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    Sertraline

    Generic Zoloft

    Sertraline (SER tra leen) oral tablet is prescribed for treating certain mental health conditions. It’s a generic version of the brand-name drug Zoloft. Sertraline belongs to a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

    • Generic
    • Tablet
    • 100mg
    • 45 Tablets

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    Introduction

    Medically reviewed by Melissa Badowski, PharmD, MPH, FCCP on April 23, 2023
    Written by Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA

    Specifically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved sertraline oral tablets to treat:

    This article describes sertraline oral tablet’s uses and dosage, ways to save on cost, and more. Below you’ll find coupon options for sertraline.

    Boxed warning: Risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in some children and young adults

    Sertraline has a boxed warning about the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in some children and young adults. Boxed warnings are serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    For details, see the “Warnings for sertraline” section below.

    Side effects of sertraline

    Sertraline may cause mild or serious side effects. More common mild side effects of sertraline oral tablet and its serious side effects are listed below. This article doesn’t include all possible side effects of the drug. Side effects can vary based on your age, overall health, and any other medications you take.

    To learn more about sertraline oral tablet’s side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist. You can also read the prescribing information for sertraline oral tablet.

    Mild side effects

    More common mild side effects reported with sertraline oral tablet are listed below.

    With many drugs, mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If the side effects are bothersome, tell your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest ways to manage them.

    Sertraline oral tablet’s mild side effects include:

    • nausea
    • diarrhea
    • tremors (shaking)
    • indigestion (upset stomach)
    • appetite loss
    • excessive sweating
    • feeling more sleepy than usual
    • insomnia (trouble sleeping)
    • fatigue (low energy)
    • dizziness
    • mild allergic reaction*

    * For details about this side effect, see the “Warnings for sertraline” section below.

    Serious side effects

    Serious side effects of sertraline oral tablet are listed below. With many drugs, serious side effects are possible but not common.

    If you have serious side effects from this drug, call your doctor right away. If you’re having severe symptoms or a medical emergency, call 911 or a local emergency number.

    Sertraline oral tablet’s serious side effects include:

    * For details about this side effect, see the “Warnings for sertraline” section below.

    Suicide prevention

    If you or someone you know is in crisis and considering suicide or self-harm, please seek support:

    If you’re calling on behalf of someone else, stay with them until help arrives. You may remove weapons or substances that can cause harm if you can do so safely.

    If you are not in the same household, stay on the phone with them until help arrives.

    Common questions about sertraline

    Below you’ll find answers to a few commonly asked questions about sertraline oral tablet.

    Will I experience withdrawal symptoms while coming off sertraline?

    It’s possible. Withdrawal symptoms and discontinuation syndrome were reported in studies of sertraline. These are symptoms that may occur when you stop taking sertraline, especially if you suddenly stop treatment.

    Withdrawal symptoms that sertraline may cause include:

    • nausea
    • mood changes, including feeling irritable or anxious
    • excessive sweating
    • dizziness
    • electric-shock sensations
    • tremors (shaking)
    • confusion
    • headache
    • seizure

    To lower your risk of withdrawal symptoms, do not suddenly stop taking sertraline. Instead, talk with your doctor if you’d like to stop taking the drug. Your doctor can design a plan to taper (slowly lower) your dose over time. This helps lower your risk of withdrawal symptoms.

    Talk with your doctor if you have questions about withdrawal symptoms after stopping your sertraline treatment.

    Does sertraline cause weight gain?

    Possibly. Weight gain wasn’t reported in sertraline’s studies, but increased appetite was. And an increased appetite can lead to consuming more calories, which can cause weight gain.

    However, in certain studies, some people gained weight while taking sertraline after it was approved for use. It’s not known for certain whether sertraline causes weight gain as a side effect, or if the weight gain is due to other factors. For example, if sertraline works to treat your depression, you may notice an increased appetite. This could cause modest weight gain.

    Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about your weight or want to know if any of your medications can affect it.

    How does sertraline compare with other similar drugs, such as citalopram or fluoxetine?

