- What is Zoloft (sertraline)?
- Is Zoloft (sertraline) available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for Zoloft (sertraline)?
- What are the uses for Zoloft (sertraline)?
- What are the side effects of Zoloft (sertraline)?
- What is the dosage for Zoloft (sertraline)?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with Zoloft (sertraline)?
- Is Zoloft (sertraline) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about Zoloft (sertraline)?
What is Zoloft (sertraline)?
Sertraline belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other drugs in this class are:
Quick GuidePhysical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures
What are the uses for Zoloft (sertraline)?
What are the side effects of Zoloft (sertraline)?
ZOLOFT SIDE EFFECTS WARNING:
- As demonstrated in short-term studies, antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of Zoloft or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need for the antidepressant. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in behavior.
Zoloft side effects:
The most common side effects of Zoloft are:
- Skin rash
- Upset stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Abnormal ejaculation
- Decreased interest in sexual activity
- Dry mouth
- Increase in sweating, known as diaphoresis
- Weight loss
Possible serious side effects of Zoloft include:
- Irregular heartbeats
- Serious allergic reactions
- Worsening of depression
- Serotonin syndrome
- Abnormal bleeding
- Priapism (prolonged erection)
- Decreased liver function
- Activation of mania in patients with bipolar disorder
Important side effects are irregular heartbeats, allergic reactions and activation of mania in patients with bipolar disorder.
If Zoloft is discontinued abruptly, some patients experience side effects such as:
- Abdominal cramps
- Diminished appetite
- Flu-like symptoms
- Sleep disturbances
- Memory impairment
A gradual dose reduction of Zoloft is recommended when therapy is discontinued.
What is the dosage for Zoloft (sertraline)?
- The recommended dose of sertraline is 25-200 mg once daily. Treatment of depression, OCD, panic disorder, PTSD, and social anxiety disorder is initiated at 25-50 mg once daily. Doses are increased at weekly intervals until the desired response is seen.
- The recommended dose for PMDD is 50-150 mg every day of the menstrual cycle or for 14 days before menstruation.
- Sertraline may be taken with or without food.
Which drugs or supplements interact with Zoloft (sertraline)?
All SSRIs, including Zoloft, should not be taken with any of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) class of antidepressants, for example
- isocarboxazid (Marplan),
- phenelzine (Nardil),
- tranylcypromine (Parnate),
- selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Elazar), and
- procarbazine (Matulane).
Other drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase include
Such combinations may lead to confusion, high blood pressure, tremor, hyperactivity, coma, and death. (A period of 14 days without treatment should lapse when switching between Zoloft and MAOIs.) Similar reactions occur when Zoloft is combined with other drugs for example, tryptophan, St. John's wort, meperidine (Demerol, Meperitab), tramadol (ConZip, Synapryn FusePaq, Ultram) that increase serotonin in the brain.
Cimetidine (Cimetidine Acid Reducer, Tagamet HB ) may increase the levels in blood of Zoloft by reducing the elimination of Zoloft by the liver. Increased levels of Zoloft may lead to more side effects.
Zoloft increases the blood level of pimozide (Orap) by 40%. High levels of pimozide can affect electrical conduction in the heart and lead to sudden death. Therefore, patients should not receive treatment with both pimozide and Zoloft.
Is Zoloft (sertraline) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
What else should I know about Zoloft (sertraline)?
What preparations of Zoloft (sertraline) are available?
- Tablets: 25, 50, and 100 mg
- Oral concentrate: 20 mg/ml
How should I keep Zoloft (sertraline) stored?
- Sertraline should be stored at room temperature between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).
How does Zoloft (sertraline) work?
- 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.
- It is believed that some illnesses such as depression are caused by disturbances in the balance between serotonin and other neurotransmitters. The leading theory is that drugs such as sertraline restore the chemical balance among neurotransmitters in the brain.
When was Zoloft (sertraline) approved by the FDA?
- The FDA approved sertraline in December 1991.
Zoloft (sertraline) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Side effects include:
- Skin rash
- Upset stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Abnormal ejaculation
- Decreased interest in sexual activity
- Dry mouth
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Depression Myths: Overwork, Recklessness and More in Pictures
Explore the myths and facts about depression. See how folk remedies and half-truths still prevent many from getting treatment for...
Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
What is schizophrenia? Learn about schizophrenia symptoms, signs, and treatment. Read about schizophrenia types such as paranoid...
Learn to Spot Depression: Symptoms, Warning Signs, Medication
What is depression? Get information on symptoms, signs, tests, and treatments for many types of depression including major...
Stress Quiz: Test Your Emotional IQ
Stress creeps into everyone's life at one time or another, while some people will suffer from poorly managed chronic stress. If...
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) - Test Your IQ of Women's Health
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) can be serious and debilitating for some women. The good news is that women do not have to...
PTSD Quiz: Test your IQ of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Can you have PTSD even if you've never been to war? Take the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Quiz to learn about PTSD, who gets it,...
Childhood ADHD Quiz: Test, Symptoms & Medication
Find out causes, symptoms, and treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a widespread behavioral condition...
Bipolar Disorder (Mania) Quiz: Test Your Emotional Wellness IQ
Who is at risk for developing bipolar disorder? Are you? Take this Bipolar Disorder Quiz to learn more about bipolar disorder, if...
Depression Quiz: Signs & Symptoms
Many people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With...
Panic Attacks (Panic Disorder) Quiz: Test Your Mental Health IQ
Could you suffer a panic attack? Take this Panic Attacks Quiz to learn causes, symptoms, and treatments for panic disorder. Use...
Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Testing for Bipolar Depression
Bipolar disorder (once called manic depression) causes extreme mood shifts and can be disorienting. Our experts define bipolar...
Anxiety Disorder Pictures: Symptoms, Panic Attacks, and More with Pictures
Learn about generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). See if your worries are normal or something more by learning about symptoms,...
Tinnitus: Why Are My Ears Ringing?
What is tinnitus? Explore tinnitus (ringing in the ears) causes, symptoms, relief remedies, treatments and prevention tips. Learn...
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Track and Prevent Symptoms
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) can cause from mood swings, munchies, and more. Learn about the symptoms, causes and treatments of...
What's Your Biggest Fear? Phobias
Learn about phobias such as agoraphobia, claustrophobia, arachnophobia, zoophobia, and more. Discover some of the symptoms and...
Foods That Help Fight Depression
Food cannot prevent depression, but a healthy diet may boost your mood. Foods like salmon, carrots, Brazil nuts and even...
Physical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures
Depression can cause physical problems such as insomnia, chest pain, fatigue, headaches, and more. Learn the signs of depression...
Depression Tips: Exercise, Diet, Stress Reduction, and More in Pictures
The right exercise, diet, and activities -- even playing with a pet --can help you recover from depression. Learn simple...
Healthy Aging: Sneaky Depression Triggers in Pictures
There are many causes and triggers of depression. From too little vitamin B12 to too much time alone, look at these surprising...
Depression Therapy: Myths, Facts, and More in Pictures
False ideas scare many depression suffers away from therapy and the quick relief and help these pros can provide. Let our experts...
Related Disease Conditions
Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension) Symptoms and Treatments
Low blood pressure, also referred to as hypotension, is blood pressure that is so low that it causes symptoms or signs due to the...
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends...
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems,...
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is considered a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD has also been referred to...
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one...
IBS Triggers (Prevention)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disease that can affect the quality of those who suffer from this condition....
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as...
Emotional eating can be detrimental to one's efforts at weight loss. Learning to identify the situations and emotions that...
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or SEID)
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) is a debilitating and complex disorder...
Misophonia is defined as the hatred of sound. Symptoms of this condition include a negative emotional response to certain trigger...
Suicide is the process of intentionally ending one's own life. Approximately 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year,...
Panic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep....
Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depression, mania, and severe mood swings. Treatment...
Paraphilias are characterized by sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors involving unusual objects or activities. Exhibitionism,...
The term sex addiction describes the behavior of someone who has an unusually strong sex drive or sexual obsession. Sex and...
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric condition, can develop after any catastrophic life event. Symptoms include...
Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. Different types of psychotic disorders include...
