COVID-19 pandemic causing antidepressant shortage according to FDA

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The coronavirus outbreak has been a stressful ordeal for people around the globe. Given its highly contagious nature and the absence of an effective treatment or vaccine, many individuals have reportedly grown anxious over the problems it brings to the table. As such, mental health experts pointed out that there was a remarkable upsurge of anxiety cases in the past few months. Due to the growing demand for antidepressants, the FDA just listed a shortage of one popular drug.

The medication in question was identified as Zoloft, which is also known by its generic name sertraline. reports that analysts pointed out in March, the prescriptions for it saw a 12 percent year-on-year increase to 4.9 million. This is apparently the highest recorded for the drug to date. Experts noted that it is the combination of isolation, addiction, lost livelihoods, bankruptcy, and so much more.

Other indicators that the COVID-19 health crisis affected the mental wellbeing of people come from one of the U.S. government’s programs. In May, there was apparently a 1,000 percent rise in calls made to the federal emergency hotline intended for people who experience psychological distress. The data was compared to the ones logged in April, and the results were staggering.

Talkspace, a digital counselling service, likewise documented a 65 percent growth in contrast to the early days of the pandemic around February. Overall, aside from the questionable availability of aforementioned items, experts confirm that that global supply chain is currently unable to meet the demands. SARS-CoV-2 has already disrupted the operations of manufacturing facilities as well as logistics.

International shipments are likewise compromised as safety measures imposed by governments hinder travel by ground, air, and sea. Nevertheless, there are exceptions in place for cargo that is deemed essential for the fight against the 2019 novel coronavirus.

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Due to the overwhelming demand for sertraline, Pfizer indicated that certain dosages of Zoloft, particularly the 100 mg tablets packaged in a bottle that contains 100 tablets were running low. Meanwhile, drugmakers that produce the generic versions are purportedly unable to source adequate amounts of active pharmaceutical ingredients. The FDA currently has no timeline as to when supplies would be available again.