    Similar to sertraline, citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), and escitalopram (Lexapro) all belong to a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. So, these medications work the same way. They’re used to treat some of the same conditions, including major depressive disorder (also known as depression). This also means these drugs cause similar side effects. Examples include nausea, dizziness, and sexual problems.

    To learn more about how sertraline compares with similar drugs, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

    What is the half-life of sertraline? How does the drug work?

    Sertraline’s half-life is about 26 hours. A drug’s half-life describes about how long it takes your body to get rid of half of a dose after you take it.

    Sertraline belongs to a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRI drugs increase levels of serotonin in your brain and body. Serotonin is a chemical that helps regulate mood. However, it’s not exactly understood how SSRIs work to treat conditions such as major depressive disorder.

    It can take up to 8 weeks for sertraline to work to treat your condition. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about how sertraline works or how long it may take to work.

    Is there a best time of day to take sertraline? What should I do if I miss a dose of sertraline?

    No, there’s no best time of day to take sertraline. You should take your sertraline dose according to your doctor’s instructions.

    If you miss a dose of sertraline, try and take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose as scheduled. Do not take more than one dose of sertraline at once.

    If you have questions about when to take your sertraline dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

    Can sertraline tablets be crushed, split, or chewed?

    Sertraline tablets come scored with a line down the middle and may be split in two. But you should not crush or chew the tablets.

    Talk with your pharmacist or doctor if you have trouble swallowing sertraline tablets. You can also view this article for tips on how to swallow pills.

    Uses of sertraline

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as sertraline for certain conditions. Approved uses for sertraline oral tablet are described below.

    Use for certain mental health conditions, including social anxiety disorder (SAD)

    Doctors may prescribe sertraline oral tablet for treating certain mental health conditions, including social anxiety disorder (SAD).

    Specifically, sertraline is approved to treat:

    • Major depressive disorder (MDD). MDD is also called depression. Sertraline is used to treat MDD in adults. Symptoms include feeling helpless or hopeless and loss of interest in usual day-to-day activities. It also includes feeling sluggish, tired, or fatigued (having low energy).
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Sertraline is used to treat OCD in adults and children ages 6 years and older. Symptoms include obsessive symptoms, such as needing things to be orderly or symmetrical and fearing making a mistake. It also includes compulsive symptoms, including repeatedly checking things or having number rituals, such as counting repeatedly.
    • Panic disorder. Sertraline is used for panic disorder in adults. Symptoms include sudden, repeated panic attacks and intense worrying about when your next panic attack will occur. It also includes fear or avoidance of places where a panic attack previously happened.
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sertraline is used to treat PTSD in adults. Symptoms include repeated, involuntary flashbacks, memories, or dreams about a traumatic event. It also includes avoiding reminders of a traumatic event, including places and people. You may also have irritability, aggression, or recklessness.
    • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Sertraline is used to treat PMDD in adults. Symptoms include mood swings, fatigue, or feeling anxious, angry, or irritable.
    • Social anxiety disorder (SAD). Sertraline is used to treat SAD in adults. Symptoms include worrying about humiliating or embarrassing yourself around others and fear that people will negatively judge you. It also includes fear or avoidance of places where you’ll interact with others.

    Dosage of sertraline

    The dosage of sertraline oral tablet your doctor prescribes may vary based on your condition and certain other factors. Talk with your doctor about the dosage you should take and whether you may need to decrease or increase your dosage.

    Taking sertraline

    Sertraline oral tablet is swallowed. It can be taken with or without food.

    Your doctor will talk with you about how to take sertraline. They’ll explain how much to take and how often. Always follow your doctor’s recommendation.

    See the “Common questions about sertraline” section above for information on missed doses and the best time to take this drug.

    Overdose of sertraline

    You should not take more sertraline than your doctor prescribes. For some drugs, doing so may lead to serious side effects or overdose.

    If you think you’ve taken too much sertraline, call your doctor or pharmacist right away. Or you could call 800-222-1222 to speak with someone at America’s Poison Centers. You can also use its online resource. If you have concerning symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number immediately. You can also go to the closest emergency room.

    Interactions of sertraline

    For some medications, certain things may affect how the drug works. These include getting vaccines, consuming alcohol or certain foods, or taking the drug with other medications. This effect is called a drug interaction.

