Antidepressant or Mood Stabilizer

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Week 3 Medication Paper 

Submit by Sunday by 11:59 pm EST

Medication Paper

Select a medication that is either classified as an antidepressant or mood stabilizer. Based on your selection, write a paper (maximum 4 pages) and discuss the following information related to the medication you selected.

    • Evidence based treatment selection (FDA approved uses)
    • Off label uses, if any
    • Contraindications, if any to use
    • Mechanism of action
    • Potential side effects
    • Lab monitoring/ follow up
    • Role of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in the role of prescribing and managing the medication

Include a minimum of 4 evidence-based articles to support your paper that are 5 years old or less (exceptions: DSM-5 and course textbooks).

Submission Instructions

    • The paper is original work and logically organized, formatted, and cited in the current APA (7th Edition) style, including citation of references.
    • Please review the rubric to ensure that your response meets criteria. Be sure to validate your responses with citations and references in APA format
    • Always construct your responses in a word processing program like Word. Check for grammar, spelling, and mechanical errors.

antidepressant or mood stabilizer

Title: Medication Paper: Understanding Antidepressants and Mood Stabilizers


The use of medication in psychiatric care plays a crucial role in the treatment of various mental health conditions. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers are two classes of medications that are widely used in psychiatric practice. This paper will focus on one medication from either of these classes and provide an in-depth discussion on various aspects related to its use, including evidence-based treatment selection, off-label uses, contraindications, mechanism of action, potential side effects, lab monitoring/follow-up, and the role of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) in prescribing and managing the medication.

Medication Selection

For the purpose of this paper, we will discuss the antidepressant medication “Sertraline,” which is commonly known by its brand name, Zoloft. Sertraline is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and is widely used in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders, making it a relevant choice for our discussion.

Evidence-Based Treatment Selection

Sertraline has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). These FDA-approved uses are well-documented in numerous clinical trials and studies.

Off-Label Uses

While Sertraline has FDA-approved indications, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers, including PMHNPs, to prescribe it off-label for conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), bulimia nervosa, and social phobia. The decision to prescribe off-label should be based on the individual patient’s clinical presentation and carefully considered by the prescriber.


Sertraline should not be prescribed to individuals with a known allergy to the drug or its components. Additionally, it is contraindicated for use within 14 days of discontinuing monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) due to the risk of serotonin syndrome. Caution should also be exercised when prescribing to individuals with a history of seizures or those taking medications that lower the seizure threshold.

Mechanism of Action

Sertraline’s mechanism of action involves inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin in the brain. By doing so, it increases the availability of serotonin in the synaptic cleft, which leads to enhanced mood and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Potential Side Effects

Like all medications, Sertraline is associated with potential side effects. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction. These side effects are usually transient and tend to improve over time. However, it is essential for healthcare providers to educate patients about these potential side effects and monitor their tolerability.

Lab Monitoring/Follow-Up

Patients starting Sertraline therapy should undergo baseline assessments, including a complete blood count (CBC), liver function tests, and renal function tests. Regular follow-up appointments are essential to monitor treatment response, side effects, and any emerging concerns. Additionally, assessing for suicidality and monitoring for any signs of worsening depression or anxiety is crucial during follow-up visits.

Role of the PMHNP

The role of the PMHNP in prescribing and managing Sertraline or any psychiatric medication involves a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s mental health status, history, and medication history. The PMHNP is responsible for selecting the appropriate medication, titrating the dosage, and monitoring treatment response. They also play a vital role in educating patients about the medication, its potential side effects, and the importance of adherence to the treatment plan. Furthermore, the PMHNP should collaborate with other healthcare professionals, provide counseling when necessary, and make necessary adjustments to the treatment regimen based on the patient’s progress.


In conclusion, Sertraline, an FDA-approved antidepressant, is a valuable tool in the treatment of various mental health disorders. PMHNPs must have a deep understanding of this medication’s evidence-based uses, off-label applications, contraindications, mechanism of action, potential side effects, and the importance of lab monitoring and follow-up. By taking on a proactive role in prescribing and managing psychiatric medications like Sertraline, PMHNPs can make a significant impact on improving the mental health and well-being of their patients.

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