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Re: prozac, paxil, or zoloft for an adolecent?

Posted by JD on July 16, 1999, at 17:13:56

In reply to prozac, paxil, or zoloft for an adolecent?, posted by mme-l on July 16, 1999, at 16:18:50


It's true that Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac are often
used as if they were interchangeabe (they are all
SSRIs, serotonin reuptake inhibitors), but you're
right in suspecting that they're hardly identical.
While they tend to be equally effective, some
people will respond to one but not to another, and
the side effects can range to a certain extent as
well. In general, Prozac is usually the most
"activating" of the three--but for some people this
just means insomnia and jitteriness. Paxil, on
the other hand, apparently tends to be the most
mellow and calming of the three. Zoloft's
reputation is somewhere in the middle, which is
perhaps why it was prescribed first to your

They all have reputations as good medications, so I
would give Paxil a chance to work if it's what your
doctors want to go with for the moment. Do keep
in mind that there are many other options
(both the remaining SSRIs and among other classes)
if it turns out not to be helpful after a
sufficiently long trial. Also remember that you
always have the right to expect good
explanations from her doctors and insurers, which
(alas!) can often take a bit of prodding!

Best wishes to you and your daughter,

> My 14 year-old daughter is in treatment for depression. Without even examining her, the doctor asked me which of the medications she should take - this being a psychdoc on top of it all (bad insurance)! He told me zoloft was better for her, and although I asked him why he thought so, what were the advantages/ disadvantages of each, what were the adverse effects, or which one was easier to withdraw from, he told me they were all the same! Later, after I had signed the release to administer the zoloft (she's in the hospital), they called back and told me that they wanted to change her to paxil. I asked them why, and the answer was that it was cheaper. The doctor insisted that all three drugs had no differences whatsoever. Prozac was never mentioned again after the initial conversation...
> What do you all think of this? Please help me - this hospital has been sucking dry all my insurance money, and the care has been horrible...
> mme-l




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