    Before you take sertraline, ask your doctor to check for possible interactions. They can check for interactions these items may cause with sertraline. Be sure to tell them about any of the following you take or use:

    • prescription medications
    • over-the-counter medications, including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
    • vitamins, herbs, or supplements

    To learn about drug-condition interactions, see the “Warnings for sertraline” section below.

    Pregnancy or breastfeeding and sertraline

    Information about sertraline and pregnancy and breastfeeding is described below.

    Sertraline and pregnancy

    It’s not known whether sertraline oral tablet should be taken during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking this medication. Your doctor can review with you the risks and benefits of taking sertraline while pregnant.

    Sertraline and breastfeeding

    In general, sertraline oral tablet is considered safe to take while breastfeeding. That said, check with your doctor about whether they feel it’s safe for you specifically.

    Warnings for sertraline

    Sertraline should be taken cautiously by certain people. Precautions for taking this drug are described below.

    Boxed warning: Risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in some children and young adults

    Sertraline has a boxed warning about the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in some children and young adults. Boxed warnings are serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    In short-term studies, there was a small increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in people ages 24 years and younger who took antidepressant drugs. Sertraline is a type of antidepressant drug. But suicidal thoughts and behaviors were not specifically reported in studies of sertraline.

    This risk is thought to be highest during the first few months of treatment with sertraline, and any time your dose is changed. This risk may lower over time as you continue taking sertraline.

    It’s important to watch for changes in your behaviors, moods, or thoughts during treatment with sertraline. It’s helpful to let a close family member or friend know you’re taking this medication, if you feel comfortable doing so. They can help monitor these changes.

    While taking sertraline, you should immediately contact your doctor or emergency medical help if you experience symptoms, such as:

    • thoughts about dying or suicide
    • aggressive, hostile, or violent behavior
    • feeling very agitated, irritated, or restless
    • new or worsening depression or anxiety
    • new or worsening panic attacks
    • other unusual changes to your behavior or mood

    Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn more about this risk.

    Other warnings

    Sertraline could cause harm to people with certain health conditions. This effect is called a drug-condition interaction. Other factors can also affect whether sertraline oral tablet is a safe option for you.

    Tell your doctor about your overall health and any past health conditions before you take sertraline oral tablet. Health conditions and other factors you and your doctor should discuss include:

    * You should not take sertraline within 14 days of taking a dose of an MAOI drug. To learn more, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
    † You should not take sertraline and pimozide together. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

    Allergic reaction

    Sertraline can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Severe allergic reactions are rare but possible.

    If you’ve had an allergic reaction to sertraline or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe sertraline. They can tell you about medications that are safer options for you.

    A mild allergic reaction may cause the following symptoms:

    A severe allergic reaction may cause the following symptoms:

    • swelling under your skin, usually in your hands, feet, eyelids, or lips
    • swelling of your mouth, throat, or tongue, which can cause breathing problems

    Since sertraline was approved for use, certain serious allergic skin reactions have been reported. Although they’re very rare, these reactions are life threatening and can be fatal when they do occur. These reactions may occur even after you’ve taken sertraline for a few weeks. The reactions include:

    If you have an allergic reaction to sertraline, call your doctor right away. If you have severe symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number.

    Sertraline coupon

    You may be able to save money on your prescription for sertraline oral tablet by using our Perks discount coupons. These can be found at the end of this article.

    If you have questions about how to pay for sertraline, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also learn more about the cost of sertraline in this article.

    Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with insurance copays or benefits.

    What to ask your doctor

    This article describes sertraline oral tablet’s uses and dosage, ways to save on cost, and more. Let your doctor know if you have questions about sertraline or would like more details about it.

    Here’s a list of some possible questions you may want to ask your doctor:

    • Is sertraline a controlled substance?
    • Will sertraline cause long-term side effects?
    • Do I have a higher risk of side effects from taking sertraline if I’ve had side effects from another selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor in the past?
    • Does my risk of side effects from taking sertraline depend on the condition I’m taking it to treat?

    Article resources

    Disclaimer: Optum Perks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

    This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.