What is Zoloft?Zoloft is an antidepressant medication known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It is used to treat major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
What is the most important information I should know about Zoloft?Antidepressants can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressants or are taking a new dose should be watched closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual behavior. Patients and their families should contact the doctor immediately if new symptoms develop or seem to get worse. Signs to watch for include anxiety, hostility, sleeplessness, restlessness, impulsive or dangerous behavior, and thoughts about suicide or dying.
Zoloft should not be taken in combination with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or within 14 days before or after treatment with Zoloft; in some cases, a serious and possibly fatal reaction may occur. MAOIs are a class of drugs used to treat depression, psychiatric conditions, or Parkinson's disease. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure whether you are taking an MAOI drug.
Zoloft may cause the development of potentially life-threatening reactions known as serotonin syndrome (a drug reaction that causes the body to have too much serotonin, a chemical produced by the nerve cells) or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a brain disorder) when taken alone or in combination with other drugs. Symptoms may include mental status changes, increase in heart rate and temperature, incoordination, hyperreflexia (overactive reflexes), muscle rigidity, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these signs or symptoms.
Who should not take Zoloft?Zoloft should not be used in people taking the antipsychotic drug pimozide. Also, do not take MAOIs within 2 weeks before or after treatment with Zoloft.
Do not take Zoloft if you are allergic or sensitive to it or any of its ingredients.
Zoloft oral concentrate should not be used in persons taking Antabuse, a medication used to treat alcoholism.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Zoloft?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Zoloft. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver problems, seizure or bleeding disorders, or a history of suicide or mania.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Major Depression and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Adults: The usual starting dose is 50 milligrams (mg) once a day. If needed, your dose may be increased, as determined by your doctor.
Adults and children 13-17 years: The usual starting dose is 50 mg once a day. If needed, your dose may be increased, as determined by your doctor.
Children 6-12 years: The usual starting dose is 25 mg once a day.
Panic Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder
Adults: The usual starting dose is 25 mg once a day. After 1 week, your dose may be increased to 50 mg once a day. If needed, your dose may be further increased to 200 mg once a day.
How should I take Zoloft?Zoloft should be taken once a day, in the morning or in the evening. Take it at the same time every day. Zoloft may be taken with or without food.
To prepare Zoloft oral concentrate, use the dropper provided to remove the instructed amount prescribed by your doctor and mix it with 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of water, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice. Do not mix the concentrate with anything other than the liquids listed. Take the dose immediately; do not prepare the mix for later use.
What should I avoid while taking Zoloft?You should not drink alcohol while taking Zoloft. You should also not drive a car or operate heavy machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
Do not abruptly discontinue Zoloft, as it may result in irritability, agitation, dizziness, emotional ups and downs, headache, or sleepiness.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Zoloft?If Zoloft is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Zoloft with the following: alcohol, antidepressants, aspirin, cimetidine, diazepam, digitoxin, flecainide, linezolid, lithium, MAOIs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), phenytoin, pimozide, propafenone, St. John's wort, sumatriptan, tolbutamide, tramadol, triptans (migraine medications), valproate, and warfarin.
What are the possible side effects of Zoloft?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: dry mouth, insomnia, sexual side effects, diarrhea, nausea, sleeplessness
Can I receive Zoloft if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Zoloft during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Zoloft?If you miss a dose of Zoloft, take it as soon as your remember. If it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the dose you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Zoloft?Store at room temperature.