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Zoloft

(Sertraline)

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Improves mood and helps you relax.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our bottom line

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

Upsides

  • 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.
What do people say?
1299 reviews

Downsides

  • 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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What to expect when you take Zoloft (Sertraline) for Depression

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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.
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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

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
Pregnancy
Food
  • This medicene really messed with my stomach and head if I didn't eat food with it. It also caused me to sleep less and my concentration went down. It really does help to stabilize my mood and keep me happy, but the physical side effects are too much to deal with sometimes.
  • 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.
  • Take with liquid or food for best course
Sex
  • 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.
  • 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!
Sleep
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
  • It’s been good with treating my anxiety but I cannot sleep and the lack of sleep makes me drowsy throughout the day.
  • 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.
  • Taking for PTSD, Social Anxiety & Depression. It's helped me to have a positive outlook on life again & be truly happy for the first time in a while. Take it at night because it makes you drowsy. I experienced constipation & dry mouth during the first few month. Stay hydrated & add more fiber to your diet as well as a stool softener if you haven't produced a bowl movement in 48 hrs.
Weight
  • didn't do anything for me. killed my libido and made me gain weight
  • Have been on this Ned for about 6 months now and honestly it has made a difference. Started on 50 mg and increase to 200mg by 50mg. Does not cause any drowsiness but I also take 1mg of Xanax and 0.5mg of Ativan and I sleep just fine. Sometimes I do wake up 1-2 times randomly because of vivid dreams. Bad side effect was weight loss. I have lost 30lbs in the last 6 months but I can honestly say it's worth it! Before I would sleep a lot and not want to go anywhere or do anything
  • Zoloft has worked for me a few different times now. I was on Paxil for about a year and a half, but it caused terrible weight gain. Zoloft is weight neutral for me, and helps with depression related to PMDD. I do feel a little bit flatter than I'd like, but it's worth it to not feel so desperately hopeless for half the month.