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    Sertraline

    Information about Sertraline

    Sertraline uses

    How sertraline works

    Sertraline is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It works by increasing the levels of serotonin, a chemical messenger in the brain. This improves mood and physical symptoms in depression and relieves symptoms of panic and obsessive disorders.

    Common side effects of sertraline

    Low sexual desire, Delayed ejaculation, Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping), Orthostatic hypotension (sudden lowering of blood pressure on standing), Nausea, Weight gain, Diarrhea, Erectile dysfunction, Stomach upset
    Content Details
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    Written By
    Dr. Swati Mishra
    BDS
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    Reviewed By
    Dr. Lalit Kanodia
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    12 Nov 2019 | 04:45 PM (IST)
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    Expert advice for Sertraline

    • Sertraline effectively treats a variety of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and panic disorders.
    • It is one of the more effective and better tolerated antidepressant medication.
    • It causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
    • It has been proven safe for depressed patients with recent myocardial infarction or angina.
    • Do not drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Sertraline affects you.
    • Talk to your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or develop suicidal thoughts.
    • The addiction/dependence potential of Sertraline is very less.
    • Inform your doctor if you experience decreased sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm.
    • Do not stop taking the medication suddenly without talking to your doctor.

    Frequently asked questions for Sertraline

    Sertraline

    Q. Does Sertraline cause weight gain?

    Sertraline commonly causes weight gain as the patient is unable to stop the urge to eat. Additionally, use of Sertraline may also lead to weight loss, though it occurs rarely. The reason for weight loss could be loss of appetite. Consult your doctor in case of any concerns regarding your weight.

    Q. How long does it take for Sertraline to work?

    You may start noticing an improvement in symptoms within 7 days of taking Sertraline. However, it may take longer to show full response and will vary from person to person.

    Q. How long do I need to take Sertraline?

    You should continue taking Sertraline as long as your doctor recommends to take it which may be for several months. Doctors usually recommend the medicine for 6 months to a year after you no longer feel depressed. It is important to know that stopping the medication before the suggested time may cause depression to come back.

    Q. When is the best time to take Sertraline?

    Sertraline is usually taken once a day and can be taken at any time of the day. It can be taken with or without food. Take it as per your convenience but preferably at the same time each day. Some people who have sleep difficulty after taking Sertraline, they should take it in the morning. Whereas, some take it at night to limit the side effects of nausea and vomiting.

    Q. Does Sertraline cause sleepiness?

    Yes, Sertraline may commonly cause sleepiness. In case you feel dizzy, sleepy or tired after taking Sertraline, you should avoid driving or using heavy machinery. This generally happens within the first few days and weeks after starting Sertraline, which may disappear after 2-3 months of use of Sertraline.

    Q. What does Sertraline do for anxiety?

    Sertraline belongs to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of medicines. It increases the levels of serotonin which is an important chemical and a neurotransmitter. This increase in serotonin levels can help to improve and regulate your mood, resulting in an improvement in the symptoms of anxiety.

    Q. Can I stop taking Sertraline if I am better now?

    No, you should not stop taking Sertraline without consulting your doctor. This is because sudden discontinuation of Sertraline may cause withdrawal symptoms. Hence, it is important to gradually reduce the dose with time (over several weeks or months).

    Q. What are the withdrawal symptoms of Sertraline?

    The withdrawal symptoms of Sertraline include dizziness, nausea, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, trouble sleeping, feeling agitated or anxious, headaches and shaking. However, these symptoms are generally mild to moderate and disappear after 1-2 weeks of discontinuing Sertraline.

    Q. What are the symptoms of overdose of Sertraline?

    The symptoms of overdose of Sertraline include nausea, dizziness, fever, vomiting, confusion, shakiness, and a rapid heartbeat. Whereas, serious side effects include fainting, delirium, heart problems, and changes in blood pressure. If you experience such symptoms immediately contact your doctor or seek emergency medical services in a nearby hospital.

    Content on this page was last updated on 12 November, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)