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What is Sertraline?

Sertraline (sertraline hydrochloride or sertraline HCl) is an antidepressant SSRI, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It works to modify imbalances in the brain, to restore proper chemistry and alleviate symptoms associated with mood and anxiety.

Sertraline is sold under a variety of brand names, including Zoloft, Lustral and others. It is available in a variety of dosages and comes in capsule and tablet form.

Uses for Sertraline

Sertraline is used to treat a wide range of mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), social anxiety disorder and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

Sertraline may react badly when taken with additional medications, such as MAOIs (monamine oxidase inhibitors), Phenelzine, Tranylcypromine, Isocarboxazid and others, and may cause serious conditions such as blood pressure fluctuation, hyperthermia and more. Always provide your doctor with a full medical history when considering sertraline as a treatment option.

Possible Side Effects of Sertraline

Side effects of sertraline include headache, insomnia, dizziness, nervousness, upset stomach, nausea, tremor, skin rash, appetite loss, diarrhea, dry mouth and abnormal ejaculation. Allergic reactions will cause symptoms such as swelling of the face, mouth, tongue and lips, hives and difficulty breathing.

Like other antidepressants, sertraline may cause thoughts of suicide, and should only be taken under close supervision. Suddenly going off sertraline may cause abdominal cramping, flu symptoms (fever, chills, etc.) and memory impairment. Supervised decrease in dosage will be part of the Sertraline treatment program.

Seek emergency help if you experience any of the serious side effects listed here, and report all unusual behavior or physical changes to your doctor.

Warnings About Sertraline

The information listed here regarding sertraline is for reference purposes only, and should not be used in place of medical advice. Always consult a doctor before introducing a new medication into your health regimen for correct dosage and treatment information, proper monitoring and further side effects or possible interactions with other medications.

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