Sertraline Uses, Dosage, Side Effects and Interactions

Sertraline is a prescription drug available as a capsule, oral tablet, and oral solution. It is used to treat a variety of conditions that affect mental health including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. In this article we discuss the uses, dosage, side effects, warnings, and interactions of sertraline. 

Sertraline Brand Names 

Sertraline is a prescription drug used to treat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions that affect mood and mental health. Sertraline is sold under the brand name Zoloft and also as a generic drug. 

Uses of Sertraline

Sertraline is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

It can also be used to relieve symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including mood swings, bloating, irritability, and breast tenderness. 

How Does Sertraline Work?

Sertraline belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Sertraline works by increasing the amount of serotonin—a chemical which sends signals between nerve cells and helps regulate mood, attention and behavior. By increasing serotonin levels, sertraline helps maintain mental balance and mood.

How Do I Take Sertraline? 

Sertraline is available as a capsule, oral tablet, and oral solution. It is available as the brand name drug Zoloft. Dosage recommendations for sertraline can depend on a variety of factors including: 

  • Your age

  • Your weight

  • Your condition

  • Severity of disease

  • How you react to your first treatment 

Dosage for Depression

Initial dose: 50 mg orally once a day. 

Maintenance dose: 50 mg to 200 mg orally once a day. 

Dosage for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Initial dose: 50 mg orally once a day. 

Maintenance dose: 50 mg to 200 mg orally once a day. 

Dosage for Panic Disorder

Initial dose: 25 mg orally once a day. Dosage may be increased to 50 mg orally once a day. 

Maintenance dose: 50 mg to 200 mg orally once a day.

Dosage for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Initial dose: 25 mg orally once a day. Dosage may be increased to 50 mg orally once a day. 

Maintenance dose: 50 mg to 200 mg orally once a day.

Dosage for Social Anxiety Disorder 

Initial dose: 25 mg orally once a day. Dosage may be increased to 50 mg orally once a day. 

Maintenance dose: 50 mg to 200 mg orally once a day.

What Are the Side Effects of Sertraline?

Sertraline does have some potential side effects. Some are common; others may be serious and less common. 

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects of sertraline may include:

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Dry mouth

  • Drowsiness

  • Loss of appetite

  • Sweating

  • Diarrhea 

  • Upset stomach

  • Trouble sleeping

If these side effects are mild, they may disappear within a few days. If you have stopped taking your medication and the effects are still present, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you are experiencing any serious side effects, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately. Call 911 if you think your symptoms are life threatening. 

  • Easy bruising or bleeding

  • Muscle cramps

  • Shakiness

  • Unusual weight loss

  • Decreased interest in sex

  • Fainting

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Vision changes 

Disclaimer: Here at Manifest Pharmacy, our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information.  However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare professional who  knows your medical history. 

MAO Inhibitor Warning

Taking Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors in conjunction with sertraline may cause a serious drug interaction. Avoid taking MAO inhibitors such as metaxalone and safinamide with sertraline. Most MAO inhibitors should not be taken two weeks before or after taking sertraline. 

Serotonin Syndrome Warning

Taking sertraline in conjunction with other drugs that increase serotonin levels can lead to a serious condition called Serotonin Syndrome. Consult with your doctor or another healthcare professional before if you currently take another drug that increases serotonin levels. 

Sertraline Interactions

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications or products that are known to cause drowsiness, including marijuana, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, or drugs for sleep and anxiety. 

Taking aspirin in conjunction with sertraline can increase the risk of bleeding. Consult with your doctor if you currently take aspirin and are considering taking sertraline as well. 

Summary 

Sertraline is a prescription medication available as an oral tablet, oral capsule, and oral solution. It is available under the brand name drug Zoloft and as a generic drug. 

Sertraline is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In rare cases, it can also be used to treat and alleviate symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. 

Sertraline

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