GENERIC NAME: Sertraline

COMMON BRAND: Zoloft

Sertraline oral tablet is a prescription drug available with the brand-name “Zoloft.” It is an antidepressant under a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It’s also available as a generic drug in pharmacies. Generic drugs usually cost less. In a few cases, they may not be available in every strength/form as the brand name version. Sertraline is also available as an oral solution.

What is Sertraline used for?

Sertraline is used for depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia, and severe form of premenstrual syndrome (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

This drug helps to improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy level and restore your interest in daily life. It may reduce fear, anxiety, unwanted thoughts, and the number of panic attacks. It helps to reduce the urge to do repeated tasks (compulsions like hand-washing, counting, and checking) that intervene in daily life. Sertraline is also known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It maintains the balance of serotonin in the brain.

How to use Sertraline?

Read carefully drug information provided by your pharmacist before you start taking sertraline and each time you get a refill. If you have any issues, consult your physician or pharmacist.

This drug needs to be mixed with another liquid before use. Just before taking, accurately measure the dose using the drug dropper provided. Avoid using a household spoon as you may not get the exact dose. Mix the drug dose with a half cup (4 ounces or 120 milliliters) water, ginger ale, lemonade, lemon-lime soda or orange juice. Take all of the mixtures immediately. Avoid using other liquids to prepare this drug mix. The mixture may look cloudy, which is normal and harmless. Do not prepare a dose in advance.

Take this medication by mouth as instructed by your physician, usually once per day either in the morning or evening.

If you are using this medicine for premenstrual issues, your physician may advise you to take this drug regularly without missing for a month or only for two weeks before your period and until the day your period begins.

The dose of a drug depends on your medical condition and response to therapy. To minimise your risk of side effects, your physician may advise you to start this medication at a low dose and moderately increase it. Follow your doctor’s directions carefully. Take this medication without missing to get the most benefit from it. The best practice is taking it at the same time each day.

It is essential to continue using this medication as prescribed even if you feel good. Do not discontinue taking this medication without consulting your physician. Some conditions may become dangerous when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may encounter symptoms such as sleep changes, mood swings, headache, tiredness and brief feelings comparable to electric shock. Reduced dose slowly to minimise the side effects. Inform any new or worsening symptoms right away.

Tell your doctor if your condition continues or worsens.

What are the side effects of Sertraline?

Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, dry mouth, increased sweating, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, upset stomach, or trouble sleeping may occur. If some of these effects continue or worsen, inform your physician or pharmacist immediately.

Remember that your physician has prescribed this drug because your doctor has found the benefit to you is higher than the risk of side effects. Most of the people taking this medication do not develop severe side effects.

Inform your doctor immediately if some of these side effects occur like easy bruising/bleeding, lost interest in sex, decrease in sexual ability like ejaculation delay, weakness or muscle cramps, shaking (tremor), unusual weight loss.

Seek medical help promptly if any of these rare but severe side effects occur like bloody/black stools, vomit looking like coffee grounds, eye pain/redness/swelling, widened pupils, vision changes (for example seeing rainbows around lights at night, blurred vision).

This drug may enhance serotonin and rarely cause a severe condition known as serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are taking other medicines that increase serotonin, so inform your physician/doctor/ pharmacist regarding every drug you are using (see Drug Interactions section). Seek medical help promptly if you develop some of the symptoms like a fast heartbeat, hallucinations, severe dizziness, loss of coordination, severe nausea/vomiting/ diarrhoea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual restlessness/ agitation.

Very rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this happens, stop taking this drug and get medical help immediately, or permanent problems could occur.

A severe allergic reaction to this drug is uncommon. However, get medical help promptly if you see any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction like rashes, itching/swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This record is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you notice other side effects not listed above, contact your physician/ doctor/ pharmacist.

What are the precautions while using Sertraline?

Before using sertraline, inform your doctor/physician/ pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies. This product may include inactive ingredients, which may cause allergic reactions or other issues. Speak to your pharmacist for more information.

Before taking this drug, inform your doctor/physician/ pharmacist about your medical history, mainly of personal or family history of the bipolar/manic-depressive disorder, seizure disorder, bleeding problems, liver disease, thyroid disease, personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type).

This medicine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Alcohol or marijuana can cause more dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, or using machinery, or doing anything that requires alertness until you can perform it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Inform your doctor if you are using marijuana.

Before surgery, inform your doctor/ dentist regarding all the products you are using (including prescription drugs/ nonprescription drugs/ herbal products).

Elderly adults are more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine, mainly loss of coordination or bleeding. Older adults are more likely to develop a type of salt imbalance (hyponatremia), especially if they are on “water pills” (diuretics). Loss of coordination can enhance the risk of falling.

Children may be more susceptible to the side effects of this drug, particularly weight loss and loss of appetite. Check regularly weight and height in children who are using this drug.

This drug, during pregnancy, should be used only when required. It may harm the fetus. Also, babies born to mothers who were on this medicine during the last three months of pregnancy may rarely develop withdrawal symptoms like breathing/ feeding difficulties, seizures, muscle stiffness, or constant crying. If you observe any of these indications in your newborn, inform the doctor immediately.

As untreated mental/mood problems like depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder can be a severe condition, do not stop taking this medication unless instructed by your doctor/physician. If you are planning a pregnancy or become pregnant, discuss the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy with your doctor immediately.

This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor/physician before breastfeeding.

What are the drug interactions of Sertraline?

Drug interactions may alter how your drug works or may enhance your risk for serious side effects. This list does not consist of all possible drug interactions. Keep a record of all the products you are using including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products and inform your doctor/ pharmacist. Don’t start, stop, or alter the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s consent.