Narcolepsy (Definition, Symptoms, Treatment, Medication)
Causes of narcolepsy, a chronic disease of the central nervous system, have not been fully determined. Some theories include...
Agoraphobia is a fear of being outside or of being in a situation from which escape would be impossible. Symptoms include...
Childhood ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) causes the following symptoms in children: excessive activity, problems...
Menstrual Cramps and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Medication Guide
Menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms include abdominal cramping, bloating, a feeling of fullness, abdominal...
Mental health is an optimal way of thinking, relating to others, and feeling. All of the diagnosable mental disorders fall under...
Tourette syndrome is disorder, which symptoms include involuntary facial tics, motor tics, and vocal tics. The cause of Tourette...
Huntington's disease is the result of degeneration of neurons in areas of the brain. Huntington's disease is an inherited...
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that causes a person to suffer repeated obsessions and compulsions....
Separation anxiety disorder is a common childhood anxiety disorder that has many causes. Infants, children, older kids and adults...
Fragile X Syndrome
Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited form of mental retardation. It's caused by a mutation on the X chromosome. People...
Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion to food. Anorexia is a serious...
Phobias are unrelenting fears of activities (social phobias), situations (agoraphobia), and specific items (arachnophobia). There...
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by odd behaviors, feelings, perceptions, and ways of relating to others that...
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes...
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is an illness where a person is overly preoccupied with some minor or imaginary flaw. People with...
Dysthymia is a less severe form of chronic depression. Symptoms and signs include insomnia, suicidal thoughts, guilt, empty...
Holiday Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
Though the holidays are a fun time for most, for others, they're a sad, lonely and anxiety-filled time. Get tips on how to avoid...
Bipolar Disorder vs. Schizophrenia
Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are mental illnesses that share some risk factors and treatments. Symptoms of bipolar disorder...
Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens
Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness, is a disorder that causes unusual and extreme mood changes. Symptoms of bipolar...
People with bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder that involves episodes of bingeing and purging, experience symptoms and signs...
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that tends to occur as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. Symptoms...
Compulsive Overeating vs. Binge Eating Disorder
Compulsive overeating is eating more than needed. Binge eating disorder involves recurrent episodes of compulsive eating, even...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Mood Swings
- Poor Hygiene
- Unusual Behavior
- Inability to Regulate Emotions
- Indigestion (Dyspepsia, Upset Stomach)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Attack
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Postpartum Depression
- Depression FAQs
- ADHD FAQs
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder FAQs
- Stress FAQs
- Panic Attacks Disorder FAQs
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder PMDD FAQs
- Bipolar Disorder Mania FAQs
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Treatment
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Antidepressants Banned for UK Kids
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and 9-11
- Grapefruit Juice and Drug Interactions
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Antidepressants (Depression Medications)
- citalopram, Celexa
- Drugs: What You Should Know About Your Drugs
- Anxiolytics (for Anxiety) Drug Class Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- fluoxetine, Prozac, Sarafem, Prozac Weekly
- Lexapro vs. Wellbutrin: Differences between Side Effects and Uses
- paroxetine, Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva
- fluvoxamine (Luvox and Luvox CR have been discontinued)
- Buspar vs. Zoloft (Differences between Side Effects and Uses)
Prevention & Wellness
- 'Off-Label' Antidepressants Common, But Where's the Evidence?
- 1 in 6 U.S. Adults Takes a Psychiatric Drug: Study
- Antidepressant Might Prevent Depression Following Brain Injury
- Did Studies Lack Key Data on Link Between Antidepressants, Youth Suicides?
