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Improves mood and helps you relax.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Zoloft (Sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more likely to cause insomnia and diarrhea than other antidepressants.

Worth it?Is it worth it?
Works well?Does it work?
Hassle?Is it a hassle?
  • Effective at lowering symptoms and relapse rates of depression and anxiety disorders.
  • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • More likely to cause diarrhea than other antidepressants.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.

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Side effects for Zoloft (Sertraline)

From clinical trials of Zoloft / Major Depressive Disorder (50 to 200 mg/day) ( 1714)

  • NauseaNausea26% for Zoloft vs.12% for placebo
  • Diarrhea/loose stoolsDiarrhea/loose stools18% for Zoloft vs.9% for placebo
  • Mouth dryMouth dry16% for Zoloft vs.9% for placebo
  • Sleep difficultySleep difficulty16% for Zoloft vs.9% for placebo
  • DrowsinessDrowsiness13% for Zoloft vs.6% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness12% for Zoloft vs.7% for placebo
  • TremorTremor11% for Zoloft vs.3% for placebo
  • FatigueFatigue11% for Zoloft vs.8% for placebo
  • Sweating increasedSweating increased8% for Zoloft vs.3% for placebo
  • ConstipationConstipation8% for Zoloft vs.6% for placebo

Manufacturers don’t say how common these side effects are

  • Feeling unwell

What to expect when you start Zoloft (Sertraline)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.

Risks and Warnings for Zoloft (Sertraline)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Under 24 years old

    Zoloft (Sertraline) may increase risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults up to age 24. Watch for worsening depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior, especially during the first few months of treatment, or when the dose changes. Report anything concerning to a doctor immediately.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Zoloft (Sertraline)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
  • Make sure you take after food...otherwise you will feel very strange. I didnt seem to loose sex drive, but ejaculation can feel odd on occasions. Worth it all, enjoying life much more...and my wife has here husband back and the kids have their dad back.
    Age: 37
    Gender: man
    Taken for: Social anxiety disorder
  • Take with liquid or food for best course
    Age: 40
    Gender: man
    Taken for: Depression
  • Caused stomach pain when taken before bed..none when I take with food in the morning
    Age: 58
    Gender: man
    Taken for: Panic disorder
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • I very quickly felt like I was swimming in a different chemical soup- I went from having panic attacks every day to almost never. My only side effect was decreased libido, but it's totally worth it.
    Age: 22
    Gender: woman
    Taken for: Panic disorder
    Duration taken: a year or so
  • didn't do anything for me. killed my libido and made me gain weight
  • The lack of libido is the only side effect that really sucks with this medication. However, this medication changed my life and with a reduced dose, I'm not noticing this effect as much. For me, Zoloft has worked wonders!
    Age: 32
    Gender: woman
    Taken for: Depression and Anxiety
    Duration taken: two years or more
  • It’s been good with treating my anxiety but I cannot sleep and the lack of sleep makes me drowsy throughout the day.
    Age: 20
    Gender: woman
    Taken for: Anxiety
    Duration taken: two years or more
  • take mine at night. doesn't seem to interfere with sleep. tried reducing dose--got to 50mg and realized ii had to go back up: anxious thoughts returned.
    Age: 71
    Gender: woman
    Taken for: Depression
    Duration taken: two years or more
  • You may wake up during the night more than usual but when you are actually sleeping it's pretty good quality.
    Age: 17
    Gender: woman
    Taken for: Panic disorder
Weight gain or loss
  • didn't do anything for me. killed my libido and made me gain weight
  • This medicine changed my life. I really recommend it for people dealing with PTSD, anxiety, OCD, depression, or any combinations of those which is what I suffer with :) Haven't noticed any weight gains, if anything, I lost some weight.
    Age: 19
    Gender: woman
    Taken for: PTSD
  • I have suffered from depression for 10+ years. Have tried...wellbutrin, cymbalta, celexa, zoloft and paxil. Zoloft was by far the worst! It made me more depressed, develop thoughts of suicide, tremors, insomnia, and had rapid weight loss.
    Age: 21
    Gender: woman
    Taken for: Depression