Few products that may interact with this drug such as pimozide, other drugs that can induce bleeding/bruising like antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, “blood thinners” such as warfarin.

Using MAO inhibitors with this drug may cause a severe (likely fatal) drug interaction. Avoid using MAO inhibitors (like isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this drug. Most MAO inhibitors should be avoided with this drug for two weeks before and after treatment. Seek advice from your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication.

The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity enhances if you are using with other drugs that increase serotonin. Like, street drugs (MDMA/”ecstasy,” St. John’s wort) other SSRIs (fluoxetine/paroxetine), SNRIs (venlafaxine/duloxetine), tryptophan, among others. The risk of serotonin syndrome/ toxicity likely to develop more when you start or increase the dose of these drugs.

Inform your doctor/physician/ pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, marijuana, antihistamines (cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (codeine). Read the labels on all of your medicines (allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that may cause drowsiness. Seek advice from your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Aspirin can raise the risk of bleeding when used with this drug. However, if your doctor/physician has instructed you to take low-dose of aspirin for stroke prevention or heart attack (generally at dosages of 81-325 milligrams per day), you should continue using this drug unless your doctor advises you otherwise.

This drug may interfere with certain medical/laboratory tests (including a brain scan for Parkinson’s disease), possibly resulting in the false test. Notify laboratory personnel and all your doctors that you are using this drug.

WARNINGS:

Antidepressant drugs are used to treat a variety of conditions, for example, depression and mental/mood disorders. These medications help to prevent suicidal attempts/ thoughts and provide other significant benefits. However, a small number of people (particularly people below 25 years ) who use antidepressants for any condition may observe worsening depression, other mental/ mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. However, it is necessary to seek advice from your doctor/physician about the risks and benefits of the antidepressant medication.

Inform your doctor/physician immediately if you notice worsening of depression/other psychiatric conditions, unexpected behavior changes (possible like suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (new/worsening anxiety, hostile/angry feelings, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Carefully observe these symptoms when a new antidepressant drug is started or when the dose is altered.

What are the forms and strengths of Sertraline?

Generic: Sertraline
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg
Form: Oral solution
Strengths: 20mg/mL

Brand: Zoloft
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg
Form: Oral solution
Strengths: 20 mg/mL

What is the dosage of Sertraline?

For Major Depressive Disorder:

Adult (18–64 years):

The typical starting dose is 50mg per day.
Your doctor/physician will slowly increase your dose every week, as needed.
The maximum dose is 200mg per day.

Pediatric:

Children (0–17 years):

The use of this drug for treating children with this condition has not been studied yet. It is not recommended to use in children under 18 years of age.

Geriatric (65 years and older):

If you are a senior person, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule. As the kidneys of older adults do not work efficiently and the drug may stay for a more extended period in the body, because of the slow elimination process of the drug.

For Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

Adults (18–64 years):

The typical starting dose is 50mg per day.
Your doctor/physician will slowly increase your dose every week, as per need.
The maximum dose is 200mg per day.

Pediatric:

Children (0–5 years):

The use of this drug for treating children with this condition has not been studied yet. It is not recommended to use in children under six years of age.

Children (6–12 years):

25mg once daily.

Children (0–5 years):

50mg once daily

Geriatric (65 years and older):

If you are a senior person, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule. As the kidneys of older adults do not work efficiently and the drug may stay for a more extended period in the body, because of the slow elimination process of the drug.

For Panic Disorder:

Adult (18–64 years):

The typical starting dose is 25mg per day. The dose is usually increased to 50mg per day after one week. Your doctor will gradually increase your dose every week, as per need.
The maximum dose is 200mg per day.

Pediatric:

Children (0–17 years):

The use of this drug for treating children with this condition has not been studied yet. It is not recommended to use in children under 18 years of age.

Geriatric (65 years and older):

If you are a senior person, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule. As the kidneys of older adults do not work efficiently and the drug may stay for a more extended period in the body, because of the slow elimination process of the drug.

 For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

Adults (18–64 years):

The typical starting dose is 25mg per day. The dose is usually increased to 50mg per day after 1 week. Your doctor/physician will slowly increase your dose every week, as per need.
The maximum dose is 200mg per day.

Pediatric:

Children (0–17 years):

The use of this drug for treating children with this condition has not been studied yet. It is not recommended to use in children under 18 years of age.

Geriatric (65 years and older):

If you are a senior person, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule. As the kidneys of older adults do not work efficiently and the drug may stay for a more extended period in the body, because of the slow elimination process of the drug.

For Social Anxiety Disorder:

Adult (18–64 years):

The typical starting dose is 25mg per day. The dose is slowly increased to 50mg per day after one week. Your doctor will gradually increase your dose every week, as per need.
The maximum dose is 200mg per day.

Pediatric

Children (0–17 years):

The use of this drug for treating children with this condition has not been studied yet. It is not recommended to use in children under 18 years of age.

Geriatric (65 years and older):

If you are a senior person, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule. As the kidneys of older adults do not work efficiently and the drug may stay for a more extended period in the body, because of the slow elimination process of the drug.

For the Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder:

Adult (18–64 years):

The typical starting dose is 50mg per day, throughout your menstrual cycle.

Pediatric:

Children (0–17 years):

The use of this drug for treating children with this condition has not been studied yet. It is not recommended to use in children under 18 years of age.

Geriatric (65 years and older):

If you are elderly, you may need a lower dose or a different schedule. As the kidneys of older adults do not work efficiently and the drug may stay for a more extended period in the body, because of the slow elimination process of the drug.

Disclaimer

TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.