Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Zoloft

Descriptions


Sertraline is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Sertraline belongs to a group of medicines known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the activity of a chemical called serotonin in the brain.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, sertraline is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:

  • Premature ejaculation.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet
  • Solution
  • Capsule

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of sertraline in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of sertraline for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in children. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 6 years of age.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of sertraline in the elderly. However, elderly patients may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine than younger adults, and are more likely to have hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood), which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving sertraline.

Pregnancy

Information about this sertraline-oral-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breastfeeding

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Amifampridine
  • Clorgyline
  • Furazolidone
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Levomethadyl
  • Linezolid
  • Methylene Blue
  • Moclobemide
  • Nialamide
  • Pargyline
  • Phenelzine
  • Pimozide
  • Piperaquine
  • Procarbazine
  • Rasagiline
  • Selegiline
  • Toloxatone
  • Tranylcypromine

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Abciximab
  • Acenocoumarol
  • Almotriptan
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Ancrod
  • Anisindione
  • Antithrombin III Human
  • Apixaban
  • Ardeparin
  • Aspirin
  • Astemizole
  • Bivalirudin
  • Bupropion
  • Certoparin
  • Cilostazol
  • Citalopram
  • Clomipramine
  • Clopidogrel
  • Clozapine
  • Crizotinib
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Dabrafenib
  • Dalteparin
  • Danaparoid
  • Defibrotide
  • Dermatan Sulfate
  • Desipramine
  • Desirudin
  • Desvenlafaxine
  • Dexfenfluramine
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Diclofenac
  • Dicumarol
  • Dipyridamole
  • Dothiepin
  • Doxepin
  • Droperidol
  • Duloxetine
  • Eletriptan
  • Enoxaparin
  • Eptifibatide
  • Erythromycin
  • Escitalopram
  • Fenfluramine
  • Fentanyl
  • Flecainide
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Fondaparinux
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Frovatriptan
  • Heparin
  • Imipramine
  • Iobenguane I 123
  • Ivabradine
  • Levomilnacipran
  • Lofepramine
  • Lorcaserin
  • Milnacipran
  • Nadroparin
  • Naratriptan
  • Nortriptyline
  • Ondansetron
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Oxycodone
  • Parnaparin
  • Paroxetine
  • Pazopanib
  • Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium
  • Phenindione
  • Phenprocoumon
  • Phenytoin
  • Prasugrel
  • Protriptyline
  • Quetiapine
  • Reviparin
  • Rizatriptan
  • Sibutramine
  • St John's Wort
  • Sumatriptan
  • Tamoxifen
  • Tapentadol
  • Terfenadine
  • Ticlopidine
  • Tinzaparin
  • Tirofiban
  • Tramadol
  • Trazodone
  • Trimipramine
  • Tryptophan
  • Vemurafenib
  • Vilazodone
  • Vinflunine
  • Vortioxetine
  • Warfarin
  • Zolmitriptan

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Alprazolam
  • Carbamazepine
  • Cimetidine
  • Darunavir
  • Efavirenz
  • Fluphenazine
  • Ginkgo
  • Lamotrigine
  • Lithium
  • Metoclopramide
  • Propafenone
  • Propranolol
  • Rifampin
  • Thiotepa
  • Zolpidem

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Grapefruit Juice

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bipolar disorder (mood disorder with mania and depression), or risk of or
  • Bleeding problems or
  • Diabetes or
  • Glaucoma, angle-closure, or history of or
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) or
  • Mania or hypomania, history of or
  • Purpura (purplish or brownish-red discoloration of the skin), history of or
  • Seizures, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor, to benefit your condition as much as possible. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. It is very important that you read and understand this information. Be sure to ask your doctor about anything you do not understand.

The tablets may be taken with or without food. .

If you are taking the oral liquid, use the dropper provided to measure your dose and mix it with 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of water, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice. Do not mix this medicine with any other liquid. Drink it right away after mixing. Do not mix the medicine with the liquid until you are ready to take your dose. It is okay if the mixture looks hazy.

You may have to take this medicine for several months before you begin to feel better.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage forms (solution or tablets):
    • For depression:
      • Adults—At first, 50 milligrams (mg) once a day, taken either in the morning or evening. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 200 mg per day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For obsessive-compulsive disorder:
      • Adults and teenagers—At first, 50 milligrams (mg) once a day, taken either in the morning or evening. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 200 mg per day.
      • Children 6 to 12 years of age—At first, 25 mg once a day, taken either in the morning or evening. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 200 mg per day.
      • Children younger than 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, or social anxiety disorder:
      • Adults—At first, 25 milligrams (mg) once a day, taken either in the morning or evening. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 200 mg per day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For premenstrual dysphoric disorder:
      • Adults—At first, 50 milligrams (mg) once a day throughout your menstrual cycle or just during the premenstrual time. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 150 mg per day throughout your menstrual cycle or 100 mg per day if you are only taking it during your premenstrual time.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits. This is to allow for changes in your dose and to help reduce any side effects.

Do not take sertraline with a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, isocarboxazid [Marplan®], phenelzine [Nardil®], selegiline [Eldepryl®], tranylcypromine [Parnate®]). Do not start taking sertraline during the 2 weeks after you stop a MAO inhibitor and wait 2 weeks after stopping sertraline before you start taking a MAO inhibitor. If you take them together or do not wait 2 weeks, you may develop confusion, agitation, restlessness, stomach or intestinal symptoms, a sudden high body temperature, an extremely high blood pressure, or severe convulsions.

Do not use pimozide (Orap®) while you are taking this medicine. Do not use the oral liquid form of sertraline if you are also using disulfiram (Antabuse®). Using these medicines together can cause serious problems.

