Zoloft is a member of the family of drugs called "selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors." Serotonin is one of the chemical messengers believed to govern moods. Ordinarily, it is quickly reabsorbed after its release at the junctures between nerves. Re-uptake inhibitors such as Zoloft slow this process, thereby boosting the levels of serotonin available in the brain.
Zoloft is prescribed for major depressive disorder?a persistently low mood that interferes with everyday living. Zoloft can also be used for the type of depression called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). In addition, Zoloft is used in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Zoloft is also prescribed for the treatment of panic disorder and for posttraumatic stress disorder.
Zoloft comes as a tablet, containing 50 mg. sertraline - the active ingredient in Zoloft, to take by mouth. The usual starting dose is 50 milligrams once a day, taken either in the morning or in the evening.
Your doctor may increase your dose depending upon your response. The maximum dose is 200 milligrams/day.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as remembered if it is within an hour or so. If you do not remember until later, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.
Improvement with Zoloft may not be seen for several days to a few weeks. You should expect to keep taking Zoloft for at least several months.
Do not take Zoloft within 2 weeks of taking any drug classified as an MAO inhibitor. Drugs in this category include the antidepressants Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate. When serotonin boosters such as Zoloft are combined with MAO inhibitors, serious and sometimes fatal reactions can occur.
If you have a kidney or liver disorder, or are subject to seizures, take Zoloft cautiously and under close medical supervision. Your doctor may limit your dosage if you have one of these conditions.
Zoloft has not been found to impair the ability to drive or operate machinery. Nevertheless, the manufacturer, Pfizer, recommends caution until you know how Zoloft affects you.
You should not drink alcoholic beverages while taking Zoloft. Use over-the-counter remedies with caution. Although none is known to interact with Zoloft, interactions remain a possibility.
If Zoloft is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Zoloft with the following:
Cimetidine, diazepam, digitoxin, flecainide, lithium, MAO inhibitor drugs such as the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate, other serotonin-boosting drugs such as Paxil and Prozac, other antidepressants such as Elavil and Serzone, over-the-counter drugs such as cold remedies, propafenone, sumatriptan, tolbutamide, warfarin.
The effects of Zoloft during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Zoloft should be taken during pregnancy only if it is clearly needed. It is not known whether Zoloft appears in breast milk. Caution is advised when using Zoloft during breastfeeding.
Possible side effects
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Zoloft.
More common side effects may include: abdominal pain, agitation, anxiety, constipation, diarrhea or loose stools, difficulty with ejaculation, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, gas, headache, decreased appetite, increased sweating, indigestion, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, pain, rash, sleepiness, sore throat, tingling or pins and needles, tremor, vision problems, vomiting
If overdose of Zoloft (sertraline) is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
Keep Zoloft in a tightly closed container and out of reach of children. Store Zoloft at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
For more information about Zoloft, please visit Zoloft.com. Detailed information about Zoloft, and sertraline, can also be found in Pfizer´s product description.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of your physician, or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of Zoloft is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.
Consult your health care professional before you