sertraline, Zoloft

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: sertraline


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Sertraline belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other drugs in this class are fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), paroxetine (Brisdelle, Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva), citalopram (Celexa) and fluvoxamine (Luvox CR) . Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger) produced by nerve cells in the brain that is used by the nerves to communicate with one another. A nerve releases the serotonin it produces into the space surrounding it. The serotonin either travels across the space and attaches to receptors on the surface of nearby nerves, or it attaches to receptors on the surface of the nerve that produced it. It is then taken up by the nerve and released again (a process referred to as re-uptake). A serotonin balance is reached between attachment to the nearby nerves and reuptake. Selective serotonin inhibitors block the reuptake of serotonin, therefore changing the level of serotonin in the brain.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/21/2014

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Back to Medications Index