Sertraline (trade names Zoloft and others) is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class.
The reference site for Sertraline
WHAT IS SERTRALINE?
Sertraline is used mainly to treat the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It has also been prescribed for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, panic disorder, and bipolar disorder.
Sertraline is in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amounts of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.
Brand Name(s): Zoloft
CAS nº: 79617-96-2
The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to sertraline and its correct use. Please read them carefully.
Sertraline was first approved by the FDA in 1991 for the treatment of social anxiety disorder.
Additionally, sertraline is the first and only selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) approved in the United States for long-term treatment in patients with this condition.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Sertraline is a drug that is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Like other SSRIs, sertraline also is used for treating social anxiety disorder and postmenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Sertraline belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Other drugs in this class are Prozac® (fluoxetine), Paxil® (paroxetine), Celexa® (citalopram) and Luvox® (fluvoxamine).
Mechanism of action:
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger) produced by nerve cells in the brain that is used by the nerves to communicate with one another. A nerve releases the serotonin it produces into the space surrounding it. The serotonin either travels across the space and attaches to receptors on the surface of nearby nerves or it attaches to receptors on the surface of the nerve that produced it, to be taken up by the nerve and released again (a process referred to as re-uptake). A balance is reached for serotonin between attachment to the nearby nerves and reuptake. Selective serotonin inhibitors block the reuptake of serotonin and therefore change the level of serotonin in the brain.
It is believed that some illnesses such as depression are caused by disturbances in the balance between serotonin and other neurotransmitters. The leading theory is that drugs such as sertraline restore the chemical balance among neurotransmitters in the brain.
Other uses for this medicine
Sertraline is also used sometimes to treat headaches and sexual problems.
However, it is important that you talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your particular condition.
Dosage and using this medicine
The recommended dose of sertraline is 25-200 mg and should be taken once daily. Treatment usually is started at 25-50 mg once daily, and then increased at weekly intervals until the desired response is seen.
The dose of sertraline will vary for different patients, therefore it is important that you follow your doctor’s orders.
Sertraline may be taken with or without food on a full or empty stomach, either in the morning or at night.
If you are taking the oral concentrate, mix it with 4 ounces of water, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, lemonade or orange juice. Take it right away after mixing.
You may have to take sertraline for 4 weeks or longer before you begin to feel better. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits during this time. Also, if you are taking this medicine for depression, you may need to keep taking it for 6 months or longer to help prevent the return of the depression.
What special precautions should I follow?
BEFORE TAKING SERTRALINE:
Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to sertraline or any other medications. So too, before taking sertraline liquid concentrate, let your doctor know if you are allergic to latex.
Moreover, please inform your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had depression, bipolar disorder, mania or if you or anyone in your family has thought about or attempted suicide.
Also tell your doctor if you have recently had a heart attack and if you have, or have ever had, seizures, iver problems or heart disease.
If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding, please inform your doctor immediately.
It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits, to allow for changes in your dose and to help reduce any side effects.
Do not take sertraline with or within 14 days of taking an MAO inhibitor (such as furazolidone, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline, or tranylcypromine). If you do, you may develop extremely high blood pressure or convulsions (seizures).
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while 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 sertraline before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or well-coordinated.
Additionally, sertraline may cause agitation, irritability or make people display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or become more depressed. If you or your healthcare assistant notice any of these adverse effects, tell your doctor right away.
Do not stop taking this medicine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to reduce gradually the amount you are taking before stopping completely. This is to decrease the chance of having discontinuation symptoms such as agitation, anxiety, dizziness, feeling of constant movement of oneself or surroundings, headache, increased sweating, nausea, trembling or shaking, trouble in sleeping or walking, or unusual tiredness.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule.
NOTE: Never take a double dose of this medication to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Possible side effects caused by sertraline may include:
gastro intestinal complaints
confusion or dizziness
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
diarrhea or vomiting
gas or bloating
loss of appetite
drowsiness or dizziness
pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
shaking in the hands that you cannot control
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
changes in sex drive or ability
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, swelling of your lips, tongue or face, closing of your throat, or hives)
abnormal bleeding or bruising
Sertraline may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you notice any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Always try to keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Please remember to throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. If you have any questions, speak with your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of an emergency/overdose
In the case of a suspected overdose, call your local poison control center on 1-800-222-1222. However, if the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, then please call the local emergency services immediately on 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- enlarged pupils
PICTURES OF SERTRALINE PILLS
Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of sertraline that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes and manufacturers.
The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.
Strength(s): 50 MG
Imprint: ZOLOFT | 50 mg
Manufacturer: PFIZER US.
Strength(s): 100 MG
Imprint: ZOLOFT | 100 mg
Manufacturer: PFIZER US.
Distributors: DIRECT DISP. & PRESCRIPT