How to Take and Store Zoloft

Zoloft (sertraline),Zoloft tablets should be stored at room temperature, out of direct light, with the bottle tightly sealed. They should also be stored out of reach of children and pets.

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  • Zoloft can be taken with or without food.
  • Zoloft should never be taken with alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • When taking Zoloft, avoid grapefruit juice and eating grapefruits as it can prevent the medication from being properly metabolized.3
  • Zoloft should not be taken within two weeks of taking an MAOI.
  • When travelling, Zoloft can be stored in your carry-on or in checked baggage, although carry-on may be the safer bet in case your luggage gets lost.

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If you miss a dose of Zoloft, take it as soon as you remember, unless you are due to take your next dose soon. In other words, don’t double your dosage. Keep in mind that you may experience some side effects within a few hours of your missed dosage, which may include dizziness, nausea, and feeling weak. If you have questions, be sure to reach out to your doctor. Zoloft (sertraline)

Zoloft Overdose

If you have taken too much Zoloft (more than your typical dosage), contact your doctor right away. If they’re unavailable, call Poison Control or head to the emergency room immediately.

Side Effects

Since Zoloft alters brain chemistry, you may be worried about how taking this medication will affect you. There’s no way to predict how Zoloft will make you feel since everyone may respond differently to it. But these are the side effects to be aware of:

Common

You may experience side effects from taking Zoloft. These may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness, agitation, or restlessness
  • Shaking
  • Sweating

Sexual

Some of the most potentially bothersome side effects of Zoloft and other SSRIs are sexual issues. These can include reduced sexual desire or difficulty reaching orgasm, difficulty ejaculating, or less frequently the inability to maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction). These can be so distressing for some people that they may choose not to take the medication.

If taking Zoloft interferes with your sex life, speak with your prescribing physician.

  • Your doctor may suggest adding a second antidepressant. Wellbutrin (bupropion) has been found to sometimes counter the sexual side effects of SSRIs.4
  • Your doctor may prescribe a different medication to see if another one works better for you.
  • Your doctor may adjust your dosage.
  • Your doctor may want you to take the same dosage for a bit longer, as sometimes sexual side effects get better on their own.
  • Your doctor may suggest taking another medication to improve sexual function. Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), or Levitra (vardenafil) are all approved by the FDA to treat sexual problems in men. Some research suggests sildenafil may also improve sexual issues in some women.5

Severe

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects of Zoloft:

  • Allergic reaction symptoms like hives, rash, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and swelling of the face, mouth, throat, or tongue
  • Increase in suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Aggression or emotional outbursts
  • Increase in depressive symptoms
  • Increase in panic attacks
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Symptoms associated with serotonin syndrome
  • Increase in bruising and/or bleeding
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Extreme nervousness, irritability, or anxiety
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting

When to Go to the Emergency Room

If you are unable to reach your doctor, head to the emergency room right away and be sure to tell them about the medication and dosage you are currently taking and when your severe symptoms began.

Warnings and Interactions

Warnings and interactions when taking Zoloft:

  • If you decide you want to stop taking Zoloft, do not quit cold turkey. Talk to your doctor first so they can help you gradually wean off of Zoloft. Quitting abruptly can cause you to potentially experience some serious withdrawal symptoms.
  • Be mindful of any changes to your behavior, thoughts, and emotions, especially six to eight weeks after beginning the medication. If symptoms worsen, contact your doctor right away.
  • Zoloft can increase the risk of bleeding when taken with aspirin, anticoagulants, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Zoloft should not be taken with St. John’s Wort , 5-HTP, or SAMe as these supplements can lead to serotonin syndrome.
  • Illegal drugs and alcohol should not be taken while on Zoloft.
  • Zoloft has a “black box warning” that, in some cases, children, teenagers, and young adults (under 25) may have increased suicidal thoughts or behavior when taking antidepressants, especially in the first few weeks after starting the drug or after the dose is changed.6 Zoloft (sertraline)

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If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

For more mental health resources, see the National Helpline Database. Zoloft (sertraline)

Serotonin Syndrome

In rare cases, an antidepressant such as Zoloft can cause high levels of serotonin to build up in the body. This is most likely to happen to someone who’s taking another medication that can elevate serotonin such as other antidepressants, certain pain or headache medications, and the herbal supplement St. John’s wort.

Signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome include anxiety, agitation, sweating, confusion, tremors, restlessness, lack of coordination, and a rapid heart rate. Seek immediate medical attention if you have any of these signs or symptoms.7

Informing Your Doctor

It’s important to always make sure your doctor knows which other medications, including over-the-counter medicines and supplements, you are taking.

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