Sertraline may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome if taken together with some medicines. Do not use sertraline with buspirone (Buspar®), fentanyl (Abstral®, Duragesic®), linezolid (Zyvox®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), methylene blue injection, tryptophan, St. John's wort, or some pain or migraine medicines (eg, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, tramadol, Frova®, Imitrex®, Maxalt®, Relpax®, Ultram®, Zomig®). Check with your doctor first before taking any other medicines with sertraline.

For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourselves. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you or your child, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you or your child have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you or your child have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you, your child, or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.

Sertraline may increase your risk for bleeding problems. Make sure your doctor knows if you or your child are also using other medicines that thin the blood, such as aspirin, NSAID pain or arthritis medicines (e.g., diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Voltaren®), or warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®).

This medicine may cause hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood). This is more common in elderly patients, those who are taking diuretic medicines for high blood pressure, or those who have decreased amounts of fluid in the body due to severe diarrhea or vomiting. Stop taking this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, confusion, weakness, or unsteadiness.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic and notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests, talk with your doctor.

The use of alcohol is not recommended in patients who are taking sertraline. .

This medicine may cause some people to become drowsy, to have trouble thinking, or to have problems with movement. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or well-coordinated.

The dropper dispenser for the oral liquid contains dry natural rubber (a derivative of latex). This may cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to latex. Tell your doctor if you or your child have a latex allergy before you start using this medicine.

Do not stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are taking before stopping it completely. This is to decrease the chance of having side effects such as agitation, anxiety, dizziness, a feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings, headache, increased sweating, nausea, trembling or shaking, trouble with sleeping or walking, or unusual tiredness when you stop the medicine.

Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical doctor in charge that you or your child are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Decreased sexual desire or ability
  2. failure to discharge semen (in men)

Less common or rare

  1. Aggressive reaction
  2. breast tenderness or enlargement
  3. confusion
  4. convulsions
  5. diarrhea
  6. drowsiness
  7. dryness of the mouth
  8. fast talking and excited feelings or actions that are out of control
  9. fast, pounding, irregular, or slow heartbeat
  10. fever
  11. inability to sit still
  12. increase in body movements
  13. increased sweating
  14. increased thirst
  15. lack of energy
  16. loss of bladder control
  17. mood or behavior changes
  18. muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
  19. nosebleeds
  20. overactive reflexes
  21. racing heartbeat
  22. red or purple spots on the skin
  23. restlessness
  24. shivering
  25. skin rash, hives, or itching
  26. sudden loss of consciousness
  27. unusual or sudden body or facial movements or postures
  28. unusual secretion of milk (in females)

Incidence not known

  1. Abdominal or stomach pain
  2. bleeding gums
  3. blindness
  4. blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  5. bloating
  6. blood in the urine
  7. bloody, black, or tarry stools
  8. blue-yellow color blindness
  9. blurred vision
  10. chest pain or discomfort
  11. chills
  12. clay-colored stools
  13. cough or hoarseness
  14. darkened urine
  15. decreased urine output
  16. decreased vision
  17. depressed mood
  18. difficulty with breathing
  19. difficulty with speaking
  20. difficulty with swallowing
  21. drooling
  22. dry skin and hair
  23. eye pain
  24. fainting
  25. feeling cold
  26. feeling of discomfort
  27. feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there
  28. general feeling of discomfort, illness, tiredness, or weakness
  29. hair loss
  30. high fever
  31. high or low blood pressure
  32. hoarseness or husky voice
  33. hostility
  34. increased clotting times
  35. indigestion
  36. inflamed joints
  37. irritability
  38. joint or muscle pain
  39. large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  40. lethargy
  41. lightheadedness
  42. loss of appetite
  43. loss of balance control
  44. loss of bladder control
  45. lower back or side pain
  46. muscle aches
  47. muscle cramps and stiffness
  48. muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness
  49. muscle twitching
  50. painful or difficult urination
  51. pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  52. pale skin
  53. puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  54. rapid weight gain
  55. rash
  56. red, irritated eyes
  57. red, sore, or itching skin
  58. right upper stomach pain and fullness
  59. severe mood or mental changes
  60. severe muscle stiffness
  61. shuffling walk
  62. sore throat
  63. sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  64. sores, welting, or blisters
  65. stiffness of the limbs
  66. sweating
  67. swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  68. swollen or painful glands
  69. talking or acting with excitement you cannot control
  70. tightness in the chest
  71. troubled breathing
  72. twisting movements of the body
  73. twitching
  74. uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back
  75. unexplained bleeding or bruising
  76. unpleasant breath odor
  77. unusual behavior
  78. unusual tiredness or weakness
  79. vomiting of blood
  80. weight gain
  81. yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Acid or sour stomach
  2. belching
  3. decreased appetite or weight loss
  4. diarrhea or loose stools
  5. heartburn
  6. sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  7. stomach or abdominal cramps, gas, or pain
  8. trouble sleeping

Less common

  1. Agitation, anxiety, or nervousness
  2. bladder pain
  3. burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  4. changes in vision
  5. cloudy urine
  6. constipation
  7. difficult, burning, or painful urination
  8. flushing or redness of the skin, with feeling of warmth or heat
  9. frequent urge to urinate
  10. increased appetite
  11. pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  12. stuffy or runny nose

Incidence not known

  1. Flushed, dry skin
  2. fruit-like breath odor
  3. increased hunger
  4. increased urination
  5. redness or other discoloration of the skin
  6. severe sunburn
  7. swelling of the breasts (in women)
  8. unexplained weight loss
  9. unusual secretion of milk (in women)

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.