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Frequently Asked Questions
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
Do not stop using sertraline without first asking your doctor.
Sertraline is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
Sertraline is used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Sertraline is also used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Sertraline may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use sertraline if you are allergic to it, or if you also take pimozide. Do not use the liquid form of sertraline if you take disulfiram (Antabuse).
Do not use sertraline within 14 days before or 14 days after using an MAO inhibitor. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and others.
Tell your doctor if you also take stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. An interaction with sertraline could cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- an allergy or sensitivity to aspirin or tartrazine (food dye);
- bipolar disorder (manic depression);
- heart disease, high blood pressure, or a stroke;
- liver or kidney disease;
- sexual problems;
- bleeding problems, or if you take warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
- long QT syndrome; or
- low levels of sodium in your blood.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Sertraline is approved for use in children at least 6 years old, only to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder but not depression.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of sertraline on the baby.
Taking this medicine during pregnancy could harm the baby, but stopping the medicine may not be safe for you. Do not start or stop sertraline without asking your doctor.
Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed while using this medicine.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Take sertraline with or without food, at the same time each day.
Sertraline liquid (oral concentrate) must be diluted with a liquid right before you take it. Read and carefully follow all mixing instructions provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you need help.
Swallow the capsule whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it.
Tell your doctor if you have any changes in sexual function, such as loss of interest in sex, trouble having an orgasm, or (in men) problems with erections or ejaculation. Some sexual problems can be treated.
Measure the mixed medicine with the supplied syringe or a dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Sertraline may cause false results on a drug-screening urine test. Tell the laboratory staff that you use sertraline.
Do not stop using sertraline suddenly, or you could have unpleasant symptoms (such as agitation, confusion, tingling or electric shock feelings). Ask your doctor before stopping the medicine.
Store tightly closed at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Drinking alcohol with this medicine can cause side effects.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: skin rash or hives (with or without fever or joint pain); difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- unusual bleeding or bruising;
- a seizure;
- vision changes, eye pain, redness, or swelling;
- low blood sodium--headache, confusion, problems with thinking or memory, weakness, feeling unsteady; or
- manic episodes--racing thoughts, increased energy, unusual risk-taking behavior, extreme happiness, being irritable or talkative.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Sertraline can affect growth in children. Your child's height and weight may be checked often.
Common side effects may include:
- indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, loose stool;
- increased sweating;
- tremors; or
- sexual problems.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Sertraline can cause a serious heart problem. Your risk may be higher if you also use certain other medicines for infections, asthma, heart problems, high blood pressure, depression, mental illness, cancer, malaria, or HIV.
Ask your doctor before taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil, Aleve, Motrin, and others. Using an NSAID with sertraline may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.
Other drugs may affect sertraline, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.
Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about sertraline.
|Brand Name Examples||Supplied As||Strength|
|Sertraline||Capsule||200 Mg150 Mg|