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Sertraline (By mouth)

Sertraline (SER-tra-leen)

Treats depression, anxiety, and other disorders.

Brand Name(s):

Zoloft

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to sertraline.

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid, Tablet

  • Take this medicine as directed. You may need to take it for several months before you feel better. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find out what works best for you.
  • Oral liquid: Use the dropper provided to remove the medicine and mix it with 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of water, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice. Drink the mixture right away. It is normal for it to look a bit hazy.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine together with pimozide. Do not use this medicine and an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) within 14 days of each other. Do not use the oral liquid form of sertraline if you are also using disulfiram.
  • Some medicines can affect how sertraline works. Tell your doctor if you are using the following:
    • Buspirone, cimetidine, cisapride, diazepam, fentanyl, lithium, midazolam, phenytoin, St John's wort, tramadol, tryptophan supplements, or valproate
    • A blood thinner (such as warfarin), a diuretic (water pill), an NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen), heart rhythm medicine (such as digitoxin, flecainide, propafenone), medicine to treat an infection, a tricyclic antidepressant, a triptan medicine for migraine headaches
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, bleeding problems, glaucoma, heart disease, or a seizure disorder.
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine may increase mental or emotional problems. This may lead to thoughts of suicide and violence. Talk with your doctor right away if you have any thoughts or behavior changes that concern you. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has a history of bipolar disorder or suicide attempts.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Serotonin syndrome (when taken with certain medicines)
    • Low sodium levels (more common in elderly patients and those who take diuretics or become dehydrated)
  • Tell your doctor if you are sensitive to latex, because the oral liquid comes with a latex rubber dropper.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, restlessness, fast heartbeat, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, twitching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
  • Eye pain, vision changes, seeing halos around lights
  • Feeling more excited or energetic than usual
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others, unusual behavior
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Mild diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
  • Sexual problems
  • Sleepiness, or trouble sleeping

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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


Last Updated: 11/4/2014
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