Zoloft for headaches

Zoloft or sertraline as it is called by its chemical name is an SSRI, namely, a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. It is a prescription medication used for treating many types of anxiety disorders and depression. Zoloft also can cause sides effects as is the case with any other SSRI. Migraine seems to be one of the side effects caused by Zoloft. Clinical studies give these data. These clinical studies have been conducted extensively on Zoloft and the results documented. Ironically, in some people this drug is used for treating their migraines. Migraine complaints were reported in people taking a placebo too.

Zoloft is used to prevent women migraines also. Especially, it is given for treating the migraines of people having depression and anxiety. If you suffer from migraines while taking Zoloft, your doctor can advise treatment options or may prescribe another medication in place of Zoloft. Before starting the treatment with Zoloft, one should understand what Zoloft is and what migraine is. A migraine headache is severe and used to be intense too. In migraine conditions, throbbing pain is felt on one side and sometimes both sides of the head. Most of the times the pain occurs in the front side around the temples, or behind one ear or eye. Migraine may have other symptoms too, behind pain. The other symptoms caused by migraine include nausea, sensitivity to light and sound and vomiting. Migraine pain can last a few hours or it can prolong up to one or two days also.


Scientists involved in migraine research do not know the specific causes of migraines. However, they believe that overly sensitive blood vessels may play a role in this. In treating for migraine relief, the options will vary, depending on a number of factors, including the frequency of migraine and its severity. For some people having migraine, over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) may be effective. People for whom these drugs will not do, stronger medications may be prescribed.

If you are experiencing migraine more than twice a week, your doctor may advise medications to prevent occurrence of migraine in you. Whereas Zoloft is not approved in specific terms to prevent migraines, in certain situations your doctor may prescribe this medication also. The reason for this is that clinical experience has shown Zoloft to be effective in preventing migraine, especially in people who have anxiety or depression. When Zoloft is used to prevent migraines, it is called off-label use.

One important question, if Zoloft causes migraine, is to be answered. Zoloft has been subjected to extensive clinical studies and its side effects documented. In these studies, thousands of people are given this drug and they are compared to a group of people who were given only a sugar pill or placebo. The side effects documented in these studies reveal the nature of these side effects and the frequency of their occurrence. The common side effects are those which occur in more than 1 per cent of people and the rare side effects are those which occur in less than 1 per cent of people. In studies, up to 25 per cent of people taking Zoloft have reported headaches including migraines. However, up to 23 per cent of people taking the placebo also reported headaches. These studies did not show migraine distinctly from other types of headaches. Because of this, it becomes difficult to say what kind of impact Zoloft has on the frequency and severity of migraines.

Migraine can be caused by many things and Zoloft can be one of them. Therefore your doctor cannot affirm that the migraine you are having is due to your taking Zoloft. Based on the frequency, symptoms and cause of your migraine and also your specific needs, your doctor may advise suitable medication for you.

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