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Zoloft (sertraline) is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (bothersome thoughts that won't go away and the need to perform certain actions over and over), panic attacks (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks), posttraumatic stress disorder (disturbing psychological symptoms that develop after a frightening experience), and social anxiety disorder (extreme fear of interacting with others or performing in front of others that interferes with normal life). It is also used to relieve the symptoms of the premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including mood swings, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness. Sertraline is in a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amounts of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.
Sertraline comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once daily in the morning or evening. To treat a premenstrual dysphoric disorder, sertraline is taken once a day, either every day of the month or on certain days of the month. Take Zoloft at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take sertraline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of sertraline and gradually increase your dose, not more than once a week.
It may take a few weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of sertraline. Continue to take Zoloft even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking sertraline, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, depression, mood changes, frenzied or abnormally excited mood, irritability, anxiety, confusion, dizziness, headache, tiredness, seizures, ringing in the ears, numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Sertraline may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Get medical help if you have any of the following side effects of Zoloft:
Sertraline may decrease appetite and cause weight loss in children. Your child's doctor will watch his or her growth carefully. Talk to your child's doctor if you have concerns about your child's growth or weight while he or she is taking this medication. Talk to your child's doctor about the risks of giving sertraline to your child.
Sertraline may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Q: Is Zoloft used to treat any other conditions?
A: Sertraline is also used sometimes to treat headaches and sexual problems. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.