worries and add an additional buffer of support. The US Food and Drug Administration is warning of a shortage of a class of drugs used by millions to treat high blood pressure. However, she notes that finding a new medication that works just as well can involve trial and error and “impact the stability of mood,” resulting in withdrawal, “which feels terrible, physically and emotionally.”, That’s why finding something new isn’t necessarily a perfect solution. Despite it seeming like antidepressants are virtually replaceable with each other or identical chemically, this is untrue. 'These temporary shortages do sometimes occur and where possible a suitable alternative will be found. Dr. Fox explains that the best way to think about it is to ask yourself how much medication you have on hand: Do you have 60 tablets or do you have 5 tablets? That is why it is so important to try to understand drug shortages and explain them clearly to patients. With drug shortages, it is most unusual to be completely out. Bottle of Zoloft (generic name Sertraline), which was recently added to the FDA drug shortage list. in Anthropology), Yale School of Medicine (M.D), and Stanford (adult psychiatry). A spike in demand for anxiety and depression drugs has led to shortages of some forms of the commonly used antidepressant Zoloft and its generic, sertraline. But, you should know, that decision is often only for a limited time, while pharmacies try to keep up with demand. The federal agency says some versions of the drug, notably higher-dosage tablets, are in limited supply or out of stock, so they “cannot support monthly demand” for an estimated 60 days. "There is no evidence that any current supply constraints are related to EU exit." There are intermittent shortages of sertraline 50mg and 100mg with availability changing on a daily basis. Ph.D., an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University. Dr. Fox explains that it is unclear if this means they are getting the materials from China and that is the reason for the disruption. Another benefit of Zoloft over other medications is it has a large dose range and the pills come in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg tablets (which can also be cut!). I am an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis having been trained at University of Pennsylvania (B.A. Dr. Kelechi  Loynd, a Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist explains, “I personally really appreciate the tolerability in my pediatric population and that I can start at low doses and titrate up as needed.” She notes that there are also pediatric studies for Zoloft giving it FDA approval in children for depression and OCD. This makes treatment easier for children, people who are sensitive to side effects, and allows for higher doses for those with OCD. Related ASHP Sites. He himself has a cat that he got during a difficult time in his own life. Even if it isn’t, it’s generally not very expensive so cost isn’t prohibitive.”. “Doubling up on lower-dose pills to achieve the patient’s required dose is always an option if their insurance approves,” Dr. Clark says. Switching medication during this time adds to their risk of worsened mood or anxiety.” Having to switch due to a shortage could also be bad for the fetus and, if possible, it would would be important to not expose it to another medication. She explained, “my anxiety was so hard to manage on any other medication or the side effects were awful (vomiting, fatigue). It is also helpful to think who really needs to be concerned right now about their medications. Rebecca McEachern, who takes Zoloft for PTSD sung its’ praises for her mental health improvement. Patients will be taking sertraline as their first anti-depressant or will have already tried at Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Other brands of sertraline are “generic”. Link the whole card. U.S. Food and Drug Administration 10903 New Hampshire Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20993 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332) Contact FDA Pfizer Inc. said some versions of its name-brand Zoloft, such as 100 milligram tablets in 100-count bottles, were scarce because of higher demand, according to the FDA’s drug-shortage database. No matter the cause, however, it is truly important to contextualize that a shortage does not mean all of the sudden Zoloft is now gone. That’s true even if you have a decent-sized supply on hand. The agency stated that stock is limited “due to the impacts caused by COVID-19.”. The stress around the COVID-19 pandemic has more people medicating for depression. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. in. Patients are struggling amid a shortage of a common anti-anxiety medication - with no sign of when it will be restocked. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recently added the popular antidepressant Zoloft (Sertraline) to the drug shortage list. 