- Prenatal Antidepressant Use Not Linked to Infant Heart Defects: Study
- Certain Antidepressants May Be Linked to Bipolar Disorder: Study
- Antidepressants in Pregnancy May Raise Autism Risk, Study Suggests
- Another Study Sees Link Between Antidepressants and Birth Defects
- Common Antidepressants Linked to Higher Fracture Odds in Menopausal Women
- Risk to Baby From Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy Is Small, Study Says
- Depression During Pregnancy Linked to Child's Asthma Risk
- Study Questions Link Between Antidepressants, Miscarriage
- Antidepressants in Pregnancy Won't Harm Baby's Heart, Study Suggests
- Weight Gain From Antidepressants Is Minimal, Study Suggests
- Antidepressants in Pregnancy Tied to Slight Risk of Lung Disorder in Babies
- Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Not Linked to Autism
- Most Medications OK During Breast-Feeding, Report Says
- Electrical Brain Stimulation Plus Drug Fights Depression: Study
- Common Antidepressants Too Risky During Pregnancy, Researchers Say
- Some Antidepressants May Raise Stroke Risk
- Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds
- Newer Antidepressants Work Equally Well, Study Finds
- Treatment Shows Promise for Premature Ejaculation
- Study: Antipsychotic Drug Does Not Help Veterans With PTSD
- Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy: Autism Risk?
- Depression Rising, but Psychotherapy Declines
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Depression Newsletter
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.
Top sertraline Related Articles
Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismAlcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
AnxietyAnxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Bipolar Disorder QuizWho is at risk for developing bipolar disorder? Are you? Take this Bipolar Disorder Quiz to learn more about bipolar disorder, if you're at risk, and what you can do about it.
Bipolar SlideshowBipolar disorder (once called manic depression) causes extreme mood shifts and can be disorienting. Our experts define bipolar disorder, discuss bipolar symptoms, and describe bipolar medications that can help.
Chronic Fatigue SyndromeChronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that lasts six months or longer, is not improved by bed rest, and may be worsened by physical or mental activity.
DepressionDepression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Depression SlideshowWhat is depression? Get information on symptoms, signs, tests, and treatments for many types of depression including major depression, chronic depression, teen depression, and postpartum depression.
Depression QuizMany people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With proper diagnosis, treatments and medications are available. Take this quiz to learn more about recovery from depression.
Emotional EatingEmotional eating can be detrimental to one's efforts at weight loss. Learning to identify the situations and emotions that trigger overeating can help to break the habit and prevent future instances of compulsive eating.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Triggers, Prevention
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disease that can affect the quality of those who suffer from this condition. People with IBS can make lifestyle changes that may modify or control the number and severity of episodes. Certain foods, medications, and hormone levels may trigger IBS episodes, for example:
- Fatty foods
- Dairy products
- Eating foods in large quantities
- Foods that contain high levels of sorbitol
- Foods that produce intestinal gas (broccoli, onions, cabbage, and beans)
- Physiological stress
- Some antibiotics
- Some antidepressants
- Medicine with sorbitol
- Menstrual pain
Exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes can decrease IBS flares, and prevent the number and severity of IBS episodes of diarrhea and constipation.
Low Blood PressureLow blood pressure, also referred to as hypotension, is blood pressure that is so low that it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. Some of the symptoms of low blood pressure include:
- dizziness, or
- even fainting if not enough blood is getting to the brain.
MisophoniaMisophonia is defined as the hatred of sound. Symptoms of this condition include a negative emotional response to certain trigger sounds, such as slurping, snoring,yawning, orthroat clearing. Other symptoms include distancing oneself from the trigger, and acting out at the sound's source. Treatment may involve medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, or tinnitus retraining therapy.
Myths and Facts About Depression SlideshowExplore the myths and facts about depression. See how folk remedies and half-truths still prevent many from getting treatment for depression. Learn about the unusual symptoms and many ways to recover from depression.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is considered a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD has also been referred to as late luteal phase dysphoric disorder. The cause of PMDD is unknown. Some of the common symptoms of PMDD (not an inclusive list) include:
- mood swings,
- breast tenderness,
- hot flashes
- and more.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends with menstruation. Common PMS symptoms include;
- Mood swings
For some women PMS symptoms can be controlled with natural and home remedies, medications, and lifestyle changes such as exercise, nutrition, and a family and friend support system.
Schizophrenia SlideshowWhat is schizophrenia? Learn about schizophrenia symptoms, signs, and treatment. Read about schizophrenia types such as paranoid schizophrenia, catatonic schizophrenia, and disorganized schizophrenia.
Take the Stress QuizStress creeps into everyone's life at one time or another, while some people will suffer from poorly managed chronic stress. If you're suffering, there are things you can do. Take the Stress Quiz to learn what you can do to beat the long-term effects of chronic stress.