Mental Health Strain Amid Coronavirus Has Led to a Zoloft Shortage

The antidepressant is in (unsurprisingly) high demand these days

Yeah, we're gonna need that.
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Suffice it to say these are trying times for a variety of reasons. Unsurprisingly, the widespread stress of the coronavirus pandemic and surrounding crises has had far-reaching effects on mental health. Unfortunately, those mental health challenges have led to a shortage of Zoloft, one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants.

As of Friday, the Food and Drug Administration has designated Zoloft a drug in short supply, according to a recent report from Bloomberg. As the need for mental health treatment rose amid the pandemic, Zoloft’s prescription rate saw a marked increase as well, spiking 12 percent in March compared to the previous year. This increase marks the largest in the United States in the drug’s history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.

Increased need for the drug, which is commonly prescribed to treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders, combined with disruptions to the global supply chain amid the pandemic have reportedly made it difficult for companies to keep up with the demand.

Suppliers of Zoloft’s generic version, sertraline, have reportedly been unable to amass enough of the drug’s active pharmaceutical ingredient, with pharmaceutical companies Lupin Limited and Accord Healthcare saying sertraline is expected to remain on back order for at least two months.

Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that produces Zoloft, told Bloomberg it produces its own active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company is reportedly facing limitations due to an increased demand for certain versions of the product, “such as 100 milligram tablets in 100-count bottles,” wrote Bloomberg’s Anna Edney.

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