Zoloft (sertraline) is part of a group of medications called selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Zoloft is used most often to control the symptoms that accompany depression, anxiety, or panic attacks in adults, young adults, and teens. Zoloft can also be used in some cases to control obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress (PTSD) symptoms. Zoloft can help control the behavior that accompanies certain mental health conditions, but it will not cure those conditions. Other treatments, such as psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes may also be necessary to help improve your condition.
Zoloft comes in both tablet and concentrated liquid form and is usually taken once per day. The liquid version of the drug is a concentrate that must be added to water, ginger ale, orange juice, lemon lime soda, or lemonade. It may take several weeks of taking the medication before a person begins to feel the full effects, and it is important to continue taking this drug as prescribed even when one feels well.
Before taking any psychotropic medication, including Zoloft, it is important to discuss your current health conditions, symptoms, and substance use with your doctor. If you have or have ever had a heart attack, heart disease, seizures, or liver disease, you should discuss this with your doctor before taking this medication. You should also mention any serious reactions you have had to other similar medications. If you use alcohol regularly, talk to your doctor about how alcohol and this drug will interact.
Zoloft may interact with other medications or supplements, including but not limited to:
If you are taking any other prescription drugs or supplements, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking this drug.
Side effects from Zoloft vary from person to person, and some people who take it experience no side effects. If you experience serious or severe side effects, you should call your doctor immediately. Serious side effects from this medication may include:
Less serious side effects of taking this drug can include:
People who are taking Zoloft should not stop taking the medication abruptly; see your doctor before reducing or discontinuing this medication. You can reduce the symptoms you feel during withdrawal by slowly tapering off of this medication. Possible symptoms of withdrawal include:
Communicate with your doctor about any negative symptoms that you experience when you stop using this medication.
Page content reviewed by James Pendleton, ND
Last Update: 12-15-2014
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