Sertraline

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Sertraline

Sertraline drug image

Brand Zoloft

     Form Oral Tablet

     Drug Type Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

 

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

 

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Drug Information

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

Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using sertraline and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily, either in the morning or evening. This medication's tablet or liquid form may be taken with or without food. The 25 milligrams, 50 milligrams, and 100 milligrams capsule is usually taken with food. The 150 milligrams and 200 milligrams capsules may be taken with or without food. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not crush or chew the capsules. If you have any questions about taking the capsule form of this medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist. The liquid form of this medication must be mixed with another liquid before use. Just before taking, carefully measure the dose using the medicine dropper provided. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Mix the dose with a half-cup (4 ounces/120 milliliters) of water, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice. Do not use other liquids to mix this drug. The mixture may appear cloudy, which is normal and harmless. Drink all of the mixture right away.

Do not prepare a supply in advance. If you are taking this medication for premenstrual problems, your doctor may direct you to take this drug every day of the month or for only the two weeks before your period until the start of your period. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience mood swings, headaches, tiredness, sleep changes, and brief feelings similar to electric shock. To prevent these symptoms while you are stopping treatment with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually.

Report any new or worsening symptoms right away. Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.

See also the Warning section. Nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, loss of appetite, increased sweating, diarrhea, upset stomach, or trouble sleeping may occur. Tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any of these effects last or get worse.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including easy bleeding/bruising, decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, muscle cramps/weakness, shaking (tremor), and unusual weight loss.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, eye pain/swelling/redness, widened pupils, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night, blurred vision). This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, and unusual agitation/restlessness. Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting four or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Antidepressant medications are used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression and other mental/mood disorders. These medications can help prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts and provide other important benefits. However, a small number of people (especially people younger than 25) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts.

Talking with the doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication (especially for people younger than 25) is very important, even if treatment is not for a mental/mood condition. Tell the doctor right away if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Be watchful for these symptoms when a new antidepressant is started or the dose changes.

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all your products (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug are pimozide, other drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen, "blood thinners" such as dabigatran/warfarin). Taking MAO inhibitors with this medication may cause a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, tranylcypromine) during treatment with this medication. Most MAO inhibitors should also not be taken for two weeks before and after treatment with this medication. Ask your doctor when to start or stop taking this medication. The serotonin syndrome/toxicity risk increases if you also take other drugs that increase serotonin. Examples include street drugs such as MDMA/"ecstasy," St. John's wort, certain antidepressants (including other SSRIs such as fluoxetine/paroxetine, SNRIs such as duloxetine/venlafaxine), tryptophan, among others.

The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness, such as alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone). Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding when used with this medication. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually 81-162 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. This medication may interfere with certain medical/lab tests (including brain scans for Parkinson's disease), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel, and all your doctors know you use this drug.

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The information provided on this page is updated periodically. Please use our Drug Search Tool for the latest information and updates about this drug. The information on this site is not intended to take the place of your doctor or other healthcare professionals. It is a resource to help you make the best decisions and get the most from the medical services available to you. A licensed physician should be consulted to diagnose and treat all medical conditions.