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Generic Name: Sertraline (SER-tra-leen)

Drug Class: Antidepressant, SSRI

Table of Contents







Zoloft (Sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to treat major depressive disorders, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or post-traumatic stress disorder. Sertraline is also approved for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

It helps by decreasing anxiety and fear and can help to increase your interest in daily living.

Your doctor may use this medicine to treat other conditions as well.

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

This drug relieves depression by slowly restoring a chemical in the brain (serotonin) to normal levels. Proper levels of serotonin are necessary for our well-being.

How to Take It

Follow the instructions that you doctor has given you. This medicine should be taken regularly and continuously the same time every day.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • diarrhea
  • sour stomach
  • belching
  • decreased appetite or weight loss
  • stomach cramps
  • nervousness
  • drowsiness
  • constipation
  • heartburn
  • trouble sleeping

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • decreased sexual desire
  • convulsions
  • sore throat
  • skin rash
  • breast tenderness
  • twitching / twisting movements of the body
  • increased sweating
  • seizures
  • fever
  • nosebleeds
  • drooling
  • inflamed joints
  • loss of balance control
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting blood
  • hallucinating

Warnings & Precautions

  • If you are currently taking pimozide, or if you are being treated with methylene blue injection, DO NOT not use Zoloft.
  • If you have taken an MAO inhibitor such as phenelzine, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine, linezolid, rasagiline, or selegiline in the last 14 days, DO NOT use Zoloft.
  • It is recommended that you check in regularly with your doctor when first using Zoloft so that its effects can be monitored.
  • Tell your doctor if you have seizures, a history of drug abuse, kidney or liver disease, thoughts of suicide, or any bleeding disorders.
  • Make sure you know how you react to the medicine before driving or performing tasks that require your full attention
  • DO NOT administer Zoloft to a person younger 18 years old without consulting a doctor first.
  • Zoloft can interact with alcohol. DO NOT drink alcohol while taking this medicine.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non-emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Before taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes supplements and herbal products. Certain antibiotics such as erythromycin can increase the effects of sertraline. If you are taking a tricyclic antidepressant, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine. Certain antidepressants may increase the negative effects of sertraline when taken together. This medicine should not be taken with St. John’s Wort.

Dosage & Missed Dose

Dosage will vary depending on the age of person and the condition that is being treated. Your doctor may change the dosages depending on effectiveness. Do not take more or less of this medicine without consulting a doctor first. It should be taken at the same time every day and may be taken with or without food.

Dosage for adults with major depressive disorder/obsessive compulsive disorder is 50 mg once a day

Dosage for adults with panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder starts at 25 mg dose daily.

Dosage for adults with premenstrual dysphoric disorder is 50 mg once a day, either daily throughout the menstrual cycle or during the latter phase of the menstrual cycle based on your doctor’s recommendation.

Dosage for children and adolescents with obsessive compulsive disorder starts at 25 mg once a day in children between 6 and 12 years of age; 50 mg once a day for those between 13- and 17-years old.Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


Consult with your doctor if you are pregnant about the benefits and risks of Zoloft. Do not start or stop taking this medication during pregnancy, unless your doctor approves it.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider, or you can visit this website, for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.



Overall Review of this Medication

3.34/5 (2 votes)

2 thoughts on “Zoloft

  • January 15, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Zoloft is the best thing I ever took. It helped my depression and my post traumatic stress disorder.






  • August 25, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    Zoloft was the worst thing ever. All I could do was sleep that was it. I was awake for maybe 2 to 4 hours a day and during those I was painfully tired and couldn’t do anything. I ate granola bars and that was it for the entire week I was on it and I drank maybe one bottle of water during that week. I would fall asleep in the middle of doing things. I once fell asleep on it while chewing a bit of granola bar and woke up choking on it. I managed to spit it out and drink a small amount of water then I fell directly back to sleep. I fell asleep while on the toilet and fell off it. After just 6 days I was dependent and had to cut the pills down. I had the same experience on even 6 mg of the stuff. I do not recommend it at all. The worst part was it didn’t help my depression or anxiety at all in fact it made it worse. I became suicidal because I couldn’t do anything and figured if I was just going to sleep through life I might as well be dead. Thankfully I have lots of practice with these thoughts and it was just a thought. Today I’m totally safe and on a much better for me medication.







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APA Reference
Psych Central. (2018). Zoloft. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By Christine Traxler, M.D.
Published on All rights reserved.