Zoloft (sertraline) is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The way sertraline works is still not fully understood. It is thought to positively affect communication between nerve cells in the central nervous system and/or restore chemical balance in the brain. Zoloft is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
What is this medicine?
SERTRALINE is an antidepressant. It helps to improve a depressed person's mood. Sertraline can also help people with an obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attacks, post-trauma stress, or social anxiety. Sertraline may also be prescribed for other purposes, like premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe type of premenstrual syndrome.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder
- heart disease
- liver disease
- receiving electroconvulsive therapy
- seizures (convulsions)
- suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt; a previous suicide attempt by you or a family member
- an unusual or allergic reaction to sertraline, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take sertraline tablets by mouth. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. You may take sertraline with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.
Do not use this medication in children unless you have been specifically instructed to do so by your health care provider.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take sertraline with any of the following medications:
- astemizole (Hismanal®)
- cisapride (Propulsid®)
- pimozide (Orap®)
- terfenadine (Seldane®)
- thioridazine (Mellaril®)
- medicines called MAO inhibitors-phenelzine (Nardil®), tranylcypromine (Parnate®), isocarboxazid (Marplan®), selegiline (Eldepryl®)
Sertraline may also interact with the following medications:
- certain diet drugs (dexfenfluramine, fenfluramine, phentermine, sibutramine)
- certain migraine headache medicines (almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan)
- other medicines for mental depression, mania, anxiety, psychosis or difficulty sleeping
- prescription pain medications
- St. John's wort
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, and herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What should I watch for while taking this medicine?
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Continue to take your medicine even if you do not immediately feel better. It can take several weeks before you feel the full effect of sertraline. If you notice any unusual effects, such as restlessness, worsening of depression, agitation, difficulty sleeping, irritability, anger, acting on dangerous impulses, or thoughts of suicide or suicidal attempts, you should call your health care provider immediately.
If you have been taking sertraline regularly for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. You must gradually reduce the dose or your symptoms may get worse. Ask your prescriber for advice on slowly stopping sertraline.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how sertraline affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of sertraline. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds or allergies without asking your prescriber or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients can increase possible side effects.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking sertraline.
What side effects may I notice from this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- black or bloody stools, blood in the urine or vomit
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- hallucination, loss of contact with reality
- suicidal thoughts or other mood changes
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- change in appetite
- change in sex drive or performance
- increased sweating
- indigestion, nausea
This list may not describe all possible side effects.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.