One of the most widely prescribed antidepressants in the U.S. has fallen into short supply, as demand increases due to mental-health strains caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Food and Drug Administration added Zoloft tablets to its list of drugs in shortage on Friday. Zoloft, which is sold under the generic name sertraline, was first approved in the U.S. in 1991. It’s used to treat a range of conditions, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and posttraumatic-stress disorder.
The pandemic has increased concerns over the fragility of the global supply chain and the capacity of manufacturers to respond to spikes in demand for certain therapies. Other drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial medication touted by President Donald Trump as a Covid-19 treatment, have also experienced supply disruptions in recent weeks.
Isolation and anxiety triggered by the coronavirus have heightened
Additionally, generic-drug firms that produce sertraline told the FDA that they weren’t able to get enough active pharmaceutical ingredient, or API, to make the drug.
Drugmakers typically don’t disclose where they get active pharmaceutical ingredients, or API. Lupin and Accord didn’t respond to questions about where the API in their versions of sertraline is made.
A Pfizer spokesperson said the company produces its own active ingredients for Zoloft.
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