Zoloft ®

Generic Name: Sertraline (SER-tra-leen)

Drug Class: Antidepressant, SSRI


Drug Uses

This medicine is used to treat depression, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sertraline is also approved for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Your doctor may use this medicine to treat other conditions as well.

General Information

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

How it Works

This drug relieves depression by slowly restoring a chemical in the brain (serotonin) to normal levels. Proper levels of serotonin are necessary for our well-being.

How to Take It

Follow the instructions that you doctor has given you. This medicine should be taken regularly and continuously the same time every day. This medicine is taken orally and may be taken with food to avoid stomach upset.

Possible Side Effects

    • nervousness
    • trouble sleeping
    • headache, drowsiness
    • dry mouth
    • tremor or muscle spasms
    • ejaculation delay
    • nausea, diarrhea
    • increased sweating


    • Zoloft may take several weeks to reach full effect.

    • Don’t stop taking the medication without consulting with your doctor first.

    • Also, make sure you know how you react to the medicine before driving or performing tasks that require your full attention.

    • Zoloft has an added effect when taken with alcohol. Alcohol is not recommended while on Zoloft.


    • Seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center.

Drug Interactions

    • Certain antibiotics such as Erythromycin can increase the effects of sertraline and may lead to a condition called, “Serotonin Syndrome” with symptoms of increased muscle tone, shivering and altered consciousness.

    • If you are taking a tricyclic antidepressant, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.

    • Certain antidepressants may increase the negative effects of sertraline when taken together.

    • This medicine should not be taken with St. John’s Wort.

Missed Dose

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.


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). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


Adequate studies of pregnant women are not available. Talk to your doctor before using this medicine. Sertraline is detected in breast milk. Discuss breast feeding with your doctor.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider.


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2015
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.