The latest: According to a recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report, manufacturers are reporting shortages of sertraline (brand name Zoloft). There are five companies on the shortage list that make the popular antidepressant, which is used to treat depression and anxiety. Four of the five manufacturers are experiencing shortages on one or more of its sertraline formulations due to increased demand or shortages of active ingredients during COVID-19.
The frontlines: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people experienced a spike in mental health symptoms, including depression and anxiety.
- More than one-third of people in the U.S. had enough anxiety or depression symptoms to receive a clinical diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic
- People of color reported significantly higher COVID-19-related stress compared to White people, including fears about getting sick, access to health care and meeting basic needs
- As the pandemic grew in the U.S. in late February and March, prescriptions for antidepressants, anti-anxiety and anti-insomnia medications rose by 21%
We’ve been here before: Worries about drug shortages have plagued patients since early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquenil), now prescribed for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, became a hotspot when President Donald Trump exclaimed its benefits for COVID-19 without sufficient evidence. As a result, chronic illness patients have faced shortages and rationing of the drug.
A Mighty Voice: Our contributor, Jae Cobb, explained the distress medication shortages have on patients who rely on these drugs. “We may find ourselves having to prove we are worthy of the medication we have been taking for years.” You can submit your first person story, too.
Get more on mental health: Sign up for our weekly mental health newsletter.
From Our Community:
Other things to know: You can read up more on how COVID-19 medication shortages have affected patients with these Mighty articles:
- Search for COVID-19 Treatment Leads to Chronic Illness Medication Shortages
- Trump’s Prophylactic Use of Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 Sparks Backlash
- Patient Denied Prescription Refill Due to COVID-19 Thanked for Her ‘Sacrifice’
What’s next: According to the FDA’s website, sertraline/Zoloft shortages on some brands and formulations are expected to last up to 60 days. If you’re concerned about the availability of your prescription, call your pharmacist to discuss your concerns, and don’t stop or change your medication without first talking to your doctor.