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Sertraline is a medicine called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It is used to treat major depressive disorder.
How does this medication work?
Sertraline is thought to work by increasing the activity of a chemical in your brain called serotonin. By increasing serotonin, sertraline may help improve your symptoms.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
What: Sertraline has been shown to relieve symptoms associated with major depressive disorder, as measured by appropriate symptom rating scales that are commonly used by healthcare providers to evaluate the effectiveness of the medicine in people with such conditions.
When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take sertraline exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed, even if you do not feel better right away.
How do I know it is working?
Your healthcare provider may ask you a series of questions from time to time that will help assess how well your symptoms are controlled with treatment.
The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
Sertraline can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, teenagers, and young adults. Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely for clinical worsening and suicidal or unusual behavior after you start taking sertraline or start a new dose of sertraline. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience anxiety, hostility, sleeplessness, restlessness, impulsive or dangerous behavior, or thoughts about suicide or dying; or if you have new symptoms or seem to be feeling worse.
More common side effects may include: abnormal ejaculation, agitation, decreased sexual desire, diarrhea, feeling tired, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea, shaking, increased sweating, trouble sleeping.
Less common side effects may include:
Serotonin syndrome (a potentially life-threatening drug reaction that causes the body to have too much serotonin, a chemical produced by the nerve cells) with symptoms such as mental status changes (such as agitation or hallucinations), an increase in your heart rate and temperature, lack of coordination, overactive reflexes, muscle rigidity, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Abnormal bleeding or bruising, especially if you also take blood thinners (such as warfarin), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as ibuprofen or naproxen), or aspirin.
Manic episodes with symptoms such as greatly increased energy, severe trouble sleeping, racing thoughts, reckless behavior, excessive happiness or irritability, or talking more or faster than usual.
Low blood sodium (salt) levels with symptoms such as headache, weakness, an unsteady feeling, confusion, problems concentrating or thinking, or memory problems.
Changes in your child's appetite or weight.
Sertraline may also cause seizures.
Do not take sertraline if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
Do not take sertraline if you take another medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (such as phenelzine, selegiline, or linezolid), a class of medications used to treat depression and other conditions. Do not start taking sertraline if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 2 weeks, unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
Do not take sertraline if you take pimozide.
Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with sertraline. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have high blood pressure; heart, liver, or kidney problems; bipolar disorder or mania; low sodium levels in your blood; a history of stroke, glaucoma, bleeding problems, or seizures; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
Adults: The usual starting dose is 50 milligrams once a day. Your healthcare provider may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.
If you have liver impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.
It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.
Take sertraline exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking sertraline without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Take sertraline once a day, either in the morning or in the evening.
Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities until you know how sertraline affects you.
Do not drink alcohol while you are taking sertraline.
If sertraline is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Sertraline may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.
Sertraline may harm your newborn baby if you take it during the last few months of your pregnancy. The effects of sertraline during breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
If you miss a dose of sertraline, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
Store at room temperature.
In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222
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