What is Zoloft?
Zoloft (sertraline) is an antidepressant belonging to a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Sertraline affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression, panic, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
Zoloft is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Zoloft may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use Zoloft if you also take pimozide, or if you are being treated with methylene blue injection.
Do not use Zoloft if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Zoloft if you are allergic to sertraline, or if you also take pimozide. Do not use the liquid form of Zoloft if you are taking disulfiram (Antabuse) or you could have a severe reaction to the disulfiram.
Do not take Zoloft within 14 days before or 14 days after you take an MAO inhibitor. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
To make sure Zoloft is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
heart disease, high blood pressure, or a stroke;
liver or kidney disease;
bleeding problems, or if you take warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
bipolar disorder (manic depression); or
low levels of sodium in your blood.
Some medicines can interact with sertraline and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, other antidepressants, or medicine for mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Taking an SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy may cause serious lung problems or other complications in the baby. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Do not start or stop taking Zoloft during pregnancy without your doctor's advice.
It is not known whether sertraline passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give Zoloft to anyone younger than 18 years old without the advice of a doctor. Zoloft is FDA-approved for children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is not approved for treating depression in children.
How should I take Zoloft?
Take Zoloft exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Zoloft may be taken with or without food. Try to take the medicine at the same time each day.
The liquid (oral concentrate) form of Zoloft must be diluted before you take it. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with the medicine dropper provided. Mix the dose with 4 ounces (one-half cup) of water, ginger ale, lemon/lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice. Do not use any other liquids to dilute the medicine. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.
Zoloft can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking Zoloft.
It may take up to 4 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
Do not stop using Zoloft suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Detailed Zoloft dosage information
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.