Zoloft (sertraline) is one of the most popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Statistics even reveal that in 2013, Zoloft (sertraline) was the most prescribed antidepressant in the United States. While many people have found that Zoloft (sertraline) is a particularly effective medication, others have responded poorly to the medication and ended up experiencing a variety of complications. Because of these complications, some patients decide to quit using the medication. Withdrawal from Zoloft (sertraline), however, can be a difficult process, so there are some important pieces of information that a person should know.
Article at a Glance:
- Zoloft dosages range from 50-200 mg and is typically taken once per day as an antidepressant.
- Zoloft has a half-life of 24-26 hours.
- Approximately 44% of Zoloft can be found in a person’s urine and feces nine days after ingestion.
- Your dosage and individual physiology factors affect how long Zoloft stays in your system.
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What is sertraline?
Sertraline oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s available as the brand-name drug Zoloft. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version. This drug is also available as an oral solution. sertraline interactions
Why it’s used
This drug is used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.
How it works
This drug belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
This drug works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in your brain, that helps maintain mental health balance. This can improve the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Sertraline side effects, sertraline interactions
Sertraline oral tablet may cause drowsiness, insomnia, or both. It may also cause other side effects.
More common side effects
The adult side effects for this drug are slightly different from the side effects for children. Side effects for adults and children can include:
- nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and indigestion
- change in sleep habits, including increased sleepiness and insomnia
- increased sweating
- sexual problems, including decreased sex drive and ejaculation failure
- tremor or shaking
- tiredness and fatigue
Additional side effects for children can include:
- abnormal increase in muscle movement or agitation
- nose bleed
- more frequent urination
- urine leakage
- heavy menstrual periods
- slowed growth rate and weight change. You should closely watch your child’s height and weight while they take this drug.
If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
- Suicide attempts
- Acting on dangerous impulses
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Thoughts about suicide or dying
- New or worse depression
- New or worse anxiety or panic attacks
- Agitation, restlessness, anger, or irritability
- Trouble sleeping
- An increase in activity or talking more than normal
- Serotonin syndrome. This condition can be life-threatening. Symptoms can include:
- hallucinations and delusions
- loss of consciousness
- fast heart rate
- changes in blood pressure
- muscle tremor or stiff muscles
- muscle rigidity
- Severe allergic reactions. Symptoms can include:
- trouble breathing
- swelling of your face, tongue, eyes, or mouth
- rash, itchy welts (hives) or blisters, alone or with fever or joint pain
- Abnormal bleeding
- Seizures or convulsions
- Manic episodes. Symptoms can include:
- greatly increased energy
- severe trouble sleeping
- racing thoughts
- reckless behavior
- unusually grand ideas
- excessive happiness or irritability
- talking more or faster than usual
- Changes in appetite or weight. You should check the weight and height of children and adolescents often while they take this drug.
- Low sodium levels. Seniors may be at greater risk for this. Symptoms can include:
- weakness or unsteadiness
- confusion, problems concentrating or thinking, or memory problems
- Eye pain
- Changes in vision, including blurred and double vision
- Swelling or redness in or around your eyes
Disclaimer: 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 provider who knows your medical history.