One of the most widely prescribed antidepressants in the US has fallen short on supply due to the sky-rocketing demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The FDA has listed Zoloft on its list of drugs that are in shortage recently. Zoloft, commonly known and sold by the name Sertraline, was approved by the FDA in 1991. This particular medicine is used for treating conditions such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress related issues among others.
The ongoing Pandemic has raised questions over the fragility of the global supply chain and the overall capacity of manufacturers to respond to spikes in demand for certain therapies. Hydroxychloroquine, another drug that President Donald Trump considered as the treatment for the COVID-19, also experienced supply disruption in the recent weeks.
Anxiety and isolation due to the coronavirus are the two primary reasons behind the increased demand of mental-health related service. Zoloft prescription has climbed to 12% over the years to 4.9 million in March — the most ever in the US, the data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence showed.
Pfizer Inc. said some versions of its name brand Zoloft, such as the bottles containing 100 tablets of 100mg have been scarce because of the huge demand as shown by the FDA’s drug shortage database.
Generic drug firms that produce Sertraline have reported to the FDA that they are not getting enough supply of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients or API to produce drugs. Lupin Ltd. has said that their Sertraline is expected to be on backorder for a few months. Accord Healthcare assumes this shortage will last for few months.
These pharmaceutical companies didn’t disclose where they get the APIs for sertraline from.
The COVID-19 related stress and anxiety has been an overwhelming problem in almost every country. The fear of what could happen can cause strong emotions in young people and adults. We need to cope with the stress in a healthy manner as this is the most effective way of making yourself, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
The stress from the ongoing pandemic can cause the following:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Worsening of mental health conditions
- Increased use of tobacco, and/or alcohol and other substances.
Taking proper care of your family and the people you love is one of the most effective stress relievers. Make sure you are taking proper care of yourself too. Helping others cope with their stress, such as providing social support can make your community much stronger. Getting more involved with video calling and chatting can make you and your loved ones feel socially connected and less lonely or isolated.
There are several ways that you can cope with stress:
- Know what to do. Always consult a health professional before you start any treatment for COVID-19.
- Know how and where to get treatment. It should include counseling therapy (in person or through telehealth services).
- Take proper care of your emotional health.
- Take a break from COVID-19 news, stories, or videos.
- Take care of your body.
- Make time to unwind and enjoy.
- Connect with others.
Knowing the real facts about the coronavirus pandemic and stopping the spread of rumors can eliminate stress in a very effective manner.
“That’s what is keeping me up at night,” said Susan Borja, who leads the traumatic stress research program at the National Institute of Mental Health. “I worry about the people the system just won’t absorb or won’t reach. I worry about the suffering that’s going to go untreated on such a large scale.”
“If we don’t do something about it now, people are going to be suffering from these mental-health impacts for years to come,” said Paul Gionfriddo, President of the advocacy group Mental Health America. “That could further harm the economy as stress and anxiety debilitate some workers and further strain the medical system as people go to emergency rooms with panic attacks, overdoses and depression.”