Are you taking, or considering taking, Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral) for depression or another mental health reason? This page provides information on the medication’s benefits, side effects, and other properties.
Type of Medication: SSRI
Sertraline is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor.
Variants include Zoloft and Lustral.
Benefits of Sertraline (Zoloft) for Depression, OCD and More
Sertraline is widely prescribed to help treat depression, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Side Effects of Sertraline (Zoloft)
Please note that the following side effects include only some of the most common and somewhat less common but do not include rarer side effects; the list is not exhaustive. Many people taking Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral) experience none of these side effects. Please consult a physician about any unusual symptoms.
Some of the more common side effects of Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral) include:
- dry mouth
- sexual dysfunction
Some of the less common side effects of Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral) include:
- loss of appetite
- asthenia (weakness)
Sertraline (Zoloft) and Alcohol
The Zoloft product insert (linked below) suggests that “although ZOLOFT has not been shown in experiments with normal subjects to increase the mental and motor skill impairments caused by alcohol, the concomitant use of ZOLOFT and alcohol is not advised” (p. 15) and “Although ZOLOFT did not potentiate the cognitive and psychomotor effects of alcohol in experiments with normal subjects, the concomitant use of ZOLOFT and alcohol is not recommended” (p. 18).
Stopping Sertraline (Zoloft): Discontinuation Effects or Withdrawal Symptoms
It is best to consult a physician before discontinuing SSRIs. Stopping taking Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral) or other SSRIs suddenly may cause discontinuation effects, or withdrawal symptoms, including:
- abdominal cramps
- increased dreaming
Should You Buy Sertraline (Zoloft) Online?
Particularly in the United States, many individuals choose to purchase medications online, either for reasons of cost savings, privacy, or both. Both brand-name Zoloft and so-called ‘generic Zoloft’ (i.e., Sertraline without the Zoloft brand name) can sometimes be purchased at deep discounts (and sometimes without a prescription) in this way. Before undertaking any purchase of medications online, however — and certainly if you are contemplating doing so without a prior prescription — please consider the integrity of the supplier and the national and/or local laws which may apply where you live.
For more on the political and safety controversies about buying drugs online (including VIPPS, price-gouging, and more) see our separate site MedsDebate.com.
Information Sources and Disclaimer
The information provided here has been summarized in good faith purely for educational purposes. It is not intended in any way to replace the advice of a qualified medical professional. Please do not take any action on the basis of information contained here without consulting a physician. Unless otherwise specified, information is intended to apply only to adult use of the medication. Drug interaction precautions have not been included; please consult another source for this information.
All registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
- United States FDA-approved Product Insert for Zoloft (PDF)
- Your Medicines — Any Questions?
- British National Formulary
- Medication Reference Materials
- Drug Information by Generic Name
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- Atomoxetine (Strattera) for ADHD
- Bupropion, or Amfebutamone (Wellbutrin, Zyban) for Depression, Bipolar, and Smoking Cessation
- Citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil, Seropram) for Depression
- Clonazepam (Klonopin, Rivotril) for Anxiety
- Escitalopram (Lexapro, Cipralex) for Depression or Anxiety
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- Guanfacine (Tenex, Estulic, Dipresan) for ADHD and Social Anxiety
- Medication List With Brand Names
- Nefazodone (Serzone, Dutonin) for Depression
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa) for Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia
- Olanzapine + Fluoxetine (Symbyax) for Bipolar Disorder
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- Quetiapine (Seroquel) for Schizophrenia and Bipolar
- Risperidone (Risperdal) for Schizophrenia and Hypomania
- Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral) for Depression, OCD and More
- Venlafaxine (Effexor or Efexor): Benefits and Side Effects
- Zolpidem Tartrate (Ambien, Stilnoct): Benefits and Side Effects
- Medication Action Mechanisms and Warnings
- NIMH Medications Booklet
- Research Literature and Clinical Trials of Mental Health Drugs
- Resources on Psychotropic Medications
- Drug Information by Generic Name
All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .on and was last reviewed or updated by