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American Society of Health System Pharmacist, Journal of the American Medical Association, ​Mindful Aging: What It Is And Why You Should Be Doing It, Alternative therapies that really work. People typically take Zoloft to help combat symptoms of anxiety and depression, but its uses go beyond that. still has brand name medication available and some of the sizes of the bottles and pills are available, too. In popular culture, it may not be as well known as other SSRIs like Prozac or Lexapro, but take a look at the actual numbers. Availability and Estimated Shortage Duration Related Information Shortage Reason (per FDASIA) Zoloft 25 mg; Bottle of 30 tablets (NDC 0049-4960-30) Available Other: Zoloft 50 mg; Bottle of 30 tablets (NDC 0049-4900-30) Available Other: Zoloft 50 mg; Blister of 10 tablets (NDC 0049-4900-41) That said, if you have trouble finding Zoloft near you or the shortage continues to worsen, it’s worth having a conversation with your doctor about other temporary options. Sertraline is a medicine that may be used … Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft) has also been in shortage for months. ... [+] Photographer: JB Reed/Bloomberg News. I am an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis having been trained at University of Pennsylvania (B.A. Even though it feels scary to think about things like drug shortages, especially when you are anxious or depressed and relying on those medications for that anxiety or depression, right now is not the time to panic. Zoloft, the original brand, is sertraline, but made & sold by Pfizer, the original patent holder. sertraline hydrochloride) to its list of drug shortages. We know from CDC data from 2011-2014 nearly 13 % of people over the age of 12 took an antidepressant in the past month, one-fourth of these people had done so for 10 years or more. So if you rely on Zoloft and it works for you, it’s understandable that news of a shortage would be concerning—but you shouldn’t panic just yet. A spokeswoman for the TGA told the shortage was due to a manufacturing problem with Pfizer, the company that makes Zoloft, but that it should be resolved by June 17. Whether they will continue to be available in the future, though, is unclear. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recently added the popular antidepressant Zoloft (generic name, sertraline) to the drug shortage list. So, if you’ve been taking one pill a day, you may end up taking two or more to meet your current dosage. These include: Atozet ezetimibe/atorvastatin 10mg/40mg tablet blister pack (From 30 Oct 2017 to 31 March 2018) and M.S. Some versions of … She notes, “Looking at how many products there are right now, it is just fine to hold back and wait.”. As such, I am interviewed in and speak regularly with the media about all things mental health and my writing has been featured in, among others, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek, Self, InStyle, and the HuffPost. Supplies of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sertraline, are returning to stock after manufacturers reported “industry-wide” supply challenges, exacerbated by export bans and border closures implemented as a result of COVID-19. Go here to subscribe to Prevention and get 12 FREE gifts. From the information we have, patients really should be able to fill their prescriptions.” In other words for now, it seems you really can keep calm and continue to take your Zoloft. The FDA says on its website that lower-dose tablets are currently available (ranging in size from 25 to 50 milligram tablets). They don’t have to tell you who makes the raw materials [and] there is so much opacity in the drug supply chain it is often really hard to try understand what is going on.”. Zoloft is a brand (trade) name for sertraline. That's created a national shortage of the common antidepressant Zoloft. Still, you shouldn’t ration your medication or take any other drastic steps. Your doctor may simply prescribe you the smaller Zoloft tablets, just in higher amounts. The Food and Drug Administration recently added the antidepressant Zoloft (a.k.a. A spokesperson from the CCG said: 'There appears to be a temporary shortage of Sertraline 100mg to our local wholesalers. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at, Why I Insisted on Getting a Mammogram at 35. If you’re taking Zoloft, it’s a good idea to call your doctor to discuss your options, even if you’re not out of the medication at the moment, says Crystal Clark, M.D., a psychiatrist at Northwestern Medicine. While many antidepressants are safe in pregnancy, imagine saying to a pregnant woman: “we need to change your medication, they are out of it.” Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, perinatal psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor at George Washington University School of Medicine notes, “Pregnant women are already in a vulnerable position right now, preliminary research is showing increased rates of anxiety and depression in this population. Additionally, generic-drug firms that produce sertraline told the FDA that they weren’t able to get enough active pharmaceutical ingredient, or API, to make the drug. They said the Pfizer brand should be on the shelves next week. One survey recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 13.6% of American adults reported having symptoms of psychological distress in April, compared to nearly 4% in 2018.