Zoloft (sertraline) is a prescription antidepressant drug. It belongs to a group of antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This medication is often used to treat depression experienced by adults and teenagers. This medication may also be used to treat adults and teenagers who experience panic attacks, posttraumatic stress, social anxiety, premenstrual dysphoric issues, and obsessive compulsive thoughts and behaviors. Zoloft may help to control the emotions, thoughts, and actions that sometimes accompany these mental health conditions, but it will not cure the conditions.
- How should I take this medication?
Zoloft comes in both tablet and concentrated liquid form and is usually taken once per day, with or without food. The concentrated liquid must be diluted with water, ginger ale, orange juice, lemon lime soda, or lemonade. Drink the diluted mixture immediately. Do not dilute this medication with any other liquid. Your healthcare advisor may adjust your dosage until he or she finds the best dosage to relieve your symptoms. You may need to take this medication for several weeks before you begin to feel the effects of this drug. It is important to continue taking this drug as prescribed by your healthcare advisor, even after you begin to feel better.
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
As soon as you remember it, take the dose you missed. If it will soon be time for your next regular dose, skip the missed dose altogether. You should not take a double dose to make up for missed medication. Taking two doses over a short period of time may lead to an overdose.
- What should I do if I take too much of this medication?
Call a poison control center, call your healthcare provider, and seek urgent medical attention immediately. An overdose of this medication may be fatal. Symptoms of overdose include vomiting, dizziness, seizures, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, hallucinations, breathing difficulties, fainting, and coma.
- Who should not take this medication?
People who are allergic to sertraline should avoid this medication. Allergic reactions may include difficulty breathing, rashes or hives, and swelling of the lips, tongue, eyes or face. Elderly people should not take this medication unless it is being used to treat obsessive compulsive behavior. Children should not be given this drug. Individuals who take medications such as pimozide, Antabuse, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or those who have used an MAOI in the past two weeks should not use Zoloft as serious or life-threatening effects may occur. Do not share your medication with other individuals, even if they have been diagnosed with the same health issues.
- What are some ways to get the most out of my treatment with this medication?
Zoloft is prescribed by doctors and psychiatrists for many mental health conditions that also benefit from treatment with psychotherapy. While this medication may allow you to receive better treatment in the face of debilitating symptoms, it will not teach you positive coping skills, help you understand what you are experiencing, or help you develop a healthy self-care routine. Finding a therapist or counselor to work with may help you fill in some of the gaps that occur from treating mental health conditions with drugs alone. Additionally, a mental health professional may help you develop healthy lifestyle changes that facilitate better, longer-lasting mental health outcomes.
- How should I store this medication?
Zoloft should be tightly sealed in its original container when not in use. Store the container at room temperature. Avoid locations that are exposed to excess heat or moisture (such as a bathroom or kitchen).