How long does it take for the increased dose of Zoloft to work?


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Page last updated: 24/10/2022

How long does it take for the increased dose of Zoloft to work?

This article will discuss how long it takes for the medication Zoloft to work once your dosage is increased by your doctor. For that, the article will explain what Zoloft is, how it works in the system, and how it is usually administered by psychiatrists. Along with that, the article will explain what are the side effects of the medication.

How long can the increased dose of Zoloft take before it starts to work? 

Once you start taking Zoloft, as your doctor decides to increase your dose, it can take from one to two weeks for you to feel some small improvements. You can feel a slight improvement in your appetite, along with your energy levels, and sleep. 

Your mood and concentration can also become somewhat better, and you may feel like you have higher energy levels and will be more willing to connect with people and things around them.

In the same way as other medications, the time it takes for the medication to start to work can change from one person to the next. But most of its effects of it can be sensed between the fourth and sixth week of its use.

When you first start to take it, your doctor may start with a small dosage and go up from there. The dosage of it can change from one person to the other based on their age, intensity of symptoms, and body structure. But the maximum dosage of it is 200mg. When discussing the dosage of Zoloft, it comes in tablets of 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg.

Once you feel the improvement it brings, you can take the medication for quite some time, and it has not been shown that it is addictive. If you miss a dose of it, you should take it as soon as you can. Unless it is too close to the next time you will take it. If that is the case, you should wait for it.

It is also important to know that you shouldn’t stop taking the medication without previously discussing it with your doctor. If you stop it cold turkey you can experience some signs of withdrawal such as headaches, nausea, muscle pain, and dizziness.

What is Zoloft? 

Zoloft, also known as Sertraline, is an SSRI antidepressant that is made by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. It was created in 1922 with the main goal of treating depression. 

Nowadays it is not only used in depression treatment, but also in panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

What is its course of action? 

Since it is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant, it is related to the serotonin levels of the person. Not allowing the person’s metabolic system to absorb serotonin. 

Its main goal is to increase the level of neurotransmitters in the person’s brain. But to some people, as with any other SSRI antidepressant, it can lead to something called serotonin syndrome.

This can be a life-threatening condition. It usually happens due to the mix of two or more drugs that can alter the person’s serotonin level. It can lead to anxiety, confusion, dilated pupils, fever, high blood pressure, and accelerated heartbeat among other things.

What are its side effects?

Many side effects can come from the use of Zoloft. It can cause headaches, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, lower libido, and increased sweating. Along with that, it can lead to agitation or irritability, inability to relax, impulsive behavior, as well as hyperactivity, shaking, and confusion.

Some side effects are most rare, such as allergic reactions, which can cause hives and skin rash. Along with seizures, and even suicidal thoughts. If that happens to you, it is important to go to the emergency room right away. 

Most users usually say that the side effects of Zoloft tend to go away after a brief period of its use, but to some, it may go on. In those cases, it is important to discuss with your doctor if there is any adjustment to be made, or if changing the medication needs to be considered.

How long does it take for the increased dose of Zoloft to work?

What are the precautions when taking Zoloft?

Although Zoloft is a completely safe drug, there are some matters you should be aware of. If you are pregnant, you might be careful when taking, it since it has been shown that using Zoloft during the third trimester can lead to some lung disorders in the baby, which can even be lethal in some cases.

When people use Zoloft and Aspirin together, it can also lead to a higher risk of developing bleeding. And if you have any liver or kidney damage, you should let your doctor know, since it can cause more trouble. 

By knowing that, they can adjust your dosage, or even change your medication.  Along with that, you need to know that drinking alcohol while taking Zoloft is not recommended

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How long does it take for the increased dose of Zoloft to work? 

What are antidepressants? 

Antidepressants are the type of medication people take when they are going through a depressive episode. The one that is prescribed more often is the Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) because they usually have fewer side effects, two examples of it are Fluoxetine and Citalopram.

Another form of antidepressant is the Serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This type is similar to SSRIs but was created to be more effective than SSRIs. An example of SNRIs is venlafaxine.

Noradrenaline and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NASSAs) are recommended for people that can’t take SSRIs. They have some side effects that need to be taken into consideration such as dizziness, but it affects the person’s libido less than SSRIs. An example of it is mirtazapine.

There are older forms of antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), they can be recommended to people with major depression that are resistant to other medications. An example of it is amitriptyline. 

Serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs) are a form of antidepressants that is also prescribed when other forms haven’t worked. An example of it is trazodone. 

There are Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) that are an older type of antidepressant. It has a lot of serious side effects. The most known example of it is tranylcypromine.

Does mental health medication work the same for everyone? 

No, mental health medication doesn’t work the same way for everyone. Two people may experience depression, for example, and be prescribed the same dosage of the same medication. For one, this medication can be extremely positive, it will decrease the intensity of their symptoms, and improve their mood.

The other, even if they don’t experience intense side effects of the medication, may feel like it has made absolutely no difference in their condition. This is why it is important to be closely followed by a psychiatrist. 

They need to know which medication will work in which person, and unfortunately, it is only possible to know when the person takes them. That is why it can take some time for people to find the right medication, and feel their condition improving when they start to go to a psychiatrist.

Is only medication enough to treat mental illness?

No, medication alone is not enough to treat mental illness. You may need integrative care. This means you should count on the medication to reduce your symptoms, and improve the chemical aspects of your brain. 

But having other professionals such as therapists, or social workers, can help you handle the emotional distress that can be related to your mental illness.

Mental illness puts you in a loop of negativity. You may suffer a traumatic experience and get depressed, but when depressed you keep putting yourself through other traumatic experiences. 

And not only medication will help that. You will need to identify your triggers, and how you handle things emotionally. So even after you are done taking the medication, you can still observe the positive changes in your behavior.

Do only psychiatrists prescribe mental health medication? 

No, it is not only psychiatrists that prescribe mental health medication. General practitioners usually do it as well. But even though other professionals can prescribe it, if you have any mental health condition, you should go to a psychiatrist.

This doctor is specialized in mental health and may have a broader spectrum of knowledge about it. Along with that, because they are in this field of study, they will be up to date on all the recent developments that have been going on in the mental health treatment scene.

In the same way as finding any doctor, or therapist, finding the right psychiatrist can be a process. You will confide in them your deepest thoughts and feelings, so it may be that you won’t feel extremely comfortable in your first appointment, or with the first professional you seek.

But keep going to them, or if you feel it is necessary, look for another well-trained professional. The important thing is to keep in treatment and have a professional you can count on during these troubling times. 

Will I experience side effects with all mental health medications?

It is not possible to say if you will experience side effects with all mental health medication. This is something that changes from one person to the next. You may want to pay attention to how many side effects each medication says it is possible to have.

It is highly doubtful that one person will experience them all. What is written there are the possibilities of side effects. So you know, when taking that medication, that those may occur. But what each person needs to keep an eye on, along with the doctor that is caring for them, is how intense those side effects are, and how long they go on.

If you realize they have become persistent, or too intense, to a point that is making it hard for you to live well and is affecting your quality of life, you should discuss it with your doctor. They may consider adjusting the dosage you are in, or even changing the medication you are on for a different substance.

Choosing a mental health medication is, unfortunately until now, a trial and error situation. Your doctor will know what are the options for treating the condition you are in.

But it is only when you take them that it will be possible to say if you will react positively to them, have too many side effects, or don’t experience any change in your condition after you take them.


This article discussed how long it takes for the increased dose of Zoloft to work. For that, the article explained what Zoloft is, how it acts on the person’s body, and what are its possible side effects. 

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.