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Coronavirus pandemic has caused shortage for this antidepressant


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It isn’t just toilet paper and anti-bacterial wipes that the coronavirus pandemic has made hard to get. You can add a known antidepressant to that list, too.

Zoloft, which is one of the most widely prescribed antidepressant medications in the US, has fallen into short supply, Bloomberg reports. Why? The hiked-up demand is caused by mental-health issues that the pandemic has triggered, such as anxiety.

The shortage also affects the generic drug sertraline, which is expected to face a monthslong back order. Lupin Ltd. and Accord Healthcare, drug companies that make sertraline, have told the Food and Drug Administration they can’t get sufficient active pharmaceutical ingredients to produce the medication. The firms didn’t tell Bloomberg where those ingredients are made.

Bloomberg notes that Zoloft prescriptions rose 12% year-over-year to 4.9 million in March — the highest-ever level in the US. A month later, the prescriptions decreased to 4.5 million.

Zoloft was first approved for use in 1991 and is prescribed to treat issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. A spokesperson for Pfizer, which produces Zoloft, told Bloomberg the company produces its own active ingredients for the drug.

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