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Sertraline is used in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobia

How it works

Sertraline increase the levels of serotonin in the brain and treats depression. Serotonin is one of the chemical messengers in the brain that helps in regulating the mood.

Common side effects

Headache, Dizziness, Blurred vision, Decreased libido, Insomnia, Vomiting, Ejaculation disorder, Nausea, Abnormal dreams, Fatigue, Anxiety, Chills, Diarrhoea, Decreased appetite, Erectile dysfunction, Nervousness, Sleep disorder, Restlessness

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Expert advice

  • Avoid consuming alcohol when taking the Sertraline, as it may cause excessive drowsiness and calmness.
  • The risk of dependence is minimal with the Sertraline.
  • The most common side effect seen with Sertraline is nausea, vomiting followed by diarrhea. On long-term use, the patient might develop sexual side effects, but they are reversible.
  • Do not discontinue or increase/decrease the dose without consulting the doctor.
  • You may have to take Sertraline at least for 2 to 3 weeks or longer before you begin to feel better.
  • Notify your doctor if you feel unusually agitated, irritable, or have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself.
  • Sertraline should be taken preferably during the day to keep the mood alleviated during the day.
  • During the treatment initially signs of anxiety may be seen in some patients.

Frequently asked questions



Is sertraline addictive?
Sertraline is not addictive. However, sudden discontinuation or decrease in dose of sertraline may cause effects like dizziness, numbness, sleep disturbances, agitation or anxiety, headaches, nausea, vomiting and shaking. Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use and discontinuation


Is sertraline a mono amine oxidase inhibitor/steroid?
No, sertraline belongs to a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which alter the levels of a chemical called serotonin in the brain and help improve depression


Is sertraline safe?
Sertraline is safe, if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor

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Does sertraline cause insomnia/hair loss/ weight gain or loss/acne/sick feeling?
Insomnia, headache, weight gain or weight loss and sick feeling are side effects reported with the use of sertraline. However acne has not been reported. Patients should consult doctors regarding the possible side effects


Can I take sertraline for anxiety?
Sertraline is used for the treatment of social anxiety disorder. But, consult your doctor regarding the use of sertraline for your anxiety complaints


Is sertraline a stimulant?
No, sertraline belongs to a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants. It does not stimulate the brain, but improves depression by increasing the levels of a chemical called serotonin in the brain


Can I take sertraline with diazepam/ Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)/ alcohol/ Tylenol (paracetamol)/ mirtazapine/ amoxicillin/ Nyquil (acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine)/ Co codamol (paracetamol and codeine)/ ibuprofen?
With tramadol there is an increased risk of hypertension, amitriptyline may possibly change the blood levels of fluoxetine, and alcohol may alter the effect of fluoxetine. No clinically observed drug interaction has been reported with diazepam, Co codamol, Nyquil, ibuprofen and mirtazapine. Please consult your doctor when using concomitantly


How long can I take sertraline/ Can I take sertraline forever?
It is advisable to take this drug only till prescribed by the doctor


Does sertraline expire?
Yes, like all drugs, sertraline has an expiry date. Please refer to the package insert or the information on the tablet strip to find out when your medicine expires.

Content on this page was last updated on 22 February, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)