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sertraline - Zoloft
Pronunciation: SER tra leen
Brand: Zoloft


What is the most important information I should know about sertraline - Zoloft?
Do not stop taking sertraline without first talking to your doctor. It may take 4 weeks or more for you to start feeling better and you may experience unpleasant side effects if you stop taking sertraline suddenly.


What is sertraline?
Sertraline is in a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Sertraline affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression, panic or anxiety, obsessive or compulsive symptoms, or other psychiatric symptoms.
Sertraline is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Sertraline may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.


What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking sertraline?
Do not take sertraline if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) during the last 2 weeks. Serious, and sometimes fatal, reactions have occurred when these medicines have been used together.
Do not take sertraline if you are taking pimozide (Orap). A dangerous drug interaction could result.
Before taking sertraline, tell your doctor if you
      have liver disease;
      have kidney disease;
      suffer from seizures; or
      suffer from mania or have suicidal thoughts.
You may not be able to take sertraline, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Sertraline is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is unknown whether it will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take sertraline without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether sertraline passes into breast milk. Do not take sertraline without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.


How should I take sertraline?
Take sertraline exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each tablet with water.
The Zoloft Oral Concentrate must be diluted before taking a dose. Use the dropper provided to measure a dose of the liquid. Mix the prescribed amount with 4 oz (one-half cup) of water, ginger ale, lemon/lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice only. Do not use any liquids other than those listed to dilute the concentrate. A slight haze may appear after mixing, this is normal. Drink this mixture immediately after mixing. Do not save any diluted concentrate for later use.
Try to take sertraline at the same time each day.
Sertraline may be taken with or without food.
Do not stop taking sertraline without first talking to your doctor. It may take 4 weeks or more for you to start feeling better and you may experience unpleasant side effects if you stop taking sertraline suddenly.
Store sertraline at room temperature away from moisture and heat.


What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.


What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention.
Symptoms of a sertraline overdose include nausea, vomiting, tremor, seizures, agitation, drowsiness, hyperactivity, and enlarged pupils.


What should I avoid while taking sertraline?
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Sertraline may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.
Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness or dizziness while taking sertraline.


What are the possible side effects of sertraline?
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking sertraline and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:
      an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
      an irregular heartbeat or pulse;
      low blood pressure (dizziness, weakness);
      high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision); or
      chills or fever.
If you experience any of the following less serious side effects, continue taking sertraline and talk to your doctor:
      headache;
      tremor, nervousness, or anxiety;
      nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, or changes in appetite or weight;
      sleepiness or insomnia; or
      decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.


What other drugs will affect sertraline?
Do not take sertraline if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) during the last 2 weeks. Serious, and sometimes fatal, reactions have occurred when these medicines have been used together.
Do not take sertraline if you are taking pimozide (Orap). A dangerous drug interaction could result.
Before taking sertraline, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
      a benzodiazepine such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), and others;
      a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), doxepin (Sinequan), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others;
      a phenothiazine including chlorpromazine (Thorazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), fluphenazine (Prolixin), mesoridazine (Serentil), perphenazine (Trilafon), prochlorperazine (Compazine), and others;
      lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith, others) or clozapine (Clozaril);
      almotriptan (Axert), frovatriptan (Frova), sumatriptan (Imitrex), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), or zolmitriptan (Zomig);
      carbamazepine (Tegretol) or phenytoin (Dilantin);
      warfarin (Coumadin);
      digoxin (Lanoxin);
      cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB); or
      bupropion (Wellbutrin, Zyban).
You may not be able to take sertraline, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
Do not take the Zoloft Oral Concentrate without first talking to your doctor if you are taking disulfiram (Antabuse). The oral solution contains alcohol, which may interact with disulfiram.
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with sertraline. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.


Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist has additional information about sertraline written for health professionals that you may read.

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